Monday, August 30, 2010

Freedom of expression at Ground Zero is about more than a liberal cause du jour

(Previously published by Blogcritics)

Sometimes, just sometimes, Democrats impress me. John Kerry holding the Scottish government's feet to the fire over the release of Abdul al-Megrahi, for instance. Kerry doesn't buy the argument that it was right to show mercy to the PanAm flight 103 bomber given his (supposedly) terminal illness, as you would normally expect a bleeding-heart liberal to do. I also respect Dianne Feinstein for approving of the Patriot Act, supporting the death penalty and running San Francisco as a centrist during her tenure as mayor of that normally loopy, hard-Left city. I like Joe Liebermann, of course, for several reasons.
Add to the list Harry Reid and the recently defeated Senate candidate Jeff Greene. Why? For their opposition to the location of the proposed Ground Zero mosque and for criticizing the Messiah's thoughts on the matter.
President Obama's main premise, that we have freedom of worship, is correct. But, as Greene noted, he's got it all wrong. What gets conveniently lost in the liberal-Left's argument in favor of the mosque is that American citizens have a Constitutional right to voice their opposition to it. What about our First Amendment rights?
Like Reid, one of the highest ranking Democrats to oppose the mosque's location, I feel that this isn't a matter of religious opposition. It's simply the mosque's proposed location, and the powerful symbolism it carries with it, that bothers me. Muslims don't like it that we are focusing on the religion of the terrorists that killed 3,000 people nine years ago. But how would they like it if we erected a monument dedicated to the Crusades in a place that carries significant symbolic sentiment to them?
The Constitution should not be wielded as a tool to trump popular opinion in this matter. I have heard so much blather with regard to "good, law-abiding Americans who just happen to be Muslim" wanting to build their Islamic community centre at the Ground Zero location. But are they really thinking this one through?
If the Muslims who sought permission to build at the Cordoba Centre are that respectful, wouldn't they have backed down after realizing how their fellow Americans, assuming they consider us as such, agonized about the symbolic importance of their decision? If they're moderates, as the Left is assuring us they are, can't they understand that it would please everyone if they simply looked elsewhere to erect their place of worship? I think it's an affront of the highest level to blame the average American for his or her "bigotry" when it's the mosque-builders who are being intractable and intransigent.
Consider this, dear reader: the Islamic community centre's imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf, described U.S. policy-making as "an accessory to the crime" of 9/11, and asserted that all the "attention is a sign of the success of our efforts." As Toby Harnden of The Daily Telegraph wrote, that assertion from Rauf is "an utterance that shows he is stupid, mischievous or worse. Even if the aim of building the centre there was to encourage religious understanding, that is clearly no longer a possible outcome. So what kind of success was Rauf referring to?"
My thoughts exactly. Though, I suppose I must give Rauf some credit for calling 9/11 a crime. He earns a point from me for that, but nothing more.
New York mayor Michael Bloomberg—a RINO (Republican In Name Only) if ever there was one—isn't exactly trying to smooth things out, as you would expect him to do. He condemns the opposition, opining that they "ought to be ashamed of themselves."
Honestly, why is it so difficult to understand that there is a line being crossed here, a basic level of civility and respect that is being ignored? But, alas, I forget: Even if you slashed the throat of a Leftie's loved one, he'd still think, "Hmmm, what's wrong with the person who just killed my brother? Is he hurting? Is that a cry for help? Maybe I can help him. Golly gee ..."
To tell you the truth, for me, that's what this whole debate over the Ground Zero mosque comes down to. We're all getting our throats cut in a metaphorical sense, and we're still expected to understand "the other side."


goddessdivine said...

Hey--why don't the Muslims be tolerant of the rest of the country and NOT build their stupid mosque? I'm so tired of being labeled "intolerant" or "racist" or "bigoted" because I believe a certain way. This is not about freedom of religion; it's about doing the right thing. And the right thing is to not build a mosque near a place that was destroyed by fanatics who claimed to be of the very religion that mosque represents.

rocslinger said...

My wife has once again strayed from the "ranch" and had a dialogue with one of our "lefties".on this very issue. I just posted this on my blog with a link to my wifes post. I am now considering a posting a recipe or my kids pictures in order to keep the poles from flipping again.

I will make this point, when the left does not have a substantive argument they immediatly play the "racist card". They may call us bigots but that does not dismiss what our concerns are. If the usual funding from Saudi Arabia comes in than our concerns are valid. Whabiism is an ugly sect of Islam and the official religion of Saudi Arabia.

Nightdragon said...

Wahabbism is pure poison. What's funny is that this is supposedly going to be a Sufi Muslim mosque and community center, and the Sufis are considered the most moderate and tolerant of Islamic sects. But they're not exactly the model of moderation or tolerance in this case, are they? Besides, Feisal does have links to extremist groups, so yeah ... no-one should be at all surprised when this place starts generating fanatics.

The Atomic Mom said...

This whole debate is so silly.

It's not a question of freedom to worship or can they build it there. It's about should they build it there (no). As a Latter-day Saint we frequently encounter similar opposition when we want to build a temple. Case in point, none of these concerned citizens came out to support the Hartford CT temple. So the LDS Chruch picked up and moved on. It didn't prevent us from worshipping, nor did it destroy our faith. It's just part of the ebb and flow of life. We get over and move on...oh and we don't let our knickers stay in a twist about it either.

Nightdragon said...

Hey, Atomic Mom, thanks for visiting. I've read your comments on Goddessdivine's page before now ...

I support freedom to worship. There are Muslims in America, esp. in NYC, and they're going to need places to fulfill their religious obligations. I'm just so incensed at their refusal to consider the impact they're having on the sensitivities of Americans.

At the very least, they need to fully explain themselves -- which is exactly what they're not doing.

rocslinger said...

Mark Stein (I think that's how he spells his name) subbed for Rush today. He made an interesting point and something worth considering. If the towers were rebuilt today instead of their being a hole in the ground, ten years after the fact, would we even care that their was this mosque being built?

Ricky Speaks said...

Hey Dragon, back to blogging again, thought I'd reach out and say hey!


Nightdragon said...

Rick -- Long time no see! Good to have you back. Look forward to reading your stuff again.

Roc -- I still think we would. I would anyway. The original towers fell and 3,000 people got killed. Even if the towers got rebuilt, it's still, in my mind as well as those of many others, a "victory mosque."

rocslinger said...

Perhaps but if those towers were rebuilt I doubt very much that their would be a "victory mosque" and if it were it would be a hollow victory. Radical islamists brought down the twin towers but I think the real tragedy ,today, is that after ten years their is still just a hole in the ground. The best idea I heard is that the towers should be rebuilt exactly as they were but one floor higher. That would send a message to any who would wish America ill. That we will always come back.