Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Harry Reid and the "Ground Zero" Mosque 

Senate Majority Leader ("aspiring Minority Leader") Harry Reid has come out in opposition to the "Ground Zero" mosque, the Islamic center proposed to be built in lower Manhattan. My own views on the subject are essentially libertarian. I am certainly not a passionate opponent of the mosque, although I bridle at the seemingly inconsistent treatment given St. Nicholas, which was actually destroyed on 9/11. I am also sympathetic with the argument that the lack of meaningful domestic Islamist terrorism since September 11, 2001 has more to do with the moderation of the American Muslim community than any particular measure taken by our government, and that we -- including especially Republican partisans trying to stir up trouble -- ought to be very careful about alienating it.

On the question of Harry Reid's intervention, I both understand the pressure he is under and think that he handled it poorly. The pressure: I was in Las Vegas airport yesterday morning delighting in the shining of my shoes by a very chatty African-American man, originally from Detroit. At no prompting from me, he launched in to a measured but pointed denunciation of the Ground Zero mosque and Barack Obama's wishy-washiness on the subject. He declared "nothing against Muslims," but regarded the mosque as a slap in the face. Point is, if that guy is a hawk on the GZ Mosque then it is obviously a hotter potato in Nevada politics than I would have dared imagine. So I understand why Reid spoke out in opposition. But I am not sure why he could not have parried the taunting from Sharron Angle by saying simply that "this really is a local land-use issue in New York -- just as we would not want New Yorkers telling us what we can build here in Nevada, we should stay out of their business." I would think that would have made the issue go away for most Nevada voters. And, by the way, it is the right answer.


By Anonymous E Hines, at Tue Aug 17, 07:22:00 AM:

Not to go too far off on a tangent, but I disagree that Nevadans have no standing in the GZ Mosque matter. This was a national disaster that the GZ Mosque [fill in your verb]s, not a local question such as what casino or resort should be built in Las Vegas. All of America has legitimate interest in the outcome of the question of the proper location for the GZ Mosque.

Eric Hines  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Tue Aug 17, 07:30:00 AM:

Eric, at one level all of America has a legitimate interest in any point of principle, especially when it implicates freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution and national security, as this issue arguably does. So the case can be made. I am not sure, though, that it is a strong case. Many basically local subjects can, arguably, touch on one or both of those questions (civil rights, or national security). I am not sure it is a good thing to "nationalize" these questions any more often than absolutely necessary. For starters, these arguments generate a lot more heat than light, and I am not sure they are good for our political society. And, in any case, I think my solution for Harry Reid would have worked for all but the most passionate voters, whether or not you think this is an issue that should be a subject of national concern.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Aug 17, 08:25:00 AM:

Agree especially when one's comments begin with "I believe in the First Amendment but...." The First Amendment is firm and resolute in its words. There is no carve out. Not for Jews. Not for Pentecostals, and not for Muslims.

More than 4,000 American soldiers have died in Iraq protecting the freedom of Sunni and Shia Muslims, and yet we can't stomach Muslims in America exercising their freedom to build a mosque in downtown Manhattan? Stunning.  

By Anonymous E Hines, at Tue Aug 17, 08:26:00 AM:

Certainly the locals in New York should have most weighted say in the outcome of the GZ Mosque--there shouldn't be any diktats imposed from outside. As the disaster was national, so is the symbolism of the GZ Mosque--both as a triumphal brag of a great victory as some (not all) critics would have it, and as the embodiment of freedom of religion, as some (but not all) supporters would have it, to summarize two extreme positions. The central issue here, anyway, is not the legality of the location--no one of any seriousness is questioning that. The issue is one of appropriateness and mutual sensitivity. Religious tolerance and sensitivity to others' feelings cuts both ways. If it's unilateral, it doesn't exist.

Where to draw the line between legitimate national interest over a local matter and where national interest has no standing is a broad, grey area, to be sure. I just think that _this_ matter is national.

As an aside, in the particular case of Mr Reid, I'm not sure there are very many dispassionate voters.

Eric Hines  

By Blogger Eric Dondero, at Tue Aug 17, 08:29:00 AM:

The correct Libertarian position is to oppose Islamo-Fascism in every regard.

Islamists want to outlaw marijuana, booze, and gambling, force women to wear black burqas from head-to-toe, stone prostitutes in the streets, and cut off the genitals of gays.

Sharia Law is the antithesis of Libertarianism. Any person who supports Sharia, or even aligns with Islamists who want to impose Sharia, is not in any sense of the word a "Libertarian."

Eric Dondero, 25+ Year
Libertarian Activist  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Aug 17, 08:49:00 AM:

The GZM is an "in your face" project of Muslims.

I agree there is no constitutional basis for denying them permission to build there. The legalities of it relate to common zoning and use issues. But that's not the point.

Should the KKK have cross burnings across from the Lorraine Motel in Memphis? Should the KKK build administrative offices and a "community center"/church across the street from the {M.L.] King Center in Atlanta? This is the mentality of the GZM advocates. Building a mosque on the enemy's site to celebrate a victory or conquest is a traditional Muslim practice. Most Americans get that, even if you don't.  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Tue Aug 17, 09:03:00 AM:

The Grand Zero Mosque (GZM) will never get built. Construction unions in NYC will fall down on the job or worse, if ground is ever broken. I have doubts that GZM was ever bona fide, it was always about making a symbolic statement. Thus, the question of where you stand on GZM is just a shibboleth -- no reason it can't go nationwide as an issue.

Pronunciation: \ˈshi-bə-ləth also -ˌleth\
Etymology: Hebrew shibbōleth stream; from the use of this word in Judg 12:6 as a test to distinguish Gileadites from Ephraimites
1 word or saying used by adherents of a party, sect, or belief and usually regarded by others as empty of real meaning
2 a custom or usage regarded as distinguishing one group from others

So if you're FOR GZM you're enlightened. If you're AGAINST GZM, you're a bigot and don't get the Bill of Rights.

But France tells its Muslims what they can and can't wear in public. The Swiss have banned minarets. But you're unenlightened if you oppose GZM? Blow me.

To me -- conceptually -- it's a zoning issue, as I wrote about here below. No one is saying that you can't build a mosque on Manhattan. It's just a question of where.

Most Americans get this -- it's only our elites who don't. Michael Bloomberg has become a poster child for term limits.

The only good news here is that Obama made a bad unforced error, which is why Harry Reid is running away from Obama's position.  

By Anonymous Daran, at Tue Aug 17, 09:45:00 AM:

this really is a local land-use issue in New York -- just as we would not want New Yorkers telling us what we can build here in Nevada, we should stay out of their business.

That might work if you are running for city council, but is very weak for a senate position. Imagine if someone asks him how he feels about Iran developing nuclear weapons or having the death penalty for gays: 'that really is a local issue, and just as we dont seek their input on the nuclear weapon program or the death penalty in the USA, we should not interfere with how they run their country either'? Would that work? Of course not.

I think most people would accept an answer along the lines of 'allowing Nazis to have a march while not approving of their ideology'.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Tue Aug 17, 09:54:00 AM:

"The correct Libertarian position is to oppose Islamo-Fascism in every regard."

Agreed, but I don't think the case has been made that extremists are behind this mosque or will dominate its congregation.  

By Anonymous E Hines, at Tue Aug 17, 09:57:00 AM:

"The correct Libertarian position is to oppose Islamo-Fascism in every regard."

Agreed, but I don't think the case has been made that extremists are behind this mosque or will dominate its congregation.

Nor has a case been made that extremists are behind its opposition.

Eric Hines  

By Blogger Christopher Chambers, at Tue Aug 17, 09:57:00 AM:

I'm happy you admit to the demagogery of the rightwing of GOP (I guess that's the whole GOP now) and the way Reid just flopped into it hamhandedly. Indeed, Obama's statement, had he delievered it like harry truman instead of, well, Obama, wouldn't have changed many minds but I think people would have least paused. Indeed, now even wingnuts are conceding both the right and lack of zoning/etc impediments to building what is essentially a cultural center with a small mosque inside--tantamount to multipurpose center or a hospital having a small chapel. Some even admit there's a bit of hypocrisy because no one's complaining about the strip bars and nasty carry-outs nearby. It'd rough to then turn around and say that evangelicals (non violent) should be able to build a church across the street from where another evangelical (who's not in their congregation, of course) murdered a doctor and blew up his abortion clinic...

If Obama had said all of that, got his applause and then...with a pause...said "BUT..." That would have been a great use of the bully pulpit. Instead, he did it in a half assed way. Like Reid, half-assed & bizarre. But this is the essence of these two guys. Obama is a wonk and wants to work the angles and permutations on stuff on which he should be a bold leader, and assertive to the GOP; he is strident on stuff on which he should be direct yet thoughtful. Reid isn't so complicated.

(BTW I'm snickering at you, TH...having to backpedal and handle the segment of your audience that are rightwing fascist clowns, racists, fools. Good luck with that...LOL)  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Tue Aug 17, 10:15:00 AM:

"Agreed, but I don't think the case has been made that extremists are behind this mosque or will dominate its congregation."

GZM is a project of the Cordoba Initiative. As far as I can tell, Cordoba is internationalist and has little or no NYC roots. It's not like they want to build GZM because Pakistani taxi drivers need a place to go pray. Ostensibly, Cordoba intends to "cultivate multi-cultural and multi-faith understanding across minds and borders." I suggest they're failing. Unless they want to stir up trouble. Follow the money.

Mr Chambers doesn't get that opposition to GZM has much broader support than just rightwing GOP nutjobs. Mr Chambers would make a bad politician. Obama is proving the same -- this is one where he should ahve just voted "present."  

By Blogger Stack Trace, at Tue Aug 17, 11:03:00 AM:

On the whole, I take the libertarian view. Respecting our foundations as a free society requires us to treat this building like any other building -- it has to meet zoning codes, etc., but the fact that it is a mosque is not germane.

And I understand why this is seen as a stab at the West -- and maybe it is. However, we can capitalize on it, we can make it a point of pride for *us*, for our way of life. If we allow this mosque to be built, it is proof to the world that we walk the talk on freedom and civil liberties, even if it pisses us off sometimes.

There's a lot of suspicion of the West, in the moderate Muslim world, and a lot of that suspicion is based on the idea that the West will do whatever it wants (politically, militarily, etc.), and that assertions about freedom and justice are just convenient mouth-flapping. Odd as it may seem, allowing this mosque to be built could serve to puncture that belief.  

By Blogger J, at Tue Aug 17, 11:11:00 AM:

"I would think that would have made the issue go away for most Nevada voters. And, by the way, it is the right answer."

The trouble is this is not a local land issue in New York; saying otherwise isn't going to make it so. I don't personally care whether they build it, though I would have liked (maybe it's not too late) that the 9-11 memorial be explicitly designed to be blasphemous to Islam.  

By Blogger Trochilus, at Tue Aug 17, 12:37:00 PM:

Just because one can make a plausible argument for the "right" to do something, does not mean that makes it the right thing to do. President Obama comments were an attempt to gloss over that distinction -- he tried to conflate their "right" to build there, with the suggestion that that made it the right thing to do as well.

And, as we all know, he then had to run away from that argument by the next day.

Not that I've ever been inclined to defend him before, but I think Harry Reid was merely trying to say that even if they had the right to do it, he openly wished they would not. Liberals attacked him for throwing the President under the bus. Baloney! The President stupidly threw himself under the bus!

Americans are tolerant people, perhaps more so now than at any other time in our history. But we will not brook what we perceive as an insult, especially a blood insult.

Sure . . . none of us can get into one another's heads to "determine" ones' motivations. But many of us have a very strong and abiding sense about this -- based on historical precedent -- that a primary purpose behind this Cordoba mosque is to erect a symbol of triumph. Suggesting that we should somehow is unpersuasive.

Liberals keep reminding us that we are NOT a Christian nation, or even a Judeo-Christian nation. Given that insistence, then why should they continue to expect us to turn the other cheek?

To date, no positive or persuasive argument has been made by anyone as to why this community center and mosque should be built so close to 9/11. Yet, I submit that anyone with any sense should have known that attempting to do so would imflame the sensibilities of a broad spectrum of Americans. And so it has.

But they went ahead with the plan anyway.

The supporters now risibly claim that the Cordoba House project will be a place for reconciliation between Islam and the west.

That argument is not only baseless; it falls flat by it's own weight.

If that were the purpose, then why insist on building it where the opposition is so high? Where is the evidence of reconciliation in that? It is absurd.

The fact is, the more insistent the proponents are in the face of the real and considerable opposition, the more likely larger numbers of people will conclude that true underlying purpose of the center is to anchor a triumphal symbol at 9/11.

Bill McGurn made a very persuasive argument in analogizing this situation to that of the former Pope persuading the Carmolite nuns to move on from Auschwitz.

"So what did Pope John Paul II do? He waited, and he counseled. And when he saw that the nuns were not budging—and that their presence was doing more harm than good—he asked the Carmelites to move. He acknowledged that his letter would probably be a trial to each of the sisters, but asked them to accept it while continuing to pursue their mission in that same city at another convent that had been built for them.

Let's remember what this means. By their own lights, the nuns believed they were doing only good. They may have had a legal title to be where they were. And it is likely that they never would have been forced to move by local authorities had they insisted on staying."

Finally, I respectfully disagree that what would have "made the issue go away for most Nevada voters" somehow equals the right answer.

For me, the right answer would be for the proponents to back away from this obviously insensitive and offensive proposal that they have made.  

By Blogger Trochilus, at Tue Aug 17, 12:47:00 PM:

My sentence, above:

"Suggesting that we should somehow is unpersuasive."

should have been:

Suggesting that we should somehow brook that is unpersuasive.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Aug 17, 12:54:00 PM:

If you dance with a grizzly bear, eventually he will give in to his nature and eviscerate you and chow down on your innards. Grizzlies do that. Now, thinking that giving in on this mosque is in any way going to prove anything to the Middle East and Muslims in general, don't hold your breath to see a cathedral built in Riyadh. This is, and always has been a victory lap for Islam. That was a nice church they had in Constantinople too, now it's a mosque in Istanbul.

Finally, will one of you enlightened libertarians, somebody out there who thinks themselves prescient on the subject, please tell me how many German officers and soldiers owned up to being card carrying Nazis after WWII? Point is, the meek will always go with the flow, the path of ease, and eventually follow those who use force to get their way until it all comes down in a burning pile of crap then they all repudiate the bastards that got them there. If you honestly believe that the Muslim majority is a reasonable bunch of people then please tell me how many of them have openly renounced killing homosexuals or adulterers and many Muslims renounce honor killings. How many practicing Muslims don't believe in the tenets of Shari'a? For a good hard look at the situation, got to the Middle east and kiss your wife in public. Last I heard that gets you two years in prison and deported.

Build that mosque and a thousand more, then wonder why you have 'no go' zones and high rates of violence against westerners in the United States. See 'Malmo Sweden' for your homework assignment. Read the stories of the riots in Paris. Yeah, go read up on what happens when you get a heavy concentration of Muslims in a western country. Theo didn't die of a heart attack. Not my opinion here, just cold facts and news.

The murderous acts of one percent of the Muslim population have yet to be renounced by the other 99%. You should probably ask yourself why that is.  

By Anonymous Mr. Ed, at Tue Aug 17, 01:22:00 PM:

I too have been called, but never claimed to be, a Libertarian. However, I think the argument that is out of proportion, is, with all due respect, the one which says, that we compromise our fundamental values and virtue in saying no to the GZM. Just about every town in the land, faces questions of public interest in land use via zoning ordinances. Day in and day out decisions are made about whether particular development proposals will have an adverse effect on the general health and welfare of the commons.

There is too much of that going on, I will admit. The landscape design of a particular project typically does not have a great effect on the common welfare. Few care about it and often as not it is little more than the will of the bureaucratic class run amok.

Most people, I think, take a live and let live attitude toward development which is why we are in no danger of driving off a fascist cliff over the mosque. But intervention into a development issue in extreme cases is a different matter and does not give rise, except amongst the elites, to widespread cognitive dissonance. It is not at odds with who we are.

We don't need to show the Arab and Persian world that we are tolerant. They already know that. It will make them our friends? It will bring us love? It will only make them hate us more.

I'd also like to see the evidence that the GZM is anything that the "moderate Muslim" community in the US needs, wants or even financially supports.

The GZM is a Trojan horse. Long ago a weapon of war was mistaken for a gift of peace. It was such a nice horse.


By Blogger Trochilus, at Tue Aug 17, 01:48:00 PM:

Via Katherine Lopez at NRO,
M. Zuhdi Jasser, a former U.S. Navy officer, medical doctor, and Muslim addresses President Obama's effort to conflate the right to do it with the assertion that is is the right thing to do:

"'Park 51', 'The Cordoba House' or whatever they are calling it today should not be built, not because it is not their right to do it – but because it is not right to do it. Mr. President, your involvement in this issue is divisive not uniting. Your follow-up stating that 'you will not speak to the wisdom of the construction of that mosque and center' indicates a passive-aggressive meddling on your part that only marginalizes those Muslim and non-Muslim voices against it while pretending to understand both sides of the debate."

His whole statement is enlightening.  

By Anonymous Clinias, at Tue Aug 17, 01:59:00 PM:

Funny Americans. Americans are such an island people sheltered from history and from reality.

I served in Desert Storm, lived in Saudi Arabia and been to Bahrain, Yemen, Abu Dabi. Many here can not say that.

There is NOT ONE single Christian Church in all of Saudi Arabia. Christian Churches are forbidden in Saudi Arabia! Yet we allow them to build them here!

There are over 75,000 Philipinos, Roman Catholics, serving as house servants in Abu Dabi. There is One Catholic Church to service 75,000 Catholics. They are NOT allowed to ring a bell, or have one. They are not allowed religious processions or profess openly the Christian religion. It is forbidden!

Yet, Americans allow Muslims to build Mosques where ever and when ever.

See, what Americans don't realize is that there is NO equal playing field. You stupid dumb Americans may be "LIBERTARIAN" but NO Muslim is Libertarian.

What is Islam about? Taking over the World. That is Islam. Once they become the majority---they suppress, dominate and shove aside other religions. Every Muslim has a duty to conquer for the sake of Islam. Why don't you ask the Serbs, the Greeks and the Bulgarians how much they like Muslims and Muslim rule!

How many Christian churches have been taken over by Muslims? Tons.

Liberalism is a failed state where incompatible things exist together. It is basically illogical. Libertarianism is a case for cognitive dissonance and mental sickness. This Mosque at Ground Zero shows the cognitive dissonance of Americans with reality and how their "political foundation" is unreality, illogical, and pathetically dangerous.  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Tue Aug 17, 02:23:00 PM:

Just to point out the obvious: GZM is creating a split between Obama and many Democratic Congresscritters. It's not just Harry Reid. This could cost NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand her seat, just to name one. GZM is a silly issue in one sense, but simple and defining in another. Hot Air reports that
Total destruction: GOP out to biggest generic ballot leads in history in both Gallup and Rasmussen.

Developing ....  

By Blogger Trochilus, at Tue Aug 17, 04:37:00 PM:

Ig, above, says:

"Just to point out the obvious: GZM is creating a split between Obama and many Democratic Congresscritters."

Agreed. Well . . . that and other issues as well.

But on this one, it is almost as if the President was being a contrarian about it.

He gave the speech during a White House Ramadan dinner last Friday, at which exactly three Members of Congress posted!

That has to be a record low for attendance . . .

One attendee was André Carson, who represents the entirely urban Indianapolis, Indiana 7th district. He is one of two Muslim Members of Congress. (The other member who is Muslim, Keith Ellison, did not attend.)

A second attendee was John Conyers, of the Michigan 14th District, who represents a district having a significant Muslim population.

The third attendee was Rush Holt, of New Jersey's 12th District, a sprawling "river to shore" central Jersey district, which includes Princeton.

So far from Rush Holt, it is a case of "Seal up your lips, and give no words but mum"* on his attendance at, or impressions of, that White House affair, either on his website, or on his Twitter link.

It is not every day that a sitting Congressman -- one who is up for re-election -- attends a White House function that is presided over by a President of his political party, and fails to mention it even once!

* Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part 2.  

By Blogger Bomber Girl, at Tue Aug 17, 07:46:00 PM:

I wondering whether we would be having this discussion, at least to such an extent, if we had succeeded in doing something appropriate on the Ground Zero site, for ourselves and the memories of those lost. It is approaching 9 years since this act of terrorism was committed. Now that is outrageous, too, albeit in a different way.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Aug 17, 11:03:00 PM:

Hey, Clinias, you can shove your Euro-snobbery up your ass.

Maybe we allow mosques to be built in the US because we *already* fought long and hard for a decent separation of church and state, and nothing else would be consistent with that position now. Ever think about that?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Aug 18, 02:45:00 AM:

First off, it isn't a mosque, it will be a 13 story gleaming glassed cultural center complete with performing arts center, fitness center, bookstore, swimming pool, basketball courts, culinary school, and yes, a prayer space.

Secondly, the cultural center will not be located AT Ground Zero. It will be built three blocks south on a grimy, strip of nothingness with more abandoned storefronts than parking meters. What actually is located at Ground Zero are porn shops, strip joints, a handful of fast food joints and the abandoned Deutsche Bank building draped in black netting and suffocating under the black mold that crawls within its walls. All that and an army of illegal street vendors hawking plastic replicas of the towers that once stood. So much for halllowed ground....

Oh, and for all you purists so worried about Muslims congregating at Ground Zero, here's a dose of reality: There already is a mosque at Ground Zero which has been in operation since well before the Towers fell and is only ONE block from the edge of the former WTC footprint. If that doesn't make your head explode maybe this little discussed fact will: Because the Masjid mosque at Warren Street doesn't have enough space for all the Muslims to pray inside, they often pray on the sidewalk within view of yep, you guessed it, the WTC's hallowed ground.

So what's your position now? There can't be TWO mosques in downtown Manhattan?  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Wed Aug 18, 04:13:00 AM:

Anon 2:45 - actually your post supports the point that the opponents of the mosque/cultural center/whatever are not trying to deny freedom of worship but rather are objecting to a large in-your-face edifice.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Wed Aug 18, 04:20:00 AM:

Hey Chrissy, did your senior thesis explain why it was jim dandy for Arabs to literally shit all over Jewish holy sites while they were barring Jews from Jerusalem before 1967, Mr. Freedom-of-religion?  

By Anonymous thehawkreturns, at Wed Aug 18, 06:50:00 AM:

I would want to be "Libertarian" and allow the freedom of Religion ideas sway. HOWEVER . Islam is not moderate. Any "Liberty" you offer it is seen as weakness. In Afghanistan the local word for faeces is used to describe non-Muslims. If Muslims even touch an infidel they must wash before praying as it is the same as having faeces on their hands. They may take our money and our soldiers and smile sweetly, but at some point they will need to wash us away like the dog shit they see us as. There is no "moderate" Muslim. It is an evil, violent ideology. A way of life. Not a religion as Westerners see it. Any mosque becomes a centre for furthering this Naziism. As their strength grows their demands increase. Eventually they will conquer the West. Islam is a disease inflicted on humanity. Stop it now.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Aug 18, 08:05:00 AM:

Anon 2:45 - actually your post supports the point that the opponents of the mosque/cultural center/whatever are not trying to deny freedom of worship but rather are objecting to a large in-your-face edifice.

A large in your face edifice? Pfffttt. Obviously, you have not been to the financial district recently. Ever?. Thirteen stories is a mere speck in a neighborhood crammed with skyscrapers.

Thanks Gary. I never knew that the language of the First Amendment could turn on the number of floors in a building. LOL  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Aug 18, 11:19:00 AM:

Anon @8:50 AM

Pfffttt.Obviously you have no actual familiarity with downtown Manhattan
Linking a pic of the east side and the old Fulton Fish Market/South ST Seaport as representitive of the WTC neighborhood proves your ignorance

Mr Charles  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Wed Aug 18, 12:18:00 PM:

I disagree with Anon Wed 2:45 am. He's got it completely wrong. No one in NYC has a problem with the existing Warren Street mosque for local Muslims. No one has a problem with overflow Muslims praying on the streets a block from ground zero. Religion isn't what's driving GZM as an issue -- it's not the praying by local Muslims. It's the "cultural" aspects of this development that have caused the uproar, and the Cordoba Initiative being funded with outside undisclosed money.

When outsiders come into a town with a big project they should know not to antagonize the local community. These land use issues come up all the time. Just ask Wal-Mart, which is often frustrated in its development plans.  

By Blogger Trochilus, at Wed Aug 18, 02:44:00 PM:

Once again, looks like Iggy, above at 12:18 has it right:

"No one in NYC has a problem with the existing Warren Street mosque for local Muslims. No one has a problem with overflow Muslims praying on the streets a block from ground zero. Religion isn't what's driving GZM as an issue -- it's not the praying by local Muslims. It's the "cultural" aspects of this development that have caused the uproar, and the Cordoba Initiative being funded with outside undisclosed money."

Apparently unable to control herself, it looks like Speaker Nancy Pelosi has decided to keep the issue alive by demanding to know who is funding the opposition to the project.

As was pointed out in that Daily News article:

"Mayor Michael Bloomberg has previously said an investigation into how the $100 million project is funded would be "un-American."

Since launching her primary attack, Pelosi has had to quickly backtrack, and has now agreed with the Anti-Defamation League position regarding the funding of the Mosque and cultural center.

"Pelosi added that she agrees with the Anti-Defamation League that there is a 'need for transparency about who is funding the effort to build this Islamic center. At the same time, we should also ask who is funding the attacks against the construction of the center.'"

No indication yet whether Bloomberg responded to her yet!

Maybe he'll quote Bob Dole (to Richard Nixon):

"Thanks for the anchor!"

Anyway, I'll offer my response to Nancy Pelosi, as I suppose I could fairly be accused (at least indirectly) of having launched an attack on the construction of the center in that location. And, I've also posted a few comments here and elsewhere that make it very clear that I'm opposed to the project.

ANSWER: No one paid me so much as a dime for any of that. But, my time was involved.

So, my answer to Nancy is, "ME!"  

By Blogger Trochilus, at Wed Aug 18, 05:05:00 PM:

In addition to my personal mea culpa, above, I note that others are also fessin' up.

For example, in response to Nancy Pelisi's heated demand to know who is behind the opposition, Scott Johnson at Powerline has likewise admitted to his personal opposition to the GZM -- and has helpfully link-listed a number of other prominent individuals who have publicly opposed the project.

As Scott "tearfully" described his own involvement:

"I confess. I have opposed the Ground Zero Mosque, but I haven't taken any money for it. I have also tried to gin up opposition to it, though without taking a plug nickel in return. Please believe me. I'm a volunteer!"


Gee, I wonder if the President will give a shout-out to Nancy Pelosi for helping to keep this issue alive?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Aug 18, 08:08:00 PM:

Pfffttt.Obviously you have no actual familiarity with downtown Manhattan. Linking a pic of the east side... as representitive of the WTC neighborhood proves your ignorance. Mr Charles

Heh. Actually, Mr. Charles, I live in Battery Park City (in a high rise on South End Avenue if you are interested) so I have a pretty good idea of downtown Manhattan. Enough to know that the skyline looking southwest from the East River best captures the size and the proximity of the skyscrapers in my neighborhood. Stock photos from the West Side Hwy looking east either include the Towers that once were, or the enormous cranes that have replaced them.

Except for the collection of residetial and office towers (World Financial Center) in and around Battery Park City, which as I'm sure you know is located across a 6 lane highway west of Ground Zero, the majority of the skyscrapers downtown are located east of Broadway and south of Barclay Street. Manhattan is at near narrowest in that area and the 7 buildings that were part of the WTC complex filled up 16 acres between the West Side Hwy and Broadway. Any further west you are in BPC. Next stop the Hudson.

I trust that helps explains why I chose a photo of financial district looking west but just to keep things balanced, I googled "aerial view of downtown Manhattan" and found this photo looking East, which offers a good--maybe even better-- perspective on the number of huge skyscrapers in that narrow patch of land. You can even see where the Towers once stood.

Bonus points if you can spot the Burlington Coat Factory on Park Place, home to the finincial district's future mosque.  

By Blogger Trochilus, at Wed Aug 18, 08:13:00 PM:

Iowahawk speaks!  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Aug 18, 11:25:00 PM:

heh Knucklehead anonymous, it should then be easy enough for you to walk up the steps of the atrium and take a nice photo slightly north, northeast past the still gaping hole in the ground to show where the Burlington coat factory used to be, you won't even need a telephoto lens

I used to work the Vista before it was taken out in 93

My little brother spent the entire day on 9/11 loading survivors onto boats in the Hudson

Your geographic description is wasted on me, you're probably a noob carpetbagger- but someone's got to live in those overpriced apartments with a very nice view, I guess

can you see the Colgate clock from your window?

Mr Charles  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Thu Aug 19, 09:10:00 AM:

Re: GZM, I first posted here over a week ago. It wasn't high up my list of concerns but I took affront to NYC being made out to being bigotted. It's not ... quite the opposite. Greater NYC is home to many Orthodox sects of all denominations. We're also home to all kinds of reprobates. We mostly all get along. We're the original melting pot. It's a model for the rest of the nation, actually -- and historically, it has been.

So, the sources of local outrage over GZM aren't anti-Muslim. If a small mosque were being built near Ground Zero so Pakistani taxi drivers could pray, no one in NYC would care. Instead, it's the affront of outsiders coming in with undisclosed money to make a Big Political Statement. These outsiders are now supported by our State Department, our President (depending on what the meaning of "is" is), much of the Democratic party, and much of MSM.

In response, New Yorkers have gotten increasingly righteously pissed off over what's become the Mother of All Affronts. I can assure you that GZM will never get built, no matter the legal outcome. Fuggedaboutit. Our construction unions alone will ensure that. Have you ever seen a pissed-off Ironworker?

GZM shouldn't be such a big issue, but circumstances have made it so. There's a metaphor or two in it, reflective of bigger issues and concerns. It'll hurt the Democrats from here to November -- it's an ill wind that blows no good.  

By Anonymous Xavier, at Sun Aug 22, 11:21:00 AM:

News Corp’s number-two shareholder funded ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ planner


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