The Ground Zero mosque debate

Posted by: ST on August 3, 2010 at 6:56 pm

Jennifer Rubin nails it:

The left continues to feign confusion (it is hard to believe its pundits are really this muddled) as to the reasons why conservatives (and a majority of fellow citizens) oppose the Ground Zero mosque. No, it’s not about “religious freedom” — we’re talking about the location of the mosque on the ash-strewn site of 3,000 dead Americans. The J Street crowd and the liberal defenders of the mosque seem very bent out of shape when Americans want to defend the sensibilities of their fellow citizens and when they look askance at an imam whose funding appears to come from those whose goal is anything but religious reconciliation. Again, no one is telling Muslims not to build or pray in mosques; we on the right are simply asking them not to do it in the location where Islam was the inspiration for mass murder.

It is interesting that the word mosque is not employed by those excoriating the mosque opponents. As a smart reader highlights, why is it described as a “cultural center? Pretty dicey to articulate exactly what position the left clings to — namely, that we must allow a mosque at Ground Zero. Well, when you are that precise, it does highlight the vast gulf between the left’s perspective and that of average Americans.  (And for the record, my objections to J Street obviously aren’t limited to the Ground Zero mosque. And I certainly do believe “you are either for us or you are for them” — when it comes to Israel and to America. That this notion disturbs the left tells you precisely why it is estranged from the vast majority of Israelis and Americans.)


This is not some right-wing, extremist view. It represents the views of a large majority of Americans and of mainstream Jewish leaders like Malcolm Hoenlein — as well as Juan Williams. But the left – which has become obsessed with universalism and finds particularism and nationalism noxious – thinks it unseemly for Americans to look after the interests of Americans, and Jews to look after Jews (as to the latter, we can only be grateful that so many pro-Zionist Christians do as well).

Or is it just the Muslim element that has so paralyzed the liberal intelligentsia? After all, as Bill McGurn reminds us, everyone cheered when Pope John Paul II told the Carmelite nuns to pick a spot other than Auschwitz to pray for the conversion of the Jews. Maybe the left is simply being oppositional — i.e., whatever the right believes is wrong. But if not, it is, quite vividly, advertising its own intellectual crack-up and unfitness to govern.

Amen to that.

Meanwhile, a “key hurdle” has been cleared by the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission which will, in essence, pave the way for the Islamic mosque developer to proceed with plans.  Even with that “good news FOR FREEDOM-LOVING AMERICANS ALL OVER THE USA!!!!” tucked in their caps, the hyperventiliating on the left and the “libertarian right” to opposition arguments continues. Not sure which is worse.

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19 Responses to “The Ground Zero mosque debate”


  1. Phineas says:

    I had a real back and forth with myself about this, as I think any decent American would, given our reverence for the 1st amendment and its broad (but not unlimited) protection of the free practice of religion and our own history of people coming here to seek an escape from persecution. In the end, I came out against building a mosque in that particular place.

    I also find myself getting annoyed with pundits on the Libertarian right who are sanctimoniously hiding behind an absolute freedom of religion argument and refusing to acknowledge any other concerns or factors, sometimes to the point of accusing those of us opposed to the mosque of being bigots or knee-jerk Islamophobes. They also ignore the nature of Islam and what the mosque symbolizes: not just a place of worship, but also the dominance and superiority of Islam and sharia law. In a place where thousands were murdered in Islam’s name, that is unacceptable, and it is not protected by the 1st amendment.

  2. Severian says:

    Gee. then that means the liberals would have no problems at all with me building a Fundamental Evangelical Christian anti-abortion good ol’Bible thumping church right next door to the local Planned Parenthood office right?

  3. Marilyn says:

    Like Phineas, I have wrestled with my love for freedom, my belief in our freedom of religion in the USA, and the desire to see this mosque project stopped.

    I land on the side of stopping the mosque. I am not troubled that on the surface it appears to fly in the face of Constitutional protection. Islam is NOT A RELIGION. Islam is an all-in-one political and legal system. If Muslims were content to live their beliefs in their own space without taking over and destroying the cultures around them, I would have no problem with them. That is not how Islam works.

    We cannot allow this foreign political system to destroy our culture. We must examine the intent of our founding fathers; they could not have imagined that we would have sunk so low as to allow strangers to come into this land and take it over in the way of Islam.

    They can build a mosque anywhere. Let them go somewhere else. Allowing them to build their mosque in the Ground Zero space IS to give in to the concept that Ground Zero is a conquered territory that must now and forever exist under sharia law.

    It must be stopped.

  4. I agree with Marilyn. The Islamists are testing our resolve. If they really meant everything they’ve said re: respect, tolerance, and peace they would gladly offer to build their mosque elsewhere. They’re the ones who’ve fought this every step of the way. When you think about it, the left and Islam have a lot in common.

  5. Carlos says:

    Marilyn puts a fine emphasis on the fact that not only is Islam a religion, it is a socio-economic system, too, and as such cannot be treated on the same grounds as, say, Christianity, Judaism or Wiccan.

    If muslims were content to preach their religion and let people consider it, that would be one thing, but it denounces such actions and commands the followers, the “true believers”, to force their religion on those around them, even as they travel.

    And the socio-economic mandates of that philosophy go against everything this country was founded for and countless thousands have died to preserve.

    No, the mosque does not belong at ground zero. As far as that goes, it does not belong anywhere in this country until those who follow that particular “religion” renounce the socio-economic aspects of it and agree to abide by the laws and mandates of this country, including those against advocating violent overthrow of our government.

  6. burr says:

    I believe that each religion defines the ideal socioeconomic structure of adherent nations. Islam, Christianity, Judaism, etc. are all religions and I think they all follow this general rule. It is the Judeo-Christian structure that the US is based on, and Islam’s ideal structure is incompatible. I’m not against this mosque per se, but I am against any attempt to subvert the US’s fundamental Judeo-Christian structure.

    I’m no expert on libertarianism, but it seems that some of its followers believe that there exists an amoral, “areligious” socioeconomic structure that nations can build themselves upon. I doubt that people who believe this can understand Islamization anywhere, let alone in the US.

  7. Phineas says:


    Islam is NOT A RELIGION. Islam is an all-in-one political and legal system

    With respect, I have to disagree with you in part. Islam is a religion; it orders the relationship between Man and the Divine, which is what a religion does. That it does so in an arbitrary, totalitarian manner reminiscent of a cult* doesn’t make it less of a religion.

    *(There’s a reason I refer to Muhammad as the “Jim Jones of the Seventh century.”)

    I do, however, think that Islam, if practiced as Muhammad intended and as the modern Salafists do intend, is incompatible with the Greco-Roman-Anglo/Judeo-Christian civilization from which we arose. At bottom, Islam is hostile to free will and democracy. We can’t ban it (that would be violating our own dearly held principles), but neither should we leave it unexamined and unchallenged.

  8. Steve Hussein Skubinna says:

    This issue is not about religion, let alone the freedom to practice it. It is about Islamic conquest. Islam has always made a point of appropriating or defacing the holy sites of other faiths. Jerusalem has no legitimate connection with Islam, they had to invent a “dream” by Mohammed to justify their claim to it. Is anyone really stupid enough to think it a coincidence that the al-Aqsa mosque was built directly over the ruins of the Temple? Funny how Hagia Sofia cathedral, the pride of the Orthodox faith up to 1453, turned out to be ideal for conversion into a mosque.

    The destruction of the Buddhas in Afghanistan by the Taliban prior to 9/11 is just another example – Islam has to crush all other religons, and stealing or destroying their symbols is part of the game.

    And should anyone deny that Ground Zero is a “holy site,” most Americans act as if it were, and you can be sure the Moslems consider it to be one of ours. The mosque is an in-our-face assault on our values and cultural identity, and has to be fought. That is, assuming we want to preserve our cultural identity. Consider this – were a Japanese group want to purchase the Arizona Memorial and build a Shinto shrine atop it, would anyone foolishly think the issue was religion? The difference there is that the Japanese are embarrassed by the war they started and the crushing defeat they experienced. Incidentally, the Moslem world is in a roughly similar state to that of Japan in late 1945, except that their abject condition is due to their own refusal to accept modernity.

    I know that most leftists, were they in Nick Berg’s situation, would be asking with their last breath “Why are you doing this? I hate George Bush as much as you do – more, in fact!” Such people are beneath our contempt and we shouldn’t waste our time engaging them – we need to focus on the insult that this planned mosque is, not just to Americans, but to Western Civilization.

  9. Kate says:

    Thank you Steve, that is exactly why the location of this “cultural center/mosque” is so important and why they are insistent in building it there. The planners of NYC should check out a history book before they allow this desecration to be built.

    You do not need to understand the Islam in total to realize the intent of such actions, but please at least try to examine how Islamic states treat their own people and ask if that’s what you want to condone.

    The lack of free choice – you are born into Islam in most cases and it is very difficult to leave it – is what bothers me the most. Women are second class citizens if they are lucky. Children are chattel. It’s a totally male dominated society. Check out the women in Iran who is due to be stoned for adultery. Is that what we want to “celebrate” even 10 miles from Ground Zero?

  10. Jo says:

    See the Dome of the Rock. They love to build their temples on places they have conquered and overtaken. Wake up.

  11. Lorica says:

    Amen Sev!!! How mouth foaming moonbat crazy does the left get when, someone is praying on the sidewalk outside of an abortion clinic??? Yet these guys have no problem with this, what abunch of idiots.

    I agree with Steve too. This is about claiming conquered ground. It is as old as the invasion of Mecca and Medina with this religion. Islam has always been spread by the sword and everyone is converted to Islam, or you die.

    As far as building a synagogue in one of Islam’s “Holy Cities”, Medina use to be a Jewish city, and Mohammad and his thieves robbed it of all it’s wealth and eventually converted it, using the above method. – Lorica

  12. Tom TB says:

    This is not going to go well. All construction workers in NYC are union members. The steelworkers and crane operators that cut I-Beams and lifted them out after 9/11, first looking for survivors, then remains; are going to be the guys building this “Cultural Center”, unless the Muslims think they can bring in non-union workers from Dubai!

  13. Steve Skubinna says:

    Bear in mind, Tom, that union workers are also good little Democrats. They’ll show up if every one has to be accompanied by two SEIU goons, a NBP member, and one of Holder’s deputies.

  14. Kate says:

    As I posted in another area..we have to use liberal tactics against them!!! Public protests and lines of demonstrators in front of cranes and bulldozers…..rampant graffitization of the work site deploring the activity. You know like were are defending that spotted owl….only now we are defending the heart and soul of this great nation.

  15. Marilyn says:


    It would be more precise in the matter of Islam, I suppose, to say it is not JUST a religion (as you stated). Technically you are correct.

    I agree that in the land of religious freedom we cannot ban Islam, but that point is what will drive us to ever increasingly violent culture war as freedom-loving Americans wake up the the growing influence of Islam on our legal and economic system.

    Hopefully the awakening will not be too late.

  16. Dajjal says:

    I disagree with Marilyn. Rights, responsibilities & freedom must be reciprocal; Islam does not reciprocate. Islam denies freedom of religion to dhimmis. Concquered Christians are not permitted to build churches, ring bells, hold public processions or funerals, recite gospel aloud or display crosses.

    What obligates us to nurture and protect upon our sacred soil that which declares and prosecutes warfare against us? Sich an obligation would be suicidal.

    Islam is war, not religion. The Constitution must be amended to reflect that fatal fact. Islam can then be outlawed and its acolytes banished.

    I therefore request your support for and signature on the Outlaw Islam! petition. You can find it linked on the petitions page on my web site.

  17. Colleen says:

    Obviously, I’m not supported in my opinion reading through some of the responses, but I’m in support of the mosque. I do not condone the terrorist attacks, but I also do not condone the attacks on the Islamic religion. The individuals that went through with these attacks were not practicing the true ideas of Islam; they were radical. I see no harm in producing a mosque where non-violent Muslims can worship. I believe it would be a good step in crushing the stereotypes associated with Muslims and would show that they are individuals that are, 99% of the time, non-violent. Whatever happened to freedom to practice religion?

  18. Phineas says:


    There are roughly 30 mosques in New York City, and none have been shut down or even been threatened with being shut down. Muslims have plenty of opportunity to practice their religion in the city. It’s the location of this mosque that is a problem. Would you allow a Shinto shrine to be built next to the Arizona memorial at Pearl Harbor, just 9-10 years after the Japanese attacked? Same feelings are at play here.

    And while I disagree with those who say Islam is not a religion, I disagree with you for saying the attackers were not practicing the “true ideas of Islam.” Wrong. In fact they were waging jihad “fi sabil Allah” jihad “for the sake of God,” as is commanded many times in the Qur’an, the hadiths, and in the tafsir (commentaries on the Qur’an by learned Muslims). All the major schools of Islam command war against the unbelievers, and bringing about the supremacy of Islam is a positive duty on all Muslims. As a report in Britain recently described, the only difference between al Qaeda and major, ostensibly peaceful, Muslim groups such as the Muslim Council of Britain, is in their tactics, not their ideology.

    The owners of the land in question (assuming they are the owners), can do what they wish with the property; they have the permits. But we who see the mosque for what it is, a deliberate provocation and symbol of victory over the West, do not have to sit back in silence. If they have a right to build it, we have a right to denounce it and expose their Islamic supremacist ideology loudly and often.

  19. Colleen says:

    Yes, I do acknowledge that there are other mosques in New York. And yes, the location of the proposed mosque makes a difference. But that’s why it is needed. To show people that like any other religion, it has its own beliefs. And it needs to open everyone’s eyes to the fact that Muslims are not bad people, and that Islam is not a religion that should be shunned. There is no “symbol of victory over the West.” Muslims, though few, live in the United States as well. The mosque is a connection of the umma, not a monument to terrorism.

    Jihad refers to an internal struggle to become a better Muslim. Muslims wouldn’t even deploy what you are describing unless their religion was attacked. Islam is a peaceful religion, for the most part. I’m talking about the actual ideas of Islam, not the extremist and radical interpretations.

    What I am disagreeing with is that others are denouncing the mosque purely out of fear that the United States is “letting Islamic terrorists win.” Building the mosque accomplishes, or at least starts, the process of forgiveness.