To the surprise of some, especially Mr. Marching Band, I have been quiet about the proposed Islamic Center in NYC. Unlike the countless spouting off that I have heard or read, I first posted(on Aug 12) some articles to read as I listened, read, pondered, and learned – therefore, it is time for a pragmatic opinion
First, the proposed building is not at Ground Zero – it’s two block away. I know that is it very close, but I prefer using near instead of at or on.
President Obama said Muslims have a right to build a mosque at the proposed site. Of course he’s Constitutionally correct. He did not use the verbs that many in the media used as support, endorses, promotes, approves, and countless of others. Meanwhile, a Fox News poll has 34% that say the situation is against our Constitution! Well, these people are obviously misinformed.
President Obama said Muslims have the right to build the mosque, while reminding us that he did not comment on the wisdom to build the mosque in the proposed location. Again, 100% correct. The wisdom of the building choice is the key question. The same Fox News poll supports this notion.
I normally don’t read columnist Charles Krauthammer. Although I don’t agree with him 100%, I appreciated his effort here – but he returned to his myopic view in his next column. Building elsewhere is a consideration, but I ask “How far away is far enough?” Apparently, Murfreesboro, TN is not.
On GOP Chairman Michael Steele saying President Obama is going against the wish of Americans by stating the administration is again tone-deaf to what the American people are saying. Hmmm … that’s interesting Mr. Steele, not according to the a poll at one of your favorite news sources (Fox News).
Politicians politicizing the situation are incredibly lost. This quote from USA Today calls the situation “a sorry exercise in political exploitation” that gives “lip service to religious freedom but offering no solution that wouldn’t offend it.” Here’s a great example. Former House speaker and presidential want-to-be Newt Gingrich accused President Obama of “pandering to radical Islam” while equating the situation “like putting a Nazi sign next to the Holocaust museum.”
Mr. Gingrich (and others) point to the number of Christian churches in any Middle Eastern country as an argument – which is irrelevant! This is America, a country governed by American law based on our Constitution. Actions elsewhere do not interpret our Constitution.
Tolerance is important, but tolerance is a two-way street. I normally don’t read Ross Douhat, but I appreciated this column and its unexpected twist. Perhaps those seeking to build the New York mosque will defuse the situation by seeking a less controversial site. I wonder why planners would want to continue moving forward with so much opposition. After all, it will only take one or a handful of our kooks to make some tragic happen on that site.
I wonder if Fox News relentless coverage while airing quotes as “the center will serve as a breeding ground for terrorism” is an intentional ploy to fan the flames. Oh that’s right – Fox News is fair and balanced – not biased. Shame on me for thinking as such.
This is a New York issue, thus I can find NO reason for any candidate in any state other than New York to use this issue in their campaign. (Yes, I have seen too many quotes of this.) Perhaps, that identifies President Obama biggest mistake – simply commenting on the issue. I end with this Richard Cohen column.