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How Dare You!

© Matt Wuerker

And the actual building is one block further away than this cartoon indicates.



  1. patriotsgt wrote:

    I guess I’ll start this off. Both sides of the media are blowing this thing up. Politicians are leveraging for political gain or just staying out if they can. This in my opinion is clear. Law and constitution are clear; we cannot restrict what religious structure someone builds on private property, unless there is a zoning ordinance prohibiting all equal type of structures/establishments in the area. Period.

    Legally, the argument is over. Now the moral question.

    The left wing media will say if you oppose the mosque you are an anti-Muslim, peace hating, conservative, right wing racist bigot. (Let me know if I’m far off the mark here). The right will say, if you want the mosque that you are a supporter of radical Islam, want sharia law in the US, and are complacent in sponsoring terror by supporting the project and care nothing for the families of 911 victims.

    Both sides are wrong. The press (far right and far left) have turned this into a argument of absolutes and prejudices, but it is not. Because I prefer to sit in a Luthern church does not mean I hate Catholics, Jews or Muslims! It means I prefer my Luthern church. If I prefer mustard on my french fries it doesn’t mean anyone who likes ketchup is wrong. If I buy a foriegn car I do not hate America and If I choose to buy American I don’t hate the world. I have preferences, period.

    So If I’d rather not have a mosque near ground zero, I am not a muslim hating, right winger. And If I thinnk it is a good idea to have a mosque then I am not a anti-American left winger.

    Stop listening to garbage, please complain about both sides. They are using it to fuel their own ratings and make money, period. Divided we fall, united we stand.

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010 at 9:18 am | Permalink
  2. Sammy wrote:

    Patriot, if the right’s argument was merely, “I would prefer it not be there,” as has been written by conservative columnist Kathleen Parker, we would not be having this discussion. Give a listen to Hannity or Rush or Beck or Megan Kelly or any Fox News personality and they are not saying what you are saying. They are missing the point that building an Islamic center (I don’t think it’s even a real mosque that is being considered) actually makes the point that we as Americans value our Constitution. So much so that we would welcome such a center in THAT place.

    You, Patriot, have stated the legal argument is over and you’d just prefer they’d build it elsewhere. That, my friend, is a salient argument. The debates I’ve had with others are no so civil. I’ve had the “pleasure” of debating with the Muslim-hating zealots you say are NOT defining the issue. I would submit that they ARE defining the issue, otherwise there would not be an issue.

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010 at 9:50 am | Permalink
  3. Sammy wrote:

    And in the debates I’ve had, not ONE person has answered my question: If this is all about this “mosque” at Ground Zero, then why are other mosques being protested elsewhere (Temecula, CA, Sheboygan, WI, Murfreesboro, TN)?

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010 at 9:55 am | Permalink
  4. tenthirtytwo wrote:

    I think framing it as a “moral question” is part of the problem. It is not a moral question. A lot of people think it is just “not right,” but have trouble actually defining their viewpoint past that.

    It is entirely a question of the rights of the people.

    As one other person put it on this site, if two blocks is too close, what is the right distance? 3 blocks? 8? 200? 8758? And what makes it better to have a mosque 500 blocks from the site vs 2? And if it is OK to have this sort of “restraining order”, why not take it further? Lets keep Germans and German establishments 50 yards away from Jewish synagogues at all times.

    These are simple questions that require people who think it is just “not right” to examine not only their viewpoint, but their motives as well.

    And how ironic it is that the folks who claim to be huge proponents of the constitution have no problem challenging constitutionally endowed rights when it starts messing with their blind nationalism. But this is nothing new.

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010 at 10:12 am | Permalink
  5. Donigan wrote:

    This is a losing battle, and a dramatic waste of time. It has been shown time and time again that you cannot argue with drunks or fools. I don’t know if the right wing video and radio talk jocks are drunk, but they are doubtlessly fools. I let it go a long time ago.

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010 at 10:22 am | Permalink
  6. Dave TN wrote:

    Since Tim McVeigh used the siege at WACO to justify his attack on this country, one could classify him therefore as a Protestant (Branch Dravidians are loosely considered an offshoot of the Protestant church). So where is the outcry to prevent the location of Protestant churches near the site of the Oklahoma City bombing? We’ll just have to stop all those radical churches.
    While the terrorist plane crashing into the IRS building in Austin Texas was not motivated by religious extremists, but political extremisms do appear to be the cause. So I guess we need to outlaw all political protests near federal buildings. Of course the constitution will have to change. When we are done with the constitution at this rate it will look like a redacted file from area 51.
    There goes any thought of us returning back to our core American values, unless we are talking of the values that led us to “the trail of tears”, the Japanese internment camps, and the McCarthy trials.

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010 at 10:59 am | Permalink
  7. patriotsgt wrote:

    I knew this would fire some folks up, please keep the discussion going.

    Sammy – yes their are Muslimphobes twisting this into an ugly quagmire of. There are also hard line lefters lumping the avg guy opposed to the mosque into the Muslimphobe pile, which is equally wrong. Why cannot we agree that both extremes exist? On the other Mosques, I would have to guess preference due to lack of kmowledge. They should just all sit down at the dinner table and get to know each other. Pass the tators please.

    Tenthirtytwo – OK perhaps not a moral question, how about a values question. Should not the religion of tolerance practice that tolerance to achieve a higher level acceptance.
    What about:
    LOYALTY to ones nation, are not Muslims also Americans?
    DUTY to ones country to promote peace and stability?,
    RESPECT your neighbors as you’d have them respect you. SELFLESS SERVICE, for whom is this center being built, All Americans or American Muslims, who may worship, work and enjoy this center?
    HONOR to do what is right?
    INTEGRITY is all as it really seems or could their actually be some religious conotations to the selection of this site?

    Bottom line however, is the constitution should prevail.

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010 at 11:50 am | Permalink
  8. Iron Knee wrote:

    Maybe I missed it, but I haven’t heard any left-wing media claim that if you are against the “mosque” then you are an anti-muslim bigot. What I have heard from the left-wing media is that if you think they should be legally prevented from building the Islamic cultural center, then you are an anti-muslim bigot. And they do have a point. Freedom of religion is for everyone. It isn’t freedom if it isn’t for everyone. If signaling out one group isn’t bigotry, then what is it? You can hold an opinion that they shouldn’t build it there, and that’s fine, but calling for it to be legally prevented is not only unconstitutional, it is morally wrong.

    Personally, I’m of two minds about this. When I first heard about it, I thought that perhaps it would be prudent to build the Islamic center somewhere else, just to avoid the controversy. But you know what, the more I thought about it, and researched it, and read what the right-wing media was saying (screaming) about it, the more I realized that giving in to mindless bullies won’t help.

    Take a minute to read the link I included with the original posting (here it is again:

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Permalink
  9. ebdoug wrote:

    David TN: I keep thinking of Timothy McVeigh and the outcry that would have ensued had a Christian church been built near the site of the bombing (I’m being facetious)
    Can you add one to the trail of tears, the Japanese Internment camps and the McCarthy trials? I’d add the invasion of a soveriegn country in 2003 where 600,000 children, women and men were wiped out in three years. CSM dedicated a lot of this week’s issue to it. Even though we have spent billions rebuilding the country (into the hands of crooked contractors in both countries), they hate us in Iraq. Pure unadulterated hatred. Of course, Christians are now scared too to live in that country. It was the invasion that made me turn to the blogs like this. The shame of this country.

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Permalink
  10. Sammy wrote:

    IK, I think if they had originally proposed building this cultural center two miles away, people on the right would scream that the whole city is hallowed ground. If they had proposed building it in New Jersey, it would be in the “shadow of” hallowed ground. If they had proposed building it in another borough, it would “neighbor” hallowed ground. If they had proposed building it on some farmland outside of the city, it would be “secretive” and “hiding something nefarious” so the nasty Muslims could breed terrorists. And if they had proposed building it in Tennessee it would be vandalized…oops, already happened.

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Permalink
  11. Donigan wrote:

    Sammy, you are exactly right.

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Permalink
  12. TENTHIRTYTWO wrote:

    Patriot, it isn’t a values question either. Again, can you (or anyone else who feels the same) tell me WHY it is better to build a mosque 500 blocks from ground zero than 2?

    You listed the following:

    “LOYALTY to ones nation, are not Muslims also Americans?
    DUTY to ones country to promote peace and stability?,
    RESPECT your neighbors as you’d have them respect you. SELFLESS SERVICE, for whom is this center being built, All Americans or American Muslims, who may worship, work and enjoy this center?
    HONOR to do what is right?
    INTEGRITY is all as it really seems or could their actually be some religious conotations to the selection of this site?”

    What should they be loyal to? Loyal to the mindset that for some unnameable but absolutely not bigoted reason, 2 blocks is too close to ground zero for a mosque? I’m a white American, and I wouldn’t jump on that train either. Unquestioning loyalty to your nation can take an ugly turn (see Nazi Germany).

    Duty to promote peace, for who? If people threaten to revolt if we don’t start executing African Americans, and we don’t comply, who exactly are the ones who aren’t promoting peace? They just want to build a building. The rest of the clowns are the ones who have lost their peace.

    Respect from who? Seriously think about that for a second. Muslims should not build a mosque near ground zero to earn the respect of those who think the Muslims are wrong for building a mosque near ground zero. Crazy.

    You lost me with selfless service. If you are saying it is wrong because it isn’t generic, I’d suggest sending a Muslim into a southern baptist church to pray to Allah and let me know the outcome.

    Honor to do what is right…according to who? I have yet to hear a clear explanation of why it would be wrong in the first place.

    Integrity…yes they could have picked that site to celebrate victory over America. In fact, they could put up a sign that says “THIS MOSQUE IS ESTABLISHED TO CELEBRATE VICTORY OVER AMERICA ON 9/11/01”. And, in fact, I could put up that same sign outside my house. I could put up a sign that says “AMERICA WILL BURN UNTIL THEY TURN TO THE FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER.” It very likely wouldn’t make me popular around town, but there is nothing wrong about it. In fact, everything about that is RIGHT. That is what America is all about. Letting them build the mosque and, hell, even hanging signs out if they want, celebrates the core values of what America stands for. Freedom. Freedom from the tyranny of a ruler AND the tyranny of the masses.

    Remember the old phrase, I don’t agree with what you say but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it? That is true freedom and acceptance.

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Permalink
  13. patriotsgt wrote:

    Well said Tenthirtytwo on the freedom!

    My whole point is there are many points of view. None is more “righter” than another. They are peoples opinions. We cannot and should not dismiss them because they are different. We should not automatically dismiss the left, right, christian or muslim just because it is different, we need to dialogue, listen and care. I understand when people get frustrated they begin to make things irrational, but perhaps it is because they feel ignored or dismissed.

    If they opposite sides of this debate sat down and rationally discussed their concerns, fears (irrational or not) and suggestions they could work it out. If we get the media out of it, and don’t politicize it should work itself out the way it’s supposed to.

    Thursday, August 19, 2010 at 5:57 am | Permalink
  14. ZJD wrote:

    You know, Patriot, I’ve noticed an interesting pattern in your posts, both in this forum as well as others. Your ubiquitously stated main point is usually something like: “Both sides have extremists; both sides have their majorities close to the center; both sides are more or less equally rational and have equally legitimate opinions and concerns.”

    But the fact of the matter is that they do not. I really wish this weren’t so. I really wish we did have the majority of the populace and elect in the center, each person just leaning slightly towards one of two sides – conservative or liberal. We might be able to have meaningful and productive political discourse in our legislatures and media if this were the case. Unfortunately, it is not.

    We have seen a rise in right-wing insanity since Obama took office. We have actually witnessed the coagulation of these ignorant extremists in the form of the Tea Party, which has managed to bolster a number of like-minded politicians into Republican congressional nominations.

    To say that extremists have equal (or at least close to it) influence on both sides of the political spectrum – therefore making both sides equally politically sound – is ridiculous. It’s like saying intelligent design is on the same intellectual footing as evolution – that they’re both equally legitimate theories for explaining the diversity of life on this planet. When I see a CNN-Opinion Research poll which states that 41% of Republicans believe “Obama was probably or definitely not born in this country,” when I see this ridiculous mosque debate, it just doesn’t compute.

    “- yes their are Muslimphobes twisting this into an ugly quagmire of. There are also hard line lefters lumping the avg guy opposed to the mosque into the Muslimphobe pile, which is equally wrong.”

    No, no it isn’t, and if you think it is you really need to examine the source of this argument. By crying out for ‘sensitivity’ from the Muslim community, you do realize that conservatives are “lumping the avg” Muslim in with the extremists who attacked us, right? The argument against the mosque DOES NOT EXIST without a causal link – through the large and diverse religion of Islam – between the terrorists and the Muslims building a cultural center two blocks away from ‘hallowed ground.’ (I’d like to add that some of those Muslims probably lost friends and family on 9/11 too.) This causal link must be strong enough, mind you, to legitimize the infringement of those American-Muslims’ first amendment rights. The fact of the matter is that any opposition to this cultural center is inherently Muslim-phobic. It would not exist without Muslim-phobia, which the media arm of the right has blatantly and deliberately spread. This call for ‘sensitivity’ is just a different version of the same story we see playing out in other cities: religious hypocrites with a strong case of Muslim-phobia spitting on the first amendment rights of others.

    The left and right are not equally reasonable. The extremism present on both sides is not present in the same amount. Republicans’ opposition to the mosque is not morally or constitutionally defensible. When “hard line lefters” characterize this opposition as Muslim-phobic, they are not unfairly grouping the moderates of the argument with the extremists; they are describing the CORE of the argument. It’s a sad state we’re in today when so many become “suckers” for prejudiced, divisive rhetoric.

    That is all.

    Thursday, August 19, 2010 at 10:48 pm | Permalink
  15. TENTHIRTYTWO wrote:

    Well said ZJD.

    Patriot, I think you have missed the mark on this one. It is good that we can sit down and have rational, calm discourse on issues. And it isn’t good to paint either side as an extremist. However….

    First, the name calling is not part of the discussion. It comes after the fact. But understand that it only comes AFTER the pro-mosque argument. And understand that it IS the anti-mosque argument.

    Second and most important, both sides would need to have a rational jumping off point to begin the discussion. The people who want to allow the mosque have a clear one: legal precedent and the rights of American citizens.

    Please finish the following sentence with a rational argument that is not an emotional appeal:

    “The government should intervene and stop the building of a mosque near ground zero because…”

    I will literally be shocked if you can.

    Friday, August 20, 2010 at 5:29 am | Permalink
  16. patriotsgt wrote:

    ZJD – very well thought out analogy. If I could put words together like many of the posters on this blog I’d probably be better understood. I still however, disagree and assert that there are more folks in the middle.
    In my daily travels locally among people of many different walks I have not met any Rush’s , etc. Everyone I meet has opinions, they like others more than some, or they are philosophically opposed to something else, but they are not rabid. They are dems and repubs who care about the country, their children and the future. They may talk tough at the start (the sound bite), but when engaged in meaningful dialogue they have opinions, ideas and a desire to get things right regardless of the political affiliation.

    As to the Tea Party, there are lots of different people who could be in that group, from grand parents to radical fringers. They have a different philosophy on how and what gov should be and do, they aren’t evil. Until that is, the media uses them and bestows power on a few who don’t deserve it and changes them. The same thing happened to the left after 911 when anti war groups formed. Most were people opposed to war who wanted to state their opinion. Then fringe groups started defacing war monuments, descecrating hallowed ground painting bush as a nazi,calling for his death. The movements message was lost to the extremes. How do you silence thoughts or differing points of view? Simply cast them as extremists and discard their ideals.
    It’s also somewhat ironic that the same media or fringes that are promoting some of this are simoultaneously shutting themselves out of the mainstream.

    Also, I don’t believe all these poll numbers. If you believe some, then believe all. If the polls say most repubs think Obama wasn’t born in the country, then also believe the poll that 54% of dems do not want the mosque at 911 along with 70% of ind and 80% of repubs. Which equals out to 70-80% of the country as opposed. If we buy into the poll theory then we can’t dismiss want we don’t like because it doesn’t fit the theory.

    Excellent discussion.

    Friday, August 20, 2010 at 6:03 am | Permalink