published Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Legal vs. right

A simple comparison is a good way to show why Muslims should not build an Islamic center and mosque very close to the site in New York City where radical Muslims murdered thousands of Americans in the 9/11 attacks.

Here is the comparison (for which we do not claim original credit):

Suppose that Americans of Japanese descent decided to build a Japanese history center near Pearl Harbor, site of the surprise Japanese attack that killed thousands of U.S. servicemen and drew the United States into World War II. And suppose that those modern-day Japanese Americans had completely peaceful, inoffensive motives in building the center near Pearl Harbor.

Of course, that would still be totally inappropriate, whatever their motives. There is nothing wrong in principle with building in the United States a facility to highlight Japanese history. But it would be shockingly insensitive to do so near Pearl Harbor, no matter how innocent the motives of the planners and even though the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor took place almost seven decades ago.

As it happens, Americans of Japanese descent are not planning to build any such facility near Pearl Harbor, though there are Japanese cultural centers that exist without controversy in other, more reasonable locations in the United States.

Contrast that with the proposed mosque and Islamic center close to Ground Zero in New York. If its organizers had absolutely innocent motives, it would nevertheless be horribly insensitive to build the facility there. But serious questions have been raised about the leader of the effort, who has said the United States was an “accessory” to the 9/11 attacks. That makes the plans to build the mosque doubly offensive, and some of the relatives of those who were slaughtered on 9/11 have pleaded with the organizers to build the facility elsewhere.

Supporters of the plans for the mosque are hiding behind freedom of religion. That freedom is certainly vital under our Constitution, and if there are no legitimate legal barriers to building the mosque, it probably will be built.

But that does not make it a wise thing to do. Defenders of the construction plan should consider not only whether it is legal but whether it is right.

It clearly isn’t.

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hotdiggity said...

Ignoring the Constitution because someone thinks something is not "right" is the most asinine statement I have heard. The founders were wise enough to protect the citizens from such pious, self-serving efforts. They understood the power of hate and discrimination that left unchecked would result in chaos.

Are we not going to allow the Catholics to build a church in a city where some other of their churches in that city committed atrocities against children?

This concept of what is Constitutional verses what some people think is "right" has been used throughout our history to deny groups their rights. Japanese internment, voting rights, segregation, etc.

Please spare me your piety about what is "right". Follow our laws.

Read what the mayor of New York has to say about the issue.

August 25, 2010 at 2:49 a.m.
hambone said...

I can hear the laughter echoing thru the caves in the mountains from here. "See, those Americans don't beleive in their liberty themselves"

August 25, 2010 at 7:29 a.m.
Livn4life said...

Wow finally the left has found an issue they call on the Constitution to uphold. I am truly amazed. The disentegration of our great country is beyond descriptioin as sad. All who do not see disrespect in the act of a mosque/Islamic culture center practically on the site where Muslims murderously flew airplanes and killed innocent people, just are not looking. WHEN...Muslims all over the world STOP killing innocent people, then non-Muslims will believe all the rhetoric about them as a peace-loving people and religion. I just wonder if I and my family, non-Muslims, will be allowed to visit this supposedly non-offensive betterment of the community place. If not, then it is neither non-offensive nor to a large degree beneficial to that community. Do I hate Muslims? I do not. Do I want them all sent away from the US? I do not. I merely would like to see their efforts at showing respect to the rest of the world in the way they deal with specifically Jewish and Christian believers or persons who claim no faith heritage at all.

August 25, 2010 at 10:26 a.m.

"The world also just learned recently from the assistant secretary for public affairs in the State Department, P.J. Crowley, that the White House has repeatedly sent out as an American ambassador of peace the Islamic fundamentalist and executive director of the Ground Zero mosque, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who is being sponsored by the U.S. State Department for repeated trips to the Middle East, where he is teaching on Muslim life in America and promoting religious tolerance.

But doesn't one who called the U.S. an "accessory" to Sept. 11 just a few weeks after the tragic event and one who still refuses to call Hamas a foreign terrorist organization seem a strange choice for a U.S. ambassador of peace who promotes religious tolerance?

It is absolutely no surprise, therefore, though gravely unfortunate and disappointing for our commander in chief to blurt out just last Friday night that he is in favor of building the mosque near Ground Zero!

The president said, "I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there. I was commenting very specifically on the right people have that dates back to our founding. That's what our country is about."

White House spokesman Bill Burton reiterated the next day about Obama's stance on constructing the mosque: "Just to be clear, the president is not backing off in any way from the comments he made last night. It is not his role as president to pass judgment on every local project. But it is his responsibility to stand up for the constitutional principle of religious freedom and equal treatment for all Americans. What he said last night, and reaffirmed today, is that if a church, a synagogue or a Hindu temple can be built on a site, you simply cannot deny that right to those who want to build a mosque."

But I could not agree more with Sally Regenhard, whose firefighter son was killed at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11: "As an Obama supporter, I really feel that he's lost sight of the germane issue, which is not about freedom of religion. It's about a gross lack of sensitivity to the 9/11 families and to the people who were lost."

And Debra Burlingame, a spokeswoman for some Sept. 11 families and the sister of one of the pilots killed in the attacks, summed it up perfectly: "Barack Obama has abandoned America at the place where America's heart was broken nine years ago, and where her true values were on display for all to see."

Obama is not just rebooting America's image in the Muslim world. He's deepening and expanding Islamic belief, practice, culture around the world, like a Muslim missionary".

Chuck 'iron-man' Norris, August 2010

August 25, 2010 at 12:57 p.m.

Re: David Limbaugh's comprehensively researched book on the deception and loss of liberties under Obama, he recounts that a Greek Orthodox Church, in Manhattan for decades was partially destroyed during the 9-11 attack. It was close to the Twin Towers and immediately after the tragedy, its leaders applied to the City for permission to renovate and rebuild the missing parts. Permission denied. Nine years and many requests later, DENIED. A group of families of the victims and others raised money to build a memorial or church at the ground Zero site to honor the dead. Permission to build denied so the group amended the request to a beautiful 'memorial garden'. Years later, still denied or put off. Mosque, 600 feet from the Site where the dead's ashes still lay? Whatever you want Imam Rauf, what can we do to bow lower or bend over for you? So says Mayor Bloomberg and Gov. Paterson. And Senor Obama.

Then Obama weighs in on the conversation but deftly avoids the controversy. Well, just the fact a US President wades through waters he shouldn't be in, then has his State Dept sending the radical Imam across the globe on our dime, to implore the Muslim world to give money for the mosque, is a huge affront to the 9-11 dead ones. Oh, you say, Obama said the imam isn't going to beseech the rich Saudis and other wealthy patrons for filthy lucre. Oh no! He's just on an apology tour, you know like the one Obama did during his campaign and right after his election. Kissing up to the Islamicists and disrespecting our Allies is his forte, his raison d'etre. So what else is new? We, the people are being lied to and deceived yet again. Pity, so many are still sleeping. Well Sleeping beauties, it's high time to wake up and survey your kingdom. before it's not your kingdom anymore and/or it's all gone poor ones.

August 25, 2010 at 1 p.m.
gngriffin said...

I think that a third category should be added to the disccusion.

After examining what is legal, and what is "right," I think that perhaps we should be asking ourselves, "What is best for our national security?"

Perceptions of the United States in the Muslim world have rarely, if ever, been more negative than they are now. Seeing American politicians denouncing the construction of an Islamic community center in lower manhattan (which, incidentally, is neither a mosque nor is it located at Ground Zero) only adds fuel to the flame, further convincing a generation of Muslim youth that the United States persecutes Muslims and that they are not welcome here. It also further isolates the Muslim community here in the United States, at a time when outreach and integration should be our goal.

These negative perceptions by Muslims, both abroad and at home, have a very real impact on our national security. To continually populate their rank and file, extremist organizations need a large population of disillusioned young men and women who feel that the United States thinks of them as the enemy. Make America a place the young Muslims want to move to, make America the "Shining City on a Hill" described by Ronald Reagan, and you begin to rob the extremists of their recruiting base.

That there is clearly anger and resentment directed towards the Muslim world in the United States is clear. What is less clear is whether our leadership can see beyond pandering to the fear and anger in our population and do what is best for our nation: continue to engage the global Muslim community. By sending a message that "of course you can build here, and we welcome you," our leaders can send a more productive message to world's 1 billion Muslims.

While I am certainly concerned about the legal implications of the debate, the idea of what is "Respectful" does not influence me very much. I'm significantly more concerned with what will make Americans safer. The military formally and doctrinally accepted (as demonstrated in the new Army Field Manual on Counterinsurgency) that public opinion is a vitally important part of fighting a counterinsurgency. If you make an analogy to the larger conflict between western interests and the Muslim world, I think it is easy understand the vital importance of convincing the Muslim world that we are not their enemy. We simply cannot bomb or kill our way to safety. The only answer is meaningful outreach and dialogue, which would be facilitated by our leadership accepting the Islamic center in lower Manhattan.

Was the decision by the imam to pursue the development of this center poorly timed and ill-advised? Perhaps. I also feel that is irrelevant. The process has begun, and our leaders must deal with the situation they have, and not one they would prefer. Given the current situation, and the vitriolic debate surrounding it, how better to engage the Muslim community than to welcome their efforts?

August 25, 2010 at 4:02 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Gee, canary, are those the same Saudis that fund Fox News?

August 25, 2010 at 5:14 p.m.
hambone said...

Peace and love or hate and destruction? What do you really beleive in big bird?

August 25, 2010 at 7:09 p.m.
hambone said...

Prisons, nuclear plants and mosques. NOT IN MY BACK YARD !!

August 25, 2010 at 11:10 p.m.
hotdiggity said...

LivinFor Life On: August 25, 2010 at 10:26 a.m.

"I just wonder if I and my family, non-Muslims, will be allowed to visit this supposedly non-offensive betterment of the community place. If not, then it is neither non-offensive nor to a large degree beneficial to that community".

You can indeed visit the center. It is going to be a multi-faith community center. You can check the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) at the site.

Scroll down to the section "What’s the purpose of the Community Center"?

August 26, 2010 at 1:25 a.m.
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