Posted by | August 18, 2010 10:32 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Bruce Friedrich

The New York Times and Washington Post continue to give prominent place to the issue of whether a Muslim community center should be allowed in an underdeveloped part of New York City that you could walk to from Ground Zero if you wanted to.

Pulitzer Prize winners Maureen Dowd (left) and Kathleen Parker (right), two of my favorite commentators, weigh in today.

Parker argues that the mosque should be built precisely because it makes many Americans uncomfortable—that America stands for reason and law over emotion and sensitivity:

Reason tells us something else: The Muslims who want to build this mosque didn’t fly airplanes into skyscrapers. They don’t support terrorism. By what understanding do we assign guilt to all for the actions of a relative few?

Dowd makes a slate of salient points, including castigating Obama for moral vacillation and calling on GWB to pull out his bullhorn (he could echo his former chief speechwriter, in the Post two days ago). Writes Dowd:

Some critics have said the ultimate victory for Osama and the 9/11 hijackers would be to allow a mosque to be built near ground zero. Actually, the ultimate victory for Osama and the 9/11 hijackers is the moral timidity that would ban a mosque from that neighborhood. Our enemies struck at our heart, but did they also warp our identity?

Gingrich fancies himself an intellectual, a historian, a deep thinker — the opposite number, you might say, of Sarah Palin. Yet here is Gingrich attempting to out-Palin Palin on Fox News: “Nazis don’t have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust Museum in Washington.” There is no more demagogic analogy than that. Have any of the screaming critics noticed that there already are two mosques in the same neighborhood — one four blocks away and one 12 blocks away. Should they be dismantled? And what about the louche liquor stores and strip clubs in the periphery of the sacred ground

I agree with Parker and Dowd on the moral issues, but it’s worth remembering that the anti-Islam arguments are based on fabrications upon fabrications, as distilled by Jon Stewart (if you want hilarious outrage) and Keith Olbermann (for those with a predilection for the deeply earnest and angry) on Monday.

I am reminded of the adage, “You have the right to your own opinions, but not your own facts.” There may be two sides to this discussion, but so far only the pro-mosque side is having a discussion that’s based in reality.

And as Parker and Dowd make clear, even if you cede their “facts,” they’re still quite wrong on moral grounds.

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Copyright 2010 Liberaland
By: BruceGFriedrich

Vice President, Policy, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals