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Rethinking the mosque

   As Frank Rich points out, it is not a mosque, and it is not at Ground Zero. But lots of people have things to say about the Ground Zero mosque.

- Rethink the mosque - Buffalo News Editorial
... President Obama seems to be on the same side as the people. He picked the celebration of Ramadan Adamislamophobia to say it is the right of Muslims to build there, but later added fuel to an already blazing debate by refusing to say whether or not he thinks it is the right thing to do. That at least mirrors public sentiment; a Siena Poll released Wednesday indicated more and more people are following the issue, and that while most oppose the project (63 percent to 27 percent) most also think the developers have a constitutional right to build it (64 percent to 28 percent).
   We believe, too, that Muslims have the right to build the mosque -- but that it is not the right thing to do.

- Rush to condemn mosque leads nowhere - Douglas Turner/The Buffalo News
   Thanks to Obama, this is now a controversy that has no happy ending. If it is built at 51 Park Place, soft words about First Amendment religious freedom will be like ashes in the mouths of many who lost loved ones on 9/11.
   If it is moved or not built, America’s Muslim friends here and overseas will forever wonder if the controversy wasn’t another example of America’s storied history of righteous racial and religious bigotry.

 - Taking Bin Laden’s Side - Nicholas Kristof/The New York Times 
   ... the proposed community center is not just an issue on which Sarah Palin and Osama bin Laden agree. It is also one in which opponents of the center are playing into the hands of Al Qaeda.

- How Fox Betrayed Petraeus - Frank Rich/The New York Times
   Here’s what’s been lost in all the screaming. The prime movers in the campaign against the “ground zero mosque” just happen to be among the last cheerleaders for America’s nine-year war in Afghanistan. The wrecking ball they’re wielding is not merely pounding Park51, as the project is known, but is demolishing America’s already frail support for that war, which is dedicated to nation-building in a nation whose most conspicuous asset besides opium is actual mosques.

- Protests, Rhetoric Feed Jihadists' Fire - Jonathan Weisman/The Wall Street Journal
   Islamic radicals are seizing on protests against a planned Islamic community center near Manhattan's Ground Zero and anti-Muslim rhetoric elsewhere as a propaganda opportunity and are stepping up anti-U.S. chatter and threats on their websites.

- For Imam in Muslim Center Furor, a Hard Balancing Act - Anne Barnard/The New York Times
   “To stereotype him as an extremist is just nuts,” said the Very Rev. James P. Morton, the longtime dean of the Church of St. John the Divine, in Manhattan, who has known the family for decades.

- Moral myopia at Ground Zero - Charles Krauthammer/The Washington Post
   Ground Zero is the site of the most lethal attack of that worldwide movement, which consists entirely of Muslims, acts in the name of Islam and is deeply embedded within the Islamic world. These are regrettable facts, but facts they are. And that is why putting up a monument to Islam in this place is not just insensitive but provocative.

- Sensitivities Don't Override the Constitution - Michael Kinsley/The Atlantic Wire
   It is like telling blacks or Jews that they have every right to move into the neighborhood, but wouldn't they really be happier in some other neighborhood, not too far away, where the neighbors' sensistivities won't be offended?

- Mosque Demagoguery Is Bipartisan - Rep. Ron Paul/
   In my opinion, it has come from the neoconservatives who demand continual war in the Middle East and Central Asia and are compelled to constantly justify it.
   They never miss a chance to use hatred toward Muslims to rally support for ill-conceived preventative wars. A select quote from soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq expressing concern over the mosque is pure propaganda and an affront to their bravery and sacrifice.

-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News


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