The Right’s Anti-Islam Extremists

August 23rd, 2010 at 1:13 pm | 240 Comments |

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Conservatives are in high dudgeon because the legacy media has taken to calling them bigots for their opposition to the proposed mosque near Ground Zero.

National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru, for instance, objects to the media’s “latest screeds” and “rage” against the Right.

“We’re being cast as opponents of religious freedom, and that’s not fair,” says conservative blogger Pamela Geller.

“We are not Islamophobic,” protests former Newt Gingrich press secretary Tony Blankley.

“Muslims, not Americans are religious bigots,” insists the Washington Examiner’s editorial page.

Conservative frustration with the legacy media is understandable. After all, liberal reporters (which is to say most reporters) are adept at preying upon the politics of racial, ethnic and religious division. It is an underhanded political tactic that they have honed well and practiced often in recent decades.

I myself have seen firsthand how the Left grossly and unconscionably smears conservatives as racists and bigots.

I condemn this “new McCarthyism” as gutter-level politics that should have no place in our discourse. Because too often the charge of “racism” and “bigotry” is a manifestly false allegation designed to shut down political debate and silence legitimate opposition to liberal policies such as “affirmative action.”

This has been true, certainly, of the Tea Party, whose members have been smeared as racists, despite the complete lack of any evidence whatsoever to substantiate this vicious allegation.

But unfortunately, when it comes to Islam, many conservatives are at risk of conforming to the left-wing stereotype. Consider, for example, the Washington Examiner’s recent headline, “Muslims, not Americans, are religious bigots.” Substitute any other minority group for Muslims and consider the sensibility that the headline then conveys.

“Blacks, not Americans, are religious bigots.” Or: “Jews, not Americans, are religious bigots.” How about: “Hispanics, not Americans, are religious bigots”?

That doesn’t sound right, fair or just, does it? The clear and unmistakable implication is that blacks, Jews, and Hispanics are not authentically American. They stand apart from their fellow countrymen and are not part and parcel of the American experience. But Muslims, apparently, are fair game. They can be written off as the alien “other,” and no one seems to care.

Or consider Newt Gingrich’s depiction of ordinary Muslims as Nazis. “Nazis don’t have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust museum in Washington,” Gingrich said.

In other words, according to Gingrich, the proposed mosque near Ground Zero in New York City is the same as, or analogous to, a Nazi center near the Holocaust museum in Washington, D.C.

Well, if ordinary Muslims are Nazis, then the U.S. government is facilitating Nazi political conquests. Our strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan, after all, depends upon working with moderate-minded Muslims to whom we expect to cede control of their country.

But if moderate-minded Muslims don’t really exist, and if moderate Islam is a fiction or a fantasy, then all of our efforts in those two countries are for naught: our soldiers and Marines are dying for a mistake, a rather big and dramatic mistake.

I don’t believe this, of course, but some on the Right apparently do — or at least they talk as if they do.

According to the American Spectator’s Jed Babbin, for instance, “We need to pull our ground forces out of both Iraq and Afghanistan as soon as the logistics can be managed.”

It is “a metaphysical impossibility for Obama’s fourteen-month Afghanistan counter-insurgency to succeed,” Babbin argues. And as for Iraq, it is “falling apart,” he insists. So we best face reality and get out of both countries now.

“In the Muslim culture,” Babbin explains,

the [Islamic] religion prohibits democracy. Under sharia law, the separation of church and state is prohibited. The Koran prescribes a comprehensive law that encompasses both religion and government.

Babbin doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Islam doesn’t “prohibit democracy.” The world’s most populous Muslim country, Indonesia, is a democracy. One-third of the world’s Muslims live in south Asia: Pakistan, Bangladesh and India.

These are imperfect democracies, to be sure, but all three countries have elected governments. Ditto Turkey and Malaysia. And I can remember when conservatives took pride in Iraq’s elections!

As for sharia law, it is “not a concrete legal code.” Instead, as Lee Smith points out in a very insightful post at Tablet magazine,

sharia is the idealized notion of God’s law. Because there is no way to approach what is ostensibly divine except through human agency, sharia as such does not exist except as interpreted by human beings over the long course of Islamic history. The word “sharia” necessarily means many things to many people.

Osama bin Laden and his Jihadist extremists condemn Muslim democrats as fake Muslims. Tragically, some conservative critics of Islam endorse the bin Laden interpretation of the faith. Thus, according to Washington Examiner columnist Diana West:

In our irresponsibly long war, we have never, ever acknowledged that Islam, with its supremacist cult of jihad, is the enemy threat doctrine. And that’s not because I say so. It’s because the enemy says so, 24-7, and so do his mainstream, unimpeachable Islamic legal and religious sources.

You can, of course, rummage through the Qur’an and produce blood-curdling quotes. You can pull even more from the Bible.

If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.

But despite Biblical passages like this (Leviticus 20:13), which seems to require that homosexuals be executed, the Jewish and Christian faith today requires no such thing. That’s because Jews and Christians have developed an exegesis that reinterprets their more violent Biblical passages in more peaceful and non-threatening ways.

Mainstream Islam has done much the same thing with the Qur’an. Yet, some conservatives play fast and loose with history to condemn all of Islam as irredeemably vicious.

Thus, according to the influential blogger, Pamela Geller, “Hitler was inspired by Islam.” But such a statement is utterly ridiculous, as any historian of Nazism or biographer of Hitler will tell you.

It may be true that Hitler was emboldened by the Armenian Genocide. But the Armenian Genocide was carried out by a decidedly irreligious Ottoman government, fighting in alliance with Christian Germany and Austria.

In any case, if political massacres condemn religions, then what are we to say of Christianity and Judaism, which are not exactly massacre-free? In the Old Testament, for instance, Moses had massacred Israelites who refused to embrace Yahweh, or the monotheistic God of the Jews.

Geller and author Robert Spencer have founded a new group, the “Freedom Defense Initiative,” to act against, in Geller’s words

the treason being committed by national, state and local government officials, the mainstream media and others in their capitulation to the global jihad and Islamic supremacism, the ever-encroaching and unconstitutional power of the federal government, and the rapidly moving attempts to impose socialism and Marxism upon the American people.

According to the English newspaper, The Guardian:

One member of the board of the Freedom Defence Initiative is John Joseph Kay, who has written that all Muslims are out to kill ordinary Americans:

‘Every person in Islam, from man to woman to child may be our executioner. In short, that there are no innocents in Islam … all of Islam is at war with us, and that all of Islam is/are combatant(s).(sic)’

This is a sentiment that Human Event’s W. Thomas Smith Jr. seems to support. “Islam’s primary objective is conquest,” Smith warns in his most recent column.

Smith approvingly cites retired Army Lieutenant General William G. Boykin. According to Boykin, Islam “is not a religion.” Therefore, it doesn’t warrant First amendment protection. “That’s our fundamental mistake,” Boykin says: extending the First Amendment’s right of freedom of religion to Muslims.

Frank Gaffney also is troubled by the First Amendment, which he thinks is being used as an excuse to appease Islamic treachery.

Indeed, Obama, Gaffney warns, is surrendering to “shariah, the barbaric, totalitarian political program that masquerades as a religion.” And Obama is doing this out of a desire to “promote Islam” and religious freedom in America. Gaffney finds this “troubling.”

For these reasons, National Review’s Andrew McCarthy suggests we might have to reconsider whether the First Amendment ought even to apply to Muslims. After all, he argues, “intolerance is not just part of al-Qaeda; it is part of Islam.”

McCarthy cherry picks passages from the Koran to make Muslims look inherently and necessarily intolerant. And he insists that such intolerance is not an extreme al-Qaeda view, but rather the mainstream moderate Muslim view. The Koran, says McCarthy, forces Muslims to be dangerously intolerant.

Tellingly though, to support his contention, McCarthy cites a “Sunni scholarly commentary on the version of the Koran officially produced by the Saudi government.”

But the Saudi government has been busy propagating Wahhabism — an extremist, puritanical, and violent movement that has been at war with traditional Muslims for centuries, says Stephen Suleyman Schwartz, executive director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism in Washington, D.C.

Nonetheless, according to FrontPage magazine’s editor, Jamie Glazov, “There is no moderate Islam. Period.”

Glazov never says explicitly whether this means we should deny Muslims their First Amendment right to freely practice their religion. But he may well think that, since he believes that Islam’s goal is “world domination… war against unbelievers… and subjugation” of non-Muslims.

Glazov’s colleague, David Swindle (they both work for David Horowitz’s Freedom Center, which publishes both FrontPage magazine and NewsReal Blog), agrees. “It’s time to stop regarding Islam as though it’s a religion,” he writes. “It’s not

The ‘faith’ practiced as written and following the example of its founder is a totalitarian political program seeking world domination.

So I guess it’s global war then.

Yet, it’s curious: Few of the anti-Islamic militants ever articulate a program for dealing with this omnipresent and insidious terrorist threat.

Should we begin by stripping American Muslims of their citizenship because they are now deemed “agents of a foreign power”? And should we encourage our European allies to do the same?

Should we end our relationship with Muslim-majority countries? Should our government commit itself to disproving and discrediting Islam as a faith, in much the same way that we once worked to discredit communism?

They don’t say.

NewsReal’s David Swindle calls for the “eradication” of Islam, as does his NewsReal colleague Jeannette Pryor. When challenged about this, Swindle backpedals slightly, but only, it seems, for prudential reasons.

No, Swindle says, he doesn’t advocate a “fascist response,” which would involving “building concentration camps, exterminating Muslims and nuking Mecca.” His virulent anti-Muslim rhetoric, he contends, is designed only to “provoke and disturb the moderate center.”

In other words, it’s all posturing. But it’s posturing with a cost. Non-Muslim minorities recognize, as do all Americans, that when conservatives target one minority group for exclusion, other minorities might soon follow on the right-wing hit list

But a conservatism that intends to govern a multiethnic nation cannot long indulge religious bigotry without destroying itself politically and morally.

You can follow John Guardiano on Twitter: @JohnRGuardiano

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240 Comments so far ↓

  • anniemargret

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Hitler dabble in the occult?

  • WillyP

    Nazism took a lot of ancient Pagan rituals from the mythical German Volk. The Valkyrie, for example. The myth of the Aryan Germans. Sure there was some occult. It was incorporated into some Nazi holidays. (How sick is that phrase – Nazi Holiday?) But the truth is Nazism was a product of atheism – “religion is the opium of the people” – socialism – that is, complete central control of the economy – and statism – a devotion to self-sufficiency, or “autarky.”

  • WillyP

    as for you people attacking my deference to religion rather than untempered rationality, i leave as my references aquinas, hume, smith, and hayek.

    you can argue with them.

  • anniemargret

    The Some/All Fallacy is playing out well here. There are people who are religious that abuse others and who hurt others under the name of God. They’re everywhere. There are people that are religious who are enlightened souls, who bring peace, joy and love to just about everyone around them; they are much rarer.

    There is Evil under the banner of Religion and there is Evil under the banner of Atheism . In other words, there is not a shred of evidence that ALL people are ONE thing under anything. We can be discriminating. We can use our good brains. We can sift the wheat from the chaff . And we can be very rational and still believe in God. Or no God if that’s what you prefer.

    Perhaps simple tolerance is the key.

  • Slide

    To say that Nazism was product of atheism is just pure bunk from WillyP but we know, that he doesn’t value rationalism so I guess he just has faith that it is so.

    The religious influence on Nazism is very complex and if anyone is interested here is a link to a rather scholarly analysis and some snippets below:
    A growing body of scholarly research, some based on careful analysis of Nazi records, is clarifying this complex history.2 It reveals a convoluted pattern of religious and moral failure in which atheism and the nonreligious played little role, except as victims of the Nazis and their allies. In contrast, Christianity had the capacity to stop Nazism before it came to power, and to reduce or moderate its practices afterwards, but repeatedly failed to do so because the principal churches were complicit with—indeed, in the pay of—the Nazis.

    Most German Christians supported the Reich; many continued to do so in the face of mounting evidence that the dictatorship was depraved and murderously cruel. Elsewhere in Europe the story was often the same. Only with Christianity’s forbearance and frequent cooperation could fascistic movements gain majority support in Christian nations. European fascism was the fruit of a Christian culture. Millions of Christians actively supported these notorious regimes. Thousands participated in their atrocities.

    Hitler was a complex figure, but based on the available evidence we can conclude our inquiry into his personal religious convictions by describing him as an Aryan Volkist Christian who had deep Catholic roots, strongly influenced by Protestantism, touched by strands of neopaganism and Darwinism, and minimally influenced by the occult. Though Hitler pontificated about God and religion at great length, he considered politics more important than religion as the means to achieve his agenda.

    None of the leaders immediately beneath Hitler was a pious traditional Christian. But there is no compelling evidence that any top Nazi was nontheistic. Any so accused denied the charge with vehemence.

  • WillyP

    the fact is that there’s never, in the history of the entire world, been a civilization that was actually atheist. this fact alone should give the atheists some pause. particularly those atheists, like the juvenile alex k, who comment recklessly on religion, attack it and so far as i can tell hate it, and yet still try to pass off as social critics.

    all the evidence that presents itself to us historically suggests that civilization goes hand in hand with religion; that civilization is impossible without an institution that puts itself beyond (nearly all) reproach. studying society without appreciating religion and its role is like trying to make sense of plant life while rejecting photosynthesis as a petty myth.

  • WillyP

    you’re way out of your league and it shows. you’re quoting “”

    the scholarship out of the new atheist movement is disastrously bad. it omits thousands of years of history concerning the evolution of religious thought, gives an embarrassingly one sided analysis of age-old questions that have perplexed minds as great as Aristotle’s, and is sold to a very small minority of people, which you are apparently a part of, that would like to declare “There is no God!” and slam down their fists.

    We can compare this to Summa Theologica, in which Aquinas lays out the reasoning, in detail of his intellectual opponents, and refutes them one point at a time. Having read pieces of Dawkins, Harris, Dennet, and Hitchens I’m mortified what passes as scholarship.

    A much more subtle and effective challenge to traditional Christian thought is found, again, in Hume, Darwin, and Hayek. (Did you know, for example, that Darwin was influenced tremendously by Smith’s Wealth of Nations? Did you know that the theory of evolution started in the humanities, and only later germinated the natural sciences?) Basically, this challenge revolves around the Aristotelian conception of design – that is, design from a single mind vs. design arising from the interaction of simple forces that lead to more complex organisms (as well as human institutions, markets, language, etc.).

    That’s about the best I can do for now.

  • drdredel


    History is edifying, that’s true, and while I’m as much a WWII junkie as the next guy, we’ve gone waay off topic. Initially I responded to your question about what our options are when it comes to dealing with the Muslim population of this nation as well as those who live outside our borders. I answered your concern about the 6th pillar with an example of how most muslims are crappy muslims and now we’re arguing about Marx’s influence on Hitler? If you really want to discuss hitler, I’m happy to do it, but not before we deal with why my above comment provoked such a negative response from you.

    All I’m saying is that your religion (Judeo/Christianity) is just as rife with outrageous demands by god for you to do all sorts of crazy crap. And you don’t (and kudos for that!). Now you can rationalize WHY you don’t till the cows come home, but the bottom line is that you don’t. And you don’t WANT to. This was another point I made. You’re not living in a life of conflict where every day that you don’t roast a goat in god’s honor or kill a homo you’re worrying that you’re going to get smitten. In this regard we are very similar. I am also not worried about god’s ire, and when I roast goat it is strictly with the intent to eat it.

    Why can’t you extend the same generosity of presumption to the Muslim’s of the world? Why do they have to pass some sort of benchmark test, that you are willing to accept them as non fundamentalists? And what exactly does that test consist of? Here we have this Imam who, on his website, has images of women outside of any head dress at all, engaging in work. He has uttered phrases like “I am a jew”. How much more “moderate” does he have to be?! He hasn’t denounced Hamas? Actually, he has said that terrorist actions are against the tenets of Islam and he is steadfastly opposed to them. That’s not enough? You have to ask yourself, will ANYTHING be enough? Or are you just blinded by your hate of Islam?

    That’s the conversation we’re having. We can save hitler for dessert.

    @ anniemargret
    I applaud your commitment to your variation on Christianity. I really do. I’m a huge fan of Anne Lamott and love her brand of Christianity as well. However, you are definitely a “crappy” Christian by my definition :) .

    Perhaps in another thread I’d like to understand how you allow for Jesus’ defense of the old testament. I’m not saying this cynically… I’m genuinely curious. It just doesn’t add up in my head. The peaceful Jesus is truly a lovely one, but the non peaceful Jesus defends his father’s ugly and well… sociopathic edicts. Like a Mel Gibson who can’t come to denounce his dad’s Holocaust denials. What do you do with that if you really want to believe that this guy is the physical embodiment of the creator?

  • WillyP

    the topic at hand is islam in the modern world. if you are unable to see the obvious difference between an 8th century mentality that pervades a continent and the Christian West, even the Christian West going back to the 16th century, I don’t know what to say to you.

    As for how I live with my “crappiness,” I keep in mind that I am not here to judge God, and allow the institution of the Church to act as my guide.

    But really, we don’t need to enter into theological, metaphysical, or Canonical debate to come down against the wisdom and propriety of sticking a giant Mosque 2 blocks away from the site of a tragedy.

    Like morals, there’s no way to “prove” I’m right. I have already made my case a thousand times. If you see it differently, and you really don’t see anything wrong with this whole situation, you’re going to have to accept that most people, and 60% of New Yorkers, disagree with you vehemently.

    There’s no “hate” of Islam. I am certainly not Muslim, but I’m not for forced conversions either. It’s a matter of civility. If I were Muslim I’m honestly telling you I’d be blushing. If the Catholic Church insisted on building a mosque next to the site of a notorious IRA mass terrorist attack, I’d be embarrassed and against it. Do I make myself clear?

  • Slide

    WillyP what the hell are you talking about? You suggested Nazism was a product of atheism. I disagreed. What does “thousands of years of history concerning the evolution of religious thought” have to do with what I said?

    You don’t agree with the viewpoints of I’m shocked. Really? Again, you don’t dispute what was said in my post at all, you don’t even reference it, you just throw in Summa Theologica, Aquinas, Kennet and Hitchens and say I’m in over my head. Huh? Do they have anything to say about the connection between Nazism and atheism? Does the origins of the theory of evolution have anything to do with anything ?

    I know you are trying sooooooo hard to show how smart you are. Unsuccessfully however. You can believe all you want in whatever religion you want. I could care less. But when you try to erroneously blame atheism for what happened in Nazi Germany then I do care.

    You know when I was a young cop I had to commit more than a few people to mental institutions. They would be in the back seat of my police cruiser babbling about some topic or another, astronomy, physics, religion – could be anything. And sometimes they sounded like they really knew what they were talking about but then you would suddenly realize they were crazy as a loon. I don’t know why that popped into my head but reading your post brought those memories to mind.

  • WillyP

    Actually, I had very little hope that you’d find anything I wrote relevant, interesting, intriguing, or worthwhile. I did it all for my own enjoyment. I think they’re genuinely interesting questions that most people nowadays don’t bother to ask. I see you’ve served as a convenient case-in-point.

    As for showing how soooooooooo smart I am, all I can say to that is that it can feel very lonely in a country that embraces socialism and cultural relativism when I recognize where they’re leading. Specifically, to impoverishment, bad manners, disregard for the welfare of children, disrespect for women, a culture that churns out smut and gossip about smut, little personal responsibility, and a view of life that sublimates tragic CHOICES made by people into mere absurdities. I find this depressing and I wish my country wasn’t so damn immature. Other than that, if you, drdredel, annie, and whomever else read what I write, seeing as how I’ll never meet any of you, you can be pretty sure that I’m not sitting here going “Gee now I feel great! Wow what a smart guy I am! So smart in fact, that at almost midnight I’m sitting here responding to a blog post on a website I find contemptible!” No, this is more an outlet for my frustration with our national political scene. I’m worried, and this is a lot less annoying than haranguing friends and family.

    I said Nazism was a product of several things – statism, socialism, nationalism, and yes, atheism. The rejection of everything preached by the Germans traditional faith, Christianity.

    Having said all that, I do hope you at least learned something.

  • anniemargret

    I don’t have the answers. I suspect many people are offended by the anti-intellectualism of some Christianity or other religions. However, I seriously believe that there are extremely intelligent people who can believe in God.

    I think it has a lot to do with the fact that so many of today’s religions are rooted in antique thought. I see no reason (at least for myself) that my view of God and the world and life and death cannot evolve. Why can’t our understanding of God change with the times?

    This is heresy to a point, I know . But I also know I cannot totally accept where I was when I was child and what I know today, and then square it with traditional Christianity. So my mind is evolving while my understanding of God evolves are well. And if that means I pull away from the church so be it .

    I have no problem whatsoever with evolution and God. I have no problem imagining that there are probably (most probably) alien intelligences in the universe that perhaps are more technologically advanced than us, or superior or inferior to us emotionally; spiritually. who knows? The concept is not too weird.

    So how can I stay static? Atheists bring up good debating points about our understanding of God. At the same time, I, for one, cannot bring my heart around the idea that we are simply masses of DNA molecules thrown together for no purpose to create a living breathing person. And my person houses a body, a brain *and* a soul.

    Cannot prove it. I surmise it; intuit it.

    But all this means – for me anyway- is that I can view others around me, religious or not, Muslim or not, without a jaundiced eye. I can differentiate between what is right and wrong. And isn’t that what we really arguing about?

    That there may be some Muslims that have done wrong, some that do right . And that hopefully we are mature enough to recognize the difference?

  • drdredel

    if you are unable to see the obvious difference between an 8th century mentality that pervades a continent and the Christian West, even the Christian West going back to the 16th century, I don’t know what to say to you.

    I CAN see the difference. However, what I’m saying to you is that what you appear to be missing is that the people who you are accusing of the 8th century mentality.. namely, the American citizens that are interested in opening this cultural center, are in no way guilty of said accusations. They are NOT the same people who are still stoning women to death in Saudi Arabia and Iran. And they had nothing to do with 9/11, so, the fact that they share a religion with those that did is in no way relevant to where they want to build and what they want to build.

    They are not building a shrine to remember the brave men who flew planes into buildings, right? They are not building a madrassa in which they can indoctrinate young Muslim men against America, right? They are guilty of nothing other than being Muslim and for that offense they are treated to the same hostility that you should have reserved for those 8th century fanatics that have absolutely NOTHING to do with any of this!

    If the Catholic Church insisted on building a mosque next to the site of a notorious IRA mass terrorist attack, I’d be embarrassed and against it. Do I make myself clear?

    While I’m tempted to poke fun of the image of the catholic church building mosques I’ll refrain and assume you meant a cathedral.

    You do make yourself clear, but I can’t agree with your point because the Catholic church (as much as I loathe it) had nothing to do with the IRA, and while they have a great deal to answer for, the actions of the IRA are not on the list.

    Now, if the Catholic church decided to build a church next to a pre-school… well… I’d certainly raise at least one eyebrow.

  • WillyP

    “You do make yourself clear, but I can’t agree with your point because the Catholic church (as much as I loathe it)… Now, if the Catholic church decided to build a church next to a pre-school… well… I’d certainly raise at least one eyebrow.”

    the snide, rabid leftist returns. how’s that blinding hated for catholicism? as the minds close, this grows boring once again.

  • DeepSouthPopulist

    Chris Mathews is an obnoxious prick and hack who used to write lies for Jimmy Carter, America’s second worst President after Barack Obama.

    He didn’t let Lazio talk, ignored Lazio’s point that the good Imam Feisel won’t rule out funding from Iran, and made excuses for Feisel’s statement that the US participated in the 9/11 attacks.


  • drdredel


    You have no sense of humor, sir.

  • DeepSouthPopulist

    SpartacusIsNotDead:”Why are John Guardiano, DSP, Brandon, et al so reluctant to identify bigotry as the reason for the opposition to the placement of the mosque near Ground Zero?”

    Because bigotry isn’t the motivation for the opposition.

  • DeepSouthPopulist

    From the Koran:

    The Jews “strive to do mischief on earth” – that is, fasaad, for which the punishment is specified in 5:33: “they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land.”


  • DeepSouthPopulist

    I can’t wait to hear the excuses for this one.

    It turns out the good Imam Feisel participated in a conference in Jordan with one Sheikh Al-Qaradawi.

    Feisel considers the Sheikh Al-Qaradawi a “very very well known Islamic jurist, highly regarded all over the Muslim world.”

    Again, this is Feisel’s own words , not mine, Pam Geller’s, not Glenn Beck’s, so if you want to shoot the messenger take aim at Feisel for a change.

    Who is Sheikh Al-Qaradawi?

    He’s Jew hating genocidal manic.

    If this shit doesn’t turn your stomach nothing will.

    IMAM FEISAL ABDUL RAUF: The broader community is in fact criticising and condemning actions of terrorism that are being done in the name of Islam. I just came from a conference in Jordan, Amman where there were over 170 leading Muslim scholars from almost every part of the Muslim world, including some of the most important names like Sheikh Tantawi of Egypt, Sheikh Ali Gomaa, who is the Chief Mufti of Egypt, the Chief Mufti of Jordan, the Sheikh Al-Qaradawi, who is a very very well known Islamic jurist, highly regarded all over the Muslim world.

  • SpartacusIsNotDead

    Brandon: “[B]igotry isn’t the motivation for the opposition.”

    I’ve read most of your posts and all of your main contentions about the Imam are based on extraordinarily strained interpretations of his statements, and you’ve failed to criticize non-Muslims for statements that are substantially similar to the Imam’s. For these reasons, your claim that you oppose the mosque because of this particular Imam’s extremism seem like nothing more than a pretext for bigoted opposition.

    But, even if you were right and the Imam does hold views that are not moderate, why is that a reason to oppose the placement of the mosque near Ground Zero? What is an acceptable location for a mosque that is headed by an Imam who holds non-moderate views? And, if the mosque were to be headed by an Imam that, in your view, was moderate, would you stop your opposition?

  • brandon

    SpartacusIsNotDead, the quote you cite above is from DeepSouthPopulist and not from me.

    I stated that some of the opposition is probably based on bigotry, but the vast majority of people opposed are not bigots.

    I gave two fictional examples in other posts. One was about how I would be opposed to the Sons of Confederate Veterans opening up a shop across the street from the Civil Rights Museum where Dr. King was shot and killed. SCV is not a racist group, but is simply interested in Southern heritage, but common sense should tell them that wouldn’t be a good place for their store.

    I also gave an example of how I would be opposed if an anti abortion group wanted to open up an office next to the church in Wichita where Dr. George Tiller was murdered even if it was a pro life group that had denounced violence against abortion clinics. Again, common sense should tell that group that another location would be much better for their office.

    Even though, I’m a pro life white Christian Southerner, based on your standards I would be a bigot against anti abortion activists and Civil War history buffs because I think they would both be better off finding more suitable locations for their activities.

  • drdredel


    dude… you’re out of straws… you’re grasping at thin air now.

    Sheikh Al-Qaradawi? What does he have to do with Feisel? They were at a conference together? and he’s a Jew hating no good sumbich? Is he? are you sure? I have to admit, I don’t know the guy, and given your previous evidence am disinclined to go research.

    I guess this is roughly the same as the Obama is a socialist issue. No matter how nonexistent your evidence pool is, the fact that you want to believe it to be true so badly takes precedence. I continue to fail to understand why you need this guy to be your radical. Maybe you just really want all Islam to be radical and certainly if this guy is radical then all Islam is. I honestly don’t know. But the fact remains that you’ve got two choices.
    you can either accept this guy as the best example of non radical islam and go from there, or you can wage your holy war against everyone in the religion. If you see a third option, I’d love to hear it.

  • drdredel


    I appreciate your candor. Like most of my Christian friends you are in a slightly precarious position…
    This is heresy to a point, I know . But I also know I cannot totally accept where I was when I was child and what I know today, and then square it with traditional Christianity

    I sympathize. Just so you understand, I’m not an atheist. I’m actually a deeply spiritual person. I simply can’t accept the dogma of the established religions for two reasons.
    1) I know their history and where they all come from. Christianity is just a Jewish cult (sorry) and Judaism is just an Egyptian cult, and Egyptian mythology is just a variation on Mesopotamian myths and I have no reason to believe that god only wrote books for the Mesopotamians (and if god did write books for them, they were very different books, which featured a whole lot of gods)

    2) there is simply too much in the bible that is simply stupid (again, sorry).

    So how can I stay static? Atheists bring up good debating points about our understanding of God. At the same time, I, for one, cannot bring my heart around the idea that we are simply masses of DNA molecules thrown together for no purpose to create a living breathing person. And my person houses a body, a brain *and* a soul.
    I would argue that atheists have no place in the conversation, but I would also argue that there are very few actual atheists. The vast majority of self identifying atheists are simply people, like me, who have no other word to define their rejection of established religions. And no one denies that there’s a whole lot of amazing stuff going on in the universe that no one can explain. I just prefer to not assume anything and keep looking for answers. And it is entirely unnecessary for you to part ways with your personal mythology about your soul (whatever that might mean) as you reject the Catholic church (or any other dogma) as not having any special insight into the matter!

    For example… you believe in the soul. Great! (I do too though I’m still not sure what that means). What I’m SURE of, however, is that my soul is not going to “burn in hell”. Why? because I know who invented hell and when. It wasn’t god. Hell doesn’t even exist in the old testament (and didn’t exist before the old testament). It was invented just for you! Seems pretty lame! All your Jewish friends, exempt from hell (cause there is no such thing in their faith) but you get to worry about it because it was tacked on as a rider when the church was being formed. So, if there is no hell… where’s my soul going? Or are Jews soulless?

    I’m rambling… sorry… I’ll close with the thought that there is more to rejecting the teachings of Cathol (thanks Eddy Izzard) than simply deciding that you are nothing but a big bag of cell tissue. The church didn’t invent the soul, and they don’t own yours. You can cast them adrift and retain all your spiritual, metaphysical, astrological, super-natural, para-psychological, intuitions and enjoy them without any of the baggage. It’s a REALLY great place to be! I recommend it highly. :)

    However, if you’re happy in your place of worship, have at it! You clearly have a very healthy attitude towards the dogma… namely, you accept what makes sense and reject the rest. As long as you don’t worry that somehow, inadvertently, you’re pissing off your god by defying its credos left and right, you’re in good shape :)

  • SpartacusIsNotDead

    Brandon, I apologize for attributing DSP’s comments to you.

    As for the substance of your comment, I think it’s important to keep in mind that I am not saying that the majority of people who oppose the mosque are bigots. Instead, I’m saying that their opposition is bigoted. I think there is a significant difference between holding a single bigoted viewpoint and actually being a bigot. To me, a bigot is someone who often espouses bigoted views. I do not know that that is the case with the majority of those who oppose the mosque.

    With respect to the two examples you raised (SCV and anti-abortion groups), there is a clear difference between those two groups locating near the Civil Rights Museum and an abortion clinic on one hand and Muslims locating near Ground Zero on the other hand. SCV and anti-abortion groups (and their respective members) espouse/promote views that are diametrically opposed by the views/practices of the Civil Rights Museum and an abortion clinic. Consequently, those who would oppose the placement of the SCV or an anti-abortion group would be doing so because of the actual views/actions taken by members of the SCV. This is not the case with Muslims and the Ground Zero mosque.

    There is no evidence that Muslims in general or specifically those who would worship at this particular mosque hold views on terrorism or any other topic that differ from the views held by those who oppose the mosque. The opposition is not based on the actions or views of the members of this mosque. Instead, it is based solely on religious affiliation. The opposition is the manifestation of intolerance for a religious group. That, by definition, is bigotry.

  • SpartacusIsNotDead

    P.S. I assumed the SCV promotes views that are diametrically opposed to the principles espoused by the Civil Rights Museum based on your post. I don’t actually know enough about SCV to know if that is, in fact, the case. Nevertheless, I think you’ll get the point of the analogy.

  • Slide

    drdredel // Aug 25, 2010 at 2:37 am: “I would argue that atheists have no place in the conversation, but I would also argue that there are very few actual atheists. ”

    I’m not quite sure you think atheists have no place in the conversation but as an “actual atheist” I obviously reject that.

    There has been a lot of interesting research of late on how evolution may have hardwired the belief of God, or at least the supernatural, into humans. Would the belief in God be something that helped small groups of humans to work better together thereby affording a better chance of survival? There are those that believe exactly that.

    Research has also shown that there are specific areas of the brain associated with religious feelings. As a matter of fact if those regions of the brain are stimulated electrically the person feels a sense of spirituality. Interesting. Does prayer and meditation tap into those areas?

    To annie, religion can be very beneficial on a personal level. I can still remember when I was a believer (raised as a Roman Catholic with a parochial education) that I was comforted through prayer during difficult times. Religion can be a great source of strength to help people cope with the ups and downs life hands us.

    Collectively however, I think religion is a great harm. What may have assisted small groups of humans into working better together conversely makes it difficult for groups with differing views on the supernatural to live in harmony. Inevitably we get the sort of thing that both WillyP and OBL exemplefy (albeit at differing degrees). My God is better than your God. My God hates what your God says. My God tells me I should kill those that don’t believe in Him. yada yada yada. History shows us time and time again how religion played a role in some of the worst human behavior against fellow humans.

    One other thing that was said that I don’t quite understand. Some people believe there must be a God because they see things in the world that they don’t understand. So? We are tiny tiny little specks on one tiny, tiny little planet in a vast universe. Of course our understanding of this great world is extremely limited. Why would anyone then need to construct a supernatural being to fill the void of ignorance. Primitive people thought lighting and thunder were the rumblings of a god because they didn’t understand it. Are we any more advanced? It is just that there are different things that we don’t understand and which some have to ascribe supernatural causes for. That makes no sense to me but perhaps our brains are just “hardwired” as previously described.

  • anniemargret

    willyp: I share your concerns about our country. While I am a registered Democrat, I have my conservative streaks.

    However, having social safety nets is not ‘socialism’ to me, unless we drive out capitalism and that is not going to happen-no one wants that. In fact, as a Christian at heart, I see a society that can assist those in need to help them come out from under a good thing, not a bad thing. Millions have been helped to get back into society by these programs. We have benefited from Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. We get help for those who are physically and mentally disabled. If this is all ‘socialism’ – then count me in. I much prefer my taxes go there then going to support needless wars.

    As for God, I believe in something. I believe in love, forgiveness and peace. That is God to me. I don’t know if Jesus was God, my own belief is that he was the closest to a human concept of God, that lived in those times. He preached the Beatitudes, which most Christians today give short shrift to. Instead too many Christians are using Christianity like a bludgeon. Either believe what they believe, or you are damned to eternity.

    Stuff and nonsense. I can no more believe in that “God’ than I could believe He could be less merciful than I would be myself. I believe humanity is evolving. Not just technologically but spiritually…if we permit it. Religion can be a force for good or evil. As for atheism, I’ve met too many wonderful humane atheists in my life to pass judgment on them. Most of them despise the ‘leave the brain at the church door’ type of theology. I hate that too. There is no reason why we cannot expand our innner spirituality with using our brains. We know there are medieval concepts in the Bible, or questionable passages that don’t ally with the core of Christ’s teachings. We can honor our brains, and take what’s good, and throw the rest out. Yep, do a Thomas Jefferson.

    And DrD, Jesus was a human being of the time and age. A Jew with a historical record and a product of his times. I would assume he revered Jewish law and tradition. The O.T. does nothing for me. I don’t pick up the Bible anymore. I don’t take it literally.

    There is even some reference that Jesus alluded to the concept of reincarnation, but that the Church removed it from the N.T. for fear it would give people too much power. There is probably much that has been distorted over the centuries – I don’t worry overmuch about these things. I can accept that His teachings were good. Respect for ourselves and respect for others. Not making harsh judgments. Working for Peace. Helping the poor and needy. Make the world a little better place.

    But the Christian Right has distorted this message. They use this religion like a cudgel. They feel superior to others who don’t adhere to their own interpretation. And it IS interpretation. And this is where it’s get dangerous. We cannot have a religious fascist society. I am adamantly against religion injecting into political dialogue. I don’t give two cents what religion our President adhere to – there should be no litmus test for piousness. Can we vote for Jew to be President? An atheist? An American Muslim? A Mormon?

    Why not? As long as they support and honor our Constitution and take their oath to protect and defend our country and its principles, it is not incumbent upon any citizen to pretend they honor ‘freedom’ and demand he/she must be restricted in religious thought. Palin can take a hike. So can Beck. So can Franklin Graham.

    I am a serious science devotee. There is no conflict for me to believe in God and support scientific advancement. The more we know of the universe the more we realize how little we know. That great mystery is always ahead of us. I believe you can think ‘rationally’ and also harbor and nurture a belief in God (but not the medieval God!)

    Dr D: I don’t go to church anymore, although the few times I still do, I still feel a profound beauty in it. Too much is made of church. God is just a whisper away. I do believe each human has a spirituality that can be nurtured. But I don’t whack my beliefs on others. We are all on our own personal journeys, and some of us have a much harder road than others. I had an uncle respond once who was asked “Why do you go to church?” His answer: “Because it makes me feel good.”

    Simple. Nothing wrong with that.

    But I understand your fears about organized religion and why I reject most of it too nowadays. When we reject scientific advancement or when religion is used as some type of superior fascist movement I step away as far as I can. That no more represents God to me than Franklin Graham’s recent comment represents Christianity for me.

    There are some great Truths in the bible, and some of it has great beauty. There is a great beauty in Christianity as well. I find it. But if we don’t remove the bad from it, or ignore it, while passing judgment on someone else’s religion then all the ‘faith’ in the world gets us nowhere. We remain static. Perhaps I am more of a Unitarian now in my middle age, with Christian overtones. I dislike boxes to be put in. I might want to break out from time to time.

    It’s why I could never be a conservative anymore. They tend to stay static. They hate progress in thought and deed. They see evil in all progress. WillyP: I share with you that too much liberalism hurt our country. The 60s were good and bad. I am a child of the 60s so I can see it fairly. There is a *moderately center left and center right* place that I wish this country would go to. We don’t need to embrace extremism.

    Finally, bear with me I know I get long-winded:

    There are NO terrorists building a ‘mosque’ near 9/11. I see it more as a possible bridge – a hope for a more evolving communication with billions of people who call themselves Muslims. To sweep them all under a banner of ‘Muslim=Evil’ is an affront to common sense and dangerous as well. Because it encourages extremism. Once fear is born, Hate is not far behind.

    I agree with Slide and DrD about this hysteria over the mosque. I agree with you, WillyP about the sentiment. I perfectly understand that it is ‘not right’ and it would be nicer to move it to the northeast Bronx. But our laws say we cannot use sentiment and in this case, the law must be upheld. Otherwise, ‘sentiment’ will rear its head time and again,……we will have a nation more concerned about feelings than the law…and that is wrong.

    And sorry…while I agree that many of the protesters are there because they find the building ‘insulting’ I also think there is a rabid hatred of the Arab in this country. Because we are predominantly a Christian country, the minority religions are given bare notice and lot of disrespect.

    If this mosque was a haven for terrorists, I would be protesting as well. No one got uptight when Franklin Graham recently stated on national TV that Obama has the ‘seed of the Muslim’ in him. Who gives him the right to decide how and why a person should pray, not pray, believe or disbelieve?

    So either we adhere to them when the going gets tough, or we don’t. If we set precedent here and let this opportunity for communication with Islam get away, then we shoot ourselves in the foot. I can put my sensibilities aside for the greater good (I’m a NYer too). We have a chance to foster better relations with Islam to assist us in the fight against radical Islam. Or we can act like an hysterical mob spewing out hate and fear and embrace all of that to our detriment.

    As I mentioned earlier in this blog. We’ve got men and women risking life and limb now in Iraq and Afghanistan and trying to ‘win hearts and minds.’ Will we as a nation help Petraeus or will be revert back to over the top hysteria. We owe it to our troops and to all the soldiers who have gone.

    This is our chance to do something greater…let’s take it.

  • DeepSouthPopulist

    SpartacusIsNotDead :Why are John Guardiano, DSP, Brandon, et al so reluctant to identify bigotry as the reason for the opposition to the placement of the mosque near Ground Zero?

    Because bigotry is not the reason for the opposition, if by that you mean irrational opposition based on nothing but hate and prejudice.

    SpartacusIsNotDead : “It is blatant bigotry, albeit rather commonplace. By definition, a bigot is one who is intolerant of a different creed, group, etc.”

    No, that’s your definition of a bigot. It’s a definition that suits your purpose of slandering the people who oppose this mosque.

    Your definition fails to distinguish between irrational intolerance and intolerance that is both rational and justified.

    Intolerance isn’t always a bad thing. There is nothing irrational, for example, about showing intolerance toward groups like the Westboro Baptist Church, Wahhabi Muslims, or some of those extreme Jewish sects in Israel that produce people that admire Baurach Goldstein.

    These are groups that should be shunned and who most people can and do shun, and for good reason.

    Now, I am not equating Imam Feisel and all of Islam with these extreme groups. My point is to just to show that *in principle* not all intolerance is wrong, or without rational justification.

    And that’s exactly what this argument is about – whether the opposition and intolerance toward this mosque is rational and justified or not.

    Most of the country thinks it is. Clearly, you and many others think it isn’t, but based on polling data yours is minority viewpoint that borders on a fringe position.

    But at any rate, whether the opposition is justified or not is something that needs to be argued and debated – so let’s hear your case.

    Just saying “this is bigoted” or “this is intolerant” while assuming but not proving the intolerance is irrational isn’t a good argument.

    SpartacusIsNotDead : “No one would have any problem with a church or a synogogue being built near Ground Zero.”

    Of course not. It’s a question of sensitivity.

    Christians and Jews were not responsible for the 9/11 attacks. The 9/11 attackers had a connection to Islam, not Christianity or Judaism.

    Tell me what you think about this analogy.

    Suppose someone wanted to build a German cultural and historical center that next to a Jewish cemetery or Holocaust memorial.

    The purpose of the memorial would be to document German culture and history from the beginning of the German nation to today. Such a center would probably include information about Beethoven, Goethe, Nietzsche, Bismark, WW1 and the Berlin wall, but it would also have to include information on Hitler and the Nazis.

    Now, even though the person building the center would have no personal connection to Nazism much less support Nazi goals, and even though the Nazi regime was only 12 years out of all of German history, I would still call that very insensitive to build it next to a Jewish cemetery or a Holocaust memorial when there is property for sale all over the country.

    The have a right to do it, but what about the propriety of it?

    Please let me know your thoughts (if you care to).

    Would it be “bigoted” in your mind for people to object and protest?

    SpartacusIsNotDead : “Those who oppose the mosque do not do so because of any specific conduct of the Imam or those individuals who will worship/work at the mosque.”

    This definitely isn’t true.

    People oppose this mosque because of Imam Feisel’s conduct, in particular is tone deaf and offensive insensitivity to the 9/11 families.

    Imam Feisel selected a site he knew full well would provoke bitterness and controversy and reopen old wounds, even though he could have exercised his right to build anywhere else in the country without controversy.

    SpartacusIsNotDead: “I’ve read most of your posts and all of your main contentions about the Imam are based on extraordinarily strained interpretations of his statements,”

    This is pure subjective opinion. Let’s hear your argument for why my interpretations are “strained,” as you put it.

    Once again, I have done nothing but report Imam Feisel’s own words.

    To the extent I have an offered an interpretation of Feisel’s words, it is a defensible one – that Imam Feisel equivocates on terror.

    Specifically, he denounces terrorism out of one side of his mouth but draws parallels between the US and AQ out of the other.

    Imam Feisel: “We tend to forget, in the West, that the United States has more Muslim blood on its hands than al Qaida has on its hands of innocent non Muslims.

    SpartacusIsNotDead: and you’ve failed to criticize non-Muslims for statements that are substantially similar to the Imam’s.”

    Substantially similar how? Specifically?

    If you are referring to statements posted earlier by Glenn Beck, John McCain, Bill Kristol and others talking in a general way about how US policy over a period of decades was partially responsible for creating conditions that spawned dissatisfaction with the US, those statements are not “substantially similar” to Feisel’s.

    Feisel out of his own mouth on more than one occasion has drawn narrow, direct, and specific parallels between the US and AQ, including calling US policies “an accessory” to 9/11.

    It’s absurd to suggest that McCain, Kristol’s, etc. very general observations about US foreign policy and geopolitical conditions over 5o years are “substantially similar” to specifically linking the US and AQ.

    Is that what you’re suggesting? That McCain, Kristol, etc. endorse rhetoric linking the US and AQ?

    Remember, an accessory is a participant in the crime. A participant. And Feisel is the one who said it, and refused to apologize for it or repudiate it.

    My interpretation of that is that he stands by it.

    SpartacusIsNotDead: “For these reasons, your claim that you oppose the mosque because of this particular Imam’s extremism seem like nothing more than a pretext for bigoted opposition.”

    It’s not bigotry as you mean it. I have been perfectly clear about my reasons. I never said reasonable can’t disagree.

    SpartacusIsNotDead: “But, even if you were right and the Imam does hold views that are not moderate, why is that a reason to oppose the placement of the mosque near Ground Zero? What is an acceptable location for a mosque that is headed by an Imam who holds non-moderate views? And, if the mosque were to be headed by an Imam that, in your view, was moderate, would you stop your opposition?”

    No, it would not stop it.

    I would oppose any Islamic mosque at that location, period, based on respect and sensitivity to the 9/11 families who object to the mosque.

    And so would most of the country, including many Muslims.

  • brandon

    Spartacus, I specifically used the Sons of Confederate Veterans because they claim they are simply about preserving Civil War and antebellum Southern history. There are those who claim they are a neo confederate or racist organization, but the SCV adamantly denies they are anti African American.

    I will take them at their word that they are not against civil rights, but I still think because of the sensitivity of the subject that it would be wrong of them to build anything near the civil rights museum.

  • drdredel


    I’m not quite sure you think atheists have no place in the conversation but as an “actual atheist” I obviously reject that.

    Sorry, what I meant was specifically in the conversation regarding the self perception as a “crappy” [ FILL IN RELIGION ]. An Atheist (like yourself) has no place in that conversation because you have no religion to worry about offending or rejecting.

    However, I would argue that you almost certainly are not an “atheist”.
    1) Even Richard Dawkins (who is the atheist god son here on earth) contends that on a scale of -7 to 7 with -7 being a fundamentalist atheist and 7 being a fundamentalist believer and 0 being a pure agnostic, he is a -6. He pretty sure there’s nothing out there, but he’s open to the possibility.

    2) Sam Harris argues (quite eloquently) that there is no need for the term atheist because everyone is an atheist. Christians are atheists when it comes to Islam. They reject it. They find it to be false. And vice versa. Some people reject all the dogmas. They are all atheists.

    3) some people refer to atheists as those who deny the super natural. But of course, no one believes in the super natural. Those who believe in god believe god to be natural. Those that don’t, believe that other forces affect reality.

    So, what it really boils down to is some people believe that there is a sentient consciousness that exists outside of our observable sphere of existence and some do not. Most honest people will acknowledge that, at best, they just don’t know. At that point they usually contend (as Annie, and I and you do) that we have our own personal mythologies that server to help us in our times of need in whatever way works for us. I have a close friend who is as close to an anti-religious zealot as they come, and yet he strongly believes in prayer as a mechanism for personal grounding and emotional balance.

    Annie’s personal mythology is cut from Christian cloth, but as she rightly points out, if she were to bring her Christianity for consideration to, say, the Pope, she’d be instructed that she is, in fact, risking her immortal soul with all the liberties she’s taking by denying all the bunk in the old testament (which Jesus was very careful to not criticize). The pope probably wouldn’t refer to it as bunk… but you get my meaning.

    Anyway… what were we talking about again?

  • drdredel

    Once again, I have done nothing but report Imam Feisel’s own words.

    To the extent I have an offered an interpretation of Feisel’s words, it is a defensible one – that Imam Feisel equivocates on terror.

    Anything is “defensible”. I can say that when Jesus said “love thy neighbor” what he MEANT was “force your way into your neighbors home, tie her to the stove and have sex with her”.

    You would probably find such an interpretation idiotic. You’d be right. But it’s defensible!

    The Imam’s quote you keep posting and posting and posting, as though if you re-post it 100 times suddenly a light will go off and we’ll say “holy crap! the guy loves terrorists!”, is trying to help you understand how terrorists are made. If you stop just quoting that one sentence and post the entire comment, it’s COMPLETELY self evident that he is saying that while terrorism IS a bad thing, it is born of the following circumstances…. Then he illustrates the circumstances.

    You are being willfully obtuse in your interpretation of his words in order to present him as a radical.

    I have no dog in this race, other than my desire to live in a nation that doesn’t stir up international hornets for no reason. You are doing exactly this. You’ve dug up this one quote and against a veritable MOUNTAIN of evidence against your position, you keep dragging it back and forth across the yard.

    So… yes… you have the right to interpret it any way you want to, but the more you ignore everyone here who shows you how your interpretation is wildly off the mark, the more you lose credibility.
    In any debate you need to make your point and move on. Saying something over and over again doesn’t make it any extra true.

  • Slide

    Imam Rauf has written three books. Imam Rauf has been associated with a Mosque in Tribecca for 27 years. Imam Rauf has a web site which discusses many many issues. Imam Rauf has gone on numerous missions for the State Department. Imam Rauf has been interviewed numerous times especially in the last decade.

    With all that, DSP keeps posting one sentence over and over and over again. And that sentence is certainly is not conclusive of anything. As a matter of fact the sentences immediately after the sentence that DSP posts over and over and over again, shows that Rauf disapproves of terrorism and that he was EXPLAINING why some Muslims are driven to extremism. Agree or disagree with his explanations of the causes of terrorism all you want but it is clear that he is not condoning it. Isn’t that the issue?

    One would think with all the above material available that if Rauf were truly an extremist that the right would have uncovered something, anythin,g that was dispositive. Nope. All we have is DSP and the loonies over at Atlas Shrugged’s interpretations of what they believe Rauf REALLY meant.

    You mean you couldn’t find ANYTHING in the three books he wrote specifically about Islam as it relates to the West that was extreme? Nothing? Squat? Zero? Zilch? Hmmmmm…… scratching my head. What do you suppose that means boys and girls?

    Has the right always been so irrational and unhinged?

  • SpartacusIsNotDead

    Brandon, I pointed out in a subsequent post that I don’t know enough about the SCV to say whether their goals and views are actually in conflict with those of the Civil Rights Museum.

    I still draw a distinction between the SCV and Muslims. Based on your comments, it sounds as if the SCV has espoused views or committed acts that would give most CRM supporters reason to oppose the SCV. However, I don’t think we can form any similar conclusions about 1.4 billion Muslims, much less this particular group. The anti-abortion group is a more direct analogy.

    I simply don’t know what statements or beliefs Muslims actually hold or are reasonably believed to hold that would be offensive to anyone in the context of 9/11. It’s actually astonishing that so many people believe a mosque near ground zero is offensive, but yet these people cannot articulate what beliefs or conduct by Muslims makes it offensive.

  • DeepSouthPopulist

    “In any debate you need to make your point and move on. Saying something over and over again doesn’t make it any extra true.”

    1) That hasn’t stopped you and Slide from repeating the same points ad infinitum.

    2) I was addressing a new participant in the discussion.

    3) Although I chose to focus on that quote in this thread, one quote is far from the only evidence that Feisel is not as moderate as you are making him out to be.

    In the next thread, I might focus on Feisel’s refusal to call Hamas a terrorist group, even though Hamas commits terror, essentially calls for replacing Israel in its charter, and is virulently anti-Semitic.

    From The Hamas Charter:

    The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said:
    “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.” (related by al-Bukhari and Muslim).

    Imam Feisel on Hamas:

    “Look, I’m not a politician. The issue of terrorism is a very complex question… I am a peace builder. I will not allow anybody to put me in a position where I am seen by any party in the world as an adversary or as an enemy.”

    Right. It’s a real complex question. Clearly, there is no connection between A) a charter that calls for Israel’s replacement and includes one of the most anti-semitic quotes in whole the Koran and B) an organization that kills Jews.

    Slide: “All we have is DSP and the loonies over at Atlas Shrugged’s interpretations of what they believe Rauf REALLY meant.”

    That must be why 70% of the public is against this mosque project, which has drawn opposition from across the ideological spectrum including from many Muslims (the true moderate and sensible Muslims, BTW).

    Yours is the minority viewpoint and a fringe position.

  • DeepSouthPopulist

    Leaving the office, and will be offline for several days. You guys get the last word.

    - DSP

  • Slide

    DeepSouthPopulist // Aug 25, 2010 at 5:58 pm That must be why 70% of the public is against this mosque project

    Polling seems to be moving on this topic. Now only 51% seem to object to the project.

    “As you may know, there is a proposal to build an Islamic cultural center and mosque in downtown New York City, a few blocks from the site of the World Trade Center. From what you’ve read and heard, do you agree more with those who object to the building of this center, or those who think the center should be allowed to be built?” Options rotated

    Those who object: 51%
    Those who think it should be allowed: 34%
    Unsure: 15%

    “Which comes closer to your view, even if neither is exactly right? Local communities should be able to prohibit the construction of mosques in their area if they don’t want them. OR, Muslims should have the same rights as other religious groups to build houses of worship in local communities.” Options rotated

    Should be able to prohibit: 25%
    Muslims should have same rights as other groups 62%
    Unsure: 13%

    And that was before a cabbie was stabbed in NY after he answered yes to the question, “Are you a Muslim?” By the way WillyP, you are a New Yorker, where were you at 2:45 PM? (joke, I kid WillyP)

    Wait till after the 9/11 rally of bigots and racists that will, I am sure, have their usual plethora of racists signs and insulting chants.

  • drdredel


    DSP constantly insists that his position is based in reason and not bigotry. I’m curious, if he was at one of these rallies, where people in large numbers, express THEIR position of pure bigotry (the signs they hold speak for themselves) which position would he take? Would he object to their usage of anti Semitic slogans; anti Islamic slogans, even though his and their ends are the same? Would he pause for a second and say “I wonder why all these bigots and racists feel the same way about this issue as me”?

    It’s a shame that he’s on vacation, I would rather he answered than we speculate about his reply.

    DSP, you’re probably not going to see this but you should know that the “everybody agrees” argument carries about as much weight as “Jesus said so”. People are frequently wrong and frequently wrong together, and in large numbers. So, even if my position was a “fringe” position I would not be any more inclined to reconsider it, absent anything I perceive as convincing evidence, of which you have failed to produce any. Most people in the world believe in a bearded dude that created the world in 7 days. They REALLY believe this! My position (that this story is absurd) is definitely a fringe position… it’s still the more sensible one though.

    And if you’re right and I’m in the 40%(ish) group, then that’s far from a “fringe” position. I won’t speculate about how minority it would need to be to qualify, but 40% definitely doesn’t cut it.

    On another topic:

    What exactly is the definition of a terrorist group? I realize that I’m going to get flamed for this question, but it’s a reasonable one. Were the American revolutionaries a terrorist group? How about the anti apartheid clan of which Nelson Mandela was a member? I’m pretty sure they were guilty of terrorist acts, but any definition, but does that make them a “terrorist group”? How about Menudo? They produced music that can only be described as “acts of terror” and yet Ricky Martin appears to enjoy some sort of success now that he’s apologized for his actions as a youth.

    What about when a really powerful nation that doesn’t need to kill innocent people in cafes through acts of martyrdom instead uses its massive military and financial muscle to kill thousands of people or perhaps utilize the weakness of a trading partner to allow its corporate entities to kill foreigners by the thousands. Are those technically terrorist actions?

    Just asking.

  • WillyP

    here’s the leftist Chris Hitchens

    “From the beginning, though, I pointed out that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf was no great bargain and that his Cordoba Initiative was full of euphemisms about Islamic jihad and Islamic theocracy. I mentioned his sinister belief that the United States was partially responsible for the assault on the World Trade Center and his refusal to take a position on the racist Hamas dictatorship in Gaza. The more one reads through his statements, the more alarming it gets.”

  • Anonymous

    [...] The Right’s Anti-Islam Extremists [...]

  • FrumForum’s John Guardiano: Supporting Gays Means Supporting Pedophilia : Greenville Dragnet

    [...] the pot anyway. An example would be his crusade to defend “moderate Islam” from “bigotry” on the right, by which he usually means decent people objecting to the oppression of women and genocides by [...]