A progressive non-profit group supporting the Islamic cultural center in downtown Manhattan released a video on Thursday chastising prominent Democrats for enabling the anti-Muslim sentiment that led to the stabbing of a cab driver this week.
The New York-based Agenda Project took aim at some unusual suspects in its latest push to coalesce public opinion around the building of the Cordoba House. In the latest in a series of videos, the group named former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, New York Gov. David Patterson, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid along with Newt Gingrich, John McCain, and Sarah Palin as culprits to blame for an environment of prejudice against Muslim Americans.
The video, released only on the web, is perhaps the hardest shot taken to date at the pool of Democratic politicians who have either backed away from or directly questioned the construction of the so-called "Ground Zero mosque." And by invoking the recent incident of violence against a Muslim cab driver -- however hazy the details are around that episode -- the group makes a powerful case that social tensions have been brought to a boiling point, in large part because of political leadership.
But in making its case, the Agenda Project also takes some rather large leaps. The group draws no distinction between those who are urging a compromise location but would ultimately be fine with the Cordoba House's construction near Ground Zero and those who would be outraged if the project proceeded as planned. Indeed, one of the main reasons Dean argued against building the cultural center blocks from Ground Zero is because he felt it would diffuse the heat of the debate.