Yesterday, the Landmarks Preservation Committee "voted against protecting the 152-year-old building standing in the way of" the so-called "Ground Zero mosque." And New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg commemorated the occasion by giving an "impassioned" speech on the matter, saying, "We would betray our values and play into our enemies' hands if we were to treat Muslims differently than anyone else."
How are the opponents of the community center taking it? Not well, as it turns out! In fact, it seems like many of them have reverted to that time in fifth grade when you walked around pretending that it was "Opposite Day."
Take New York Post anger-management candidate Andrea Peyser, for instance:
Yesterday, the Constitution was slimed and perverted by a group of Muslim-Americans determined to erect a 13-story mosque and Islamic center a stone's throw from the spot where nearly 3,000 innocents were slaughtered in the name of religion. It's nothing to cheer.
In fact, the decision upholds this nations' celebrated stance on religious freedom and the Constitutional amendment that allows for Americans to gather in religious communities to worship as they please. But do go on, Andrea:
For months, mosque opponents have watched mutely as cheerleaders do everything but stick ball gags in their mouths.
Now, I've been told of places in New York City where one can go, if one is so inclined, and pay good money to have people dressed as cheerleaders go to town on you with a ball-gag, but this is entirely beside the point. "Mosque opponents" have been anything but mute on this matter. Here's my favorite highlight:
At one point, a portion of the crowd menacingly surrounded two Egyptian men who were speaking Arabic and were thought to be Muslims.
"Go home," several shouted from the crowd.
"Get out," others shouted.
In fact, the two men -- Joseph Nassralla and Karam El Masry -- were not Muslims at all. They turned out to be Egyptian Coptic Christians who work for a California-based Christian satellite TV station called "The Way." Both said they had come to protest the mosque.
"I'm a Christian," Nassralla shouted to the crowd, his eyes bulging and beads of sweat rolling down his face.
But it was no use. The protesters had become so angry at what they thought were Muslims that New York City police officers had to rush in and pull Nassralla and El Masry to safety.
"I flew nine hours in an airplane to come here," a frustrated Nassralla said afterward.
The incident underscores how contentious -- and, perhaps, how irrational -- the debate over the mosque has become.
The only people who have been "mute" on the matter are cowardly Congressional Democrats. Don't ask Representative Anthony Weiner to get all worked up about this, by the way! As Alex Pareene points out, "Whenever his attention-grabbing MSNBC-friendly feisty liberalism conflicts with his need to coddle and flatter old reactionary conservative Jewish voters back home, he suddenly gets very quiet."
Here are the editors of the National Review, opining on the matter:
Nor is [Imam Faisal] Rauf exactly full-throated in his rejection of terrorism, offering only this: "The issue of terrorism is a very complex question." While he cannot quite bring himself to blame the terrorists for being terrorists, he finds it easy to blame the United States for being a victim of terrorism: "I wouldn't say that the United States deserved what happened, but the United States policies were an accessory to the crime that happened."
Not full-throated in his rejection of terrorism? As Adam Serwer demonstrates, this is unambiguously false:
Yeah, the interview in which Rauf says, "I wouldn't say that the United States deserved what happened, but the United States policies were an accessory to the crime that happened," is the same one in which he offers a "full-throated rejection of terrorism," saying, "Fanaticism and terrorism have no place in Islam. ... There are always people who will do peculiar things, and think that they are doing things in the name of their religion. But the Koran is ... God says in the Koran that they think that they are doing right, but they are doing wrong."
Let's just agree to call that a "refudiation," whatever the hell that means, exactly.
Elsewhere, Newt Gingrich seems to lean heavily on the architecture of the proposed community center.
This is a political act to establish a 13-story building, two blocks from the World Trade Center, for the purpose of saying, "We're winning, the Americans are losing."
Spend even ten minutes walking around New York City, and the menace of 13-story buildings tends to recede rather quickly.
Finally, we have Dorothy Rabinowitz, in today's Wall Street Journal, who says:
"The center may be built where planned. But it will not go easy or without consequence to the politicians intent on jamming the project down the public throat, in the name of principle. Liberal piety may have met its match in the raw memory of 9/11, and in citizens who have come to know pure demagoguery when they hear it."
Alex Balk wonders, "Is the Wall Street Journal's Dorothy Rabinowitz being ironic here, or just completely un-self-aware?" I can see where he's coming from. See, to me, "demagoguery" is what happens when someone bases their fearmongering on the idea that a thirteen story building might get erected in Manhattan! But you be the judge! Which is demagoguery?
This nation was founded on the principle that the government must never choose between religions or favor one over another. The World Trade Center site will forever hold a special place in our city, in our hearts. But we would be untrue to the best part of ourselves and who we are as New Yorkers and Americans if we said no to a mosque in lower Manhattan.
Let us not forget that Muslims were among those murdered on 9/11, and that our Muslim neighbors grieved with us as New Yorkers and as Americans. We would betray our values and play into our enemies' hands if we were to treat Muslims differently than anyone else. In fact, to cave to popular sentiment would be to hand a victory to the terrorists, and we should not stand for that.
... Political controversies come and go, but our values and our traditions endure, and there is no neighborhood in this city that is off-limits to God's love and mercy, as the religious leaders here with us can attest.
We have not been able to rebuild the World Trade Center in nine years. Now we are being told a 13 story, $100 million megamosque will be built within a year overlooking the site of the most devastating surprise attack in American history.
Finally where is the money coming from? The people behind the Cordoba House refuse to reveal all their funding sources.
America is experiencing an Islamist cultural-political offensive designed to undermine and destroy our civilization. Sadly, too many of our elites are the willing apologists for those who would destroy them if they could.
No self deception.
The time to take a stand is now - at this site on this issue.
Of "Ground Zero mosque" opponents, Jonathan Chait says, "This episode is a major statement about American pluralism, minority rights and America's ability to make the necessary divide between moderate and extremist Muslims. A lot of people are going to eventually feel ashamed about where they stood."
I'm not sure that's true! In order to be capable of feeling "shame," it's first necessary for a human being to achieve certain specific milestones in cognitive development. And as I survey the statements of these lunatics, there's just no evidence these achievements have been made.