August 18, 2010

Nancy Pelosi wants to investigate using the First Amendment

Our illustrious House Speaker on the Ground Zero mosque controversy:

There is no question there is a concerted effort to make this a political issue by some. And I join those who have called for looking into how is this opposition to the mosque being funded," she said. "How is this being ginned up that here we are talking about Treasure Island, something we've been working on for decades, something of great interest to our community as we go forward to an election about the future of our country and two of the first three questions are about a zoning issue in New York City.

So, our number one legislative official wants to investigate ... people making use of their First Amendment rights? Look, once and for all for our rather slow faux progressives:

  • The vast majority of those opposed to the Ground Zero mosque (remember, some 70% of the American population) recognize that those who want to build the mosque have the right to build it.
  • Those opposed to the mosque merely want those who plan to build it to move it to another location. (Democratic NY Governor David Paterson has offered to discuss this very idea.)
  • If Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is a "moderate," would progressives similarly (and readily) claim that, say, Pat Robertson is a "moderate" evangelist? Or, is the standard lower for Muslims?
  • Why cannot Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf follow the lead of Pope John Paul II, who a couple decades ago ordered Carmelite nuns out of Auschwitz, the infamous Nazi death camp, where they had moved into an abandoned building to "pray for the souls taken there."

As William McGurn notes,

Without doubt Pope John Paul II did not share the more malevolent interpretations attached to the presence of the Carmelites at Auschwitz. By asking the nuns to withdraw, he didn't concede them either. What he did was recognize that having the right to do something doesn't mean it's the right thing to do.

Precisely. Many proponents of the mosque argue that the imam behind the Ground Zero mosque is a "moderate" (debatable) and that the Islam he practices shares nothing with that of the al Qaeda radicals who brought down the World Trade Center towers. But similarly, the Jews at Auschwitz weren't butchered in the name of Catholicism, and many Catholics were also killed at the camp.

It's merely a question of common decency and sensitivity: Auschwitz stands as a symbol of the genocidal dreams of the Third Reich -- genocidal meaning the annihilation of all Jews. Ground Zero stands as a symbol of the murderous intent and aspirations of radical Islam.

"Progressives" are perpetually dictating to us peons the need to be "tolerant" and "sensitive" about virtually anything and everything. Why, then, is this mantra omitted now with regards to this mosque/community center?

UPDATE: Rep. Peter King (R., N.Y.) summarizes the situation:

If the [developers and mosque leaders] donít budge, there is little we can do legally. As a conservative, I think that it is dangerous to have the government condemn property, saying what can or canít be built. What we need to have is a public debate ó public opinion, rallying ó and hopefully bring enough pressure on the imam to change his mind.

UPDATE 2: Jonah Goldberg:

In any decent society, tolerance must work both ways. If the majority is expected to show respect for a minority, the minority must also show some tolerance for the values of the majority. Iím no strict majoritarian Ė one with right on his side is the majority as far as Iím concerned. But this isnít a clear-cut issue of right and wrong. Itís more complicated than that. Itís about deference and decency and common sense. And one of the things common sense should tell us is that it is not only unfair but terribly ill-advised to portray 7 out of 10 Americans as bigots when they are anything but.
Posted by Hube at August 18, 2010 10:03 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Regarding your question just before the first update: progressives don't have to be "tolerant" and "sensitive" to those they consider "intolerant" or "insensitive". It's kind of like "free speech for me, but not for thee".

Posted by: Darren at August 22, 2010 03:01 PM