Two groups are kept apart by police and barricades
Mosque debate sparks dueling NYC protests (NBC Nightly News, Aug. 22, 2010) –The debate over the proposed building of a Muslim cultural center near the site of the 9/11 attacks resonates through the streets of Lower Manhattan as opposing rallies are staged just blocks apart. NBC’s Michelle Franzen reports. (03:21)
By Verena Dobnik
Aug. 22, 2010
NEW YORK — The proposed mosque near ground zero drew hundreds of fever-pitch demonstrators Sunday, with opponents carrying signs associating Islam with blood, supporters shouting, “Say no to racist fear!” and American flags waving on both sides.
The two leaders of the construction project, meanwhile, defended their plans, though one suggested that organizers might eventually be willing to discuss an alternative site. The other, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, said during a Middle East trip that the attention generated by the project is actually positive and that he hopes it will bring greater understanding. …
Opponents of the $100 million project two blocks from the World Trade Center site appeared to outnumber supporters. Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” blared over loudspeakers as mosque opponents chanted, “No mosque, no way!”
Signs hoisted by dozens of protesters standing behind police barricades read “SHARIA” — using dripping, blood-red letters to describe Islam’s Shariah law, which governs the behavior of Muslims. …
Opponents demand that the mosque be moved farther from the site where nearly 3,000 people were killed on Sept. 11, 2001. …
Sidebar: Sharia Law in Minnesota?
By Ron Paul
Aug. 20, 2010
Congressman Ron Paul today released the following statement on the controversy concerning the construction of an Islamic Center and Mosque in New York City:
Is the controversy over building a mosque near ground zero a grand distraction or a grand opportunity? Or is it, once again, grandiose demagoguery?
It has been said, “Nero fiddled while Rome burned.” Are we not overly preoccupied with this controversy, now being used in various ways by grandstanding politicians? It looks to me like the politicians are “fiddling while the economy burns.”
The debate should have provided the conservative defenders of property rights with a perfect example of how the right to own property also protects the 1st Amendment rights of assembly and religion by supporting the building of the mosque.
Instead, we hear lip service given to the property rights position while demanding that the need to be “sensitive” requires an all-out assault on the building of a mosque, several blocks from “ground zero.”
Just think of what might (not) have happened if the whole issue had been ignored and the national debate stuck with war, peace, and prosperity. There certainly would have been a lot less emotionalism on both sides. The fact that so much attention has been given the mosque debate, raises the question of just why and driven by whom?
In my opinion it has come from the neo-conservatives 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 the ill conceived preventative wars. A select quote from soldiers from in Afghanistan and Iraq expressing concern over the mosque is pure propaganda and an affront to their bravery and sacrifice.
The claim is that we are in the Middle East to protect our liberties is misleading. To continue this charade, millions of Muslims are indicted and we are obligated to rescue them from their religious and political leaders. And, we’re supposed to believe that abusing our liberties here at home and pursuing unconstitutional wars overseas will solve our problems.
The nineteen suicide bombers didn’t come from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan or Iran. Fifteen came from our ally Saudi Arabia, a country that harbors strong American resentment, yet we invade and occupy Iraq where no al Qaeda existed prior to 9/11.
Many fellow conservatives say they understand the property rights and 1st Amendment issues and don’t want a legal ban on building the mosque. They just want everybody to be “sensitive” and force, through public pressure, cancellation of the mosque construction.
This sentiment seems to confirm that Islam itself is to be made the issue, and radical religious Islamic views were the only reasons for 9/11. If it became known that 9/11 resulted in part from a desire to retaliate against what many Muslims saw as American aggression and occupation, the need to demonize Islam would be difficult if not impossible.
There is no doubt that a small portion of radical, angry Islamists do want to kill us but the question remains, what exactly motivates this hatred?
If Islam is further discredited by making the building of the mosque the issue, then the false justification for our wars in the Middle East will continue to be acceptable.
The justification to ban the mosque is no more rational than banning a soccer field in the same place because all the suicide bombers loved to play soccer.
Conservatives are once again, unfortunately, failing to defend private property rights, a policy we claim to cherish. In addition conservatives missed a chance to challenge the hypocrisy of the left which now claims they defend property rights of Muslims, yet rarely if ever, the property rights of American private businesses.
Defending the controversial use of property should be no more difficult than defending the 1st Amendment principle of defending controversial speech. But many conservatives and liberals do not want to diminish the hatred for Islam — the driving emotion that keeps us in the wars in the Middle East and Central Asia.
It is repeatedly said that 64% of the people, after listening to the political demagogues, don’t want the mosque to be built. What would we do if 75% of the people insist that no more Catholic churches be built in New York City? The point being is that majorities can become oppressors of minority rights as well as individual dictators. Statistics of support is irrelevant when it comes to the purpose of government in a free society — protecting liberty.
The outcry over the building of the mosque, near ground zero, implies that Islam alone was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. According to those who are condemning the building of the mosque, the nineteen suicide terrorists on 9/11 spoke for all Muslims. This is like blaming all Christians for the wars of aggression and occupation because some Christians supported the neo-conservatives’ aggressive wars.
The House Speaker is now treading on a slippery slope by demanding a Congressional investigation to find out just who is funding the mosque — a bold rejection of property rights, 1st Amendment rights, and the Rule of Law — in order to look tough against Islam.
This is all about hate and Islamaphobia.
We now have an epidemic of “sunshine patriots” on both the right and the left who are all for freedom, as long as there’s no controversy and nobody is offended.
Political demagoguery rules when truth and liberty are ignored.
Related report on this site
Queer Bachmann-Paul Pairing (Sept. 28, 2009)
By Azriel Relph and Michael Isikoff
July 25, 2011
The bomb attack and shooting spree that killed 76 people in Norway on Friday [July 22, 2011] is refocusing attention on the threat from right-wing terrorist attacks in the U.S. inspired by anti-Islamic rhetoric.
In the aftermath of the mass murder, investigators are looking at a 1,500-page manifesto in which Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian man who admitted to carrying out the attacks, vowed “brutal and breathtaking operations” in order to stop “the ongoing Islamic Colonization of Europe.” Analysts say the manifesto was inspired by heated rhetoric from groups in the United States – some of which are quoted directly.
Robert Spencer, the co-founder of Stop the Islamization of America, is cited more than 50 times by Breivik. He helped organize protests against the proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero in New York City and has written that “traditional Islam contains violent and supremacist elements.” …
FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — August 22, 2009
One year ago today, I noted that the Cook Political Report envisioned a scenario in which Democratic House losses could exceed 20 seats in 2010.
FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — August 22, 2008
Patrick (2) running to meet his mom after riding in his stroller down Division Street from downtown St. Cloud to Waite Park.
Two years ago today, on the 39th day of my 2008 campaign against U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, I started my second walking tour — a 50-mile campaign swing on foot down Minnesota Highway 23 from Foley in the east through St. Cloud, Waite Park, Rockville, Cold Spring, and Richmond to Paynesville on the western boundary of the Sixth Congressional District.
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