The Minkoff Minx {Go Ahead…Make Your Move!}

"I get very passionate about what I think is right."-Hillary Rodham Clinton

The Mosque Of Doom

I am not a bigot, I understand that this is their legal right to build this thing, but damn it is too painful. Put it someplace else. I mean, look at this:

2×4 Chuck Schumer And The Mosque Of Doom — Hillary Is 44.

Weiner knows what 2×4 Schumer knows: the Mosque of Doom is an issue that is a lose/lose (we’re not the only ones whohave noted the silence on the Mosque of Doom). Most New Yorkers oppose the building of the Mosque of Doom. Most of the New York phony liberals are for the Mosque of Doom and will attack anyone who opposes the Mosque of Doom as some kind of religious bigot or “racist”. The New York Times editorial page will attack 2×4 Schumer if Schumer sides with average New Yorkers and opposes the Mosque of Doom. But New Yorkers oppose the Mosque of Doom.

Former Democratic New York City mayor Ed Koch tells THE WEEKLY STANDARD that he supports the legal right to build mosque near Ground Zero but believes the mosque is “insensitive” to 9/11 survivors and their families.

In a phone interview this afternoon, Koch said:  “From the very inception of this controversy, I have said that every religious institution is to be treated equally. And if a church or a synagogue could be situated on that plot of land, then a mosque can as well. I understand the anger of the survivors and the relatives of those who died, but there is a United States Constitution, which guarantees equality for all religions.” Koch cited the historical intolerance against Catholics and Jews in the United States.

“There is no room for discussion” on the legal question, Koch told me. “It’s insensitive for those who have suffered loss and object, but the people who want to build the mosque have that right and nobody should stand in the way legally–stand in the way seeking to stop them legally.”

When asked whether it was, then, okay for critics of the mosque to raise objections, not based on legal grounds, Koch emphatically said, “Of course! You have a right to say ‘it’s insensitive and I don’t like it.'” But those in favor of the controversial project “have an absolute right to say we’re going to build it.”

Koch was critical of the Anti-Defamation League’s statement on the Ground Zero mosque.  Citing his “great admiration” and “close friend[ship]” with Abe Foxman, the head of the ADL, Koch said, “Occasionally he can make a mistake. On this, he’s made a mistake.”

Koch told me that he had “read everything on the subject.” So I decided to ask him about the controversial lobbying group J Street’s statement in support of the Ground Zero mosque.  “Well, J Street makes mistakes everyday,” Koch said with a hearty laugh.

The mosque is sponsored by the Cordoba Initiative and the American Society of Muslim Advancement (ASMA), both of which were founded by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. As Stephen Schwartz has reported, Rauf has come under fire for his “refusal to acknowledge that Hamas is a terrorist organization,” his dubious associations with Islamist sympathizers, and shady dealings he’s undertaken to guarantee funding for this project.

On Imam Rauf’s shady history and dealings, Koch said: “I haven’t the slightest idea. But whether he’s a moderate or immoderate, if he violates the law, the DA should go after him, and upon conviction, put him in jail.”


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  1. Minkoff Minx says:

    At the Capitol on Thursday, three United States senators weighed in on the decision to build an Islamic cultural center mere blocks from the site of worst terrorist attack in U.S. history. When questioned about the proposal by THE WEEKLY STANDARD, Senators Johnny Isakson (R., Ga.), Olympia Snowe (R., Maine), and John McCain (R., Ariz.) all called the Ground Zero mosque “insensitive.”

    In an interview in his Washington office, Isakson explained his reasoning. “The attackers were members of al Qaeda, sponsored by Osama bin Laden, which is an element of radical Islam,” Isakson told me. “I have a serious concern that it serves any good purpose. And in fact it could be totally insensitive to the tragedy that took place there.”

    Isakson was sure to stress that his opinion was based on his personal preference, not a legal argument. The junior senator from Georgia acknowledges that he does not “have the authority” to prevent the mosque from being built; rather, as he told me, “I’m giving you my opinion.”

    But Isakson made his personal preference clear: “If I had a choice, I would prefer that it not be built.”

    Snowe’s concern with the proposed project lies with the families of those who were murdered by the terrorists in the 9/11 attacks at the World Trade Center. “I think there should be particular sensitivities to the families,” Snowe told me as she was getting on an elevator after the Senate voted to confirm Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court. “It is insensitive to the families.”

    For McCain, his opinion on whether the Ground Zero mosque should be built, in his own words, is “obvious.” But he insisted, just as Senator Isakson had said, that he was merely voicing his personal preference, not what is acceptable according to the law: “I understand that I am a senator from Arizona, and I’m a long way from New York City. But I am entitled to my opinion. And obviously my opinion is that I’m opposed to it. I think that it’s something that would harm relations, rather than help.”

    When asked about the shady dealings of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the founder of Cordoba Initiative and the American Society of Muslim Advancement (ASMA), the organizations behind the building of the Ground Zero mosque, Senator McCain was concerned: “If they move forward, that clearly needs to be investigated,” he told me.

    Senator McCain was hesitant, though, to give President Obama advice on this matter. “I don’t tell him what to say,” McCain told me. “He should say what he feels.”

    President Obama’s feelings on this matter are not entirely clear. When asked at a news conference what the president thinks about the proposed Ground Zero mosque, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said, “I think this is rightly a matter for New York City and the local community to decide.”

    Isakson, Snowe, and McCain, however, share the dominant opinion of New Yorkers. According to a Siena poll from yesterday, 61 percent of New Yorkers oppose the Ground Zero mosque. (56 percent of New York City residents oppose the mosque.)

    For Isakson, the memory of 9/11 remains fresh. “You know, Roosevelt said that December 7, 1941 would be the day that lived in infamy,” Isakson explained, citing the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese in World War II. “I think that there are two days now [that live in infamy] and the other is 9/11. That terrible tragedy—there’s no way you can erase that. The fact, regardless of what anybody else says, it was a radical attack on the United States of America.”

    Senators Scott Brown (R, Mass.), Carl Levin (D, Mich.), Chris Dodd (D, Conn.), and Susan Collins (R, Maine) all declined, when asked by THE WEEKLY STANDARD, to answer questions about the Ground Zero mosque.

  2. Minkoff Minx says:

    Christopher Caldwell writes on the Ground Zero mosque in the Financial Times:

    Not even the tongue-tied former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who called on “peaceful Muslims” to “refudiate” [sic] the project – disputes the right of Muslims to build houses of worship where they wish. Few mosque opponents argue seriously that this one can be blocked. The argument of Ms Palin and others is instead that it is insensitive to build a mega-mosque next to the spot where 2,700 people were killed in Islam’s name. This distinction – between what is constitutional and what is appropriate – is an important one.

    It is lost on Mr Bloomberg. In May, he said: “If somebody was going to try, on that piece of property, to build a church or a synagogue, nobody would be yelling and screaming.” That is right. But history matters, too. The attacks of 2001 were not a political-science abstraction. They were an expression of Islam. Not all of Islam, certainly – and Islam is neither the only religion that has such crimes to answer for nor the only one that has provoked such controversies. The building of a Carmelite convent at Auschwitz in the 1980s so wounded Jewish sensibilities that Pope John Paul II ordered it removed in 1993, even though the Holocaust was not carried out in the name of any faith..

    It was perhaps with that episode in mind that the Anti-Defamation League, which fights anti-Semitism and other forms of religious bigotry, produced an admirably balanced response to the controversy, one that respected both the constitutional and historical aspects of it. While defending Muslim religious freedom unreservedly, the ADL warned that building the mosque at Ground Zero “will cause some victims more pain – unnecessarily – and that is not right”. In other words, if the consortium wants to build it, it can build it. But it would be a very bad idea. They should build it somewhere else in Manhattan.

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