Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Bloomberg for Freedom

Big credit to NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his stirring defense of the Muslim community center to be built near ground zero, and for leading a multi-faith address on the subject today. Clearly super-hacks Palin, Gingrich, Lieberman, etc are just working on fear and anger, typical demagoguery. From a simple Federalist viewpoint, supposedly the philosophy these desperate hacks follow, shouldn't the decision be up to the New Yorkers who are overwhelmingly in favor of it?

From Bloomberg's emotional speech:

“Whatever you may think of the proposed mosque and community center, lost in the heat of the debate has been a basic question: Should government attempt to deny private citizens the right to build a house of worship on private property based on their particular religion? That may happen in other countries, but we should never allow it to happen here.

“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.

"For that reason, I believe that this is an important test of the separation of church and state as we may see in our lifetimes, as important a test. And it is critically important that we get it right."

The Cordoba Initiative, the group building the mosque, is in fact an enemy of Bin Laden. That may not help an earlier argument I wanted to make about a mosque making it less likely that the site would be attacked again, but instead it speaks volumes about the reductive hatefulness of the GOP political attacks on the mosque.

As the Mayor says, NYC is the most free city in the free world. (Although I'd argue that Amsterdam could make a good case!) Death to tyrants, both overseas and in our midst.

Here's the whole event, which included three Jewish leaders as well:

May God have mercy on the souls of the hacks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Even more to the point, from al Qaeda arch enemy, Jeff Goldberg:

This seems like such an obvious point, but it is apparently not obvious to the many people who oppose the Cordoba Initiative's planned mosque in lower Manhattan, so let me state it as clearly as possible: The Cordoba Initiative, which is headed by an imam named Feisal Abdul Rauf, is an enemy of al Qaeda, no less than Rudolph Giuliani and the Anti-Defamation League are enemies of al Qaeda. Bin Laden would sooner dispatch a truck bomb to destroy the Cordoba Initiative's proposed community center than he would attack the ADL, for the simple reason that Osama's most dire enemies are Muslims. This is quantitatively true, of course -- al Qaeda and its ideological affiliates have murdered thousands of Muslims -- but it is ideologically true as well: al Qaeda's goal is the purification of Islam (that is to say, its extreme understanding of Islam) and apostates pose more of a threat to Bin Laden's understanding of Islam than do infidels.

(Feisal Abdul Rauf)... represents what Bin Laden fears most: a Muslim who believes that it is possible to remain true to the values of Islam and, at the same time, to be a loyal citizen of a Western, non-Muslim country. Bin Laden wants a clash of civilizations; the opponents of the mosque project are giving him what he wants.

Why are Republicans such disgusting halfwits?