Park 51 Islamic Center

After O’Reilly’s Rants About How ‘Muslims Killed Us On 9/11!’ Goldberg And Behar Storm Off Set

In my opinion, Bill O’Reilly is as dumb as a sack of bricks and as bigoted as they come.

Think Progress

This morning, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly appeared on The View and chatted with the hosts about a variety of the day’s issues. At one point, the discussion turned to the topic of Park 51, the Islamic community center that is being planned to be built two blocks from ground zero in New York City.

O’Reilly proclaimed his strong opposition to building the community center, and the hosts began to press him on his position. Goldberg asked him why he and other Park 51 opponents are so against building the institution. O’Reilly responded by saying it was “inappropriate.” Goldberg then asked the Fox News host why he thought it was inappropriate, and he responded, “Muslims killed us on 9/11!” Goldberg responded by saying, “Oh my God!” and then used expletives censored by the station. O’Reilly continued to repeat his phrase, and co-host Joy Behar proclaimed, “I don’t want to sit here,” and got up and left. She was soon joined by Goldberg, who walked off the stage as the crowd cheered.

O’REILLY: Muslims killed us on 9/11!

GOLDBERG: Oh my God! That is so (expletive)

O’REILLY: Muslims didn’t kill us on 9/11? (crosstalk)

GOLDBERG: What religion was Mr. McVeigh?

O’REILLY: Muslims killed us on 9/11!

BEHAR: I don’t want to sit here.

Watch it:

 

O’Reilly has previously said that Park 51 shouldn’t be built because there are already “more than 100 mosques in New York City.” One has to wonder how far away they have to be from Ground Zero for him to not wrongly place responsibility on them for the acts of a handful of extremists.

Survey: Republicans Prefer Strip Club Instead Of Mosque

As I’ve often said in the past, the reason we are here is to sort out the crazies in the political world.  That includes people who participate in polls as well…

Huffington Post

A new survey from the Democratic-affiliated firm Public Policy Polling finds that more Republicans support constructing a strip club than a mosque near Ground Zero.

Just four percent of Republican respondents said they support building a mosque two blocks from the site, whereas 21 percent said they would be fine with a strip club. Forty-nine percent of Democrats said they supported the mosque and 33 for the strip club. Among Independents, it was 34 percent for the mosque and 28 percent for the strip club.

“This shows the extent and impact of the recent rise in anti-Islam rhetoric in our society that people would rather have some kind of establishment perpetuating immoral behavior over a house of worship [run] by people who are trying to promote morality and ethics and righteous behavior,” said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesperson for Council on American-Islamic Relations.

During the debate over whether to build a planned Islamic cultural center near the memorial site, many media outlets noted that the “sacred” ground surrounding the area is home to all sorts of less-than sacred outlets.

“In a walk of the streets within three blocks of Ground Zero, the Daily News counted 17 pizza shops, 18 bank branches, 11 bars, 10 shoe stores and 17 separate salons where a girl can get her lady parts groomed,” reported the paper in August. It also pointed to a strip club called “Pussycat Lounge” just two blocks from where the World Trade Center once stood, as well as a place called “Thunder Lingerie.”

NYC Islamic Center Releases Futuristic Building Sketches

TPM Live Wire

The planned Park51 Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero has drawn the ire of many a conservative this election season. But several detailed drawings of the project released by the developer show a building that doesn’t look much like a mosque at all.

SOMA Architects, Park51’s architecture consultants, prepared the images, which were posted on Park51’s website.

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Welcome To The Neighborhood? A Look At The Area Around The 'Ground Zero Mosque']

See Pictures here…

Nicholas Kristof – “Message to Muslims: I’m Sorry”

Nicholas D. Kristof, Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times  recently wrote this:

Many Americans have suggested that more moderate Muslims should stand up to extremists, speak out for tolerance, and apologize for sins committed by their brethren.

That’s reasonable advice, and as a moderate myself, I’m going to take it. (Throat clearing.) I hereby apologize to Muslims for the wave of bigotry and simple nuttiness that has lately been directed at you. The venom on the airwaves, equating Muslims with terrorists, should embarrass us more than you. Muslims are one of the last minorities in the United States that it is still possible to demean openly, and I apologize for the slurs.

I’m inspired by another journalistic apology. The Portland Press Herald in Maine published an innocuous front-page article and photo a week ago about 3,000 local Muslims praying together to mark the end of Ramadan. Readers were upset, because publication coincided with the ninth anniversary of 9/11, and they deluged the paper with protests.

So the newspaper published a groveling front-page apology for being too respectful of Muslims. “We sincerely apologize,” wrote the editor and publisher, Richard Connor, and he added: “we erred by at least not offering balance to the story and its prominent position on the front page.” As a blog by James Poniewozik of Time paraphrased it: “Sorry for Portraying Muslims as Human.”

I called Mr. Connor, and he seems like a nice guy. Surely his front page isn’t reserved for stories about Bad Muslims, with articles about Good Muslims going inside. Must coverage of law-abiding Muslims be “balanced” by a discussion of Muslim terrorists?

Ah, balance — who can be against that? But should reporting of Pope Benedict’s trip to Britain be “balanced” by a discussion of Catholic terrorists in Ireland? And what about journalism itself?

I interrupt this discussion of peaceful journalism in Maine to provide some “balance.” Journalists can also be terrorists, murderers and rapists. For example, radio journalists in Rwanda promoted genocide.

I apologize to Muslims for another reason. This isn’t about them, but about us. I want to defend Muslims from intolerance, but I also want to defend America against extremists engineering a spasm of religious hatred.

Continue reading…

Mosque Bore

Joe Klein of Time Magazine really gets it… 

Over at the National Review, Clifford D. May takes the mainstream media, including Time, to task for rolling over for the “terrorists” on the Cordoba Center mosque in downtown Manhattan. He does cite our poll which had 46% of Americans thinking that Muslims were more likely than others religionists to act violently: 

Goodness, why would anyone think that? Could it have something to do with the fact that there have been close to 16,000 terrorist attacks carried out in the name of Islam since 9/11? Just last month, Time had on its cover the photograph of an 18-year-old Afghan girl whose nose and ears were sliced off by members of the Taliban because she had violated Islamic religious law as they interpret it by “running away from her husband’s house.” The word “Taliban” means “the students.” Students of what? Engineering? Dentistry? No. Of Islam. 

Now, to say that this is slipshod slander of more than 1.5 billion human beings (minus maybe 20,000 extremists) is almost beside the point. Although I do find it offensive that Mr. May has problems with Sufis–among the most peaceful religionists extant–the former Cat Stevens, the Green Movement protesters in Iran, the “liberated” people of Iraq, plus several close Muslim friends of mine who are–at least, it seems to me–far more civilized than any hater who would make this sort of statement. 

It can be safely said that Mohammed, unlike Jesus and Moses, was a prophet who took up the sword and this may have had some influence on some of his more extreme followers (Moses, a wise delegator, asked God to take up the sword against his enemies). It could also be said that western colonial assumptions about Islamic inferiority may have had something to do with creating the ghastly anger that attends the outer precincts of Islam now. And it could also be said that Christianity, in its crusading phase, spilled an awful lot blood and behaved, in general, in a manner that might have caused its pacifist Jewish founder to become a Buddhist or Zoroastrian, or a Sufi. 

But none of this matters. Nor does the occasional immoderate statements made by the Cordoba Center’s founder, who truly seems a person attempting to create an important interfaith dialogue…most of the time. 

Why doesn’t it matter? Because the Cordoba controversy isn’t about Islam. It is about America. It is about whether or not we take the freedom of religion clause in our Constitution seriously. And that is all the dispute is about. Period. I find it hilarious that conservatives who insist on the purity of the Second Amendment are such relativists when it comes to the First. I find it appalling that neoconservative Jews, whose presence and historic success in this country is a consequence of the First Amendment, would deny full rights to Muslims…and that, in their mania, seem to think that it’s all right to defame so many innocent people. (By refusing to acknowledge the specific and benign humanity of most Palestinians, for example–a too-common practice among American Likudniks–they relinquish the right to be assumed civilized themselves.) 

I am, admittedly, a bit radical on this subject: I think Ground Zero itself–not a building two blocks away–would be a terrific site for a mosque, as a demonstration of American freedom, one of the truly superior qualities our nation offers the world. But you don’t have to agree with me. You don’t even have to like Muslims. You may be concerned about the senstivities of  some of the families of some of the 9/11 victims; I certainly am; some of them are my neighbors. You just have to like the Constitution. I love it. 

Update: Greg Sargent took Krauthammer to task for similar assumptions about the nature of Islam recently in the Washington Post.

Read more: http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2010/08/26/mosque-bore/#ixzz0xkUqfUY1

‘GROUND ZERO MOSQUE’ IMAM HELPED FBI WITH COUNTERTERRORISM

Daily Kos

Newt Gringrich called him “islamic extremist”, he even went as far as to compare the guy to the Nazis.  Sarah Palin made many other dumb accusation against the man. While those 2 idiots are busy attacking muslim-americans, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf helped the FBI with Counterterrorism efforts.

Huffington Post

In March 2003, federal officials were being criticized for disrespecting the rights of Arab-Americans in their efforts to crack down on domestic security threats in the post-9/11 environment. Hoping to calm the growing tempers, FBI officials in New York hosted a forum on ways to deal with Muslim and Arab-Americans without exacerbating social tensions. The bureau wanted to provide agents with “a clear picture,” said Kevin Donovan, director of the FBI’s New York office.

Brought in to speak that morning — at the office building located just blocks from Ground Zero — was one of the city’s most respected Muslim voices: Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. The imam offered what was for him a familiar sermon to those in attendance. “Islamic extremism for the majority of Muslims is an oxymoron,” he said. “It is a fundamental contradiction in terms.”

It was, by contemporaneous news accounts, a successful lecture.

Flash forward six-and-a-half years, and Feisal Abdul Rauf occupies a far different place in the political consciousness. The imam behind a controversial proposal to build an Islamic cultural center near those same FBI offices has been called “a radical Muslim,” a “militant Islamist” and, simply, the “enemy” by conservative critics. His Cordoba House project, meanwhile, has been framed as a conduit for Hamas to funnel money to domestic terrorist operations.   Continue reading…

Ahhh, Sacred Ground

TPM has a slide show of  the “Park 51 Islamic Cultural Center” ( erroneously called “Ground Zero Mosque”) neighborhood.  It’s interesting to see what is located on the ‘sacred ground’.

Welcome to the New York Dolls strip club, about a block from the proposed site of the Cordoba House Islamic cultural center.

See that and other scenes from the neighborhood in today’s TPM slideshow.