Fox are bashing Muslims again.  I guess it wasn’t enough to demonize the religion on their television shows “Lie to Me” and “24” and so they are now the major force behind the movement to ban a mosque at Ground Zero.

Is this news or racist propaganda?

Is “PARK51” a better name than “The Ground Zero Mosque?”

The “ground zero mosque” organizers have renamed the center “PARK51” — which sounds like condos. Their new website also looks like condos! But it received the new name for the same reason that Daisey Khan, the director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the wife of the cleric involved in the project, sat down with the Wall Street Journal to talk about how they might add an interfaith chapel and a memorial to 9/11 victims and how the board of the project will include members of other religions: Because they’re bending over backward to “prove” to people opposed to the project that they are not, you know, terrorists. Despite their Muslimness.

Ramadan at the Pentagon?  Under the Bush regime?

As the Pentagon celebrated Ramadan, the White House is in preparations for an iftar feast tomorrow, said Lt. Cmdr. Saifulislam, who will be participating at the White House events.

President and Mrs. Bush host an iftar dinner every year because they want people around the world to know how much they respect Islam and the many Muslims living in the U.S. who are free to worship as they want, and are an integral part of our society,” said Gordon Johndroe, spokesman for the White House National Security Council.

With the Pew Hispanic Center estimating the U.S. Muslim population in 2007 at 2.35 million people and growing, it’s no surprise to see the Muslim population play an important role in all facets of government, said Defense Department officials.

Why is the ADL against the mosque?  Do they have narrow, religious, litmus test for what determines “anti-defamation?”

Fareed Zakaria writes an open letter to the ADL expressing his disappointment in their religious prejudice and giving back his award and honorarium:

Five years ago, the ADL honored me with its Hubert Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize. I was delighted and moved to have been chosen for it in good measure because of the high esteem in which I hold the ADL. I have always been impressed by the fact that your mission is broad – “to put an end forever to unjust and unfair discrimination against and ridicule of any sect or body of citizens” – and you have interpreted it broadly over the decades. You have fought discrimination against all religions, races, and creeds and have built a well-deserved reputation.

That is why I was stunned at your decision to publicly side with those urging the relocation of the planned Islamic center in lower Manhattan. You are choosing to use your immense prestige to take a side that is utterly opposed to the animating purpose of your organization. Your own statements subsequently, asserting that we must honor the feelings of victims even if irrational or bigoted, made matters worse.

…The purpose of this letter is more straightforward. I cannot in good conscience hold onto the award or the honorarium that came with it and am returning both. I hope that it might add to the many voices that have urged you to reconsider and reverse your position on this issue. This decision will haunt the ADL for years if not decades to come. Whether or not the center is built, what is at stake here is the integrity of the ADL and its fidelity to its mission. Admitting an error is a small price to pay to regain your reputation.

The New York Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union rightly support the idea of a Ground Zero Mosque:

We congratulate the Landmarks Preservation Commission for promoting our nation’s core values and not letting bias get in the way of the rule of law,” the groups said in a joint statement. “The free exercise of religion is one of America’s most fundamental freedoms. For hundreds of years,our pluralism and tolerance have sustained and strengthened our nation. On 9/11, religious extremists opposed to that very pluralism killed 3,000 Americans. Those fanatics would want nothing more than for our nation to turn its back on the very ideals that make this country so great.

My take on this unnecessarily messy situation is that if we are a nation of preserved freedoms — we must, then, sometimes do things that might make some of us wince or cringe or even react with pain — in order to serve the greater good for the rest of us.

A mosque at Ground Zero is a good thing because it charges us to live up to the mandate of our forefathers to preserve freedom of religion for everyone — not just the power majority or the wounded minority.

We must be bigger than our bitterness.

We must rise above our prejudices.

We must relinquish our fears by accepting the fact that we are not the lone sufferers in the world and we must continue respect each other — even in the wake of an everlasting tragedy that will always hurt, but that must be allowed to heal — and if we can rise up, as one, from the debris field and into the warmth of human compassion, then we have begun to make terrorism a fact of life and not a way of being.


  1. Great article, David and very good points. We cannot say freedom for all — except for you and you and you.

    Oddly enough, when I opened the Ramadan at the Pentagon link it tried to force itself to my printer.

    1. That’s it, Gordon. If we want our views to be accepted, then we need to find a way to accept the views of others. It doesn’t have to be an “either/or” deathwish.

      Now that’s funny about Ramadan wanting to print out! Perhaps there is some magic in the internet after all! SMILE!

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