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Continuing the Mosque debate

This We Will Defend: One Mosque, One Battle In the War of Ideas

Katherine Maximus Optimae, who hangs around here now and again, has authored a passionate defense of the Ground Zero Mosque, and sent it out to a lot of bloggers. Click the link and you can read it.

This was my response:

It is not unjust, bigoted, or anti-constitutional to suggest that building the mosque in that location is a bad idea, given the sensitivities.

It is not an example of enlightened belief in tolerance to either stand mute or to be openly supportive of building the mosque at that site.

It is the essence of our Republic that the issue be debateable. And vigorously so.

It is meet that the opponents use the rhetorical and legal tools available to them to try to persuade the relocation of or to prevent the building of the mosque.

It is meet that the proponents use the rhetorical and legal tools available to them to try to persuade people of their cause or defend their right to build the mosque.

Put me in the "they have the right to build it, if they can secure the necessary permissions, but they shouldn't build it there" camp. And they shouldn't get to build it just because they are Muslims.

Would that the Greek Orthodox Church, which pre-dated the fall of the towers and was destroyed in the fall of the towers, could get such support from the glitterati and their fellow travelers of the oh-so-nuanced set with such fine-tuned sensibilities..

Clearly, mileage varies.

But to repeat myself: It is the essence of our Republic that the issue be debateable. And vigorously so. Without threat of retaliation such as Speaker Pelosi has put forth.  And with some heat, but without vitriol nor dismissive handwaves.  From either side.


Our enemies (their decision, not ours) must not be allowed to build a monument commemorating their successful attack on our nation, under the guise of a mosque, civic center or any other subterfuge.

It must be stopped!  By rational discussion, emotional appeals, or force if necessary.

Otherwise, the jihadists have won another battle while we pretend that they do not exist.

Religious freedom is fine, and tolerance is wonderful, but this is not just a war of religious beliefs, but one of concrete actions and restrictions on freedom.   

If Kathy Max does not see this, she needs to put on her burqua, hide in her home unless accompanied out by a male relative, and risk stoning for any infraction of sharia law.. 

This "mosque" is another attack on our very basic freedoms in this great country, not the ability to worship as one sees fit.
this would be my response, too...
When the Greek Orthodox church did not get a building permit, none of the usual suspects even squeek... the bastards...
I received very similar replies from John and BC Robot.  Now, seeing your replies, I am very glad that I have stepped out of the box and kept my independence on some subjects.  Since this is a three and four people plus who ever is reading and not replying, let me put my original long response to BC in here:

Whether mosques exist anywhere else in the city has no bearing on my point. As for the Greek Orthodox church, I would require more information on why their permits were denied before standing up and yelling about the persecution of a religion, but I would if that was the case. I don't know what is in the hearts of these men who plan to build the mosque or their reasons. In the end, their reasons don't really matter. What we do about it does.

My point is simply this, whatever the cause, whatever the reason, it is becoming a weapon that can be used against us in both the ideological war as well as the physical we find ourselves in. You know the enemy likes to pick apart our failings and parse it together to form their own narrative. The narrative they use to recruit and radicalize more cannon fodder for their cause. That is both here and abroad. Those are very real weapons that draw the blood of our people.

People may have their sensibilities "offended" by the presence of that mosque, but others are going to be physically, brutally and bodily offended by the bomb that goes off under one of our humvees or, God forbid, goes off in Times Square because some wannabe jihadist was radicalized by this issue.

The reason I point out the right to freedom of religion and the constitution isn't the "legality" of it, but the principle. A principle, as I note, that offends our enemies mightily. Anything that offends them pleases me mightily. But, most importantly, I want to use this principle to pluck that weapon from their hands and stab them with it.

That's why I think we should own it and defend it. Throw away the offended sensibilities and discussions of morality. At the heart of it, it is about winning the war. We would let the air right out the propaganda they are even now spreading. If we "owned" the mosque, you can bet the Islamist propaganda machine would be backing off like their a**es were on fire and start claiming that those aren't "real" muslims, etc, etc, etc. They would have no weapon, no propaganda to recruit with.

That is the only cause that I am supporting. To me, it seems logical, that standing firm on our principles is exactly the way to disarm them. I have to ask, with all due respect, what is our sensibilities worth? Are they worth another smoking crater? Some guy going on a rampage on one of our military bases, killing and shooting like he was on a turkey hunt? Are someone's sensibilities even worth one dead marine in a flag covered box with his parents and wife weeping inconsolably on the side?

I don't believe anyone's sensibilities are worth that. I do believe that our principles are worth it. Especially when those principles are like nuclear bombs we can lob at the enemy. Offended sensibilities may start a war, but they don't win it. Cold, hard calculation does. Stripping the enemy of his fuel, his weapons and his desire to fight does. Taking away his cause du jour will do all three. That mosque is his cause and we aren't going to win the battle by forcing them to move, whatever our reasons.

And, I meant it literally when I said we should write that principle in stone. Freedom of religion, this we will defend. I want to lay it as the cornerstone for that mosque and then shove it down the enemy's throat until he chokes on it. It is one of the reasons that the enemy killed those 3,000 people in those buildings. If we hold firm, it will be one of the reasons that he dies.

That is the fire that fuels me.


Oh Kat. Yes we have Freedom of Religion...its the law. But there are some restrictions. You can only have one wife. You can't sacrifice farm animals as one group was doing in NYC. You need permits to build any structure in NYC. And school curriculum's must adhere to State standards. The burning virgin thing went out many years ago. But this is not a question of rights; they have the right to build a structure on the property. This is a question of propriety.

If you studied the area, you would know that it is a business district with few permanent residents. What is a 15 story civic center doing in an industrial park? There seems to be other reasons why this civic center was chosen to be placed in this area. If the reason is non-religious, then it is not a freedom of religion problem...IT"S POLITICS. Is there freedom of politics in the Constitution? It would be nice if we had freedom from politics in the Constitution.

The Governing body of the City or State should pass an easement restricting all houses of worship to at least 2000 yards from Ground Zero. That would really be separation of Church and State. There is definitely enough law to have this done. It is fair and not against any religion.
During the past week, Massa John rattled my happy cage not ONCE but TWICE to see if I would come out and "play" in this Mosque kerfuffle.  I patiently kept my trap shut. 

I even put out a ONE LINER, as if it would carry my thoughts and emotions in this matter.  But alas, my steel trap turns all jellowy when it comes to Katherine Optima Maximae.

I fully agree with you K-MO in your characterization of the First Amendment of our Constitution.  This being the first of all amendments, IS the most important. 

As you stated:
The first right to freedom of religion was not only written to protect religious minorities from persecution...
The right of all citizens to peacefully worship and pursue their religion must be inviolate.  But what if a religious minority carries-out violence, with the end of subjugating the majority to their will?  What happens when this religious minority openly takes the life, liberty and property of the majority? 

One beautiful Tuesday morning, nine Septembers ago, a religious minority took the lives of over 3,000 from those in the majority of our society.  They, during the course of their violence, destroyed property belonging to the majority, in a swath encompassing three States of our union.  Finally, they carried-out this mayhem, with the expressed purpose of taking away the liberties (civil, religious, and political) of the majority.

The full religious rights by the minority of worshiping wherever they please is forfeited, the moment they took the course of waging violence upon the majority.  Or is our Constitution a suicide pact?

when K-MO stated:
We are in a period of deep confusion, general malaise and loss of direction

... I couldn't agree more.  Those providing umbrage and succor to this violent religious minority take advantage of our constitutional principles to sow confusion and paralysis amongst us in the majority.  Turning the shields of freedom - shields based in the goodwill and peaceful coexistence into the swords of our own destruction.   Feh.
... Of course, I could take a more visceral approach and less cerebral, and call for the establishment of a White Supremasist Party Headquarters right next to the Lorraine Motel in Memphis.

After all, our constitution enshrines freedom of association and assembly on to every citizen.
"To me, it seems logical, that standing firm on our principles is exactly the way to disarm them. I have to ask, with all due respect, what is our sensibilities worth? Are they worth another smoking crater?"
The problem I see is that this buys into the "It's all our fault" thinking that is part of the problem.

I reject the idea that OBL was "made in the USA" or that we were complicit in the attacks on the WTC and Pentagon.  A long time ago my dad told me there were going to be people who would dislike me for no discernible reason, they just would. Muslims fall into that category. They are our enemies by their choice, not ours.

I don't care if someone is a Muslim and I certainly don't fear them. The fact is I hardly think of them at all, at least until something like this intrudes upon my conscience.

The idea behind this mosque, community center or whatever it is claiming to be today, is to rub the noses of the American people in the dirt. That is the only reason it is being built. It has nothing to do with giving Muslims a place to worship, there are plenty of mosques in New York already that can handle the Muslim population's need for houses of worship. It isn't about the separation of church and state.

The main problem I have with it is the lack of willingness to question why the people behind it are pushing so hard for that location. I know for a fact that Christian churches have been denied building permits in New York City. Where is the outcry of separation of church and state in those cases? It isn't about the separation of church and state (a  phrase that isn't in the Constitution by the way) it is about the proponents forcing their will on the majority.

I mentioned in comments on John's previous out of the box thought experiments that a company tried to build stand-alone pay toilets in New York City. It took years and years of plowing through multiple bureaucracies and in the end they could not get approval. This mosque idea is being pushed through in unseemly haste, all the red tape is being approved without public input. If this were on the up and up would all this paperwork legerdemain be neccessary?

It is one thing to recognize the rights of minorities, it is quite another to be tyrannized by them.

And that is where I stand.


We'll have to agree to disagree on this one, Kat.  The essence of the issue is the fact we can debate the issue.  I realized after I posted my response that you could take my second sentence as a personal attack, when the people I really had in mind were the Glenn Greenwalds and Peter Beinarts, or the FireDogLake crowd.

I read your missive as "To heck with everybody's feelings, we can score a coup!  Build it!  Build it! Build it!."

Problem is - I don't believe you'll score a coup, and you will throw over our sense of due process in order to gain... nothing.  I don't think the "muslim world" will see it as a sign of our tolerance.  They may well see it as us doing exactly as we should - but not because we're living up to our standards (which I frankly believe we are, anyway) but because, we should let them do this simply because of who they are. 

I kinda wish we could drag Bill into this, and his sense of things, since he's been dealing with a heckuva lot more muslims than any of us have lately.

Who at this mosque is choosing to do violence in the name of Islam or anything else?  Point them out and let us remove them with all haste and prosecute them under whatever process is most viable. 

We are simply back to the same old argument that Islam as a whole and all of its practitioners are at war with us and vis-a-versa.  Something we have have denied and insisted does not exist for a very specific reason.  Namely, because we prefer to be at war with a small wedge of that population as opposed to 1 billion people.  That is a losing war.

Does anyone even know exactly what sect of Islam or what school of jurisprudence they are practicing?  Is it wahabism?  Have we even heard a sermon from the imam or any statements from any potential worshippers that would lead anyone to believe they are supporting or advocating those beliefs or actions to that effect?

As far as the constitution stating that we may "peacefully" practice our religion, it actually states to peacefully assemble.  As we know, that is largely to support the concept of protesting the government, but certainly also supports the idea of being able to practice freedom of religion. 

I'll state again, this is a weapon.  A tool of propaganda that we are seemingly adamant to hand the enemy.  He doesn't have to do a thing except sit back and watch us do it.  He is getting what he wants from that long ago attack that he stated on tape was meant to invoke these very tremors and tears in our society and beliefs. 

He said very succinctly that it would be our freedoms that we rended and would destroy us in the end.  That our love of that would be our weakness and our destruction. 

What are we saying?  That he is right?  That we cannot enjoy our freedom because we are at heart tyrants and oppressors who would throw those principles out the moment they become inconvenient?

Are we saying that we don't care how many he recruits, how many may be killed by that or how long the war goes on so long as our "sensibilities" are not offended?

God help us all.
Oh - It's O.K.  the purported White Supremasists wanting to lodge themselves next to the Lorraine Motel won't call for violence either.  It was after all, "others"  in their movement that did the shooting.
I didn't take it as a personal attack.  I am very fired up, however, about taking every possible weapon out of the enemy's arsenal.

Neither do I agree to the representation that our tolerance will win a coup, or win any particular support in the greater Muslim population here or abroad.  It may not win us any converts, but letting go of this issue can keep them from gaining any. 

In the guerilla war of ideas, a neutral population is better than an antagonistic population.  We can still win the neutral population or at least limit the sea in which these particular nasty fish swim in, to paraphrase Mao.   

By the way, Bill waded in in his own egnigmatic way.  Probably making it clearer than I ever could:

It's Ramadan. The newest class of kaydets is graduating, and we planned our traditional feedbag and awards presentation ceremony for the DFAC. No problem getting the VIP Room, but we had to be in at 1700 and out by 1830 -- well before sunset, so the Muslim kaydets (we have one Kurdish Yezidi in the class) wouldn't be able to eat.

Schoolhouse commander went to a local imam, and his verdict was, "The students have honored their teachers for all this time, and now the teachers are honoring their students. It would be a worse offense to refuse this hospitality than it would be to break Ramadan."

We all had supper together tonight and were out before sunset.

Our last combat troops left Iraq yesterday.  Does anyone remember how we got there?  We didn't do it by making all Iraqis, who are mostly muslim, our enemies. 

We can't just practice the concept of COIN in one country and pretend nothing we do here matters.

I sadly fear for the life of that local imam.

I think that they have a right to build there (assuming they've gotten all of the permits, ...) and I also think that they would very wise not to exercise that right.

Back during my all-expense-paid tour of sunny Southeast Asia, the bad guys had a trick they used to use when the good guys showed up in their junglehood. They would send out a couple of their guys to serve as lures to try to draw us into their kill zone.

The problem isn’t the mosque or its location. The problem is the Islam. Muslims have been doing things like this for 13 centuries. They are well practiced at it. While trying to resist the mosque is, in a sense, admirable, it takes the focus off Islam and Mohammed and his 9-year-old trophy wife Aisha. The muslims are getting their jollies watching the idiot infidels banging their heads against their Islamic wall. They have put the infidel, once again, into a no-win situation. If the mosque is stopped, Americans have suspended their American values. If the mosque goes forward, the muslims have put their supremacist Islamic thumb in America’s eye. If the muslims walk away from the deal they are magnanimous benefactors to their fellow citizens.

My youth in the Bronx tells me to get in touch with the owner of the property across the street and propose putting one of those computer message boards on the outside of his building. The message board could be entitled “Islamic Thought of the Day” or some such. I would recommend for the opening day, “Mohammed married Aisha when she was six and consummated the marriage when she was nine.” Oh, yeah, and perhaps an artful “Have a Nice Day” across the bottom of the board would be appropriate.

It’s the Islam, stupid!!! It always has been and always will be. What they want most to protect is what we must attack. There is a reason why muslims are so easily aggravated by criticism of their “religion” or proselytization of its adherents by other religions. It’s their greatest vulnerabil
War of Ideas: Muslims Pray Every Day at a Chapel near the site of Attack

What's the difference?  They didn't build anything new?  Maybe we should rethink allowing them to practice their faith there because it is offensive or does not take into account the sensitivity of the site?

Maybe the difference is that they have won special dispensation because they are wearing our uniform or working directly for the military "good" Muslims. 

Yeah, I'm beating it to death because it is very, very important. 

I am trying to decide whether 11B's position is to "kill them all and let God sort them out" or that we have some here to yet unknown weapon that will convert a million muslims to our way of thinking and bring the war to an end.  Something we obviously haven't thought of in the last ten years or surely we would have deployed it by now.

As for "luring" anyone in to the kill zone, from where I'm standing, they've already got the religious intolerance position zeroed in and their lobbing bullets and grenades at will into your position.  At this point, it appears the your best solution for getting out of the fight alive is to flip them the bird. 

I prefer to gain the high ground and be firing down into their position, thanks anyway.

There is a time and place for everything, but never there. It is *SACRED GROUND, MADE THAT WAY WITH THE BLOOD OF 3,000 LIVES!* EMPHATICALLY, WE CAN NOT PRETEND THAT NOTHING HAPPENED HERE ON 9/11/2001! Yes, it matters.

This Imam traveling around the Country on the Taxpayers' dime, is also equally wrong!
 This not *just* about the Mosque, I believe the same for any New Church or New Synagogue, there was an old pre-existing Church. To me, that old Church is just grandfathered.
Actually, the current 1st Amendment was placed 3rd in the list of 12 proposed (and the 2nd, 4th); the original 1st & 2nd failed of adoption (the latter finally becoming the 27th and the former somehow eliminated from running these days.) So all of this "first right" stuff is just blather.

This is not a battle I welcome (truth be told, I'm a lover, not a fighter; to me, having to fight means you've already failed.)  But there are those who really want to fight, and when they bring war to my home, war they will get. I'm put in mind of that quote from Quigley Down Under -- "I said I never had much use for one. Never said I didn't know how to use it."

Blaming all of Islam for the actions of a few idiots -- even a large well-armed mob of 'splody-dopes -- is wrong. Looking at the preachings of those leading the other side, the name they've chosen, their actions in the past, this construction, now, under these circumstances, is not to be allowed as a matter of survival. We have to show the idiots over there preaching this hatred that there are bounds and they've crossed them.

The mosques currently in NYC should stay, if I have anything to say about it. It's not about Islam the religion.

It's about Islam the Conquerer and destroyer of other churches. In many ways, the WTC was the "temple of the USA", and building in its former shadow, nope, no way. After a hundred years of peaceful coexistance and tolerance on both sides -- perhaps with the building of a Wisconsin Synod church in Mecca? -- we can talk. The symbolism to those who destroyed the WTC is too great for this, now.
Kat: FINALLY i have at hand someone who takes the opposite position from mine, that i can fully agree to disagree with, for all the RIGHT reasons.  THANK YOU.

i don't object to it on religious grounds, they're already there, and the site is already in use as a place of worship.

i don't object to it on the "hallowed grounds" portion of it, i merely find that site to be a tremendously inappropriate location for them to have selected, and i strongly suspect that the site selection committee of that particular congregation may have chosen it specifically because they knew it would raise a stink.

i even agree with you that the liberty to practice their religion implies a certain liberty in choosing the site at which they shall worship (if can extrapolate that opinion for you from what you have posted).

MY OBJECTION:  NYC has one of the most Byzantine systems of overlapping / contradicting / infuriating approval processes for getting ANYTHING built.  somehow, someway, this one particular building permit request was mounted on a rocket sled and blew past with nary a blink a multi-faceted approval to build, in what can only be classed as "a new world record". 

HOW?  WHY?  and WHO?   for each of THOSE bureaucrats who railroaded this particular permit request through the system, i would be curious to see precisely what action they have taken or failed to take in respect to the rebuilding of Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church.  because if a new community center is to be built by a religious group that is fairly new to that particular area, one wonders why a more established religious community (since 1916) wouldn't receive precisely the same red carpet treatment of thier application to re-build something that was destroyed by the falling Towers.
One of the unresolved questions, an elephant (just one!) in the room is whether 9/11 was truly an attack by Islam itself or by specific parts of Islam or people eg Taliban, Wahhabists etc. The military and government have made their decision quicker here than the people of America, who sway on the issue from multiple opinion and thought sources.

It leads to what I hinted at before on how much of this is a religious war. The very very high cost of such a war and whether it can be avoided. Make no mistake this Mosque issue is centering on Islam as a *whole* as is as dangerous as playing with black powder. I think Kat's sees this problem of attacking Islam as a whole clear as day.

I am not at all supportive of Kat's idea that this Mosque should be allowed and only allowed. I believe Americans have every right to resist this building just as much as they have right to support it, just as Kat and others are doing. To me the end result of the proposal is a process of which there is no decision handed down by the President/King to say yes the Mosque is here and you who protest against it are silenced and disempowered. Nor to say no the Mosque is not permitted and you who desire it are silenced and disempowered. The struggle of the two sides is OK, normal and part of the process of freedom.

As I said, if it is built it *should* have been built.

The other nitpick I have with Kat's concept is the reason for allowing it. From my reading the reason is about avoiding the issue being used as a weapon. But I see this as a sunk ship, water past the bridge. They already have the weapon, ie too late the sheep have left the paddock. Closing the gate now will do nothing. I might be wrong on that last one maybe it really is possible the weapon power could be reduced. I just see it as in the approaching impossible basket because the media, politics, Islam and the people of America are all terribly involved already.

I absolutely do not support the idea of the government at any level paying for this or other religious activity. No free travel for the Imam thanks much. Every religion should find their own funding and energy and not parasite the taxpaying people of America.

Kat has also casually pointed out just how Islam could easily defeat the opponents of the Mosque. One doesn't need a building. Indeed many Christians already know that.

They don't live by our rules. They don't want to live by our rules. They live by rules from 700 years ago and think our rules are silly. They use our rules against us. They want to overturn our rules and only live by theirs.

And all sects have been involved. Shia killed the Marines in Lebanon, Sunni's flew the planes into the Towers, Shia attacked the Cobar apartments in Arabia. The Taliban are mostly Sunni but I have no idea what the Somalis are or who bombed the Cole or blew up our embassies and what was the jerk Major at Fort Hood. This is the 21st Century and we are loosing. They are taking over Europe; big chunks of Africa and a good piece of this country.

They should be taught that we will not tolerate anymore of the crap and they should shut up and sit in the corner till they could behave. If they want what this country has they have to prove it not insult it. Let them put a Mosque anywhere near Ground Zero or even debate they have a right is an insult to our dead. They declared war on us and we better not show weakness. My friends and neighbors died there...this is not some college debate.
The Orthodox Church rebuild involves a land swap with the NY Port Authority, and they are being their normal selves, playing stupid. The Port authoirty needs to build a retaining wall, according to what I understand, and need the former Church site. The new Church will be much larger, so they need the land swap as well. If they were going to simply re-build what they had, where they had it, I think the Church might already be built.

Just normal NY shennanigans and stupidity.
I do not want a Mosque on the site where so many Americans died at the hands of Muslims.

However.  I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.

This Constitution allows them to build their place of worship on what I consider hallowed sacred ground.

Frankly, I don't want any religion to build anything on the site. 

As much as I loathe the idea of a mosque on or even near a place where "radical islam" killed so many Americans, I am even more against the idea that we should govern religious practices.

Please make no mistake on where I stand on this mosque.  I don't want it there.  I think it's morally and ethically wrong.  It's islam giving the USA the finger and saying "We won."

My Soldier side says it's their right to build there, and I'm sworn to defend that right.  My Citizen side says I don't have to like it. 

And that's painful.
I think when the Founders wrote the First Amendment, they were mainly concerned to avoid different flavors of Christians going to war and shooting each other, and the Mohammedans were some weird exotic bad people on the other side of the world who had been mostly put  down at Lepanto and the Gates of Vienna, and we didn't have to bother about them anymore.

Hah! Not long after that came the Barbary Pirate Business, with Stephen Decatur and the original USS Enterprise!
Oh, I'm with Grumpy on this one: Build St. Nicholas' Church right back, just like it was, except the Vestry (or whatever the Greeks call that)  has the right to make improvements according to their own notions, and the govt. may have nothing to say about it.
@SFC D, *THANK YOU,* for taking the courage, to do the impossible. You remind me of the sign in Bell Labs. It read, "Here miracles happen everyday, the impossible just takes a little longer."

This is a series of thoughts, just stirring the pot. I don't expect answers. As a young teenager, I was multi-linguistic centered on this region. Now the more you know, the madder you get. Now, the young Soldier swears an Oath to Protect †he Constitution of the US, with his own life. This includes the freedom of religion. We find out the major tenet of that same protected religion is the absolute destruction of The US Constitution and its Protections. What is the young Soldier to do? Wait  a minute, aren't we at war? Do we have an idea about the lines for "sedition" or "treason"?

(STOP) Soldier. You're out of here! Commenters, it's your turn, flaming napalm right in your lap.

One last thing, "This is neither a drill, nor an exercise!"
In Johns previous thought project I left a small diatribe (that thanks to the complete lack of the html break command looked like a slew of endless gibberish. Ahh well. It was probably viewed as such anyway so no harm done) which more or less mirrors several peoples comments in to one.
On one hand not every Islamist we meet comes with his or her own Bomb vest. On the other there is just as many whom would love to see us burn in the streets. The mosque could be a bridge to bringing peace with the overall religion of Islam (which is the 2nd largest religion in the world) allowing them to separate the radicals from their folds. Or it could be a EZ Pass commuter express lane to blowing up the new Towers. A HEV lane instead of a HOV lane. We just do not know, and we always fear what we do not know, in this case rightfully so

I think most of us are in the group that does not have a problem with mosque's in general. But as any good real estate mogul will tell you Location! Location! Location!
Taken a step further if we use this mosque as a litmus test, then essentially Phelps has a right to spew his gibberish at military funerals: it is his religion. We do not have the right to interfere.
One of my very close friends is a Muslim. Non practicing these days, and mostly out of fear of reprisals. I am sensitive to his plight, as I know his religion didn't come with a bomb vest. Nor do his beliefs come from the barrel of a gun either.
I won't speak for his views, I'll let him comment himself if he chooses. However in deep conversation between us came the remembrance of oft used quote "People fear, that which they do not understand".
Many do not understand the basis of the Muslim religion or its tenants. Which leads to what your saying Kat, that we lump them all as a group instead of seeing them as the sect that they are. By doing so we become no better than saying all Klukkers are Southern Baptists. Or all saying all Jews are Kidon, all Germans are Nazi's, and so on and so forth.
But what happens when the right to freedom of religion, conflicts with that of the right to the pursuit of happiness, or the right to live peaceably? It would be of the noblest of reasons to allow this mosque to go forth by the old towers, and all of us bow our heads as a sign of peaceful difference.
However what of those people who died there? What of those of us who spent time on the ground after the fact? How will we feel when the first horns sound out Dhuhr or Asr and resound over the area that was washed in the blood of innocent bystanders?
Whose rights are valued more? The interloper or the native? It is not a question of right, is the problem that I see. The building has nothing to do with rights, freedom of religion or even the war itself.
It is a question of moral equivalence. And in a moral quandary the government will always pick the wrong choice, no matter the answer, because in such a question someone always will be angry they lost.
Quartermaster: Thank you for explaining the problem with the Greek Orthodox Church.  I had asked what the issue was because I had not read anything but the simplification of comparison.  Obviously, it was easier to get the permist for the Mosque and Community Center because they are going to occupy an existing building with some modifications internally. 
Argent: You said it, and I basically agree.  The cat is out of the bag.  I took a turn through the papers of several countries "over there" and it is being widely discussed.  It is a weapon primed and ready to go.  I suppose I am hoping that it comes out in favor of the mosque and community center so that it limits the impact or, with some greater hope, causes the enemy to have to back off. 

This is guerilla warfare.  In guerrilla warfare, our objective has to be to limit or reduce the number of any population that might actively or passively support the guerrillas.  As a lot of countries have discovered, stomping on the population you are trying to keep separate doesn't gain much ground and can even lead to losing the war. 

Bloodspite: You know, I had the same thoughts about the mosque, but I really thought of it as an opportunity.  I think, very surely, that we will be keeping an eye on that for the simple reason that it will be large population in one place. 

Islam is the problem. No matter how you slice it.
Islam cannot be appeased, no matter how you try to justify it, nor how many knots you put into that pretzel.

They are looking to subvert the west in any way, shape, or form. If you continue to think of this as a freedom of religion issue, you may as well go out and buy your burqa now and get it over with.

This is just their way of poking their collective finger in our eye.

Build it somewhere else.
Don't play the American people for fools.
It's quite obvious to me that it is only rubbing salt in the wound.

Greetings:   especially "katherine, etc."  (God, I miss that old Latin lingo)

At the risk of appearing contentious, please allow me to expand a bit on my post. It's somewhat common for my brevity to be the soul of my half-wit.

What I was trying to convey was that we must understand our opponents and their tactics. One of the books that I've found useful in this regard was "Culture and Conflict in the Middle East" by Philip Carl Salzman. It's short and kind of pricey, but well worth the reading. It elucidates how the Arab culture continues to embrace its tribal origins and the concomitant conflicts with the "other". When one views all outside the tribe as oppressors or oppressees, a concept that is globalized in Islam's "Dar al Islam" and Dar al Harb", external aggression becomes both an opportunity and a virtue.

Now, that keystroked, if one assumes, if only for the purpose of argument, that part of the Islamic assault on our society involves their being able to present themselves as victims of a racist, intolerant state, then our tactics in response should, hopefully, prepare for that eventuality. What seems to me to be currently accepted as fact is the muslims don't yet have legal control of the property or the actual funding to have the mosque built. What they do have is some architectural plans and government approval for their project. With this relatively low level of investment, they have created a great to do and succeeded in presenting themselves via a too complacent media as being being victims of having their compassion, brotherhood, nay their freedom of religion, thwarted. I believe that they have been largely successful in this regard.

In essence, I believe that we are in danger of seeing putting a band-aid on an abscess as a success. The band-aid may somewhat add a layer of protection to the problem, but it's never going to cure the infection. Muslims will continue being muslims because that is what they are brought up to do. What we now have is a situation where we have given our muslim brothers the equivalent of an ideological sanctuary not dissimilar to the geographical sanctuaries we gave the Communists along South Viet Nam's borders. This will not work. We must expose the teachings of Islam including especially, the depravities, murder, thieving, raping, child molestation, etc, etc, etc and have the Muslims try to explain to the world how this is a religion as opposed to an ideology for world domination.

OK, I’ve read and thought deeply on this posting. There are, of course, lots being said in the blogosphere and elsewhere about the Mosque at Ground Zero. However, the Castle is the place I’m comfortable so here are my 2 cents worth.
1. As far as I know, BillT and I are the only ones in this particular circle that have actually lived amongst the Muslims in the midst of Islamadom (Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, Turkey and UAE). If I’m wrong, please speak up, regardless of what others think, I believe that eye-witness reporting is more valid then academic research, but that’s just me. BTW, I don’t count spending a year on an FOB with no interaction with the natives. I’ve done that, too. Now, that said, I’m going to offer a series of observations that I believe are germane to the debate.
a. There is no monolithic Islamic Empire or, as the media likes to use the term, an Arab street. To say that Muslims are all united on anything would be like saying that Catholics and Baptists and Eastern Orthodox all agree on every point of doctrine completely. However, it goes beyond that, the organization of Islam, be it Shia, Sunni or Wahabi (sub-set of Sunni) is more like the organization of strict Congregationalists, e.g. Independent Baptists. Additionally, the “Arab Street” is a great myth. To believe there is an Arab St, you would have to believe that every English speaking country in the world agrees politically with every other English speaking country. BTW, although they are mostly Muslim, they are not 100% Muslim; during Christmas of 2008 in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, UAE, there were at least 2,000 people that showed up for the Arabic language Christmas Pageant at the local Catholic Church.
b. One thing I have learned in my many travels in the ME, is the extreme visceral hatred that many Arabs have for Jews and their unique state, Israel. It is my humble opinion that there is nothing the US could do to make those Muslims who already hate us, hate us any more or less. Their opinion of the US was sealed in 1948 when the US became the first country to recognize the existence of Israel and thereafter to continue to support that Israel has a right to exist.
c. It has been mentioned here before, but it bears repeating: Islam is not just a religion; it is a political system and an ideology. The places in the ME that don’t live totally by Sharia law are the dictatorships (KSA is an enigma in the ME). Every place that becomes a democracy eventually brings in complete sharia law (re: Iran in the late 70s and Bahrain starting a few years ago). When enough Muslims show up in a democracy, they will use those democratic principles to ensure that individual liberties are curtailed.
2. Now, I sincerely believe that building the mosque near ground zero would be seen by the Jihadists as a sign of weakness, not as a show of the strength of our democracy and constitution. They have absolutely no respect, but rather utter contempt for our principles. There is nothing we can do to change that except to convert to Islam en masse. Then, of course, we would no longer have our founding principles, would we?
3. I would go further and say that there is precedent in our country that would allow the US gov’t to outright outlaw certain groups within Islam. I’m referring to the outlawing of the KKK and the Communist party. Both of those organizations were both political movements with religious overtones. The communists are by definition atheists and the KKK, along with most white supremacists groups hid behind bizarre interpretations of Christianity in their rants. Jihadists are no different from these 2 groups.
Katherine, I hope you'll pardon a lengthy post by a Johnny-come-lately, but there is much to say on this topic (and I get to blame my 3rd shift job *coughexcusescough*).  I'm going to start partway down, since that is where the issue has been clarified a bit into almost a bullet point format; much easier to deal with, that way.  Also, as you said, "vigorous and with some heat" this shall be.  Clashing thoughts held strongly tend to be that way, but I trust you won't take it personally, even with the opening below.

First off, comparing the chapel in the Pentagon to the proposed mosque is utterly absurd.  The chapel is non-denominational, it was simply rebuilt after the attack (as in, it was already there), and there are no shady imams clamoring for it's construction in direct contravention to good sense, good taste, and basic human decency.  I'm sick of that pathetic straw-man being propped up as some sort of justification for building a symbol of Islamic conquest.  Do, please, let it burn.

We are simply back to the same old argument that Islam as a whole and all of its practitioners are at war with us and vis-a-versa. Something we have have denied and insisted does not exist for a very specific reason. Namely, because we prefer to be at war with a small wedge of that population as opposed to 1 billion people. That is a losing war.
You ask and offer an answer to one question, "Are we at war with Muslims or 'Islamists?", but not the vastly more important question, "Which are at war with us?".  Unfortunately, the answer to that is not our choice, just as it was not our choice on September 11, 2001. While there are undoubtedly a great many Muslims who would rather just live their lives, as is one aspect of human nature, there are a great many who, motivated by another such aspect, desire to follow in the footsteps of Muhammad and wage war against the kufar, the unbelievers. Believing a religion that explicitly states the warlord Muhammad’s life is the supreme example for all Muslims will not produce a large number of people who want to continue Muhammad’s bloody legacy is foolishness, just like believing that any Muslim who does not strap on a bomb or take up an AK must not support the conquest of the kufar.  We have learned the hard way that there are many who will "fight" us by supplying those who handle the direct confrontation with information, shelter, food, and/or equipment.  We are their enemies simply by virtue of existing, and nothing short of one of us being wiped out will change that.  Our little reverie, the days of pretending there weren't groups of Muslims demanding the total destruction of our way of life, was shattered one September morning, but that was just one arrow of many from our enemies' perspective.  Perhaps, some day, we will arrive at a means of positively identifying those who have no interest in war and seperating them from their murderous kin, but caution must carry the day till then.  Those who truly want peace will understand and accept this reality.

Does anyone even know exactly what sect of Islam or what school of jurisprudence they are practicing? Is it wahabism? Have we even heard a sermon from the imam or any statements from any potential worshippers that would lead anyone to believe they are supporting or advocating those beliefs or actions to that effect?
Well, I can offer some quotes (par for the course, the title uses a half-truth to imply a full lie) from his own mouth: In reference to 9-11, "...the United States’ policies were an accessory to the crime that happened." Asked to clarify, "...we have been accessory to a lot of innocent lives dying in the world. In fact, in the most direct sense, Osama bin Laden is made in the USA." He even sidesteps admitting Muslims carried out the 9-11 attacks: "The general perception all over the world has it was created by people who were sympathetic to Osama bin Laden.  Whether they were part of the killer group or not, these are details that need to be left to the law-enforcement experts." [emph mine]  Rauf has also repeatedly refused to acknowledge Hamas as a terrorist organization. In Rauf's book, What's right with Islam: a new vision for Muslims and the West, he compares bin Laden to Robin Hood and Che Guevara (or, rather, the Che Guevara liberals imagine; hero of the people, fighting the good fight, and all that nonsense), claiming bin Laden has the image of a "hero". Rauf does nothing to dispel that notion, instead laying the blame solely at the feet of the West.

There is also the matter of funding for the mosque. Rauf has claimed that there is no foreign money being used, but he has refused to release records to support his claim. In addition, US taxpayers have funded Rauf's tour of the Middle-East, one in which he has spent most of his time meeting with wealthy Muslims rather than doing that "bridge-building" he keeps talking about. From an American Thinker article on Rauf, he has pulled exactly this stunt before, finally, after almost twenty years, releasing the information that 46 Islamic nations donated funds for the construction of a previous mosque in... New York City.

Ah, but I did save the best for last.  Why do you suppose this mosque was to be named after the center of the former Islamic caliphate in Spain, where a great mosque was built on the ruins of the Christian cathedral formerly occupying the area?  Well, Rauf has an answer for me:  "It is clear an Islamic state can be established in more than just a single form or mold. It can be established through a kingdom or a democracy. The important issue is to establish the general fundamentals of sharia that are required to govern." [emph mine]  That is translated from an Arabic article on March 24, 2010 (the bolded part is rather important, as I intend to discuss in a bit).  Rauf-with-kufar and Rauf-with-fellow-Muslims seem to be rather different people.  I am neither surprised nor at all uncertain which is the real Slim Shady Imam Rauf.  Again, I'll expand on this a bit further down.
I'll state again, this is a weapon. A tool of propaganda that we are seemingly adamant to hand the enemy. He doesn't have to do a thing except sit back and watch us do it. He is getting what he wants from that long ago attack that he stated on tape was meant to invoke these very tremors and tears in our society and beliefs.

He said very succinctly that it would be our freedoms that we rended and would destroy us in the end. That our love of that would be our weakness and our destruction.

What are we saying? That he is right? That we cannot enjoy our freedom because we are at heart tyrants and oppressors who would throw those principles out the moment they become inconvenient?

Are we saying that we don't care how many he recruits, how many may be killed by that or how long the war goes on so long as our "sensibilities" are not offended?


I took a turn through the papers of several countries "over there" and it is being widely discussed. It is a weapon primed and ready to go. I suppose I am hoping that it comes out in favor of the mosque and community center so that it limits the impact or, with some greater hope, causes the enemy to have to back off.

This is guerilla warfare. In guerrilla warfare, our objective has to be to limit or reduce the number of any population that might actively or passively support the guerrillas.

As with the two questions above, you see one aspect yet seem to miss the more important one. You are concerned that they (being Muslims who intend to follow the Mohammedan example of conquest and conversion by the sword; your label for them and mine will likely be different, and I'd rather avoid a pointless argument over semantics) will use the claims that “America is persecuting Islam” and “America is hypocritical about ‘freedom of religion’” to produce a new wave of terrorism recruiting. That concern is ridiculous.

First, the claim that America persecutes Muslims has been in use for decades. In fact, the "Group X is persecuting Muslims so we should wage a holy war on them" routine has been part and parcel of Islam since Muhammad used it. It also has the distinct advantage of requiring absolutely no proof to be taken as absolute truth. Spiritual leaders wouldn't lie about Islam being attacked, right?

Second, they despise our concept of freedom of religion and already claim America is hypocritical about all and sundry. As above, this is standard fare for whipping up young men hungry for their paradise. Being concerned over handing them claims they have been making all along is like being concerned about giving your wallet to a robber after he's already taken all the contents. The worst case scenario is that things continue as they have. Incidentally, that's also the best case scenario.

Third, and most important, people need to understand what drives fundamental, "Follow in Mohammed's footsteps" Islam. I'm fond of a particular quote by Miyamoto Musashi that is distinctly applicable here: "With your mind as high as Mt Fuji you can see all things clearly. And you can see all the forces that shape events; not just the things happening near to you." In all things, one should try to find the driving forces that lie beneath the surface, or, as Musashi also said, "Perceive that which cannot be seen with the eye." The point is simple: What drives so many Muslims to do everything in their power to destroy non-Muslims and non-Muslim culture? My answer is likewise simple: Islam is a conquest-driven ideology. Understanding this is absolutely vital to making sense of the centuries-long conflict between Islam and everything else.

It’s one thing to understand that Muslims have a habit of building mosques on conquered land. That’s well and good, but it’s like seeing a pond and believing you can understand the ocean. What people must get is that conquest is the core of Islam. The meaning of “Islam”, “submission”, is not just a command to Muslims. “Submission” is what all Muslims are to impose upon the kufar, the nonbelievers. This is upheld in both the Koran and the Sira (the life of Muhammad; as he was the "perfect Muslim", this is functionally a guide to Muslim living), as well as the Hadith (stories, sayings, and events surrounding Muhammad; largely drawn upon for Sharia jurisprudence). When you begin to internalize this as the foundation of Islamic thought regarding America, the minor propaganda opportunity of a supporting example for claims that have been being made since well before 9-11 correctly fades to nothing next to the colossal propaganda victory that building a “mosque of conquest” on the site of the 9-11 attack gives our enemies. Many in the Muslim world, especially the mountain tribesmen from which Al-Qaeda and the Taliban draw many of their recruits, will see capitulating to the demand for this mosque as a sign of weakness. In that perspective, weakness is to be conquered, while strength is to be feared and respected. The mosque's building will be a sign of dhimmitude, that the United States has lost any significant will to resist and is ripe for conquering.

In closing, I pose a question at what you claim to be the source of your argument: Is it admirable to hold to principles when they lead to your doom? I ask because that seems to be the stakes here. Even ignoring the gross hypocrisy on application to other religions versus application to Islam and this mosque, do we hold the First Amendment so sacred and inviolable that we allow the growth of a religion that demands the total destruction of our Constitution, 1A included? I cannot accept that. As I've said before, and of other issues, if defending the continued existence of the American way of life requires of me actions that others find repugnant, for whatever reasons, I can accept that burden. However, I don't believe this is such a case. I do not accept that the First Amendment protects that which demands the destruction of the First Amendment. Therefore, I do not accept that Islam as a whole, which is fundamentally political, is protected. If a person of group wishes to declare Sharia law extraneous and totally removed from their form of Islam, good for them and enjoy the blessings of freedom. However, for those who adhere to the absolute integration of Sharia law and Islam, I hold them as sworn enemies of the Constitution of the United States.  In short, appeasing, under guise of the First Amendment, an enemy that wants us all converted or dead and our way of life relegated to burning history books will only, as appeasement ever does, embolden him to ever greater attacks.
I would go further and say that there is precedent in our country that would allow the US gov’t to outright outlaw certain groups within Islam. I’m referring to the outlawing of the KKK and the Communist party.

You do realize that neither the Communist party nor the KKK is actually illegal, right?  What broke the KKK was not making it illegal (especially since that never happened) in the 80's was the lawsuit brought against the United Klans of America in which they were found financially responsible (by an all white jury no less) for the lynching of a young black man.  They were forced by the court to pay $7million in damages, that required them to sell of all the assests of the national chapter headquarters.  It's why today all remaining Klan nutballs are part of small local groups and not a large national one.  They don't dare re-organize or they'll just be sued out of existence again.  And properly so.

As for the American Communist Party, it was formed in 1919 and while it did face some supression by the US Government (during the McCarthy era primarily) simple membership in the ACP was not illegal.  All the legal issues they faced happened during the period in their history where they openly advocated the violent overthrow of the US Government.  in fact, as per Wikipedia, here are all the presidential tickets they ran up until 84:
* 1924 - William Z. Foster & Benjamin Gitlow
* 1928 - William Z. Foster & Benjamin Gitlow
* 1932 - William Z. Foster & James W. Ford
* 1936 - Earl Browder & James W. Ford
* 1940 - Earl Browder & James W. Ford
* 1948 - no candidates, but supported Henry Wallace, the Progressive candidate
* 1952 - no candidates, but supported Vincent Hallinan, the Progressive candidate
* 1968 - Charlene Mitchell & Michael Zagarell
* 1972 - Gus Hall & Jarvis Tyner
* 1976 - Gus Hall & Jarvis Tyner
* 1980 - Gus Hall & Angela Davis
* 1984 - Gus Hall & Angela Davis

The only big gap in there is from 52 to 68 and that's only three elections.  An illegal party does not get their candidate on ballots for all but four elections out of a sixty year period.
In case no one saw it.  Just thought it was interesting:
@OldLoadr, You have written a great piece. *THANK YOU!* Just one tiny question, For the American Musiim, he is confronted with both "The Constitution of the United States." The other being "The Sharia." When an issue arrises that causes the two to come in direct conflict, which one is the *dominant?* How you answer it, will speak  volumes. I notice that you spotlight the fact, *every democracy that goes back under Sharia, either becomes a kingdom or a sheikdom." NO THANK YOU!

@KAT-OM, In theory, I can understand your desire for dialog and understanding, but that can only happen between perceived equals. The Muslim looks on the non-Muslim as less than human. This relationship might be viewed as Master-Slave or Farmer-Livestock, even the Farmer comforting the lamb before he slaughters it. For the record, don't forget, the "Slave", "Livestock" and the "Lamb", are all humans.
QM and Kat:  i agree that the Saint Nicholas problem IS more complex, and QM did a fine straight up job of fairly summarizing the problem with his statement about "typical NY shenanigans and stupidity".

PRECISELY my point.  shenanigans and stupidity is the norm in these things.  NOBODY cleared the path for the Greek Orthodox applications to re-build.   EVERYBODY somehow jumped in to clear the permit path for this Cordoba project.
RetRsvMike: I think the real difference is money.  In respect to the land swap and retaining wall for the Greek OC, the city and/or port authority would have to spend money.  In the case of the swap, there is the question of the land value of the parcels of land to be swapped.  Does the city believe its going to lose money on the deal as opposed to maintaining the land they have and/or selling it to somebody who would pay for the development?

When you are talking about money, that game trumps any issues of politics unless the politics lead to money.

OldLdr:  I have to disagree with your last point and MikeD points it out succinctly, the first amendment protects free speech and the establishment of all religions, even the ones we don't like.  The Klan, allegedly outlawed per someone above, holds rallies and marches protected by police.  The ACP has meetings all the time.  Jeez, there is a local office in our city. 

Do you know what the principle is behind that?  Pure Jeffersonion.  Ideas can be defeated by other ideas.  Free speech countered by more free speech.  Just as we are doing here. 

What is it that we fear?  That the ideas of freedom cannot counter and defeat any oppressive concepts of another ideology? 

In regards to who is recruited and how, how radicalization occurs (ie, becoming actively involved in physically attacking a conceived opponents), we aren't fighting simply with the tribesmen of Afghanistan and Pakistan.  "Foreign" fighters are all to common in these areas.  They come from many different nations, including here. 

They are radicalized and recruited through many different methods.  Many of them begin the road on their own, becoming fired up by an issue or an incident before searching out more information or someone to talk to who is receptive to their questions.  From there, they get directed to websites or others who prosletyze radicalism and move them towards either a recruiter or convince them to act on their own.

The last two major incidents here, the Times Square attempted bombing and the Maj. on Ft. Hood, are prime examples of how that process occurs.  In the case of the Maj, most information points to no one telling him to take those specific actions, he decided to take those actions himself. 

It is correct that there is a general narrative that exists already that America is hypocritical and oppresses Muslims.  That is not only the narrative that inspires radicals, but has plenty of play to one degree or another throughout the population.  Obviously, not every Muslim agrees with that or agrees that it is as prolific or that it affects them personally or any other reason because they don't all choose to act on that narrative. 

But, it is a narrative that can be built on by single events.  One who is not radicalized by previous events, may be radicalized by this one.  Maybe they recruit ten boys from Saudi Arabia, maybe twenty from Lahore, maybe two boys from Berlin, maybe one boy in a dorm in North Carolina or an out of work engineer in New York. 

Maybe they don't recruit.  Maybe instead someone sees this and decides that they should donate money to "the cause".  Or, maybe, free of charge without even being contacted by any "radicals", many someone's talk about the incident and Muslim's repression by Americans.  And, they talk, and they talk...during which time, some boy from the Bronx becomes motivated to go investigate.

Every incident is a tool to be used to further that narrative.  They don't even have to actively deploy it, though it is likely that jihadist websites are discussing this same issue as extensively as we are.

Propaganda is a weapon, whether passive or active.  When we stumble, when we add to the narrative, we add to the power and sharpen the edge.  If only one is inspired or recruited by this incident, because we can't believe in our own strength, that's one too many.
Just today, another tidbit emerges in the quest to find the real Imam Rauf.  Steve Emerson claims to have found tapes that include Rauf defending Whahabism and bin Laden.  We'll find out the specifics come Monday, but I suspect this will be deserving of a place of honor in my three paragraphs on the subject above.
In case anybody comes back here, I found the citations for laws enacted against Communism: At the time Congress began debating the Communist Control Act, significant anti-Communist legislation already existed. The 1940 Smith Act made it a crime to "teach, advocate, or encourage the overthrow or destruction of ... government by force or violence." Nazis and leaders of the Socialist Workers (American Trotskyist) Party and the Communist Party had been convicted of violating the Smith Act and subjected to fines and imprisonment. The Voorhis Act of 1940 required subversive organizations to register with the attorney general. In 1947 President Harry Truman issued an executive order establishing a program to rid the federal government of employees found to be disloyal or security risks.   The fact that candidates ran can be attributed either to the fact that those running as candidates kept themselves and their organizations separate from the more militant groups, or the gov't chose to look the other way as long as there were no overt attempts at revolution. 
Moving on to laws enacted against the Klan: HISTORY OF THE ACT FROM 1871 TO 1961
If you try to find the Klu Klux Klan Act among current United States statutes, you will be unsuccessful. In 1874 the statutes were revised in what was to be merely a procedural reorganization. Sections 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 were scattered throughout the Revised Statutes. Section 4, permitting the suspension of habeas corpus, provided its own expiration date (after the end of the next regular section of Congress) and so did not make it into the Revised Statutes. A modern reader encounters only remnants and revisions of the original Act located in several places in the United States Code.

As I said, we have the precedent of enacting laws against subversive groups.  As I also said, the decentralized nature of Islam could make it easy to outlaw militant groups without infringing the Rights of those who choose to live here peaceably.  And though I'm in agreement with BillT, as I have a cordial relationship with several Muslims, concerning not painting all Muslims as enemies of the state, I must also point out that the sheer size of Islam means we have plenty of enemies of the state.  If 10% are out to kill us, that equates to 100,000,000 people!
OK...the people we've been debating about missed the Industrial Revolution. They have contributed nothing to mankind in the last 500 years. They haven't had any breakthroughs in medicine, haven't helped in the discovery for a cure for cancer; haven't made a breakthrough in communications, developed a steel industry, built a car or plane and definitely not a tank or gun. They haven't developed a better way to grow more food or create a better energy source. They are only good at making babies and they are making lots of them.

The scales are tipped in their favor as they take over France, England and the Netherlands. They have a large population in the US and are one of the fastest growing. The are a subversive element in most countries they inhabit. We ask them to be nice and cite the law. They don't recognize our laws but use them to their advantage. And we let them.

The Spanish speakers come here because they want what we have; a nice home, big car, good education. They can be assimilated. We only have to learn to like barritos.

The Islamists don't want to be like us. They want us to be like them...they want our souls. We are not winning this fight.
Sadly, there has just been too much that has gone on, recently. I really don't think we can come to a solution, just within this thread. Do they want equality or dominance?

@11B40, You talk about beliefs of the Muslim, I want to know, "How are these beliefs applied to their everyday practices and relationships? Now, how do these practices compare to Community, State and Federal Law?

Sharia Law should never become the dominant Law.
Let me introduce some facts.  I wonder if everyone is aware of them?

1.  The people rebuilding the Burlington Coat Factory and converting it into the Park51 "mosque" are Sufis.  They do not follow Sharia Law
2.  Al Queda and the Taliban HATE Sufis.  They particularly dislike the iman involved here - who has worked with the FBI for 10 years on counter-terrorism issues
3.  Some Islamic scholars are unconvinced that Sufis are actually part of Islam (others are willing to give them the benefit of the doubt)
4.  Unlike most Islamic sects, Sufis are notoriously relaxed about things like drinking wine and peacefully interacting with other religions (in fact, they rather encourage both)
5.  the facilities at Park51/Cordoba will be as follows
recreation spaces and fitness facilities (swimming pool, gym, basketball court)
a 500-seat auditorium
a restaurant and culinary school
cultural amenities including exhibitions
education programs
a library, reading room and art studios
childcare services
a mosque, intended to be run separately from Park51 but open to and accessible to all members, visitors and New York community
a September 11th memorial and quiet contemplation space, open to all
6.  There are approximately 600 000 people in NYC who are members of the Islamic faith
7. There is only about 100 places for these people to meet/worship.  There is a real problem with overcrowding at these facilities

 Interested in the views of the Iman?
He wrote the book reviewed here
Matt, that would be the book that went by The Call From the WTC Rubble:  Islamic Dawa From the Heart of America Post-9/11 in the Arab world.  Even ignoring the use of "rubble" as though he's just talking about some old, broken down building, this title is vastly different than the one he passed off to the kufar.  The term "dawa" means an invitation or summons, making the title a claim that the destruction of the Twin Towers is an invitation or summons to Muslims.  The book itself is a series of arguments that remaking the US in Islam's image won't be too difficult, masked, of course, under his typical "Islam and America can work together" pap for the kufar who bother reading it.

I've already gone over his two-faced nature.  Again, in his own words, Rauf blasts your "He's a Sufi who doesn't want Sharia" nonsense out of the water:  "The important issue is to establish the general fundamentals of Sharia that are required to govern."  Nope, no interest in establishing Sharia law... except when he's being honest.
The problem with making prefacing statements of declaring facts, is they are often followed by opinion, or worse, lies instead.

This is not soley directed at Matt W because I cannot support or refute his claims.  But it is a crisiticm of his method and one of have seen widely used.
@Matt W, sounds attractive, but I don't believe it! This Imam wants us to accept or understand. Imam, you are a supposed religious leader, why don't you *show* us how, by  being a true leader? You can start by trying to understand the absolute horror your, yes, your people caused on 9/11/2001. How? You can show respect for for this *Hallowed Ground," by just dropping the idea. This is just the same respect that causes us *NOT* to do an air drop of thousands of pounds of rotted pig on Mecca, during the Haj.

@Argent,  John, the Armorer, takes *great pains* to say, "Your mileage may vary." Argent, how many variables are there for mileage, specifically? I don't know them all, do you? I figure the Armorer is a *wise old character.*

1. The people rebuilding the Burlington Coat Factory and converting it into the Park51 "mosque" are Sufis. They do not follow Sharia Law

Imam Feisal has repeatedly called for Muslims to "live up to sharia" and numbers Yusuf al-Qaradawi, one of the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, among his friends.

2. Al Queda and the Taliban HATE Sufis. They particularly dislike the iman involved here - who has worked with the FBI for 10 years on counter-terrorism issues.

Al Qaeda in Iraq is allied with the Naqshabandi Army -- Sufis -- who have been targeting Iraqi civilians for suicide bombings. The Naq Army takes "credit" for every rocket we've been hit with since mid-2009.

3. Some Islamic scholars are unconvinced that Sufis are actually part of Islam (others are willing to give them the benefit of the doubt)

Some Islamic scholars will argue whether Shi'as are actually part of Islam. Feisal's Manhattan offices at 475 Riverside Drive occupies the suite next door to the office of the Council of American-Islamic-Relations (CAIR) of NY -- which funds Hamas.

4. Unlike most Islamic sects, Sufis are notoriously relaxed about things like drinking wine and peacefully interacting with other religions (in fact, they rather encourage both)

In March 2010, in an interview with Sa’da Abdul Maksoud, Feisal stated, “I don't believe in interfaith dialogue.” Feisal also has had a seven-year association with Hizb ut Tahrir in Kuala Lumpur -- Hizb ut Tahrir is the Malaysian offspring of the Muslim Brotherhood, and is outlawed in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

Feisal claims to be a Sufi -- yet his father was one of the founders of the Muslim Brotherhood, and Feisal's own statements mirror the tenets and the language of the Wahhabis.

7. There is only about 100 places for these people to meet/worship. There is a real problem with overcrowding at these facilities.

No one knows the total number of mosques in NYC -- there are thousands of private mosques (not shrines, mosques) set up in individual apartments.

Being an apprentice curmudgeon I generally appreciate your comments. However, your statement that Sharia should never become the dominant law ticked me off.

Sharia should never become ANY part of the law, period, end of sentence.

I may be nitpicking, which I generally don't like, but I think it's an important distinction to make.

RE: 22 AUG 2010, 10:23AM, I have no problem with your comment, at all.  A Muslim male never wants to see himself in the submissive role. There are only two roles, dominant or submissive, *equality is never an option!*  We are not talking about dominant within the family or faith, they're talking about taking over the Nation and the whole World.

Why is the Sharia so important? First, there is an impression of empowerment to the muslim male. By the way, this does not apply to the muslim female. The role of the muslim female is to make babies, who will later become voters, lawyers and then, making and passing laws.

Nitpicking? In my view, as a journeyman GRUMPY curmudgeon, I believe you are making an extremely important point. You are trying to prevent *TREASON*!