The American Muslim Success Story

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Over at Hit & Run, I’ve posted some thoughts on Muslim immigrants in America.

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129 Responses to “The American Muslim Success Story”

  1. #1 |  PW | 

    But…but…but…how could this be? I thought America was inherently “racist” and had a long history of “mistreating” muslim “minorities” and waging “crusades” against them and impose ourselves on them, even though we’re really no more civilized than the 7th century theocracy that runs Iran today because…well…we burned a bunch of witches in Salem in 1693, or something. At least that’s how it is according to some around here.

    And yet the stats show muslim immigrants are flourishing? Funny how most people who come here to flee brutally oppressive regimes back home do.

  2. #2 |  Joe | 

    I know that Muslims are very successful in America and for the most part do assimilate and do well here. That is a good thing. That does not mean Radley that merely opposing a project being intentionally tied to the 9/11 ground zero site (an attack done in the name of Islam) is demogogery or anti Islamic bigotry. It is not.

    That you do not get that reasonable people could disagree with you on the wisdom and merits of this Cordoba House project (not the legal right to do it, but whether it should be done in that location) is sad. That is what free speech is about. Debate.

    Chris Christy said this has become a political football. Which I suspect roughly mirrors your position on it. Fair enough. That is true. But that does not mean people should not debate the issue. They should.

  3. #3 |  Marty | 

    are you saying restraint might be in order here?!! I thought this was a radical blog…

  4. #4 |  qwints | 

    @ Joe, it’s not being intentionally tied to the World Trade Center site by anyone other than right wing demagogues. See Salon’s “How the “ground zero mosque” fear mongering began” at http://www.salon.com/news/ground_zero_mosque/index.html?story=/politics/war_room/2010/08/16/ground_zero_mosque_origins

  5. #5 |  Wavemanns | 

    Sorry to threadjack, but a follow up on the student laptop spying case…

    No charges will be laid. Pretty sad.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100817/ap_on_hi_te/us_laptops_spying_on_students;_ylt=AgQVAlf0j5wb.TmYRidFzOGs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTFoYW4yNnQxBHBvcwMxMzUEc2VjA2FjY29yZGlvbl90ZWNobm9sb2d5BHNsawNmZWRzbm9jaGFyZ2U-

  6. #6 |  Dave Krueger | 

    I’m not all that worried about American Muslims. They don’t seem that pissed off. I’m more worried about the ones who live in the places we’ve bombed, invaded, and occupied over the last five or ten years. I hear that some Muslim’s get really angry about being bombed, invaded, and occupied.

  7. #7 |  pris | 

    oh, golly gee, American Muslims are well educated and anti= terrorist, who’da thought?

  8. #8 |  Joe | 

    quints “@ Joe, it’s not being intentionally tied to the World Trade Center site by anyone other than right wing demagogues.”

    Really quints? It is right wing demogogery to suggest that the location of the Park 51 Cordoba House has some connection with its proximinty to ground zero?

    So those Muslims who are against the project? Are they right wing demogogues too?

    If what you are saying is true, I am also surprised Park 51 and Iman Feisal did not take Governor Patterson up on his offer of an alternative site.

  9. #9 |  InMD | 

    At #1

    You’re completely missing the point. The fact that currently American Muslims are quite well assimilated, especially compared to Europe, is a good thing. However it doesn’t mean that a big dose of demagoguery and ignorance is incapable of changing that dynamic.

  10. #10 |  BamBam | 

    Radley, your record is skipping:
    (the estimated number number of Muslims in the U.S.)

    remove one instance of number :)

  11. #11 |  qwints | 

    Joe,

    Yes. It’s 2 New York city blocks away in an old Burlington Coat Factory. You can’t even see the World Trade Center site from the location, and you’d be unlikely to be able to see it from Freedom Tower, once it’s built.

    The particular muslims you cited as being against the project do seem right wing given that they called Mayor Bloomberg a “teary-eyed, bleeding-heart liberal”. Other muslims opposed to the project may simply be afraid of a backlash.

    As to Governor Patterson’s suggestion, the decision takes on another significance after the controversy started. Many opponents to the center have repeatedly claimed or implied that Islam is responsible for 9/11. Once someone is attacked on that basis, it makes sense that they do not wish to alter their plans to appease those who hate Islam. (Just to be clear, I agree that there are plenty of legitimate reasons to criticize even moderate Islam.)

  12. #12 |  KristenS | 

    Lots of Muslims were murdered on 9/11, and perhaps many of them would have made use of the facility two blocks away. Not everyone who was killed that day was a W.A.S.P., you know.

  13. #13 |  Elroy | 

    Its great that muslim immigrants earn more money and are better educated than the average american. I was getting bored only having compete with the Indian, Mexican, Chinese and Russian immigrants that the company I work for has hired on H1B visas.

  14. #14 |  qwints | 

    “Its great that muslim immigrants earn more money and are better educated than the average american.” – Elroy

    I don’t know if you’re being sarcastic, but you’re absolutely right. This means that they are raising the quality of our society. It’s the industriousness and entrepreneurship of immigrants that has made our county great.

  15. #15 |  Les | 

    (an attack done in the name of Islam)

    Al Qaeda has explicitely said that they attacked the U.S. on 9/11 because of our bases in Saudi Arabia, because of our Middle East policies in general. That doesn’t make them right at all, but when your enemy tells you the reason they attacked you, it’s a good idea to listen. Otherwise, you start attacking countries that pose no threat to you and doing lots of other stupid, authoritarian shit.

  16. #16 |  Les | 

    So those Muslims who are against the project?

    Of course, it’s impossible, as we all know, for one group of Muslims to be bigoted against another group of Muslims.

  17. #17 |  Joe | 

    I support immigration that brings in educated bright professionals. So I agree with you on that qwints.

    It is funny that you immediately assume two Canadian Muslims are “right wingers” because they mock Mayor Bloomberg. Mocking Bloomberg does not make you a right winger. Bloomberg is pretty good on spending policy, but he a nannystate pain in the ass on most everything else. I mean seriously, waging jihad on transfats and smoking? How libertarian is that?

    Why not accept that there is legitimate debate about this project. Note I am not calling for government to block it. I am definitely not for anything that impacts first or fifth amendment protections. I just think it is a poorly thought out project. If the goal is building bridges, well it has pretty much been a failure. I get why people are offended by it and it is not unreasonable to be offended. Freedom of speech means I get to say it. And if think I am racist or bigotted you can call me on that. And I get to come back and call you a lefty mouthbreating jerk head, and so on and so forth…

    But I actually do not want to call you names. I just prefer you did not do it back to me (and you haven’t so much, it is just funny some of the responses I got on other threads) I lived in Egypt for years and traveled throughout most of the middle east and I liked it there. I have drank plenty of cane juice at Iftars, gone to dozens of Muslim weddings, funerals, and parties. So when someone calls me anti Islamic or a demogog because of this Cordoba Park 51 center, as if there could be no basis for being opposed to it other than raaaaacism or demogogery, I find it more pathetic than anything else.

  18. #18 |  BamBam | 

    #15, “Al Qaeda has explicitely said that they attacked the U.S. on 9/11 because of our bases in Saudi Arabia, because of our Middle East policies in general. That doesn’t make them right at all”

    One should also ask “but does it make them wrong” and “if they are wrong, then is it right for us to occupy their country with bases” and “how would we feel if there were Chinese bases in the US”

  19. #19 |  qwints | 

    Joe,

    I wasn’t implying that Bloomberg had good ideas, but rather that they used language generally used by the right wing, i.e. “bleeding heart liberal.”

    I do not accept that the debate over the location of the center is legitimate because of who started the opposition and what they are saying. If you looked at the Salon article, you’d see that this was a manufactured controversy from the beginning. The opposition is clearly rooted in the belief that Islam caused 9/11 so no Islamic building should be allowed near the site of 9/11. That belief is patently false.

    All that said, Islam should be criticized. It is much more oppressive towards women than Christianity or Judaism. State sponsored Islam is responsible for a large number of atrocities across the world. This is all in addition to the significant role Wahhabi Islam has played in inspiring terrorism. None of this justifies opposing the building of an Islamic community center in an old Burlington Coat Factory.

  20. #20 |  Joe | 

    qwints, I agree with you about state sponsored Wahabbi Islam and the evil it spawns. And I get mainstream Islam is not the same.

    qwints, if you think the entire Cordoba House issue is manufactured and framed by Pam Geller and Robert Spencer, you are giving them way too much credit (that sounds like Charles Johnson talk) Sorry, but I take Salon with a grain of salt (although I admit I am a huge Camile Paglia fan). Yes Geller and Spencer against it. So is Harry Reid. A majority of New Yorkers are against it. A majority of Democrats are against it. Those type of poll numbers are not driven by anti Islam but a rejection of tying that project to the ground zero site.

    The only reason this controversy has any traction is because people do not like the reasons behind the project and tying it in to the ground zero site. If the location does not matter so much, other than being in lower Manhattan, then why wouldn’t the promoters move the 15 story center to a location in Chelsea or elsewhere?

    Did Islam cause 9/11? There is a connection. Islam was the motivation of Mohammed Atta and his co-terrorists. Islam was the motivator of bin Laden and KSM. Granted it was a twisted minority version of Islam, but it was still Islam. That is no reason to attack Islam as a whole. But it is a reason why people are alarmed by a center of this size and scale being located next to an attack done in the name of Islam. Just like people would be bothered (I know I would be) if some Christian pro life church built a facility next to the site of an abortion doctor killing.

    And if this project was really about building bridges and addressing that splinter faction of Islam that is causing so many problems in the world it would move the location.

  21. #21 |  Joe | 

    I have not seen a pundit on the right that is for this mosque project (even David Frum, who is best described somewhere inbetween left and right, is not exactly for it).

    This is a pretty good comments from Riehl Wold View:

    Just so I’m crystal clear on the lefts various positions about “sensitivity” …

    Shirley Sherrod’s father was killed by white racists so its “understandable” that she would have harbored some justifiable racial animosity towards whites …

    Obama was right to pressure the Prime Minister of Israel to halt construction of housing units in Jewish land in Jerusalem because of the sensitivities of some Arabs and the peace process …

    9/11 survivors need to be understanding of a Mosque in the shadow of Ground Zero which symbolizes the religion of the men that slaughtered their loved ones, friends and co-workers …

    Is that about right ?

  22. #22 |  Mo | 

    Joe,

    What about the mosque 4 blocks away from the WTC site, should they up and move because of sensitivities?

    That quote is amazingly fact free:

    Sharrod was pissed off, but learned a lesson from her action over 20 years ago. While people may have excused her feelings, no one serious advocated for the discrimination she did back then, not even Sherrod herself.

    The construction that pissed off Obama happened in East Jerusalem, one of the areas captured in 67 and still under significant dispute.

    There are conservatives who are for it.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/agenda/243752/very-long-post-cordoba-house-josh-barro

    http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=73970F80-18FE-70B2-A80D70412CF038CB

    Other former Bush aides backed President Obama’s defense of the mosque. Former Bush consultant Mark McKinnon called Obama’s Friday remarks an example of “bold and decisive leadership.”

    “An enormously complex and emotional issue — but ultimately the right thing to do. A president is president for every citizen, including every Muslim citizen,” said former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson. “Obama is correct that the way to marginalize radicalism is to respect the best traditions of Islam and protect the religious liberty of Muslim Americans. It is radicals who imagine an American war on Islam. But our conflict is with the radicals alone.”

  23. #23 |  PW | 

    #17 – Far too often in this country, the charge of “racism” or “bigotry” is casually flung out there by persons with plainly duplicitous motives in the discussion for no other purpose than to poison any further legitimate discussion.

    I’m actually very sympathetic to the property rights argument FOR the mosque. But I also think there are legitimate reasons to question the claimed motives of the imam behind it, and to ask why the notoriously cumbersome New York City building permit bureaucracy managed to miraculously fast track this thing at the same time it is holding up the rebuilding of a nearby church for almost a decade. If it’s being pushed behind the scenes for political reasons, then that’s a legitimate question to ask. And there exists a right to ask it without being tarred by a caustic, conversation stopping charge of “racism.”

  24. #24 |  delta | 

    There’s already a Muslim prayer-house 4 blocks north, that actually predates construction of the WTC itself, right? So why the hysteria over one 2 blocks away?

  25. #25 |  Joe | 

    delta–it is not a mosque in the neighborhood that is the issue. Obviously a pre 9/11 mosque is not tied to 9/11. The question you should ask is why a thirteen, oh excuse me, fifteen story $100 million Muslim cultural center, with less than transparent funding, premised on building bridges in the community but located two blocks from ground zero.

    Many of us question the motives of locating the center in that location. Why there?

  26. #26 |  BamBam | 

    imam is FBI asset
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/17/ground-zero-imam-helped-f_n_685071.html

  27. #27 |  Tom G | 

    You know, I was wondering last night – how many right wingers currently upset over this Park 51 community center claim to admire Ayn Rand ? And how many of them have read AND UNDERSTOOD what she has written about collective guilt, and about racism ? (Never mind the disdain she always has for all religions)

  28. #28 |  BSK | 

    “But I also think there are legitimate reasons to question the claimed motives of the imam behind it, and to ask why the notoriously cumbersome New York City building permit bureaucracy managed to miraculously fast track this thing at the same time it is holding up the rebuilding of a nearby church for almost a decade. If it’s being pushed behind the scenes for political reasons, then that’s a legitimate question to ask. And there exists a right to ask it without being tarred by a caustic, conversation stopping charge of “racism.””

    What questions exist about the imam? And what evidence is there A) that the center has been fast-tracked behind the scenes and that B) this is the result of political reasoning?

  29. #29 |  Mo | 

    Why there?

    Because it’s a building that was abandoned for 7 years before they bought it and the land was cheap. Also, it’s on the same block where the overflow of their current mosque goes to pray and it’s less than half a mile away from their current, full, mosque. Unfortunately for them, TriBeCa, where their current mosque is is damn expensive to build a mosque.

    As for why they got through relatively easily, though it’s been 2 years since they bough the parcel, it’s because of a Bush administration era law, pushed by evangelicals, that prevents municipalities from using zoning to prevent building a house of worship. The Greek Orthodox Church has nothing to do with NYC, that’s the Port Authority being dicks.

  30. #30 |  BSK | 

    Radley-

    Overall, a really interesting post. I think when we look at the relative successes/failures of subsets of the population, it is wise to analyze both the internal and external forces that contribute to these results. Sometimes there are specific characteristics of the group that lend to a specific outcome. Sometimes there are external forces that are major factors. So much of the conversation around these topics superficially focuses on, “Group A does this and Group B does that and therefore one is better than the other!” A deeper conversation would say, “These characteristics/actions lead to success and these characteristics/actions lead to struggle. We should encourage/promote the former and discourage the latter.” Obviously, you’ll never reach 100% success, but honest assessment of what makes groups and individuals successful will help us promote more and greater success.

  31. #31 |  Adam | 

    “All that said, Islam should be criticized. It is much more oppressive towards women than Christianity or Judaism.”

    Sorry, but that’s incorrect. The Qur’an recognizes many more rights for women than the Bible or the Torah (the right to inherit being an important one).

    I assume that what you meant to say is that Muslims are much more oppressive towards women than Christians or Jews. Which is a different statement entirely, and much more accurate. Just realize that Christians and Jews aren’t more respectful of women’s rights because of what’s in their holy books, but rather despite what’s in them.

  32. #32 |  BSK | 

    Mo says:
    “As for why they got through relatively easily, though it’s been 2 years since they bough the parcel, it’s because of a Bush administration era law, pushed by evangelicals, that prevents municipalities from using zoning to prevent building a house of worship. The Greek Orthodox Church has nothing to do with NYC, that’s the Port Authority being dicks.”

    I know the PA part of this, but do you have a citation for the law?

  33. #33 |  BSK | 

    Found it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_Land_Use_and_Institutionalized_Persons_Act#Zoning_and_Land_Use

    Looks like it was actually a Clinton-era law, but nonetheless, it’s been the law of the land for a decade now. I do think it raises an interesting question as to why religious groups are afforded a right to circumvent zoning laws that other groups/citizens do not, but I think that is preferable to the inverse. Ideally, zoning laws would be minimized to the point of allowing anyone to do just about whatever they want with their private property.

  34. #34 |  Mike T | 

    What Americans tend to not understand about Islam in the US versus Europe is that Europe has gotten mostly the “trash” of the Islamic world and that, combined with multiple factors, is why they are facing societal calamity from their immigration that the US does not face from its Islamic immigrants. Europe is literally a dying civilization with its absurdly low birth rates and unlike the United States, most European countries have real ethnic identities. A typical North African or Middle Easterner would no more make a good Italian, Swede or Pole than the reverse would be true. Most of the world, unlike the United States, is extremely “ethnic” and we myopically look at our own successes and fail to see the uniqueness of our own situation that enables it.

    One of the things, though, that the US needs to do is root out the Islamist elements from our Islamic communities. Most of the Muslims I have known have told me that they were shocked that they fled the Middle East only to find that the second largest group of Wahabists outside of Saudi Arabia live right here on our soil. If the United States is going to be a safe haven for these people, the federal government needs to aggressively root out the foreign, often state-backed support of radical Islam that is trying to co-op these communities.

  35. #35 |  Mike T | 

    The Qur’an recognizes many more rights for women than the Bible or the Torah (the right to inherit being an important one).

    Every right the Qur’an grants women is meaningless in light of the fact that it made divorce as easy as saying “I divorce you” three times. In the ancient world, divorce was often a path to poverty, misery and even death. The Torah and particularly the New Testament are far more aggressive than the Qur’an in requiring men to support their wives and children, and in burdening fathers to care for and protect their unmarried daughters.

    The Bible also does not legally sanction wife beating.

    If you want to compare them according to a libertarian rubrik, then of course the Qur’an is superior, but then that’s because libertarianism is a product of a radically different culture and would have been catastrophic if applied to ancient semitic tribal cultures.

  36. #36 |  BSK | 

    “If the United States is going to be a safe haven for these people, the federal government needs to aggressively root out the foreign, often state-backed support of radical Islam that is trying to co-op these communities.”

    What is the size and impact of the proponents of radical Islam in America?

  37. #37 |  BSK | 

    Mike-

    I don’t mean that to be snarky… I’m genuinely curious about any numbers or stats that point towards the threat posed by more radical elements of Islam, whether it is manifest in corruption of existing Muslim communities or threats to other interests.

  38. #38 |  Mike T | 

    Fair question, actually. The problem with getting the stats is that the feds won’t keep them because much of the funding comes from our #1 Frenemy in the Middle East: Saudi Arabia. Usually whenever something pops up in the media that is remotely controversial about Islam in the US, it has some sort of Saudi funding behind it. It is my understanding that there are signs that Park 51 may be getting a good chunk of its funding from either the Saudis or the Iranian government.

    Stephen Suleyman Schwartz is a journalist who follows this issue. He’s a convert to Sufism and has particularly followed the Sufi vs Islamist struggle in the US. You may want to either look up his organization and ask him if he has anything or start digging through his articles.

  39. #39 |  Mike T | 

    BSK,

    Here’s another take on that mosque, from a genuine moderate Muslim. As he put it, if the mosque is allowed to be built, it will be a rallying point for radical Islam as a sign that Islam is victorious.

    If that seems like hyperbole, then you have to realize that in the mode of warfare Islamists use (which is pre-modern), building your temple on or near a site where you defeated your enemy is a sign of victory, not “compromise.” When the Muslims overran Constantinople, one of the first things they did was turn the Hagia Sophia into a mosque to let Christendom know that the “Second Rome” had fallen forever into their hands.

  40. #40 |  scott in phx az | 

    It’s sad to see Radley falling for the ruse that Muslims are assimilating in the US.

    Right now we’ve got Muslim student groups shouting down politically incorrect speach in Universities. We’ve got increasing demands that accomodations be made in the name of their “religion” like foot-baths in Universities and Muslim-only prayer rooms. Private employers are inceasingly under pressure to modify work-rules to accomodate Muslim prayer times (imagine the outcry is Jews or Christians were demanding that). We’ve got Muslim dominated towns in Michigan that are actively hostile to non-Muslims. We’ve got demands that private health clubs establish Muslim-only swim times to accomodate Muslim “sensitivies” (to their gender-aparthied of women). There is more if anyone wants to do a little digging. It will become less and less necessary to dig for this information going forward.

    Oh yes, they are assimilating very well. Talk to me again about it when Muslims are 3-5% of the population as they are in many European countries. I wonder what the excuse will be then when “youths” (that is Muslim youths) are rioting nightly and sexual assault rates begin increasing as they are in France and the Scandanavian coutries.

    But what do I know, I’m just a bigot.

  41. #41 |  Mo | 

    Mike T,

    True is made it easy for men to divorce their wives, but it was also the first religion that allowed women to divorce their husbands. Also, the Quran is very explicit about requiring fathers and brothers to support their daughters and sisters.

    Also, I don’t get how you can, in the same post talk about the potential of radicals being associated with this community center and laud Sufis. You are aware that the group behind it are Sufis?

  42. #42 |  Joe | 

    The Qur’an recognizes many more rights for women than the Bible or the Torah (the right to inherit being an important one).

    First of all Adam, you mean the old testiment. The new testiment is hardly anti woman.

    You know something Adam, I will give you that Islam was a step forward for women in 610. Islam was downright progressive to women by the standards of the day. But Europe started to change in the 1400s and 1500s and it never looked back. Then the Enlightenment came. And both mainstream Christianity and Judiasm embraced those secular changes, for the most part.

    Islam, at least in Islamic countries, not so much. Because when your law is handed down by God, in black and white terms, it is hard to change it. Even then, the Koran preaches forgiveness and leinancy on punishment, yet a lot of countries (Saudi Arabia and Iran come to mind) don’t seem to have gotten that side of the sermon.

  43. #43 |  BSK | 

    Mike-

    To your second point though, isn’t that cowtowing to the fanatics? Basically, we are saying that we are restricting or limiting (perhaps not legally but at least de facto) the rights of moderate Muslims because extremists, who may have no actual affiliation with the group in question, would hold up that group’s successes as their own triumphs. I believe you are right that some fanatics may view the building of Park51 as a testament to the righteous of their movement or some other twisted perception. But there is only so much that can be controlled. People will always manipulate things to their own ends. Virulent racists in America view the Iraq War as evidence to the white race’s superiority. This is obviously a non-representative, fringe point of view that really has nothing to do with the Iraq War, but couldn’t, by the same logic, people say the war shouldn’t have happened because of the ammo it lends to such groups? (I know the analogy isn’t 100% apt, but bear with me.)

    Fanatics and extremists are going to do what fanatics and extremists do. Whether it is Park51 or a Muslim winning a beauty pageant, those who are resigned to dealing in propaganda will propagandize. If we somehow prevent the building of Park51, those same fanatics may use it as evidence of America or the West’s oppression of Islam. You can’t win those types of battles dealing with extremists. What you CAN do, and what I believe we ought to do, is stand by our core principals and be unwilling to relent on the values that make our countries great. If we really believe the extremists hate us for our freedoms (not something I believe, personally, but I know a lot do), then I hardly see how we win that war with them by restricting the freedoms of others.

    Now, I do realize the situation is complicated if their is indeed Wahhabi money involved in the plan. But even if the Wahhabi’s or other supporters of Park51 do teach hateful, vial perversions of Islam, they are still entitled to their beliefs. Without any evidence of legal wrongdoing (which would include intimidation of other Muslims), I don’t think there is a basis to restrict their opportunities. Of course, we are just as entitled to voice our opposition if this is indeed the case and, presuming we can secure the landspace, build a giant cultural center right next door denouncing their views. Such is life in a free country.

    Note: I’m not sure if you are indeed advocating that they be prevented from building Park51 or just have questions as to the potential impacts of it. So you, personally, may not be interested in actually restricting or limiting their rights. But if we do hold them to any type of different standard as a function of their religion, I do believe that is wrong.

  44. #44 |  BSK | 

    And to your first point, I’ve poked around a bit, too and found some interesting stuff on the impact of different Muslim groups in the states. I would say that I am more troubled the the government’s complicity in downplaying certain events as a function of their relationship with Saudi Arabia than I do with the events themselves. I think that religious whackos, be they Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Pastafarian, or whatever, are a natural consequence of the religious freedom we enjoy in this country. I don’t necessarily consider their teachings acceptable, but I accept their right to exist. I also don’t know that we have any more to fear, domestically, from Muslim groups than we do from Christian groups. Fringe (and not-so-fringe, in some cases) groups from both faiths pose genuine dangers. I think we should be more focused on the dangerous behaviors and less on the faith of the group. What I mean by this is that any group stockpiling weapons and talking about a clash of civilizations should be closely monitored; I don’t care what God they pray to.

  45. #45 |  qwints | 

    @ Adam, your correction is noted. I should have said the Islamic world and possibly also could have said Muslims.

    @scott
    “Private employers are inceasingly under pressure to modify work-rules to accomodate Muslim prayer times (imagine the outcry is Jews or Christians were demanding that).”
    Ever heard of Sunday closing laws? The Supreme Court has held that the government can constitutionally force all or certain classes of businesses to close on the Christian sabbath. This is not a new problem. In addition, customers and employers are free to pressure businesses to offer accommodations as a condition of their custom or employment. It’s not even problematic until they seek the coercive power of law.

  46. #46 |  qwints | 

    @ Adam, your correction is noted. I should have said the Islamic world and possibly also could have said Muslims.

    @scott
    “Private employers are inceasingly under pressure to modify work-rules to accomodate Muslim prayer times (imagine the outcry is Jews or Christians were demanding that).”
    Ever heard of Sunday closing laws? The Supreme Court has held that the government can constitutionally force all or certain classes of businesses to close on the Christian sabbath. This is not a new problem. In addition, customers and employers are free to pressure businesses to offer accommodations as a condition of their custom or employment. It’s not even problematic until they seek the coercive power of law.

  47. #47 |  scott in phx az | 

    “Ever heard of Sunday closing laws?”

    Yeah, and I realize there are a myriaid of radical Christian groups constantly advocating for them.

    Not.

  48. #48 |  BSK | 

    Scott-

    Please cite sources for those claims.

    Additionally, as Qwints pointed out, Muslims are free to pressure as they see fit and private businesses are free to bow to that pressure or ignore it or seek something in the middle. Such is the nature of a free country.

    Now, if there is widespread pressure from Muslim groups for such actions to be taken, that does raise a question to just how “assimilated” they are. However, a few isolated instances does not disqualify the social circumstances of the entire group, numbered to be over 3 million. You must also consider whether actions that are taken with respect to Muslim believes or social norms are being taken under pressure or done voluntarily. I just read of a high school in Michigan that moved football practices during Ramadan to the middle of the night. This was done because Muslims fast during Ramadan and several of the Muslim players on the team were unable to fully participate in practice while fasting. But the change was made voluntarily by the school, because the Muslim players were some of the better players on the team and the school didn’t want to risk losing them, so they made an accommodation for them. The players didn’t ask for it, the school simply offered it. Yet, I have seen folks with a similar position as your own hold this up as another example of America yielding to Muslim pressures, despite the absence of any actual pressure.

  49. #49 |  flukebucket | 

    Damn Scott. I figured guys like you were so busy freaking out over the Mexicans that you would not have time to freak out over the Muslims.

  50. #50 |  Mattocracy | 

    #40 | scott in phx az |

    All that you listed pisses me off too. But Muslims aren’t any different than any another minority group demanding special rights. The most effective way to deal with it is just not to give it to them.

    “Yeah, and I realize there are a myriaid of radical Christian groups constantly advocating for them. Not”

    Come here to Georgia where there is a fight to end the ban on Sunday alcohol sales. There are still Christians pushing their religion down our throats. I’m not really worried about them turning the US into a theocratic police state anymore than I am the Muslims or Scientologists.

    Just because a few cherry picked examples exist showing Muslism being dicks doesn’t mean the majority are that way. Just like a handful of racial insensitive remarks at Tea Parties doesn’t make all Tea Partiers bigots.

  51. #51 |  qwints | 

    #47 | scott in phx az | August 18th, 2010 at 10:57 am
    “‘Ever heard of Sunday closing laws?”

    Yeah, and I realize there are a myriaid of radical Christian groups constantly advocating for them.

    Not.”

    There actually are a lot of legal changes that radical Christian groups are constantly advocating for, occasionally with the help of Muslim groups.

    For example: Requiring prayer in schools, abstinence-only education and fighting the teaching of evolution. Criminalizing abortion and homosexuality. Increasing government funding to religious social programs.

    As a socially liberal atheist, I’m opposed to all of those things. I get quite frustrated with radical right groups like the American Family Association or the Texas State Board of Education. ;) I and others combat the radical Christian right through political speech and voting. But I don’t dispute their right to exist, speak or build churches wherever they want. Although it bothers me, I also oppose a lot of the restrictions put on anti-abortion protesters. If they want to put up a 2 story high picture of an aborted fetus on a college campus, I’m fine with that right.

    I absolutely understand that many of those opposed to the Park 51 Islamic center do not dispute their right to build. But I have not seen a coherent objection to the placement of the center that isn’t built on an irrational fear/hate of Islam or the belief that Islam is responsible for 9/11. Instead I see the same people and the same style of rhetoric opposed to the center that I have consistently opposed.

    Tl;dr version:

    Opposing people’s idea while respecting their rights is fine. I don’t like the people opposing the Park 51 Islamic Center because they look and sound like the radical right.

  52. #52 |  MassHole | 

    Either you are for property right or not. The rest is bullshit.

  53. #53 |  Charlie O | 

    “But what do I know, I’m just a bigot.”

    Ok Scott, I’ll bite. You’re a bigot. And completely lame.

    Christians have been pulling the very same crap you’re complaining about for as long as I can remember. Virtually every liquor law in the US (closed on Sunday, can’t serve until noon, whatever) is because of what christian want. Laws against gambling and prostitution, all based on christian moral “values.” You sir are all wet. Give it up.

  54. #54 |  EH | 

    “What Americans tend to not understand about Islam in the US versus Europe is that Europe has gotten mostly the “trash” of the Islamic world and that, combined with multiple factors, is why they are facing societal calamity”

    Is this like how the US has gotten mostly the “trash” of the Christian world?

  55. #55 |  scott in phx az | 

    yeah, all, everybody is just as bad as everybody else.

    BS, that’s moral equivocation.

    this is not an argument about religion, i’m not religious, and i don’t care what fantasy anyone believe in providing it doesn’t serve as a justification to be-head those who you disagree with (as Islam does) nor have as its goal the religious domination of the world (by violence if necessary, a maybe by preferance) as Islam does.

    this is a thread about Radley’s poorly informed statement that Muslims are assimilating in the US.

    that is an arguable point which no one here can prove, indeed, as I pointed out, there are many examples of exactly the opposite. there are many more egregious examples if one cares to do a little research.

    as i’ve pointed out here before, politically correct thought runs deep, even in supposedly libertarian circles.

    oh, and flukbucket, or is that fuckhead, my is Hispanic, so piss off.

  56. #56 |  scott in phx az | 

    correction,

    my wife is hispanic, so fuckhead, piss off.

  57. #57 |  Les | 

    The new testiment is hardly anti woman.

    Ephesians 5:22-33

    Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

    ————-

    1 Corinthians 14:34

    let the women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but let them be in subjection, as also saith the law.

  58. #58 |  Mattocracy | 

    This isn’t about political correctness. It’s about being accurate with your accusations. You saying that some people aren’t assimilating based on a few hand picked examples has less credibility than polls based on several thousand examples and verified under peer review.

    So don’t call it political correctness when that obviously isn’t the issue. This about opinions based on statistical research vs opinions based on one person’s world view. One party in this thread is very biased, I think you are confused as to who that is.

  59. #59 |  scott in phx az | 

    polls (!?) are verified under “peer review”?

    methinks Matt you don’t know what peer review means, how embarassing.

    but as to those polls – GOOD NEWS! a full 80% of American Muslims oppose suicide bombing for ANY reason. but who cares about the 20% that don’t oppose suicide bombing for ANY reason, let me guess – they are not assimilating?

    and, dig down a little and you’ll find that opposition to suicide bombing drops when the reason is to defend Islam.

    i wonder how many American Americans support suicide bombings for ANY reason?

    you may be right of course, at least in your case, that it is not about political correctness, much of the time it is just about stupidity.

  60. #60 |  Mo | 

    We’ve got increasing demands that accomodations be made in the name of their “religion” like foot-baths in Universities and Muslim-only prayer rooms. Private employers are inceasingly under pressure to modify work-rules to accomodate Muslim prayer times (imagine the outcry is Jews or Christians were demanding that).

    Kosher and vegetarian meals in universities are accommodations made for religious beliefs. Many companies let religious Jewish employees get home in time for dusk on Friday so they can observe the Sabbath. Lots of universities already have chapels for Christian prayer, so why is it offensive that Muslim students get spaces for their own prayer. Christians don’t need to worry about their prayer times because they already get Sunday off. If the weekend were moved to Friday and Saturday, you’d better believe that Christians would bitch and moan that it was inconvenient to their religious services. These complaints make it quite obvious that you can’t imagine a world that’s not constructed around your belief system. I don’t see a problem with organizations voluntarily making accommodations for their customers and employee? Why do you? Is it because they’re different from your views? How does a foot washing bath affect you at all?

  61. #61 |  Mattocracy | 

    The Pew poll is a hell of a lot more peer reviewed than anything you’ve said here. Me thinks you don’t know what you’re talking about. I like how you just scoff at the idea just so you can dissmiss it without actually acknowledging that fact. You’re the one who needs to be embarrased.

    And if you read the poll, only 4% of adult Muslims over 30 actually think suicide bombing is ever acceptable. It’d be nice it were 0, but I’m not gonna lose sleep over 4% because there are plenty of people in this world who view violence as appropriate sometimes and they’re rarely more than talk.

    You’re right, this is about stupidity. Every comment you have made is unverified, without evidence, and based on conjecture. Your biases are soley based on guilt by association. A common, ugly meritless form of argument. Stupidity in it’s purest. Get over yourself.

  62. #62 |  scott in phx az | 

    Mo,

    as I pointed out I”m not religious, I’ll work on any day. Many Jews and Christians work on their “holy” days.

    my “belief system”? excuse me, I grew up in this “belief system”, that is one in which the w/e is Sat/Sun. did that system evolve because of Judeo/Christian traditions, I’ve never thought about it – it just is.

    so, if Muslims want to assimilate they need to accept that, not demand special consideration. thats what assimilation means. note that it is more than just “voluntary” accomodation – there are many calls for mandantory accomodation up to and including the imposition of Muslim sharia law (at least for Muslims – though in Muslim dominated countries non-Muslims must abide by sharia also, and sharia makes them 2nd class citizens).

    thats what this thread is about, though everyone wants to turn my challenge of Radleys assertion into a relgious argument.

    as far as i can tell, it appears from the polls that Radley cites, that at bare minimum, 20% of Muslims in America aren’t assimilating, which doesn’t subtract from the supposed success of the other 80%, but it should make one wonder why even 20% of Muslim Americans can’t figure out that suicide bombers (murderers actually) should be opposed under any circumstances. and it hardly makes Radleys claim that Muslim integration is an “overwhelming” success story. i don’t think a 20% minority that supports suicide bombing, for ANY reason (and more for certain reasons) is something to crow about.

    Radly is happy that we’re not seeing the problems with Muslim immigrants as they are in Europe (isn’t even admitting the Europe is having problems racist and and example of Islamophobia?), but my contention is that day will come.

    Jews are already beginning to flee Europe because the politically correct fantasy there insists that all cultures are equal so they refuse to recognize the problem. and the problem is Islam is fundmentally anti-Semetic (and anti-Christian, in fact it is just anti-everything not Muslim).

    as another blog noted once – Europe traded 6 million Jews for 45 million Muslims, good luck with that.

    again, let’s talk about this when Muslims are 3-5% of the population. don’t say you weren’t warned.

  63. #63 |  scott in phx az | 

    hey Matt, right back at ya!

  64. #64 |  BSK | 

    Scott-

    You talk about the problems with Muslim assimilation in the US by listing behaviors you find problematic committed by Muslims in other countries. Clearly you must see the logical fallacy in that. Now, if you don’t, then I suppose you also oppose my people (Italians) being here, given how we think socialism is the correct form of governance. Or do you only apply such gross generalizations to certain groups?

  65. #65 |  BSK | 

    “it should make one wonder why even 20% of Muslim Americans can’t figure out that suicide bombers (murderers actually) should be opposed under any circumstances. and it hardly makes Radleys claim that Muslim integration is an “overwhelming” success story.”

    What about all the Americans who supported the bombing of sovereign nations like Afghanistan and Iraq?

    The fact is, you are holding Muslims in America to a different standard, apparently simply as a function of their religion. Maybe those 20% accept suicide bombings under certain circumstances because they think explosions are cool or because they are sociopaths or because of a reason completely unrelated to their religion? You are heaping any flaws of people of the Muslim faith inherently to Islam, which is simply ridiculous.

  66. #66 |  BSK | 

    Just caught this gem by Scotty…
    “i wonder how many American Americans support suicide bombings for ANY reason?”

    What exactly is an American American? It’s clear you think Muslims are not TRUE Americans and, thus, ought to be treated differently.

  67. #67 |  scott in phx az | 

    BSK,

    No, I oppose assertions even by Radley that the Muslim assimilation story is one of “overwhelming success” even though Matt’s “peer reviewed” (LOL) Pew poll claims that.

    There is ample evidence to suggest that the real story is much more nuanced than that and that as the younger Muslim population grows we will see more of the problems now being experienced in Europe.

    Refusal to talk about those problems, or to try to make it into a religious argument is, IMHO, stupid (notice how Matt is careful to point out that the over 30 Muslims are only 4% likely to support suicide bombings without wondering why and what will happen if those under 30 don’t change their minds).

    No, on this site, as on others, even so called “conservative” blogs, question whether Islam is really a “relgion of peace”, or in any way shape or form criticize Islam, and you run into a buzz saw of vituperation.

    Even here, you can make those “gross generalizations” about Cops, government officials, born-again Christians, or any of a number of politically correct whipping boys, but not Islam.

    That is dissapointing, especially from supposed Libertarians, who I’ve always thought were supposed to be better thinkers.

    But I suppose the Bell Curve applies here as well.

  68. #68 |  scott in phx az | 

    BSK,

    I noted the question about “American” Americans, because this post is all about “Muslim” Americans and how they are assimilating. Notice the Pew poll didn’t ask all Americans what there views were of suicide bombings, only “Muslim” Americans. But you didn’t have a problems with that.

    And this of course is your own fantasy construction of my views.

    “What exactly is an American American? It’s clear you think Muslims are not TRUE Americans and, thus, ought to be treated differently.”

    I’ve never said anything like that. Just another example of how any criticism of anything related to Islam will get you personally and viciously attacked.

  69. #69 |  BSK | 

    “There is ample evidence to suggest that the real story is much more nuanced than that and that as the younger Muslim population grows we will see more of the problems now being experienced in Europe.”

    Please provide the evidence.

    You are right that they only asked Muslim Americans. Ergo, we have no idea what the response rate of “American Americans” would be. You seem content to make it up though. So, please, enlighten us… what are the views of “American Americans” on suicide bombings?

  70. #70 |  scott in phx az | 

    No BSK, there is no reason to converse with you as you are an asshole.

  71. #71 |  Mattocracy | 

    Links to this ample evidence please. Otherwise, it’s a just a statement.

    The difference between you stating an overwhelming number of Muslims are not assimilating is not the same as the substantial amount evidence showing a systematic disregard by law enforcemment of people’s civil liberties. There is countless examples of several agencies all over the country that are violating the rights of US citizens. And rarely is it “All Cops are this way”, but it’s “These cops in particular. Please see well documented and researched evidence with these various links.” You haven’t backed up anything other than just making claims to the contrary.

    You dissmissed the poll linked above without any disection of it’s methods. You aren’t any better than the people who just right off the research showing the medicinal effects of marijuana without even looking at the evidence.

    You have still shown any evidence “that the majority of muslims are out to get us.” All you’ve done is resort to name calling and bringing up other issues unrelated to the topic at hand. If you disagree with the poll, then back it up with something substantial other than a few examples that you can’t prove are representitive of the whole.

  72. #72 |  flukebucket | 

    Cole has a good post up about the developer

    The guy seems pretty damned assimilated.

  73. #73 |  scott in phx az | 

    Matt,

    Both of your claims demonstrably false. I never said “that the majority of muslims are out to get us” and it was I who first called names (and or had aspersions cast upon my character).

    It would be funny, but looking at this thread its almost like nobody even read what I wrote. Blind supplication to political correctness.

    What a waste of time.

  74. #74 |  BSK | 

    This…
    “No BSK, there is no reason to converse with you as you are an asshole.”

    Translates to…
    “I can’t respond to what you say so I will resort to name calling.”

    The frustrating thing about debates like this is that I am generally interested in hearing other perspectives, since I think there is room for reasonable people to disagree. Yet every conversation either turns into name-calling (like this) or a full-on assault of baseless claims that fly right on past the point of the dialogue. Perhaps there is NOT other reasonable side so such conversations and what is just is?

  75. #75 |  TheoB | 

    “escalating hysterics”

    I gather you are left handed, Balko? Or just on some days maybe? Shoddy work!

  76. #76 |  Mattocracy | 

    Excuse me, you said Muslims aren’t assimilating, not that they’re out to get us.

    Nonetheless, still no links to verify that assertion I see. Just you picking at one aspect of my comment above and refusing to answer any of the other questions posed. Reading comprehension? Try responding the issues raised. Wasting time indeed. Again, this isn’t about being PC, its about backing up your claims. You still haven’t done that.

  77. #77 |  Les | 

    Guys, you don’t get it. Muslims in Europe are acting in a particular way, which, when you realize that people in religious and ethnic groups are all the same and not really comprised of individuals, means that they will act in exactly the same way over here. Because Muslims in Europe = Muslims in America = Muslims in Australia = Muslims in Canada = Muslims in Argentina, etc., etc. They’re behavior is all the same because they’re Muslims!

    If you can’t see the clarity of the logic that denies environment and individuality while simultaneously ignoring actual polls, then you’re just being politically correct.

  78. #78 |  Joe | 

    Howard Dean calls for compromise.

    What a demogog!

  79. #79 |  Joe | 

    Les, I can assure you that those bible quotes you found do not carry any authority, persusaive or otherwise, with my wife.

  80. #80 |  Les | 

    Nor mine, Joe, even when I point them out to her! Can you believe it?

    I think that like Christians, Muslims (especially in the west) tend to pick and choose which parts of their scriptures they choose to follow. The Koran and the Bible are filled with both poetic wisdom and barbaric horrors and the trend has continued to be that more and more followers ignore the latter and try to focus on the former.

    In that sense, I’m optimistic about the assimilation of most any group of people.

  81. #81 |  Z | 

    “We don’t have the Muslim ghettos, separatist movements, rioting, and the tense cultural clashes Europe has. There have been some arrests of alleged home-grown Islamic terrorists in America, but there are going to be extremist outliers in any ethnic, religious, or ideological group of 3 million people.”

    I like you Radley, but you’re being naive. How many Lutherans, or Christian African Americans, or Chinese immigrants get charged in plots to blow up subways and sell missiles to shoot down planes?

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_times_square_car_bomb

    http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2010/04/12/details-emerge-in-new-york-subway-terror-plot/

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/regional/item_6Aj75Jlg3pKKHbp11EaLHL

    For starters. This is not about being anti-Muslim by the way. I make no claims that all Muslims are terrorists or that all terrorists are Muslims. I make no claims that other groups do not commit evil deeds. I am simply saying that Islam, since it’s inception, has been premised on conquest. So have many other faiths of course- the difference is that Islam, until the fall of the Ottoman Empire, was in a position of great power: that fall and the creation of Israel are twin sores on the Muslim psyche. How could people who are supposedly inherently better than you lose so much land and be forced to cope with 7 million Jews in their midst? Unacceptable! And that, my friend, is when certain Muslims, especially those beset with financial and family pressures, further evidence of their fall from grace, decide to play with fire.

  82. #82 |  PW | 

    Translates to…
    “I can’t respond to what you say so I will resort to name calling.”

    That’s an odd grievance coming from a guy whose standard schtick is to scream “racist!” at any opinion that dissents from his rabidly multiculturalist and race-obsessed perspective.

  83. #83 |  PW | 

    As to the mosque, it’s actually been fast tracked through all the permit and historical commission reviews (as in the same historical commission that didn’t get around to processing the landmark designation for the same site in the 21 years it was on the schedule for review, yet cleared it for the mosque in a couple of weeks) right in the public eye. And Michael Bloomberg, who has aggressively pushed the mosque, would certainly qualify as a political supporter/

  84. #84 |  Radley Balko | 

    How many Lutherans, or Christian African Americans, or Chinese immigrants get charged in plots to blow up subways and sell missiles to shoot down planes?

    I can name plenty of Christians who have shot abortion doctors or bombed abortion clinics. I can also name some Christian white separatist and militia groups apprehended as they were about at the same point in planning out a terrorist plot as most of these alleged Islamic plots we’ve read about. Remember the Michigan Christian militia that was stockpiling weapons and planned to go out gunning down cops? The white Christian who flew his plane into an IRS building?

    I’m not saying there aren’t homegrown Muslim fanatics. I’m saying there’s little evidence that we have a European-style Muslim problem. And I’m not convinced we need to fear homegrown Islamic extremists any more than we need to fear homegrown extremists driven by other belief systems. And I think the government probably overstates the real threat posted by any of them.

  85. #85 |  Les | 

    Throughout American history, there have been groups that were scary to some. The Germans bothered Ben Franklin. The Irish, the Chinese, blacks, Catholics, communists, among others, were all supposed to ruin America, somehow.

    And there’s always a vocal group of people who aren’t shy about professing their baseless fears, fears that THIS time THIS group of people are the ones who are going to change America. But it never happened and I doubt it ever will.

    There are qualities about America that are so universally appreciated that most people embrace them. It seems the fear-mongers think these great qualities are not so strong as to protect them from the fears that have never come to pass.

  86. #86 |  Joe | 

    Radley,

    “The white Christian who flew his plane into an IRS building?”

    His suicide note does not show Christianity being a motivation, other than his dislike of the Catholic Church getting tax exempt status. In fact, his dislike of taxes and government makes him seem like he could have fit in at this site just fine.

    What next, you going to tell us Tim McVeigh was a Christian terrorist too? He wasn’t. His motivation was secular. Which only shows that you do not need religion to make you nuts or turn you into a monster.

    Yes American Muslims are overwhelmingly great citizens and well assimilated. But we have also had quite a few lone wolf shooting events motivated by Islam (mostly involving Muslim immigrants) and a few dozen youth getting sucked in and flying off for terrorist training in Yemen and elsewhere. So it is an issue. Granted not an overwhelming one, but it is a point of concern. Especially given the Muslim population of the Uniteds States is around 2-3 million.

    And obviously there are Christian motivated terrorists too. Fortunately not many. They are mostly related to abortion and are almost universally condemned and vigorously prosecuted.

    As far as White Supremacist groups–yeah some are professed “Christian” but most are more into their racial hate ideology than prayer meetings. Again, they are universally condemned and also vigorously prosecuted.

    As for the Park 51/Cordoba House. I do not like the location. That is not demogogery. I just don’t like it. I think it is inappropriate and I hope they find another location. And it is my free speech to say so. Hell, even Howard Dean agrees with me (how friggin weird is that). And I would not like it if they built a church or secular building dedicated to Eric Rudolf near one of his abortion clinic bombings. I would condemn that too.

    And I do consider Ayn Rand a hero.

  87. #87 |  BSK | 

    No, PW, I just call YOU the racist because you think the only REAL racism that exists is committed against plumbers…

  88. #88 |  Joe | 

    And I recognize the Park 51/Cordoba House is not about dedicating its project to the memory of Mohammed Atta and the terrorists. But they have to realize that because Islam (a twisted form of it to be sure) was the motivation of the attack, the location is controversial.

  89. #89 |  BSK | 

    Joe-

    My question to that position is how far would the mosque need to be before it is non-controversial? I know that offers have been made to move the mosque, but I haven’t seen the specific locales. I know some people would just prefer to not see any mosque built, but for those who simply think it is only a matter of location, I’m curious to, literally, where the line is drawn.

  90. #90 |  BSK | 

    Joe-

    Just saw your earlier statement, in which you said: “And I would not like it if they built a church or secular building dedicated to Eric Rudolf near one of his abortion clinic bombings.”

    A point of clarification… are you attaching “dedicated to Eric Rudolf” to both “church” and “secular building”? Would you consider ANY church (or at least any church of the same denomination of Rudolf” to be a problem? Or just if it were specifically dedicated to him?

    Thanks.

  91. #91 |  Joe | 

    Any church or building dedicated to Eric Rudolph or his mission of violence would be offensive, regardless of where it was located. I am not saying you could not do it (under free speech grounds) but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

    But lets say some church that Eric Rudolph* attended, purchased land near or at one of the abortion bombing sites to build a church, I would be opposed to it. Could they do it? Of course. But I would still be opposed to it.

    Just like if some secularist militia or group associated with Tim McVeigh tried to open a building next to the Oklahoma federal building, I would think that inappropriate too.

    * Eric Rudolph is nuts. He has been described alternatively as Catholic, Fundamentalist Christian, White Supremacist, Anti Semetic, Dope smokin and growin, Homophobe, though he stated that he prefers Nietzsche to the Bible. I am sure he has plenty of time to ponder those thoughts at the SuperMax Facility in Florence, Co.

  92. #92 |  Joe | 

    BSK, that is a good question. How far is far enough? Certainly Chelsea. Probably just agreeing to move at all (even if it were a few blocks more) would symbolically sever this project from ground zero. It seems like it was not just chance that landed it next to ground zero.*

    * David Frum says it was an upside down condo project whose promoters teamed up with the Iman to sell this project as a Muslim cultural center near Ground Zero. The obvious goal was to raise Gulf funding. I am not sure if Frum is right on his version of events, but it is tying funding to the Gulf and its close proximity to Ground Zero that raises the concern (and a legitimate one) that it could be perceived as being tied to Ground Zero.

  93. #93 |  BSK | 

    Joe-

    Thanks for clarifying. First, I realized you were talking about your feelings on the matter and not on any actual legal maneuvering.

    Second, I think the problem with applying the type of thinking articulated in your most recent post with the current situation with Park51 is that the ONLY link between Park51 and 9/11 is they both fall under a very broad umbrella of “Islam”. To this point, there is no reason to believe that there is any connection, direct or otherwise, between Park51 and Al Quaeda. Now, as you stated, there is the possibility that extremist groups will twist Park51 into a monument, but that possibility always exists. To denounce Park51 for something that is completely out of their control and which they’ve given us no reason to believe is a part of their mission seems unfair. To make an apt analogy, you would have to oppose any church within blocks of an abortion clinic that was bombed or attack by Christian right-to-lifers.

    I think there is a big jump from structures intended to celebrate or honor people who take the lives of others and those that are only loosely connected with such people and that make no intention of even recognizing them. And without any evidence that Park51 holds any such intent, I don’t feel I’m in position to criticize.

    Of course, you are still entitled to your opinion. I just disagree.

  94. #94 |  BSK | 

    Joe-

    Your 2nd post came through as I typed mine, so I didn’t see it.

    I see your perspective and I think if Frum’s claims are substantiated, than the center/Imam open themselves up for a lot more criticism.

    What I thought about today was how this issue came into the limelight. Obviously, plans have been in place for over a year and only very recently has it received major attention. I don’t know the details well enough to know if the Imam/center sought out attention, either through general publicity or for less genuine intentions or if the backlash put it front and center or a combination of the two or what. Sometimes I think if they were just left to quietly build the center (assuming they would build it quietly), most people wouldn’t even know it was there. I lived in NYC for two years… there is so much construction going on there that people very rarely know which is which, unless a big to-do is made about it. I can also say that I probably identified 3 mosques of the supposed 100+ that exist in the city. So, if everyone’s intentions were pure, this whole mess probably could have been avoided. I doubt anyone walking down the street in 10 years passing the mosque (out of line-of-sight of WTC) would notice much. Unfortunately, it seems that there are questionable motives on all sides.

  95. #95 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Religion seems to suck.

  96. #96 |  Les | 

    Everyone has different reasons to oppose religious freedom. But it seems to be happening a lot.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_upshot/20100809/pl_yblog_upshot/mosques-around-the-country-facing-opposition

  97. #97 |  Woog | 

    I take Islam’s own fundamental holy book at face value. The Koran states it is moral to lie to infidels; that the Koran itself is subject to satanic influence (also explicitly acknowledging the principle of abrogation); and that the last chronological commandments given to Muslims are to wage war against the entire world until “all religion is for Allah”.

    Not all Muslims obey the current Islamic marching orders, and in fact, the utterly vast majority do not. However, that fact does not redeem an ideology that damns itself openly.

    This note certainly won’t convince Islamic apologists, but for those who want to learn more, I’ve found prophetofdoom.net to be a fantastic initial resource.

  98. #98 |  qwints | 

    The article that Joe’s presumably referring to:
    http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/08/10/david-frum-is-the-ground-zero-mosque-a-publicity-stunt

    If Frum’s right, I’m wrong. That would mean that the developers of the center deliberately intended the connection with the World Trade Center site, and that’s as despicable as anyone else exploiting the memory of a tragedy for profit.

  99. #99 |  PW | 

    “The Irish, the Chinese, blacks, Catholics, communists, among others, were all supposed to ruin America, somehow.”

    I’m pretty sure the first four groups turned out okay, but the communists? Well looking at Washington right now…

  100. #100 |  PW | 

    “Not all Muslims obey the current Islamic marching orders, and in fact, the utterly vast majority do not. However, that fact does not redeem an ideology that damns itself openly.”

    But…but…but…you’re just being a “racist” and you must hate muslims because they are “minorities” and “brown people” who have all been oppressed and wronged by America in the past! And…and…well…Christianity isn’t any better because, well, we burned a bunch of witches in 1693, and Inquisited some people or whatever that means in the 1400′s…and the bible, well, it’s violent too and they even turned an entire town of gay people into salt in like a gazillion BC or something…and SLAVERY! So how dare you suggest that it is wrong for a lynch mob in Iran to stone people to death on the streets last week because it’s just part of their culture and ours is really no better. You racist.

  101. #101 |  BSK | 

    PW translation…

    “I can’t actually debate your point, so I will make the most ridiculous strawman argument possible, conflating various arguments made on various different topics to demonize my opponents and belittle the very real issues that people care about. Instead of engaging in legitimate discourse, I’ll continue to resort to school yard tactics, turning everything into an us vs them or, really, me vs the world and just generalize my opponents or the targets of my hate into one nameless, faceless mob that lacks any nuance or individuality, because it is beyond my intellectual capacity to think in anything but the most absolute black-and-white terms.”

  102. #102 |  PW | 

    Except, BSK, it’s not a straw man because persons here (read: you) have used every single one of those arguments to excuse away Islamic nutcases.

    They (again meaning you) have:

    - abusively called others racist
    - described muslims as “brown people” who are subject to “racism”
    - described muslims as a “minority” group deserving of protected status
    - asserted, without evidence, that America has a history of committing unnamed “wrongs” against muslims
    - cited historical failures of the west from hundreds or even thousands of years ago to justify and draw an absurd moral equivalence between it and atrocities that are going on in the muslim world today.

    Dispute this? Then answer the simple questions I posed to you the other day.

    1. What specific “past wrongs” has the United States done to Islam?

    2. In what sense, if any, are muslims “minorities”?

    You’ve yet to provide a satisfactory answer.

  103. #103 |  BSK | 

    Woog-

    I won’t pretend to have a detailed knowledge of any passage of the Koran (or the Bible or Torah or any other religious text). So, for the sake of this argument, I will concede that the Koran has every bit of ugliness and self-damnation you ascribe to it.

    That being said, to denounce the ugly realities of Islam does not mean we must denounce Muslims. All people are capable of ugliness and beauty. That may derive from their religion or from a variety of other sources or the interplay between different sources. So, some Muslim guy may be view woman as inferior because of what it says in the Koran. Or it may be because he had a douche for a dad. Or because he was just inclined to that and likely would have viewed them as inferior regardless of his religion. Regardless of why he did, it would wrong. But just because some Muslim men, and maybe a disproportionate amount, will view women in this way and as a direct result of their religious background does not mean ALL Muslim men will. Religion is but one of many influences on individuals and each person will be influenced very differently. I do think it is fair to look at larger patterns or tendencies that develop and, if these are objectionable, to object. But I do not think it is fair to denounce every follower of a religion or an ideology because of the weakest or most vile aspects of the ideology or the most perverse followers of it.

    I also think it’s unfair to characterize those defending the cultural center of being Islamic apologists. Some certainly are, but not all, and it shifts the center of the conversation away from the issue at hand to a battle of personal ideologies. I, for instance, am incredibly bothered by Islam’s view of women and non-believers and the incredible repression that is carried out in its name. If we were debating that here, my tone would be very different. But we aren’t, as much as some people try to turn the conversation that way. The relative success of Muslims in America has little to nothing to do with the laws in Saudi Arabia. It has little to nothing to do with the more negative passages of the Koran. It has everything to do with how Muslim individuals function and carry themselves in American society today. The information that has thus far been provided, that looks at Muslims in the aggregate, shows them as being one of the better assimilated groups in recent American history. Who cares if the Koran tells them to stone women for talking to a man? If they reject that belief and accept American values, are they somehow less assimilated because of what their religious book says? If that is the case, the implication is that TRUE assimilation requires abandonment of one’s faith and adoption of the majority religion, a proposition I consider very troubling.

  104. #104 |  BSK | 

    PW-

    Because nothing will satisfy you. No matter what answer you are given, you dismiss it out of hand because it doesn’t fit your already-arrived-at conclusion.

    A fellow poster gave you a list of atrocities committed by America in the Muslim world. You didn’t accept that because you wanted evidence of such atrocities happening in America, despite no one making the argument that such atrocities ever occurred in America.

    I gave you an encyclopedic definition of minority and demonstrate how Muslims fit into that. You got all uppity insisting that the definition could also be twisted to fit plumbers and people with nose piercings and, therefore, it was useless.

    You conflate various arguments made at various times about various things because you are incapable of tracking different ones.

    I did not equate Muslim with being brown, though obviously most Muslims are of African or Southwest Asian descent. I listed different groups that you seem to find objectionable, but you seem unable to understand how a comma functions and assumed I was lumping them into one description. I was not.

    I talked about how your general world view seems colored by an obsession that any “beneficial” treatment bestowed upon groups you don’t like is a direct attack on you. I used the term “righting past wrongs” to demonstrate that not all of these actions are really beneficial as much as they are simply leveling an imbalanced playing field. I did not specifically say that Muslims were wronged and, thus, must be righted. Only that you perceive a situation in which they are receiving preferential treatment (something you have repeatedly refused to substantiate, despite repeated requests to), got your panties in a bunch, and flew off the handle into denouncing all Muslims, despite that being completely irrelevant to the point. You are so bothered by the idea that groups you despise are not universally despised that you go into attack mode whenever they are treated in a less-than-despicable way. It is clear, time and time again, that this is your worldview. You abandon principals you claim to hold valuable whenever those principals are used in defense of people you don’t like. And the people you tend to not like tend to include people of color and Muslims, two DISTINCT groups that overlap at times. Please try to not the use of the word “and” and how it delineates the two groups from one another.

    My question to you is… will you find any counter-argument convincing? Will you ever acknowledge the way America has wronged Muslim people around the world? There is plenty of evidence (including the mounting death toll in Iraq and Afghanistan) that they have. This isn’t necessarily evidence of explicit hatred on display, but bodies are bodies and the blood is on American hands. This also does not mitigate the American lives killed at the hands of Muslims. But every time you are given a piece of evidence contrary to your perspective, you twist the conversation. You asked for evidence of American wrongs done to Muslims. I just gave you two examples: Iraq and Afghanistan, two majority Muslim nations that were invaded by America and, in the process, saw hundreds of thousands of citizens killed. Can you deny that that has happened? And you ask for how Muslims are minorities. How about this… they make up approximately 1% of the country. That makes them a mathematical minority group. Happy now? I doubt it, because each of these runs counter to your idea that YOU are the true victim and any acknowledgment of the struggles of others somehow takes attention away from YOU.

  105. #105 |  BSK | 

    And please note that none of that was an attempt to excuse away the very real threat that true radical, extreme Islam is. It was simply done to debate your perception that ALL Muslims are a threat and that ALL Islam is radical and extreme. The tactic of dismissing your opponents of being in bed with the enemies and, therefore, is evil and should be ignored is one of most intellectually dishonest approaches to discussion you’ll find. You would have fit right in during the witch hunts…

  106. #106 |  Woog | 

    “Radical” is often used synonymously with “extreme”, but is most accurately used to describe something as “basic”.

    Basic Islam is an open, literal war against anything that isn’t Islam, or isn’t Islamic enough (i.e., the peaceful Muslims who aren’t waging war against the infidels are also considered infidels because they aren’t following the last commandments of the Koran).

    As far as the US is concerned, radical, fundamentalist, basic Islam is an active movement to subvert the lawfully-established government at all levels – according to its own holy books. It is a treasonous organization by its own free admission.

    This Islamic war does not always have to be fought in the traditional sense, especially in light of lies to infidels being moral under Islam as stated in the Koran.

    Islam states itself to be based on violence, coersion, and deceit. My heart mourns for the many people trapped unwillingly in its clutches, due to political, social, or police pressure, or even family pressure in the USA.

    I used to be a staunch defender of Islam in the USA, in particular because I thought of it as a religion, and assuming that to be true, once the bastards in D.C. stopped flexing their newfound legal power at Islam, it would turn on other religions in a blink. Since those years, I’ve learned much about the Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, the Declaration, and the viewpoints of the many Founders – D.C. is already operating criminally, and they generally don’t need excuses to behave as such.

    The federal government may not have been a Christian nation as reflected by the Treaty of Tripoli, but the sovereign States sure were Christian nations. Many States, to include New Hampshire, had an officially-sanctioned State religion – all some flavor of Christianity – before, during, and after the Revolution. “Religion” meant “Christianity”, and for those that reject the newfangled theory of a “living constitution” in place of the amendment process, it should still mean the same today.

    Thus, due to the core meaning of religion, but primarily because of Islam’s fundamental goal of literal world domination through any means possible, Islam is not a religion as the Founders envisioned such.

    Muslims need our help, especially those living in our country. Those who do not ask for help should of course be left alone to do as they wish. Those who continue to follow the fundamental, radical, basic Islamic commandments to wage war against the USA need to be recognized for what they are, and tried for treason and conspiracy in the most proper way possible.

    Walid Shoebat and Mark A. Gabriel have written additional material which helps pierce the veil of deceit surrounding Islam.

  107. #107 |  Joe | 

    Still, if this Cordoba House is going to go forward, here is a proposed art work for the Cordoba House museum: I love the classics! and this is similar to the intent of this project.

    How about a few of these too.

  108. #108 |  PW | 

    “A fellow poster gave you a list of atrocities committed by America in the Muslim world.”

    Yeah. And among those so-called “atrocities,” which were apparently posted by an anti-semitic bigot who you seemingly endorsed, was America’s simple tolerance for the fact that the Jewish state of Israel even exists. So I’ll ask again what specifically has the United States done that has “wronged” muslims?

  109. #109 |  PW | 

    “I did not equate Muslim with being brown”

    Another addition to BSK’s list of lies.

    “namely brown folks and Muslims” – BSK

    Source: http://www.theagitator.com/2010/08/14/on-this-manhattan-mosqueactivity-center-nonsense/#comment-411229

  110. #110 |  BSK | 

    Again, you fail to understand the word “and”. “Apples and oranges” does not equate apples TO oranges, but merely puts them together into a group, in this case, fruits. I put brown folks and Muslims together as two groups of people you don’t like. Why is that hard to understand? That is REALLY troubling if your reading comprehension is REALLY that poor. Maybe compound sentences are hard for you, thus the ambiguity with terms like “and”? Hm.

    Also, you quickly lump me in with someone who I am not. All I said was that the poster in question (whose name now escapes me) listed many instances of America killing Muslim citizens around the globe. I don’t remember him specifically stating the existence of Israel as one of those, but if he did, I disagree with that wholeheartedly. I also gave two examples: the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. You conveniently glossed over them because they didn’t fit your narrative.

    Talking to you is like playing a fucked up game of jeopardy…

    PW: What is 2+2?
    BSK: 4.
    PW: BZZZZZZ! Wrong! You didn’t put your answer in the form of question. You’re also wrong because I was talking about a base-6 system. Lastly, golfers say “fore” and this isn’t golf, so 0-for-3!

  111. #111 |  BSK | 

    I do appreciate the fact you are FINALLY offering a source for your rant. Unfortunately, it doesn’t show what you think it shows, do to the aforementioned inability to understand the word “and”.

  112. #112 |  BSK | 

    Here is the list bobzbob offered:
    “1) Overthrow of the government of Iran and the installation of a dictator in 1953

    2) Continued support of that dictator as his regime became brutally repressive

    3) Overthrow of the government of iraq and installation of a dictator in 1963.

    4) Continued support of that dictator as his regime became brutally repressive, even supplying him with chemical weapons components and intelligence associated with their use against other muslims.

    5) Support of the mass eviction and confiscation of palestinian owned in 1947

    7)support of the israeli policy of confiscation of muslim owned lands in the west bank for settlements (these “settlements” are often defended with US made arms) financed from the US.

    8) Support of the oppresive regime in Saudi Arabia”

    He does not say the mere existence of Israel was an example. He did offer our support of West Bank settlements as a time where America wronged Muslims. Not sure I agree with him on that, but:
    “support of the israeli policy of confiscation of muslim owned lands in the west bank for settlements (these “settlements” are often defended with US made arms) financed from the US…”
    …does not equate to…
    “Yeah. And among those so-called “atrocities,” which were apparently posted by an anti-semitic bigot who you seemingly endorsed, was America’s simple tolerance for the fact that the Jewish state of Israel even exists.”

    So, your question has been asked and answered. Yet you refuse to answer the question put to you (please provide sources that Park51 was fast tracked AND that this fast tracking was directly due to their religion). I’m really starting to think you are some sort of deaf, dumb, blind robot that simply spews out nonsense based on a Yahoo! search of buzz words in other posts. Come to think of it, that’s actually pretty cool!

  113. #113 |  PW | 

    equate v. To make or regard as equivalent or similar, especially in order to compare or balance.

    Were you not suggesting a similarity or comparison of treatment as applied to muslims AND brown people?

    “Also, you quickly lump me in with someone who I am not.”

    You endorsed him repeatedly on the last thread, and cited him approvingly in this one. That he is also an anti-semite, and that his list contained numerous anti-semitic insinuations, apparently did not phase you any. All I am suggesting is that it reflects poorly on your judgment of your associations.

  114. #114 |  PW | 

    I also suspect that if the United States reversed itself and decided to apply its concept of regime change to the oppressive Saudi Arabian royal family, persons such as yourself and Bobzbob would be among those loudly screaming that it was a “racist” war against muslims and “brown people.”

    And yes, Bobzbob expressed support for the belief that Jews should be kicked out of Israel when he was pressed on it, making a not so veiled suggestion that he believes them ALL to be occupying “muslim” land.

  115. #115 |  BSK | 

    You are seriously straight up idiotic. I equated them with regards to your FEELINGS towards them. If I were to say, “PW loves pizza and cheeseburgers,” would I be equating pizza and cheeseburgers? Only with regards to your feelings on them. I would not be saying that they are the same food. I do not think that people of color and Muslims are one in the same. Is nuance that hard for you to understand?

    bobzbob made ONE statement in that post that had ANYTHING to do with Israel. He did not mention Jews. He mentioned American support of Israeli settlements in the West Bank as something America did that harmed Muslims. He did not say that Israel had no right to exist. He didn’t even say that the settlements were wrong. But, the fact remains is that their existence IS harmful to Muslims, even if it’s justifiable. And America’s support of those settlements allows their continued existence, which is continually bad for Muslims. So, the fact remains, America has taken actions that have harmed Muslims. You can’t dispute that. And your continued attempts to demonstrate blatant insanity (though it seems that you MIGHT have moved on from that and simply to character assassination).

    My challenge to you remains: substantiate your claims that Park51 is receiving beneficial treatment solely as a function of pandering to Islam.

  116. #116 |  BSK | 

    So something he said several posts later that I do NOT agree with is inherently adhered to me because I agreed with an EARLIER post? Now you’re just being silly.

    And let’s not speculate on what we MIGHT say in a situation that has NOT happened. Let’s deal with what has been said, namely your contention that Park51 has benefited from undue political support purely as a function of their religion.

  117. #117 |  PW | 

    BSK -

    1. Your juxtaposition of islam and the term “brown people” was intended to link the two by race. In denying it you are simply being duplicitous. But that is nothing new for you.

    2. Bloomberg is a politician, is he not? And he has very publicly taken a political stance in favor of this mosque out of the belief that we should be multiculturally supportive of its islamic religious affiliation, has he not? And Bloomberg’s appointees greased the mosque through a multitude of bureaucracies and preservation boards that normally take several years, did they not? If so, then yes. The WTC mosque has indeed received widespread support for overtly political reasons.

  118. #118 |  PW | 

    “So something he said several posts later that I do NOT agree with is inherently adhered to me because I agreed with an EARLIER post?”

    Except that (1) those later posts were his direct elaboration on that earlier post, and (2) you repeatedly endorsed that earlier post long AFTER you saw evidence of his anti-semitism and its connection to that post. To suggest otherwise, as you now do, is to engage in duplicity, which you also frequently do.

  119. #119 |  BSK | 

    “1. Your juxtaposition of islam and the term “brown people” was intended to link the two by race. In denying it you are simply being duplicitous. But that is nothing new for you.”

    Thanks for crawling inside my head and telling me what my intent was. I still think you don’t know how the word “and” works.

    “2. Bloomberg is a politician, is he not? And he has very publicly taken a political stance in favor of this mosque out of the belief that we should be multiculturally supportive of its islamic religious affiliation, has he not?”

    He has supported the creation of Park51. Perhaps he should not have waded into the debate, but he was asked about it and answered.

    “And Bloomberg’s appointees greased the mosque through a multitude of bureaucracies and preservation boards that normally take several years, did they not? If so, then yes. The WTC mosque has indeed received widespread support for overtly political reasons.”

    You still have provided no evidence that they “greased” Park51 through. Again, just because you say something doesn’t mean it’s true.

    “(2) you repeatedly endorsed that earlier post long AFTER you saw evidence of his anti-semitism and its connection to that post. To suggest otherwise, as you now do, is to engage in duplicity, which you also frequently do.”

    I didn’t follow the entire dialogue you had with bobzbob so I don’t know exactly how he elaborated on one example among the 8 he gave. But fine, let’s take that one out. There are still 7 instances of America directly harming Muslims. Are you still going to insist it never happened? Are you really that much of a denialist?

    Let’s look a bit more at the rhetorical technique you are taking now…
    1.) bobzbob offers a list of wrongs done to Muslims by the American government. Included in that list is a comment on American support of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
    2.) I hold up his post as evidence of wrongs done unto Muslims by America, because you repeatedly insisted it never happened.
    3.) You and bobzbob have a separate conversation wherein he apparently admits to anti-Zionism.
    4.) You conflate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism.
    5.) I paid little attention to that conversation and have still only up to this point skimmed it over.
    6.) Because I endorsed bobzbob’s initial statement, which lacked any anti-Zionism or anti-Semitism, and he potentially later revealed being anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic, I am responsible for everything that comes out of his mouth.
    7.) Because you can’t debate the substance of my argument, you simply look for ways to assassinate my character with “gotcha” moments.
    8.) You continue to provide absolutely no evidence for your claims, instead getting more ridiculous in your counter-claims as a way to draw attention away from the weakness of your own argument.

    It is clear that you have no intentions of debating the merits of the situation, instead preferring to try to discredit your opponents and then insisting they should be regarded. Maybe bobzbob is a tyrannical anti-semite who hates all Jews. That doesn’t discount the fact that he gave you a list of true facts. It does not take away from that claim. Maybe I am the most race obsessed, leftist multiculturalist in the world. None of that discredits the question I ask (and you have still failed to answer) about the EVIDENCE substantiating the claim that political figures took deliberate action to facilitate the building of Park51 specifically because the builders were Muslim.

    I have substantiated my claim. I have noted how the 1st Amendment makes clear that the government has no ability to restrict the rights of a religious group based upon their religion. I have also argued this from a property rights standpoint, noting that the group is working on private property. I have noted that any restrictions placed on private property that are not intended to prevent specific and direct harm to the property of others should be removed for all owners. To the argument that the mosque is insulting or insensitive because of its placement, I have noted the precise location of the mosque (2 1/2 blocks from Ground Zero; out of line of sight), the preponderance of other buildings that would be questionable for a holy sight but people see no issue with, and the problem of conflating 19 terrorists who were of the Muslim faith with all Muslims.

    What, exactly, are you arguing? That bobzbob is an anti-semite and I am obsessed with race? Seriously, who the F cares? What the hell does that have to do with anything? Unless that leads us to conclusions on matters involving others that support us treating them in such a way that violates their rights, let us think what we want to think.

    Still, I await direct evidence that Park51 received preferential treatment through actions from the government that was granted based on their faith…

    I feel like I’m playing 20 questions, only the question is the same each time, and the answers are always to questions I did not ask…

  120. #120 |  PW | 

    1. There’s no need to crawl inside your head, BSK. Your propensity for a duplicitous if not outright dishonest use of language has been well documented here. Or shall we revisit the “racist” cameras at the Costco?

    2. Whether Bloomberg should have weighed in or not is superseded by the fact that he did, thus proving my contention that political muscle has indeed been flexed on the part of this mosque.

    3. Your “I didn’t follow the entire dialogue” excuse stretches credulity, as the topic of Bobzbob’s anti-semitism came up several times including in posts between us BEFORE you reposted and endorsed his list yesterday. Don’t lie about it, BSK. You got caught…again…and it’s best to simply drop the matter and move on.

    4. Bobzbob’s attempt to distinguish between anti-zionism and anti-semitism is yet another example of duplicity. When pressed on the topic it was plainly apparent that he thinks ALL Jews should be expelled from Israel, which he considers “muslim land.” Thus anti-zionism to him equates not to the simple halting of Israeli expansion but to the elimination of “zion” itself.

    5. Contrary to your claims, I answered the remainder of Bobzbob’s list the other day and it is lacking for similar reasons. First, there is not a single item on it that could be characterized as specifically “anti-muslim.” Rather, most were simple cold war posturing that happened to involve muslim countries and the rest were cases where the US actually sided WITH one muslim faction in a country, and it decided to war with others as muslim factions are very prone to do. Yet nowhere on his list is a single example of the US having an explicitly anti-islam policy, his conspiratorial babble about the Iraq war being a secret crusade on behalf of Israel notwithstanding.

  121. #121 |  BSK | 

    PW-

    1.) You keep harping on the Costco post, despite my explanation that my intent was other than what was implied and I chose my words sloppily. But as is your MO, one strike and I’m out! I continue to urge you to look up the definition of the word “and” in the dictionary.
    2.) Commenting is different than taking action. While words carry power and weight, if there is no evidence that action was taken to “grease” Park51 through the process, than your claims hold no water that it actually received preferential treatment, as opposed to simply having been looked favorably upon.
    3.) Why is it so hard to believe that I followed OUR dialogue and not the in’s-and-out’s of the one between you and bobzbob? I didn’t read all his posts. I simply used the list of wrongs committed by Muslims against America to demonstrate to you that there is evidence for such a claim.
    4.) I don’t care what anti-Zionism means to bobzbob. I am not bobzbob. I do not equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. I am neither an anti-Zionist nor an anti-semite.
    5.) This is now getting repetitive, but… does something have to be explicitly anti-Muslim to be a wrong done unto Muslims? If I walked out into the street and started shooting indiscriminately at no one in particular, could I claim I didn’t really harm anyone I hit because I wasn’t specifically and explicitly targeting them? No. No one claimed that America is explicitly out to get Muslims or anti-Muslim. What I am arguing is that America has taken actions that have done vast harm to many Muslims. There are hundreds of thousands of dead civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, almost all of them Muslim. Their blood is on America’s hands because of a war that we voluntarily waged. I don’t know about you, but I would say those folks and there families and the countless other casualties have been pretty wronged. Naturally, there are Americans who have been wronged at the hands of Muslims and pretty much every group has the blood of every other group somewhere on its hands, though obviously not in equal distribution. But for you to claim that no Muslim has ever been harmed by policy or action taken by the US government is willfully ignorant.

    Still waiting on EVIDENCE to substantiate your claim. A couple quotes by Bloomberg are meaningless. Especially when confronted with the evidence (as you were previously) that the reason Park51 did not face more hurdles was because of specific legislation that prevented zoning regulations and other bureaucratic policies from preventing the building of religious structures. This is probably where you’ll point to the church that has been held up, but that has largely been the result of the Port Authority’s pisspoor handling of the situation, not because of any zoning regulations. I don’t know all the in’s and out’s of that deal, but it’s clear that the church should have been built long ago and that whatever is holding it up is wrong. However, comparing St. Nicholas’s and Park51 is comparing apples and oranges and looking ONLY at the timeline ignores all the other ways in which the projects are different and does NOT qualify as evidence that Park51 has been “greased” through.

    So let’s see… you don’t know what the word “and” means, you twist any singular comment someone has ever made into a characterization of them as a person, you think that saying something is the same as doing something, you seem to fail to understand the difference between me and another poster (though maybe we are part of the same conspiracy bogey monster you’re so scared of!), and you don’t seem to think that hundreds of thousands of innocent folks killed by our military qualify as a group of peopled “wronged”. Oh, and you pull shit out of your ass that you can’t justify and change the topic every time you are asked to.

    Not such a good day for, PW. Shucks.

  122. #122 |  PW | 

    “You keep harping on the Costco post, despite my explanation that my intent was other than what was implied and I chose my words sloppily”

    That’s the point, BSK. You have a bad habit of choosing your words “sloppily,” and then coming back after the fact to assert that they didn’t really mean what they meant once they’ve bitten you in the ass. It also happens frequently enough with you that there is reason to conclude it is less a product of slop than it is of willful duplicity.

  123. #123 |  PW | 

    “Oh, and you pull shit out of your ass that you can’t justify and change the topic every time you are asked to.”

    Again, a bold claim coming from a guy who insists that muslims have been “wronged” and “marginalized” by America but cannot be bothered to provide any specific examples.

  124. #124 |  BSK | 

    PW… are you even paying attention? Once I acknowledged being sloppy with my word choice. That is hardly a pattern. Other times I was quite deliberate in my word choice… you just got confused.

    I offered you examples of Muslims wronged by America… Iraq and Afghanistan. Are the words in those paragraphs too hard for you as well, like the word “and” appears to be? Let’s try again… America has killed hundreds of thousands of Iraq and Afghan citizens in two wars we voluntarily engaged in. That is a lot of people, almost of all them Muslim, quite intensely wronged by America. I believe this is now the 4th or 5th time I’ve said this. Maybe by now it will sink in.

    And I’m STILL waiting for you to offer evidence of your claim.

    So far, I’ve offered evidence of mine (directly above, in case you are confused again) and you’ve offered nothing but speculation. I’m more intellectually challenged by the young children I work with on a daily basis than I am by you. And much less frustrated, to boot.

  125. #125 |  PW | 

    “Once I acknowledged being sloppy with my word choice.”

    And as I recall, even that minor concession took days of denial on your part spread across several threads despite being repeatedly confronted with evidence that you said what you very explicitly denied saying only moments later.

    The point is, BSK, you have a long track record of playing word games, of professing your “ignorance” of plainly obvious motives and meanings, and of feigning naivety to provide cover for a weak position of your own. There is a markedly duplicitous strain that runs through your style of argumentation, and it matters not whether you personally concede it for others to point out that it is there.

  126. #126 |  BSK | 

    You’re changing the subject again!

    You accused me of calling folks involved in the situation “racist”, which I denied because I never called anyone racist. When you showed me the post, I realized I did use the term “racist” but did not aim it towards the folks in the situation in question. That is why I denied… because my memory told me I made a joke about Avatar, so I didn’t know where you were coming from. When I finally looked it over, I explained what I meant and acknowledged the error. Yet, you want to use that to essentially discredit anything I ever said. Since you can’t argue with the facts you will attempt to argue with who I am.

    “But don’t you remember the time you were wrong?!?!?! Clearly you are ALWAYS wrong because THAT time you were wrong!” Give me a break.

    Let’s get back to the matter at hand… this time, I was very specific in my wording. I have maintained a consistent explanation of my comment, once you struggle with because, again, the word “and” seems to trouble you.

    What is weak about my position? If it is so weak, why can’t you dispute it? You sticking your fingers in your ears and yelling, “I can’t hear you!” is not a defense. You asked for evidence of Muslims being wronged (several times) and I have given you that (several times) and now you just ignore that. I’ve asked you for evidence of your claim (several times) and you have given me innuendo (a few times) and otherwise ignore the question.

    Man up and debate the facts in question or just go away. You can think whatever you want of me. And if villifying me allows you to ignore reality, good for you. But take your nonsense elsewhere. You end up in fights with just about anyone who engages you long enough because you refuse to play fair. You change the topic, engage in straw mans, change what you say, attempt to use guilt by association, make baseless claims, use ad hominem attacks, and otherwise refuse to address the issue in question. Are you just REALLY bad at playing devil’s advocate? Or are you so desperate for attention that you take the “If I yell loudest, that means I win” approach?

    So, I am STILL waiting for evidence that Park51 received preferential treatment. I am also waiting for you response to the evidence I provided regarding how Muslims have been harmed by America. If you can’t give it to me soon, I’m just going to assume that we both realize you are full of crap and making stuff up and you are just too stubborn and/or self-conscious to acknowledge it. At least I can own up when I make a mistake… the same can’t be said for your pathetic self.

  127. #127 |  PW | 

    The subject of your tendency to make duplicitous statements and backtrack upon them? No, BSK. I’ve been calling you out on that consistently for quite some time. And judging by the length and venom of the rants it provokes from you, I seem to have touched a nerve. And will therefore continue to call you out.

  128. #128 |  BSK | 

    Give evidence of one example where I’ve backtracked besides the Costco situation? And as I’ve said, my intention was not duplicity, not stupidity, if anything. But, that doesn’t matter. Because YOU know what goes on inside my said.

    I didn’t realize I was the topic of conversation. But I guess that’s how you work. Change it from a conversation on the issue to a conversation about the participants in the conversation. Classic tactic of someone who knows he is on a sinking ship. I will take that as your official surrender into ignorance. Well played!

  129. #129 |  BSK | 

    Give evidence of one example where I’ve backtracked besides the Costco situation? And as I’ve said, my intention was not duplicity, but stupidity, if anything. I made a bad joke that completely missed the mark. But, that doesn’t matter. Because YOU know what goes on inside my head.

    I didn’t realize I was the topic of conversation. But I guess that’s how you work. Change it from a conversation on the issue to a conversation about the participants in the conversation. Classic tactic of someone who knows he is on a sinking ship. I will take that as your official surrender into ignorance. Well played!

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