A young man stabs a taxi driver in NYC after questioning him on his religion. The victim is a Muslim. The attacker practicing this private form of terrorism belongs to a group that supports the Near Ground Zero mosque project. No, this is not a mistake: supports. Here is the report from rabid right-wing newspaper The New York Times, dated 8/26/10: :
“ Mr. Enright is a volunteer with Intersections International, a nonprofit that works to promote cross-cultural understanding and has spoken out in favor of the proposed Islamic cultural center near ground zero.”
Several blogs and others blame Fox News! (Deuh!)
Another Muslim intellectual talks about the Near Ground Zero mosque in the Wall Street Journal of 8/26/10 (See my posting about his predecessors: “ Declaration by Muslim Intellectuals on Ground Zero Mosque, posted 8/16/10.) She says pretty much what I posted a couple of days ago (“ The ‘Ground Zero’ Mosque Issue Clarified,” posted 8/20/10.”) Yet, she says it better because she is better informed. Her name is: Irshad Manji.
She makes several proposals to ferret out malice and disingenuity in the mosque developers. Here are excerpts from her column in the Wall Street Journal today and my explanatory comments in parentheses:
“Where will be the men’s side to the mosque?” (To find out if the congregation will be segregated according to sex during prayer.)
“ Will the swimming pool (at the proposed multicultural center) be segregated between women and men…?”
“ May women lead congregation prayers any day of the week?”
“ Will Christians and Jews, fellow People of the Book, be able to use the prayer sanctuary for their services…?”
“ What will be taught about homosexuals?About agnostics? About atheists? About apostasy?” (In some Muslim countries, renouncing Islam, apostasy, is punishable by death.)
Professor Manji is a brave woman. I wish she were an American.
Note: In an earlier draft, I identified this brave person as a man and as an American. A reader kindly corrected me: Wrong on both counts. Shame on me because I had read about her a year ago; I just forgot her name.
In the meantime, I am having face-to-face bits and pieces of conversations with Muslims I know about the Near-Ground Zero mosque controversy. That would include devout Muslims who are currently observing Ramadan, and fallen Muslims heading for Hell. I encounter the same problems with both kinds:
First, they are slippery. They want to respond without answering my simple questions.
Second, I can’t seem to get across my position which I think is simple. Here it is, again:
The Constitution gives the Near-Ground Zero developers the right to build their multicultural center. As a conservative, I think private property is private property. No level of government should interfere with their right to do whatever they want with it, including build a mosque.
Here is what my Muslim acquaintances don’t seem to understand: The Constitution forbids the government from interfering with freedom of religion or with the freedom to enjoy one’s property. The Constitution does not obligate me to be nice according to the rules of multiculturalism I think of as brain paralysis. The Constitution does not enjoin me to show “tolerance” toward what I abhor. Neither the Constitution nor my belief in private property gives the near-Ground Zero mosque developers the right to be free from my thinking they are hypocritical ass-holes. It’s my constitutional right to think it and to say it. And also to draw cartoons disrespectful of Prophet Muhammad.
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