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Thursday, August 19, 2010

On Obama, Edith Piaf and the Victory Hamasque at Ground Zero


William Kristol ties them all in together for us here...


"Despite criticism from Republicans and others, President Barack Obama said Wednesday he has 'no regrets' over the comments he made about the right of Muslims to build an Islamic center near the former site of the World Trade Center in New York."

In alluding to "Non, je ne regrette rien" ("No, I regret nothing"), the French song famously performed by the great Édith Piaf, is President Obama subtly indicating that the battle for the mosque is over?

After all, it's well known Piaf dedicated her 1960 recording of the song to the French Foreign Legion--and that, in 1961, when the Legion's 1st Foreign Parachute Regiment had backed the failed coup attempt by the French military, the Legionnaires left their barracks singing "Non, je ne regrette rien." It's a song of lost causes. Sounds like "no regrets" is Obama's gentle way of preparing his allies for the fact that the Ground Zero mosque has become a lost cause."



And just how close is this nightmare of an idea from being over? In a seperate article, Kristol quotes Abdul Rahman Al-Rashid, former editor of the London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat and a director for Al-Arabiya TV as saying recently...



"I cannot imagine that Muslims want a mosque on this particular site, because it will be turned into an arena for promoters of hatred, and a symbol of those who committed the crime. At the same time, there are no practicing Muslims in the district who need a place of worship, because it is indeed a commercial district....The last thing Muslims want today is to build just a religious center out of defiance to the others, or a symbolic mosque that people visit as a museum next to a cemetery....[T]he battle against the 11 September terrorists is a Muslim battle...and this battle still is ablaze in more than 20 Muslim countries. Some Muslims will consider that building a mosque on this site immortalizes and commemorates what was done by the terrorists who committed their crime in the name of Islam. I do not think that the majority of Muslims want to build a symbol or a worship place that tomorrow might become a place about which the terrorists and their Muslim followers boast, and which will become a shrine for Islam haters whose aim is to turn the public opinion against Islam"




So as we can see, even fair minded Muslims are calling for the mosque not to be built. Contrast that to the, *ahem*, "bridge builders" who continue pushing for the construction of the Victory Mosque and refuse to even meet with the Governor of New York to discuss the possiblity of moving it to another location due to the uproar they are causing.




Meanwhile, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has decided that her party's prospects in the upcoming mid-term elections isn't quite abysmal enough and is calling for investigations of those who are opposed the Hamasque. That way, they can positively guarantee the outrage of the American people and the mosque doesn't get built and the Democrats lose both the House and the Senate. One is left wondering where the Dem's ever found such a modern day kamikazee squadron to advise them on policy matters.

32 comments:

GentleSkeptic said...

lol: Bill Kristol! Good one.

GentleSkeptic said...

So as we can see, even fair minded Muslims are calling for the mosque not to be built.

As we can see, JD is quoting Bill Kristol implying that "fair-minded" muslims are calling for the mosque not to be built. (Of course, "fair-minded" here means "agreeing with JD and Bill Kristol.")

Here's what Bill Kristol actually said, as quoted by JD:

I cannot imagine that Muslims want a mosque on this particular site…

The last thing Muslims want today is to build just a religious center out of defiance to the others…

Some Muslims will consider that building a mosque on this site immortalizes and commemorates what was done by the terrorists…

I do not think that the majority of Muslims want to build a symbol or a worship place…

"As we can see," indeed.

JD Curtis said...

The quotes you atttributed to Kristol are actually from Abdul Rahman Al-Rashid, former editor of the London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat and a director for Al-Arabiya TV.

GentleSkeptic said...

I stand corrected.

GentleSkeptic said...

Interesting. I apologize for the mis-attribution.

Also from Mr Al-Rashid:

What the US citizens do not understand is that the battle against the 11 September terrorists is a Muslim battle, and not theirs, and this battle still is ablaze in more than 20 Muslim countries.

I wonder: is he right? Do we understand this? Is he right here? I mean, are we agreeing with him, or disagreeing with him?

For the record: I am no lover of Islam. In my view, the best chance of defanging the worst elements and behaviors associated with Islam is represented by rationalism, pluralism and secularism, as these forces are the factors that have successfully defanged the worst elements and behaviors associated with Christianity while leaving its philosophical core more or less intact.

The mosque debate seems to me to be a purely municipal issue that's being ginned up in an election year for the benefit of Republicans. (They hope.)

Just for the sake of debate; in your opinion, JD, what is the optimal radius of a no-mosque zone around Ground Zero, and how should it be determined?

JD Curtis said...

I'm not sure, but there's a photo on this link that shows how creepily close to Ground Zero they want to build it.

I also find it wierd that they would want a building in which the landing gear from Flight 175 landed on. Link

"Several opponents of the Cordoba group’s project, speaking at a Community Board 1 meeting on July 27, argued that while the building may not be worth saving for its architectural features, it should be preserved for its link to the Sept. 11 attacks. Aside from the Friday prayer services, the building has remained largely vacant since it was punctured by a piece of landing gear thrown from United Airlines flight 175 as it slammed into the World Trade Center during the attacks.

“That building should be dedicated as a war memorial,” said Pamela Gellar, an organizer of the Stop Islamization of America political group, said at the meeting. “It’s as much a part of American history, just as much as Gettysburg or Pearl Harbor.”

As he recounted his movements around the World Trade Center on the day of the attacks, Landmarks Commissioner Christopher Moore acknowledged that the building was an important piece of the story of Sept. 11. But, he said, “the memory of that day does not reside in the landing gear, or the building."

Tracy said...

JD I've been thinking the same thing; that there are most likely lots of Muslims who so wish this was not going on.

GentleSkeptic said...

Interesting commentary from Wendy Kaminer:

"Muslims have a legal right to build their mosque near Ground Zero, opponents are apt to acknowledge, but, like Dr. Laura, they are excoriated for exercising their rights offensively. "Our position is about sensitivity," the ADL explains, stressing that its opposition to the mosque has been "deeply misunderstood" and expressing pain at being accused of bigotry. But by elevating sensitivity over liberty, the ADL promotes bigotry (perhaps unintentionally but not forgiveably.) The ADL also promotes what John Stuart Mill famously decried as the "depotism of custom." Sensitivity policing by private citizens is protected by the First Amendment but undermines its foundational commitment to freedom of speech and religion. It is sophistry, or self-delusion, to claim that sensitivity-based opposition to a Muslim community center and mosque is consistent with support for the fundamental right to build it. A right denied formally by the government or informally by a virtual mob is still a right denied."

(I would add that a right denied formally by a mob is also a right denied.)

This brings to mind the recent Westboro-funeral-picket ruling as well as the Christian Legal Society v Hastings ruling.

In short: do we have the collective civic courage to acknowledge the rights of others, even the rights that really upset us?

In a cage match between LIBERTY and CIVILITY, who will win?

GentleSkeptic said...

Sorry: link.

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/08/what-critics-of-dr-laura-and-cordoba-house-share/61708/

JD Curtis said...

"it is the very First Amendment that (MSNBC'S Joe) Scarborough mangles which permits New Yorkers to block the construction of a mosque. The First Amendment was designed to protect the majority from the tyranny of a religious minority favored by the federal government. What radical Islam's useful idiots in the White House and the press call "religious freedom," the founders would have called insanely dumb religious relativism and self-hating stupidity." Link

ATVLC said...

I always thought the Constitution was written to protect the minority against the majority.

So JD, what's your answer? What do you want the people in the White House to do about Park51?

GentleSkeptic said...

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Mr. Neumayr's interpretation seems rather narrow and twisted. It seems to me that the whole point is that the federal government cannot favor any religion, minority or majority, but must protect them all equally. Even the nasty ones, which sucks.

(Although you'd never know it, what with the so-called "Faith-Based Initiatives" and all.)

JD Curtis said...

I like this one even better...

"While the writ of religious freedom is an important mandate established by our Founding Fathers, so too is the writ mandating separation between church and state. This concept emanates from a principle espoused by philosopher John Locke of a “social contract”—the structure by which people form states to maintain social order. Rational people exercise their individual conscience to form these states—a consciousness which cannot be ceded to a government or others to control. Thus, legitimate state authority has to derive from the consent of the governed—a concept contrary to Islamic belief.

While freedom of religion is important, Islam represents a religion and a political movement rolled into a single belief system. Most worrisome is the fact that it is a belief system in which individual conscience has been abandoned by adherents who have ceded control to others—to their spiritual leaders whose words then dictate the adherents’ actions. This was clearly explained by former Egyptian terrorist-in-training Tawfik Hamid who was warned, after asking questions of his handlers in an exercise of his individual conscience, “If you start to think for yourself, you will become an infidel.”

Islam fosters a belief system that views all other religions—deemed by Prophet Muhammad—as inferior; a belief system that rejects equal rights for all in favor of only a very small percentage of mankind (Muslim men); a belief system that makes Islam the betta fish of all religions—looking to consume them or make them subservient to it.

No other major religion condones the violence Islam does to attain its goal as the most dominant religion in the world. Its game plan, eventually, is to create but one international rule of law standard—that of sharia law. We have already seen signs of this brutal law creeping into Western culture, cracking the very foundations of respect and dignity for human life upon which democracies are built." Link

ATVLC said...

“If you start to think for yourself, you will become an infidel.” - Hamid

I like that. Thinking for yourself is poison to every religion, from Buddhism to Zoroastrianism.

Other religions have quotes like that too:
"Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has" Luther.

JD Curtis said...

Thinking for yourself is poison to every religion, from Buddhism to Zoroastrianism

Right. It's almost as unreasonable as thinking modern universities, charitable giving, hospitals as we know them, ending the exposure of infants and the abolition of slavery in the West all came about through organic atheism.

Brilliant.

GentleSkeptic said...

"While the writ of religious freedom is an important mandate established by our Founding Fathers, so too is the writ mandating separation between church and state."

JD, I just want to check in here and confirm something. Are you endorsing and supporting the separation of church and state as authentically constitutional? It sounds like you are but I want to make sure.

I've no doubt that Islam represents a very special and major threat/challenge to the West. I'm not entirely convinced that pluralism can survive it. But I'm not sure what else to meet it with.

What Islam desperately needs is "Reform", and supposedly it has some, but not nearly to the humanizing degree that Christianity's had, and I don't know that we have time to wait around for it. Until Luther, Christendom also bowed to "the dictates of their spiritual leaders whose words then dictate the adherents’ actions." Islam's threat lies in its anachronism; it's regressive. Like, literally Dark Ages, Holy-Roman-Church-in-charge regressive. Not modern. It needs to be modernized the way that Christianity has beeen. At least.

It's almost as unreasonable as thinking modern universities, charitable giving, hospitals as we know them, ending the exposure of infants and the abolition of slavery in the West all came about through organic atheism.

I wasn't aware that organic atheism (not sure what that is, exactly) was trying to take collective credit for those things. I do think that, charitable giving aside (because it's universally human), the items on your list can attribute the bulk of their success to the findings of methodological naturalism and the empirical method. Sanitation, germ theory; stuff that worked.

JD Curtis said...

I don't think that the Bill of Rights is a suicide pact, that's all. Islam is a bit different than other religions.

Insofar as "organic atheism", feel free to insert paganism, secular humanism or whatever other ism you feel like and compare it to Christianity insofar as the development of the aforementioned metrics.

"Will Durant writes about ancient Rome, which was the zenith of civilizations in antiquity: "Charity found little scope in this frugal life. Hospitality survived as a mutual convenience at a time when inns were poor and far between; but the sympathetic Polybius reports that'in Rome no one ever gives away anything to anyone if he can help it'-doubtless an exaggeration". What if Jesus Had Never Been Born? pg. 29

Sanitation, germ theory

Who invented antiseptic surgery? Who came up with germ theory? (Hint: they werent Buddhists, Muslims or Animists. Search Joseph Lister and Louis Pasteur respectively)

ATVLC said...

Christians have done a whole pile of good things.
:-)

What do you want the people in the White House to do about Park51?

JD Curtis said...

If Obama were to try be a voice of reason in this matter and advocate a different location for the proposed hamasque (Like NY Governor David Patterson is attempting to do), it would run counter to his ingrained Islamic upbringing and thus would seem very far outside of the norm for him.

GentleSkeptic said...

Hey: remember Jeremiah Wright? Obama's "unashamedly black and unapologetically Christian" pastor? Guess attendance at Trinity United Church of Christ was a 20-year ruse. SO great that you know this stuff.

Who invented antiseptic surgery? Who came up with germ theory?

Like I said, ideology aside, it was method that made them successful. And the method bucked traditional religious thinking and authority. Substitute any -isms you like, I still don't think they're claiming credit for those things, so denying it to them doesn't advance your case. Like ATVLC said, "Christians have done a whole pile of good things." Doesn't make Jesus real. In fact, I'd have expected things like sanitation and germ theory a whole lot earlier if Jesus were real and reliably informing His followers about the nature of reality.

I don't think that the Bill of Rights is a suicide pact, that's all.

OK, fair enough, neither do I.

But you didn't answer my question. You threw out an argument/quote that you said you liked, and its reasoning rests squarely on acknowledging the implicit separation of church and state in the constitution, via John Locke; rationalist, Enlightenment thinker, British Empiricist, and "widely known as the Father of Liberalism." (Wiki basics.) In other words, you put forth an argument, about which you said "I like this one even better..." and it essentially outlines the danger (represented in Islam) of linking religion and law. ("Its game plan, eventually, is to create but one international rule of law standard—that of sharia law.")

A lot of conservatives who reject Obama's stated origin of birth and religion also reject the constitutional separation of church and state. I don't want to lump you in with them or make assumptions about specific views you have.

Simple yes or no: are you endorsing and supporting the separation of church and state as authentically constitutional? As in, intended by the framers?

I would be useful to know going forward.

GentleSkeptic said...

IT would be useful to know going forward.

GentleSkeptic said...

It’s all very lame and obnoxious, especially given the testimony from pastors that Obama takes his Christian faith seriously, but much like the Birther thing, there’s virtually nothing you can say to convince someone who’s sure that O is what he thinks he is.

http://hotair.com/archives/2010/08/19/pew-poll-18-think-obama-is-a-muslim/

JD Curtis said...

are you endorsing and supporting the separation of church and state as authentically constitutional? As in, intended by the framers?


Given that the words "seperation of church and state" do not appear in any foundational document of this country, perhaps you might explain to me your interpretation of the intentions of the Founding Fathers on this matter.

GentleSkeptic said...

JD, you are being evasive. On a recent thread, you held my feet to the fire and more or less insisted that I clearly answer a series of eight or nine pointed questions, and pulled my posts until I met this demand.

Now I'm asking you a simple yes or no question and you're trying to turn it around and make ME justify the question I'm asking.

But here's what YOU said in your post from 8/19 @ 6:03 pm:

I like this one even better...

"While the writ of religious freedom is an important mandate established by our Founding Fathers, so too is the writ mandating separation between church and state. This concept emanates from a principle espoused by philosopher John Locke of a “social contract”—the structure by which people form states to maintain social order. Rational people exercise their individual conscience to form these states—a consciousness which cannot be ceded to a government or others to control. Thus, legitimate state authority has to derive from the consent of the governed—a concept contrary to Islamic belief.


So, I really don't have to explain to you my "interpretation of the intentions of the Founding Fathers on this matter," because I asserted no such interpretation: James Zumwalt, writing for Human Events, did, and you said you liked it.

Simple yes or no: Do you agree with James Zumwalt, whom you quoted at length, when he says "While the writ of religious freedom is an important mandate established by our Founding Fathers, so too is the writ mandating separation between church and state"?

Your chosen words, JD, not mine.

Do you agree, yes or no?

GentleSkeptic said...

Hmmm. I just read this somewhere else. I wonder who would say this?

…please cite one single instance in which I ever refused to answer one single, direct question when put to me.

Christ Follower (no longer) said...

"Victory Hamasque"?

JD Curtis said...

Oh, I don't mind stating my thoughts on the 1st Amendment at all.

I believe that it was basically an outgrowth of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom . For my thoughts on Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists, click this link. I've written on it before and I forgot that youre a comparatively recent "newbie" here.

It might differ with your interpretation though.


"Victory Hamasque"?

It's a combination of "Victory Mosque" and "Hamasque" as it is being referred to by members of the New York media.

Christ Follower (no longer) said...

...It's name is Park51

GentleSkeptic said...

Thanks for that JD, it does bring clarity.

JD Curtis said...

AP orders staff to stop using the phrase Ground Zero Mosque

GentleSkeptic said...

LOL Good one, AP! THAT'll work, for sure.

Like when they stopped calling waterboarding torture.

I think the private sector is more Orwellian than the government sometimes…

Christ Follower (no longer) said...

I think that's a good call by A.P. It's not at Ground Zero and it not a mosque.

(Less than 10 per cent of the building will be used as a mosque)