Either/or vs both/and (JRub strikes again)

If someone wrote and stood by a sentence like this one:

Or is it just the Jewish element that has so paralyzed the liberal intelligentsia?

…we’d all call for that someone’s head – wouldn’t we?  Wouldn’t it be the basis for 100 super-hot posts at Contentions especially, tumbled forth until the (web)logs gathered beneath whichever particular pundit or politician had finally caught fire?

The sentence is Jennifer Rubin’s.  I changed one word.  The following excerpt is exactly as written (including a link to a WaPo Op-Ed that Rubin considers representative of “the left”):

The left continues to feign confusion (it is hard to believe its pundits are really this muddled) as to the reasons why conservatives (and a majority of fellow citizens) oppose the Ground Zero mosque. No, it’s not about “religious freedom” — we’re talking about the location of the mosque on the ash-strewn site of 3,000 dead Americans.

She’s right in a way.  “It” isn’t about religious freedom.  It’s about people who substitute italicized emotionalism and demagogic metaphors for… anything and everything else.

Again, no one is telling Muslims not to build or pray in mosques; we on the right are simply asking them not to do it in the location where Islam was the inspiration for mass murder.

“You on the right” are insisting on a definition of Islam that makes it possible for it to be the “inspiration” for mass murder.  This concept is merely an ideological position shared by two groups who are, as we know, think alike on this question: Islamophobes and Extreme Islamists.  What “inspires” the terrorist is not Islam, but an interpretation of Islam.  This difference is not trivial:  It is a supremely important difference for a believer, for any opponent of extremism, for anyone, Muslim or non-Muslim, who prefers to divide and undermine the potential enemy rather than to build his coalition to the maximum possible extent.

It is interesting that the word mosque is not employed by those excoriating the mosque opponents. As a smart reader highlights, why is it described as a “cultural center”? Pretty dicey to articulate exactly what position the left clings to — namely, that we must allow a mosque at Ground Zero.

People interested in constructive dialogue attempt to use precise language.  People interested in exploiting and inflaming anti-Muslim sentiment talk incessantly about a “mosque.”  Other people find the notion of being “anti-mosque” repellent.  In a country built – supposedly built, once built – on concepts of religious freedom and freedom of conscience, this sentiment ought to be ingrained.  I think it was.  I think it probably still is, but certain political forces are seeking to overwhelm it via deeper impulses.  It wouldn’t be the first time that trick has worked.  We typically refer to those other times as the most shameful ones in our history, often right before we get on with the business of repeating them.

Of course, it’s not just a mosque to the anti-mosquers:  Rubin goes on to praise the “open letter” in today’s Wall Street Journal in which Dan Senor repeats the comical “Muslim monument” canard conjured up and popularized by Andy McCarthy and Raymond Ibrahim:  Adopting this view requires an excess of Dopamine rummaging around your brain or some other distortion of the senses that turns a 13-story building in Manhattan, a couple blocks away from a planned skyscraper park including the country’s tallest structure – the possibly misnamed “Freedom Tower” – into an impressive monument (capable, according to William Kristol, of “towering” over Ground Zero).

Yet Senor is right about one thing:  A mosque does represent a “milestone on the path to the further spread of Islam throughout the world” – in about the same way that churches are milestones, ashrams milestones, or even synagogues or small journals and websites of conservative opinion can be milestones “on the path to the further spread” of their respective religions or ideologies.

Yet there is a difference, according to Rubin:

I certainly do believe “you are either for us or you are for them” — when it comes to Israel and to America. That this notion disturbs the left tells you precisely why it is estranged from the vast majority of Israelis and Americans

So it’s whatever number of right-thinking Americans and Israelis versus everyone else. Those who think right can build embassies the size of Vatican City in the countries they invade and conquer, can build airbases the size of small towns – and you better not complain or even notice if you want to remain on the right side of the either/or.

I don’t know who Rubin’s “them” is.  She’s unclear, or perhaps confused, about it in the way described by Roger Cohen in that op-ed she linked.  (Her lack of embarrassment over a comparison of his work and hers is an index of her mental distraction.)  She seems to define “them” as everyone on the left, and anyone uncertain about where they are, and certainly all Muslims except possibly for the ones terrified enough by the American right to be afraid of riling it up.  “Them” may be everyone who isn’t a spittle-beflecked neo-McCarthyite dreaming up new ways to impugn the character and motives of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf – plus everyone maintaining nothing much against, no great fear of, or considered support for his project.

I certainly do put myself on the other side of Rubin’s paranoid divide, not least because I suspect that support for any variant of both-and puts anyone there.

Maybe the left is simply being oppositional — i.e., whatever the right believes is wrong. But if not, it is, quite vividly, advertising its own intellectual crack-up and unfitness to govern.

There’s a whole lotta projection going on in the movies.

I’m beginning to understand why the neoconservative right has been unable to maintain its intellectual and political coherence over the course of the War on Terror from inception to today:  The main neocons never really did believe in, never really had thought through, the higher goals with which they sought to justify their military projects.  Then, it was wishful thinking joined to vengeance.  Now it’s remnant vengefulness joined to opportunism – in some cases, like Rubin’s, quite openly joined to dual chauvinism – all advertised and insisted upon with emotionalism of the most noxious and dangerous type:  Implacably convinced of its own rationality.

80 comments on “Either/or vs both/and (JRub strikes again)

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  1. Maybe Jennifer would blame Judaism if the opinions of Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira were followed. His book is entitled “The King’s Torah”.

  2. Are you really that naive CK, they saw a world post ’67, where the white liberals, typified by Lindsay and the emerging African American radicals, sought to demonize Jews on the domestic front, and a comparable situation in the international arena, typified by the “Zionismmis Racism” resolution, tendered by their ‘old friends’ in Soviet Russia, post ’73 embargo, they saw the noose drawing tighter, after failing to defeat ‘the Sunni card (alliance with Saddam and the Sauds) they saw regime change, and democracy as their own solution. Their goals haven’t changed in 40 years, possibly they’ve refined their methods, The enemies have been both more bold and devious, as they propagate hatred typified by that nice old man Mr, Quradawi who yelled Fatwas at Sadat before 1981

  3. Because if I understand correctly, you think you’re arguing against a point I’ve made, but are actually evidencing it in several ways.

  4. The Arabist and Islamists combined with radicals like Galloway who spearheaded the boycott of Israeli academics. The likes of Sharpton
    and Carson, who have riled up tensions to the boiling point on more than one occasion, with no justification. Of course, the President’s
    Quadaffi penpal, the superannuated former terrorist like Ayers, who
    found the gramscian way, rather than ‘direct action

    The influence is felt is more strongly seen in the UK in shows like the BBC’s Mi-6 where there is an a seeming army of antiIslamist elements, from Mossad posing as terrorists, to a Christian
    terrorist group taking out Imam, occasionally they do feature the occasional real terrorists, but he’s usually the pawn of Russian oil
    brokers, Secret Service chiefs, or media barons patterned on Conrad
    Black

  5. Now I really don’t have any idea what you’re saying, or what it has to do with my post, or how the implication would be that I am “naive.”

  6. Projection is the name of the game, peaceful citizens protesting against leviathan government, are racist terrorists, no evidence
    requred, marines in a tough spot in the TRiangle of Death, are
    murderers, so said the late John Murtha and” Taliban Tim “McGuirk. Amy tool to handle terrorists proactively from the Predator to Gitmo, must be eliminated, the only ‘confy barcalounger’ with cable is allowed

  7. The Rabinowits article’s subtitle:

    The enlightened class can’t understand why the public is uneasy about the Ground Zero mosque.

    It doesn’t take a great deal of enlightenment to understand “why the public is uneasy.” It takes a little bit of understanding of American history to understand why being “uneasy” isn’t an excuse for going to ideological war over someone building a mosque, and why people exploiting and inflaming than “uneasiness” into something worse can be much more harmful that anybody’s construction plans.

  8. Dorothy is being very tactful about it. You want to consider ‘hope’ over experience, as does apparently the New York City council, I’m sure of the petition was to build a Church, they would be almost
    as resolutely opposed. It seems a deliberate provocation, with everything we know about the Imam

  9. CKM, I was away for a few days, but came back to read the posts you authored on this topic, including the one that was in response to my question. You may have seen this opinion already, but I thought it was worth linking to:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704271804575405330350430368.html?KEYWORDS=carmelite

    I thought this opinion piece made a good point when it states, “having the right to do something doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.” Legally, the builders of this mosque have the right to build where they wish. However, in light of the intense reaction that has ensued, should they do so?

  10. @ J-Bone:

    where do you live? there’s no intense reaction in NYC. we’re as grumpy and self-involved as ever and most everyone who has an opinion about Cordoba House is for it.

    50,000 opposed out of 10,000,000……or something.

  11. THat’s right up there with ‘No one I know voted for Nixon” which is becoming admit voting for Obama

  12. @ J-Bone:
    I won’t make a judgment about the “intense reaction,” but I reject the comparison utterly: GZ is not Auschwitz. I don’t want to get into the mathematics of comparative suffering, but 9/11 was an attack on buildings that led to numerous casualties. Auschwitz was day after day of industrialized genocide. On behalf of my Polish-Jewish grandparents, and the numerous relatives and their friends from the shtetl on the outskirts of Bialystok that would have ceased to exist in, if I recall correctly from my readings, 1942, I confess to being somewhat offended by the comparison.

    Unlike the Carmelite-occupied structure at Auschwitz, the planned building on Park Place will not be the sole occupied structure bordering the “hallowed ground.” As others have pointed out, Lower Manhattan life is going on as ever within a 2-block radius: Churches, bars, delis, construction workers girl-watching… Furthermore, the skyscraper park planned for GZ itself is going to replace millions of square feet of office space. In those offices, people will be going about their business, cussing like New Yorkers, being Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, agnostics, Satanists, and so on, trying to make a bunch of bucks, carrying on office romances, making bad jokes, the whole thing.

    I don’t presume to judge whether or not the CI is a good thing or a bad thing. My fellow citizens want to put up a cultural center, and their fellow residents of the community seem fine with it, and that’s good enough for me. In my America, they have a right to make a decision that makes other people uncomfortable. There is no way to explain that discomfort, in the end, except as some transference of anger with the terrorists into a generalized anti-Islamic sentiment, that then sometimes gets further politicized. If the project was a department store, no one would know about it. If Rauf was a Christian and someone decided the area needed yet another church, no one would know about it.

    It’s an Islamic center. Some people want to assert their right to reject Muslims in light of 9/11, and seem a little afraid that after the building is built, no one will care anymore. There’d be MUSLIMS there telling people about ISLAM and acting just like other people! That’s about the whole thing, and the opposition would be wrong on its own terms, even without the tactics which have gotten ugly and destructive enough, and are dangerous enough, to make its defeat a worthy end in itself.

  13. @ fuster:
    I’m sorry but I must correct you.

    after some history that ended more than three centuries back,
    the first damn sentence is

    I’d try “After some hilariously and pathetically presumptuous pseudo-historical recitation, the first damn sentence…”

  14. Though, to be fair, over the years I’ve read some “knowing” generalizations about the Islamic world and its history from the left that were just as simple-minded and one-sided.

  15. What’s wrong with that statement;

    Gamal Nasser created the Pan-Arab movement in the 1950′s trying to unite very different cultures in Syria and Egypt. But it was the concept of pan-Arabism that was important. The long-term goal was a secular recreation of the Caliphate. That and the destruction of Israel. Thousands of lives were lost in 1948, in 1956, in 1967, and in 1973, and while Jordan and Egypt eventual made separate peace, jihad is still the official policy both within the Ummah and the majority of the secular states of which it consists.

    Another example is that of Saddam Hussein, who in 1981 declared himself the victor and had it broadcast throughout the world after 300,000 dead and $500 Billion lost in the Iran – Iraq war.He did so once again after Iraq’s defeat in the First Gulf War. He did not have that option in 2003, but Baghdad Bob surely did his best. Perception is not necessarily reality within the Islamic world except in the interpretation of the Q’uran.

    The three centuries back coincides with the first Wahhabi Rising,
    and the Russian conflicts with the Turks , where much ofwhat is now Ukraine, Romania, even parts of Hungary were acquired. But it is as accurate as pretending the Iraq did not conform to the three
    Ottoman vilayets, of Mosul, Basra and Baghdad. I’m reading ‘Six Frigates, and the expedition to the Barbary Coast, Treble, Eaton
    and Decatur play a significant role

  16. @ miguel cervantes:
    The first main problem with entire recitation is that it shows zero comprehension of what the rest of the world was doing to and apart from the Islamic world over that entire period – the entire sweep of Medieval and Modern history, as a matter of fact. The second is that it repeatedly asserts falsehoods or impossibilities as fact – something sometimes demonstrated by the writer’s self-contradictions, as, for instance, regarding the supposed unchanging nature of Islam, even while necessarily depicting a range of mutually contradictory or mutually non-conforming interpretations that he at the same time wants to assert are authentically Islamic.

  17. Sorry that the comparison with the Carmelite nuns offended you, CKM. For the record, I live in NYC, was here on 9/11, and am a Jew. My intention was not to offend. We will have to agree to disagree on this one.

    Fuster, you have to be kidding when you say there is no intense reaction in New York.

  18. CKM, also, to your point above: “My fellow citizens want to put up a cultural center, and their fellow residents of the community seem fine with it, and that’s good enough for me.”

    My question is, which fellow residents? Many of them aren’t fine with it.

  19. @ J-Bone:
    I wasn’t taking offense at your putting up the article J-Bone, I was taking offense at Bill McGurn and others regarding this phony Auschwitz analogy which has been going around for months now. I hate to have to say it, but for Americans to put 9/11 on the same level as Auschwitz in any sense, to speak about the two things at the same time, to imply even for a moment that being victims of the Holocaust compares to being the Western victims of all the acts of “terror” since “Islamist terror” was thought up, is symptomatic of immense arrogance, arrogance of the sort that the gods have a way, sooner or later, of coming around to punish.

    My question is, which fellow residents? Many of them aren’t fine with it.

    The Manhattanites lawfully charged with assessing the project overwhelmingly approved it. The Mayor and the Police Chief OKd it.

    Not being “fine” with someone else’s free exercise is something to get over.

  20. It’s nice to know the president is giving up on sanctions, even after???
    having watered them down to curry favor with Russia and China,

  21. perhaps if one considers the repeated victory chants of hundreds of thousands of Muslims in Cairo or Riyadh or Baghdad or Damascus after every single military loss to the Israelis, or the hundreds of thousands constructing the myth of the Great Satan in the Friday night hate in Teheran, or the national paranoia and conspiracy mindset that exists in Pakistan one might get the sense that yes, there is a disconnect with reality that runs like a thread through the modern history of the Ummah.

    Or is it the Salafist dreams expressed at the Finsbury Park mosque of an Ummah stretching from the Atlantic throughout Europe to the Pacific that you take issue with? Or is it the raison d’etre of Al Q’Aeda to spark the final Jihad that you disagree with?

    What impossibilities of fact, Mr. McLeod? The Battle of Poitiers is historical fact, as is the Reconquista. The Battle of Vienna is fact. The oppression of Greece and subjugation of Christianity in the Ottoman lands is fact. The destruction of the Buddhist culture of Afghanistan and Pakistan is fact.

    Shall we discuss the Ghaznavids who swept through Afghanistan or the Moghuls who swept into India? These were wars of both conquest and conversion. This is at the root of the bitter religious hatred between Hindu India and Islam.The Muslims find the polytheism of Hinduism to be abhorrent.

    If you had a clue to Islam, the Q’uran is taken literally and has been since it was first put into writing. Symbology is major component in any religion, and especially so in Islam.

    This mosque is especially symbolic. That our so called leaders are being so ecumenical is very nice, except that in 20 years it will be known throughout the Islamic world as the Al-Jihadi mosque whether you, me or the morons making the decisions and attempting to influence public opinion like it or not.

    Or would you prefer to discuss the Chinese reaction to Islam from the 1000’s onward?

  22. J-Bone wrote:

    Fuster, you have to be kidding when you say there is no intense reaction in New York.

    not kidding at all. the plaints of a tiny minority may be loud and may be noted but lack intensity in a notably large and largely loud city.

  23. oceanaris wrote:

    yes, there is a disconnect with reality that runs like a thread through the modern history of the Ummah.

    there’s also a disconnect with reality that runs like a thread through your head.
    there are millions of ignorant and angry people among the billions on the planet.

    there are millions of the angry and ignorant in America. I don’t condemn this entire nation because of you and some other pop-eyed, symbologism-swilling small-enders.

  24. Also, CKM, the point of the article (I think) was not to equate Auschwitz with 9/11. They are awful for very different reasons. It was (in my opinion) to demonstrate that a religious group with motives it considers benign may still offend others through its actions, and that as a result, there may be an alternative that would avoid doing so (i.e., moving the convent or mosque). That’s the heart of the issue. As I said earlier, the builders of the mosque have a right under the law to be there. And, the landmarks commission decided (rightly) the narrow issue before it. But given this row, should the builders still proceed?

    In my opinion, it’s not enough to say that the presence of the mosque shouldn’t bother folks. The facts show that it does, at least for some. A blithe dismissal of that position (a la Mayor Bloomberg – feh) as racist — that is what drives me up a wall.

  25. And we couple this with the fact that this attitude of denial of Salafism seems to be common in Bloomberg’s circle, this fellow Siraj
    for one, that his attempt to blame tea partiers for the Times Square
    bombing is not a one off for him.

  26. J-Bone wrote:

    But given this row, should the builders still proceed?

    In my opinion, it’s not enough to say that the presence of the mosque shouldn’t bother folks. The facts show that it does, at least for some. A blithe dismissal of that position (a la Mayor Bloomberg – feh) as racist — that is what drives me up a wall.

    I’m bothered by “that position.” Shouldn’t you re-consider and stop voicing it? In fact, I find numerous voicings of that position odious in the extreme. I consider them un-American and I suspect that they are dangerous. Shouldn’t you join me in condemning the National Review, the Weekly Standard, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, HotAir, Pajamas Media, et al, for causing all this bother? How about a boycott of everyone who has anything to do with them?

    I think “the mosque” has already served a very good purpose at least for me of exposing many of my former friends and many political figures and public intellectuals I might once upon a time have considered supporting. I see many things about them that once I was blind to, or that I had never expected to see from them, in quite this way. Thank you, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.

  27. CKM, I’ve read and respected your opinions for a long time (on Contentions, Hot Air, and here). On this issue, we have an honest disagreement. But, I do not agree that my opinion on this issue is somehow un-American.

  28. J-Bone wrote:

    I do not agree that my opinion on this issue is somehow un-American.

    This point is rather fundamental to the discussion. It is almost impossible, except by sleight-of-hand or psychological denial, to refrain from implicitly accusing the other person on the side of this debate from fundamental violations of the American interest and American values. It’s a struggle over what it can mean to be American, and what being American entitles you to do and also requires of you. It shouldn’t be taken personally. That doesn’t mean it won’t be, or that people can avoid doing so. The point of my illustration was that if my personal feelings come first, in the same way that I believe you are placing your feelings and the feelings of the people who feel the same as you, then I also would have an irrefutable argument in favor of my position.

    As I was just asking narc on the Wall, it’s unclear to me at what point “feelings” became the basis of a conservative response to politics and society.

  29. And you answered honestly, that this is not unfounded presumption, but it’s ok, if someone genuinely evil like Fidel, gets laurels from Katie
    and Brian, but a genuinely honest albeit maybe naive politician, can be torn down, before they even know what’s going on,

    The same is true about Israel, it carries a terrible burden inherent in it’s creation, that six million died because they could not find sanctuaryanywhere in the world, anywhere, Are they suspicious, maybe even paranoid in their actions, well yes at times, but remember Delmore Schwartz. Hamas’s leadership is up to no good, even worse then Fatah, because the latter didn’t fundamentally compromise the spiritual foundations of the people in the same way

  30. It’s funny, though. While I disagree with your position, I have never labeled it un-American. I’m not understanding why I shouldn’t take it personally when my position is labeled as such.

    I’m not saying that Muslims shouldn’t be able to practice their faith, or that the government should have intervened to block the mosque. As such, there is no free exercise issue here. It is asking (not forcing) the builders of the mosque, in light of the sensitivity of the proximity to Ground Zero, to think about an alternative location for the mosque. What I fail to see is why that is so terrible.

  31. @ J-Bone:
    When you put it like that, then those who support the project would presumably be able to say, “Thank you for your input. We have considered the issue you raise very carefully, and for a, b, and c reasons we disagree. We think your feelings are misplaced, not our planned cultural center.” But that’s not what’s happening. The public leader of the project, who has been a figure in his community for 27 years, is being subjected to wide-ranging character assassination. Voices have been raised across the conservative spectrum accusing him and his associates of treasonous intent. They have referred to his religious project as a desecration. Think about that: A mosque is so odious to the opponents that they have defined it in itself as a desecration. Those open to the project or willing to defend it have regularly and repeatedly been attacked as the “useful idiots” of an aggressive imperialist force out to destroy our way of life.

    I could try to summarize our entire discussion, but I’ll instead say that it’s very late in this game for opponents of the mosque to say “well we just have some concerns, no one’s attacking anyone else’s Americanism.” You yourself may not have participated in the character assassination of Rauf and the attempt to brand Islam an enemy ideology, but the impetus begins with the same discomfort with the presence of a mosque within 2 blocks and a street of GZ, and the idea that such discomfort can have a valid basis. It is implicitly the argument that, as one blogger put it, “the religion that killed 3,000 people” must be excluded from our otherwise ecumenical national sacred ground. It attaches collective guilt to Islam for the acts of individuals; it denies Muslims equal participation in our collective community.

    And that may be natural and human – like the victim of assault by a man in a ski mask who responds reflexively to all men in ski masks. But we can’t govern society by such reflexive reactions. We may not hold it against our friend that he suffers from this pathology, but it is still a pathology. (If the wind chill goes -30, we may tell him we’re sorry, but we’re going to put on our ski masks…) We can’t ask people to refrain from being what they are in the same way that we could ask people to leave off their ski masks for a day, or when in the vicinity of our emotionally injured friend. Instead, as a society, we are obligated in fact to face the irrational fear and overcome it – even, incidentally, at the risk that all of the very worst things all of the project critics have said were true.

    To the extent you identify with the political “anti-mosque forces,” an un-Americanism if ever there was one, then you are identifying with an un-American movement. I mean this with the highest seriousness I can manage in a blog thread comment. There’s no personal attack in it: I don’t know you. All you are to me are the words you post on this blog under a pseudonym. No one in the real world will think one way or another of you as a result of my statement. If you take it personally, then perhaps you need to ask yourself what your attachment to being thought of or thinking of yourself as American is about. Is it just nativism, or does it represent ideas and values to you? If the latter, then how does opposition to a mosque fit in with those ideas and values?

  32. The truth is CK, you never know, ten years ago, if one crafted a tale where an Army psychologists attacked an army base, the son of one
    of Nigeria’s most significant establishment figure would attempt to bomb an airline, the son of a Pakistani general, formerly a financial analyst, would attack Times Square or the American born son of the Yemeni agriculture minister, was the catalyst for all of this, you would
    have laughed them out of the room

  33. miguel cervantes wrote:

    you never know,

    no, you don’t. If you can’t handle the risk of not knowing but going ahead anyway, then you’re in the wrong country. Because the elimination of such risk requires measures, and a society, that I wouldn’t want to live in. It eventually leads to a postal service whose main purpose is to inform the surviving citizens of the previous night’s proscriptions and executions.

  34. I was pointing out the seeming inplausibility of the events described, now one of these was facilitated by the Levick Group’s pressure campaign to release Gitmo detainees, including two who already had strong propensity to return to the Jihad, Rubbaish and Al Shihri, the other was in contact with another fellow in London, Mr. Begg who seems to recruit these impressionable lads, And these are the ones we know of, I could reference the Trinidadian born Saudi son of Sheik Rahman’s translator who’s ‘rocketing up the chart’ of AQ leadership from this neck of the woods, who was involved in the Zazi Subway plot, and did once work with young
    Abdullah Muhajir (Jose Padilla) they got their start at Dar Ul Uloom

  35. @ miguel cervantes:
    None of which has anything directly to do with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf or with the mode of attack pursued by the rightwing “high-tech lynch mob,” all of which can equally be arrayed on the side of his project rather than on the side against it.

  36. Actually it has to do exactly how Deobandi and Wahhabi activism is ‘laundered’ or even praised by the media. Aulaqi condemned 9/11
    all the while offering his acolytes, the prospects of joyful bliss that martyrs would experience. It is almost impossible for CI associate
    Karen Armstrong to acknowledge the martial streak in Islam, it is mentioned but almost in passing, whereas Christianity is the real thread, they are likely to go off on Carolingean jihads at a moments
    notice

  37. The GSFC now AQAM, have been murdering folk since 1992, much like
    Gamaa Islamiya where Zawahiri is from, they didn’t need any prompting
    to join AQ.

  38. @ miguel cervantes:
    that’s six pages of sorrow for a little boy who grew up to be a bright guy and went wrong combined with the idea that the sentence he received was excessive.

    there’s not a drop of sympathy in it for terrorism.

    how can you read so much so well and come away with “reeks of understanding”?

  39. It does suggest the problem we are trying to avoid, well meaning people, turned to facilitate evil, through a whole network designed
    to impart said lessons

  40. @ miguel cervantes:

    The problem I’m trying to avoid is in getting you to calm down enough to supply straight answers to straight questions and requests to back up stuff….

    You write this, and I ask you to show some examples of our media praising that stuff.

    Actually it has to do exactly how Deobandi and Wahhabi activism is ‘laundered’ or even praised by the media

    You give me something that’s two blocks over and half an island off … and then you’re off on another tangent.

    My friend, you got a whole lot of interesting stuff to contribute, but maybe you should stop all the exaggeration and build your cases the way that you were taught.

    brick by plodding brick until you’ve laid a solid foundation.

    castles in the air are fine for speculation but you can’t expect real humans to try to join you in inhabiting these vaporous domains. they don’t hold the weight of company and don’t last long with wear.

    give us well-fired bricks and let’s see what we can construct.

  41. THe Puurto Rican lad who they caught some weeks ago, Padilla well that’s his ‘slave name’, the son of a halal butcher, who sounds suspiciously like REx Reed now, the Jihad Jane and company, it forms
    a pattern

  42. Here’s the thing. I’m not too concerned about what people think of me based upon the words I post on a blog are, or those posted about me. I also haven’t identified with any “political anti-mosque forces,” whatever they may be. I’ve voiced my view, nothing more, nothing less. As for nativism — this is off-base. I tend to be more liberal on immigration.

    You are right in the point you make about collective guilt, and the wrongness of that position (specifically, how it “denies Muslims equal participation in our collective community”). My rejoinder is that being treated as an equal participant in the collective community must include being aware of, and considering, the concerns of other members of the community. I don’t feel that has happened in this case.

    However, I’m comfortable with the position I’ve taken on this blog. I truly believe I am not identifying with an un-American movement. While I applaud your passion on this issue (as I’ve said, I respect your viewpoint, and have for some time), I’d submit that voicing dissenting views, with mutual respect, is indicative of American values.

  43. J-Bone wrote:

    I’d submit that voicing dissenting views, with mutual respect, is indicative of American values.

    Absolutely. If those protesting the Cordoba project had universally conducted themselves as you have in these comments, I wouldn’t have written however many posts and comments on the subject by now. Because the dissent and discomfort would likely have been noted, but probably not have been determinative, Rauf and Cordoba would have proceeded, and, in the best American traditions of freedom of speech, assembly, and exercise, had their chance to demonstrate their good faith, or fail to do so.

    As for “nativism,” it’s not just an immigration question. I was using the term loosely, in relation to the question of Americanism and the American idea, and whether that represents something more than mere nationalism, comfort with other people “just like us,” etc.

    Being “aware of… the concerns of other members of the community” isn’t the same as always immediately accepting those concerns, especially when expressed in an offensive and irrational manner, as more valid than one’s own concerns and aims. On the level of ideals, if Rauf et al are, as the formulation presumes, already members of that community, then they not only deserve but need to be a part of the collective community symbolically sacralized at Ground Zero – just all the other members of the community that are currently there and may someday be there. On the level of practical politics and strategy in the war on terror, Rauf is exactly the kind of figure we should be at a minimum tolerating, in my view promoting.

  44. Points were raised about some of his affiliations, starting about three months, (It’s felt like three years) with the Lappen piece, Geller and McCarthy and some of the usual personages dropped in, you dismissed
    them, you chose to bring every up rotten things that has occurred in Christendom since around AD 300, leave out any possible context for these events, but you insist on them when it comes to Islam, specially when we are focusing of mostly Hambali and Salafi traits of that faith.

    Much as with you abetting the poisonous and outright fraudulent characterization of the tea party, you chose to attack when Sarah
    raised some of these same questions, more out of sorrow, than
    triumphalism.Gingrich followed suit (I really don’t hold in good repute
    anymore, because of his past record) You have driven most of the people who used to populate this blog away, now that is your right, this is your place. Rubin is not an intemporate person, but she has justifiable concerns, as do most of those affiliated with the Blog
    from where this derived

  45. @ miguel cervantes:
    How shocking that you have a completely one-sided and defensive view of the entire discussion, not to mention of the history of people being “driven away” from this blog!

  46. Well you sound more like Quellist Kate, and Voodoo Bob, then the other
    sober Zombies of late, You’ve been hanging in Raccoon City too long
    my frem

  47. @ miguel cervantes:
    And the reason I should care about whether I sound more like bob or kate or zombies is what? I like bob and kate – assuming by “Voodoo Bob” you mean our bob in the mask. bob is darn near exemplary in all respects. kate is too crude and abrasive, and I’ve told her so, but makes valuable contributions. She’s probably off hanging with the cruder and abrasiver better blogs these days… or in Biarritz or wherever she spends her vacations… but I’d still rather have both of them around than any number of zombie hypocrites, ingrates, foul phonies, and inflexible ideologues who can’t handle a debate and run away crying when their comical prejudices get laughed at.

  48. So Abdel Rahman had to wait a while to build his mosque, how about Hagia Sophia, or Matthias Church or a whole host of other examples

  49. @ miguel cervantes:
    I assume you’re replying to the RecBrow article. What’s the current religious status of the Grand Mosque of Cordoba – excuse me, of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption? You want to take a wild guess what used to be where the Cathedral of Mexico City is located – the oldest Roman Catholic Cathedral in the Americas? Here’s a hint: It wasn’t just an empty spot in the middle of nowhere. How about the Cathedral of Cusco in Peru? OK, I’ll tell you: The site was selected precisely for the purpose of destroying and replacing the native religion.

    Of course, we’re in an excellent position to criticize here in the U.S., considering how much of the Native American culture and way of life we left completely intact. Well, maybe not…

    There’s nothing unique or even very interesting about the practice of some Muslim conquerors re-purposing churches or other structures, or building at locations favored by previous builders.

  50. Yes, it was reclaimed in the force of the Great Backlash that was the Reconquista, seven centuries later, whose force carried over to the
    Conquests in the New World, for at least a century .I assume an Aztec or Mayan temple.

  51. Century after century of occupation, even with the contributions like
    with the Romans, in “Life of Brian”

  52. @ miguel cervantes:
    Can I take that as a yes? And, if so, do you have any idea what a lame theory that is from the historical point of view – and have you considered how others might choose to apply it to justify certain other actions they might happen to take that you might choose not to approve of?

  53. I was being a little sarcastic, CK, as we’ve found out with CAIR and ISNA and a whole host of organizations, at the very least they have been unhelpful in the last 20 years, in differentiating the Salafi from the mainstream, always looking out for the ‘backlash from Tomorrow’s
    bombing’ but not so much at the forces that generate that act now.

  54. miguel cervantes wrote:

    WE don’t really want to gauge Weiner’s track record or credbility do we , Frog

    If that’s a typo and you mean Wehner, hell no we don’t. He’s about good enough to work as a shill for a shill.

    If it’s not a typo, I’m not familiar with the guy.

  55. He’s referring to the RecBrow article. You know how narcovantes likes to range around the blog… I don’t really see how one needs a track record of any kind or “credibility” to make fun of Andrew C McCarthy. I was tempted to link the Sadly, No! piece, too, that’s linked in the PuffHo piece – it takes further what I was trying out with JRub up at the top. I think I’ll go ahead an add the SadlyNo image.

  56. Yes ‘I’m a wild and crazy guy’, She not Weiner was right about McGuiness who has been to sculpt the truth with fragrant disregard
    on a number of occasion, most recently during the book tour, and previously the Portfolio profile of the AGIA line

  57. thank you , gents, for pointing me in the approximate direction.

    can’t say as I agree with the guy. NRO is a hell of a lot saner than some other blogs.

    there used to be one that was composed mostly of posts from Rubin, Greenwald, Pollak, and Kerchick.

    there was one that used to crack me up from a lady in Texas named Melissa Clouthier, called herself a doctor. that one was dumber than cow kisses.

  58. NRO is a hell of a lot saner than some other blogs.

    Not when Andrew C McCarthy’s on the prowl. Then it’s all IdjitihadTM all the time…

  59. Frankly, NRO has become thin gruel with exceptions like Steyn, Nordlinger and McCarthy. Commentary probably made me the only Latin
    Catholic neocon around these parts. I saw the whole scam around the
    Clinton machine, due to the Spectator.

    Riehl and Clouthier had some issues with some of the steps that Palin had taken via the TPX, but they seem to have come back on board
    now

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