Tony Norman, columnist, Pittsburgh Post Gazette: "... a handful of politicians who cynically conflate the religion of American Muslims with the nihilism of the 9/11 terrorists."
Andrew Sullivan, The Atlantic blog: "The pursuit of power through demagoguery."
Peter Beinart, senior political writer for The Daily Beast, associate professor of journalism and political science at City University of New York (in a column titled "America Has Disgraced Itself"): "In today's GOP, even bigotry doesn't spare you from bigotry."
"GOP leaders call them (those building the mosque) terrorists because they don't share Benjamin Netanyahu's view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."
"And oh yes, my fellow Jews, who are so thrilled to be locked arm in arm with the heirs of Pat Robertson and Father Coughlin against the Islamic threat."
And in a Politico column titled "Decency Lost": "Republicans are clawing over each other to demonize Muslims."
HuffingtonPost, Allison Kilkenny: "This mock piety is really a cover for Islamophobia."
"Indeed, America is extremely hostile -- not only to Islam -- but to anyone who gives off the air of being exotic, or different."
"Xenophobia is really a convenient cover for a deeper bigotry."
HuffingtonPost, James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute: "Shame. Your bigoted appeals to fear and intolerance disgrace us all and put our country at risk in the world."
HuffingtonPost, Michael Hughes: "Even more hideous is the way in which these bigots try to hide their overt prejudice in the emotional guise of love and caring, purportedly because they believe we must be 'sensitive' to the families of the victims of 9/11."
New York Times editorial: "Republican ideologues, predictably ... spew more of their intolerant rhetoric.
"The country ignores such cynicism and ugliness at its own peril."
"Too many Republican leaders are determined to whip up as much false controversy and anguish as they can."
New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof: "Why do so many Republicans find strip clubs appropriate for the ground zero neighborhood but object to a house of worship?"
"(They) are cynically turning the Islamic center into a nationwide issue in hopes of votes. ... They're just like the Saudi officials who ban churches, and even confiscate Bibles, out of sensitivity to local feelings."
"Today's crusaders against the Islamic community center are promoting a similar paranoid intolerance."
Keith Olbermann, MSNBC: "(The) country has begun to run on a horrible fuel of hatred -- magnified, amplified, multiplied, by politicians and zealots, within government and without."
New York Times columnist Frank Rich: "This month's incessant and indiscriminate orgy of Muslim-bashing."
"So virulent is the Islamophobic hysteria of the neocon and Fox News right -- abetted by the useful idiocy of the Anti-Defamation League ..."
"The ginned-up rage over the 'ground zero mosque' (was motivated) by the potential short-term rewards of winning votes by pandering to fear during an election season."
It started with "a New York Post jihad."
"The Islamophobia command center, Murdoch's News Corporation..."
Why does the left attribute only nefarious motives to those who believe that the Islamic center does not belong near ground zero?
Because leftism holds these beliefs:
1. Those who hold leftist positions are, by definition, better people than their opponents.
2. Those who hold leftist positions have, by definition, pure motives; therefore, the motives of their opponents must be impure.
I conclude with this: I believe that a wiser man than the present imam would have decided to avoid precisely what he has inspired -- intense division in America -- and would have immediately retracted his decision to erect an Islamic center and mosque right by the slaughterhouse of 9/11 which happened to have been caused by his co-religionists.
But I also believe that there are good arguments and good people on both sides of this issue.
I can say that, however, for one reason.
I am not on the left.
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”