Star Parker
The “Ground Zero” Mosque project should not go forward and let’s hope that Imam Feisel Abdul Rauf that is behind this $100 million project gets this message and backs off.

But given what he is hearing from the liberals in New York, including the city’s Mayor, the congressman in whose district Ground Zero sits, and the New York Times, it’s hard to be optimistic that he will change his mind.

Opposition to the Mosque is being portrayed, as the New York Times editorial page put it, as abandoning “the principles of freedom and tolerance.” But the Times makes its own tenuous grasp of reality clear as it goes on in its editorial embracing the Mosque and Islamic Center to say that “The attacks of September 11 were not a religious event.”

We can only wonder what those at the Times think was motivating the young Muslims who, while embracing their Korans and chanting to Allah, committed suicide, taking 3000 innocent Americans to their deaths along with them.

The website for the project, the Cordoba Initiative, advertises itself as “Improving Muslim-West Relations”, and “steering the world back to the course of mutual recognition and respect and away from heightened tensions.”

But if Feisel Abdul Rauf is primarily motivated to “reduce heightened tensions,” why would he do something as obviously provocative as building a Mosque and Islamic Center a few feet away from 9/11 Ground Zero?

It’s fine and well that he wants to improve Muslim-West relations. But why must he choose the place where thousands of Americans were murdered by Muslim terrorists to do his outreach?

Critical to grasp here is the suggestion of the need for dialogue. That the existence of Islamic terrorism is the result of problems with us Americans as well as problems that may exist in Islam. And it all would be fixed if we understood each other better.

This is simply false.

Americans don’t need any lessons about freedom and tolerance.

Several million Muslim Americans live, prosper, and practice their religion freely and without interference in our country. According to a Google search, there are about 2000 Mosques in the United States.

We have one Muslim American member of the United States Congress, who took his oath of office with his hand on the Koran.

Probably every major American university has programs where students can learn about Islam to their heart’s content. Including universities, such as Columbia, that are in the heart of New York City.

In a Gallup poll earlier this year, only 9% of Americans said they feel a “great deal” of prejudice against Muslims. Given recent history, this is an astounding statement of the beauty of the character of the American people.


Star Parker

Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do About It.