Rarely do I ever concede a point to a liberal. However, in this case; it is fair to do so.
This morning Nicholas Kristof writes in the New York Times, about the Mosque Controversy:
For a glimpse of how venomous and debased the discourse about Islam has become, consider a blog post in The New Republic this month. Written by Martin Peretz, the magazine’s editor in chief, it asserted: “Frankly, Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims.”
Mr. Peretz added: “I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend that they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment, which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse.”
Thus a prominent American commentator, in a magazine long associated with tolerance, ponders whether Muslims should be afforded constitutional freedoms. Is it possible to imagine the same kind of casual slur tossed off about blacks or Jews? How do America’s nearly seven million American Muslims feel when their faith is denounced as barbaric?
This is one of those times that test our values, a bit like the shameful interning of Japanese-Americans during World War II, or the disgraceful refusal to accept Jewish refugees from Nazi Europe.
It would have been natural for this test to have come right after 9/11, but it was forestalled because President George W. Bush pushed back at his conservative ranks and repeatedly warned Americans not to confuse Al Qaeda with Islam.
As much as I hate to say it; Mr. Kristof is absolutely right. It should noted that Martin Peretz is, in fact Jewish and is, in fact, a rabid Zionist. In fact, Martin Peretz is known for the following comments:
Frankly, I couldn’t quite imagine any venture like [the Iraq War] in the Arab World turning out especially well. This is, you will say, my prejudice. But some prejudices are built on real facts, and history generally proves me right. Go ahead, prove me wrong. — Source
But, frankly, Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims. And among those Muslims led by the Imam Rauf there is hardly one who has raised a fuss about the routine and random bloodshed that defines their brotherhood. So, yes, I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend that they are worthy of the privileges [sic] of the First Amendment which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse. — Source
Like Kristof said; could you imagine if the above were uttered about the Jews or about the black race? There would a media frenzy about it. Believe me, I know; I have been attacked by those who are of the protected class and all for speaking my mind about them and how they attack those of whom they disagree.
The fact is, that this whole Mosque situation boils down to this; Islam versus Christian Nativists and Jews, Arabs versus Americans, whites versus non-whites. Am I calling those who oppose this mosque racists? Well, my question for you is this; do you feel that burning pages of the Koran normal acceptable practice? Would you feel the same way, if some Muslim took a page out of the Christian Bible and began burning it? How about the Tanakh, the Torah, or The ?umash, the Siddur, the Piyutim or even the Zohar?
The point I am trying to make here is this; I realize that radicalized Muslims attacked the World Trade Center, The Pentagon and Flight 93. However, when you punish an entire religion for the actions of a few, you are practicing a forum of collectivism. That is not anything remotely Conservative, nor is it anything remotely American. Being vigilant against terrorism is one thing; but being idiotic is another, this situation with this Mosque is well beyond that — on both sides.
Update: On the Other hand… these are videos from 9/11:
There are two sides to every argument; one would suppose. There is also this here.