My Last Words On The Islamic Community Center and Mosque Near Ground Zero

By: Les Carpenter III
Rational Nation USA

The American flag. For two hundred and thirty four years it has represented the union of  the original thirteen states grown to fifty. It has flown over a land founded on the principal that every individual has the right to their life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Beyond our Declaration of Independence our founders had the wisdom to draft the document known as our Constitution. A document that insured the right of the individual, and the individual states to retain supremacy over the central government other than as specifically set forth in the Constitution.

Today, as I write what is to be my last word on the proposed Islamic Community Center and Mosque near Ground Zero, I encourage those on both sides of the argument to take a deep breath and those on the hard right turn to our Bill of Rights. Specifically Article 1 which reads in part, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;..."

Given the persecution of certain religious groups by the English government our founders, in order to insure the citizens the right practice whatever religious belief they held, drafted Article 1 of The Bill of Rights. In so doing they guaranteed each individual the right to practice whatever religion they may hold and do so without the fear of government interference.

Our founding principals, embodied in our Constitution  and codified into law demand we respect the right of all religions to have a place at the American table. And this we have done. There are over one hundred mosques in New York. Each and every one allowed to practice their faith freely and without intervention or discrimination by the government. Just as the founders of our nation intended.

Of course most Americans, conservative, Libertarian, and progressive alike realize all of this. My purpose for writing it here is simply as a reminder. Precisely because the thought of an Islamic Community Center and Mosque near the hallowed grounds of 911 is repulsive to the majority of Americans, it is now that we must remind ourselves that no matter how repugnant and insensitive it may be, the Imam and developers of Project51 have the constitutionally guaranteed right to build on the proposed sight.

It is time to put politics aside. Time to acknowledge that even though the President has lacked leadership with respect to the insensitivity to the emotions and feeling of the people he is to lead,  he is right in his expressed understanding of Article 1 of the Bill of Rights. He is upholding the principals of our republic. In this sense he is showing leadership.

In my attempt to be reasoned and unemotional over this it is likely some of my conservative brethren will be mildly to very upset with me. Should that be the case I accept that. Before going further I would remind my fellow conservatives that have taken up the gauntlet that I have posted several articles concerning Islam and this specific issue. They have generally not been complimentary. For those who may have missed some or all of them you can find them herehere, here, and Bastiatarian put up a particularly good post here.

The national temperature must cool off. As emotional as this issue is it serves no useful purpose when there are those calling for the burning of the Koran on 9/11/10. This shows complete intolerance, as well as ignorance, and does indeed play into the hands of the extreme elements of Islam, namely the Jihadist.

That progressive leftist rag known as The New York Times has an article today discussing the possibility of our rhetoric and actions galvanizing the most extreme elements of Islam and enhancing their recruiting activities. While I am in disagreement with the NY Times more often than not I find validity in some of their arguments below.


Opposition to the center by prominent politicians and other public figures in the United States has been covered extensively by the news media in Muslim countries. At a time of concern about radicalization of young Muslims in the West, it risks adding new fuel to Al Qaeda’s claim that Islam is under attack by the West and must be defended with violence, some specialists on Islamic militancy say.

“I know people in this debate don’t intend it, but there are consequences for these kinds of remarks,” said Brian Fishman, who studies terrorism for the New America Foundation here.

He said that Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born cleric hiding in Yemen who has been linked to several terrorist plots, has been arguing for months in Web speeches and in a new Qaeda magazine that American Muslims face a dark future of ever-worsening discrimination and vilification.

“When the rhetoric is so inflammatory that it serves the interests of a jihadi recruiter like Awlaki, politicians need to be called on it,” Mr. Fishman said.

Evan F. Kohlmann, who tracks militant Web sites at the security consulting firm Flashpoint Global Partners, said supporters of Al Qaeda have seized on the controversy “with glee.” On radical Web forums, he said, the dispute over the Islamic center, which would include space for worship, is lumped together with fringe developments like a Florida pastor’s call for making Sept. 11 “Burn a Koran Day.”

“It’s seen as proof of what Awlaki and others have been saying, that the U.S. is hypocritical and that most Americans are enemies of Islam,” Mr. Kohlmann said. He called the anti-Islam statements spawned by the dispute “disturbing and sad” and said they were feeding anti-American sentiment that could provoke violence.

The reasoning behind these comments are sound. At the very least it should cause pause. The last thing we want to do is play into the hands of the extremists who are already using our more strident opposition to the proposed mosque to inflame Muslim they seek to recruit. Read the rest of the New York Times article here.

It is perfectly acceptable for elected representatives, diplomats, and the President to attempt broad ranging discussions on behalf of the nation that is in majority opposed the the construction near Ground Zero. I repeat near Ground Zero. The fact there are already as many mosques as there are indicates that it is not Islam itself that is being protested. It is the selection of sites. Were the Imam and his fellow developers interested in the process of healing they would consider another site.

Amidst all of the emotion and never ending chatter one voice stood out. Governor Paterson of New York State maintained a voice of reason in attempting to broker a deal that would have included state land as an alternative. While his efforts have failed thus far to gain the desired results the efforts should continue. The President, or his designated representative should seek discussion aimed at a resolution that is wholly acceptably to both sides.

In doing so we assume the high ground. Our nation displays the tolerance it has always possessed and in making the cause for sensitivity towards the families that lost loved ones, and the American people in general, we put the Imam in the position of making a decision  showing understanding and sincerity towards an injured people. Or confirming the belief that more and more Americans seem to share that Islam is indeed an intolerant, even violent religion.

If our leaders handle this situation properly, assuming it's not already to late, we could arrive at a viable compromise. If not the Imam, and his religion will be exposed for what many feel they are.

Cross posted to Rational Nation USA.


  1. No, no, no, no, no. No way in hell those of us who oppose this Terrorist Training Center at Ground Zero are going to "cool off." If anything we're going to get even more obnoxious, loud, vociferous and virtirolic. This is the issue of our Lifetime! How dare they! How dare they have the audacity to put an Al Qaeda/Hamas linked Mosque right there at Ground Zero.

    We will fight this to the death. And this is not about Property Rights. Firstly, we Libertarians who oppose the GZ Mosque fully admit they have a right to build there. Secondly, it's a total croc that it's "Private Property." The friggin' place is owned by Con-Edison, which is heavily subsidized by Taxpayers, and overseen by Gov. Paterson.

    You are wrong on this issue Sir. You need to join those of us who stand up for American values, and oppose this horrendouse Al Qaeda Terrorist Center in Manhattan.

    I'm with Roger Stone on this. He called the developers of the GZ Mosque "Nazis," yesterday. That they are. And like the Nazis they need to be brutally defeated, once and for all!!

    Eric Dondero, Lifetime Libertarian

  2. Eric - I respect your opinion. And I understand the emotion as I too have felt it.

    Further I have many references to the dangers the Koranic teachings pose for western civilization. And I am not unaware of the possibility that this is a front for nefarious Islamic activity.

    Therefore I say be prepared. Be vigilant. Exert every diplomatic pressure possible. And the President should be doing so right now.

    But our Constitution says what it says. As a strict constructionist I must support the wording. Until such time this group acts in such a way as to give reason with supporting evidence I stand by my statements here.

    Pressure to reconsider should be coming from the highest levels of our representative government, Calling for the burning of the Koran makes us no better than those of the Dark Dark ages or any other religious intolerant theocratic totalitarian state.

    I say proceed with eyes wide open and in our best long term national interest. We gain nothing by inflaming the extremist over this issue.

    If we play it right we could come out big winners. If not who knows for sure.

    Since there are a 100 + mosques in New York, and this indeed is hallowed ground I think the argument if handled right is in our favor.

    So lets get the rest of the world behind our concerns and uphold the Constitution at the same time.

    Les Carpenter III
    Editor in Chief
    Rational Nation USA

  3. Les, again this is not an issue of whether or not they have a right to build there on that Property. They do! Nobody is disputing that. This is an issue of whether or not they SHOULD build. It is clear this is a poke in the eye from the Muslim world to Americans. Are you going to stand for that?

    Damned right I'm gonna get emotional about this. If we can't get emotional about something like this, than what in the bloody hell can we get emotional about?

    Certainly Americans were "emotional" after Pearl Harbor, and rightly so. 9/11 was even worse than Pearl Harbor.

    Nobody's talking of burning the Koran, except those nutballs down in Florida. What we are talking of, is loud, obnoxious, vitriolic, vehement yet lawful protests.

    I'm sorry you see that as counter-productive.

  4. Eric - If you read my post completely (and the links therein) you know I understand all of this.

    I also support pressure on our politicians to make the case calmly and rationally why this is an affront to the American people.

    I also support proper informed education as to the Koran, Sharia Law, and the inherent dangers they present to the West.

    Hysteria, which this s becoming with some, and the IMO swerves only to reinforce the arguments of those whose action we wish to divert.

    Furthermore with over 100 mosques in New York the suspected actions of which you speak may be occurring in any one of them already.

    Is the solution to evict or level all of them?

    If the issue is building two blocks from Ground Zero, which everyone on "our" side seems to be saying, then lets proceed rationally, unemotionally (at least to the world), and convincingly make the reasoned case you apparently believe I fail to note.

    Again, I understand, and respect your feelings of anxiety, anger, and the emotional trauma over the loss of 2800+ American lives in 2001. I feel the same.

    But let us not succumb to knee jerk emotional reactions the progressives so often do.

    In Liberty.

    Your friend and fellow Patriot.

  5. As much as I respect your opinions, I feel you're completely wrong on this one. This mosque will inflame and enbolden the terrorists as everytime Islam gains a victory over the infidels, they build a victory mosque to commemorate the victory and that's what this is.

    As for Islam being free to practice their religion, if they were peaceful and respected and defended the constitution, I would agree with you, but they don't. Just look at what's going on in Dearborn, England, France, and Cananda. Under Islam, only Islam is the rightful faith and all others are to be killed or pay punitive taxes. Isn't this exactly what England was doing when the republic was formed? Islam has been the antithesis of everything the country was founded on, and as Muslim here get more and more enbolden and demand things, like Sharia law which doesn't respect rule of law that we have here because it places Muslims, especially Muslim men, superior to all else, the more aggressive they've become. The very type of aristricatic mentality that our founding fathers rejected. Until they demonstrate that they reject the jihadi verses, have tolerance for other faiths, and respect rule of law here in our republic, Muslims haven't demonstrated they have earned the right to their religious liberties. Harsh, you bet, but if I was to form a religion that demands the sacrifices of virgins, the rape of minors (after all, it's my God given right in my faith), the lynching of those I don't agree with I think you would have an issue with it as it inpunes on other people's freedoms, but that is exactly what's going with the Islamics with their honor killings, arrange marriages, and their jihad against infidels for a few examples.

    I think you mean well and are holding to the principles that you truly believe that makes this country great and I would agree with you. However, the constitution isn't a suicide pact and this mosque at this locale would be viewed by the terrorists of the world as a victory shrine and you think they're having good recruitment against us now, wait til this monument to Mohammad Atta is built and not just in the Middle East either.

  6. madmath 1 - We are not on opposite sides of this issue. As I have repeatedly stated, and posted numerous times, I know the Koran and the teachings it holds up. Hell I know it almost as well as well as anyone I think...

    My son went out with a Muslim women from Pakistan, She was as western as thy come. I also know Muslims from Iran and Turkey. They left their country precisely for some of the reasons you outline. They are good hard working people who educated their children and wish this nation no ill. They too abhor the evil that caused 911.

    My point... We can't assume every Muslim is evil or hates the US. And we cannot blindly refuse to recognize the evil in extreme Islam as many progressives do.

    I just believe we must be smarter and more agile. There is a way around this.

    Your problem is not with me. It lies with the book burning mentality extremists in our own country and the progressives that are looking through rose colored glasses.

    Proper diplomacy and pressure, exerted by the right people may resolve this issue.

    Again I ask... If the Imam and his "flock" do not back down what then? Trash the Constitution out of fear? Something just popped into my mind... the Salem Witch Trials.

    One thing for certain, at least in my opinion, Push the Imam hard in the court of public opinion for the whole world to see and the push back is very likely to be much harder and unyielding. We will have given him the stage the extremist so desire.

    But what the hell do I know, being just a 58 year old conservative.

    And this is my last comment on this subject. Entering a self imposed lock down on it.


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