David Horowitz Debates the Ground Zero Mosque


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MARC TRACY: Dan, this one’s for you. In your piece, you credit Christopher Caldwell with providing one of the “more sophisticated treatments” of the Islamicization of Europe. I want your reaction to something Caldwell wrote on Slate this week:

There is no Christian equivalent—either for sophistication or influence—to the body of revolutionary political thought that arose among the Sunni Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in the middle of the last century, or in Iran in the Age of Khomeini. To say this is not to confuse Islam and Islamism, or to imply that Islam is always and everywhere a violent religion. Nor is it to deny that the scriptural barriers to Christian violence are notoriously easy to breach. But Islam is equipped, as Christianity is not, with explicit contemporary doctrines of political violence.

While you and David could both find things in that paragraph to buttress your respective cases, I’d like to challenge you: Isn’t Caldwell correct that Islamic fundamentalism has uniquely strong resonance today? And, if so, isn’t the comparison of Islamophobia to anti-Semitism and anti-Catholicism facile, as Judaism and Catholicism are not associated with similarly powerful fundamentalisms? (Yes, the Stern Gang existed, but its ideology was never as widespread and potent and universally violent as jihadism.) Even if most Muslims aren’t Islamists, doesn’t the unique resonance of Islamic fundamentalism pose a problem to the building of an Islamic center so close to the site of Islamic fundamentalism’s most notorious atrocity?

DANIEL LUBAN: Unlike the crop of self-proclaimed “Islam analysts” that has sprung up since Sept. 11—most of whom seem to think that their ability to use words like “sharia” and “jihad” in a sentence makes them experts on the finer points of Islamic theology—I will not pretend to anything more than an interested layman’s knowledge of Islam as a religion. For that reason I won’t speculate on the extent to which violent Islamist groups are rooted in true, or false, or mainstream, or deviant interpretations of Islam. I do wish that those on the other side would similarly resist the urge to issue authoritative pronouncements on subjects they know nothing about. (Lee Smith, with whom I frequently disagree on these issues, recently had a good piece in Tablet Magazine picking apart the absurd interpretations of “sharia” put forth by mosque opponents.)

But on the question of whether the “unique resonance of Islamic fundamentalism” poses a problem for the building of the Islamic center: First, what “resonance” are we talking about? That the center would resonate with and embolden violent Muslim radicals? I would expect quite the opposite. It is likely that radicals would be disgusted both with the center’s conciliatory theology and with the overall message it sends—namely, that the Unites States is so welcoming to Muslims that it is willing to let them practice their faith anywhere they choose, even a few blocks from the site of the Sept. 11 attacks. It is equally likely that these radicals are rejoicing at the current controversy, realizing that every Islamophobic speech or rally or ad simply bolsters their claim that the United States is at war with Islam itself. In fact, the only extremists that the project seems to have “resonated” with are the right-wingers who believe—or at least pretend to—that the building would be a “9/11 victory monument” intended as a beachhead for sharia law in the United States.

“Islamic fundamentalism” is also a troublesome term, since it often seems to be applied (along with similar terms like “radical Islam” and “Islamofascism”) to any Muslims whom the labeler doesn’t like, regardless of whether their politics are either violent or rooted in religion. Regardless, it is obvious that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and Daisy Khan do not qualify under even the loosest definition of “Islamic fundamentalism,” despite the best efforts of their opponents to paint them as radicals. (Jeffrey Goldberg, another writer with whom I frequently disagree, has written persuasively on the ludicrousness of these charges.)

Part of the problem, I suspect, is that many of the mosque opponents themselves subscribe to a form of hardline Likudnik politics and therefore regard any view to the left of Norman Podhoretz as proof of radical anti-Semitism. We must also note the wild guilt-by-association tenor of the campaign against Rauf—as Robert Wright put it, a typical charge is that “Rauf’s wife has an uncle who used to be ‘a leader’ of a mosque that now has a Web site that links to the Web site of an allegedly radical organization.” It strikes me that similar chains of association could have been used to tie virtually any Jew in 1950s America to communism—you yourself may never have been a party member, but surely you had a cousin who had a wife who had a brother who was a member.

In any case, let’s accept that there are some significant, disturbing, and violent strains within Islam (regardless of what we call them and how extensive we think they are). Two points here. First, the fact that such radical elements do exist does not license us to descend into bigotry or conspiracy theories, just as the fact that many Jews in postwar America really were communists did not excuse the wild ravings that proliferated on the right about a “Judeo-Bolshevik” plot against America.

Second, the “anti-jihadi” extremists who have led the anti-mosque campaign present precisely the wrong way to respond to the existence of these radical elements. Their message is that Muslims should be regarded as threats simply for subscribing to religious precepts, even if they denounce violence and even if they adhere to the laws of the land. This, of course, removes much of the incentive to chart a moderate course—if nothing less than the full-blown atheism of an Ayaan Hirsi Ali will satisfy such critics, then why risk a partial assimilation that will only be rejected as proof of nefarious intentions? Imam Rauf was the guy who did everything right, who was conciliatory even to the point of alienating his constituents—if even he is now being tarred as a violent radical, I imagine many Muslims-Americans are asking themselves, then why even bother?

MARC TRACY: David, I’d urge you to consider: Are opponents of the center working to alienate American Muslims? And: Parse what exactly you think is different about the radical elements within Islam (as opposed to other religions/groups) that justifies special concern and vigilance.

DAVID HOROWITZ: The Ground Zero mosque is the project of an Imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf, who in the age of Jimmy Carter supported the fundamentalist Islamic revolution of the Ayatollah Khomeni, replete with hangings of gays, oppression of women, sponsorship of Hezbollah, and the murder of Americans and Jews. In the age of Obama and Ahmadinejad and in the face of a revolt by the Iranian people against this medieval regime, Rauf counseled our president to support the “guiding principles” of the theocratic dictatorship whose leaders continue to hang gays, arm the world’s largest terrorist army, Hezbollah, and not incidentally threaten to wipe Israel from the face of the earth. (See Christopher Hitchens, “The Test of Tolerance.”)

Not surprisingly, the construction of the Ground Zero mosque is supported by the leader of Hamas and by the Muslim Brotherhood network, which includes the Muslim American Society, the Islamic Society of North America, CAIR, and other anti-American, anti-Israel, pro-jihadist groups with which Rauf is closely connected. Small wonder that he considers the United States an “accomplice to 9/11” (one of his associates, Sheik Muhammad Gemeaha, is actually on record saying that the Jews did it.)

Luban seems to think that it’s important to bend over backward to show Islamists that we are actually tolerant by allowing the construction of a $100 million dollar mosque adjacent to the site where Muslims killed 3,000 Americans in the worst attack on our soil in the history of the republic. Why aren’t they already impressed by the fact that there are mosques all over the Unites States but no churches or synagogues in Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, or that America has sent its youth around the world to save the lives of millions of Muslims in Bosnia, in Somalia, and in Afghanistan? Why aren’t Israel’s Muslim enemies impressed by the fact that Israel grants more rights to the million-plus Muslims who are citizens of the Jewish state than are granted to the Muslim citizens of any Muslim country? Why do U.S. leftists and Jimmy Carter refer to the most tolerant country in the Middle East as an “apartheid state”?

Anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism and sympathy for jihadists are not driven by rational considerations, as Luban seems to think, but by irrational hatreds and xenophobic religious creeds.

MARC TRACY: Dan, we can argue over Rauf’s intentions all day. It might be interesting to argue that it actually is important to bend over backward rather than to deny that that’s what we’re doing. But of course, it’s your argument, not mine, so we’ll give you the final word.

DANIEL LUBAN: The opponents of the Park51 project have now resorted to manufacturing an endless stream of out-of-context quotes and sensationalistic “revelations” about Rauf; the idea seems to be that even if no individual claim bears scrutiny, the succession of attacks will reinforce the impression that Rauf is a radical. Since I have limited space here, I won’t spend it answering David Horowitz’s latest attacks on the imam—suffice it to say that they are as cherry-picked and misleading the other charges that have been brought forth against him.

I am more interested in Horowitz’s claim that the controversy is about whether we will “bend over backward to show Islamists that we are actually tolerant by allowing” the construction of the center. How, exactly, does “allowing” Muslims to build what they like on property they own with their own money constitute “bend[ing] over backward” to them? On the contrary, it is simply allowing them the same freedom that we extend to all other religions. As I discussed in my piece, this is symptomatic of the way that Horowitz and his allies operate—they claim that they simply oppose any special advantage being granted to Islam over other religions, when in fact their prescriptions call for specific and intrusive forms of discrimination against Muslims in particular.

I would, however, like to thank Horowitz for the arguments he has not made. Much of this pointless controversy has been dominated by bad-faith arguments that opposition to the Park51 center has nothing to do with opposition to Islam. (It’s merely that the blocks surrounding the World Trade Center site are “sacred ground,” you see—notwithstanding the strip clubs and dive bars and fast food restaurants that fill them—and opponents of the center would quickly drop their objections if it were merely moved five blocks away rather than two.) Horowitz, with greater honesty, has focused in on the real issues at stake: the role of Islam in America, and whether we should assume until proven otherwise that the bulk of Muslim-Americans are enemies of the state.

Horowitz closes by attributing to me a position that I have never argued: namely, that anti-Semitism and violent Islamism are “driven by rational considerations.” My argument was a very different one: that whatever the roots of these tendencies and however repugnant they may be, we solve nothing—in fact, we make matters worse—by descending into the sort of paranoid Islamophobia that is currently ascendant on the right. Horowitz flirts with these conspiracy theories without giving any real evidence for the allegation that the bulk of Muslim-Americans are genocide-minded Muslim Brotherhood sleeper agents. (Hence his non-response to my first rebuttal, in which he merely reiterates the same flimsy “evidence” that he asserted the first time.) Whether he actually believes this stuff or whether he is cynically using it for political purposes is ultimately irrelevant; either way, he and his allies are treading on dangerous (and for a Jew, depressingly familiar) ground.

Daniel Luban is a doctoral student in political science at the University of Chicago. David Horowitz is the president of the David Horowitz Freedom Center and the author of Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left and A Cracking of the Heart, a memoir about his daughter. His new book is Reforming Our Universities.

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  • proxywar

    "Since I have limited space here, I won’t spend it answering David Horowitz’s latest attacks on the imam—suffice it to say that they are as cherry-picked and misleading the other charges that have been brought forth against him."

    Yet you haven't proved how this is so.

    "Horowitz flirts with these conspiracy theories without giving any real evidence for the allegation that the bulk of Muslim-Americans are genocide-minded Muslim Brotherhood sleeper agents."

    At least there is some evidence in his favor.You make the claim that a bulk of them aren't this way based on nothing more than your good faith. You don't have any evidence to support your claim. I have to go with the evidence.

    • ROBERT

      Well, I think Mr. Horowitz gave some evidence: the deafening silence of those who should speak out. Some 9000 rockets this year alone shot from Gaza into Israel so as to murder Jews. The words of the Prophet to his faithful to kill Jews. The calls of Hamas and Hisbolah for the extinction of the Jews. The Interfada where thousands of Jews were murdered by Jihadist suicide bombers, the raising of Muslim children to hate Jews and to call for their death (I have seen a few of these movies myself), the refusal of Muslim leaders like Rauf to condemn terrorist organizations who call for the destruction of Isael.

      I could go on. But the point is there is only one way to go with this evidence. It's overwelming. Speaking of cherry picking, really, how does it make the world safer for Jews that some or most Muslims do not call for their extinction. 50 million who hate a Jew's guts should be enough evidence to worry anyone.

      I thought Horowitz's adversary was a sophist. Hew as the cherry picker.

      ROBERT

    • Philosopherking

      Your kind actually uses the phrase 'conspiracy' or 'phobia' to characterize any idea that opposes your as a psychiatric disorder which implies that it is something that can be treated with the proper medication. Its fits inline with your thinking because communist also labeled opposing thoughts as things that had to fixed by state hospitals.

  • http://www.resonoelusono.com/NaturalBornCitizen.htm Alexander Gofen

    David Horowitz made a very strong case against the 9/11 mosque. Yet it is impossible in principle to convince Luban because his presumptions are opposite to those of Horowitz and to the very reality. The proper framing of the 9/11 mosque is not legal or proprietary, but that of national security during the time of war. Although Mr. Luban is regrettably and ludicrously correct that America is not at war on Islam, Islam is at war on America (and the rest of the world): disregarding whether religion-of-peace Bush or America-always-been-Islamic Obama care to acknowledge it.
    <a href="http://www.resonoelusono.com/Imminent.htm” target=”_blank”>www.resonoelusono.com/Imminent.htm

    Moreover: just 10 years ago Islam succeeded in the most heinous and devastating attack on American soil ever. Erection of an 11 story swastika near a national cemetery of victims of unfinished war is not a proprietary issue, Mr. Luban. It is an issue of dignity, national security and self preservation all lacking to you.

  • Andres de Alamaya

    Call me an anti-Semite if you wish but there seems to be a lunatic smidgin of DNA in a disproportionate numb er of Jews that plays right into the hands of anti-Semites and Luban offers a good example of this. It is useless to argue with that type as to kick a brick wall and it is counterproductive to give him space.

  • watchful

    Excellent article, David.

  • jacob

    I rather be safe than sorry and I woldn't want to wake up one morning with Shaaria
    law imposed on me.

    As to moderate Islam, is this fellow going to deny that learning of the 9/11 horror, the Muslims of Queens were dancing in tbe streets and giving away candy, until somebody
    realized the potential; for trouble the "celebrators" might have ran into and they stopped
    it ??

    I will not enter into rethorics, knowing damned well that a deft maipulator can prove black is white and then back to black is not white, which is what brougth to power the
    demagogue we have in the White House.

  • Hank Rearden

    I am reading William Manchester's excellent second volume of Winston Churchill's life which covers the 1930's. It used to be that the blindness of Western and particularly British leadership during the 1930's to the Nazi threat was a mystery, but we are seeing with each passing year in our struggle with radical Islam what happened. It turns out that a surprising number of people simply choose to stick their heads in the sand and ignore a gathering threat, no matter what the factual record is. And this is true even though totalitarians have the quirk that they tell us openly what they want and what they intend to do.

    Now we are confronted with radical Islam. It has several vectors, including the Muslim Brotherhood and the Saudi Wahabi movement, the latter manifested by the introduction of radical madrassas and mosques in various parts of the world, including the US of A. We have the written intent of the Muslim Brotherhood to replace our "miserable" culture here in the U.S., and, of course, its plans for Israel, which are articulated in the Hamas charter.

    Thank goodness we have the David Horowitz's of this world to make the case and find the vocabulary to fight this war. The Victory Mosque is a battle in this war. It is meant to commemorate the victory of radical Islam in destroying the World Trade Center and, let us not forget, striking the Pentagon and attempting to destroy the Capitol.

    This is not, in the end, about "freedom of religion" because radical Islam is not a religion in the sense that we, and the Constitution, understand the term. It is a political movement in the same way that Communism and National Socialism were. We are going to have to change our habits of mind and perhaps even the wording of the First Amendment to meet this challenge to our civilization. As Justice Jackson said, the Constitution is not a suicide pact.

    Just to finish with a specific, what quote about Rauf does Mr. Luban understand to be "out of context?" Rauf is a radical, and we know this because he will not characterize Hamas as a terrorist organization. This "test" has turned out to be such a powerful forensic tool, I have no doubt that the radicals will soon find a way to do so, probably saying it in English and taking it back in Arabic, in the form used by Arafat. But for now, he is revealed for who he is, but Mr. Luban simply refuses to accept it. Sorry, Mr. Luban, but to paraphrase Bob Dylan, "you don't need a weatherman to see which way the wind blows."

  • tim heekin

    What "useful idiots" such as Luban hope to accomplish is the stuff psychological pathologies are made. When the earth is deemed flat one may only wonder with mouth agape. I would make one observation inasmuch as I don't believe it is possible, except in a mentally sick manner, for an arab to be an anti-semite since the arab is semitic. Of course a muslim arab or any other muslim is taught to be anti-everyone who is not muslim. The GZ mosque, in arabic "mosque" (masjid) means "place of battle," and all other mosque are, if not yet jihad active, sleeper cells.

    • http://imataxpayertoo.wordpress.com kathy

      I have recently read that up to 80% of mosques in the U.S. are teaching the hate-filled rhetoric to its followers. Can't recall the source, but it's on the net.

  • Gamaliel Isaac

    David Horowitz cites massive evidence for islamic intolerance and Daniel Luban accuses him of cherry picking. The truth is that Mr. Horowitz left out most of the examples of Islamic intolerance. He doesn't have the space to list them all. If David Horowitz listed the crimes of Jack the Ripper and Jack the Ripper was a Muslim, Daniel Luban would accuse him of cherry picking.
    Another irritating thing about Luban is his characterization of the Irgun and the "Stern Gang" as terrorist groups. This is part of the pathological moral equivalence of the left who has to always show that the good guys are just as bad as the bad guys. He should read and learn something before pontificating about what he knows nothing about.

    • ziontruth

      There is a way the Irgun and the Stern Gang could have been equivalent to Hamas and Hezbollah:

      If their had purpose had been the placing, not just of British Mandate Palestine, but of Britain itself, under Jewish rule.

      That word "if." So small and short a word, so vast and gaping the difference it makes.

      • ziontruth

        Correction, "If their had purpose had been…" to "If their purpose had been…"

      • Gamaliel Isaac

        Even if the Irgun and the Fighters for the Freedom of Israel who were labeled the Stern Gang by the British Gangsters who ran Palestine, wanted to place Britain under Jewish rule they wtill wouldn't have been equivalent to Hamas and Hezbollah because Hamas and Hezbollah deliberately murder civilians and put civilians in harms way. Even when the Irgun put bombs in the King David Hotel in order to destroy the files of the British Secret Service it warned the British Service to get out and to get out the inhabitants of the hotel. Can anyone imagine Hezbollah or Hamas doing such a thing?

    • Philosopherking

      Accusing people of cherry picking is there way of avoiding any thought since it would allow people to use the facts that they brought into the debate. It would be nice if they would just say something like yes but… They choose not to and just accuse people of cherry picking.

  • Ocean_Breeze

    For the first time in my life I am proud of Italy for not recognizing Islam as an official religion due to Islam's radical Imam's and lack of equality among the sexes.

    The world including America would be well adised to do the same!

    • ROBERT

      VIVA ITALIA! PISAN!

  • Jane Baer

    Neither debater mentioned the result of a msque so close to ground zero and how that would be read by radical muslims. The picture of it overlooking the site, which for some time will continue to be empty (and human bones are still sometimes found there). Right after 9-11-01 the air was filled with dust. Humans had been vaporized, in the dust was human cells. As a New Yorker with a gallery blocks from the world trade center and as someone raised near New York with a close childhood friend who was crushed to death in the stairwell of the World Trade Center tower he was in as it collapsed on him, I say NO.

  • Beverley

    This 'everlasting hatred" is currently embodied in Islam but is older than Islam. It goes back to Ishmael, Abraham's eldest son, who was DISENFRANCHISED of his inheritance (in his own and his mother Hagar's mind) by the birth of and election of Isacc
    This division between the child of the handmaid and the choosen seed of Abraham is directly relevant to at least a third of everyone now living.

    Muslims believe that Ishmael was the choosen seed of Abraham, and celebrate the feast of EID to commemorate their version of the Abraham story, the sacrifice of Ishmael. As Ishmael was supposedly disenfranchised by Sarai and Abraham, being evicted from Abraham's tent, so the Arab Muslim world nurtures that same sense of resentful disenfranchisement, focusing their resentment on Jews and Christians.

    Then there was Issac, who's wife Rebekah had twins who STRUGGLED TOGETHER within her womb and was told that she had TWO NATIONS in her womb. The two nations have never stopped fighting. Jacob who became Israel after he stole the birthright from Esau and Esau descendants became ….guess who? http://www.moriel.org/MorielArchive/index.php/teachings/...

    • http://www.okcteaparty.org Dan Ward

      Bev — BINGO!

      • Beverley

        Dan – do you think it registered with anyone else? Why they have been fighting forever and will go on forever!!!

  • http://netzero.com Steve Chavez

    WHAT IF THE MOSQUE IS BLOWN UP BY AN INDIVIDUAL BENT ON REVENGE, A GROUP, OR EVEN A MUSLIM WHO WANTS MORE HATRED WHICH COULD LEAD TO A CIVIL WAR BETWEEN BELIEVERS AND NON-BELIEVERS, MUSLIMS AGAINST THE JEWS/CHRISTIANS/INFIDELS, THE RIGHT AND LEFT THAT SUPPORTS MUSLIMS AND HATE AGAINST THE U.S., BROTHER AGAINST BROTHER, WITH THE GOAL OF BRINGING DOWN THE UNITED STATES?

    A Tennessee mosque is set on fire. I bet $50 that a Muslim did it and if the "Ground Zero Mosque" has the same fate, I bet $100 that a Muslim did it!

    • antidemoniclib

      Then Obama can conveniently declare martial law and declare himself president for life.

      • Lori

        We Better not be surprised! I think He has intended Martial Law and has it all set up to play. We Need not to be afraid.

  • Chezwick_Mac

    LUBAN: "It is likely that radicals would be disgusted both with the center’s conciliatory theology and with the overall message it sends—namely, that the Unites States is so welcoming to Muslims that it is willing to let them practice their faith anywhere they choose, even a few blocks from the site of the Sept. 11 attacks."

    Luban makes two assumptions here that are entirely misplaced…

    1) How does he KNOW the "Center" will propagate a "conciliatory theology"? Isn't it just as likely or more so that the Center will grow to resemble the 80% of American mosques dominated by Salifists and Wahhabis?

    2) Radicals are more likely to interpret our magnanimity as weakness than anything else. The "disgust" that Luban is predicting they will feel is much more likely to be displayed as triumphalism.

    Daniel Lubin reminds me of so many other liberals. Behind the veneer of sophistication and culture is a woefully uninformed individual.

  • http://groundzeromosquetheamericanway.blogspot.com/ Duane
  • USMCSniper

    The Mosque is only a front. This is to be an Islamic Jihadist training center,

  • heytrud

    The mosque should be built then bombed! Obama shall visit it, then bombed down with them all inside. That would stop them all. But, Obama won't show up, he is well aware of the dangers of getting killed inside the horrific mosque.

  • http://www.apollospaeks.blogtownhall.com ApolloSpeaks

    JEWISH TERRORISTS

    !If, as Daniel Luban says, the Irgun and Stern gang were terrorists for overthowing British rule in Palestine then what does that make the Founding Fathers?

    • Philosopherking

      It made them non-terrorist because they didn't plan their war strategy around attacking civilians when they weren't ready or attacking children.

  • suzanne

    I think it is high time that the United States as well as other civilized nations start to define what it means by "religion". Islam in a totalitarian, murderous screed and has no place within our borders. If it means that an amendment should be added to our consitution outlawing it, so be it. Maybe if the entire world shows its complete disapproval of this awful ideology, Islam will collapse one day of its own accord.

  • Michael Wassil

    Daniel Luban is a complete idiot and total fool if he actually believes what he's saying. He'll maintain his righteousness to the instant his head separates from his neck.

  • http://schizomind.wordpress.com Stat Quo

    There has been a mosque near ground zero. Although I think this mosque should not be built, as quite clearly it is creating to many problems. A mosque could be built anywhere, placing it near ground zero is poor judgment.

  • 080

    People who are opposed to the ground down people mosque are accused of Islamophobia. I think it would be more appropriate to use the word Islamoleariness. That's because in 1993 there was a mosque out of which were launched on the Twin Towers with plans to blow up the Holland tunnel, the Brooklyn Bridge and who knows what else. The Imam in the Santa Claus hat is in prison along with I don't know how many others. His lawyer Lynn Stewart is also serving time. Then there are other Islamoleariness events like the Fort Hood massacre, the Fort Dix planned attack and many other such events. Then of course, there were the planes that flew into the towers. It doesn't help at all to say that the buildings fell down because there were bombs planted beforehand. Who knows? They may have been planted by Islamists.

  • Fiddler

    PC is blind. To quote Sergeant Shultz: "I KNOW nothing; I SEE nothing".

  • No Dhimwit

    Snore. Luban's position is lame, and Horowitz's is solidly based on fact. That's the bottom line. Islam sucks, and anyone defending it is nuts.

  • Philosopherking

    Whenever a conservative like David makes an argument it always comes off as his reasoning for it which allows others to analyze the thinking behind it but whenever the left talks it seems like the attitude is 'we are right and this is the truth' without any reasoning to back it up. Daniel Lublin's argument assumes that we all hate muslims and the proof is that people are protesting the mosque. This is a circular kind of logic in which the conclusion and the assumption behind it are the same. People hate muslims–people protest mosque–therefore people must hate muslims because because they are protesting the mosque. Do you see how the conclusion rest on the presupposed assumption. In fact, it seems like they are identical.

  • suggestion

    The sane response to the Mosque controversy would be to ban religious funding from countries such as Saudi Arabia et al that do not themselves have freedom of religion. It could be the "Religious Freedom Reciprocity Act". Saudi Arabia does not have any First Amendment right to fund religious and educational institutions in the US.

  • mark

    Islam has a serious case of God-envy, and hate themselves and Jews and Christians – but most intensely Jews- because they know in their bones their God is derivative. Their God is an unoriginal and lazy God, like the people He supposedly leads. They are a dormant and indeed submissive people who have little beyond some stupid paeans to ignorance and mindless ritual which they call prayer. And the hate! What a creative and civilizing force, hate.
    Let's see them boldly go where no one has gone before motivated by hate, fear and envy.

  • Albert Himoe

    Daniel Luban: "I will not pretend to anything more than an interested layman’s knowledge of Islam as a religion."

    I know not of the subject, yet I feel competent to debate it. What lunatic arrogance!

  • bdouglasaf1980

    What I found amazing right away was when luban said, "Bill Ayers is the real author of Obama’s memoir; Malcolm X is Obama’s real father". He is misdirecting the argument. He is implying that Geller or Spencer made such claims. He next challenges David to deny his agreement with these when they were not claimed.

    He is a standard liberal. He is conceited and or ignorant of facts. Facts do not matter to people such as he.

    When he says, "If he genuinely does believe these things, I admit that there simply isn’t much more that I can say to him.", he shows his arrogance. I think at this point I would have said, "I can see you are a complete ideologue stuck in your beliefs. You are quiet right, we have nothing further to discuss. However, I will now assume the role of instructor to child and attempt to release you from your impaired judgment.

  • Yetwave

    All Islamic "culture" is is Islam.
    Its name means "submit". Its house of worship means "place of struggle".