Dershowitz vs. Hanson on the ADL and the Ground Zero Mosque

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[Editor’s note: Alan Dershowitz submitted an article to Frontpagemag.com criticizing the Anti-Defamation League’s opposition to the plans for a mosque to be built at Ground Zero. We decided to run the piece with a rebuttal by Victor Davis Hanson. An extra round between the two follows.]

Anti-Defamation League Should Not Oppose Mosques At Ground Zero
By Alan M. Dershowitz

The ADL’s decision to oppose the building of a 13 story Muslim center two blocks from Ground Zero is inconsistent with its mission.  The ADL has a long and distinguished history of opposing bigotry, supporting multiculturalism and advocating tolerance. Though it began as an organization dedicated to combating anti-Semitism, it has become one of the most potent forces against all forms of religious, ethnic and racial bigotry.  Following the mass murders perpetrated on 9/11 by Islamic extremists, the ADL was in the forefront of standing up against those who would use this hateful attack to generalize hatred against all Muslims or all Arabs.

In light of this history, I would have expected the ADL to support the building of this Muslim community center, which would include a mosque, a performing arts center, a pool and a restaurant.  At the very least I would have expected it to remain silent and not to lend its powerful and distinguished voice to an opposition that includes many bigots along with many decent people who have expressed legitimate concerns about the structure.

Reasonable people can disagree about the merits of building a Muslim center so close to the sight of a horrendous crime committed in the name of Islam by extremists who do not represent their religion.  Many Jews were deeply offended when a Roman Catholic covenant was built adjacent to Auschwitz.

Supporters argue that the proximity of the mosque to the site of this crime sends a powerful message that there are many Muslims in the world who identify with the victims rather than the perpetrators.  The most influential opposition comes from families of many of the victims who were killed at Ground Zero, though some families favor the project while others have remained silent.

Let the debate continue, but let the ADL not lend its imprimatur of tolerance to those who stand in opposition.  Inevitably, this has become a political debate with rightwing republicans such as Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich leading the political campaign against it, while Mayor Michael Bloomberg has strongly supported the project on grounds of religious freedom, arguing that government should have no role in dictating where a mosque can be situated.  As Bloomberg put it, “what is great about America, and particularly New York, is we welcome everybody, and if we are so afraid of something like this, what does that say about us? Democracy is stronger than this…”

The ADL’s decision to join this debate on the side of those who oppose the mosque was exacerbated by the reason given by Abe Foxman, a friend and a man who I admire, for why the opposition of some families was an important part of why the ADL came down against the project.  Mr. Foxman, who himself survived the Holocaust, was quoted in The New York Times saying: “Survivors of the Holocaust are entitled to feelings that are irrational.” Referring to the loved ones of the 9/11 victims, he added, “Their anguish entitles them to a position that others would categorize as irrational or bigoted.”

This is a dangerous argument that has implications totally inconsistent with the mission of the ADL.  Bigotry is often a result of victimization, perceived or real.  Many Germans felt victimized following World War I, and some blamed the Jews.  Although their position was “irrational or bigoted,” they were not entitled to act on it.  Nor are Palestinians who feel victimized by Israel entitled to be bigoted against Jews.  There is simply is no excuse for bigotry, and the ADL ought to know that better than any other organization.

The ADL was founded as the result of irrational bigotry directed against a Jew named Leo Frank by a Ku Klux Klan type organization calling itself the Knights of Mary Phagan.  They lynched Leo Frank in the name of an alleged victim of rape and murder.  The fact that Frank was totally innocent didn’t matter to them.  Their anguish over her victimization did not entitle them to their irrationality and bigotry.  The ADL should know better than to provide an “abuse excuse” to bigots based on perceived victimization.

The vast majority of those who oppose the mosque at Ground Zero are neither bigoted nor irrational.  Some are.  So are some who favor it.  That is not the issue.  The issue is whether a great human rights organization should oppose the building of a Muslim center near Ground Zero.  I have heard no rational reason from the ADL why it should stand in opposition to this project.

I hope that Abe Foxman was misquoted or misspoke and that he will withdraw both his opposition to the mosque and most especially the argument he offered for it.  The ADL should continue with its noble mission of siding with the victims of bigotry rather than making excuses for those who engage in bigotry.

Alan Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He is the author of more than 20 works of fiction and non-fiction, including Blasphemy: How the Religious Right is Hijacking the Declaration of Independence (2007) and The Case for Israel (2003).

*

Emboldening the Enemy
By Victor Davis Hanson

I am not well enough acquainted with the history of the Anti-Defamation League to offer a competent analysis about its proper reaction to the Mosque at Ground Zero controversy. But the issue raises larger questions that I think all reasonable people should be concerned with.

1) What little we know about Khan/Rauf family connection to the Mosque is not encouraging; at the least, it seems that a key proponent of the mosque cannot fully explain exactly from where all the funding arises, or whether in the past Mr. Rauf has shown sympathy for radical terrorists. So there is a legitimate concern that those in the past who offered apologies for the tactics of Islamic terrorism are now to be financially connected to those building a mosque near a site where 3,000 American perished due to Islamic terrorism. Why not a simple, transparent and full accounting?

2) Municipalities, through zoning pressures and laws, make all sorts of decisions about the sorts of construction allowed. Surely, this falls into the category of taste. Professor Dershowitz cites the Roman Catholic convent near Auschwitz as a parallel. Aside from the fact that the construction of such a building likewise showed poor taste and so, as I recall, was closed by Pope Paul II in 1993, it is an inexact parallel, in that the perpetrators of the Holocaust were agnostic or atheist Nazi pagans, who saw the church as valuable only as a social institution to preserve order and tradition.

Indeed, the Nazis targeted many Christians for their pacifism, anti-Nazi activity and sympathy for the Jews. But at Ground Zero, the religious symbolism of a huge mosque, fairly or not, resonates with the purported beliefs of the mass murderers. Hawaiians would not allow a Bushido shrine (unlike the Nazis, the Japanese fascists absorbed religion into their ideology) near the USS Arizona, not because they are bigots, but because they are sensitive to the dead and the symbolism that might thus arise. They know it would insult the memory of those who were entombed below, and at the same time give encouragement to right-wing fanatical Japanese extremists.

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  • Jim Johnson

    To be a moderate Muslim one would have to deny the principles written in the Quran and other places. If the builders of the Mosque are really moderate then they have mentally redacted fundamental the major premises of the Quran and thus the major portion of Islam.

    To prove they are moderate they should identify which parts of Islam they deny.

    Would that provoke an outcry from the true believers? Probably not as they are smart enough to realize that moderate Muslims are acting in stealth.

    So the ADL chickens out. Maybe they fear loss of funding.

    • http://www.zionism-israel.com Thomas

      Is Your Local Mosque 'Moderate' or 'Radical'?
      (Please circulate) Ask the Imams of Mosques, the Muslim leaders, and the Islamic organizations in the US and worldwide to sign this declaration (See below)
      by Tawfik Hamid
      http://www.tawfikhamid.com
      After the problem of Ground Zero Mosque has escalated it becomes an urgent necessity to distinguish 'Moderate' from 'Radical' Islam. Without making such a distinction the US and the rest of the world will remain divided regarding this issue. Debates about the issue can be endless unless we define the words 'radical' and 'moderate'. Mosque leaders, Islamic scholars, and organizations who want to be considered Moderates MUST clearly and unambiguously declare the following declaration in their media outlets and on their websites.
      I suggest that you send this declaration to Mosque leaders and the Islamic organizations inside the US and worldwide to see if they are ready to accept such a declaration or not.

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

    This is Kafkaesque – given the common knowledge that Islam in general (as political and religious system) is no less anti-Jewish as Nazism was. In fact imams collaborated with Hitler, praise him now, and promise to finish his job. Islam now is more dangerous for humanity, than Hitler's Germany at its pick because of confluence of many deadly factors:
    http://www.resonoelusono.com/Imminent.htm .

    And these two sophisticated gentlemen conduct intricate discussion about fine aspects of erecting 11 story swastika on a burial place of 3000 victims…
    (continued)

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

    …discussion about fine aspects of erecting 11 story swastika on a burial place of 3000 victims, and whether it is "Jewish enough issue" for the ADL's chief to whisper some concerns about it (perhaps first in his life). The primary goal of the Jewish ADL, according to Dershowitz, is to be multi-cultural. This includes (but is not limited to) things like arranging a joined conference equating anti-Semitism with "Islamophobia", supporting the fight of homosexual activists against Prop. 8 (i.e. against the Torah given definition of Marriage), supporting ACLU fighting against any reference to Ten Commandments and God in public places, attacking Walid Shoebat, Joseph Farah, and similar very "Jewish causes"…

    (continued)

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

    Dershowitz, Bloomberg … It is a curse of our people…

    "… Through our history many Jews have acted in betraying their G-d and their own people. The story of the Golden Calf, the Twelve Spies, the persecution of our prophets, the lack of faith in our rights as Jews and so on. If we think rationally why we have survived as a people based on our own collective behavior as a nation, we should not have survived at all. The only conclusion I can come as a Jew is that we have survived because of G-d himself and his mercy and compassion."

    … – From the Letter of Keith Davies on behalf of Walid Shoebat Foundation http://gentwarrior.blogspot.com/2009/11/letter-on

    • Samurai Hit Woman

      As a Christian I agree. God does love the Jewish people and that is why they have survived despite their apostasy. Now Christians are becoming apostate as well. Our God is truly a merciful and compassionate God but there is an end to his patience.

    • WilliamJamesWard

      Mr. Gofen I agree with everything you have written. I wonder if Mr Dershowitz has a
      very bad case of Stockholm syndrome? The destroyed towers were in sight of
      where my family has been buried since the original Dutch settlers of New Amsterdam and I am sure they are spinning in their graves over what is happening.
      If that mosque goes up it may raise my father from the dead for revenge. What
      could Dershowitz be thinking, does he want to turn lower Manhattan in to
      a new Gaza, how well are the Israelis doing living with Muslims, does he think
      we will do better or have any peaceful result by this abomination. PC, yes
      Mr. Dershowitz may have many accomplioshments, being politically correct but
      this form of PC is Pure Crazy…………Regards……………………William

  • SHmuelHaLevi

    I have a simple way to deal with that and it is as follows.
    As soon as islam permits and supports the building of Churches, Synagogues and all other religions temples in Mecca, Medina and every one of their other cities, we then may allow islam to build their mosques anywhere they want.
    Further. They must also dismantle and remove to Islamic lands all the changes they effected in Temple Mount.
    One sided tolerance is plain stupidity.

    • Reason_For_Life

      You're right, we need to be more like Saudi Arabia. And while we're at it let's start whipping our wives when they go to the store without a close male relative with them.

      • SHmuelHaLevi

        By the grace of…, well apparently you would not understand, I read over and over my statement and could not find whipping wives in it. I did find what you avoid to address as it is the usual case with some.
        House of Prayers must be, simply must be free to be in place EVERYWHERE for ALL religions, not just for the islamic fundamentalists.
        If Saudi Arabia and other such places forbid the Bible to get in there and Jews in particular, so we must forbid the Koran to be anywhere else. They want rights, then they must abide by freedom of religion to one and all.

        The pantomima of freedom of worship valid only to islam is over with and so is over the gruesome WORDMANSHIPabuse by the liberal fellowship against anyone that sees through the Islamic agenda.

        • Reason_For_Life

          The point was that it is insane to emulate our enemies by destroying our freedoms. If Saudi Arabia allows no churches or synagogues then we must allow no mosques?

          This is surrendering without surrendering.

          • Sashland

            Then why invite our enemies to enter our country and build houses of propaganda, recruitment and radicalization?

            See Pete Seda and the "Noble Koran" used in prison recruitment.

            Since it is the Saudis who are funding mosk construction and prison recruitment, it is relevant.

          • SHmuelHaLevi

            I fail to see why it is insane to defend at least equality on rights of worship.
            And is particular vis a vis those you already defined as enemies. SInce when is sane to allow enemies, (your definition which is mine as well regarding islamic fundamentalism), to murder thousands and build victory shrines on top of the ashes?
            Nothing to do with emulation but basic self preservation.

          • Reason_For_Life

            It is proper to punish the people that commit the crimes, not the people who worship the same god as the people that commit the crimes.

            If these Muslims were the ones directly responsible for 9-11 then they should be tried and put to death, not be deprived of their rights without trial.

            Perhaps you follow a biblical standard of justice such as that which demanded the death of all of the Midianites. I do not.

          • SHmuelHaLevi

            It seems to me that we are on two different spectrums.
            I never said a word about punishing anyone but about equal rights and above all, human rights. Both non existent in most Islamic countries.
            Those involved directly on the monstruous acts of 9/11, one of many such bestial acts against humanity by Islamists, died that day as "shahidim". They are viewed by Islam as a whole as martyrs not as base murderers. The countries that provided and still provide resources for them, remain the same while they demand "rights" that they deny to the rest of the human race.
            Islam must retreat from murder and mayhem completely and allow freedom of worship in their own lands. After they do that they may apply for consideration to be accepted elsewhere.
            We may not ever allow for supporters of murderers to gain footholds in our respective Lands.
            EQUALITY of RIGHTS for all worshippers regardless of creed or race is what I stand for. Islam denies those right routinely.
            NO, NOT ever unilateral cowing to groups promoting "jihad".

          • Reason_For_Life

            "They are viewed by Islam as a whole as martyrs not as base murderers. "

            Yes, that makes them despicable, but not criminals. The 14th Amendment says that no person may be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process not that no person may be deprived of life, liberty or property unless he's a scumbag.

            Words must be answered with words. If you can't answer fanatics in a way that satisfies rational people then get out of the way and let those who can answer it handle the problem.

          • SHmuelHaLevi

            Murderers that just yesterdy slaughtered 10 members of a medical team are not despicable or scumbags but murderers that must be confronted with ultimate determination not by flim-flam charlatans. The other day we received a video the showed how did the Russian Navy attend to a crew of Somali pirates. Oc course all islamics. We intend to confront that filthy scum all the way as well. You keep on talking to the wind.
            As we know in the first person how that islamic beastly element does things, we will not for a moment listen anymore to prattlers without base.
            In November the start of a change over will be hopefully marked.

          • http://www.tawfikhamid.com/ Thomas
          • http://www.tawfikhamid.com/ Thomas
    • Johnny K

      That has got to be the stupidest thing I've read. You've got bigot written all over your.

      Saudia Arabia is a religious country. The United States is FREE country. Rights in the US are not handed out on a basis relative to that of a mother nation. They castrate sex offenders in the Czech Republic…does that mean the United States has to castrate their sex offenders of Czech origin. What you say makes no sense. Mecca is the holiest place in the Islamic religion. New York City let alone ground zero is far from being a holy center for anything. You're comparison is baseless.

      Would they let a mosque be built in Vatican City or near the Western Wall. The answer is a clear no. But of course you stoop down to dumb analogies that don't add up to much to make up your point. Get a life.

      And by the way, there are tons of churches in Jordan, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Egypt. You just choose to ignore those facts and pick on Saudia Arabia which is the one black sheep of the bunch.

      • SHmuelHaLevi

        That is beacuse you apparently you do not read your own ramblings. :)
        As to being a bigot. Not really.
        Using shallow wordmanship, such accusing one and all that stand up against crude assaults by feeble PC elements of bigotry or racism is the idiotic hideaway of the empty liberal minds, should those minds be proven to exist.
        Please tell us eager students in waiting where is "palestine". And while at it give us all a lesson in history and name their president prior to the AIDS riddled Arafat.
        Did that thing had a capital prior to 1967?
        Give us one example of university grads from said "pilistine" prior to 1990.
        Blow hard idiots spouting falsehoods do not impress us of make us back off fellow.
        There are hundreds of Churches in ERETZ ISRAEL mister. Welcome here.
        There are far too many mosques though and if the islamic fellowship of murder fail to allow Synagogues and freedom of religion without fear of mass murder as it is today in most islamic holes, they will be taken down.
        No new ones built but those conspiracy halls will be torn down if they fail to adhere to human fairplay.
        Cheers

    • gill

      I agree with Shmuel

      • http://www.zionism-israel.com Thomas

        Shmuel is obviously right.

  • ApolloSpeaks

    ISLAM, SUFISM AND THE GROUND ZERO MOSQUE

    How is the opposition of a human rights organization like the ADL to the building of an anti-human rights supremacist mosque at Ground Zero where a horrific Islamic attack on Western Civilization, Democracy and rule of law took place inconsistent with its noble mission? Because Feisal Rauf shares the imperialist goals of Bin Ladin and Al Qaida Mr. Dershorwitz got this one wrong.

    Google ApolloSpeaks and read my provocative piece on Islam, Sufism and the Ground Zero Mosque and How to Stop the Islamization of America .

    • Johnny K

      No one would want to read your piece. You are far from being a scholar for anything to be considered a legitimate critic. So please stop your crap.

      • ApolloSpeaks

        No one with the exception of USA Today, Dallas Morning News, India Times, Press Enterprise, Road Runner, Soccer News, Madison Square Garden, Philly.com, The San Diego Union Tribune just to name a few blogs that have carried my articles. Not bad for an illegitmate, unscholarly critic who also happens to be a top five blogger (out of 16,000) at Townhall.com.

  • RJofNM

    Dear Alan is just a little boy who is deeply frightened of mortal combat, of any form of combat where one could get physically hurt, crippled, and of course killed. He hides these fears within the words he employs, educated in such ways via the legal educational system he so deeply loves. Hanson has the history of western civilization as his groundwork for understanding. I'll go with Hanson.

    • Joe

      Hanson is right on!

  • potkas7

    Islam is a religion that makes imperial demands. Converted nations give up their own traditions and adopt a foreign culture. Their holy places are in Arab Lands. Their sacred religion is Arabic. They surrender their own history and become part of the Arab story. This mosque is not a place of worship. It is a symbol of conquest. The Islamic world knows this. Dershowitz knows it too. It cannot be allowed to be built.

    • Johnny K

      You know if you're gonna make claims like that make sure you don't make grammatical errors…that kind of ruins its legitimacy. But you don't support any of your dumb claims with facts, which hurts your argument even more. I can play that game too.

    • Janet Holcombe

      You are absolutely right in your description of the proposed mosque. It is a symbol of conquest that will encourage the Islamists to SHOUT a victory –not pray for peace.

    • Thomas
  • Gamaliel

    Dershowitz wrote that since the ADL has a history of opposing bigotry it should have supported the mosque. On the contrary the building of the mosque represents the most bigotted religion in the world. Tolerance of the intolerant is the same as being intolerant. If Mr. Dershowitz was really against bigotry he'd be against the Mosque.

    • Thomas

      Simple, true statement.

  • IslamoNotPhobic

    Perhaps the attacks on the World Trade Center represented the demolition process clearing the ground for a new mosque. There must be another mosque planned for Times Square, probably affiliated with the Orthodox Pakistani branch of the Religion of Peace. They just need to find a more competent bomber. NYC's construction permit process should be routine as none of the landmark buildings would be left standing.

    As a matter of fact what the city really needs is a mosque on every corner. That way there would be no reason for any bombings at all. Oh wait, they tried that in Baghdad…still bombings. Nevermind.

    Remember, you're not paranoid if there really are people trying to kill you.

  • Reason_For_Life

    Preventing the building of that mosque gives Islamic fanatics a victory that they could never have achieved on their own – the establishment of religious discrimination in America.

    The Islamists despise America because of the freedom that exists here and have every intent of destroying it. Militarily impotent, they could never attack it directly so they insult us symbolically and then we respond by denying them the right to build a mosque.

    There are people on this website seriously suggesting that we become more like Saudi Arabia and forbid the building of an offensive religious edifice.

    If America is so weak that we cannot withstand an insult without sacrificing the First Amendment, then perhaps we don't deserve the liberty that the Founders sought to establish.

    • WildJew

      Islam despises America and Americans because we are Kafir or Kufr (infidels).

      • Reason_For_Life

        Have I said anything to suggest the contrary? Liberty is a major part of our "infidelity".

        When the government become the final arbiter of what religious structures are legitimate and what ones aren't then it is only a matter of time until one religion becomes the only religion.

        Tell me, WildJew, if this mosque is successfully shutdown, how long do you think it will be before synagogues are banned near Christian monuments to prevent "insults" from Christ killers? 50 years? 10 years?

        • WildJew

          RFL, I prefer to take things on a case by case basis. I have seen your argument from time to time during my years of political activism. I generally do not buy this "precedent" argument.

          That is, "IF this mosque is successfully shut down, will synagogues be next?" It was not 19 Jewish hijackers who commandeered those planes and flew them into the Trade Center towers on 911. The 911 atrocities were clearly an act of war by Islam itself; a war that until then Americans refused to acknowledge.

          In times of war, freedom of speech is of necessity circumscribed. The American Civil War and the First World War are outstanding examples of the curtailment of speech and the press. Some freedoms must be curtailed for the survival of any free nation. Until now, I am not certain "religion" has been an issue in any previous American war. Until now.

          • Reason_For_Life

            The Japanese were forbidden to keep Shinto as the state religion after WWII. They were forced to accept a strict separation of church and state.

            We were not attacked on 9-11 by a small fringe group of Islamic fanatics, nor were we attacked by the entire Islamic world. We were attacked by the nation of Afghanistan through a proxy, Al Qaeda.

            The proper response was the same one that we gave to the attack on Pearl Harbor – a declaration of war followed by the complete and utter destruction of Afghanistan until they surrendered unconditionally. This would be followed by the trial and executions of the Afghan leaders and the establishment of a secular Afghan state as was done in Japan.

            When we fought Japan we did not drop food for their starving people to "win their hearts and minds". We destroyed their cities and their capacity to make war. Today, we have a friend and trading partner.

            In Afghanistan we have death sentences for apostates and a nation that despises us. If you are looking for Islamist claims of triumph you need look no further than the disastrous policy in Afghanistan.

            The building of a mosque in New York shows that the US is not threatened in any serious way by Islam. The construction of an Islamic theocracy in Afghanistan by the American government amounts to unconditional surrender.

            "In times of war, freedom of speech is of necessity circumscribed. "

            No, it's just the preference of dictators. They deliberately conflate giving secrets to the enemy with objecting to the war so as to brand all opposition as "traitors". Woodrow Wilson was the worst in this respect among American leaders.

            That's why everything today is proclaimed to be the "moral equivalent of war". The War on Poverty, the War on Drugs, the War on Terror. Anyone who opposes these things hates America.

          • WildJew

            You wrote: "The proper response was the same one that we gave to the attack on Pearl Harbor – a declaration of war followed by the complete and utter destruction of Afghanistan until they surrendered unconditionally. This would be followed by the trial and executions of the Afghan leaders and the establishment of a secular Afghan state as was done in Japan….When we fought Japan we did not drop food for their starving people to "win their hearts and minds". We destroyed their cities and their capacity to make war…… In Afghanistan we have death sentences for apostates and a nation that despises us. If you are looking for Islamist claims of triumph you need look no further than the disastrous policy in Afghanistan."

            I cannot disagree with anything you've written here. The building of a mosque in New York demonstrates that the US is willing to submit to Islamic supremacy and triumphalism. You might argue it is mere symbolism but symbolism is important. Your view that we were not attacked by the entire Islamic world is naive.

          • WildJew

            After 9/11, George W. Bush said: "(W)e will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation in every region now has a decision to make: Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists."

            I would argue they are jihadists. "Terrorists" is a nebulous term. Terrorism is a tactic.

            Too bad Mr. Bush did not make good on this pledge. Bush did everything in his power to cover up the complicity (in these atrocities) of the Muslim state in which Islam's two holiest sites reside; Saudi Arabia. Al Qaeda is a Saudi proxy. 15 of the 19 September hijackers were Saudi nationals. The bin Laden family is Saudi. The Iranians are also known to have a hand in aiding Al Qaeda. Spontaneous eruptions of glee and celebration broke out throughout the Muslim world, particularly in the Palestinian-controlled territories; territories in which the US is dedicated to establishing another Muslim-killer state.

            Are you suggesting Abraham Lincoln was a brutal, immoral dictator? Lincoln rightly suppressed seditious speech on the part of those who sympathized with the rebellion in the South; who sympathized with the odious slave trade. Lincoln was a dictator in your view?

          • Reason_For_Life

            Just to be completely clear – Lincoln was a grossly immoral dictator who had his opponents imprisoned without trial and opposition newspapers shut down. He raised an army by force (conscription), raised money through an unconstitutional tax and did these things not to end slavery but to "preserve the Union".

            The famous "Emancipation Proclamation" was one of the greatest frauds ever perpetrated. It did not free a single slave in the North whose servitude bothered Lincoln not a single bit. It only pretended to free slaves in the South in the hope they would rise up and fight against the Southern forces. Had Lincoln freed the Northern slaves he might have redeemed himself.

            The issue of slavery was only pertinent to the South whose entire economy as well as the Confederacy itself was dependent upon it. The South and its much praised "Southern Way of Life" was a decrepit leftover from feudalism and was rightfully destroyed as it was based on human servitude. However, Lincoln would have gladly welcomed the South back to the Union slavery and all had the South agreed to it.

          • WildJew

            This piece is not about Lincoln but the ground zero Mosque. I only brought up Lincoln in the context that freedom of speech, press and religion cannot be absolute (I'm sure you would agree) especially in time of war.

            Do you believe, for example, Muslim clerics should be free to publicly call for the murder of Christians and Jews in the US under the rubric of "free speech?" Are you OK with American citizens openly threatening to murder an American president in the name of "free speech?" Should laws against this violent form of speech be repealed in the name of "free speech?" If jihad (whether overt violent jihad or "stealth" jihad) is justified in the name of Islam on the part of some or many Muslim Americans, should we not examine this ("freedom of religion") idol many -such as yourself? – worship?

          • Reason_For_Life

            No one should be allowed to issue credible threats against another person no matter what the motive. The attempt to force the submission of another person by threats cannot be tolerated in a free society.

            This has nothing to do with criticism of a government policy..

          • WildJew

            You wrote: "The issue of slavery was only pertinent to the South whose entire economy as well as the Confederacy itself was dependent upon it….."

            I would argue, the institution of slavery (especially as it was widely practiced in the South) was or should have been pertinent to the entire nation. That this institution was and still is defended as "a decrepit leftover from feudalism," was one of the common justifications given by slave owners, slave traders and other southern apologists.

          • Reason_For_Life

            In the sense that you mean it I would agree. I was only talking about government policies and the motives for the Civil War.

          • Abraham83

            Reply to Reason_For_Life

            In many ways your arguments are clever and accurate, if sophistic. You put America’s feet to the fire over our confused and contradictory role in a defeated Afghanistan, when we should have been as ruthless there as was we were with the defeated Japanese in WWI. You point out that we should have suppressed Islam in Iraq and Afghanistan as we did Shintoism in Japan. I agree. But your analogy falls apart over the issue of economic reconstruction which occurred in 1945 after the Japanese defeat, in 2002 after driving out the Taliban, and in 2006 after the fall of Baghdad.

            Further, we were ruthless on August 6, 1945, and only subsequently compassionate but determined it would never recur after Japan’s defeat. Our 21st century manner of dealing with enemies has been severely compromised by a false multicultural ideology that puts compassion before the fact, not after; which defines enemies as friends; murderous religions as peaceful; and removes responsibility for loss of life from the aggressor to the victim.

            (cont'd below)

          • Abraham83

            The sophistry of your argument enters when you make a logical leap into space with the “tolerance” claim—that the mosque is necessary to show that we are “not threatened in any serious way by Islam”. That’s like the pacifist speech the teacher makes to two squabbling pupils—that the small kid threatened by the bully should show that he is “bigger” than the bully by not responding to provocations. That is, he should continue to as a punching bag until his attacker comes to his senses.

            However, Islam IS a serious threat to the US and the entire civilized—largely Western—world. Only someone who refuses to see its baleful affects could say otherwise. If the West responded to Islam as we did Japan and Shintoism, you know that appeasement—which you suggest—would not be on our minds. However accurate you may be about WWII, you’ve failed to grasp the essential lesson. You don’t reason with ideologically insane enemies—you overpower and destroy them.

          • Reason_For_Life

            Claiming that the choice is suppression or appeasement is the real sophistry. Tolerance is only extended to acts of peaceful worship and toleration in this context only means that worship is permitted, not condoned or supported by the state. It does not extend to criminal acts.

            The Afghans committed mass murder and an act of war. The proper response is to force unconditional surrender and execute those directly responsible.

            The worst Muslims in this country merely advocate a vile and criminal form of government – Sharia. However, the fact that they would build a mosque near Ground Zero is legal, if despicable.

            The real threat of Islam is that it lays bare the true nature of faith. Christians, who base their morality on faith cannot deal with another faith based religion since Christians have banished reason from the moral realm. Every rational argument presented against Islam is equally applicable to any faith based religion.

            Individual rights are based on the nature of human beings and the nature of life itself. The facts are there for anyone to see and from which to draw conclusions. There is no need for the acceptance of any ideas on faith.

            Faith puts morality in an unknowable realm destroying man's capacity to understand it and leaving him defenseless against any vicious and irrational claims place on his life by religionists of any faith. The very same process by which Christians exact obedience from the faithful, fear of eternal punishment and hope for rewards beyond the grave, are now turned against them and they feel helpless.

            Islam is only dangerous to the faithful. Those whose morality is based on reason have nothing to fear.

          • WildJew

            I cannot speak for Christians or Christianity. My faith does not "put morality in an unknowable realm, destroying (my) capacity to understand it," etc. Commandments such as, "You shall not murder" and "You shall not commit adultery," seem pretty reasonable, if not rational to me. These don't seem reasonable to you?

            It seems to me your faith is destructive of reason as you so eloquently state below: "The First Amendment is pretty clear, there can be no interference with the free exercise of religion."

            The First Amendment is your absolutist dogma; something you and other fundamentalists and evangelists accept by simple faith without question, reason or exception, history and experience be damned; as though this creed was handed down by the gods from on high. I submit it is you who are the "true believer."

          • Reason_For_Life

            "You shall not murder" and "You shall not commit adultery," seem pretty reasonable, if not rational to me. These don't seem reasonable to you?

            They are the second list of commandments. The first list includes "I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt have no other gods before me"

            Punishment for violation – Death
            Justification – Faith

            "Thou shalt honor the Sabbath and keep it holy"

            Punishment – Death
            Justification – Faith

            "You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth"

            Punishment – Death
            Justification – Faith

            "You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name."

            Punishment – Death
            Justification – Faith

            These religious commandments are solely based on faith

            Do not insult the intelligence of the readers by saying things like "The Talmud teaches us…" or "Jewish tradition is…" or even "The New Covenant tells us…" The words are clear and they mean what they say: Death to those who do not submit to God's commands.

            Biblical law is law based purely on faith. The addition of prohibitions on theft and murder (which are known in every civilized society ) are simply an afterthought to make the list of commandments seem reasonable.

          • WildJew

            You wrote: "Punishment – Death….Punishment – Death….. Punishment – Death …." etc.

            Fine. Provide some examples of these executions on part of Jews today. Provide us just a few examples of punishment by death for the "first list" you've detailed above. After you've provided this list of cases that you can document and verify maybe you can explain to the reader why you cannot provide examples, and why we can provide examples of punishment by death for "unbelief" or apostasy or for any number of minor offenses in Islam; a religion which you seek to protect under the rubric of faith in the First Amendment.

            What is it about my faith that you are unable to come up with examples of what you allege against the Jews?

            .

          • WildJew

            Again, I feel compelled to repeat my earlier question / observation that you've not addressed:

            The First Amendment is your absolutist dogma; something you and other fundamentalists and evangelists accept by simple faith without question, reason or exception, history and experience be damned; as though this creed was handed down by the gods from on high. Why is this?

          • Reason_For_Life

            I have made no claims about the actions of modern Jews. You said that the commandments were based on reason to which I replied that the first five were not and held the penalty for violation to be death.

            The death penalty means that the first five commandments were serious, and not to be taken lightly. Nowhere did I claim that there are modern Jews actually executing people for working on the Sabbath (even if some sects in Israel insist on throwing rocks at cars driving by on Saturdays).

          • WildJew

            Of course the first five commandments are serious. If you've read the Hebrew Bible, the law and the prophets – it would appear you have – you should know why the Jews have erred on the side of mercy and leniency. If you've read the Qur'an – do you have a good copy? – you should know why devout Muslims generally do not err on the side of leniency or mercy, but harshness and severity. As I read your initial post above, you want to give Islam the benefit of the doubt due to your "faith" in the free exercise clause of the First Amendment.

          • Thomas

            "Islam is only dangerous to the faithful. Those whose morality is based on reason have nothing to fear. " That statement is evidently false. http://www.thereligionofpeace.com http://www.memritv.org http://www.palwatch.org

          • Reason_For_Life

            We did not "suppress Shinto" after the war, we separated church and state so that the Japanese would no longer be the victims of the unification of force and faith. It served them well, as religion became voluntary and allowed a freer flow of ideas.

            I never advocated the suppression of Islam, simply the separation of mosque and state. People would be free to worship any deity or combination of deities that they chose. They would not, however, be free to mutilate girls, beat their wives or push walls over on homosexuals. Crime would have a secular definition based on harm to victims, not offense to god.

            Afghanistan appears hopelessly backward having resisted all attempts to modernize the country. Japan and Germany had industrialization and some native political forces that could lead them away from statism. The Afghans are little more than marauding gangs immersed in tribal warfare. Whether the possibility of a freer life would appeal to them is an open question.

          • WildJew

            You've got a huge problem when you are dealing with a god who exhibits no mercy (none) toward non-believers; that is, non-Muslims. Separation of church (or mosque) and state is not enough.

            "Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are fierce to the unbelievers, merciful to one another…" (Surat al-Fath 48: 29)

    • ApolloSpeaks

      Let me understand this: opposing the building of a radical jihadist mosque ONLY at Ground Zero is equivalent to trashing the first amendment and banning the practice of Islam in our country? Are you thinking clearly my friend?

    • WildJew

      RFL wrote: "If America is so weak that we cannot withstand an insult without sacrificing the First Amendment, then perhaps we don't deserve the liberty that the Founders sought to establish."

      John Adams on America's Founders, by Joseph Ellis:

      'Although it was a propitious moment, the act of framing the new constitutions for the American republic was, he (John Adams) insisted, ****a decidedly human project**** taking place on this earth and not in the Garden of Eden: "It will never be pretended that any persons employed in the service [i.e., framing constitutions] had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the inspiration of heaven." He went out of his way to dispel the mythology of America as an exception to the rules of history or the revolutionary generation as instruments of divine providence'. (Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams," page 150)

  • WildJew

    Professor Dershowitz wrote: "Reasonable people can disagree about the merits of building a Muslim center so close to the sight of a horrendous crime committed in the name of Islam by extremists who do not represent their religion. Many Jews were deeply offended when a Roman Catholic covenant was built adjacent to Auschwitz…."

    Mr. Dershowitz assumes these devout Muslims who perpetrated the 9/11 atrocities in the name Islam, "do not represent" authentic Islam and thus we should welcome a supremacist mega-mosque adjacent to ground zero. According to Dershowitz's reasoning the ADL was wrong to have opposed the convent adjacent to Auschwitz because the many terrible things that befell the Jewish people (historically) — at the hands of Christian believers and their leaders, clergy, etc., — were perpetrated by Christians who in no way represented their religion, as it was then interpreted.

  • Arnie

    Thought this would be of interest to readers.

    Since September 2001 I have maintained the "9/11 list-serv" which distributes daily e-mails containing newspaper articles and other relevant information re: 9/11 issues of interest to 9/11 families, 9/11 organizations and interested individuals.

    The 9/11 List-serv archives can be accessed at http://groups.google.com/group/911-list-serv

    If you would like to 'subscribe' to this free news service – send an e-mail to amkorotkin@aol.com with the word "subscribe" in the subject box.

    Arnie

  • WildJew

    Dershowitz: "Mr. Foxman, who himself survived the Holocaust, was quoted in The New York Times saying: ”Survivors of the Holocaust are entitled to feelings that are irrational.” Referring to the loved ones of the 9/11 victims, he added, “Their anguish entitles them to a position that others would categorize as irrational or bigoted…….”

    This is where Foxman is wrong. How is opposition to a supremacist mega-mosque at ground zero in anyway irrational or bigoted? Foxman undermines his own argument, thus inviting criticism and condemnation from the real bigots; many on the far left. Dershowitz is well-aware of the irrational bigotry that is ever present in his own leftist camp.

  • Peter E. Coleman

    Build the Mosque and see the largest Muslim enclave(no go zone) in America form. Muslim pilgrims will make this Mosque almost as famous as Mecca itself.

    I see Party's at time square as cars burn at ground zero. Just like Europe on New Years eve.

    • scum

      so what? gotta problem wid dat? racist…

      • Peter E. Coleman

        Car Salesman?

  • WildJew

    Dershowitz: "I have heard no rational reason from the ADL why it should stand in opposition to this project….."

    ADL Statement On Islamic Community Center Near Ground Zero (in part):

    " We are ever mindful of the tragedy which befell our nation there, the pain WE ALL (emphasis mine) still feel – and especially the anguish of the families and friends of those who were killed on September 11, 2001.

    "The controversy which has emerged regarding the building of an Islamic Center at this location is counterproductive to the healing process. Therefore, under these unique circumstances, we believe the City of New York would be better served if an alternative location could be found…… "

    No rational reason? At times I wonder, Mr. Dershowitz, when I read your books and your many articles, how can you be so insensitive to the victims who suffer at the hands of Islamic terror?

  • Betsy

    why do we have to pretend that less than 90% of Moslems SUPPORT the 911 attacks?

    • WilliamJamesWard

      Maybe the pictures of Palestinians dancing in the streets at the bombings should
      play continuously in Times Square with a background of the burning buildings
      in honor of Mr. Dershowits political sensetivities which do not want to offend
      Muslims. It would be a Dershowitz memorial, I think it is 99.999% of Islamists
      who support the attacks……………………………..

  • tim heekin

    once again, the meaning of the word "mosque" in Arabic is "place of battle." Does one really have to know anything else about a mosque at GZ or anywhere else? "peaceful, moderate" mosques are de facto sleeper cells and will 'follow the strong horse' when the time is right.

    • todd

      Tim, I'm in total agreement with you, but cannot find anything to back up that mosque means "place of battle". My findings say it means place of "prostration", where one submits themselves to G-d, nothing about battles everywhere I looked.

  • http://soyoucantell.com Simon Wajcer

    Why not build a German cultural center at Auschwitz? Sometimes Dershowitz gets mired in legalese. Not everybody can be a genius, but everybody can be really stupid.

  • TonyM

    In the pure and abstract, Dershowitz is correct. However, the right thing to do would be for the Kahn/Rauf family to respect the 9/11 victoms and their families and move even just a few blocks away. For radical Muslims, however, "respect" is a one way street in their direction.

    • Phil Byler

      No, Dershowitz is not correct at any level. Dershowitz is focused on the ADL response. That response is informative, but does not define the issue. VDH has the larger picture and is the one who is correct on this matter.

  • Frank711

    ISLAM is NOT a "mere" religion and treating it as such is a dangerous mistake. It is a “complete way of life,” an all-embracing social, political and legal system that breeds a worldview peculiar unto itself. Islam is what Islam is: Muhammad taught his followers that there is nothing holier than jihad warfare, and to offer unbelievers three choices: conversion, subjugation, or death. These are Qur’anic teachings (the absolute words of Allah, not to be questioned but obeyed—they are immutable) and are not marginal doctrines or historic relics—they are part of Islam and have been exercised for over 14 centuries by the majority of the sects of Islam. Sura 9 (including the “Verse of the Sword”) abrogates all previous “peaceful” and “tolerant” verses—it was the last section of the Qur’an revealed to Muhammad. Peace to a believer means the end of jihad, and that will come when the world is living under Shari'a (Islamic) law.

    If Islam is to be truly modernized, such that it can peacefully coexist on equal terms with other religious beliefs, then it will take more than the rhetoric of Islamic apologists—it will take some intense introspection and changes in the fundamental tenets of the religion itself. We need a vigorous campaign to counter this Dark Age ideology, and that is something that our government and many in this politically correct, multiculturist society, unfortunately, refuse to do.

    • Stephen_Brady

      Frank, that was one of the best descriptions of Islam, and the cure for it, that I've ever read.

  • mgoldberg

    Mr Dershowitz's bowing to tolerance as the standard to be applied to all is flawed, cruel and meaningless. The meaning of 'peace' in islam, is 'submission'. The meaning of peace in virtually all other 'religions' is some kind of co-existent arrangement of freedom from disturbance.
    The very meaning of the date 9/11 was the occurence of the last defeat of Islamic armies in Vienna 1683. It's meaning well remembered by Islam and muslim submitters of infidels, who attacked the west, the US, and infidels, on 9/11 2001. There were calls for those who didn't attack- meaning all the other religions, to be 'tolerant' of muslims, such as Dershowitz is doing here. Yet throughout the some 15,780 attacks since then, by muslims, worldwide, there has never been a call for muslims to utterly denounce the attacks and slaughters against infidels, which is the root of mohammed's belief system and begins with his Qu'ran, and thru all the legal schools of Islam. The history of Islam is just so modeled, and there have never been 100,000 peopled marches by muslims, when homicidal slaughters take place in the name of Allah- because those people would be targeted to be slaughtered by their own muslims and the pretenses of 'Islamophobia' used against all infidels, for even mentioning this lack within muslim communities. There were no muslim marches against the mumbai slaughters of so many, horrifically torn to pieces including a pregnant women and her rabbi husband targeted for being religious jews, who were slaughtered in manner that the rest of the world wouldn't do to a rabid animal.
    And the slaughters of all those in those planes that crashed into the WTC and PA and the Pentagon, who resisted were so slaughtered in the name of Allah, and Islam.

    To be merciful to the cruel is not just Talmudic logic that states that the next step is to be cruel to the tolerant. That is what happens when imbecilic tautologies of political correctness are applied to the point of absurdity. There is no reason for a faith that is theologically committed and historically so demonstrated to perform as Islam is, as a submitter of all 'infidels' to be allowed to share the ground where it's very acts of homicidal slaughter were performed, in the bogus notion of interfaith dialogue, which is false, and untrue- in fact- a lie, by it's own theology and history.
    We, those attacked and whose faiths demonstrate various levels of toleration of others, politically, theologically, and historically owe nothing to those who perform oppositely.
    It is an insult to the notion of 'toleration'.
    One might note the worldwide presence of mosques built on other religions sites, and how the reconstitution of those other faiths right to pray there are no where tolerated in Islam.
    That the state of Israel, erroneously, out of 'tolerance' allowed the holiest site in Judaism, the Temple Mount, to remain a muslim site, and administered by Islam, in 67' were previously jews, and others were NEVER permitted to pray there, and where utter bigotry
    against all other faiths was forgotten by Israel, and where the 'sharing' with Islam was demonstrated by the state of Israel did not bring forth a resurgence of affection and toleration by Islam for the noble tolerance demonstrated by Israel. In fact just the opposite.
    It was in fact theologically interpreted as Allah blinding the jews so that the muslims would one day conquer all of Israel and rule over them as they were so theologically entitled too.
    This is the toleration of Islam.
    9/11 is and was a site of muslim slaughter of infidels, against the US, western civilization,
    infidels, and as such, no moques should ever be allowed anywhere near that holy ground.
    The holy ground where 'infidels' were murdered on the alter of Islam. Oh, yes, that muslims died there also, is meaningless. Muslims slaughter each other endlessly as they have this week, and since the time of Mohammed, for control of the Ummah, the leadership of the conquest of the whole world. 45 muslims slaughtered in Pakistan, just 4 days ago, in 'internecine' muslim attacks on each others mosques.
    It goes on endlessly. Islam has no business placing a mosque on the site of the blood of
    it's victims, and we, have no business uttering that 'toleration' for all is the meaning of allowing them to do so. It is the madness of the self destruction of the west and nothing less. And Prof Dershowitz should know better than to accept the definition of tolerance as he does, including the religion of Islam, which demands submission of all others as it's basis and for eternity.

    • imnokuffar

      You are absolutely correct !

  • http://netzero.com Steve Chavez

    Did they mention the GIGANTIC SPEAKERS for the "call to prayer" that all New Yorkers will hear? Any attempt to enforce a noise ordinance to lower the decibels will be seen as "restricting religious freedom."

    I still say to build a synagogue next door to see the real "tolerance and understanding" by the peace and loving Muslims and their supporters!

    • Mustafa

      There will be no loud speaker. Thats a lie.

      • Indioviejo

        Mustafa you are a source of unintended hilarity. Keep it up, compadre, because sometimes the smarter bloggers get a little to immersed in their gravitas, and there comes Mohamed to the rescue. We need "Islamic" logic from time to time to remind us of what we will gain from your participation. Keep up the good work.

  • Mustafa

    I'm an American Muslim and what I'm reading in these comments is telling me that I believe I should subjugate and kill westerners? I have no such beliefs, and the reason for that is the Quran. It teaches me to treat everyone fairly regardless of religion, feed the hungry, heal the sick and fight for the weak. It does not teach me to commit aggression or kill civilians. It does not teach me to commit suicide, which is a one way ticket to hell according to our beliefs. If you persist in propogating this cartoonish image of Islam as something of pure evil you're empowering the worst elements among Muslim society. Your paranoi will eventually become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    • WildJew

      Mustafa, I have a couple of simple questions. Will you honestly attempt to answer them or did you simply want to make a statement?

      • Mustafa

        Sure, ask .

        • WildJew

          OK good.

          1) Do you support the Jewish peoples' right to all of historic and Biblical Israel as some Muslims support in accord with their faith? For example: "For the earth is God's (Allah's); he gives it to those of his servants whom he chooses. Happy shall be the lot of the righteous." (Qur'an 7:128)

          2) Do you support the right of (Israel) Israel's Jews to defend themselves from acts of aggression from the largely Muslim and Muslim-Arab word?

          • Guest

            WJ – As we wait for Mustafa's reply, can you please explain further your question 1)? I don;pt fully understand what you are asking Mustafa to support. Thanks

          • WildJew

            I am asking him if he supports those of us who believe, the land Israel now possesses – Judea, Samaria, the Golan, all of Jerusalem, etc. – belongs to Israel by right and should not be relinquished. I personally opposed the 'disengagement' from Gaza, which is also Biblical and historic Israel.

          • Mustafa

            I don't believe that, most of the world doesn't believe that, and even many Israelis don't believe that. You are making this a religious conflict which will insure that it won't be solved. Solve this politically, not according to your own religious beliefs.

          • WildJew

            You implied above that your beliefs are rooted in the Qur'an. You wrote, "It (the Qur'an) teaches me…." I believe this is very much a religious conflict. It is not a political conflict. Those who try to make it a political conflict ignore the religious implications. My political positions are based upon my faith; on my religious beliefs, as should your political positions be based upon your faith, if you are a believing Muslim. I am not interested in what most of the world or even what many Israelis believe. I am asking you what you believe about the Holy Land — to whom it belongs — according to your faith.

          • Guest

            Thank you. Although I am interested to see how Mustafa interprets his faith wrt the existence of Israel – I am especially interested in #2.

            As a corollary to your question I would like to hear Mustafa's views on the UN rules against violent aggression. Does he believe that if you really hate some people/state, like if your religious authorities encourage it, then it's OK to attack them – or is violence only moral and legal in self defense against violent aggression.

          • Guest

            Mustafa, I hope you have not decided to ignore this question(above). I ask in all sincerity. In my reading about the ME conflict it seems to me that Arabs/Muslims believe that violence is justified – or perhaps even required – to restore one's honor if they believe their honor has been blemished. Hence, killing of daughters for Sharia honor offenses is largely overlooked or given light sentences in many (most) Muslim states.

            I see this as the primary difference in moral/legal views between people in Arab/Muslim states and the West where I live where violence against others is strictly forbidden except by the state against criminals – and even then subject to a rigorous and independent legal system of laws and courts. Perhaps I am mistaken about this difference. If so could you correct me in a clear and unambiguous way?

            I would hope that you would have no problem doing so.

          • Mustafa

            Honor killings are disgusting. ANd they do occur in Arab countries. However they are not condoned in Islam,…I view it as homicide, PERIOD! Its unfortunate the perpetrators of those crimes sometimes go unpunished. It is repugnant to me as a Muslim. Unfortunately many muslims do a lot of bad things,..but don't confuse Muslims with Islam.

            Also,..don't conflate Arabs with Muslims. I myself am Muslim but not Arab. Many aspects of some Arab culture (not all) unjustly gets reflected onto all Muslims. Arabs only make up 15% of Muslims.

          • Guest

            Thanks very much for your reply. It is encouraging to read your words on honor killing. If I may ask for a further clarification – I 'd guess you probably agree that violence against others is morally repugnant except in self defense against violence – both on the personal and state level? Is that the case?

            What's your estimate then as to how other Muslims worldwide see this question? For example, it seems to me that Muslims in most ME countries certainly support the idea of Palestinian resistance against Israel (sometimes stated as against occupation).

            This gets to the crux of my concern. It seems to me this resistance is simply lethal violence against Jews including women and children that is justified as retaliation for the dishonor of the existence of a Jewish state on Muslim/Arab land. I'm sure you've seen as many ME imams and dictators declaring this as the duty of all Muslims/Arabs as I have.

            How do you reconcile this with your own views if I could ask?

          • Mustafa

            Islam allows self defense, but it prohibits targeting civilians which I also disagree with. I believe the Palestinians have a right to resist occupation (and International law gives them this right) as long as their targets are military. I am against individual or state sponsored aggresion. The Quran says "do not be the aggressors, for Allah (God) hates aggressors".

          • Raymundo (Guest)

            Mustafa, you said, " I believe the Palestinians have a right to resist occupation (and International law gives them this right) as long as their targets are military."

            Where does int. law give this "right of resistance" and what does it mean? Does it mean to you that Palestinians can target and kill IDF soldiers at a checkpoint on the WB without consequences? How about at a border crossing checkpoint? How about patrolling the border on the Israeli side?

            As you know Israel first occupied the WB as the result of a defensive war in 1967 – and shortly thereafter as the result of Arab refusal to negotiate a peace treaty with final borders that would permit an IDF withdrawal to those borders.

            Are you suggesting that if I attacked you in your home and you drove me out and back onto my property where you set up a guard post because I swore to attack again and have done so several times since – that I now have the right to kill you without consequences because you are on my property?

            I think you confuse the "Just War Theory" which basically specifies that wars may only be waged in self defense – with the "Laws of "War" that describes how wars, once commenced, should be conducted by both aggressors and defenders to minimize civilian casualties.

            There is no right in Int. law to attack and kill occupiers who are occupying in an unavoidable defense from further attack. If so, could you show me the law that says this?

          • Raymundo (Guest)

            BTW – That last paragraph should have said, "There is no right in Int. law to attack and kill occupiers who are occupying in an unavoidable defense from further attack – and who are occupying according to the "Laws of War" as set out in the Geneva Conventions and such. If so, could you show me the law that says this?

          • WildJew

            Mustafa, you say Islam allows self-defense. The Qur'an does not teach you to commit suicide. Yet you believe the Palestinian Muslims have a right to resist 'occupation' so long as their targets are military.

            Little doubt you are aware, the majority of Muslim scholars (led by Egyptian scholar and preacher Yusuf al-Qaradawi) hold that "Israeli society is militaristic by nature. Both men and women serve in the army and can be drafted at any moment…..If a child or an elderly person is killed in this type of ("self-sacrifice" or martyrdom) operation, he or she is not killed on purpose but by mistake and as a result of military necessity. Necessity makes the forbidden things permitted."

            You have answered my question above. According to your religious beliefs, Israel is an illegal occupier of Muslim land. Consequently you endorse jihad warfare against the Jewish state and its citizens based upon your faith; based on your view Israel illegally occupies Muslim land. Am I not right?

          • Guest

            Re: conflation of Arabs and Muslims. It is my understanding that Islam is an Arab religion, especially where the great majority of Arab Muslims (Sunni) are concerned. And also, is it not true that in all Muslim majority states, Islam is taught to children in Arabic regardless of the local language. And is not this teaching primarily memorization of the Quran and Hadith's – i.e. God's word as revealed to Mohammed and transcribed verbatim?

            I think many Westerners like me have trouble sorting this out.

          • Mustafa

            Islam is not an Arab religion. Over 80% of all muslims are non-Arabs. Our Prophet was Arab and our holy book was revealed in Arabic. The recitation of the Quran is indeed taught to everyone in Arabic,…but the sermons and meaning of the Quran are all translated to local languages.

            To give you a parrallel,…a Jew in an American synagogue would say his prayers in Hebrew,..but the sermons/classes/everything else would probably be in English.

            Muslims have diverse and distinct cultures, we just happen to share the same faith. It is not right to lump all of us together.

          • Raymundo (Guest)

            I know some Muslims would like to kill me and my family because they say so and have done so (9/11, etc.) because I am of the Great Satan. I'd like not to lump Muslims unnecessarily. But if I had to choose, I'll choose lumping to endangering my family – as I think any honest person would.

            My questions to you are an attempt to understand the beliefs of various distinct Muslim cultures so I can avoid unnecessary lumping. I was starting to see some differences but I think just you told me that Palestinians have the right to kill IDF soldiers at WB checkpoints who are there preventing attacks on Israel. To me that's just an excuse for murder.

            BTW – I am adding my screen name now so you can tell me from any other "guests" who may chime in.

          • Mustafa

            I believe the Palestinians should stop attacks on Israel. Once its been established that the Palestinians are not attacking, the Israelis should pull out of Palestinian land. If the Israelis insist on remaining there,…the Palestinians absolutely have a right to defend themselves. Americans would not tolerate Chinese soldiers on American streets and Palestinians should not be expected to tolerate Israeli troops on Palestinian streets. I would think this is common sense.

          • WildJew

            You speak of "Palestinian land." Faithful Muslims hold that all of "Palestine" is an Islamic waqf — or endowment from Allah. Faithful Muslims believe the entirety of the land the Jews now possess belongs to Islam, from the Mediterranean sea to the Jordan River. What do you, as a faithful Muslim, believe?

            You provide the example of Chinese soldiers on American streets. Americans (largely the descendants of white European immigrants, colonists, settlers, etc.) occupy formerly-held American Indian and Mexican lands. Do you hold that American Indian tribes and Mexicans have a right to resist this occupation?

          • Ray_in_Seattle

            That seems like a reasonable view. One detail however. You say "Once its been established that the Palestinians are not attacking, the Israelis should pull out of Palestinian land."

            There are probably many moments in time every day when no Palestinian is attacking an Israeli. It's also probably true that some Palestinian is planning or contemplating such an attack at every moment of every day just based on thousands of militants who have pledged to do so – and keep trying whenever they can.

            I'm sure you'd agree – based on the history of this conflict – that Israel should leave the territories when there is some iron-clad treaty in place that guarantees Israel's security. I don't know what form that would take but it is certain that the Palestinians have no intention of doing anything that will hinder them from trying to destroy Israel in the future. Every Palestinian leader since 1948 has said so. But that's academic isn't it? They've had 62 years. Where is the treaty?

            Note: I just signed up for "Intense Debate" and so from now on I'm Ray_in_Seattle here. Don't want to confuse anyone.

          • Mustafa

            I think its a fallacy to think that Israel cannot defend itself from its own borders, there is no need for an "iron clad" agreement before they disengage from the Palestinian territories. If Israel is honest about its claims that their occupation is based on self-defense alone, then a reasonable period w/out attacks should be all they need to pull back. You need to take certain risks if you want peace, as the stronger party in this dispute Israel needs to make concessions regarding its occupation. You seem to think the mideast is at an impasse only because of the Palestinians. Anybody who thinks the Palestinians are actually an existential threat to the 4th strongest military in the world is being dishonest.

          • Ray_in_Seattle

            Now you're losing it Mustafa. That streak of sensibility I saw before seems to be ebbing away.

            I think its a fallacy to think that Israel cannot defend itself from its own borders, there is no need for an "iron clad" agreement before they disengage from the Palestinian territories.

            You mean like what happened in Gaza? Where rockets started within a day of Israel's withdrawal? And as opposed to the WB where a heavily armed occupation and a tall fence has virtually eliminated attacks from Palestinians against Israeli civilians?

            If Israel is honest about its claims that their occupation is based on self-defense alone, then a reasonable period w/out attacks should be all they need to pull back.

            Well, as the party who's children will be blown up in their pizza parlors if they guess wrong – certainly you would agree that it's Israel's call to make. I have yet to hear a Palestinian make the claim that they must keep shooting rockets into Israel because the rockets are somehow preventing the IDF from attacking Palestinian civilians and killing them. Does gross absurdity count as argument here?

            You need to take certain risks if you want peace, as the stronger party in this dispute Israel needs to make concessions regarding its occupation.

            No, as the party who's citizens have been under attack for 62 years Israel needs to make no concessions. As the undisputed aggressors, the Palestinians need to prove beyond all doubt that they have given up their barbaric messianic quest to destroy Israel and its Jews – you know, the "sons of pigs and dogs". In any rational world where peace might even be possible the burden of proof must be theirs.

            In 62 years Israel has not once attacked Arabs or Palestinians except in defense – and then only after extreme provocation. Palestinians have never once attacked Israelis except as an overt act of aggression having no need to defend themselves from someone who is not attacking them and has no desire to do so. Every day Palestinian children are taught in school that the most honorable Palestinians are those who will die attempting to kill Jews. I guess that doesn't count for anything in your strange calculus. Why are you living in this country? I don't understand how it could have anything to do with the values of peace you were alluding to earlier.

          • Mustafa

            Why am I living in this country? This IS my country. Where do you want me to live? Mars?

            The way you simplified the whole issue is exactly why it will never be resolved. You refuse to acknowledge any Israeli complicity in the problem,…and the Palestinians refuse to acknowledge any complicity at their end. It takes 2 to tango Ray. The Israelis have provoked the Palestinians many times,..even Israelis acknowledge this. Your position is that of the extreme right wing of Likud,..its not even shared by most Israelis.

            I don't want to get in the nitty gritty of the mid east situation anyway. Its not a priority for me, there are problems all over the world this particular one gets way too much attention IMO.

          • Sashland

            Mustafa:

            You say the palestinians have the right of resistance and can therefor attack and kill Israeli military.

            Did you forget that Arafat signed a promise of non-violence? He agreed in Oslo, on behalf of all palestinians, to stop violent resistance, yet you support violent attacks.

            You support violence, even in the face of a solemn promise that got arafat the Nobel Peace Prize.

            What am I to believe about your religion in this case of duplicity?

            You should renounce ALL violence if you are a true man of peace.

            Do palestinian promises of ending violence and incitement have any meaning. What does your religion say about lying?

          • Ray_in_Seattle

            I didn't suggest you live somewhere else. I said I did not understand why you chose to be here.

            The basic contract of Western societies is that we renounce aggression (the use of violence except in defense). You justify non-defensive Palestinian violence against Israel (the resistance you approve of).

            The real issue is actually simple Mustafa. Either you approve of violent aggression and murder to get your way – or you don't. The rest is just distraction. It makes no difference whether it's Palestinian murder of IDF or civilians. Killing is murder unless it is in defense and is necessary for that defense.

            My position is that people who kill others to get their way should be strongly condemned by the civilized world and given no mercy if it becomes necessary to defend against their attempts at murder. I don't care what religion or ethnic group they belong to. They should not be considered part of the civilized world. And I do feel strongly about that because killing innocent people is a terrible thing to do. When someone attacks others and causes them to have to defend themselves – every person injured or killed is in that defensive action is the responsibility of the aggressor.

            Didn't they teach you about this in your mosque?

          • Mustafa

            Something is being lost in translation here. Firstly, I chose to be here in the way you chose to be here, I was born here.

            Secondly, I specifically said Palestinians have a right to defend themselves. Not commit aggression. You and others are putting words in my mouth. Once attacks are stopped and Israelis refuse to vacate their land,…they have every right to fight SOLDIERS, not Israelis. Killing a soldier in a lawful conflict is not murder.

          • Ray_in_Seattle

            I specifically said Palestinians have a right to defend themselves. Not commit aggression.

            I am trying to get you to be clear about it. I think you either have not thought it through or you are being evasive.

            There have been many thousands of attacks by Pals against Israelis over the years. Show one of those attacks where the Pals were justifiably defending against some clear act of Israeli aggression – where Israel was not defending against Pal aggression and attempts to kill Israelis – where the Pal attack was therefore justified under UN Article 51..

            You can't just use these words without context. You can't say Pals have the right to defend themselves without showing that that's what they are doing. And for the thousands of deadly attacks against Israeli citizens you need to show where almost all of those where justified defense – not just one or two – if you want to say that the resistance is justified. The truth is you can't find one..

          • Mustafa

            Define Israeli aggression? To most reasonable people,..the constant daily humiliations that Palestinians endure from the Israeli soldiers are clearly aggression. When a pregnant Palestinians lady is not allowed through a checkpoint to deliver her baby,..thats aggression. Palestinians face constant provocations from Israeli soldiers and settlers as recorded by not only the Palestinians, but by independent American and Israeli human rights organizations. What I am saying is not in dispute. You have a narrow view of what "aggression" is and you seem only interested in Israel's security. As I said, people with your views are exactly why this political problem has not been solved.

          • Ray_in_Seattle

            Actually Mustafa, your views clearly show why this conflict has festered for so long and will probably continue for many generations into the future.

            Take your 1st example of "Israeli aggression" – and assume the Israeli soldier actually had no good reason other than his desire to cause pain and humiliation to the pregnant Palestinian woman. In what Western country would it be permissible for the husband to shoot the soldier?

            In the West we have many remedies short of murder that are legal when someone is wronged. These include suing the army and/or the soldier, publicizing the wrong that was committed, voting to elect a different government that would impose stricter regulations on the soldiers at checkpoints, you can demonstrate and start political campaigns to get the checkpoint removed, etc.. On the WB it would include living in a society that does not wrap explosives around pregnant women sending them through checkpoints to kill the soldiers.

            But, in no Western county is it considered OK to shoot the soldier. Violence is not permitted in Western societies to retaliate against a humiliation.

            Your willingness to justify violence as payback for "humiliation" is what I tried to explain early on in this thread. It is the difference between Arab/Muslim culture (and apparently your views) and mine.

            And even though you won't admit it that's why you live here instead of there. Because you enjoy the much higher quality of life provided by societies where aggressive violence is illegal. Here, instead of getting you 72 virgins it will get you 20 years to life. Here, you also have the freedom of speech to try to justify 62 years of unremitting Palestinian violence against innocent Israelis – while having no fear that the US government will break your legs and throw you off a building for criticizing it or for being in the opposition party.

          • Ray_in_Seattle

            And it's not a political problem. It's a moral, ideological, cultural and psychological problem.

            Once that's understood the politics is easy.

          • Andy Blum

            Mustafa,

            I am an American Jew and I fundamentally agree with your point of view. This is a two-way street. Israel has stolen individual peoples homes and livelihoods. My brethren will say, they abdicated there rights to those land when Israel was attacked by neighboring Arab states and the indigenous Palestinians fled. Thats totally wrong and immoral. Now saying that, does not mean Egypt and the Arab world were not as culpable in confiscating Jewish business and homes after Israel's creation. That property was also confiscated and in large numbers. Two wrongs do not make a right. Palestinians deserve dignity to travel freely. They are human beings, who deserve respect. However, Israelis deserve the right to live in peace and free from bombings and terrorism. There are Muslims who do want conquest. Even moderates want Sharia law imposed by society, they just have a different more moderate view of what that means. That drive to impose Sharia law seems to me to be somewhat fundamental to the Muslim faith. I am writing this not to make a strident point, but to emphasize that each side has a basis for their beliefs. Now as per the so called ground zero Mosque. I have never been so proud of any politician as I am of Mayor Bloomberg. He has taken the fundamentally American stand for justice and tolerance. He has upheld not just the values of our constitutional democracy. There are many more things important than hurting someones feelings. Americans have the right to freedom of speech and religion, unfortunately those opposing the Mosque are espousing views that poison our values and culture.

          • WildJew

            Sanction for Honor Killings can be found in Islamic tradition according to scholar on Islam, Robert Spencer.

          • Mustafa

            He is no scholar of Islam. He is a bigot. Robert Spencer's position is this: Either renounce Islam or you are a terrorist. He is in no way a rational or reasonable human being and it makes me sad that anyone would take him seriously.

          • WildJew

            I have followed Spencer for several years post 9/11. I do not always agree with Spencer. He is not a bigot. Not in my view. He does believe Islamic jihadists find justification in the Qur'an, the Hadith, Islamic law and tradition for violence against non-Muslims and other non-believers; even against other Muslims. I understand this is a difficult point of view for many but it is by no means bigoted.

    • Nickolas

      Mustafa writes: "Your paranoi will eventually become a self-fulfilling prophecy." Obviously, you couldn't resist the driving temptation to stick a justification, pretext, and blame, just in case.

      You undermined and destroyed your entire defense of Islam and what it teaches, by shifting the cause of "potential" violence by Islam to Westerners. By "feeding the hungry," does that also mean countries like Egypt producing 14-hour mega-series TV docudramas about the Protocols? Is that the kind of food Arabs hunger for, so much that its government-controlled media would devote millions to pollute and incite the minds of its hungry people with hatred against its former slaves?

      • Mustafa

        What I meant by self fulfilling prophecy is that your attitude toward Muslims will become so extreme that indeed it will would eventually result in the type "cosmic struggle" between Islam an the West that, at this point, is only in your imagination. In no way is that shifting the blame to the West. All i'm saying is that you're empowering the radicals within Muslim society, you are weakining the moderates and that has consequences. That does not mean I approve of those consequences.

        • Nickolas

          In the West, one "approves" of any act of terror or violence by remaining silent. It's called "tacit approval." As for your notion on "cosmology," there's another interpretation. I'm sure you'll agree that there has been only one nation on the planet that has actively and consistently worked to help create an independent Palestinian state: the United States. From Truman to Kissinger to Clinton to Obama. The man who put terrorism on stage, Arafat, was even given a Nobel Prize to help tame him. Today we have Hamas as the free world's reward.

          Ironically, within minutes after 9-11, there was only one group, from the same planet, with overjoyed people who danced and fired weapons in happiness from their rooftops: those same Palestinians. That, Mr. Mustafa, is called "cosmic stupidity!"

      • Mustafa

        And what does an Egyptian TV program have to do with Islam? Your problem is that you're ascribing everything that *some* Muslims may do to Islam. I'm not Egytian,..heck I'm not even Arab. I don't see why I have to answer for some Egyptian TV program.

    • jeweljerusalem

      Boker Tov Musta,
      There are many who adhere to the Quran that see and act differently than you do.
      This is what makes the setting different. Hundreds of years ago, the Islamic fashion was in favor of Hebraic Jerusalem. So what happened?
      What about Sura 20?

      • Mustafa

        There are also many others like me brother. Certain verses in the Quran are to be taken into the context within which they were revealed, its a complicated thing,..not black and white.

    • SecularCanuck

      Read your own hadiths… Islam is a religion of the sword. You may indeed be a nice guy but your religion is not.

      • Mustafa

        Which hadiths? I can give you all kinds of hadiths that say women must be treated with kindness and respect, but some Muslims don't follow them. Others site hadiths that are of dubious credibility to justify all kinds of things. But I can tell you with honesty that the hadiths teach me to be kind, generous, and honorable. Islam is a religion of dignity and coexistence IF PROPERLY OBSERVED. Please don't be simplistic about this.

        • Secular conservative

          Sura 9:29 in the Qur’an says, "Fight those who believe not… even if they be People of the book [Christians and Jews] until they have willingly agreed to pay the Jizya tribute in recognition of their submissive state."

    • max power

      then you don't know your own religion. (so called religion …just a medieval bunch of foolish ramblings called the koran)

      you don't not understand the duplicity that you live with …but I wouldn't expect you to. you are just an ignoramus trying to justify your ignorance.

      enjoy your lies

  • Mustafa

    Also,..I've been hearing about a so called "conspiracy" among American Muslims to take over this country. It greatly reminded me of the accusation levied against Jews about "controlling" the media and the banking system. I always liked the response of some Jews to those comments,…something like…. "well, if there is a conspiracy somebody forgot to tell me about it!!"

  • JulieJ.

    Dershowitz is out of his mind. The supporters of the mosque, Daisy Khan and her family, are raising the green Islamist flag over a burial ground. Does Dershowitz really think that women are going to take a dip in the sharia compliant swimming pool? What movies are they going to show? How about "How to Properly Stone a Woman" or "Female Circumcision – Let's Just Do It!" Dershowitz proves that a lib, is a lib is a lib. As for "multiculturalism" that is what gave us 9/11 – because if all cultures are to be admired and respected, than none or to be disdained.

  • perantonsen

    What Dershowitz and Hanson, as well as the ADL and most others seem to be ignorant of, is the fact that on 9 September 2001 Ground Zero became a HOLY PLACE in Islam. The comparison to a Roman Catholic convent at Auschwitz reveals a gross misunderstanding. Auschwitz is not a holy site in Christendom, quite the contrary. The status of Ground Zero in Islam is exactly the same as that of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, where the al-Aqsa Mosque (a war booty) serves the same symbolic function as the planned mosque at Ground Zero: A battlefield memorial to which Muslims from all over the world may go on pilgrimage. It compares also with the Hagia Sofia in occupied Constantinople. The behavior we now observe from the NYC authorities is a straight parallel to what happened all around the Mediterranean region in the seventh century when princes and clerics invited the Muslims to come and help them in their struggle with local neighbors or the rulers of Bysants. It is all described and explained in detail in the books of Bat Ye'or. Accepting the memorial mosque at Ground Zero will be seen by EVERY Muslim as hoisting a white flag. It is a capitulation to jihad.

    • WildJew

      You make a valid point. This comparison between the convent at Auschwitz and the supremacist mosque / community center at ground zero is not a perfect one. Whether or not Auschwitz is a holy site to Christendom (or to some or many Christians) may not be the fundamental issue. The issue was put succinctly (I think) by Dennis Pager and his friend and colleague, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin in their book "Why the Jews?" I generally concur with their point of view.

      Quoting: "Sixteen hundred years of (church disseminated) hatred of the Jews culminated in the Holocaust. Christianity did not created the Holocaust — indeed, Nazism was anti-Christian — but it made it possible. Without Christian anti-Semitsm, the Holocaust would have been inconceivable."

      This fact is, in large part, why a convent at Auschwitz is offensive to many Jews.

      • blotto

        WJ: So this is the reason why American Jews hate America? You hate everything about America because it is mostly a Chritian nation. Who'd thunk that the ONE nation and its majority religion which provides for the freedom of Jews to worship or not as they please and live a wonderful life would be the very nation and religion that Jews hate.

        And their hatred is evident in their associations with extreme left wing, anti-American causes, foundations, and organizations; and with their support of using the American legal system and Constitution against America.

        No wonder American Jews side with muslims: They both want America to perish.

        • WildJew

          America is mostly a Christian nation, you are correct. It could be argued, America IS a Christian nation. I reject your accusation that I "hate everything about America because it is mostly a Christian nation."

          Let us not forget, the Christian savior was / is a Jew. Because (as Prager and Telushkin posit) for sixteen hundred years, the church – or some or several church leaders – disseminated hatred of the Jews, did not make them faithful disciples of this Jewish savior they pretended to serve. After all, did he not say, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (?)

          I do not see American Christians behaving this way today, by and large. I do not see American Christians or their leaders disseminating hatred against the Jews. Do you? Not many, if any. Are you a Christian blotto? Do you disseminate hatred against the Jews?

  • BS1077

    Dersh and Bloomberg suffer from what Michael Savage termed the "mental disorder" of liberalism….it is the same mentality that had Jews saying "The Nazis will never harm us"….it is the utter foolishness, submitting to EVIL, rationalizing and pretending that is so outrageous. The mega tolerance, the PC bowing and scraping will NEVER gain you any respect, Alan…if anything, it will make the thugs laugh at your weakness and your idiotic legal and ethical arguments. The ACLU lost a lot of contributors when they supported the rights of Nazis to march in Skokie Illinois….which provoked riots and bloodshed….but you refuse to understand that. Liberals live in a fantasy world of ethical and moral equivalency…standards that are abstract and have little to do with the real world.

  • Heidi Goldberg

    THe ADL styles itself as an anti-fascist organisation opposed to bigotry, racism and anti-semitism.

    That's very laudable and all, however times have changed and the sources of much bigotry, racism and anti-semitism are to be found in countries, cultures and religions that are completely non-western. That new realisty has yet to resonate with the ADL

    The ADL, inadvertently, has promoted the spread of anti-semitism by concentrating far too much on ( largely) irrelevant White 'rednecks' and isolated survivalist nutters, and ignoring, by default, the promotion and dissemination of a virulent form of anti-semitism by various islamist groups.

    New York ( and increasinlgy other parts of America) are now rife with anti-semitic bigots and literature because those bigots operate and the literature propagated, unopposed, under the guise of 'religious liberty', a principle rightly cherished by the ADL. The most illiberal attitudes against not only Jews, but members of other religions, women, gays etc are now promoted using those same laws, rights and liberties drawn up specifically to battle and defeat illiberal attitudes and ideas.

  • bpaolucci

    Mr. Dershowitz needs to learn the difference between a house of worship and a training camp for politicial gain, possible bomb making training and worldwide conquest of Islam under sharia law.

    Mr. Dershowitz – the minor part religion plays in Islam makes it obvious that this is a politicial ideology and you are well aware of the use of victory markers where Muslims build mosques at or on the locations they've conquered.

    I refuse to be conquered! You should too.

  • Heidi Goldberg

    Neither Dershowitz nor the ADL are up to speed anymore. I find it astounding that nearly 10 years after 911, and after thousands of jihadist attacks, that both still pour so much effort into nabbing a handful of ageing neo-nazis whites, the anti-semitic minnows, while ignoring the blatant Jew-hatred as expressed by a growing number of large, ravenous sharks, the islamists.

    Such dangerous oversight can only a symptom of soft-racism

  • jeweljerusalem

    Is there anyone in this nation that will finance a 'new building' over the Twin Towers in honor of the ones who were killed and of this Land?

    A building named appropriately, with 15 levels (or 16) right back at the face of those who begin to dig their heels in to claim this land as they are trying to accomplish in Israel. The ones who are financing the Cordoba are not from this nation, but this nations leaders let this be done as it is not them who calls the shots, but some elitists from another country. Could the Fed Reserve be a part of this? 12 European families own it. Have we ever come out of the bankruptcy in 1933? Much of this land has been sold to foreign interests. Our turnpikes have been sold about 5 years ago. Who knows what else has been sold. It is no surprize that this is been let in to set up their GIANT mineret. See? Many parts of the land in the rest of this country have stakes on it already. The question is, who has betrayed the citizens of this nation years ago?

  • Michael,Canada

    Why not build a German cultural center at Auschwitz? It would be legal too! With all due respect to A.D.(he is a good man),however he suffered from terminal Libs mental disease ,plus get mired in legalese.It is very sad,but what can be done?May be he could enroll in Prof. V.D Hanson class,but I am not sure if V.D.H teaching any more.

  • J.S.

    I think Alan Dershowitz presents a very weak case. Does he truly intend to accept Bloomberg's argument “that government should have no role in dictating where a mosque can be situated.” Really? Is that the case? Why do municipalities have zoning laws? On a daily basis decisions at a municipal level are made determining what, where, how, and when buildings are to be developed.
    Does Dershowitz really wish to claim that religion trumps all other considerations? Suppose a cemetery is purchased, and the new owner decides to build a mosque on top of the graves. With a “religious freedom” trumps all approach, no one could voice objections. Is that acceptable? (And if you can't voice objections, then this gives a green light to building a nunnery at Auschwitz. Why, that's perfectly acceptable under the rubric of “religious freedom”!)

  • waltjr

    Excellent Point and counterpoint by Mr. Hanson. Some people will never get it until more Americans will die from the increasing Islamic Terrorist who feed on such naivety of the West as Mr. Dershowitz displays.

  • J.S.

    Next, with respect to the weaknesses of Dershowitz's arguments, he seems to be cataloging, listing all those “right-wingers”, those bigots, those horrible people, then implying “Why should the ADL be on their side?” In other words, it all boils down to “The PC Left makes Right.” The “Left is Correct” is another spurious argument which needs to be excised from the debate. And, if this is removed from Dershowitz's pleas, what is left? I submit, “not much.”
    So, let us consider “bigotry.” Surely, Islamic triumphalism constitutes bigotry, does it not? There are any number of Muslims who claim that they are the “true” Jews and that the Torah is full of lies and distortions, and the Koran “corrects” the errors. Hence the “need” to “inform” the Infidels of this “truth.” In other words, Islam is “supersessionist.” Is supersessionism evidence of “tolerance”?

  • J.S.

    And if Islam is problematic, then surely Islamism is more so. Has the Imam renounced HAMAS? Has the Imam renounced Islamic terrorists? So who are the religious bigots if not bin Laden and company?

    As Hanson has pointed out, the mosque will be built. But I want to hear from Dershowitz when he sees the postcards and the pamphlets in the Middle East announcing the Defeat of the Americans at Ground Zero and the Triumph of the Terrorists. (Ironically, Dershowitz must have forgotten his text, “Why Terrorism Works”, and he himself now acts as yet another assistant in that enterprise.)
    Finally, I applaud Abe Foxman for standing with the victims of 9/11. That takes courage in today's world. (that in itself is horrendous).

  • Davidka

    Dershowitz reaches a new low. First, in the ugly libeling of those who oppose the Islamist mosque. Second, in ignoring the character of the mosque and those behind it. Hanson's tepid response is insufficient. As the organizer Rauf makes clear (in Arabic, not in English!) the intended mosque expresses Islamic triumph over the West at the very site where Islam murdered 3,000 people. Rauf is an extremist who has praised Hamas and whose organization helped finance the Gaza jihadist boats.

  • USMCSniper

    For those of you with a limited knowledge of history. When the Arab Muslims conquered the Jews they built their Mosque on the Temple of the Dome to celebrate the victory of Islam over the Jews. When the Moors conquered Spain, they built the Great Mosque of Cordoba to celebrate the establishment of Islam on the European continent. The committee to build the Great Mosque of New York is called the Cordoba Committee and headed by radical Muslim extremists who openy support Hamas and Hezbolla. Only a Dhimmi mentality would allow this Mosque to be built as it is point blank a celebration of a victory by Islam in AMerica that occurred on 09/11/2001.

  • Paardestaart

    There is no bigotry in forbidding mohammedans to build of a mosque on the site of what muslims consider their greatest victory. Mr. Dershowitz unfortunately is buying into the scam of muslims selling their hateful cult as a religion – it isn't.
    It is a destructive ideology intent on destroying the USA and the west until everyone submits to their babaric desert deity.
    A mosque is a symbol of conquest, like a flag on pile of rubble.

  • John

    Credibility and wisdom are a few things that have bypassed Mr. Dershowitz. Remember, he quickly joined the O.J. Simpson defense team, explaining later:

    "You could not have had a case which produced a more perfect storm of publicity: prominent black athlete, dead white woman, white Jewish man, the 911 call, the slow-motion chase, the team of lawyers assembled. Everything was calculated to make this a major media attraction. …" and justified it later, "That doesn't mean that ultimate truth was on one side or the other, but the defense got the jury to focus on the lies of the prosecution rather than on the innocence or guilt of the defendant."

    And today we see photos of Simpson enjoying his retirement on the golf course, partly thanks to Dershowitz's frantic desire to embarrass the L.A.P.D.

    However, I agree that the ADL or any other notable Jewish organization should not overtly join this fight, but only support non-religious groups with minds of their own. True, Jews typically have a greater perspective on history and can see danger ahead, while most of America is obviously near-sighted, only able to see what's on the screen directly in their face.

  • Peter E. Coleman

    Protesters need to Unionize and form a picket line where no Unionized construction crew will ever cross.

    Or Patriots need to man the lines to prevent any willing construction company from gaining access to the site.

    Have we learned nothing from the left as to how to get OUR way???

  • bdouglasaf1980

    Those religious right people that he so readily condemns are most often, the very ones who support the Jews and Israel the most. When will knuckleheads such as Alan understand this.

    Regardless of the faith, anyone opposing the expansion of islam should be on the same side including atheist. While many hate the proselytizing religions such as Christianity, at least those can say their books DO NOT recommend killing or enslaving the people who refuse to convert at least not the modern reformed versions that follow the New Testament Bible.

    Can someone come up with a better term for those who despise islam that islamophic? That implies fear of islam. I simply detest the death cult.

  • Yetwave

    Dershowitz is so self delusional that he can be a strong supporter of Israel, vote for Obama and not understand the contradiction.
    Here is a man whose considerable intellect is matched in size only by his naivete.
    His admirable defense of Israel will never mask his position as a member of the Kumbaya Chorus of liberalism.
    Islam does not play nice. Ever. Anywhere. Where Islamic settlements abut people of other faiths, there is conflict.
    I don't know how folks in New York might refer to people with such streaks of unshakable innocence but in Texas, we call 'em schnooks.

  • SecularCanuck

    To oppose this mosque is not to be bigoted or irrational. It is a deliberate, and transparently tactical ploy by proponents of an aggressive and totalitarian religion to insult the victims of 911… demonstrate the weakness of the West to the wider Muslim world and pave the way for a symbolic 'victory' over the West. For people even slightly acquainted with the tenets of Islam to not recongize this is palpably insane.

    Legally, the zoning argument is more than ample to dispense with this 'religious freedom and tolerance' argument.

    Even if one were to trust the motivations and funding sources of the builders of this symbolic abberation – it should not be built on the grounds of taste alone. The simplist and best analogy here would be for the NRA to build a head office outside Columbine High School. Even if none of the proponents of gun rights were happy to see school children shot – would they not agree that it would be grossly insulting and the height of bad taste to build a shrine to gun ownership at such a site? Of course they would. And make no mistake… this mosque is a deliberately provocative act of symbollic domination.

  • J.S.

    As I recall, in the text, "Why Terrorism Works" (written by Dershowitz), Prof Dershowitz was opposed to the repeated meetings of Arafat and the pope. Why? If I recall correctly, it was due to the symbolic importance of these meetings (ie, it provided a "cover" of acceptability, whitewashing, Arafat). Is symbolic importance to be discounted as "irrational" or "bigoted"?

    Arguing against the further display of a triumphalist Islam (as evidenced by building a towering mosque 2 blocks from Ground Zero) is not "irrational." Nor is it "bigoted." They can build their mosque anywhere else, as far as I'm concerned, and add it to all the other 100 mosques in NY City — but outside the parameters of Ground Zero. Is that too much to ask? Apparently it is (ie, it's intolerable from an Islamist perspective to be denied the triumph of celebrating Islam at the site of 9/11).

  • 1gary2_3dean4

    Islam is more of a cult masquerading as a religion: there is no escape, there are violent consequences for apostates, and the cult has no tolerance for other religions unless they need the infidels to advance their own agendas to strengthen the cult.

    Dershowitz wants us to believe that it is more important for us to accept Islam and allow them a hallowed place at ground zero than it is to oppose and challenge this cult whenever and wherever it lays down its rocks on top of the remains of others (be they graves of human bodies or other places of worship like temples or churches: The Dome of the Rock is built on top of the Temple, not the other way around).

    Dershowitz, who is of sound mind on many things, hits the wall when it comes to identifying the real enemy of freedom. He refuses to make himself appear intolerant by speaking out against the worst forms of intolerance and then actually doing something to stop it such as an ideological war of the type that is being waged against us in the West by Islamists.

  • den

    I see no difference between Islam, Nazis, or the Klan. These groups kill people. There are lots of pictures of Hitler with Muslims. The Klan is an organization that hates different people, like Islam hates the Jews and Christians. Islam teaches we are apes and pigs. How many churches are in Saudi Arabia?

    Its all just hate on your dial. Same circus, different clown outfits.

  • Frank711

    Mustafa either ignorant of the history and teachings of your own religion—the Qur’an, Hadith and Sunna—or is practicing “kitman,” a formal Islamic doctrine of deception. Kitman is telling the truth but not the whole truth with the intention to mislead unbelievers—the kuffar.

    Here are some Suras and excerpts from the Qur’an that you can start to explain away:

    Sura 9.29, 30: “Declare war upon those to whom the Scriptures were revealed but believe neither in God nor the Last Day, and who do not forbid that which God and His Apostle have forbidden, and who refuse to acknowledge the true religion [Islam] until they pay the poll-tax without reservation and are totally subjugated.”

    “The Jews claim that Ezra is the son of God, and the Christians say, ‘the Messiah is a son of God.’ Those are their claims which do indeed resemble the sayings of the Infidels of Old. May God do battle with them! How they are deluded.”

    “And they fully deserve any punishment they get.”

    Sura 8.65: “O Prophet! Rouse the Believers to fight,” the Qur’an orders, and promises the twenty Muslims, “patient and preserving,” would vanquish two hundred unbelievers; if a hundred, they will vanquish a thousand.

    Sura 2.191: “And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter.”

    Sura 9.5: “fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them and seize them.” This famous Sura (9.29) of the Sword leaves no room for ambiguity. It abrogates the much over quoted Sura 2.256, “Let there be no compulsion in religion.”

    Sura 58.3: The Qur’an assures Muslims the right to own slaves—“to possess their necks”— either by purchasing them or as bounty of war.

    Sura 5.63: According to this Sura Jews have an intense hatred of all true Muslims, and as a punishment for their sins, some of the Jews had, in the past, been changed into “apes and swine,” and others will have their hands tied to their necks and be cast into the fire on Judgment day.

  • Sashland

    If one of the main stated goals of the mosk is reconciliation, let's ponder what that means.

    When I read about reconciliation I see such concepts as taking responsibility, repentance, building confidence and trust, and empathy. One source states that reconciliation based on ambiguity can not last.

    The first step is healing the wounds of the survivors, accompanied by some form of retributive or restorative justice, with truth-telling and reparation of the damage.

    The muslims need to recognize and acknowledge the role their religion played in 9/11. This is not blaming others, calling them 'hijacker-hijackers' of the religion, but rather stating honestly what parts of their own text helped lead to the attack.

    I see little of true reconciliation in the manner in which this mosk has been promoted and pursued. This logically leads to questions of true motivation.

    Totally lacking in empathy, no acceptance of responsibility, no truth-telling and no reparation of damage means no reconciliation.

    Pushing the mosk under this scenario is hurtful and self-centered.

    If they really want reconciliation they will put the process on hold and enter into a true dialogue leading to a legitimate process of reconciliation.

    Why don't I find any discussion of this in the commentary?