And what of our progressive Constitutional purists who defend the right of such a religion to freely import its dogma to the very site of a slaughter? Does it occur to Mayor Bloomberg that in an Islamic theocracy he would more likely be a Zionist prisoner than a billionaire politician? Does Mr. Cohen consider that he, like Daniel Pearl, would more likely be relieved of his head than be allowed to pen admirably high-minded, humanitarian columns? Does Rachel Maddow realize she would more likely be stoned as gay journalist spy, rather than have her own TV show?
These commentators and their colleagues continue to decry those who oppose a Ground Zero mosque as ignorant, prejudiced, Islamophobic. In fact, theirs is more a fear of terrorism itself and of the religious intolerance that feeds it. Most Americans would fear medieval Christianity no less, and would be equally troubled if Torquemada or Savonarola came back and petitioned for a cultural center.
The great irony is this: Our forefathers wrote the First Amendment in order to outlaw Old World religious intolerance and persecution. It ushered in a modern society where church and state are separate, and where all faiths are respected just long as they respect others.
It is no mistake that Islam, which literally and zealously clings to its seventh century dogma, and which claims a monopoly on truth and God’s affection, has flowered in the form of tyrannical theocracies. How, then, might our democratic Washington or Jefferson have felt about extending constitutional freedoms to a faith which self-righteously demands its freedoms on foreign soil but, historically, has warred against the freedom of others?
Before flying into the Twin Towers and incinerating 3,000 innocents of every religion, including their own, the jihadists cried “God is Great!” What sort of “religion” would inspire such a cry?
Religion is defined in many different ways, but surely most would agree that, in modern practice, it is a deist belief which – in spite of historic atrocities – promotes tolerance, peace, and understanding.
Feisal Abdul Rauf, the sponsor and spokesman of Cordoba House, pledges to foster these very virtues. But, he refuses to acknowledge Hamas as a terrorist organization. "Look, I'm not a politician,” he says. “The issue of terrorism is a very complex question.” Yet there is no complexity about Hamas’s body count much less its commitment to destroy Israel. Nor will Rauf say if Hamas, the Saudis, Iranians or other groups or nations which cheered 9/11 are behind its funding.