In a move that left many leftists in shock, the Anti-defamation League of Bnai Brith, America’s major Jewish civil rights group, came out with a public statement on Friday 30 July, opposing the building of a mosque in the shadow of the 911 disaster.
The ADL, one of the most prominent groups in American Jewish life, is known for its advocacy of religious freedom and interfaith harmony. Its position on the mosque was met with shock and condemnation by several groups.
Jeremy Ben-Ami, head of J Street, the anti-Israel, left-wing Jewish group, said he would hope ADL would be at the forefront in defending the freedom of a religious minority, ”rather than casting aspersions on its funders and giving in to the fear-mongerers.”
The Rev. Welton Gaddy, head of the Interfaith Alliance, a Washington advocacy group, said he read the ADL statement ”with a great deal of sorrow.”
”As an organization that for nearly 100 years has helped set the standard for fighting defamation and securing justice and fair treatment for all, it is disappointing to see the ADL arrived at this conclusion,” Gaddy said.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations urged ADL to retract its statement.
Abraham Foxman, national director of the ADL, defended his position.
In a phone interview, he compared the idea of a mosque near ground zero to the Roman Catholic Carmelite nuns who had a convent at the Auschwitz death camp. In 1993, Pope John Paul II responded to Jewish protests by ordering the nuns to move.
”We’re saying if your purpose is to heal differences, it’s the wrong place,” Foxman said of the mosque. ”Don’t do it. The symbolism is wrong.”
Our question: Why would anyone in their right mind support a monument to Muhammad, on the very site where our people were killed in the name of Islam?
Let this thing rage through America until every patriotic citizen has torn down this insult to our dead.
Read complete statement here:
Just in from NY Times: They are realizing that this is the beginning of the end for the Islamist forces in America.
Anyone who supports the 911 mosque is committing political suicide. We must let them know this!!
The NY Times, uncharacteristically, gets this, too:
“But the unexpected move by the ADL, a mainstream group that has denounced what it saw as bigoted attacks on plans for the Muslim center, could well be a turning point in the battle over the project.
In New York, where ground zero has slowly blended back into the fabric of the city, government officials appear poised to approve plans for the sprawling complex, which would have as many as 15 stories and would house a prayer space, a performing arts center, a pool and a restaurant.
But around the country opposition is mounting, fueled in part by Republican leaders and conservative pundits. Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee, has urged “peace-seeking Muslims” to reject the center, branding it an “unnecessary provocation.” A Republican political action committee has produced a television commercial assailing the proposal. And former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has decried it in speeches.
The complex’s rapid evolution from a local zoning dispute into a national referendum highlights the intense and unsettled emotions that still surround the World Trade Center site nine years after the attacks.
To many New Yorkers, especially in Manhattan, it is a construction zone, passed during the daily commute or glimpsed through office windows. To some outside of the city, though, it stands as a hallowed battlefield that must be shielded and memorialized.
Those who are fighting the project argue that building a house of Muslim worship so close to ground zero is at best an affront to the families of those who died there and at worst an act of aggression that would, they say, mark the place where radical Islam achieved a blow against the United States.
“The World Trade Center is the largest loss of American life on our soil since the Civil War,” Mr. Gingrich said. “And we have not rebuilt it, which drives people crazy. And in that setting, we are told, why don’t we have a 13-story mosque and community center?”
He added: “The average American just thinks this is a political statement. It’s not about religion, and is clearly an aggressive act that is offensive.”
Several family members of victims at the World Trade Center have weighed in against the plan, saying it would desecrate what amounts to a graveyard. “When I look over there and see a mosque, it’s going to hurt,” C. Lee Hanson, whose son, Peter, was killed in the attacks, said at a recent public hearing. “Build it someplace else.”
Still, the arguments against the Muslim center appear to be resonating. Polling shows that a majority of Americans oppose building it near ground zero.
Resistance is particularly strong among some national Republican leaders. In stump speeches, Twitter messages and op-ed articles, they have turned angry denunciations of the plan into a political rallying cry that they say has surprising potency.
The two major Republican candidates for governor of New York, Rick A. Lazio and Carl Paladino, are making it a central issue in their campaigns, attacking the state’s attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, who is also the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor, for not aggressively investigating the project’s finances..
In North Carolina, Ilario Pantano, a former Marine and a Republican candidate for Congress, has also campaigned on the issue, and says it is stirring voters in his rural district, some 600 miles away from ground zero.
A few days ago, at a roadside pizza shop in the small town of Salemburg, he attacked the proposal before an enthusiastic crowd of hog farmers and military veterans.
“Uniformly, there was disgust and disdain in the room for the idea,” Mr. Pantano said.
The issue was wrenching for the Anti-Defamation League, which in the past has spoken out against anti-Islamic sentiment. But its national director,Abraham H. Foxman, said in an interview on Friday that the organization came to the conclusion that the location was offensive to families of victims of Sept. 11, and he suggested that the center’s backers should look for a site “a mile away.”
“It’s the wrong place,” Mr. Foxman said. “Find another place.”
Asked why the opposition of the families was so pivotal in the decision, Mr. Foxman, a Holocaust survivor, said they were entitled to their emotions.
“Survivors of the Holocaust are entitled to feelings that are irrational,” he said. Referring to the loved ones of Sept. 11 victims, he said, “Their anguish entitles them to positions that others would categorize as irrational or bigoted.”
True to form, the NY Times has once again refused to post my comment on this article. However, I own this newspaper and will share it with you. (UPDATE: 2 August 210. They just printed the comment two days later. This is the second time after I mentioned that they didn’t post my comment that, two days later, they suddenly added it. I guess it pays to own your own rag. Take heed, malcontents.)
A group of Muslims murders over 3,000 Americans in NYC in the name of Allah.
Then their co-religionists demand to build a mosque two blocks from the site.
And they choose to name it Cordoba House? Cordoba is the Muslim name given to the portion of Spain conquered in the name of Allah. They tore down the biggest church they could find and built the Grand Mosque of Cordoba in 784 CE to symbolize their conquest.
Why would any American not be upset?
Any politician with any sense will understand that this is political suicide especially these days.
Those who don’t understand now, will understand comes election day.