BLOG: Why I support the 'mosque,' and why it matters

Tom Jackson
Sep 2, 2010

The controversy over the "Ground Zero mosque" has become a clarifying moment in recent political history, when we get to find out whether conservatives and Republicans care about anything except winning the next election. If you've paid attention, the short answer is that many of them don't.

We found out only a few months ago that many Democrats and liberals don't really care about the First Amendment if that pesky "freedom of expression" stuff might arguably give Republicans an advantage. Now we're finding that while Republicans love to give lip service to "liberty," many of them don't care about freedom of religion or private property rights.

More on that in a moment, but first a few words on the controversy.

You'll notice that I put square quotes around the words "Ground Zero mosque" in my first paragraph.

That's because it's not at Ground Zero, e.g., the site of the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001. It's two blocks away. 

And it's not a mosque, either. The proposed project is an Islamic community center, similar to a YMCA. It would include a prayer room — a "mosque," if you will — but it's also supposed to have basketball hoops.

These facts are important, because if you took the rhetoric of the opponents at face value, you'd believe that a huge mosque, complete with minarets, is going to be built over the ruins of the World Trade Center.

The whole controversy is a manufactured one. And if someone wanted to build a mosque, so what? In this country, we don't tell people they aren't allowed to build a church, or a synagogue, or a temple, on their own property, if they are following the relevant building codes and zoning laws.

What I think is most interesting about the controversy is what is says about Republicans.

But first, let's beat up on Democrats a little.

On Jan. 21 this year, the U.S. Supreme Court voted to uphold the First Amendment in a case called Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Specifically, the court voted 5-4 to strike down a provision of the law that blocked a nonprofit corporation, Citizens United, from airing a film that criticized Hillary Clinton.

For me, the scandal of the decision was that only a bare majority of the nation's highest court could bring themselves to strike down political censorship. 

But that's not how many Democrats saw it. Many have campaigned for new laws to overturn the decision, on the ground that removing restrictions on corporate political spending might aid Republicans. Almost alone among prominent liberal commentators, Glenn Greenwald put principle over partisan political advantage and explained that the decision was correct.

But now Republicans are in the spotlight. And we are now seeing the spectacle of prominent Republican politicians who favor freedom of religion (if it's for Southern Baptists, in Georgia) and property rights (in cases where it's politically convenient). 

Opinion polls show that many Americans oppose the so-called Ground Zero mosque. If a line of political attack is poll-tested, that's apparently all that matters.

So we have Newt Gingrich declaring that Cordoba House can't be built "so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia." There's no word yet on whether Gingrich favors banning the Nation magazine until North Korean newspapers agree to run his op-ed pieces.

And we have the Wall Street Journal's James Taranto, who anchors his argument about Democratic tax policies by referring to his opponent as a "Ground Zero mosque champion." Why resort to reasoned argument when a smear will do?





6079 Smith W


@ Mr. Jackson:    And the parameters of “Ground Zero” are determined how exactly? Wasn’t that building damaged on 9-11?   Euphemistically calling it a "community center” reminds me of the old Bolshevik technique of "word magic"; change the name so that the rubes are more likely to accept it.    

The Dems like to throw around the premise that the majority should rule; the last I heard, approx. 70% of the American people would like it built elsewhere.


Once again the Registerag lacking the facts.  Its not Republican against, Democrats for.  How do you explain the opposition by Senator Reid (D) Nev., Governor and Ex-DNC Chair Dean and the lack of support by other dems for a compromise by  Governor Patterson of New York (D) to move the mosque.  The largest protest against the mosque was staged by the democrat controlled construction workers union.  Let Mr Jackson explain the support of the Mayor of New York for the mosque while he does nothing to help a Greek Orthodox Church to rebuilt that had been next to ground zero for over 80 years. Let it not be said that the Registerag allows the facts to get in the way of a their liberal agenda.

Tom Jackson


The opposition to the project has been led by Republicans. The statements by the likes of Sen. Reid are meant to protect the Democrats politically. It's certainly not Harry Reid who brought the matter up. Yes, there have been Republicans willing to speak up for religious freedom, but not many.

Why am I obligated to explain everything the mayor of New York City does? And how does my column relate to the Register's supposed "liberal agenda"? 


Puritans, Quakers, Jews, Sikhs and many more have come come to America for religious freedom.  They came for the right to build thier churches wherever they pleased.  If they are American citizens, then they have every right under the constitution to build thier community center and worship as they please.  Come on people.  We are better than this.  Many of us wouldn't be here if it wasn't for America's religious tolerance.


The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Emma Lazarus, 1883

Chung Lee

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained personal attacks. Discussion Guidelines


Every time Duhast posts, I hear the sounds of Kumbaya being sung by all liberals passing around the doobie. Religous freedom? Don't the muslims have their own countries? Persecuted muslims? How can that be when in the countries of the Congo,Myanmar,the Philippines, Columbia,Sudan,Uganda, Thailand, and Turkey Jihadists are killing christians and other religions in order to take over the government. Do you suppose Sharia law has anything to do with it? You know that kinky set of laws that allows sex with children, the stoning of women, the genital mutiliation of women shackling children then strapping bombs on their back. Look, we let Abu Bin Yoder and the amish in so what's wrong. By the way, Winston, the right rear landing gear of one of the planes fell on that building.  For a hoot people check out the Religion Of

Chung Lee

Columbia and Thailand are Muslim nations?  Who told you that..... Glenn Beck? 


Have you read Leviticus? Deuteronomy? 

  Leviticus 25:44-46 (King James Version)  44Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids.  45Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession.  46And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour. Deuteronomy 13  1If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,  2And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;  3Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.  4Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.  5And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.  6If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;  7Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;  8Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:  9But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.  10And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.  
swiss family

  this issue really is a sad statement on the state of our country.This great country was founded on, on many, many people have fought and given their lives for this nation to be free.. and free, is an absolute.. you can NOT have limited freedom, we either are free, or we are not, and proudly, we are a free nation.

 One of our freedoms is the freedom of speech and the freedom of expression, and it is in that glorious freedom that we suddenly feel  the fear.. As long as it is "our" accepted religion,and our accepted customs, we are all for freedom, but if someone who is also an American citizen, such as we are , wants to display their individual free choices, we panic?? and in trying to "hold on to" what we see as our freedom, it is merely  just an example of disguised conformism.. where we think that everyone else ought to think and act like us???


  I do , and will always hold a special place in my heart, and memory for all of the people who were affected both directly and indirectly on that fateful day, but to blame an entire culture, or religion because of a handful of  extremists, and giving a "knee jerk" reaction  in trying to control them  to conform to our standards, is really allowing our own freedoms to be taken away as well.I hats the fact that people burn and destroy our flag.. it actually makes me feel sick to my stomach to see.. but if we are going to preserve our freedom, and our status as a free society, we have to allow everyone to be able to express their approval, and disapproval of their interpretation of the status of the country, otherwise,  we truly will have allowed the "terrorists" to win.. we will have allowed them to convince ourselves that taking away some of our very own freedoms, will somehow make us more free??


Freedom... yes we have freedom in this country but even each of our freedoms has it's limits.  The forefathers of this country did not mean that "burning the American Flag" should be a freedom of speach!  They probably never thought anyone in America would be so disgusting.  The freedom of Religion... our forefathers were Christians and worshiped "GOD" and never thought we would be a nation that would worship false gods.... When we allow a false religion in.........I guarantee you God will NOT be pleased with our country and the blessings we've had for so many years will start to disappear.  

Also your comment on "handfull of extremists".... look what the muslims have done in other countries.  Look at the problems they are causing in other countries, not just ours.  If they were such a peaceful group then why do they insist on causing so much grief by wanting to build in that spot in NY.  I will tell you why, ...they want a monument to the MUSLIMS ... they could care less on how Americans feel about that location.

In The Light


Duhast quoted "LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage."  Your quotes  from Leviticus and Deuteronomy are to the Biblical Hebrews, only. They were being reminded as to who brought them out of bondage from Egypt.

Goofus for your information "Kum Bah Yah" "Kumbayah"  is an African-American Hebrew (YAH) spiritual song from the 1930s, in the Gullah dialect meaning "Come By My GOD(Yah). Similarly, Halleluyah is similar in that "Hallelu" means "praise" and "Yah" (the Hebrew name for GOD), thus you have Praise Yah.

6079 Smith W said "The Dems like to throw around the premise that the majority should rule; the last I heard, approx. 70% of the American people would like it built elsewhere." I thought the Constitution determines who should rule, and it does not make any referrence to Democrat, Republican, Liberal, or Conservative. Just in case you did not know the Constitution made provisions for the majority and the minority. You do understand the differences between the house and the senate. One is based on propportional representation, and the other is meant to moderate the majority by giving equal representation to the less populated, and the greater populated states. So I would observe that it is not only the Democrats "throwing premises around." Your point about 70% can you prove that? Do you understand that if you buy into the notion that those Muslims options are at the pleasure of "Your" defined majority, or otherwise that you have made a case for more government intervention in what should be a private decision. Now, isn't that something that you "so-called" conservative always blame on th "so-called" liberals?


American, you are wrong About The founding fathers. You are simply projecting your personal opinion by creating revisionist history. Heck, Jefferson didn’t even believe Jesus was divine. By the same mentality, we should not allow any Christian churches to be built within 8 blocks of abortion clinics that were bombed or shot up by Christian terrorists.

This was a non-issue until the media latched on and made it one. They were not flaunting anything. Had cable news not hyped it up, they would have built it and nobody would have known or cared.

In the Light, Amazing how someone could possible take text from your holy book out of context.

6079 Smith W


  Under the First Amendment, most religious demominations have the right to practice, but the location of their places of worship is not guaranteed.   The Dem's premise that the majority should rule? Seems like I heard and read a lot of that nonsense coming out of ‘em in the aftermath of the 2000 presidential election with Mr. Gore having the numerical majority of votes cast.  

BTW: When Rastafarians can practice their religion as they see fit, then perhaps there will be true religious freedom in the U.S.

Remember: Governments cannot "give" rights, they can only take them away.



6079 Smith W


@ Duhast:   Regarding the Bible: IMO, a few of the more interesting groups are the Christian Scientists and their offshoots like Unity.   They treat the Bible as metaphor and not as a literal work. It puts an interesting spin on the verses when reading the text.   There are some in the Muslim world who approach the Koran in a similar fashion.  

With either of the works, they seek to personalize the text, which makes certain passages less overtly hostile in their context, i.e. "to kill" means to kill a desire in one's self.

There is much "truth" in the Bible, but is the Bible "true"? Therein lies an extremely contentious issue.


Putting the legality of the argument aside, this is clearly an attempt to give the US the finger by our "peace-loving Islamist brothers."   

This is a great idea.  Let's essentially erect an Islamist monument at the site of the largest attack on the US in history by Islamists.  Why stop there?  Let's set up a mosque at the Pentagon and an "Islamist Center for Peace and Neighborhood Unity" at the United flight 93 site in Pennsylvania.

For you politically correct, "Gee, don't I look enlightened because I'm so centered that I argue for Muslim rights no matter how obnoxious or hurtful to my country" folks, I hope you feel righteous and get a puffy chest from your self-perceived brilliance. 

We've become a weak, politically correct mess of a country.


Duhast... you seem to want to throw God's word around...  Read all of the Bible and you will understand exactly what God expects when it comes to worship.........and how he did not tolerate the worship of idols and false gods....          I will not debate the issue with you because you can't argue with a's like having a conversation that never goes anywhere but in one of their ears and out the other and the only thing coming out of a liberals mouth is rambling.   Nothing of any substance.

Now I'm sure you will come back with some remark but It won't be worth a hang nail.   FYI... hang nails are something you get rid of...........



The minarets will come later after they have firmly established themselves in the area.   Others will follow as is evidenced in the Detroit area.  There will be outburst of loyalty towards their homelands rather than to the U.S. as they promised when they said the Pledge of Alligence to this country;(Pledge of Loyalty I would rather call it) to get footholds into this country.  Future generations of ill will could establish staging points from this area.  This has already been discussed and forgotten only too soon.   And not to forget that the latest version of the Koran teaches their  followers to withhold any truths in need to promote their religion. To tell it one way and then do it the other way...They are right on target


Americanonly, you talk about the worship of "false" gods, implying that Allah is one of them. Please permit me to point out to you that MOST religions bills themselves as the "true" faith, and claim to worship the "one" true god. Obviously, not all of them can be right. Muslims believe YOU'RE wrong just as much as you believe THEY are.

Duhast, you're right: The Cordoba group DOES have the RIGHT to build on their own property. That doesn't make it RIGHT any more than building a KKK meeting house next to a predominantly black church or school is okay. No one I've heard has suggested there's no rights involved here, but rather respect, sensitivity, etc. and so on. You also spend a great deal of time quoting the Bible. Well, many Muslims can quote you chapter and verse of THEIR holy book, too, and among their across-the-board tenets is death to "infidels" (i.e. anybody who isn't Muslim). Not all Muslims go on some jihad to fulfill that tenet, but it's there and a whole lot of even the "moderate" Muslims believe it as much as a whole lot of them are beginning to demand sharia law (and if that doesn't scare the crap out of you, you don't know what it is).

6079 Smith W, you talk about "majority rule." While your example is pertinent, I'd like to add that the very idea of "majority rule" TERRIFIES me. The Founders deliberately added the Bill of Rights to the Constitution to protect against what they termed "the tyranny of the majority." After all, if we had TRUE majority rule, we'd all have to be Christian and abortion would be illegal. While it's also true the "community center" (still a mosque by any other name) wouldn't be built on the proposed site, and we'd FINALLY control our borders, pure democracy is very much a double-edged sword. That's probably why the Founders created a REPUBLIC rather than a pure democracy. Kudos to them for something sadly lacking 200+ years later: Good sense!

Kramer, you write: "Putting the legality of the argument aside, this is clearly an attempt to give the US the finger by our "peace-loving Islamist brothers."  EXACTLY.

swiss family

  "Americanonly"  there you have it.. you are assuming that what you believe and what you think , and which religion and which God is the real one, only goes to prove the point that there is intolerance of things that are not acceptable according to the standards set forth by the judge. I can assure you that all of the followers of "Allah" and "Buddha" and the likes would argue with you who actually has the attention of a "real" God, and which are under a clouded misnomer..if you could prove once and for all which God is real, you would be one of the most insightful, and knowledgeable people on earth..

   either we are a free country, or we are not, and according to your limits and standards you seem to prefer toi think and act like we are, as long as everyone agrees, and lives their lives with your approval.. sorry but that is NOT how freedom works.

  as for the "Mosque" we should look at facts,, the facts are that this building is an old Burlington coat factory that has been empty for some time, waiting and available to anyone who can finance it, and develop it into whatever a free market, and free society will  prosper in.. also let us look at the other fixtures around the ground zero sight.. is it all a memorial , and a shrine devoted to the "hallowed ground" no it is not.. there are currently porn shops, adult movie houses, all kinds of restaurants, and shops, including many with a "western, or "Muslim" theme..along with a multitude of other ethnic shops.  the truth is, the exact location of "ground zero" should be sacred ground, and we as a nation should have already developed it into either a memorial site, or a new , stronger, indestructible site for bigger, towers to show the world that we will never be crushed by the terror released on us by anyone...but we have done nothing.. so who's fault is it that someone, anyone  wants to locate anywhere near there.. in a business sense, the site has become a drawing place, or sadly a "tourist site" and anyone who knows business knows that those areas are usually overrun with trinket sellers, and people waiting to capitalize on a tragic even , for their own there should have been a master plan , long ago for this area, and the perimeter surrounding it, but since no one did anything, in a free country, protected by our own laws, and constitution.. they have every right to put whatever they see fit.. even if it is In bad taste, in a free society, of which we pride ourselves.. this is the blessing and the curse of such freedom


Mime Bloggling's picture
Mime Bloggling


*Thought I'd just throw this into the mix of inflated rhetoric. Mime

 Sharia Stimulus: US Taxpayers Funding Shovel-Ready Mosques Abroad

George Savage · Aug. 27 at 8:54pm

"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it." Ronald Reagan, August 15, 1986.

There’s a lot that isn’t moving in the United States right now and government money is flowing like water in this Recovery Summer. But who knew that under Barack Obama similar subsidies would be extended to mosque maintenance in foreign lands? Caroline May at the Daily Caller reports:

Just a cursory search of the term “mosque” on the State Department’s list of “projects” reveals 26 examples of federal funds going to fund construction, renovation, and rehabilitation of various mosques abroad. The benefiting countries include Bulgaria, Pakistan, Mali, Tunisia, Afghanistan, Benin, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania, Egypt, Tunisia, the Maldives, Yemen, Turkmenistan, Tanzania, Uganda, Azerbaijan, Sudan, Serbia and Montenegro.

Money being fungible, wouldn’t it be interesting if some of the Islamist funding provided by the State Department’s U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation freed up other foreign cash later donated to our own Ground Zero Mosque project?

I guess that wall of separation thing so beloved by liberals only applies to churches.

However, American Islamic Forum for Democracy's Dr. Zuhdi Jasser objects:

“We have always felt this type of outreach is completely ineffective and that ultimately we have to approach it like the Cold War where we are fighting an ideology and we have to be poignantly open about what part of political Islam we are trying to change and modify,” Jasser said. “If we are going to have this long war of ideas we cannot fund these religious institutions. We can fund anti-Islamist institutions based in liberty.”

I think Dr. Jasser has it right. If we are going to subsidize Islam abroad, shouldn't we at least direct the funds towards friends of liberty?


December 7th 1941, Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor. September 2nd 2010, Japanese have a car dealership in every city in the US, most fly an American flag on site. I won’t mention Hitler, Germans, German autos. Would you all feel better if they were building an Auto Plant?
brutus smith

 ameri says "I will not debate the issue with you because you can't argue with a's like having a conversation that never goes anywhere but in one of their ears and out the other and the only thing coming out of a liberals mouth is rambling.   Nothing of any substance."

Is ramblings the right wingnut code word for facts?


Repubs have nothing, nada, zilch.

brutus smith

 Good examples Kimo. The right wingnut brain is saying "Does not compute, Does not compute". ROFLMAO!


Repubs have nothing, nada, zilch.


From the begining our Nation was greated on religion.   A lot of religions fled to other countries, for what they believed in.  Some came and shoved religion down the throats of the indians. The United States was founded on the rights to carry arms,  freedom of speach and freedom of relgion.

6079 Smith W


@ Mr. Jackson:   Thanks for joining in.   So everyone who opposes the location of the “community center” is a Repub? How is that not a fallacy?   Since a reported 70% of the American population is against the location – that’s a lot of Repubs!   As for Mr. Reid’s statement being Dem political cover – that is your opinion. What does the term “political cover” mean exactly? How does that work? We’re kinda against it?   Haven’t others Dems like Gov. Patterson and Mr. Dean expressed opposition to its planned location? Reads like the Dems are overflowing with “political cover.”   Where’s Mr. Sanders? Did you take his place? (Just kidding.) I thought that you were more libertarian; was I wrong?  

OK – raised Baptist right?



Tom, generally, you try to stay above the fray but your arguments do not hold merit.I'm surprised to see you providing cover for Brutus and the moveon/UAW propaganda machine. You seem surprised politicians are using political issues to their advantage.  Look at it from a common sense perspective instead of just following your political leanings.

I don't see anyone arguing that the Islamic Center is illegal. What has been brought up is how building an Islamic Center 600 feet away from where Islamic terrorists destroyed billions of dollars worth of buildings and killed thousands of Americans is in poor taste.

Unlike Japanese or Germans who do not condone or support past regimes or actions, there is a huge contingent in the Muslim world who still support the 9/11 attacks, as can be seen by any camera in the West Bank or Pakistan or by just chatting with many of the tribal Wahabi or Hamas leaders, who would be happy to head to the Islamic center and say a prayer of thanks for the destruction of the Great Satan and for more Jews to be killed in their just intifada.

Should the federal government be involved in stopping a building on private property? Absolutely not. Should our elected officails speak their peace regarding their personal opposition to a Muslim prayer room two blocks away from ground zero and at a time when so many in the Muslim world live in ignorance, fear, and a desire to kill based on religious intolerance? Definitely.


It's simple for me.

When Muslims start turning in the terrorists among them and reject violence, I will then consider them like any other religion and drop the suspicion.  When they join the rest of the world community and actively root out the dirt that believes in slaughtering inncoents, then I will welcome them to town.

As long as they continue to play coy and say one thing in public and another thing in their mosques, then I will continue to have no trust in them.  

To pretend that this is "just another religion" is blatant, politically-correct stupidity. 


i think the us should let the japs put up a japanese memorial at pearl harbor and hopefully we can put one up at the site of the atomic bomb in nagasuki.


re:Unlike Japanese or Germans who do not condone or support past regimes or actions

The "Goal" then and the "Goal" now was/is America's wealth, they won, we lost, we now need to borrow money from them to pay for our mistakes.

If the "Goal is to control America", build a cheap car, Americans will buy them, get the dollars, control the economy, control, control, control..................

Chung Lee

Cross, Chung Lee commend you for telling us the about the common sense approach to what others should think..    Interesting others opiniions are influced by liberal propaganda but yet you tell us about the lives and motivations of people from countries that you have never been?  Surely, you have obtained your enlightenment from unbiased sources.

  Chung Lee wonders exactly what is a "huge contingent" when describing a religion followed by 1.6 billion people?  Sounds like a little bit of a generalization.  Nice projection "when so many in the Muslim world live in ignorance, fear, and a desire to kill based on religious intolerance?".  With views such as yours..... is sounds like Christian can be substituted for Muslim in that statement.  Chung Lee thinks there are more than a couple hypocrites here.