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A reader challenges me on the Cordoba House and religious freedom

"Capt. Jack Gilles," a reader of the Scripps Howard column, writes to challenge my position in favor of the Cordoba House mosque at Ground Zero.

If there is no debate then:Shouldn’t ground zero not contain a Synagogue and a Church as well as a mosque ?

And my response to this is: Of course! If any Jewish or Christian congregations want to build near the site and there's a space for them, let them build! I don't advocate for the Cordoba House because I'm an evangelist for the Muslim faith; I advocate for the Cordoba House because I believe in American values and laws, particularly as represented in the First Amendment.

Gilles also repeats the canard that the the Cordoba House mosque amounts, essentially, to trophy-claiming by Muslims for their "victory" on 9/11. It's a common view -- one, again, that assumes that American Muslims are indistinguishable from Osama bin Laden in their beliefs and sympathies. I do not believe that and I do not grant that.

After the jump, Gilles' full letter:

If there is no debate then:

Shouldn’t ground zero not contain a Synagogue and a Church as well as a mosque ?

To muslims, an Islamic center built on ground zero would commemorate their victory in what they regard as a historic battle in a war against the U. S. To islam the Twin Towers were a great Cathedral of Capitalism run by Infidels & non believers

Wahhabism, is an interpretation of Islam that cannot acknowledge “tolerance and openness”. Example; in Saudi Arabia non-Muslim houses of worship are prohibited and “infidels” – (aka non-believers, me for sure I don't know about you) may not set foot in their holy cities of Mecca and Medina upon penalty of death. and don't expect a lawyer and a trial.

A little relevant islam history for you: islam began proudly, as a warrior’s religion. Beginning in the 7th century. Islamic armies burst out of Arabia and conquered much of the known world. Among their practices: to raze the houses of worship of those they defeated and build mosques upon the ruins. This was their way of sending a message.

The al-aqsa mosques in Jerusalem is built on the site where the First & Second Temples of the Jewish people once stood. When muslim armies conquered the ancient Christian capitol of Constantinople, (later to be re-named Istanbul), the muslims turned the St. Sophia Basilica into a mosque.

What world do you live in? Why did you even take that side of the debate. You have lost all credibility.

Do some research next time you respond to a debate.


Andrew said…
Boy, sometimes it's really hard not to reach for the immediate "projection" diagnosis when you hear these right wingers describing what they believe Islam is "all about." I think this is why the "muscular Jesus" strain of Christianity is ascendant. Stick to your principles. Capt. Jack sacrificed his to his fear long ago.

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