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Mr.Klavan's insights are very timely,
informative and welcome. He strips away all
of the liberal nonsense that is being used to
silence legitimate debate and commentary on
a highly significant subject. If he were in
the class where I were the teacher, he would
get an A+. There is not much, if anything, to add to his brilliant article.
Clear-headed, as usual. Thank you, Andrew.
I resent the term "hyphen-phobia" to describe anything on which one disagrees with the Left.
There are irrational fears,and very real ones,and radical Islam is one movement we have every reason to fear. They're trying to kill us,and succeeding on occasion.
If the Left had had some NAZI-Phobia back in the 1930's,instead of remaining silent about the charismatic new Leader or embracing him, maybe we wouldn't have had the pleasure of participating in a World War.
Mr. Klavan, the term is not "islamophobia" as there is no fear. We are sick unto death of Islam therefore the term is "islamonausea."
I am not an American and I believe too much emphasis on legality and technicality on the " constitution" is a bit excessive.. It is not written in stone and have been amended in US history. What is important that we resort to reason and solution in wisdom.
If the air conditioned "Inter-faith" centre with gym and other facilities gets a seperate Hindu prayer room, Buddhist, a Christian and don't forget a Jewish prayer halls, then I say go ahead build your Park 51 building.Call it what you like. Then hat will turn out to be true memorial to universal brotherhood.
Spot on ! The more one delves into Islam, the more boring and un-imaginative it it seems.
If we were still in the middle ages, I guess it would seem fresh and relevant to violent, ignorant people throught the "civilized world."
By the way, the huge outpouring of outrage from moderate Muslims throughout the world concerning violence perpetrated by their fundamentalist brethern is quite touching.
Perhaps the NASA Administrator can launch ecumenical ideas that have escaped
"Isn't it odd that the left, which prides itself for its defense of reason, progressive views on the role of women, support of justice and peace would rally to the side of a medieval, unreconstructed religion that diametrically opposes each of those ideals?"
No, it is not. They have a common, totalitarian streak. The Soviet Union is long gone, so those thriving American commies whom Joe McCarthy unfortunately failed to obliterate need another bloody (literally, not figuratively speaking) ally. They are too weak to hobble on without a walking stick. You have seen their comments here, and it ain´t a pretty sight - brain-dead and subhuman, a peculiar Darwinist reversion.
Isn't it odd that the left, which prides itself for its defense of reason, progressive views on the role of women, support of justice and peace would rally to the side of a medieval, unreconstructed religion that diametrically opposes each of those ideals?
Islam is an expansionist political movement disguised as a religion. It is not defined by NYC Mayor Bloomberg or the editorial page of this or any other newspaper, but by the masses attracted to its sermons preaching genocidal anti-semitism, misogyny, honor killing and intolerance of non-Islamic ideas and people.
It is laughable to watch liberals defending "religion" (for what may be the first time in their lives) when the religion they're defending preaches all that they oppose, including that infidels, like them, can be killed with god's blessing.
The modern American liberal may now be honestly designated the most confused and self-loathing personality type in history.
What do they think is to be gained by defending this, of all religions? Well, obviously they see this as just another wedge issue in the eternal left vs. right culture and political war.
But, let's stipulate for Mayor Bloomberg and religion-loving liberals everywhere that freedom of religion is going to be safe and secure in America, even if we force this Imam to move his mosque away from the place where his co-religionists killed 3,000 New Yorkers.
The organizers of the victory mosque should respect its opponent's intuitive sense of the matter, unless they desire for us to be offended.
Muslims in Holland and elsewhere applauded when Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh was murdered by one of their own (a note pinned to his chest with a dagger) because he hurt Muslim feelings in a film he made about their treatment of women. I think they understand the notion of hurt feelings. They know what they are doing in lower Manhattan is spiteful and offensive. They just don't give a tinker's damn.
But, fortunately, the fact of the matter is that this mosque will probably never be built. Why? Because 10,000 construction workers have signed a petition saying that they and their unions don't want it there. And if they don't want it built, who is going to make them build it?
Mark Alesse, Albany
Wow... does Faux News.... the only 24 hr news station (in some people's minds)... have THIS much of an influence on people's thoughts? Sick.
Andrew, Thank you for an overdue explanation of the difference in tolerance being justified and enemy propaganda. I have many good friends who feel I am denying Christ because I don't think we are to be paralyzed in dealing with our enemies because they tell us that we aren't showing Christ's love.
Ha! You may be right re: professional jealousy. I'd love to write a script for Michael Douglas and Clint Eastwood. Maybe Andrew and I can arrange a trade: a few script-writing sessions for some lessons in critical thinking.
As for the Murfreesboro mosque arson, it proves that you have to be awfully careful when slapping the label of "terrorist" on a religious or ethnic group. That can come back to bite you real fast.
Speaking of "name-calling!"
I'm on the same side as Kevin Fisher, a local resident who had spoken out against the mosque because it was approved without a public hearing and because he believes it will cause traffic problems. Mr. Fisher issued the following statement after learning of the fire Saturday:
"We in this community believe strongly in the rule of law, and choose to settle our disagreements through peaceful deliberations and discussion, not vigilantism."
Also, two of Andrew Klaven's books became movies starring Clint Eastwood and Michael Douglas, so perhaps your earlier snarks about his writing skills and ascending to the "lofty roll of Contributing Editor" have more to do with professional jealousy than anything else.
Terrorism at the Murfreesboro mosque over the weekend. You have to ask yourself whose side you're on.
Andrew - and of course the main rebuttal of the liberal left is, "Christianity is no better. Christians have blood on their hands too." See the opinion piece and discussion in the Iowa City (People's Republic of Johnson County, Iowa) Press-Citizen today.
The first paragraph has one-to-one correspondance with the Republican right and the Fox network. Thank you.
Another outrageous example of the name-giving practice is calling the Israel's restrictions on weapon and dual-material imports to Gaza, "siege".
You might add that "phobia" is still used in the psychiatric profession as a reference to an "anxiety disorder" (a form of mental illness) and by psychoanalysts as a "neurosis." Is it merely a coincidence that the Soviet Union confined dissidents to insane asylums (anyone who disagrees with us must be nuts) and that American liberals characterize every form of dissent from political correctness as a "phobia" ("xenophobia," "homophobia," etc.)?
Actually, upon perusing the comments, I can see how Klavan ascended to the lofty role of Contributing Editor. The Bell Curve is a helluva thing. You people are amazing.
Wow. You're one deep thinker, Andrew. I hope your book is filled with as much intrigue and plot twists as your logic is.
Liberal name-callers are ofen heterophobes. These are people who label conventional marriage an act of homophobes.
As I recall the USSR would send dissidents to a psychiatric institution in order to eliminate their protest. Using a term like "islamophobia" to characterize the views of those, like Mr. Klavan,who thoughtfully consider all aspects of modern life is bordering on the same mindset.
Given the location of the mosque, the size of the mosque, and the date--the tenth anniversary of the attacks--can reasonable people not conclude that the BUILDERS THEMSELVES WANT to associate this mosque with 9/11, and are merely telling fancy lies to avoid the actual truth?
You aren't one of those people, I assume, who thinks that simply because someone offers an explanation for something, that it is the truth? If that were the case, we would have to free every inmate in our prison system, since they would all be innocent.
The reason The New York Times refused to publish the cartoons of Mahammed, but had no problem with the Virgin Mary smeared with dung is simple. It knew the followers of the Virgin Mary were'nt going threaten it with volence. It's fear rather than ideology that allows Islam to be so sensitive to any Criticism.
Mr. Klavan in his zeal to prove that the "Islamophobia" should not apply to his fear of Islam -- because his fears are not irrational -- only confirms why the term is particularly apt. For a start: to contend that Park51 is a triumphalist requires a certain twisting of facts, and misreading of history. Why so? Suppose a group of Christians in Iraq were to build a church in Baghdad today, is it rational to consider it triumphalist?
Apparently there are over 3,000 mosques all over the US. Are they all triumphalist, as well -- and therefore better gone, as many of those who are labeled as 'Islamophobe' wish?
Phobia means irrational fear. My fear of islamic fascists is perfectly rational.
Let us cut to the basics of the issues concerning Isalm; Two hundred of the most outrageous quotes from the Qur'an and the Hadith. If the truth will out, then let it. If the truth will set one free, by all means give , as translated by a committee of non-Muslim scholars. No euphemisms or semantics, just the words of the Moon God Allah as delivered to the illiterate Prophet Mohammad, and his personal follow-up opinions.
excellent article GOD bless you all at city journal you all are always in our prayers keep doing the great work speaking the truth in love the truth will set people free if they receive it in their hearts and minds with clearity thank you very munch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Take any issue under the sun it is immaterial what the specifics are, a liberal i.e. progressive, i.e. socialist and i.e. communist is for or against 'It' for only two reasons: 1. ignorance with no grounding in reality. 2. the more depraved, dirty, destructive and counter- wholesomeness and counter- rightfulness something is, the more they are on that side. Their tactics change but the goal never changes.
Here are 2 examples: 1.destruction of the Constitution of the United States and therefore the nation as we know her today. Read the campaign speeches of the following Presidents and study some history. That pursued or fight started to get serious under President Wilson, President Roosevelt continued it and President Johnson followed right along to now President Obama who seems to have hit the jackpot of lawlessness by ignoring the Constitution and creating his own rules and Fiefdom. He sees himself as Emperor of the western hemisphere with ambitions to be the worlds first and only conqueror in Chief. President Clinton did NOT make the 'cut', he saw the error of his way when his 2nd term was in danger. President Obama has no such concerns, his goal was and is the destruction of the US as we know her today.
2. Partial birth abortion and all it entails. The cruel murder of an otherwise healthy and viable baby. Should the first murder attempt fail, let the baby die a miserable and brutal death by ignoring his or her wounds and needs for the least bit of medical attention and a few drops of mothers milk. Even the most brutal adult mass-murderer, if wounded in the attempt to apprehend him, receives medical care.
With this inside of what makes a liberal tick, the mosque debate and the liberal position is therefore a no 'brainer'. They know instinctively what is destructive and go for it with all the gusto they can muster. Things like: right and wrong, good or bad, truth or lie, friend or foe, promote or demote etc, etc it is all interchangeable when it suits.
For over 40 years of observing political and societal debate, it is my observation and experience, liberals are consistent in tearing down and incapable of building up. Though I might make on exception, when a figurative gun is pointed at their heads they might see the light, sometime. To make sure it has to be a real gun, like certitude of no election or re-election. Certitude of a lawsuit to bankrupt them for the rest of their life. Certitude of destruction of all their worldly ambitions. A conservative usually listens to reason, a liberal needs a wamo over the head to ground him and another one to see the errors of his way.
I agree completely, and had said much the same earlier.
Just brilliant, Mr. Klavan. You are going on some enemy's lists, sir. You are the worst . . . well, wait for it.
More corrections. I typed that fast, as I have somewhere to go, but I hate sloppy work.
2011, tenth anniversary.
Common sense demands that people doing things they know will potentially be viewed as offensive take care to explain themselves, such that we can plausibly accept their claims that their motives are benign. That hasn't happened here.
Here are my views. First error I see.
Here is my views on this. Two points: one, the date chosen--which may have been changed recently--for the dedication was 9/11/2010. It boggles the imagination how any responsible adult could be claiming to have a serious conversation without mentioning that very salient fact.
One would assume, if this was just any old Mosque, that they would choose a date with significance to Muslims, such as the festival at the end of Ramadan, or the anniversary of Muhammad's ascension to heaven (if they have a date) or his flight from Mecca. They have not done that. The date chosen SPECIFICALLY links the mosque to the attacks. This cannot have been unintentional.
Second, what I would like to see--which we never see, and thus forget to ask for--is a group of leading Muslims saying that they support the right of Israel to exist; that they simply want coexistence with their fellow Americans; that they consider the American Constitution to be the law of the land, and jihad in the form of physical warfare on unbelievers to be a relic of the distant past; and that they reject categorically the use of terror to further religious aims of "piety" which are either contradicted by those very acts, or indications that the religion is fundamentally not oriented around building good people in any normal sense.
We don't see this. We see "we like America but. . .: but you support Israel. But you are too materialistic (i.e. we have not implemented Sharia). But you are impious, where we know how proper women should behave and what their role should be (out of sight and obedient).
Common sense demands that people doing things they know will potentially be viewed as offensive be explained, such that valid concerns are mollified. This isn't happening.
I want to be clear: our troops are fighting alongside Muslims in at least two nations, and in private no doubt many other nations. It would be counterproductive to demonize "Muslims".
Yet, there is clearly a well funded, well educated, well organized elite that wants to do all it can to sap Western culture from within. They will succeed in Europe, if nothing changes, and we need to check them NOW, here.
By and large the Soviet people were never our enemies, but practically what mattered was who controlled the money, the propaganda, and the weaponry, and that was a small elite.
Thank you Mr. Klavan. Your column resonates because it deals with reality. We have an absolute right to be afraid of Islam as a general stance!
Sharia law is being aggressively pushed for England. Imagine, the original home of the Magna Carta is now facing the real threat of Sharia law imposition.
It's sad to see the knee-jerk reaction of our very left-leaning press. They rationalize, evade, and generally apologize in the most obscure ways for the evil being perpetrated in the name of Islam.
The idea that it is only a "small minority" who preach hatred of the West also flies in the fact of reality. Who danced in the streets of what countries when 911 happened? Who preaches "death to all the Jews" and who denies Christians their rights in the world of Islam?
We make excuses for the Saudis because we need their oil! What price for our national honor?
There are no more liberals going under that name: just like "gay", the word has been hijacked, contaminated and rendered unusable. Once I thought I was a liberal ... but I have lived too long.
The current scene cannot even be described as leftist, since it has become crypto-communist. Trotskyite might do, except that while previously the worshipers of the man with an ax in his head (martyrdom = sainthood) used to be on the persecuted fringe, now they have overtaken the mainstream. Talk revolution success!
The method is always the same: Tell lies, more lies, and some more lies. That is how propaganda worked for the Bolsheviks, and what a swell job they did. Brand your opponent with the scarlet letter of -phobia: homophobia came first; then, unfortunately, negrophobia got skipped in favor of raceeest; now, islamophobia comes along.
Boring, and semantically wide of the mark. It is not that we fear, it is just that we cannot stand them, so guys in them leftie think tanks (now, that is an oxymoron), off you go to your Greek dictionaries and look up "cannot stand sthg". I do not read NYT any longer, but surely I will get to know how you have progressed one way or another.
I appreciate what Joachim has said, except for the grammar, incongruity, and him possibly being an atheist, while I note that Mr White is conservative, Christian, and American. Just like David Duke. This is a fascinating world.
Andrew Klavan's ability to clarify this issue for all is welcomed. Most of us find ourselves trying to defend ourselves when the Constitutional rights of religious freedom is thrown in our faces,by our own President,the media and even our 'liberal friends'. We instinctively understand that is just convoluted nonsense put forth by 'useful idiots,or those within that would destroy our culture. This article reassures us that we have a right to question the motives of this Imam and the entire religion of Islam ....... all you have to do is read what this man has said in the past and what he is saying right now in the Middle East. We ignore this at our peril.
I'm always amused when lefists/progressive claim Constitutional Rights, since they don't believe in it. Our Constitution protects our right to worship in any manner we chose, but this insult at Ground Zerio is political....the Muslim Religion supports the violent take over of the entire World. Read the Qu'an........it tells you all should need to know. The question is "Is Islam compatible with Democracy"? At least this proposed 'mosque' 'cultural center' finally has the American people asking themselves that question
Only an atheist should have the right to argues against the building of the mosque. As mr White rightly points out, either you have religious freedom or you don't. Then of course there is every reason to debate and critizise any religion, and argue that it it is the root of a lot of evil. That goes for both Islam and Christianity, incidentally...
Don't forget CNN(worldwide!)
Emotionally-based arguments have no place in these discussions. After all, Islam tells us very clearly through (a)its holy book, the Noble Quran, (b)its hadith, the sayings of and commentary on The Prophet (PBUH), (c)its 1,500 year history of dividing the world into believers (dar al islam, or house of submission) and non-believers (dar al harb, or house of war), (d)recent ascendancy of Islamic spokesmen re-declaring victory over Europe and projected victory over America, that (e)Islam is antithetical to all beliefs and practices of tolerance and universal love of mankind. Our wishful statements to the contrary cannot gainsay what the Muslims themselves tell us, nor should we try.
I find in many of these shrill denials of Muslim intentions a pathologically naive interpretation of the history of this religion and its secular manifestations, such as, for example, sharia law, resulting in endless outrages visited on women and girls, homosexuals, even true liberal education. The Ground Zero mosque is approximately the last place on earth that we should allow them to create their triumphalist monstrosity. Islam should be reformed, at least in its Sunni and Shia perversions (not bloody likely), or annihilated. You can be certain that they recognize no middle ground, nor should we. Theirs is a medieval worldview that they wish to impose on the entire dar al harb. Even those who naively defend their right to work their will wherever they wish do not really want this to come about. Read about and study Islam. You need to know your enemy--they consider you their enemy.
America's Beauty is that in a nation based upon principle(s), standing on principle does not preclude nuanced views. That the so called enlightened left can not find a rationale for doing so as it pertains to the Ground Zero Mosque is telling. The debate has been intentionally mis-framed as a fight of those who are for Freedom of Religion vs. Islamophobics. Why seek to discredit the opposition as a bunch of intolerant bigots or "just a few people who ought to be ashamed of themselves" when they represent 65% of the population? That is elitist and arrogant and shows about as much "understanding" as say building a Shrine to Islam nearby where some of the demented followers of said "religion" committed atrocities in the name of said religion. Islamic leadership needs to recognize that we understand that while all Muslims are not in fact terrorists, it is not racist to acknowledge that (a) Islam is not a race and (b) most terrorists are in fact Muslim (c) Islam is not simply a religion or a cult but is an entire system of life with social, economic, political and legal elements. While our elites have often found reason to condemn, ridicule, challenge and question the motives of Christian leadership in American and worldwide, it has used political correctness to stifle a legitimate critique, inquiry or debate about the agenda of a quasi-spiritual/ political movement with a value system antithetical to the free will and independent spirit of man. Islam poses a greater threat to the way of life enjoyed by the liberal elites than it does just about anyone else. To be gay, a woman or a capitalist defending Islam makes about as much sense as Turkeys fighting for the rights of butchers at Thanksgiving. In America there is room to support Freedom of Religion while also asking rather pointed questions about the political agenda, questionable timing and motives of those who seek to install a shrine to Islam and schedule it to open on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11. Nuance is something that the left uses to finesse so many issues of import but ironically in this case they see no reason to do so, especially since the majority of Americans are a bunch of Neanderthals in their eyes. Where is Winston Churchill when you need them. If only Mayor Bloomberg had exhibited as much passion for rebuilding the Twin Towers as he has for the Ground Zero Mosque, he might be a tad more persuasive on this issue or it might be a non issue.
In a nation based upon principle(s) there is certainly room for nuance even if the so called enlightened left does not find a basis for doing so. As Klavan accurately points out, it is the enlightened left that has found reason to condemn, ridicule and question Christianity that has in the present cased used political correctness t o stifle a legitimate critique, inquiry or debate about the agenda of a quasi-spiritual/ political movement with a value system antithetical to the free will and independent spirit of man. The Islamic Movement poses a greater threat to the way of life enjoyed by the liberal elites than it does Conservatives. To be gay, a woman or a capitalist defending Islam makes about as much sense as Turkeys fighting for the rights of butchers at Thanksgiving. The Islamic Movement or Global Islamic Crusade is far more than a fight about protecting the civil liberties of a religion, a cult or its leaders and followers. In America there is room to support Freedom of Religion while also asking rather pointed questions about the political agenda, questionable timing and motives of those who seek to install a shrine to Islam and schedule it to open on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11. Nuance is something that the left uses to finesse so many issues of import but ironically in this case they see no reason for it.
A truly excellent article!
@R. Grupenhoff is a perfect example by citing unsubstantiated fear tactics. Please provide some evidence on...
"one in 15 cars is driven by blacks, then stopping cars driven by blacks for no just cause, well, that's call racial profiling, and that is just what happened over the past fifteen years."
This is called race baiting. thanks Sharpton.
As a Christian,conservative,and an American citizen,I find your comments insulting. The debate is about religious freedom. It is apiece of private property.They should do with as they like within the bounds of the local codes and laws.
No different if it a Bpatist Recreation center, Jewish, Hindu, or Muslim.
Take away one groups religious freedom, you have taken it away form us all.
Nashville , TN
Your comment would be hilarious if not for all the Asians who've died at the hands of Muslim extremists. Look at India, where Mulsims routinely murder Christians and Hindus. Look at China, where Muslim seperatists have turned western China into the new "Wild, Wild West." Look at, as you suggest, "other Asian countries" like Pakistan, where Christians are routinely persecuted and Jews dare not show their face. Look at Indonesia, where it's pretty much the same. Look at the Philippines, where Muslims in the southern provinces have been waging a war of terrorism for years. Look at Thailand, where . . . gosh, yet again it's MUSLIMS who are terrorizing people in the southern provinces. I could go on, but I think you already know.
"Which is to say that perhaps opponents of the mosque should question the motives of those who question their motives. In any case, they should greet the designation of Islamophobia with the derision that it deserves."
What has the author to stay about the signs displayed in protest at ground zero such as “All I ever need to know about Islam, I learned on 9/11" or "Islam=Terrorism". What motives do you see in these signs? These signs clearly display a rational fear of Islam.
Excellent article, well written. Thank you. I enjoyed reading it and om my opinion the truth. I see it the same way. When Rauf says one thing to your face in English and on the Arabic web sites it is completely contrary, you have to sit up and take notice and wonder what is really behind this act of dis respect for those innocent people who perished.If he is after peace he sure does not know how to go about it. He should respect the people of the U.S.A and take the Mosque to another area. Why put it on sacret ground. Rauf states what we did to the Musllims, hmmm look what they in fact did to 3,000 innocent human beings and their families. Enough said.
Do you guys just sit around and make this stuff up? Sure, if a high-crime inner-city area that is 90% black, then good police work would be to consider that most of the crimes are committed by blacks. But if you are talking about the New Jersey Turnpike, where one in 15 cars is driven by blacks, then stopping cars driven by blacks for no just cause, well, that's call racial profiling, and that is just what happened over the past fifteen years.
Look, if you want to remain ignorant and in denial, that's one thing, but to suggest that racial profiling is demonization well, you are just plain wrong. And to posit that the media favors the left over the right, well, you must be living on another planet.
This piece is really shortsighted view. He (the writer) needs to travel far further the US, come to China, India, Korea, and other Asian countries. You may see people there can live side by side and show a lot more tolerant and respect to others, even though they different.
Klavan the Man.
Well spotted. The Left never tires of its role as a rolling 'useful idiot'. I do hope they don't expect gratitude from the cheerleaders for the global caliphate.