Shame on You, Harry Reid

When I heard about the “split” in the Democratic party between Harry Reid and President Obama regarding the building of the mosque near Ground Zero, and as I listened to Senator Reid voice his objections to the mosque, my first thought was that the Senator should know better.

While tight elections often give rise to such craven political pandering, Harry Reid is a member of a faith that is barely a generation out of religious persecution itself — a faith that is not one-fifth as old as Islam, and whose adherents have at times embraced both racial segregation (prior to 1978, Mormons did not allow African-Americans to be ordained to the priesthood) and the taking up of arms against the United States government.

Indeed, 144 years before the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center – but also, coincidentally, on September 11 – over 100 American settlers (including unarmed men, women and children) were killed by Mormon militiamen who were then engaged in open rebellion against the United States.

I mean neither to disparage Mormons, nor to advance prophetic conspiracy theories about the historical significance of September 11, nor to play the numbers game about how many people have died at the hands of various religious adherents. Nor am I suggesting that we adopt an ostrich in the sand approach regarding the dangers posed by Islamic extremism (including the extremists among our ostensible “allies,” the Saudis).

I note only that we walk a very slippery slope when we begin to conflate the lunatics on the fringe with law abiding believers of any faith – and the insult that is being perpetrated upon our American-Muslim countrymen (many of whom have taken up arms for this country in the course of the two wars in which we are now engaged) is something that should give us all pause.

Among this country’s foundational principles is the notion that those of minority (and sometimes unpopular) faiths are entitled to the free expression of their faith without being unfairly targeted or singled out for discriminatory treatment by the government. I would hope that we would be as committed to that principle in 2010 as we were at the time of the country’s founding.

I recently had a conversation with an opponent of the mosque (whose construction is near Ground Zero and not actually on the site – another interesting confusion of facts in which its detractors have continued to engage) who, after comparing the mosque to a casino and arguing that “religious freedom” was not at issue, sought to reassure viewers that she was not in favor of tearing down Islamic houses of worship.

Well, that is certainly a big relief. Good to know that in the United States of America we’ve drawn the line at burning down the places where people choose to pray.

I think we would all agree, however, that our standards should be a bit higher.

Tanya Acker

Originally published on Huffington Post; republished with permission of the author.

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Comments

  1. marie says

    Just look at the results in Germany, The Netherlands, etc.
    It is lofty to be kind and tolerant; but better also to consider the possible consequences too. So we don’t get into the same situation as many countries in Europe.
    If we allow this center, with that permission there should be strong irreversible conditions: A building were they meet for prayer; but no recognition of Mosque-privileges.
    It is like inviting a tiger-cub to become a member of our household.
    By the way, how about figuring-out some permanent addition to our fundamental laws that Sharia can never be practiced on US soil. Is that possible even when some day in future there might be a Muslim-majority in the USA?

  2. Wes Tipton says

    Being honest and telling the truth is a no-no on the democratic side of the fence apparently? That’s too bad, but no big suprise there.
    Ried is simply pulling away from this so called president in an attempt to salvage his re-election chances, but it’s far too late for that now.
    Why can’t you people see the obvious truth here anyway? This is not about religious freedom, and never has been. It is about a culture that builds mosques every damn time they conquer a city or a country, and they are trying to do it again in NY! Even the moderate muslim community has come out against this BS and have exposed it for what it is, but yet some of you liberals continue down the racist/minority oppression path…

    • says

      Wes,
      It would have been nice if you had posted a link to back up your claim that ‘even the moderate muslim community has come out against this BS’.

      The group which wants to build the community center is, from a Muslim point of view, extremely moderate or perhaps even liberal. These are folks who believe in interfaith dialog, a concept as foreign to extremist Islam as it was to medieval Spanish Catholicism.

      Be Well,
      Bob Griffin

  3. Jay Levenberg says

    The President’s statement was fine. It just didn’t go far enough. He should have added that he hoped that they would consider moving the mosque but that the ultimate decision was up to the religious group in question. It would have been simple and reflected the views of those worried about the Constitution protections involved as well as the sensitivities of those people with family members killed at ground zero. This President does not seem to understand that it is not necessary to make pronoucements sure to create anger in this country. There are ways of saying the same thing without causing such a stir. I don’t blame Reid at all. He is reflecting the national mood. If someone doesn’t soon start paying some attention to the American people, these same people will be voting incumbents (in this case Democrats) out of office. This election is becoming more of a referendum on the whether people think Washington is listening to them rather than over the issues. It is not a good position for those current officeholders. Taking strong stands on issues are fine but it should be done in a way that at least appears to show concern for the views of the majority or the officeholders views will eventually be from the outside looking in.

  4. says

    For any American who believes in the Constitution to even consider condoning the horrible religio-political ideology of Islam under the cover of church-state separation is misguided and based on ignorance of Islam and its history. First, it would be mosque-state separation not church-state separation. But the thing is, Islam’s Quran forbids this, requiring instead that all Muslim territories be ruled by Sharia, Allah’s Way, which puts Muslim religious authorities like ayatollahs in charge of approving all laws, and comes with many preset Quran-commanded laws such as death for blasphemy, paganism (including atheism), homosexuality, adultery, etc. It would be literally impossible for most Americans to survive for long in a Muslim Sharia society, which indeed stands against everything they have fought for. The U.S. was happily created in distant isolation from the Muslim world, and its first war was against Islamic Barbary pirates who tried to make all American vessels pay jizya or the punishment tax for being an infidel as demanded by the Quran. After getting a Quran and reading it, Pres. Jefferson told his sailors never to pay them a cent and ordered a war instead. The first Muslim envoy to the U.S. in 1805 saw a delegation of Native Americans and cursed them as “vile heretics” worthy of execution. Mormonism was partly based on Islam, and it was those aspects that made it war with the U.S. govt. until it changed to survive by dropping polygamy etc. Islam and the U.S. Constitution are like oil and water and don’t mix, and the big lesson is that we can’t permit Muslim immigration in the first place and must make a stand else the Muslims will do far more than cheer 9/11 and try to set up a mosque near Ground Zero to celebrate the victory for Allah. They will refuse to assimilate, set up “stans” with de facto Sharia, work to subvert the Constitution, and eventually get violent and become enemy combatants, working to create splinter states with an endless civil war to win the entire continent for Sharia, all after hooking up with the rest of the Muslim world centered in Mecca, which is why the GZ Mosque is so disturbing. Sorry, no. Right now Muslims are only 1%-2% of the pop. and their political power comes from outside the U.S., not inside. Once they reach 10% that will change forever. Muslims don’t care about either major U.S. political party and will no doubt set up their own that wants Sharia erected no matter whose rights are stomped on. Stopping the Islamization of America is one cause all atheists, Christians and Jews (and Mormons) should unite on, telling Muslims that they must change Islam itself as evidenced by ending Sharia in “Muslim countries”, ending the official religion status of Islam, opening up their lands to houses of worship of other faiths and allowing proselytizing, quit executing and persecuting those who quit Islam, quit oppressing women, and join the human race and dissolve their Umma or Borg Hive that seeks world domination and supremacy, then we’ll talk about Muslim immigration, on probation. Not likely in our lifetimes.

    Don’t listen to modern Muslims with an agenda of lowering your defenses for the Trojan Horse of the Umma waiting outside the gates, study Islam’s little known history back to the 7th century to learn its track record in country after country of always bloodily subverting and destroying the govt. to set up Sharia, which makes Muslims superior in all ways to non-Muslims and creates an oppressive atmosphere that holds back all progress. The best place is the Historyscoper’s free online Islam history course at http://go.to/islamhistory

    Keep up on the daily world news free with links supplied by the Historyscoper and see what Islam is doing for yourself: http://tinyurl.com/islamwatch

    • Don Khan says

      Your very first sentence shows how ignorant you are regarding our Constitution.Read the first amendment.

      Muslims are not a monolith, attacking their faith traditions only leads to creating a chasm between two of the largest religions on this earth. After all, Christianity has plenty of skeletons of it’s own to atone for. Much blood has been shed in the name of Christianity over the centuries.As a matter of fact we are where we are because of what we have done as Christians over the centuries.

      Imperialism,outside interference, ideological and political differences have lead to stunting the natural evolutionary transformation in many parts of the world.People have been robbed of their destiny, dignity, and denied their right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

      I think it’s time we all grew up, admitted our faults and stared to build a world where we can all live in peace and harmony. We must Respect each others difference.

      This planet is all we have, for the sake of it and the future generations to inhabit it, we must cooperate. In order to save the earth from the abuses we have inflicted, all of us will have to sacrifice.

      Forcing change upon cultures and religions which have been ruled by male dominance-that includes Christianity, can only come through acceptance, dialogue and time. We constantly live by ultimatums which create false time lines that lead to hatred, human errors and catastrophic results. If we have a better way let’s demonstrate it by example. Let’s live by example.

    • says

      We did not require Spain to allow Protestants before allowing Roman Catholics to reside here. We did not require that the Catholic Church cease using the Inquisition.

      While I have no desire to hide the problems with Muslim extremism or the various details of a very bloody history, there are some things which should be clarified:
      Most Muslims living in non-Muslim countries have no desire to live under Shariah. Most Muslims in Turkey, Syria, Libya, Iraq, and Egypt have no desire to live under Shariah. Many Muslims whose countries have adopted Shariah would prefer a less restrictive system, even if not as open as western democracies.

      For all the persecution of non-Muslims, there are still Zoroastrians in Iran, Yazidis in Iraq, Christians in Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Jordan…

      Be Well,
      Bob Griffin

  5. says

    Here is my Facebook Status for today:

    ANY DEMOCRAT TAKING A STAND AGAINST THE GROUND ZERO ISLAMIC CULTURE CENTER WILL AUTOMATICALLY LOSE MY SUPPORT. PAINS ME TO HAVE HARRY REID AS THE FIRST ONE ON MY LIST. I WILL LET HIS CAMPAIGN KNOW.

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