What would George Washington say about Islam in USA?

JUST LAW AND RELIGION MICHAEL KESSLER With all the loud clamoring about the proposed Islamic Center to be built near … Continued

JUST LAW AND RELIGION

MICHAEL KESSLER

With all the loud clamoring about the proposed Islamic Center to be built near Ground Zero, reasonable voices are hard to discern. One thing is clear: this is not a debate about religious freedom. A mosque by peaceful Muslims of good will, unrelated to perpetrating the 9/11 attacks has every right to exist anywhere on these shores. It is the worst form of religious intolerance–and very un-American–to think that one form of religion has limits on where and when it may be practiced.

First a caveat: If there is any validity to the charges that the affiliations of principals or the finances of Cordoba House are questionable or linked in any way to terrorists, then there are other legal mechanisms to prevent such a law-breaking.

Far from stopping purported terrorist sympathizers, however, the debates so far have only shown our ugly side.

Sarah Palin ignited the flames when she posted a series of inflammatory tweets and an explanatory note on Facebook calling for Muslims to consider not “rubbing it in” to the victims of 9/11.

Fair enough, if what was proposed was a shrine to Osama bin Laden or al Quaeda. In a dubious bit of logic, Palin proposes that the 9/11 terrorists, coming from an Islamic background, must necessarily taint all Muslim belief and practice such that any Islamic religious practice anywhere near the WTC site is unseemly and immoral. I guess any religion similar to Timothy McVeigh’s needs to vacate Oklahoma City. This also leaves out the fact that a significant number of Muslim Americans are counted among the victims of the tragedy. They were among the workers trapped in the buildings.

But then Newt Gingrich came along and made Palin’s misguided argument look downright plain. Gingrich offered up this whopper:

“There should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia. The time for double standards that allow Islamists to behave aggressively toward us while they demand our weakness and submission is over.”

So much for Gingrich-style American exceptionalism.

The obvious preposterousness of his assertion defies imagining someone as smart as Gingrich could utter it. Our Constitutional order is grounded not as a counterpoint to the practices of Saudi Arabia but on the basis of what we have long held dear about each individual’s dignity and liberties. Religious freedom on these shores is not dependent on the goodwill and blessings of mullahs or priests or politicians–indeed our constitutional protections declare this sacred right in spite of what the passions of the day may indicate is favored or disfavored religion. Americans should proclaim religious liberty and condemn its absence elsewhere, not use the examples of other nations as justifications for our own intolerance.

Shame on Gingrich for such a stupid, unhistorical, and un-American statement. And, by the way, he’s wrong about the rebuilding, too. The site is well on its way to being rebuilt and you can watch it all be reborn here at the Project Rebirth website.

For those who want to say this mosque represents Islamic supremacy and must be stopped: how and on what grounds? What is your legislative strategy? ANY legislation that hints of targeting a group as religious in order to prevent them from doing something will be struck down (see Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah, 508 U.S. 520 (1993) if you want to find out why targeting a religion qua religion runs afoul of the Constitution).

This debate is not really about religious freedom, but shows the lingering and distressing tendency for the populace to harbor intolerance of certain religious groups who are not like the majority. Indeed, Gingrich lays bare the ugly truth: Muslims are lumped together into a group, and that group is suspected of being violent-prone and obedient to a religion that is inherently hostile to American values. Of course this is exacerbated by the violent acts of terror that some Muslims have perpetrated. Yet the fact is that some refuse to make distinctions between the vast majority of peaceful Muslims and those who are violent–a wide gulf exists between these groups. The majority of Muslim Americans (and Muslims around the globe) share the Abrahamic theism of most other Americans, participate in and believe in the many shared values, and hope for a better future for their families and communities. In spite of this, some loudly proclaim the inherent deficiencies of Islam and incite fear that all Muslims will take up violent means in their quest for world supremacy. We owe others a more careful assessment of their values and lives.

But don’t take my word for it. Perhaps Palin and Gingrich and others who chatter about loving America and hating all Muslims might quiet themselves for a moment to reflect on the way that our first President -George Washington–treated the other disfavored tribe of Abrahamic descendents (the Jews) during his day.

Turns out, he was quite the believer in freedom of religious practice and, more central to our point, decried religiously-based intolerance. Oh, and he vividly confirmed that the new American Republic was, if nothing else, the land of freedom for every believer to practice their religion and erect their houses of worship undeterred by those who sought to delegitimize their faiths.

In August 1790, President Washington, along with an entourage including Thomas Jefferson, visited Rhode Island to great fanfare. Part of his agenda was to promote the passage of the Bill of Rights (they needed to lobby individual states to ratify the Amendments, which included twelve amendments. The third of which became the first amendment protections of free exercise of religion, speech, and press after the first two proposed amendments failed to receive ratification by ¾ of the states). During the visit, various officials offered speeches, including Moses Seixas who was the warden of Yeshuat Israel, the first Jewish congregation in Newport. The speech was preserved as a letter:

To the President of the United States of America.
Sir:

Permit the children of the stock of Abraham to approach you with the most cordial affection and esteem for your person and merits — and to join with our fellow citizens in welcoming you to NewPort.

With pleasure we reflect on those days — those days of difficulty, and danger, when the God of Israel, who delivered David from the peril of the sword, — shielded Your head in the day of battle: — and we rejoice to think, that the same Spirit, who rested in the Bosom of the greatly beloved Daniel enabling him to preside over the Provinces of the Babylonish Empire, rests and ever will rest, upon you, enabling you to discharge the arduous duties of Chief Magistrate in these States.

Deprived as we heretofore have been of the invaluable rights of free Citizens, we now with a deep sense of gratitude to the Almighty disposer of all events behold a Government, erected by the Majesty of the People — a Government, which to bigotry gives no sanction, to persecution no assistance — but generously affording to all Liberty of conscience, and immunities of Citizenship: — deeming every one, of whatever Nation, tongue, or language equal parts of the great governmental Machine: — This so ample and extensive Federal Union whose basis is Philanthropy, Mutual confidence and Public Virtue, we cannot but acknowledge to be the work of the Great God, who ruleth in the Armies of Heaven, and among the Inhabitants of the Earth, doing whatever seemeth him good.

For all these Blessings of civil and religious liberty which we enjoy under an equal benign administration, we desire to send up our thanks to the Ancient of Days, the great preserver of Men — beseeching him, that the Angel who conducted our forefathers through the wilderness into the promised Land, may graciously conduct you through all the difficulties and dangers of this mortal life: — And, when, like Joshua full of days and full of honour, you are gathered to your Fathers, may you be admitted into the Heavenly Paradise to partake of the water of life, and the tree of immortality

.

Done and Signed by order of the Hebrew Congregation in NewPort, Rhode Island August 17th 1790.
Moses Seixas, Warden

Permit the children of the stock of Abraham to approach you with the most cordial affection and esteem for your person and merits — and to join with our fellow citizens in welcoming you to NewPort.

With pleasure we reflect on those days — those days of difficulty, and danger, when the God of Israel, who delivered David from the peril of the sword, — shielded Your head in the day of battle: — and we rejoice to think, that the same Spirit, who rested in the Bosom of the greatly beloved Daniel enabling him to preside over the Provinces of the Babylonish Empire, rests and ever will rest, upon you, enabling you to discharge the arduous duties of Chief Magistrate in these States.

Deprived as we heretofore have been of the invaluable rights of free Citizens, we now with a deep sense of gratitude to the Almighty disposer of all events behold a Government, erected by the Majesty of the People — a Government, which to bigotry gives no sanction, to persecution no assistance — but generously affording to all Liberty of conscience, and immunities of Citizenship: — deeming every one, of whatever Nation, tongue, or language equal parts of the great governmental Machine: — This so ample and extensive Federal Union whose basis is Philanthropy, Mutual confidence and Public Virtue, we cannot but acknowledge to be the work of the Great God, who ruleth in the Armies of Heaven, and among the Inhabitants of the Earth, doing whatever seemeth him good.

For all these Blessings of civil and religious liberty which we enjoy under an equal benign administration, we desire to send up our thanks to the Ancient of Days, the great preserver of Men — beseeching him, that the Angel who conducted our forefathers through the wilderness into the promised Land, may graciously conduct you through all the difficulties and dangers of this mortal life: — And, when, like Joshua full of days and full of honour, you are gathered to your Fathers, may you be admitted into the Heavenly Paradise to partake of the water of life, and the tree of immortality

.

Done and Signed by order of the Hebrew Congregation in NewPort, Rhode Island August 17th 1790.
Moses Seixas, Warden

President Washington, in reply a few days later, offered one of the most important visions of religious liberty for his new nation, recalling the context of oppression that his fellow children of Abraham’s God had suffered by the intolerant many. Washington promised, with simple clarity, that these new United States would offer a haven for peaceful practitioners of all faiths:

To the Hebrew Congregation in Newport Rhode Island.
Gentlemen,

While I receive, with much satisfaction, your Address replete with expressions of affection and esteem; I rejoice in the opportunity of assuring you, that I shall always retain a grateful remembrance of the cordial welcome I experienced in my visit to Newport, from all classes of Citizens.

The reflection on the days of difficulty and danger which are past is rendered the more sweet, from a consciousness that they are succeeded by days of uncommon prosperity and security. If we have wisdom to make the best use of the advantages with which we are now favored, we cannot fail, under the just administration of a good Government, to become a great and happy people.

The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent national gifts. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

It would be inconsistent with the frankness of my character not to avow that I am pleased with your favorable opinion of my Administration, and fervent wishes for my felicity. May the children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and figtree, and there shall be none to make him afraid. May the father of all mercies scatter light and not darkness in our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in his own due time and way everlastingly happy.

G. Washington

While I receive, with much satisfaction, your Address replete with expressions of affection and esteem; I rejoice in the opportunity of assuring you, that I shall always retain a grateful remembrance of the cordial welcome I experienced in my visit to Newport, from all classes of Citizens.

The reflection on the days of difficulty and danger which are past is rendered the more sweet, from a consciousness that they are succeeded by days of uncommon prosperity and security. If we have wisdom to make the best use of the advantages with which we are now favored, we cannot fail, under the just administration of a good Government, to become a great and happy people.

The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent national gifts. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

It would be inconsistent with the frankness of my character not to avow that I am pleased with your favorable opinion of my Administration, and fervent wishes for my felicity. May the children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and figtree, and there shall be none to make him afraid. May the father of all mercies scatter light and not darkness in our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in his own due time and way everlastingly happy.

G. Washington

As we consider the terrible tragedies of the terror attacks ten years prior and the ongoing war on terror–our own days of difficulty and danger–Washington’s words ring just as true.

Bigotry has no sanction by our laws and each of us can live under our own vines and figtrees. Peaceful Muslims can and will build their Islamic centers just as Christians maintain or build their own churches and Jews worship in synagogues and gather in the Jewish community centers. Some of us will simply ponder the mysteries of life while walking in the woods.

If those who would do us harm try to find harbor in our midst, we can and should remove them like a cancer. But shared religious pasts, just like shared last names, do not define who we are. Rather, our words and deeds, our goals and values, and the labors we pursue will show each of our true intentions. We have nothing to fear from peaceful Muslims who seek peace and the dignity of others as people of good will. To ostracize them and tarnish their good works is nothing short of apostasy in the canon of American freedoms.

By Michael Kessler | 
July 28, 2010; 3:41 PM ET

 | Category: 

Just Law and Religion


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  • WmarkW

    George Washington would say “Thank goodness it takes two months for people and communication to cross the Atlantic, so it’s impractical to plant and distantly control terror cells here.”

  • Adrian_Wainer

    ” Michael KesslerMichael Kessler is Assistant Director of the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University and a Visiting Assistant Professor of Government. “If the above is the Michael Kessler who wrote the article, “What would George Washington say about Islam in USA?”, the question I would ask is, does one have to be either a complete moron or a propagandist liar to get a senior position with a prestigious American university, these days. To suggest equivalence between the position of Judaism in America in the 18th Century and Islam in America in the 21st Century as Mr Kessler seems to be doing, is to my mind verging on insanity, if one is honestly doing that rather than doing it as a deliberate knowing lie.

  • PSolus

    “What would George Washington say about Islam in USA?”It really doesn’t matter; the guy’s been for quite a while, and had not idea what would be going on in the late 20th and early 21st century.It also doesn’t matter what he would have thought about Jersey Shore.

  • egburton

    Everything said about Islam negatively above, could (after allowing for differences in technology then and now) have been said about Christianity in the Europe of the Crusades. Further, those negative comments above further assume all Muslims are alike, and that there is collective guilt upon them all for the acts of the few. Islam is a flavor of Judeo-Christianity cum new Prophet. Allah is an Arabic word for the same concept as God/Gott/Dieu/etc. One could use the word Allah for God in Christian services, if so inclined.

  • AskgharZa

    What would he say about Jews if they hijacked planes and massacred thousands of civilians in an American city, every day he had to spend billion dollars just to keep us safe from Jewish terror….?You can only compare if Jews were doing the same things Muslims are doing today- i.e. daily news of massacres of civilians, intolerant and hateful societies, terror and terror plots against Americans….

  • ron10

    Why MUST Muslims insist on a large mosque at Ground Zero? They have the entire U.S. to build one. Where is THEIR sensitivity? Where is THEIR tolerance?Let’s get real here: WE were the ones who lost many thousands of innocent lives DIRECTLY because of MUSLIMS. It is incredibly offensive that ANY Muslim would support building a mosque there. That so many do tell you all you need to know about their “tolerance”.In their shop, the customer is always wrong.We certainly have the right to say NO to this morally ridiculous and repugnant demand. Kessler is morally clueless. Blind.

  • DAS2

    I THINK G. WASHINGTON WOULD SAY THAT: ISLAM IS NOT A RELIGION! IT IS A VERY DANGEROUS, MILITANT AND BARBARIC CULT, WHOSE CORE PRINCIPLES ARE IN DIRECT CONFLICT WITH THE PRINCIPLES OF THE UNITED STATES. MOSQUES ARE MILITARY CENTERS AND SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED ANYWHERE.ISLAM DOE S NOT ALLOW FOR:FREEDOM OF SPEECHTO READ MORE ON WHAT ISLAM TEACHES, GOOGLE: TOP TEN REASONS WHY SHARIA IS BAD FOR ALL SOCIETIES THE IMAM AT THIS MOSQUE HAS WRITTEN BOOKS STATING THAT HE WANTS TO IMPOSE ISLAMIC (SHARIA) LAW ON AMERICANS. DOES THAT SOUND “FRIENDLY”? “CORDOBA” IS THE NAME OF A TOWN IN SPAIN WHERE INVADING MUSLIMS DESTROYED A CHRISTIAN CHURCH AND BUILT A MOSQUE ON TOP OF IT! DOES THIS SOUNDS LIKE THE PEOPLE WHO ARE BUILDING THIS MOSQUE ARE SUBSCRIBING TO AMERICAN VALUES?

  • DAS2

    HEY, WHY DON’T WE ASK THE MUSLIMS?ONE QUESTION FOR MUSLIMS: ARE YOU A FOLLOWER OF MUHAMMAD?GOOGLE: AMERICAN THINKER SHARIA LAWIS THIS WHAT YOU BELIEVE? DO YOU BELIEVE THERE SHOULD BE NO FREEDOM OF SPEECH WHEN CRITICIZING THE VIOLENT TEACHINGS OF MUHAMMAD?DO YOU BELIEVE WOMEN SHOULD BE BEATEN BY THEIR HUSBANDS?DO YOU BELIEVE THAT HOMOSEXUALS SHOULD BE KILLED?DO YOU BELIEVE THAT ANYONE WHO DENOUNCES ISLAM AND BECOMES A SECULAR PERSON OR CONVERTS TO ANOTHER RELIGION SHOULD BE MURDERED – AS REQUIRED UNDER ISLAMIC LAW, WHICH WAS BASED ON THE TEACHINGS OF MUHAMMAD?IF YOU BELIEVE THESE THINGS, THEN YOU ARE A FOLLOWER OF MUHAMMAD AND YOU WILL BE ON AN INEVITABLE PATH TO VIOLENCE AND WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SUBSCRIBE THE PRINCIPLES OF PEACE AND FREEDOM — EVER.IF YOU DO NOT BELIEVE IN THE TEACHINGS OF MUHAMMAD, THEN YOU MUST DENY ISLAM AND BECOME A SECULAR PERSON OR CONVERT TO A PEACEFUL RELIGION — IN SPITE OF ISLAMIC LAW.

  • ron10

    And BTW, do a bit more theological research, Mr. Kessler. Muslims, Jews and Christians do NOT share the same “Abrahamic theism of most other Americans”. The theology of Islam, their descriptions of God, Jesus, the afterlife, the way to “get to” heaven, etc. could not be more different. 80-85% of American who are self-described Christians definitely do NOT share the same theism as Muslims, a laughably naive and preposterous claim to have made!As for the vast majority of Muslims being peace-loving, that is true. There are approximately 1.57 billion Muslims, and it’s conservatively estimated that only 10% of those are radicalized and prone to violence. That’s only 157 million Muslims who want to kill you and me, Mr Kessler.Let them build a shrine to Islam on the hallowed ground where radicalized Muslims killed 3,000 Americans. Are you kidding me?!

  • moinansari

    Michael Kessler–we salute you for prodigiously effulgent insights and proleptic observations which are refreshingly frank and serve to illuminate the confusing deluge of eerily inept and counter-intuitive claptrap masquerading as fact in the clumsily stage-managed “global war on terror” environment. Your knowledge of, and familiarity with US history and your broad minded writings deserve the best accolades on the planet.You Sir represent “MY America”–the best of my land–the America which is the beacon of freedoms, and the Shining city on the hill.Your research and articles are an inspiration to all Americans, and to Muslim Americans who are patriotic citizens of this great land of ours.Please keep up the good works so that skeptics will be better able to cross-check each new chapter of disinformation. Muslims came to America BEFORE Columbus, with Columbus and they came after Columbus. Many Cherokees converted to Islam in the 10th century. Their head-dress and language display close affinity to Muslim (Mali) culture and Arabic language. One third of the Africans were Muslim and African Americans are one third Muslim today.”The hordes are coming” is as worthless as the Red Menace, the Yellow Menace and now the Green menace.Islam represents a synthesis of Judaism and Christianity. Arab Christian refer to God as Allah. Al-Lah, or the Lah, has the same entomology as Lahiem and El.The US is the most Shariah Compliant country in the world–it has justice, freedom for all, upward mobility, and freedom of expression, Quranic qualities encapsulated in the Bill of Rights. The Magna Carta and British Common Law was base don Shariah Law imported from Spain (where the Jewish-Muslim-Chrisitan) symbiosis and the Golden Era of Jewry thrived–only to be interrupted by the Spanish Inquisition. (See research of John Maksudie on the Muslim Origins of British Common Law)Michael may our common God Bless you, and May God Bless America.Editor Musalman Times

  • moinansari

    The status of Muhammad has to be understood in the context of Christian Dogma and Christian beliefs of “inerrancy”, “infallibility” “inspiration” and the liberal interpretation of the Gospels. The discussion of the status of Jesus Christ has always been a topic of discussion between Christians. In many ways the discussions of Jesus Christ and the theological differences between Islam and Christianity are essentially a discussion about the so called heresies of Arias and Eusebius of Caesarea that germinated in the city of Antioch. This has been prolifically elucidated by Thomas Jefferson in his “Jeffersen Bible”. Many churches have taken a liberal approach to the interpretation of the Bible and consider it inspired or infallibleEditor Musalman Times

  • WmarkW

    “Muslims came to America BEFORE Columbus, with Columbus and they came after Columbus. Many Cherokees converted to Islam in the 10th century. Their head-dress and language display close affinity to Muslim (Mali) culture and Arabic language. One third of the Africans were Muslim and African Americans are one third Muslim today.”Have you been reading Mormon archeology?

  • abrahamhab1

    Moinsari claims:Below are some of the Sharia commands. Sharia law commands that drinkers and gamblers are to be whipped.Does any reader see the Bill of Rights, The Magna Carta and/or The British Common Law in any of the above jewels?

  • ron10

    “The status of Muhammad has to be understood in the context of Christian Dogma and Christian beliefs of “inerrancy”, “infallibility” “inspiration” and the liberal interpretation of the Gospels.”Muhammad has no status among Christians except as one who believed in a false god and proclaimed himself to be a prophet, which he was not. Muhammad did not believe Jesus was the Son of God (as Jesus Himself claimed to be), and therefore is a heretic. No “liberal interpretation” of the Bible could come to any other possible conclusion.As for Moinansari’s other claim that, “The discussion of the status of Jesus Christ has always been a topic of discussion between Christians.”, he is again wildly misinformed (or worse, attempting to propagate an outright falsehood.) Jesus is the Son of God, and there is no way to God except through Him. If you believe otherwise, while well-intentioned, you cannot call yourself a Christian (no more than you may call yourself an automobile simply by standing inside a garage.)These are all BASIC tenets to Christianity, not some grey area up for interpretation– except perhaps from those who wish to redefine obvious and well-established Christian theology expressed 640 years before Muhammed even came onto the scene and tried to redefine truth.That’s just the way it is. Sorry. You are not allowed to rewrite history, even though Muhammed tried to.Dare we deal with established fact and not hyperbole and man-made dogma?

  • DebChatterjee

    The destruction of free America in hands of (radical) Islam is nearing. Thanks to people like Michael Kessler.

  • Montedoro

    This is such politically correct hogwash! “…the debates so far have only shown our ugly side.” The debates have exposed the duplicity of Imam Rauf who is associated with Moslem extremism. He says sweet words in English and turns around and says something quite different in Arabic. Even the name, Cordoba initiative was a deceptive Moslem supremacist trick which was exposed so that he finally dropped it. Cordoba was the seat of the Islamic Caliphate, and, far from being so tolerant toward Jews and Christians, massacred them from time to time. And please stop this stuff about Timothy McVeigh. McVeigh was NOT religious. He was NOT Christian. The 9/11 hijackers were all quoting the Koran and were very religious Moslems. Their acts of atrocity were celebrated by the tens of millions throughout the Islamic world.

  • Montedoro

    All mosques are centers for the propagation of sharia law because sharia law is considered Allah’s holy law. The Koran is read in all mosques, and the Koran contains many calls to hatred and violence toward non-Moslems. The peaceful Moslems, — and there are many of them — are the ones who do NOT go to mosque.

  • crisp11

    For starters, moinansari is a complete crank, relishing in the delusional revisionism that so embodies Islam. It is best to ignore him. Actually, for the sake of our nation, it would be best to deport him.But to the crux of the matter.Islam is utterly incompatible with the rule of law as found in America. It is completely incompatible with our shared customs, mores, ethos, and character. It is an abomination that needs to be confined, and not allowed infiltration into rational society.And it certainly does not need to take up residence next to the site where Islam finally showed America what it was truly made of. It’s too bad that there are enough confused leftists and other ignorant apologists who not only can not fathom the depth of evil Islam will sink to in their quest to rule, but who will also excuse their actions and open their arms to the evil that lives amongst us.By the way, for those who really enjoy using the Crusades as the example of how “evil” the Christian Church is, might I remind you that the Crusades were fought to rid much of Europe from marauding muslums who had taken over by the use of slaughter and subjugation. It’s called war, one which we won once, and one which we will win again.

  • Aash2

    Ignorant is a blessing, but for those who chose ignorant are brainless. Mr. Kessler actually gives a brilliant comparison of our leader then and now. The founders who accepted different citizens and religions. Where is “While the land of the free…” have we forgotten this. Acting with prejudice will suffer the conciquencies. Human history is overflowing with such lessons.

  • 27anon72

    I will acknowledge that I only fast skimmed through the basic article but I still believe my following comments have a reasonable relevance.the author of this article and others who spend their time and ours pointing out “good things and feel well thoughts about Islam and Musllims in general ” either misss the critical point or are naive to the extreme-they overlook the exixtence of a virulent form of the Muslim religion -conserevative and focused on subduing all other religions and ruling the earth from their male dominated narrow minded view of the world-aided by their view of Islam which rewards them more in the afterlife than on earth with access to those 70 plus virgins and recognition for the good dead of killing non Muslims-please consider the following-if the predominant practice of Islam is positive a nd accepting of others and it’s practitioners are appalled at the “kidnapping of their religion – why arent there 100’s or even 1000’s of articles about religious leaders in their communities urging their followers to reject the kidnappers-shun them-turn them in to local authorities issu fatwahs rejecting their evil version of Islam why isn’t the Arab street inmcensed about this evil kidnapping and pouriong into the streets to condemn suc action- no the only articles I have seen are about the Arab street erupting when cartoons are missused to malign the prophet-lastly- there should be some better recognition of how and why the creation ofa Mosque at or near ground zero- is a sensitive issue overriding simplistic views of we should all live together in peace

  • sdr1

    What would George Washington say No matter whose feelings are hurt,All other alternatives to the TruthS D Rodrian.

  • davsthoughts

    I think that if George Washington had seen the Senate destroyed by a muslim suicide bomber driving an ox cart, he may well have not been very tolerant towards nuslims.

  • ameytahl

    The argument about a mosque on 9/11 site is strictly political and has nothing to do with religion, or for that matter with Islam. To be an obedient Muslim, one has to attend at least once a week a mosque. The mosque can be anywhere, no Sharia interpretation requires it to be on 9/11 site. The desire to build there a mosque is hardly an act of good taste, even if the Constitution does not prohibit it. Probably most of the sons, daughters, fathers and mothers of the victims of 9/11 do not welcome it. Similarly, although perhaps the Constitution allows it, it would be a lack of good taste to build a monument in the memory of killed Wehrmacht soldiers in Arlington. Furthermore, it is doubtful that this is the wish of most Muslim Americans. Characteristically the people who demand a mosque on this site are the so called radical liberals who defend every anti-American act because in their mind it is an expression guaranteed by freedom of speech while on the other hand condemn every pro-American act citing racism, stupidity, neo-conservatism, the former Vice President, Leo Strauss, pro Israel lobby and what not.

  • sdl63

    Washington’s statement was in the context of the world as he knew it in the 18th century. This is a different world, with more complex, far-reaching concerns.

  • shovandas

    It is not a religion but a cult. What is wrong with America ? We are fine as we are. No need to embrace any other cult for our well being.

  • AskgharZa

    Washington was a smart and gutsy man. He would have no problem calling Islam a death cult that we need to defend ourselves from (Read Wafa Sultan’s- A God Who Hates).He certainly would not call it a religion of peace like our current president.

  • HavennerKP

    George Washington would say it’s “the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God.” In his 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation, he recommended to the people of the United States “a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.” Why not a Thanksgiving Center, modeled upon the gracious, inclusive concept of Thanks-Giving Square, in Dallas, TX: Thanks-Giving Square serves as a common ground, a sanctuary, where there can be a confluence of faiths and traditions in discussion of shared concern. In Dallas, Thanks-Giving Square is a central meeting place where citizens from diverse backgrounds can use thanksgiving as a way to heal divisions and enhance mutual understanding. See their website: All faiths would be honored, in tribute to the religious diversity of the people who lost their lives that day. Walling ourselves up in our respective sanctuaries and remaining mystified and distrustful of each others beliefs is where we were on September 10. We haven’t learned anything if we go back there.

  • OldAtlantic

    Washington would say eject it from the country. He would say stop 3rd world immigration completely and return non-whites to keep America white.

  • HavennerKP

    I’ll continue to take the first President at his word, thanks.”that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations…to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best. Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.” that he sought God’s providence “to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord.”

  • lraandi

    A building affiliated with any religious faith should never be allowed at ground zero or at any location that has been subjected to such an act of terror.

  • cadam72

    Every man, conducting himself as a good citizen, and being accountable to God alone for his religious opinions, ought to be protected in worshipping the Deity according to the dictates of his own conscience.I am persuaded, you will permit me to observe that the path of true piety is so plain as to require but little political direction. To this consideration we ought to ascribe the absence of any regulation, respecting religion, from the Magna-Charta of our country.Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by a difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought to be deprecated. — George Washington, letter to Edward Newenham, October 20, 1792We have abundant reason to rejoice that in this Land the light of truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition … In this enlightened Age and in this Land of equal liberty it is our boast, that a man’s religious tenets will not forfeit the protection of the Laws.If they are good workmen, they may be of Asia, Africa, or Europe. They may be Mohometans, Jews or Christians of any Sect, or they may be Atheists.I had always hoped that this land might become a safe and agreeable Asylum to the virtuous and persecuted part of mankind, to whatever nation they might belong.I beg you be persuaded that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution. [George Washington, to United Baptists Churches of Virginia, May, 1789

  • wdalton1us

    To make a parallel between Judaism and Islam is either naive or Islamic propaganda. Religious tolerance has nothing to do with this issue. Islam is not a religion and can only be paralleled with other dictatorial political/social movements. They are not peaceful, are loyal only to the Islamic cult and have avowed to crush every society they infest.

  • chouchou1

    This comment is directed to Musalmantimes (Moinansan).I checked the links you direct readers to. Theses are sites that glorify the Muslim contributions to America “since before Columbus” !!!Here is an excerpt:”America the beautiful is my land. I love America because it is mine.From the streets of Cordoba (Qartaba) CA, to the valleys of San Joaqin; from the Qahwah (coffee) houses of Lebanon– New Jersey to the Crepe places in Lahore– New York, this is the land— that I love.From the airport of Philadelphia (Amman) to the pita bread shops of Seville– Ohio; From the steeples of Allah-Bum Ya (Alabama) to the mosques of Khalifia Haroonia (California) this is my land America.From the museums of Lahore, Orange County, Virginia, to the schools of Agra (Oklahoma); From the Main street of Cashmere–Washington to the minarets of Tal-Allah-asse, Tennessee—this is my America.From the Moorish designs of the Ringlin home– the Caad Zaan palace in Sarasota Florida, to the Pakistani designs of the Tiffany home in Long Island; from the Mughal Mehrab arches in California, to the Gothic architecture of our capitol domes—this is my America.Want to see the impact of our civilization on America. Walk down Main street USA. From the halls of justice that allow jury trials, to the stitched garments, to the Arabic numeral we use everyday—this is my America.”It seems that Muslims are trying to rewrite America history in the same way as they are trying to rewrite the story of Israel, Jerusalem (like denying the historic existence of two Jewish temples over which their Dome of the rock is built), etc… Does it means that France can claim America because of all the towns named after French ones, or the Italians for that matter?Taqiyah anyone? I trust that by now the average American knows what it means…I also trust that Americans will know what to think and what to do… They are not stupid as you seem to think, Mr. Moinansan.

  • itsagreatday1

    Ah, yes, it’s Friday and the momorons are out in droves, I see.Good column, Mr. Kessler.

  • itsagreatday1

    Ah, it’s Friday and I see the morons are out in droves today.Good column, Mr. Kessler.

  • street1776

    Muslims have built hundreds of small and large mosques in the US and no one is stopping them from building many more. But to build one near ground zero is unconscionable; it’s like placing a victory flag on the ruins of a battle field. The symbolism is of the location will always be an affront the victims of 9/11.

  • spidermean2

    In a few years, New York is a doomed city. That is the prophecy. In other words, it doesn’t matter if they or if they won’t plant a thousand mosque in New York. The palce will be destroyed anyway.If we want the city to be safe, obey the will of God. No to gay marriages, “sex in the city” type of lives, etc.

  • Muddy_Buddy_2000

    Sorry, but its perfectly clear that the founding fathers would not favor prohibitions against Islam, because they went on record in an official document confirmed by 2/3 of the Senate when they signed the Treaty of Tripoli which was also signed by Pres John Adams which says that the US is not A Christian Nation (ending for all time any argument that it ever was), and that there was no conflict between the USA and Islam. Note 300 0f those that died on 9/11 were Muslim

  • onesideplease

    Not just a mosque, it should be a non-denominational place of worship for people of all faiths, including people of the Muslim faith.And there should be a library/research center attached, devoted to finding out how 9/11 happened and who actually orchestrated it.

  • rj2008

    Why do Republicans love to always use fear as a politcal tactic? Muslims are not overtaking America and why would Congress throw out the Constitution and vote in Sharia laws?? Gingrich has to use fear to get attention in the media. The mosque is 2 blocks from the WTC not on it and its not the only mosque in NYC. Republicans always like to quote the Founding Fathers when its comes to Christianity but when it comes to Islam or freedom of religion in general then their quotes are outdated or wrong for this day and age, the old double standard. Republicans need to get over their fears and get a back bone, another mosque in NYC is not the downfall of America.

  • ravitchn

    I am with Gingrich on this. If Arabia is too holy to allow Jewish and Christian places of worship then Gtound Zero is to holy for Islam and its terroristic tendencies.

  • johnnyboston

    I just posted a historical rebuttal titled: “What Thomas Jefferson learned from the Muslim book of jihad.” I hope it gets approved though I’m skeptical.Blind support for Jimmy Carter’s idiocy brought us 12 years of Reagan and Bush. It looks like the Dems still haven’t learned that lesson.

  • wvara

    What is the big deal? Isn’t the Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem build on top of Solomon’s Temple? Isn’t Solomon’s Temple the HOLIEST spot in all of Israel? Hasn’t this worked out okay?Are those against constructing the mosque suggesting ground zero is MORE holy than Solomon’s Temple?

  • outragex

    Ditto on the foolish demagoguery of Palin and Gingrich. Truly emotion, fear, and the need for enemies trumps reason in the GOP today. Where are the Republican DAs, attorneys, and religious-freedom advocates who should be speaking up against such nonsense? Shame on the reasonable Republicans who are letting the nuts take over their party!I don’t understand when posters say “the building should be open to all faiths,” or “the Muslims should build it elsewhere.” People have a right to these opinions and suggestions, but our cities do not deny permits based on such bystander sentiments. The people building and funding a religious facility make their own choices consistent with non-discrimanatory zoning rules. “If the Presbyterians are going to build a new church on the corner they must build a ball field for my kids on it’s open ground.” Absurd no?

  • shewholives

    Kessler, another useful idiot.

  • shewholives

    What would GW say about Islam today? The same thing many of us say about Islam today. It is an intolerant, violent religion bent on global domination.

  • ZZim

    “the 9/11 terrorists, coming from an Islamic background, must necessarily taint all Muslim belief and practice such that any Islamic religious practice anywhere near the WTC site is unseemly and immoral.”Weak dodge, peaople. The 9/11 terrorists did not just “come from an Islamic background”, they killed 3,000 random people IN THE NAME of Islam. You try to make their religion sound like an unrelated happenstance, like whatever religion Timothy McVeigh was (I personally have no idea, nor do I care).The religion of religiosly-motivated men who consider themselves holy warriors is NOT incidental to their crimes. It is absolutely CENTRAL to their crimes.When I opened the link to your article, I expected to find a valid argument. Clearly you failed to present one..

  • shewholives

    Kessler, another useful idiot.

  • samchannar

    The post from abrahamhab1 is worth a second read before handing any kudos to Mr. Kessler. It is a sobering reminder to all of the bleeding hearts out there.

  • johnnormansp

    It’s hard to believe that this “On Faith” section still exists. People actually still get into discussing religious matters? Where do they live? It all seems so old.

  • mascmen7

    Author Kessler assumes Islam is a religion which it is not. Islam is a dangerous political movement posing as a religion. Satan originated Islam as Muhammad thought he was possessed by Satan so tried to commit suicide several times. Islam is not from God as it uses violence to gain and keep followers. God believes in freedom of conscience. Islam treats women as animals which shows how evil Islam is. To consider Islam a religion with all the rights that come to a religion is foolhardy, stupid and letting in a trojan horse bent on our and any nation’s destruction.

  • fiveman3

    Bravo. We are the land of liberty, the land of hope, and promise. We are “E Pluribus Unum,” Out of many, one. What we must be sure of is that we maintain our military strength as we move into the future, remembering that in winning hearts and minds abroad, we must also do so at home. We cannot be wishful about the state of the world. We live in a dangerous world. We must stay strong. It is a basic imperative. Do not be deceived: any who would weaken the United States are incorrect or worse. We must retain our military strength. Only then do we have the time and capacities to figure out our problems.

  • Ragh1

    There is a lot to symbolisn. First i make it clear that mosques are not places of peaceful worship, they are citadels for muslim armies where they provoke the muslims to fight for something but mostly against non-muslims. They are not peaceful places of worship. All terrorsists are indoctrinated in mosques. So US should not allow construction of any mosque anywhere based on it’s use.

  • cadam72

    The anti-Islam vehemence is repugnant. We were not attacked by the 1.57 billion Muslims or even the 2 million here in the US. We were attacked by 20 fundamentalist terrorists and perhaps 500 others under Bin Laden, who himself despised any form of moderate Islam. For those who say “why don’t the Muslims stand up and voice opposition”, they are. Look at main stream American and foreign Muslims & they abhor the violence & take over of their religion. For devout Christians, did you go door to door apologizing for David Koresh, the intentions of the Huturee Christian Militia or James W. von Brunn, the white supremist who killed people at the National Holocaust Museum? Have you apologized for the Christian militias in Africa killing Muslims? No, why? Most likely because you see them as freaks who hide behind your religion and are not true Christians. Look into the worst elements of Christianity AND Islam with a grain of salt, our own Bible says, “Cursed be he who does the Lords work remissly, cursed he who holds back his sword from blood. (Jeremiah 48:10 NAB) and countless others. Would you like Christianity to be judged based on passages on slavery, subjugation of women, killing adulterers, etc? Of the 2 million practicing Muslims in America, You can count the acts of violent by this group at under 25 since 2000.

  • kchses1

    the 9/11 terrorists, coming from an Islamic background, must necessarily taint all Muslim belief and practice such that any Islamic religious practice anywhere near the WTC site is unseemly and immoral.”The logic driving the above argument and all the positions hostile to the mosque is as follows;All terrorists who have atacked the US are Islamic, The above argument is a non-sequiter. The claims and justifications of what has been clearly a small group of psychotic individuals is insufficient to justify the conclusion. One would need strong evidence of support and aid across a large spectrum of Islamic society in the world to reach such a conclusion. The difficulty al qeada has in operating in any nation other then chaotic failed states belies reaching such a conclusion. Many people here point out certain Islamic practices found in many Islamic dominated countries in the world. Such practices are aborhint to us and can find no home here in the US therefore these people conclude Islam has no home here in the US. I would point out that almost all of these countries are non-industrialized and tribaly organized states. The practices found in such cultures are almost always incapatible with customes in the US. Regadles of religion. Islamic people when transplanted here in the US almost always lose these practices or the practicioners leave the country or end up in jail. This has been and will always be what happens when new cultures are integrating into the US. It has been this way for over 2 centuries and I have no reason to believe it will not continue.

  • shewholives

    “Make #dua for #Pamela #Geller to be executed. Her transgressions have gone on long enough. She screams violence. Pray she experiences it. 11:10 AM Jul 28th via Twitter posted by Islamic Jihadi”Now what were you saying about the tolerance and non-violence of Islam?

  • johnnyboston

    Turkey’s PM Erdogan: The term “moderate Islam” is ugly and offensive — Islam is Islam and that’s it.

  • pgr88

    Gingrich is correct.You can be tolerant of everything, including Muslims. But are they tolerant of you?

  • Ken16

    “Everything said about Islam negatively above, could (after allowing for differences in technology then and now) have been said about Christianity in the Europe of the Crusades.”It could be said, of course. In fact you just said it. However in so saying, you betray the common ignorance of Medieval Europe, the Church, the Crusades, which were defensive wars pushing back against a few centuries of Islamic conquest, Christian history and theology, and Jihad, the Muslim belief in Shariah, by which the whole world is brought under the same law. In fact Islam means submission. The difference between “moderate” Muslims and Islamic Jihadi terrorists is merely tactical. All Muslims, as a fundamental tenet of Islam, seek the global imposition of shariah, not just as a religious practice, but as a totalitarian system that obliterates the church and state dichotomy under which Kessler tries to argue for a misguided policy of tolerance. There can be no true tolerance for such absolute intolerance.

  • cadam72

    mascmen7, I never post against a particular person, but I request you provide direct links to main stream news organizations or first person accounts who can verify the following:1)Obama told the Egyptian foreign minister that he is a Muslim which is why he does not attend any church. Please have Tom Fife give us his source of T.M. V” and ask her how she could forsee the presidency 16 years later. That is just nuts. So for 16 years “commies” have furthered the interest of Obama, rigged every election, etc?. He was at University of Chicago Law School in 1992. Can she give you the dates he was “studying in Russia”. Take off the tinfoil hat.

  • slamming

    OldAtlantic: If America was kept all-white as YOU advocate, who would have done all the work back in slavery days while white men” sat on their dead a**es? Answer THAT!!

  • shewholives

    What is the big deal? Isn’t the Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem build on top of Solomon’s Temple? Isn’t Solomon’s Temple the HOLIEST spot in all of Israel? Hasn’t this worked out okay?

  • shewholives

    Hey Imam Rauf and Jihad Jane Daisy Kahn, where is the funding coming from?

  • pamschuh9

    If George Washington were on United Airlines flight #93 or #175, or American Airlines #77 or #11 on the morning of 9/11/2001 he probably wouldn’t have such a favorable view of Islam. Remember how flight attendants necks were sliced with box cutters while trying to do the coffee service? Meanwhile “Allah hu Akbar!” shouting thugs murdered pilots and navigators and passengers in order to turn passenger planes in to weapons….George would have been another casualty of radical Islam.

  • startasyoumeantogoon

    I am not normally inclined to speak out against the hordes of exquisitely stupid people that infest the message boards of the internet, but as they are assaulting a particularly well-written, thought-provoking article written on behalf of my alma mater, it seems wise to get a few shots off.Why are so many of you psychotic reactionaries taking such umbrage at the idea of Islam allowing no competing world views or whatever to conflict with its tenents? I could be wrong, but I don’t seem to remember the part of the New Testament in which Christ gives the commandment that “Whosoever shall encounter ideas that stand in contrast to or are not implied in my Father’s Word, yea, verily I say unto you out with the old, in with the new! I don’t care, Lord knows everything I say is not perfect.”The terrorist acts of 9-11 were done in the name of Islam, so clearly ISLAM IS ATTACKING AMERICA OH MY GOD! I don’t really see scary Christian militia types rousing the same public outcry against Christianity when abortion clinics are bombed, or people like Sarah Palin become respected public figures.Oh no, Muslims want to convert people to their faith? The fools, do they not realize that would stand in opposition to the Great Commission (“Go ye into all the world and blah blah blah”)?Really though, there are so, so, so many things I wish I could yell at you people. I know I’m not supposed to dignify morons with responses, or “feed the trolls” as it’s known in the world of Web 2.0. I know that nothing I say could make you see reason, because obviously logic and common sense are not anyone’s forte around here. I know that most of the weirdos posting on here are probably reclusive sociopaths that live in damp caves and shun the light of the sun and to whom no reasonable person would ever pay attention to ever, but wow you people are terrifying. I’ve never been able to understand why so many evangelical Christian types (you people aren’t conservatives, you wouldn’t know a true conservative if one whacked you in the face with a beam of Rearden Metal) are unable to understand that America is RELIGION NEUTRAL. Also, why isn’t anyone worried about the Saracen occupation of Spain? To arms, Charlemagne!

  • US-conscience

    America in the 21 century: Fighting to keep the Christian God and prayer out of schools, govt. owned property and state functions. Suing grave yards for using crosses on military graves. Stopping pastors from preaching about sin and calling it “hate speach”, arresting kids witnessing on public grounds and colleges. Killing 500,000 unborn babies every year.fighting for Islamic rights, ….George Washington would be spinning like a top in his grave.

  • kchses1

    I would like to point out the following: Prior to 9/11 you would have been hard pressed to find much written about how Islam was an agressive religion trying to dominant the world. Or that we were at war with Islam. This would not have been due to some neglect by the alleged liberal media. It would have been no one had any reason to think it was even remotely true because it wasn’t true. Nor would any reasonable person have thought al qeada was representative of Islam. Again this would not have been just an oversight. One of the goals of the 9/11 attack was to try and ignite a war between Islam and the US. Why do so many of you wish to further the goals of a small group of psychotics? We didn’t have this problem prior to 9/11 for good reason, there wasn’t and isn’t a problem betwen Islam and the US.

  • CHAOTICIAN101

    Wow, the satanic rants of the Christians is a fabulous demonstration of their bigotry, intolerance, and ignorance! The solution is clearly the total and complete eradication of all Abrahamic cults! Their superstitious nonsense has no place in a modern, enlightened society and the evil Christian racketeering variety is at least as bad as the martyrdom of the Muslims seeking their 40 virgins!

  • lufrank1

    Stupid . . .Stupid question . . .Why not . . “What would Socrates say about Islam?”Geeze!

  • DwightCollins

    “OldAtlantic: If America was kept all-white as YOU advocate, who would have done all the work back in slavery days while white men” sat on their dead a**es? Answer THAT!!not to worry your anchestors would still be doing all of that for us…

  • startasyoumeantogoon

    Arabic message boards?Man, I had forgotten how boring shooting fish in a barrel could be. Well, Mr. Boston, a logical person would have inferred that my feelings regarding the ignorance of extrapolating a general set of characteristics for an entire religion from the actions of an incredibly small minority in that religion would also pertain to applying “volumes of hate” found in one periodical to an entire religion, particularly when the vast majority of its adherents are likely unaware of the periodical’s existance.Oh, Mr. Boston, to be as you are, free from the burden of reason and knowledge! What a fool am I, shackled to the world of not being a dullard! How could I have ever thought that most Muslims are a peaceful people, and that America should tolerate all religious beliefs? If only I had known that definitive proof of their singularly evil, wicked nature could be found here in the hallowed comment halls of “Washingtonpost!”Well, so much for my policy of not wasting my time suffering fools on the internet. I’m out. For a succint closing argument: You are an incredibly stupid person, and probably frequently mocked and humiliated by school children.

  • dave_sheehan641

    A lot of heat here, and not much light! The people who died in the Twin Towers endured and experienced a tragedy, not a cannonisation! They were simply going to work, not to war. The Arabs in general or en masse did not attack us Amuricans. No, as we later learned, it was mostly Saudis here legally on temporary visas, with their renewals already in the mail when the “expired”. If folks in this mislabled Christian nation paid half the attention to the churches in their towns and cities as they seem to be with a Mosque in New York, a revival might break out instead of a back alley mud sling.

  • abrahamhab1

    Kessler pontificates thus

  • Athena4

    I find it interesting that the very people who are freaking out about Sharia in the U.S. are the same ones who are proponents of placing the 10 Commandments in public buildings. It’s all shoving your religion in other people’s faces to me. As for the harsh punishments of Sharia – why don’t you good Christians look at some of the punishments recommended for homosexuals, adulterers, etc. by your own leaders? Last I heard, it wasn’t Muslims in Uganda that wanted to put homosexuals to death – it was Christians, egged on by American fundamentalists. Make no mistake – there are a lot of Moslems, some who are in this country, who hate Americans and want to kill us for various reasons. But there are many, many more who love America and want to be a part of our country. Not every Moslem is out to kill us. Besides, don’t you think that the FBI and the NYPD Intelligence Units would be all over Cordoba House like white on rice looking for radicals? Or, don’t you think that if anyone espoused jihad, they wouldn’t get reported to the authorities?

  • slim2

    Gingrich is evidence that the gulf between an educated man and a fool isn’t as wide as most people assume. He subscribes to the same mindset that burned the Mormons out of Illinois in the 1840s and rounded up Japanese and German nationals a century later.

  • 12thgenamerican

    jefferson sent the u.s. maraines to tripoli to fight isamic terrorists in 1800. it took ten years to defeat them. now they are back. and the muslims here should be a whole lot more vocal and physical about fighting the cancer in their midst. till then, islam, take a hike.

  • EddietheInfidel

    “Washington promised, with simple clarity, that these new United States would offer a haven for peaceful practitioners of all faiths”It’s interesting to note that this exchange appears to have exclusively occurred between the Hebrew congregation of Newport, Rhode Island and the President. There is no mention in this correspondence of the theo-political ideology of Islam, something that his contemporary, Thomas Jefferson, had to confront just a few years later during the Barbary pirate wars.I doubt that Washington had any idea at the time that his new nation would be confronted with a threat from a supremicist ideology masquerading as “religion”.I’d submit that he, like most Americans today, was simply ignorant of Islam because Muslims had no appreciable population in Colonial America and no role in the formation of the United States.

  • ravensfan20008

    If George Washington would have said Islam deserved no protections…then why would we consider him a great leader?

  • dmfarooq

    ” Palin proposes that the 9/11 terrorists, coming from an Islamic background, must necessarily taint all Muslim belief and practice such that any Islamic religious practice anywhere near the WTC site is unseemly and immoral. I guess any religion similar …” Unlike Ms. Palin , no other public figure in the U. S. and of the right mind had argued , or made such nasty connections with any past political leaders and military generals , mostly believers of major world religions and faiths . In the World opinion some of them were responsible for religious persecution in Europe , and others committed crimes against humanity in South Asia . This community issue should not be dragged into history of humanity . This Islamic center is a local community affair . The New Yorkers know where to build their community centers . This issue should not elevated , as a national political football .

  • bonewiler

    I disagree with you completely, Mr. Kessler. Not only should we not allow a mosque at ground zero, but we should repeal the Immigration Act of 1965 that let Muslims in. Then we should deport those already here before they kill any more of us.As for George Washington, didn’t he receive 3 visions of 3 wars, and in the 3rd one, the twin towers fall?

  • Rosary1

    While the statement that sharia law allows a man to hit his wife is true, it’s merely the tip of the iceberg; a man is allowed to discipline his wife, daughter, niece, granddaughter mother, sister, aunt, in short, any woman under his control (and all women are under the control of a man), as he chooses. There is no punishment for killing a woman who has dishonored the family; a man may freely kill if he takes issue with the woman’s behavior in any way. That’s why honor killings have been exported to the West; under Sharia, which these men believe to supercede the laws of any country that isn’t an Islamic theocracy, it’s just fine for him to kill the uppity woman.

  • abrahamhab1

    Mono asks:Below some of what America “carried on her head” to the world.What has your ilk brought forth besides ignorance, corruption,intolerance, poverty and violence.

  • mono1

    what would washington carry to the islamic world?a nice tray of eastern bunny eggs?a nice chimney and santa clause?a delusional god who was nailed on the cross and his blood is due in every mankind neck?a tray of shake and bake swiss cheess hole/y democracy?a tray of big mac,s and large coke?remmber,what happen?5 million killed and stranded mankindwhat he had received?nothing fail nations like ignorant hypocritical heads.

  • jm125

    This author and his stupid article give a new meaning to the term revisionist PC jibberish. Every day muslim terrorists blow people up, usually other muslims. The terrible things the muslims do in Europe, terrorist attacks and attempted terrorist attacks in the US, trying to kill cartoonists, censoring western publications under threat of death, blah, blah, blah, the list goes on and on. Anyone with an IQ over 85 and who knows anything about Washington is well aware of what he would do. Washington was one of the greatest leaders who ever lived and he did not get that way by cowtowing to any threats let alone a genocidal belief system like islam that has killed thousands of Americans. The people behind the Whiskey rebellion could fill you in on that and they didn’t cause anything close to the mass murdering carnage of islam.

  • vincent27

    What would George Washington say?. He would have first taken a close look at the community in question to determine what they stood for. Then he would have seen to it that an article was included in the Constitution banning the group from establishing itself anywhere on U.S. soil. Why? Because the Muslim community makes a mockery of two of the country’s important founding principles: the equality of all individuals and the freedom to practice religion (including the religion of one’s choice). Regarding equality: Women are not considered equal to men and suffer greatly because of this. Their manner of dress is not a question of religion or personal choice. It is an outward sign of submission imposed by the Imams and hence the community. Daughters of Muslim parents living in the West who do not conform to the dress code are punished or killed, as seen recently in Canada with supposed honor killings by parents of their own children. Muslim countries are not comfortable with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights precisely because of the status it recognizes for women. They consequently came up with their own watered down version (The Cairo Declaration oh Human Rights in Islam). Concerning freedom of religion: Muslims are not free to choose their religion. Depending on the country where they are located, the punishment for apostasy ranges from bullying and violence to imprisonment and death. If you naively believe that either lack of equality or violent punishment for apostasy are not inherent to the Muslim culture (because perhaps a Muslim or two told you so), then you need to learn about taqiyya. No, supporting the building of mosques (and by extension the spread of this totalitarian ideology) is un-American because it contributes to the undermining of American values and Western values in general. An excellent read in relation to this growing problem is the 2006 piece by Paul Marek at