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Michael Devolin

Cordoba Mosque: A Strictly American Issue
By Michael Devolin
Sep 1, 2010 - 12:13:17 AM

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John Moore of NewsTalk 1010 Radio's Moore in the Morning (Toronto) recently described in Canada's National Post the widespread American opposition to Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf's planned Cordoba Institute Mosque in New York City as "populist demagoguery" and "a grand and intellectually dishonest hysteria over Islam that mirrors the communist paranoia of the 1950s." In the same sagacious tones he opines to us that freedom "is a franchise extended to individuals by the collective of their fellow citizens through the agency of government" and that "the true test for a libertarian is when he must defend the rights of his real or perceived enemies."

John Moore, in his haste to brush all American opposition to the proposed Cordoba Mosque as trite and a general rebirth of McCarthyism in the United States, becomes a "universal" revelation to all noetically inclined human beings about why an insouciant Canadian radio personality on one side of the border should never be expected to comprehend and respect the sensibilities of American citizens on the other. "The fool rages and is confident."

Like so many apologists and pluralists before him, John Moore is more than comfortable excoriating countless American citizens for their post 9/11 apprehensions about Muslims and the religion of Islam. In John Moore's cloudless world, the very human virtue of prudence is inverted and subsequently dispatched to his audience as a commonplace vice, in this particular instance the general Western misgivings about Islam the religion and its obvious tendency of incubating and precipitating extremist views and the terrorism advocated by those same extremist views. Shame on patriotic Americans for suspecting the intentions of a Muslim cleric--Feisal Abdul Rauf, Chairman of the Cordoba Initiative--who refuses to state publicly that Hamas is a terrorist entity!

Libertarian or no, John Moore straight out refuses to condone American citizenry their right to speak out against those designs they view as insalubrious to their national wellbeing; as though to fulminate against the callosities of Sheikh Abdul Rauf the prudent American is deserving of the malicious misrepresentation that "Muslims are a great target if you're looking to boost your bonafides as a patriot." Such slander is helplessly asinine or worst, simply hateful. Far from "doing the spade work of true conservatism," his prevarication of the "American right" and "American liberty" seems to betray an innate anti-Americanism and sounds very much like a Canadian version of a "populist demagoguery." Mr. Moore's north-of-the-border deprecation of a decidedly American issue reminds me of G.K. Chesterton remark that "Men always talk about the most important things to perfect strangers."

John Moore reproves American patriots for their lack of geographical precision: he informs diehard New Yorkers and their friends outside the Big Apple that the Cordoba Mosque is not exactly at Ground Zero, it is two blocks away. My retort to this unctuous blather would be to question Mr. Moore about how safe he might have felt two blocks away from Ground Zero on Sept 11, 2001, the day the Twin Towers came tumbling down, one after the other. On that day Ground Zero might not have seemed so far away. I watched on my TV from the safety of my home in Ontario, Canada as New Yorkers ran terrified down those two blocks from gargantuan clouds of dust and smoke that eventually claimed the lives of many who could not escape their unfolding menace. So no, Mr. Moore, "two blocks away" for many Americans (and especially New Yorkers) is still Ground Zero. They would know: they were "in the shit" that day, and you were not, which brings me to my last but most important point.

Seneca wrote, "It is often better not to see an insult, than to avenge it." This was the prescient point made by Ezra Levant. New Yorkers and Americans care not what some insouciant talking head from a Toronto radio show thinks about their opposition to the Cordoba Mosque being built so close to Ground Zero. Whether or not John Moore approves of their loud opposition to this decidedly Muslim endeavour means nothing to them. What they do care about is the obvious and religiously inspired disdain these Muslims are showing the residents of the City of New York, how that if such an enormous Mosque is built so close to Ground Zero, it will become an insult to all those who refuse to forget 9/11 and Islam's connection to the most lethal act of aggression against the United States of America since Pearl Harbour.

The Penguin dictionary defines the word 'franchise' as meaning: "The right granted to an individual or group to market a company's goods or services in a particular territory." The territory Governor Paladino and the Tea Party crowd is defending is not the property of the religion of Islam but of the American people, whose blood and guts have purchased their liberty (and much of the Western world's, I might add). The goods being marketed by Sheikh Rauf and his fellow religious is Islam, a religion, as George Jonas points out, "...that is conducive to the formation of extremist sects and radical movements...a petri dish in which a culture of fundamentalism thrives."

So please, Mr. Moore, try understanding what might be a general American misgiving (certainly not McCarthyism) about consenting to the wishes of Sheikh Abdul Raul, a Muslim cleric who blames America for 9/11 and not the disgusting religious lunatics who murdered 3 thousand innocents when they flew high jacked passenger planes into the World Trade Centre. For the American patriot, their liberty--and the dead who have sacrificed their all for that liberty--is a commodity not as cheap as Muslim clerics and talking heads like you would like it to be. It will not be freely given over to anyone who does not comprehend its worth.

If Imam Raul succeeds in having his Cordoba Mosque built so close to Ground Zero in New York City, it will not be a proof of the liberty Mr. Moore failed to adequately define from his sophistic article in the National Post. Rather, it will be an insult to every New Yorker who survived 9/11. Worst yet, it will be a constant reminder to all patriotic Americans (civilians and soldiers both) that Muslims, even moderate Muslims, are even less concerned with American sensibilities than the little we are willing to give them credit for already. Why am I not surprised?

Michael Devolin


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