A half-dozen Republicans have signed a letter criticizing the way some members of their party have responded to the proposed Muslim community center and mosque near ground zero in Manhattan.
The letter – whose six signers include officials from both the Reagan andGeorge W. Bush administrations — takes issue with Republicans who have called the proposed location of the center insensitive. The letter also says that, while the signers want the G.O.P. to be successful in the midterm elections, “we cannot support victory at the expense of the U.S. Constitution or the Arab and Muslim community in America.”
David Ramadan, one of the signers, indicated via e-mail that all of the six are either Muslim or of Arab descent. He also said in a short telephone interview that the group was intentionally kept small – limited to “hardcore Republican activists,” as he put it.
We have Republicans across the country condemning the building of a community center by Muslims because it is too close to Ground Zero (ignoring that there is already a mosque 4 blocks away – see below). They are making this a national issue, using it to drive Americans apart. This is a better wedge issue than the last one – the homosexual agenda and it will not alienating to as Hispanics as the immigration issue. A lot of manufactured rage during the month of August and in an election year, what a coincidence.
Here are six highly placed Republican activists writing an Open Letter, reminding the Republican party that Americans are not in a fight against Muslims but against Terror, reminding them that their Party has a history of standing up for the Constitution:
We are deeply concerned by the rhetoric of some leading members of our party surrounding the construction of the Muslim Community Center in downtown Manhattan. These comments are not only constitutionally unsound, they are also alienating millions of Arab American and Muslim American voters who believe, as we do, in the principles of our party – individual liberty, traditional values, and the rule of law.
As you know, our party has had a long history of inclusion – beginning with our great President Abraham Lincoln, whose leadership on the slavery issue was monumental, and continuing through President George W. Bush whose public statements and actions on the differentiation between Islam and the terrorists who attacked us on 9-11 were critically important. We are particularly proud to note that President Bush appointed more Arab Americans and Muslim Americans to his administration than any other president in U.S. history.
After stating that the Constitution does not allow the government to prevent the community center, they then attack the “they should be more sensitive” argument and asking some hard questions:
While some in our party have recently conceded the constitutional argument, they are now arguing that it is insensitive, intolerant and unacceptable to locate the center at the present location: “Just because they have the right to do so – does not make it the right thing to do” they say. Many of these individuals are objecting to the location as being too close to the Ground Zero site and voicing the understandable pain and anguish of the 9-11 families who lost loved ones in this horrible tragedy. In expressing compassion and understanding for these families, we are asking ourselves the following: if two blocks is too close, is four blocks acceptable? or six blocks? or eight blocks? Does our party believe that one can only practice his/her religion in certain places within defined boundaries and away from the disapproving glances of some citizens? Should our party not be standing up and taking a leadership role– just like President Bush did after 9-11 – by making a clear distinction between Islam, one of the great three monotheistic faiths along with Judaism and Christianity, versus the terrorists who committed the atrocities on 9-11 and who are not only the true enemies of America but of Islam as well? President Bush struck the right balance in expressing sympathy for the families of the 9-11 victims while making it absolutely clear that the acts committed on 9-11 were not in the name of Islam. We are hoping that our party leaders can do the same now – especially at a time when it is greatly needed.
This is especially cogent since there is already a mosque 4 blocks from Ground Zero.
So, four blocks is okay but two are not.
And one point they don’t bring up is how many disapproving people does there need to be to prevent the building of this community center? It sounds like some people feel that if even one person finds something insensitive, then it should not be done. Can legal things only been done when everyone finds them the right thing to do? How about if 60& think it is wrong? How about 40%? Just how much objection makes it insensitive?
It would be nice if the adults took some responsibility here instead of letting the screamers have center stage. Some of them look like they might be. The irony is that it is Muslim Republicans that are doing this.