Leadership Failure: The Mosque Mess Part II

The Mosque-Near-Ground-Zero controversy rages on and is not likely to end anytime soon. The Mosque backers have backed themselves into a corner. The President of the United States is making a sales pitch few are buying. Politicians across the Country, both pro and con, are stoking the fire, some with more ridiculous arguments than others. And some who are just plain ridiculous. Meanwhile, the main concerns of the Country go unanswered. No one knows when it will be over or how it will be resolved. So, rather than predict an end, let’s talk about what the end should be.

The answer, which, by the way, applies to the entire Park51 Center, is no, it should not be built there. Anyway you look at it, right side up, upside down or even sideways, the Center, placed near Ground Zero, is a significant national security concern. Under those circumstances, it shouldn’t be permitted. I know, I know. “National security” has been used a lot in the last few years to get away with even more. But, before you reject it in this case, read on.

For months, Daisy Kahn and her husband, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the determined duo behind the Center, recited the same two motivations for its construction: a gathering place for the Muslim community and a wonderful gesture of cultural détente to America. A gathering place could be built almost anywhere in Lower Manhattan making the current choice inconsequential to the Center’s community purpose. However, spurring cultural détente between Islam and America is much better served by the current location. Or so Daisy repeatedly claims. But, it takes two willing participants to do the détente tango. It doesn’t happen when one of them is being dragged around the floor by the hair, caveman style, which is what’s happening now. With no reasonable possibility for détente, the reason for the location evaporates.

Other justifications for the Center’s location have sprung up. Like, Obama’s freedom of religion claim and Ron Paul’s property rights clarion call. But, we know that our rights, constitutional or otherwise, are not absolute. Not the right to life or the right to liberty, property or even the practice of religion. Superseding interests can exist that justify the restriction of any of these freedoms in particular contexts. The police power of the State exercised as capital punishment, conscription, zoning ordinances, etc., serves to curtail or even deny them under appropriate circumstances. So, asserting a right is just the beginning of the discussion, not the end.

That end here is national security, which compels the Center’s construction at a different place. An Islamic Center located within spitting distance of Ground Zero will be a beacon for radical Muslims. A place to celebrate the fall of the twin towers and an incitement to do more of the same. Feisal, the Center’s primary fundraiser, has spent this century blaming the U.S. for September 11. At the same time, he refuses to denounce Hamas, the Islamic terrorist organization. It is no wonder that Hamas supports the construction of the Center. One of the backers did recently state for the first time that construction funds would not be sought from Iran. However, we have yet to hear the same promise from Feisal who, so far, has been noncommittal.

An even greater encouragement to extremists is the strong support the Center receives from the appeasing mouthpieces among our political leadership. What a boon to terrorists everywhere that the mayor of the devastated City invites them back to party. Then there’s Obama and Nancy Pelosi. In sponsoring Feisal’s goodwill tour of Muslim countries, even our State Department is seen as sanctioning the Center’s location. These trips give him a platform to pitch the Center, among other things. While he’s prohibited from directly soliciting funds, only the stunningly naïve believe his State Department speeches do not have that effect.

Of course, the national security concern may be assuaged in another way. Instead of using part of the Center’s space as a 911 memorial, the backers can rent it to the FBI and all the other interested alphabet agencies. You can bet they’ll be all over it once construction is complete.

When Howard Dean, Newt Gingrich, Harry Reid and Sarah Palin line up on the same side of an issue, believe there’s something to it. The alternative on this one is to join the Obama-Pelosi-Hamas bandwagon. You choose.

See you on the left-side.