Europe shows the result of total insistence on tolerance

The American people, having been put through endless sensitivity training over the past few decades, know offensiveness when they see it. And they see it in the mosque proposed for lower Manhattan.

So, yes, the American people are a bit stunned to find the fingers pointed at themselves when controversy erupts over a $100 million Islamic project just two blocks from where 10 terrorists brought down two 110-story towers in the name of Islam. They don’t find this turning of the sensitivity tables ironic, but outrageous.

They are more than irked to hear the speaker of the House of Representatives suggest that those Americans speaking out against the mosque should be investigated to see who’s bankrolling them, not least since the identities of the mosque’s donors are still being withheld.

They hear lofty talk about tolerance and upholding the First Amendment — or at least part of it — and they think, “The freedom to practice Islam in this country does not hinge on the specific placement of one mosque in downtown New York. That’s not what this is about.”

They find it hard to believe that reputedly moderate Muslims dedicated to “improving Muslim-West relations,” as the Cordoba Initiative group behind this project says it is, would be surprised to learn that Americans’ wound hasn’t scabbed over in nine divisive years. Or think that they can demonstrate good faith by tacking on a 9/11 memorial at the last minute.

In fact, if the Cordoba planners and their supporters understand anything about America in 2010, they will see a country that can’t seem to snap out of an economic downturn, that is underemployed and overextended, where an entire coastline stands to be covered in oil (until it isn’t), where the states are suing the feds over a health care law and the feds are suing a state over an immigration law and everyone is suing everyone else over gay marriage laws, where anti-war protesters are throwing pies in the faces of Democratic senators and flight attendants are cussing out their passengers and taking the emergency chute.

And they will think, maybe this is not the very best moment to gauge the national reserves of tolerance and patience.

The wiser heads among us will think about the ground zero mosque and that immigration law, and their thoughts will turn once again to that place that so often lately has been showing us the future consequences of our present actions: Europe.

They will recall that the political class’ general prescription for everyday Europeans’ misgivings about their substantial Muslim influx has been more insistence on tolerance, more multiculturalism and the dismissal of any concerns to the contrary from polite political conversation.

They will observe that the result in formerly tolerant places like Holland, where a filmmaker and a politician critical of Islam and immigrants were assassinated, and Belgium, where certain immigrant-heavy areas of the capital Brussels and the port city Antwerp are virtual no-go zones for people who look European, has been a spike in the popularity and electoral success of openly anti-immigrant, anti-Islam political parties.

They will note that the failure of political leaders in these countries, and in places like Denmark, Switzerland and even Britain, to deal seriously with popular complaints about the other has not ended the complaints but made them louder and uglier.

And they will conclude that even in America, with a prouder history of assimilation and inclusiveness than Europe has, it would be prudent to meet this outrage with something other than finger-wagging.

508 comments Add your comment

Greg

August 18th, 2010
7:29 pm

Spot on Kyle. Keep them honest.

barking frog

August 18th, 2010
7:32 pm

After the muslims read the first amendment they
should read the second amendment.

On Patroll

August 18th, 2010
7:34 pm

Kyle’s argument is fake. What about the mosques in TN, GA, WI, CA? Same opposition. Don’t try and act like this is an isolated incident. Which is what you all are doing. Then to come us with Saudi Arabia and now Europe? There is no way anyone can compare this country with another in the world. go ahead, try. What I want to know is….What are the chances of you being killed in this country by a god-fearing christian vs. a muslim. My money is on the christian.

josef nix

August 18th, 2010
7:35 pm

KYLE

But we are NOT Europe…we are supposed to be better than that. THEY are the ones banning the burqa, prohibiting new mosque construction and deporting citizens whose ethnicities they are not fond of…

Harry Miller

August 18th, 2010
7:39 pm

I like this essay very much. The opponents of the mosque do not contest the right of anyone to build it. It just seems very wrong that Ground Zero, where more than three thousand Americans (and others) were killed by intolerance, should be the site where Americans need to be instructed in tolerance.

BMC

August 18th, 2010
7:40 pm

But nobody’s banning anything. People are speaking their minds–on both sides. Isn’t that what freedom is about? Obama’s original statement about the Constitution was bogus, because nobody’s arguing whether it should be illegal to put up a mosque. They’re saying they find it offensive. Which is their right, just as it’s your right, or anyone else’s, to disagree.

That’s how you wave a towel.

Bangash

August 18th, 2010
7:41 pm

9/11 was caused by Alqaeda based in Afghanistan. Please don’t bother innocent Muslims of New York.

Isa Kocher

August 18th, 2010
7:43 pm

I am a 100% disabled american veteran who gave my life and health for my country and on september 11th 2001, many workers, business people. cleaners, waiters, secretaries, office clerks, undocumented workers, kitchen help, professionals, police, fire fighters, ambulance and emergency professionals and just plane neighbors, friends and volunteers gave their lives and health just like everybody else: Muslims. I serve my god and my country because of my faith and anyone who can say that I am less than they are or that any of the souls who sacrificed on September 11th, 2001 are less than they are is a racist. Hate monger. and hates america and all it stands.

Yes, Muslim Americans are every bit as American as you. Islam Has had has now and never will have anything against America and all who say so are the same kinds of liars as the ones who attacked us on that day. Tolerance of mosques and muslims is not a question any decent christian or jew or buddhist or atheist can entertain if the have any love for America in their minds and hearts.

We have been here ever since 1492, on Columbus’s ships. We were dragged here against our wills on Portuguese ships and sold to Christians as chattel slaves. Our music. African Muslim music and song are the basis of the American musical tradition. Banjos were invented by African sufis.

This writer defiles and pollutes the very foundation of what is America. This writer defiles and pollutes the sacrifices of William Penn, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas |Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln. Sojourner Truth, Eleanor Roosevelt. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Harvey Milk, and says Americans are racists.

NHo/ Me my mother, my sisters and brothers my friends who died in the WTC on September 11th, my family who lost their home, my colleagues I will never see again, suffer the same grief and to see this hate mongering against Muslims who were attacked and killed by these soulless terrorists, to be denied our right to mourn, the right to pray and right to serve because of this hatred, blind stupid ignorant hatred fanned up by soulless politicians is a curse on America who only want to make profit from hatred.

We are here from the beginning. We are here now. We built America and nobody has the right to throw us out. When you do so, you become the terrorists and you and all the terrorists will never win. America. God bless us. We the people, including everybody.

Don’t you dare call yourself an American if you cannot believe in WE the People.

On Patroll

August 18th, 2010
7:43 pm

At the other end of the scale comes America. Over 50 percent of Americans believe in God, and only 40 percent accept some form of evolution (many believe it had a helping hand from the Deity). The U.S. has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy and homicide rates are at least five times greater than in Europe and ten times higher than in Japan.
Journal of Religion & Society

still looking for the chances of getting killed by a christian vs muslim in US. Sociology thesis anyone?

eloise lanum

August 18th, 2010
7:44 pm

the author is correct. when all of us are helpless with a war; lack of jobs; politicians that don’t care what we think; & an inability to help our children get jobs, hurting our feelings is a “last straw”.

Finn McCool

August 18th, 2010
7:44 pm

After the conservatives comprehend the first amendment, they should…..um, well, let’s allow them time to digest that first amendment first.

josef nix

August 18th, 2010
7:45 pm

BMC
The point on banning is well made. That’s why I say we need to be careful. The more we ratchet up the rhetoric, the closer we come…

josef nix

August 18th, 2010
7:48 pm

ISA
And I would refer you to Isaac Harby’s “Portion of the People” letter to Monroe…

Aa

August 18th, 2010
7:51 pm

Seriously? Its 2 whole blocks away. I am against ALL religions but just because someone holds a particular set of beliefs which happen to coincide with a handful of terrorists doesnt mean you should punish the whole group. There are many Catholic Priests etc who are guilty of many heinous sins against innocents, but nobody tars the entire Catholic population with that brush. And seriously ITS TWO BLOCKS AWAY. With the amount of fluffed up feathers we’re hearing about in Australia, many of us are assuming its on the actual twin towers site. Grow up already.

On Patroll

August 18th, 2010
7:52 pm

harry miller needs to read between the lines more. if it is a zoning violation its one thing but this opposition is across the country. not just in ny. that’s their give me. on the surface its ny, too close to GZ, etc. look at the other opposition, its opposition to mosques and islam. i don’t say i blame them. hell, religion as been obselete for a very long time. but it makes people money without having to pay taxes, kindof makes you want to a church too.

Mike

August 18th, 2010
7:54 pm

What I love about America and being American is that nobody can stop me from saying that I don’t like Islam as a religion, I find it backwards and un-enlightened. I don’t like Muslims and I don’t like their mosques. God Bless America.

barking frog

August 18th, 2010
7:55 pm

I will say that Kyle has done a good job of voicing his own
opinion rather than just cut and paste someone else’s opinion.

On Patroll

August 18th, 2010
7:56 pm

why does it hurt your feelings lanum? you sentimental about burlington coat factory being gone?

josef nix

August 18th, 2010
7:59 pm

barking frog
@ 7:55
I would agree with that.

Winston

August 18th, 2010
7:59 pm

Mr. Wingnut has risen to the occasion as an apologist for the ugly American. Sure, let us deny first amendment freedoms to people around whom we feel uncomfortable because other people misused the name of their religion in the commission of a heinous terrorist attack. Let us continue to commit atrocities and war crimes in Afghanistan and the other places where we continue to prosecute the unilateralist and interventionist foreign policy that has wrecked a great many countries over the last two centuries or so. Let us continue to loudly badger our enemies about ‘democracy’, ‘free and fair elections’ and the ‘rule of law’ when we practice none of these lofty ideals ourselves. Let us continue to blindly support the terrorist state of Israel and then pretend that we cannot understand why so many folks in the Middle East do not trust us. And most certainly do let us continue to suffer from collective amnesia about the genocide and ethnic cleansing that we committed in the name of Manifest Destiny. As citizens of this shameful nation, we owe it to ourselves to continue to behave with boorish brutality both at home and around the world.

On Patroll

August 18th, 2010
8:02 pm

koran = bible = torah, they all have people who kill in the name of. with mike, though he may not be with me. that is how you do it. go to germany and say there is no holocaust and jail. here you can prolly go watch a lecture on it anytime. i am free to speak here, the phone, to anyone what I want without fear. Unless you’re talking to your buddy about hurting others, then i’m snitching no problem. SCREW you Government!!! Try that chinese.

Isa Kocher

August 18th, 2010
8:05 pm

Some of the first countries in the world to form diplomatic relations with the new United States of America in the 18th and 19th Centuries were Muslim and Arab countries such as the Sultanate of Oman which sent a Royal Yacht to visit the new republic. Al Qaeda and terrorism has been condemned by every Muslim head cleric in the world as anti-Islamic and bin Laden has been declared officially throughout the world as an enemy of Islam.

Throughout the world, immediately starting on September 11th as soon as the news came out, Muslim clerics started prayers for the victims of the terrorists. Why none of this is reported in US papers god knows, but the world’s largest democracy is a Muslim country, India where many states are virtually 100% Muslim and the world’s largest Muslim country is a democracy and a US ally.

Most Muslims I have known in the world want to be Americans.

This hatred of others wherever it occurs is a satanic demonic curse and no: intolerance of Muslims is just as intolerable as intolerance of anybody else. Anybody who thinks that propagating this hate is anything but satanic and inhuman should go back and watch buffy the vampire slayer again.

Watch X-men and heroes, or any of the great icons of US American values, whether the sermons by Martin Luther King or the speeches by Milk or by Eleanor Roosevelt in the UN.

Hating anybody in the US because of how they pray is from the devil. And god frankly does not forgive hate, in Moses, or the Gospels or the Sutras or the Quran or the Gospel of Handsome Lake, or in West Side Story.

Go back and learn your history and start loving America again. So many have sacrificed so much not so we can be the world’s hate securities market, but to show the beacon, The American Beacon on the Hill.

CJ

August 18th, 2010
8:09 pm

The American people, having been put through endless sensitivity training over the past few decades, know offensiveness when they see it. And they see it in the mosque proposed for lower Manhattan…

I’m sorry, but I can’t read beyond what I pasted here. I can’t be sure, but the headline suggests more, probably irrelevant, demonization of Europe by the folks who are continually advocating that we should adopt the tax policies of Communist China.

Nearly 10 percent of us are unemployed, millions more are underemployed, we’re continuing our dependence on foreign oil and dirty energy, our manufacturing base is shrinking, developing countries (and Germany) are passing us on investments in research and future technologies, our infrastructure continues to deteriorate, and the glaciers continue to melt. But the right wing and a complicit press have determined that we should be focused on hating brown people in the Southwest and brown people with foreign-sounding names in Manhattan.

I’ve said it before, but as long as Kyle tries to direct our attention to the Burlington Coat Factory Mosque it’s worth repeating that Kyle doesn’t want us to notice that Republicans have no plan–at least not one that they want us to know about. They have no plan for putting Americans back to work. They have no plan for ending the war in Afghanistan. They have no plan for eliminating the deficits. They have no plan for fixing the infrastructure, growing the manufacturing base, and turning our trade deficits into trade surpluses.

They do, however, have a plan for reducing benefits for and privatizing Social Security. They do have a plan for ending Medicare and giving seniors vouchers with no protection against rising premiums. They do have a plan for shifting more of the tax burden from big business and the rich to the middle class and the poor.

But those of us who are easily distracted by peaceful Muslim prayer and worship centers (aka: mosque) renovated one block from an previously existing Muslim prayer and worship center will never know about what the GOP has in mind for us, because we’re too busy letting our innate bigotry get the best of us.

No doubt Kyle will blame the targets of our hate for our bigotry. Bigots always do.

Pete

August 18th, 2010
8:12 pm

Winston are your really that dim? Is it catching because after reading your tripe I feel dumber. You must be a speech writer for Obama trolling the Internet to continue the apology tour. Manifest Destiny? What was that the essay of the month in the Marxist Quarterly?

Americans and have nothing to apologize for, well except for Obama. If you feel as you have stated you can give up your citizenship and move to Pakistan.

josef nix

August 18th, 2010
8:14 pm

ISA
It’s good to see a Muslim here.

On Patroll

August 18th, 2010
8:14 pm

Just admit your wrong on this Kyle and move on. You will not be that condemned by the GOP. You will find another person to blame for everything soon.

josef nix

August 18th, 2010
8:16 pm

It is NOT the Burlington Coat Factory mosque. It’s the Cordoba Center and it would behoove us to keep that in mind. There’s a very good reason this name was chosen.

On Patroll

August 18th, 2010
8:19 pm

pete when calling someone dim, you should check your own knowledge beforehand. Manifest Destiny is anything but marxist. it is why the country has as many states as it does. Killing.

CJ

August 18th, 2010
8:21 pm

What’s the matter Josef? Are you afraid for people to know that the controversial mosque (actually one of many around the country) isn’t a new Middle Eastern style building with a pointy dome sitting where the twin towers once stood, but rather, just a room in a closed Burlington Coat Factory store? Are you concerned that they won’t be as hateful as you are?

barking frog

August 18th, 2010
8:22 pm

Today is the 90th anniversary of the 19th
amendment which guarantees women
the right to vote, point being tolerance
is not really all that old, not a good
thing to push at the moment. I would
give the same advice to the Westboro
Baptist church members who are protesting
at the soldiers funerals.

Pete

August 18th, 2010
8:23 pm

CJ: If you want to shill for Obama, Pelosi & Reid aka the Three Horsemen of Bankruptcy then at least find a forum where your comments are relevant. I think you have it backwards, it was Obama that is trying to distract from the miserable job the Democratic Progressive Socialist Communist Statist Elitist Party have done and the damage done to this Nation in the last 18 months. It will take years to correct and undo what these nimrods have done.

Enjoy the last few months in the sunshine because America is now awake and will never let the progressives have that much power again. In fact, Google the progressive caucus. If any of these pond scum are in your district do your best to vote them out of office in November and 2012, for the good of the Nation.

On Patroll

August 18th, 2010
8:25 pm

nix you want us to worry about a name that is from 711AD spain? the muslim army vs romans big deal, who did the romans take it from? who has it now? if it has anyother meaning besides a city’s name let me know. muslims can not and will not take this country over because they have a mosque in ny with the name cordoba. just like anyother religion can not and will not take over the country because they have a place of war(sic)ship in ny.

problem solved

August 18th, 2010
8:28 pm

Josef…Since you moved on, and never responded to my question of providing one liberal who is not a democrat ..I will ask again? You have called Barbara Boxer a cow although she supports your lifestyle, you have stated “don’t get me started” as far as Al Franken (one of the most liberal senators. The same thing with Barney Frank (although he and you share the same lifestyle) I really don’t think you are a liberal you just make comments to please whoever happens to be around!
You are a typical brown noser who seems to have no scruples. Spin it anyway you like…but, words speak volumes!

josef nix

August 18th, 2010
8:30 pm

CJ
First off, it’s not sitting where the Twin Towers once stood. Secondly, I have not seen the architectural plans, but I would assume that it might well conform to Islamic architecture (just as do the Catholic churches which dot the Spanish American Southwest) and have a “pointy dome” the same as a Christian church might have a steeple or a Sephardic synagogue might have a magen david rose window…

Hateful as I am? Whom do I hate?

Pete

August 18th, 2010
8:33 pm

On Patroll: The comment stands on the use of “Manifest Destiny” in response to the bag of lefty tripe above. How you come to say it is why we have so many States is the remarkable part.

On Patroll

August 18th, 2010
8:34 pm

ok, pete has to be fake. give me one example of what the democrats have done that the republicans wouldn’t. fix healthcare (atleast try, cause I haven’t seen nothing i still pay the same thing) republicans wouldn’t have touched it. taxes cuts, democrats did it (bush’s haven’t expired yet and they still did it). i guess republicans just do the that same thing better to you. (oh oh and the republicans wanted the democrats to account for their tax cuts with spending cuts which they do) you must think the way republicans don’t do that is much better.

josef nix

August 18th, 2010
8:37 pm

problem
Others responded on my behalf. Yes. I called Boxer a cow…her bad manners in jumping down a career military man’s throat for addressing her as “ma’am…” is why. Al Franken has been so rude and uninformed as to what Senate protocol is to be an embarassment…and Barney Frank and I do NOT share the same “lifestyle” by a long shot…and if that’s the argument you want to make, then D*ck Cheney ought to be my best friend in the whole wide world…

barking frog

August 18th, 2010
8:37 pm

Josef new theory; columbus supposedly used a map
belonging to admiral piri reis, a persian, when he
came to the indies. Is it possible that the persian
explorers settled the North East and the Iroquois,
before the French messed with the spelling was
actually Iraqi?

CJ

August 18th, 2010
8:37 pm

josef nix: “I would assume that it might well conform to Islamic architecture…

I know you would Josef. To discover otherwise would probably cause your head to explode.

Bruno

August 18th, 2010
8:38 pm

“And they will conclude that even in America, with a prouder history of assimilation and inclusiveness than Europe has, it would be prudent to meet this outrage with something other than finger-wagging.”

Kyle–I gotta say, you just blew whatever good will you had built up over the last few days with this conservative. The only “solution” to your “concerns” would be to sanction discrimination against a particular group based solely upon their religious affiliation. And to accomplish that, you will need to overturn a key part of our Constitution, a part that I hold near and dear as a non-Christian.

In case you forgot, the non-Establishment clause was created in response to the oppressiveness that sanctioned discrimination in Europe had created in the Middle Ages. Your “solution” is far worse than the problem, and you should know that.

On Patroll

August 18th, 2010
8:40 pm

do you know what manifest destiny was in the untied states? expansion west. yes the reason we have as many states as we do is because we kicked mexico’s ass (ideology = manifest destiny). we also killed a bunch of natives, i mean a bunch. they all got casinos now though. oh and alcohol, they all like us now so you don’t have to think about them anymore, not that you ever did.

problem solved

August 18th, 2010
8:47 pm

Barbara Boxer “And her bad manners” I’m sure she was calling that career military officer by his rank…Why should she not expect the same courtesty….Al Franken, are you kidding me! He is one of the most knowledgeble senators. “Rude” who has he been rude too? According to your own words..You and Barney Frank share the same private lifestyles (are you not a homo with a live in boyfriend) Well there you go….But, you still haven’t answered the question…One liberal who is no a democrat?

On Patroll

August 18th, 2010
8:47 pm

[W]e have never dreamt of incorporating into our Union any but the Caucasian race—the free white race. To incorporate Mexico, would be the very first instance of the kind, of incorporating an Indian race; for more than half of the Mexicans are Indians, and the other is composed chiefly of mixed tribes. I protest against such a union as that! Ours, sir, is the Government of a white race…. We are anxious to force free government on all; and I see that it has been urged … that it is the mission of this country to spread civil and religious liberty over all the world, and especially over this continent. It is a great mistake.

why didn’t take all of mexico during the war? nice.

josef nix

August 18th, 2010
8:48 pm

barking
Good one!

On the maps and Columbus…on his ships there were at least seven Jews who, while their fellow Jews were being driven out of Spain following the Alhambra Decree, were not allowed to leave and were forced to go with Ole Chris, their expertise in cartography and maritime nivigation being that important…the Jews having been the unchallenged experts in this field in Moorish Spain…also there was MY hero of the voyage, Luis de Torres, his interpreter…

Pete

August 18th, 2010
8:51 pm

On Patroll: So what about the poor inhabitants that were here first that the current American Indians wiped out or assimilated? How do you think things would have worked out if the British, French or Russians would have taken the Country? “Manifest Destiny” has been happening since the first humans walked upright and started staking out territory.

josef nix

August 18th, 2010
8:53 pm

problem

Why I bother, I don’t know…but military decorum (not to mention manners and protocol) are to address using “ma’am” and “sir.” The same vice-versa. She is not required to address him as anything other than “sir.” And Franken? Yeah, sure, whatever. Frank? Ah, my good liberal colleague, “are you not a homo with a live in boyfriend?” You’re sheet’s showing with your choice of words, Pombo, and with friends like you, who needs enemies?

barking frog

August 18th, 2010
8:56 pm

josef also huron=iran

Zen

August 18th, 2010
8:56 pm

Well I am glad to hear we finally all recognise that Muslims discovered and founded America on their own. Hopefully they will teach the next generation of children that Bin Al’Drin and Ne Al Immamstrong were the first two Muslims to walk on the moon.

If the poop rises any higher I will be breathing it.

problem solved

August 18th, 2010
8:59 pm

Never did answer my original question Mr. Nix….ONE LIBERAL who is not a DEMOCRAT? I’ll be waiting? Mr. liberal!

By the way Josef as an ex-military officer you are full of sh*t. protocol unless answering a question is to address the officer by rank.

@@

August 18th, 2010
8:59 pm

In politics, public perception is everything. Problem is…this administration has no perception of the public’s sentiments.

Americans are just ink spots on Obama’s bottom line.

I’d love to observe Obama taking a Rorschach Test. He’d probably look at the cards and say…..”It’s a uhmmmm (fill in blank here) NO WAIT! It looks more like a (fill in blank here) but on second….or is it third thought? It could be a (fill in blank here).

Can I go back and clarify my first pronouncement?”