About Newsweek’s surrender to the global jihad, see here and here. And this one by Fareed Zakaria in March 2009 really takes the cake. So it isn’t surprising that Zakaria and Newsweek would now come out for the Islamic supremacist mega-mosque at Ground Zero.
“Build the Ground Zero Mosque: I believe we should promote Muslim moderates right here in America. And why I’m returning an award to the ADL,” by Fareed Zakaria in Newsweek, August 6 (thanks to Sanjay):
Ever since 9/11, liberals and conservatives have agreed that the lasting solution to the problem of Islamic terror is to prevail in the battle of ideas and to discredit radical Islam, the ideology that motivates young men to kill and be killed. Victory in the war on terror will be won when a moderate, mainstream version of Islam–one that is compatible with modernity–fully triumphs over the world view of Osama bin Laden.
As the conservative Middle Eastern expert Daniel Pipes put it, “The U.S. role [in this struggle] is less to offer its own views than to help those Muslims with compatible views, especially on such issues as relations with non-Muslims, modernization, and the rights of women and minorities.” To that end, early in its tenure the Bush administration began a serious effort to seek out and support moderate Islam. Since then, Washington has funded mosques, schools, institutes, and community centers that are trying to modernize Islam around the world. Except, apparently, in New York City.
The debate over whether an Islamic center should be built a few blocks from the World Trade Center has ignored a fundamental point. If there is going to be a reformist movement in Islam, it is going to emerge from places like the proposed institute. We should be encouraging groups like the one behind this project, not demonizing them. Were this mosque being built in a foreign city, chances are that the U.S. government would be funding it.
The man spearheading the center, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, is a moderate Muslim clergyman. He has said one or two things about American foreign policy that strike me as overly critical –but it’s stuff you could read on The Huffington Post any day. On Islam, his main subject, Rauf’s views are clear: he routinely denounces all terrorism–as he did again last week, publicly. He speaks of the need for Muslims to live peacefully with all other religions. He emphasizes the commonalities among all faiths. He advocates equal rights for women, and argues against laws that in any way punish non-Muslims. His last book, What’s Right With Islam Is What’s Right With America, argues that the United States is actually the ideal Islamic society because it encourages diversity and promotes freedom for individuals and for all religions. His vision of Islam is bin Laden’s nightmare….
Zakaria either doesn’t know or doesn’t care that besides being an open advocate for Sharia and restrictions on the freedom of speech in his book What’s Right with Islam, Rauf has (like CAIR) refused to denounce Hamas. He has lied about his commitment to religious dialogue. He has lied about whether the Islamic center planned for the Ground Zero site will contain a mosque or not. And he has lied about whether or not the project is getting foreign funding. He is involved with a group that helped fund the jihad flotilla against Israel.
The problem here is that Fareed Zakaria and everyone else in the world can tell us that Feisal Abdul Rauf is a moderate all day and all night long, but until these questions about his manifest duplicity and advocacy for Sharia are answered, their protestations will ring hollow.
The much larger issue that this center raises is, of course, of freedom of religion in America. Much has been written about this, and I would only urge people to read Michael Bloomberg’s speech on the subject last week. Bloomberg’s eloquent, brave, and carefully reasoned address should become required reading in every civics classroom in America. It probably will….
This is not really a freedom of religion issue at all. No one is advocating that Muslims should not be allowed to build mosques in the U.S., although I maintain that those mosques should be carefully scrutinized by law enforcement for jihad activity — and Muslims who are genuinely peaceful, eschew Sharia, and are loyal American citizens should have no problem with that. The question here is one of the appropriateness of the location (as well as of Rauf’s dishonesty). Does the freedom of religion really allow any group to build anything anywhere? As a recent parody had it, would the KKK be allowed to build a “shrine of reconciliation” on the site of the black Baptist church bombed by racists in the early Sixties? Would Michael Bloomberg or Fareed Zakaria really have no problem with that?