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A Test of Tolerance
Two weeks ago, I wrote that the arguments against the construction of the Cordoba Initiative center in lower Manhattan were so stupid and demagogic as to be beneath notice. Things have only gone further south since then, with Newt Gingrich's comparison to a Nazi sign outside the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum or (take your pick from the grab bag of hysteria) a Japanese cultural center at Pearl Harbor. The first of those pseudo-analogies is wrong in every possible way, in that the Holocaust museum already contains one of the most coolly comprehensive guides to the theory and practice of the Nazi regime in existence, including special exhibits on race theory and party ideology and objective studies of the conditions that brought the party to power. As for the second, there has long been a significant Japanese-American population in Hawaii, and I can't see any reason why it should not place a cultural center anywhere on the islands that it chooses.
From the beginning, though, I pointed out that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf was no great bargain and that his Cordoba Initiative was full of euphemisms about Islamic jihad and Islamic theocracy. I mentioned his sinister belief that the United States was partially responsible for the assault on the World Trade Center and his refusal to take a position on the racist Hamas dictatorship in Gaza. The more one reads through his statements, the more alarming it gets. For example, here is Rauf's editorial on the upheaval that followed the brutal hijacking of the Iranian elections in 2009. Regarding President Obama, he advised that:
He should say his administration respects many of the guiding principles of the 1979 revolution—to establish a government that expresses the will of the people; a just government, based on the idea of Vilayet-i-faquih, that establishes the rule of law.
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