Written by Daniel Greenfield
After crunching the numbers and realizing that backing a mosque near Ground Zero, plays to average Americans about as well as flag burning on 4th of July, the Dems have emerged with a new talking point. The Republicans are "politicizing" Ground Zero. Thanks to the exposure of Jornolist, we've already seen how liberal media pundits and Democratic campaign strategists collaborate to develop and distribute talking points in response to a setback. Now we're seeing the same thing at work as Time's Mark Halperin goes around promoting the "politicizing Ground Zero" talking point. It's already been picked up by Senator Robert Menendez and Governor Christie, who worked to help Hamas linked Imam, Mohammad Qatanani, stay in America.
But let's talk about who's really been politicizing Ground Zero. The mosque's biggest supporter, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, had aggressively tried to politicize Ground Zero back in 2005 with the International Freedom Center, with George Soros and the ACLU pushing exhibits on Islamophobia and the loss of civil liberties in America. Governor Pataki shut down the IFC's plans to politicize Ground Zero over Bloomberg's loud protests. Meanwhile the current plans for exhibits commemorating 9/11 at the site are being attacked by liberals complaining about a "lack of context", which is their way of saying that they want to politicize the site by suggesting that America was to blame.
The New York Times has added its voice to the chorus of complaints about "politicizing Ground Zero". But in 2005, the Times editorial complained that Campaign America's call to refrain from politicizing Ground Zero is Un-American. The cynicism here is virtually unbelievable.
The entire "Politicizing Ground Zero" talking point is a response to the fallout from Obama's own attempt to politicize Ground Zero by pandering to a Muslim crowd. When the polls number turned red, the media rushed to attack Republicans for politicizing Obama's own politicization of the issue. They claimed that Obama had just been functioning as a Constitutional law professor, delivering an abstract lecture on law at a White House event aimed at pandering to Muslims. The transparent ridiculousness of this excuse is almost lost in the clamor of self-righteousness, as the biggest supporters of the IFC suddenly discover a heartfelt desire not to allow politics to intrude on Ground Zero.
But just as with the IFC, the real politicization comes from Islam and the Left. It was Imam Rauf's plan for a Cordoba House mosque near Ground Zero that was a deliberate attempt to politicize the site, with an Islamic message. Rauf himself emphasized the location, "New York is the capital of the world, and this location close to 9/11 is iconic." In response to Governor Patterson's suggestion that he move the mosque elsewhere, Rauf backtracked claiming that, "this has always been about serving Lower Manhattan". But there is no actual Muslim community in Lower Manhattan, certainly not one that requires a 100 million dollar mosque. Rauf himself had previously admitted that his mosque does not cater to any Lower Manhattan community: "The people who come here for jum'a [prayer] come from within the New York tri-state area. Of course, the majority work around here, but a number of them come from Uptown, Brooklyn or New Jersey, specifically to participate in the Friday prayer here and to hear my sermon."
The mosque he has now serves Muslims who work in the area. Commuters. This isn't about serving a phantom Muslim community in Lower Manhattan. And commuters don't need a 100 million dollar mosque and community center. Based on the likely number of his worshipers, Rauf would be spending roughly a million dollars per Muslim for a facility that very few of them even live near to.
Imam Rauf and his media defenders have compared this to building a Jewish community center. But there are over 25,000 Jewish household in Lower Manhattan, or almost 20 percent of the population. There is no statistically significant Muslim population in the area. The 2000 census showed 3,522 people living in the Ground Zero mosque zip code, 375 of whom identified as Asian. Considering the proximity of Chinatown, it's likely that they actually are Asian, as opposed to Pakistani or Bangladeshi. (And the director of Al Arabiya has confirmed that: "there are no practicing Muslims in the area who need a place to worship".) What the census numbers also show is that the mosque is being built in an area with a small residential population, that is heavily commercial, with far more offices than homes. Even if everyone living in that zip code were a Muslim, Rauf would still be proposing to spend nearly 30,000 dollars per Muslim on the mosque. But since they are not Muslims, what Rauf is proposing is a 100 million dollar expansion in an area whose Muslims are outside commuters and generally use basement and storefront mosques.
Building a 100 million dollar facility for Muslims that most of them can only use on their lunch break or briefly after work, before they go home to Brooklyn or New Jersey, is not about serving the community. It's about making a statement. There would be no way to raise that kind of money otherwise. Rauf is not building a facility that local Muslims need. His flock comes from different boroughs and states entirely. They hang around Lower Manhattan as part of the Hallal Mafia, peddling unhygienic burned food from carts, or in storefronts selling cheap knockoffs of brand name merchandise, pirated DVD's and used clothes below Broadway. Some of them work as financial analysts helping Wall Street get the whole Sharia Finance thing right.
There might be a call for a 100 million dollar facility aimed at Muslims in Jersey City or off Atlantic Avenue, but no need or use for it near Ground Zero. There is no reason to build a Mosque there, except to make a statement. Rauf admitted as much early on, billing the mosque as part of a campaign of tolerance or healing. knowing that most liberals would not look past such euphemisms and enthusiastically embrace the project to showcase their vaunted tolerance, and rejection of "right wing extremists". That Rauf himself is quite the extremist has not interested them at all. The same Time Magazine which wrings its hands over the "politicization" of Ground Zero has whitewashed Rauf and his own plans to politicize the site. Just as the rest of the media has ignored the inconsistencies in Rauf's changing story, questions about where the money is coming from, and the most elementary question-- who actually needs the Ground Zero Mosque.
But the media's endorsement for the Ground Zero Mosque is radically out of step with most Americans and with most New Yorkers. When the ADL and the Simon Wiesenthal Center both rejected the mosque, they were in line with the 66 percent of Jewish New Yorkers who oppose the mosque. Their leftist critics on the other hand were out of step and wrong. And as a sign that Jewish New Yorkers are ahead of the curve in recognizing what Islam is, a higher percent of Jews, than Catholics or Protestants, said that Islam encourages violence. Despite the leading questions, nearly a tie at 41 to 42 percent. Catholics were not very far behind at 31- 48. New York City Protestants on the other hand insisted that Islam was peaceful at a ratio of 68 to 12.
Latinos oppose the Ground Zero Mosque in higher numbers than even whites at 60 percent to 56 percent. Jews oppose it by 66 percent. 49 percent of them have an unfavorable view of Islam. New York Women were more likely to have an unfavorable view of Islam than men. Women were more likely to think that Islam encourages violence, and less likely to see it as a peaceful religion. And they were more likely to oppose the mosque than men, 54 to 50. Statistics that can probably be explained by Muslim gendered violence and attacks on women. But what these numbers mean is that even Democrats in one of the more liberal cities in America, can't win on this issue with Latino, Jewish, Catholic or Women voters. And without those votes, their only base of support is located on the Upper East Side.
This is why Congressional Democrats and their media defenders are running scared. Because they can't win on this, and they know it. And so after endorsing Rauf's politicization of Ground Zero, they're now claiming that it's Republicans who oppose his Islamist politicization of Ground Zero that are the ones politicizing it. It's a repeat of the same cynical game they played 5 years ago with the IFC. The only right answer is to stand up to the Cordoba House's attempt to politicize Ground Zero. But instead of doing that, they've tried to take the issue off the table. Which just means silencing anyone who dares speak out against the Ground Zero Mosque.
The facts are in We know Imam Rauf's support for Islamic law, which treats Christians, Jews and Women as inferior. We know that the Ground Zero Mosque has no legitimate purpose. That it does not exist to serve a local community. We know that the money is coming from the same countries that financed Al Queda. We know. And we know who's really politicizing Ground Zero. It's the Left and Islam who refuse to let the dead rest, without shoving in their revisionist history into the mix. Without trying to hijack the site to suit their own agenda. Enough is enough. We know the truth. And we will not be silenced
From NY to Jerusalem, Daniel Greenfield Covers the Stories Behind the News