Saturday, July 31, 2010

Anti-Defamation League: Your Stupid is Showing

Between my seven month old twins and the complete idiocy of what passes for political discourse these days, I haven't written for over 5 months. However, the debate over whether a group of Muslims may open the Cordoba House - an Islamic community center including a mosque - two block north of the World Trade Center site has brought me back out of my cave.

And it wasn't the vacuous statements of Sarah Palin, nor the bald bigotry of others like Newt Gingrich, or the general insanity of Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity [hey, that rhymes!]. No, it was that the Anti-Defamation League has thrown in with the likes of them.

The ADL's self proclaimed mission statement is as follows:
"The immediate object of the League is to stop, by appeals to reason and conscience and, if necessary, by appeals to law, the defamation of the Jewish people. Its ultimate purpose is to secure justice and fair treatment to all citizens alike and to put an end forever to unjust and unfair discrimination against and ridicule of any sect or body of citizens." See it at
However, with respect to the proposed Cordoba House, the ADL has decided that "feelings" trump reason, conscience, and law. (For example, see: Amendment 1 to the Constitution). The ADL's statement on the Cordoba House? Here it is:
"Proponents of the Islamic Center may have every right to build at this site, and may even have chosen the site to send a positive message about Islam. The bigotry some have expressed in attacking them is unfair, and wrong. But ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right. In our judgment, building an Islamic Center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain --unnecessarily -- and that is not right."
Catch that? Reason, conscience and law matter not. Feelings matter most. Especially since we're talking about Muslims. Imagine the self righteous, apoplectic anger that would result if it were an American Muslim community fighting to prevent something like the building of a church, or a synagogue, a memorial to American soldiers, or one to September 11, or perhaps a memorial for the Holocaust. This is a disgusting display of anti-Muslim hate that is but thinly veiled. And I expect it from some, but not the ADL.

Instead of taking the high road - the hard road, the tough row to hoe - the ADL has gone for the cheap thrills of divisiveness and religious hate. The fact remains it is easy to pick on the unpopular kid. Just ask Gov. Jan Brewer, the perpetrator of the single most cowardly political act of 2010, until the ADL went all anti-Islam.

Now, having thrown in with cheap, slimy faith hustlers like Palin, Gingrich, Glenn Beck, Rep. Peter King (R-NY), and Carl Paladino, the ADL has defamed itself and everything it stands for, and done a great deal to undermine its great history of courage in the never ending struggle for civil rights and equal protection. Kudos.

It's the bigotry, stupid. You know, the stuff you said you were there to fight against.

Anti-Defamation League: you are dead to me.


  1. Welcome back Ray.

    The Ground Zero Mosque is not a religious freedom issue - it's a zoning issue.

    If they established a mosque in the building there as it exists now, or went ahead and built the 15 story "Super Mosque" on the Upper West side, most of the people who object to the Ground Zero mosque wouldn't have a problem with it.

    There aren't that many Muslims in downtown Manhattan to justify a 15 story mosque at that location. It's clear that the mosque is intended to stand as a monument to what Islam "accomplished" on 9/11. They plan to fund it with Saudi money and it is intended to become a place for Muslims around the world to make pilgrimages to. Muslims have a history of building mosques in places they "conquer" Look up the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and Cordoba Mosque in Spain. Do you think it's a conincidence the group trying to build the mosque originally called itself the "Cordoba Initiative"?

    The imam behind this project went on TV a few weeks after 9/11 and said US policy was an accessory to 9/11 and that bin Laden was made in the USA. He refuses to admit the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist group and he plans to open the mosque on 9/11/11.

    To say none of this is relevant because the building of the mosque is being framed as a freedom of religion issue is insulting to people's intelligence.

  2. In a city that regularly allows for industrial space to be converted into luxury high-rise condominiums, I would scratch the zoning issue entirely.

    Furthermore, similar rhetoric was used in the previous two centuries against Catholic establishments by organizations as credible as the Ku Klux Klan.

    Your points are relevant only because we live in a nation of laws that protect your right to free speech and religion. For you to stop them in doing so would be to impinge on your own rights. Lookout! Snowball!