Governor Paterson has had it up to here with all the arguing about the Islamic community center and mosque planned for Lower Manhattan. Yesterday he all but begged everyone to just drop it for the next week, out of respect for 9/11, the Jewish New Year, and Ramadan. Of course, Paterson's request for a moratorium has nothing to do with the upcoming primary elections, he simply wants one lousy "week of peace." Is that so much to ask? The governor told reporters:
The greater issue involving this situation is how can we bring New York's people back together and I propose that perhaps in light of the fact that Rosh Hashanah is this week, the Jewish New Year, that the celebration of Ramadan is coming at the end of the week and that we should all be focused on our concern to those who lost relatives [on] Sept. 11. Perhaps we might think more in terms of supporting those families who are on both sides of this issue as all of us are and maybe all step back and try to devote a week of peace.
According to the Daily News, Paterson has made a personal pledge not to talk about the issue for one week "just to see if this exercise would help New Yorkers and Americans remember that the terrorists didn't care who we were when they attacked us and we should think a lot about the fact that in many ways, we were all victims." However, Paterson stopped short of proposing a "ground zero mosque" swear jar.
It's unclear how many politicians and protesters will follow the governor's lead and take a time out. Last week relatives of some New Yorkers who died in the World Trade Center called on mosque opponents to cancel a major demonstration planned for 9/11. But one of the protest's organizers, blogger Pamela Geller, is refusing to reschedule. "I would have canceled the rally, but due to the large number of family members who have contacted me and asked us to help them speak out for their loved ones and give them a voice to express their opinions, in all good conscience I could not postpone the rally," Geller said in a statement. So far, it looks like Paterson's the only one who won't be talking about the mosque this week (besides the rest of the Democrats).