As you know, every two-bit political hack hankering for a taste of the limelight is wallowing in sanctimonious fauxtrage over the Islamic center planned for downtown Manhattan, commonly misidentified as the "Ground Zero Mosque." Today, as the audience shouted "Shame!" the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to deny landmark status to the building that will be torn down to build the 13-story community center, which is now called Park51 (the address is 45-51 Park Place). But one of the project's planners is trying to make peace with the opposition by promising to include a memorial for 9/11 victims. That ought to defuse everything.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Park51 co-founder Daisy Khan says, "No one should be asked to leave their neighborhood. This is our neighborhood and we’ve been part of it for 27 years. Our opponents are not from this neighborhood…We were shut down for four weeks after 9/11. The sad part was that we felt victimized like everyone else in New York because it was our city that was attacked but we were never given permission to mourn." And besides the center's 9/11 memorial, Khan hopes to bond with opponents through food: "There will be shopping and a restaurant. We will cater to the lunch crowd—a religion becomes accepted in any country once its food is accepted."
Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League doesn't want Khan's falafel, though. "If you want to heal us, don't do it in our cemetery," Foxman tells the Journal. "We are joining in with families who are not saying don't do it at all, but saying don't do it here. Two blocks away is basically in your face." Meanwhile, down in North Carolina, Ilario Pantano, a Republican who's running for Congress, is soliciting campaign donations with a letter ranting against the Islamic center. And Myers Mermel (who? some rich guy who failed to win the Republican nomination for governor) has sounded off too, with his own droning video, arguing that, "It's not unheard that the religion of a nation at war with the United States be curtailed or disestablished." His example: The Anglican religion was disestablished during the Revolutionary War. And in WWII we locked up the Japanese, so obviously that justifies rounding up Muslims to keep America safe during the Eternal Terror War! Muslims should feel lucky we even let them pray in this town.
Milk your 9/11 Mosque anger while the udder's hot. All that's left is for Jimmy the Greek to rise from the dead and blast this abomination. In the meantime, here's a roundup of some of the best videos to emerge from this shout-athon.