I keep waiting for another shoe to drop in the “ground zero mosque” flap. The word is that Gov. Paterson will meet with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and other Cordoba House backers to find another spot for the proposed Islamic Center. And as much as I don’t want the bullies to get their way, apparently other Muslims in the U.S. want the issue to go away asap before the mob gets even nastier.
There’s an old joke that America is the land of the brave because you’ve got to be brave to live here. I’m not seeing much bravery anywhere these days, though.
The true of test of whether this country is really the “land of the free” is when we do or do not act like we are the “home of the brave.” It is not enough to carry copies of the Constitution and wave them at rallies. The U.S. Constitution lives or dies in the practice of its freedoms for all Americans. That means, all Americans, not just the ones with whom you agree, or with whom you may share a religious belief. We must protect these fundamental liberties especially when it is challenging to do so, or even appears threatening to some.
The Right is twisting itself into pretzels claiming that they support freedom but want to stop the building of the Islamic Center. In other words, now we’re only as free as an unhinged, frightened, bigoted mob allows us to be.
Sam Stein has a profile of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf that discusses the imam’s work with the FBI to counter terrorism and also some of his work, with Jews and Christians, to promote religious tolerance. If Americans can be persuaded that this man is a jihadist, then the right-wing noise machine could demonize anybody.
Update: Something I hadn’t thought of, but it could be a concern — Mosque Furor Endangers U.S. Troops