Monday, July 16 , 2018, 4:34 am | Fair 65º


Harris Sherline: The Mosque at Ground Zero

Abetted by bleeding hearts, Islam's assault on America continues — not just under our noses but in our faces

I don’t appreciate being lectured on fairness — that is, what my attitude should be about some particular issue, based on whether I am willing to be “tolerant” of “the other” point of view, which amounts to agreeing that my opinion is wrong.

Harris Sherline
Harris Sherline

The mosque at New York City’s Ground Zero is a case in point.

In addition, I’m also not interested in being politically correct to the point that I’m willing to tolerate the in-your-face construction of a $100 million Islamic cultural center and mosque at Ground Zero, within a stone’s throw of the World Trade Center site.

Furthermore, notwithstanding the support of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other civic leaders, including the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, it’s clear that millions of other Americans oppose what they see as a deliberate assault on the sensibilities of those who lost family and friends in the 9/11 attacks.

Attorney Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, has filed an action with the New York State Supreme Court, arguing that the existing building deserves “landmark status,” which would prevent it from being torn down so the 13-story mosque can be built. His brief compares building a mosque and cultural center at Ground Zero to “putting a monument to kamikaze pilots at the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.” In addition, he questions the source of the $100 million that would be needed for the project, asking, “Where is this money coming from, and who’s behind it?”

Speculation about who is actually funding this project is running rampant, and Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., has asked for an investigation, noting: “It’s a house of worship, but we are at war with al-Qaeda ... (and) I think the 9/11 families have a right to know where the funding comes from. I think there are significant questions.”

Another major irritant to those who oppose the mosque is its imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf, who refused to acknowledge that the Palestinian group Hamas is a terrorist organization and stated in a 60 Minutes interview that “United States policies were an accessory to the (9/11) crime that happened.”

As recently as June 8, Hamas has been labeled a “terrorist group” by State Department spokesman Philip Crowley, who said: “We think there is ample evidence to show that Hamas is a terrorist organization in word and deed. It has not played a constructive role in the region.”

In his book The Nazi Connection to Islamic Terrorism, Chuck Morse poses the following questions: “Would it be all right to build a Shinto shrine at Pearl Harbor, or would opposition to such a shrine be anti-Japanese? Is it OK for Americans to oppose a group that incites anti-Semitism, (to advocate) violence against their opponents, the subjugation of women, the beheading of homosexuals and other illegal practices?”

Greg Gutfeld noted in his blog: “So, the Muslim investor championing the construction of the new mosque near Ground Zero claims it’s all about strengthening the relationship between the Muslin and non-Muslim world.” Gutfeld says he believes Muslims have a right to build a mosque anywhere they want, and declares that he is planning to “build and open the first gay bar that caters not only to the West, but also Islamic gay men.”

Of course, the Muslim faith not only opposes homosexuality, but its more extreme adherents behead them, and I doubt that anyone would criticize any Muslim for opposing such a project near one of their own houses of worship.

So, why are Americans who oppose the mosque at Ground Zero being singled out as prejudiced? And why, in particular, would Bloomberg argue for “tolerance” from those who oppose the mosque? Especially, when you consider that the mullahs in Saudi Arabia or their king wouldn’t give a second thought to executing Bloomberg if he attempted to practice his religion in their country, where Judaism is outlawed.

Bloomberg’s attitude is political correctness to the point of foolishness. Even a board member of Canada’s Muslim Canadian Congress called Bloomberg a “bleeding-heart white liberal,” who doesn’t understand the Muslim strategy to “Islamize” North America.

New York Gov. David Paterson said, “I am very sensitive to the desire of those who are adamant against it (the mosque) to see something else worked out” and has offered to help find other suitable state property “if the developers agreed.”

A recent Marist College poll found that 53 percent of the New York City voters who were surveyed oppose constructing the mosque at Ground Zero, while only 34 percent favored the plan. The poll also showed a drop in Bloomberg’s usually high approval ratings.

So, around and around we go, each side labeling the other as insensitive to the concerns of the other, while the project moves along the path to approval and construction.

No doubt we will be hearing much more about this in the weeks and months ahead.

— Harris R. Sherline is a retired CPA and former chairman and CEO of Santa Ynez Valley Hospital who has lived in Santa Barbara County for more than 30 years. He stays active writing opinion columns and his blog,

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