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Another New York Mosque Protest Reveals Anti-Muslim Bias

by @ 9:32 am on June 11, 2010. Filed under Freedom of Religion, Individual Liberty, Islam, Religion

You can’t use the Ground Zero excuse for this one:

A church may be a church, and a temple a temple, but through the prism of emotion that still grips many New Yorkers almost a decade after 9/11, a mosque can apparently represent a lot of things.

In the last few months, Muslim groups have encountered unexpectedly intense opposition to their plans for opening mosques in Lower Manhattan, in Brooklyn and most recently in an empty convent on Staten Island.

Some opponents have cited traffic and parking concerns. But the objections have focused overwhelmingly on more intangible and volatile issues: fear of terrorism, distrust of Islam and a linkage of the two in opponents’ minds.

“Wouldn’t you agree that every terrorist, past and present, has come out of a mosque?” asked one woman who stood up Wednesday night during a civic association meeting on Staten Island to address representatives of a group that wants to convert a Roman Catholic convent into a mosque in the Midland Beach neighborhood.

“No,” began Ayman Hammous, president of the Staten Island branch of the group, the Muslim American Society — though the rest of his answer was drowned out by catcalls and boos from among the 400 people who packed the gymnasium of a community center.

(…)

more than a dozen speakers, including Robert Spencer, a writer whose blog, Jihad Watch, is widely read in conservative foreign policy circles, said that the society and its national director, Mr. Bray, had ties to Hamas, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood. The first two are on the State Department’s list.

“Will you denounce Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations?” Mr. Spencer demanded. “Yes or no?”

Mr. Hammous said he denounced “any form of terrorism, any act of terror — by individuals, by groups, by governments.”

It’s not surprising that Spencer, who is also behind the Ground Zero protests and is well-known as being anti-Muslim, would show up at a meeting like this, but Spencer isn’t alone unfortunately:

Bill Finnegan stood at the microphone, came the meeting’s single moment of hushed silence. Mr. Finnegan said he was a Marine lance corporal, home from Afghanistan, where he had worked as a mediator with warring tribes.

After the sustained standing ovation that followed his introduction, he turned to the Muslims on the panel: “My question to you is, will you work to form a cohesive bond with the people of this community?” The men said yes.

Then he turned to the crowd. “And will you work to form a cohesive bond with these people — your new neighbors?”

The crowd erupted in boos. “No!” someone shouted.

That, my fellow Americans, is just sad.

6 Responses to “Another New York Mosque Protest Reveals Anti-Muslim Bias”

  1. John Peabody says:

    Quite correct. It is mob mentality. If you brought people together one on one, you would probably have an improved (but certainly not ideal) level of communication. My hat is off to the Marine who proved boorishness of the audience.

  2. dougisalwayer says:

    that marine will now be profiled on little green footballs as a “fascist” “anti-semitic” racist – the lowest of the lows, or jihadwatch.

    nyc could learn a lot from deerborn michigan or cedar rapids iowa. they both have the oldest population of muslims in america. i don’t think the people there are fighting a holy war with muslims. also i don’t think muslims there are doing any honor killings or look down on their christian neighbors. bloomberg went to london to get some cameras, he can surely at least go to one of those places and ask them how they do it.

  3. Vast Variety says:

    How quickly we forget things like Oklahoma City and the Atlanta Olympic Park.

  4. [...] Another New York Mosque Protest Reveals Anti-Muslim Bias, Doug Mataconis has a knee-jerk reaction. He regrets the anti-Muslim [...]

  5. David says:

    I would not mind a new mosque in NY just not at ground zero. This ground is sacred to those who lost their lives in a terrorist attack on home soil( no different then Pearl Harbor/ Arizona Memorial).

  6. I AM SO ANGRY THAT THESE MUSLIMS SAY THIS IS TO IMPROVE RELATIONS, THEN OTHERS SAY THEY HAVE A RIGHT AND IT’S A RELIGOUS FREEDOM.
    UNREAL THIS IS HAPPENING. 3000 PEOPLE DIED IN THAT AREA AND TO ME IT SHOWS THAT WE’RE LAYING DOWN ONCE AGAIN TO BE WALKED OVER BY PEOPLE WHO HATE US IN THE NAME OF BEING AN AMERICAN.
    WHAT HAVE MUSLIMS DONE FOR THE AMERICA CHRISTIANS BUILT?

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