- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 19, 2010

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Conservatives take note: When The Washington Post tells you to back off something, it’s time to turn up the heat. On Saturday, The Post carried one of its “helping conservatives find themselves” articles, “GOP leaders urge caution on pushing mosque issue: Backlash at polls feared.”

Translation: This issue is killing Mr. Obama and his fellow liberals, so kindly shut up. The proposed Manhattan mosque is a keg o’ dynamite. It has blown up apathetic Americans’ benign illusions about Mr. Obama: “They’re going to build what? Where? And he’s OK with that?”

For months, the nation has watched plans proceed for a 13-story, $100-million mosque adjacent to Ground Zero, where nearly 3,000 people were killed by Islamic terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001. The Post’s front-page story delicately described them as “al-Qaeda terrorists purporting to act in the name of Islam.” Well, because they went down with the jets and weren’t convicted in a court, maybe we should just call them “suspects.”

Republican New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who opined that Obamacare opponents probably were behind the botched Times Square bombing (before the arrest of the Muslim terror suspect), has endorsed the mosque despite fierce public opposition.

On Friday, at an Iftar dinner at the White House, Mr. Obama joined the mosque folly by saying:

“As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable.”

Translation: If you don’t go along with this insult to the dead and to our soldiers even now fighting the spread of radical Islam, you’re not for religious freedom.

But Mr. Obama took it a step further:

“Ramadan is a celebration of a faith known for great diversity and racial equality. And here in the United States, Ramadan is a reminder that Islam has always been part of America and that American Muslims have made extraordinary contributions to our country.”

Even schoolkids reading bowdlerized history would be hard-pressed to say they believe “Islam has always been part of America.” They would take with a grain of salt the Photoshopped guy in the caftan in Howard Chandler Christy’s painting of the signing of the Constitution…. Or the woman in the burqa at the Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving table. Or the imam kneeling in the snow at Valley Forge with George Washington. Or the modern-day stonings of - wait, that isn’t in there, even in the social studies texts about Saudi Arabia, where carrying a Bible can get you 39 lashes or worse.

As for the mosque, surveys show that 70 percent of Americans oppose building it near Ground Zero. The very name of the project, Cordoba House, gives away its intention. As William J. Federer, author of “What Every American Needs to Know About the Qur’an,” writes:

“After the Muslim conquest of Spain, Emir Abd ar-Rahman I turned the prominent Christian Visigothic Church of Saint Vincent into the Great Aljama Mosque of Cordoba in 784 AD.”

As Mr. Federer documents, in every conquest, Muslims raze churches, synagogues and other places of worship and erect mosques in their place.

The proposed Manhattan mosque commemorates an Islamic triumph over the infidel Christians. This kind of undermines Mr. Obama’s insistence that it’s about interfaith understanding.

Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi wants to do more than merely urge people to shut up. On Aug. 17, she told KCBS radio:

“There is no question there is a concerted effort to make this a political issue by some. And I join those who have called for looking into how is this opposition to the mosque being funded.”

That’s right. The speaker of the House wants the government to uncover a conspiracy behind the 70 percent of Americans who oppose the mosque. Then presumably she can give them a bop on the head with her giant gavel.

As people learn more, some pols are running for cover. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, pressed by conservative GOP opponent Sharron Angle, suddenly came out against the mosque on Monday. Yet The Washington Post assures us that it would be good strategy for conservatives to go silent on this profoundly revealing issue.

It’s true that you can overplay something, and that’s a reasonable concern. But keep in mind that The Post and certain useful conservatives lecture to us frequently that the marriage issue should be mentioned only in private. After all, only about 65 percent of the public (including 70 percent of African-Americans) think that marriage ought to be the union of a man and a woman.

Whistling past the graveyard, The Post hopes the mosque mania will soon fade away:

“Strategists in both parties say that they think the issue will be all but forgotten by November,” writes The Post’s Karen Tumulty. Well, yes, if conservatives do what they’re told.

That’s why they should keep talking about it. It’s a neon-bright snapshot of the Big Picture of what’s happening to our country.

Robert Knight is senior writer for Coral Ridge Ministries and author of the recently updated “Radical Rulers: The White House Elites Who Are Pushing America Toward Socialism” (radicalrulers.com, 2010).

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