We understand the sensitivities and the emotions that have accompanied every decision related to Lower Manhattan since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. But many of the protests used the murderous actions of 19 Muslim fanatics on that awful day to smear the entire religion of Islam. To succumb to that kind of bigotry would be to give in to the extremists who want to finish what those hijackers started.
First of all, the editorial condemns what is commonly called "Islamophobia." That's what it means by bigotry. Second of all it considered opposition to the mosque as "giv[ing] in to the extremists."
There were of course valid reasons for opposing the mosque, but the Post continued:
Despite the demagoguery, support for the project was solid where it counted. The local community board gave its nonbinding nod in May by a vote of 29 to 1, with 10 abstentions. The City Council has the power to overturn decisions on landmark status, but the council speaker made it clear that wouldn't happen. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I) never wavered. Neither did state Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo (D), who has rebuffed repeated calls to investigate the finances of the group behind Cordoba House.
Now refusing to investigate the financing was just wrong. But the Post was praising Cuomo for his failure to execute his job. As Barry Rubin wrote at the time:
So let's forget for the moment about favoring or opposing construction of this massive project and merely evaluate it without taking any position on the issue. Here's what we see: rather than being the victim of discrimination, the mosque project was the beneficiary of special privilege that would not have been accorded to someone else, all other things being equal.
"No, Martel/Brauchli, you pulled the cartoon because your fear of Muslims outweighs your commitment to free expression, period."
Note two things about the Post's refusal to run the cartoon. One is that the decision gave in to the extremists. The other is that fear of Muslims can be called Islamophobia too. The Post in one action (or actually inaction) did the two things it condemned two months ago!
Regarding the Cordoba mosque, the Washington Post preached that community sensitivities should take a back seat to (phony) religous freedom concerns. Now, regarding the Wiley cartoon, the Washington Post practice is to limit a free press in deference to community sensitivities. Who knew that the Bill of Rights was so elastic?Posted by SoccerDad at October 13, 2010 8:17 PM