Yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg argued that acceptance of the mosque and community center planned for two blocks from ground zero was demanded by the founding ideals of our country, as codified in the Constitution. “I believe that this is an important test of the separation of church and state as we may see in our lifetimes, as important a test,” he said. “And it is critically important that we get it right.” Today, in an embarrassingly weak argument in her Post column, Andrea Peyser tries to reclaim the Constitution for the side of the mosque’s critics, who, in the alternate reality in which Peyser apparently resides, have been given no chance to voice their opposition.
Yesterday, the Constitution was slimed and perverted by a group of Muslim-Americans determined to erect a 13-story mosque and Islamic center a stone’s throw from the spot where nearly 3,000 innocents were slaughtered in the name of religion….
For months, mosque opponents have watched mutely as cheerleaders do everything but stick ball gags in their mouths. Where I come from, that’s called trampling upon one’s right to protest. The right to free speech? If you object to the mega-mosque, you have none….
In what way were the mosque opponents gagged by Muslim-friendly dominatrices? Though Peyser whines about freedom of speech being curtailed, she never provides any examples, probably because, in truth, opponents of the mosque were given ample opportunity to air their opinions. During the Community Board 1’s raucous public hearing on May 25, for example. Or the protest at ground zero on June 6 reportedly attended by 1,000 people. Or at the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s public hearing on July 13. Or another Community Board 1 hearing on July 27. Or the endless press attention given to mosque-opposing politicians like Rick Lazio, Sarah Palin, and Newt Gingrich.
What’s actually bothering Peyser is that, after this drawn-out public debate, the powers that be chose religious freedom over religious fearmongering. The mosque’s detractors were not the victims here, just the losers. But playing the victim just makes outrage so much more satisfying, especially if you can villainize some Muslims in the process.
A new hijacking [NYP]