It is the elephant in the living room. No one is talking about it. But the symbolism of Ground Zero to me is that we are vulnerable to attack by people who hate us. The attack on the World Trade Towers was the midpoint of a more than twenty year era of fear of radical Islam.
I pulled out Christopher Hitchens piece about the twenty year anniversary of the Fatwa against Salman Rushdie. Hitchens says the violent threats have done there job and there is now a pervasive climate of self-censorship in the media. We know these are not just threats, the violence is real, as we saw in the Danish cartoon controversy. And he says that we use the "guise of good manners and multiculturalism" to hide that we are actually caving in to the threat of violence and failing to support the true moderate Muslims.
Sometimes this fear—and this blackmail—comes dressed up in the guise of good manners and multiculturalism. One must not wound the religious feelings of others, many of whom are poor immigrants in our own societies. To this I would respond by pointing to a book published in 1994. It is entitled For Rushdie: Essays by Arab and Muslim Writers in Defense of Free Speech. Among its contributors is almost every writer worthy of the name in the Arab and Muslim world, ranging from the Syrian poet Adonis to the Syrian-Kurdish author Salim Barakat, to the late national bard of the Palestinians, Mahmoud Darwish, to the celebrated Turkish writers Murat Belge and Orhan Pamuk. Especially impressive and courageous was the list of 127 Iranian writers, artists, and intellectuals who, from the prison house that is the Islamic Republic, signed their names to a letter which said: “We underline the intolerable character of the decree of death that the Fatwah is, and we insist on the fact that aesthetic criteria are the only proper ones for judging works of art.… To the extent that the systematic denial of the rights of man in Iran is tolerated, this can only further encourage the export outside the Islamic Republic of its terroristic methods which destroy freedom.” In other words, the situation is the exact reverse of what the condescending multiculturalists say it is. To indulge the idea of religious censorship by the threat of violence is to insult and undermine precisely those in the Muslim world who are its intellectual cream, and who want to testify for their own liberty—and for ours. It is also to make the patronizing assumption that the leaders of mobs and the inciters of goons are the authentic representatives of Muslim opinion. What could be more “offensive” than that?
Andrew McCarthy has a piece in National Review Online today that discusses the difference between the fake moderate Muslims supported by the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas versus the true moderate Muslims that are threatened by the the Islamists like the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas who will use violence to impose their will.
It doesn't take courage to kowtow to those who threaten violence. It does take courage to speak up against them. McCarthy says Imam Rauf and the Ground Zero Mosque are on the side of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. Why doesn't the MSM research this it? Or do they know but are to afraid to say?