True weakness isn't giving in to Muslims who want to build a mosque, but in giving into our basest tribal fears of outsiders - the very fears that give "terrorism" its name. After the two towers came down, I said, "Build them back!" Far from a memorial, I wanted to tell the terrorists, "we won't be defined by this tragedy - you knock these towers down, we build them right back up." Similarly, a mosque at Ground Zero of the terrorists' handiwork is not a sign that they've won, but a monument to how little their handiwork has changed us - proof that their best efforts to sow fear has not shaken our commitment to freedom... for ALL Americans.
As usual, I've been proven right. From the Wall Street Journal (!), evidence that opposition to the mosque not only undermines American values of religious freedom, but directly aids terrorists in drumming up anger towards America and inspiring new recruits:
Islamic radicals are seizing on protests against a planned Islamic community center near Manhattan's Ground Zero and anti-Muslim rhetoric elsewhere as a propaganda opportunity and are stepping up anti-U.S. chatter and threats on their websites.
One jihadist site vowed to conduct suicide bombings in Florida to avenge a threatened Koran burning, while others predicted an increase in terrorist recruits as a result of such actions.
"By Allah, the wars are heated and you Americans are the ones who…enflamed it," says one such posting. "By Allah you will be the first to taste its flames."[...]
Jarret Brachman, director of Cronus Global, a security consulting firm, and author of the book Global Jihadism, said al Qaeda and other groups have long used imagery from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to recruit new members. But the U.S. position has been that those wars are not against Islam and that the U.S. has Muslim allies in the fight.
Anti-Muslim rhetoric in the U.S is different, since jihadists can use Americans' words to make the case that the U.S. is indeed at war with Islam. The violent postings are not just on al Qaeda-linked websites but on prominent, mainstream Muslim chat forums, Mr. Brachman said.
"We are handing al Qaeda a propaganda coup, an absolute propaganda coup," with the Islamic-center controversy, said Evan Kohlmann, an independent terrorism consultant at Flashpoint Partners who monitors jihadist websites.
You read that correctly. Even the News Corp-owned Wall Street Journal recognizes the truth on this one: every protest against the mosque directly increases the chances that another terrorist attack will happen. It's an irony that's true from schoolyards to street corners to international conflagrations: many conflicts stem not from rational defense of self-interest, but from the emotional overreaction to an affront which in turn escalates an imagined threat to a real one.
As even more evidence that it's not just bleeding-heart liberals who support religious freedom, both the NYPD and FDNY have strongly condemned ads by NY gubenatorial candidate Rick Lazio opposing the mosque:
Unions representing the city’s firefighters and police officers immediately demanded that Mr. Lazio pull his most recent ad, calling it an affront. Ed Mullins, the head of the city’s police sergeants’ union, called the ads “as irresponsible as they are reprehensible.”
Tea Party protesters and New York City fire fighters clearly have different opinions over whether a mosque at Ground Zero is insensitive. I think I know who to side with in this affair.
A pox on shock jocks who talk to block mosques: the case for building the mosque at Ground Zero