more on the “Ground Zero Mosque”

A seemingly reasonable position, held by many Americans

…you will find that I fully support the constitution…and their right to build this place. However, I think it’s wrong of them to put it so close to GZ and if they want to “build bridges” as the Imam is fond of saying…they’ll voluntarily move it.

and a reply from a reasonable conservative, Kathleen Parker

This is why plans for the mosque near Ground Zero should be allowed to proceed, if that’s what these Muslims want. We teach tolerance by being tolerant. We can’t insist that our freedom of speech allows us to draw cartoons or produce plays that Muslims find offensive and then demand that they be more sensitive to our feelings.

More to the point, the tolerance we urge the Muslim world to embrace as we exercise our right to free expression, and revel in the glory and the gift of irreverence, is the same we must embrace when Muslims seek to express themselves peacefully.

Nobody ever said freedom would be easy. We are challenged every day to reconcile what is allowable and what is acceptable. Compromise, though sometimes maddening, is part of the bargain. We let the Ku Klux Klan march, not because we agree with them but because they have a right to display their hideous ignorance.

Ultimately, when sensitivity becomes a cudgel against lawful expressions of speech or religious belief — or disbelief — we all lose.

Ms Parker is not alone in thinking the ‘mosque’ controversy could backfire on Republicans, Grover Norquist has weighed in on the Cordoba House initiative

“It’s the Monica Lewinsky ploy,” says Grover Norquist, a loyal lieutenant to the 1994 Gingrich revolution and president of Americans for Tax Reform. Norquist believes that the Ground Zero mosque controversy is distracting from the core 2010 Republican message in the same way that the Monica Lewinsky scandal distracted Republicans in 1998. “The Republican Party is on track to win a major victory in November based on the issue that Democrats are spending the country blind,” Norquist told me Tuesday evening. “There isn’t a single voter in the country that was planning on voting for the Ds, who says, ‘Oh, mosque issue, now I will vote for the Rs.’”

Read more: swampland.blogs.time.com

then there are the Muslim and Arab-American Republicans*.

A group of conservative Muslim and Arab American officials on Tuesday went further than most in the GOP to accuse their Republican colleagues of trying to exploit the so-called “Ground Zero mosque controversy” for electoral benefits.

In a letter to Republican leaders, the group of authors criticized members of the party for abandoning the principle of tolerance that has defined the GOP from Lincoln to Bush.
(…)
“While we share the desire of all in our party to be successful in the November elections, we cannot support victory at the expense of the U.S. Constitution or the Arab and Muslim community in America,” the authors write. As President Lincoln so eloquently stated in his famous speech: ‘a house divided against itself cannot stand.'”

*not all Muslim are Arabs and all Arabs are not Muslims

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