Comparing an Islamic mosque by ground zero to a porn shop?

Update: August 15, 2010

ABC Nightly News used the same distorted logic as did the New York Times back in May and made the moral equivalence of pornography shops and strip clubs many blocks away from Ground Zero to a proposed Islamic mosque. Presumably, ABC did this to make the point that Ground Zero is not the “hallowed ground” that mosque protestors claim. Therefore, to oppose the proposed mosque based on the grounds that Ground Zero is special is hypocritical. Read below our original commentary on the flaws of that logic.

Op-Ed May 28, 2010

In what could be one of the poorest uses of logic in recent mainstream media history, the New York Times featured a column by Clyde Haberman supporting the construction of a five-story Islamic mosque near “Ground Zero” (The name for the former World Trade Center sites demolished after the Islamic terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 that killed thousands). In his column, Mr. Haberman compares the insult of an Islamic site of possible future anti-American teaching to a strip club and off-track betting shop that are already nearby ground zero.

He wrote, “No one is known to have protested the fact that three blocks from ground zero, on Murray Street off West Broadway, there is a strip joint. It prefers to call itself a gentlemen’s club. A man stood on the street corner the other day handing out free passes to willing gentlemen.”

Huh? How does a passive purveyor of porn compare to militant murdering terrorists? Pornography and incubators of mass murder are not morally equivalent.

The organizers of this unfunded mosque idea have tried to soften it up by referring to it as a cultural center. Will the mosque really be this multi-religious “cultural center” that it claims to be? Will women be allowed inside without being covered up with various forms of head shrouds? Will the acts on 9/11 and radical Islam be condemned? Of course not.

Mr. Haberman does not seem to be willing to admit publicly that the terrorists who attacked us on September 11, 2001, were all brainwashed by Islamic radicals in extremist mosques. Perhaps he is pandering to the mayor who supports the mosque. The NY Times would benefit from an acquisition by Bloomberg News.

The authorities will undoubtedly keep close tabs on this “Ground Zero mosque” if it is ever built, but critics are justified in raising concern. In contrast, no adult porn shop or off-track betting site ever produced a jihad of America-hating murderers.

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