Credentials as a civil libertarian come no better than those of Nat Hentoff, former Village Voice columnist and gadfly to the left as well as the right. His observations on the Cordoba Initiative Park 51 Ground Zero Mosque are at the link.
“Asked how he felt as a Muslim “knowing that people of your faith committed this act,” (destruction of the Twin Towers) Imam Rauf spoke about Muslim reaction throughout the world “against the policies of the U.S. government, politically, where we espouse principles of democracy and human rights and where we ally ourselves with oppressive regimes in many of these countries.”
“Are you in any way suggesting that we in the United States deserved what happened?” Bradley asked.
“I wouldn’t say that the United States deserved what happened,” Rauf answered, “but the United States’ policies were an accessory to the crime that happened. … Because (the United States has) been an accessory to a lot of – of innocent lives dying in the world. In fact, it – in the most direct sense, Osama bin Laden is made in the U.S.A.”
Imam Rauf has refused to call Hamas a terrorist organization and had no comment when, on Aug. 15, Mahmoud al-Zahar, its co-founder, strongly supported the Imam’s mosque near Ground Zero, saying, Muslims “have to build everywhere” (Associated Press, Aug. 16). Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said the support by Hamas of the Imam’s mosque carried no weight because “Hamas is a terrorist organization.”
Why, yes, it is, Imam Rauf, with its suicide bombers and endless rockets into Israel. How else can suicide bombers be characterized?”