The meaning of Obama’s mosque endorsement

Robert Spencer says that in endorsing “the Islamic supremacist mega-mosque at Ground Zero,” Obama

was in effect saying that Muslims could build a triumphal mosque marking Islam’s superiority and victory—which is how the Ground Zero mosque will be viewed in the Islamic world—and can lie about their funding (as Ground Zero mosque Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf has done), and lie about their commitment to interreligious dialogue and harmony (as Rauf has also done), and refuse to denounce jihad terrorists (as Rauf has refused to denounce Hamas), and all that is just fine with the President of the United States.

This is exactly right. Of course, Obama stated his support for the mosque not in terms of the issues named by Spencer, such as Islamic supremacism and terrorism, but in terms of religious freedom. As a liberal, Obama focused on the abstract rights of Muslims, while ignoring their substantive beliefs, purposes, and actions. A great benefit of the mosque debate is that it is leading many conservatives to distinguish between these two ways of viewing the world, and to argue that the liberal way of looking at things is not the only way.

For example, during the debate on the 1965 Immigration Reform Act which ended the national quota system and extended the right of immigration equally to immigrants from every country in the world, Congress considered the immigration problem solely in liberal terms, that is, in terms of the equal rights and “equal worth” of all human beings. Since all men have equal rights, the only just and moral immigration policy would be to give all human beings on earth, regardless of how similar or different their cultures were from American culture, the equal right to immigrate to the U.S. If Congress had been thinking in traditionalist (i.e., in truly conservative) terms, they would have considered not just equal rights but the likely substantive impact of culturally, religiously, and racially diverse immigrants on America, and designed our immigration policy accordingly. They might have asked, for example, what will be the effect on our society of allowing the immigration of millions of followers of a religion that is alien and hostile to our way of life and that has been waging war against the West for 1,300 years? They might have asked, what will be the effect on our society of allowing the immigration of tens of millions of Latin Americans who have 90 IQs and no tradition of education? Such questions were never asked, because the only permissible terms of discussion were the liberal terms of human equality and non-discrimination.

As we can see in the mosque debate, Islam is becoming—step by tortuous step—an exception to this suicidal rule of liberalism, because its threatening and hostile nature is so obvious that it can no longer be ignored or denied.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 17, 2010 11:16 AM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):