Why the ground zero mosque may never be built

The reason, writes Barry Rubin, is that from the start the mosque project was not a serious plan to build a mosque, but a scheme to extract money from Muslim moneybags. The only reason the project has survived as long as it has is that the Muslim label protected it from normal scrutiny:

A group of people with a terrible record as developers who didn’t develop, businessmen who didn’t pay their bills, and slumlords put together a very badly designed project that would never otherwise have gotten zoning and other permits. [T]he true story is how city officials gave special privileges and the media gave sweetheart coverage because people were Muslims building a mosque, not that there was discrimination against Muslims who wanted to build a mosque….

It is the story of how the corrupt can play a system built around special privileges for special categories of people, in which fear of being labeled some variety of “racist” overrides the proper enforcement of the law.

In short, it’s yet another illustration of Auster’s First Law of Majority-Minority Relations in Liberal Society:

Under ordinary morality, the worse a group behaves, the more it is criticized. But under liberalism, the worse a (minority) group behaves, the more it is protected and even praised. A corrolary of the first law is that the worse the behavior of any designated minority, the more forbidden the truth becomes, and the more racist it is to speak it.

The First Law assured that the mosque couldn’t be stopped on the basis that it was a grossly triumphalist symbol of Islam claiming Ground Zero as Islamic territory after Muslim jihadists had destroyed the World Trade Center in the name of Islam—the more obviously offensive the project, the more passionately liberals defended it and called its opponents anti-Muslim bigots. Nor could the mosque be stopped over the tackiness of the project and the questionable background of its backers. But, Rubin suggests, the mosque may expire as a result of the developers’ financial corruption, which is so egregious that even the First Law cannot conceal it. The latest problem hitting the mosque (not reported in the mainstream media) is that mosque developer Hisham Elzanaty has been sued in federal court by Allstate over a $5 million insurance kickback scheme. State Farm and Geico have also sued Elzanaty in relation to the same matter.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 29, 2011 08:52 AM | Send

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