Mosque Foes: Stop Catering to Feelings of 9/11 Families
Cordoba House isn't wonderful, but opponents are unhinged
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 10, 2010 9:04 AM CDT
Audience members protest during a presentation from the group behind the Cordoba House Islamic center being built near Ground Zero, May 25, 2010.   (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

(Newser) – The dispute over the so-called “Ground Zero mosque”—which is actually several blocks away, mind you—“has now sunk to a level of stupidity that really does shame the memories” of the 9/11 victims, writes Christopher Hitchens in Slate. As an arch-atheist, Hitchens doesn’t much like the Cordoba Initiative, or any of the supposed “moderate” Muslims behind it, but he’s appalled that its opponents have resorted to a “part-pathetic and part-sinister appeal to demagogy.”

From Sarah Palin to the Anti-Defamation League, opponents claim that they’re just parroting the families of 9/11 victims, and others who find the mosque offensive. This argument “borrows straight from the playbook of Muslim cultural blackmail,” Hitchens argues. “Claim that something is ‘offensive’ and it is as if the assertion itself had automatically become an argument.” If there are legitimate concerns about the mosque, address them with critical scrutiny and engagement, “not cheap appeals to parochialism, victimology, and unreason.”