New York City
Slideshow: A gold-obsessed birther, Dick Cheney's daughter and more. Meet the opponents of the "Ground Zero mosque"
The former half-term Alaska governor and VP candidate declared in a tweet, “Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn’t it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate [sic].” And followed up: “‘Refudiate,’ ‘misunderestimate,’ ‘wee-wee’d up.’ English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!”
The former New York police commissioner somehow managed to send out an anti-mosque tweet from federal prison in Maryland, where he is doing a four-year sentence for fraud. No stranger to the neighborhood around Ground Zero, Kerik once requisitioned a nearby apartment — it had been donated to the city for use as a break spot for rescue workers — and turned it into his love nest for trysts with publisher Judith Regan and another woman.
A Florida-based Internet pastor who last year hosted the world’s first-ever birther infomercial, Keller has proposed a “9/11 Christian Center at Ground Zero” as the answer to the affront of what he calls the “false religion of Islam.” The new Christian Center project will force Keller to spend less time on his Gold for Souls program, which encourages people to send Keller their “old” gold and jewelry to help him “turn this nation back to God and biblical truth.”
Supposedly mulling a presidential run in 2012, Gingrich got in on the anti-mosque act late but made up for it with an extra dollop of crazy. Said Gingrich in a post on his website: “There should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia.” Quipped one twitterer: “Good. So when do we get to stone Newt for adultery?”
A Tea Partier on a self-financed run for the GOP gubernatorial nomination in New York, Paladino is trying to make hay off the mosque story with a radio ad in which he promises to use eminent domain to block the project. (He doesn’t detail how exactly that would work — it probably wouldn’t.) Paladino isn’t exactly a credible source: The defining feature of his campaign has been answering questions about the dozens of pornographic and racist e-mails he forwarded far and wide.
It’s no surprise that the Republican New York congressman who declared in 2007 that “we have too many mosques in this country” is at the forefront of the fight against the Cordoba House. It’s ironic that King of all people has made the centerpiece of his message an investigation into the financing of the community center (looking for terrorist ties, of which no evidence exists): He himself was a fundraiser for the Irish Republican Army for years when it was committing acts of terrorism.
Cheney’s group, Keep America Safe, has been doing the yeoman’s work of aggregating anti-mosque content from Fox, the Weekly Standard and other conservative media. Cheney herself claimed on the radio that “people who have got very nefarious connections to the Muslim Brotherhood” are behind the project, without citing evidence.
The Center for Security Policy president who sees Muslim conspiracies everywhere is fundraising off the community center controversy with a Web “ad” (that will never, and was not intended to, run on television) that declares, “If we let them defile Ground Zero with a beachhead for sharia, we will validate their sense of victory on 9/11 and encourage future attacks on America. No mosque at Ground Zero.” Gaffney also recently posited that a new logo for a military missile defense project, which featured something vaguely resembling a crescent, showed “an increasingly obvious and worrying pattern of official U.S. submission to Islam and the theo-political-legal program the latter’s authorities call Shariah.”
The “Ground Zero mosque” flap couldn’t have come at a better time for National Review writer and former prosecutor McCarthy: He’s currently selling his new book, “The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America.” On Fox, McCarthy called the planned center “a monument to intolerance on sacred ground.” He also argued, “There are 2,300 mosques, at least, in the United States. By contrast, in Mecca and Medina, there are not only no churches and synagogues — there are no non-Muslims. They are closed cities.” The logical conclusion being, ban Muslims from New York!