A CNN anchor expresses the crux of “mosque” opposition

The case against Park 51 necessarily asserts that all Muslims are responsible for 9/11

Topics: Park51, Washington, D.C.,

A CNN anchor expresses the crux of "mosque" oppositionCNN anchor Don Lemon and Eboo Patel, Executive Director of the Interfaith Youth Corps.

CNN anchor Don Lemon hosted a “debate” this weekend over the Park 51 Community Center in Lower Manhattan (misleadingly described everywhere as the “Ground Zero mosque”) in which Lemon dropped his mask of journalistic objectivity completely and, in doing so, perfectly captured the crux of the ugly case against Park 51.  This is the exchange he had with Eboo Patel, Executive Director of the Interfaith Youth Core, after Patel explained that religious liberty and pluralism have been core values of America since the founding (video below; h/t Farhan Khan):

Lemon:  Don’t you think it’s a bit different considering what happened on 9/11?  And the people have said there’s a need for it in Lower Manhattan, so that’s why it’s being built there.   What about 10, 20 blocks . . . Midtown Manhattan, considering the circumstances behind this?  That’s not understandable?

Patel:  In America, we don’t tell people based on their race or religion or ethnicity that they are free in this place, but not in that place –

Lemon:  [interrupting] I understand that, but there’s always context, Mr. Patel . . . this is an extraordinary circumstance.  You understand that this is very heated.  Many people lost their loved ones on 9/11 –

Patel: Including Muslim Americans who lost their loved ones. . .  .

Lemon:  Consider the context here.  That’s what I’m talking about. 

Patel:  I have to tell you that this seems a little like telling black people 50 years ago:  you can sit anywhere on the bus you like – just not in the front.

Lemon:  I think that’s apples and oranges - I don’t think that black people were behind a Terrorist plot to kill people and drive planes into a building.  That’s a completely different circumstance.

Patel:  And American Muslims were not behind the terrorist plot either.



That sums it up about as well as anything I’ve heard.  Nothing related to Muslims should be near Ground Zero, because it was Muslims generally — not the handful of extremists — who flew the planes into those buildings.  It’s just amazing that that last point from Patel even needs to be uttered, but it does.  This campaign is nothing different than all of the standard, definitively bigoted efforts to hold entire demographic groups of people responsible for the aberrational acts of a small percentage of individual members.  Congratulations to CNN’s Don Lemon for laying it all out in its naked clarity. This whole controversy is exactly that disgusting.

* * * * * 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid — the top-ranking Democrat in the Congress — joined Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich and friends today in opining that Park 51 “should be built some place else.”  Make sure you donate to Reid’s campaign, as it’s absolutely vital that this Good Democrat wins!  

Glenn Greenwald

Follow Glenn Greenwald on Twitter: @ggreenwald.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 10
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Bet Me" by Jennifer Crusie

    A contemporary romantic comedy set to Elvis Costello and lots of luxurious and sinful sugary treats.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Welcome to Temptation" by Jennifer Crusie

    Another of Crusie's romantic comedies, this one in the shadow of an ostentatiously phallic water tower.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "A Gentleman Undone" by Cecilia Grant

    A Regency romance with beautifully broken people and some seriously steamy sex.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Black Silk" by Judith Ivory

    A beautifully written, exquisitely slow-building Regency; the plot is centered on a box with some very curious images, as Edward Gorey might say.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "For My Lady's Heart" by Laura Kinsale

    A medieval romance, the period piece functions much like a dystopia, with the courageous lady and noble knight struggling to find happiness despite the authoritarian society.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Sweet Disorder" by Rose Lerner

    A Regency that uses the limitations on women of the time to good effect; the main character is poor and needs to sell her vote ... or rather her husband's vote. But to sell it, she needs to get a husband first ...   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Frenemy of the People" by Nora Olsen

    Clarissa is sitting at an awards banquet when she suddenly realizes she likes pictures of Kimye for both Kim and Kanye and she is totally bi. So she texts to all her friends, "I am totally bi!" Drama and romance ensue ... but not quite with who she expects. I got an advanced copy of this YA lesbian romance, and I’d urge folks to reserve a copy; it’s a delight.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "The Slightest Provocation" by Pam Rosenthal

    A separated couple works to reconcile against a background of political intrigue; sort of "His Gal Friday" as a spy novel set in the Regency.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Again" by Kathleen Gilles Seidel

    Set among workers on a period soap opera, it manages to be contemporary and historical both at the same time.   Read the whole essay.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>