The controversy surrounding the Ground Zero mosque remains at the top of the news. The battle over who stood where on the issue is shaping up to be a key campaign issue for November. One of the candidates, Randy Altshuler has been pounding the Democrat incumbent Tim Bishop to say where he stands. After considerable foot dragging, Bishop finally came out as opposed to the mosque being built in the shadow of Ground Zero. Why did it take so long? Was he putting his finger in the air to determine which answer would score the most political points?
What about some of the other politicians? Altschuler is strongly opposed as is indicated on the front page of his website. Chris Cox, who is running against Altschuler and Bishop, it is not so clear. It doesn’t appear on his website, at least not in any of the obvious places. Newsday gives a rundown on those already in office.
• Those opposed: Peter King (R), Tim Bishop (D), Steve Isreal (D)
• It wouldn’t be fair to say the following politicians favor the project, they more judiciously say they are not opposed:
o Kirsten Gillibrand (D), the unelected Senator appointed to fill Hillary Clinton’s seat is in a special election this fall
o Carolyn Maloney (D) takes no stand other than to say it is emotional. Ms. Maloney was propelled into office on the sympathy she garnered when tragedy struck her family at the hand of LIRR gunman Colin Ferguson. Afterwards she felt compelled to travel the country and disarm her fellow law abiding citizens through increasingly restrictive gun laws. But when 3,000 of her neighbors are slaughtered in the name of Islam, she has no opinion about a mosque being built nearby.
o It has been said that the most dangerous place on earth is the ground between Chuck Schumer (D) and a television camera. Chuck’s been in hiding on this issue, but through a spokesman he says he’s not opposed.
o Gary Ackerman (D) is on vacation and apparently his office doesn’t know his position or how to contact him to ask.
The more interesting thing is an article in the Daily Caller that reports about moderate Muslims who are opposed to the mosque on the same grounds as most Americans. They feel it is insensitive and inappropriate. There may be a majority of Musims here and around the world who are appalled by the actions of the radical extremists, but they are not very outspoken. They were not outspoken on 9/11 nor are they very outspoken regarding the mosque. Their voices are muted at best, when they should be screaming from the rooftops that these miscreants are hijacking their religion. It could be for fear of reprisal from the radicals, who will kill anyone at the merest provocation. However, if they don’t speak up, their silence will speak for them. The radicals will become more strident and non-Muslims will take the moderate’s silence as acquiescence. If the moderates truly believe what this article says, the mosque would not be built and healing the rift between Muslims and non-Muslims could begin in earnest. They need to be more vocal and take the lead in the War on Terrorism, to root out this evil from Islam.