Time's Klein: 'Nativist Electoral Politics' Behind Opposition to Ground Zero Mosque

In a Swampland blog post this morning entitled, "Something I Didn't Know," Time magazine's Joe Klein pointed to a New York Times article that noted the existence of two mosques "already within several blocks of the proposed [Islamic] center."

But while other folks might draw the conclusion that building an additional mosque just blocks from Ground Zero is a needless exercise in dividing New Yorkers over a highly sensitive matter, Klein ran in the exact opposite direction, suggesting that logical consistency would compel mosque opponent Newt Gingrich to want to "close those suckers down"?

"[T]his is further evidence of the true nature of this squabble: a particularly sleazy form of Nativist electoral politics," Klein insisted. [click here for a related post by Brent Baker]

But the issue has never been any and every mosque on the island of Manhattan, just the Cordoba House/Park 51 project and the imam spearheading the effort to build it, Faisal Abdul Rauf. Klein surely knows this yet simply refuses to acknowledge it because of his desire to play political hack rather than mere opinion journalist.

After all, it's hard to fault folks for opposing Rauf's project when the imam reportedly said just weeks after 9/11 that the United States was an "accessory" to the attacks. More recently, the imam couldn't bring himself to agree with the U.S. State Department that Hamas -- a group committed to the destruction of U.S. ally Israel -- is a terrorist organization.

From the June 19 New York Post:

Asked if he agreed with the State Department's assessment, Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf told WABC radio, "Look, I'm not a politician.

"The issue of terrorism is a very complex question," he told interviewer Aaron Klein.

"There was an attempt in the '90s to have the UN define what terrorism is and say who was a terrorist. There was no ability to get agreement on that."

Asked again for his opinion on Hamas, an exasperated Rauf wouldn't budge.

"I am a peace builder. I will not allow anybody to put me in a position where I am seen by any party in the world as an adversary or as an enemy," Rauf said, insisting that he wants to see peace in Israel between Jews and Arabs.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters