Tolerance and the Mosque

by Charles Platt

Both sides are claiming tolerance. The Mayor is all in favor of it (actually I assume he is just in favor of saying whatever gets him re-elected). The moslems are in favor of it, seeking merely to “reach out” (actually they are in favor of everyone becoming a moslem, because that’s what their spiritual force tells them).

How about opening a Moslem strip club? Call it “The 72 Virgins,” get a guy named Mohammed to run it, subtitle “The closest you can get to paradise without being killed by a suicide bomber.”

Now we have a measure by which we can assess tolerance as I understand the word. Will the pious Mayor and his First Amendment speech writer defend the right of the strip club to exist? No? Then he’s bogus. Do the Moslems endorse it as a powerful way of reaching out to the locals? No? Then they’re bogus. To the relatives of the dead find it acceptable? No? Then clearly they object to moslems, not strip clubs, and dead relatives are just an excuse for expressing their feelings.

Alas, “The 72 Virgins” would be firebombed within a week, if the cops didn’t close it first. But that, too, would be a statement about tolerance.

18 Responses to Tolerance and the Mosque

  1. yoshi says:

    Bloomberg can’t run again unless he literally buys off on changing the election law again on maximum number of terms he can serve.

  2. Cam says:

    Wow, you put almost as much thought into this entry as I put into this response. Bravo.

  3. DMG says:

    Since Bloomberg was just elected to his third term, which doesn’t expire until 2014, and would have to seek another amendment to the city charter in order to run for the fourth term…do you really thing reelection is on his mind?

    This is part of why making a local zoning board decision into a national issue is so stupid. Hardly anyone opining on it actually knows anything about NYC, or even cares to.

    • zorach says:

      I don’t think this is strictly about tolerance, as it is about correctly identifying/distinguishing terrorists and extremists from legitimate and peaceful members of a religion like Islam.

      We certainly don’t want to tolerate Islamic terrorism.

      The key here is to make this distinction (which I explain more in my blog post).

  4. Charles Platt says:

    Didn’t know about Bloomberg’s re-election situation. But no doubt he may have plans to run for some other office. The point stands: Political statements are still political statements, even when we happen to resonate with them personally. That’s what makes them so mendacious. They masquerade as heartfelt sentiment, yet they seldom are.

    • DMG says:

      You mean like the political statements from people outside of NY who are opposed to it? The same people actually up for election in the near future. Those people? The ones you ignored in your haste to go after the mayor for a statement you apparently didn’t like. Where you took a dig at him based on something you clearly know nothing about?

      Solid reasoning….

      • Charles Platt says:

        Yep. They’re almost all the same to me. Nothing they say is trustworthy, because their political future hinges largely on what they say. And I sure hope you don’t think that Bloomberg writes his own speeches.

        • DMG says:

          Of course not, and I’m not a big fan of his either but I give credit where it’s due. I still appreciate any defense of the First Amendment.

          • Charles Platt says:

            Well that’s fair enough. The trouble is, though, I have a feeling the First Amendment is being invoked as a matter of convenience in this case. But maybe I’m too cynical.

            • DMG says:

              I don’t see any real benefit for Bloomberg on this one since opposing it seems to be the popular thing to do.

              That said, these days I’ll take what I can get.

  5. Matt Saunders says:

    Every time I think I’ve read the stupidest post on here, someone comes along and tops it. Nicely done!

  6. zorach says:

    I think the debate is a little bit more subtle than this analogy to the strip club acknowledges. As I argue in my recent post about this issue, all but the most fanatical opponents of this project acknowledge that this is constitutionally protected under the first amendment…but they are simply arguing that it’s “bad taste” or “sending the wrong message”.

    Is it though? I disagree. I think it sends the right message to the world (and to Islamic terrorists and peaceful Muslims alike) to support this project.

    And I don’t think it’s strictly a question of tolerance. We do not want to be tolerant of everything–and we particularly do not want to be tolerant of violence, extremism, and terrorism. It’s a question of correctly identifying and distinguishing terrorists and extremists, from peaceful members of a religion.

    Check out my post and let me know what you think, if you have a moment. Thanks!

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