Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Libertarian view of the mosque kerfuffle

I am not a big fan of Ron Paul. Indeed, many of his ideas and much of his philosophy just seem wrong to me. But at least one can say that he appears to be intellectually honest which is more than you can say for many on the right. (Yes, I'm talking about you Newt Gingrich, Mitch McConnell, John McCain, John Boehner, etc., etc., etc.) Paul has now proved his intellectual honesty once again with his statement regarding the Islamic center to be built in New York, about which so many of his fellow travellers have their knickers in a twist.

Paul came out with the strongest, most coherent, and unequivocal statement that I have seen or heard in support of the building of the center and his reasoning is firmly based in his political philosophy. He said in part:

"The debate should have provided the conservative defenders of property rights with a perfect example of how the right to own property also protects the 1st Amendment rights of assembly and religion by supporting the building of the mosque.

"Instead, we hear lip service given to the property rights position while demanding that the need to be “sensitive” requires an all-out assault on the building of a mosque, several blocks from “ground zero.”


He calls out his fellow conservatives for their demagogy and their waffling on Constitutional protections and he rightly points out what many, including myself, believe is the motivation behind all the shouting of the opponents of building the center:

"In my opinion it (the emotional opposition) has come from the neo-conservatives who demand continual war in the Middle East and Central Asia and are compelled to constantly justify it.

"They never miss a chance to use hatred toward Muslims to rally support for the ill conceived preventative wars. A select quote from soldiers from in Afghanistan and Iraq expressing concern over the mosque is pure propaganda and an affront to their bravery and sacrifice.

"The claim is that we are in the Middle East to protect our liberties is misleading. To continue this charade, millions of Muslims are indicted and we are obligated to rescue them from their religious and political leaders. And, we’re supposed to believe that abusing our liberties here at home and pursuing unconstitutional wars overseas will solve our problems."


And further:

"There is no doubt that a small portion of radical, angry Islamists do want to kill us but the question remains, what exactly motivates this hatred?

"If Islam is further discredited by making the building of the mosque the issue, then the false justification for our wars in the Middle East will continue to be acceptable.

"The justification to ban the mosque is no more rational than banning a soccer field in the same place because all the suicide bombers loved to play soccer."


You've hit the nail on the head, Congressman Paul! Would that some in your party would listen to your voice of reason. (They won't, of course. They consider him a gadfly with no influence and would rather listen to the aforementioned demagogues.) And would that some in the Democratic Party would speak out as strongly. (Where are you Anthony Weiner? Cat got your tongue?)

Paul concludes:

"This is all about hate and Islamaphobia.

"We now have an epidemic of “sunshine patriots” on both the right and the left who are all for freedom, as long as there’s no controversy and nobody is offended.

"Political demagoguery rules when truth and liberty are ignored."


Bravo, Congressman! Maybe you'll shame some of those "sunshine patriots" into joining you in defending the Constitution.

(You can read Paul's full statement on the subject here.)

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