In a passionate and beautifully-written monologue, Jon Stewart spoke in support of the Ground Zero mosque last night—and again showed his misunderstanding of why nearly 70 percent of Americans oppose it. He sees it as a demonstration of our commitment to freedom of religion and accuses those questioning Imam Rauf’s intentions as playing a reprehensible game of guilt-by-association. To make his point, he uses guilt-by-association to “connect” Fox News to terrorism.
Stewart doesn’t get it. Most of the opponents of the plan, including myself, do not oppose the right of Muslims to build houses of worship wherever they’d like. We don’t argue that they aren’t constitutionally right, we say they aren’t morally right. Even if Imam Rauf and the Cordoba Institute have the best of intentions, they should back down simply out of respect for the feelings of New Yorkers and concern for the image of fellow Muslims.
Watch the video after the jump:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Extremist Makeover – Homeland Edition|
Jon Stewart is also way off on how he describes the case against Imam Rauf in particular. The type of guilt-by-association Stewart describes isn’t what’s happening. We’re looking at the people and causes Rauf has chosen to get involved with. It’s significant when his group refuses to rule out getting funding from Iran after he opined that President Obama should endorse the Iranian system of governance and spoke in support of Khomeini’s revolution and after his website removed a photo of him meeting with a high-level Iranian official.
It’s even more significant when you consider that he refused to condemn Hamas as a terrorist group and is an official in the group that financed the Free Gaza Movement responsible for the flotilla. And now, this very impressive research into the cleansing of Rauf’s websites shows he has worked closely with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Those opposing the mosque and questioning Imam Rauf do not have a thin case. Jon Stewart often talks about the need to respect both sides’ arguments and listen to each other. He should take his own advice and quit denigrating those of us that think these links are worth paying attention to.