Nothing To Investigate

Here’s a combination of the wrong reaction to the Park51 mosque controversy, courtesy of the Speaker of the House of Representatives herself, Nancy Pelosi:

The speaker questioned what was motivating the political opposition to the mosque, suspecting that the issue might be being “ginned up” by some to help Republican candidates.

“There’s no question that there’s a concerted effort to make this a political issue by some,” she said. “And I join those who have called for looking into how is this opposition to the mosque being funded.”

Madam Speaker, I’m with you when you say that the property owners have a right to build a mosque on their own property if they want, and I agree that at the moment, the only governmental bodies with any oversight over the issue are local.  I am not entirely sure I agree with the idea that this is a purely local concern because the Governor of New York is getting involved trying to broker a land swap and the Federal government could get involved if it chose to — although I think that would be a bad idea.

But investigating people who feel differently than I do?  That’s not just silly, it’s sinister. 

While I disagree with people who oppose the mosque, they have every right to speak out on an issue that concerns them.  And by calling this a “right,” that indicates that it may be exercised without sanction by the government.  Being investigated by the government is most certainly a sanction.  Congressman Lazio was wrong to call for investigation into the funding of Park51 because the owners have every right to build a mosque on their own land, and you are wrong to call for investigation into the funding of “opposition” because opponents of the mosque have every right to express themselves, too.

Pelosi seems taken aback at the breadth and uniformity of opposition to the mosque.  Apparently she sees some sort of vast conspiracy, or an intentionally-controlled network of public opinion influencers.  This is nearly as bizarrely paranoid  as the content of mosque opposition itself.  The explanation is simple and not malignant, Madam Speaker — a lot of people feel the same way about this and many other issues, and the media marketplace has, through the process of experience, found that catering to those people is a way to generate profits.  The result may be an intellectual echo chamber and we might rue some of its effects on political discourse, but there is no vast intentional conspiracy behind it.  Even if it were acceptable to investigate this, an investigation would almost certainly reveal that there had been nothing to investigate in the first place.

I suspect, though, that Pelosi is merely jealous that there is no similarly potent phenomenon helping out her side of political discourse — and if I’m right, do be careful what you wish for, Madam Speaker.

In any event, telling a private property owner that it can’t build a house of worship on land where it is legal to do so is an infringement on both free exercise and free speech rights.  Telling people who find the building of that house of worship to be in poor taste and offensive to them that if they prove too politically effective at expressing themselves they will have the government pry into their finances is an infringement on their free speech rights. 

This is the United States America, damnit, a nation founded on the idea of freedom — and it’s high time people started remembering that.

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.


  1. Well I'm no fan of the speaker either, however I think that the building of this mosque isn't just a religious issue to Muslims. " you will know them by their fruits" and their fruit are intolerance,hatred,intimidation,murder, and deceit.This Muslim movement is as surly political as the sky is blue. There will be a significant price to pay by the citizens of The United States of America who have any different religion than Muslim. Since unlike us , they have issued a jihad against any one non-Muslim. We have heard very little from these so called tolerant religious people.When lying is a means to an end , how can we ever take them at their word? I believe there is very much to investigate in regards to Muslim not because of religious matters in general, they are hiding behind their religion in order to get a strong hold in this country and other countries around the world. Anyone who fails to see their true intentions , cannot see the forest for the trees

  2. Given what we know of Imam Rauf's behavior, spoken rhetoric, and previous funding sources, NOT investigating his current laundered terrorist funding for the Ground Zero Mosque project is what would be insane.

  3. If I am to "know them by their fruits" and those fruits include intolerance, hatred, intimidation, and deceit, the forces working against the building of the mosque don't look so good, either.Eric, how is a truly peaceful Muslim is supposed to communicate that fact? According to your claim, any Muslim who actually does say peaceful things is simply lying to infidels so as to covertly advance the faith, any action which appears peaceful is really part of a grand deception. Ergo, the only logical conclusion is that all 1.5 billion Muslims on the planet are engaged in a massive conspiracy of deception bent on the destruction of the United States as the primary obstacle to the creation of a global caliphate. I ought not to need to advance the modest claim that there is no evidence supporting anything even approximating such a claim at all.Mike, it is unfair to accuse an American who critiques his government's policies of treason. We all have a right to peacefully dissent and I can find no evidence that Rauf or any of his organizations have broken any significant laws. The worst I can accuse him of is making mealy-mouthed, impolitic, and sometimes inconsistent statements about American foreign policy.We aren't talking about criminals here. We aren't talking about people attempting to overthrow the government. We are talking about American citizens exercising their Constitutional rights. That you are willing to compromise those fundamental freedoms in exchange for an evanescent sensation of safety tells me that you deserve neither security nor liberty.

  4. We are talking, TL, of people who are using laundered terrorist funds.Ergo, the only logical conclusion is that all 1.5 billion Muslims on the planet are engaged in a massive conspiracy of deception bent on the destruction of the United States as the primary obstacle to the creation of a global caliphate.Find me a mosque that does not claim to be pushing for the rise of the "global khalifa." Find me one, somewhere, that has anything remotely resembling "Render unto God what is God's, and render unto Caesar what is Caesar's" within their preachings.You will not find it. The problem with Islam is that it is not merely a religion, but a political movement with religious wrappings, similar to how the scam of Scientology is a lunatic's crazy "alternative to psychology" snake-oil that was dressed up in religious clothing when the US government came at him for making false medical claims.Examine seriously the doctrines of taqiyya and kitman. One of the most common by Islamic apologists is dishonest quoting of null-and-void verses – for example, "there shall be no compulsion in religion", itself only a small snippet of a larger verse (which mitigates much of the false claim that it means not to force others to convert), but also abrogated at least a dozen times by more violent verses that come later.

  5. The blogosphere is hyperactive with Ground Zero Mosque posts. It's impossible for one person to keep up with them (I've tried!). If you use Google Blog Search for 'Ground Zero Mosque' set to the last hour, they come up faster than you can comment on them.Most of the posts seem to be against the Victory Mosque, but many of these bloggers are working on gut feel only, and are obviously not Islamically Aware, being confused about the true nature of Islam and regarding it as just another religion. If we counterjihadists all spent an hour a day commenting on recent posts and pointing the bloggers in the right direction, then we could do a great educational job. Links to resources HERE

  6. We are talking, TL, of people who are using laundered terrorist funds.First, what does the phrase "laundered terrorist funds" mean? "Laundering drug funds" is a concept I understand. But unlike drug sales, terrorism would seem to consume money rather than generate a profit. Terrorism is not a product or service that a consumer purchases. So how is this money supposedly illegal?Second, if the evidence (what's your source for this evidence, again?) is as clear and unambiguous as you represent it to be, why is there no prosecution for it? Agreed in advance that authorities do not always prosecute any number of crimes for a variety of reasons, but if we're talking about something that's really flagrant, they don't really have that much discretion as a practical matter.

  7. Eric, how is a truly peaceful Muslim is supposed to communicate that fact? Why, by converting to Christianity, of course!

  8. It doesn't look like much of a walkback to me, and to the extent it is, it's walking in the wrong direction. Pelosi said she agrees with the ADL (buncha damn hypocrites) in calling for "transparency" in both the funding of the mosque and the funding of those opposing the mosque. But without probable cause to suspect that a crime is being committed, by either side, the prevailing value should be "privacy" rather than "transparency."

  9. But without probable cause to suspect that a crime is being committed, by either side, the prevailing value should be "privacy" rather than "transparency."Fair enough. FWIW, looks like "transparency" is winning out on one side though, to the tune of a cool $18 grand.That's OK – I'm sure it's all in laundered terrorist funds, all wrapped up in a thick roll of taqiyya.

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