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September 10, 2010 - Jim Anderson

Earlier this week, Glenn Beck drew a comparison between a Florida church’s plans to burn Korans on the anniversary of 9/11 and plans by an Islamic group to build a mosque and community center near ground zero in New York.

Others have offered a similar line of thought: Sarah Palin, Fred Barnes, Pamela Gellar, House minority leader John Boehner and Newt Gingrich, to name a few.

Gingrich, in fact, today urged President Obama to show “evenhandedness” and come out against the Park 51 project.

His logic, if not absurd, is at least a cynical stretch.

“I think the American people are prepared to say don’t burn the Koran just as they wouldn’t want to burn the Bible or any other religious document,” Gingrich said. “But they are also prepared to say (to Obama) ‘Why don’t you be pretty blunt, be at least as blunt with Imam Rauf as you are with the pastor in Florida and tell him don’t do it.’”

What correlation am I missing? Is Imam Rauf threatening to burn Bibles?

No, he’s “threatening” to put up a community center that would provide space for Muslim prayer, meeting rooms, a gym and a swimming pool.

The site is in a busy and diverse city neighborhood two blocks away and around a corner from ground zero. There would be no rooms dedicated to burning Bibles.

The suspicious, of course, view the mosque/community center as a Muslim “taunt.”

I disagree. Strongly. But even if were a taunt, it seems an oddly subtle one, especially in comparison to striking a match and torching sacred texts.

Yes, the despicable 9/11 hijackers were Muslims. They were also idiots. And, as Rep. Ron Paul pointed out some weeks ago, guys who loved soccer.

“The justification to ban the mosque is no more rational than banning a soccer field in the same place ...” Paul noted.

Same goes for comparisons between book burnings and community center projects.


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