by Patrick Appel

E.M. at DiA says it as well as anyone:

It certainly would be insensitive, to use Mr Gingrich’s terms, to wave swastikas by the Holocaust Museum. But for this analogy to work, a mosque must be to 9/11 what a swastika is to the Holocaust. Happily, however, most politicians are reluctant to suggest that mosques are symbols of terrorism, or that Muslims are all terrorists.

Instead, the complaint seems to boil down to a vague sense that doing Muslim stuff near ground zero is an unhappy reminder of terrorism, because the terrorists claimed to be acting in the name of Islam. That smacks of collective punishment: I doubt, somehow, that Mr Obama or Mrs Palin would consider it insensitive to build a church near the site, say, of a cross burning carried out by the Ku Klux Klan or an abortion clinic bombed by Christian fundamentalists. I doubt also that they would want, if they thought about it a bit harder, to accept the 9/11 attackers’ assertion that they were acting on behalf of their Muslim brothers.

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