Ron Paul Decries 'Mosque Demagoguery'

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Railing against neoconservatives, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and "sunshine patriots," libertarian firebrand Rep. Ron Paul delivered a blistering critique of the opposition to the proposed Cordoba House in an op-ed contribution on Those who are protesting the mosque, he argues, have made an irrational decision that disregards the 1st Amendment in favor of using public pressure to force the supporters of Park 51 to relocate. Paul asserts, "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." Here are the highlights from his argument:

On conservatives and the 1st Amendment:

Conservatives are once again, unfortunately, failing to defend private property rights, a policy we claim to cherish. In addition, conservatives missed a chance to challenge the hypocrisy of the Left, which now claims to defend the property rights of Muslims, yet rarely if ever, defends the property rights of American private businesses. Defending the controversial use of property should be no more difficult than defending the 1st Amendment principle of defending controversial speech. But many conservatives and liberals do not want to diminish the hatred for Islam – the driving emotion that keeps us in the wars in the Middle East and Central Asia

On the "charade" of the wars in the Middle East:

The claim 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. The 19 suicide bombers didn’t come from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, or Iran. Fifteen came from our ally Saudi Arabia, a country that harbors strong anti-American resentment, yet we invade and occupy Iraq where no al-Qaeda existed prior to 9/11.

On the 64 percent of Americans who oppose the mosque:

What would we do if 75 percent of the people insisted that no more Catholic churches be built in New York City? The point being that majorities can become oppressors of minority rights as much as individual dictators. Statistics of support are irrelevant when it comes to the purpose of government in a free society – protecting liberty.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.