Richard Bulliet on the Mosque at Ground Zero

NYC Mosque

An article from the new web site, Capital, recently interviewed Richard Bulliet, author of The Case for Islamo-Christian Civilization, about the proposed Mosque at Ground Zero.

Bulliet admits that when he first heard about the project he thought it might not be the best idea but has been surprised by “the firestorm that has developed.” He goes on to describe the difficulty the Muslim community has in responding to such a controversy:

“Some [American Muslims] are so gun-shy that anything that creates this type of reaction they want to go away. The experience of recent years has taught Muslim-Americans that they cannot depend on their views being understood as they mean them…. Everything Muslim is absorbed into the 9/11 moment, just as two decades before everything about Iran was absorbed into the embassy hostage moment. People of good will, both Muslim and non-Muslim, offer earnest correctives. But the tide flows against them.”

Bulliet also commented on the recent decision of the Anti-Defamation League to oppose the mosque

“Rightly or wrongly, I see it as linked to the broad apprehension, both in this country and in Israel, that evil deeds perpetrated by Muslims, or suspected of being part of a Muslim master plan, pose an existential threat to the Jewish people. Persuading Americans that a Palestinian suicide bomber in Tel Aviv is indistinguishable from a terrorist pilot directing an airplane into the World Trade Center or an Iranian scientist working on a uranium enrichment program has been a major policy success for Israel. Consistency in this effort might persuade some people of basic liberal sentiment that opposition to any effort to associate Islam with peaceful enterprise is off-message. But rights take priority over message. Always.”

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