We told you earlier this month about Mark Williams, the top Tea Party leader who was so enraged by plans to build a Muslim community center near Ground Zero that he referred to the Islamic deity as a “monkey-god” and to Muslims as “the animals of Allah.”
But it turns out that Williams isn’t the only conservative driven to apoplexy by this local development project. Lately, we’ve seen a massive right-wing freakout over the plan for the community center. That freakout has been couched as concern about dishonoring the memory of 9/11 victims. But it’s been so widespread and so vitriolic as to suggest it might just have some uglier roots.
At issue is the proposed Cordoba House, a Muslim community center which would stand 15 stories tall and would be built not directly at Ground Zero, but rather at Park Place, two blocks north of where the Twin Towers stood in lower Manhattan. The center would include a prayer space, a performing arts center, a swimming pool, and other amenities. The effort is being spearheaded by a longtime local imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf, who has said the center would “bridge and heal a divide” and has said it’s his mission to fight radicalism. A local community board voted this week by 29-1 to support the project.
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