Friday, September 3, 2010

Creep the Faith

by William Saletan

September 2, 2010

Two months ago, Rick Lazio, the leading Republican candidate for governor of New York, challenged his Democratic opponent, Andrew Cuomo, to investigate a proposed Islamic community center two blocks from Ground Zero. When Cuomo replied that the issue was religious freedom, Lazio insisted that his concerns were strictly about who would fund the project and what its imam had said about 9/11. "It's outrageous, honestly, that Andrew Cuomo is raising [the] issue of religion here," Lazio told a TV interviewer. "This is about security."

Last week, Lazio began running a new ad. It concluded with these words: "Call Andrew Cuomo and tell him a Ground Zero mosque is wrong."

A Ground Zero mosque. Not a mosque funded by radicals. Not a mosque run by somebody who said something controversial about 9/11. Not a mosque that recruits jihadists. A mosque—any mosque—near Ground Zero is wrong.