Ron Paul to Sunshine Patriots: Stop Your Demagogy About The NYC Mosque!

Congressman Ron Paul today released the following statement on the controversy concerning the construction of an Islamic Center and Mosque in New York City:

Is the controversy over building a mosque near ground zero a grand distraction or a grand opportunity? Or is it, once again, grandiose demagoguery?

It has been said, “Nero fiddled while Rome burned.” Are we not overly preoccupied with this controversy, now being used in various ways by grandstanding politicians? It looks to me like the politicians are “fiddling while the economy burns.”

The debate should have provided the conservative defenders of property rights with a perfect example of how the right to own property also protects the 1st Amendment rights of assembly and religion by supporting the building of the mosque.

Instead, we hear lip service given to the property rights position while demanding that the need to be “sensitive” requires an all-out assault on the building of a mosque, several blocks from “ground zero.”

Just think of what might (not) have happened if the whole issue had been ignored and the national debate stuck with war, peace, and prosperity. There certainly would have been a lot less emotionalism on both sides. The fact that so much attention has been given the mosque debate, raises the question of just why and driven by whom?

In my opinion it has come from the neo-conservatives who demand continual war in the Middle East and Central Asia and are compelled to constantly justify it.

They never miss a chance to use hatred toward Muslims to rally support for the ill conceived preventative wars. A select quote from soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq expressing concern over the mosque is pure propaganda and an affront to their bravery and sacrifice.

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

Many fellow conservatives say they understand the property rights and 1st Amendment issues and don’t want a legal ban on building the mosque. They just want everybody to be “sensitive” and force, through public pressure, cancellation of the mosque construction.

This sentiment seems to confirm that Islam itself is to be made the issue, and radical religious Islamic views were the only reasons for 9/11. If it became known that 9/11 resulted in part from a desire to retaliate against what many Muslims saw as American aggression and occupation, the need to demonize Islam would be difficult if not impossible.

There is no doubt that a small portion of radical, angry Islamists do want to kill us but the question remains, what exactly motivates this hatred?

If Islam is further discredited by making the building of the mosque the issue, then the false justification for our wars in the Middle East will continue to be acceptable.

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.

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 they defend property rights of Muslims, yet rarely if ever, 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.

It is repeatedly said that 64% of the people, after listening to the political demagogues, don’t want the mosque to be built. What would we do if 75% of the people insist that no more Catholic churches be built in New York City? The point being is that majorities can become oppressors of minority rights as well as individual dictators. Statistics of support is irrelevant when it comes to the purpose of government in a free society—protecting liberty.

The outcry over the building of the mosque, near ground zero, implies that Islam alone was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. According to those who are condemning the building of the mosque, the nineteen suicide terrorists on 9/11 spoke for all Muslims. This is like blaming all Christians for the wars of aggression and occupation because some Christians supported the neo-conservatives’ aggressive wars.

The House Speaker is now treading on a slippery slope by demanding a Congressional investigation to find out just who is funding the mosque—a bold rejection of property rights, 1st Amendment rights, and the Rule of Law—in order to look tough against Islam.

This is all about hate and Islamaphobia.

We now have an epidemic of “sunshine patriots” on both the right and the left who are all for freedom, as long as there’s no controversy and nobody is offended.

Political demagoguery rules when truth and liberty are ignored.


  • Robert Gosney

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    • lg

      where did muslims dance in the street? I’m in NY and didn’t see that, but I did hear the one about the dancing Israelis.

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  • Ted Miller

    “Another fact you seem to have overlooked, the muslims put up their ‘victory super mosques’ over areas they have conquered, which is what this is.” Where does this come from? Can anyone tell us where this has occurred? I totally agree with Ron Paul. Palin, Gingrich etal are not defending our constitution. I believe they are pushing their politics on us. Someone said that they are doing it for Political gain, I agree with that assessment. I live in Nevada and have been a registered Democrat most of my adult life (I am 78) and I believe that Senator Reid is using this issue for his own Political career. That being said, however, I certainly will not support his opponent, Ms. Angle. I will not vote for “none of the above” either as I believe that to be a cop out. I will pick the lessor of two persons, Sen. Reid. I also believe that most of the folks opposed to this Cultural Center, not a Mosque, are reacting on emotion only and not seeing the full picture.

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  • fauxpopuli

    “However, why is it that we are supposed to be so sensitive and understanding of the Muslims? Do you think they ever have or ever will be sensitive and understanding of Christians, Buddhists, Jews, or any other religion?”

    1) Yet another example of confusing “All Muslims” with “Radical Muslims”

    2) Right, why would we ever want to hold ourselves to a higher standard than Islamic extremists?

    “But America needs to get to the heart of the issue sooner or later: will we grant religious freedom to this ideology/religion/cause that at its very core demands the suppression of freedoms?”

    Some of you guys are really having trouble with this whole “difference between mainstream and radical Islam” thing. That aside, the answer to your exceedingly-flawed question is “Yes. First Amendment. Look it up sometime.”

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    • disc3rn

      hey thanks, yep I looked up “first amendment” and sure enough it was under the constitution of a Democracy. A democracy where church is separated from state.

      So what I really want to know is: what freedoms should be granted to a theocratic Islam (from which the religion can not be separated by definition)?
      If you want to focus on the difference of how people live out their religion, “radical or mainstream” then you are missing the point. In a theocracy it is not about what the mainstream/ majority believe. It is about what the leaders (ie the Koran and hadiths) dictate.

      I just think America’s going to have to deal with this sooner or later

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    • AK 1

      Yes, Muslims can be understanding. Look at Qutar, Bahrain, UAE, Syria, Eqypt & Jordon where there are both Wester & Eastern Cathloic churches, granted there not treated well but they are there. Now look how Turkey is treating non Muslims & your point is well made. Even Isreal is not well known for it’s treatment of non Jews. They can’t even decide the right path to citizenship, since you must be a Jew before you can apply. In Iraq the only good Catholic is a dead Catholic. Neither G.W. or this president has made any attempt to change that reality. In India the Hindu’s go out & destroy christian & muslim vill’s, but Christianity is not guilt free, let’s not forget Northern Ireland.

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  • disc3rn

    There may be a lot of “grand distraction… grand opportunity … Or grandiose demagoguery” going on around the issue; I don’t really know

    But America needs to get to the heart of the issue sooner or later: will we grant religious freedom to this ideology/religion/cause that at its very core demands the suppression of freedoms?

    I am frightened to read the numerous comments here that proudly support “constitutional rights” and “religious freedoms” for this religion that abuses rights and denies freedoms whenever it is given the chance.

    Honestly I don’t know what to do about the wonderful people who love America and liberty, yet call themselves Muslim. I have nothing against them, but I think they are either blatantly lying or sadly just as ignorant as the rest of us to the core agenda of Islam.

    If America wants to retain its wonderful constitution and its exemplary freedom of religion then this issue must be addressed immediately. are you listening Ron?

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    • Travis

      What freedom would we have if we only allowed religions that endorsed freedom?
      I’ll be honest- I don’t know much about Islam, so I reserve judgment till I take the time to read through their quran.
      But even if someone wants to endorse Communism in the US they have the right to do so, I will just disagree with them.

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    • Roteplex

      Muslim is not a synonym for a terrorist but rather an oppressed minority. Throughout history, minorities have been constantly trampled over by oppressors who use propaganda to fuel their political machines. Hitler killed Jews because he would gain loads of support from German public, they all looked for a scapegoat to blame things on, and the Jewish minority was the perfect answer. To say that an entire religion and all who follow it are irreparable bastards, because of the actions of an extremely small number of them, is the core ideology behind racism. It is pitiful that even America can succumb to racism in this modern age, but it is truly significant that true political heroes like Ron Paul stand for liberty when there is absolutely nothing to gain, but to put out the truth. Ron Paul is a hero.

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      • disc3rn

        Dear Sir,
        Please take a look at Islam worldwide before you call them a minority and compare the issue to Jews and the holocaust.

        I agree that Americans need to be diligently careful to avoid racism toward these wonderful people (the majority of mainstream muslims), but in doing so let us not be blind toward its grander agenda. I think Ron Paul does want to stand for liberty, but I respectfully request he approach the subject with a deeper understanding of liberty’s enemies.

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  • Don

    Over a billions Muslims DID NOT attack America! How can anyone who believes in the principles of democracy and freedom deny a class of people (Muslim Americans) their rights guaranteed by our Constitution? Ron Paul is RIGHT ON!

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    • Dfens

      Several million Japanese did not attack us at Pearl Harbor too. Damn our unenlightenment! Why did we ever attack them? Where was Ron Paul? Ron Paul lead us. We are lost without your wisdom.

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      • lg

        Japan is a country. Islam is a religion. God you people are stupid.

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      • Stanford Law

        Japan is a country and Islam is a religion. Please understand the difference unless you also think that the United States is the same thing as Christianity.

        When a country declares war on your country it’s pretty obvious. Claiming that 19 people represents a religion of over a billion is pretty damn ignorant.

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      • Dfens

        What was I thinking when I wrote that? It must have been the gas. I’m not going to blame Mexico, but… Well, anyway, surpress what I said. Clearly that’s what Libertarians are best at.

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    • disc3rn

      Yes, he’s right on.
      Democracy, freedom, constitutional rights must be granted… to those who will embrace them.

      Research the word “theocracy”. Americans aren’t too familiar with it, yet.

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      • StanfordLaw

        How about researching why the Puritans came over from England? Guess you don’t know too familiar about the founding of our own country…..

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  • Antonio Donato

    What an excellent point of view from Ron Paul. As America becomes more divided people like Ron Paul will stand out. Due to this issue, America has become extremely ugly. It is not a coincidence that the political right and Harry Reid (who I feel is feeling extreme pressue) are looking hard at this “majority” of people who oppose the mosque for votes. In their quest for short term success, via the November elections, they are sacrificing their credibility in the long run. Soon America will realize that the politicians who are leading this opposition of constitutional rights are not the politicians we are looking for. I would compare these politicians to celebrities counting twitter followers except they are counting votes. It’s all they care about. They just want to feel right by having a majority agree with them, even if that majority is ignorant. Thanks Ron for being true

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  • Nils Montan

    I have been more or less a liberal all my life although as I have gotten older I have seen the wisdom of some conservative stances on many issues.

    That was until this whole trumped up “Mosque at Ground Zero” thing was brought down upon us by Fox News and Gingrich and Palin. Ove the last two weeks my blood starting boiling. Don’t these people understand that they are acting fundamentally in a un-American and, by the way, distinctly un-Christian fashion? Apparently not.

    I was in New York on 9/11 and went through a lot, although, thank God, I was not hurt. Since that time, I have not had a single conversation with anybody, liberal or conservative, about “Ground Zero” until this whole fake controversy was started to garner votes for Republican Candidates and eye-balls for Fox News.

    One of my friends told me about Congressman Paul’s statement and I must say that reading it almost brought tears to my eyes. Finally, a politician who will stand up for what is right – in this instance – and right for America.

    Bravo Congressman Paul.

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  • Scott

    I am not a dyed-in-the-wool Ron Paul supporter, but he is always right when it comes to standing up for the Constitution. Religious freedom is a core principle of our Nation, it is vitally important if we hope to continue increasing liberty in our country (this from a non-believer in any religion). We can emulate Dr. Paul’s practical passion where our Civil Liberties are involved.

    I disagree with Ron on many big issues, but none is more important than this.

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  • George Miller

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    • lg

      Mr. Miller, you are repeating the same talking points I hear on Fox News and other websites opposing the mosque.

      Why should we concern ourselves about what they do in mecca? This is the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and we are better than that.

      Please turn off your tv, open your mind and do your own research – I suggest you start by googling “Saudi prince Al-Waleed bin Talal”.

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  • Norm

    Well, Ron, this essay exposes a fatal ignorance of Islam on your part. As a result, you have just lost the support of myself and my people. Too bad, because we otherwise thought you had something worthwhile to offer us.

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  • Shane Hardman

    I just want to say that I agree that this has taken too much attention away from the economy. However, why is it that we are supposed to be so sensitive and understanding of the Muslims? Do you think they ever have or ever will be sensitive and understanding of Christians, Buddhists, Jews, or any other religion? I think Ron Paul needs to do a little more research into the history and beliefs of the Muslim religion as a whole. I am sure that some are better than others. But, can’t you say that about Christians and Jews as well?

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  • AK 1

    The hate directed towards Muslims over the mosque issue is not that different than the hate directed towards Europen Cathloics & Jews. For decades the NYC public schools told Catholic & Jewish children they were devils & would grow hornes. This action forced the creation of religious schools in order to prevent cruel behaivor towards their children. I beleive the 1st Catholic school was built in NYC. Why else would a mosque be built 1st, rather than allowing the rebuild of a Catholic Greek Eastern Orthadox Church.

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  • SEB

    As a Democrat, I have to say I am extremely supportive of Ron Paul’s statement regarding the “Ground Zero Mosque”.

    I can’t believe I am living in a country where people feel it is ok to undermine a particular group’s constitutional right to practice their religion freely. And, what’s worse, to try and tell a private property owner what he should/should not build on it. If we undermine one group’s rights, where will it end? We have to PRESERVE our freedoms for our future generations.

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  • Bob Munzenrider

    Ron Paul’s commentary about the proposed Moslom Center in Neq York is one of the most intelligent I have seen. Right On!

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  • Dan Greer

    This time I find it hard to accept Dr. Paul’s reasoning because it is incomplete. While I agree with the freedom of religion and property rights issues he describes, the fact remains that America’s constitutional freedoms were violated when a bunch of radical Islamists decided to subvert those freedoms and fly airplanes into American buildings and kill thousands of Americans.

    While I agree with Dr. Paul that we should bring our troops home from around the world, that agreement does not extent to a willingness to allow my freedoms to be eroded in the interest of being viewed as a purist libertarian. We are not the policemen of the world. We can not be that shining light on a hill when we are seen as the world’s marshall. America’s role in the world must walk a fine line. We must stand for justice and often that means we must be capable of enforcing it. The eagle with olive branches is one claw and arrows in the other as depicted on our money is a fit symbol.

    There are many who will say the Muslims who attacked the World Trade Center are not the Muslims who are building the center. This is true. Those who attacked the World Trade Center were the ones who flew the planes and took their lives and the lives of nearly 3000 others. But those who want to build the ground zero mosque and a majority of so-called moderate Muslims are not demonstrating in the streets by the tens of thousands denouncing the radicals. Instead, they are content to have their religious fellow travelers to use our freedoms against us.

    The long-term goal of Islam is the abolition of our constitutional freedoms since the majority of them are an affront to the fundamental tenets of Islam. If Islam gains dominance in the United States—a natural outgrowth of its worldview—will there be freedom of religion, speech, assembly, and press? Would Christians be permitted to build churches? Could the minority population of Christians be able to evangelize Muslims? To ask these questions is to answer them.

    The Islam sect contradicts any notion of religion that any civilized person would recognize. What religion advocates killing those who happen to disagree with their ideology? This sounds more like the description of an anarchist or fascist tyrant. In fact, I’d say Islam is more an ideology than it is a religion. Their murderous acts go on daily somewhere in the world. The sect has so maligned itself within the world community that it has no credibility and certainly it has not given us any reason to trust them. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. We can’t tell the good guys from the bad ones and until we can, we should not be so willing to extent our freedoms on our soil to those who are even remotely associated with an ideology that seeks to dominate us.

    I fear Dr. Paul leans too close to political correctness this time rather than a principled stand against political demagoguery. Liberty goes only to the point of treading on the liberty of another. I say no to the ground zero mosque and to all other mosque projects in this country until the Islamists demonstrate their willingness to assimilate into our culture as peaceful and loyal citizens the way everyone else is required to do. I see nothing in our Constitution that says we must accept or tolerate the treasonous or seditious among us. Quite the contrary, it is our duty to expel those who choose to behave in such a manner wherever they are to be found. We all must remember there are consequences to our choices and our actions and motives matter.

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    • Mark Fey

      Dan Greer has written a legible response that turns the whole idea of logic on it’s head. Too long to take a point by point exception to, it is exceptional because it IS WELL WRITTEN. Usually when I encounter these types of specious arguments, they are written by folks who cannot think in complete sentences.

      Bravo Dan, but really you owe it to yourself to read Mr. Paul’s very erudite and courageous words once again to see where your train jumped the track.

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  • AK 1

    It’s sad how some can not remember Sen. McCain standing on the floor of the senate lecturing Pres. Clinton about the pit falls of staying in Somilia & having it turn into another Vietnam, so we better pull out. Now look what were facing, I voted to reelect Pres. Geral Ford, so I’ve been here for awhile. I was a career sailor, my father was a riflemen in the 44th ID & my son served as a sniper in the 172nd SBCT in Iraq, Now I wonder if my 10 year old daughter & 8 yeard old grandson will be fighting in Iran. We do not need out side help in causing our down fall, we seem to be sewing the seeds of our own down fall just fine.

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  • David A Morse

    Ron Paul is Right. We can not claim to support our Constitutional freedoms while insisting others give up theirs. All Americans are Free to Worship how they will and to build whatever they wish on their property.

    While we are all Free to Say whatever we want about it, only the local government can determine if any zoning restrictions exist. There are no legal reasons why a Mosque or any other structure can’t be built there.

    Our personal feelings are not a reason to stop construction. We don’t have a right to have our feelings protected. There were Muslim American victims on September 11, 2001. and their feelings are ignored in this debate.

    We must not blame all Muslims for the acts of a few evil men. Just as we don’t blame all Christians for the acts of Jim Jones.

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  • Bobny

    You need to do research, you spew a lot of things that just isn’t true. First and formost, it was those that strctly follow the word of their prophet Mohammed that attacked us on the fateful day. The quran supports this methodology against any and all unbelievers. This is a truth. I will agree that not all muslims would perpetrate an attack like this, some of them will do like the marxist, and slowly erode our ways and values from the inside, getting into government, lobbiest groups, advisors, and try to make this country sharia compliant. They will also use taqqiya, lying , to show us how they are on our side. Again, these are more facts.
    Another fact you seem to have overlooked, the muslims put up their ‘victory super mosques’ over areas they have conquered, which is what this is. There will be no ‘undeerstanding’ of religions with the muslims. They believe that theirs is the only true religion and it needs to cionquer the world any way possible. You need to read the quran, the haddiths, and the story of mohammed to understand this all.
    If the muslims involved really wanted to ‘build bridges’ after this heienous attack, they would, in good faith, NOT build the mosque there. No one is saying don’t let them build a mosque in the US, just not there, nor close to that site. You ignore this and automatically blame hate and islamophobia, which is flase. After the attacks there weren’t uprisings against muslims, after the underwear bomber, Hassan at Fort Hood, nor the Time Square bomber, yet you and your ilk continue to bring this up, this is a strawman that isn’t in this field. Sow your lies elsewhere and honor those innocents who lost their lives and stand with your fellow countrymen and insist the build this mosque elsewhere, not in that location.

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    • Tanko

      It was reported that some of the 9/11 attackers visited a strip club the night before they launched the attack. Does the Quran sanction that behavior? if you dont know then do your research too.

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  • Mark Landsman

    It appears to be easier to believe in religious freedom when one belongs to the religious majority, though as a Jewish American I will never know. Well said Congressman Paul!!

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  • claude

    Good job, Dr. Paul. Very well said.

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