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.


  • Donald Di Dia

    Dr. Paul: As a 72 year old Democrat, I am in complete agreement with your position on this Mosque issue. I agree with you also on the neo-con need for war and I also want us out of Iraq and Afganastan. I think we agree on cutting the deficit, in part by letting the Bush tax cuts expire as they must, having been passed using the reconciliation option. As I understand it, the option required the cuts be paid for. I understand that you , like me want the defense budget cut , especially it’s wasteful pork.
    I would like to see you along with progressives like myself form a working group or caucus of both houses, and start on some of thes issues.
    I have a feeling we could reach a reasonable position on orher issues.

    PS. watch the contortions of Mr Boener’s face and and on Sen. Mc Connal’s face when asked about the tax cuts having to be paid for.

  • Del

    In general principle, I agree with Mr. Paul. I feel that the Muslim center is constitutionally sound. Yes I am a fan of property rights… amongst the others that seem to get trounced. However, I also feel (under the first amendment) that to wish someone a “Merry Christmas” or to offer a prayer for them is constitutionally sound (and a charitable ideal, as well).

    Now, I recognize the rights of this Muslim group attempting to build this center, but in the interest of easing the tension, is it so much to ask to distance the building from ground zero?

    This also brings up the fact that the more radical factions of Islam do build mosques on the site of a “victory”. I am not saying that it is one of those factions behind it, but the stand being taken can definitely be interpreted that way.

    I do realize that it is fanatics that acted out 9/11, and I also understand that the vast majority of Muslim followers are peace loving people. I also have another consideration though…. “Just because you have the right to do something, should you really do it?”

    • Jeff

      I’d hate to be rude, but I will be rude, anyway. That’s how this reads. “I’m for this and that, just not for you.” You either are for something or you’re not. Otherwise, you’re just an opportunist that will cite something for common ground but choose whatever is the convenient position, like a Politician.

  • Jennifer

    While I tend to disagree with Ron Paul on many issues, I think he was exactly correct on this. The neocons have already decided that the only good Muslim is either dead or thousands of miles away from the US. They see no middle ground, don’t believe in being moderate – either with religion or politics – and, IMO, do nothing more than divide & harm our country.

    This mosque – which is much more, because a theater, cultural center & recreational facilities will be the majority of the project – is blocks away from Ground Zero, the building has been owned by the congregation for years, & they’ve been meeting there for a long time. Suddenly, it’s a big deal. Hmmm, couldn’t have anything to do with the approaching mid-term elections now, could it? Nawwww, couldn’t be that….

  • T Gaski

    Are you a “SUNSHINE PATRIOT”? If so, leave the rest of us real patriots who tirelessly support the Constitution alone (even if we some times disagree)!

    • Lisa

      lol @ “Sunshine Patriot”, Dr. Paul pulled a Thomas Paine straight out of 1776:

      “THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”

  • James Earl Murdoch

    THis is NOT about Religious Freedom, this is about political Islamic conquest. Even moderate Muslim leaders say this should NOT be built because it will help the radicals think that their terror is on the road to ultimate victory.

  • William O. B’Livion

    You’re a good Dhimmi there Rep. Paul. I hope they pay you well.

  • Gerry Claytor

    Apparently Ron Paul is OK with Muslims receiving preferential treatment over other faiths. A Greek Orthodox church at Ground Zero was destroyed on 9/11. These people have not been allowed to rebuild while the Muslim construction has been fast tracked. Will Ron Paul come to New York and kiss Muslim ass? Seems like he’s up for it.

  • Amen.

  • Tony

    I agree that islamophobia is ridiculous and a distraction. However, Mr. Paul sidesteps the issue of 911 being a CIA/Mossad operation. Until we expose who was behind 911 there will be no end to this blaming of Muslims for an Israeli/American black op.

    • Please remember to take your pills. They help you think, clearly, before you write/speak and help you look good unlike this stuff you just posted about CIA/Mossad.

      • I take issue with the notion that the CIA/Mossad was behind 9/11. What do we or Israel gain from that?

  • BrotherJ

    It’s fairly obvious that albie and others have no idea what Sharia Law is about.
    It is not the “Ten Commandments”. It is the “Islamic Constitution” shrouded
    by religion. Within Sharia is the right of husbands to beat or in some cases kill their wives and or children for violating certain laws with in the Islamic community.
    To have a federal judge legitimize Sharia Law is asking for trouble.
    It weakens the US Constitution by accepting and a second set of a laws as equal to the U.S. Constitution.
    What prevents a Muslim community from setting up and enforcing Sharia Law on non Muslims living within the same community?
    You laugh and think that it can not happen here. Take a look at France, England and elsewhere where Sharia Law has been allowed. The areas have
    become so dangerous that local police will not go into these communities to enforce local or national laws. When they do, riots break out.

    Secondly, Muslims are called to prayer several times a day. Large numbers of Mosques built in the US come complete with loud speakers that blast their prayers out on a daily basis for all to hear (whether you want to or not).

    Last of all, I have also had it with hearing the word ******phobia just because people disagree and rightfully question the wisdom of our so called
    ruling class. A right to peacefully protest and question activities that legal citizens see as dangerous are protected by the US Constitution. Oddly you have a class of individuals out there whose job it is to protect it citizens that try stifle that freedom by using the ****phobia as a weapon, (ie..Islamaphobia).
    Quite frankly, I’m so sick of it that any political candidate or incumbent that uses it whether be Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Independent has lost respect. my support and my vote.

    • chitownsfinest

      Can you find me where in sharia law it is ok to kill your wife/ children? And when did france, gb and any western nation establish shariah law

    • Again, you and your ilk go on ranting about Sharia Law without addressing the issue: how does it, step-by-step, take over America? Your lack of understanding about the, the Constitution, American culture is enormous. The Constitution is our foundation of law, period. There’s no alternate body or side by side, whatever you want to call it. In the end, all regulations, laws, etc. generated by Congress, State, and Local entities cannot violate the Constitution. If so, they will be struck down by the Supreme Court. What we have is so special because it can’t be tampered with so easily, and it does not place absolute power into a single set of hands to unleash tyranny.

    • Mike Rey

      Have you ever read the Sharia Law (translated) or is the scope of your understanding based on what you listen to Palin/Rush? Don’t act like an american equivalent of a Taliban by spreading lies about something you know nothing about. This is what the Taliban do in Afghanistan about infidels. You are no different.

      I have lived in towns with mosques. I have yet to see any use of loudspeakers in the US.

  • chitownsfinest

    I supported the mosque but have come around to the notion that it should not be built, not because its offensive but because it is now a security risk for Muslims at the center and those around the country. Also I believe that the image of Muslims will be tarnished even more. Living in this great country , I have seen people change a lot since the days that I was a kid. I feel that now I am an outcast in this society and its really sad. It’s amazing the amount of false information that is allowed to air in the media. From anti-Muslims such as Pamela Gellar to Robert Spencer, it seems that anyone can make a blatant lie on Islam and get away with it. The notion that mosque’s around the country/world are terrorist havens is a lie. i have never met any terrorist at any mosque in any country that I have visited . Most talks in mosques around the country have focused on how we as Muslims should live with our non -Muslim brothers and sisters. Its sad that everyone sees this false image of Islam and not the real thing

  • Hal Keenan

    The only problem I have with this is that it never has been determined that the Twin Towers were brought down by 19 Islamic extremist suicide bombers working for an old man with bad kidneys who lived in a cave. That sounds like a crackpot conspiracy theory to me. The Bush administration blocked any serious investigation and destroyed evidence. That nuch we do know.

  • Mona

    Thank you for providing some shining light of sanity from the right. As a moderate conservative, I no longer find a home with the present GOP or conservative movement. It has moved to a dark place where anything goes in the desperate quest for power. This ugly distraction just before the election has nothing to do with heart felt feelings for those who suffered a loss in 9/11. If there was such concern the Republicans would not have obstructed legislation to provide health care for the first responders. It is so obvious supporters and 9/11 families are merely being manipulated and exploited by the GOP position on this issue. It is also sad that the Imam involved who is a moderate that traveled on behalf of the Bush Administration to bring our cultures together is being trashed by the lowest common denominator amongst us.

    It takes courage and clarity of thought to speak out in this at this time and I thank Ron Paul for doing so.

  • Morgaine Bergman

    I think it is very sad, and quite frightening, how easily people’s opinions are manipulated by the media. Of course a majority of people oppose the Mosque! Someone told them they were supposed to be offended, so now they are offended. Because Islam is not like other mainstream Western religions. When they spill blood it’s just out of meanness. We do it in the name of the Profit. Would there be an outcry if a Christian church wanted to build on the site? Or a Jewish synagogue? No, of course not. Because despite the blood on our hands, “we” are the good guys, right?

    We’re not exploiting cheap labour in other countries, we’re bringing freedom to oppressed peoples! We’re not stealing their resources, we’re demonstrating how best to use them by using them here at home! We’re not sending our sons and daughters to die so that a handful of people can get rich, we’re fighting for the highest ideals, like…. Like… (What were those ideals again? Quick! Somebody turn on Fox!)

  • Jeanne

    Ron Paul is an American hero! Why? Because he is one of the very few who is willing to “call out” the neoconservatives who for many years plotted and pushed for war with Iraq. Now they want war with Iran. Why? To protect Israel. Anyone doubting this fact should read, THE ISRAEL LOBBY by Mearsheimer and Walt or THE TRANSPARENT CABAL by Stephen Sniegoski.
    Few “call out” the Israel Lobby for fear of being charged with anti Semitism and their careers ruined. Thank you Ron Paul for saying what few others will say. You are a real American hero.

  • Dr Paul I couldn’t disagree with you more. Building the Mosque isn’t obe Islamophobia or a denial of Constitutional rights. There are Muslims disagreeing with you also. There is a mosque only 4 blocks from where this one is supposed to be built and there is no reason to further infame Americans who are offended by the building of the mosque within plain site of the Towers attack.
    No onwe os dening anyone their right to practice their religion. However the right to practice religion is one thing. Building a Church or a Mosque so near the site of the worst atttack upon America in modern history is equal to Japan building a memorial to the attack on Pearl Harbor for Japenese WW2 pilots in plain site of where American Ships were sunk and so many Military lives lost. That is the Issue here not Freedom to practice a religion which is already permitted on a very l,arge scale in this country by different religions. I as an American, resent the building of that particular Mosque, where they want to build it. It is a slap in the face of all Americans and I am angrier than you are
    that you falsely accuse people like me of neo conservatism and Islamophobia. That is a lie, Mr Paul in many cases. I have grandchildren in Dearborn that are Islamic and I believe they have a right to practice whatever religion they please. It is their decision, not mine and I support them. Your supposed anger is shameful and insulting.

  • John LeVangie

    The issue of this mosque is, and has already been, decided. It is simply a matter for the people of the City of New York. If those folks who opposed this mosque in hearings are unhappy with, or think a legal error was made in determining this issue, the solution is simple – the party or parties on the losing side should take it to an appeal. All the demonstrating in the street does not change a thing. Simply follow the legal process.

  • I can’t believe it!

    Dr. Paul, as a “progressive” it really surprises me that I agree with you on 95% of the issues. Prehaps it’s time that we hang antiquated monikers by the wayside and just do one simple thing: be Americans and uphold fundamental Constitutional rights, freedoms, and ideals.

    Thank you for being a great American, a true hero in fact, who does and believes in what is Constitutionally correct.

  • Ty


  • What is it w/ every person who disagrees w/ this bringing up Sharia Law? It baffles me that we are so great a nation, with such strong Constitution, rule of law, checks and balance, etc. and yet here we are cowering in fear that the construction of a center, with room for prayer, will somehow unleash SL and take over America? No seems to explain how we get from one site to American being ruled by Sharia law? How? How does it change our Constitution? How does it erase case law? How does it replace Federal/State law? How? Does the building emanate some light that will shine down and make us all forget about our own laws and traditions and simply take up Sharia Law?
    Dr. Paul’s article rightfully gets to the core of the matter here: demagoguery. And yet there is no shortage of commentators here who lack the ability to reason.