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.


  • Patrick Perez

    It seems that you excluded an important consideration in your argument.
    Namely, that this is simply not an issue of “religious freedom.”

    This is an issue of prudent city government listening to its citizens, and negotiating with the local imam and cultural center backers as to the timing and location of a building that will, most obviously, represent violent hateful, if radical, Islam jihad.

    There are plenty of mosques in NYC. Where is the government oppression of American Muslim’s religious freedom?

    Analagously, if a “Christian” hate group, imagine the Klan, decided to wipe out 3 thousand plus Saudis through an organized, religiously motivated, act in Mecca, would it be prudent for a Christian missionary group to attempt to build a chapel nearby?

  • Poor Richard

    So now we’re going to nit-pick about whether it’s 2 blocks away or only 1 and a half?

    How far away would it have to be to make this mosque acceptable to you? . . . 6 blocks away? 14 blocks away? a mile away?

    And I keep hearing about how “sensitive” this issue is and that we should “compromise” on the matter because it is so sensitive. Did we do this when we desegregated the schools in the South? Did we say to blacks that, because it was such a sensitive issue, we would only desegregate half the schools? Did we tell them that they would only have to ride in the back of the bus on Tuesdays and Fridays? What about women? Did we tell them that because the issue was so sensitive, they should be willing to compromise and vote only in every other election?

    • You know what’s funny? All I did was correct Ron with some facts that he deliberately obfuscated and nobody likes it. I didn’t offer any opinions, only facts. Makes me wonder where all the grown-ups are…

  • Ron,
    It’s not several blocks away, it is 1 1/2 blocks away. And yes, Islam alone is responsible for the attacks. And, radical Islam is a misnomer. What drives terrorism is Islamic fundamentalism. You seem to equate Christianity as morally equal to Islam. Mohammad himself killed hundreds of people and told his followers to do the same. Islam has been at war with western civilization for 1500 years. Nothing is going to change until we submit.

    • Ed

      Oh really and how many wars have been started in the name of GOD? Please Robert think before you speak.

  • afzal latif

    Bless you Ron for speaking out for the principles of our republic – something people have largely trashed. For as long as America has people like you – fair, principled and, above all, brave, there is a good chance this country will survive as a nation it was always meant to be.
    You’ve gotten youself one life-long supporter. I shall never flinch, never pause and never be afraid to say what you have expounded with such vigor.
    May we see you around for a long, long time. Amen

  • Poor Richard

    I agree with Paul’s principled statement on the mosque. In fact, that is what brought me to this website.

    I was a tiny bit disappointed, though, when Mr Paul seemed to water down his position a bit when interviewed on CNN.

    Sanja Gupta said that he appeared to be diametrically opposed to the views of his son, who opposes the mosque.

    Paul responded that “this is not about the mosque, that it’s about foreign policy” and added that he didn’t care if the mosque was built or not.

    Well, while he does mention foreign policy considerations in the original statement, it was indeed mostly about the mosque.

    He was obviously discomforted a bit when confronted with the idea that his views on the mosque were in opposition to his son’s stated position.

    Aside from this, though, I still think his original statement was courageous and true to libertarian principles.

    • Lisa

      I was disappointed in Sanja Gupta for bringing up Rand! Rand didn’t write the statement, and I feel it was an orchestrated attempt to stick a wedge between father and son, like “if you think this is about islamaphobia and bigotry, does that mean your son is a bigot?”

      It was CHEAP and POLITICAL.

  • Ira

    It is a noteworthy point that the Mosque issue can be a distraction from other issues. However, in today’s poll about 90%+ Americans are engrossed in this controversy and they all cannot be fooled by the “okey doke” of this issue. If this issue was simply about the “sensatives” vs. the “racists”, Paul would be 100% in the right. Just because the President has his head in the sand or maybe up his……..? does not mean we should not look at the compelling issue of this historical move to build mosques as “war memorials”. If I am correct, in that history once again, triumphs ignorance, than this Mosque, if built, will be another as others before;, a hot spot and magnet for their radical fringe.

    • Ira

      3 to one against kinda of makes my point. 🙂 however, i would not expect it here. sometimes the truth hurts, especially when you find out this issue is not a constitutional one and nothing to do with freedom of religion. to begin with show me where in the constitution there is protection for a group of people with a religion that also, per Imam Rauf, a legal institution, espousing Sharia Law for the United States and is also a political entity? Start thinking folks and forget the knee jerk reactions based on what you know and go find out what you don’t know.

  • Will Gerard

    Obviously those who negatively rated my last comment are ignorant of the full context of the Popper quote and proved my point.

  • Jason Jansky

    @Eileen: Ron Paul “too flip-floppy?” He’s probably the only politician in Washington that hasn’t flip-flopped.

  • Eileen Heath

    I usually dislike Ron Paul on the basis of being a bit too flip-floppy for my vote and me being a Republican. I will now consider strongly my vote for him when he decides to re-run for presidency.
    For all those crowing about insensitivity – how about banning hotdog carts from operating near mosques and synagogues?
    Just saying.

    • Ty

      Eileen, Im not going to jump on you for thinking Dr. Paul is “flip floppy”. Instead I encourage you to look at Ron Paul’s record and where he has stood on the issues throughout his career. You may suprise yourself

  • Scott

    Thank you for your comments Mr Paul, I do not agree with everything you say but you hit this one right on the head.

  • Texas Aggie

    For those of you who are ranting about Sharia and how awful it is, please explain how it is any different from what you want when you talk about how we are a Christian nation and need to have our laws built on the Bible. You Reconstructionists are advocating exactly the same thing that is in Sharia, at least its most extreme forms.

    For what it’s worth, the most liberal form of Sharia is more liberal than current US law.

    • fred the protectionist

      Uh, our laws are based on Christianity, we are a Christian nation, and a vast majority of Americans oppose Islamic law.

      “For what it’s worth, the most liberal form of Sharia is more liberal than current US law.”

      You idiots are clueless.

      • Mike


        The nation wasn’t founded on “Christian values”; it was founded on religious freedom.

        The Founding Fathers, largely, weren’t Christians, they were Deists.

        • disc3rn

          Mike, you’re absolutely right.
          But, religious freedom in America assumes separation of church and state. What happens when a religion is allowed freedoms but doesn’t respect separation? We might find out soon enough…

      • Larry the Libertarian

        Why we’re not one nation “under God.”

        Great snippet from the article:

        “When Benjamin Franklin proposed during the Constitutional Convention that the founders begin each day of their labors with a prayer to God for guidance, his suggestion was defeated.”

        If you repeat a rumor/lie long enough, people start to believe it is true. Like the false statement that we were founded on Christian principles yet our Constitution is completely ‘godless’, except to separate religion from state matters. Even the Declaration states,”We hold these truths to be self-evident” no need to be a ‘believer’ to understand the truths; indeed it does mention endowment by the Creator, and Nature’s God, but no mention of Jesus, the Bible, Yahweh, Jehovah, Allah, Krishna, etc. It is religiously agnostic.

      • Ty

        First, I am a christian. I believe that Jesus is the son of God and that he paid the ultimate sacrifice for our forgiveness.

        Fred, tell me where in the declaration, constitution, bill of rights ANY U.S. document that state clearly this is a nation under a Judeo-Christian God. Show me where in any of these papers where it says our rights and liberties are based from any scripture in the Bible.

        If you think this nation is a christian nation, well, I dont think we should boasting the history of this country on the foundation of Christianity. I am appalled to think that slavery, racism, corruption, and murder (native americans who were here once, remember them?) is part of the Christianity you think this country is founded on and follows!

  • Will Gerard

    Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. — Karl Popper

    If we should be forced to allow the mosque, then the Saudis should be forced to allow us to drape the kaaba with a huge American flag every 9/11. Memes matter!

  • Virginia

    Ron Paul is my hero !

  • Politits

    I am a left leaning centrist and while I do not agree with the policies Mr. Paul might want to implement to fix our nation’s problems at least he actually is aware of them. I also respect him for being consistant to the core conservative values he says he represents rather than being all over the map just to score political points.

    With all due respect to those who died durring 9-11, to object to this community center just because is is an Islamic based center is Islamophobic. This faux outrage was created by political idealogs wanting to score political points exploiting the emotions of people involved. Truth is they don’t give a rat’s ass about 9-11 or the victims, just getting elected and keeping their power base. A lot of these same people backed Ann Coulter when she bad-mouthed the 9-11 widows, a contradictory view as they hold now, just to score political points. These are the same people who voted against giving medical care to 9-11 first responders 9 freaking years after the fact on pure political grounds.

    Ron Paul is dead on right. America isn’t going broke due to the implementation of “Islamic fascism/Sharia Law”, America is going broke due to the irrational response to the “Islamic fascism/Sharia Law” strawman fabricated by the political idealogs.

    • Samih

      Excellent point! If you travel the Islamic world, they love the freedom we have here. Americans get to practice the faith as they see fit………People in the Middle East want that too. The vast majority want their Islam and dont want Shariah Law……the same way the majority of Americans want Christianity but dont want Biblical Law. Americans are too uninformed or misinformed to learn that this War on Terror is really between Al Qaeda and Washington. Both groups decieved, lie, and kills their own populaitons in order to achieve their own goals. And for us Americans………Washington DC is our greatest enemy!!

  • William Kempner

    What Ron Paul doesn’t get is that this isn’t a matter of constitutional rights! Strictly speaking, the Muslims are within their rights to try to build a mosque in lower Manhattan, or anywhere else.HOWEVER, as a lifelong New Yorker who has worn the uniform of the United States since 1972 (USAF/USN) and was a 9/11 responder, I can tell you that he DOESN’T HAVE A CLUE about the situation. He’s from Texas-it didn’t affect him! it isn’t personal!! The whole situation is about SENSITIVITY! For a lot of people, the 9/11 attacks are STILL a wound, and the lack of sensitivity that the Imam and his “American” wife from here on Long Island are showing only inflames those who are still greiving. We are asked to show sensitivity to Islamic people ROUTINELY!! But they can’t grasp that THEY need to show some sensitivity here? They can’t locate elsewhere in lower Manhattan? [email protected]@t! I figured Mr Paul for a smarter man, but he is allowing these people to hang us by our own laws! That is the enite essence of the problem here! If he ran against BHO, I wouldn’t vote for either one of them. And I FORGOT more about serving this country than both of them put together! Neither one ever served in our Armed Forces. I don’t need lectures on the Constitution from either of them.

    • Miguel Ortega

      Dr. Paul definitely served in the Air Force. I see you have no knowledge of Dr. Paul or what he believes in. Just because things are “sensitive” does not give a right for discrimination against any religion. This has to be the dumbest quote I have heard in a while and shows your ignorance and its people with these beliefs that destroy what we are suppose to stand for, “What Ron Paul doesn’t get is that this isn’t a matter of constitutional rights! ” EVERYTHING IS A MATTER OF CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS! When blacks and minorities were segregated from white America just the thought of ending institutional racism was a hard pill to take. Read his statement, learn who Ron Paul is, and understand his statement. The thing about Ron Paul as a politician you know where he stands. Why? Because when things come up in the media or bills read the constitution and if it violates it then guess what it gets a big NO in the House. That is the way it should be. Ron Paul 2012.

  • Aquagrump

    I am a regular liberal commentator on the Florida Today newspaper’s website. I have been saying that this attack on the First Amendment isn’t a left verses right issue but an attack on what it is that makes us Americans.

    For as long as long as there has been a First Amendment it has been under attack. In fact the armed forces oath of enlistment includes language, “…that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same..” for good reason. Many have served and died, many are serving and dying right now, and unfortunately many have yet to do so, defending our country, our constitution, and our freedom. But today the greatest enemy isn’t the radical terrorists hiding in caves in Afghanistan and Pakistan. (They are dangerous and they are indeed out to get us.) The greatest enemy of freedom is fear and those who use it to gain political advantage. So regardless if you’re liberal or conservative we owe it to those who serve, our children, our grandchildren and to ourselves stand up and shout out that this attack on our freedom will not stand.

    I am glad to see a conservative leader like Representative Paul step up and say so eloquently say what needed saying.

    • fred the protectionist

      That’s funny, you leftists are always trying to abolish Christianity.

      And Libertarians are Liberal, not Conservative.

      • Mike

        Actually Fred, if you knew anything about Libertarianism, you’d know that it has both conservative and liberal branches.

        ‘Extreme’ versions of libertarianism include both anarchistic and transhumanist factions.

        A bit of research on what you claim to belong to would probably be a good thing.

  • Graham

    I live in NY, have friends who were there at the World Trade Center on 9/11. You think their anger at this Mosque is manufactured? You think the families of the victims are driven by a neo-con pro-war agenda? How dare you accuse New Yorkers of being driven by hate and Islamaphobia! Dr. Paul, I respect a lot of your views on the economy, but on this issue you are clueless. Your comments above make it clear to me you could never be president of this country.

  • Scott Hansen

    Everyday an American soldier puts his or her life on the line so people like you can say stupid stuff like this. Why don’t they build it in Iraq? Next you will want the flag of Japan fling at Pearl Harbor or the Nazi flag at the tomb of the unknown soldier. I hope every incumbant get beat in November its time to send a message that we are not going to take this crap anymore. HOOAH!!!
    Make sure you thank a Veteran today!

    • Miguel Ortega

      I am a Veteran that has served two combar tours in Afghanistan and I am still serving in the Marine Corp. You know nothing about Ron Paul and your completely idiotic statement proves my point. This is not Christianity vs Islam, this isn’t Americans vs Islam, and this isn’t anything against Islam. It doesn’t matter if its Islamic or not it could be anybody and by them being protested and denied the RIGHT to build wherever they want is completely insane. We have something called the Constitution and this piece of paper which to many means nothing is the foundation of our nation. When we have disputes in law and it goes to the highest courts what do the Justices refer to for clarification? THE CONSTITUTION! We as true Americans following the constitution stand up for anyone whos rights are being violated reguardless of “sensitivity” I am serving my country I’ve been overseas twice so don’t give me the bull that Veterans oppose Islam or the constitution. As veterans it’s sad to see your statement even though just like I did we raised our hands and swore to PROTECT THE CONSTITUTION FROM FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC ENEMIES! Stop being ignorant, learn about the constitution, about our nation, about or world, and stand up for what is right and what our founding fathers wanted for us because that is true liberty not this liberty erroding socialist state we now call America. Our domestic enemies are worst than our foreign enemies.

      • fred the protectionist

        And what does that mean to me? Many veterans who served in the Mexican-American war turned out to be traitors in the Civil War.

  • Brenda

    I am not a Ron Paul fan at all never have been. Since Ron Paul has the right to free speech I do as well. This is sick to call people that do not want a Mulim Mosque at ground zero bigots and prejudice is sick and just offensive. Muslims are peace loving people my you know what. Do you people see the beheadings and stonings. I am not talking abour terriorists I am talking about Mulims standing in the street doing this stuff. If that is peaceful you are all insane. What about the young girl that had a brick droped on her head that is sick!!! You say it will not happen here guess again. Two girls shot by their Muslim dad, a Muslim man rapes his exwife all in the name of Islam. Obviously like any other relion there are the good and then the really bad but how do you tell which one is bad you don’t. Look at Europe they are free to practice their faith and have Shiriah law courts where in all this are they going by the law of the land?? I am admitting I am scared of Muslims and I am scared of their justice system. I for one do not want any part of it. You all say that we should embrace and accept. I want to know where they embrace and accept other religions they don’t PERIOD!!!

  • BJ

    I posted this on Facebook with the comment “Here’s a real man”..