Ron Paul: NYC Mosque Demagogues Peddle Hate to Justify War

Thom Hartmann interviews Congressman Ron Paul about the NYC mosque controversy and the intense politicization of our country’s values. Hartmann congratulates Dr. Paul for his tolerance and his attempt to bring reason to the heated debate. They also talk about campaign finance, corporate personhood, and the Citizens United verdict.

Show: The Thom Hartmann Program
Host: Thim Hartmann
Date: 08/27/2010


Thom Hartmann: Arguably one of the most conservative guys in politics is Ron Paul, or at least libertarian. He ran for president on the Libertarian ticket once and [is] the Republican Congressman from Texas. He’s been on this program a number of times and in the past we’ve debated issues or argued issues but I wanted to bring him on and congratulate him and have a broader discussion about some of the areas where we agree on the fundamental core values of America that I think are neither left nor right, neither Democrat nor Republican, neither Libertarian nor Socialist. Congressman Ron Paul, by the way, the website. Welcome back to our program, Sir.

Ron Paul: Thank you, Thom. God be with you.

Thom Hartmann: Thank you. You took a very noble and courageous step when you contradicted not only your party but your son as well in saying that this so called ‘Ground Zero Mosque’… it’s actually a Muslim community center two blocks away from Ground Zero, the same distance as Starbucks and a strip club. There’s another actual mosque four blocks away, that this was being basically demagogued by people who were peddling hate.

Ron Paul: Yes, and I believe their goal was not only to peddle the hate but to justify the war. We have perpetual war, the global war, and of course, we have to have an enemy and the people have to be hateful of the enemy to be willing to die and sacrifice so much. And if there’s not a real good excuse, then the people don’t support the war. So they have to have hatred. I see, from my viewpoint, hatred of all Muslims. And we do know that the people who attacked us on 9/11 were Muslims but I think there’s more to it than that. I think it’s perfectly alright to address the subject of the danger of Al-Qaeda, which is a small number of people of the Muslim faith. And I don’t like blanket accusations and I believe that they were just trying to justify the perpetual invasion and occupation, and planning to go and attack the next Muslim nation, it’s totally unrelated to 9/11.

Thom Hartmann: Right. This would be not unlike saying that “David Koresh was a wackadoodle Christian therefore we have to declare war on the Christian countries. Let’s start bombing France tomorrow.”

Ron Paul: Yeah. The analogy I used was Timothy McVeigh. He was Christian and he killed a lot of people, and yet he doesn’t represent hardly any Christian and if there were some, I would say that they’re very confused about the Christian faith and I personally know a lot of Muslims. I’ve worked with them in the medical profession and they’re friends. And I just think through study and history, although people can cite violence in their religion, I think some can find that in the Jewish religion and the Christian religion too. There’s been a lot of killing. There’s a lot of killing in the Bible and yet that doesn’t mean that everybody endorses use of violence because if you want to go and look at all the great religions, usually you find very, very similar statements about love and peace, and no war, and I’d like to concentrate more on that.

Thom Hartmann: Yeah, me too. Congressman Ron Paul who’s on the line,, his website. Congressman, in the Republican Party, in your party, there seems to be a scism. There’s certainly a big scism in the Democratic Party which we can also talk about, but you know your party better than I do. And I’m seeing, for example, Bill McCollum, the guy who just lost the Republican primary to Rick Scott, to run for governor of Florida. He now is refusing to endorse Rick Scott because Rick Scott basically bought the election with $50 million. The Citizens United decision of the Supreme Court that allows wealthy people, actually the Supreme Court knocked down the part of McCain-Feingold two years ago actually, that allowed wealthy people to self-finance on an unlimited basis during elections and thus we have Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman in California. I’m guessing that the Libertarian side of you thinks rich people should be able to do what they want but what about the impact that this kind of thing has on democracy in a republic and your own party?

Ron Paul: Well, it’s the fact the government’s big and they can pass out so much is the problem, not to the fact that you can have an organization, you can spend your money any way you want. That is what I think is the problem rather than saying the right of corporations. Even corporations… See, I have trouble with that court ruling because I don’t know whom you work for but if you work for a corporation…

Thom Hartmann: I work for myself.

Ron Paul: Okay. But let’s say you work for the New York Times and the New York Times is a corporation. The New York Times, at least in the old days, newspapers could destroy a candidate and they could do anything that they want. They can endorse, bias the news, and everything else. But that corporation has different protection than say Corporation ABC that doesn’t have the so-called ‘the protection of freedom of press’. And I don’t think you should be able to divide people like I think rights should always be equal. So if the corporation on the radio and the TV, or a newspaper can do something up to the last minute, and slant the news, why shouldn’t other people spend their money in support or counteracting that?

Thom Hartmann: Are you suggesting that when the Fourteenth Amendment was written back during Reconstruction in 1874, in order to free black people, and it said that no person should be denied equal access under the law, equal protection under the law, that as proponents of… I’m sorry, my screen is flashing and it’s distracting me. I’m trying to organize this thought. That that means that corporations are persons and… I mean, this is the argument that was put forward by the railroad barons of the day that not they themselves, not Jay Gould and Samuel Huntington. Not they themselves but that their corporations were persons because it didn’t say natural person in the Fourteenth Amendment and corporations of course are artificial persons. They can buy land and they can be sued, and pay taxes, and things like that. Are you suggesting that you agree with that notion? That corporations should have the rights of persons?

Ron Paul: Well, I think the person who labels themselves a corporation would have equal rights whether they’re an independent business group or a newspaper company.

Thom Hartmann: But they’re getting special privileges. They’re getting tax breaks. They’re getting limitations of liability. They’re getting all kinds of things. Why should they be protected under the…

Ron Paul: Well, the tax breaks, I think everybody should have a tax break because I don’t think you have to pay for a tax break. I just…

  • you should fear for your own rights if that muslim community center isn’t built, you fail to see the symbolism of denying a constitutional right to your own people on illogical claims, the only people who’ll gain anything from this ridiculous none-issue are extremists from both sides.
    That community center will serve normal muslims and be a bridge to other communities, how the heck would that sully the memory of the dead of 911 who FYI included muslim americans. Wake the f up

  • TheAratto
  • joe035

    The Imam has the legal right to build a mosque/community center, just as the state of NewYork has the right to see that property is used in a way that best suits the communities need. It’s dissapointing to see Ron Paul not acknowledge a property damaged by 911 as symbolic to those we are still at war with & discredit those who do see the symbolism. He is a true advocate for individual, & property rights so though I am disappointed I am not surprised.

  • stpthreat1

    i think this man is a saint

  • arturotheburro7

    Where’s the rest of this

  • key1116

    “1955: You can sit on the bus, just not THERE.
    2010: You can build a Mosque, just not THERE.”

  • queso716

    guys, not a mosque… its a community center with a couple of prayer spots. An actual mosque does exist 4 blocks away, and has been for a long time.

  • TheCarbonKid

    Only politician with the balls to always tell the truth. Will the US have to collapse before the mob looks to him. By then it may be too late. Wake up America!

  • hodoprime

    I’m perturbed by the amount of controversy that gets publicized by the smallest things like steroids in baseball, gay marriage or this single mosque in NYC. The media is all over that yet they don’t want to cover the millions of people who die in the middle east because we’re there and the vast amount of our country’s wealth thrown out the window by our federal reserve. We’re going to wake up to find we’re broke one day with a lot of angry people around the world wanting a piece of us.

  • CorrosionX3

    I USED to be a Ron Paul supporter, but he lost me on this one. Turning a blind eye to evil will not make it go away, unfortunately. And the imam of the 9-11 Mosque is a scumbag, and everyone around him also. You are being played, they are using your tolerance against you, like they have been doing to the world for decades. The world is not all friendly. Some people really do want to kill you and want to eliminate the Western way of life. And others are enablers and useful idiots.

  • Padrag12

    It is tragic that his movement got hijacked by Beck. I would take a bullet for this man.

  • defexorcist

    The problem is that Ron Paul just makes too much sense to ever be elected to a higher office. Ask anyone in favor of the “wars” what the current objectives are and you get one of three answers: they don’t know, they parrot retarded horseshit, or they give you an overly complex answer that sounds good but is more akin to an explanation in a Star-Trek episode than anything in reality.

  • uturniaphobic

    I’m guessing but, had it been crazy Christians who attacked on 9/11, I believe religion would have never been mentioned in any of this. Also please note how the crazy people flew right over the Vatican on their way to the WTC. this is no religious issue it is a financial attack on free markets.


    I AM A RON PAUL SUPPORTER. NOW, having said that,…I don’t agree with him here.
    I don’t find any muslambs denouncing sharia law, or protesting the terrorist who kill in their names. I don’t find this imam giving an interview, explaining all his peaceful programs for the community and cooperation with Christians to spread trust.
    I find them condemning us for our emotions after a tragedy !..WHITH ALL THIS GUY IS CAUSING, HE WOULD HAPPILY MOVE LOCATION NOW!!!…IF HE WANTED TO LUV N PEACE !

  • oculist2020

    The CIA invented Al Queada, literally. They trained Yo Mamma Ben Fartin’, I mean osama bin ladin. What conspiracy theory? It’s conspiracy fact.

  • shortfu

    Dr. Paul, I disagree with you making the comparison between Timothy McVeigh and the Islamic Extremists who caused 9/11. McVeigh, although a Christian, did not do it in the name of Christianity. Islamic Extremists, however, did it in the name of Islam.

    I agree with him on everything else though. Actually he opened eyes on this mosque fiasco.

  • CreationPhotography

    islam is a sin JESUS is the way out

  • waterchildtera

    let them build it
    put a nude bar on one side
    and a hog slaughtering plant on the other
    and a gay church across the street
    and synagogue behind them

  • campaign4liberty

    RP 2012


  • Jim

    I agree fully that the al-Qaeda attack can, in large part, be traced back to previous foreign policy decisions made by Washington. However, the attack was made in the name of Islam and many prominent Islamists celebrated it on those grounds.

    The vast majority of Americans support the right of Muslims to worship in peace but an almost equal number oppose the mosque in that location. These are not demagogues justifying war but caring humans that find a mosque in that location as an insult to those that were killed. This is a normal reaction. Calling those that feel this way “demagogues” is insulting.

    If an extreme rightwing Christian sect bombed a site in the Muslim world and then a group of “moderate” Christians announced their plans to build a church with in a couple of blocks of the site, the project would be banned immediately and the worldwide support for that ban would come just as quickly.

    The plans for a mosque near the site of the 2001 bombing is insensitive in the extreme and I am even more afraid that it is going to lead to violence and greater misunderstanding. This isn’t demagoguery, it is common sense.