Although I of course disagree with Reihan Salam and Ross Douthat on many things, I actually have both respect and affection for them (or their virtual selves, known to me through years of reading their writing and watching them on blogging heads).
So, I was deeply saddened by Mr. Douthat’s column on Cordoba House. Still, I have always sensed Mr. Douthat’s discomfort with Islam at quite a deep level. I was even more saddened to see Mr. Salam embrace his friend’s column and use his own Muslim background to lend credence to some of the ridiculousness that is surrounding this issue.
Notice to these people who keep speaking of questions that need to be raised about the people behind the Cordoba Project, but who think that Feisal Abdul-Rauf seems somehow radical to them: Feisal Abdul-Rauf and his wife are viewed in the Muslim community as quite progressive, to many Muslims they are viewed as ultra-progressive. If you really want to posit that they are too radical for America than you are arguing that being a practicing believing Muslim is unacceptable in America.
And guess what, most of us don’t care what you think. Contrary to Mr. Douthat’s profoundly disturbing column, we are not waiting for some ignorant (people who literally do not know anything about Islam or Muslims) and bigoted middle america to tell us what is acceptable or what is not for Americans to say or think or believe or do.