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Outmaneuvering the Mussulmen


The minister planning to burn Korans tomorrow may not be the crackpot we all thought he was. Or, at least he’s a wily crackpot.

After dominating the news and chatter for the week leading up to September 11th, Reverend Jones says he’ll call off the bonfire if the Muslims move their new mosque away from the WTC site:

Jones also said he is scheduled to travel to New York on Friday night for a still unscheduled meeting with the imam in charge of the Islamic center planned near ground zero. The meeting, Jones had said, was part of what convinced him to halt the planned burning.

Jones said the meeting was promised Thursday by local Florida imam Mohammad Musri, who also told him the Islamic center would be moved in exchange for the burning being called off.

The Mussulmen say this is not true. On this point at least, I am prepared to believe them.

It doesn’t matter.

Reverend Jones has gotten inside the Muslim’s loop. Opponents of both demonstrations of faith are in nearly-unanimous agreement that the actions are legal (although Big Media fails to keep that detail clear). The alleged betters in American society, those who put diversity and tolerance above a shared American identity, are having their prejudices exposed, too.

The opposing factions say the building and the burning will lead to more death and destruction. Both groups are urged to be more sensitive and reconsider their plans.

This small-time preacher has flipped the script on the Mussulmen and their apoligists:

[T]his mosque isn’t a test of America’s tolerance. That tolerance is already there: objectors acknowledge the group has a constitutional right to build the mosque there. Instead, it’s become a test of Islam’s empathy, of whether its leaders can acknowledge that the actions of extremists from their faith have made this particular site inappropriate for a huge Islamic structure.

The Reverend has achieved something close to moral parity with the Hamasquers in the court of public opinion. The trade-off deal, even if imaginary, helps highlight the equivalence. And all Jones has at stake is an ephemeral one-time event. The community center mosque would be an enduring icon.