Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hendrik Plays the Ishmael Card

In a display of a "logic" that makes no sense at all, the New Yorker's Hendrik Hertzberg quotes George Washington speaking about Jews to argue in favour of a mosque in Ground Zero environs:
In a famous letter—the one that holds that the United States “gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens”—George Washington offered a benediction:
May the children of the stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants, while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.
Lower Manhattan is a little short on vines and fig trees nowadays, though there are some excellent wine bars. Washington’s point remains. His letter was addressed to the Jews of Newport, Rhode Island. But, as he knew, Muslims are Abraham’s children, too. By the McCain standard, George Washington was a three-time loser: as President, he lived in New York City; the nation’s capital bears his name; and, even by the standards of his time, he was an élitist. Nevertheless: he was right.
Right about the Jews; wrong about crypto-supermacists of the Imam Rauf ilk, about whom George, clearly, was not speaking.

Children of Abe we may all be, but only one of Abe's kids is labouring (both violently and non-violently) to ensure that his religious law is adhered to worldwide.

Update: Elsewhere in the New Yorker, one of that rag's scribblers has a very civilized chat (barf, upchuck, puke) with would-be genocidaire Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

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