With Donald Trump and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver now urging developers to move the Ground Zero mosque, the New Majority movement continues to pick up broad support. From Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin to Howard Dean and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, top Republicans and Democrats are united in a truly bipartisan cause.
Gov. Paterson and Archbishop Timothy Dolan, both on record as favoring another location, met yesterday to talk ideas.
The movement would be complete if only Mayor Bloomberg came to his senses to play the role of mediator. Instead, he repeated his off-the-point lecture at a Ramadan dinner last night, saying the mosque must go forward.
Silver's support is significant because he had initially backed the mosque, which would be located near his Assembly district. But the uproar against it led him to switch sides.
"I think the sponsors should take into very serious consideration the kind of turmoil that's been created and look to compromise," he said yesterday.
That's exactly the right note. Having proclaimed themselves "healers" of the 9/11 breach, the developers have opened a new wound that threatens to further isolate Muslims. Even if one charitably assumes they were caught off guard by the opponents, their hard-hearted determination to press on raises serious suspicions about their motives.
Indeed, it is obvious they don't care about the turmoil. The project's co-founder, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, a State Department envoy traveling in the Gulf region, went so far as to say "The fact we are getting this kind of attention is a sign of success."
That's either dopey or dangerous, especially for someone supposedly trying to promote U.S.-Muslim relations. If the nasty battle is his idea of a good thing, what would be a bad thing?
His wife, Daisy Khan, even warned that "extremists" are watching the battle, a not-so-subtle suggestion that New York would be attacked again if developers don't get their way. Her logic is frightening.
Still, it's only a twist on a common theme for supporters -- we have to show the world what fine folk Americans are, or else. You know, hit us, we'll apologize and hand you the keys to our house just to prove how nice we are, or else the world won't like us.
Chief Cheerleader Bloomberg tried a variation again last night at Gracie Mansion. While he wisely dropped his accusation of bigotry against all opponents, saying there were "people of good will on both sides," he argued that the mosque must go forward at the proposed location, or America's guarantee of religious freedom will be violated.
"This is a test of our commitment to American values," he said in prepared remarks. "We must have the courage of our convictions. We must do what is right, not what is easy."
He has it perfectly backward. It's a test, but not of America's values. It's a test of Islamic values.
The developers' provocation could have been seen as a mistake, easily correctable by moving to another site. Instead, their cold insistence on staying put reveals an unappealing level of inconsideration, even hostility.
By digging in, they are passing up a chance to build the very bridge they claimed they wanted while reinforcing the darkest concerns about why they picked this site.
What does 9/11 mean to them? Sadly, I think we're starting to find out.
Michael Goodwin is a New York Post columnist and Fox News contributor. To continue reading his column, click here.
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