Krauthammer on the NYC Mosque

National Review: Charles Krauthammer: Sacrilege at Ground Zero

A place is made sacred by a widespread belief that it was visited by the miraculous or the transcendent (Lourdes, the Temple Mount), by the presence there once of great nobility and sacrifice (Gettysburg), or by the blood of martyrs and the indescribable suffering of the innocent (Auschwitz).

When we speak of Ground Zero as hallowed ground, what we mean is that it belongs to those who suffered and died there — and that such ownership obliges us, the living, to preserve the dignity and memory of the place, never allowing it to be forgotten, trivialized, or misappropriated.

That’s why Disney’s early ’90s proposal to build an American history theme park near Manassas Battlefield was defeated by a broad coalition fearing vulgarization of the Civil War (and wiser than me; at the time I obtusely saw little harm in the venture). It’s why the commercial viewing tower built right on the border of Gettysburg was taken down by the Park Service. It’s why, while no one objects to Japanese cultural centers, the idea of putting one up at Pearl Harbor would be offensive.

And why Pope John Paul II ordered the Carmelite nuns to leave the convent they had established at Auschwitz. He was in no way devaluing their heartfelt mission to pray for the souls of the dead. He was teaching them a lesson in respect: This is not your place, it belongs to others. However pure your voice, better to let silence reign.

Even New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, who denounced opponents of the proposed 15-story mosque and Islamic center near Ground Zero as tramplers on religious freedom, asked the mosque organizers “to show some special sensitivity to the situation.” Yet, as Rich Lowry pointedly noted, the government has no business telling churches how to conduct their business, shape their message, or show “special sensitivity” to anyone about anything. Bloomberg was thereby inadvertently conceding the claim of those he excoriates for opposing the mosque, namely, that Ground Zero is indeed unlike any other place and, therefore, unique criteria govern what can be done there.

In a few spots, Krauthammer’s piece echoes the one I wrote yesterday.  Obviously, however, he’s Charles Krauthammer and I’m not. Hence, it’s worth reading.

As you read through his commentary and even mine, though, keep in mind that even though we consider Ground Zero to be hallowed ground, nothing has been built there yet.  It remains, for all to see and for those who attacked us to revel in, a giant, gaping hole in the ground.  That needs to stop.  In the meantime, this mosque must be defeated — historically, the construction of a mosque on or near the site of great import to your enemy is a sign of conquest.

Now, acknowledging that Ground Zero is hallowed ground and hoping that the mosque in



  1. Boston Blackie says:

    Why is it always the majority that must be sensitive to the feelings of a few. How about once in a while the minority be sensitive to the majority.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I wonder, seriously, if this nation will EVER have a president with the intellect of Mr. Krauthammer. Probably not.

  3. J.B. says:

    Charles Krauthammer is a columnist without peer , upon any subject he chooses to write. What a great and succinct article here.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I totally agree with Mr. Krathammer’s view on the mosque being built at ground zero. It is the most disrespectful thing that could happen to the American citizens! It is like a slap in the face for all, especially to all the people who lost loved ones. Why is it Americans should be understanding and tolerant of the ignorance of the muslims and the muslims should not be understanding and tolerant of the feelings of their fellow citizens? Had it not been for them in the first place, they would never have been allowed to be citizens of this country. Does it not work both ways? If the muslim people so want, built their church, but NEVER! NEVER! at the sight of ground zero. What are we thinking? We must never let that happen! Why can’t they understand that? Total disrespect!

  5. Gail B. says:

    What gets me is that the Muslims claim that they want the mosque built there to promote tolerance and understanding. I know that all Muslims are not radical Islamists, but why would they want a mosque so near where radical Islamic Muslims killed 3,000 Americans? Besides, the idea of a mosque so near Ground Zero is doing anything but promoting tolerance and understanding! They seem to be the enemy moving onto ground claimed by war, without any respect for those who died.

  6. Kevin says:

    If this mosque gets built within twelve blocks of Ground Zero, that will just be the indicator of how broken we’ve let out country get. Time for maintenance.

  7. T J says:

    Kevin, maintenance as in water the tree (of liberty)?

  8. Kevin says:

    Water it, prune it, I believe it has been fed plenty of fertilizer.

  9. dale says:

    there is no separation of church and state in islam to say they may have the same rights as all religions is to legitimize it as a true religion – when in fact it is a political regime – imperailist in nature wishing to have shariah law world wide – the bridge Rauf wishes to build is for their law – however it must be masked – be it through pc language , religious freedom- answer this why was Georgetown asked to cover all religious symbols when Obama spoke there yet we must accept muslim practices of head dress stoning oppressive practices against women -
    is this religion? I think not – it is oppression – opposite of human rights we all deserve –
    free to worship without interference from government – could it be that islam is controlled government theocratic practice – NOT RELIGION – but because we tolerate freedom = we must accept a group that wishes to oppress everything and all that do not live under an iron fist ? What religion accepts killing someone because they choose to date a non- believer ?!!!!!! red flag – world s greatest oppressor is that which accuses everyone who is against them -
    where is the outrage – fearful because of the attacks – the wish to murder infidels or nonbelievers ? !!

  10. Gail B. says:

    I learned about Charles Krauthammer here at America’s Right, when Jeff put a video up of him speaking. I did not have cable or satellite television, but I’ve found where I can watch Fox News on the computer (, where he is a contributer to Fox News.

    Anonymous at 6:49 pm on 8-16, if Dr. Krauthammer ever runs for POTUS, he has my vote without hesitation. He is needed at the least in the Cabinet.

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