2010-08-13 What Obama Got Wrong About the Mosque/comments

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Woozle comments

  • Harris seems to be trying to make the maybe-reasonable argument that while (a) it would be wrong to deny the right for the mosque to be built, (b) we can still be offended by it. However, he does not back up (b) very well.
    • Most of the article is an attack on Islam for its support of extremism, and a condemnation of moderate Muslims for not in turn condemning that extremism.
      • I'm not sure it's true that moderate Muslims do not condemn extremism. This needs to be researched. It would have been nice if Harris had provided some examples of moderate Muslims weaseling out of condemning the 9/11 attacks, or the Mohammed cartoon riots, or any other such incident, as political figures often do. The absence of such citations is suspicious.
    • At the end, though, he seemingly undercuts this point by implying that the real offense is not because the mosque is Muslim, but because of the particular Muslims building it -- and having told us absolutely nothing about them, he leaves us with no basis for agreement.
  • His statement "the erection of a mosque upon the ashes of this atrocity will also be viewed by many millions of Muslims as a victory – and as a sign that the liberal values of the West are synonymous with decadence and cowardice" is a logically flawed emotional argument:
    • Muslims also see women not wearing burkhas "as a sign that the liberal values of the West are synonymous with [at least] decadence" -- would he argue that we should remove this freedom, to show them who's boss?
    • Since when does an extremely repressive culture's misunderstanding and misrepresentation of our ideals rate as legitimate criticism?