Newt Gingrich vs. The United States of America

Jonathan Chait of The New Republic has a good post here on Newt Gingrich’s recent statements about the proposed “Cordoba House” Muslim community center in lower Manhattan (aka the ground zero mosque). My favorite part was:

Newt Gingrich writes:

There should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia. The time for double standards that allow Islamists to behave aggressively toward us while they demand our weakness and submission is over.

In this context, “double standards” means that the United States maintains a more pluralistic attitude toward religious minorities than Saudi Arabia does. Now, you could make the same kind of argument about any repressive policy in a place like Saudi Arabia. If women are not allowed to walk around freely in Saudi Arabia, then men should not be allowed to walk around freely in the United States!

I love it!

Chait goes on to make more points following this, and the post is worth reading in full. (Gingrich’s original comments are also worth reading just because they are so typically Newt and so typically absurd.

BTW, I’ll just say that I’m no fan of Islam or, indeed, any organized religion, but Cordoba House is a very good name. The heyday of Muslim Spain is a good example of a time and place where, for a brief time, Islam was a tolerant religion.

One Comment

  1. BTW, I’m not a fan of TNR, in general, because I can’t stand Martin Peretz’s reflexive anti-Arab views. I used to subscribe, but I couldn’t take the bile. Since he owns the magazine, the bile is not going away. But there are some really good writers working there and they publish some good stuff.

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