The Magazine

Shut Up, He Explained

Mayor Michael Bloomberg to New Yorkers.

Aug 16, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 45 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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The conclusion of Bloomberg’s speech was odd: “Political controversies come and go, but our values and our traditions endure—and there is no neighborhood in this City that is off limits to God’s love and mercy, as the religious leaders here with us can attest.” Do the rest of us need Bloomberg’s hand-picked religious leaders to tell us that there are no limits to God’s love and mercy? We do doubt that encouraging this mosque to be built is an appropriate expression of respect for God’s love and mercy for those who were killed almost nine years ago. And we would note that no expression of New Yorkers’ love and gratitude for the victims of September 11 has yet been built at the site of Ground Zero during Mayor Bloomberg’s tenure.

It is likely, we believe, that civic pressure will cause the mosque to be moved elsewhere—Bloomberg’s lecture notwithstanding. But if Bloomberg were to have his way, it’s worth noting that he would presumably attend a dedication of Feisal Abdul Rauf’s mosque at Ground Zero before he would attend a dedication of a proper memorial to those who died there.

Contemporary liberalism means building a mosque rather than a memorial at Ground Zero—and telling your fellow citizens to shut up about it.

—William Kristol

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