Germany's foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, offered the following justification for not traveling with his gay partner to Saudi Arabia and other Islamic countries: "We want to encourage the idea of tolerance around the world but we don't want to achieve the opposite either by acting imprudently."
The Wall Street Journal Europe's Daniel Schwammenthal neatly captured the misguided social and political correctness consuming Germany's top diplomat: “By submitting to the standards of his Saudi hosts, though, the foreign minister indirectly validated norms that call for the public execution of homosexuals. Prudence this is not.”
Additionally, Schwammenthal's editorial, “Mr. Westerwelle and Saudi Homophobia,” provides a window into the Ground Zero mosque debate over the nature of the potential financiers of the Islamic center near the site of the worst terrorist attack by Islamist extremists in U.S. history, which might include Saudi Arabia and the Iranian regime.
As the New York Post reported, mosque spokesman Oz Sultan has not ruled out receiving funds from the Saudis and the Islamic Republic of Iran. And Feisal Abdul Rauf, the controversial imam who is spearheading the Ground Zero mosque, has defended the indefensible Iranian regime. Rauf's defense of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the Holocaust-denying president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, following the bloody suppression of the pro-democracy movement last June should be enough of a compelling reason to reject Rauf's Ground Zero mosque project.
All of this means that the Ground Zero mosque is turning into an exercise in tolerating incorrigibly reactionary Islamist regimes that are infatuated with obliterating Western values and liberty. There has been scarcely any media investigative work (with the exception of the New York Post and a few others) delving into the dubious funding streams of the Ground Zero mosque.
Benjamin Weinthal is a fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.