In the demagogue's parade highlighted in today's Times' coverage of Mayor Bloomberg's heroic defense of the plan to build an Islamic Center in lower Manhattan, one particularly vicious thug stood out:
But even as the mayor called for the mosque to be embraced, those opposed to the project pledged to aggressively fight it, using both litigation and public pressure. A prominent Republican and foreign policy analyst said he was working with business, civic and political leaders to organize a campaign to persuade architects, contractors and donors to steer clear of the project. He said they would also aggressively scrutinize any donors who supported it.
Aggressively scrutinize any donors? What's he going to do, put them on a terrorist watch list? Is this kind of intimidation legal? And where do I sign up to donate? [UPDATE: here. Andrew, your donation is now complete --UPDATE 8/5: see correction above: donations directly to the Islamic Center can be made at Park51.]
The Republican, Daniel Senor, a former high-ranking official with the coalition government in Iraq, said that anybody who works with the center “needs to know there is going to be a real stigma associated with this project.”
“Do they really want to be involved with something so detrimental, that might set New York back?” he asked.
What's next, a Muslim kristallnacht?
Bloomberg was right yesterday -- "this is an important test of the separation of church and state as we may see in our lifetimes, as important a test. And it is critically important that we get it right." We are entering the danger zone.