Commentary: Shameful politics at play in NYC mosque criticism

The harsh critiques about a proposed Muslim cultural center that will include a mosque close to the World Trade Center have little to do with legitimate concerns and everything to do with elections in November and 2012.

As a nation, we gain nothing from comments such as those by former Republican House speaker and potential presidential aspirant Newt Gingrich, who said building the center was "like putting a Nazi sign next to the Holocaust museum."

This is a tragic step backward from President George W. Bush's post-9/11 approach, when he made it clear that Americans must not blame all Muslims. Those who carried out the attacks were to blame. They based their actions on a radical interpretation of Islam, one which is dismissed as anti-Islamic worldwide.

This made sense. We rightly do not blame all Christians for the Oklahoma City bombing. Al-Qaida kills far more Muslims than Christians. And outside of its small fringe of lunatic supporters, al-Qaida lacks any real support from the world's 1.8 billion Muslims.

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