In his latest display of mental gymnastics, Republican candidate for Governor of New York State Carl Paladino has just completed either a disastrously unsuccessful triple lutz or a spot-on bellyflop:
As Governor I will use the power of eminent domain to stop this mosque and make the site a war memorial instead of a monument to those who attacked our country….
Andrew Cuomo supports the mosque. He says it is about “religious freedom” and he says the mosque construction should proceed. I say it is disrespectful to the thousands who died on Sept. 11 and their families, insulting to the thousands of troops who’ve been killed or injured in the ensuing wars and an affront to American people. And it must be stopped.
There is little to no democracy in the Middle East other than Israel. The Islamic fundamentalists are fascists — women have limited rights, there is no free speech or freedom of expression, and citizens are subject to the often barbaric Sharia Law. I oppose a mosque near the site of ground zero, not because of race, but because of the ideology of the Islamic fundamentalists.
Did you get that? Without a hint of irony, Carl Paladino declares that:
1. He opposes a religious activity of American Muslims, painting with a broad brush as “Islamic fundamentalist” the Cordoba House / Park51 project which has as its goals:
* Uphold respect for the diversity of expression and ideas between all people
* Cultivate and embrace neighborly relations between all New Yorkers, fostering a spirit of civic participation and an awareness of common needs and opportunities
* Encourage open discussion and dialogue on issues of relevance to New Yorkers, Americans and the international reality of our interconnected planet
2. He opposes the Cordoba House / Park51 center because he accuses the organizers of being “fascists — women have limited rights, there is no free speech or freedom of expression, and citizens are subject to the often barbaric Sharia Law.”
3. In response to his personal theories about this center being secretly run by “Islamic fundamentalists,” he declares that if elected Governor he’ll use the eminent domain power of government to seize the private property on which the Cordoba House / Park51 center is to be built. To what end? To prevent the exercise of free speech, free expression, free association and unfettered religion. Why does Carl Paladino think government can rescind the rights of Americans? “Because of the ideology” they believe in.
Carl Paladino needs a new campaign slogan. How about “Freedom must die / Long live freedom”?