You may have noticed that New York is tearing itself asunder in an increasingly polarised debate on whether an Islamic Cultural Centre and Mosque should be built just a few hundred feet for Ground Zero, site of the infamous Islamic attacks of 9/11. Opponents of the plan say that the building will be an insult to the memory of the people who perished on a day, which to paraphrase FDR, has gone down in infamy. They claim that Muslims always erect mosques on the sites of their military conquests. Just like Rome then. Onward Christian soldiers etc.
However, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, a Jew, reckons that the Islamic Cultural Centre and Mosque should be built. Bloomberg, appealing to the better angels of our nature, has gone all “Abe Lincoln” on New Yorkers and correctly points out that the American Constitution calls for respect for all creeds and none. But former mayor Rudolph Giuliani is the polar opposite. Vehemently opposing the plan, he asked, rhetorically, whether Americans would now be erecting commemorative plaques at Pearl Harbour – for the Japanese.
Amid all this, Greg Gutfield, host of the brilliantly irreverent Red Eye on Fox News, has a different take. He says that Muslims have every right to build a mosque. However, Gutfield also believes that in the same spirit of tolerance and respect that he should be allowed to open a gay bar for Muslims next door. Gutfield was quoted as saying that his idea is not a joke and that he has spoken with investors who have pledged their support. The bar will cater for gay Muslims and will sell non-alcoholic drinks.
Gutfield plans to call the bar “Al-Gayda or “Homohammed”, and is guaranteeing patrons that the music in his place will be better than next door. He’s is also considering other names for the bar such as – Infidelicious, Rama-Den or Turbon Cowboy. He also claims to have invented a new, non-alcohol cocktail for the bar called “72 Virgins.”.
Gutfield said: “And I thought how interesting is it that they (Muslims) are preaching tolerance and communication to Americans? I thought, “wouldn’t it be great to test their tolerance? So I figured let’s open an Islam-friendly gay bar next door to the mosque. That is my proposal and I’m sticking by it.”
The first Amendment of the American Constitution.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
Gutfield is also considering – for a bit of Islamic/Italian flavour maybe? – calling the bar “You Mecca me Hot.”
I don’t think that’s what James Madison, principal author of the American Constitution, had in mind.
It’s all happening in the Big Apple ain’t it?