- By Andrew SwiftAndrew Swift is an editorial researcher at Foreign Policy.
Manhattan’s proposed Cordoba House — described on its website as a project that "is about promoting integration, tolerance of difference and community cohesion through arts and culture" — has been the target of heated right-wing attacks lately, ostensibly because a Muslim center near Ground Zero is "offensive" to the victims of the attacks.
But opponents have apparently noticed perhaps an even more insidious threat: Muslims praying inside the Pentagon. As Justin Elliott noted recently in Salon, the holy month of Ramadan has been observed, right in the heart of the U.S. defense establishment. Elliott points to a 2007 article from the Washington Times that exposes the reasons behind this nefarious plot:
"We live in a great nation," said master of ceremonies Air Force Lt. Col. Timothy Oldenburg, a Muslim. "Yes, it is our First Amendment right do that — to practice our religion the way we feel, to worship God and to come to the Pentagon and celebrate Ramadan."
This shocking lack of security begs the question: has the Pentagon itself secretly been shrouded in Sharia fairy dust powder? God only knows the horrors that could result from the free exercise of First Amendment rights!
Ben Pauker is executive editor at Foreign Policy. Ben came to FP in May 2010 from World Policy Journal, where he was managing editor from 2007-2010. A native of New York, he grew up in Brazil, Australia, and Thailand and has written for Harper's, the Economist, and the Chicago Tribune, among other publications. He is the co-founder of the Gastronauts, the world’s largest adventurous-eating club, and, in the course of reporting but mainly to see if it was possible, has smuggled small arms out of Central Africa.| In Box |