Getting Burned

I can't get used to the idea that American values are lost when the Ground Zero mosque is opposed, but there's no loss of American values when the full weight of the U.S. government is used to intimidate an unknown preacher in Florida out of exercising his free speech rights. Can someone explain?

It is also remarkable to me that the dominant media angle on this story is Islamophobia, when evidence suggests that Muslims do just fine here.

According to the latest hate crime statistics available, there were 1,606 hate crime offenses motivated by religious bias in 2008. A closer look: 65.7 percent of them were committed against Jews. Against Muslims? 7.7 percent.
With similar populations of Jews and Muslims, it is curious that Islamophobia is front page news while Jews suffer ten times as many hate crime attacks and there's no shred of concern expressed. At the same time, the American government is apparently scared to death of Islam, as is Imam Rauf of cultural center fame.

RAUF: My major concern with moving it is that the headline in the Muslim world will be Islam is under attack in America, this will strengthen the radicals in the Muslim world, help their recruitment, this will put our people -- our soldiers, our troops, our embassies, our citizens -- under attack in the Muslim world and we have expanded and given and fueled terrorism.

AMANPOUR: Do you think that is a legitimate reason not to move it?

RAUF: It is an extremely important consideration.

In other words, Islam is so dangerous that the decision about where to site a Manhattan mosque should be guided by radical Islamic opinion.