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Neo-Nimbyism

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08/14/10

By now most people are familiar with the story of the mosque being built a few blocks from ground zero in New York City. Protesters in NYC say they just want it moved further away, leading me to wonder how far would be far enough? Brooklyn? Pennsylvania? Iowa? How about all the way out to Temecula, California? Apparently that's not far enough either.



According to a recent story in the Los Angeles Times, plans to build a Mosque in Temecula have raised the hackles of a local group of residents affiliated with the Tea Party. Organizers of the group have called for a protest to be held outside the Islamic Center during evening prayers tonight. Participants are asked to ''bring your Bibles, flags, signs, dogs and singing voice on Friday.'' Dog saliva is considered by Muslims to be unclean and invalidates the rituals performed before prayer.

Local leaders of the Tea Party are distancing themselves from the protest by using what has become a familiar tactic – claiming that the Tea Party isn't an organization but a loose collective of people with different agendas and tactics, and yet still claiming to speak for ''real Americans'' everywhere.

It's true that the first amendment gives us the right to assemble and that right extends even to the protesters in Temecula. But that same amendment gives me the right to call them out for it. Oh, and not incidentally, it also gives Muslims the right to worship.


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