Ground Zero Mosque Update: Has The Worm Started To Turn?

Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer deserve credit for being on point in the fight against the mosque at Ground Zero. They were first out of the gates and of course, the pioneers get hit with most of the arrows. Both of them were unfairly attacked, maligned, and pilloried as racists, bigots, and generally horrible people for not wanting a mosque built practically on top of the corpses of the people who were murdered by radical Islamists in the name of Islam.

Eventually, they drew attention to what was going on and more of us started speaking out. Then, God bless her, Sarah Palin jumped in. That’s when it officially became okay for the GOP to get involved en masse — and along with Joe Lieberman, the ADL, and other groups, they did. This made sense, because multiple polls show that the people of New York and the American people are against having this mosque. Still, the liberal elite in New York were wholeheartedly in favor of the idea and let’s face it: They run things there. So, it still seemed entirely possible that despite all of the public pressure, the mosque was fated to go forward anyway.

However, yesterday things changed and for the first time, the odds started to even out a bit. Although Greg Gutfeld’s promise to build a gay bar next to the mosque was an absolutely brilliant political stunt, it wasn’t a game changer.

There were also reports that the mosque owners didn’t have all the property they needed to defile Ground Zero with their celebratory mosque. However, those reports appear to be in error,

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The New York Post reported Sunday that Con Ed’s ownership of 49-51 Park Place could be an obstacle for the Islamic center.

However, Soho Properties, the mosque’s developer, signed a long-term lease on the building last year and “has rights to use, alter, demolish or renovate the building,” Con Ed said.

The utility plans to eventually sell the former substation building to Soho Properties, as long as the developer pays a fee set by an independent appraiser.

Regardless of whether the sale goes through, plans for the Islamic center, called Park51, can still move forward under the current lease, which lasts until 2071, Con Ed said.

“We are following our legal obligations under the lease,” Con Ed said. “We will not allow other considerations to enter into this transaction.”

However, the most significant development involved comments by liberal New York Governor David Patterson about the mosque,

Paterson said he supports putting the Islamic cultural center Park51 at its proposed site two blocks from the World Trade Center.

But he also expressed sympathy for opponents, who say the location is insensitive to 9/11 victims and could be a breeding ground for terrorists.

“Frankly, if the sponsors were looking for property anywhere at a distance that would be such that it would accommodate a better feeling among the people who are frustrated, I would look into trying to provide them with the state property they would need,” Paterson said at a Manhattan press conference.

Paterson said the anxiety felt by mosque opponents was “not without cause” and that New York still suffers from the Sept. 11 attacks.

Paterson stressed however that he has no objections to the proposed center, which houses a mosque, and that there is “no reason” why it should not be built.

“We have to remember sometimes that it’s the fanaticism of religions that have driven people to do what they do, not the worship of the religion itself,” Paterson said. “And so I don’t have any objection to it being built there, but I am very sensitive to the desire of those who are adamant against it to see something else worked out.”

You have to remember that the Left’s response to very reasonable objections to putting a mosque up on that spot have consisted almost entirely of screaming, “SHUT UP, YOU BIGOTS!!!!!” So, if Patterson is willing to acknowledge that complaints about the mosque have merit and is gently suggesting that they move, it means the Left in New York has concluded this is a losing fight and they’d like it to go away.

That’s very important because anyone who builds, funds, or attends this mosque is going to become radioactive on the Right. If the Left comes to view people involved with the mosque as a liability, too, then it may actually change some minds. That’s because people can bear being pariahs to one group if they get acclaim from another in exchange, but no one wants to be despised by everyone. That’s where this mosque project is headed at this point and since shame and human decency don’t seem to be a factor for the people running it, fear of being a pariah may be the only thing that can stop them.

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