To his credit, Christopher Hitchens is no fan of the anti-mosqueteers, whose arguments he has called so stupid and demagogic as to be beneath notice. But, as usual, he undermines his case by issuing very anti-mosqueteer-ish attacks on Faisal Abdul Rauf, the imam behind the non-ground-Zero non-mosque.
I dont know enough about Faisal Rauf to assess the charge that hes less moderate than he seems. I do know, however, that the main argument that Hitchens and others have been offering savours of merde du taureau.
So okay, lets check out Faisal Raufs shady, creepy, sinister sentiments:
Fanaticism and terrorism have no place in Islam. … There are always people who will do peculiar things, and think that they are doing things in the name of their religion. … God says in the Koran that they think that they are doing right, but they are doing wrong. … [Anti-American sentiment in the Muslim world] is a reaction against the US government politically, where we espouse principles of democracy and human rights, and where we ally ourselves with oppressive regimes in many of these countries. … I wouldnt say that the United States deserved what happened, but United States policies were an accessory to the crime that happened …. because we have been accessory to a lot of innocent lives dying in the world. In fact, in the most direct sense, Osama bin Laden is made in the USA.
Oh, I see. So by shady, creepy, and sinister, Hitchens evidently means utterly reasonable and obviously true. No wonder he wrote a book about Orwell.