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.
Hitchens (and others) chief case against the imam is that he made shady and creepy, or sinister (a favourite term of Hitchens), remarks about 9/11 on 60 Minutes a few weeks after the attacks.
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.