I actually wrote this rebuttal on a message board I frequent when this article was posted. I felt I had to share it with my readers because it could be of some use when analyzing that disturbing trend(s) ever present in our modern politic especially sensationalized writings being presented as facts or news.
Here is my response to the aforementioned article as it appeared on the messageboard:
And here is a shining example of the logical fallacy Absurd Extrapolation or Slippery Slope….
1. The term “mosque” and “huge mosque” is repeatedly used, when in fact it’s a community center that has a mosque in it out of 13 floors, huge difference. But this is Ad Baculum appeal to Fear so that’s why the terms are used. I could also cite the example of the collected “us” vs “them” mantra began in the very first line categorizing Muslims as the “they” who attacked “us”. I happen to believe that as an American that “us” would include all Americans regardless of race, religion, etc. but it’s obvious that to the author and his supporters, that those Americans that are Muslim are actually the “they” and not really Americans I guess. Not surprised by these sentiments…
2. Next comes Abusive Ad Hominem or see Attack the person. Once it is established by the author that it’s really a debate between Muslims and those of other faiths, regardless of nationality or citizenship, the next thing to do is to go after one of the Imam’s involved in the project. Demonizing an entire religion and group is a good tactic, but when you can put a face to that group in one person or several, then it get’s really easy to sway your readers or rally their support. So now he becomes the smooth talking wolf in sheep’s clothing. Ignore his record on interfaith and actual work, throw in a couple of loose associations a statement or two, and bam! You have your very own Saddam Hussein! The perfect villain and characature of evil!
Nevermind that the statement in question specifically uses the term “accessory” which according to most English dictionaries means part of or help, etc. but not a definitive cause, nevermind that Rauf is the first person Muslim or otherwise to suggest that US policy has over the years have been a part of the volatile mix that produces extremism (our own intel documents over a couple decades says this), all that matters is that Rauf is a Muslim Imam, on this project, and had the gall to happen to say this one statement almost 10 years ago, this one extrapolated statement is more important than the hundreds of thousands he has uttered before or after, why? Because they help project him as the “other” figure head of “those” people.
Then let’s throw in CAIR for good measure. We all know they are up to something right? Therefore any Muslim loosely affiliated with them is of them and by extension reinforces how entrenched “those” people are who must be stopped. By this level of madness and guilt by association, I should also be thrown in with Rauf for good measure. I shook hands with the President of CAIR at CNN once and some members of his group and my group have attended some of the same meetings!
No good character assassination ends with just one quote or an association with one vilified group, oh no, you have to stack up the “evidence” so why not attack the entire Sufi sect of Muslims? They are just about mysterious enough to scare the begeezous out of otherwise reasonable Americans of other faith groups. Nevermind that as a sect that while small is very diverse and complex and broken into many sub sects themselves, those facts are all too confusing and if facts are presented you might loose a couple of people to your cause. So instead, go with the tried and true wolf in sheep’s clothing mantra by mixing some generally known facts with some other ones, such as Sufi’s in general are known for their peaceful philosophy, but since some are not then they are all the same, so therefore watch out! Because we all know it’s not centuries of writing, teaching, literature, etc. that matters, but a couple of loosely related facts!
So of course it then becomes perfectly natural to continue down the path of loosely connected facts, conjecture, smear, etc. by throwing in the very name Cordoba for good measure. Make up a bunch of stuff about Jewish and Christian oppression, never mention one fact, and of course since we are using the fallacy Ad Verecundiam or Appeal to Authority the readers are supposed to fall in line and accept the entire thing as fact. Because inconvenient truths such as the laws concerning Jews and Christians in an Islamic State concerning taxes is religious in nature having nothing to do with oppression but the fact that since Zakat is a religious mandate, Islamic law states that you can’t force non-Muslims to follow Muslim practice, so instead the Jizah tax was introduced so that all citizens paid taxes. One group, Muslims religiously had to do it, the other group, non-Muslims had to do it as a civic duty. Nevermind, that the very same laws also meant that non-Muslims were exempt from military service and that Muslims were obligated to protect the Jews and Christians and their places of worship. Nevermind that when Queen Isabella came through she wholesale slaughtered Jews and expelled the Muslims, guess where the Jews ran to for protection from the Inquisition? I know, I know, facts are unimportant.
So then the author delves into the place where most of his ilk commonly show their true ignorance to the subject: Shariah. Not one critic of Islam to date has been willing to have an honest discussion on the subject as doing so would expose them as ignorant on the subject and possibly lessen their grips on the minds of their audience. Shariah is not some static document that Muslims follow. It’s a religious term given to a legalistic application of the interpretation of the Qur’an and the Hadith. There are at least 4 main schools of Sunni jurisprudence and/or methodology followed by at least 10 schools of Aqeeda that further breaks this down. Every Muslim on Earth has to believe in Shariah in some form or another as it basically means that you believe that laws should be made in accordance to God’s will, AKA the very same thing Christians and Jews believe! That’s why every Muslim country has different laws and variances on the subject and their legal codes! But this is just a cute fact and facts have no place in logical fallacies!
The only thing that matters is that Shariah is an Arabic word and terrorists have screamed it several times like Allahu Akbar (but that’s another debate for another day) along with Jihad, etc. since they have used these terms and of course English speaking Americans who are not Muslim have no understanding of what they mean, then of course it must be up to a bunch of anti-Islam people who are not Muslim to interpret what these terms must mean for non-Muslims, because to actually ask a Muslim or do some research would take too much time and effort.
Once the hysteria is established concerning these words and terms, than all one has to do is attach that word or term to any particular villain of the moment and just like that, instead support and calls for their head! Nevermind the fact that every Muslim uses these terms, that’s only to be exposed at a later date if they become next on the chopping bloc.
In the final analysis, this article just proves once again the serious nature of the debate and how scary things truly are in America today, when civility is being thrown out and reason is being ignored and being replaced with illogical ranting and reporting to help stir up controversy and ferment angry sentiment toward a particular group or person. This is no different than what has been done historically to any group or person in the past whether it was to give reason to raze entire cities, burn witches at the stake, start wars, commit genocide, or stir up a lynch mob.
It’s a sad time to be an American when articles like this one are actually taken seriously by otherwise competent adults.