By Arthur Alpert
“Ground Zero Mosque.”
That was what a construction site sign read in a John Trever cartoon published by the Albuquerque Journal Sunday, Aug. 22.
There is no proposal for a mosque at ground zero. For a long time, there has been a plan for an Islamic community center that includes a mosque at a somewhat tawdry site two blocks away. This project has only recently become a political issue.
The Journal printed many letters on the topic Tuesday, Aug. 31 (A8). One came from Arthur Flicker of Albuquerque. He wrote, anent the Journal decision to print the Trever cartoon, “Shame on you.”
Citing information the Journal had itself published, he argued the cartoon was inaccurate, noted “Muslims have a prayer room in the Pentagon” and concluded by calling for an end to “this hateful and often blatantly false sensationalism…” (Mr. Flicker is almost certainly Rabbi Flicker of Congregation B’nai Israel in Albuquerque.)
Today, Wednesday, Sept. 15, the Journal prints a smaller (syndicated) cartoon on the topic. It shows a sign that reads, “Coming Soon – The Ground Zero Mosque.”
One such cartoon might be seen as an editor’s lapse, but two?
And it’s rabble-rousing.
I’m reminded of what buttoned-up lawyer Joseph Nye Welch, counsel to the U.S. Army, told Senator Joseph R. McCarthy in the June 1954 Army-McCarthy hearings.
“You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”