According to Carl Paladino, candidate for NY State Governor, yes, indeed they are.
Carl Paladino, the Buffalo developer hoping to win a Republican gubernatorial primary, is doubling down his opposition to a mosque in Lower Manhattan, saying it’s an “affront to the American people” and “it’s about the Islamists wanting to illustrate that they have conquered America by taking down the World Trade Center.”
In an interview last night with NY1, Paladino equated those building or using the proposed Cordoba Mosque with Muslim terrorists who attacked the United States on September 11 and are waging war on American troops abroad.
“The governor doesn’t really have a clue what this issue is about,” Paladino told Arbetter. “It’s not about religion, it’s not about the First Amendment. It’s about ideology. It’s about the Islamists wanting to illustrate that they have conquered America by taking down the World Trade Center. It’s a claim of triumph.”
“As Governor of New York, I’ll stop the Ground Zero Mosque with eminent domain.”
PALADINO RADIO: listen to the radio ad here
Paladino belittled his critics.
“These guys have a focus on totally different things. Andrew Cuomo figured it was a political issue and he made it a point to point out, oh, this is freedom of religion. Oh, I’m going to appeal to the religious. Well, he’s trying to point out that he’s a supporter of the Constitution. Well, this is not a constitutional issue,” Paladino told Arbetter. “It’s not a freedom of religion issue. It’s an affront to the American people, and the American people expect their elected representatives to go out and protect them from these things. And Mr. Bloomberg, I don’t know what planet he’s from, okay? But he has no business taking a position on behalf of the people of New York City and especially the families of those that died in that building. He has no business taking a position like he’s taken, and they’re going to have to suffer the consequences of it, because I’m telling you, the American people will not accept this.”
According to a transcript, on NY1, Paladino was asked by Elizabeth Kaledin about his opposition to the mosque.
Q: You’re saying the siting of the mosque is being evidence of plans of conquest.
A: Not plans of conquest, the acts of those Jihadists.
Q: These people are unrelated to the terrorists?
A: How are they unrelated? They telling us they’re related.
Q: There are millions of Muslims in the world.
A: There are millions of them, but these people who are advocating this mosque, we don’t know who they are, do we.
Q: Should we not find out? Calmer minds have prevailed and said let’s find out the trail of the money.
A: Calmer minds would say build your mosque anywhere else, don’t build it in the footprint of the dust storm following 9/11. That dust contains the remains of many, many people. It’s not 600 feet away. It is part of the area that the dust covered. OK? That’s a very solemn place for the American people. I met this afternoon with a mother of a fireman who died there. It’s a terrible feeling she has. Did you know they’re going to put on a wall in this whatever they’re building, they’re going to put on the wall the faces of the men who flew those aircraft into that building. They’re going to put their faces on the wall. Why are we memorializing those men?
Q: We’re off the topic, here, of the mosque. I want to be clear — your opposition to the mosque is bigger than an issue of sensitivity.
A: It absolutely is.
Q: You sound like you’re opposed to, you know, sort of the growth of an Islamic or Muslim practice of religion in Lower Manhattan.
A: Not the practice of religion. The growth of a Muslim, Islamic idea of conquering the world. Okay. They have said it. They have said the world will eventually come under their rule rule. And this was a part of it. The attack on the World Trade Center was a part of it. This is no different than putting up a symbol to Hirohito next to Hickam Field in Pearl Harbor.
Q: Do you think that is a positive message to express to young New Yorkers, especially young New Yorkers?
Q: That we should be looking over our shoulders thinking that Muslims are trying to take over.
A: We better start.
Q: You want to teach that to our children?
A: Yes, because that’s the real world out there, and that’s what our troops are fighting for and dying for in those two wars. Times Union