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I try so hard to amuse McArdle, but she never even notices

August 10, 2010, 9:22 pm

Oh, don’t even bother.

Greg Gutfield– perhaps the least funny humorist around– has the novel idea of opening a gay bar catering to Muslim men next to the Cordoba House. Oh zing! (Amanda Marcotte points out there are already a few gay bars in the neighborhood.)

McArdle calls Gutfeld’s “jerk move” “brilliant” and hopes “that at least one person will attempt to explain why we should support the mosque near Ground Zero, but not the gay bar next to the mosque near Ground Zero” because she “would find that very entertaining.”

Why, here’s Step ibn-Fetchit to make Ms. McArdle laugh and laugh. My entertainment efforts go like this:

Step 1. Reasons to support the Cordoba House:

(a) There’s a pretty dilapidated prayer space at that location now, and a nice building with one floor set aside for salat would be really useful for Muslims who are downtown on Fridays
(b) In addition, the other stuff in the community center sounds like a useful addition to the neighborhood.
(c) Feisal Abdel Rauf has spend decades working as an imam in Manhattan and he knows better than I do what the local community needs.
(d) you can add your own if you like; I’ve left off the “because that’s so NYC” and “because Rauf’s brand of moderate Islam is an important ally in the war of ideas” sorts of reasons because tedium.

Step 2. Reasons not to support Gutfeld’s bar.

(a) because it uses gay people as props. (Kind of reminds me of people who are only concerned about feminist issues when the concern serves an agenda they push for other reasons– e.g., if we leave Afghanistan, think of the poor women!)
(b) because it’s aimed at insult, specifically, insult to people trying to get their salat on in peace. (It’s a little like the protest in CA where people were urged to bring dogs, because “Muslims hate dogs.” Not actually true, but doing it for the purpose of insulting people…made it insulting.

There are lots of reasonable things to think about Rauf’s efforts, but at worst he’s naive and misguided. He’s not motivated by a desire to dance on the graves of the people who died on 9/11– some of them were members of his congregation. I can see thinking that CH is insensitive, but it’s not deliberately so. Gutfeld’s idea, on the other hand, is all about disrespect to two minority groups.

Now I’ve argued that McArdle should support the Cordoba House but not the bar. Her amusement is sure to follow. There, Megan, you owe me an Eid present.

(In fact the only good thing about the bar idea is that Andrew Sullivan has some funny names for it. He prefers Bar van Gogh Gogh, but I’d go with Jihard or Halal Sailor.)

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