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Huffington Post: Lie About Auschwitz Fuels Park51 Hysteria

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Leave it to right-wing pundits to lie about Auschwitz to fuel the anti-Muslim hysteria taking over the Republican Party.

When Republican media elites like Charles Krauthammer compare the Park51 cultural center to the 1988 Carmelite controversy at Auschwitz, they not only spread a lie, but also lend false moral justification to the crazed hatred of the Park51 project that has whipped American conservatives into a frenzy.

In his August 13 column, Krauthammer wrote:

Pope John Paul II ordered the Carmelite nuns to leave the convent they had established at Auschwitz. He was in no way devaluing their heartfelt mission to pray for the souls of the dead. He was teaching them a lesson in respect: This is not your place; it belongs to others. However pure your voice, better to let silence reign.

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What was Krauthammer’s lie? That the Church decided a Catholic prayer center so close to this horrific memorial site would be wrong.

Based on Krauthammer’s selective use of the Carmelite example, one would logically conclude that the Catholic Church had decided it was not appropriate to build any center dedicated to prayer and understanding within, say, “two blocks of” (e.g.) the Auschwitz concentration camp. And, thus, when Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and every Fox News media host repeated this same example — viewers and listeners would draw the exact same conclusion: no Catholic prayer centers close to Auschwitz, no Muslim YMCA close to Ground Zero.

Easy enough, right? Wrong.

Unfortunately, like every other flash point in this ginned-up non-controversy controversy, Krauthammer’s deftly dropped factoid is — you guessed it — 100% false.

Not only is there a Catholic center for prayer and understanding within several blocks of the former Nazi gas chambers and torture cells at Auschwitz — not only was it put there with the blessing of Catholic leadership after the Carmelite controversy — but, and this is key: it is a wonderful place that achieves peaceful outcomes commensurate with those the planners of Park51 have proposed to bring to Manhattan.

Listen to right-wing media — conclude that Auschwitz proves why Park51 should be run out of town with torches and pitchforks.

Check the actual facts — conclude that Auschwitz proves why Park51 should be welcomed with open arms.

When it comes to whipping up hysteria against Muslims, it seems, even the Holocaust is fair game for right-wing propaganda.

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Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Muslim American born in Brooklyn, NY with Guyanese parents currently living in Virginia working full-time as a web developer.

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