Stewart: Gingrich wants US to descend to Saudi Arabia’s standards of tolerance

By David Edwards
Wednesday, August 11, 2010 11:00 EDT
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Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart on Tuesday took on Newt Gingrich for the tenor of his opposition to the Mosque slated to be built near Ground Zero in New York City.

Gingrich weeks ago argued that the Mosque shouldn’t be considered until Saudi Arabia warms up to Christianity.

“I don’t want to be lectured by them about religious liberty at a time where there is not a single church or a single synagogue in Saudi Arabia,” Gingrich said.

“Exactly!” jested Stewart. “Why should we as Americans have higher standards of religious liberty than Saudi Arabia?”

Stewart went on to mock opponents of the Mosque for complaining about its proximity to Ground Zero. “It’s not technically being built at Ground Zero,” he said. “It’s adjacent. It’s not technically a mosque. It’s an Islamic cultural center.”

“For its critics, what location would be acceptable?” wondered Stewart.

“Move it several blocks away,” suggested MSNBC’s Pat Buchanan.

“Move it five blocks away or ten blocks away,” was Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly’s idea.

Another Fox pundit wanted a “15 block radius.” Newt Gingrich was in favor of “20 blocks.”

Evidence suggests that a mosque in any location might be subject to protests. In July, there was intense opposition to a mosque on Staten Island.

Even hundreds of miles away from New York City, proposed mosques and Islamic centers are seeing protests. Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Sheboygan County, Wisconsin and Temecula, California are just a few of the other places that Muslims are having trouble being accepted.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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