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Is the 'Ground Zero mosque' debate helping terrorists?
Taliban leaders say the heated debate is driving recruits into their arms. Should we believe them?
Opponents of an Islamic cultural center and mosque planned to be built near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan gather during a demonstration.
Opponents of an Islamic cultural center and mosque planned to be built near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan gather during a demonstration.
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T

aliban leaders say they are delighted with the spirited campaign against the so-called "Ground Zero mosque," because it is sending a wave of recruits their way, reports Newsweek. "By preventing this mosque from being built, America is doing us a big favor," says Taliban operative Zabihullah, who like many Afghans uses only one name. He added that jihadist websites have received a flood of emails — far more than when France banned burqas earlier this year. Is the debate over the Islamic cultural center being built two blocks from the World Trade Center site really helping terrorist groups? (Watch a report about the Taliban response)

Yes, the mosque protesters aid the enemy: The "anti-Muslim hysteria" over the mosque is "a tremendous recruiting tool for terrorists," says Jim White at Firedoglake. By sending the message that Americans think "Muslims are evil," the "chickenhawks" are making it look like we consider all Muslims to be our enemy — not just twisted fanatics.
"Chickenhawk-fueled anti-Muslim hysteria helps terrorist recruitment"

The mosque is the recruiting tool terrorists really want: The terrorists targeted the tallest towers in New York, says Jennifer Rubin in Commentary, because, for them, "symbolic architecture is a powerful recruiting tool." That's why the mosque can "never happen, not there at any rate." It would give the jihadists a huge symbolic victory in their "war on our civilization."
"Lining up against the mosque"

We're giving terrorists plenty of propaganda options: The heated mosque debate is indeed a "propaganda bonanza" for our enemies, says Joshua Holland at Alternet, but it's not like they really need it. All the Taliban have to do is "point to an ugly foreign military occupation and the civilian casualties that come with it," and the recruits come running. Sometimes reality is the best propaganda of all.
"Anti-mosque organizers giving aid and comfort to the enemy"

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