Conservative blogger and humorist Greg Gutfeld says he wants to build a Muslim-oriented gay bar in Lower Manhattan next to the much-discussed Cordoba House Islamic culture center. Gutfeld says he supports the Cordoba House but his likely satirical proposal is probably designed to needle the Cordoba House's investors. His implicit point is that if Corboda House investors see no harm in building two blocks from the former World Trade Center site then surely they will see no harm in a gay bar right next door to their center. Observers on the right and left all seem to like this idea, although presumably for different reasons. Here's what they have to say.
- My Big Idea Greg Gutfeld writes, "As you know, the Muslim faith doesn’t look kindly upon homosexuality, which is why I’m building this bar. It is an effort to break down barriers and reduce deadly homophobia in the Islamic world. The goal, however, is not simply to open a typical gay bar, but one friendly to men of Islamic faith. An entire floor, for example, will feature non-alcoholic drinks, since booze is forbidden by the faith. The bar will be open all day and night, to accommodate men who would rather keep their sexuality under wraps – but still want to dance. Bottom line: I hope that the mosque owners will be as open to the bar, as I am to the new mosque. After all, the belief driving them to open up their center near Ground Zero, is no different than mine. My place, however, will have better music."
- Sincere or Not, a Good Idea James Joyner appraises, "It’s actually an inspired idea, whether intended humorously or spitefully. Both the bar and the cultural center are in downtown Manhattan, where gays and nightclub patrons are in abundance. And whether snarky or not, Gutfeld’s right: having to put up with the right of others to do things you find offensive is the price you pay for living in a free society."
- How Would Cordoba Organizers React? Conservative blogger Allahpundit gets sarcastic, "Not an idea that would play well with Christians or Jews vis-a-vis property adjacent to a church or temple, but oh well: If we’re going to celebrate tolerance regardless of the sensitivities of the surrounding area, let’s celebrate! And the best part? Because, as we’ve been assured many times, the Park51 cultural center will be a model of moderation, gay Muslim men don’t have to worry about being seen entering Gut’s establishment. Flaunt it all you want, fellas; you’re in Moderate Town, U.S.A., on that block."
- 'Brilliant Provocation' Mediaite's Jon Bershad calls this "one of the most brilliant pieces of provocations in recent years. ... I, personally, think it’s a brilliant idea. I absolutely abhor all of this anti-mosque nonsense currently going on in this country. It’s disgusting bigotry plain and simple. However, just because I support Muslim Americans in their fight against anti-Islam prejudice, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t get a few dings for their religion’s own prejudice against homosexuals."
- Sounds Like a Fantastic Idea The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan celebrates. "Fantastic idea. That's exactly the right response to an expression of religious freedom: the expression of freedom for gay people as well. In fact, it's such a great idea that it could be followed across the country: gay bars right next to churches and mosques that condemn homosexuality. ... I suspect it will be a huge hit not just with Muslim gay men but with the bears (who doesn't like a bushy beard on a hot Middle Eastern dude?) and the Recovery community. A gay bar with an alcohol-free zone. Greg is ahead of his time."
- Not Much of a Business Plan Joshua Foust tweets, "I say bring it on, though good luck staying in business."