In an interview last night with NY1 (partially obscured by Paladino's statement that he will not run for governor on just a third-party line) and speaking this morning with Susan Arbetter on The Capitol Pressroom, Paladino equated those building or using the proposed Cordoba Mosque with Muslim terrorists who attacked the United States on September 11 and are waging war on American troops abroad.
"The governor doesn't really have a clue what this issue is about," Paladino told Arbetter. "It's not about religion, it's not about the First Amendment. It's about ideology. It's about the Islamists wanting to illustrate that they have conquered America by taking down the World Trade Center. It's a claim of triumph."
"I will fight and use any means. Right now, the means that I'm suggesting is to do an eminent domain easement over the entire area," he continued. "I will protect the American people from such an arrogant intrusion.". . .
Q: We're off the topic, here, of the mosque. I want to be clear -- your opposition to the mosque is bigger than an issue of sensitivity.
A: It absolutely is.
Q: You sound like you're opposed to, you know, sort of the growth of an Islamic or Muslim practice of religion in Lower Manhattan.
A: Not the practice of religion. The growth of a Muslim, Islamic idea of conquering the world. Okay. They have said it. They have said the world will eventually come under their rule rule. And this was a part of it. The attack on the World Trade Center was a part of it. This is no different than putting up a symbol to Hirohito next to Hickam Field in Pearl Harbor.
Q: Do you think that is a positive message to express to young New Yorkers, especially young New Yorkers?
Q: That we should be looking over our shoulders thinking that Muslims are trying to take over.
A: We better start.
Q: You want to teach that to our children?
A: Yes, because that's the real world out there, and that's what our troops are fighting for and dying for in those two wars. (More)