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Fighting Words

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Feisal Abdul Rauf -- the imam behind the proposed Islamic cultural center -- has been criticized for his comments about America’s role in the Middle East. Former Bush insider Ken Adelman examines why the imam’s comments are contentious. Plus, the Republican primary candidates looking to run against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand; primary election results from across the country; Foursquare mayors, and changing the city skyline.

Park 51 Context: Imam Rauf's Comments on American Mideast Policy

Comments about American policy in the Middle East that Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf made in the aftermath of 9/11 are stirring the controversy over the proposed mosque and cultural center near ground zero. Kenneth Adelman, member of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board under George W. Bush and former director of arms control under Ronald Reagan, revisits the conversation about US policy that took place after 9/11 and helps put the Imam's comments into context.

→ Watch Videos We Played Today: Bush Speech on Iraq and Middle East (11/6/2003) | Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf on 60 Minutes

→ Complete WNYC Coverage of the Park51 Development

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Foursquare Mayor

Baratunde Thurston, comedian, blogger, and founder of Jack and Jill Politics, discusses why people want to become mayor on Foursquare and other social networking tools.

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Latest Primary Rundown

Melinda Henneberger, editor-in-chief of Politics Daily, discusses the nationwide fallout from yesterday's primary elections.

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Republican Senate Nomination: Meet the Candidates

Joe DioGuardi, David Malpass, and Bruce Blakeman, candidates for the U.S. Senate running for the nomination to challenge Kirsten Gillibrand, discuss the campaign.

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Shifting Skyline

Will plans for a skyscraper near Penn Station that would be almost as tall as the Empire State Building "ruin" New York's skyline? Matthew Schuerman, WNYC Radio reporter, discusses the development.

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"Time To Speak Up": Former Adviser Ken Adelman Calls on Bush to Support Islamic Cultural Center and Mosque

Speaking on today's Brian Lehrer Show, former Bush and Reagan adviser Ken Adelman called on President Bush to break his silence and come out in support of the proposed Park51 cultural center and mosque development in Lower Manhattan. Adelman said "I'm a little disappointed in President Bush, that he hasn't come out...now would be a wonderful time to reemerge on the political state and to say that after 9/11 [he] was for acceptance of Islamic leadership that was moderate and responsible in the American way, and that [he still] believes that now."

When asked by Brian if he thought this, and not other matters such as taxes or the war in Afghanistan, was the issue on which Bush should break his silence, Adelman said "I do...this is an issue on which he has been identified with in the past, a moral issue. It would be going against members of his own tribe, his own party, his own ideology. I think it’s especially important at times to show that kind of political courage."

Expand this post to read the full transcript and hear audio of the exchange.

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