Mar 17, 2006

A tale of two mayors

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg's response to Imam Umar Abdul-Jalil recent remarks about terrorism can't help but make one nostalgic for the mayoralty of Rudy Guiliani.

Abdul-Jalil, for those of you who don't know, is the head chaplain of NYC's correctional system. Bloomberg suspended him for two weeks without pay after the imam gave a speech in which he said that “the greatest terrorists in the world occupy the White House,” that Muslims underwent torture in Manhattan prisons following the Twin Tower attacks, and that his co-religionists must not permit “the Zionists of the media to dictate what Islam is to us.”
Once upon a time (1998, in fact), New York had a mayor who wouldn’t tolerate reckless bias of any kind. That year, two firefighters and a policeman in blackface participated in a Labor Day Parade float that mocked the dragging death of a black man in Texas. Rudolph Giuliani summarily canned them, despite protests from the ACLU—the same organization that has stood firmly behind the prison imam. The men sued, and the case is on appeal.

“The Supreme Court of the United States would have to order me to put them back,” said Giuliani. Rudy, phone home.

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