Unless you are living under a rock, you have heard the controversy surrounding the “ground zero mosque.” Essentially, a group of Muslims want to build an “Islamic community center,” that will house a mosque, two blocks away from the former World Trade Center. This has sparked a firestorm of protest from the right, claiming it is everything from insensitive to the next terrorist attack itself. This has annoyed me greatly.
One of the founding principles of this country was religious freedom. This means that you can support any religion you want, or no religion, and not be molested by the government. Increasingly, those on the right construe this as, “You can be any religion you want, as long as it’s Christian.” If you are a Buddhist, a Hindu or, (God forbid!) a Muslim, (I’m not sure if they consider atheists better or worse than Muslims), then your rights and desires are not relevant. This is a clear case of religious freedom: these people want to built a house or worship, on private property, using private funds. There is no compelling reason why they should not be allowed to do it. Unless you believe that all Muslims are terrorists.
And that’s exactly what most of the commentators on the right seem to think. Listen to the statements of Newt Gingrich, that moron Sarah Palin, or any of the talking heads on Fox News. They are all screaming about how “it just isn’t right” to build this Mosque “at ground zero” where so many lost their lives. Yes, 3,000 people did lose their lives at the WTC site, and yes, the attack was carried out by Muslim extremists, but that does not mean that all Muslims are terrorists.
Now, if you were to search my blog, you would probably find some inflammatory statements made by me about Muslims. Statements that might indicate that I considered all Muslims to be terrorists. I wish to publicly repudiate those statements right now. (Or “refudiate” them, as the learned Sarah Palin would say.) I’m not making excuses for my former statements, (well, maybe I am…) but I don’t think I was thinking about the situation rationally. I was caught up in a patriotic ferver, that I now see was incorrect. I’ll say it again: not all Muslims are terrorists.
In fact, a very small minority of them are terrorists, or support the actions of terrorists.
“But wait,” you say, “the Koran is ‘full of violence’ and commands by their ‘god’ to kill the unbelievers.” Indeed. May I then direct you to your bible to that part called the “old testament.” That’s the part that lots of Christians seem to forget about. There’s more violence in there than you can shake a stick at. Does that make us a violent religion? No. See what I’m getting at?
“But wait,” you say again, “those Muslims want to spred Islam all over the world! They want everyone to be a Muslim.” Indeed. Now, may I direct you to your bible, to Matthew 28: 19-20, which reads: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
What this all comes down to is a bunch of Christians who are scared of Islam and don’t like to see it spreading. Despite their claims of “But I have a Muslim friend!” or “I don’t care if they build another Mosque, just build it somewhere else!” or “I don’t have a problem with them building it, but building it there is just insensitive!” it all amounts to the same thing. They don’t like Muslims, and they want them to go away.
I think they should be allowed to build it. I think the protesters are wrong, but I support their right to protest and make their opinions known, as long as they remain non-violent. That is my main concern. I wonder how long it will take, after construction begins, before the site is vandalized (or worse) by those who oppose it. “But that wouldn’t be very Christian!” you say. Indeed, it would not.
5 thoughts on “Let Them Build The Mosque”
Needless to say I agree with you 100%. Question I have for these folks is how far away is far enough? There is already a mosque about 4 blocks away. Is that OK? If not how far? 8? 12?
Heard a douchebag on the radio the other day that called in stating that “they are thumbing their noses at us”. The radio guy asked the caller just how far away was far enough in his mind. Caller couldn’t say for sure but it was “up to the American people to decided”. Apparently the people who want to build this mosque aren’t American people.
WTF is wrong with these people?
Excellent post Joey. It’s so rational, well informed and insightful. I just wish I was seeing more of this type of analysis on TV.
Not all muslims are terrorists, but the Imam building this mosque is extremely sympathetic to them.
The issue isn’t broadbrushing all muslims as terrorists, the problem is broadbrushing terrorist muslims as peaceful.
There is only ONE reason this Imam wants to build a mosque where he’s building it. As a monument to Muslim victory over the Great Satan. The name of the Mosque, the statements of the Imam building it, and the unwillingness to work with people upset with the location of this “center to build bridges,” makes it obvious to anyone with the courage to face reality.
The idea that religious freedom allows you to build a church anywhere you want is a strawman. It has never been true. Just ask the orthodox Christians who were denied a permit to rebuild their church near ground zero after it was destroyed in the attack.
Odd that you aren’t outraged about that.
Imam Rauf was chosen by George W. Bush as an envoy, which means he must have some non-terrorist credentials, right? Everything I’ve read about him from non-right-wing sources says he’s a pretty stand-up guy.
As for the denied permit, it’s not quite so simple http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/23/ground-zero-greek-orthodo_n_691708.html There’s public money involved, and land swaps. And no one is protesting them, demanding that they build “somewhere else” because of their religion.
This is crap. Nobody is ‘broadbrushing terrorist Muslims as peaceful’. That is an utterly ridiculous statement to make. The reality is they have the right to build there if they own the property. It’s quite simple.
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