I’ve been following the “ground zero mosque” controversy for some time now, and every time I have wanted to blog about it, it occurs to me that pretty much all that I’d want to say about it has already been said. Let me just summarize my thoughts with some bullet points.
- Islam did not attack the WTC or Pentagon; al-Qaeda did
- If folks are upset about a supposed lack of sensitivity of an Islamic Cultural Center being built several blocks out of sight from the WTC site, then why aren’t they similarly offended by Christian churches near the site of Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building that was blown to bits by the Christian fundamentalist Timothy McVeigh. BTW, two churches are across the street, one on either side.
- There are Muslim prayers held in the Pentagon and have been for many years
- There is a mosque near the WTC site already and no one cared about it before, so why now?
- The Imam who has spearheaded the Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero is not a radical terrorist sympathizer. He’s a Sufi who has worked for years to build interfaith dialogue and understanding. The US already sends him out as an emissary to Muslim countries for just that reason.
- We’re a democratic republic founded on religious tolerance. If we don’t allow the Cordoba Center (now called Park51) to be built, haven’t the terrorists already won?
- No one cares about the various adult theaters and video shops near “hallowed ground,” so how is an Islamic center such an offense?
- How far away is sufficient, were the Islamic center to be moved? Is Iceland too close? Judging from the anti-Islam rhetoric and growing violence against Americans of the Islamic faith, it would seem Tunguska, Siberia is still too close to lower Manhattan for some folks.
- Mayor Bloomberg has integrity, at least as far as this issue is concerned. President Obama had integrity then became wishy-washy. Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin and Pamela Geller, all of whom are inciting anti-Muslim feeling, are beneath contempt.