I’m sure everyone knows there is a vocal debate going on about the mosque that is proposed to be built at ground zero in New York. I remember that after 9/11 it was very easy to hear widespread anti-Islamic sentiment in response to the attacks, just as response to Pearl Harbor was internment camps for Japanese, or WWI was internment for Germans. I also remember the noble attempts by many to make sure everyone understood that it wasn’t Islam that attacked America, but terrorists.
My own father and grandfather still hold this illogical fear of Islam the religion (and I argue with them about it all the time) and, unfortunately, I can’t say I’m certain if the sentiment has changed much since 9/11. Maybe unfortunate is too soft a word. Accordingly, I have to say I find the fact that those opposed to the mosque are opposed on the grounds of “respect for the victims of 9/11” is, well, atrocious. That very argument, taken to its logical end, means that Islam the religion promotes the murder of thousands of people. It seems to me to be an example of the work that needs to be done to educate people on the effects of our foreign policy and how it is not directly the religion that promotes so much destruction, but merely is a medium for those who have lost so much from the interference of our war machine in their lives.
And, because I can’t help but see the economics in everything, if New Yorkers do not want a mosque, than either 1. no mosque would be built or 2. it’ll go under after it is, unless there is some secret conspiracy by the international Al Qaeda network to use it as a headquarters in their US operations (sarcasm intended). It makes me wonder exactly who is doing the complaining — New York or elsewhere. Either way, when looked at from the point of view of freedom, as I do with every issue, who is anyone else to say they can’t use their own property to promote their owns beliefs to those willing to listen?
Freedom requires responsibility, and part of responsibility is tolerance.Published in