Wednesday, 18 August 2010
|0733 - Build the mosque somewhere else|
wendyzski begins her latest LJ entry with "I've had it up to here with everyone going on and on about the "Ground Zero Mosque". I'm not going to mince words here- It's simple bigotry wrapped up in the American flag."
Sigh. I really hate legitimate disagreement being continually cast as bigotry.
The proposed site of the mosque is two blocks from Ground Zero. The building on the site now was damaged by landing gear falling off of one of the aircraft that struck the World Trade Center. To complain that it's not part of Ground Zero is simply wrong.
2776 people died at Ground Zero on September 11, 2001. They were killed in the name of Islam. To build a mosque at the site of their deaths is just like building a Nazi recruitment center across the street from the gates of Auschwitz. The same people who are complaining about the reaction to the mosque would be complaining if they did that.
The Left (not necessarily Wendy, who I think very highly of as a person) has this tendency to talk about sensitivity to the feelings of others. That sensitivity evaporates like dry ice under a heat lamp when it's the feelings of average, white, non-immigrant Americans being discussed. The overwhelming majority of Americans (over 70% in the polls I remember seeing) feels that the mosque is profoundly disrespectful of those who died that day. Sensitivity has to cut both ways.
Heightening this is the fact that the group planning the mosque, the Cordoba Initiative, refuses to disclose the sources of their funding. How do we know that they're not funded by the Muslim Brotherhood or the government of Iran? Their pledge of not accepting terrorist funding is very hollow when you consider that there is a long string of Muslim "charities" that have been proven to exist just to funnel money to terrorist organizations.
I don't believe that "Muslim" is equal to "terrorist". Just because Islamofascism is based in Islam does not mean that all Muslims are Islamofascists. However, the population of Muslims in the world does not do anywhere near enough to repudiate the terrorists, or to root out the terrorists in their ranks. We hear and see far more about Islamic terrorism than we do about the moderates in Islam who are decrying it, and when powerful Islamic governments support and foment terrorism as long as it doesn't attack them directly, it's hard not to be suspicious.
Yes, the Cordoba Initiative has the right to build their mosque anywhere they like. If they truly care about building bridges of peace and understanding, they'll build it somewhere else. If they want to rub American noses in 9/11, they'll continue with their present plans.
current mood: disappointed
Have you seen Olbermann's talk on this?
No, and I'm usually as uninterested in what Olbermann has to say about things as the Left is about Glenn Beck. Did Olbermann say something with some actual thought behind it for once?
A quick Google says he claims that it's neither at Ground Zero nor a mosque. I dealt with the first one already; as for the second, that's like saying an ICBM is a rocket that just happens to have a bomb in it.
He also mentions that there already exists, and closer to Ground Zero, a mosque called Manhattan Mosque, which has existed since 6 months before the WTC was built.
This is a fabricated controversy.
The latter mosque isn't being built deliberately close to Ground Zero. In addition, if it existed before the WTC, then it can't be a statement of victory over the infidels on 9/11, can it?
Is that other mosque expanding, closing or moving? No? Then it's not relevant to this discussion.
Calling Park51 a Mosque is like calling the YMCA a church. It's a building that will contain a rooms where prayers and classes are held - and a swimming pool and theater and meeting rooms and retail.
It's two blocks from the site of the towers, in a building that this group has been worshiping in for more than a year. You support the right of people to do what they want with their money and their land but yet won't support their right to do what they want with their money and their land?
As for "not revealing the course of their funding" - please cite this from an unbiased source. Their very own website states their commitment to openness and that they will not accept any funds or support from any organizations on the US Government's watch list or any that their own Security people feel to be questionable. What more should they do to meet your standards?
If a church wants to set up a community center on my block, I don't ask where they got their money. I oppose the policies of the Roman Catholic Church but would not protest if Catholic Charities decided to open a food pantry down the street. (unless they didn't have enough parking or wanted to ring loud bells all day).
Why should these people move away from the building they've been in for a year because of your or anyone else's sensibilities?
Calling Park51 a Mosque is like calling the YMCA a church. It's a building that will contain a rooms where prayers and classes are held - and a swimming pool and theater and meeting rooms and retail.And
a mosque. Even the lead developer says there's a mosque in there
.It's two blocks from the site of the towers, in a building that this group has been worshiping in for more than a year.
And which is forever part of the events of 9/11...indeed, that was cited as a "selling point"
for the building for them.You support the right of people to do what they want with their money and their land but yet won't support their right to do what they want with their money and their land?
I support their right to do what they want. They have that right, unquestionably. There are rights that are far better left unexercised, though. This is one of them, in this particular time and place. Why are they insisting on rubbing our noses in 9/11?As for "not revealing the course of their funding" - please cite this from an unbiased source.
Check out the discussion at Wikipedia
, including quotes from American Muslim leaders.What more should they do to meet your standards?
Reveal the sources of their foreign funding. What they think is questionable may not match what people outside the Islamic world think is questionable. Their actions would speak where their words aren't sufficient.If a church wants to set up a community center on my block, I don't ask where they got their money.
How many churches are directly funded by terrorists? The record shows that Muslim charities have been. I don't think it's unreasonable for them to demonstrate that their funding isn't coming from those sources.Why should these people move away from the building they've been in for a year because of your or anyone else's sensibilities?
Why should anyone take anyone else's sensibilities into account, ever? The support for this, from folks who spend a lot of time talking about the sensibilities of everyone else but the average American, is hypocritical in the extreme. If you argue for honoring others' sensibilities, then this case demands the same treatment.
So there is a mosque in there. There are a lot of other things too. There is a chapel O'Hare airport but that doesn't make the airport a church.
Yes, they chose that site partially (not entirely) because it is near Ground Zero - in the line after your quote the imanm says "A presence so close to the World Trade Center, “where a piece of the wreckage fell,” said Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the cleric leading the project, “sends the opposite statement to what happened on 9/11.”
“We want to push back against the extremists,” added Imam Feisal, 61."
I will need to look into the funding issue more in depth before I feel I can comment on that, because I have been going by their own statements.
As for the church/terrorism issue - there are christian organizations who advocate bombing abortion clinics and killing doctors who perform abortions. But I know that not all Christians support this kind of thing.
Just curious - do you personally know any Muslims or encounter any in your day-to-day activities?
There is a chapel O'Hare airport but that doesn't make the airport a church.
Nondenominational, just like the chapel at the Pentagon. they say they're building a mosque. Why should I argue with them?
A presence so close to the World Trade Center, “where a piece of the wreckage fell,” said Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the cleric leading the project, “sends the opposite statement to what happened on 9/11."
That may well be what he thinks he's sending, but a message's meaning depends on its sender and its receiver - and a lot of his receivers are seeing the message as something quite different. If he wants to build bridges to the rest of America, why start with a message that will get him rejected?
Just curious - do you personally know any Muslims or encounter any in your day-to-day activities?
Not currently. I have in the past. They can be good people, just like adherents of any other religion. Your point is?
I wasn't making a point, I was asking a question. I'm finding that a lot of people who are very upset about this issue have never actually met any Muslims personally - their only experience is therefore filtered through the media and any inherent biases from their choice of "news". I'm glad to see that you're not in this camp.
That NYT article you linked to also talked a lot about the imam's reasons behind his choices - mostly they are because he wants to take back the image of his religion from the terrorists. If someone slandered your religion, wouldn't you want to go in front of the same people and defend yourself? I respect that and wish him the best. He's got a tough road ahead.
Not changing my mind about your Tron suit, though .....
If someone slandered your religion, wouldn't you want to go in front of the same people and defend yourself?
Absolutely. However, I wouldn't start by angering them. You can't turn off the audience you're trying to reach with a message of peace and friendship and expect to get anywhere.
As for the Tron costume...*shrug* Not much I can do about that, i'm afraid; in fact, I'm going to NYC tomorrow to do some more with it. People keep asking, I keep doing. It's not like I could get away from it, and hasn't been since about 8 hours after I first wore it.
Except that until very recently he WASN'T angering them. This process has been going on for some months and was approved by the planning commission, and had the support of local officials - until it went national after a very slanted blog post and everyone started scrambling to distance themselves from what has become a political hot potato.
Even the NYT article you quoted talks about how this particular Imam did a lot of work with outreach and community understanding after 9/11 and ever since. For him and his ...I'm not sure what the Muslim equivalent of 'congregation' is..., this is part of an ongoing process of fostering tolerance and understanding.
Someone linked this post
to me this morning. It's a blog post so of course it's biased, but the timelines to correlate pretty strongly. Going back and looking at news coverage of this issue over time seems to support their conclusions.
Whatever brought the activity to light, the overwhelming majority of Americans haven't read the blog post in question, or seen or heard the commentaries of those the Left loves to hate. They've formed their opinion of a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero, and that opinion's not going to be swayed.
That the planners have the approval of local politicians and bureaucrats is beside the point. There's no bureaucrat in NYC who's not a leftist of one stripe or another; it's an outgrowth of the politics of that left-wing city. That a majority of New Yorkers opposes the mosque should be enough to give even them pause.
The imam in charge of the project said that the US is an accomplice to 9/11. That, to me, should permanently disqualify him from anything having to do with the subject.
Complaints about the source of the controversy are nothing more than an attempt to distract attention from the controversy itself. Nancy Pelosi's call for investigating the sources of funding for those opposing the mosque would be especially funny, if it weren't so typically hard-leftist.
See, I think that information on how this all got started *IS* relevant because I believe that this is a manufactured controversy. Things were going along just fine until someone decided that it was a matter of national discussion. I think that most of the politicians who are "weighing in" against this issue are doing so in a blatant attempt to spread fear and get votes. Hence my question about if you knew any Muslim - because I'm finding that a majority of people I'm encountering who are so adamantly opposed to this are doing so out of fear and ignorance.
RE your opinion of NY officials: So your opinion in this case should matter more than that of the officials and people who live and work in the area affected by this project? There are a fair number of people who are happy that ANYONE wants to pour tens of millions of dollars into their neighborhood and tear down a crumpling firetrap.
Catholic priests have abused children. My next-door neighbor is Catholic. Should he have to take a poll of the neighborhood (or of the country) if he wants to work to renovate an empty storefront to set up a Catholic Charities food bank there? Or to hold a bible study group in the meeting room of his condo building? (as long as the Torah Study or Athiests United could sign the room out of course). Buying a toaster over at the rummage sale at St. Sabinas doesn't mean I condone priest sexual abuse, any more than supporting this project means that I support Islamic terrorism.
And while I'd not call the US "an accomplice", I do know that nothing happens in a vacuum. The reasons that so many people in some Middle Eastern countries hate the US is because of decades of well-meaning but misguided US government policies. We re-arranged governments and supplied arms to rebellious factions at our whim, and now it's coming back to bite us in the ass. I can't ever condone the events of 9/11, but when people in the streets of places like Iran burn effigies in the streets I can't help but understand where it's coming from. I love my country but I can't deny that some pretty boneheaded things have been done by our leaders and some of those things piss off a lot of people.
Whether or not the controversy is manufactured is entirely separate from the merits of the controversy. I can assure you nobody's paying me to oppose it. Nobody's paying the 9/11 survivors, either.
As for the Catholics: The Roman Catholic Church is actively working to get rid of pedophile priests. There's no comparable effort within Islam, nor is it possible.
And I don't care why Islamofascists hate the US. The actions of 9/11 are well beyond the pale, and deserve nothing but the most drastic, violent retribution of the full power and rage of the United States of America. We can and should remedy any wrongs we did. We should not have to pay for them with the blood of innocents, and we cannot and should not even attempt to understand anything but how to wipe terrorism and those who practice it from the face of the earth without mercy.
Charles Krauthammer makes the sensitivity argument a lot better than I have here
Actually, not all 9/11 survivors oppose the Park51 project. I read a letter yesterday from one (made it out but some of her co-workers did not) who thinks that building a community center to foster interfaith understanding is the perfect response to the hatred and fear espoused by the extremists who hijacked those planes.
Not all, not, but the majority of them do, and especially the folks who represent the survivor community as a whole. They should definitely be listened to.
I initially thought that this was mostly a difference of opinion, but it seems now that there are two sides both claiming facts that are contradictory. http://reason.com/archives/2010/08/23/a-reality-check-in-the-ground
One side claims he's moderate and fostering interfaith understanding, and has a history of doing such. The other side claims that he's a closet radical that is claiming to be moderate to help push through his project. Both claim to have evidence supporting their position. I haven't done enough research to find all of the evidence for both sides, but if someone had more "care about the whole thing" than I do, maybe they could compare the evidence without resorting to straw men... Alas, anyone who cares about it enough to do the research has probably already made up their mind.
As for the people living there: Even a majority if notoriously left-wing New Yorkers want it to be built somewhere else. I don't give a fuzzy rat's ass what bureaucrats think.
I have two opinions about it. In the idea of property rights and religious tolerance, there's no rational, legal, etc reason we can stop them nor should we try to use the government to stop them.
That doesn't mean we can't let them know that it isn't something we want them to do.
The same arguments let us build things like the Church of Satan right next door, restaurants that specialize in Pulled Pork, and Muslim friendly gay bars. People should be exercising their property rights and buying up any and all nearby land they can get to show them our tolerance of all points of view and that just because we tolerate them doesn't mean we will be intolerant of what they are intolerant of.
Jay, Your Tron suit offends my sensibilities. I think it's insulting to anyone with good taste and fashion sense and it perpetuates the stereotype of SF fans as overweight unmarried males. :)
But I don't tell you not to wear it. I just try really really hard not to look....
Arrgh, you probably don't care about this post anymore, but I was surfing and found your lj.
My questions are these:
What about the Muslims killed on 9/11?...Yes, in the World Trade Center?
What about being bigger than our enemies by showing that we respect the faith, regardless of the fringe?
It's not about not respecting the faith. It's about the folks behind the mosque respecting those who were murdered in the name of the faith. As I've said all along, they have the right to build there. They simply should choose not to.
And the families of those Muslims who have also lost lives at Ground Zero? What should they choose?
The Muslim soldiers who have lost their lives fighting terrorism?
What about them?
As an atheist, I would think that you would be the last person caring about where someone else chooses to benignly worship.
Also, given the same rules of respecting cites where acts of terrorism have occurred, we Americans have done it far too often before (with our Indigenous citizenry) to be this concerned about it now.
I'll bet plenty of Native Americans are laughing bitterly about this.
Where's the outcry in the moderate Muslim community over this? The remorse for 9/11, and the respect for the victims, Christian, Jewish (especially!), Muslim, and any other religion?
They have a right to build the mosque anywhere they want to, but choosing a building damaged in the attack is just sticking a finger in the eyes of all of the victims murdered in the name of Islam. Yes, even the Muslim ones.
Well, the Al Jazerra network was one of the few news-networks, including our American ones who actually reported the 9/11 Heathcare Workers' Bill not passing, to any degree.
Also, many Muslims officially mourn and remember those lost in 9/11 every year, here and overseas. There are photos of them with candles crying, from last year (can't find them on google at the moment though, I knew I should have saved them).
The thing is their faith isn't what murdered all those people. Their hatred did. Associating the two makes little sense to me and yes, I am an atheist too.
No matter what faith you have or lack thereof, one will find a way to justify what they already would have done or think.
That's the real reason why so many conservative Christians have problems with gay people. It's not their faith. It's because they think being gay is gross.
The same thing happened with the attacks. It's not because of their faith, it's because they hate Americans.
In both cases faith was simply used a justification.
The only difference between immoral people of faith and those who aren't is that when the later do something wrong, they don't use faith as the justification.
Sorry, this was long, but yeah it would be like saying it would be disrespectful to have anything German built near a site of a Holocaust.
...Or not building anything "white" near slave burial grounds.
Neither label innately makes one apart of it. Though, calling for Muslims not to build implies that that is the case.
It's a slippery slope.
I don't disagree in the slightest with your thoughts about the immorality of using religion as a justification for evil. More people have been killed in the name of Christianity than any other cause. It's just one reason I'm an atheist.
The reports over the past couple of days of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia buying another site for the mosque (and reopening a bankrupt hospital, too) strike me as the right answer: a prominent Muslim - some say even a radical one - recognizing that the way to build a bridge isn't to start with an act of defiant insult. If he's serious, and the folks behind the mosque don't take him up on it, we'll know that the real reason for building the mosque compassion or bridge building, but rather gloating over a victory.