I’ve come down firmly on the side of the sane as far as the “Ground Zero” Mosque (actually a community center that probably won’t get built anyway) is concerned. This country was founded upon the idea of freedom of religion. In fact, the First Amendment to our Constitution guarantees it as much as it guarantees the rights of Neo-Nazis to spew their bile in public, or for Methodists to hold church services. We simply can’t pick out Islam as undeserving of the same rights that any other religious group or political entity deserves, and if we do, we are headed down a dangerous path.
Here are a couple of things that helped me make up my mind. First, this hysterical piece by Charlie Booker, in the Guardian:
“The planned “ultra-mosque” will be a staggering 5,600ft tall – more than five times higher than the tallest building on Earth – and will be capped with an immense dome of highly-polished solid gold, carefully positioned to bounce sunlight directly toward the pavement, where it will blind pedestrians and fry small dogs. The main structure will be delimited by 600 minarets, each shaped like an upraised middle finger, and housing a powerful amplifier: when synchronised, their combined sonic might will be capable of relaying the muezzin’s call to prayer at such deafening volume, it will be clearly audible in the Afghan mountains, where thousands of terrorists are poised to celebrate by running around with scarves over their faces, firing AK-47s into the sky and yelling whatever the foreign word for “victory” is.”
The article starts out with that funny paragraph, then heads back to reality with an unbiased, non-hysterical explanation of what the group wants to build in New York. Read it here.
Next, a New York Times Op-Ed by the brilliant Dick Cavett, which you can read here. Cavett is one of my favorite OP-Ed writers; his dry wit and wisdom make searching back through his archive of columns well worth it.
And finally, a Tweet/quote from a very special example of the dumbing down of the United States, Sarah Palin: “Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn’t it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate.”
Refudiate. Humph. Biased, but good article about Palin’s mosque theories and comments here.
One last thought: If we really want to justify the hatred that many Muslims in their Third-World shit holes feel for us, let’s keep being stupidly reactionary about the “mosque.” If, on the other hand, we really want to prove to them that we don’t hate them or their religion, let’s all take a deep breath and spend a few minutes looking over one of the finest documents concerning human rights that has ever been produced, our Constitution.