Monday, August 16, 2010

Ground Zero Becomes Ground Zero in Mosque Dispute

By "Pintface" Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

I must weigh in on the controversial plan to build an Islamic center just blocks from Ground Zero, the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York. While all Americans have a right to their religious beliefs, and to own property, I feel these plans are ill-advised. And somewhat baffling, considering who is making them.

Muslims, in my view, have more holy sites – about which they are very protective and sensitive – than there are grains of sand in the entire Middle East. They are touchy about who (men vs. women, infidels vs. believers, etc.) does what (dresses revealingly, drives, mixes with members of the opposite sex, worships, etc.) where (Muslim countries, a holy city, mountain, building, etc.), and on what day (one of many holy days throughout the year). They seem hyperaware of what constitutes sacred, and what behaviors are appropriate. So why is the significance of this site lost on some of them?

Not all Muslims are terrorists, and I don’t think the "real" scheme is to build an al-Qaida training facility in Lower Manhattan. But 9/11 is painfully and permanently burned into many people’s memories – not just jingoistic, politically motivated consternatives – and, right or wrong, that horror will always be inextricably connected to Islam. The attackers were Muslims who carried out their (misguided, murderous) deeds as an act of faith, and praised their god as they did it. How about showing some reason and compassion here?

I would not join a lawsuit against the Muslim center, nor would I picket the site. However, I consider this move an insensitive one – a view which probably makes me seem insensitive and threatens my liberal creds in the view of others. We all have our limits, and so does tolerance.

6 comments:

LeftLeaningLady said...

The issue, I think, is that "they" ARE touchy about everything. They don't have a Bill of Rights that guarantees religious tolerance either. We do.

Muslims DO have a right to build a mosque where ever they want. Hell, Pete, all these rednecks have the RIGHT to fly the Confederate flag that doesn't make it the correct thing to do.

Is building the mosque there tacky? Sure. Is it wrong? No.

Pete Bogs said...

LLL - I wouldn't stop them from doing it, but I'd put the onus on them to think about it before they did something like this. I'd hate to be one of the people remembering their loved ones burning alive or jumping from 100stories to get away from smoke and heat. They are sensitive, easily offended people (in my unprofessional opinion) and should show some consideration, without need for lawsuits, Fox News pundits, protests, etc.

Pete Bogs said...

Most NYers are against the new center.

LeftLeaningLady said...

I didn't read your link. A few too many tonight. I did NOT have a good day.

The Governor is trying to find another solution. I do think they should move a couple of miles away, not a couple of blocks, but,again, Bill of Rights, we are the good guys. Maybe that means we are selling ourselves down the river?

That is what the right wing would have you believe.

Pete Bogs said...

Some Muslims question mosque near ground zero

"For most Americans, 9/11 remains as an open wound, and anything associated with Islam, even for Americans who want to understand Islam — to have an Islamic center with so much publicity is like rubbing salt in open wounds," said Akbar Ahmed, professor of Islamic studies at American University…”

"Winning in the court of law is not going to help improve the image of Muslims nationwide," said Asmal, a Massachusetts physician. "You have to win the hearts and minds of the ordinary American people…"

Asra Nomani, author of "Standing Alone: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam," said she backs the idea of the mosque in principle but believes the feelings of families who lost loved ones in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks should trump the plan.

LeftLeaningLady said...

I am not disagreeing with you, you know. :-) Just want to make that clear. I do think building that close is insensitive. I just don't feel that we can MAKE it not happen. If a compromise can not be made, they have the right.