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.