Darn alarm clock – how dare it go off and let me sleep through it this morning! Darn work – how dare you be so…here? (J/K – I love you job, and I hope we have a long and meaningful relationship).
So, in light of my slackerness let’s talk about someone else’s blogpost today!
Jen McCreight from Blag Hag has a couple of interesting posts up about her visit to New York City’s “Ground Zero Mosque”. The first post is about her rather uneventful visit; there were no wild protests going on while she was there. The second post is called Defending the rights of theists does not equal agreeing with their beliefs, which was in response to some blog commenters’ criticisms of Jen’s original post, the building of the “mosque” and of Islam in general. Jen’s response is kind of a beautiful thing.
I’ll bet you’re aware of the “non-troversy” surrounding the building of the GZM. Ground Zero Mosque isn’t actually a mosque, but an Islamic community center being built two blocks away from Ground Zero. From the NYTimes:
The proposed center, called the Cordoba House, would rise as many as 15 stories two blocks north of where the twin towers stood. It would include a prayer space, as well as a 500-seat performing arts center, a culinary school, a swimming pool, a restaurant and other amenities.
I think this is factually important, but irrelevant to the controversy – mosque, Islamic community center, it doesn’t matter.
Some people (Glenn, you twit) on both sides of the political spectrum are saying that building the Islamic community center so close to the site of the 9/11 Twin Towers attacks (“Ground Zero) is an affront to the families of those who lost their lives at the hands of Islamic extremists. Even my old favorite, Howard Dean, sided with the anti-GZM gang (sob!). But there are also people who are calling this dispute out for the fluffy, junk story and fake controversy that it is.
I think that living, working and building buildings in a country with a constitution that guarantees religious freedom means that you get to build your Islamic community center or a mosque or a temple to pink unicorns. People died in the 9/11 attacks because Islamic extremists chose to committ violence against Americans. Islamic extremists are not your typical Muslim, just as David Koresh is not your typical Protestant. Why should we discriminate against Muslims for crimes committed by Islamic extremists? Do we not allow Muslims to even visit Ground Zero because a victim’s visiting family member might see a man or woman with a covered head and be offended that a Muslim is walking on the hallowed ground where their loved one died at the hands of an extemist Muslim?
The Islamic community center shouldn’t even be seen as a moment to tolerance, as some proponents are calling it. Tolerance implies that we’re graciously allowing this building to go up. There’s nothing to tolerate. It’s just another building in Manhattan.