Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"Not a Mosque"? "Not at Ground Zero"? Oh really?

The latest "progressive" meme making the rounds on teh interwebs is that opponents of the Ground Zero Mosque are silly because (1) it's not really a Mosque, and (2) it's not really at Ground Zero.

Thomas Knapp has even gone so far as to claim that "Ground Zero Mosque" is a "phrase fraudulently coined" by the Mosque's opponents. While Clyde Haberman, writing in Monday's New York Times ("In Islamic Center Fight, Lessons in Prepositions and Fear-Mongering"), claims that it is "debatable" whether or not the proposed building "may even be called a Mosque," while also quibbling over whether or not the Mosque, or whatever it is, will really be "at" Ground Zero.

Here are some quotes from supporters of the Ground Zero Mosque:

Michael Bloomberg:
“I happen to think this is a very appropriate place for somebody who wants to build a mosque, because it tells the world that America, and New York City, which is what I’m responsible for, really believes in what we preach."

Robert Wright:
"When I first heard about the plan to build a mosque and community center two blocks from the site of the 9/11 attacks, I didn’t envision any real opposition to it."

Kamran Pasha, from his blog post "The Mosque by Ground Zero":
"the very presence of a progressive, peaceful mosque near Ground Zero invalidates the claim by both the Muslim fanatics and their mirror images among the anti-Muslim bigots that America and Islam are enemies."

Harris Zafar, Senior Writer, Muslim Writer's Guild of America, in his piece "Ground Zero Mosque: A Muslim's Perspective":
"Should a Muslim group be allowed to build an Islamic prayer center two blocks away from Ground Zero? .... Muslims in America need to be sensitive to the fears and the mistrust that have infiltrated the minds of many of their fellow citizens. Patience and perseverance are needed in order to help our fellow Americans understand that a Muslim and a Mosque are nothing to be afraid of.

"It appears that the Cordoba House's organizers sought to avoid early publicity around the proposed construction project and apparently waited months before seeking public comment. The ensuing firestorm from the local neighborhoods and communities does not, therefore, appear to be all too surprising. A better and potentially more palatable approach would have been to conduct broad community outreach and enlist broad community support before pushing the Center's plan through local government channels. Given the sensitivities surrounding the Ground Zero site and the general ignorance of Islam, this approach may have averted the nasty debate we have now. Ultimately, I am in the favor of the construction of a mosque, but I am not happy with the way the organizers have appeared to have pursued it."

Andy Ostroy in his piece "Why the Ground Zero Mosque Should Be Built":
"The proposed building of a Muslim mosque two blocks from Ground Zero has created a firestorm of anger and emotion not just in Lower Manhattan, but all over the country .... Yes, Ground Zero is sacred ground. No one should or would ever dispute that. But that can mean different things to different people. Perhaps in the interest of healing we should honor it and those killed by not using it as monument for more bias and vitriol. Wouldn't religious tolerance and acceptance be a far greater legacy for that site than one that perpetuates the kind of wholesale hatred and intolerance that was at the root of the very attacks themselves?"


Tony said...

It seems that american politicians are avoiding to talk about the psychological reasons that stand behind choosing ground zero to build a mosque - of all the places in New York. It's not a message of tolerance really, it's a message of VICTORY, a mosque at ground zero is already considered in middle east as a victory for Islam, they're treating it as another sign of the coming golden age of Islamic domination.

Another issue arises about those who are behind the mosque, are they really moderate?
The leading figure behind the mosque, Imam Faysal Abdel Ra'ouf, is a guy who advocates to create sub-islamic states within western countries. His speeches in English are way too different from what he says in Arabic, e.g he's saying that the Center's goal is to enhance religious dialog, but in this interview in arabic on 24 March 2010 he says literally: "I don't believe in religious dialog" (just copy paste the title on google translate: http://www.rights4all.net/?p=67

Apuleius Platonicus said...

This is what the Muslims refer to as taqiyya, no?

Tony said...

The problem is that even if most of the ordinary muslims are honest in seeking peace or dialogue, at the end of the day they cannot change the tenets of their religion, a moderate Imam will preach from the same Koran that contains a lot of intolerance and calls for discrimination and hatred.

Another problem is that once the mosque is built, The land will be considered an Islamic Waqf (property), which means that no one, even the highest Islamic authority is allowed to sell it, rent it or demolish it, the Islamic Waqf is considered an Islamic property for ever.

I'm not saying that muslims as people are bad, i come from an islamic country and my family is a mixed muslim -christian one, but Islam as an organized movement is a discriminatory and supremacist ideology and socio-political movement with long term implications.

Apuleius Platonicus said...

As far as individual Muslims go, I have known many and I have honestly never met a Muslim I did not personally like.

My own family includes many Christians, including conservative Evangelicals and arch-conservative Catholics. I also have friends who are Mormons.

The same is true of political affiliations. I know many people who hold political views that I consider to be deeply wrong.

Rarely, if ever, do I bother to engage friends and family members in disputes over religion and politics. I consider the bonds of friendship and family to be infinitely more important than whether or not I agree with someone concerning such things (especially if they have never really seriously thought about these things -- which is usually the case).