Your humorous Archaeogoddess will be back soon. Until then I give you my thoughts about a recent article in USA Today - NYC panel clears way for mosque near Ground Zero.
There was some discussion on the interwebs about whether or not this was a good thing or a bad thing. I seem to be once again in the minority, but what else is new? Sure you can send me angry emails or leave argumentative comments, but as William McAdoo said (awesome name, by the way) "It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in an argument." If you think I'm ignorant, then there's no point in arguing with me and since I'm bound to think that you are ignorant if you tell me I'm an idiot, then I'm not going to be drawn into an argument with you.
Here's my two cents:
I have absolutely no problem with this center being built. It's two blocks away - in NYC, that's practically on the other side of the island. According to the article, it's the city officials that are saying the decision was based on freedom of religion and property laws, the organization that is responsible says it's a space for moderate muslim voices. It's already a prayer space and will include a memorial to those who died on 9/11 - who were of many nationalities and many religions.
People are forgetting that it wasn't Muslims or Islam that attacked the city that day, but a group of men with hate in their hearts. Do we ban churches from being built near abortion clinics that were bombed or in downtown Oklahoma City? No, because the so-called Christians who carried out those attacks of terror are not seen as representative of their religion, but rather for what they are - fanatics, lunatics, and evil people perverting a message of peace into one of war against other human beings. We don't ban Germans from the US because of Hitler and the Nazis, we recognized that sharing a nationality or religion with an evil person does not make everyone of that nationality or religion bad. I exhort you to remember with regret how we interned the Japanese-Americans in WWII (a national shame that should never be forgotten and never again repeated), and yet we seem to be once again prepared to trample over the rights of American citizens because of a lunatic living in a cave ranting to the world by cassette tape!
Let us take a moment to remember what really happened on 9/11 - 19 men, following the rambling speeches of a sociopath, murdered 2,976 people from over 70 (some say over 90) nations, most of them civilians. They claimed we brought this upon ourselves because we have a base in Saudi Arabia, support Israel, and had sanctions against Iraq. The casualties from the other countries apparently brought it on themselves by working to provide for their families.
They may have hoped to provoke a world wide Islamic uprising, but instead the attacks received condemnation by the vast majority of the planet, despite the videos of some idiots celebrating. Even though these evil, mad men have issued fatwa after fatwa, saying it is the duty of every Muslim to kill Americans, outside of the theater of war, how many Americans are targeted and killed by Muslims? Very very few. This is not a war between the US and Islam. Being a muslim does not make you an enemy or even a fundamentalist sympathizer. Muslims in America have born a multitude of hate crimes and 10 years of discrimination based on their religion. People of Middle Eastern decent have also suffered for the color of their skin, no matter what religion they practice. Building a community center to serve the needs of the American citizens who are Muslim in no way should be seen as a validation of the fanatics who erroneously claim to be true believers. Instead it shows that the US is committed to maintaining its values and the rights of its citizens despite the perversions of a few.