Tuesday, 17 August 2010

...you Mosque be joking?!

There is an Islamic centre wanting to be built in New York. Nothing too amiss there. There are lots of Muslims in New York, and a lot of them want to worship. The problem arises when you realise that the Muslims wanting to build it are planning a site two and a half blocks from Ground Zero.

The majority of Republicans - as I understand it, and I understand little - are up in arms. Sarah Palin waded in a few weeks ago with a tweet (because THAT would have made sense 3 years ago...):
"Peace-seeking Muslims, pls understand, Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts. Pls reject it in interest of healing,"
Which is an interesting stance to take. In some ways, and this rarely happens, I agree with Mrs. Palin. Within 140 characters, she has managed to avoid racist/religious slurs and state why exactly she opposes it. However, what seems to be missing is a certain subjectivity. What I feel would have carried the message better is:
"Peace-seeking Muslims, pls understand, Ground Zero mosque [feels/seems/looks like] UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts. Pls reject it in interest of healing,"
I cannot imagine that Muslims planning this Islamic centre are gleefully rubbing their hands together, thinking of all the offense they can cause with this building - they are merely building an Islamic centre, which, as a small part of it, contains a mosque.

So things die down a little, but come the beginning of Ramadan, President Obama gets involved. He claims that America's commitment to religious freedom must be "unshakeable":
"That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community centre on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances,"
But now we are being introduced to the idea of rights, not ethics, which is a whole new ball game. If we are contending the right of this Islamic centre to be built, we have no leg to stand on. A FOX News poll (and that sentence can always end badly) found that 61% of participants said yes, the Muslims do have a right to build this centre.

However, the question asked previously in the poll was whether the mosque was appropriate: 64% said it was not.

A fascinating window into the American psyche - rights are inalienable, as long as they don't offend someone else. And in saying that, I think I almost agree with them.

Pitch in; get involved.


trencherbone said...

I wonder if the Russians would allow the Muslims to build a mosque to celebrate their other great victory of recent years, the child-rape razzia and massacre at Beslan?

They could even have especially phallic minarets on the site of the school to symbolize the Muslims' favorite weapon of Jihad.

Will Clark said...

I love this sentence:

"A FOX News poll [...] found that 61% of participants said yes, the Muslims do have a right to build this centre."

A perfect concise summary of modern reporting. "What does every man, woman and their dog think about this issue, which a legal expert has already answered totally and accurately? What do YOU, the uneducated, work-a-day public think their legal rights are?" Ugh.

David said...

Thanks for you comment, although I note that it's exactly the same as the one you left on The Church Mouse.

I'm unsure about your wording, too - 'celebrate' is not the word I would use. This is an Islamic community centre, that contains a 9/11 tribute. That doesn't sound like celebration. That sounds like penitence to me.

And I went along to your blog. It's one long depressing list of someone with too much time on their hands and hate in their heart. You seem to be defending nothing and attacking everything. You sadden me.

David said...

Indeed, indeed - I wanted to make a joke of it, but I thought I had parenthesised enough.

Will Clark said...

On another note, I understand entirely that they have the right to build a Mosque wherever they can within the bounds of their rights and the law. But, as we all know, the law doesn't answer the moral or 'right' question.

"Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial. " (win!)

Dumela said...

This is emotionally challenging for those who lost loved ones at the hands of all be it extremist muslims. What scary is that Christians today no longer take the Bible seriously.