Archive for August, 2010

the mosque

140 characters isn’t enough room to have this discussion. @jonarnold noted today:

Love this Bloomberg speech in reference to the NYC Mosque at Ground Zero. Incredible job. Bravo:

Honestly, it’s a good speech that Bloomberg gave. I don’t disagree with the sentiment that we are called to live amongst our neighbors in mutual respect and tolerance. I try to do that, to the degree that I can without compromising what I believe to be truth.

Those who support the mosque point to this debate being a freedom of religion issue, and that to deny the building of a mosque at Ground Zero in New York City would be to undermine the First Amendment of the Constitution.

Freedom of religion is crucial. I don’t want to see it undermined. I don’t want it undermined for Jews and Muslims just as much as I don’t want it undermined for me as a Christian.

But I don’t think the core issue here is freedom of religion. To me this is an issue of respect. Extremist Muslims bent on jihad destroyed the World Trade Center and killed 3,000 people on September 11, 2001.

To turn around and build a 13-story Islamic mosque right next door feels like a slap in the face. It feels like a monument to “success”. It feels like rubbing salt in the wound.

I haven’t heard anyone who is opposed to the building of this mosque say that Muslims should not build a mosque anywhere in New York City. Why does it have to be mere feet from Ground Zero? So close in fact that the existing building actually sustained damage from the Trade Center’s collapse! Build it 10 blocks away, or a mile away… but really, next door?

There are millions of “peace loving Muslims” in the world. I would think their first order of business ought to be to take a bold stance against their Muslim brothers who do not stand for peace and kindness and decry the acts of violence against humanity that continue in the world today as a result of their extremist religious views.

But as it stands, the first notable public act of “peace loving Muslims” in the last 10 years is to build a monument at Ground Zero to the religion for which the date of 9/11 will always be attributed to.

And that feels wrong to me.

[And yes Jon, we do respect each other. Absolutely.]