The biggest news out of any media outlet is the hubbub that has arisen from plans of a mosque being constructed within eyesight of Ground Zero, where over 3000 people died in attacks on the World Trade Center by Muslim extremists. Americans are up in arms about the idea of something so close to such hallowed ground, that it is a slap in the face for those who died and sacrificed themselves to help out in this tragedy.
Then again, so was not passing health care for people involved with 9/11 and are now having serious health problems. But whatever.
Glenn Beck said that the proposed mosque isn’t just a mosque, but a statement: you wouldn’t build a Christian megachurch in the middle of Saudi Arabia, or in the middle of Utah, unless you were trying to make a statement.
This would be all fine and dandy, except what a lot of people aren’t getting is that the mosque isn’t going to be blatantly put in everyone’s face. In fact, there is already a mosque sitting within eyesight of Ground Zero that has been there before the World Trade Center even existed, and yet no one is holding rallies to shut it down.
The heart of the problem, as much as I hate to say it, is a misconception about both the circumstances of the mosque, and also of Islam in general. Doing any preliminary research, one would know that it is a mosque inside of a cultural learning center. The center is probably so close to Ground Zero to make a statement, with the statement being that while, yes, is was Islamic extremists that flew the planes into the towers and killed so many people, there is more to Islam than blowing things up.
Which brings us to the second problem: misunderstanding the Muslim faith. It’s a phenomena called Islamophobia, and it works much the same as homophobia or arachnophobia; you find someone that practices Islam, you project your prejudices upon that person, and then you fear or hate them.
There is no doubt that the events of 9/11 completely shook up the world. There is also no doubt that there is some lingering fear from the 9/11 attacks, and no one is exactly sure who to trust. But blocking someone from building a house of worship, no matter where it is being built, is just wrong, especially when it is a belief system that you don’t agree with.
Another pundit made the point that there is a church near the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, the same building that Timothy McVeigh, a Christian, bombed. Where is the uproar? Where is the incredulity? Where is the call to arms to shut down this church for the sake of the victims involved?
All I’m asking for is a little consistency, something that seems to be lacking in this day and age. Either we need to go back to every terror attack site, and eliminate all houses of worship related to the attackers, or we can take a deep breath, and look at this new building for what it’s worth: a chance for people to better know a thing they fear so greatly.