Sunday, June 6, 2010

Oy vey! They're building a mosque at Ground Zero!

The only way someone could be upset about this is if he or she equates Islam with terrorism and assumes that all or most Moslems sponsor or approve of anti-American terrorism. That is a grossly erroneous assumption.

Islam didn't call for the attack on the WTC. Extremism and radical fundamentalism well as sheer, batshit crazy, criminal impulse.

Supporting the building of the Cordova center two blocks from "Ground Zero" is not just some knee-jerk "politically-correct" attempt at appeasement of a hostile population. This is to give members of one religion the same access that an American city would give to *any* religion. It is to remain true to our democratic principles of equality and religious freedom.

Yes, it creates -- or rather affirms, since there was already a Mosque in the vicinity of Ground Zero -- an Islamic presence in the area. But this is an Islamic institution whose own principles stand in stark opposition to the violent radical fundamentalism of various Wahabist sects. This mosque openly embraces diversity in faiths and advocates tolerance. It will further cultivate and support moderate, mainstream Islamic communities who are integrated in and invested in their greater American communities. This can only be a good thing. It is crucial that Americans support and help to cultivate mainstream, moderate Islamic communities. That is a cornerstone in the delegitimization of the violent, fundamentalist sects.

Where building a house of worship in a given community is at issue, if we start saying that a different standard for approval applies to Moslems than the one for everybody else, we've just stepped out onto the same slippery logical continuum as the 1938 laws in Germany -- Jewish doctors are not allowed to treat Aryan patients; Jewish teachers cannot teach at public schools; Jewish citizens are banned from serving in public office -- or as imprisoning Japanese American citizens in internment camps. There is no principled distinction between these measures. The difference is only of degree.

And what the fuck is this development lately in our country that it is okay to attempt to surgically strike out certain fundamental civil rights of individuals, based on how certain people look or based on their religion???

This ain't right, Jeff. You know what I'm talkin' about.