Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Controversial Mosque

This one keeps heating up in perfect alignment with the xenophobic behavior that accompanies the downward trend in mass social mood. We were once a country that believed in freedom of speech and religion. We're rapidly becoming "the pot that called the kettle black". If 15 crazy cajuns flew a plane into two buildings in New York, would we ban Cajun restaurants from within two blocks of the crash site?

"The controversy involves a proposed Islamic center slated to be built where a vacant clothing store now sits, just two blocks from the World Trade Center site. The Cordoba Initiative, a group that says it aims to promote positive interaction between the Muslim world and the West, plans to build a 13-story community center, including a mosque, on Park Place in Lower Manhattan."
Source: PBS

"As the controversy brewing around the construction of a new mosque in New York, within the shadow of Ground Zero (the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks) reaches a fever pitch, several important principles are quickly being set aside. It can be tempting to sympathize with those that see in this a symbol of Islamic victory, analogous to the raising of the American flag on Mount Suribachi following the Battle for Iwo Jima. However, even if the imam leading the construction initiative were to pronounce it confirmation of conquered territory (a hypothetically offensive declaration to be sure), such alarming words would still offer no legitimate reason to restrict the construction of the mosque in question. The very nature of religious freedom means that some can perform practices that suit them well, though it offend others in the process. In addition, the speech of the imam, though objectionable to a certain cross section of society, is as protected under the 1st Amendment as is his right to gather with those of like faith in the new building. Though some may bristle at the notion of accommodating this Muslim house of worship, it remains imperative to remember that religious freedom must not be selectively applied. Those protections afforded one religion must be afforded to all. For this reason, whatever restrictions those who object may want to impose upon the Muslim faith in this instance can be easily imposed upon their own religion as well. Whether or not a Christian or Jew may object on principle may be a heart felt and important issue to them, but should remain legally irrelevant. The same city council that tells the imam, "No. You may not build your gathering place here," also is wrongly empowered to tell the pastor or rabbi the same thing."
Source: The Examiner

"The mob will get even more angry. Xenophobia will continue to increase. Muslims and Mexicans will continue to be the easy targets. Which group or culture is next?"
Random Roving - January 1, 2010

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