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Build the mosque anywhere but Ground Zero:Sacred ground requires special sensitivity

WilburWood

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Report this Aug. 13 2010, 11:28 am

A place is made sacred by a widespread belief that it was visited by the miraculous or the transcendent (Lourdes, the Temple Mount), by the presence there once of great nobility and sacrifice (Gettysburg), or by the blood of martyrs and the indescribable suffering of the innocent (Auschwitz).


When we speak of Ground Zero as hallowed ground, what we mean is that it belongs to those who suffered and died there - and that such ownership obliges us, the living, to preserve the dignity and memory of the place, never allowing it to be forgotten, trivialized or misappropriated.


That's why Disney's early '90s proposal to build an American history theme park near the Manassas Battlefield was defeated by a broad coalition fearing vulgarization of the Civil War (and wiser than me; at the time I obtusely saw little harm in the venture). It's why the commercial viewing tower built right on the border of Gettysburg was taken down by the Park Service. It's why while no one objects to Japanese cultural centers, the idea of putting one up at Pearl Harbor would be offensive.


And why Pope John Paul II ordered the Carmelite nuns to leave the convent they had established at Auschwitz. He was in no way devaluing their heartfelt mission to pray for the souls of the dead. He was teaching them a lesson in respect: This is not your place, it belongs to others. However pure your voice, better to let silence reign.


Even Mayor Bloomberg, who denounced opponents of the proposed 15-story mosque and Islamic center near Ground Zero as tramplers on religious freedom, asked the mosque organizers "to show some special sensitivity to the situation." Yet, as columnist Rich Lowry pointedly noted, the government has no business telling churches how to conduct their business, shape their message, or show "special sensitivity" to anyone about anything. Bloomberg was thereby inadvertently conceding the claim of those he excoriates for opposing the mosque, namely, that Ground Zero is indeed unlike any other place and therefore unique criteria govern what can be done there.


Bloomberg's implication is clear: If the proposed mosque were controlled by "insensitive" Islamist radicals either excusing or celebrating 9/11, he would not support its construction.


But then, why not? By the mayor's own expansive view of religious freedom, by what right do we dictate the message of any mosque? Moreover, as a practical matter, there's no guarantee this couldn't happen in the future. Religious institutions in this country are autonomous. Who is to say that the mosque won't one day hire an Anwar al-Awlaki - spiritual mentor to the Fort Hood hooter and the Christmas Day bomber, and one-time imam at the Virginia mosque attended by two of the 9/11 terrorists?


An Awlaki preaching in Virginia is a security problem. An Awlaki preaching at Ground Zero is a sacrilege.


Location matters. Especially this location. Ground Zero is the site of the greatest mass murder in American history - perpetrated by Muslims of a particular Islamist orthodoxy in whose cause they died and in whose name they killed.


Of course that strain represents only a minority of Muslims. Islam is no more intrinsically Islamist than present-day Germany is Nazi - yet despite contemporary Germany's innocence, no German of good will would even think of proposing a German cultural center at, say, Treblinka.


Which makes you wonder about the good will behind Iman Feisal Abdul Rauf's proposal. This is a man who has called U.S. policy "an accessory to the crime" of 9/11 and, when recently asked whether Hamas is a terrorist organization, replied, "I'm not a politician. ... The issue of terrorism is a very complex question."


America is a free country where you can build whatever you want - but not anywhere. That's why we have zoning laws. No liquor store near a school, no strip malls where they offend local sensibilities, and, if your house doesn't meet community architectural codes, you cannot build at all.


These restrictions are for reasons of aesthetics. Others are for more profound reasons of common decency and respect for the sacred. No commercial tower over Gettysburg, no convent at Auschwitz - and no mosque at Ground Zero.


Build it anywhere but there.


The governor of New York offered to help find land to build the mosque elsewhere. A mosque really seeking to build bridges, Rauf's ostensible hope for the structure, would accept the offer.

2takesfrakes

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Report this Aug. 13 2010, 11:45 am

Strip malls are routinely built over sacred land in America. such foundations often churn up arrowheads, native landfills and sometimes, burial grounds. They get escavated, sent to a museum and the mall goes up, anyway. Or the defacement of Black Hills with that gaudy Mount Rushmore - a sacred site to Native Americans. I'm not saying "Ground Zero" doesn't deserve respect, but it's just interesting that this point of view only applies to who we want it to.


UNTRugby

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Report this Aug. 13 2010, 1:34 pm

The muslims get offended if we try to show pictures of muhammed claiming we dont have any sensitivity to them but they want to build a mosque near ground zero and when we say thats sensitive to us they say its none of our business


 

WilburWood

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Report this Aug. 13 2010, 2:12 pm

Quote: /view_profile/ @

Considering there was an obscene rush to redevelop ground zero. with a commercial building. And many of the peiple who died were muslims. Why the heck not ?

Would there be such a fuss if a tabernacle, a syntogog or a church was being there ?


I think you missed the point of the article.

MORTAL, YOU HAVE EARNED THIS!!

Kesfan74656

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Report this Aug. 13 2010, 4:10 pm

I believe that, if anything, great care should be taken in considering the idea, for those who lost friends and family on 9/11, and the people of New York. In a greater sense, yes, one could view this is a testament to the strength of the American ideals of freedom to worship as we please or not, let that be said, too. It's a toughie....


''If I were captain, i'd open every crack in the universe, and peek inside, just like Captain Janeway does''-Kes, ''The Cloud''

DataLady91

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Report this Aug. 13 2010, 5:28 pm

Quote: Kesfan74656 @ Aug. 13 2010, 4:10 pm

I believe that, if anything, great care should be taken in considering the idea, for those who lost friends and family on 9/11, and the people of New York. In a greater sense, yes, one could view this is a testament to the strength of the American ideals of freedom to worship as we please or not, let that be said, too. It's a toughie....



Amen. The point is, it's disrespectful to the families of the victims of 9/11, and to the victims themselves.

UNTRugby

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Report this Aug. 13 2010, 5:48 pm

Quote: /view_profile/ @

Muslim-americans were in the towers when they fell too by the way.


Muslim-americans, is that even a word? all this -american junk is ridiculous now.

Muslim religion is so backwards its hard for anyone to take it seriously in this day. until muslims start acting civilized we will never respect them.

UNTRugby

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Report this Aug. 13 2010, 7:11 pm

Quote: /view_profile/ @

Quote: /view_profile/ @

Quote: /view_profile/ @

Muslim-americans were in the towers when they fell too by the way.
Muslim-americans, is that even a word? all this -american junk is ridiculous now. Muslim religion is so backwards its hard for anyone to take it seriously in this day. until muslims start acting civilized we will never respect them.
So you are one of those people who blame all muslims for the actions of a very small number of people who happened to belong a cult who have a twisted view of the world and of the teachings of their koran. And how is my post above the least bit unamerican/antiamerican (not that I care as I am not an american). Careful what you say in response.


Im one of the people who blame the majority of muslims for not doing anything about the small amount that are crazy. They make martyrs of suicide bombers instead of ostracizing that type of behavior. I didnt say your post was anti american. What i meant was how everything has -american added to the end of it nowadays like african-american, mexican-american and from your post muslim-american. We are all just americans. (those of us who are anyways :P)

Tureaz'47

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Report this Aug. 14 2010, 1:06 am

It's not wise to litter in someone else's backyard. I'm surprised that it would be considered. It adds to the ever increasing hostility that they will face contemplating it.

It's strange, being a catalyst for things that move outside.

BrotherofShran01

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Report this Aug. 14 2010, 6:14 am

I think that it is a bad idea, and it doesn't help the country get past 9/11. 


I always party at Starbase 63!

Starbase

DS9TREK

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Report this Aug. 14 2010, 6:47 am

Quote: /view_profile/ @

Quote: /view_profile/ @

Considering there was an obscene rush to redevelop ground zero. with a commercial building. And many of the peiple who died were muslims. Why the heck not ?

Would there be such a fuss if a tabernacle, a syntogog or a church was being there ?

Yeah, lets just put a Nazi statue of Hitler in Jerusalem too...
Not the same thing. But very telling of the American psyche. Americans don't see it as them v terrorists, it's Americans v Islam.

UNTRugby

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Report this Aug. 14 2010, 7:28 am

Quote: DS9TREK @ Aug. 14 2010, 6:47 am

Quote: /view_profile/ @

Quote: /view_profile/ @

Considering there was an obscene rush to redevelop ground zero. with a commercial building. And many of the peiple who died were muslims. Why the heck not ?

Would there be such a fuss if a tabernacle, a syntogog or a church was being there ?

Yeah, lets just put a Nazi statue of Hitler in Jerusalem too...
Not the same thing. But very telling of the American psyche. Americans don't see it as them v terrorists, it's Americans v Islam.


All the terrorist we are fighting are Islamic, its hard to differentiate. Since the non extreme Islamics arent helping us find the terrorist ones its logical to assume they are on their side.

K_tigress

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Report this Aug. 14 2010, 1:12 pm

If people want to use the excuse " freedom to practice any religion" then besides the mosque then they should then also add a church, a synagogue, a buddhist temple est to represent every one since it was the worlds innocent victims that suffered at the hands of heartless people and they know who they are. :logical:

He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it. -Douglas Adams (1952-2001)

CO_Fowler

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Report this Aug. 16 2010, 10:46 am

In my humble opinion there should not be ANY religious organization putting/building ANYTHING at Ground Zero. PERIOD!


I can see some businesses going back up but I also think that there should be a place there like a mini park where people can go to reflect or pay their respect to those who died on 9-11-01. Religion SHOULD NOT have any place there as there were many people of many varied religions that died there, both in the twin towers and on the ground ( i.e. LE, Firemen, bystanders and the such ) If the Muslim religious leader really wants to promote peace then he should be open to having the mosque at a different location than Ground Zero. THAT would not only show he is sensitive to the thoughts of those who lost loved ones on 9-11-01 but that he is also respectful of said feelings.


*( See following edit below ) Sad to say, but Muslim extremest were the ones who took control of those airplanes and who were determined to commit such terroristic acts as were perpetrated on 9-11-01. No amount of white-washing will change that. It happened. Now for Muslims wanting to build a mosque there, no matter that their intentions could be as pure as the driven snow, is tantamount to a slap in the face of ALL of those who died there and the families of those who perished. It is being seen as almost they are condoning the terrorists acts even if they are not.


As for the -American BS. Whoopi Goldberg has said that she is NOT African-American, she is AMERICAN plain and simple. She had never been to Africa. She was born in America and therefore is an AMERICAN. I agree with that sentiment. I was born in America so therefore I am AMERICAN. My ancestry is varied: German, Austrian, English, Irish and many more according to my Grandma ( she said we were Heinz 57, a little bit of everything ).


Why is it okay for other countries to have people that are proud of where they come from and proud of who they are yet those of us in America are called names if we even dare to say we're proud of where we come from and proud of who we are? Interesting double standard.


Okay, I'm done with this. 'nuff said and peace


*Edited to change a sentence structure*  * I'm not saying I'm sad that it was Muslim extremist but that since it WAS Muslim extremist now all Muslims are being looked at in that way and even those who ARE NOT extremist are having to pay the price, so to speak, simply because they are Muslims also.


**Edited to repair my paragrphs from my previous editing job**


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trekhed68

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Report this Aug. 16 2010, 11:45 am

I wonder how many of the people railing about the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque" are actually aware of the following:


1. The same group that proposes to build the community center has had a mosque in the same neighborhood for years;


2. There is another mosque less than two blocks away from the site;


3. Muslims have been praying at The Pentagon, the other building hit on 9/11, since the day after the attacks without controversy;


4. News of the plans to build the mosque generated little attention prior to May of this year;


5. The person at the heart of the so-called "controversy" is a rabid Muslim-baiter who once claimed that Malcolm X was Barack Obama's father.


 


http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/08/16/ground_zero_mosque_origins/index.html


 


"Those who would sacrifice essential Liberty in order to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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