Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Mosque at Ground Zero?

So there is much aflutter about a proposed mosque within two blocks of Ground Zero. You can always count on Newt Gingrich to hit the nail on the head, "There should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia. The time for double standards that allow Islamists to behave aggressively toward us while they demand our weakness and submission is over." What is Gingrich saying? He is saying that we should act like Saudi Arabia. On behalf of the American people, let me say to Mr. Gingrich, NO. We don't want to be like Saudi Arabia. And we reject the idea that mosques are un-American while churches (and synagogues - do you really approve of synagogues, Mr. Gingrich?) are A-OK.

Just as important, we will not encourage Saudi Arabia to change its policies on religion by becoming bigoted ourselves. Gingrich doesn't really think that forbidding the mosque will encourage Saudi Arabia to be more open - he just wants to cheese them off and score points with Americans who are (understandably) fed up with the Saudis. We should be more grown up.

There are reasons not to erect a mosque right near Ground Zero. The biggest one, to me, is that it's in bad taste. The murders at Ground Zero were committed by zealots in the name of the Islamic religion, so there is a reason why symbols of that religion might be disconcerting and upsetting to the victims' families. I get that. It really doesn't matter that they mean totally different things to the people using the symbols. But we shouldn't bar a mosque because we are mad at Muslims.


Raised By Republicans said...

I agree with you LTG on all those counts. It's a trick subject and I think you've expressed a complicated opinion (that I share) well.

Raised By Republicans said...

To continue... as you said, we shouldn't ban mosques in general. And as much as I dislike the kowtowing to organized religion that American governmental authority usual engages in, I'm equally loath to see an official authority come out and say "you can build your mosque/church/temple/etc" here but not here (excepting of course zoning laws).

All that said, I do think it's reasonable to suspect the motives of a group of Moslems who insist that they can only worship in a building two blocks from "Ground Zero." They say they only want to build a nice moderate mosque. Then I'd ask why is it SO important that it be there instead of say somewhere else in Manhattan? I'm not saying I'd be one of the people who are protesting this mosque. But I do understand why the protestors are suspicious.

To me it would be like a Christian group from Alabama or something wanting to build one of their tacky mega-churches at Oldupai Gorge.

Dr. Strangelove said...

In the name of abolishing "double standards," Gingrich wants to treat Islam with less respect than Christianity or Judaism. Orwell would be so proud.

Gingrich and the Christian right are so arrogant. They think that 9/11 was about the terrorists attacking them, the Christians. They think Christianity is under assault here. But the truth is that Al Qaeda is attacking America and American power. Just look at how many Muslims have been killed in Iraq and Pakistan by Al Qaeda.

Raised By Republicans said...

Dr. Strangelove,

I would also suggest that Al Qaeda are attacking what they see as the secularism "imposed" (I'd say "permitted") by that American power. Indeed, I think if you presented a list of behaviors to ban or minorities to oppress to a sample of Muslim fundamentalists and one of Christian fundamentalists they would come out with remarkably similar preferences - with the one key difference between that in addition to oppressing women and homosexuals, they would also oppress any religion other than their own.

When people like Sarah Palin look at Al Qaeda propogandists like al-Awlaki ( they looking in a mirror.

Dr. Strangelove said...

It has been noted on this blog before that fundamentalists of all stripes have more in common with each other than with anyone else. America is under assault from fundamentalists, from within and without. And I appreciate your point that, in terms of propaganda, domestic and foreign fundamentalists mirror each other all too well.

Raised By Republicans said...

So Obama has come out in support of this Mosque. I think it's a dangerous move politically - and an unnecessary one. This was a local matter or a matter for the courts. There was no expectation that the President say anything at all about it.

That said, if he was going to say something I think he said the right thing.