I have read and been a part of many discussions regarding the mosque controversy and there is a common but scary theme - ignorance. All "sides" are guilty of it and two steps behind Ignorance is Pride, the half brother of Ignorance. When these two guys get together it usually ends bad for someone. There were some people in these threads that didn't understand that "Muslim" is not a religion but that Islam is the religion of Muslims.
Here are just a few of the gems I gathered during my discussions:
- Muslims didn't fly planes into the Towers, terrorists did.
- There is a Shintao temple within 10 miles of Pearl Harbor, so why not put a mosque at Ground Zero?
- Muslims are a peaceful people and follow the Qu'ran's teachings about peace and non-violence. (This was stated by a Muslim woman)
- There is no difference between a Muslim suicide bomber and a Christian who blows up an abortion clinic and kills the doctors (also stated by the same Muslim woman above. Got contradiction?).
- It is their right to build a mosque there. Nobody would complain if a Catholic church was being built.
- They aren't building a mosque, it is a community center.
- People in favor of the mosque being opened on the anniversary of the attacks (9/11/2011) are condemning Glenn Beck's rally on the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech in Washington D.C. as insensitive.
Muslims didn't fly planes into the Towers, terrorists did.
This statement is so ludicrous that I don't even know where to start. She would not clarify this positioning statement so I wonder if she thinks there is a difference between and Muslim and an Islamist or if she is trying to separate Islamic extremists from the mainstream.
There is a Shintao temple within 10 miles of Pearl Harbor, so why not put a mosque at Ground Zero?
This statement actually had a dozen links to Google Maps proving whatever point he thought he was making. I guess it was irrelevant when I told him I lived there for 15 years. He was arguing proximity and so was I; when I said I would have no problem with a mosque built 10 miles away from Ground Zero I did not receive a reply.
Many people like to point out that the mosque will not be built AT ground zero. That is technically correct, as it will be built 2 blocks away and not on the exact geographical center of Tower 2. So, these same people wouldn't object to a prison, a child molester or a nuclear waste dump 2 blocks away from their house, since technically, it really isn't in their backyard. Sorry, I was using the absurd to point out the absurd.
Muslims are a peaceful people and follow the Qu'ran's teachings about peace and non-violence.
This Muslim woman parroted the expected response when confronted with the violence her religion condones. She told me to read Sura 2.256, a verse promoting Islamic peace, and then challenged me to find verses that call for violence. I asked her if she wanted me to provide the whole list or just the top 10. My reply was met with sarcasm and snide comments, one of which thanked me for the enlightenment of her own religion.
Here is where people will bring up the Crusades or the "Eye for eye" verse in the Christian Holy Bible, plus many others in the Old Testament, that talk about how violent Christianity is, especially when someone blows up an abortion clinic. These are their favorite counterpoints to how peaceful Christians claim their religion is. Pity that they show their ignorance of 2 religions.
Christians follow Christ, who spoke out against violence in his teachings in the NEW Testament. Eye for an eye was an OLD Testament passage. Christ abrogated the old ways with his sermons and therefore, followers of Jesus are supposed to live as He did. Christian = "Christ-like". So, when a lunatic Christian blows up an abortion clinic he is going against the teachings of Christ. Muslims who kill innocent people in the name of Allah can do so because there are dozens upon dozens of passages in the Qu'ran that encourage them to do so. In fact, those passages that call for violence against non believers of Islam abrogate the peaceful passages that were written prior. A Muslim who kills Americans by slamming an airplane into a building is fully vindicated by the Qu'ran. A Christian who kills abortion doctors is rebuked by Christ.
Muslims who hear these arguments say that we are misinterpreting thier passages and claim, once again, that Islam in a religion of peace. Sure, they can declare jihad in self defense but the terms of jihad are so vague that any Muslim can justify any killing on the grounds of self defense. Enter, stage right, the issue of the Crusades and the Inquisition. My reply is always the same- "What about them?" The Crusades happened 500 years ago; Muslim extremists have been killing in the name of Allah for the last 1400 years. Christians came around to how stupid it was to force people to convert by using violence. Islam hasn't reached that point yet. Islam will receive the same statute of limitations that I give to the Crusades when they figure out they can catch more flies with honey than with beheadings.
It is their right to build a mosque there. Nobody would complain if a Catholic church was being built.
Here is where the gnashing of teeth is most prevalent and here is where people on both sides try to make it an argument about religion. The gruff retort to this statement is that it wasn't Catholics who killed all those people, it was Muslims. The Catholic church comment is a smoke screen and is a fallacy of presupposition.
I do not have an issue with mosques being built, mosques being built in New York City or with peaceful Muslims. Muslims, and everyone else in this country, has every right to build mosques in this country and worship their god as they see fit. But just because you can do something doesn't mean its right. My issue with this mosque construction has always been about one thing - proximity. It is too close to Ground Zero and shows a social insensitivity on a cosmic scale. It would have the same slap in the face as erecting a Confederate flag in Harlem, an American flag at Peace Park in Nagasaki or a Swastika embroidered flag at Auschwitz.. This is where a man went on a socio-politcal tirade informing me of the differences between Nazi Germany, WWII and the Civil War to that of Islam. Really? I think it is a very accurate parallel when considering the feelings that are dredged up- those of insensitivity, not politics.
To put it bluntly, erecting a mosque at Ground Zero is tacky.
Proposed location of Cordoba House