Note: This is strictly an editorial piece. You will find little, to no, links trying to prove a point. This is strictly my personal opinion.
There has been a lot of media attention regarding the proposal to build the 13 story Cordoba House mosque just 600 feet from ground zero in Manhattan. We've heard everything from "we are stereotyping Muslims" to "destroying religious freedom" from the proponents of the build. So it got me thinking, from an intellectual standpoint, what do I think about this?
Honestly, my opinions are deeply divided. I've found myself trying to balance my opinions between an intellectual standing and an intensely emotional one. As someone who always stated that politics and opinion should be based on common sense and thought rather than emotion, I find it very difficult for me to do so on this subject.
From the intellectual, libertarian standpoint, I believe that a person (group) has the ability to do what they wish, as long as the outcomes of that decision do not harm, or impede, upon the rights of another. Physically speaking, the building of this mosque has no direct affects on the safety of another, in that it causes no physical harm. It does not impede on any rights (real rights) of another that I'm aware of , so from that standpoint, again it should be allowed. And finally, I do agree with a statement that President Obama made, in which he stated:
'Let me be clear: As a citizen and as President I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country.
'That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances.'
The part with which I agree is that Muslims DO have the freedom to practice their religion with the borders of the United States, should they be legal citizens. My personal opinions and reflections upon their religion have no bearing on the subject, as simply disagreeing with someone does not infringe upon my rights, nor should it infringe upon theirs. I also believe that they should have the right to build a mosque on private property, however, this is where my emotional side kicks in and it is a side that I can not ignore.
While I believe in all the above, as an AMERICAN, the place that have chosen to build this mosque is an outrage and a travesty. To build a tribute to the very religion that perpetrated the worst attack on American soil in history, taking more than 3000 American lives, is nothing more than a snub to the people of this great nation. Now, I understand that not all muslims supported this attack, it was still under the umbrella of Islam that the attacks took place. It is akin to building a memorial to honor Japanese Kamikaze pilots that died in the Pearl Harbor attack upon the shores of Pearl Harbor or a memorial to soldiers that "escorted" the Cherokee along the Trail of Tears. It is claimed that this building will serve as a way of healing, but muslim mosques are not the community centers we envision. They are places of exclusive worship for muslims and are not inviting of those outside the faith. There are more than 30 mosques within New York, so why this one, why here? It's not because there is a lack of locations for muslims to worship, this building serves no other purpose than to add insult to our injury, to rub salt into what is still a very open wound.
The Imam that is pushing for this mosque has stated that the purpose of this mosque is to promote good will and peace between muslims and the west, but how can you possibly believe that is the intent when they propose to build this center in what would of been the shadow of the the very buildings that this religion's follower's brought to the ground and resulted in the murder of thousands of citizens. This is not a building of peace and love, but one of occupation and conquest. It will serve no means other than to remind the American people of the loss that we all suffered on 9/11 and to claim a victory in that loss. It is for this reason that I cannot separate my emotional feelings from my intellectual ones in this matter.
Another portion that treads on the fighting side of me is the complete and total amount of hypocrisy that has surrounded this whole affair. This land has sat for years undergoing zoning decisions, landmark status, etc, but as soon as this Imam decided to build a mosque, all that was put aside and the process was essentially fast tracked to allow it. It seems that nothing can be done quickly in New York, unless you are muslim wishing to build a monument to those that murdered American citizens.
Likewise, when you look at the leftist attacks that have taken place against religion in this country, it simply blows my mind that "religious freedom" is now the rally cry of it's supporters. You can no longer have "Christmas" celebrations in areas that are within view of the populace, churches are not allowed to have public Nativity scenes, Hanukkah has suffered the same fate, cries for the word "God" to be pulled from any type of publication, even from the very documents that mark the founding of this great nation, yet we are being asked to respect "religious tolerance" for the Islamic faith. With no other way to put it, that's a crap argument and only goes to prove that the leftist only believe in freedom when it's a freedom that they want. Remove all traces of Judeo-Christian faith, but allow the building of religious house to support those that killed our people, it's bullshit! Piss on a picture of the pope, or make comedic commentary on Jesus/God, and it's freedom of speech, but draw a cartoon picture of Mohammad and you suffer death threats and cries from the left of intolerance. Again, bullshit!
As equally unnerving, we are now supporting this Imam in his travels across the Middle East as he raises support for the building of this travesty. Sure, the official word is that no fund-raising will take place, but if you believe that, then I've got some ocean front property for you. So not only is this Imam, who will not condemn or call the Hamas a terrorist organization, traveling the world to raise funds for this monument of islamic victory, but he is doing it on the American tax payer dime, paid in full by our state department. It seems the more Anti-American you are, the more support that our government gives you.
Lastly, while I quoted President Obama above, I am left in disbelief that he voiced those words in the place that he did. As President, he is supposed to be guardian of American ideals and of the American people, but like multitudes of times before, he put his personal ideology before that of the people that he represents. Even though he quickly backtracked on those statements, (isn't that the Obama way), the fact that he made these statements, with no clue or caring about the views of the American people, goes to show me that he has no leadership abilities whatsoever. It would have been best if he would have just kept his opinions to himself, but instead, he choose to do what he always does, speak off the cuff with nary a thought to fact or consequence. The police acted stupidly, "plug the damn hole" while doing nothing to support, but tons to hinder, and now supporting the slap in the face, and adding to the pain, of of all the survivors of 9/11 by the islamic faith.
Considering that Islam has made it a point of record to build monuments of triumph, in the form of "holy" places, at all sites of their conquests, maybe we were stupid to expect anything differently. However, the Will of the American people is much stronger than muslims give us credit for. Should this travesty be allowed, I fear for the conditions that it may cause. I fear for the acts that it may result in, but then again, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. Politically speaking, I think that the People will remember that our government not only allowed this disrespect to happen, but aided it with wide open loving arms of support. I think the people will have their say, but it may take until November 2010 & 2012 for their voices to be heard. For once, I cannot separate my emotional and intellectual feelings. In this instance, American pride, grief for those lost, and mourning for a country scarred win over. I hope this mosque, if allowed, suffers the same fate as the great buildings that stood 2 blocks over. Those things birthed by fire, shall also be devoured by it.