Friday, September 17, 2010

334 Words About Something You're Tired of Hearing About

Recently there has been a bit of a battle going on. A battle about a mosque. When I told my American friend I was going to write about it, he said “ohh lord, not that thing again, it’s all we’ve heard about this past month.” Sadly, his reaction is the same as many others’. We tire of hearing about mosques, Koran-burning, floods, and whatever else is wrong in the world at any given point. And for that reason I will make my own take on the Ground Zero Mosque very brief.

Opponents argue that the building of a mosque near Ground Zero would be insensitive. I’m having problems figuring out who exactly it would offend. Who is so offended by the building of a mosque at Ground Zero that the Muslim community’s freedom of religion and freedom of assembly should be violated? I can only assume that people are comparing Muslims to Al-Qaida and feel that building a mosque at Ground Zero would be a kick in the face to all of America.

But I still can’t quite grasp why a mosque where Muslims worship would reflect the actions of one extremist Islamist group. Muslims are simply people who adhere to the religion of Islam. Islamists are people who add a political agenda to their practice of Islam and are by no means even comparable to Muslims. Should the entire Muslim community be held accountable for something a few extremists did? And if that’s the case, does it mean that it’s bad taste to build a Catholic Church next to a kindergarten? Because the Pope knows the Catholic Church hasn’t got the best of reputations when it comes to young boys. I’m just saying.

Everything isn’t always black and white. In fact, it never is, we threw out the black and white TV’s ages ago. In today’s world we should be able to see all the nuances, and frankly, if we can’t, we need a new set of attitudes. And probably a new TV. *


  1. Building a Catholic church next to a school has far worse ramifications than a mosque at ground zero. At the height of this controversy I recall someone saying "As a true New Yorker, I'd rather have a mosque at ground zero than a Wal-Mart." People need to get a life.

  2. USA is supposed to welcome all diversity, or did I grow up in a different USA?

    Why not make the entire place surrounding ground zero into a multi spiritual worship center? Invite everyone.

  3. I was tired of reading about this until I read this post. You just made right some of the things that has been wrong in the world a while. Thank you.

  4. The problem is today's media for focusing on this crap. They make people believe that stories like this are more important than the real issues (which get buried). Bah. Today's media has zero integrity.

  5. nonamedufus: You'd think the people of New York would recognize the diversity of the city and embrace it instead of acting silly over a mosque.

    Everyday Goddess: That's a great idea actually, why not make it into a sort of ecumenical melting pot where everyone would respect each other while living and worshipping in harmony. Or not worshipping in harmony if you happen to be atheist.

    Cruella Collett: First off, I love your name! And I'm happy if I could provide some sort of level view on a topic that has been discussed to death already.

    mike: I think the true problem isn't the media itself, but rather the fact that we are ultimately self-centered. It's so much easier to get worked up over the small things, like a mosque, than to actually have an opinion about the bigger issues in the world. It's like Parkinson's Law of Triviality with the nuclear reactor and the bicycle shed; the big things are too complicated, while we can relate to the little things and they therefore become important to us, in this case the color of the bicycle shed. Or the mosque.

  6. This is such a non-issue. We have a constitution that guarantees freedom of religion. This "Cultural Center" with a prayer room is covered under the constitution. Don't like it? Move to Saudi Arabia. They have no freedom of religion there and the weather's nice if you like heat.

  7. Linda: When you put it like that, Saudi Arabia sounds a lot like hell...

  8. Thank you SO MUCH for saying what I've been saying to my friends all along and they just don't get it.

  9. Saudi Arabia is not a "destination spot" for me. That being said, you do have the opportunity to pick up some really great Persian rugs at very reasonable prices there. Just watch out for those Religious Police and you'll be fine.

  10. Reffie: I love being able to say stuff like this on my blog, because your (the readers') reactions give me more hope about the state of the world. Hopefully your friends will start listening to you soon.

    Linda: Luckily I'm not really a Persian rug kind of person; I don't think the Religious Police would be kind to me.

  11. I do love oriental rugs. When Alex was in Saudi, he was able to pick up a couple that we probably couldn't afford here. Saudi is not as easy for women as it is for men, and since Alex is a brown guy, he fit in better than white guys would.

  12. Linda: Next time I dress up as a brown guy and find myself in Saudi Arabia I'll pick up a Persian rug for you.

  13. Oh Ziva, dressing up like a brown guy there could get you beheaded in the town square on Fridays. Don't risk it, Sweetheart. Besides, there is no way anyone would believe you were a guy, brown or otherwise!

  14. It's a really complicated issue. Many relatives of 9/11 victims and New Yorker's feel that the area is a burial ground since the ashes of the dead scattered several blocks from Ground Zero, which includes the site for the mosque.

    I think if the builders had been smarter about the project they would have conducted a better PR campaign.

    I believe that people should be able to pray where ever they want. However, I do think that the folks behind the mosque should have been more sensitive in their approach because of the rawness of the issue. They had to have known beforehand that it would cause a backlash. If they wanted to create a bridge between Muslims and other religious groups, they might have created a Multi-Denominational center instead of a center just for Muslims.

    Putting aside the religious implications, I think that constructing a luxury building would be great for the city in such a shitty economy.

    Unfortunately, there is a deep anger and resentment in this country that is being directed at our President, who many Americans believe is a Muslim, which also may be code for racism toward African Americans.

    There are also many politicians, like Sarah Palin, who stick their fingers in teacups and then stir things up all for personal gain.

  15. I'm totally opposed to building a mosque near Ground Zero. Not because I'm opposed to Islam, but because it would leave less room for strip clubs and bars. How am I supposed to grieve properly if I can't get drunk and see some nekked boobies?

  16. P.S. -- Did you know "334" is a dystopian science fiction novel set in New York City in 2025? It was written by Thomas M. Disch. In the book, society has degraded into a repressive and controlled state. Frighteningly prophetic of both of you, huh?

  17. Lauren: It's a sad fact that the world is ruled by politicians and politics. If everyone just saw each other as human beings instead of adversaries the world would be a much better place.

    MikeWJ: I'm glad we can always rely on you to provide us with some much needed perspective. Of course the boobies are what matter the most! You said it, man.

    P.S. Just call me Nostradamus.



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