I’m likely to get myself into trouble in the form of nasty emails with this post, but it seems important to respond to the Mosque at Ground Zero furor. I suppose I should not be surprised that the media has bit down on this one, and politicians are using the issue for political gain. What else is new? Where is that so-called tolerance than Americans pride themselves on? Polls have found most Americans are AGAINST the mosque at G.Z. Are the media and politicians feeding the flames of this one, for their own ratings and political gain? Gee. Ya think?
When I first heard of the Mosque I thought “Good. What better way to teach tolerance on both sides of the coin?” Thoughts of it being “insensitive” to 9/11 family members did not enter my mind. I began to hear rumblings of how Muslims build mosques at the sites of their victories, but have discovered there are various interpretations of that understanding, one being that they build mosques at sites within crying distance of Muslims. Muslims were killed in the buildings too. Muslims have suffered from post 9/11 racism. So yes, building in a place of tears makes sense to me. Building within crying distance for all Americans makes sense to me. We are all finding ways of healing.
On NPR today, a woman spoke of being at Pearl Harbor recently when several Japanese warships cruised by. The crowd of hundreds were awed by the sight. There was no protest. Would we protest if a Shinto Shrine were built near Pearl Harbour? Oklahoma bombing was also mentioned, whereby Timothy McVeigh pronounced his act was in the name of Christianity. Is there a Christian church near that site?
Surely by allowing a Mosque to be built near Ground Zero, we are sending an even more powerful message to Muslims worldwide than one of submission in response to their cowardly act of terror. Surely this gives us a chance to teach the world the true meanings of freedom, tolerance, and forgiveness. Traits I thought Americans valued, but lessons, clearly we all need to be reminded of.