Monday, August 30, 2010

About the 'Ground Zero Mosque'

Lately I've been hearing a lot of disapproval for the mosque, or Islamic community center, that is supposed to be built near the site of the World Trade Center attacks. Christians are not the only ones leading the protests either, as even popular YouTube atheists like Thunderfoot and Pat Condell have expressed distaste for the construction of this mosque. The 'ground zero mosque' is a misnomer on several levels though. Not only is it being built two blocks away from the actual ground zero site, but it is not merely a mosque, since it includes plans for a swimming pool, fitness center, basketball court, and even a September 11th memorial, among other things. Thunderfoot's assertion that this building will be a victory symbol overlooking the 'conquered' WTC site is also ridiculous, because the community center will not have a view of the area from its position.

As much as I hate the word Islamophobia, due to the frequent misuse of it by Muslims against anyone critical of Islam, I am beginning to wonder if Thunderfoot, Pat Condell, and many of these other opponents to the 'mosque' are truly Islamophobes. Without regard for the countless Muslims who are not terrorists, both T-foot and Condell accuse the community center of being funded by terrorist groups, intended as a terrorist victory symbol, and so on. The irony is that, as many people have already pointed out, the site where this building is meant to go was already used by Muslims before this time. We have had almost 9 YEARS to rebuild something at ground zero as a testament to our resilience, but nothing has been done. I get the feeling that if there were towers at the site again, this proposed community center wouldn't even be a topic of conversation.

In Thunderfoot's video, he points out that if a similar event to the WTC attacks had occurred in Saudi Arabia, at the Kabaa, one of Islam's holiest sites, no one would be allowed to build a church nearby, because even access to the area is restricted exclusively to Muslims. This strikes me as a horrible argument against the 'ground zero mosque' though, as it's essentially espousing eye for an eye philosophy, something Thunderfoot has criticized himself in the past. Why sink to the level of Saudi Arabia? This is not about tolerance or equality, it's about standing up for the principles this nation was founded upon. We don't let the terrorists win by allowing Muslims to put a building near ground zero, we let them win if we give fear and paranoia a foothold and turn our backs on the very freedoms that make America a country worth living in.


  1. I, too, might think it was inappropriate and offensive to build a "mosque" near ground zero if:

    1) It hadn't been 9 years since the attacks,
    2) There weren't already Islamic places of gathering near the site, and
    3) Legitimate terrorist organizations had sponsored this center.

    Because as it is, they have every right to erect one and, at this point, it's definitely time we've moved on. I'm as anti-religious as the next guy, but there's no indication that the Muslims want to put up a building for any different reason than Christians would.

  2. It's funny how atheists are depicted as trying to squash religious freedom when we challenge the nonsense of Christians, but then we're accused of 'defending Islam' when we're actually supporting religious freedom. The doublespeak gets so tiring to deal with.

  3. That, or they think Christianity is the only faith being persecuted, thus confirming that it's the one true one - regardless of whether we'd say the same thing if both the attacks and center were being built by Christians.