Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mosque at Ground Zero? Big Deal!

I'm sure that some reading this will think I'm a card-carrying commie, but you couldn't be further from the truth.  I'm libertarian with very conservative leanings and I've never once voted for a liberal candidate or a porky project.  That said, I don't get the outrage over the so-called Ground Zero mosque.  Please don't go all chest-thumping, flag-waving, and red (white & blue)-blooded American on me here until you hear me out.

All Americans can agree that 9/11/01 was a horrible day.  It was arguably worse than Pearl Harbor and I can guarantee that no one in this generation will ever forget it.  I know that I can still vividly recall that morning though it's been nearly nine years.  In addition to resulting in the deaths of over 3,000 American civilians, 9/11 propelled us into two wars that have resulted in the death or disfigurement of thousands of men & women in our armed forces.  And that's not even mentioning the impact on civilian contractors.  Or the losses for the other side.

9/11 conspiracy theorists aside, everyone knows that this act of terrorism was performed courtesy of Islamic fundamentalists.  Those rascally radical Muslims have been behind most, not all, major acts of terrorism since I was a little girl.  I do include Suicide Bombers in this count, though I think that the more correct term would be Homicide Bombers since their main goal is to kill others.  Also, note that I did not say all Muslims are terrorists.

In the last 17 years, I can count at least eight acts of terrorism commited against the United States by Islamic fundamentalists.  The first World Trade Center bombing, the Kenyan US embassy, the Tanzanian US embassy, the USS Cole, and four acts of terrorism on 9/11.  I'm sure there are more, but these are just the ones that come immediately to mind.

I know that the Oklahoma City bombing happened in that time frame and, yeah, I'm aware that McVeigh and Nichols are so-called homegrown terrorists.  They weren't acting in the name of any religion; they were just your typical trashy anti-government assholes.  And I say, "so what," to that.  A terrorist act commited by a couple of white bread whackos does not wipe out the many terrorist acts committed by radical Muslims.

I've heard some try to equate Christian fundamentalists to Islamic fundamentalists and it's a very poor comparison.  I'm assuming that these people are thinking of attacks against abortionists and abortion clinics when they make such statements.  Both terrorist groups (Christian and Muslim) are made up of terrible people who are threats to liberty, but there are some major differences.  For one, mainstream Christians aren't afraid to loudly condemn these violent attacks and these fundamentalists who have hijacked their faith.  You don't hear that much from the Muslim community when one of their own commits an act of violence.  Sure, you do hear from some, but generally speaking the silence is deafening.  Of course, Islamic terrorist attacks just slay (heh!) abortion-related attacks in terms of the sheer amount of people who are injured or killed and the frequency of attacks.  Keep in mind that one does not excuse the other and both are absolutely wrong.

All this said, I don't understand the outrage over the so-called Ground Zero mosque.  Hold your patriotic horses, that's really a misnomer because this mosque is not actually going to be at Ground Zero.  Did you read that carefully?  There will not be a mosque at Ground Zero.  It will be a couple of blocks away.  Not quite so outrageous now, is it? 

What's that?  It is still outrageous to some of you?  Dang, I guess this post isn't over yet.

I understand where you're coming from.  I really do.  I agree that it's in poor taste to build a Muslim house of worship so close to the spot where militant followers of that religion committed an act of terrorism against this country.

But this country was founded on a number of principles.  I'm not going to give you a history or civics lesson, but two things we hold very dear in this country are religious freedom and personal property rights.  Few things stir up crazy emotions in Americans as quickly as infringing on those two principles.

I don't share their faith or their god (no, no I don't), but Muslims do have the right to practice their faith within the constraints of our laws.  Assuming that there is no zoning issue, why shouldn't the property owner be able to do what they want with the land they own?  I disagree with most government interference and I'd disagree with it here because I'm looking at the situation from the property owner's shoes.

I'm a big believer in freedom and part of freedom is allowing others to do things that you don't like.  Even things that you find disgusting or repugnant.  Remember, I think building this mosque is in very poor taste and it really feels like this is the biggest troll in history, but I can't come up with one good reason why this mosque shouldn't be built if the property owner chooses to build it. 

Leaving personal emotions and religious intolerance out of it, can anyone thoughtfully explain why this mosque should not be built?  I'm not looking for a fight and I'll ask that you not comment if you can't remain calm.  I just don't understand the real problem and I'm looking for enlightenment on this issue.

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