Flat out Racism

August 16, 2010

Simply put, there is absolutely no argument that one can use to object to the construction of a mosque near ground zero whose fundamental premise can’t be shown to be anti-Muslim sentiment.  Here are the arguments I’ve heard so far opposing the mosque:

1.  It’s a threat to national security.

2.  It dishonors the sacred nature of ground zero by being too close.

Here’s why both of them are, at their core, anti-Muslim:

1.  It’s based on the assumption that all mosques are sources of terrorist indoctrination / activities, a sweeping generalization of a very large and diverse group that is used to justify depriving that group of their legal rights, also knows as stereotyping or racism.   

2.  It implies that a mosque is fundamentally opposed to American values and that Muslims are ‘lesser’ Americans who are not entitled to the same rights as non-Muslim Americans.  Furthermore, how does one define ‘too close?’  The proposed site is two blocks away with no direct line of sight to ground zero.  How close is to close?  What other structures are considered as defiling to ground zero?  Shopping malls?  Office buildings?  A Quiznos?  None are considered defiling, which leads back to a sweeping generalization being used to justify depriving a group of their legal rights, aka racism. 

Here’s another way to look at the issue:  Should churches not be allowed to be constructed near the site of the former Alfred P Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, the one that was blown up by Right Wing Christian militants?  It seems to me that if one cannot construct a mosque near ground zero because the attackers were Muslim, then one should not be allowed to construct a church in Oklahoma City because the attackers were Christian. 

I suppose one could argue that since the people being attacked in Oklahoma City were Christian, churches are OK.  Except that it’s not true – Timothy McVeigh was attacking everyone in the building, not just Christians, just as the 9/11 attackers were attacking everyone in the World Trade Center, not just Muslims (if you don’t believe that Muslims were being targeted along with Christians and Jews, then you don’t know anything about religious terrorism, which clearly advocates that the only thing worse that an opposing religion are people from your own faith who don’t follow your particular interpretation).  So, yes, Muslims were being targeted by the 9/11 attackers, which means they have just as much right to seek solace in their own faith as do Christians, which in this case translates to the construction of a mosque.  If we are going to make the blanket assumption that the faith of the attacker overpowers the faith of the attacked, then we shouldn’t allow churches to be constructed near any place that has been targeted by Christian militants.  If it’s good for one faith, then it’s good for all faiths, otherwise you are applying a special set of rules designed to limit the rights of a particular group, or in other words, racism.



  1. I just figured out what your problem is: You’re using logic. Ultimately, you’re correct. But if I were a Muslim man living in NYC I would not attend that particular mosque. Of course it’s legal, but is it smart. They better have a hell of a lot of street parties and give away plenty of free ice cream!

    I just got an idea! That available store front space in between Food Matters and the preschool… adult book store!

  2. Wait a minute! It’s not a mosque – it’s a community center! In that case, I hope there aren’t any YMCA’s in Manhattan. It wouldn’t be America without double standards.

  3. Good analogy with the Oklahoma City bombing.

    Also, the head of this center has written books holding up the US as close to the ideal Islamic society – due to it’s tolerance. Having it at this location is in fact a gian F- you to al Qaeda.


    Fareed Zakaria pointed out on his Sunday morning CNN show recently that if this center was being built in a Muslim country, the US government would probably be funding it. Needless to say, there were cows.

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