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dafame

The Cordoba Center Debate

11 posts in this topic

I haven't blogged on here in quite a while. Hopefully some of you remember me from the time of the Presidential campaign. I felt that I needed to come back in light of some issues that have been bothering me. Namely this hole issue with the mosque (or community center) being built in Manhattan, as well as the 20% of Americans that believe that the President is Muslim.

We all know of the debate that's going on in New York as well as the other 49 states in the union regarding the Islamic community center being built near the former site of the World Trade Center towers. I am having a hard time understanding what this debate is about when if you poll the same people who are saying that the don't want the Mosque built in it's "current" location, and ask them whether or not this country was founded on religious freedom, they will tell you that the founders of this Mosque have the "right" to build it there. What they are saying is that it's in poor taste and out of respect for the people that died on 9/11 they should choose to not build the Mosque there. Here's the problem with that.

I'm assuming that we all know that the name of the group that attacked us on 9/11 is Al Qaeda. This is a group that does in fact practice a form of radical Islam. Islam being a religion (and not the name of a terrorist organization) is practiced by 1.5 billion people in the world, about 7 million of which reside in the United States.

With that being clear let's take a look at some of the things that are being said about the building of this Mosque.

- It's disrespectful to the people who died at Ground Zero

Manhattan is inhabited by a large number of Muslims. In fact there are a total of three Mosques within 6 blocks of Ground Zero (In addition to the strip club located directly across the street). In addition to the fact that many Muslims died during 9/11 as well.

- If the Mosque is built then the terrorist have won

I strongly doubt that this is what Osama Bin Laden had in mind when he orchestrated the attack on the World Trade Center. Is that suggesting that Al Qaeda will lie down there weapons if only this center is built? If only this were the case.

- Move the Mosque as a sign of Unity

Wait a minute. I'm telling you that I want to build a community center welcoming Muslim as well as people of all other faiths as a way of building an understanding between Islam and the other faiths, and you're telling me to move back as a sign of Unity? Someone please explain this one to me.

- The terrorist will come here to pray there because they will think of it as some kind of second "victory" Mecca

Really? People "THEY WERE" ACTUALLY SUCCESSFUL IN DESTROYING WTC AND KILLING over 3000 PEOPLE. I'm quite sure they've done a bit of celebrating in the area of the world where it's actually safe for them to be. IS your argument that you don't want them celebrating on American soil or is it that they can just another block or two further back? If it's that you don't want them celebrating on American soil then to actually know that it's not happening, I think that the protest should be to ban the practice of Islam in America, period. Don't you? Damn First Amendment.

- We don't know the true intentions of the Imam and whether or not they're good

Bush sure seemed to. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf said "Fanaticism and terrorism have no place in Islam" while working with the U.S. State Department on a campaign to foster religious understanding in the Middle East.

The fact is this center is not a mosque, because mosques do not allow entry to people who are not practicing Muslims, nor is it located at the WTC site. Its two blocks away and there is an "actual" Mosque a block and a half away from it that has been there for years.

To propose, suggest, or demand that this center be moved due to the pain that it will cause those who lost loved ones on 9/11, or because the terrorist will be happy that it's there, or any other number of reasons that people can come up with is nothing more than religious bigotry and the demonization of Islam.

This is going to come across as a little crazy but I can't think of any other way to drawn an analogy that points to the true insanity of this situation. Here's an example of this: Let's say you're white and live in a predominately white neighborhood. You and your family were at some point the victims of a home invasion robbery. Let's say the perpetrators of this crime were African American. So there's no confusion or comparisons of a robbery to the loss of life let's imagine that they murder your wife or husband in front of your children. Then lets say that 3 months later a African American family moves in next door. Are you going to gather up your neighbors and picket in front of they're house and demand that they move because of the mental anguish there being there puts on you and your children? Better yet, are you going to expect that once they know of your past tragedy that they volunteer to relocate as a sign of unity?

Islam didn't kill 3000 Americans on 9/11 but rather a terrorist organization called Al Qaeda who used Islamic theology to justify there murders. To expect, suggest, or demand that they relocate because it will cause pain to the victims families, it will be a reason for the terrorist to celebrate, as a sign of unity, or any other number of reasons that can be thought of, is to suggest that Islam attacked us on 9/11 and anyone that practices the religion is bad.

This debate has me asking myself the question: Is America becoming a more hateful place, or is this example of America showing its true colors?

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Of course I remember you, dafame. Hopefully, you'll remember me also.

With respect to this "controversy," I have no strong feelings one way or the other. I think the entire thing has been overblown, in large measure due to emotionalism and the fact that we are entering the political "silly season." Given that the sponsors of this facility don't have the money for it, it's all problematic until and unless funding is secured. I sincerely hope that the issue dissolves sooner rather than later.

I do not see this situation as an example of America becoming more hateful or it "showing its true colors." I think rather that it is a function of emotionalism and politics. Some of this results from attempts by one party or the other to gain political points (and I think both sides are more or less guilty of pushing the other's buttons in thios regard) and some stems from ham-handed handling of the issue by politicians who should know better.

We in the West tend to see Islam as a religion, similar in nature and function as Judaism, Christianity or Hinduism (that is, a part of an individula's personal culture or ethos), but that is not how Islam sees itself, at least in part. Islam functions more or less like a philosophia--a way of life; as a result, to a very devout Muslim (extremist or not), everything must fit the ethos or the ethos itself is compromised. We fail to understand that at our peril as a society.

It would help the situation greatly if the sponsor of this project were less outspoken in his attitudes toward the US and its foreign policy and the role "if any" played by that in the events of September 11, 2001, and if he weren't naming the project the Cordova Center, a name reflective of Islamic triumphalism (we in the US understand so little of history that we cannot appreciate the effect names and terms have in other parts of the world). It would also help if our leaders weren't so d__n politically correct, as that infuriates those who do not approach the issue rationally.

That said, I join with you in hoping the issue goes away. There are too many important issues at stake in the upcoming election to be diverted by this "red herring."

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Of course I remember you, dafame. Hopefully, you'll remember me also.

Hey Richard, yeah I definitely remember you and thanks for responding. Is this place dead now or what?

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Unbelievably dead--for more than a year!

Guess someone is going to have to lob a couple of live grenades into the mix to wake people up.

I probably would have gotten more juices flowing if I had taken the "conservative" position on this issue. Since I didn't, no reaction.

Thanks for responding to me. I was afraid everyone was asleep.

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Unbelievably dead--for more than a year!

Guess someone is going to have to lob a couple of live grenades into the mix to wake people up.

I probably would have gotten more juices flowing if I had taken the "conservative" position on this issue. Since I didn't, no reaction.

Thanks for responding to me. I was afraid everyone was asleep.

I hope this doesn't upset the moderators but do you blog anywhere else?

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No, I don't. I used to get involved on FirstRead, but I got away from that because, frankly, the level of commentary there was too nasty.

I'd love to discuss politics, etc., on a serious,sober level, without name-calling, snarkiness, etc., but even here that tends to become the rule if one deviates too far from the accepted or conventional position.

I know I'm way, way too conservative/constitutionalist for most people here, and I'm ready to accept the bricks that go along with that, but the nastiness, name-calling, and gen eral tone of what passes for political discourse in this country is sad, frustrating and disheartening.

Sort of like the "debate" on this fool mosque story.

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No, I don't. I used to get involved on FirstRead, but I got away from that because, frankly, the level of commentary there was too nasty.

I'd love to discuss politics, etc., on a serious,sober level, without name-calling, snarkiness, etc., but even here that tends to become the rule if one deviates too far from the accepted or conventional position.

I know I'm way, way too conservative/constitutionalist for most people here, and I'm ready to accept the bricks that go along with that, but the nastiness, name-calling, and gen eral tone of what passes for political discourse in this country is sad, frustrating and disheartening.

Sort of like the "debate" on this fool mosque story.

Totally agree with you. The debates here or on any other sites shouldn't get to the point of sillyness, but that's usually what debate devolves to when people run out of valid points to make. Those were great times during the campaign with great topics and lots of interaction. Too bad that people aren't really coming here any more.

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Hopefully we can get some of the better posters back.

I plan on posting a campaign/election topic later today. That should provoke some serious opposition,

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It REALLY is dead here, dafame.

I can't believe it--NO responses.

Well let's bring it back to life.

Here's my take - people are upset and politicians, as well as the media, are using the issue to their own advantage. That's just the way our society works.

There's no question in my mind that the community center can be built. This is obviously true from a legal perspective and further, I've heard no opposition to the "community center" function (athletic facilities, educational facilities, meeting rooms & so forth).

It is the space for worship, a.k.a the mosque, that is causing the debate. Why not build an interfaith worship space to be shared by any peace loving religion (including the vast majority of Muslims)? Such a gesture would do more to build bridges and heal wounds than one which many have interpreted to be consistent with conquest.

Another possibility is to defer the prayer space until more time has passed.

Those behind the project do not have to modify the project but common sense says "show a little sensitivity".

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- We don't know the true intentions of the Imam and whether or not they're good

Bush sure seemed to. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf said "Fanaticism and terrorism have no place in Islam" while working with the U.S. State Department on a campaign to foster religious understanding in the Middle East.

As for the Imam, he does appear generally to be 'moderate' but his refusal to declare Hamas a terrorist organization undercuts whatever else he might say. I suppose that he could have minimally said that elements of Hamas are terrorist. I question how hard he is trying to compromise/reach out.

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