Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Ground Zero Mosque: Who Exactly are the Intolerant Ones?

I've been doing a lot of reading about the proposed Ground Zero Mosque, both for and against.  There's not a lot of tolerance or sensitivity shown here!  In case you're not on Facebook and can't view that link, it's in reference to this editorial by Reza Aslan.  Here's a sampling of the comments on that Facebook page:

Mojgan Ghaemmaghami: they're not mainstream Americans, just a bunch of loud xenophobes with a lot of free time backed by big money. (the "they" she refers to are the 2/3 of Americans that polls say object to the mosque being built in the planned location)

Arash Abdi its kind of cool going out and looking overly muslim knowing that almost half the people in our communities don't like us w/out a viable reason.

Lisa J. Keating I was under the naive belief that under the Obama presidency the fear mongering we were drowned with during G.W. Bush's terms would dissipate. I am at a loss over the level of hypocrisy, hatred and ignorance that seems to be dominating our country. The irony is that like most extreme systems of belief, protecting America from Islam is in the name of God (the Christian one).

Fatima Fravashi If it makes anyone feel better, phobias are not isolated to islam, there are many who have a phobia of new ideas or of things they don't understand. So let our actions & ideas produce understanding, rather than stooping to the level of the ...ignorant. The truth is, America needs Islam to be a more balanced society, Islam can be America's savior.

Ron McKee Your presentation on NPR was well thought out and spoke. I apologize to you personally on behalf of my country and it's people.  Thank you for pointing out the primary group that is funding and organizing the protests at Ground Zero and conn...ecting them to their sister group in Europe.

Sharon Orser Unfortunately I'm afraid that a lot of problems stem from the American educational system. When I was in school...back in the dark ages...all US history was taught from a strictly white, northern European, primarily protestant perspective.... The same was basically true when my kids were in school, with a little more lip service paid to diversity and more tempered religious view. The religion was not overt, but it was still there. Textbooks were, and perhaps still are, written to pass the judgement of a few of conservative Baptists in Texas without whose approval those books wouldn't get published. As a result, we have generations of people in this country whose educations have been sorely lacking. Couple that with the hysterical rantings heard on Fox news which gains ratings from generating fear, and the hate mongers have fertile fields in which to plant their seeds of xenophobia.

Thought experiment: If Timothy McVeigh's family & friends proposed to build a "Healing and Understanding Center" just two blocks from the Oklahoma City bombing, would the supporters of the Ground Zero Mosque support it? Those folks might have the best intentions in the world but that doesn't lessen one iota their intentions from being completely misguided & wrong.

Yet in the case of the mosque, we're constantly being told that anyone who disagrees with it, exactly as planned, is a Hater/Bigot/Racist/Islamaphobe. I wonder if those so casually making such charges have ever looked in the mirror and seen their own lack of tolerance and compassion?

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