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Location matters

Posted by Richard on August 14, 2010

Now that the President has come out strongly in favor of the building of the "Ground Zero mosque," I suppose it's my turn to weigh in again (I contend that my previous post in support of the Ground Zero gay bar only half-counts).

While I very much disapprove of the idea, I'm a strong proponent of property rights, and I wouldn't want the government to stop the project. Even though the history and previous statements of Imam Rauf make me very skeptical of the claim that this is an effort at "bridge building" or intended to promote tolerance.

Instead, I'm inclined to agree with those who point to the long history of Islam building mosques as symbols of triumph at the sites of their victories over unbelievers. I suspect that this edifice is intended to poke a sharp stick in the eyes of us infidels. 

I don't care for zoning laws and land use planning either, but I'd like to see some consistency on that subject from the defenders of the mosque. I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that some of the people who argue that the imam's right to build the mosque is absolute have fought to stop some mega-church project in their community because it was "out of place in the neighborhood," an imposition on the local residents, or an inappropriate use of the land. 

And while we're questioning the consistency of the liberal intelligentsia, let's find out what these people who scream "separation of church and state" at the slightest provocation think of the US State Department picking up the tab for what is clearly the Imam's fundraising trip for the mosque to the petro-dollar capitals of the Middle East.  

In Friday's column, Charles Krauthammer brought up the "protecting sacred places" argument made first and more fully by Hugh Hewitt. I'd like to hear the defenders of the mosque explain why Gettysburg and Manassas deserve government protection from inappropriate adjacent development, but Ground Zero doesn't. 

Krauthammer also brought up the story of the Carmelite convent adjacent to Auschwitz, a story more fully told by William McGurn, which you really should read. In the context of this controversy, it's a valuable lesson in comparative religion. 

You should read the entire Krauthammer column, too, but here's one of the key take-aways for me (emphasis added): 

Location matters. Especially this location. Ground Zero is the site of the greatest mass murder in American history — perpetrated by Muslims of a particular Islamist orthodoxy in whose cause they died and in whose name they killed.

Of course that strain represents only a minority of Muslims. Islam is no more intrinsically Islamist than present-day Germany is Nazi — yet despite contemporary Germany’s innocence, no German of good will would even think of proposing a German cultural center at, say, Treblinka.

Which makes you wonder about the good will behind Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf’s proposal. … 

Exactly, my friends, exactly. Imam Rauf has the right to build his mosque there, but that doesn't make it right. And the fact that he persists in the face of the misgivings, discomfit, and anger of the vast majority of New Yorkers (and Americans in general) puts the lie to his claims of good will. He is scum. I don't want to send the police to stop him — but I hope he fails.

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One Response to “Location matters”

  1. Hathor said

    My idea of blasphemy is different, I don’t hold the sight of ground zero as sacred or holy, but I personally think to build another two towers on the site would be blasphemous. To build on that site is in my mind is like removing the act from history, which would be more disrespectful to the victims than any Muslim building within the vicinity. A hundred years from now or even a few years after the Mosque or community center or whatever, it will not even be noticed. A sad little memorial to 9/11 will not be either.

    A massive hole in the ground would have been so much more poignant than another sky scrapper.

    I think too many people are letting Islam having to much of a hold on their lives. It is not magic or some supernatural power that could transform a nation by building buildings or hate speech, unless it would somehow touched on some underlying belief in the most of the population.

    Hitler didn’t come into power because the Nazis burned books, beat up Jews or used the Jews as scapegoats, he came into power because the Germans believed he was right to do it.

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