Tuesday, September 7, 2010

It's definitely you, not me.

Of all the things that come rolling through Facebook that are opinionated and possibly controversial, one of them really gets me riled up.  How often do I talk about politics?  Not often.  I don't like arguing politics with anyone because far too many people are ignorant of the events and base their opinions solely on media coverage which is undoubtedly biased (Sorry Fox, "fair and balanced" my ass).  Every now and then, something really strikes a nerve with me that causes me to throw caution to the wind and speak up despite whatever ignorant flak I might catch.

Today and tomorrow (or whenever I get my next post out), it is all about Muslims.  Several weeks ago, this whole thing blipped onto my radar with posts and groups against a particular mosque being built in New York: 

"If you think that putting up a mosque 600 ft. from ground zero and have the inauguration, on the anniversary of 9/11 in 2011, is immoral, inhuman and a complete lack of respect for the memories, of all that perished there, on that day and their survivors. That politicians are...doing a grave injustice to the fallen heroes, their families and all the people of New York City and America, THEN PLEASE COPY AND REPOST." 

Seriously?!?!  Are you freaking kidding me?  This post being spread around is full of misinformation and an elitist, better than thou attitude.  First of all, by saying 600 ft, whoever started the post intends to make it sound like this place is practically being built on Ground Zero itself, which is not true.  This "600 ft" actually equates to nearly 2 1/2 full blocks away from the outer most edge of the World Trade Center site.  Close, yes, but not the shock and awe close that was intended.  Second, this proposed project is not just a mosque.  Yes, a mosque will be included, but the plan also includes a community center with both Islamic and interfaith programming, a performing arts center, a gym, and a swimming pool.  This complex is to be very similar to one already built on the upper east side of Manhattan.  

Finally, there is just the attitude behind these posts that lights my fire.  If this was a proposed Catholic or Mormon church, no one would be claiming it was "immoral, inhuman" and disrespectful.  So why is this claimed of the Muslim religion?  Last time I checked,  terrorists do not include each and every person of the Muslim community.  In fact, many terrorists have been varying branches of Christianity or Atheist.  One cannot group the entire Muslim community into the terror category. Yes, there are some Muslims that are terrorists, but there are also Christians that are terrorists, Jews,... etc.

Beyond that, innocent Muslims died in those buildings too. No one ever thinks of that. If they want to build a mosque there, I say go right ahead.
  I honestly do not have a problem with it. For all anyone knows, they could be doing this to remember their own fallen family members who were innocent victims as well. Perhaps they are trying to build better interfaith relationships.  Just because a person or group of people make a choice that would be different from what you make or prefer does not give you the right to criticize and accuse. That makes us no different than those who are out to kill us and bring us down. Try seeing things from another point of view.

As for the supposed opening day on 9/11/11, the construction hasn't even freaking begun yet.  If you have any experience with construction, you know that it never goes to plan and it never ends on time.  But even if it did and they did have an inauguration on 9/11, yea, it might make some people uncomfortable, but it is far from immoral and inhumane. Again, for all we know, they could be holding it on 9/11 to remember their own people who fell in those towers. Again, no one ever thought of that, did they?  Let's all just assume that everything any Muslim does is for evil purposes.  Yea, that will fix things.  

So here is the deal.  When you see these things, instead of allowing yourself to have a knee-jerk response and forwarding posts that only promote more intolerance and hate, try to look at it from another angle and try to verify some of the facts.  I don't want to have to break up with you.  It's not me, it's you.

Some sources to explore: 



http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/guestvoices/2010/08 /mosque_near_ground_zero_its_about_the_community_stupid.html