“Tired” doesn’t quite say it strongly enough.

August 17, 2010

I am so stink’in tired of hearing about the so-called Ground Zero Mosque!  The subject never experiences more than about a 15 minute break on the news networks before it is topic-number-one again.  If it were not for the fatigue/frustration of hearing about it so incessantly, I probably would not ever write a post about it.  But maybe doing so will be cathartic for me.  So, a few thoughts for what it’s worth.

  1. The so-called Ground Zero Mosque, for which the television news networks now have animation and music, is NOT proposed to be constructed at the most famous of all “ground zeros” (at least the most famous of the 21st century), that being the former site of the World Trade Center twin towers.  It is actually two-Manhattan city blocks north of the site of the former WTC and around a corner.  If the news channels would refer to this as “the proposed cultural center located two and a half blocks north of the former WTC site”, it would not only be more truthful, but perhaps more helpful in framing the debate.
  2. I don’t believe anyone is arguing against the idea that the developers have the legal “right” to build the proposed cultural center at the proposed site.  So people who weigh in at this late date with statements affirming this right, are not only stating the obvious, but also contributing nothing in the way of helpful discourse.  And I might add that they look pretty stupid for even thinking they have served to move this controversy to some sort of settled understanding and agreement.  Case in point…B.H.O. on Friday, August 13, 2010.
  3. Given how unpopular this proposed development is with the public in general (I think it is something like 2 out of 3 people oppose it),  not to mention the disapproval of those who REALLY do have close personal connections to the thousands of people who lost their lives there at the hands of radical Islamists, I don’t see how it is possible to regard an Islamic center at this location as anything other than a bit of triumphalism on the part of the Imam who is at the head of this development.  He and his cohorts can deny it all they want, but given the public outcry, and his unwillingness to accept the help of the Governor of New York to find an alternative site, suggests to me that he is determined to build at this site, not because of its availability or price, but because it is a statement and serves as a stick-in-the-eye of the country that he claims was complicit in the attacks of September 11, 2001.  Furthermore, I suspect that he and his supporters, especially the deep pockets in the middle east will not care if the facility is under utilized as a cultural center/mosque, or never used for that matter, as it will stand as a tribute and monument to their heros in the attacks back in 2001.
  4. Any Imam who does not denounce radical Islam cannot characterize himself as a peaceful, or moderate Islamist.  Until the Imam who is at the heart of this debate denounces the radical forms of his faith, he should be considered a radical Islamist himself.  And anyone who believes that the proposed cultural center will be used strictly for peaceful purposes will be practicing what Hillary Clinton once described as a “willing suspension of disbelief.” 
  5. While it would be nearly impossible to prove, I cannot get the idea out of my head that the NYC politicians who are verbally supportive of this development, such as Michael Bloomberg, are engaging in some sort of protection racket with the radical Islamist Imam (described above in point 4).  Just as businesses have historically paid protection money to the mob, my gut tells me that in exchange for their support of this cultural center, there is a quid pro quo assuring (not insuring) that NYC is safe from another attack from radical Islamists, at least insofar as the radical Islamist Imam (see point 4 above) has any say in the matter.
  6. While I readily acknowledge the offensiveness of the proposed development at a location proximate to the WTC, especially to those directly affected by the attacks of 9/11, I have to wonder what is an appropriate distance to not offend?  Apparently 2-1/2 blocks is not enough.  How about we double that and make it 5.  Would that make people happy?  How about if we double it again, and make it 10 blocks?  20?  40?
  7. By making this statement, I am in NO WAY casting any sort of aspersion on the “first responders” of NYC, or implying that they would do anything less than their best in performing their duties.  However, they lost a lot of good people back on 9/11.  That said, I would surely hate to be the casualty insurer for the proposed site.
  8. Surely there are more pressing matters than this, that are deserving of our attention.