Saturday, August 14, 2010

The "Ground Zero Mosque"

Since the beginning of the War On Terror, even George Bush was canny enough to repeatedly announce that we are not at war with Islam. No one is going to war with Muslims, or their faith. It's insane to say that Islam is responsible for 9/11, even if you think it's true; it alienates all Muslims, where we need all the Muslim allies we can get.

This is why the reaction to the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque*" is completely insane. When people object to building any Islamic building because it's associated with Terrorism, they are saying that the War on Terror is actually a War on Islam. They're saying that all Islam is responsible for 9/11. It's like objecting to building a Catholic Church near the site of a Baptist Evangelical White Supremacist lynching.

Let's be honest. This is another political controversy. There's no way that anyone seriously believes that this is a problem. The Republicans have adopted this attitude of vaguely complaining about it because they know they can score points. There's no attempt to make this building illegal, or to do anything other than complain. They know Fox News will broadcast every criticism of the President even on something this meaningless and ephemeral.

So if the objection isn't real, then why does it matter?
  1. The news can only focus on one thing at a time. Every moment dedicated to this nonsense is a moment taken from actual problems
  2. It needlessly antagonizes people who know that Islam isn't a monolithic culture, and weakens our ability to form alliances with Islamic countries and peoples.
  3. It makes a mockery of the liberties that we want to "export" to other countries. If we want to have liberty in other nations, we should show why the liberties are so good here.

*Which is not at Ground Zero, and is not a Mosque.

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