Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Anti-Mosque Movement is Politically Correct Nonsense

roflbot picture

Sometimes you have to laugh through the tears, and the brouhaha over the so-called Ground Zero Mosque is one of those times.

I’m sure you’ve heard about it. They say about 70% of America disapproves of it. In fact, a recent trip to “middle America” revealed to me that a number of otherwise intelligent, well-educated people weren’t particularly in favor of its construction, to the point where they were making sick jokes about someone flying a plane into it once it was done.

The fact that it’s two blocks away from Ground Zero, and not being built right on top of it, as the debate seems to make it sound, isn’t seemingly relevant. The fact that the outreach center’s Imam is a Sufi, rather than a Sunni or Shiite, isn’t seemingly understood. And the fact that there’s a horse betting bureau, two strip clubs, and a lingerie store within four blocks of this “hallowed ground?” Who cares?

The talking head cotillion on the anti- side, with many Republican rising (and slithering) stars behind it, seems to be unanimous in their disdain for it. And they seem unanimous in the reasons why. It’s a slap in the face to the people who died, ignoring the fact that Muslims died in the WTC that day, too. It’s insensitive to those who lost people, again ignoring the fact that Muslims lost people that day, too.

And of course they agree with freedom of religion! Of course they do. Legally there’s no issue, and the Constitution says what it says. No one’s suggesting otherwise. No...

But gosh, couldn’t those Muslims just be sensitive to the feelings of people in Manhattan? (sad face of concern goes here)

Well, all I can say to every Republican who’s out there, telling us that the Muslims need to be “sensitive” to how non-Muslims feel, is “how do YOU like them apples?”

Let me explain: remember back during the 1990s, when there was this meme going around called Political Correctness? Remember when we were being told we had to watch what we said, wrote, and ultimately thought because we might inadvertently offend someone’s race, gender, or creed? And suddenly that was super bad?

Ah yes, PC. It could be as simple as not using the term “mankind,” or as convoluted as what to call African Americans this week. It could also be as obnoxious as campus speech codes, or having your instructors downgrade your paper because you didn’t use the new “PC” terms like they “asked” you to. Men were men, women were womyn, and woe befall you if you admitted to being a white, Christian, heterosexual male who voted Republican, didn’t recycle, or thought that the evisceration of the English language for “sensitivity’s sake” was an obscenity even worse than the ills PC was supposedly correcting.

I’m sure you remember all that. And I’m sure, if you think back, you’ll remember what side of the fence most American conservatives were on in the matter of Political Correctness. They were on the “no” side, poking their tongues through the slats and saying they admired the women’s movement – from behind.

Slavery? Racism? Sexism? Religious persecution? Disadvantaged minorities? Gay rights? They told us to suck it up and quit complaining. They told us we didn’t want equal rights, but special rights. And they said we should be grateful that we lived in the greatest and freest nation in the world EVARRR.

(Oh, and we were wrong, anyway, so there.)

Me? I agreed with the spirit of the PC movement. I disagreed with how it was implemented. I never liked groupthink, and hated the notion of campus speech codes, or anyone telling me I shouldn’t, or couldn’t, say things in a certain way because I might offend someone. There’s calling someone to a higher standard, and then there’s blackmailing their GPA or social standing because they just won’t conform.

That’s fascist, and that’s wrong.

So you can imagine my amusement now that conservatives are telling me, and those like me, that those awful Muslims are being “insensitive” to the needs of people. They should put the Cordoba House somewhere else – five, ten, twenty blocks away – because the wound of Ground Zero is still too fresh in people’s minds.

They should prove how Islam is a religion of peace by sitting at the back of the bus.

Well, I call shenanigans. I think the outreach center needs to be put right where it is, so that New Yorkers can come on in and see what Islam is all about. Not the cartoon Islam that most Americans think they know, and fear. Not the dangerous Islam of Al-Qaeda and those like them. But the Islam many Americans profess and practice peaceably every day.

We don’t do anyone any favors by being territorial and hypocritical. We don’t honor the dead through fear, ignorance, or anger. And we don’t do our standing in the world a lot of good by talking out of both sides of our mouths when it comes to religious freedom.

All we do by opposing this outreach center is prove, yet again, that we lack the understanding that Islam did not attack us on 9/11, but rather a splinter group that doesn’t understand its own religion.

And until we get that fact through our heads, we will never really be healed from what happened on 9/11. Even if we hunt down every member of Al-Qaeda, and bring Osama bin Laden and his cronies to justice, if we still look askance at Muslims, and Mosques, and think that the Muslim world is a dark blot on the globe, and wish that their mosques and marches and outreach centers would be kept as far from us as possible, then we will not have overcome the events of that day.

We will be forever living the shadow of those towers, and afraid of the light.


Post a Comment

<< Home