When I first heard about the "Ground Zero Mosque" a few weeks back, all the controversy made me think there was a plan to build a Hagia Sophia type structure right where the trade center stood. Turns out it's some sort of community center (gym, swimming pool, theater and a mosque) two blocks away from ground zero, planned by a Sufi (read: peaceful, Buddhist-like) Imam (Feisal Abdul Rauf, or whatever). Never mind that there is already a mosque four blocks away and that lower Manhattan was originally a very muslim community (back in the late 19th century it was called Little Syria) - why is it that the very people who like to get all outraged on behalf of the constitution are forgetting it's very first amendment?
I know why, of course. It's because most Americans and certainly most conservatives, like to think of America as a christian nation. They like to throw their bible into political arguments (gay marriage? no way - it's an abomination!). More importantly, they have found themselves a nice little enemy in islam. What used to be a multifaceted religion practiced by nearly a third of the world's population, is now equated with intolerant governments and terrorism. The idea that islam is a violent religion is now somehow taken as a fact. And this I also understand. We all need an "other" to hate or put down. I myself have an "other" in conservatives and all religious fanatics, christian and muslim alike. Still, it is the intolerance and bigotry that piss me off the most when it comes to my "others" and so I've decided that it would be an excellent idea to build and actually mosque, with minarets and all, right there next to where the trade center stood, to symbolize the hope for tolerance and peace.
PS: Nearly 20% of Americans think that Obama is a muslim. This is once again interesting because clearly being a muslim is bad, and Obama is a bad president (why exactly? I'm not sure I understand this part). I wonder if it's the same lot that believe he was born in Kenya, and that he is a communist/socialist. The fact that Obama is just another moderate Democrat is somehow lost on these confused souls. Oh well... Wish that Obama were muslim. I would feel less embarrassed when I speak with my muslim American friends, and think of the muslim troops fighting on our side in Iraq and Afghanistan, risking their lives for the ignorant masses back home.
Vent over. I now leave you with a picture of a favorite religious zealot and this cute kitty:
Links to news stories about other mosques around the country being protested and denied permission here and here. Story about some construction worker being harassed by Ground Zero Mosque protesters cause they thought he was a muslim here.