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Seeing both sides of the Ground Zero mosque

August 4, 2010
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Amid all the excitement over the proposed mosque at Ground Zero, some folks have said some very sensible, very American things. Hats off to Leonard Pitts for offering this reasonable take on the matter in his recent column.

… yes, putting that building in that place might be painful and provocative, but it would also be a reminder of the very values the terrorists sought to kill. And we seem to need that reminder more everyday.

I have felt conflicted about this one. I agree with Pitts that we need to overcome our tendency to equate Islam with terrorism. I also appreciate the anguish this is causing people who were directly affected by 9/11. One cannot deny that it was religious fervor that drove those planes into the towers. And the religion in this case happened to be Islam. Why poke such a raw wound by building a mosque there?

That perspective, I thought, was well captured by a woman who wrote this response to Pitts’ column.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 4, 2010 3:07 pm

    Thank you for posting these. It’s driving me nuts that I cannot comprehend how not building the mosque makes sense at all. Churches are offensive to many people, and we put them wherever we want. I am a Christian, but I am not responsible for the Crusades, or for Christians who kill abortion doctors, etc. The people who want to build this mosque are Muslims, but they are not responsible for 9/11. Not building the mosque and the arguments against building the mosque only contribute to equating 9/11 with Islam instead of equating 9/11 with religious extremism, which exists in all traditions. I think that makes sense.

  2. August 28, 2010 10:19 pm

    I just read a comment on an atheist website that has the best statement on this controversy I have heard yet.

    Plus, has anyone looked at the Ground Zero site lately? It’s trashed. It’s gross. If this is supposed to be a memorial, a place for people to come to remember, mounds of dirt and scaffolding is not going to do the job. It truly worries me that our politicians and citizens are too busy being worried about a religious group trying to practice hope and love and peace (which IS what Islam teaches), than to memorialize a site they consider oh so sacred.

    See http://lovedilemmas.blogspot.com/2010/08/10th-post-new-york-mosque-balogna.html

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