Monday, August 16, 2010

Ground Zero Mosque

US politics is often just at the periphery of what I pay attention to. But this one sorta bugs me. From a Christian ethic it seems pretty clear that supporting the building of a mosque and Islamic information center would be the right thing to do. It would be a turning of the other cheek, that is a strong message that the views of a few religious extremists will not win the day but where hatred has been sown we will extend grace. Not that everyone responding is a Christian. But supporting the mosque strikes me as the opposite response to that of Bush - which was blow the "enemy" up. Violence never solves problems - just look at the mess we are in overseas to see what the fruit of violence really is. Someone must stand up and say no more.

I get that people lost loved ones. I had a friend working not far from ground zero myself and felt the angst of not knowing, though that is but a taste of what I'm sure folks went through on the day. Even if you lost loved ones is an eye for an eye really a good response? Should we hate non-Europeans because of the actions of a few? And where is the repentance from the US on the part they played in building the culture of fear that was such fertile ground for the terrorists? And how about the loss of the parents and friends of those terrorists? Or worse, the subsequent innocents killed by Bushes retaliation? Violence begets violence. None of us are innocent. None of us deserves to be the object of terrorism. And, most importantly, none of us deserves to be the object of hatred and marginalization. So why is this issue not clearer? Why can't we see a glowing example of the principles of tolerance and good will that countries like the US say they have enshrined?

What is the difference between opposing this mosque and Jihad?


Matt Kelley said...

Even Bush said that Islam is a peaceful religion, even while he set back relations with the Muslim world to the era of the Crusades. If that ignorant cowboy can recognize the difference between mainstream Muslims and radical Jihadists, why can't the rest of us?

byron smith said...

Good post. However, even if we decided that we like the idea of eye for an eye, applying it in this situation to deny the permit would require the assumption that the people being "punished" by the prohibition of a building are the same as the people who committed the crime, itself a very problematic assumption.