We all know the arguments by now so I won’t repeat them. But what I will say is simply this: In order for a Muslim community center being built several blocks away from the 9/11 site to be disrespectful of those who suffered on 9/11, one must first believe that the Muslim community as a whole were somehow responsible for the 9/11 attacks. No one takes issue with the two churches that overlook the 9/11 site. Nor would there be any argument against the building of a Jewish community center. So the issue here is simply that there are enough people who have not managed to separate the Muslim community from the extremists who attacked us on September 11, 2001.
This is not an issue of sensitivity to loss and suffering. It is an issue of sensitivity to fear and doubt and a gross misunderstanding of what it means to be Muslim and what it means to be a terrorist. It is mired in misconception. There can be no insensitivity regarding this issue without religious inequality. They are simply inseparable. If they were not, no one would take offense. No, one has to believe that Muslims were somehow responsible for the attacks and that allowing the building of a Muslim community center near (not on, mind you) Ground Zero would somehow be an act of support for the attacks themselves.
It is not. The men who attacked us may have been Muslim (and that faith, like all others, has many different interpretations and sects), but the men and women building the community center did not fly planes into the World Trade Center Towers. No more than the Jewish population in Germany during the 30’s and 40’s was trying to destroy that country and its values. Or that all members of the NRA supported the Columbine massacre.
This needs to stop. Instead of taking out your anger on Muslims, look a bit deeper at the anger and loss created by the events of 9/11 and try to put them into a proper perspective that doesn’t instigate more hatred and misunderstanding. The men who attacked us on 9/11 did not understand who we were. As a nation. As a people. Let’s not make the same mistake they did.
In the meantime, go HERE to watch John Stewart once again put things clearly into perspective with his usual brand of dark, but often spot-on humor.