Proposed Mosque at Ground Zero draws protests
A proposed mosque and community center at Ground Zero continues to draw protest from the right wing fringe. Sunday, close to a thousand angry, uninformed Americans gathered in lower Manhattan to demonstrate against plans to build the mosque and community center near the site of Ground Zero, where the twin towers of the World Trade Center were destroyed by Islamic hijackers on September 11, 2001.
Opponents of the proposed mosque call it “offensive” and “demeaning”. Their angry and perverse paranoia willfully transforms a gesture of good will and community spirit into an insult to Americans and a celebration of Muslim fanaticism.
Those protesting the proposed mosque and community center have an uninformed and ignorant view of Islam. They see Islam as a monolithic force for evil, rather than a fragmented religious world view with both good and bad aspects.
Of course, many of the loudest voices of protest are fundamentalist Christians, with their own perverse and twisted world view, a world view that demands simple minded, black and white explanations, a world view incapable of dealing with the complexity and nuance of reality.
The project calls for a 13-story community center including a mosque, performing art center, gym, swimming pool and other public spaces.
It is a collaboration between the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Cordoba Initiative.
The Cordoba Initiative aims to improve relations between Muslims and the West.
“The Cordoba Initiative hopes to build a $100 million, 13-story community center with Islamic, interfaith and secular programming, similar to the 92nd Street Y,” its website says, referring to the cultural institution on the upper East side of Manhattan.
The proposed Islamic cultural center should stand as a testament to the tolerance, diversity, and vitality of a great nation. Bigots should not be allowed to detract from that testament. America is better than that.