The situation imvolving the proposed mosque at Ground Zero is untenable. That it has managed to get as far as it has is hard to comprehend. Ground Zero is sacred ground, hallowed by the deaths of thousands of people of all nationalities, who were killed in the name of radical islam. There is no other way to spin that fact - 9/11 was perpetrated by islamic extremists. Now members of that same religion are insisting on building a 'cultural center' within the blast radius of the cataclysm perpetrated by followers of their faith.
The proposed mosque is nothing less than an affront to American sensibilities. At one of the meetings held over Cordoba House, one gentleman equated the proposition to building a tribute to the Japanese over Pearl Harbor. Well put, sir. Both sites are sacred without being religious, and this seems to be something people like Mayor Bloomberg and Mark Levine just don't understand.
Therein lies the problem in the American supporters of the mosque. They buy the line about how harmless the mosque is - do they think those in opposition expect them to build gun turrets and missile launchers instead of a pool? For those of a more religious bent - of which the people building the mosque are - there is a far deeper meaning to the chosen site. This building was damaged by landing gear from one of the planes on 9/11. It was in the circle of destruction. Ground Zero isn't just where the footprints of the twin towers sat, it's the radius showered by debris. There should be no mosque, temple or church built in those parameters. The religion of the site is the site.
The perpetrators of 9/11 were religious, the same religion as the proposed mosque. Throughout history, religious wars were capped off with the building of the conqueror's place of worship over the ruins of the defeated, such as the Hindu temple of Ayodhya. This tactic is to signal supremacy and subjugation, much as the romans chopped down the sacred oak groves in their attempt to conquer the celts.
The supporters are trying to take the religion out of this story, emphasizing the "cultural center" and downplaying the mosque as just a small part of a larger, benign thing. But for people waging a religious war - and make no mistake, this is all about religion - this sends a very clear signal. It wouldn't be surprising if the proposed memorial to 9/11 is planned to be a plaque set into the floor - the shoe throwing incident of 2008 illustrated their fixation with disrespecting people using footwear. It would be par for the course, really. After all, the dedication ceremony for the center is slated for September 11, 2011. Just a coincidence, surely.
Supporters cannot understand why so many people are so vehement about this mosque. It's not that they want to build a mosque - it's that they want to build it there. With all of the liberal talk about consideration for the feelings of others, there is little concern for the families of the victims, nor for the nation as a whole. 9/11 is a scar on the psyche of the country and this mosque not only rips that scar open, it pours salt in the wound. The web site for the Cordoba Initiative states that their mission is to "Improve Muslim-West Relations". Really? How, exactly, is forcing the construction of this center, in the face of overwhelming opposition from the american people improving relations? Calling the opposition bigots isn't exactly a way to win them over, either. They have a right to express their pain and opposition, and considering they are in the majority, if improving relations was really the goal, their wishes would be heeded. Ever since 9/11, we americans have been lectured on tolerance and understanding towards those of the muslim faith And yet, when we demand a little of the same involving a project the imams in charge must have known would have been met with opposition, we are called bigots and intolerant.
This is an affront to our nation. It is wildly unpopular, deeply painful, and, unsurprisingly, our president just gave the okay on it, stating the government cannot infringe on their right to practice religion. We do not want to take away their ability to practice their religion, we just want them to do it a respectful distance from the site of an act of war perpetrated in the name of their religion. That's not too much to ask, and if the imam was so interested in outreach, moving the mosque would be a no-brainer.
It's time for the concerned citizens of New York to file an eminent domain suit. Gov. Paterson offered state lands as compensation to persuade them to move a few blocks further away from Ground Zero in order to strike a compromise - a compromise many in the opposition would have been content with. The offer was refused out of hand. Eminent domain strips property owners of their rights in favor of the common good, after reasonable compensation has been offered and rejected. In the case of this mosque, invoking eminent domain is for the good not just of the community, but the country at large. Frankly, there should be a ban on building any and all new religious sites within at least a five block radius of Ground Zero, no matter the denomination. For any religion, it would be an attempt to lay claim to the site, and it cannot be claimed by one because it belongs to us all.
Are there legal grounds to block the building? Unfortunately, no, not really - Obama is technically correct. But there are moral grounds, and isn't that what social justice is all about? The morality of the law and it's application? Compassion for the suffering? What is eminent domain but taking something from someone to give to another based on the good of the community? As the CNN poll shows so plainly, a vast majority of people are against this building. Large swathes of the public will suffer emotional harm with it's creation. If taking private homes and making them into shopping centers is considered in the interests of the public, certainly stopping the construction of such an emotionally devastating structure as a muslim mosque within spitting distance of Ground Zero is, too.
Besides, there's a certain poetry about using social justice to attempt to block the building of the mosque, isn't there?