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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Great and Ridiculous "Ground Zero " Mosque Debate

A fervent debate has gripped the citizens of New York over a  proposed Islamic Cultural Centre on the site of an old factory a couple of blocks away from the site of Ground Zero. Recently, the opposition of the proposal was dealt a blow when officials in the East Coast city declared that the old coat factory was not worthy of historical landmark status and was free to be demolished.

Some major figures in America have weighed in on both sides. Sarah Palin sided with the opponents dubbing it "An Intolerable Mistake on Hallowed Ground" on social networking site facebook, while the Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg stated that any opposition to the proposal was "un-American". A New York fireman has stated he will launch legal action against the proposal.

The issue once again highlights the age old American question of how far to take freedom of religion and freedom of expression. However, in my mind this isn't about freedom of speech or expression it is simply about a worrying trend in America over the last few years, alarmist Islamophobia. We have seen absolutely the brutal consequences of fundamentalist Islam. Also we have seen how to much trust in Christian doctrine has led to rampant paedophilia in Western societies amongst other things.

I am confused as to what exactly the opponents of the Mosque are looking for. Is there supposed to be a set down buffer zone where no Mosques are allowed to be built around Ground Zero?  I can understand how if a Mosque were placed directly on the site it could be seen as needlessly inflammatory but the moderate Muslim community of America have just as much of a right to pray anywhere in America as any other religious group. By removing this right we are equating all Muslims with terrorism. To deny the building of this cultural centre would be an act of Government sponsored racism.

let me know how you feel on the issue by dropping a comment below.


  1. the problem of this issue is that it is not limited to a certain nation or even a certain ethnic population. rather, it is broadened to an entire culture and lifestyle. understandingly, with the "common knowledge" that came out of 9/11, (that this was part of a jihad, which comes from the Islamic religion) some americans will atribute this culture to terrorism. obviously, they will not allow any associations to this terrorism to be built near ground zero.

    this, i think, is very dumb. it's not as if japan (using this for the sake of example) bombed new york city, and now people are building a japanese-history museum in that same site. this is just ignorance to the difference between cultural difference and defense against terrorism. i have to say this makes me dislike sarah palin as well.

  2. Good point.

    Also,associating Muslims with terrorism, will only exacerbate the problem. The US will never make its peace with the Muslim community through intolerance and War.