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the Ground Zero kerfluffle - KRAD's Inaccurate Guide to Life
ramblings from a mad fedora'd writer
the Ground Zero kerfluffle
I haven't been talking politics much on here lately, but this needs to be addressed, especially since it's mostly being used by right-wing blabbing heads as a club against the Obama Administration -- and I have very little patience for people who use my city in this way.

In "brief"....

---It's not a mosque, it's a community center. Yes, it has prayer rooms, but in Islam you pray five times a day. Kinda need those. Anyone calling it a mosque isn't paying enough attention to know what they're talking about.

---It's already been approved and gone ahead with. The local community and zoning board has already approved it. You know what? They're the only people whose opinion matters because they live there. So for the people who matter, it's a non-issue. Anyone who doesn't actually live or work down there doesn't really have anything to say about it.

---It's not "at" Ground Zero, it's two blocks away. In the center of a city as densely populated as New York City, two blocks is a huge distance. That's a change of neighborhood in some parts of the town. Hell, there are streets in my neighborhood closer than that that I never see.

---Several hundred of the victims of the attack on the World Trade Center nine years ago were Muslim. So anyone who's claiming that it is an insult to the victims isn't paying enough attention to know what they're talking about.

---There are actually two mosques in the general vicinity of Ground Zero (within 11 blocks), and they've been there for some time. Gawrsh.

---The area near Ground Zero also has a strip joint and a Burger King, not to mention a fuckton of souvenir stands. That's okay, but a place where a local community (a lot of Muslims live in the area) gathers isn't? Buh?

---As wrenn pointed out on Facebook, there are Shinto shrines near Pearl Harbor, and a Mexican community center near the Alamo.

---Did anybody complain about facilities built by people of Irish descent after the Oklahoma City bombing? Timothy McVeigh also is a Christian, so should there be no churches near the site of that bombing? (Thanks to polypolyglot and trillsie for mentioning this in the comments.)

Finally, two eminently right quotes from Twitter, the first from "Ken Tremendous," the second from Kurt Busiek:

"Why should people who hate New York, and disparage New York, and openly mock New York, get to tell New York what to do with its land?"

"If you see the phrase 'Muslim terrorists' and get mad at Muslims, you focused on the wrong word."

Current Mood: annoyed annoyed
Current Music: the Yankees-Tigers game on YES

100 comments or Please comment
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autumnsfire From: autumnsfire Date: August 19th, 2010 06:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
I agree completely on everything you've said - though one thing disturbs me about the whole thing -

If the rumor that the Iman of the community center will take money from Pakistan and Iran is true, that makes me slightly nervous.

kradical From: kradical Date: August 19th, 2010 07:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Another quote from Facebook, this one from my buddy Jay Smith (dr_p_venkman):

"...terrorists do not meet in a hideout with a sign on the door that says HIDEOUT. They meet on campuses and at Starbucks and in christian community centers and at public parks. They shop at Walgreens and get their cars fixed at Pep Boys. And they learn to fly in our flight schools."
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kradical From: kradical Date: August 19th, 2010 06:57 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Sacred ground

Well said.
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n_decisive From: n_decisive Date: August 19th, 2010 06:55 pm (UTC) (Link)

This is what I've been thinking. It makes me furious, honestly, but when people I grew up with back in Washington State are going off about how awful this is, I want to scream and then tell them that it's really not their call, thank the Goddess.
kradical From: kradical Date: August 19th, 2010 07:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
polypolyglot From: polypolyglot Date: August 19th, 2010 07:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
A question that I only thought of today:

After the Oklahoma City bombing were there any objections to any facility built or frequented by Americans of Irish descent?
kradical From: kradical Date: August 19th, 2010 07:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
THANK YOU! Knew I forgot a bullet point....
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 19th, 2010 07:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

Great words, O Sage of the Bronx

True words which will be completely ignored by: those deadset on blaming Obama for everything; those who think every Muslim is a terrorist; those who think it is their Christian duty to dictate to others; those who are unfair and unbalanced.
kradical From: kradical Date: August 19th, 2010 07:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Great words, O Sage of the Bronx

Sad, but true.
trillsie From: trillsie Date: August 19th, 2010 07:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
The way I see it, we live in the United States. In the United States, we have this little thing called "The Bill of Rights". It is part of the Constitution. In that Bill of Rights it clearly states that the government won't make any laws restricting religion in this country.

What makes me mad at the whole "but what about our feelings?" argument is that your feelings don't matter. This group is withing their right to build their community center. Who are these people to shout that they cannot? What they have an issue with people having a place to go? They would rather these people hang out on the streets and do whatever? Whatever....

When I was in the Air Force, I served this country and vowed to protect the Constitution of the United States. I did so with great pride. Why? Because this country stands for freedom. I would have done whatever necessary in order for people's rights not to be violated because it "hurt someone's feelings".

It is a community center. These people need to get over themselves and realize that Muslims are not bad. Extremists are. There are two churches across the street from the Alfred P. Murrah Memorial. Tim McVeigh professed to be a Christian. Where is the outcry?

kradical From: kradical Date: August 19th, 2010 07:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
vulpine137 From: vulpine137 Date: August 19th, 2010 07:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Learn something new every day, I never went and checked to see if it was an actual mosque or not.
kradical From: kradical Date: August 20th, 2010 06:07 am (UTC) (Link)
And this right here is the most insidious part of the whole thing: the campaign of "repeat the lie over and over again and it becomes truth" that has become the hallmark of post-Roger Ailes right-wing-nut politics. It's despicable, it's harmful, and it's wrong.
polypolyglot From: polypolyglot Date: August 19th, 2010 07:50 pm (UTC) (Link)

Another thing

When Park51 is built and up and running, I look forward to attending lectures on literature and politics there the same way I have at the 92nd Street Y (which is Jewish, for the info of all the non-NYCers here) for years.

Using the 19 terrorists as full exemplars of the whole of the ummah is like stereotyping any members of any ethnicity or faith. utter fucking bullshit.
kradical From: kradical Date: August 20th, 2010 06:08 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Another thing

Or, say, all Christians of Irish descent with Timothy McVeigh.

But no, we only do that with brown people....
delkytlar From: delkytlar Date: August 19th, 2010 08:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Amen, brother.

You've made me ponder something:

If President Obama is a Muslim, how does he manage to pray five times each day without anyone noticing?
From: dewline Date: August 19th, 2010 08:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Two year anniversary of his oath of office coming up? By now, someone would have leaked photos, video, audio...something!
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
xenaclone From: xenaclone Date: August 19th, 2010 09:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
I read one piece of 'evidence' that the centre was part of an attempt to bring Sharia into the USA.


Make of that what you will. If you can find evidence refuting this, please let me know.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 20th, 2010 01:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Why ask anyone to refute that!? No offense, but asking for a refutation of that site is almost the same as linking to a stormfront article about the world zionist conspiracy and asking for a refutation!
dr_p_venkman From: dr_p_venkman Date: August 19th, 2010 10:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
There's $100 million in investment made in part of New York that apparently really needs it. I don't see Christian Free Market Capitalist Heroes building up the area. These are new jobs, new taxes, new opportunities to communicate with a population that sees only fear and hate when they see Arabic text or someone of middle-eastern descent.

All they seem to know is ISLAM = 9/11. They cannot distinguish between Sufi and Shi'a or Sunni or the ravings of al Qaeda, which is like lumping all Christians together for something the Westboro Baptist Church or the KKK said or did. It's a lack of education and communication, which is precisely what this center hopes to accomplish. A friend of mine asked if I thought it would be appropriate to put up a cultural center across from a Nazi death camp, implying that Nazism was a religion. My friend made an excellent point despite himself. While I wouldn't put one up to promote sympathy for Nazis, I would see how a Christian church, attempting to distance itself from its Nazi members, would put one up to explain, "Hey, we're actually pretty nice people...those assholes in Jackboots? They didn't get it."
kradical From: kradical Date: August 20th, 2010 06:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Excellent point, regarding actually putting some money into the area.
babita781 From: babita781 Date: August 19th, 2010 10:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Keith Olberman did an informative 12 minutes on this topic, it's worth looking at. MSNBC He tends to froth at the mouth a bit, but it's excellent.
kradical From: kradical Date: August 20th, 2010 06:10 am (UTC) (Link)
While my namesake does tend to fulminate, he is often also right.
From: matt_doyle Date: August 20th, 2010 03:24 am (UTC) (Link)
An excellent summary. Would you mind if I linked to it?
kradical From: kradical Date: August 20th, 2010 06:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Don't mind a bit!
meggins From: meggins Date: August 20th, 2010 04:08 am (UTC) (Link)
I pretty much agree with all your points, but, as you say, thie is the pertinent one:

It's already been approved and gone ahead with. The local community and zoning board has already approved it.

It really is a local issue, and anyone else is just blowing hot air. (Yes, even the Prez, though I pretty much agree with what he said, too.)
kradical From: kradical Date: August 20th, 2010 06:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Exactly. And most of the people who are beating this drum want nothing to do with NYC 99% of the time...
From: duowolf Date: August 20th, 2010 05:28 am (UTC) (Link)
I agree with everything you say here.
kradical From: kradical Date: August 20th, 2010 06:05 am (UTC) (Link)
100 comments or Please comment
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