Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mosque by Ground Zero?

Okay so this is a new hot topic in the news.... the building of a mosque blocks away from Ground Zero where the WTC were.

What's the issue?

People associate Islam with terrorists thus a Muslim place of worship seems scary. Why? Media, media, media. The problem is we can't generalize the acts of a small group of extremists who were in the wrong onto a huge population of people. It's just not logical.

Think of this. Of all the psychologists in the American Psychological Association (APA) 5 of them go and commit some sort of attack on some group. Are we then going to say the APA is a hub for terrorists and we should condemn them all? No, absolutely not. The actions of that group of individuals were wrong and they should be condemned. End of story.

And anyhow the building of a mosque would be the last thing extremists want to do. Why? Because a mosque is a place of prayer, tranquility, community, and understanding. It is a house of God and in it are people who believe in the actual tenets of Islam and practice them in their everyday lives. Park 51 would do wonders in New York City. It would be a hub of interfaith dialoge and community building.

A lot of bloggers have written excellent posts on the topic. Check out Sabrina's Slice of Lemon for an awesome article on the issue.

The Daily Show had an awesome segment on it too!


The Demigoddess said...

It is a touchy subject indeed. Changing people's perspectives is a challenge not easily overcome.

Anonymous said...

Can I just mention that this "mega mosque" isn't even that. It's a community center that happens to have a prayer area inside of it. I find it kinda odd that it seems as if, when describing the building of the mosque, its being built ON ground zero. It's a few blocks away.

There was a rally against the building of the mosque which happened to have Egyptian Christians in it. Some people heard the Egyptians speaking Arabic and began verbally and even close to physically attack these people because they thought they were Muslims. These people were also against the building of the mosque but were subject to abuse because of their language?

I'm starting to think that it has nothing to do with the victims of 9/11. I feel like their deaths are being used and abused to justify prejudice.

Secretly Identified said...

I really liked the videos from Jon Stewart.. He was really funny and everything he said was so true..

Rationality said...

That is awful :(
It makes me sad when it comes to what people think of our great and perfect religion.
The problem is that they declare the war against Islam long time ago. They despise Islam so they do their best just to distort Islam’s reputation globally sighs..

Girl On A Journey said...

This is just sad. People's minds are clouded in fear and it turns into ridiculous notions!

The Kid In The Front Row said...

You're right, of course, it is the media by and large. And of course, even people's perceptions of Mosques are tainted by stories of them being full of extremists who reach out to disillusioned young Muslims.. these are the stories that stick in people's minds.

The problem more than anything is that -- of all these things that have been massively important in people's lives.. i.e. 9/11, the various wars fought since etc... whatever your color or religion or whatever, these issues are REAL and SENSITIVE, but they never really get addressed and processed.

It gets tiptoed around. Everyone being polite to each other and nobody really saying how they feel.

The discussion really needs to happen. People against Mosque's being built need to say, "Hey, I'm really scared. I don't know exactly what Islam is but a lot of what I see in the news and hear about is troubling to me, because..." - and on the other side, Muslim people need to have a voice that is so often marginalized, to be able to say "HI! HEY! Let me explain what I am about..."

Understanding, empathy; understanding the parts in ALL OF US who want peace, and the parts in ALL OF US who have conflict within us, and fear.. that's the shit that really needs to be brought into the open. Not in a angry way, not with hopes for conflict-- but understanding.

And it would be good for us all to start taking accountability. i.e. - RATIONALITY, the commenter in this post, might not realize how his/her comment is oppressive to a non-Muslim, or someone devout in another faith.. but it can be interpreted that way.

The discussions really need to happen, cross-faith, cross-culture; we need to get down to what's really going on.

So, how do we start? :)

supreem said...

we really need to get some dialogue going.

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Heckety said...

I totally agree with you and I'm going to look at the links you posted too.
But often people rationalise what they do or don't want to happen according to their own opinions which can have very little to do with reality.