Move the ‘Mosque’

The majority of Americans oppose construction of the Islamic community center near the former World Trade Center. While they acknowledge its right to exist, they would prefer it not to. They consider it callous to build an Islamic site near the scene of a crime perpetrated in the name of Islam.

Their opposition has been dismissed as Islamophobic, but that label only applies to a prejudicial few that have seized the megaphone. Most Park51 critics do not harbor antipathy toward the Islamic faith and intend no insult to its practitioners. To lump these Americans into a single category is to engage in the same reductionist logic that equates all Muslims with jihadis.

Regarding those who oppose the ‘Ground Zero Mosque,’ I am less alarmed by their Islamophobia than I am by their cowardice. Jarred by 9/11, they are quick to disavow values of religious freedom and cultural tolerance – values which were repeatedly identified as the very targets of the attackers. We already erred when we repaid their violence with greater violence. Let’s not err again. Let’s be brave in the embrace of a free society.

I say: Move the mosque. Put it on the ground floor of the Freedom Tower, and raise a flag. One star. One crescent.


  1. David Craig

    Move the bigots – quicker and cheaper.

  2. Ian

    Considering that the “Ground Zero Mosque” has nothing at all whatsoever to do with 9/11 and what happened at Ground Zero, I don’t see why there should be a mosque at Freedom Tower. I mean if the bottom floor is up for sale, and a Muslim group decides to purchase it and make it a Mosque, OK. We don’t have to prove anything, we just need to let our Bill of Rights handle it.

  3. Ian

    Also, where is the incredibly awesome clip of Stewart showing how Fox News is indirectly funding the construction of the mosque?

  4. Two things…where are all those constitutional conservs yelling about property rights? And if they move, how far is far enough? And what about the other mosque about 4 blocks away…will they have to move also?

  5. HuggyBear


    The answer to both of your points is: No one is suggesting that it’s illegal for the mosque to be there. So why would the constitutional conservs yell about property rights? Even Clint’s writing acknowledges that.

    Clint: your first two paragraphs were quite nice. The last engaged in the same kind of reductionist logic you claimed to abhor in the first two. And that leaves me confused and a little sad. When you hear people at a chuck e cheese using profanity, is it cowardice to suggest that they should consider moving for the greater good? No. Nor is it against free speech.

    I, personally, think the community center (it is not simply a mosque but a place where all would be welcome — sort of like a YMCA or the many Jewish community centers in NYC that serve a wide cross-section of people) should proceed as planned, and that we should defend it. But I also think that instead of calling people names (like cowards) we should back away from divisive language and try to make a truly meaningful contribution to the dialogue. I’m sad because your piece started to… and then fell woefully short.