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Mosques and Such

June 22, 2010

Spencer Ackerman really wants to build the Ground Zero Mosque.  A lot of conservatives are against this (for whatever reason), and I’ve yet to render an opinion on it.  A few sentences from Ackerman (which really don’t do his post justice, but I wanted to excerpt it anyway — you should just go ahead and read the whole thing first):

He’s got a story about right-wingers clutching their pearls over a mosque planned to be built near Ground Zero. Yes. A mosque. A place of religious worship for one of the world’s major faiths, next to a cite where conspiratorial mass murderers who tried to hijack that religion killed a lot of people, including many Muslims. Building a mosque at Ground Zero is a perfect fuck-you to al-Qaeda.

… Imam Abdul Rauf, and those like him, and the Ground Zero Mosque, are weapons against al-Qaeda, for all the reasons that John Brennan and Mike Sheehan and David Petraeus and Barack Obama can explain better than I can. What is happening at Ground Zero is a test of the necessity of treating American Muslims like the citizens they are and not like the terrorists that bigots wish them to be. To not build the Ground Zero Mosque will be to play into Usama bin Laden’s hands.

But… how?  This isn’t exactly correct, as Allahpundit explained a while back:

A few days ago, Greenroomer CK MacLeod accused the mosque’s critics of playing into jihadists’ hands by conflating radical Muslims with all Muslims. Why punish all members of the faith collectively by denying them a mosque near Ground Zero, asked CK, when it’s the Bin Ladenites who are culpable for bringing down the towers? The problem is, Islam isn’t divided cleanly into “radical” and “liberal” camps, with Osama emblematic of the first camp and, say, Dr. Zuhdi Jasser (who, incidentally, opposes the Ground Zero mosque) emblematic of the other. It’s a spectrum, which includes true jihadis, who are willing to commit violence; those who support them morally (and financially) but are unwilling to commit violence themselves; those who oppose violence but nonetheless believe in Islamic supremacy; those who believe civil law should be supreme but nonetheless condone various forms of cultural self-isolation; and of course truly assimilated, liberal Muslims like Jasser, who risks his life every day speaking out against the scum on the other end.

This is a good point.  It’s not as simple as “the liberal Muslims will worship here and al-Qaeda will just be distraught about it.”  My only question is, “Why is building a mosque at Ground Zero ‘the perfect f— you to al-Qaeda’?”  Would it be a big f— you to David Koresh’s followers if a church was constructed where the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building used to be?  Is mainstream Christianity a weapon against perversions of the faith?  Sure, Christians get pissed off about Koreshes, but do Koreshes get pissed off at Christians?  I genuinely don’t know the answer to that question.  I do know, however, that there would be a lot more opposition to this if the religion in question were Christianity rather than Islam.  That’s not a reason not to do it, but it is something to keep in mind.

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