Recently, there has been quite the uproar (no doubt the flames are being fanned by Fox News and their ilk) about a specific Muslim community of worship "building a mosque" (sic) 2 blocks from "ground zero" (where thousands of people lost their lives when a handful of religious extremists hijacked planes and ran them into buildings). Because the extremists that killed all those people were Muslim and used their religion as an excuse to harm people, many US citizens now seem to think that all Muslims are evil and should not be allowed to practice their religion, especially in that part of Manhattan.
What gets me is the hypocricy: no one demanded that Christian churches not be built near the previous decade's "ground zero": the Oklahoma City Federal Building. And why would we? We know in the US that
Let's let the people involved speak for themselves:
|NY Daily News Poll|
If you have been listening to most of the mainstream and/or right wing media, I bet you were surprised. They love a story with fervor, don't they? They make it sound as if a gargantuan mosque with spinnerets tall enough to be seen at ground zero will be broadcasting people calls to prayer throughout Manhattan 5 times a day. But that's not what this project is.
And you know what? There's nothing wrong with that idea (a traditional mosque several blocks from ground zero), either. Conflating all Muslims with a group of extremists is not just Islamaphobia. It's racism. (Ever wonder why Muslims are always portrayed as dark skinned Middle Easterners instead of, oh say, the Eastern European family that lives downstairs from me? It's easier to "otherize" and hate people that you see as different from yourself. We have a long legacy of vilifying and oppressing dark skinned others in this country, and this is just the latest example. I think we often find it way too easy. )
|From Facebook, identities hidden for privacy.|
|John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri|