The Non-Ground Zero Non-Mosque Mosqueteers

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Exploding Head

EXPLODING HEAD - All this arguing by a bunch of hot heads is getting the country nowhere.

OK people, let’s calm down! Let’s just stop all this mosqlitizing and use a little common sense for a moment, shall we? Don’t make me turn this country around.

At its heart, the Non-Ground Zero Non-Mosque Mosque™  is a simple zoning application gone awry. If the gutted shell of that ex-Burlington Coat Factory sat almost anywhere else on Earth, the NYC Planning Department would be looking at how much traffic the place would generate and how many toilets to require per person. Instead, it’s caught between creating an international incident and/or sparking Civil War II.

What ever happened to the idea that governmental decision-making should be forced down to the local level? I mean come on, it doesn’t get any more local than a planning department.

There are literally dozens of places this kerfuffle could’ve been avoided, but as usual, many people were busy helping demagogues turn themselves into demigods instead of simply minding their own business.

Encouraging the Bullies
It didn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that building anything remotely connected to Islam was going to be an uphill battle in today’s America. Of course, the Muslims could’ve simply opted to put their center somewhere else, but they’re under no obligation to voluntarily abandon their Constitutional rights. Although they shouldn’t be surprised at the blowback either. And quite frankly, giving in once they started down this road would’ve been a mistake anyway. There is no better way to encourage bullies than to back down from them when threatened.

As for the anti Mosqueteers, they seem to have bought into this newfangled delusion that the Constitution is up for a vote whenever you don’t like something.  To hear them tell it, if Muslims want to erect a religious venue the Constitution cannot be allowed to stand. However, if the Baptists want to nail the 10 Commandments to every flat surface in the Republic, it’s a Constitutional right. I’m not sure if this is a terminal case of disengenuosity or a complete inability to recognize irony when it bites them on the ass.

Ground Zero used to be two gleaming towers of steel. A brace of buck-ass krazy kamikazes turned it into a smoking hole in the ground. Many people (not Christians or Muslims or Jews or Atheists, or Druids… just plain folks) died. It was a horrific thing, especially if you had friends or family there or were just coming out or the subway as the towers fell.

When Lunatics Run Amok
But as bad as it was, bad things happen when lunatics run amok. As much as Commander Mission Accomplished would’ve like you to believe there is a “war” we can “win”, it just ain’t so. The best we can do it mitigate the problem by taking reasonable counter measures – duct tape, roll-plastic, and MRIs for airline passengers need not apply.

When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, Americans were pissed. They looked upon the wreckage-choked harbor as a hallowed place where the nation could focus in an attempt to never let such a tragedy happen again. Today, tourists from across the globe, including a hefty number of Japanese, come to visit the place with cameras in tow and leis on display. The place is no less hallowed because of the gauche tourists and would be no less hallowed if a Shinto shrine went up.

In essence, both places are geographic spots on a map. Soil is soil. They are special because we made them special. They are hallowed because we all agreed they are hallowed. The point is that when someone from the opposite side of the policitical or religious spectrum agrees with you, shut up and stop arguing with them. You’re on the same side!

If not, we’re no better than those krazy kamikazis. If there is a war to be won or lost, it will be decided over the idea that crazies can knock down some expensive real estate and we will willingly make ourselves more like them.

After all, that was exactly their intent.

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6 thoughts on “The Non-Ground Zero Non-Mosque Mosqueteers

  1. Omni,

    Glad to be back.

    Thanks for your clarification.

    Back when I was a preacher and the US had just begun threatening war against AQ and any nation (particularly Afghanistan) that harbored them, I preached a sermon the gist of which was that war was not the way to deal with 9/11/01. Obviously, neither Bush nor Congress was listening or thinking along my lines.

  2. Craig,
    Welcome back! I thought I’d lost you.

    Personally, I believe that “hating us for our freedoms” gives them more credit than they deserve. It suggests they may have actually thought about a reason rather than automatically hating anything they had been brainwashed to believe is evil.

    Sometimes the same thing happens with zealots in this country (Exhibit A: Westboro Baptist Church). They sure exercise their freedoms (and I suppose they love that part), but anyone else exercising their freedoms and Westboro’s not much for it.

    What I meant about what they were trying to do is at the heart of terrorism, regardless of the reason for it. If you get your enemy to change what they are doing, you’ve won. I think that’s why the wars haven’t gone well and why I don’t think they can be “won”. There is no “won” or “lost” from our enemy’s point of view.

    Terrorism isn’t about winning, it’s about making your victim do something against their own principles or intertests. I think that’s what Dave may be aluding to in his comment.

    Good to have ya’ back.

    Jan,
    What can I say? Americans are like herding cats. Sadly, our Constitution – which is one of the strongest things in our national DNA – has become our greatest weakness. Our style of freedom of speech doesn’t say one word about the speech making sense.

    Having said that, you guys were part of the Coalition of the Inept. I reckon you have some thick heads too.

    Dave,
    I couldn’t agree more. Just the fact we’ve waited almost 10 years to do anything sends a bad signal and then arguing about what is essentially a local zoning decision doesn’t look good wither.

    It’s like I told Craig. We’ve actively changed our country in so many ways under the guise of “fighting back” that we’ve lost a huge amount and no one seems to see it or care. I’m not neraly as afraid of a lunatic amateur videographer in a cave than I am changing my country in fundamental ways that will be almost impossible to reverse.

    Jan, can I immigrate?

  3. Nothing about 9/11 has been handled very well here in the U.S., aside from the heroism shown by the ordinary first responders that day. Since then we’ve succumbed repeatedly to hysteria, started two wars (in which we’ve often behaved like barbarians) that have contributed to the bankruptcy of the nation, alienated most of the planet and willfully eroded our own civil liberties. Now we get this ridiculous argument in which we must apparently destroy our freedom of religion in order to save it.
    You know what we should have done after 9/11? Put every effort into rebuilding those damned buildings until they looked exactly the same as they did before (though perhaps built a bit more solidly). Then, we should have carried on as always. Then, al Qaeda themselves could have financed a dozen “victory mosques” in a ring around the trade center and we could laugh and point at the buildings standing there. Instead we’ve allowed the 9/11 attacks to act a catalyst for our self-destruction, one we could have easily stopped at any time, simply by not acting like a pack of panicky lemmings.

  4. To an Aussie watching this debacle unfold and ignite…it seems unbelievable hypocrisy. How can you espouse the freedom of religion and then block that which you don’t approve of?

    How can anything being built (2?) blocks away from any other site, be seen as offensive anyway? Tourists like me who will come to see ground zero because it is a place of historical significance and to pay my respects to all those who perished there, even know that a mosque existed 2 blocks away if someone didn’t tell me? I wouldn’t. And why would that matter anyway?

    Here in Australia, we get a lot of US news (far more than Australian news is ever available in the US) and to have to listen to Sarah Palin….do you guys realise just how much damage is done to the perceptions of the US through what you export through news and movies?

    Your freedom of speech rights needs to be applauded and instigated (if it ever really is?) but why do the rest of the world have to be subjected to petty squabbles over city planning?

  5. “If there is a war to be won or lost, it will be decided over the idea that crazies can knock down some expensive real estate and we will willingly make ourselves more like them.

    After all, that was exactly their intent.”

    I like the post. Sane common-sense but I draw attention to the last two sentences. They seem to suggest that the terrorists really do hate us for our freedom, as W. said, if, as you say, their intent was to cause us to relinquish a healthy dose of our own freedoms.

    Comment?

    As for me, I say let them build whatever it is (mosque/non-mosque) where they plan. The less government (at whatever level) interferes with religious enterprises, the more the first amendment likes it. :-)

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