Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The proper protest for the "Ground Zero Mosque"

I've been pretty quiet regarding the whole controversy regarding the "Ground Zero Mosque" until recently. (Why the quotes? Because if you do a bit of reading, that's not exactly a very accurate description for quite a few reasons.) I needed some time to process the whole situation and how I felt about it. On one hand, I didn't really like the idea of it. Yeah, I know, blaming all Muslims for the acts of the violent jihadists isn't really fair. Still, it just left me feeling like it wasn't appropriate.

But then something dawned on me, and that was that it doesn't matter if I feel uneasy about it. I started to consider the whole "Draw Mohammed Day" event, which I took part in. A Muslim student of mine had posted on Facebook that she had joined a group that was trying to get Facebook to shut down the "Draw Mohammed Day" Facebook page. I responded to her by saying that I was against trying to shut the group down, explaining that the price we pay for living in a free society is that sometimes we get offended. She told me that she appreciated my comments, and that was the end of that.

So, how could I feel that Muslims need to just accept that they're going to be offended and then have a different standard when it came to this "mosque" (community center two blocks from ground zero, and two blocks away from an actual mosque that's been there since before the World Trade Center was ever there)? Basically, if you find the mosque there to be offensive, then that's just tough crap. They have every right under the Constitution to build it there, so there's no point in debating it. Even if it was led by a "radical" Imam, I'd say that it's better to have them out in the open than in some secluded place. (I don't buy that the guy is a radical, no matter how many times right-wingers quote him out of context and ignore everything else he's said.)

With all this said, I think I've found a way to have my cake and eat it too. Who's to thank for all this? A Fox News host, Greg Gutfield, of all people. His plan is to build a gay bar next to the community center. Not just that, but he wants to specifically cater to gay Muslims. I don't know how realistic this plan is, but that would just be so brilliant if they could make this happen. Let's not fool ourselves - the Muslim community is even more backward when it comes to recognizing gay rights as the Christians are. Shoot, if you look at the situation world-wide, then they are VERY far behind the Christians when it comes to this issue.

I hope my second cousin doesn't mind me quoting her, but when I posted the article to Facebook, she wrote the following comment: "Is it wrong that this makes me want to laugh? I think it's a great idea....let's also put in a burlesque joint, a Catholic church, a Jewish synagogue, an occult bookstore and a shop selling bondage gear and call it 'Tolerance Plaza'. It would make quite a statement!"

That just might be the most patriotic idea to come out of this whole blown-up controversy. (Although I'd also like to see a comic book store there as well. Not that it offends people, but hey, comics.)

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