Monday, August 23, 2010

Why Are Americans So Upset About The Mosque?

When I was asked to be a contributor to this blog, I was very excited. On my radio show I try to focus on the things that liberals and conservatives have in common, therefore making it easier to talk about our differences. Now, I am a staunch conservative but I have the ability understand all points of view, whether I agree or not is a different story. That is why I take such issue with the mosque being built NEAR the sight of Ground Zero. Let me make it clear (To steal one of Obama's favorite lines), I know that it is not AT Ground Zero, but it is too close for comfort for an overwhelming majority of Americans.

Let's look at history. The swastika has been around for thousands of years. It has been a sacred symbol to Hinduism, Buddhism and many others. It was used by the Vikings before Hitler's grandfathers grandfather was even thought of. Around 1920 the swastika was adopted by the Nazi party and, therefore, sealed its place in history. Generations later, the symbol is still illegal in Germany even though in its infancy, the Nazi party was only about 3% of the German population. That point is key.

Flash forward to 9/11/2001. We all know what happened and how many thousands were killed. We, as average citizens, also know that the attacks were waged by "Radical" Islam and not the religion/nation as a whole. Recent estimates say that the "Radicals" only make up about 3% of the Islamic faith. Hmmm, interesting.

It has been said over and over again, and I am one of them, that we are a country that tells Wal-Mart where they can and can't build and how they will build if allowed at all. To this day there is not a Wal-Mart in Manhattan, NY but several mosques. But there is an even deeper point. When American forces took Baghdad in, I believe, 2003, they raised an American flag. There was an outcry that started with President Bush and worked its way down. We were not there to conquer, we were not a conquering nation, we were there to help the citizens of Iraq. Now, however you feel about the war, that was our stance. We were not going to fly our flag in the face of the people, but that is exactly what is happening to us now. Muslims and the Nation of Islam are flying their flag, symbolical, in the face of the victims of 9/11 and of the American People.

I feel like I am talking to my kids when I have to say "Why do I have to be the one to tell you that this is a bad idea." Why do we have to be the ones that are understanding and sympathetic. Not one person, with any brains, is saying "You Can't Worship." In fact not one person is TELLING them, Muslims, anything at all. We are asking, pleading, don't do this here. Yes, a lot of people do see Muslims, as a whole, as the ones that attacked us in NY, at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, P.A. I think that it is up to the Muslim community to make us understand that they are not. Show us some compassion and admit that this is probably not the place to plant your $100,000,000 flag. Be understanding that we, and to a greater extent New York, are still raw. We have gotten into the legalities, but there are a lot of things that are legal to do that are not right to do. I think it would go a long way in how Average Americans view Muslims if they just stepped up and said "You know, we have every right, but this is not the place or the time." If they would do this, they would hear a "Thank you" from this American and a million others like me.

Thank you for letting me have my say.


  1. Muslims and the Nation of Islam are flying their flag, symbolical, in the face of the victims of 9/11 and of the American People.

    This line bothers me because you make the implicit assumption that Muslims aren't Americans.

    The people building this community center are not citizens of the Nation of Islam, they're American citizens. They are every bit the American people that you and I are. And as American citizens they have the right to build whatever religious structure they want so long as the local zoning board approved it. End of story.

    They're not flying their flag, because their flag is our flag. The same 50 stars, the same 13 stripes. I think that is what has bothered me the most about all of this, this vilification of American citizens because of how they worship. It is wrong, plain and simple.

    If anyone is still raw, it's only because they choose to be. Nine years is enough time to mourn, the business of the nation need attending too, Muslims and all.

  2. Dear Average American:

    What you tend to forget is that many of the Muslims who would use this facility are just as American as you or I. Or did I not receive the memo that they are less American because of their religion? If that's the case, sure is good thing the hijackers weren't Baptists or Methodists.

    To compare an Islamic community center to Wal-mart is like calling an orange an apple. What people tend to forget is that many Americans who are followers of slam were also among those killed on 9/11. The type of intolerance we are seeing now is no different than the type of hatred my parents and grandparents experienced during the civil rights era. People hate you, not because of something you did, but just because you aren't like them.

    Let's look at a few facts..

    Muslims pray daily inside of the Pentagon, which is also a 9/11 site. What's next, are they not going to be allowed to pray anymore?

    There is a mosque less than 5 blocks from the ground zero location. If they succeed at stopping this one, how long before they try to force the others to move? Where does this end?

    The fact of the matter is, no mosque is going to be on ground zero. The proposed community center/mosque, in actuality is about a twelve blocks NORTH of ground zero. This is a very sad example of using the deaths of innocent people to promote racial and religious insensitivity towards another.

    And while all this is going on, how ironic is it that the Imam of this community center/mosque is currently on a U.S. State Department funded trip to promote religious tolerance?

    How long before we start seeing signs that say "American Entrance" and "Muslim Entrance?" We aren't too far removed from having similar signs posted in a lot of places. It’s almost as if the Muslims have become the “coloreds” or our day and time.

  3. I mistakenly used the term Nation of Islam, but you do have a great point. Muslims are the ones that make the distinction. Muslim/American. If there were a sign that said American Entrance and Muslim Entrance, which one do you think the Muslim community would use? I can tell you that I would hope they would use the American Entrance and they would be welcome to, but I can also tell you, for sure, that I would not be welcome at the community center that they are wanting to build and into their actual place of worship but I can walk down any isle I want at Wal-Mart.

  4. Welcome to the Handbasket, Average American.

    I'm curious, what do you have to say about the good citizens of Murpheesboro, TN, who are behaving in the exact same way as the people who do not want a mosque built in lower Manhatan. What's their excuse for hatred and religious descrimination?

  5. @TAA- I think the assumption you make with regard to being unwelcome at the community center is incorrect. I think you may not feel welcome, but I don't think any Muslim using that site would prevent you from entering or talking to anyone there, and in fact the stated mission of the Cordoba House movement is specifically to engage non-Muslims in a friendly and non-confrontational manner.

  6. I have proposed that, given the close ties of Tim McVeigh to practitioners of "Christian Identity," any Christian church within 3/4 miles of the former Murrah building site must be removed, and no new ones built.

    Average, I'm guessing the first thing that pops into your mind is "CI members aren't Christians!" Well, you know, the vast, vast majority of the adherents of Islam feel exactly the same way about the September 11 gang.

    Oh, and the place is NOT a mosque; that's right wing wordplay. the place is a community center with a prayer room. Big diff.

  7. Hey AA..great job, thanks for articulating a point of view that expresses my feelings exactly. Too bad the left leaning responses here aren't as 'gracious' to 'Christians' as they are to Muslims. But when you're competing with your liberal peers for just who can be the most open minded in 'tolerating' anything anti-traditional America, that flirts with the destruction of America, such as those whose brother-hood across the world loves to shout.."Death to America"....then you know you are a voice that has to be discredited. But, only in the small liberal mind. The vast majority of Real your point of view. Just remember this Bible verse as you spar with these liberals...from Ecclesiastes 10:2 (NIV) “The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.”

  8. Johnnymac, welcome to the discussion.

    I think when one group of people views this as a discussion, and one person (or some people) view it as a competition or sparring match, that is what is actually destructive to America. When people cannot disagree in civil discourse without someone being called a fool, that is what is wrong in America.

    I would move that the ultra-conservatives in America (call them the religious right, call them the Tea Party, I don't care what label you use), have become intolerant of the rest of us. Not the other way around. You label us "small-minded" and "fools," because we do not believe as you believe.

    Please help further the discussion between the two sides. It is this gap between all of us who want to live with the dignity and freedom afforded all Americans that is toxic and destructive to America.

    "He who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law." Romans 13:8 NIV

  9. Johnnymac says Too bad the left leaning responses here aren't as 'gracious' to 'Christians' as they are to Muslims.

    I could care less about which magic pixie you bow down too. The issue here is protecting the constitutional rights of a minority as per the 1st Ammendment. I'd defend yours just as readily, though you'd likely not appreciate it.

    If you seek to cast off the US Constitution so readily, perhaps you should question precisely how "traditional" you are in truth.

    Besides, I'm just as "real" an American as you are. You'd do well to remember.

  10. For anyone that may be interested, follow me on Twitter @TheAvgAm or on Facebook at "The Average American".

    I will have people agree and disagree but the important thing is the conversation. We have all had an argument with someone close to us and ended it with saying "Well, I wish you would have said something." And the reply always seems to be "Me too."

  11. JR's mind and mine often fall in the same ditch. Coincidentally I posted at my place today a satirical article requesting that the churches in the immediate vicinity of the Murrah building be torn down, as it was attacked by Christian terrorists. I used many of the same arguments that you used in this article, before debunking them.

    The 9/11 terrorists are just as representative of authentic Islam as McVeigh and Nichols are of authentic Christianity: not at all. To blame Islam for 9/11 makes as much sense as blaming Christianity for the Oklahoma City Bombing: none at all.

    While I agree that many, yourself included, have genuine concerns, I believe you are being misled by extreme conservatives for whom this is just the most vocal part of their campaign to forbid the practice of Islam throughout the country, in opposition to our Constitution.

    My perspective? I'm a Christian.

  12. Just as additional point as I read the post again, TAA says:

    If they would do this [move the community center], they would hear a "Thank you" from this American and a million others like me.

    It's well worth noting that they would hear a big thank you from Osama bin-Laden and Al-Qaeda too, because the rhetoric they use to recruit young jihadists is entirely built around the idea that the US is at war with Islam and afraid of al-Qaeda.

    And when you have a group of Americans who happen to be muslim attempting to build a Muslim YMCA and it becomes a national news story with high ranking Republicans crying about it on TV to make a purely political point (yes, they're using you and no, they don't care), you're practically writing the recruitment videos for Al-Qaeda.

    This has already happened at Fort Hood. This will happen again. And by making this stand against American citizens and their religious freedom you're playing right into the jihadist's hands. Our biggest threat is not a senile old man in a cave in Pakistan, it's the anti-freedom rhetoric that surrounds the "mosque" opposition that allows extremists to recruit suicide bombers. And it really bothers me that you can't see that.

    They shouldn't back down now, they can't. Because they're Americans, and Americans don't back down to petty terrorist criminals and we don't back down to screaming bigots with signs. And it's really sad to see both coming from the same place.

  13. Nate, ladies and gentlemen, all the way from downtown. Slam dunk. Love it.

    @TC: Saw your post. Loved it.

    @Johnnymac: Your comment irritates me more every time I read it.

    And to all who read the Handbasket, I apologize for dropping into the practice of prooftexting. It's an irresponsible, inacurrate way of trying to prove your religious texts make your point. You probably won't catch me doing it again. Sometimes I'm easily provoked.

  14. happy I made you think at least...even if it was bad thoughts about me... to further irritate you, how about this,

  15. I love how some people capitalize "Real American" as if it's trademarked--as if they and their party or movement have the market cornered on patriotism. Much like the phrase "Christian."

  16. "Christian" should be capitalized out of honor for what the name stands for. "Real American" should be capitalized for the same reason. It has nothing to do with 'trademarking.' Both of these names are not for sale or trade. (If they are genuine.)

  17. Johnnymac:

    You don't have to agree with your version of events and truths to be a real American. I doubt the founding fathers pass your litmus tests.

    How can our country grow stronger when people like you want to point the finger at other Amercians and say that they are not "Real Amercians?" I just don't get people like you.