Tuesday, August 17, 2010
So, about the Cordoba House community center...
Why are we talking about it?
It's not because Imam Feisal is talking about it.
It's not because it violates laws, or ethics, or other constraints.
It's not because you can even *see* the durn thing from "ground zero".
We're talking about it for one reason, and one reason only: the Right Wingers in this country want to talk about it.
And rather than asking whether they "should" build the community center or whether they have "the right" to build the community center, we should instead be asking the Newt Gingriches and Sarah Palins whether they "should" be making a big fuss and a loud stink about a group of peaceful Muslims building a community center... even though it's clear that they have "the right" to do so.
There was no controversy; there was nothing to fight about. Not until the Right Wing invented a reason to attack out of whole cloth. And sure, they have the right to do that; the First Amendment protects speech as well as religion. But should they?
Should they attack peaceful Muslims who hate Al Qaeda, and who Al Qaeda hates? Should they act as if Muslims must be second class citizens, in Manhattan at least? Should they be acting as if this community center is some terrible affront to families of those who died on 9/11/2001? Should they be infantilizing the survivors by acting as if they can't handle a community center that's completely hidden from the site where the attacks occurred?
All this crap about religious freedom and stabbing in the heart is beside the point. That it's the rankest discrimination to attack the community center is obvious... at least, it is to anyone with half a brain.
The point is, why are we letting people who are trying to raise a big fuss raise that fuss? Why are we discussing this at all, rather than granting it the contempt it so clearly deserves?