26
Aug
10

Perspective on the Mosque

I’ve been posting a lot about the mosque issue lately (here and here, and even here), and I feel pretty comfortable with the debate as a whole, but I don’t want to just keep harping on this topic. Hopefully I can be comfortable with how I’ve left things in this post.

I think there might be a strong case for the Cordoba center to move, but the argument is nuanced, and if it turns out the opposition to this is motivated by anti-Muslim bias, then all bets are off and I would send my own money to move the Cordoba house CLOSER to the 9/11 site. Racism must not be allowed to stand unopposed.

I just wanted to note how reminiscent this of a past debate in 2006 that many people may have forgotten (I forgot about it till recently), which is the Dubai port deal. We were really afraid that this Dubai company would control our ports and shortchange port security. Since those arguments seemed pretty bad then and the arguments against Cordoba house now seem pretty bad, maybe there really is a pattern of just using random current events as opportunities to go after Muslims. If so, this is a dangerous place for our politics to be.

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1 Response to “Perspective on the Mosque”


  1. 1 alex
    August 26, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Hey, yeah, I read your comment-reply and also this post, and I think we are on the same page.

    I’ll be honest, I was too focused on other things in 2006 to pay attention to the news or what was going on in the world around me, so I don’t know much about the Dubai port deal.

    However I don’t think you have to look as far back as 2006 to see some really depressing and dangerous places our country has been in (just maybe you have to look that far for it to be specifically related to irrational fear of Muslims due to terrorism).

    The point that sticks in my mind most recently where policy was driven largely (maybe even primarily) due to hate would be the passing of prop 8. I don’t want to derail the topic entirely but I think it is related to where I’m coming from.

    There were people I think who genuinely supported prop 8 not necessarily due to hate (http://www.jonathanrauch.com/jrauch_articles/2010/07/red-families-blue-families-gay-families-and-the-search-for-a-new-normal.html discusses how different types of people construct different family paradigms), but so many of the people who voted for it had no reason other than that they hate other people and don’t want to give them the same rights that they themselves have. I think this was fairly visible in the recent trial, when the prop 8 defenders couldn’t really put forth any defense that made any sense to the judge. It’s such a hard concept to defend (“yes, let’s take away right x from group y”) without coming across and actually saying “because I hate them” too.

    In this case, too, I think it is hard to say “yes, let’s take away [right to build mosque] from [the followers of Islam]” without coming straight out and saying “because I hate them.” Some people actually do come out and say that, which is the scariest of all, but I think a lot of the hand-wavey “well, world trade center……………” arguments are based around an internal struggle to come up with something to say that isn’t hate-based, not a full 100% support behind that idea.

    In any case I do try to not be oppressively cynical when it comes to this sort of thing (though in all honesty, I care far less about the actual mosque being built or not than some of the sub-issues it raises, like this one), but then I see news stories like this:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38861763/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/

    and I really have to reconsider just how optimistic about people we all can afford to be.

    Anyway that was longer than I intended, but I guess hatred is a point I feel strongly about whenever and wherever it comes up and I get kind of crazy about it.


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