I’m saddened and disturbed that the debate whether to build an Islamic community center two blocks from the former World Trade Center has gone on this long and with such ferocity.
Maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise, though.
People are pissed off about the economy, they’re fearful about the direction our country is headed, and I’m sure for many New Yorkers, the 9/11 attacks have left a painful wound that may never fully heal.
And once again, the cynical leaders of the American Right have stepped up to capitalize on all of this uncertainty and anger, fanning the flames of intolerance for their own political gain.
First it was a few New York politicians declaring Ground Zero “sacred ground” (as if there weren’t plenty of Muslims who died in the 9/11 attacks). Then it was Sarah Palin, who called the idea of a mosque near Ground Zero, “a stab in the heart” to families who lost loved ones there. Then Newt Gingrich, in a characteristically bizarre application of ass-backward logic, declared that the democratic United States shouldn’t permit a mosque near the World Trade Center site, “so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia.”
I have no idea whether boneheads like Palin and Gingrich actually believe the shit they spew or whether it’s all just part of their effort to pander to the angry masses. Either way, their proclamations are in complete opposition to our nation’s core beliefs of tolerance and religious freedom, not mention they play right into the hands of extremists who seek to paint the United States as the foremost threat to the Muslim world.
Give it a fucking rest.