Sunday, 12 September 2010

The misleading title of the 'Ground Zero Mosque'

In the last week we’ve had the controversy of the Florida Pastor Terry Jones threatening to burn copies of the Koran to mark the 9th anniversary of 9/11.

Thankfully it didn’t go ahead, but he convenienently decided to link his campaign with the protests in New York against the so-called ‘Ground Zero’ Mosque, which has caused a political storm in America.

This weekend there were demonstrations in New York with people demonstrating for and against the proposals to build the Mosque

Check out this video I found from the Huffington Post reporting on the demonstrations this week.

video

If a Mosque was being built on the site of Ground Zero itself, then I would accept the protesters argument. It would be an insensitive act, but this isn't the case.
The ‘Ground Zero’ Mosque title is misleading in itself. Firstly it's not going to be a Mosque but an Islamic cultural centre. Secondly, far from being on the site of Ground Zero, the proposed location is actually two blocks away.

Finally, the project known as Park51 had been approved and written about as far back as December of last year. I didn’t hear about it then and there were no protests or demonstrations. In recent months a number of right-wing politicians and bloggers have brought the story to the nation’s attention.

This Mosque controversy along with the proposed Koran book burning suggests to me that the so-called War on Terror is now viewed as a War on Islam.

I also think America is struggling to live up to its ideals as the World’s leading democracy. As a nation America never tires of telling the rest of the world that the principles of liberty, freedom and tolerance are enshrined in its constitution.

But there’s a growing intolerance, a politics of fear developing in the country, and this growing hostility to Islam is an example of this.

I thought the video above gave a good example of the arguments for and against the Mosque. I tended to agree with the guy who said, America had fought in Iraq to bring democracy to the country, yet in America that same democracy is being denied to some Americans.

Let me know your thoughts on this.

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