When it comes to political debates, I really try very hard to realize that there are logical reasons to have two different viewpoints on an issue. While I may be a liberal, I try to be tolerant of conservative views, as long as they pass the logic test.
But I’ve been finding myself incredibly angry the past couple of days when hearing the rhetoric over this “Ground Zero Mosque” issue (the nickname itself is pretty inflammatory). As hard as I’ve tried, I’ve yet to hear an argument against the building of the mosque that essentially doesn’t make Muslims complicit with 9/11.
One argument that we’ve heard has been that you wouldn’t put up a Nazi sign next to the Holocaust Museum (said by Newt Gingrich) or a less extreme example of not putting a convent near Auschwitz. Why should we let Muslims put up a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero?
I can’t really respond to Gingrich’s argument because it’s comparing Muslims to Nazis. That’s not worthy of a response. And as disgusting as it might be for a neo-Nazi group to do that, it actually isn’t illegal for them to do that. But that’s not even the point. Nazis agree with the politics of the Nazi Party of Adolf Hitler. Muslims-Americans, for the most part, disassociate themselves from Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.
My biggest issue I have with comparing Auschwitz to Ground Zero is that the city of New York and the financial district in particular, is not a memorial to the victims of 9/11. Before you angry, what I mean by that is that the area surrounding Ground Zero has returned to normal. It would be one thing if Ground Zero and the five block radius around it was shut down and turned into a national monument. But that’s not the case.
JTA did us a service by taking a walk from Ground Zero to the proposed spot for the new mosque. Yes, it is close. But during the walk, you pass a bunch of food carts, fancy office buildings and an Amish food market. If a mosque can’t be built in that area, then really, none of those things should.
Check out the video to get some more perspective: