Friday, August 6, 2010

Mosque Madness

Though there are of the stark incongruities applied to this debate is that with such an allegedly liberal media, the right wing has been able to frame the debate and whip up hysteria to the point where logic and reason are the minority. The use of hyperbolic phrasing is intentional and lapped up eagerly by the undereducated. The media can't seem to call it a Community Center [which it is], they must refer to it as a Mosque, as if that is the sole role of the real estate. In fact, the Cordoba Initiative will feature an athletic center, a culinary school and art studios. Much more than most Mosques. My point being, that an objective media....or objective participants in a dialogue about this subject....would call it a Community Center. Labeling strictly as a Mosque is designed to inflame and incite. Unfortunately, most Americans respond more easily to that, than to reason and objectivity.

Why no outrage over the Mosque in the Pentagon? Are the 9/11 victims of that location any less sympathized than NYC? Or does that not fit the script, as it would come perilously close to sounding like not 'supporting the troops'? And the question that nobody appears capable of answering - how far away from ground zero is 'near'?

When no discernible threat is present, as is categorically the case here......we have a choice to act in accordance with our principles, or to surrender them and act in accordance with the principles of our enemy. This is but one more instance where the alleged Constitutionalists allow emotion to override the very tenets they claim to support.

As Andrew Exum writes on his blog Abu Muqawama:

Where the Bill of Rights really has its value is as a check against the tyranny of the majority. It's for times like these when the passions of Americans -- stoked by the memory of September 11th -- cause us to do and say things that spit in the face of the freedoms we claim to cherish.

Defending America starts with defending our values. "We" are America. And "we" are Christians and Jews and Muslims and Athiests. A movement to restrict the freedom of one of us to worship -- and a corresponding move to demonize a minority religion -- is an affront to us all.

As the Republican mayor of New York put it yesterday, "I believe this is as important a test of the separation of church and state as any we may see in our lifetime - and it is critically important that we get it right."

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