|Park51 concept art
Opponents of the planned Park51 Islamic cultural center in lower Manhattan, which has been un-affectionately and misleadingly labeled the “Ground Zero Mosque”, generally bring up two primary arguments in debating why the center shouldn’t be built two blocks north from the southeast corner of Ground Zero. The most common argument is that the site of the proposed center, where an abandoned Burlington coat factory building currently stands, is simply too close to Ground Zero and that it’s offensive for those who were harmed by the 9/11 attacks.
Of course, this argument falls flat for numerous reasons, including: A) The only place that could be reasonably considered “too close” to the site of a terror attack ought to be directly at the site, or else we enter a world of aleatory boundaries; B) Saying the center is offensive to families of the victims of 9/11 is absurd considering how many Muslims also perished in the attacks; and most of all, C) The people who are behind Park51 aren’t the same extremists who caused 9/11 in the first place.
But, wait. Here’s the real ironic bit about all this. The demagogues are all over how Park51 is a “mosque” that’s too close to the “hallowed ground” of Ground Zero, too close to the area where so many lives were destroyed in the terror attacks. But there’s another place where there actually is a dedicated prayer area for Muslims (amongst others) near the location of a 9/11 attack. In fact, this area of worship is located directly at the very site of the attack, less than 100 feet where the plane hit. Better yet: It was built and is currently operated with the full help and blessing of the US government. And literally hundreds of Muslims congregate there every single week to pray.
What a slap to the face of those who suffered on 9/11! Where is this landmark to Islamic conquest over America, this symbol of the terrorists’ victory, so insidiously and covertly placed?
Muslims regularly assemble to prostrate before Allah right at the heart of the freaking headquarters of the US Military.
And the best part about it all? No-one, right-winger or otherwise, seems to have said a single damn thing against it.
Maybe the Right’s outrage over the Islamic cultural center two blocks away from (the outer limits of) Ground Zero would hold a bit more weight if the very existence of the Pentagon chapel didn’t blow their astronomical demagoguery and hypocrisy wide open.