Its apparently not a mosque. Its a cultural center. Regardless of what it is, this little non-issue has been blown out of proportion by the media to everyone’s detriment. This particular phenomena is now new – the castigation of many because of the actions of a few. Not to belittle the memories of the ones that lost their loved ones on September 11th, but I think they need to come to terms with their loss and stop acting like downtown Manhattan has somehow become “hallowed”. Does that mean that because of the Mumbai terrorism of two years ago, the residents of the nearby areas should not allow Muslims who live there to aggregate and pray. Or for that matter, if someone’s beloved was murdered by a person raised a Christian, would they oppose building a church in their neighborhood.
In any case, I think the mosque/cultural center would have gotten built quietly without the fanfare were it not for a very small group of narrow-minded bigots, who are trying to instigate the emotions of 9/11 families almost ten years after the incident.Â Its amazing how much fear and loathing some of these have of people of a different faith. I come from a country where there are 160 million Muslim people compared to the paltry 3 million in the United States. And while there areÂ occasionalÂ disagreements between the Hindus and the Muslims, and the same, once every few years, get escalated to deadly riots through devious politics, in my twenty years of life in India, I have never once heard of anybody feel threatened or fearful of Muslim people. Heard somewhere that loathe begets loathe; and maybe that is why there is always this long standing but meticulously disguised distrust between the general American Christian people and the Muslim people.Â Maybe seeing so many people of non-Christian origin immigrating in droves to this country is inevitably causing the old-timers to feel a little fearful. Just like most Mumbaiites felt when the Biharis invaded their beloved town seeking greener pastures. Or when Australians realized that their immigrant friends are doing better than themselves. I suppose we’ll just wait it out, the future will be too atheistic to care.