Double Standards When It Comes to Mosques

The big hallabahoo over the planned Muslim centre two blocks from Ground Zero that I blogged about a couple of days ago appears to be heating up. Charlie Brooker wrote a hilarious piece on this in today’s Guardian that pulled no punches. People who object to the planned centre in New York, believe that Ground Zero is sacred and I believe their belief. But as commentors and some of my Twitter followers (most notably @EvilEyeMonster – follow him -he is good value) have pointed out, double standards appear to be operating. For example, within the same two block distance there are strip-joints, fast food chains and a whole bunch of dodgy businesses that you would not find on other sacred sites (maybe I am wrong here too!). But what is really double standards when it comes to objecting to the presence and activity of a Muslim Centre, is the report in today’s Washington Post that Muslims have been praying at the Pentagon’s chapel since 2002, gathering every day at 2 p.m. around the time of the second of five prayers Muslims are supposed to offer daily. People seem to have forgotten that the Pentagon was also attacked on 9/11 with the death of 125 people. Admittedly, it is a non-denominational chapel were the Muslims pray but it is remarkable how objectors have overlooked this anomaly.

4 Comments

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4 responses to “Double Standards When It Comes to Mosques

  1. It’s interesting to watch the dance around religion, politics, and ethnicity. If Ground Zero is sacred, then to whom is it sacred? The “American Ideal”? The people who died? You can’t exclude Muslims in either case.

    So the debate really lays bare some interesting doublethink. Either religions are cognate with political ideology (and so this is about politics), or they are cognate with ethnic groups, and so this is about xenophobia. Both of these are probably playing a part in the hostility, but nobody can admit as much because neither is supposed to be true.

  2. Arno

    I always find sacredness an interesting idea, as it makes something so valuable, that huge sacrifices are normal (if not expected), as long as it protects the sacredness of the object in question (think the ‘liberation’ of Jerusalem during the Crusades). It also makes anyone who doesn’t share the same sacred values as you a possible object of disgust (particularly if this individual has a stigma), which you are completely justified to attack if that keeps the disgusting individual away from the sacred ground it would otherwise contaminate.
    It might be due to that, that the following happens: a man tries to get through one of the demonstrations to get to his job on Ground Zero (he works as carpenter) and [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwaNRWMN-F4]this happens[/url]. He looks just a little too much like a Muslim, and that is all that is needed for the man to nearly get into a fight with ‘a proud American’.
    Alternatively, all of this sacred ground stuff could also be a burning fuse connected to a barrel of racism. Keep in mind that these protests are organized by the Tea Party (also known as Teabaggers) who are pretty much the KKK in business suits. And in racism, you find strong cues of disgust and purity issues. By priming people with the idea of “sacred ground”, you activate purity related thoughts and habits, which would make someone more susceptible to racist ideas (which are about protecting the ‘purity of the blood’). It also sounds a lot nicer to say “We believe this ground is hallowed and shouldn’t be touched” versus “We believe Muslims are the spawn of Satan and don’t belong in America”. And it saves you money as no one can actually sue you for slander on the first sentence.

    • John W

      In your British vernacular: rubbish!

      There are over 100 mosques in NYC- there was even one already existing at this spot where the proposed Cordoba Community Center is being proposed. Muslims have prayed in these mosques unaccosted for decades- even immediately after 9/11.

      So give me a break on the xenophobia charge. There is no where in the world where religious tolerance is more celebrated and practiced than in the U.S. It is in fact, one of our founding principles and why many of my forefathers escaped the intolerance of the British monarchy.

      To equate the building of this Center, including a mosque, less than 600 feet from where the Twin Towers and some nearly 300o inhabitants were brutally murdered by crazed Islamist fanatics to an already existing chapel that accommodates Muslim prayer on the grounds of the Pentagon is the height of disingenuousness.

      In fact, it’s an affront to the goodwill and kind spirit of the American people that has been demonstrated on behalf of Muslims across the world. We’ve freed more Muslims from tyranny than any country ever in the history of the world- not without the help of brave British forces.

      And don’t give me that crap that it was for the oil. Because there’s not a single drop of it in Bosnia.

      You fellas should be ashamed for this careless and unfounded assault on Americans.

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