Statement on Park51 / Cordoba House
Recently there has been quite a hullabaloo against the construction of Park 51, a Muslim community center, on the alleged grounds that it is somehow “disrespectful” to build a “mosque” two blocks north of the World Trade Center site.
We consider this notion to be complete nonsense.
Building a “mosque” in that neighborhood is “disrespectful” only to those people who lump all Muslims into one box with the 9/11 terrorists. It is alleged to be “disrespectful” to the families of those killed on 9/11, but by no means do all 9/11 families agree with that. (Donna Marsh O’Connor, of the September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, has spoken in support of Park 51.)
It is only to be expected that there would be Muslim places of worship in that neighborhood, along with the many Christian churches already there, because lots of Muslims live and work there. The proposed community center (really not a “mosque,” but more like a Muslim equivalent of the YMCA) will not even be visible from the World Trade Center site, except from above the 20th floor or so of the forthcoming “Freedom Tower.” Furthermore, the local community has no problem with Park 51; the protesters are nearly all out-of-towners and people from the outer boroughs. Muslims should not be asked to “respect” stupid bigotry.
It is horrifying that such nonsense is now considered respectable, and that even the “Anti-Defamation League” has endorsed it. In fact, the “Ground Zero Mosque” hullabaloo is just one of many protests, on various pretexts, against the construction of mosques in various places around the U.S.A. If even Muslims can be singled out for this kind of harassment, then surely the rights of other, smaller religious minorities are in even greater danger.
Comments about the above statement should be posted in the thread The Cordoba Initiative vs. a recent wave of bigotry against Muslims.