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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Deconstructing the mosque at ground zero

The Cordoba House/Park51 project, also known as the Muslim Monument of Doom, managed to clear a hurdle on Aug. 3, when the New York City Landmarks Commission voted against making an old Burlington Coat Factory building a landmark. The vote gave developers the ability to demolish the building to make room for a 13-story mosque and Islamic cultural center two blocks from ground zero. The opposition to the project would have you believe that its 13 stories are meant to be the Islamic headquarters of terror and evil.

Sarah Palin called the project an “” intolerable mistake on hallowed ground”” in a note on her Facebook. “”This is not an issue of religious tolerance but of common moral sense,”” Palin wrote in response to remarks by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “”To build a mosque at Ground Zero is a stab in the heart of the families of the innocent victims of those horrific attacks.””

The Anti-Defamation League released a similar statement. It claimed that while the bigoted criticisms of the project were wrong, ultimately the situation is “”not a question of rights, but a question of what is right. In our judgment, building an Islamic Center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain — unnecessarily — and that is not right.””

And yet, my “”common moral sense”” tells me that siding with bigots just makes you a bigot.

The Cordoba House/Park51 project is not a giant clubhouse for terrorists, but the opposition’s entire argument insists on equating the project builders with the 9/11 attackers. This is inherently religiously intolerant, and the Anti-Defamation League’s decision to stand against the mosque is a validation of that intolerance.

Fanaticism does not revolve around any specific god, nor can it represent an entire religion. The attack on 9/11 was not a representation of Islam. The fact that we behave as though it was, and insist that building a mosque two blocks from ground zero is a “”stab in the heart”” cannot be called anything except intolerant, bigoted and lacking in “”common moral sense.”” It’s a rejection of an entire culture based on the misguided, extremist views of a minority. It’s the manipulation of tragedy and prejudice to garner political support. And it’s terribly ironic that critics are furthering the 9/11 terrorists’ agenda by unraveling American principles.

— Kristina Bui is a journalism

sophomore. She can be reached at

letters@wildcat.arizona.edu

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