I’ve been following the controversy surrounding the “ground zero mosque” since it began. Any issues that reveal who members of our society truly are always interest me. I think that’s why I’m so interested in Iranian politics, too.
I wrote a piece for CNN.com about how there’s been an influx in negative comments on the web related to this “mosque”, and how many of them are anonymous. I’ve always found that interesting, how only when names and titles are stripped away will many of us say what’s really on our minds.
This morning I came across a wonderfully argued opinion piece in the New York Times by Dick Cavett, where he declares his opposition to the opposition. Here’s an excerpt:
“I’m genuinely ashamed of us. How sad this whole mosque business is. It doesn’t take much, it seems, to lift the lid and let our home-grown racism and bigotry overflow. We have collectively taken a pratfall on a moral whoopee cushion.”
“I like to think I’m not easily shocked, but here I am, seeing the emotions of the masses running like a freight train over the right to freedom of religion â€” never mind the right of eminent domain and private property.”
And one more:
“I just can’t believe that so many are willing to ignore the simple fact that nearly all Muslims were adamantly opposed to the actions and events that took place on 9/11, and denounced them strongly, saying that the Islamic religion in no way condones it.
Our goal in at least one of our Middle East wars is to rebuild a government in our own image â€” with democracy for all. Instead, we are rebuilding ourselves in the image of those who detest us. I hate to see my country â€” and it’s a hell of a good one â€” endorse what we purport to hate, besmirching what distinguishes us from countries where persecution rules.”
There are millions who oppose the center, for reasons they believe are perfectly justified. I can’t and won’t comment on what anyone who lost a loved one on 9/11 is going through. I don’t have that right as someone who was lucky enough not to have the event directly affect my family.
But the turn the dialogue has taken, the nasty, unfounded comments about the world’s second largest religion and all those who follow it, are hopefully just fueled by emotion, as Cavett says.