Efforts to understand, improve, or do less harm to the world around me.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Interfaith relations in 2010: Mosque near ground zero

A mosque two blocks from ground zero would be a fantastic way to promote healing and understanding 10 years after the 9/11 attacks and would be a huge statement to the world that as well as a clear statement that the US is not at war with Islam in the Middle East.

Instead, the opposite has been pushed.

Even though Timothy McVeigh was Christian, a long list of people of Muslim belief were killed in the 9/11 attacks, and our country has its own violent Christian fringe terrorists, Christian Pastor Terry Jones still describes Islam as "a violent and oppressive religion" (source).

The issue has become a lightning rod for drawing political favor by Newt Gingrich:

"Gingrich said that he would push for legislation to prevent states from adopting sharia law even though none are proposing it and there is no likely prospect of it happening" (source).

That said, does Islam need to make a better statement to its opponents?  Has the news just not covered Islam's attempt to heal the divide created by the hijackers?  Has there been such an effort?

  • Article on one of the people behind the mosque, Daisy Khan, who sees it as a healing effort.
  • A good contrasting article comparing the building of a convent near Auschwitz.  This brings up an obvious question: if centers of worship too close to places of mass death is insensitive, what distance from lower Manhattan is acceptable?  What about St Paul's just across the street from ground zero, built well before the towers?
Update 2: 
  • Olbermann makes some interesting points, especially about how businesses around Ground Zero have floundered.  Unfortunately he starts with a comparison with the Nazis, which is a little too Glenn Beck for my taste.

    No comments: