Muslim Mosque and Religious Intolerance—Where Does it End?

Building a Muslim mosque in New York close to the 9/11 ground zero site has raised some serious issues as well as anger. I can understand the anger some people have over this issue. My feelings are a little mixed and I wonder why anyone would even think that building a Muslim mosque in that area would go over well. That being said, I am also scared at the level of intolerance that this country is showing now.

I will admit that I am no fan of the Muslim religion, but I feel that way about other religions as well. One can argue that the Koran says that Muslims should kill those who do not share their beliefs and so Muslims are dangerous, but the same can be said about the Bible and Christians. I am very familiar with the Bible, but admit I know very little about the Koran. The Bible is one of the most violent books I have ever read. What about all of the atrocities committed by Christians throughout history? Who can forget the crusades of the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries—the religious military campaigns in the Middle East—Christians killing Muslims in an attempt to take the holy land from them. And what about all the poor women and some men accused of witchcraft and killed during the European witch hunts from the 14th to the 18th centuries? What about Christians bombing abortion clinics? Do we abolish Christian churches because of a few radical Christians? Or what about all the reports of Catholic priests molesting children? Do we punish all of that faith because of what a few deviant priests did? Is it okay to kill in the name of religion as long as it’s the RIGHT religion?        

I don’t see anything different with the Muslims that flew planes into the World Trade Center and any other acts committed by radical religious nuts. The 9/11 Muslims don’t speak for all Muslims. So is it right to punish other Muslims for what those few did? Where does it end? I feel there is a certain faction in this country that wants America to be like Iran where only one religion is worshipped—and that would be the Christian faith. These people are truly un-American and seek to destroy the freedoms of being an American and the principals that this country was founded on. They can call President Obama a Nazi, a Socialist, a Muslim, or whatever, but he defended the religious freedom in America by saying that they have a right to build their Muslim mosque. The way I see it, today these people want to drive out Muslims, and tomorrow they will be burning pagans or anyone that doesn’t follow their religious agenda. This scares the hell out of me and I hope this country wakes up and realizes that things could get much worse.

Any thoughts on this?

Kelley Heckart

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8 thoughts on “Muslim Mosque and Religious Intolerance—Where Does it End?”

  1. What the mass media is forgetting to tell everyone is that there are two other mosques within a 3 or 4 city block distance from the “hallowed grounds” , the prposed area is a business district that also includes bars and a strip joint. If people would stop and think for a moment, this country is about religious tolerance and the bottom line is the planners of the mosque did everything correctly in terms of acquiring the appropriate licensure and followed all rules correctly in order to build this mosque. Also, please note we are dealing with a stagnant Congress and politicians who are only thinking of what they can do to maintain their power base. Don’t think for one minute this issue is anything more than a distraction to keep the American voter from firing every single one of the men and women who have been voted into public service and have done nothing but doing what they can to keep the attention off of their less than stellar performances.

    Erin

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    1. there are two other mosques within a 3 or 4 city block distance from the “hallowed grounds” , the prposed area is a business district that also includes bars and a strip joint. If people would stop and think for a moment, this country is about religious tolerance and the bottom line is the planners of the mosque did everything correctly in terms of acquiring the appropriate licensure and followed all rules correctly in order to build this mosque.

      In addition to these important points, there was also a Muslim prayer area in the WTC towers which, after the attempted attack by Islamic extremists on the towers in 1996, was not shut down nor seen as a threat or offense in any way. Furthermore, this new project is not in fact a “mosque” at all, but a community center that has, all along, included plans for an interfaith prayer space. I think it is unfair to say that a negative reaction to such a building plan should have been obvious and that the planners were callous not to see it coming; the truth is that they have been quite open about these plans for more than a year, and received wide-spread support and acclamation even from conservatives. It was not until a few ultra-conservative bloggers began stirring up trouble this summer that this became a controversy at all, and the controversy largely stems from a campaign of misinformation and fear- and grief-mongering. From my conversations with most people against the “mosque,” they oppose it angrily on behalf of those they have been told are hurt or offended by its presence – but much of this claim to sensitivity is not actually supported by those they claim to be respecting, as many of the family members of those who died on 9/11 have asked that the divisive and angry controversy be laid to rest.

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  2. Personally, I am back and forth about this as always. As Erin said, the media, once again, isn’t telling us everything. And that’s what I absolutely HATE about the Media. Someone once said, “I don’t watch the news to see what’s happening. I watch the news to see what their not telling us is happening.” And this entire Mosque thing, will be lost behind the flag of religious intolerance–even if that’s the case or not.

    But we already know how intolerant America can be as far as religion. If you are a Pagan, or anything other than a main stream majority accepted religion, then you KNOW you can be ridiculed, fired, layed off, or the target of poor treatment if word gets out that, that’s what you are. (And no, they don’t fire you for your beliefs but they find a reason they can’t be sued for) It’s not Freedom of Religion per-say….it’s the Freedom to practice the religion that we want you to.
    However, as far as the blue collar, hard working people that hold this country up—most of them don’t give a damn what religion a person is anymore. They are so sick of people rubbing their noses in the dirt because they aren’t good enough, that they want nothing to do with the TV Evangelist and the religious fanatics any longer. UNLESS, you are some jerk off guy who gets waited on hand and foot by some woman you have forced into submission through your religion…of course they don’t want to see any other religion in the spotlight.

    But as for the Mosque—if they are willing to put up a building for Pagans (of all kinds), Atheists, Jews, Mystic Jews, and whatever other religion is out there, then there should be no Mosque—and that has nothing to do with religious intolerance. That has to do with what Erin said—its a business section. As far as this being some great and grand symbol of what happened there and that these Muslims claim no part of it….well, whether or NOT 9/11 happened because of Muslims to begin with, is again, another thousand-page debate on it’s own. So until that truth is discovered, then there is no business of a Mosque being there.

    As for the Koran—I am no expert and I have never read the thing either…but I do know it is like the Bible—totally open to interpretation. I have a Pagan friend who is married and lives in the Middle East with a man who follows the Koran—he is very spiritually open, and doesn’t view the writings the way that most do. He doesn’t believe in killing Americans, or anything else. He even knows about his wife being a Witch, and is very Mystic about it. So he told me it’s all open to interpretation. I couldn’t say, though.

    But I can say that IF its about killing and dominating and so on—then Kelley called it right. The foundations and structures of Christianity even existing is steeped on the blood of the innocents. In fact, would Christianity be so wide spread and strong if they had not persecuted others, created wars, bullied people into converting and or murdered them if they would not? The Crusades were all about going forth and destroying all those who would not lay down their Pagan gods/goddesses. Even if a mighty warrior or King was NOT a Christian, he was told by the Christian church that he would be excused of his beliefs, and all crimes he did as long as he raped, pillaged, and plundered under the banners of their God. The more of the heathen you killed, the more reward you would win in heaven. And, throughout the ages those so called founding priests and powers that were took every advantage that they could—from witch burning, from hanging, from tormenting and denying. They became fat but not off of their Christ…only off of the suffering they caused others through Christ’s name.

    So maybe this is what we have concerning two huge religions standing off over the sight of 9/11 and over their religions….they can’t stand to look in each others mirror.

    For those who do have a problem with it (and those problems having nothing to do with religion)—I think they maybe right. The site is a business location. If they are intent of putting something there of religion—then do a building that represents ALL religions and faiths and non-faiths—from Muslims, Christianity, Jews, PAGANS (And every label under it’s umbrella), Atheists, Satanists (and its umbrella), Spiritualists, New Agers, and so on. If they can do a building representing all of that…then SURE put it up there. If not, if Obama believes what he says when claiming we have freedom of religion and are not of ONE faith, then no building of any kind belongs. If we can’t represent everyone, then let’s stop representing the few.

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  3. Personally, I think we ought to organize a bible burning to protest Catholic churches built in close proximity to the site of witch burnings in Salem…

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    1. Great day, do you realize the noise that would have been made if someone stood up and said, “Hey, we are burning Bibles for all the blood slain there.” to that idiot in Florida when he was threatening to burn the Koran?????
      All Hell would have broke lose.

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  4. Erin and Casey,
    Thanks for the insightful comments to my post. I didn’t realize this mosque or community center was being built in a business district. I agree that if that’s the case, that it is a community center and a place to share info on the Muslin religion, then all religions should be represented.

    As far as the intolerance, I’m convinced that there are certain people that no matter how much evidence or well-formed arguments you wage against them, will continue to believe what they want to believe–and believe what their hate mongering t.v./blog personalities say or blog about–like Glenn Beck and all those other people causing fear and hate–even if there is no truth to what they are saying.

    And GreenMan, I agree with you, but I don’t think any books should be burned and it really upsets me when I hear stuff like this. Actually, that was going to be my next column post.

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  5. The more things change the more they stay the same–ignorance is not new to the human race, it just is disappointing to know it’s alive and well in the 21st century.

    I’m just continuously amazed at the herd mentality that is still prevalent in modern society.

    Here’s an interesting quote for us to chew on:

    “Naturally the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”

    Guess who wrote that, Hitler’s propagandist Hermann Goering…food for thought.

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