There’s a host of great reasons why the mosque being constructed near Ground Zero delights me. Despite my atheism, the construction of this holy place is really quite a great symbol for the culture of our country. Not because of some romantic idea about healing or tolerance. If we were going to pat ourselves on the back and congratulate one another over ideas like that we would only serve to increase whatever intellectual dishonesty we care to indulge ourselves in. No, there is no healing or tolerance for the individuals building this mosque and the “controversy” surrounding its construction only proves it. With conservatives doing everything but donning white gowns and burning the site (and let’s be honest, they can’t always hold back), liberals are either too afraid or racist to stand up for what’s right. Even “the nation’s premier civil rights/human relations agency”, the Anti-Defamation League, has come out against the mosque with the cowardly rebuttal that “ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right.” Suddenly, when Arabs are involved, those “rights” become quaint.
The rampant racism that grips our society is a disease given to us by those who benefit from our in-fighting and division. How many Americans will cry out against the pillaging of the impoverished lands of Afghanistan and Iraq when affording Muslims the right to freedom of religion is such a controversy? It’s that attitude that allows the plunder and profit to go on unchallenged. Instead, we’re “teaching the controversy” in instances that should have no controversy, brought to us by a crippled media that only tows the party line and enriches the criminals.
This media and cultural narrative has consequences. Consequences like the mosque bombing linked above, last week’s mosque vandalism and arson, even assaults on people who happen to look Arab. Do our leaders try and calm this tide of ignorance and hate? No, they are either busy praising it or hiding from it. Both of those things empower the status quo.
But back to why I love this mosque. Nothing would serve as a better “fuck you” to all these reactionary bigots than a giant mosque near their beloved crater. What better way to peaceably spit in the face of genocidal and anti-human policies pursued for generations against the Muslim world by the United States? Also, I get a little bit of guilty pleasure watching the media froth at the mouth over this really insignificant issue.
Those that would call for its bombing should be seen by all of us as the disgusting shits that they are. This bit of real-life trolling (albeit probably unintended) only makes them easier to spot. I hope the next one’s on Mount Rushmore.