That is just apples and oranges - yes, there is a mosque four blocks away from Ground Zero, but it has been there for DECADES. Its site was not chosen specifically because it was close to an area targeted by Islamic extremists. The Masjid Manhattan was not chosen precisely because [art of the landing gear of a jet that had been turned into a WMD fell into it, as was the case for the Park 51 mosque. There is a world of difference between the two. It is disconcerting that people like Alex DiBranco, who wrote the article linked above, or since you've probably not heard of him, Mara Liasson of NPR, who made that argument Monday, 8/30, on Fox News All Stars:
[snip] Right, the critics of the project do have a responsibility to say where in Manhattan it would be OK, because there is a mosque four blocks from ground zero, currently. Would they like that one moved?
If it's just the location, and it's not the fact that a mosque is being built, where would it be OK? On Staten Island, the upper west side? Where would it be OK? Because there have been other anti-mosque demonstrations elsewhere around the country that are very far from ground zero.
So I think it's important for the people against this to be extremely clear about exactly what they're against.[snip]
Well, gosh, Ms. Liasson, I think people have been EXTREMELY clear about why they do not want this mosque built in that location by this developer and why.
Good grief. There is a serious lack of logic operating there (or rather, not operating). How can these people be so obtuse? Is it intentional, or do they really not see there is a huge difference between the two?
The same goes for Obama and his ridiculous, uh, I mean, "brilliant" statement to the effect if Jews wanted to build a synagogue there, or Christians a church, a Hindu temples, etc., that should be A-Okay. No problem with that at all. Well, for once I agree with him, but not because of the conflation and distortion he is utilizing, but because, yes, those groups should be able to build near Ground Zero if they wish (or perhaps an interfaith center to house them all). Why? Because THEY DID NOT MURDER THOUSANDS OF AMERICANS as a direct result of their faith (distortion that it may be). That's why.
Jews, Christians, Hindis, Buddhists, Wiccans, any other group you can think of, did not pick a location close to where a group affiliated with their religion murdered thousands of people BECAUSE it was close to that site.
And it wasn't their first attack on that site, either, though too many people seem quick to forget that. This was the second time in less than ten years that Muslims attacked the World Trade Towers. Again, they weren't terrorists who happened to be Muslims, but because of their particular belief system, were terrorists because they were Muslims.
Just yesterday, we had two more Muslims from Detroitpicked up in Amsterdam who were conducting a dry run to see if they could get materials on board a US flight. The scary thing is, they were able to do so. There was the "Christmas Day" bomber. The NYC bomber. There are Muslim extremists planning - actively planning - to do us harm.
Of course, that does not mean all Muslims are bad, or out to get our country. We understand that, too. But to continue to deny that there ARE terrorists out there who want to harm the US because of their Muslim faith is the worst kind of "tolerance." That isn't "tolerance," that is stupidity.
So, yes, there are over 100 mosques in New York City. We know this. That's fine. Whatever. And yes, there is one four blocks away that was built decades ago. So? All these folks making that point, or what they think is a point, just need to stop trying to act like its the same thing. It is not.
As I have said before, it is about decency and compassion for those who lost loved ones at Ground Zero, and for the whole country, which may not ever fully heal from that attack on our soil. Conflating this one mosque being built (by a developer with a rap sheet a mile long, I might add) near Ground Zero in a building that had part of the jet land in it has absolutely NOTHING to do with where other mosques are, especially ones that have been there for decades. Nor does it have anything to do with other religious faiths being able to build near Ground Zero.
These are red herrings, obfuscations, the sole purpose of which is to deny the reality of what happened at Ground Zero through the appearance of "tolerance." Maybe Mara Liasson can forget it. Maybe President Obama can forget it. But the majority of Americans cannot, have not, and will not.