In defense of the Park Place Community Center for Performing Arts that people keep calling a Mosque
But then, the "Park Place Community Center for Performing Arts That's a Lot Like the 92 St Y" doesn't present the same political grandstanding opportunities now, does it.
The one comment in the thread that really sucked me in was something along the lines of If you were in New York on 9/11 you'd feel differently.
I was in New York on 9/11. We all know friends who were there or friends who lost family, or friends who nearly missed being there by some divine stroke of Not Your Time Yet. It's six degrees of Ground Zero around here, and everyone has a story.
I still live in New York, paying New York City taxes and taking a subway to work, making fun of the tourists in Times Square, wearing black in the summer, and staring from my building roof at the gaping hole that was the Twin Towers.
The way I see it, none of that gives me some sort of Get Out of the First Amendment Free card.
None of that gives any of us the right to create some sort of Intolerance Perimeter around downtown Manhattan.
(Besides, if we were to pick one state-sanctioned religion around here, you totally know it would be Judaism. Duh.)
I have a friend at work who lives right next door to the proposed community center. She's informs me there's already an underground Islamic center there, and that it's been there for ages. No one cares, no one complains. What they don't like however, are the FOX News trucks now camped outside their building which invite the wackos and the bible-wavers and the bizarre protesters shaking their fists at that stupid freedom of religion thing in the name of democracy! Now let's go get a lap dance at the Hallowed Ground of 9/11 Strip Club next door.
Something tells me our country would be a more peaceful place with more Muslim Community Centers and less FOX News.
Edited to add: Want to read a perspective from my friend above? Here's her husband's blog. The photo will flip you out.