There are a lot of good ways to be Anti. You can be anti-hate. You can be anti-war. You can be anti-nazi. There are also a lot of bad ways to be Anti. Unfortunately, it’s not always as easy to distinguish when you’re being anti in a negative way. Some people are clever and charismatic enough to convince people they’re standing up for something positive by being anti when really they’re bringing more of the wrong attitude into this world.
While this is going on all the time, the most recent and relevant example of this sort of thing has to do with the building of what is becoming known as the Ground Zero Mosque. As discussed in a video in a previous post, the mosque isn’t really just a mosque but an Islamic cultural center that is to be open to all residents of New York. After reading some of the anti-mosque literature and news, I was under the impression that this building was planned as an imposing anti-American house of satanic worship directly on top of the graves of terrorism victims.
After doing some of my own research, I found that the building is a cultural center, much like a large YMCA. The top several floors of many will be the only parts of the building solely dedicated to worship.
So why are so many people against this? It can’t be because it’s a church. There are many churches in the area. There are Christian churches, Catholic churches, and Jewish synagogues. Why then? Many seem to think that the terrorists who flew airplanes into the World Trade Center were Muslim. This may be true, but so are millions of other people. We don’t stop a new Church from being built because the Crusades killed millions of people. We don’t protest outside of Catholic churches because priests were inappropriately comforting their altar boys. Why should we protest the construction of a Islamic cultural center?
Unfortunately, there are web pages like those of the ACLJ, with bits like this one them:
We are deeply disturbed by the decision to build an Islamic mosque at Ground Zero — the sacred site where Islamic terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center and claimed the lives of thousands of innocent Americans.
Even more troubling is that this mosque is financially backed by an investor with reported ties to terrorism — reports indicate that Imam Rauf was one of the key financiers of the Gaza-bound flotilla that recently carried terrorists determined to attack Israel!
As radical Islam continues its bold and deadly march to erase freedom from the face of the earth — we must determine who we will honor: America’s fallen 9/11 victims or the terrorists who attacked them?
In many ways, this is a complicated issue. In other ways, it can be boiled down to something very simple. Too many people view the world as a clean cut thing. Too many people view the world divided into two parties, not Republican and Democrat, not Jew or Gentile. It’s even simpler than that. Many people view the world as Us, and Them. We are Us, and those people over there, that’s Them.
You don’t want to go over there, that’s where They are. They want to build a Mosque where Our family members died because of Them. They. Them.
It’s this brand of thinking that really creates harm. It’s this sort of thinking that allowed the Holocaust to happen. It’s this sort of thinking that put thousands of Japanese-Americans in internment camps during the second world war. It’s a very dangerous thing to let go unchecked.
Since so many people seem to get lost in this sort of rabble-rousing, it’s even more important for those of us who know better to speak up. We need to speak up and stand up against this anti-Muslim prejudice. Doing nothing is only going to breed more fear.