As with much of the stupidity coming out of America these days, I don’t necessarily have the words to capture how I feel about the right-wing furore over the proposed ‘Ground Zero mosque’. I’ll give you a few from Charlie Brooker instead:
Millions are hopping mad over the news that a bunch of triumphalist Muslim extremists are about to build a “victory mosque” slap bang in the middle of Ground Zero.
The planned “ultra-mosque” will be a staggering 5,600ft tall – more than five times higher than the tallest building on Earth – and will be capped with an immense dome of highly-polished solid gold, carefully positioned to bounce sunlight directly toward the pavement, where it will blind pedestrians and fry small dogs. The main structure will be delimited by 600 minarets, each shaped like an upraised middle finger, and housing a powerful amplifier: when synchronised, their combined sonic might will be capable of relaying the muezzin’s call to prayer at such deafening volume, it will be clearly audible in the Afghan mountains, where thousands of terrorists are poised to celebrate by running around with scarves over their faces, firing AK-47s into the sky and yelling whatever the foreign word for “victory” is.
It seems as though freedom of religion in America for right wingers is contingent on being…well…Christian and right-wing. Brooker quite rightly points out the absurdity of this controversy, especially given that
Cordoba House, as it’s known, is a proposed Islamic cultural centre, which, in addition to a prayer room, will include a basketball court, restaurant, and swimming pool. Its aim is to improve inter-faith relations. It’ll probably also have comfy chairs and people who smile at you when you walk in, the monsters.
To get to the Cordoba Centre from Ground Zero, you’d have to walk in the opposite direction for two blocks, before turning a corner and walking a bit more. The journey should take roughly two minutes, or possibly slightly longer if you’re heading an angry mob who can’t hear your directions over the sound of their own enraged bellowing.
New York being a densely populated city, there are lots of other buildings and businesses within two blocks of Ground Zero, including a McDonald’s and a Burger King, neither of which has yet been accused of serving milkshakes and fries on hallowed ground. Regardless, for the opponents of Cordoba House, two blocks is too close, period. Frustratingly, they haven’t produced a map pinpointing precisely how close is OK.
Seriously what is this ‘hallowed ground’ garbage? Guess what Americans, we had four suicide bombings but we just got to grips with it and got on with our lives. You however are still doing this:
Yes it IS scary that there are people out there who are prepared to commit mass murder, and take themselves out doing so. But resorting to intolerance, lynch mobs and turning your backs on every principle on which your country is based is an act of incalculable stupidity. Nearly 3,000 people died nearly ten years ago, many at the site of the former World Trade Center, but to call that site ‘hallowed ground’ (which by extension covers the entire neighbourhood or any other radius taking people’s fancy really) is extraordinarily dangerous, not to mention specious, for the reasons Brooker gives earlier. Bush may be gone, but the people who gave him license to do what he did haven’t gone away. They’re not PNAC, nor any other special interest group – they’re just average, ‘God-fearing’ Americans.
And they need to get a grip.
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