Some things just leave a bad taste in your mouth. Like the mystery jam at the back of the fridge that you swore was ok when your mom claimed the white stuff on top was crystallized sugar (yes, this actually happened to me). Yeah, like that. This is one of those instances.
Building a mosque and community center down the street from ground zero would be a great idea in a perfect world. But then again, in a perfect world, 9/11 would never have happened. I do not think this only on behalf of the victims of the terrorist attack, nor the residents of lower Manhattan who can still see the images of falling concrete and glass in their minds eye. No, I think this on behalf of ordinary Muslims as well. That's right.
Just as one can separate the logical distinction between members of the KKK and Christians who go to church every Sunday (and whose extracurricular activities don't include lynchings and burning crosses), we should be able to know the difference between Muslims and Islamist extremists. As I said in an earlier post, Islamist extremists are the furthest from the Muslim faith of any. If you research any extremist organization, that is usually the case. The loudest, most self righteous, extreme members of any creed are usually the ones who have mangled and raped the original message of that creed the most. Islamist extremists are no different.
What happened on 9/11 is and will always be a tragedy, a heart wrenching, mindless loss of human life. Those responsible should be severely punished...that's why we flew the Bin Ladens safely out of the country and have invaded almost every country in the Middle East other than Saudi Arabia where most of the terrorists were from...right.
One of our greatest faults is our mixed cocktail of arrogance and ignorance. This elixir can make the most affable American a real pain in the ass if he drunkenly walks into a Muslim right by ground zero.
I do of course see that there is always a possibility that the tables could turn but regardless of who strikes first, walking into a lions den wearing gazelle blood cologne is just a bad idea, no matter how good your intentions are. The spokesman for the Cordoba intitiative (the name of the community center project) said that the project would build bridges. I disagree.
Before you build bridges, you gotta test what you're building on. And right now, you're suspended in mid air over a swamp. Americans need to be educated on the Muslim culture before its shoved into their faces. The only thing that comes to mind in most people's heads when you say Muslim is 9/11, suicide bombings, terrorist. You'd be hard pressed to find someone talking about the incredible culture of a faith rooted in the cradle of civilization. And it's a two way street. Muslims also need to understand and accept that theirs is a sticky situation. I hate getting stopped at airports and groped by some overweight, underpaid security guard who smells of McDonalds and hairspray. However, if swedes and jews were responsible for terrorist attacks across the world, I would offer myself up for searches. Like Derek Jeter in line for drug testing, I would request that my bags be searched and my boobs groped. Why? Because I wouldn't be angry with those protecting themselves, I'd be damn pissed off at my countrymen or fellow jews for making my culture and my beliefs look like a bad slaughterhouse video game.
Until this mutual understanding of cultures and lifestyles happens, the only thing you're going to get from an initiative like this is a whole helluva lot of trouble.
You can't run before you crawl and you shouldn't act before you educate.