Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ground Zero

On the PM programme on Radio 4 tonight they played a clip from an advert running in the States opposing the building of a mosque at Ground Zero. The advert was funded by a Republican group.

I'm not sure about the wisdom of building a mosque on the site. Far better to have a park and memorial ground I would have thought but I'm not American and don't have the right to interfere. But what I am sure is wrong is the wording of the advertisement. I don't remember the exact phrasing but basically it said 'They want to build a monument to celebrate the murder of thousands of Americans.' It was the repeated use of the word 'they' that astounded me. They?

In the way I've written that quote, you could think it was a specific 'they' being spoken of, but the general usage of the word throughout the clip was far more obviously aimed at Muslims in general. The suggestion was that they, the whole of the Muslim world, are evil. They, the whole of the Muslim world, are the enemy of freedom and democracy.

It wasn't that long ago that America had legalised segregation; could it happen again?


katney said...

Haven't seen the ad you refer to, but the fact is that there are bigoted people in this country. The latest is that some unlikely percent of people are saying in polls that they think Obama is a Muslim--another high percent that don't say that say theey don't think he is a Christian. Some of this is because he has gone on record saying that though it might not be a good idea, the group does have the right to build --oh, and it isn't a mosque, it's an Islamic Coimmunity Center--at the location. The location, BTW, is not ON the site but several blocks away and has been in use by the Islamic community in that area for some time.

People are idiots.

Well, some people, anyway.

Leslie: said...

I've heard about the controversy here and I think Obama got his point across quite well, although some would disagree with me. I do think, however, under the circumstances, that the Islamic community could be a bit more sensitive to how most Americans feel right now. If it had been Christians who had attacked them, in the name of OUR God, I'm sure they would be the first to complain if the Christians were to build something near the site of their nightmare.

In my humble opinion...

nick said...

As Katney says, it won't be on the Twin Towers site but nearby. And I can't see what's so offensive about Muslims pursuing their religious observances. The opposition seems to be based on the idea that the mosque/community centre will be full of terrorists hatching new 9/11s. And where's the evidence for that?

Liz said...

Not on the site, katney? What's the fuss then? Especialy if it's already in use?

Didn't George Bush claim God was on his side when we bombed Iraq, leslie?! It's a very difficult situation.

Who needs evidence, nick?

Gattina said...

I am not American either. I think it is a kind of provocation to build a mosque near this place. I am sure that good and brave muslims don't want to hurt people's feelings who lost somebody in this tragedy. If I was a muslim I would be against that project it's just a matter of respect and I am sure lots of them think the same way.

Rose said...

Unfortunately, there is a very vocal group in our country right now, promoting very conservative views and bashing our President at every opportunity. I don't think a mosque or other Islamic center near Ground Zero is in very good taste, however. Leslie's comment is a good analogy. But Katney's information is the first I've heard that it isn't on-site--just shows that you can't believe everything you read.

Furtheron said...

Indeed religious segregation is a real threat in the USA I fear. Recently a poll indicated more Americans think Obama is a Muslim and therefore were opposed to him being re-elected. He has released a press statement saying he is Christian and prays every day.


Er... @Leslie - read your history of the crusades to understand the animosity from some Muslims to Christians as we did do exactly that - refer to the slaughter in Jerusalem in July 1099 - I know debated the level of the the deaths but the answer is that it was substantial and set up the ongoing violence between the two religions.

Oh yes and they subsequently in 1187 kicked us back out... and then in the aftermath of WWII we just gave it to the Jews - no wonder they don't like us eh?... But all goes to show why I'm slowly agreeing with the lets have no religions at all philosophy frankly.