Thursday, August 19, 2010

Some brief thoughts about that 'mosque'

It is proposed to build an Islamic centre, including a mosque, at a site in close proximity to 'Ground Zero' in New York.

- All sides agree that this is perfectly legal; that's not really the issue.
- The issue is whether it is morally right or sensible for this to take place.
- Much fuss about 'causing offence' - I tend to think that being offended is a sin and this isn't a solid ground for anything righteous.
- IF (and it's a big IF) there is a desire for triumphalism behind the establishment of this centre then it should be opposed, not on grounds of it being offensive, but on the grounds that the war against the khawarij continues, and it makes no sense to gift a propaganda victory to the enemy.
- If, however, the development of the centre is straightforward and above board then I see no reason to oppose it.

My two pennies, for what they're worth.
BTW I enjoy political cartoons - here's some that I thought were 'on point':

11 comments:

  1. Can't the Mosque be 'above board' and serve as a propaganda victory to the enemy ? If so the motivations of the developers don't really matter and the only question is :
    Should it should be opposed, not on grounds of it being offensive, but on the grounds that the war against the khawarij continues, and it makes no sense to gift a propaganda victory to the enemy ?

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  2. Roughly speaking my take is that the problem with Islam at the moment is that there is effectively a civil war going on _within_ Islam, between those who seek a peaceful co-existence with the non-Muslim majority, and those who (for fairly well-grounded reasons in Islamic theology and history) seek to subjugate the non-Muslim world to a new caliphate - and who, to pursue that, are quite willing to execute the former type of Muslim. Therefore it will only be a propaganda victory if it is the latter sort of Muslim who end up running this mosque. If not, not.

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  3. Who is the second party to the war? Is it America? The West? Christianity? I think the answer to that question is very important. The criticism of the placement of the mosque is based on the "sacredness" of the site to America (an idolatrous claim, from a Christian perspective).

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  4. Just as Christians disagree, so do Muslems, so I agree with you about the pros and cons of the Mosque. I understand that the site is actually "2 blocks away" - which is not as in your face as some people might think.

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  5. Byron - I think the second party to the war is pretty clear in the writings; Al Qaeda, for example, declared war on the US, UK and the rest of the 'Zionist Crusaders'.
    Agree with you about the potential idolatry, though I would argue that some sense of 'hallowed ground' isn't idolatrous - here is a place of importance for people.

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  6. I think the civil war view (within Islam) is the right one Sam. Those of us third parties should judge our moral persective to actions affecting that "war" based on the morality of which side gains advantages. (And the fact that one half of the civil war has also declared war on us third parties.)

    If the US was a little less holier than thou in its own one true faith Christian position, I might actually find it possible to support the objections ... but if you visit ground zero it's already being milked idolatrously by the Christians. This is about hypocrisy for me.

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  7. As most acts of terrorism these days seem to be religiously motivated, might it not be a rather good idea to leave the area around ground zero a religion free zone, at least for a few blocks?

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  8. As most acts of terrorism these days seem to be religiously motivated
    Do you have evidence of this?

    Chechnya, Rwanda, Greece, Colombia, Russia, Sri Lanka and many other countries have experienced events labelled as "terrorism" in the last year or two that have had little or nothing to do with religion. And that is before we get to state sponsored terrorism.

    Even in some of the better known conflicts, it is not possible to simply attribute all the acts of terrorism committed by members of one religion whose victims primarily belong to another religion as "religiously motivated" when there are also systematic cultural and/or racial differences as well. Things are always more complex.

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  9. My tuppence:

    1) Yes, there's much self-righteous carping going on over on this side of the pond.

    2) There's an undeclared Civil War going on AMONG Americans. It's getting ugly here, on a whole host of fronts.

    3) Building this Mosque isn't the equivalent of building a Christian Church somewhere. It's the equivalent of putting an American memorial in Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

    4) For the sake of argument, would anyone in Jerusalem actively support the building of a Reichstag Memorial? Religion doesn't need to be part of this debate because (as we are constantly reminded by the so-called progressives) the bombers were ideologues, not real Muslims. Still, they practiced a form of the Muslim faith, so should we have a Nazi memorial in Jerusalem?

    5) On the assumption that Mr. Obama leaves office in 6 years, his heroic efforts to promote understanding, to prepare the American people for the next stage in their national development will go down in the History books.

    I've just finished reading Animal Farm.

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  10. And one more.

    Do you have evidence for the claim that the community centre will include a mosque?

    How close is "close proximity"? Two blocks and then around a corner. How far does the sacred ground extend?

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