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Steroid
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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby Steroid » Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:54 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Are you serious? We have to fight the narrative because we are in Muslim lands, shooting at Muslim people, asking for other Muslim people not to shoot back. We have to fight the narrative because if we don't, it directly impacts our ability to succeed against terrorism. We are not fighting the narrative to 'protect Muslim feelings'. Fuck Muslim feelings. We are fighting the narrative to protect American and Muslim lives.

I am serious, yes, though I never mentioned Muslim feelings. As I said above, if some Muslims engage in terrorism, I don't think it warrants more effort to convince other Muslims of our good intentions. By converse, that should mean that the more agressive we are, the more the non-terrorist Muslims ought to expend effort to convince us that they do not wish to impose Islam on Americans. I have not seen them do so.

America never has been and never will be rational, and always will happily construct oppressive, destructive narratives--just like every other country on earth. In one instance we have noted that a narrative based on hate and irrationality is actually dangerous and harmful to our own self-interests. Somehow, working to deconstruct this narrative and adopt a more healthy--more accurate--and more helpful one is--'bigoted'? We're asking Muslims to stop assuming all Americans want to kill them while asking Americans to stop assuming all Muslims want to kill them--and somehow you interpret this as bigotry?

I do. The dangerous narrative based on hate and irrationality should not have to be deconstructed by us. The role of correcting irrationality is reserved to educators, parents, doctors, supervisors--in all cases by superiors. To claim such a role against another culture is to label them inferior and incompetent. Where two parties stand on equal footing, and one is acting irrationally, the other is free to take advantage of that irrationality for its own ends or to decline the relationship. Allowing the Islamic world to face the consequences of its actions is far more healthy and helpful than giving it a way to avoid them.

Steroid wrote:But maybe not, maybe it is possible to alleviate Islam of its responsibility to be rational, and impose it on Americans. But I don't see why I should stand for it. I'm a white American male. That means I never get to be the poor, suffering minority (well, I am an atheist, but if you have to be a minority, that's not the right one for political points.) I'm sick of people who on the one side say we need cultural sensitivity and tolerance, and on the other never give any of my cultures any of it. Well, if that's the situation, I'm just going to become the caricature you make of me. I'll use racial epithets and judge people on the parts of the culture most visible. I'll consider each Muslim a terrorist and a radical. Is it true? Who cares, their actions fit into my narrative.
Well, the important thing here is you feel justified in being an idiot, I guess?


Aha, this person has seen fit to decry my beliefs and engage in an ad hominem. Ordinarily I would be sensitive and tolerant and explain things rationally. But since calling me an idiot fits into my narrative of him as one who cannot engage in a rational argument, I shall instead be prejudiced and assume none of his points have merit, and that he is therefore inferior to me.

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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Aug 20, 2010 9:02 pm UTC

Anyone link the Cracked.com article yet?
Spoiler:
3 Reasons the Ground Zero Mosque Debate Makes No Sense

By: Gladstone

I don’t usually write about politics. It’s important, but something I want no part of – kind of like a raw sewage treatment facility. But frankly, I haven’t been this upset in a long time. And it’s due to the logic-hating, herd-mentality rhetoric that some have been flinging in opposition to the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque.” For the uninitiated, there are plans to construct an Islamic Community center in lower Manhattan. And, of course, lower Manhattan is where the World Trade Center stood before terrorists destroyed it, thereby murdering 3,000 Americans. I was working in New York City at the time. As was my father. As was my pregnant wife. I remember the day well. And the days that followed. I think most of all, I remember standing on the Staten Island Ferry, coming home with 200 other silent, reverent New Yorkers of every age, race, and religion, as we watched our city still smoldering a full week later. And it is with this backdrop that I can say to every politician spouting off and opposing the construction of this Islamic community center: “Shut up. Go away. You hate America.”

I’m talking about people like professional political tumor, Newt Gingrich, and future worst President ever, Sarah Palin, who have both slammed supporters of the Islamic community center with rhetoric so flawed, I’m afraid even linking to it might impair your computer’s higher functioning circuits. But it’s not just them. Due to the wave of misinformation being spread, apparently 68% of Americans also oppose the mosque.

How did this happen? Well, basically a complacent or a complicit media helped perpetuate three ideas that are either outright lies or intellectually dishonest arguments designed to bring out the very worst in all of us. And as you continue to hear them–and you will–take out this column which you will have already printed and laminated, and recite thusly:

1. It’s Not at Ground Zero

The proposed structure is not on the hallowed ground of the former World Trade Center. It’s at an abandoned and private building blocks away that used to be the Burlington Coat Factory. That means that if every one of the “g’s” that Sarah Palin drops when she’s talkin’ folksy were 10 by10 feet large, you could still stack over 120 of them from Ground Zero to this community center. Easy.

That sort of makes all the difference, doesn’t it? I know, when I first heard they were building a mosque at Ground Zero, I literally said, “What the fuck.” Like out loud and everything. I didn’t even pull a “WTF” despite years of writing for the Internet. That’s because for the last nine years, we New Yorkers have listened to countless proposals and plans and ideas of how to best rebuild the area while honoring the memories of those who died. And suddenly it seemed we were being told, “Yep, it’s all decided. Mosque. We want a mosque here. Just feels right.”

So yeah, of course, no one was on board. That just made no sense. What happened to that proposed waterfall and wall of names? Nothing happened. Because no one was ever building a mosque on that site. It’s just a lie that was told to you by people who wanted you to be afraid, upset, and hurt. People who wanted to manipulate your tender emotions to inspire contempt for the government. It’s about as intellectually dishonest as manipulating debate footage to make it appear that “Drill, baby, drill” is Sarah Palin’s stance on partial birth abortions. It’s just wrong.

And to those who say that any location in lower Manhattan is too close for a Muslim structure, let me remind you that right now, in the shadow of what would be the former World Trade Center, there’s a Halal Meat Hot Truck with a multi-denominational line that wraps around my building every day at lunch time. And I’m positive that’s owned by a Muslim. And I’ve even suffered at his hands. (Spoiler alert: avoid the goat rhoti). Should he move a few more blocks away too? Of course, not. That would just be silly, right? Is it different? Why? Because mosques are religious and the 911 terrorists perverted Islam into something violent and hateful? Guess what? Those knights did the same thing to Christianity for the 300 years of the Crusades, and no one’s saying that churches shouldn’t be built anywhere in … Europe.

2. It’s Not Strictly A Mosque

A mosque by definition is a purely religious structure. This is a large proposed community center, open to the public and set to house, among other things, a basketball court. Yes there will be a prayer space inside it as well, but you don’t call St. Mary’s Hospital a church because it happens to have a chapel inside it, do you? Well, maybe you do. You read about politics on the Internet from a guy who claims not to write about politics, so maybe you’re functionally illiterate. But the point is, you shouldn’t.

But “Islamic Community Center open to the public” doesn’t have the same ability to scare people the way “mosque” does. I mean, you hear “mosque” you think mosquito, you think STING! You hear “mosque” you think “mask,” you think DECEPTION! You hear “community center” you think “OK. One more place I’ll never go.” So, yeah, clearly the decision was made by those who hate you to call this the “Ground Zero Mosque” even though it’s not at Ground Zero and not technically a mosque. Why are we still discussing this? Why haven’t you already asked Sarah Palin if she’s the devil on her Twitter account? Oh, that’s right. Because the devil is supposed to be good at lying.

3. You Can’t Simultaneously Acknowledge A Right And Insist That Your Government Suppress It

But the real reason I’m writing is not just because of people like Sarah Palin, but because of shameful, spineless panderers like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Here’s a statement from each of them designed to give the appearance of being tolerant while adhering to good old-fashioned common sense values:

From Sarah Palin’s Twitter Feed:

“We all know that they have the right to do it, but should they?”

And from Harry Reid’s spokesperson:

While respecting that Muslims have a First Amendment right to religious freedom, Reid “thinks this mosque should be built some place else,” his spokesman Jim Manley said Monday.

Let me make something clear. In order to make these statements you must hate two things: logic and America. There is NO way to say that an individual has a protected right to do something and simultaneously criticize your government for not suppressing the execution of that right. There is no way for President Obama or any other president to put a stumbling block in the way of the free exercise of religion without violating the sanctity of that freedom. Should I say it more simply? OK.

You can’t legally stop people from obeying the law.

The Burlington Coat factory is private property. Those who want to build on it are private citizens. They are violating no law in wanting to build a community center. Under what authority do you propose we stop them? There is no “unless you’re a Muslim within X yards of a national tragedy exception” to the free exercise of religion. Do the Gingrichs and Palins and Reids want to start a precedent where you can compel people not to exercise the freedoms guaranteed under our Constitution provided enough people don’t like you?

And what are we saying to Muslims? That if they were good Americans they would willingly give up their rights? I can’t think of anything less American than that? This is America. We do what we want. And all you have to do to have that right is be a citizen here. And if you’re a traitor, well then we will prosecute you for treason and penalize you for taking up arms against the greatest country in the world, but we will NOT start curtailing your freedoms based on mere speculation fueled by lies about what you’re building and where you’re building it.

In the days following 911 it was very popular to say that we couldn’t do anything differently in America or “the terrorists would win.” We can’t stop driving gas guzzling cars. We can’t stop supporting dictators in other parts of the world for financial or political gain. We can’t vote for a Democrat. Most of that was rhetoric. Some of it was probably true. But one thing is definitely true: if we ask our leaders to start dishonoring the freedoms that make this country great, the terrorists surely will have won. And I don’t want to see that. Because unlike those with power and influence who would lie to you, I love America.
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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby pheonixduprese » Fri Aug 20, 2010 9:18 pm UTC

Steroid wrote:[...]

Well, the important thing here is you feel justified in being an idiot, I guess?


Aha, this person has seen fit to decry my beliefs and engage in an ad hominem. Ordinarily I would be sensitive and tolerant and explain things rationally. But since calling me an idiot fits into my narrative of him as one who cannot engage in a rational argument, I shall instead be prejudiced and assume none of his points have merit, and that he is therefore inferior to me.


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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby Kayangelus » Fri Aug 20, 2010 9:24 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Anyone link the Cracked.com article yet?
Spoiler:
3 Reasons the Ground Zero Mosque Debate Makes No Sense

By: Gladstone

I don’t usually write about politics. It’s important, but something I want no part of – kind of like a raw sewage treatment facility. But frankly, I haven’t been this upset in a long time. And it’s due to the logic-hating, herd-mentality rhetoric that some have been flinging in opposition to the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque.” For the uninitiated, there are plans to construct an Islamic Community center in lower Manhattan. And, of course, lower Manhattan is where the World Trade Center stood before terrorists destroyed it, thereby murdering 3,000 Americans. I was working in New York City at the time. As was my father. As was my pregnant wife. I remember the day well. And the days that followed. I think most of all, I remember standing on the Staten Island Ferry, coming home with 200 other silent, reverent New Yorkers of every age, race, and religion, as we watched our city still smoldering a full week later. And it is with this backdrop that I can say to every politician spouting off and opposing the construction of this Islamic community center: “Shut up. Go away. You hate America.”

I’m talking about people like professional political tumor, Newt Gingrich, and future worst President ever, Sarah Palin, who have both slammed supporters of the Islamic community center with rhetoric so flawed, I’m afraid even linking to it might impair your computer’s higher functioning circuits. But it’s not just them. Due to the wave of misinformation being spread, apparently 68% of Americans also oppose the mosque.

How did this happen? Well, basically a complacent or a complicit media helped perpetuate three ideas that are either outright lies or intellectually dishonest arguments designed to bring out the very worst in all of us. And as you continue to hear them–and you will–take out this column which you will have already printed and laminated, and recite thusly:

1. It’s Not at Ground Zero

The proposed structure is not on the hallowed ground of the former World Trade Center. It’s at an abandoned and private building blocks away that used to be the Burlington Coat Factory. That means that if every one of the “g’s” that Sarah Palin drops when she’s talkin’ folksy were 10 by10 feet large, you could still stack over 120 of them from Ground Zero to this community center. Easy.

That sort of makes all the difference, doesn’t it? I know, when I first heard they were building a mosque at Ground Zero, I literally said, “What the fuck.” Like out loud and everything. I didn’t even pull a “WTF” despite years of writing for the Internet. That’s because for the last nine years, we New Yorkers have listened to countless proposals and plans and ideas of how to best rebuild the area while honoring the memories of those who died. And suddenly it seemed we were being told, “Yep, it’s all decided. Mosque. We want a mosque here. Just feels right.”

So yeah, of course, no one was on board. That just made no sense. What happened to that proposed waterfall and wall of names? Nothing happened. Because no one was ever building a mosque on that site. It’s just a lie that was told to you by people who wanted you to be afraid, upset, and hurt. People who wanted to manipulate your tender emotions to inspire contempt for the government. It’s about as intellectually dishonest as manipulating debate footage to make it appear that “Drill, baby, drill” is Sarah Palin’s stance on partial birth abortions. It’s just wrong.

And to those who say that any location in lower Manhattan is too close for a Muslim structure, let me remind you that right now, in the shadow of what would be the former World Trade Center, there’s a Halal Meat Hot Truck with a multi-denominational line that wraps around my building every day at lunch time. And I’m positive that’s owned by a Muslim. And I’ve even suffered at his hands. (Spoiler alert: avoid the goat rhoti). Should he move a few more blocks away too? Of course, not. That would just be silly, right? Is it different? Why? Because mosques are religious and the 911 terrorists perverted Islam into something violent and hateful? Guess what? Those knights did the same thing to Christianity for the 300 years of the Crusades, and no one’s saying that churches shouldn’t be built anywhere in … Europe.

2. It’s Not Strictly A Mosque

A mosque by definition is a purely religious structure. This is a large proposed community center, open to the public and set to house, among other things, a basketball court. Yes there will be a prayer space inside it as well, but you don’t call St. Mary’s Hospital a church because it happens to have a chapel inside it, do you? Well, maybe you do. You read about politics on the Internet from a guy who claims not to write about politics, so maybe you’re functionally illiterate. But the point is, you shouldn’t.

But “Islamic Community Center open to the public” doesn’t have the same ability to scare people the way “mosque” does. I mean, you hear “mosque” you think mosquito, you think STING! You hear “mosque” you think “mask,” you think DECEPTION! You hear “community center” you think “OK. One more place I’ll never go.” So, yeah, clearly the decision was made by those who hate you to call this the “Ground Zero Mosque” even though it’s not at Ground Zero and not technically a mosque. Why are we still discussing this? Why haven’t you already asked Sarah Palin if she’s the devil on her Twitter account? Oh, that’s right. Because the devil is supposed to be good at lying.

3. You Can’t Simultaneously Acknowledge A Right And Insist That Your Government Suppress It

But the real reason I’m writing is not just because of people like Sarah Palin, but because of shameful, spineless panderers like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Here’s a statement from each of them designed to give the appearance of being tolerant while adhering to good old-fashioned common sense values:

From Sarah Palin’s Twitter Feed:

“We all know that they have the right to do it, but should they?”

And from Harry Reid’s spokesperson:

While respecting that Muslims have a First Amendment right to religious freedom, Reid “thinks this mosque should be built some place else,” his spokesman Jim Manley said Monday.

Let me make something clear. In order to make these statements you must hate two things: logic and America. There is NO way to say that an individual has a protected right to do something and simultaneously criticize your government for not suppressing the execution of that right. There is no way for President Obama or any other president to put a stumbling block in the way of the free exercise of religion without violating the sanctity of that freedom. Should I say it more simply? OK.

You can’t legally stop people from obeying the law.

The Burlington Coat factory is private property. Those who want to build on it are private citizens. They are violating no law in wanting to build a community center. Under what authority do you propose we stop them? There is no “unless you’re a Muslim within X yards of a national tragedy exception” to the free exercise of religion. Do the Gingrichs and Palins and Reids want to start a precedent where you can compel people not to exercise the freedoms guaranteed under our Constitution provided enough people don’t like you?

And what are we saying to Muslims? That if they were good Americans they would willingly give up their rights? I can’t think of anything less American than that? This is America. We do what we want. And all you have to do to have that right is be a citizen here. And if you’re a traitor, well then we will prosecute you for treason and penalize you for taking up arms against the greatest country in the world, but we will NOT start curtailing your freedoms based on mere speculation fueled by lies about what you’re building and where you’re building it.

In the days following 911 it was very popular to say that we couldn’t do anything differently in America or “the terrorists would win.” We can’t stop driving gas guzzling cars. We can’t stop supporting dictators in other parts of the world for financial or political gain. We can’t vote for a Democrat. Most of that was rhetoric. Some of it was probably true. But one thing is definitely true: if we ask our leaders to start dishonoring the freedoms that make this country great, the terrorists surely will have won. And I don’t want to see that. Because unlike those with power and influence who would lie to you, I love America.


On his point 3... the two quotes are saying, this mosque is legally okay, but morally/ethically wrong. Which is not a contradictory statement like he is making it out to be. We don't have an "immoral things are illegal" clause in the US law.

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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Aug 20, 2010 9:32 pm UTC

Steroid wrote:As I said above, if some Muslims engage in terrorism, I don't think it warrants more effort to convince other Muslims of our good intentions.

And as Hippo said, the reason we fight the narrative is not because Muslims engage in terrorism, but because Americans engage in violent conflict because of that narrative.
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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby Kizyr » Fri Aug 20, 2010 9:38 pm UTC

Finally read through this entire thread. I haven't seen any other Muslims comment on this (if I'm mistaken, please correct me--although I only know of a handful of others who semi-regularly post here anyway). Anyway, where to begin...

First, I didn't make a topic about it not exactly because I'm sick of hearing about it, but because half of what I hear about it is really disheartening. It is pretty jarring to (a) be born in the US, (b) consider oneself very strongly an American, and (c) then be told that you're a second-class citizen because of your religious affiliation. Half the comments are uplifting, about how the rights of the First Amendment apply to everyone, and how the entire idea of a constitutional democracy is that there are protections against the tyranny of the majority. I love hearing those. But, the other half (not from here, as a pleasant surprise) are disheartening for the aforementioned reasons. And, hearing prominent political leaders even back down (looking at you, Harry Reid) leaves you feeling as if you have no one to turn to for political support.

So, with all the comments, the debate has me a bit worn out. One part of me is glad this is coming up, though, since it's really highlighting the extent to which religious bigotry exists in this country. I've always known it was this bad; it just takes the right issue for it to really be brought out.

Second, this is a common experience that nearly every Muslim community across the US has encountered. It's not just Lower Manhattan. I'm from Middle TN and still keep tabs on the community back there. Out of three attempts to build new mosques there (Antioch, Brentwood, and Murfreesboro), all three have been met with fierce and bigoted opposition. The one in Brentwood got a town hall meeting called where the community basically aired all its feelings towards Islam and Musilms in general. The Murfreesboro one got protests and its signs vandalized. So... yeah, this type of opposition is pretty damn common.

I found out later that Murfreesboro was one of the places that Akbar Ahmed visited while putting together his latest book (see http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/0 ... 73465.html). A lot of what he says does resonate with me, although I have some (respectful) disagreements. But that's another subject.

Third, whenever I hear requests of being "sensitive" to others' feelings, it's really a request to be sensitive to other people's bigotry. It happens to just be bigotry of a particular type--namely, blaming a large group for the actions of a few unaffiliated people. The opposition to the Islamic Center in Lower Manhattan is pretty much bigotry. There's no disguising it; it won't convince me to hear people's justifications for their bigotry, as it's still asking me to relegate myself to a second-class status because of someone else's sensitivity.

That being said, I'm still curious to hear those justifications, as I like to try and understand other's thought processes. The cognitive dissonance and hypocrisy sometimes trip me up--e.g., talking about the "supremacy of the Constitution" when it comes to handgun legislation being overturned in Chicago and DC, but then about-facing and talking about "the will of the people" when it comes to Prop 8 in California and the opposition to the Islamic Center in NYC (for that matter, personally, I support the "supremacy of the Constitution" in each case).

Lastly, on that note, I can understand where some of this bigotry comes from. What I don't understand is why people are so unwilling to recognize what it is and try to correct it.
Personal example that's slightly off-topic (or on-topic if you're taking the examples from WWII in the discussion):
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I'm finding something similar in my case regarding the flooding in Pakistan. My family is from Bangladesh, much of my family was involved in the War for Liberation, my parents were in Dhaka during Operation Searchlight, and, well, there are still some sore feelings stemming from how the Pakistani military tried to exterminate us less than 40 years ago. On my end, besides this sort of being passed on, I rarely met Pakistanis who know anything about the war in 1971.
I used to have some animosity towards Pakistanis. But I don't now, since I realized since interacting with plenty of Pakistanis over the years that the dislike I have of the government and military being extended to the people is simply stupid. But... even then, I don't have the same sympathetic reaction when I see news of the flooding in Pakistan and hear people asking for donations. I catch myself thinking "well, where were you while there was flooding in Bangladesh?" But I recognize that the logic behind those feelings is stupid, and work to correct it the same way as I tried to correct the stupid animosities I had before.

Basic idea is: I understand where the animosity is coming from. But, when it's clear that such animosity stems from bigotry, why not work to correct it? Why, instead, attempt to justify such bigotry? KF
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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby mrface » Fri Aug 20, 2010 9:43 pm UTC

In my opinion, building a mosque near ground zero isn't any more ethically wrong than building a church near a spot where lynchings one took place. The only difference is that lynching took place in a time and place where people didn't care, and they didn't result in an illegal war looking for WMDs that didn't exist.

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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby mythago » Fri Aug 20, 2010 10:37 pm UTC

jakovasaur wrote:I quickly read through the thread and didn't see anyone bring this up, but the (Jewish) Anti-Defamation League issued a statement condemning the plan for this building, and was accused of the same stuff that most anti-mosque people are: obstructing religious freedom and being anti-Muslim bigots.


The ADL was accused of the same stuff by, among others, fellow Jews. And rightly so, because they ARE obstructing religious freedom.

Why not build it a few blocks away from Ground Zero? It already IS a few blocks away. The people who are screaming about it being 'a mosque at Ground Zero' are not suddenly going to become peaceful and neutral on Islam if there's another hundred feet between the community center and the actual site.
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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby The Great Hippo » Sat Aug 21, 2010 1:26 am UTC

Steroid wrote:I do. The dangerous narrative based on hate and irrationality should not have to be deconstructed by us. The role of correcting irrationality is reserved to educators, parents, doctors, supervisors--in all cases by superiors. To claim such a role against another culture is to label them inferior and incompetent. Where two parties stand on equal footing, and one is acting irrationally, the other is free to take advantage of that irrationality for its own ends or to decline the relationship. Allowing the Islamic world to face the consequences of its actions is far more healthy and helpful than giving it a way to avoid them.
People's lives are at stake. The fact that you value the opportunity to teach Islam a 'lesson' over the actual lives of Americans and Muslims throughout the world would be funny, if it weren't so dangerous--and so common.
Steroid wrote:Aha, this person has seen fit to decry my beliefs and engage in an ad hominem. Ordinarily I would be sensitive and tolerant and explain things rationally. But since calling me an idiot fits into my narrative of him as one who cannot engage in a rational argument, I shall instead be prejudiced and assume none of his points have merit, and that he is therefore inferior to me.
No, this is an example of ad hominem: "You are a fucking moron, therefore wrong."

I was pointing out that you were constructing a case to justify bigotry and noting (perhaps with a mite of sarcasm!) that the important thing is that you feel justified in taking a bigoted, idiotic stance. My point also applies here: Well, the important thing here is that you feel justified in being an idiot.

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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby iop » Sat Aug 21, 2010 2:44 am UTC

Kizyr wrote:Third, whenever I hear requests of being "sensitive" to others' feelings, it's really a request to be sensitive to other people's bigotry. [...] Basic idea is: I understand where the animosity is coming from. But, when it's clear that such animosity stems from bigotry, why not work to correct it? Why, instead, attempt to justify such bigotry? KF

Because people are familiar with the mechanisms in PC speech, and people tend to try and be consistent. Basically, you're not supposed to use words that would hurt the feelings of minorities and victims. Thus, by (faulty) analogy, you're not supposed to build a mosque that would hurt the feelings of the 9/11 victims. This makes people who would normally support Muslims against prejudices suddenly join the ranks of the anti-Islamic crowd.

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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby mmmcannibalism » Sat Aug 21, 2010 3:58 am UTC

mythago wrote:
jakovasaur wrote:I quickly read through the thread and didn't see anyone bring this up, but the (Jewish) Anti-Defamation League issued a statement condemning the plan for this building, and was accused of the same stuff that most anti-mosque people are: obstructing religious freedom and being anti-Muslim bigots.


The ADL was accused of the same stuff by, among others, fellow Jews. And rightly so, because they ARE obstructing religious freedom.

Why not build it a few blocks away from Ground Zero? It already IS a few blocks away. The people who are screaming about it being 'a mosque at Ground Zero' are not suddenly going to become peaceful and neutral on Islam if there's another hundred feet between the community center and the actual site.


I think an important distinction is that there are people who would consider the issue settled if the mosque was an extra 5 blocks away; these are not the same people who are fighting against the mosque on the basis of zomg there be non christians in the united states of jesus.
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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby Steroid » Sat Aug 21, 2010 10:38 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
Steroid wrote:I do. The dangerous narrative based on hate and irrationality should not have to be deconstructed by us. The role of correcting irrationality is reserved to educators, parents, doctors, supervisors--in all cases by superiors. To claim such a role against another culture is to label them inferior and incompetent. Where two parties stand on equal footing, and one is acting irrationally, the other is free to take advantage of that irrationality for its own ends or to decline the relationship. Allowing the Islamic world to face the consequences of its actions is far more healthy and helpful than giving it a way to avoid them.
People's lives are at stake. The fact that you value the opportunity to teach Islam a 'lesson' over the actual lives of Americans and Muslims throughout the world would be funny, if it weren't so dangerous--and so common.

That's the second time you've put in single quotes something I did not say. Are you using quotes in some way I am not familiar with? In any case, you have incorrectly summarized my position. I am specifically saying to not teach Muslims any lesson, but to act in our own interests, which will have the salutary side effect of making the situation plain to Muslims, who then have the free choice to either recognize it and act accordingly, or ignore it and suffer for it. I believe that this position would be the most efficient in improving the lives, and avoiding the deaths, of people over the long term. Though, I fully concede that it may endanger more lives in the short-term than would a position specifically geared toward the end of saving "the actual lives of Americans and Muslims throughout the world."

I was pointing out that you were constructing a case to justify bigotry and noting (perhaps with a mite of sarcasm!) that the important thing is that you feel justified in taking a bigoted, idiotic stance. My point also applies here: Well, the important thing here is that you feel justified in being an idiot.


Are you again being sarcastic? I will assume no. So I'll try it again, in question form this time, to see if I can make the point: why should I offer fair and reasonable debate with someone who cuts short argument by merely saying that I am an idiot, or that my position is idiotic? Why should I not simply return the slight in kind? If I must construct a rational argument while the person who disagrees with me gets to simply use a term of opprobrium, how is that equitable? It can hardly be said to be fair that I do more intellectual spadework than my opponent, yet have my position cut down on an insult.

But I digress. To return to the Ground Zero Mosque, I think it is being lost in minutae the symbolism of the project. That it is not precisely on the impact crater of the 9/11 attacks (though the building was hit by debris from that attack), and that it is not entirely a mosque (though it contains one), are details that are not pertinent to many of those who have an opinion on the project, both for and against. More important is the idea that completion of the project would be an advance of Islam and a retreat of America, and moving the project elsewhere would be the inverse.

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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby The Great Hippo » Sat Aug 21, 2010 1:32 pm UTC

Steroid wrote:That's the second time you've put in single quotes something I did not say. Are you using quotes in some way I am not familiar with? In any case, you have incorrectly summarized my position. I am specifically saying to not teach Muslims any lesson, but to act in our own interests, which will have the salutary side effect of making the situation plain to Muslims, who then have the free choice to either recognize it and act accordingly, or ignore it and suffer for it. I believe that this position would be the most efficient in improving the lives, and avoiding the deaths, of people over the long term. Though, I fully concede that it may endanger more lives in the short-term than would a position specifically geared toward the end of saving "the actual lives of Americans and Muslims throughout the world."
This is not an approach that historically has done anything but sow contempt and lead to violence. It may be a cliche, but for a good reason: Education and dialogue are the proper tools, not anger, rhetoric, and exclusion.
Steroid wrote:Are you again being sarcastic? I will assume no. So I'll try it again, in question form this time, to see if I can make the point: why should I offer fair and reasonable debate with someone who cuts short argument by merely saying that I am an idiot, or that my position is idiotic? Why should I not simply return the slight in kind? If I must construct a rational argument while the person who disagrees with me gets to simply use a term of opprobrium, how is that equitable? It can hardly be said to be fair that I do more intellectual spadework than my opponent, yet have my position cut down on an insult.
I actually think my point is fairly elegant. You were justifying bigotry, and my response was to point out that at least you feel justified. Because that really is what's important, right? The fact that you can't parse this as anything but a direct insult doesn't sound like my problem (hey, this approach of yours is kinda therapeutic!).
Steroid wrote:But I digress. To return to the Ground Zero Mosque, I think it is being lost in minutae the symbolism of the project. That it is not precisely on the impact crater of the 9/11 attacks (though the building was hit by debris from that attack), and that it is not entirely a mosque (though it contains one), are details that are not pertinent to many of those who have an opinion on the project, both for and against. More important is the idea that completion of the project would be an advance of Islam and a retreat of America, and moving the project elsewhere would be the inverse.
This is not a zero sum game between Islam and America. The winner does not get to go home and have noisy, loud sex with the Prom Queen.

Thinking on it, this is probably your primary problem--that you can't think of this outside of 'Islam: 1, America: 0'.

Basically I'm saying you need to cut down on the Sportsball.

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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby Hawknc » Sat Aug 21, 2010 1:35 pm UTC

Steroid wrote:More important is the idea that completion of the project would be an advance of Islam and a retreat of America, and moving the project elsewhere would be the inverse.

Why? I've honestly never seen a coherent argument that a mosque, even smack in the middle of Freedom Tower, would be a retreat of America, so I'd love for you to provide one.

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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sat Aug 21, 2010 1:38 pm UTC

Because American Muslims aren't Americans, obvs.

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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby mythago » Sat Aug 21, 2010 6:21 pm UTC

mmmcannibalism wrote:I think an important distinction is that there are people who would consider the issue settled if the mosque was an extra 5 blocks away; these are not the same people who are fighting against the mosque on the basis of zomg there be non christians in the united states of jesus.


I don't see any evidence that there are a significant number of people who would be perfectly happy if it was a few more blocks away. It is an Islamic community center in the neighborhood of Ground Zero, it is not "a mosque at Ground Zero". It has nothing to do with Wahhabi Islam (the sect of the people who caused 9/11). It is in an area with plenty of other businesses, including a 'gentlemen's club'. A plurality of people who live in Manhattan have no problem with it.

So what exactly is the logic behind "I am totally cool with it, it just needs a couple more blocks as a buffer zone"?
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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby Glmclain » Sat Aug 21, 2010 7:51 pm UTC

Bolded for emphasis towards the right wing:

You cannot claim to want religious freedom and to keep the government out of religious affairs while simultaneously wanting the government to suppress religion because you don't like it. It doesn't fucking work like that.

Seriously
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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby Nordic Einar » Sat Aug 21, 2010 8:05 pm UTC

Glmclain wrote:Bolded for emphasis towards the right wing:

You cannot claim to want religious freedom and to keep the government out of religious affairs while simultaneously wanting the government to suppress religion because you don't like it. It doesn't fucking work like that.

Seriously


I just want you to know that I read that in Coach McGuirk's voice. It added a great deal of awesome.

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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby mmmcannibalism » Sat Aug 21, 2010 11:56 pm UTC

mythago wrote:
mmmcannibalism wrote:I think an important distinction is that there are people who would consider the issue settled if the mosque was an extra 5 blocks away; these are not the same people who are fighting against the mosque on the basis of zomg there be non christians in the united states of jesus.


I don't see any evidence that there are a significant number of people who would be perfectly happy if it was a few more blocks away. It is an Islamic community center in the neighborhood of Ground Zero, it is not "a mosque at Ground Zero". It has nothing to do with Wahhabi Islam (the sect of the people who caused 9/11). It is in an area with plenty of other businesses, including a 'gentlemen's club'. A plurality of people who live in Manhattan have no problem with it.

So what exactly is the logic behind "I am totally cool with it, it just needs a couple more blocks as a buffer zone"?


Then why is the main statement by so many groups that it is legal for there to be a mosque at that spot, but the respectful thing to do would be moving it a few blocks away?

As to the second, I'm totally cool with their legal right to build the mosque two blocks away or adjacent to or fifty blocks away from the mosque; this is completely independent of whether or not it is a good idea(for the stated goals such as spreading tolerance) to build the mosque a certain distance away.
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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby Prefanity » Sun Aug 22, 2010 12:07 am UTC

mmmcannibalism wrote:
mythago wrote:
mmmcannibalism wrote:I think an important distinction is that there are people who would consider the issue settled if the mosque was an extra 5 blocks away; these are not the same people who are fighting against the mosque on the basis of zomg there be non christians in the united states of jesus.


I don't see any evidence that there are a significant number of people who would be perfectly happy if it was a few more blocks away. It is an Islamic community center in the neighborhood of Ground Zero, it is not "a mosque at Ground Zero". It has nothing to do with Wahhabi Islam (the sect of the people who caused 9/11). It is in an area with plenty of other businesses, including a 'gentlemen's club'. A plurality of people who live in Manhattan have no problem with it.

So what exactly is the logic behind "I am totally cool with it, it just needs a couple more blocks as a buffer zone"?


Then why is the main statement by so many groups that it is legal for there to be a mosque at that spot, but the respectful thing to do would be moving it a few blocks away?

As to the second, I'm totally cool with their legal right to build the mosque two blocks away or adjacent to or fifty blocks away from the mosque; this is completely independent of whether or not it is a good idea(for the stated goals such as spreading tolerance) to build the mosque a certain distance away.


I imagine, being lower Manhattan and all, that real estate isn't exactly there for the taking. I also imagine those who use this argument are fully aware that there really isn't any other place to build this thing. I admit that I may have a wildly active imagination.

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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby mythago » Sun Aug 22, 2010 12:12 am UTC

mmmcannibalism wrote:Then why is the main statement by so many groups that it is legal for there to be a mosque at that spot, but the respectful thing to do would be moving it a few blocks away?


Not sure which groups you mean, but in any case, for this statement to make sense there must be some underlying logic as to why it is insensitive to build an Islamic JCC at the proposed location, but totally sensitive to build it X distance farther away. Why is this "too close"?
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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby mmmcannibalism » Sun Aug 22, 2010 2:19 am UTC

mythago wrote:
mmmcannibalism wrote:Then why is the main statement by so many groups that it is legal for there to be a mosque at that spot, but the respectful thing to do would be moving it a few blocks away?


Not sure which groups you mean, but in any case, for this statement to make sense there must be some underlying logic as to why it is insensitive to build an Islamic JCC at the proposed location, but totally sensitive to build it X distance farther away. Why is this "too close"?


The underlying logic would be ground zero is "hallowed ground" so it is insensitive for certain things to be built close to the site. The farther away the center is from ground zero, the clearer it is that the center is a matter of spreading tolerance and not an insult to the site.
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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby Vaniver » Sun Aug 22, 2010 2:22 am UTC

mmmcannibalism wrote:The farther away the center is from ground zero, the clearer it is that the center is a matter of spreading tolerance and not an insult to the site.
And at what point does the Intolerance Quotient of building a mosque dip below an acceptable threshold?

(By the way, I'm totally for building a mosque closer to Ground Zero than 2 blocks away. Anywhere, really.)
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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby mmmcannibalism » Sun Aug 22, 2010 2:40 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:
mmmcannibalism wrote:The farther away the center is from ground zero, the clearer it is that the center is a matter of spreading tolerance and not an insult to the site.
And at what point does the Intolerance Quotient of building a mosque dip below an acceptable threshold?

(By the way, I'm totally for building a mosque closer to Ground Zero than 2 blocks away. Anywhere, really.)


I think a better question is when does viewing the mosque as offensive become absurd? Since there is already a mosque 4 blocks away(having trouble finding a source other then pages saying that), I'd say anything above 4 blocks away stops making sense to call insensitive. That being said, my conception of a block is based on a small town so 2 blocks may be a much larger distance(and especially in terms of line of sight) may be more significant then I originally thought.
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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby Vaniver » Sun Aug 22, 2010 2:44 am UTC

mmmcannibalism wrote:That being said, my conception of a block is based on a small town so 2 blocks may be a much larger distance(and especially in terms of line of sight) may be more significant then I originally thought.
NYC blocks are pretty tiny. But there are already enough buildings in the way that there is no line of sight.

Also, what if the mosque 4 blocks away was built pre 9/11? Does that mean it's not a good reference point?

(The point is there is no good reference point. This is subjective, at best, and the offense over this is mostly manufactured or so unimportant and, most importantly, so unAmerican that it shouldn't make the local news, let alone the national news.)
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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby mmmcannibalism » Sun Aug 22, 2010 3:02 am UTC

NYC blocks are pretty tiny. But there are already enough buildings in the way that there is no line of sight.


In that case, I agree its pretty unnecessary to be concerned.
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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Aug 22, 2010 3:16 am UTC

Yes, God* forbid anyone see a Muslim from those hallowed grounds.

*The Jesus God obviously.
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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby Vaniver » Sun Aug 22, 2010 3:20 am UTC

mmmcannibalism wrote:In that case, I agree its pretty unnecessary to be concerned.
You don't agree in the other case?

I mean, a mosque next to the ruins of the WTC is What Makes Hypothetical America Great.
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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby jakovasaur » Sun Aug 22, 2010 3:51 am UTC

I agree that any anti-mosque sentiment is irrational, I am just saying that I think the goal of promoting religious tolerance would be better served if the thing was moved a few blocks further away. It would send the message that the people who are building it are willing to make concessions and cooperate with the people they are trying to have a dialogue with. However, I didn't really think about the real-world ramifications of "moving it". That's true, it is probably incredibly difficult or maybe impossible to find another location. That's a good point.

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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby Malice » Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:04 am UTC

jakovasaur wrote:I agree that any anti-mosque sentiment is irrational, I am just saying that I think the goal of promoting religious tolerance would be better served if the thing was moved a few blocks further away. It would send the message that the people who are building it are willing to make concessions and cooperate with the people they are trying to have a dialogue with.


I'm not sure you understand which side here is lacking in tolerance.
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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby jakovasaur » Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:20 am UTC

No, I get it. I recognize the lack of tolerance on the anti-mosque side. I'm just saying that if they want to promote tolerance, they should "be the bigger man". People are irrational about 9/11, and that's just a fact of life. Its not right that they are pressured to move the "mosque", but they are. I really couldn't care less either way, and I wish everyone else felt the same way.

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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby Kizyr » Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:27 am UTC

jakovasaur wrote:No, I get it. I recognize the lack of tolerance on the anti-mosque side. I'm just saying that if they want to promote tolerance, they should "be the bigger man". People are irrational about 9/11, and that's just a fact of life. Its not right that they are pressured to move the "mosque", but they are. I really couldn't care less either way, and I wish everyone else felt the same way.

Here's the problem: there's no end to "giving in" here. They changed the name from Cordoba House to Park 51 because some people were insensitive to it. Any amount of "changes" they make won't appease the people who are saying that our very presence is somehow offensive.

This is because it's the same story everywhere else in the country. Murfreesboro, Antioch, and Brentwood aren't "hallowed ground", yet the local residents there still say it's offensive and wrong to build a mosque there. Giving in for absurd reasons fails to promote tolerance, because once you give in, the same intolerant people will simply latch onto something else equally arbitrary to be intolerant about.

iop wrote:Because people are familiar with the mechanisms in PC speech, and people tend to try and be consistent. Basically, you're not supposed to use words that would hurt the feelings of minorities and victims. Thus, by (faulty) analogy, you're not supposed to build a mosque that would hurt the feelings of the 9/11 victims. This makes people who would normally support Muslims against prejudices suddenly join the ranks of the anti-Islamic crowd.

I think I see what you mean (I take it by saying this is a faulty analogy that, like me, you're not condoning the logic so much as trying to understand it). In other words, basically prioritizing one group's feelings over another group? I mean, even then, it still requires a willful assertion that one group is inferior and should relinquish its rights because of it--not to mention it requires a few other related things, like disregarding the fact that there were also Muslims who were victims of 9/11, and viewing Muslims as some outside "foreign" entity that one can't coexist with. KF
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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby jakovasaur » Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:33 am UTC

There is a good chance you're right. I guess I was just being optimistic and hoping that a concession on the Muslim side would solve the problem. Honestly though, we are talking about religious people, so we can't expect rational thinking.

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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby Mo0man » Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:40 am UTC

Also, there have been, in fact, more than a few mosques that were blocked all over America, just cause.
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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Aug 22, 2010 5:15 am UTC

jakovasaur wrote:I am just saying that I think the goal of promoting religious tolerance would be better served if the thing was moved a few blocks further away.
No, the goal of promoting religious tolerance would be best served by tolerating the thing being built as close to Ground Zero as they damn well pleased. The only thing served by moving it farther away than it's already planned for is intolerant anti-Muslim bullshit.
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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby Diadem » Sun Aug 22, 2010 5:27 am UTC

So how do you guys feel about building a christian monestary right next to Auschwitz?
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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby Malice » Sun Aug 22, 2010 5:35 am UTC

Diadem wrote:So how do you guys feel about building a christian monestary right next to Auschwitz?


About the same as I feel about building a cheese factory next to an airport.

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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby Texas_Ben » Sun Aug 22, 2010 5:37 am UTC

Diadem wrote:So how do you guys feel about building a christian monestary right next to Auschwitz?

Except... that that has nothing to do with the discussion at hand since the holocaust was not a christian undertaking in any sense of the word?

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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby Shivahn » Sun Aug 22, 2010 5:48 am UTC

Texas_Ben wrote:
Diadem wrote:So how do you guys feel about building a christian monestary right next to Auschwitz?

Except... that that has nothing to do with the discussion at hand since the holocaust was not a christian undertaking in any sense of the word?


It was a Christian undertaking in about the same sense of the word as it would be if you replaced holocaust and Christian with 9-11 and Muslim...

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Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Aug 22, 2010 5:51 am UTC

Diadem wrote:So how do you guys feel about building a christian monestary right next to Auschwitz?
It depends--is the area around Auschwitz zoned for development?

Is the area around the collapsed WTC towers zoned for development?

Seeing the distinction now? There's a difference between 'NO ONE shall build on this hallowed ground' and 'ONLY PEOPLE I APPROVE OF will build on this hallowed ground'.


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