Mosque at Ground Zero – Stupidity At Its Best

August 17, 2010 at 4:51 pm (Barack Obama, News, Obama, Opinion, Politics, Terrorism) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Out of curiosity, where do you stand on the situation where the mosque is being built at Ground Zero?  For those living under a rock, Muslims wish to build a Muslim Community Center 2 blocks from Ground Zero.  This apparently creates 2 camps of thought, but there may actually be a third. Let’s talk about them and then let you decide which camp you belong to.

The Against It Camp
The first is that the construction of a mosque by Muslims so close to the location of the attack on the World Trade Center is a slap in the face. This side of the camp has been very closely tied to a right wing agenda, but the situation gets agitated when you have Islamic leaders like the co-founder of Hamas, Mahmoud al-Zahar telling the press that the mosque “must be built”.   To him, the construction of a mosque at Ground Zero is the equivalent of placing a Hamas flag at the site to indicate that they’ve conquered the area.  That may be his interpretation, but not for the purveyors of this mosque which is a project of the Cordoba Initiative whose sole existence is to improve relations between Islam and the U.S..  A point that Hannity will not inform you about.

But then you have even further agitation by right wing pundits like Hannity that have started playing the interview with imam Feisal Abdul Rauf where he said that America was an “accessory to the crimes of 9/11”.  All the while neglecting to inform people that the comments were made 2 weeks after the attacks. Like a decade old sticky note and one that’s played entirely out of context where Rauf simply tells it like it is in the eyes of Hamas and not indicating whether he believes it’s right or wrong, but simply explaining that it is what it is.

The FOR It Camp
The second school of thought is that it should be built and to hold them back is a denial of the freedom of religion. One could argue that all of the major religions at one point and time have tread on the liberties of other individuals and yes, even to the point of outright murder. But AM750 talk radio host Mark Arum in Atlanta provided an analogy that if the tables were turned would Christians be denied the right to build a church across from an abortion clinic?  Years of documented stories of angered Christians killing abortion doctors and burning down clinics.  Would the abortion center have the right to stop the church from being constructed across the street?  “Oh well, those were just crazy misguided Christians. That’s not what Christianity is about. Christians aren’t like that.”  And one could say the same about Muslims. Most Muslims aren’t like the terrorists that attacked the World Trade Center on 9/11.  Hamas is a crazy radical branch and not at all representative of the entire religion.   To put it in perspective, it’s like if Episcopalians did something crazy, it wouldn’t be a representation of all Christians.

The Hands Are Tied Camp
And the final and third school of thought is one of “your hands are tied”.  It’s the realization that they should be allowed to build the mosque simply because they have the right to do so.  Not because it’s right or wrong, but simply because it’s their constitutional right to do it and our hands are tied.  How you feel about or how I feel about it or how they feel about it is totally irrelevant.

This is where President Obama has to uncomfortably reside because it’s the law of the land and who is he to over rule it?  In any court of law, this is what everything would boil down to and that would be, “What does the law say?”. Very simply, what they are allowed to do by law.

What exactly do right wing Republicans expect Obama to do? Are they asking him to overrule the constitution of the United States? What precedent would that set for the future of things to come?  It would quickly become the most cited case of criminal attorneys everywhere.

And to be clear,  there were no contradictions in his statements that he said back to back this past week.  One statement at a dinner stated that they have the legal right to do so by constitutional law. The following day he stated that he did not comment on the “wisdom” to do so.  So, essentially, and eloquently, he has said, “Yes, they have the right to do it, but it’s not the wisest thing to do considering the circumstances.”

So what is the right answer here? For Obama, there is none. If he steps in to prevent the construction of the Mosque, he is putting himself in the position of stating that he is above constitutional law.  And once he does so, it unravels every law in the books by indicating that if there is enough opposition or presidential interference, any law can be overruled.  One has to wonder that if Republicans were for the mosque construction, they would be hollering at the top of their lungs that this President thinks he’s above the law.  But since he’s doing nothing, the Republicans have translated that as approval of the mosque and that he’s pro-terrorism, which is absurd.

As a card carrying Republican (who doesn’t always vote Republican), I find this activity very disturbing and it wreaks of desperation and shame.

So, which camp are you staked at?

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