Why the assumption that we have something to prove? Meanwhile, we're expected to take Islam's claims of "tolerance" (which is according to its own definition and standards, not the Western tradition) as an article of politically correct faith. The tasteless positioning of a mosque near Ground Zero is also intended to foist another part of that dogma on New Yorkers -- namely, that Islam had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks, so a mosque in that location ought to be quite alright, right?
But there are two problems here: 1. Islamic jihad was the motivation behind those attacks, and 2. it is Islam that has a problem with tolerance, as is made clear by its own texts and teachings (one may start with Qur'an 9:29, 98:6), and the abundance of Islamic nations cited as "Countries of Particular Concern" in the annual report of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.
Lastly, the fact that this project is called the "Cordoba House" adds a certain level of insult to injury. In that vein, someone might ask Imam Rauf about the Hagia Sophia sometime.
"New Yorkers Wary Of Future Ground Zero Mosque," from CBS, May 6:
NEW YORK (CBS) ― In a building damaged by debris from the Sept. 11 airliners that brought down the World Trade Center and soon to become a 13-story mosque, some see the bridging of a cultural divide and an opportunity to serve a burgeoning, peaceful religious population. Others see a painful reminder of the religious extremism that killed their loved ones.
Anything having to do with that day, that place, carries enormous meaning. Now two Islamic organizations have partnered to build something that they say will bring some good from something very bad.
Organizers say the project will create a venue for mainstream Islam and a counterbalance to radicalism. It earned a key endorsement this week from influential community leaders.
"This is a community center, a community and cultural center, which would include certainly prayer space for Muslims and we hope for non-Muslims as well, to bring about a new discourse in the relationship between the United States, New York City, and the Muslim world," said Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf of the Cordoba Initiative.
He's hoping the 13-story, $100 million Islamic center will join the other buildings; the banks, offices, and apartments, going up at ground zero. It will serve a growing Muslim population in lower Manhattan.
The closest mosque to this area is a dozen blocks away and very over-crowded, but this site was also chosen for exactly what happened here on 9/11, and what America stands for, Rauf told CBS station WCBS-TV in New York City.
"Definitely, this is a victory of American tolerance over hatred," Rauf said.
But some 9/11 victims' families say the issue isn't tolerance.
"I don't like it," said Evelyn Pettigano, who lost a sister in the attacks, during a phone interview on Thursday. "I'm not prejudiced. ... It's too close to the area where our family members were murdered."
"I lost my brother, Sean. He was a fireman," Rosaleen Tallon said.
"As an American I am so proud of our freedom of religion, but I also think we have to be historically sensitive to what happened in that area," Tallon said.
Tallon wants to teach her son, Paddy, to be tolerant of other religions. But she wonders if other religions, like Islam, are teaching their children to be tolerant of hers. There are other places in the city, she said, for another mosque.
"I don't think that they would build a German cultural center right near Auschwitz. Just because you're looking at what happened to the people that died there. That's all that should be focused on," Tallon said.
The organizations publicly unveiled the preliminary plan for the project, known as the Cordoba House, on Wednesday at a meeting of the finance committee of the local community board, which is composed of influential stakeholders in lower Manhattan. While the agency has no authority over what can be developed at the site, their support is viewed as key to gaining acceptance from residents....