There’s been a lot of rhetoric lately about the so-called ground zero mosque on all sides: Governor Christie saying that the mosque was merely being used as a “political football,” Mayor Bloomberg saying that opposition to the mosque is treating Muslims differently and giving a “victory to the terrorists,” Obama saying it’s not keeping with American “values” in his speech to the Muslim community at a Ramadan dinner and then later “politicking” by saying he wasn’t commenting on the “wisdom” of building the mosque.
Few, if any, though, could compare to Norah O’Donnell on MSNBC when she said this about the opposition to the mosque:
Rather than articulating the standard liberal straw-man argument of the left, “the mosque has the right to be built there” — few, if any in the opposition have claimed otherwise — she goes for the “They’re like the 9/11 terrorists” angle.
O’Donnell belittles those who have personal feelings with the mosque by saying it’s just “fighting over religion.” And because it’s just “fighting over religion” she equates those who are in opposition of the mosque — not because of any legal or first amendment issue but because of the distastefulness of the act — with those who “stole the freedom from Americans” (which is also incorrect, they challenged the freedom of Americans — they cannot take it unless we give it to them) and “the people who attacked America and killed 3,000 people.”
I wonder what the families of those who died on 9/11 who oppose the building of the mosque would think of that assessment?
The opposition to the ground zero mosque is about the distastefulness of building a mosque on a site where the landing gear of a plane that crashed into a World Trade Center tower severely damaged the building that now stands there. And if the purpose of the mosque is to show “tolerance” and to foster “dialogue,” the organizers should move the mosque as an olive branch. Since the imam and his followers as of now have not officially committed to even talking about moving the mosque, critics of the mosque would say that seems to be at odds of the stated purpose. O’Donnell’s off-the-cuff “analysis” reveals her intolerant and unlearned understanding of the conflict surrounding the mosque.
To equate those who do question the “wisdom” of building the mosque at the proposed location to those who merely “fight over religion” or, even worse, with those terrorists who “attacked America and killed 3,000 people” is not only inane, it’s insensitive and hurtful to those family members affected by 9/11.
To address O’Donnell’s point on discontent with politicians: It’s not so much that everyone groans because the politicians won’t stand up for what is right, but because the politicians have been “standing up” and shoving down our throats things that are wrong.
There’s a difference.