Not Cease from Exploration

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Burlington Coat Factory Mosque

I haven't really had a fully formed opinion about the "ground zero" mosque issue, until now that is. As I was following the issue, I was basically in agreement that a mosque should not be built on the site of the Twin Towers. Why? Simple really: that is, more or less, a cemetery. It seems insensitive to build such a center on the site of a cemetery. Like a typically lazy American though I more or less just believed the sound bytes that I heard in the media.

Then I found something out (I can thank Gort for this): the mosque isn't on the Word Trade Center site. Where is it? According Matt Sledge at the HuffPost, it's a bit over two blocks away, at the still standing site of a Burlington Coat Factory store.

Now the calculus here seems pretty straight forward:

Ground Zero mosque? No.

Burlington Coat Factory Mosque? Yes, why not?

If not at a Burlington Coat Factory then where could this go? Would moving it three more blocks away change the opinion of, say, a Bill O'Reilly? He says yes, but I strongly suspect that if the mosque were actually going to be built five blocks away he would be saying "maybe if it were ten blocks away...". And so on and so forth. In the end I don't think this has an awful lot to do with cemeteries or ground zero.

I'm not a Muslim, I wanted Saudi Arabia nuked after 911 and I get nervous whenever I fly and there is someone who is Arab-looking on the plane with me. I own up to my own prejudices. That noted, it seems un-American to oppose the construction of a place of worship simply because you don't like the religion in question. That's what this comes down to, as AGAIN the mosque isn't on Ground Zero. The fact that many Islamic countries are extremely intolerant when it comes other faiths isn't the question at hand here, as this is America and we cherish the right to practice whatever faith one likes (including the right to practice no faith).

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Steven - The issue I have with this whole thing is that it wasn't Muslims per se, tht flew planes into the WTC, etc. It was a gang of angry people who were cowards. It wasn't a religious thing. So why penalize an entire religion for the actions of just a few individuals??? In the end, the actions of individuals are just that; the actions of individuals. And you can't penlize everyone with one association with them for those actions. The idiots that flew those planes into the towers were lot of things. Male...should all males be penalized? Not knowing for sure, but odds are, they were all straight? Should all straight men be held accoutable for their actions as well?? People need to be judged as individuals, not necessarily the affiliations they carry.

Anonymous said...

And sorry for spelling your name wrong. My apologies.

Anonymous said...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/38731398#38731398

Stephen Albert said...

I look at it this way:

Penalizing all Muslims for 911 would be like penalizing all Christians for the pre-Civil War slavery that existed in the United States. There were many preachers who taught that the Christian Bible justified the ownership of blacks by whites. In my opinion they perverted the Word of God for their own purposes. People have been doing that with religion for as long as there have been organized religions. But in the end, you have to, as you noted, hold the individuals responsible for their own actions.

As for my name, I'll answer to just about anything. In point of fact my name is spelled both 'Steven' (on my high school diploma, for example) and 'Stephen' (on my social security card).

Regardless, thanks for commenting.

Kir said...

I guess people are forgetting that this was done in the name of Allah. Though true just because they're muslin doesn't mean it's an issue, but how can anyone argue that it's not insulting? The building was actually damaged in the 9/11 attack and the business in that building was closed out as a result. Not to mention that the guy running the show refuses to denounce terrorism and supports sharia law in this country.

Anonymous said...

I don't consider Burlington Coat Factory to be sacred ground.

Stephen Albert said...

Comment -
"I guess people are forgetting that this was done in the name of Allah."

Response -
For the record, far worse things have been done in the name of Jesus Christ. It's sad...it's horrible...it's pathetic...but unfortunately it's also true.


Comment -
"Not to mention that the guy running the show refuses to denounce terrorism and supports sharia law in this country."

Response -
Those are legitimate issues, and if true I DO see them as being grounds for not approving the center. A discussion about the merits of allowing a permit to a person are different though than a discussion about whether a particular religion should be able to build.

Kir said...

Whether or not a person is allowed to do something and whether that action is in good taste are different. They have the constitutional right to build it, but seriously it's in SUCH bad taste.

And instead of investigating the funding of the mosque and the imam behind it, they're investigating where the funding of the opposition is coming from. I have a good guess. The tons of people who lost friends and family during 9/11.

Oh and of course there's the name of the organization. The Cordoba initiative. Look up Great "Mosque of Córdoba" you'll find that the mosque was built after the islamic conquest of the region and was a building that was converted to a mosque. Oddly familiar.

Anonymous said...

Kir - Watch the video from Keith Olbermann. He adresses your Cordoba reference along with dismissing any other trivial, pathetic attempts to tie this place into some sort of terrorist training camp.

Don't get on a religious high horse. As Stephen states, a lot of bad was done in the name of Christianity. Glass houses man, glass houses. Hate met with more hate isn't going to get us anywhere.

Kir said...

It NEVER ceases to amaze me. Why do you assume that hate is involved? Seriously it's people like you calling racism and hate all the time that will make people blind and deaf to when such a thing really does exist. I have no anger towards Muslims, only extremists like this Imam seems to be.

It is not a discussion of whether or not Muslims have the right to build a mosque it's whether or not they should be doing so there as well as again the interview with the Imam. Have you actually listened to the interview? This guy believes it's america's fault that the 9/11 attacks happened. There is NO healing that can be done by building this mosque here.

Also as to your Oberman comment. So because they happened to lose the mosque it makes it less significant? Seriously it WAS the third largest mosque in the world AND most definitely was a symbol of Islamic conquest. There is no denying that, though you will anyway.

I'd like to point out to the first Anonymous post, the idea that these people were many things not just Muslim makes the whole thing irreverent just doesn't cut it. They flew the planes into the buildings in the name if Allah, not male chauvinism. If instead they flew the plane into the curves headquarters and then a while later a group named the Males of America constructed a men's club. I'd say that would also be unacceptable. Do they have the right to do it? Sure. Should they? No.

Anonymous said...

Or the whole thing could be the best viral campaign for the Burlington Coat Factory ever...

http://weeklycoitus.co.nz/?p=1532