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Thursday, August 26, 2010

When is a Mosque Not a Mosque? Updated

Most religions have some sort of sanctification ritual to make a church a real church, a synagogue a real synagogue, or a mosque a mosque.

It is kind of like the non-denominational chapels that are found in hospitals everywhere in this country. They are places for private prayer, contemplation, meditation or just to be there. No one thinks they are a church. Not even when they are in a Catholic hospital. In fact, if a Catholic priest decides to say mass in one of these chapels - he brings a portable altar with him that is "sanctified" to turn it into a church - but only for as long as the altar is there.

The Park51 community center is NOT a mosque. It has a prayer space in it. Kind of like the chapels in the hospitals. No more. No less.

The big difference here is only that it will be used more often. In fact five times per day. For daily required prayers. Muslim prayers, as we should all know by now require the individual to ritually wash face, hands and feet, and then prostrate themselves face down on the ground. A dedicated, clean space for prayers is only natural. So why the big fuss?

It seems that there are a lot of people in this country who equate a bunch of 19 criminals with the 1.3 billion other people who practice Islam. Whether these 19 thugs actually practice the religion of Islam is very open to question, in my humble opinion.

The 19 criminals are equivalent to Timothy McVeigh. Did we hear that all Christians are thugs and criminals because Timothy McVeigh was a "Christian"? No we didn't. We classified him as a criminal, tried and convicted him and put him to death. End of story.

And this is exactly why anyone who disapproves of this community center should sit down and shut up. Including people who want them to "move it somewhere else". The very fact of calling for moving it means we DO equate those 19 terrible criminals with the peace-loving Sufi adherents who are trying to do something good.

By the way - I haven't heard any objections to the sex shop that IS directly across the street from Ground Zero.

UPDATE: I recently discovered that the Park51 Community Center will also have prayer spaces for Jewish persons and Christian persons along with its prayer spaces for Muslim persons. Boy, some mosque.

UPDATE 2: Keith Olbermann reported that if you want to complain about mosques at Ground Zero maybe you should start with the two ACTUAL MOSQUES that were in the two WTC buildings when they were demolished on September 11, 2001. One was a complete mosque in WTC2 and the other was a more informal one set up in a stairwell (can you believe this? a stairwell?) in WTC1 outside the Windows on the World Restaurant for use by the workers and patrons for daily prayers.

The people who destroyed the WTC towers apparently didn't mind bombing two actual mosques when they did their little attacks. So why all of a sudden are people in this country so "sensitive" we are calling for no mosques even near Ground Zero? What about the Muslim families of those lots on 9/11 who were Muslim? What about the mosques that were already there?

Hypocrisy, thee knows no bounds.

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