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Monday, August 30, 2010

Why the Ground Zero victory mosque has touched such a raw nerve

Judea Pearl, the father of murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, explains why the construction of the Ground Zero victory mosque in New York City has touched such a raw nerve among so many Americans (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
If one accepts that the 19 fanatics who flew planes into the Twin Towers were merely self-proclaimed Muslims who, by their very act, proved themselves incapable of acting in the name of “true Islam,” then building a mosque at Ground Zero should evoke no emotion whatsoever; it should not be viewed differently than, say, building a church, a community center or a druid shrine.

A more realistic explanation is that most Americans do not buy the 19 fanatics story, but view the the 9/11 assault as a product of an anti- American ideology that, for good and bad reasons, has found a fertile breeding ground in the hearts and minds of many Muslim youngsters who see their Muslim identity inextricably tied with this anti-American ideology.

THE GROUND Zero mosque is being equated with that ideology. Public objection to the mosque thus represents a vote of no confidence in mainstream American Muslim leadership which, on the one hand, refuses to acknowledge the alarming dimension that anti-Americanism has taken in their community and, paradoxically, blames America for its creation.

The American Muslim leadership has had nine years to build up trust by taking proactive steps against the spread of anti-American terror-breeding ideologies, here and abroad.

Evidently, however, a sizable segment of the American public is not convinced that this leadership is doing an effective job of confidence building.
And with good reason. There seems to be an undercurrent of sympathy with the terrorists even among those Muslims who ostensibly condemn them. There's the 'under occupation' exemption, there's the 'only way they can fight' exemption and there's the 'oppressed and impoverished' exemption among many others. Rather than unqualified condemnations of terrorism, what we hear (and not just in the US but in the entire West) is excuses for terrorism and attempts to absolve the terrorists of blame for their actions. The Muslim bloc has even prevented international organizations like the United Nations from adopting what ought to be a simple definition of terrorism (I took a shot at defining terrorism here - you can take or leave my definition, but I believe it's at least a starting point).

The Ground Zero victory mosque has enraged so many people because it's rubbing America's nose in what happened on 9/11. Should it - God forbid - be built in its current location, it should be subjected to 24/7 demonstrations including photographing every person who enters and leaves.

When is Bloomberg up for re-election?


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