A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I understand.

I understand...that many people feel hurt and betrayed by plans to build an Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan. Many of these people lost loved ones in the 9/11 attacks, and it is a pain with which they are still coping. The rest of the world has moved on from that day: a cruel but inevitable act. Those still in pain need to understand that — as hard as it is to do — they must also move on and live the lives their lost loved ones would want them to live.

I understand...that Ground Zero is hallowed ground. Two blocks from Ground Zero is not hallowed ground. At two blocks, ground should be given back to the living. The day-to-day business of life – as well as commerce itself — might as well begin here as anywhere else.

I understand...why the planners of the mosque want to build it only two blocks from Ground Zero. They believe that the best way to combat this intolerance perpetuated against America is to build their community center near Al-Qaeda’s most infamous achievement. The center, they reason, would be a dramatic gesture of religious tolerance, an in-your-face defiance of Al-Qaeda’s goals. The planners realize that the 9/11 attacks were executed by a small faction of fanatical believers, who could have very easily been Christians or Catholics attacking an abortion clinic, or Jews attacking an Arab settlement. Instead, they just happen to be Muslim.

I understand...why some politicians are preying on people’s fears about the mosque. They argue that their criticisms are not against religious freedom, but rather sensitivity for the victims of 9/11. All the same, they see the growing financial and political support for their own goals in the eyes and signs of all American people who are, like them, fearful.

I understand...why many Muslims do not want to aggravate the situation any more than it is already. They see the mosque controversy as another in a series of events which widens the rift between them and the Christian world. A few Christian leaders are even advocating the return of all Muslims to their — presumably — Arab country of origin. No never mind that many of these Muslims were born here in America. No never mind that such calls would even leave Jesus Christ himself shaking his head in bewilderment.

I understand...why President Obama would defend the right of Muslims to build a mosque near Ground Zero, then seemingly hedge against the wisdom of the project. He is trying to stand upright, holding the Constitution with one hand, and keeping the country from being torn apart by intolerance with the other. He knows it’s not the best position in which to be, but he realizes that sometimes the high road is the loneliest place in the world.

I understand...that all voices for, against, and in the middle of this controversy have a right to be heard. We are, after all, an evolving democracy that, after 234 years, is still trying to figure out the best way to get along. There never was, and probably never will be, any guarantee that all Americans will always be 100% happy with life in this country. Yet we are all determined to make this democracy work for today and forever.

I understand...that all of these factions — Muslims and Christians, conservatives and liberals, victims and victim’s kin, presidents and common men — need to learn more about the concept of understanding.

(Thank you for reading. There is nothing more to say...)


Anonymous Janey said...

I understand too...

Thank you, RTG, for expressing this understanding with such eloquence. I am deeply moved...

August 24, 2010 at 9:20 PM  

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