A recent editorial, by Haris Tarin, from the Los Angeles Times, explained the many reasons “Why one Muslim chose U.S. As home”. Mr. Tarin mentioned the multicultural, interracial, and inter-religious friendships that his father experienced. Also important to his father was that the U.S., and its people, were open and welcoming to foreigners.
Mr. Tarin then wrote about his fears for his children. For, you see, he believes that the opposition to the Ground Zero mosque is based on anti-Muslim bigotry and intolerance.
Mr. Tarin, there are MANY reasons to oppose the proposed “cultural center/mosque”. One of the most urgent is that – you will excuse my frankness – body parts are still being recovered. It is still a graveyard. For that reason, Americans are naturally sensitive about the uses of that land.
To put a building that was just a mosque on the property would have caused little fuss for most Americans. What constitutes the remainder of the facility?
Plans are for the facility to include a 500-seat auditorium, theater, performing arts center, fitness center, swimming pool, basketball court, childcare area, bookstore, culinary school, food court serving halal dishes, and Islamic prayer space for 1,000–2,000 Muslims (according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Park51)
Because nothing says “I'm sensitive to the nature of the location” like a basketball court, fitness center, theater, culinary school, and swimming pool, and, oh yes, a food court.
It's been compared to the 92nd Street Jewish “Y”. That facility is only 10 stories, and still manages to serve more members than the mosque would, with 13 stories. Why does the mosque have to be so high?
Could it be so that the mosque will look out to (and above) the memorial site? Check out the picture at http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/03/27/ground-zero-memorial-assumes-a-concrete-form/
The Greek Orthodox church that was destroyed in the 9/11 attack has tried to rebuild for the past 9 years. They have NOT been fast-tracked to do so, unlike the mosque (which, after all, is a new use of the property, not a re-build). Furthermore, according to http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=38462
Port Authority officials told the church to cut back the size of the building and the height of the proposed dome, limiting it to rising no higher than the World Trade Center memorial.
The mosque has not been limited in its height.
Mr. Tarin, it's not bigotry - it's sheer dumbfoundedness at the appalling lack of taste and sensitivity.
Y'all want a mosque? Move it away a few blocks. We won't stop you. We'll even hoist you up in our estimation; showing sensitivity for a culture's deeply held beliefs about the proper way to observe respect for the dead does that.