I find the concept of building a mosque at Ground Zero to be ludicrous but interesting. It is a topic worthy of discussion, much more worthy than any discussion about Inception.
When I reflect on the years prior to the cataclysmic event that took place on 9/11/2001, I remember feeling safe and comfortable with the way our nation was being governed. I was not concerned about politics involving war or the war on terrorism. I was sixteen years old and my mind was occupied with thoughts of my impending road test, my boyfriend at the time and the notion that graduating from high school in May meant that college was just around the corner. However, our nation was lacking in the defense department and has since implemented new security measures as a reaction to what occurred. Terrorist groups infiltrated our system and destroyed our preexisting faith in our safety as individuals within our country’s borders. Was the United States simply not proactive or in retrospect were we just naive?
The days following the disaster were harrowing. Almost everyone I knew was affected. My high school is roughly 30 miles from the site that is now Ground Zero and we were literally able to see, smell and breathe in the asbestos filled smoke. The smoke was almost metaphorically representative of the figurative fog we were living in as kids. A metaphorical fog that was filled with rudimentary thoughts that were occupying our minds. When the air was finally clean, there was a sense of a new awakening, an enlightenment, a revolution and a realization that the world we lived in was forever changed.
NYC was attacked by Muslim fundamentalists and now there are plans in place to build a mosque at the very site where they committed a mass murder of United States citizens. While it wasn't Muslims as a whole that destroyed the towers but rather a terrorist group, that happened to be Muslims who misinterpret Islamic beliefs, doesn’t change the fact that it lacks a certain element of taste.
It raises the question that maybe what is going on is a battle between religions? Would members of the Islamic faith support a Christian church being built on a site where there was a mass murder of Muslims? If that is the case, the solution would be for everyone to rethink their preexisting thoughts on religion. Thought, actuated by edifices of discourse would help educate those who are unaware by showing that there is no absolute truth regarding religion. We need to put aside much of what we have learned and instead, focus on the greater good. World Peace?
Should I run for President or Miss America?
People tend to view what is told to them by those in positions of power, as an absolute truth , based on the mere fact that it is relevant right now. This is not only true regarding religion, but can be seen with regards to pop culture. We are interested in reading certain articles and opinions of others because we can relate to them, because right now in our lives they are relevant. We could even go so far to say that what science tells us to be true may not be. Science could be viewed as just another method of presenting the ancient ideas of mythology and the more current ideas of religion in a brand new way, one that is just more relevant to 2010. I mean time and time again science disproves itself. I don't know about you, but I miss Pluto as a planet, but I digress. Terrorist groups ignore the fact that society and culture change over time and their followers listen to what they say out of an instilled fear. These individuals need to make autonomous decisions by realizing that they don’t have to obey what they don't believe.
It is important to remember that history repeats itself - always. We can not just assume that we will not be attacked simply because we are the United States of America, the greatest country in the world. The ideas of enlightenment and revolution that developed nationwide after 9/11 further emphasize the fact that, as a nation, we should’ve been more aware of historical sociological dynamics. We would have been more aware of our weaknesses and possibly less susceptible to attack. I don't mean to say that we should have known or expected 9/11 to happen, just that we shouldn't have been naive to think that it couldn't.
The antagonistic approach contains the belief that building a mosque at Ground Zero sends a message of tolerance to the rest of the world, specifically to terrorist groups. I don't support that notion at all. It exposes us as weak and vulnerable. I am not saying that we need to develop a more volatile foreign policy. But it has never been our policy to negotiate with terrorists, so why would we think building a mosque at Ground Zero would render any sort of positive reaction from these groups? Again, I will stress that it isn't terrorists who are building the mosque - but that fact just further elicits my excitement about this topic. One that can be discussed at bay since there is no definitive solution.
Here is a link to an interesting documentary that is coming out. Sent to me by my friend Das: