Conservatives have two objections to the Ground Zero Mosque. To say that their objections are unAmerican is to almost imply that their objections stand in sharp contrast to the First Amendment that guarantees religious liberty. But that is not why those who oppose the building of this mosque are unAmerican so we must look deeper. The Conservative objections are that such a building demonstrates insensitivity to New Yorkers who witnessed the 9-11 attacks as well as the victims' families and that, as they claim, the building of any mosque is an display of domination. These claims need to be examined to see both how accurate they are and if they violate any American principles.
To say that building an Islamic religious center so close to Ground Zero is insensitive to the residents of that area and the families of the victims seems to imply that the religion of Islam is to blame for the 9-11 attacks. Why else would New York residents and other victims of 9-11 be upset? And if Islam is at fault, then so are its 1.3 billion followers. Thus, the only sensitive action for Muslims to take is to stay clear of Ground Zero less they remind New Yorkers of what they had done.
The problem with this logic is that it was only a handful of Muslims who actually participated in the attacks. For if 1.3 billion Muslims were at war with America, we would have suffered much more than we did on 9-11. And thus, since such an unmeasurably small percentage of Muslims did attack us then, why blame the rest? In addition, there was much Muslim grief for and condemnation of the attacks. So why blame the religion of Islam or all Muslims for 9-11?
Who would blame a whole group of people for what a small minority of that group did? Osama Bin Laden did. The reason why he assisted in planning the 9-11 attacks was because he wanted to kill American civilians for what their government was doing in the Middle East. The choice to conduct a wholesale slaughter of American civilians implies that he blames all Americans for the sins of their government. So when we blame Islam for the 9-11 attacks, are we not learning from Osama and thus, in a way, becoming his disciples? That is something to think about but that does not show why opposing the building of the planned Mosque is unAmerican.
We should note that Muslims who want to build a mosque so close to the Twin Towers do not have a monopoly on insensitivity. For what says insensitivity like a President of a professed Christian nation claiming to be on a crusade as he plans and carries out an invasion of the Middle East? But more than that, what says insensitivity more than killing, torturing, sexually humiliating and indefinitely holding prisoners without pressing charges? These prisoners are from the Middle East some of which were turned in by by our own enemies? Wasn't the use of Bagram and Abu-Graib a better demonstration of insensitivity than this planned building of a mosque in Lower Manhattan? Doesn't the continued use of Guantanamo show more indifference than the building of this mosque? And certainly, the list of American insensitivities does not stop there. It would seem that being insensitive is an American value but that is not what makes opposing the building of the Ground Zero Mosque unAmerican.
Next is the domination objection. Conservatives claim that the building of mosques, such as the proposed near Ground Zero, is a sign of triumphalism and domination. Thus, a mosque is not just for worship, it is for gloating.
The problem here is that couldn't the same be said of each Christian mission or church built in places like the Middle East, Africa, and elsewhere? If a mosque is a symbol of Islamic victory, could we not say that church is a symbol of some sort of Western Imperialism? After all, have not Europe and America put so much into building and maintaining their respective empires around the world?
In addition, what says domination more than invading and occupying a nation? Iraqis and Afghanis would have a hard time finding stronger examples of domination. And before invading Iraq, we dominated over them with sanctions that killed hundreds of thousands of children and possibly a million or more people. Included with those sanctions were constant arial attacks. Those deadly sanctions not only showed domination, they were a tad insensitive too. So it seems that desire to dominate is also an American value but is not what makes opposing the building of the Ground Zero Mosque unAmerican.
What makes opposing the building of the Ground Zero Mosque unAmerican? If the Conservative analysis of the mosque is correct, then its construction is merely a Muslim attempt to compete with America in terms of being insensitive and domineering. And in our capitalist society, what is more American than competition? Thus to object to the building of this mosque is to oppose competition and is thus unAmerican.
We should note that with regards to being calloused and domineering, the building of this mosque hardly compares with American actions and policies already mentioned. If this were a battle, it would be called "Bambi vs Goliath." So what is bothering Conservatives here? It can only be that the Muslims, in their eyes, are trying to compete at all. So again, it is this Conservative rejection of competition that is most unAmerican.
To think how pitifully the building of the Ground Zero Mosque compares with American foreign policies with regards to being insensitive and dominating, it is almost impossible to take Conservative objections seriously. And if Conservatives are not being sincere with their objections, considering how their other rhetoric strives so hard to be inflammatory, one can be sure that they are using these objections to manipulate public opinion rather than to represent it.