A Muslim Center in New York?

Yesterday, I raised a point of discussion with two of my friends on the subject of the proposed community center, in lower Manhattan. I was let down by the core logic from my two friends:

  1. All Muslims are at war against the United States.

  2. I want to respect the feelings of the families who lost loved ones on 9/11. If they are against the center, I’m against the center.

As I mulled over their logic and refined my thoughts, I laughed a little at starting this tangled conversation, and then, I made my points explicit.

  • All Muslims are not at war against the United States. Thinking in this manner, is as silly as believing that all white people hate black people. Thus, unless there is some proof that the people building the community center have an intent to harm or otherwise embarrass the country, I must support the land owner’s right to build.

  • I cannot support a decision-making approach where victims are overly influential in the decision of what is “right.” Having victims decide what is just, creates a society with harsh and cruel underpinnings and sets a tone with the public of mistrust and fear of being accused.

Thankfully, my friends took in my thoughts, and agreed, at least for a moment, with my rationale. We then went on to discuss more normal topics, like “How good a guitarist is Prince?”

This morning I awoke to read these two article. The first Taking Bin Laden’s Side by Nicholas Kristof is an opinion editorial, well written, not the most convincing of logic, but thoughts that I generally agree with.

The second, For Imam in Muslim Center Furor, a Hard Balancing Act, provides some fact and background that would have been useful in the prior day’s discussion. Thank goodness I had most of my facts correct.

Reflecting on this morning’s reading, I’m glad I had my conversation yesterday, many more, it appears, are needed.

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