Monday, August 16, 2010

In Reply: US Bigots Help Islamist Extremists Demonize America

In reply to It"s an emotional issue, but blocking the "Ground Zero mosque" is just what the terrorists want

Treating all muslims as though they are presumptively potentially guilty of extremist terrorism is nothing more than religious and cultural bigotry. And while decent people can do no more than try to convince those who engage in it that there is a better way, even that personal bigotry pales in comparison with trying to make our government complicit in enforcing personal bigotry and animus on behalf of the city, state or country. Those who oppose a muslim cultural center (pretty much the equivalent of a YMCA) don't have any more right not to feel offended than the rest of us have not to be offended by their bigoted words and deeds. That "they have the right to build it" should be the end of the story, here in America... We are a nation of laws, not of men, or of feelings.

Whatever the "sensitivities" of the issue, the only people who would benefit from blocking the cultural center at this point are the bigots in this country who would be emboldened to oppose more muslim mosques and cultural centers throughout the United States--which is already happening--and the Islamist extremists who will use any victory by the bigots here to "prove" that the west is hostile to the Muslim faith, and to recruit more disaffected muslims to their murderous cause.

We combat muslim extremism by upholding our American values of inclusiveness and religious freedom, encouraging moderate muslims to become a part of the fabric of this country and taking away the rhetorical symbol that distrust and animus toward muslim people and the muslim faith provides those extremists who seek to do us harm.

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