The news and those that own it are back at it again. Skewing reality and emphasizing the irrelevant is what they do best, but this is a polarizing debate that we just don't need - and the media is feeding it to us like crazy!
Whether or not the 15-storey building should be constructed - I really don't have the background to answer. I do think that New York's Lower Manhattan is not the place, and this is not the time. Maybe it should be in a different part of the city. Maybe it should be considered at another time. Not when we're still steeped in war; not when financial uncertainties halted the re-construction of the gaping hole on the site, and not when some soldiers are coming home from the war against terrorism and others, unfortunately, will not.
I get that's not a mosque....it will be an Islamic Community Center. I get that it's not on the hallowed site of Ground Zero. It's a few blocks away. I get that it's private property. I understand - logically - why it would make sense for a group to construct a building for the community that it serves, and I also understand the legal right for them to do so....but it just doesn't feel right, and the argument around it is causing much more damage to the American psyche than the building itself.
9/11 changed everything - not only for the US, but for the world. Airline policies, security measures to enter a country, even attire that Muslim women wear - perspectives in the way we live have ALL all changed since that dreadful day. It's certainly altered life for those living in New York City, and especially families of the 3,000 victims who died.
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the cleric leading the project, is causing more damage than good. For someone to have spent a lifetime promoting interfaith understanding, peace and tolerance, I'm quite surprised that he's leading the plans of such a highly opposed project. This isn't the way healing happens.