Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ugly Names and Ugly Situations

The Economist had an article about the proposed Cordoba Centre in New York (at ground zero).
I completely agree that by treating Muslims in America as "outsiders" or as "terrorists," we are providing actual terrorists with new recruits.
I also completely agree that Americans should be the "bigger person" and say, "This is America. We are intelligent enough to recognize the difference between Muslims and al Qaeda. We not only accept, but embrace having a mosque at ground-zero."

However, having been so close to ground-zero on 9/11 (saw the 2nd plane hit from bio class at Stuy), I can understand the emotional response to the Cordoba Centre proposal. I am lucky enough to have had a diverse group of friends and know for a fact that none of my Muslim friends would EVER condone such horrific acts of terrorism. But let's face it. Most Americans are from boring, homogeneous cities in the middle of nowhere. I can easily see myself being one of those Americans...and if I had lost a loved one on 9/11, I can see my anger being horribly misdirected.
In fact, even though I'm Catholic, if an extreme sect of Christianity murdered one of my family members, I can see myself turning against my own religion.

I get that Imam Feiisal Abdul Rauf has good intentions, and that he wants to promote interfaith understanding. He hopes that his mosque will "heal some of the wounds opened by the felling of the twin towers and all that followed." But it's hard to get Americans to realize that diversity is a good thing when you have shameless idiots like Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich running around.

Shame on you, Sarah and Newt, for blatantly using the emotions of those who have already been so hurt in the past to promote your own political agendas. As my friend Dan says, "[you] are so hellbent on making another party look bad that [you] will hop on the bandwagon to resonate with an issue [which] is clearly against the foundational underpinnings of our government."

I am thoroughly disgusted.

And Newt, you have a problem with the name "Cordoba" but're not one to talk with a name like Newt. Newt Gingrich has got to be the ugliest name I have ever heard in all 22 years of my life.

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