There is loud and reasonable opposition to the City Of New York’s acquiescence to Muslim’s in their choice of location for a new Islamic mosque. Being located only a block from Ground Zero, it has stoked a wild fire of heated rhetoric and cries of outrage. While it is still not a done deal, the city seems determined to let it go forward. All that remains is fund raising for the construction, and that should be a given.
I have read editorials and listened to talk radio callers who insist that this is part of a larger religious war between Islam and Christianity. It seems that, historically, when Muslims would win a battle, they would build a mosque on the spot of their victory. And plenty of people believe that this is exactly what the meaning of this mosque is.
I think that there is one glaring problem with this idea. There was no victory here. This building is going to sit in the shadows of a shining new tower that will reside where the twin towers once stood. It will be surrounded by American flags and American prosperity. This country survived their attack on 9/11 and continues to shine as a beacon of freedom. We continue to be the land of the free and the home of the brave. There was no victory here. If anything, their attacks brought the country together and produced a stronger, prouder people.
Do you want to make a statement to the Muslims? Change the name of the street that the mosque will sit on. Call it American Freedom Way. Then it will be on every letterhead that they send out. Remind them that, though they sucker punched us, we got back up. They haven’t changed our character, our way of life, or our pride in ourselves.
Don’t get me wrong. We should be protesting and making sure that both Mayor Bloomberg and Muslim leaders understand our opposition to the mosque. We should be fighting in court as well. It is a travesty. My point is that, should it go forward and be completed, we let the Muslims know that they will be hard pressed to claim that it has been built on the site of a victory over America, or even NYC. Yes, our lives are clearly different than they were before 9-11, but we are far from defeated. It may seem like small potatoes, but by surrounding the mosque with American flags and changing the name of the street will at least be a daily reminder to those who wish to use the mosque as a center to teach the superiority of Islam that this location proves no such thing.
There was no victory here.