I'm growing so weary of the overly-predictable ignorant, short-sighted, bigoted hate-fest on this one...
First, it's not a mosque.
Second, it's not at ground zero.
Third, two and a half million loyal Americans are Muslim. They get to have churches, too.
Fourth, yes, there should be a mosque at ground zero. It would be fantastic.
While I don't want to help propagate the falsehood that the 9/11 attacks were about religion, it would be like all the Who's joining hands and singing in Whoville, despite the Grinch trying to steal Christmas. I can think of no better way to send a message to a few wigged out extremist terrorists - and the rest of the world - that we were not beaten by their little attack than to go right on at least pretending to be the open, free, welcoming culture our nation was founded to be.
On the other hand, I can think of no better way to let the terrorists know that they were right and they have - at least to some degree - won than to show them that a substantial portion of our population is, indeed small minded, fearful, bigoted, and ignorant, and have been successfully whipped up into a frenzy of closed-minded, unthinking hatred that will last for decades.
All of this, of course, presupposing that we pretend that Islam was the main cause / source of the terror attacks... Which allows us to continue to freak out - just as they hope we will - by lavishing way more attention, fear, and concern on this relatively small number of deaths than it deserves.
Those people died of being free. Period. Every freedom we maintain for ourselves costs us a little safety... And, usually, we consider it a perfectly even trade. The freedom of not living in a locked down police state means that some political criminals will have an opportunity to use terror as a campaign tactic.
Yes, the numbers they kill will be very small, comparatively, but the human nature of the survivors will guarantee you get a lot more mileage out of it than you deserve.
This was, arguably, the most "successful" terrorist attack in history, and statistically, it was pretty much nothing. Emotionally, politically, socially, psychologically, of course, it was huge. But in reality? Statistically? It wasn't that big a deal.
You know what 3,000 deaths is? It's a speed bump in our homicide rate. A 20% increase in criminal homicide, for ONE year. And, yes... In case there's still anyone who hasn't gotten that memo yet, terrorism isn't war, it's a criminal act.
When almost twenty times as many Americans die every year in automobile accidents, we don't leap into a hair-pulling histrionic fit demanding a war against automobiles... Our freedom to drive is more important that those 40,000+ lives every year.
When almost twenty times as many Americans die every year because they lack basic health care, we don't demand government provide a reasonable public health insurance option like in every other civilized nation in the world... Our freedom to be greedy, self-centered, short sighted pigs is more important that those 45,000+ lives every year.
When about four times as many Americans die every year from drunk drivers, we don't flip out and demand congress and the courts outlaw alcohol... Our freedom to drink is more important that those 11,000+ lives every year.
When we kill off about five times as many of each other every year for no good reason - certainly not as good a reason as we'd consider their reason if it was ours... If it was our nation that was being occupied by a hostile power and not theirs - But when we kill off five times as many Americans, every year, just for the fun of it, we don't flip out and demand government outlaw guns, or at least make them harder for criminals to get to... Our freedom to have guns is more important that those 15,000+ lives every year.
But as long as there's someone foreign or another color or of another religion to blame - again, never mind we're basically occupying their home countries and all they want us to do is go the hell home and mind our own business - as long as there is some 'OTHER' to blame, and not ourselves... Well, then, by golly 2,900 deaths is just WAY more than we're willing to accept for ANY reason, and nothing could possibly be more important than flipping out about it, every single day, if anyone, anywhere, even so much as mutters the name or any characteristic of our chosen scapegoats.
The right message to send?
"Build your mosque. Yes, I know it's not a mosque, build one anyway. Build five. Build a thousand. You think you're going to scare us off with a few thousand deaths? Fuck you. We kill over fifty times that many of our own people... Every. Fucking. Year. Just 'cause we're bored. Just 'cause we're selfish. Just 'cause it's FUN.
"Nah nah nah, we'll fly a plane into your building." FUCK OFF. If we'd have thought of it first, it'd be a reality TV show by now, and millions of us would call in every week at $2.99 per text or phone call, to decide which plane gets voted into the building. We let our CHILDREN play with guns... Hundreds of them die from it, every year. You want to scare us...? You're going to have to do a lot better than adding %20 to our homicide rate one fucking year."
That's what we should be saying. Instead, we're following in the footsteps of racists, bigots, and morons. If the people who attacked us happened to be Muslim, ALL Muslims must be bad. Bigotry in America. What a surprise.