Now that the Imam is back in the US, he has finally spoken out on his plans for the Cordoba Mosque. Today the New York Times published an op-ed from the Imam stating his opinion that the mosque must be built near Ground Zero, in spite of the fact that the New York Times poll shows two thirds of New Yorkers are against it. The essential problem is that for a supposedly peaceful and “moderate” man, Rauf’s aggressive stance ignores the feelings of Americans, and disregards every point we make about this controversy. It’s as if we are not saying anything because he doesn’t address the crux of the opposition’s argument: Yes, you have the right to build the mosque at Ground Zero, but it is wrong for you to do it.
I will use this same argument for the minister in Florida, Terry Jones, who plans to burn copies of the Quran on 9/11. Yes, he has the right to burn copies of the Quran, but it is wrong to do so. Both Rauf and Jones are deaf to the sensitivities of Americans, and yes, they are dumb. There will be no reasoning with either of them because they are both ideologues. In the meantime, millions of Americans are disgusted with them. Essentially, they both refuse to empathize with their detractors.
The media has not drawn the parallels yet between these two men. Instead, they paint Jones as a bigot and Rauf as a persecuted man. This is precisely why the controversy boils. Reason takes a back seat to ignorance, and the media perpetuates it. It doesn’t have to be this way, yet no matter what the subject, the Left is moral and the Right is painted as immoral. This is not how reasonable people get along in real life. And when the mouthpiece (media) for Americans gets it wrong, the controversy escalates.
Muslims have been praying for years in the same building without controversy. It was only when the “moderate” Imam Rauf decided to build a mega center mosque at Ground Zero that Americans spoke out. This is because Americans, including many Muslims, see that as an aggressive action to spit in our faces after the attacks on 9/11, just as Muslims see Terry Jones burning Qurans as spitting in their faces.
The difference is that we won’t kill anyone over it.