Ground Zero Mosque

I haven’t been following this Mosque on Ground Zero business very closely (is it actually on ground zero or near ground zero? It seems to depend on who you ask), but theologian John Stackhouse has some good things to say about it, if you’re at all interested.

From his first post on the subject:

If we don’t think all Muslims are implicated in the attack, then of course they should be allowed to build a mosque or community centre or whatever the heck they want to build wherever the zoning and funding will allow—just like any other citizens.

I’m a Christian. In fact, I’m an evangelical Christian. Am I implicated in the shooting of abortion doctors? Am I implicated in the policies of the Harper government here or the Bush administration recently gone? Am I implicated in whatever James Dobson or Pat Robertson or Franklin Graham or Benny Hinn says? If so, then I’m a pretty dangerous guy. If not, then you’ll have to treat me like anyone else you hardly know: as a neighbour, a fellow citizen, who must be allowed the full exercise of his rights and liberties until I have manifestly proven myself unworthy of them.

I think this is the strongest argument–American rights and freedoms.  I’m not sure how it could be seen otherwise.

In his second post he deals with the question of Islam and violence, pointing out that humans are prone to violence and will use whatever they can to legitimize it–whether it is Islam, Christianity, Buddhism or some other ethos:

We cannot, therefore, oppose the Ground Zero mosque on the grounds that even mainstream Islam legitimizes some violence sometimes–as if Christianity (or secular humanism, or what have you) doesn’t. It all depends on what violence is legitimized in what circumstances. And so the key point here is that the particular violence in question, the violence of 9/11, has been explicitly and repeatedly condemned by the Muslim leaders who want the mosque and community center to be built.

3 thoughts on “Ground Zero Mosque

  1. Toni

    “I’m an evangelical Christian. Am I implicated in the shooting of abortion doctors? Am I implicated in the policies of the Harper government here or the Bush administration recently gone? Am I implicated in whatever James Dobson or Pat Robertson or Franklin Graham or Benny Hinn says?”

    I think that, for many evangelical Christians in America the answer would be a resounding YES.

    I don’t know why, unless it’s because they struggle to cope with the sheer size and diversity of their population, but I know of no other nation that pigeon-holes are tightly as America. If you’re conservative then you believe thus and so, ditto liberal socialist (failing to recognise the difference). And often the rest of us are somewhat guilty of seeing them that way because that’s how they tell us it is.

    If I were a conspiracy theorist I’d suggest there was some skullduggery going on too. But as it is I’m just not sure as to either whether there is some, and if so, whether it’s source is human or spiritual.

  2. Rob Horsley

    Hey Marc,

    Just in case you’re wondering who I am, we’re mutually friends with Gavin (as well as being mutually linked via Gavin’s blog).

    My friend Brandon from the states posted this video a little while ago. I haven’t seen much on the whole “Ground Zero Mosque” thing, but this made some interesting assertions.

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