I was speaking with an opponent of the so-called “Ground Zero” mosque who told me that she wasn’t opposed to Islam, a hater of Muslims, or even an enemy of mosques in general. It was this mosque in particular that bothered her because it would cause needless pain to those affected by 9-11 by being located two blocks from Ground Zero; ground she considered hallowed.
Fair enough. I can understand and even respect that opinion, so I didn’t disagree, but simply asked her why a mosque was offensive while a strip club, bar, fast food restaurants, and an off-track betting parlor, all as far away from Ground Zero as the mosque, did not violate her sense of hallowed ground.
“Well, she said, ignoring my question, “I just don’t think people want to see this mosque from the new structure when it’s built.”
“That is an interesting point,” I said. “Since the new building will be a huge tower, when you say you don’t think people want to see this mosque from the new building, do you have a specific floor in mind? I mean, you won’t be able to see it from the first floor, so how many floors up should we go when deciding when the mosque would be offensive? Because if you count the entire building, all the floors, well you can see the entire city from the top floors, so if you are thinking of the feelings of those who might work on the top floors you’re really against this mosque entirely.”
“No, I’m not saying that,” she said. “I’m just saying that you shouldn’t be able to see a mosque from the new tower.”
“Even the top floors?”
“Of course. If you can see the mosque it is hurtful. So, yes, the top most floors as well.”
“So no mosque anywhere.”
“Not really. I just don’t think it should be seen from the tower. It isn’t my fault they want to build a tall tower. “
“You’re right,” I said. “So how about we help each other out. I will join you in your crusade to make sure the mosque isn’t built within view of the new tower, and you join me in a new effort to insure that the new tower is only two stories tall. Fair enough?”
She looked at me as if I was insane. Then she turned and walked away. I don’t fault her for this. I was looking at her the same way.