Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Mosque at Ground Zero, Part 3

Two weeks ago I suggested that the best analogy to building a mosque at Ground Zero was the construction of a Carmelite Nunnery on the grounds of Auschwitz. Link here.

Finding the right analogy matters. It allows us to appreciate and to judge the issues that are really at play in this radical and disquieting proposal. It allows us to rise above the narrow question of whether or not it is legal and address the larger ethical consideration.

If you think it's about whether or not the constitution allows such a construction, that's one thing. If you think it's about whether or not someone should have the right to built a church in a Jewish neighborhood, or vice versa, that's the same issue, rendered more concretely. But if you consider that building a mosque at Ground Zero is like building a nunnery on the grounds of Auschwitz, then you are dealing with a different issue, one that most Americans should be able to grasp.

Ever since I suggested the analogy I have been frankly surprised that no one else had invoked it. Today, however, William McGurn uses it in an excellent column in the Wall Street Journal. He explains, in more detail than I did, the story of the Carmelite nunnery and the role Pope John Paul II played in shutting it down. Thus, I am happy to link his article here.

6 comments:

Whirling Dervesh said...

Well, the Muslims behind the mosque are liberal Sufis, so that makes a big difference.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20100803/us_time/08599200843200

I'd support it. Sufism is cool.

Anonymous said...

Sufism: Another Thing White People Like....

The local New Yorkers voter for it hoping it would protect them from another attack; like a human shield. But they forget the bombing of the Golden Mosque.... The fear is palpable in this decision.

Now we are importing Muslim sectarian violence.

Y'know who really hates Sufis? Sunnis and Shi'ites.

wv: Sijhaduc. A great Sufi Holy Man who had his neck chopped.

--Gray

Anonymous said...

Let downtown Manhattan ring again with the cries of "Allahu Akhbar!"

Except this time at ground level instead of in an airplane 85 floors up before impact.

Won't the construction crews at Ground Zero thrill to the Muezzin calls to prayer?

Cowards. Imbeciles. Dhimmi.

wv: Cytiolo. The name of the Visigoth Temple erected in Rome.

--Gray (of course)

Whirling Dervesh said...

Sufis are Sunnis. By not all Sunnies are Sufis. It's a sub-sect.

Anonymous said...

Sufis are Sunnis.

Not if you ask the Sunnah: It's a heresy of Islam.

Sufists do claim to be Sunni, but they aren't accepted and have been occasionally hunted down. They don't practice openly in nations under Islamic law.

It's a fad in the US.

--Gray

SA Muslimaa said...

That's in Wahhabism. Not in the wider Islamic tradition. Sufi Muslims are found all over South Asia, Egypt, Morrocco, Turkey, etc.

Research it. Or better yet - travel.

Experience is the best teacher.

Salam!

PS: South Asia means India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan - NOT Southeast Asia, as many Americans confuse it with.