Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Mosque Building at Ground Zero and Koran Burning in Florida Are Similar Actions
First, both are alike in that they are symbolic actions. The Imam who plans to build the GZM says it will symbolize the peaceful intent and "bridge building" of Muslims. Those opposed to the Mosque say it will be a disgusting symbol of triumph for the terrorist actions of 9/11. In the same way, the symbolism of burning the Koran seems quite clear to the Florida pastor. He says his action will show that Americans don't always give in to threats.
was clearly provocative. Also, polls show a large marjority oppose the construction of the Mosque at that particular place; this also is indicative that the action itself is provocative whatever the Imam's intentions are. Similarly, the pastor who plans to burn some Korans seems to understand that his action is provocative, especially to Muslims and that's apparently one reason why he's doing it.
Third, from a purely "rights" standpoint, both actions are also similar. Everyone from Bloomberg, to Clinton, to Obama has said that the Imam has a constitutional right to build anywhere he wants to build. Likewise, most lawyers as well as Bloomberg seem to agree that the Koran burning is a protected First Amendment freedom of expression right in the same way that the burning the American flag is a right.
The opposition generated in America by each proposal constitutes another similarity. Despite support from Obama and others, the Imam's plan has caused a firestorm of protest from conservatives, some Democrats, and others. Even some Muslims are voicing opposition to the GZM. Meanwhile, the pastor who plans to burn the Koran is under enormous pressure from General Petraeus, the State Department, Christian leaders, and others to not carry out his plan.
The fact that on the surface one action is constructive and the other destructive, may seem to be a difference. But open closer examination, this apparent difference can easily be shown to be another similarity.
In truth, both actions are clearly destructive, no matter their intent.
The Imam plans to build a Mosque at Ground Zero, on the surface a constructive, creative act. But this construction ultimately will be destructive. Once it's built, it's built. And because of its proximity to Ground Zero, it will stand as a constant and ironic reminder of the so called "peaceful" nature of the religion professed by the terrorists who killed nearly 3000 Americans on American soil. Many American Christians, Jews, and even some of those of little or no faith will be so filled with anger and fury at this provocation, that it will seriously damage if not destroy any hope moderate Muslims here may have of being truly accepted in the U.S. The Mosque will be like a flaming scimitar thrust deep into the heart of American tolerance. The destruction generated by this act could continue for a long, long time.
The pastor of the Florida church plans to burn a pile of Korans, certainly an inflammatory, destructive act. And, when the fire burns out, only ashes will remain. (These burnt Korans are of course not the only copies of the Koran, there will be millions of copies of that book still available.) But when news and images of this action go around the world, Muslims will respond murderously and destructively as they did in the cartoon episode. Indeed, they have already given notice that they will strike back violently at American soldiers, embassies, and possibly individuals if the pastor carries out his plan to burn what they consider their sacred book.
Why hasn't the MSM considered these similarities?
And, in closing, a final question: if these two actions are similar, why does the symbolic and provocative act of building the mosque at GZ get considerable support and/or defense, while the symbolic and provocative Koran burning gets almost none?