The anti-Muslim movement is a curious blend of old-fashioned racism, naive nativism, fear, and the brute, thuggish rage that infects a diseased minority in every generation and finds its scapegoat in every culture. Because it's irrational to its core, it shuns reasoned discussion, which it dismisses as weakness or "appeasement". Instead, it relies on theatre and crude sloganeering (Not All Terrorists Are Muslim, But All Muslims Are Terrorists!!) to make its "points".
One of the most recent flashpoints for these racist rage-junkies is the "plan" to build a "Mega Mosque" on the site of Ground Zero in Manhattan, as a clear act of aggression and provocation against the Forces of Decency. (Those forces of decency, by the way, apparently don't include the Borough of Manhattan, the City of New York or its Mayor Michael Bloomberg, all of whom support the project.)
Oh, they're whippin' themselves into a fine lather about this. A rally last week at week at Ground Zero drew between 300 (according to CNN) and 10,000 (according to Jihad Watch) people (that's quite a disparity, isn't it?) who want to see the site turned into a "War Memorial" instead of a Mega Mosque.
Now, we know these folks have problems with basic facts (I'm thinking lunatic teabagger Mark Williams, who doesn't know that Hindus and Muslims worship different gods.) But the movement to prevent the building of a Mega Mosque at Ground Zero requires a suspension of reason that's an order of magnitude above the shield of willful ignorance that usually protects these tiny, fragile minds. That's because:
a) The "Mega Mosque" is not a "Mosque" - mega, maxi, or mini. It's a 13-story community center that will include a prayer room, a performing art center, a gym, swimming pool and other public spaces. It will be open to everyone.
b) The community centre will not be situated at Ground Zero. It's being built on the site of an old factory two blocks away. Organizers of the demonstration wisely opted to stage their drama at a more iconic location, rather than at the site itself. Better rage generation, you see.
So to summarize - a community centre open to the public and supported by the City and the Borough is being built blocks away from Ground Zero.
End of story? Of course not. Like the Flying Imams, or the Syrian Band, or the Flight 93 Memorial Conspiracy, this will enter Hater's History as yet another imaginary Muzzie offense. They're already amping up the ersatz rage with the rumour that the centre will be dedicated (or opened, depending on some) on 9/11/11, a notion I can find not a single actual piece of online confirmation for.
But it doesn't matter. The Not-Mosque will be built at Not-Ground- Zero and opened on not 9/11/11, the world will move on, and the Haters will add this to their catalogue of non-history, and move on to another fantasy.
Coda: The story was most recently highlighted in Canada by our own indefatigable A Drain McNair, who couldn't understand why a Muslim reader was offended by his misrepresentation of the project. The Drain concludes with superior sniff: "Some people just can't handle the truth about Islam". Indeed, Drain. Delete those last two words, and you've just about got it.
(cross-posted from Stageleft)