Looking at Islamic Center Debate, World Sees U.S.

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Across the world, the bruising struggle over an Islamic center near ground zero has elicited some unexpected reactions.

For many in Europe, where much more bitter struggles have taken place over bans on facial veils in France and minarets in Switzerland, America’s fight over Park51 seems small fry, essentially a zoning spat in a culture war.

But others, especially in countries with nothing similar to the constitutional separation of church and state, find it puzzling that there is any controversy at all. In most Muslim nations, the state not only determines where mosques are built, but what the clerics inside can say.

The one constant expressed, regardless of geography, is that even though many in the United States have framed the future of the community center as a pivotal referendum on the core issues of religion, tolerance and free speech, those outside its borders see the debate as a confirmation of their pre-existing feelings about the country, whether good or bad.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralCity Government* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

6 Comments
Posted August 27, 2010 at 6:19 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Umbridge wrote:

This is our country, and the politicians need to consider what WE think, not what the rest of the world thinks.

August 27, 9:08 am | [comment link]
2. robroy wrote:

Interesting question that should have been asked by the mainstream lamestream media: Mayor Bloomberg states that the motivation for opposing the GZM is hate, fear and bigotry, but what motivates his support of the GZM?

Well someone at Breitbart’s blog asked exactly that and there is money to be made by Bloomberg! His company has extensive connections to the Arab world.

August 27, 8:18 pm | [comment link]
3. First Family Virginian wrote:

... perhaps Bloomberg is motivated by the freedoms granted by our Constitution.

Slightly edited by elf.

August 28, 10:43 am | [comment link]
4. robroy wrote:

You are right. The constitution says nothing about selling out to Wahhabists, so I guess that his “right”.

August 28, 6:42 pm | [comment link]
5. NoVA Scout wrote:

No. 1: the content and manner of expression of what “WE” think has an enormous impact on what others think of us, including those who like nothing better than to see us come across as hostile to Islam.  Helps recruiting and builds fires under the zealots, don’t you know. Nothing annoys our enemies more than to see us adhere to our ideals of secular governance, religious freedom and tolerance for all religions.  It must be like a stick in their eye.

August 28, 9:11 pm | [comment link]
6. Larry Morse wrote:

#3, what freedoms are you referring to? Surely not the First, which is irrelevant here.  Larry

August 29, 8:59 am | [comment link]
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