Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Sacredness of Ground Zero

There has been a passionate yet polite discussion on the Spiritual But Not Religious Facebook page on the building of a mosque near Ground Zero. The discussion seems split down the middle between those for and against the building of the mosque. The main argument against it seems to be that the decision to build the mosque should be left to the people of NYC and the survivors, while the main argument for building is that allowing it would encourage Americans to dialogue and learn more of this commonly misunderstood faith. A few thoughts struck me as I read through the discussion.

First, it seems as if the land at Ground Zero bears a since of sacredness from the aftermath of the attack. This I do not argue with but we must be careful that honor and respect for those who died upon that now sanctified ground does not turn into idolatry, and idolatry into tribalistic hatred for Muslims. I'm just urging caution. Second, not all residents of NYC are Christian (or other), many of them are Muslim, several hundred thousands of them, and since they're also NYC residents their voice should not be dismissed simply because they are a minority group. If a church were to be built there instead I doubt this would have made the papers and caused non-Christians to protest.

My final thought on the matter is on the huge amount of misinformation floating around the internet on how this mosque will be used for terrorists to infiltrate the U.S. There is a great Q&A with the Lead Developer of the Park 51 Project, Sharif el-Gamal which sheds some light onto the detail of the planned project. Aziz Poonawalla over at City of Brass conducted the interview, click here to read the entire article.

So what do you think?

2 comments:

Doug B said...

What do I think? This sense of sacredness about things is something I understand, but also understand that it isn't intrinsic in the sacred things themselves. I mean, it is something bestowed upon it by us humans and we don't all agree about such things. Some spots on earth or days in the calendar can be considered sacred by different people for entirely different reasons. Such is the nature of symbolism, which I find a very interesting study. I just hate when subjective realities are made the basis for conflict.

Unknown said...

I couldn't have said it better myself.

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