Mosque Ado About Nothing

A famous Shakespeare line is, “much about nothing,” which reflects the idea we can become upset about supposedly great issues when, in reality, we simply are fighting about nothing nothing of worth. Muslims seek to build a mosque in a former building site next to the World Trade Center, and the entire venture will be paid for by private sources, not an inch of where the buildings stood will be used, and this desire has aroused a thunder of anger from the right wing media and from ordinarily sane humans. The mosque has been discussed among Muslim religious leaders for years and will serve as a center for dialogue with other religions as well as meeting the needs of Muslim in New York City. The Anti-Defamation League, which ordinarily fights for equal religious rights, suddenly has discovered that a group with whom it has worked, is now its enemy. Muslim leaders who have been allies of Jewish groups in New York City are now challenging the “holy ground” of 9/11. Of course, dozens of Muslims died on 9/11 but their deaths are of no importance. Does one get the sense the outcry against the mosque is a literal, “storm in a teacup?”

Frankly, if one is dead, one is dead. But, if anything, wouldn’t it be a powerful symbol if a mosque appeared near the 9/11 area, a building that would stand as a challenge to al-Qaeda how their destructive actions unleashed new collaboration among those of differing religions?