Thursday, August 12, 2010

it's just a building, right?

Marcel over at Monday Evening sounds a bit critical of the planned Muslim Mosque near where Muslims murdered three thousand non-combatants in New York. In a comment he writes:
It would be nice to be able to trust Imam Feisal, take him at his word, and believe he is building a Mosque near Ground Zero to spread the love. So far, that doesn’t seem to be the result. Besides the apparent confusion over goals (just a handy space, or a symbolically important location?) another part of the problem is his equivocation and reticence about where the money is coming from; another part is Imam Feisal’s apparent inability to clearly and consistently say what he thinks about 9/11, Hamas, and armed Jihad. Questions persist about the Imam’s connections to the Muslim Brotherhood, and people are just beginning to ask about his current and previous trips to the Middle East, funded by the US State Department.
I think you are being too harsh and suspicious, Marcel. When I'm involved in negative emotional situations with someone, I find that doing something that pisses him off is a good way to start the healing process. This technique works especially well when I've done something really horrible to someone and I want him to get over it already. What I do is find some way to symbolically declare my horrible actions as a sort of victory over him. Typically, that calms him right down.

This Mosque is just an example of Imam Feisal, a wise and peaceful Muslim, applying to political life the interpersonal techniques that work so well in private life.

In fact, I am so inspired by his generosity that I think we should encourage other groups to use this same technique to smooth over some rough spots in group interrelationships. OH! Brainstorm! How about if some modern group of Nazis would build a Hitler museum near Auschwitz? Is that brilliant or what? You can see the healing start immediately.

Oh! Another brainstorm! Anyone know what the real-estate situation is on the site where Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered? Perfect spot for a chapter house of the Ku Klux Klan.

And while we are at it, the Christians should show that they can be as sensitive and wise as the Muslims by finding old Mosques to buy, raze, and build Christian churches over. The Muslims would love that, right? Because they are the ones claiming that buildings like this don't really have any symbolic meaning.

It's just a building, right?


Marcel said...

Ah, it's a cultural misunderstanding. He's trying to promote healing in the traditional manner of his people, time-tested over a thousand years. That they keep reaching out like this, even though they've been irritating their neighbors for a thousand years, proves their cultural authenticity. We shallow westerners, lacking respect for the tradition of our ancestors, stop trying stuff that doesn't work; except for liberals, who are determined to keep trying stuff that doesn't work. That explains a lot, actually. It's why the administration thinks the Imam is a good ambassador - they recognize a kindred spirit.

Another possibility I'd overlooked is that the Imam is just another ambitious clergyman who wants to build a huge and controversial worship center, be famous, and make a lot of money. In this case Islam would be hugely important to his followers, but his motives might be $impler.

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