It would be nearly impossible not to have heard about the proposed “Park 51” mosque and community center that is trying to get itself build at GROUND ZERO in New York, where the Twin Towers fell. Formally named the Cordoba House after the primary party pushing this beast along, the Cordoba Initiative, the proposed mosque has the right wing of the nation in a twist, as the idea of a thirteen story muslim house of prayer within sight of our greatest modern tragedy gives them the faints. This land is considered by many to be sacred and the sacrifice of the people there to be revered.*
Although America was founded by people fleeing religious persecution, opponents of the mosque see no daylight between religious freedom and preventing the Cordoba House from happening. This is because the terrorists were possibly all muslim. I say possibly only because they were all engaged in an awful lot of non-islamic-approved behavior just before taking their final flights. Probably they just figured that god (yes, the same god all Christians worship) would give them a pass on all the beer and porn since they were gonna go blow up some of his other favorite people in a couple of weeks. I find this line of reasoning suspect though, since all the terrorists were definitely wearing pants, and we haven’t done anything about the jeans for sale across the street from the actual site of the downed towers that have “A New York Firefighter Saved My Butt!” stitched into the back pocket. (Okay, I made that one up, but I am worried someone will make a connection between terrorism and porn.)
It’s possible that there would be less hullabaloo if one of the proposed investors** wasn’t Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. Alwaleed (in my head it sounds like Allyweed) was sort of outed on FOX News as a “backer” of the mosque because of his shadowy connections with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, a self confessed activist who’s nefarious goal is to improve relations between the “Moslem world and the West”, and also for attempting to give New York $10,000,000 to help defray to costs of putting New York back together after the events of 9/11. A gift that Mayor Rudy Giuliani heroically refused.
FOX News failed to mention Prince Alwaleed by name however, instead only referring to the Kingdom Holding Company.*** It is possible that they did not know his name, although they did know he gives money to the aforementioned evil peacenik Feisal Abdul Rauf. It is also possible that they were trying as hard as they could to avoid saying Prince Alwaleed’s name on the air since he also owns 2.3 billion dollars in stock in News Corp., FOX News Parent company.****
Personally I’m against all churches, mosques, temples, and synagogues, though I fear the FOX crowd may not be engaged in this struggle in the same spirit as I. While I think religion is foolish, I strongly believe that all Americans have the right to be as foolish as they want, and to waste their money in any way they see fit. Or even someone else’s money, freely given. I’m afraid that I see this as a case of being anti-moslem equating to being anti-American. And that, gentle readers, just makes me laugh.
* The Cordoba House is planned to take the place of an abandoned Burlington Coat Factory two blocks from GROUND ZERO. You can’t actually see it from there, since it is behind the “merchant zone” selling plastic tourist crap such as tiny American flags with GROUND ZERO printed on them, figurines of the towers, firefighters, terrorists, vinyl blow-up airliners, and bobble-head Osama bin-Ladens. There’s also a Burger King there, in case you get hungry buying T-shirts that say “I went to GROUND ZERO and all I got was somebody’s thighbone”. (I saw a photo of someone selling this T-shirt at GROUND ZERO years ago. I Googled it when I wrote this but sadly couldn’t find anything.)
** As of this writing, the Cordoba House has actually collected $18,000 (from internet donations) of the needed $100,000,000 required to begin the project. They have no permits, no architects, no engineers, and no blueprints. All they really have is a website.
*** Also known as the ALWALEED BIN TALAL FOUNDATION.
**** While FOX News slams the Cordoba House for not yet taking Alwaleed’s cash, they yadda yadda right over the fact that a portion of that cash comes from them. On the Daily Show Jon Stewart amusingly points out that the best way to block funding from the mosque is to stop watching FOX News.