Back and Forth on Ground Zero Mosque

The possible establishment of a mosque as part of an Islamic center Ground Zero has predictably created heated debate.

This week The Washington Post’s often engaging “On Faith” discussion tackles the issue with it usual wide range of perspective.

I recommend it, and perhaps two of the best pieces of food for thought comes from comments to the blog response of Rev. Jason Poling, a board member of the Ecumenical Institute of Theology at St. Mary's Seminary & University in Baltimore.

One reads:

“…And this generation of Muslims must live until their dying day, with this on their record. Maybe it was the act of extremists, and not representative of mainstream Islam, but it is for better or for worse, an event that will always be associated with Islam. That is something that they are going to have to learn to live with, and all of its consequences. One of those consequences is that a mosque cannot be built there.”

Conversely:

“Americans paint with broad brush. But who to paint? Our tour guide at the Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor was of Japanese descent. Should we have thrown him off the boat? Should Native Americans be banned from visiting the Custer Memorial in South Dakota? Are those who supported the ideology of Timothy McVeigh banned from Oklahoma City? Should we ban all whites from the Southern states because some whites are racist? The British burned the White House during the War of 1812. Why are their descendants allowed in D.C. today?”

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