Questions About the Mosque

What Women Really Think
Aug. 5 2010 2:48 PM

Questions About the Mosque

Hanna , I applaud any Muslim initiative that seeks empower a peaceful interpretation of Islam and root out violent extremism. What makes me crazy is that our discourse is so polarized that every issue immediately becomes a platform for expressing an extreme world view.  I found Michael Bloomberg’s remarks following his speech to be inflammatory – essentially implying someone is an anti-Muslim bigot if they want to know where the $100 million for the mosque and cultural center is going to come from. I can’t stand Sarah Palin, and I reject the assumption that if she opposes the mosque, and I have some questions about it, then I might as well be Sarah Palin. Brett Stephens in this column in the Wall Street Journal points out that as of 2008 the Cordoba Initiative has assets of less than $19,000. It is a joyous thing if they are able to raise $100 million from sources that agree wholly with a mission of interfaith acceptance and peace. But why should it be nobody’s business – as Bloomberg said – where they get their money? Iman Rauf was quoted in a London newspaper saying he expects some of the money to come from Arab and Islamic governments. Often people who pay the bills like to have a say in what gets done with their money.

The builders of Cordoba House are free to petition to build wherever they want, and if they get the approvals, as they appear to have done, then of course they have the right to go ahead. What I think is unfortunate is that they chose a place that would inevitably mean their important message gets swamped by raw feelings. WSJ columnist William McGurn points out the parallels here to the building of a Carmelite convent at Auschwitz. Who could be a more peaceful, healing presence than a group of Carmelite nuns? Yet eventually Pope John Paul II told them to move –not because they were doing anything wrong – but because the large cross they erected and their presence at that place , was counterproductive to their mission. Think how powerful it would be, think of the broad support he would get, if Imam Rauf said that his message is the most important thing and he realizes it will be best heard if he builds his center somewhere else in the city.

Advertisement

 

Emily Yoffe is a regular Slate contributor. She writes the Dear Prudence column. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.