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Behind the mosque

The Augusta Chronicle You had to figure they’d build a monument to 9-11 at Ground Zero eventually. You probably didn’t think it would be a monument to the terrorists, though. That’s what it feels like to many, as New York officials move toward approval of a mosque near Ground Zero. What a world-class slap in the face to all Americans, especially those who lost family members on 9-11: to be attacked by terrorists in the name of Islam, who shout Islamic slogans as the packed passenger jets they are piloting fly into horrified office workers high inside the World Trade Center towers — and then to have a mosque rise up in their shadow. Imagine the symbolism of that in the Muslim world, particularly the radical Muslim world, and the wind beneath the wings of future terrorists that will inspire. The mosque’s rising will be seen not as an act of brotherhood or civility, but as a triumph of violent jihad: that they took down two towers of infidels and replaced them with a mosque. The imam behind the project says it will “bridge the great divide” between Muslims and the rest of America. Bull. It’s making the divide worse. Put your bridge elsewhere. The imam’s wife made an angry crowd only angrier at a New York Community Board meeting recently when she said the facility would provide “much needed party space and much needed venue space.” Where better place to party than at Ground Zero? Supporters of the mosque preach tolerance. Fine. We happen to think this is the most tolerant country on Earth. But you have to wonder, when is someone else going to be tolerant for a change? Why can’t the imam and his supporters respect the heartfelt objections they are running up against? Why can’t they dish out a little tolerance? Can you imagine killing thousands of Muslims in the name of some other religion — and then attempting to build that religion’s house of worship nearby? No, you can’t, because they wouldn’t allow it; the outcry would be far less “tolerant” than the one New Yorkers are pitching. Any country that would allow this to happen has gone way past the point of tolerant anyway — and more than a few miles past self-respecting.

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