Home > Uncategorized > “I Support the Saudis”

“I Support the Saudis”

The great rallying cry from those who are adamantly against building the Park 51 Project – the mosque and cultural center planned to be built near Ground Zero – is that the property is sacred and hallowed ground, a physical indelibility of our national culture, identity and history.

As West Virginia Republican candidate Elliott Maynard said: “Ground zero is hallowed ground to Americans. Do you think the Muslims would allow a Jewish temple or Christian church to be built in Mecca?”

Despite the existence of a strip club the same distance from the 9/11 site as the mosque would be (apparently nude women dancing suggestively for money is a sacred and fundamental right but freedom of religion and belief is not), Maynard does hit on an important point.

Saudi Arabia is the home to the most sacred sites in Islam, Mecca and Medina.

When the Vatican entered into negotiations with Saudi Arabia – the only country in the world that does not have a single church – to build houses of worship for the over one million Catholics in the country, the Saudi government argued that the entire Saudi peninsula was “sacred and hallowed ground, dedicated to Allah. To place a church on Saudi soil was blasphemous and would defame Allah.”

Thus the argument from our conservative and Evangelical friends that placing a mosque on the “sacred, hallowed ground” of Ground Zero is no different from the argument made by the Saudis.

So I ask you this: what motivation exists for the Saudis to change if we are no better? And what message do we send Bin Laden and other extremists when we sacrifice universal rights and values for political one-upmanship?

When Newt Gingrich ignorantly calls on America to build no more mosques at all until Saudi Arabia builds a church, Newt encourages a Saudi-style extremization of America bordering on the establishment of a theocracy. Do conservatives really want the United States Government determining what houses of worship should and should not be built? Where is the Tea Party Movement opposing that kind of potential governmental interference?

Those who claim that because the land is sacred we cannot build a house of worship are in essence proclaiming from the rooftops:

“I Support the Saudis!”

That is NOT a proclamation I am willing to make.

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