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Please, no mosque-burnings or ethnic cleansings

If your blood pressure was dangerously elevated when you read previous posts on the proposed Islamic center in lower Manhattan, I earnestly suggest that you turn elsewhere now, perhaps to the “Joke of the Week.” It would distress me to think that I might have injured your health.

People who are outraged at the proposed Islamic center near the World Trade Center site might consider that the Masjid Manhattan has operated a house of worship on Warren street, between Broadway and Church, since 1970. Its members currently meet at a location on Broadway while they seek a permanent site.

Perhaps, since the residents of Manhattan have had no particular objection to their presence over the past forty years, just as the residents of Manhattan proper have had no particular objections to the proposed Islamic center, there is still an opportunity for rational views to prevail.

Of the people who commented on my original post about the right under the First Amendment of this Muslim group to build a house of worship, one, exactly one, acknowledged that constitutional right. The other objections went in for heavy breathing and arguments beside the point. One, and I think this was supposed to be the sockdolager, asked how I would like a Japanese temple at Pearl Harbor.

As it happens, Lisa Miller reports in Newsweek, about fourteen percent of Hawaiians consider themselves to be ethnically Japanese, and presumably some of them live and work on Oahu. Moreover, there already is a Buddhist temple, the Aiea Hongwanji Mission, half a mile from Pearl Harbor.

The hoo-hah over mosques in America will not come as a surprise to anyone who has read Mr. Hofstadter’s Paranoid Style in American Politics. We have been prone to these ugly and embarrassing outbreaks since we hanged witches in Salem. Like our periodic financial panics, they pass.

 

 

Posted by John McIntyre at 3:46 PM | | Comments (8)
        

Comments

Sorry for coming to this party a bit late.

I am appalled at so called leaders who are opposing the building of a cultural center (not Mosque, tho that has more emotion attached to it).

Sometimes it is the job of leaders to lead constituents out of the darkness, rather than follow the flow to the most airtime/votes.

In this morning's news I saw a story about a preacher from Florida who wanted to have a Koran-burning day. Sad to say, the media reported it without outrage. Perhaps he'd next like to have a Crystal Night and break all the shop windows of Muslim store owners.

Flogging hate for the sake of attention or votes is just plain shameful.

"People who are outraged at the proposed Islamic center near the World Trade Center site might consider that the Masjid Manhattan has operated a house of worship on Warren street, between Broadway and Church, since 1970."

This illustrates that the majority of critics are not bigoted. If they were, they'd have tried to expunge all mosques from the area, even established ones.

"... just as the residents of Manhattan proper have had no particular objections to the proposed Islamic center ..."

Two-thirds of New Yorkers in a recent New York Times poll say the mosque should be built elsewhere: http://www.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/poll_results.pdf

"One, and I think this was supposed to be the sockdolager, asked how I would like a Japanese temple at Pearl Harbor. As it happens, Lisa Miller reports in Newsweek, about fourteen percent of Hawaiians consider themselves to be ethnically Japanese, and presumably some of them live and work on Oahu."

I'm not sure what this proves, except that just as there as Japanese in Hawaii, there are Muslims in New York, a point that's not in dispute.

"Moreover, there already is a Buddhist temple, the Aiea Hongwanji Mission, half a mile from Pearl Harbor."

Was it built in 1950?

"The hoo-hah over mosques in America will not come as a surprise to anyone who has read Mr. Hofstadter’s Paranoid Style in American Politics."

Indeed, no public outrage against anything will surprise anyone who knows anything about manipulating groups.

"We have been prone to these ugly and embarrassing outbreaks since we hanged witches in Salem. Like our periodic financial panics, they pass."

Wish there was a way you could make your point without equating objections to this mosque with state-sanctioned murder.

There was plenty of heat on the news last night about the proposed Koran burning on the anniversary of 9/11. Our generals are saying this act may cost American lives. In Afghanistan the preacher is being burned in effigy. Wonder if he is having any second thoughts about fanning the flames?

Dahlink, my money is on, Not A Second Thought In Sight.

At the risk of stirring the pot, would someone kindly explain what the proper, respectful distance for Muslims wishing to worship might be?

It seems that Minister Terry Jones, of Gainesville,Fl. will not call off "The Koran Book Burning."

What if Muslims- let's say in Dearborn,Michigan were to have a "Burn the Bible Day."??

Do you suppose there would be outrage and protest over it.?? Hmm.......

Minister Terry Jones of Gainesvillle Fl. is still planning his "Koran Book-Burning" on Sept. 11th...

What if Muslims- let's say in Dearborn, Michigan were to plan a "Burn the Bible Day."?? do you suppose there would be protest and outrage over it.?? Hmm....

Why hyphenate "mosque-burnings" but not "ethnic cleansings"? I'm assuming that it has to do with "mosque" being a noun and "ethnic" being an adjective. I barely know AP, though; CMoS, which I know somewhat, would treat them the same, hyphenating neither.

On the other hand, I admit that a hyphen in "mosque-burnings" looks much better than in "ethnic-cleansings." So this is not a case of AP being weird and inconsistent (of which there are many) but of Chicago being counterintuitive (again, of which there are many examples), the counterintiuitiveness being not hyphenating "mosque burnings" here.

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About John McIntyre
John McIntyre, mild-mannered editor for a great metropolitan newspaper, has fussed over writers’ work, to sporadic expressions of gratitude, for thirty years. He is The Sun’s night content production manager and former head of its copy desk. He also teaches editing at Loyola University Maryland. A former president of the American Copy Editors Society, a native of Kentucky, a graduate of Michigan State and Syracuse, and a moderate prescriptivist, he writes about language, journalism, and arbitrarily chosen topics. If you are inspired by a spirit of contradiction, comment on the posts or write to him at john.mcintyre@baltsun.com.
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