British comedian Pat Condell had this to say about the proposed Islamic Center in lower Manhattan:
It is certainly bigotry to suggest that the actions of the radical Islamists of 9/11 infamy define the nature of 1.5 billion Muslims just as it would certainly be antisemitism to attribute the actions of Baruch Goldstein and the Jewish Defense League to 14 million Jews and apply a geographical restriction on Jewish construction near that mosque. (In fact, some Jewish settlers there constructed a monument to Goldstein a few miles from Hebron that victims of the attack and their families frequently pass.)
Yes, there is a difference in degree between the terrorists behind 9/11 and their declared war on the West and the Jewish Defense League and their lone terrorist and their war on Arabs, and we can parse the fine distinctions. But bigotry does not end because someone’s personal GPS says it ends 3 blocks or 3 miles or 30 miles from Ground Zero or that it is wiser to be conscious of the acts of a group of unrepresentative zealots in plotting your own decisions, including building a community center that, for what it’s worth, an organized group of 200 families of 9/11 victims actually officially endorsed in May.
Next post: Recognizing Bigotry In The NYC Mosque Debate