There has been controversy over the Islamic community center and mosque that has been approved in downtown Manhattan, near where the World Trade Centers once stood. Given the events that have transpired there almost a decade ago, it’s certainly a project that was expected to gain a bit of attention. However, the conduct of elected, or otherwise public officials has been inexcusable, intolerant and misinformed as to the very nature of the war that the United States is currently engaged in.
People have been urged to protest and resist the introduction of the mosque and center because it represents an unnecessary provocation, and an insult to the survivors and families of those who have perished there, which is utter nonsense, and only highlights the ignorance of said officials and those willing to blindly follow them. The war abroad was most certainly begun by radical Islamic militants, acting in the interests of a foreign organization, which does elevate this conflict to a war, when two parties attempt to seek out some sort of political and practical gains by entering into hostilities. At the same time, such sentiments lump together the entirety of a global religion, of which these radical elements are only a small part.
As of 2009, it was believed that almost 23% of the global population identified themselves as Muslims, or about 1.57 billion people, across the globe, with a fifth living in countries where the religion is not a dominant one. Given the fairly localized nature of the fighting, with occasional strikes towards the western societies and the nature of the fighting, it’s fairly clear that there is far more that characterizes this war than simply a lot of religious people getting really angry. The global war on terror is an incredibly complicated act against a specific number of political groups, who use their faith to guide them and provide some set of misguided reasoning to support their political beliefs.
Depending on which wartime theorist that you subscribe to, warfare is generally a political act on the behalf of one group against another, and from everything that I have seen over the past couple of years, that is exactly what some of the larger and more well known groups are doing, from Al Qaeda to the Taliban to Hezbollah. Even more worrisome is their ability to convince young Muslims, who come from a poorer, disenfranchised area of the world, to blow themselves up. It’s a hell of a way to vent some misguided frustration and anger. It demonstrates incredibly poor government and leadership in those areas, where problems are directed elsewhere, and not addressed at their source.
The source of the World Trade Center destruction was Al Qaeda, not the people who want to build a community. I suspect that Palin’s words are deliberately inflammatory, designed to gain as much attention as possible, for the political beliefs of her own personal self, and that of her party, seeking to gain approval from the anger of those who don’t comprehend the differences between political terrorism and a religious community. To be sure, this religious community does harbor some very bad people, some angry people, and people looking for direction, which makes it prime for recruiting for overseas terrorist groups. But, one must also take into account the real anger and violence that boils up elsewhere, either singularly or in larger groups. There have been several attacks against federal authorities over the past year from angry people, but there is a discrepancy between the reactions taken in each case.
The real anger and action for the 9-11 attacks must be taken against those responsible, while we must all take the time to fully understand the nature of the conflict that is brewing around us, rather than blindly following misguided chatter from those who seek power, on both sides.