Reason: "It is possible that the center is really an elaborate ruse for some sinister anti-American agenda—just as it is possible that America's next president could be a Manchurian candidate installed by the Chinese. But to suspect such an agenda in the face of massive evidence to the contrary testifies to just how deep-seated the suspicion against Muslims is in this country.
But this is precisely why it is all the more remarkable that this resentment hasn't boiled over into active persecution—something that would hardly be possible any place else in the world. To be sure, this controversy has triggered a backlash against other proposed mosques in the country, with opponents holding protest rallies with dogs in tow to taunt Muslims who regard dogs as napaak, or impure. And Republicans in some races have turned this controversy into something of a rallying cry to energize their base.
But that's about the worst of it.
The point is not to pick on any country. The point is that it is not easy, even for liberal democracies, to rein in the tyranny of the majority. That in America no majority can forcibly evict the imam and his family against his will is not nothing. Nor is the fact that if anyone tried to, they would have to contend with the full force of the law, in contrast to India where the perpetrators of the Sikh and Muslim massacres have still not been brought to justice. No people anywhere has yet found a way to rationally examine its hatreds before venting them. But at least America's commitment to property rights and religious liberties runs deep enough that it can contain that hatred.
America, in short, represents not just how far humanity has yet to travel on the road to complete civility, but how far humanity has already traveled. For now, if the rest of the world just caught up with America, it would be a huge leap forward for the cause of toleration."
This flare up regarding the Cordoba House is distressing to me because of the slippery slope we find ourselves on.
The hatred spawned by fear of the unknown that is searing across the right wing of this nation is in diametrically opposed to what so many Americans have fought and died for. In order to have the liberty to discern between truth and deceit, we must have both options presented in all their glorious array. As Churchill said, the Truth must be surrounded by a bodyguard of lies.
If we as Christians are convinced that Jesus Christ of the Gospels is, in fact, the foundational truth this world rests upon, then we should have no fear in the face of darkness. Nothing suits truth better then boldness, communicated with reason and love.
What we have here and now from the vocal leaders of declamation is not the outpouring of love with the scalpel of truth, but a basketball being dribbled up court once again for a political jump shot in time for elections.
Yet, amidst all this hubris of outcry, there has been little to no violence against Muslims in America, and like Shikha Dalima pointed out, that may be one of the best signs we've seen in many moons.