Plans are under way for a Muslim house of worship, topped by a 13-story cultural center with a swimming pool, in a building damaged by the fuselage of a jet flown by extremists into the World Trade Center. The opening date shall live in infamy: Sept. 11, 2011. The 10th anniversary of the day a hole was punched in the city's heart. Andrea Peyser - Mosque madness at Ground Zero
If the United States needed to build a consulate at Hiroshima, would we build a building that would stick out in the immediate neighborhood of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park? New York Times Reader - Letters to the Editor Debate Heats Up About Mosque Near Ground Zero
I just came back from my corner store. I'd asked the man behind the corner to peel me a mandarin. He looked at me blankly. So I asked him again. No go.
What did I get wrong? Because that's what New York corner storekeepers do. Well that's what Australian Julia Baird writing in the Melbourne Age believes. Yep, I just checked again. In demonstrating how "weird" America is she states that in Manhattan "corner stores peel mandarins for you." (An everyday mockery of democracy in land of the free)
Ms Baird finds plenty of other "weird" things in America. Somehow she has the idea that in Manhattan women use Botox to shrink earring holes. In other parts of the nation she has discovered "testicle festivals, smelly sneaker competitions and towns that speak their own language and print their own money." I love the way she puts things in perspective. Forget the major events of the century - Iraq, Afghanistan, the BP oil spill, Obama's health reform. Ms Baird's commentary is on testicle festivals and deep fried Oreos. Or maybe her understanding of this country has to do with the people she hangs out with.
I googled Ms Baird and discovered she is Deputy Editor of Newsweek. Now I wonder why she didn't publish her article there? Does she think it would not go down well with the American readership? And does she not realize that newspapers and magazines are no longer local in their distribution? Or does she NOT think? That is more likely.
"Americans have always exploited the freedoms granted in the constitution", writes Ms Baird. Huh? What are they meant to do with their freedoms? Ignore them?
The rest of the article drones on about Peter Carey's new novel, Parrot and Olivier in America. I've read a number of Carey novels, though not this. I'm interested in it because it is long-listed for the Man Booker prize. But did Ms Baird actually read the book? I doubt it. She seems to have a very strange take on it.
The book is about America of the early nineteenth century as seen through the eyes of a working class Englishman and an aristocratic French man.
I've read a number of reviews but can't see the novel as a "mockery" of American democracy and modern American "weirdness" that Ms Baird has found in it. Certainly it does not deal with twentieth and twenty first century America,
Let's hope that Peter Carey, who has lived in New York for the past 20 years, puts her straight.
On the Proposed Mosque Near Ground ZeroManhattan officials are bowing to demands by a group called the American Society for Muslim Advancement — a 13-story shrine to Islam in the shadow of World Trade Center skyscrapers that Islamic terrorists turned to ashes in the name of Islam.
I'm opposed to the building of this mosque, as are many New Yorkers.
Even if the intentions are good - if the people in charge of the mosque are peace-loving - we know that they cannot or will not control the fanatics.
I live near a Manhattan mosque. Its iman preaches against terrorism, but outside the brothers of the "Revolution Muslim" are spreading a different message. Protected by the constitution of the country they detest, radical Muslim converts like Yousef al-Khattab and Younes Abdullah Mohammed stand just outside on 96th Street, preaching that the killing of Americans is justified. In their thinking, so were the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
My take is, that if the American Society for Muslim Advancement is sincere in its call for peace, why cannot they see that building a mosque so close to ground zero will, like the mosque on 96th Street, also attract Islamic fanatics? If the iman at the 96th Street mosque cannot control them, how will the iman of the Ground Zero mosque do so?
And how can the American Society for Muslim Advancement not see, that erecting a mosque so close to Ground Zero will appear insensitive to many Americans.
But Pat Condell says it so much better that I. Listen to him.