Location matters. Ground zero is the site of the greatest mass murder in American history -- perpetrated by Muslims of a particular Islamist orthodoxy in whose cause they died and in whose name they killed.
Of course that strain represents only a minority of Muslims. Islam is no more intrinsically Islamist than present-day Germany is Nazi -- yet despite contemporary Germany's innocence, no German of good will would even think of proposing a German cultural center at, say, Treblinka.
That's why Disney's early '90s proposal to build an American history theme park near Manassas Battlefield was defeated by a broad coalition fearing vulgarization of the Civil War. It's why the commercial viewing tower built right on the border of Gettysburg was taken down by the Park Service. It's why while no one objects to Japanese cultural centers, the idea of putting one up at Pearl Harbor would be offensive
And why Pope John Paul II ordered the Carmelite nuns to leave the convent they had established at Auschwitz. He was in no way devaluing their heartfelt mission to pray for the souls of the dead. He was teaching them a lesson in respect: This is not your place, it belongs to others. However pure your voice, better to let silence reign.
Quite honestly, the radicals that actually strap on the vest and blow people up may be few but I really am tired of the poor, mistreated muslim talk. The religion of Islam is far from accepting and loving.
One must look with open eyes at the religion itself. The principal mosque in Rome has a surface area of 30,000 square meters and can hold thousands of believers. The Christian church of Mecca has a surface area of zero square meters and can hold zero believers. In fact, there is no Christian church in Mecca. In other words, Rome is an open city and Mecca is a closed city.
There has never been opposition by Muslims to the exclusive character of Mecca. Their main sanctuary is located there, and it is forbidden for non-believers to cross the city limits. No other sanctuary of any world religion is closed to members of different creeds. The Western Wall in Jerusalem, the Jews’ holiest site, can be visited by anyone — Muslims, Christians, or Buddhists. The Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican, the center of the Roman Catholic religion, is open to any person that wishes to visit its splendor. Hindu and Buddhist temples welcome anyone who walks in, but not the Muslims’ main mosque.
Muslims claim that their religion contains the final message of God and that all other religions express falsehoods, lies, and distortions — which means that adherents to other religions cannot be accepted as equal human beings with the same rights. Churches are banned in Saudi Arabia. In “modern” Turkey, it is, in reality, impossible to renovate an old Christian church, let alone create one. In a traditional Islamic country, adherents of different religions who refuse to accept Muhammad as their prophet have to live a life with restrictions and special rules. They are the so-called “dhimmis” — people who believe in a single God but who should be treated with special restrictions because of their refusal to follow the prophet Muhammad.
All I am saying is let's not paint Islam as a model of peace and understanding. They aren't Buddihist for God's sake.