Home > faith/religion, hypocrisy > Have Your Heard about the Ground Zero Muslim Gay Bar?

Have Your Heard about the Ground Zero Muslim Gay Bar?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010, 18:55 EDT Leave a comment Go to comments

No, that isn’t a headline from The Onion. It’s a real story.

In brief, a Muslim imam named Feisal Abdul Rauf and other Muslims want to build an Islamic center near the site where two of the four planes hijacked on September 11, 2001, flew into buildings, killing 2,500 people. There are many and disparate opinions about whether this is a good idea (as examples, read one for and one against). But if the raging debate isn’t interesting enough on its own, libertarian pundit Greg Gutfeld has co-opted the proponents’ rhetoric of tolerance by announcing plans to build a gay bar catering to Muslims next door to the proposed Islamic center.

Leaving aside questions about the true motivations of either the imam or the pundit (I, for one, believe both are being belligerently provocative), The Atlantic‘s Megan McArdle yesterday accurately summed up the conflict as she tendered her opinion of the gay bar:

This is kind of a jerk move. But it’s a brilliant jerk move. I am hoping that at least one person will attempt to explain why we should support the mosque near Ground Zero, but not the gay bar next to the mosque near Ground Zero.

Good point. The proponents (or, at least, defenders) of the Islamic center reflexively “bigotry” as the motivation of the opponents. But a Twitter account holder known as Park51, which might or might not be the group that is proposing the Islamic center, had this to say in response to Gutfeld’s idea:

You’re free to open whatever you like. If you won’t consider the sensibilities of Muslims, you’re not going to build dialog

But what “sensibilities” does the tweet imply Gutfeld isn’t considering? The Muslim intolerance of homosexuality? Indeed, Islam isn’t the only major religion that considers homosexual acts to be sinful; Roman Catholicism, Orthodox Christianity, and some conservative or fundamentalist Protestant denominations do as well. But Islam is the only major religion under which gays are even today being executed.

New Yorkers and others who survived September 11 attacks, lost loved ones in the attacks, or are aware that each and every hijacker that day was a Muslim who was so interolant of American and Western culture that they saw fit to slaughter thousands, don’t want to execute Muslims. Nor do the overwhelming majority of them want to ban Muslims from New York or anywhere else in America or prevent them from practicing their religion in non-violent fashion. They just wish that the planners of the proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero, the claimed purpose of which is to “build dialog,” would consider their sensibilities just as they want others to consider theirs. Or better yet, if the Islamic center’s proponents and defenders consider opponents’ reactions to be a sign of bigotry, then perhaps they should admit that their own reaction to a proposed Muslim gay bar is bigotry, too. You know, pick a position and be consistent.

In that spirit of consistency, I tweeted in response to Park51’s above post:

Same goes for Imam Feisal, right?

We’ll see if I get a reply.

Categories: faith/religion, hypocrisy
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