31 July 2010

A modest suggestion for Ground Zero

The NY Times (my favorite paper, I guess) has an article about a proposed Muslim center at the foot of the new World Trade Center complex. I'm truly torn myself about the idea. On the one hand, terrorists might feel like they triumphed by replacing the WTC with a mosque. On the other hand, it would demonstrate America's tolerance.

My solution: put two mosques there, little tiny ones, one Sunni and one Shiite. I mean really tiny, like a good-sized closet. And put two tiny churches there as well, one Catholic and one Presbyterian. Add temples for Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Bahá'í. Make room for a few more, and even a couple of spaces that could rotate through the smaller religions on a monthly basis.

Put these mosques, churches, and temples in a circular courtyard, facing each other, with a shared entrance. Put in big clear windows on the courtyard side, so worshippers can see the people of other religions worshipping, too.

And on 11 September each year, let the WTC religious groups join together in offering each other and all passersby blessings and a modest free breakfast.


Anonymous said...

one sunni one shiite was funny. But this doesnt have to do with all religions does it? It more has the appearance of Islam against the west. The best debate is why there? And who's funding this thing? That's what folks need to hear. There's plenty of things that are lawful, but still very uncool. This is one of them to me and if Islam wants to show it is 'compassionate' don't you think that backing off this project for t he time being in the face of so many hurt feelings would be a decent gesture?

John F. Raffensperger said...

Yes, I do think that backing off this project would be the right thing, which is what my suggestion was about, obliquely. They have the legal right to it. It just doesn't seem so clever now.

As for who's funding it, America's religious organizations don't want that kind of scrutiny from government. A bad precedent.