They are not building in a desert. They are building in a community. And in a community that was attacked by their correligionaires.
Just to clear up a couple of misconceptions, first the mosque in question is NOT being built "on the very site" of the world trade center. So please, if we're going to have a discourse about this we should seek to be as accurate as possible and not reply on propaganda from Protestant televangelists.
Though not on the grounds of the world trade center (which, technically speaking, neither was St. Nicholas, but it got destroyed anyways), it is on, or rather was, ground zero: part of one of the planes landed on the roof of the building now, which is supposedly why the structure was slated for demolishion.
Second, you raise an interesting point. Are members of a religion/faith responsible for what some nutty members of their religion do?
No, not unless they allow it. More below.
Are you and I responsible for the scandalous outrage that takes place in Orthodoxy? Like monks attacking one another? Like abusive priests? What about Church corruption? What about our dark past where we force fed Communion to "heretics?" The crusades, the theological wars? I guess in a way yes, we are responsible. That's why I personally say "we" when referring to some of the evils committed by the Church in history. So I agree with you, in a sense we are all responsible for this. Am I my brother's keeper? Well yes of course.
However that raises another question. Just because the GOA alone pays out 16 million dollars a year in settlements for sexual abuse (to keep things quiet) does that mean the GOA should not be allowed to build a Church say across the street from a daycare center? A grade school? Should we be prevented from building an EO Church across the street from a OO Church? Or an Assyrian Church? Should the Catholics be prevented from building a Church next door to us because of those "wicked evil latins and the crusade in 1204"? Should say a Russian Church not be allowed to build a Church next to an Native American community center because, well Russians were really bad to the Natives in Alaska? (of which St. Herman in fact railed against)
Is it fair to punish us, by forbidding us religious freedom on the basis that some of us have done some really bad things? Should 1.6 billion people of a religion (which is hardly monolithic in nature) be forbidden from building a house of worship because some Fundamentalist nuts decided they get 72 virgins if they kill as many innocent people as possible? What of the atrocities that the Orthodox Church supports if not outright, definitely by it's silence by walking arm in arm with corrupt world leaders to this very day? Should we be punished for something we do?
Take for instance the wars in the Balkans. Pat. Pavle denounced Milosevic's policies, defrocked priests associated with the militias, issued a blanket excommunication for those involved, and forbade baptisms of converts in Bosnia until hostilities ceased (the idea was to stop forced assimilation). When Met. Ioann of St. Petersburg spouted out virulent anti-semiticism, Pat. Alexei banned him from publishing his views via the offiicial media of the Patriarchate.
Such things do NOT happen in the Muslim World. Not only are the vast majority of Muslims ineffectual in policing and controlling their extremists, they are not even trying.
I agree in a sense we are all responsible for this. that is absolutely true. We are responsible for the sins of our brethren, our Church, and all our fellow human beings. we are our brother's keeper. And yet does that mean governments should begin imposing restrictions on what we can and cannot do, build and where we can do it? I suppose different people will have different answers.
Regardless of what one thinks of any given religion or ideology, it's extremely dangerous and IMO un-Christian to hold an entire people responsible for the crimes of a minority.
There is nothing wrong from protecting oneself. The promoter of this project continues to refuse to reveal where are funds for it going to come from (and since his foundation only has an account in the 10's of thousands, and the project is said to run in the 10's of millions, he is going to have to get it somewhere). One of the biggest cash cows in the Islamic world is the Saudi
OTTAWA - Saudi Arabia is funding radical Islamic extremism in Canada, where King Fahd has contributed millions of dollars to a mysterious Islamic centre in Toronto, a U.S. panel on terrorist financing says.http://muslim-chronicle.blogspot.com/2006/08/ottawa-citizen-saudis-fund-radicals-in.html
I just had the pleasure of listening to the rector of Al-Azhar not only defend female genital mutilation, but suggest that its adoption in the West would cut down on our rampent adultery. Maybe Imam Rauf can defend that in the name of that "shariah-compliance" that he is advocating here, and for which his Cordoba center no doubt will expouse.
The Gospel does not require accepting Trojan horses.
It's also a bit hypocritical sense the first thing we as Christians say when someone brings up all the evils the Church has done is "oh the Church is full of sinners, don't judge us by our actions" when Jesus Himself said "by their fruits you will know THEM." If Orthodoxy was to be judged by it's fruits would people see followers of Jesus Christ, or followers of their own wisdom and desires? And should we be held responsible and punished as a community because someone somewhere in Church history did something horrible? With the measure we use to measure we ourselves will be measured.
Orthodoxy spits out such poison fruit. The majority of Muslims not only continue on a diet of their fruits, but they bake it and are trying to pass it off as apple pie (I'm not sure if in Canada the saying has the same resonance).
I'm not defending Islam as a faith but I do no believe one fifth of the world's population should be held responsible for the sins of a few. Even if the "few" is quite large in number and quite irrational.
No, it is not. Let's assume they are only 1%:that's 16,000,000. 9/11 took 19 men. Do the math.
There are Muslims like Raheel Raza, a very effective speaker for moderate Muslims (she left O'Reilly speachless, a rare occurence). But she is the minority, not the Islamists. Her thoughts?
We Muslims know the ... mosque is meant to be a deliberate provocation, to thumb our noses at the infidel. The proposal has been made in bad faith, ... as "Fitna," meaning "mischief-making" that is clearly forbidden in the Koran.... As Muslims we are dismayed that our co-religionists have such little consideration for their fellow citizens, and wish to rub salt in their wounds and pretend they are applying a balm to sooth the painhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raheel_Raza#Cordoba_House_mosque
When she becomes part of a critical mass within Islam, this will be a different conversation. Not until.
That's my take on this issue anyways. I don't have answers, only questions that I think we should reflect upon before we begin casting stones. Orthodoxy has been on the blunt end of the government stick before, sometimes by our fellow Christians who were "in charge", so I think we of all people should be cautious when it comes to corporate guilt. Metaphysically corporate guilt might be accurate theologically, but going from that to actual enforcement of that guilt by governments I personally feel is a dangerous thing. But I could be wrong.
I'm afraid you are. Well intentioned, but wrong.