Well, it seems to be a done deal. The muslims will be allowed to build to build their 13 or 15 story mosque just blocks away from Ground Zero. The current building whose roof was destroyed by the landing gear of one of the planes that attacked the World Trade Center will be demolished to make way for this mosque.
The imam in charge claims that this will be a center of tolerance and education with conference rooms, classrooms and a swimming pool. Of course, no mosque would be complete without a swimming pool.
Yesterday's Wall Street Journal had an opinion piece that brought to mind the controversey in the 80s when the Carmelite nuns moved into an abandoned building on the edge of the former Nazi death camp in Auschwitz. At the time, I couldn't understand why so many people were upset. After all, the Carmelites are a cloistered order who spend their time praying. And, the Naziis did kill a great many catholics. I do see things differently now.
At the time, Pope John Paul II waited, prayed and spoke to the nuns. He saw that their presence was doing more harm than the good that was intended. He knew that his suggestion would be difficult for the sisters, but he asked them to accept it while continuing to pursue their mission in that same city. He asked the sisters to move their convent that had been built for them, which they did.
The Pope realized that, for Jews, Auschwitz is a symbol of the Holocaust and the presence of the convent looked like an effort to Christianize a place of Jewish suffering. If only the muslims would realize that Ground Zero is the site of a radical islamic attack on our nation and have the common decency to move the mosque to a more neutral site. The city is certainly large enough.
Shame on the elected officials of NY for allowing this desecration of our sacred site.