A very good reason for me to not weigh in on the "Ground Zero Mosque" controversey is I don't live in New York, and I'm not Muslim. Also come to think of it, it's a community center and not a mosque. And it's not proposed for ground zero.
So if I WERE going to weigh in about it, I'd probably say something like Eboo Patel of the Interfaith Youth Corps said on CNN.
Patel: In America, we don't tell people based on their race or religion or ethnicity that they are free in this place, but not in that place --My ex-neice is Muslim. A remarkable young woman, brave and intelligent, and like almost all Muslims, not a terrorist. I am a white male, and I've never felt the need to enslave a black man. I know a lot of Republicans, and to my knowlege none of them has ever bombed an abortion clinic.
Lemon: [interrupting] I understand that, but there's always context, Mr. Patel . . . this is an extraordinary circumstance. You understand that this is very heated. Many people lost their loved ones on 9/11 --
Patel: Including Muslim Americans who lost their loved ones. . . .
Lemon: Consider the context here. That's what I'm talking about.
Patel: I have to tell you that this seems a little like telling black people 50 years ago: you can sit anywhere on the bus you like - just not in the front.
Lemon: I think that's apples and oranges - I don't think that black people were behind a Terrorist plot to kill people and drive planes into a building. That's a completely different circumstance.
Patel: And American Muslims were not behind the terrorist plot either.
The Museum of Tolerance has come out against this community center, prompting Peter Gross on Wait Wait Don't Tell Me this last weekend to joke that they are building a Museum of Irony across the street. Point is, if we don't behave like adults here and stop knee-jerking around with the Muslim community, we'll never get them on our side where we need them. America has enough enemies without turning our friends into them also.