The uproar over a proposed mosque near ground zero is predicated around the idea that this specific site was inappropriate for a mosque because of its proximity to the place where Islamic terrorists killed thousands of Americans. The logic is still, not even very subtly, anti-Muslim it only makes sense if you believe that Muslim-American worshipers are sympathetic to Muslim terrorists. Now a community on Staten Island is opposing another proposed mosque, and without the pretense that it’s motivated by anything but outright hostility toward Muslims.
On Wednesday night, a meeting was held by the Midland Beach Civic Association to bring together representatives of the Muslim American Society — who want to turn an empty convent there into a mosque — and the locals who want nothing to do with them. It wasn’t exactly a “civic” dialogue. The men were asked whether they realized that “every terrorist, past and present, has come out of a mosque,” and their organization was falsely accused of being on the FBI’s terrorist watch list. Their answers were drowned out by “catcalls and boos.” At one point a veteran of the war in Afghanistan tried to broker the peace.
Mr. Finnegan said he was a Marine lance corporal, home from Afghanistan, where he had worked as a mediator with warring tribes.
After the sustained standing ovation that followed his introduction, he turned to the Muslims on the panel: “My question to you is, will you work to form a cohesive bond with the people of this community?” The men said yes.
Then he turned to the crowd. “And will you work to form a cohesive bond with these people — your new neighbors?”