Saturday, September 4, 2010

Ground Zero Mosque? What Ground Zero Mosque?

As the debate about the building of a mosque and Muslim community center in lower Manhattan rages on I have to wonder how much of this has been deliberately fueled by the media for their own profit. I can understand why ideologically driven opponents of the project would falsely label it a "ground zero mosque" to prey on the emotions surrounding the attack on 9/11/2001. The problem is that much of the press, both on the left and right, are willing accomplices who sensationalize the story to sell papers or boost ratings.

The fact is that there is no mosque proposed for the site where the World Trade Center stood, or ground zero. There is no Muslim community center proposed across the street or around the corner, either. It's two blocks away. That isn't "in the shadow of ground zero." (A hole in the ground doesn't cast a shadow, does it?) The project, when completed, won't be visible from ground zero. If and when the Freedom Tower is finally built if you go way up on a nice, high floor then you will certainly see the new Park51 community center among the many other buildings in lower Manhattan.

The Associated Press, to it's credit, sent out a memo instructing staff not to use the phrase "ground zero mosque". Some other news organizations, including The New York Times and MS-NBC have scrupulously avoided misleading people about the location as well.

Well-intentioned people of good faith can disagree on this issue. There are arguments that can be made on both sides that are not representative of bigotry or intolerance. I have my own opinions which I will be sharing at length. Before I do that, though, let's at least agree to stick to facts and not allow hype and hyperbole to inflame what is, by nature, a heated discussion.


gagy said...

Thank you for clarifying the misinformation transmitted by the press.

kenholmes said...

I know you have an IQ higher than most people, including me. I know you are aware that "shadow" in this context is a metaphor.

Caitlyn Martin said...

No, I don't know that it is a metaphor and neither do you. It is being used to deliberately mislead people about the location. The point of this post is to make clear that the use of that word is part of a campaign to inflame passions and prey on fears and hatred.