This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.


← Pat Condell - No Mosque At Ground Zero

jhellegers's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by jhellegers

Dear webmaster,

Could you please remove the video above? It contradicts the the mission statement of the Richard Dawkins Foundation of tolerance and superstition.

First of all, the attacks of 9/11 is one made by a terrorist organisation, not by a whole religion. As can be read herelink text, the overwhelming majority of muslims do not "endorse violence" and reject attacks on citizens. The assumption that Islam, which is, after all, the commonly held belief of all muslims, is a religion that supports the attacks of 9/11 is nothing short of superstition, and therefore in contradiction to your mission statement. As for the Cordoba Mosque, it was not built by muslim invaders celebrating their conquest of Spain. Muslims bought (!) a church which was subsequently changed into a mosque, and named to honour his wife. Cordoba soon grew to be the largest Western European city and a centre foreconomics and learning for muslims, christians and jews. Again a lack of regard for evidence. Furthermore, framing the building of a mosque as islamization of a country is nonsense - the building of a mosque merely acoomodates a group of people holding a private belief in holding private meetings. It is not any more public than starting a golf club[2]. To say that the mosque is triumphalistic, celebrating the 9/11 attacks is nothing more than an illusion presented whitout even a shred of evidence. When dealing with actual evidence, such as the statements by the committee organizing the building of the mosque, saying it is a tribute to the victims, mr. Condell chooses to disregard it. He continues by saying that it makes him "sick to his stomach that Islam is allowed near Ground Zero". As many of the victims of the attacks were indeed muslim, it is not only impossible not to allow "Islam" near Ground Zero, but also to allow families of the victims to mourn their lost ones in their own ways. Again, mr. Condell chooses to showdisregard for the facts.

Citizens cannot be held accountable for acts commited by others.

To do otherwise, and to make people complicit in the 9/11 attacks based on a specific shared trait (the professed religion), is nothing short of intolerance, as is the call for a stop of all people professing that faith (and that faith only) on building houses of worship.

To state that the 9/11 attacks were strictly a religious act, is clearly untrue, as the goals and demands of al Quaeda are primarily political, such as the military retreat of American troops from the Middle East. Indeed, much of the resentment in the world against America can be traced to American Capitalist Imperialism - to rebuild a business centre at Ground Zero can be seen as an insult to the memories of the victims as well. But that just goes to show that an insult is strictly personal and can never be a ground forgovernment policy. To forbid a mosque on the grounds of insult is the same as forbidding Draw Muhammed Day on the grounds of insult. Furthermore, Condell states that "without belief in the afterlife, the attacks would never have been committed". And again he is wrong, as there are numerous suicide attacks where the attackers were not persuaded by a belief in the afterlife, but by ideals or nationalism, as is the case by of probably the largest group of suicide killers, the kamikaze and kaiten pilots of WW II. Then, are the attacks on Madrid and London an attack on the free world as such? Certainly, the bombers seem to think otherwise. They cast their deeds as a political deed, a reaction to the invasion of Iraq in which both Spain and Britain participated. Should political ideologies be banned for hate? Certainly not. Not only do all political movements hate a specific behaviour or group (liberals do hate groups attacking individuality, corporatists hate groups attacking their social organization, communists hate capitalists (and vice versa). Only by engaging in informed dialogue one can hope to gain some understanding and try to convince others of your truth. Stating that Islam unncessarily dichotomizes the world is simply hilarious when coming for mr. Condells lips. He himself has lately devoted his life to dividing the world between the pure (us westerners) and the impure (muslims), even while muslims are integrating, befriending, working together with nonmuslims (as do most nonmuslims integrate with muslims).

On a sidenote: are all religions that endorse violence incapable of furthering spiritual enlightenment? Let us neglect for a second that virtually every religion has followers that endorse violence, and focus on the question, which does not have an obvious answer. Indeed, Nietzsche stated (following Aeschulos's Oresteia) that true knowledge, and great people, can only be forged by painful experiences which must be overcome and incorporated into one's soul.

[2] Except, of course, when these believers take along their children to their house of worship. ButI do not see why an exception should be made for Islam, as this happens in most other religions as well.

Sat, 05 Jun 2010 07:55:00 UTC | #476598