Christian – Islam Equivalency?

In the on-line magazine Salon Justin Elliott has, over the last month been focusing on plans to build a Christian Centre at Ground Zero.

– A bigoted pastor who has assailed gays and Muslims is launching the “9-11 Christian Center at Ground Zero” a mere two blocks from the World Trade Center site…  but so far the project hasn’t drawn a peep of protest from those who are outraged by the “ground zero mosque.” –

This attempt to whip up a campaign against a Christian Centre is making a massive assumption, common in the media and society, of moral equivalence. Before his conversion Bill Keller, the pastor of the proposed and unlikely ever to be built Centre, was convicted in the late 1980’s for insider trading. More importantly for Salon he could fairly be described as a Christian fundamentalist. In the eyes of the media this makes him the equivalent of a Muslim fundamentalist.

Supporters of the mosque and other apologists for militant Islam choose not to see that it is the faith of the hijackers which makes placing the mosque on the site of a building damaged by debris from the attack offensive to the majority of Americans.

Anyone in the two aircraft hitting the Twin Towers calling out “Allah akbar” could fairly be classed as a ‘perpetrator’. Anyone calling on the name of Jesus is more likely to fall into the class of ‘victim’.

I hold no brief for Christian fundamentalism, but to equate it with Muslim fundamentalism is a wicked and deliberate distortion.

There is no moral equivalency. Can you image the Methodist Mujahadeen  threatening “Free the prisoners or we will hold a jumble sale.” Perhaps the Anglican Al-quaeda could threaten that if Guantanamo is not closed they will come round and force the US Army to sit down and have a nice cup of tea after evensong. The Presbyterian Liberation Organisation would obviously threaten, “Stop building settlements on the West Bank or we will form a committee and in two years time produce a report. In the meantime we promise not to speak about it.” Terrifying people these Christians.

Besides – by the standards of those supporting the mosque, it is logically wrong to even suggest there can be a moral objection to the location of any religious building in the area around Ground Zero. For supporters of the Ground Zero Mosque to object to Keller’s planned Christian Centre in any way surely constitutes a massive act of hypocrisy.


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