Saturday, August 14, 2010

Can the Ground Zero Mosque Be Stopped?

That's the big question these days. Regrettably there seems to be no legal impediment to building it so close to the hallowed site. So, we are reduced to appealing to the better nature of Imam Feisel Abdul Rauf, the would-be builder, to choose a less sensitve site if he must build it at all, because he has the legal right to do it. It doesn't appear as if he is going to be influenced by these entreaties because the building of the mosque is not about promoting cross-cultural and inter-religious understanding as he claims. It is about conquest and putting up a monument to what the Islamic world views as a great victory.

As I've been mulling all this over, something occurred to me. Imam Rauf is not going to physically build the mosque. No, he is merely lining up financing to pay for its construction. To actually build it, he will also need to arrange for a building contractor. Given the scale of the building proposed, it seems to me there are only a very few construction companies with the ability to take on the project. It might also be hard to recruit construction workers for the project locally as many local workers may have lost friends or relatives in the 9/11 attack.

Perhaps those of us who would like to see this venture stopped should let it be known that agreeing to take this project on would not be viewed favorably and not worth the cost in bad PR, no matter how rich the contract. If nobody will take the project on, the mosque will not be built. I don't know how realistic a scenario this is, but it may be the only way it can be stopped.
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