Excellent blog on the Intependent's website today:
Have to say I couldn't agree more. The beliefs that the 'West' are so keen to defend are tolerance and freedom. Be this freedom of religion, sexuality, speech, etc, whilst being tolerant of others' choices.
I am saddened by the reaction regarding the community centre in New York. I think that the real force on show here is fear, probably fear of what they don't understand. Those campaigning against the centre probably don't see a difference between those people who flew planes into the World Trade Centre and those who are building the centre, however the only comparison is what they call their religion.
I was involved in a 'discussion' with someone on the internet regarding this. She was adamant that the 'mosque' shouldn't be built. I asked her why it was okay for a strip club to be near the site but not okay for a Muslim community centre. I think her response of "strippers didn't fly a plane into the World Trade Centre" was very telling. The people who are building this centre and those who will use it also didn't fly a plane into the World trade centre!
I am afraid that the less tolerance we show the worse the situation will get. Hatred only breads hatred and unless we can show the Muslim world that we don't think that they are all terrorists and they are welcome in our communities it will only get easier for the small number of extremists to attract people to their cause.
But Russell Razzaqu says it better than me!