Friday, September 10, 2010

Quote of the Day: Colin Powell on the "Ground Zero mosque"

The one-time possible president, on The View:

The terrorists win if we become terrified and... change who we are and what we are.

In other words: build Park51 where it is planned to be built, near but not at Ground Zero, and don't give in to the bigots and haters, including those who say the community center (not, strictly speaking, a mosque) should just be moved uptown a bit but who are really expressing broad anti-Muslim sentiment.

And, I would add, Park51 has nothing to do with the planned Quran burning in Florida. Terry Jones, the pastor of that despicable church, the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, spent today trying to connect the two, and trying to dominate the news, suggesting that he would refrain from burning the Quran if Park51 were moved. Park51 is intended to be a peaceful center for Muslims and for outreach to non-Muslims, whereas the Quran burning is intended to be an expression of Christian supremacism, an expression of hatred. In this sense, Park51 is deeply American, while the Quran burning is deeply un-American. Jones is spinning his bigotry as patriotism, and there is indeed a dark side to patriotism, but burning the Quran and expressing this sort of vilification of the Other runs counter, I would argue, to the core ideals that America purports to hold dear.

Thankfully, some major media outlets, including Fox News and the AP, have stated that they will not cover the Quran burning, should it take place on Saturday. Sure, the media have been drooling all over this story, just as I and many other bloggers have, but it's good to know that such bigotry would not be given the sort of attention that Jones so clearly desires.

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