Re: If the mosque isn't built
So I've been away on a mix of work and play for a few weeks-->missed my BHTV. But getting back to this DV and the mosque kerfuffle.
There's a discussion somewhere in there about the gap between the NYer's experience of 9/11 and the experience of those elsewhere, followed by a comment that actually there is very little opposition to this INSIDE New York. Dan seems surprised by this. I am not. Not because New York is so liberal, but because my recollection of how New York experienced 9/11 would predict precisely this outcome, not the long grief and outrage that Dan expects.
See, what I recall is that for the first few months after 9/11, the local press here did not even bother discussing the big political impact of the event: i.e. that it had been committed by radical terrorists with ideological goals, that we were responding militarily, etc. I was a pretty politically savvy high schooler, and yet, I have no specific memory of the decision to go to war or the day the Taliban fell.
Instead, what I recall of those first few months is that we talked about the WTC in terms of the practicalities--how many bodies have been discovered? where can I file a missing person's report? is the water safe? when will the air stop smelling? where should we move the subway? We spoke as though the city had undergone a disaster, without much reference to the manmade cause. If you didn't know what had happened, you might have confused NYC with an earthquake site.
New York didn't become concerned with the politics of 9/11 until mid 2002, when most of us were sort of shocked to discover how far along the discussion of the war on terror was, and how close we were to invading Iraq. We hadn't seen the ideological buildup in Bush's speeches, and it slapped us in the face. And even now, I think 9/11 is somehow more tragic and less political for people in New York than for those outside who saw it symbolically instead of physically. Which is why, for us, 'ground zero mosque' is not a sequence of words that raises any alarms.