Peoples Geography — Reclaiming space

Creating people's geographies

Desecrating the Constitution: A cartoonist’s look at Cordoba House aka the ‘9/11 Mosque’

From Nate Beeler at Cagle cartoons on opposition to the ‘Ground Zero mosque’ — the proposed multistory Muslim community centre at Cordoba House two blocks away from the site of the WTC towers — and its incompatibility with the religious freedom upheld in the US Constitution. In the spirit of interfaith sharing of sacred space, check out a positive example related by Paul Moses who has a story to counter those who invoke immediate past Pope John Paul II in their attacks against the mosque:

In this case, the sacred ground was Manger Square in Bethlehem, where Pope John Paul celebrated Mass on March 22, 2000.

The pope had just finished his homily, ending with “Assalamu alaikum,” when the Muslim call to prayer broke forth from the loudspeakers at a mosque that bordered on Manger Square. It seemed, at first, like a rude intrusion on the historic Mass the pope was celebrating in the Jubilee year. But John Paul sat quietly and listened as the muezzin sang God’s praise; he seemed to be savoring the moment. It was as if the Muslim prayer mingled with the Mass.

Just before the Mass ended, it was announced that church and mosque officials had coordinated the call to prayer, which had been delayed to accommodate the pope’s homily. It was a small matter, really, but this cooperation stirred the crowd, mostly Arab Christians, to cheers, applause and even to tears. A sacred space had been shared, and everyone was the better for it.

Here is another great example of Christian-Muslim sharing of traditions: in this case, Ramadan fasting. And from the Catholic Encyclopedia’s entry on Cordoba (via Got Medieval):

In 786 the Arab caliph, Abd-er Rahman I, began the construction of the great mosque of Cordova, now the cathedral, and compelled many Christians to take part in the preparation of the site and foundations. Though they suffered many vexations, the Christians continued to enjoy freedom of worship, and this tolerant attitude of the ameers seduced not a few Christians from their original allegiance. Both Christians and Arabs co-operated at this time to make Cordova a flourishing city, the elegant refinement of which was unequalled in Europe.

Cartoon hat-tip to Daryl Cagle (via twitter).


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2 comments on “Desecrating the Constitution: A cartoonist’s look at Cordoba House aka the ‘9/11 Mosque’

  1. mimi
    13 October, 2010

    we do not discreminate! we only think some things of other religions are wrong like you im sure think things of our religion is wrong……I mean no hatred or discrimination in this letter…im only 12 but i think that its good to know that we do not mean to disciminate …if that is your feelings of us…

  2. sam
    20 October, 2010

    That initial cartoon is excellent. This is purely constitutional! We can’t rely on the constitution only when we agree with it, and as soon as it protects something we disagree with, we flip out! They can build there under constitutional protection, period, the end.

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This entry was posted on 16 August, 2010 by in Cartoon and tagged , .

Timely Reminders

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