It’s not just a problem at 45 Park Square in lower Manhattan: the building of mosques and Islamic cultural centres around the USA has begun to encounter serious resistance. Much of this has apparently been fuelled by misinformation about Islam.
The New York Times has brought together some of the more prominent disagreements in a piece which also notes that recent research from Duke University has concluded that contemporary mosques act as a deterrent to the radicalising of young Muslims. One of the most vehement objections to mosque building is that they would somehow do the opposite.
In fact, some of the misinformation deployed in opposition has been so wildly inaccurate that it beggars belief that anyone would believe it: the idea that in twenty years’ time, Muslims would somehow outnumber the non-Muslim population of the USA, the assertion that Muslims are pushing to have Sharia Law replace the US Constitution, and that mosques would be cover for terrorist activities.
And we in the UK are not immune to such scaremongering: The Daily Star, the new face of proto-BNP frothery, showed that it has borrowed the “rhetorical questions” line from our friends at Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse) by running a phone poll titled “Is Islam Taking Over Britain?”.
[My thanks to Tabloid Watch for the Star poll details]