Ground Zero - zero tolerance to hatred
Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani-born US citizen, has been jailed for life for the failed car bombing of New York’s Times Square. Throughout his trial he remained unrepentant. Unfortunately he won’t be the last socially inadequate imbecile with a warped agenda whose defiantly dumb mugshot is already yesterday’s news.
Alas, behaviour such as Shahzad’s will also prompt idiotic knee-jerk reactions. The proposed erection of a ‘centre for religious tolerance’ near ‘Ground Zero’, site of the World Trade Center atrocity, has prompted much intolerance. At the fatter (or should that be fatwaher) end of the fundamentalist wedge, we had Terry Jones, an evangelical Christian pastor from Florida. As a man steeped in the pacifist doctrines of one Jesus Christ, what was his contribution to the post 9/11 debate? A threatened mass-burning of the Koran. What a knob.
At the thinner end, there has been much pontificating about Ground Zero being ‘hallowed ground’. Although those fuckwits piloting the planes probably exulted God in the seconds prior to atomization, the mass murder they perpetrated had fuck all to do with any religion. The 3,000 + victims included people of all spiritual beliefs, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Humanist and countless others. Islam preaches tolerance. As does Christianity. The fact that both camps nurture little hotbeds of homophobia, misogyny and a smattering of downright sociopathic hatred is not down to religion per se but rather its interpretation by various human sheep.
Incidentally, the neo-cons were frothing about a ‘centre for religious tolerance’ so close to Ground Zero. But they’ve remained uncharacteristically mute about the tacky souvenir stalls, sex shops and dodgy bars congregating around the same vicinity.