Here in lovely Manchester, New Hampshire, the Granite State’s Queen City, we are currently seeing the state’s first mosque being built. And as seems to be the case of late, they are running afoul of various laws and ordinances and regulations — and crying religious persecution.
I have repeatedly stated my distrust and suspicion of Islam in general, and I think it’s well-founded. Nearly every war, conflict, or struggle going on in the world right now has Muslims on at least one side. Further, the number of terrorists who commit their atrocities while shouting “Praise Jesus!” or “Am Yisrael Chai!” or “For the everlasting glory of Joseph Smith!” or even “Hari Krishna!” is exceedingly small, while “Allahu Ackbar!” has been featured on the soundtrack of every single beheading I’ve seen. But I support the building of a mosque in Manchester — if for no other reason that it tends to draw the dangerous elements of Islam into one easily-observed place.
But as I say in so many cases: you gotta follow the rules.
The would-be mosque is going slated to go up on a rather barren section of the city, on a street with only four neighbors. But those neighbors have some concerns — the amount of noisy construction being conducted after hours, the tendency of the workers to ignore the no-parking regulations, future noise concerns, and the absolutely ludicrous parking arrangements the mosque’s proponents have put forward.
Yeah, some of it may be based on fear of Muslims. But the very definition of “reasonable” is “something that can be attached to a reason,” and each of their concerns is tied to a specific law or ordinance.
More to the point, they were there first. They didn’t move next to a mosque, the mosque is looking to move next to them.
I hope the mosque’s proponents do get to put up their building, but I hope they do it the right way — by respecting the rules and traditions and the rights of their neighbors, and not the wrong way — by intimidation.
However, looking at how Islam was (and is) being spread, and the level of tolerance and respect it shows for other faiths, I have my doubts.