I’ll come back to that headline in just a sec, but first let’s go to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll measuring American thought on building a mosque at Ground Zero:
Most Americans say the planned Muslim community center and place of worship should not be built in Lower Manhattan, with the sensitive locale being their overwhelming objection, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Two-thirds of those polled object to the prospective Cordoba House complex near the site of the former twin towers, including a slim majority who express strongly negative views. Eighty-two percent of those who oppose the construction say it’s because of the location, although 14 percent (9 percent of all Americans) say they would oppose such building anywhere in the country.
The new results come alongside increasingly critical public views of Islam: 49 percent of all Americans say they have generally unfavorable opinions of Islam, compared with 37 percent who say they have favorable ones. That’s the most negative split on the question in Post-ABC polls dating to October 2001.
That makes the following story all the more interesting I think:
Far from the media frenzy dominating headlines, from the so-called “ground zero mosque” to a pastor’s planned Quran burning, Aman Ali and Bassam Tariq traveled more than 13,000 miles into the heart of America over the last month, visiting 30 mosques in 30 days for Ramadan.
They began in New York, headed south and then cut across the country to California before making their way back, ending today in Michigan in the nation’s largest Muslim community.
Ali and Tariq were embraced nearly everywhere they went, from a Confederate souvenir shop in Georgia to the streets of Las Vegas, Nevada, to the hills of North Dakota where the nation’s first mosque was built in 1929.
Like any road trip, there were strange moments along the way: A Mississippi police officer quizzed them about their beliefs on the ground zero mosque and they were asked to leave a mosque in Mobile, Alabama.
They chuckle about those experiences now and emphasize it shouldn’t overshadow the whole trip because, ultimately, they discovered that America still embraces immigrants and the nation is filled with welcoming and loving people.
So despite polls being ballyhooed as evidence for America’s ignorance and bigotry, two Muslims find America to be welcoming and loving… and in fact, in a delicious twist, the only apparent problem encountered by the men was at a mosque in Alabama.
The conclusion seems clear… the majority of Americans can oppose the mosque at Ground Zero while still being tolerant and embracing of Muslims.
How will the Left spin this sort of thing?