Thursday, August 26, 2010

Faith Wars under Class Wars

As a student who just entered his final year of law school, I can still mildly alternate between the way I used to think and how I currently think.  Before law school, it tended to be about emotions, passions, and just doing what seemed to be the right thing.  But after law school, all that stuff is secondary.  First and foremost, one has to grasp the facts and grasp them chronologically.

Chronological problem:
What came first: the chicken or the egg?
Who cares? They're both delicious.  

And be sure to grasp the facts accurately.  Over history, we have had the industrial age, the bronze age, the gold age (see: Michael Phelps Olympics 2008), and now the information age.  The age of information gives us information literally at our fingertips.  Literally.

People dive in to get the smartest phones to get the internet, yet, this information powerhouse that is the worldwide web (WWW) might be underused.  People have begun to congregate around one or two news sources and derive all information from them.  This is dangerous because it does not teach something else I learned in law school thought:  know both sides of the case.

There are two major sides to the NYC Islamic Community Center (ICC).  Over the past few weeks, I have noticed that those who are versed in looking at both sides have supported the ICC's development.  Most recently, this includes the NYC Bar Association.  Additionally, other lawyers have spoken about the issue.
William J. Honan, the executive partner of Holland & Knight, which in 2001 had its office a block from the World Trade Center, said many of the firm's staff lived through "that horribly traumatic day, but that was the work of terrorists and that is not what we are talking about here."
The most famous attorney to speak on the issue was President Obama, who supported the building of the ICC, but the politician in him was quick to bring up uncertainty regarding location.  However, there are exceptions to the rule, and in this case, another well-known attorney, Rudolph Giuliani, has spoken out strongly against the ICC.

On the other side of the class war, we see the construction workers, laborers, Union members pledging to not work on the construction of the ICC.
"There were construction workers killed on 9/11 and many more who got horribly sick cleaning up Ground Zero," Coletti said. "It's very emotional."
As evident, the majority of workers are engulfed in an argument based on passion and emotion. Of course, there are exceptions to that rule as well.

"Hundreds of guys here are wearing stickers as a sign of protest, but I'm on the fence about it," said Frank Langan, 50, a site superintendent from Queens working at Ground Zero.
"It's a tough debate," he said. "I sympathize with workers' position, but at the same time, you can't single out all Muslims because of a small number of terrorists."
So, we see a trend where both sides are weighing in heavily where they are expected to stand. But the amount of misinformation in this debate has essentially kept the working class focused on the "emotional argument".  The "emotional argument" never focuses on the Muslim victims of 9/11, never focuses on the mission statement of the ICC, and, worst of all, it never focuses on the fact that the world is watching the actions of Americans very closely as we increasingly become torn on this manufactured story.

Chronological problem:
What came first: the freedom of speech or the freedom of religion?
Who cares? They equally coexist...

...just like we should.


Maudood said...

Well written!

Anonymous said...

Good pc.