The mosque is wrong. But so is politicizing it. When the story of a mosque near ground zero first eked out a couple months ago, very few public figures wanted to wade unnecessarily into a complicated local issue and potential political land mine for anyone seeking a seat in public office. But now that it's actually become a national issue, it seems no one is even bothering to wade. They're diving in, headfirst.
It's inarguably a huge story, and hardly insignificant. It's raised questions about whether we're an Islamophobic people. (Probably, if you ask Time magazine and Katie Couric. Definitely, if you ask Keith Olbermann and Nancy Pelosi.) It's put the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks front-and-center again, prompting New Yorkers and the rest of the nation to relive those terrifying, life-altering moments. And it's made many of us wonder if freedom of religion means abandoning common sense and decency.
But perhaps most disappointingly, it's become a hot campaign issue, and just in time for the midterm elections. And while this was only recently a nonissue, now everyone wants a piece of the action. Politicians sense that this is the sort of wedge issue that can garner them both attention and votes.
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