"Thousands of chanting, jeering protesters with dueling agendas converged on lower Manhattan [Saturday] in a bitter and sometimes violent clash over the planned Ground Zero mosque.
Rival demonstrations over the Islamic center were kept apart by a phalanx of cops -- though there were flare-ups between the groups even as relatives of 9/11 victims mourned just a few blocks away.
Beating drums and ringing bells, the crowd chanted, "Bigots go home."
The demonstrators also carried signs reading, "Tea party bigots funded by corporate $," and, "Our grief is no excuse for bigotry and racism."
A few blocks away, the mosque protesters were in full fury.
"Did New York deserve this? Did America deserve this? Did the West deserve this?" asked Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician and keynote speaker.
"No!" protesters roared back..." (SOURCE)
I understand the argument for the mosque. I do. We want to be bigger than the people that flew those planes. We don't want to indulge in the bigotry that drove them. We want to respect America's tradition of allowing religious freedoms. I would normally agree on all accounts.
But, my feminist issues with Islam aside...there are many, many mosques for Muslims to worship in in Manhattan --they want us to respect the fact that this was only 19 men and that it was not indicative of the Islamic faith. But, we need them to respect the fact that the wound is still too raw and to have the first thing rebuilt on the site at Ground Zero be a homage to the religion in whose name the damage was done...it's just too much.
It breaks my heart that the memorial of this day descended into this... I wonder, when does selfishness, stubbornness and political correctness end and plain common sense and compassion kick in?