This is an embarrassment to Christianity, just as the bloodthirsty murder of 3,000 innocent New Yorkers was an embarrassment to Islam.
Shame on the minister.
Hatred is fundamentally un-Christian, and Christians should go out of their way to say so.
Burning other people's holy books is fundamentally un-American.
But Muslims should be just as forthright in condemning Islamic extremists. There should be no room for doubt.
Or for gratuitous insult, while we're in the neighborhood.
A fiercely proud American from Iran pointed out to me in an e-mail that the decision to pursue construction of a mosque 21/2 blocks away from the site of the Sept. 11 attack will play differently to some elements of the Muslim world than it does here in the United States.
"You have to be born in the Middle East to see this," he said. "In their minds, they will say, 'We bombed them and we built a mosque in its place.' "
In some eyes, construction will be viewed as a planting of the flag, a claiming of the ground, so to speak.
Given the brutality of the attack and the loss of more than 3,000 innocent lives, why would an imam risk giving such an impression?
To promote peace and understanding?
And why would a Christian minister studiedly perpetrate such an offense against all Muslims?
All people of good will, of all religions, should speak up against the promoters of calculated insults.
Hatred kills people. It kills the young men of societies by the tens of thousands.
Right now, the cultivators of hatred are causing the deaths of young Muslims and young Americans.
By staging stunts in an effort to call attention to themselves.
Maurice is editorial page editor of the Daily Mail. She may be reached at 348-4802 or ha...@dailymail.com.