Ground Zero Mosque Location 
Over at The View yesterday, Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar walked off their own set after Bill O'Reilly made the blanket statement that "Muslims killed us on 9/11!" while having a heated discussion about the location of a proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero.

"Oh my God!" Behar said.

"That is such bullshit!" Goldberg said. "Extremists did that!"

And both of them promptly walked off the set. Just like that.

Predictably, the part of the "discussion" that bothers me so much is that even though O'Reilly apologized (which he essentially reversed today), this issue has been so blown out of proportion, many people really are equating the building of the mosque with the events of 9/11. And that couldn't be any further from the truth. It's not unlike me saying I don't want a Catholic Church built here in downtown Seattle because that is sending an open invitation of acceptance for pedophiles to join my community. I mean, really.

To me, the real issue is not whether to build or not build the mosque (technically, a community center) since I can appreciate both sides: 1. I loathe the fear mongering being spewed ad-nauseam as though Ground Zero is going to be overrun by people wearing over-sized turbans doing the happy-dance, but  2. I am sensitive to other people's feelings on this issue -- especially the friends/families of those that perished on 9/11, whatever their reasons may be.

The crux of the matter here is Imam Rauf and how he has responded to the the plans he himself set into motion:

He claims he has been surprised by the heated and passionate "discussion" that ensued after announcing his intention to build near Ground-Zero. Ok, fine. I will give him the benefit of the doubt that he is not able to see 90 seconds into the future. Because, whatever. But let's assume that is the case. Given the assumption regarding his apparent lack of foresight, it beyond amazes me that: 1. He wasn't able to predict possible backlash prior to building the mosque, BUT  2. He somehow gains "Insight for the Ages" into the possible consequences of the mosque NOT being built -- ie, not only putting Americans abroad at risk if this mosque isn't built, but jeopardizing our national security here at home as well. (You can read the entire transcript here).

That's a helluva statement to make coming from someone who wouldn't be able to predict that I will have used the word 'the' somewhere in the context of this blog post. What he says not only sounds like a threat, but an ultimatum. So much for the mosque being marketed as part of the healing process that needs to occur between the events of 9/11 and the peace-loving faith of Muslims. Seriously?

As always though, I am here to help and have the ideal solution. And as with most emotionally-charged subjects, this is going to require compromise. Clearly the only option then is to build the a different locale. But what location in the country could possibly compete with the heart of lower Manhattan (other than, well, the heart of lower Manhattan) without making the Muslims feel as though they are being told to "get the hell out of Dodge"? 

How 'bout a cornfield in eastern Iowa? 


Hear me out on this -- not just ANY cornfield mind you -- but the farm from Field of Dreams, which conveniently has been on the market for sale since May of this year with an asking price of $5.4 million. Remove (from both sides) the controversy, the drama, and most of all...the fear. Place the mosque in the middle of nowhere next to a magical baseball field -- a scene almost as widely recognized as the Twin Towers themselves. Because, Imam Rauf, you say you want "healing"? This is the place to do it, in the ultimate West-meets-al-Qaeda showdown, and here is why:

This will allow those opposed to the location reassurance that eastern Iowa is nowhere even remotely close to Ground Zero. At the same time, the Muslim community will no doubt lose any and all perceived associations with extremists since there isn't a terrorist cell in existence that can compete with the totally bad-ass 1919 Black Sox team. I'd pit "Shoeless" Joe Jackson against Osama bin Laden anytime, anyplace. Because c'mon.

Osama bin Laden and Shoeless Joe Jacksoni

As for Imam Rauf? Not only will he save himself close to $95 million (Ray Liotta and Kevin Costner will cost extra), but if he builds it, they WILL come...and just how much win is THAT for all involved?

Ground Zero Mosque and Field of Dreams