Let Reformation Begin at Ground Zero

By Meacham, Jon | Newsweek, September 6, 2010 | Go to article overview

Let Reformation Begin at Ground Zero


Meacham, Jon, Newsweek


Byline: Jon Meacham

The debate over the Islamic center in lower Manhattan--the mosque with a pool and a prayer room--is not a matter of being for religious liberty and thus for the center, nor is it one of being against the center and therefore a bigot. Sometimes life offers such stark moral crises. This is not one of them.

The attacks of September 11--and subsequent bombings in London, Madrid, and elsewhere--embody the most repulsive of human instincts, the will to power at the price of the lives of others. Elements of Islam were responsible for these deaths of innocents, and extreme interpretations of the Quran have provided--and, inevitably, will provide again--inspiration and justification for terrorist violence. Muslims flew those planes into the towers and the Pentagon; Muslims were in the cockpit when the passengers brought down Flight 93 in the fields of Pennsylvania. To indict a faith for the sins of a few, though, is a tricky business. Christians have massacred innocents before, too, and they have interpreted Scripture in ways to justify slavery, and the subjugation of women, among other things.

Still, Islam needs reform. There are virulent elements of anti-Semitism and sexism abroad in the faith. There are, as we have noted, big strains of extreme anti-Western, specifically anti-American, hatred. Christianity might offer something of a constructive model in terms of reformation (this is coming from a Protestant): large parts of the Christian universe have managed to adapt to modernity in ways that have at least discouraged the worst excesses of religiously motivated believers. Such work is what the leaders of the Islamic center in lower Manhattan say they wish to be about. The test of their sincerity will come with time.

The controversy in New York has helped create something America largely avoided in the aftermath of September 11: a climate of anti-Muslim hatred. My liberal friends think I am wrong about the seemingly distant autumn of 2001, arguing that the country turned nativist then. I disagree: to me, the remarkable thing about the aftermath of the 2001 attacks was the muted reaction to Islam itself from the broad whole of the nation. Certainly there were exceptions, but when you think of how much worse the anti-Muslim backlash could have been in the emotion of that hour, the country comes out quite well. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Let Reformation Begin at Ground Zero
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.