Watch Aaron in the film Holy Wars

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Aaron on Grit Tv with Laura Flanders

Sorry it's been a while since I've posted.

Here's an interview I did yesterday on Grit Tv with Laura Flanders.


More GRITtv


toby said...

neat interview. i'm wondering if you thought it was fair or if they edited anything out that you thought was important to leave in. as a follow up, do you think that muslims should be allowed to build right next to ground zero?

Aaron D. Taylor said...

Toby. It's great to hear from you. The interview was aired as is. There was no editing, so, yes, I think it was fair.

As far as building the mosque next to Ground Zero. First of all, from what I understand, the mosque is a few blocks down. There's a lot of misinformation going on about the mosque and the people behind the mosque.

But to answer your question, yes I think it should be allowed. The fundamental issue here is religious freedom. If we're going to insist on the right of Christians to worship and propagate freely in Muslim countries, then we have to offer the same courtesy here.

Newt Gingrich says, "I'll allow a Mosque next to Ground Zero when churches are allowed in Saudi Arabia." This doesn't make sense. Gingrich is essentially saying that we as Americans have the right to be as intolerant as Saudi Arabia. We have to take the moral high ground.

Another factor to consider is that the man behind the Cordoba house espouses a very liberal, tolerant version of Islam, one that's completely consistent with American values. In fact, he wrote a book essentially saying that true Islamic societies should look like America. He's also very respected in peace/human rights/inter-faith dialogue circles.

As Newsweek's Fareed Zakaria says, and I'm paraphrasing "If this mosque were being built in a Muslim country, we would be the ones funding it."

It is in America's best interests to encourage and empower moderate to liberal Muslims to get their message out.

toby said...

seems like the mosque isn't right at ground zero. and i see your point about Newt Gingrich's comment.

in some ways though, it seems like this is political correctness gone too far. shouldn't we be a little suspicious about funding for this building? is it intolerant to say that having the mosque located that close to a place where the US was attacked by muslim extremists may not be the best idea?

what if the mosque actually was right next to ground zero? and what if the men behind the funding did have ties with (or did not condemn) muslim extremists? do we still claim "freedom of religion"?

Aaron D. Taylor said...


Thank you again for keeping it real. The problem with what you're arguing is you're arguing from a set of hypotheticals. The man behind the Cordoba house is not an extremist. In fact, he's the antithesis of that, so it's unfair to classify him, or for that matter, the world's 1.4 billion Muslims based on the actions of a few.

Timothy McVeigh saw himself as a Christian soldier, yet nobody suggests that we don't have a church near the Oklahoma city bombing.

We have to apply the same standards for others as we do ourselves. There are many 9/11 families that support the mosque. Also, keep in mind, some of the victims of 9/11 were Muslims.

Victimization doesn't give one the right to be bigoted. Palestinians feel that they've been victimized by Israel, so are we to say that Palestinians have the right to be anti-semitic?

The fundamental issue is religious freedom and tolerance, not political correctness. If they were promoting acts of violence that would be one thing. But they're not.

If we restrict their freedom of worship, we betray the fundamental principle upon which our nation was founded. The first amendment clearly says that government should not restrict the free exercise of religion. This is a constitutional issue every bit as much as it is a moral issue. Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin are way off base!

toby said...

i totally agree that i was arguing a hypothetical; good catch.

to be honest, i'm still slightly suspicious about the whole thing. if there was misinformation about the location of the mosque, how do we know there's not misinformation about the moderate nature of these muslims' faith? (i realize that the reliability of media is another topic entirely.)

but you have a good point and i do see the issue differently now after this discourse. thanks.

PS is holy wars going to be coming to chicago or anywhere in the midwest anytime soon that you know of? what about dvd?

Aaron D. Taylor said...

Great to hear from you again Toby. I always love your input. To answer your question, Holy Wars will be playing at a festival in Kansas City on October 1st. It's one of the film that the festival is really promoting. Perhaps you can go and check it out.