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Argument Critique_Simons

Argument Critique_Simons - Simons 1 Olivia Simons Professor...

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Olivia Simons Professor McCarthy Literature 100, Section 41 8 October 2010 Views on Park51 In the New York Times article “Taking Bin Laden’s Side,” author Nicholas Kristof addresses the controversy surrounding the “Ground Zero Mosque,” officially know as Park51. Park51 is a proposed Islamic faith center to be built just 600 feet from where the World Trade Center once stood. Since it was announced in May 2008, the project has stirred passions nationwide by both Republicans and Democrats alike because of its proximity to the location of the September 11 th attacks on the World Trade Centers. In this article, Kristof asserts that the Republicans opposed to this Islamic development are expressing the same religious intolerance expressed by Osama Bin Laden himself. He believes that their opposition is based on two misconceptions, that Park51 will disrupt the sanctity of ground zero and that the Islamic religion is inherently war-like. Kristof works to dismantle the Republican argument for opposition, and strengthen his view, that opposition of Park51 is simply religious intolerance in its highest form. Although his intent is to discredit Republican reasoning for their opposition to Park51, Kristof uses methods to do so that ultimately weaken his own argument. It is evident that Kristof has great passion for his belief that the Muslim community center should be allowed; however, this passion displays itself in attacks on Republicans. He seems to spend more time refuting the Republican view than he does supporting his own. Kristof does make many valid arguments for the community center; however, his obvious bias against Republicans, apparent through his Simons 1
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sarcasm, personal attacks, and extreme comparisons, detracts from his argument and the real issue of the article. Kristof’s bias is apparent in many ways throughout the article. He firsts attacks the Republican argument that an Islamic community center close to ground zero would be disrespectful to this sacred ground. He compares the Islamic Center to a YMCA, avoiding the issue of its religious affiliation in relation to the terrorist attack. He goes on to say that the gentlemen’s clubs, bars, and liquor stores surround the same area and asks, “Why do so many Republicans find strip clubs appropriate for the ground zero neighborhood but object to a house of worship?” (Kristof) Although his point is valid in reasoning, Kristof again avoids the issue of the Islamic aspect of the center. It is not the house of worship that Republicans feel affect the
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Argument Critique_Simons - Simons 1 Olivia Simons Professor...

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