George Will observed that the two-blocks-from-ground-zero-mosque-story is an August story, the kind of story used during a slow news time, the kind that is predicated on insensitivity. According to George, "sensitivity is overrated."
He's right of course, but there's more to this mosque business than just a slow news time. Hell, if we used this kind of story as a yardstick for measuring slow news times, we would have been moving backwards for the past 30 years.
FACT: Muslims began arriving in this country, by design or by force, as far back as the middle 1700s. Just think. It's a good possibility that Muslims were here before many of our white Christian ancestors.
FACT: What is most likely the first American mosque was founded in 1915 by Albanian Muslims in Briddeford, Maine. A Muslim cemetery still exists there.
FACT: During the 19th century, large numbers of Christian and Muslim immigrants arrived in the United States from Syria and Lebanon. Muslim farmers, peddlers and shop owners settled throughout the midwest. In 1934 the first mosque actually built in the U.S. was completed in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
FACT: The estimated number of mosques in the U.S. is 2,000.
FACT: As of mid 2010, the Pew Forum estimated there were 1.57 billion Muslims in the U.S.
So, if my calculator is working correctly, this means that Muslims arrived in the U.S. at least 250 years ago. It also proves that the first mosque was founded nearly 100 whole years ago. And here we are in the year 2010 and Christians are just now bitching about mosques and Muslims? Where have they been all this time?
Don't get sensitive. Get real.
CORRECTION: Pew estimates the Muslim population in the U.S. to be 2,454,000.