It turns out that the outrage against the proposed NYC Islamic cultural center is far from unanimous.
A study released by Pew (via Wiretap and Campus Progress) shows that a majority of people between the ages of 18-29 are okay with the center’s proposed location two blocks from ground zero. Fewer people in that cohort had a favorable opinion of Islam, but those numbers too increased amongst college graduates, who are more likely to have met people of other cultures and religions. Unsurprisingly, college graduates are also more likely to know something about Islam — actual information, presumably, and not whatever informed this tragedy.
It’s unfortunate, though, that Pew called the center a “mosque.” As Anushay Hossein points out in her Huffington Post article, “this Community Center plans to house a culinary school, an auditorium, a swimming pool, a basketball court, and yes, space for prayer. But it is not a mosque, so we all need to stop calling it that. Calling this Center the “Ground Zero Mosque” not only makes people think up dramatic images of an actual mosque right on the site of Ground Zero, but it also misconstrues the entire debate.”
On the bright side, maybe younger people would have approved the center’s construction in higher numbers had the right terms been used. Or if Jon Stewart’s bit on Fox’s coverage of the “terror mosque” had come out earlier.