There was a time when people has to actually sit down and think about writing satire or social commentary but the world has changed so much now. News these days can be its own satire and the absurdity of current events can be their own commentary. One such event happened just a few weeks ago in Manhattan when scores of people were protesting the construction of a Mosque close to the 9/11 site. To prove my point, instead of giving any commentary I will just excerpt from a news story.
(i) NEW YORK — Richie Mitzner of Fort Lee revved up his motorcycle and headed for Ground Zero on Sunday to proudly declare himself an “American Infidel.” He was not joking. As a hot, humid wind blew off New York Harbor, Mitzner joined some 500 others to stir up a rhetorical whirlwind of protest against a proposal to build a mosque and Islamic cultural center near the site of America’s bloodiest terror attack. Unfortunately, this is what Ground Zero has now become — a scene of protests.
(ii) At one point, a portion of the crowd menacingly surrounded two Egyptian men who were speaking Arabic and were thought to be Muslims.
(iii) “Go home,” several shouted from the crowd.
“Get out,” others shouted.
In fact, the two men – Joseph Nassralla and Karam El Masry — were not Muslims at all. They turned out to be Egyptian Coptic Christians who work for a California-based Christian satellite TV station called “The Way.” Both said they had come to protest the mosque.
“I’m a Christian,” Nassralla shouted to the crowd, his eyes bulging and beads of sweat rolling down his face.
(iv) But it was no use. The protesters had become so angry at what they thought were Muslims that New York City police officers had to rush in and pull Nassralla and El Masry to safety.
“I flew nine hours in an airplane to come here,” a frustrated Nassralla said afterward.
The incident underscores how contentious — and, perhaps, how irrational — the debate over the mosque has become.