Some vigilant citizens in Phoenix, Arizona are up in arms over a domed church that they wrongly believe to be a mosque. The large building, still under construction along a busy interstate, is actually a nondenominational church. The backlash has been severe enough that the church's leaders have hung a giant banner over the dome: "IF YOU THINK DIFFERENT YOU ARE WRONG -- WE ARE BUILDING A CHRISTIAN HOUSE OF WORSHIP." The incident suggests that the widespread backlash against Muslim-American centers, which began this summer in reaction to the planned Cordoba House in New York, may still not have fully receded.
Phoenix's CBS affiliate KPHO reports, "People behind a new church in Phoenix are trying to stay ahead of any potential controversy or hate that accompanied the announcement of a proposed mosque near Ground Zero in New York City." They produced this video report:
Think Progress's Tanya Somanader has the backlash to the backlash:
“It is unfortunate that people are so intolerant to differences that they aren’t willing to see that the place of worship is not a mosque,” said Tayyibah Amatullah of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Arizona chapter. But with so many high-profilefigures selling unfounded, anti-Muslim fear to the public, is it any wonder that all many Americans can see in Islam is a phantommenace?