Sometimes things get framed in a funny way.  Here's the way an article from today's Chicago Tribune framed the debate–I know, what debate?–about building a mosque and Islamic Center in the Chicago suburbs:

On one side, the issue is about the right to have a sacred space where believers can pray. On the other, it's about preventing religious institutions from crowding residential neighborhoods.

The only evidence in favor of the second part of this dilemma are the claims of people who oppose the mosque.  No evidence, in other words, is offered in the article to suggest that non-Muslim "religious institutions" are being "prevented from crowding residential neighborhoods" in this area.

So, judging by the rest of the article, which deals exclusively with matters related to Muslims, the first sentence ought to read:

On the one side, the issue is about the right of Muslims to build mosques where they want, on the other, it's about preventing Muslims from bulding mosques where they want with disingenuous arguments about zoning and traffic.

Nice job Tribune. 

4 thoughts on “Framing”

  1. The first part of the dilemma is "framed" just as much as the second. No one has a right to "sacred space." You do, however, have the right to buy property and utilize that property within the bounds of the law.

  2. I suppose you're right about that, but I thought it was obvious we were talking about someone's right to turn private property into "sacred space."

  3. That only seems relevant to stoking the sectarian fire the author is cultivating here. Considering the second half of the dilemma, for which there is no evidence as you point out, it's whatever magic is performed to make the space sacred that's being conceptually set up against some perceived right not to be "crowded" by people who want to visit the magic space. It's only obvious that we're talking about someone's right to perform magic because the author has framed it that way. Like you said in your rephrasing, it's about a right to build, not about whatever incantations make the space "sacred."

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