Let's imagine . . .
Well, many people are familiar with people who protest at funerals for American soldiers saying that each death is God's punishment for America's (rather limited) tolerance of homosexuals.
Let's assume that a group of people under the influence of those individuals takes things a step further. They manage to smuggle a large amount of explosives at some military event and end up killing 216 American soldiers and their families.
Now, 10 years have passed. Somebody wants to build a Christian church a couple of blocks from where this incident occurred.
However, a bunch of people - and politicians - are infuriated by this. They start protesting, any time they are near a microphone, about how insensitive those Christians are for wanting to build a church near such a traumatic event.
One politician says, "The First Amendment protects freedom of religion, but I think that the church should be built someplace else."
If any politician should stand up and say it is perfectly legitimate for Christians to build a church within 2 blocks of this event, they are accused of being insensitive and of "siding against the families of the victims" of this tragedy.
Immediately, we can see the bigotry that would have to lie at the root of these types of protests. The only people who could possibly have their sensitivities hurt in any way by a Christian church 2 blocks away from such a tragedy are bigots who think that everybody who shares the same general religion as the terrorist deserve blame for what happened.
When, instead, we speak to somebody who is a bit more civilized and less bigoted, that person is going to ask, "Why should the practitioners of this branch of Christianity be punished or held accountable in any way for something a fringe element of that branch of Christianity may have done." This person recognizes that moral condemnation belongs only to those who are actually guilty of a crime, and do not make derogatory overgeneralizations against a larger group that others apparently seek an excuse to hate.
We can see this bigotry in the fact that, if this fictitious story actually took place, a number of people would actually welcome a Christian church so close to the site of the attack. Not only would they refrain from making hateful comments about anybody wanting to build a Christian church near such a place, they would welcome it.
Well, that's because the church being built in this fictitious example is one in which the victims are prejudiced TOWARD rather than prejudiced AGAINST. That is the way bigotry works - creating double standards and imposing a standard on those that the bigot hates that are far higher than the standards that must be met by those that the bigot likes.
We can draw another analogy to these protests.
Imagine some Christians did want to build a Christian church so close to 9/11. Now, imagine a group of atheists getting on the air and complaining about how insensitive this is, that somebody would build a temple to God so close to the site of an atrocity committed by people who worshiped a God. Immediately, we would hear counter-protests against the bigotry of such a claim - against those who wish to brand all religious people with the moral crime of a small fringe subset of religious people.
We would hear this protest, and the protesters would be right. Any atheist who would make such a protest is, in fact, a bigot seeking to use an atrocity committed by a subset of people who believe in a God to promote hatred of all people who believe in God, without respecting the many ways in which their beliefs and attitudes differ.
In fact, we have seen these protests against the New Atheists who have tried to make this leap, and to condemn all religion for the moral atrocities of a few.
However, many of the people who so easily see bigotry when they are the victims have difficulty recognizing their own bigotry when it victimizes others. And this is a clear example.
The protests against the "Ground Zero Mosque" is the work of bigots, who want to over generalize the crimes of a few and use it to promote hatred of a much larger group - declaring all of them - every one of them (and their religion) unfit occupants of such a location.