You are making us look bad…
In the middle of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf’s (what a name) trip to the Middle East to promote moderate Islam, a firestorm of controversy has erupted in New York City over the Mosque [and community center] he and his group have planned to build 2 blocks from the World Trade Center remains.
We sure do pick stupid things to argue about and the media isn’t helping any by giving voices to people like Steve Ayling, a 40-year-old Brooklyn plumber, who was quoted as saying:
“[The same people building the Mosque are] the same people who took down the twin towers. They should put it in the Middle East.”
To call the Mosque planners the “same people” as the terrorists is certainly inflammatory, but hardly true. Rauf is an American, a moderate, a community leader and promoter of peace. He is also a Muslim, but to lump all Muslims together so carelessly is a sign of ignorance – and not the bliss kind. The Muslim world has long been divided by different groups with different interpretations of the religion. To say all Muslims are terrorists is like saying all Christians are child molesters due to the actions of a few perverted priests.
The protests over the weekend did give some ample highlights of just how dumbed-down the American people have become, though. One such sight was a mannequin dressed in Arabic clothes mounted on a fake rocket that read, “Again? Freedom Targeted by Religion.” I guess they didn’t notice the irony.
“This is sacred ground and it’s where my son was buried,” a native Israeli from Queens said, “[the mosque would be] like a knife in our hearts.” Maybe we should remember what is sacred about it. Innocent people died at the hands of a group of people who don’t respect our freedoms and took out their anger on strangers. If we become like those who have hurt us, what have we gained? How is that winning?
Another parent of a victim of the 9/11 attacks said, “When I look over there and I see a mosque, it’s going to hurt. Build it someplace else.” There are over 100 Mosques in NYC, maybe he should move.
I’m sorry, but this is the United States of America. When did we become a nation of whiners, worried about other people’s feelings? The country is full of ass holes and no one stops them, because in America you have every freedom to be an ass hole. Now, I’m all in favor of everyone being kind to each other and actually caring, I think it builds better communities, but I’m not in favor of enforcing it!
Of course, after the priceless quotes from the protestors, some of our esteemed politicians decided to have their say too.
Rick A. Lazio, a Republican candidate for governor and a former member of the House of Representatives said that the President (by supporting the Mosque) was still not, “listening to New Yorkers” and that “With over 100 mosques in New York City, this is not an issue of religion, but one of safety and security.” I’ll get into the Presidents words in a bit, but first lets talk security. What block the Mosque is on does not affect security in any way. The same people will go to it, the same ideas will be taught – isn’t that what’s important? Besides, we have people to worry about security, the FBI and local police will almost certainly be keeping a tab on things. And with so many of their own lost, I thinks it’s a little disrespectful to assume they won’t be doing their jobs.
Of course, Palin also chimed in, saying, “this is an insensitive move on the part of those Muslims who want to build that mosque in this location, that feels like a stab in the heart of, collectively, Americans who still have that lingering pain from 9/11.” Oh no, the poor Americans just couldn’t handle a Mosque near the WTC ruins, that would just break their little hearts, gosh darn it. I’m tired of people pandering to our emotions. We are a strong people and it’s time we started acting like it. We can have suffered a lot as a Nation in the name of freedom, this is like a pin prick by comparison.
This is what the man behind the Mosque had to say:
“American Muslims have the right to practice their religion in accordance with the Constitution of the United States”
“I see the article of independence as more compliant with the principles of Islam than what is available in many of the current Muslim countries.”
“We have worked to ensure that our mosques are not recruiting grounds for terrorists.”
Rauf is right, Muslims do have the same rights as anyone else, and the Constitution is awesome for it. We should respect those rights, even support them. Christians, Jews and others weren’t the only ones working in the Towers that day, members of Rauf’s own congregation were there too. NYC is multi-cultural, always has been. Since 9/11, Christian and Jewish churches have popped up around the footprint of the WTC. No one had a problem with that.
No, the problem isn’t that they are building a Mosque, it is that they are Muslim. It is blind hatred that is fueling the fire. Daisy Khan, Rauf’s wife and a board member for the Mosque project hit the nail on the head when she said:
“[The anger over the project] is like a metastasized anti-Semitism. It’s not even Islamophobia. It’s beyond Islamophobia. It’s hate of Muslims.”
I find this very sad, that we can hate a group of people so much. I know it is hard to uphold the idea of America’s welcoming opened arms, but the irrational fear of all of Islam is over the top. We shouldn’t fear Muslims, we should fear extremism, no matter the religion.
Thankfully, there are people out there who can see reason. Unfortunately, a recent survey said that only 29 percent of Americans favor building the Mosque, while 70 percent oppose it. Although this is clearly politician bait (they never seem to disobey the majority), a few have stood up for what is right.
Obama said, “Muslims have the right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country.” I think that is all that needs to be said.
One of the men to officially sign off on building the Mosque, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, said, “for anyone to imply that a mosque is not appropriate in New York … that is just an un-American attitude.”
To see just how bad things have gotten, go see the video here that shows the crowd at the protests attacking a guy who looked to be Muslim (but wasn’t, it turned out).