Sunday, August 01, 2010

Mosque at Ground Zero is a slap in the face...There are two sides to the face

For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are
upon us.

-Governor John Winthrop 1630

(1630 on board the Arbella)

We are coming upon the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. As someone who was living in metro D.C. when the attacks occurred I felt especially ill at ease. I had friends working in the Pentagon thank G-D they were safe. I remember, as everyone else does, where I was when first hearing about the planes crashing into the World Trade Center Towers and the Pentagon. However, while listening to the local news radio station, we heard stories of car bombs going off at the State department building and the Newseum catching fire. At that point the general public did not know who had perpetrated the cowardly attack.

Recently, there has been talk that a group is trying to build an Islamic community center at the WTC location. Within the community center there would be a mosque. This would not be the only aspect of the complex, but it appears to be the part that is drawing the most interest. This is the part of the center that has raised the ire of a large number of the right wing press gaggle. I appreciate the worth of this story, but for a moment I shall look at the integrity of the press corps pushing this story.

These are the same press outlets that have no faith in the NYPD's ability to hold a trial for a terror suspect in lower Manhattan. These are the same people who jumped to conclusions and got Ms. Sherrod fired from her job, based on a doctored youtube video. This sort of knee jerk behavior is much more damaging to the United States than a mosque, synagogue or church has ever been. The right to free religion is a pillar upon which our great nation was built and to restrict that freedom is a slap in the face of the founding fathers these same "news" organizations love to quote. The "Yellow Journalism" so prevalent at the turn of the last century has reared its ugly head again.

It is common that when nations are in a bad position economically, and it generally leads people to challenge those that are not like themselves. I say however that our diversity is strength not a weakness. There is no need to attack one group for short-term political benefit, when the long-term damage would be so much more significant. I'm not entirely certain that the location of the mosque is a good idea, for the purposes of a political statement I guess it draws attention and makes hay, but from a pragmatic standpoint is this really the best place to put a mosque? While that is true, it is in remarkably bad form to decide that a mosque can't go there because it is a mosque. Make the zoning law so that it does not allow for any houses of worship and then all is well.

Let me be clear because you will not hear it often in my words, President Bush was right. The group that attacked the country was Al Quaeda, not the Islamic faith.
As you can see below is the Youtube video of Pres. Bush on 9/17/2001, he understood the diff. If there was anytime to be infuriated and not reasoned in the approach to this disaster it was 6 days after the horrible attacks. These are difficult feelings to confront. I had trouble sleeping for months after the events of that day. That however, does not mean that I cannot separate an entire faith with the horrendous and despicable acts of one small group.

GWB's entire "Islam is Peace" speech

As a nation we are better than this. There is no legitimate reason that the Moslem American citizens should be treated any differently than anyone else. We are a shining city on a hill to all of the other nations in the world. If that weren't so, then we wouldn't be hearing so much about immigrants risking life and limb just to come to this great country. Moslem Americans pay taxes, and work to achieve the American dream just like everyone else. We are all trying to find jobs and get a good education for our kids.
We have a great document that the world looks up to called the U.S. Constitution. This world renowned document secures the freedoms of religion and assembly. Are we willing to water down these rights so that they are only given to a privileged few. Wouldn't this make us no better than those other countries. We are better than that. This is a light to the nations and/or a shining city on the hill. This is a place the world looks to as a leader. To our nations leaders, continue to be the better angel. Give Americans something to be proud of, and others something worth coming to.


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