New York’s Landmarks Preservation Committee on Tuesday voted unanimously to deny landmark status to a building that developers want to convert into an Islamic community center and mosque just two blocks from Ground Zero of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Some, like New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, say, “We would be untrue to the best part of ourselves, and who we are as New Yorkers and Americans, if we said no to a mosque in Lower Manhattan.”
While on a strictly legalistic and politically correct basis, that statement may very well be true, the overwhelming majority of Americans, regardless of religion, should see this as an incredibly provocative and in fact offensive attempt to add insult to injury, using our own Constitution and sense of common decency against us.
The location of the proposed site is unabashedly incendiary, basically about a 3-wood from the former WTC site. I mean, you cannot tell me that there aren’t thousands of other sites that wouldn’t be much better suited to the placing of this new mosque within a few miles of Ground Zero.
The presumably well-funded group seeking to build what proponents plan to call the “Cordoba Mosque” is lead by the imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, Rauf was quoted shortly after the 9/11 attacks as saying “that the United States policies were an accessory to the crime that happened.”
Basically saying that America deserved what it got. Now am I not correct in assuming that any Muslim group that truly wished to promote healing would not pick a figurehead with such baggage? Unless of course the funding for this project was being funneled from abroad.
Now if I were a Muslim anywhere in America, I personally would be aghast at the thought of what would be, without a doubt, the main focus of the American media when issues of Islamic relevance arise, being at Ground Zero of 9/11.
If I were a Muslim, I would absolutely cringe when thinking about further inflaming American sensitivities about 9/11, again, everytime anything of Muslim relevance was being discussed.
Those opposing theist for this new mosque know that sometimes common decency and respect for the 3,000 innocent Americans who died on 9/11, trumps the right of followers of the hijackers’ Muslim faith, to basically build a memorial to those that perpetrated the before then, unimaginable tragedy and mass murder of 9/11.
While I fully realize that freedom of speech is hardly a cornerstone of many Muslim countries’ culture, I find the lack of ANY Islamic group speaking out against this new mosque quite troubling, if not telling.
Build the Cordoba Mosque, just not at Ground Zero! I think that the overwhelming majority of right-minded Americans and moderate Muslims would agree.
But if this is the best nationwide type statement that the Muslim faith can come up with just nine short years after 9/11, I’m left wondering if the term “moderate Muslim” is not an oxymoron.
J. Kurt Roberts can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.