Posts Tagged ‘Ground Zero’

The anti-Muslim hate movie, The Ground Zero Mosque: The Second Wave of the 9/11 Attacks, is wowing the American right

March 7, 2011

 

Planning for a Muslim community center in lower Manhattan, 2-1/2 blocks from Ground Zero, was proceeding in an orderly fashion. A sponsor had purchased the former Burlington Coat Factory outlet, slightly damaged by debris from the 9/11 attack, and a Muslim Imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf, was holding regular Friday prayers while the municipal rules were being followed to get final approval, which came last July, when New York’s Landmarks Preservation Commission declared that the building wasn’t a historic landmark. I wrote about the process here.

But the hate-mongers had just barely started their ugly work, Blogger Pamela Geller got traction with her rants equating Islam with 9/11, and now boasts about her “SRO crowd at CPAC [the Conservative Political Action Committee—a powerful force in republican politics] and a packed house at the St. Luke’s Theatre in Manhattan,” for her “documentary,” The Ground Zero Mosque: The Second Wave of the 9/11 Attacks.

The trailer is short, and all fair-minded people should see it, as the guiding force behind opposition to the Park 51 project in lower Manhattan, and to other mosques in California, Tennessee, and around the USA.

 

President Obama, time to do the right thing about the mosque near Ground Zero

August 18, 2010

Some days ethics backs you into a corner. You have to choose between doing what your inner voice is saying is right—or not. That day is here for President Obama.


He made a stirring statement about religious freedom last Friday at a Ramadan dinner. The next day he equivocated: “I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there. I was commenting very specifically on the right people have that dates back to our founding. That’s what our country is about.”


Score a miss for Presidential leadership. His conflicting statements poured fuel on the burning controversy.

· Americans generally believe Muslims have a right to worship, just not there.

· One and one-half billion Muslims thought America was a land of religious freedom, not at war with Islam, but aren’t certain.

· Manhattanites mostly think people ought to be able to do whatever they want.

· Families of 9/11 victims are divided


You can’t please everybody, Mr. President. Time to do the right thing. But what is the right thing? Should a Muslim community center-cum-prayer area be built on the site of a decrepit ex-Burlington Coat Factory, hard by an Off-Track Betting parlor, a bar, a porn shop, and some run-down office buildings 2-1/2 blocks from Ground Zero?


The opponents say it’s a matter of respecting sensitivities of people who lost loved ones on 9/11. (more…)

Newt Gingrich spews his deep un-American hatred

August 16, 2010

It’s hard to find words to describe Newt Gingrich’s statements opposing the mosque project planned for 2-1/2 blocks from Ground Zero:

“The folks who want to build this mosque, who are really radical Islamists, who want to triumphfully (sic) prove they can build a mosque next to a place where 3,000 Americans were killed by radical Islamists. Those folks don’t have any interest in reaching out to the community. They’re trying to make a case about supremacy… This happens all the time in America. Nazis don’t have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust Museum in Washington..”

The first sentence equates the folks who want to build this mosque (radical Islamists) with the people who killed 3000 Americans (radical Islamists.) So Newt is saying, in plain English, that Imam Rauf and his associates are morally equivalent to the 9/11 attackers—notwithstanding that Imam Rauf was as outraged as anyone at the attack, and justifies the project as strengthening the American alternative to radical Islam.

The last sentence equates Rauf and his colleagues to Nazis. This is where Gingrich forfeits any claim to leadership in America.

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Obama stands up for freedom of religion, including freedom to build a mosque near Ground Zero

August 13, 2010

President Obama defended the right of New York Muslims to build a house of worship in lower Manhattan, 2-1/2 blocks from Ground Zero. Hosting a White House Iftar–a sunset ceremonial dinner marking the breaking of a Ramadan fast. he gave an inspiring 9-minute speech about freedom of religion, and about the historic place of Islam in America.

Made me proud.

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Listening to American Muslims talk about Ramadan on “Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippet”

August 13, 2010

Keeping in shape has gotten easier for me since I got an iPhone and discovered a PBS program, Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippet. I listen to this on a podcast on my iPhone, and it makes the hour at the gym go by much faster.

This week’s program is called Revealing Ramadan, and Krista describes it this way:

“14 Muslims, in their own words, speak about the delights and gravity of Islam’s holiest month. Through vivid memories and light-hearted musings, they reveal the richness of Ramadan — as a period of intimacy, and of parties; of getting up when the world is quiet for breakfast and prayers with one’s family; of breaking the fast every day after nightfall in celebration and prayers with friends and strangers.”

I found this a fascinating window into Islam, American style. It’s a little foreign to a non-observant Jew like me, but what was so striking to me was not its foreignness but its sameness—nothing about the people speaking seemed any different from the family next door—to any one. I wish the people railing about mosques at Ground Zero, in Murfreesboro, or Temecula, could listen to the stories these Americans—and one Brit—tell.

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The mosque “at” Ground Zero: the Anti-Defamation League sides with the bigots

August 1, 2010

The Anti-Defamation League has in the past stood against, not only anti-Semitism, but against all kinds of racial and religious bigotry. Those days sadly are gone. In a shameful statement the ADL summed up its position this way:

“Proponents of the Islamic Center may have every right to build at this site, and may even have chosen the site to send a positive message about Islam. The bigotry some have expressed in attacking them is unfair, and wrong. But ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right. In our judgment, building an Islamic Center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain – unnecessarily – and that is not right.”

So if you are a victim and you blame Islam—not al Qaeda—for 9/11, we should honor your bigotry by preventing American Muslims from building a community center/mosque 2-1/2 blocks from Ground Zero. For a Jewish group to make such a statement is remarkable, and especially reprehensible. It wasn’t long ago that Jews too were told to be unobtrusive because their presence where they were unwanted would cause pain (more…)

The mosque, the imam, 9/11, and six degrees of separation

July 22, 2010

I feel for Feisal Abdul Rauf, the imam who has devoted his life to building bridges between Islam and the West, and is now leading the effort to build a mosque in New York 2-1/2 blocks from Ground Zero. When I was nine years old I learned to defend myself against bullies who beat me up because I had killed Christ. I didn’t know what the accusation meant, but I knew I was being picked on because I was Jewish, and I’d better learn to fight off these guys.

Most of the opposition to the mosque is because Imam Rauf killed 3000 Americans on 9/11. Or if he didn’t personally do it, his people (“they”) did it. Just as everybody is connected within six degrees of separation to Kevin Bacon, all Muslims are connected within six degrees to some terrorist. Or to someone who gave money to a charity that gave money to terrorists. Or who has a cousin who once said that Hamas had a point.

In the 1950s Senator Joe McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee tarred innocents with guilt by association. Today’s haters don’t even need association to make their accusations, they just need something within six degrees of separation.

Thursday’s New York Times has a good analysis by Robert Wright of the accusations against Imam Rauf, (more…)

Tea Party rejects racism, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has “better things to do”

July 19, 2010

The Tea Party is a loosely organized group of people who favor generally conservative causes—lower taxes, smaller government, gun rights, and more immigration enforcement. But the party has attracted people to its rallies carrying signs comparing Obama to Hitler and telling him to “Go back to Kenya.” And members have spat epithets of faggot and nigger at congressmen Barney Frank (D-MA) and Jim Clyburn (D-SC).

As a result the NAACP passed a resolution last week calling on Tea Party leaders “to repudiate those in their ranks who use racist language in their signs and speeches.” (Several of those signs are shown here.) Tea Party Express spokesman Mark Williams, asked to tell racists “you’re not welcome” in the tea party, replied, “Racists have their own movement. It’s called the NAACP.”

Not satisfied to let things stand, Williams posted on his web site a letter supposedly written to Lincoln by “colored people” protesting emancipation and praising slavery.

While Williams defended his letter as satire, he has used ugly racial language regularly, especially in opposition to the proposed mosque near Ground Zero. He derided Mohammed as “the terrorist monkey god,” and called Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who backs building the mosque, a “Jewish Uncle Tom who would have turned rat on Anne Frank.” President Obama was an “Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug.” (more…)

More about the mosque: Hatred spewing from the National Republican Trust PAC

July 17, 2010

The hate message is undisguised: “Where we Americans weep, they rejoice and intend to erect a shrine to the 9/11 terrorists they hail as martyrs. “

The “they” in the message can only refer to the moderate and patriotic American Muslims who support building a mosque and community center 2-1/2 blocks from Ground Zero. It’s not too big a stretch to think it also refers to Mayor Bloomberg, the Jewish Community Center of Manhattan, and everyone else who supports it.

The message is courtesy of Scott Wheeler, whose web site, www.goptrust.com, explains, “The National Republican Trust Political Action Committee (NRT PAC) was formed as an independent organization to help promote American values and support federal candidates for Congress, Senate and the Presidency who share those values. The NRT is committed to continuing the legacy of Ronald Reagan.”

Watch the vile ad to see what hate is being spread under the mantle of conservatism and Ronald Reagan. NBC and CBS have refused to air it, but it’s viral on the internet. Shades of the anti-Semitism of the 1930s.

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Tolerance and hate in New York: update on the mosque “at” Ground Zero

July 15, 2010

The long-running saga of a Muslim-American group’s effort to build a community center and mosque two and a half blocks from Ground Zero ended another chapter Wednesday night. New York’s Landmarks Preservation Commission held a public hearing on whether to declare the group’s 150-year old building to be a historic landmark, and thus require its preservation as is.

The hearing drew a robust crowd, hardly any of whom cared a bit about the building. The real issue was whether to allow a Muslim center near Ground Zero. Most of the arguments made in favor of landmark designation were anti-Muslim rants, like that of an unidentified woman who said “It would be a terrible mistake to destroy a 150-year old building in order to build a monument to terrorism.”

Dania Darwish, a new graduate of New York’s Fort Hamilton High School, argued for the mosque:

“My family died that day…You’re yelling at me and you don’t know. If a mosque was built maybe you would know what Islam is about.”

The community isn’t particularly bigoted—New Yorkers pride themselves on their diversity, and a Manhattan community board recently voted 29-1 with ten abstentions to approve the mosque.. If you expected New York Jews to be opposed, guess again: New York’s Jewish Week reported that Jewish leaders haven’t made a big deal about the center, and the Jewish Community Center of Manhattan even offered some advice. Jewish elected officials (more…)


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