Posts Tagged ‘Ground Zero mosque’

The developer of the “Ground Zero” “mosque” says his piece

April 23, 2011

Today’s New York Daily News has an op-ed by Sharif El-Gamal, developer of the so-called “Ground Zero,” so-called “mosque.” It’s his explanation of what he’s tried to accomplish and why. If you’re a supporter, or especially if you’re an opponent of the development you should hear his side of the story.

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New York lessons from the ‘ground zero mosque’

April 7, 2011

 

The story of the so-called “Ground Zero mosque” has spread halfway around the world to Turkey and to Hurriyet, the Turkish daily I scan (the English edition) on my iPhone every day. Today’s edition has an article by David Dyssegaard Kallick about lessons from the mosque. It’s not so much about the mosque as it is about the endless rhythmic flow of immigrants to New York.

Germans, Irish, Italians, Chinese and Jews, they were all considered “other” at first, despised and feared, but eventually each group became integrated into the New York scene, “not by shedding their culture, but by making a place for it in America.”

Kallick says he’s seen this movie before and it always has a happy ending. He explains why he’s certain that Muslims will find their rightful place in New York—shaping the city and being shaped by it. It’ll be another building block in America’s exceptionalism.

 

Five myths about Muslims in America

April 4, 2011

 

Anti-Muslim prejudice is hurting America at home and abroad: at home because it divides Americans from each other and hurts our Muslim citizens, and abroad because it signals to many of the world’s billion Muslims that America is their enemy. Sometimes it leads directly to anti-American savagery, like last week’s murders in Afghanistan over the burning of the Quran by a deranged Christian pastor.

The prejudice can take root and spread because too many non-Muslim Americans know too little about their Muslim countrymen, or, indeed, about Islam. Katie Couric recently proposed, apparently in all seriousness, that to combat bigotry against Muslims, “Maybe we need a Muslim version of The Cosby Show.”

Faisal Abdul Rauf, imam of the make-shift mosque now holding prayers 2-1/2 blocks from Ground Zero in New York, is doing his part to contribute to inter-faith understanding. Last year he authored What’s Right with Islam is What’s Right With America, called by the Christian Science Monitor “An invigorating glimpse into the heart and mind of a wise Muslim seeking the higher ground.” Now he’s published a column in the Washington Post called Five myths about Muslims in America. The five myths are:

  1. American Muslims are foreigners.
  2. American Muslims are ethnically, culturally and politically monolithic.
  3. American Muslims oppress women.
  4. American Muslims often become “homegrown” terrorists
  5. American Muslims want to bring sharia law to the United States

The column is easy reading. If you care one way or the other about Muslims in America, I urge you to read this short article.

 

Ground Zero mosque imam calls Hamas “a terrorist organization”–again

December 26, 2010

The imam behind Cordoba House at Park51, the so-called Ground Zero mosque, has been roundly pilloried by the right for refusing to call Hamas a terrorist organization. It’s a bum rap, but see for yourself in this interview with Feisal Abdul Rauf in the December 27 issue of Newsweek.

The New York Post and Wall Street Journal are stirring up anti-Muslim fears over the so-called Ground Zero mosque*

December 26, 2010

 

Emails show Bloomberg office’s desire to get Ground Zero mosque built,” screamed the New York Post headline. The Wall Street Journal was just slightly calmer: “In e-mails, NYC pushes for mosque near ground zero.”

Alarming? Suspicious? Why is New York’s mayor taking sides in the controversy over the so-called Ground Zero mosque*?

Relax, he’s not. It’s just the Murdoch papers’ way of stirring up fears of a Muslim takeover of America. But read on—far below the inflammatory headlines, the Post piece ended with this explanation:

His [Bloomberg’s] spokesman Stu Loeser today said [the Community Affairs office’s] job is “to help groups navigate city government, and from helping prepare for a Papal visit to extending approval of a Sukkah in a midtown Manhattan park, this kind of assistance is typical of its regular work.” (more…)

Synagogues and mosques hold “twinnings” to promote mutual respect; equate Islamophobia with anti-Semitism

November 10, 2010

 

Amid the heated rhetoric and accusations surrounding the planned Muslim Community Center two blocks from Ground Zero, here’s some heartening news, courtesy of Washington Jewish Week. More than 100 mosques and 100 synagogues in 22 countries participated in interfaith “twinning” activities last weekend. In the D.C. area highlights included a community service project for teens and a joint Muslim-Jewish statement: “Islamaphobia and anti-Semitism are both products of fear which we find unacceptable and intolerable. We encourage the larger community to speak out against hate. Our communities have common roots; we are all children of Abraham.”

 

Jon Stewart covers the Ground Zero mosque controversy

August 12, 2010

No controversy is covered until Jon Stewart covers it,

here.

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Fareed Zakaria says build the Ground Zero mosque

August 11, 2010

I’ve been writing in favor of Park 51, the so-called Ground Zero mosque, because ethics demands that we treat others as we would be treated, and because religious freedom is a precious American birthright.

But sometimes the ethical thing is also the best strategy. Fareed Zakaria, one of America’s most insightful political commentators (and an Indian-born, Yale- and Harvard-educated Muslim) writes in this week’s Newsweek that encouraging groups like the one behind Park 51 is part of a “lasting solution to the problem of Islamic terror.”

Zakaria has been tagged by New York Magazine as a possibility to be the first Muslim Secretary of State. All his columns are worth reading, but this one is a must for understanding the national security reason for supporting Park 51 and other efforts by moderate American Muslims.

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