This whole notion of a “Ground Zero Mosque” is a complete fabrication created and spurred on by politicians who are using Americans’ misguided fear as a tool. And the consequences are dire. Now simply being a Muslim is reason enough to fear for your life. Is this America? Yes, it’s America in transition. It’s America learning that it is no better or worse, no stronger or more immune to mass hatred and bigotry than any other country in the world.
Here’s just one example of a politician fueling hatred and twisting facts into a misguided, fear-based movement:
“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. We would never accept the Japanese putting up a site next to Pearl Harbor.” –Newt Gingrich
Ironic that Gingrich equated Muslims with Nazis and yet the type of hatred he espouses is far more akin to the early stages of Naziism than anything being promoted by an Islamic Cultural Center. And isn’t a Holocaust Museum’s purpose to forever remind people of the bigotry and hatred that caused the Holocaust in the first place in the hopes of recognizing it and stopping it before it happens again?
One such consequence of Gingrich and others’ fueling of people’s misconceptions and feeding into their fear is that New York Muslim cab driver Ahmed Sharif was slashed from throat to cheek by his fare when he admitted to being Muslim. By a drunk 21 year old Michael Enright caught up in the anti-Muslim fervor.
Or how about the man mistaken for a Muslim who was violently harassed by anti-Mosque ralliers?
While the face of American bigotry and small-mindedness rears its ugly head and reveals its face to the world at large, at least a voice of reason can be heard alongside it as 9/11 families and others stand in protest to the anti-Muslim sentiment sweeping the nation and vocally support the building of the Islamic Cultural Center 2 blocks from Ground Zero that Fox News and a handful of politicians have misleadingly dubbed the “Ground Zero Mosque.” New York Neighbors for American Values rallied yesterday near Ground Zero:
“I lost a 23-year-old son, a paramedic who gave his life saving Americans and their values,” Talat Hamdani said, and supporting the Islamic center and mosque “has nothing to do with religion. It has to do with standing up for our human rights, including freedom of religion.”
Rabbi Arthur Waskow, director of New York’s Shalom Center, said the project will show the world a form of Islam that espouses peace – not the Islam of the terrorists.
“It is right; it is wise to build it,” he told hundreds of people gathered under the arches of Manhattan’s Municipal Building, a short walk from ground zero.
Several coalition members noted that the mosque site’s developer, Sharif el-Gamal, modeled it after the Jewish Community Center on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. It serves anyone who wishes to participate, they said, and so will the Muslim center near ground zero.
Stand up for what is right. Don’t be a pawn. And support freedom of religion in America. See the Islamic Cultural Center blocks away from Ground Zero for what it is. Not what you may fear it is.