“bringing back the atmosphere of interfaith tolerance and respect that we have longed for since Muslims, Christians and Jews lived together in harmony and prosperity eight hundred years ago.”
– Cordoba Initiative Mission Statement.
America has an odd obsession with freedom. It usually involves freedom for White Christian Americans but no one else. It usually involves labeling any one who isn’t in tune to their massively hypocritical version of freedom, as freedom-haters. This week has been no difference.
You would have thought that with their obsession with free market enterprise and freedom, they would have welcomed the news that a Private firm have bought a plot of land two blocks from the World Trade Centre and plan to build on it. But no, the slightly vacant, miserable excuses for human beings; the American Right Wing is spending its time protesting against the building and suggesting that it pisses on the memory of those who died on 9/11, and that ground zero is a sacred site. They apparently have no problem with the strip bar that exists a stones throw away…… but then most Republican Americans spend their time in places like that, so it’s no surprise. And anyway, Masjid Manhattan, a Mosque in New York, is right next to the site, and has been since the 1970s. But then Fox News hasn’t built up hype around Masjid, so it’s nauseatingly stupid viewers have no reason to protest.
The ignorance is astounding. Their are countless facebook groups dedicated to being against building of what they call the “Ground Zero Mosque”. NO! They state quite viciously. Muslims are all evil radicals intent on killing Americans and raping their children. The Mosque would be their headquarters, at Ground Zero!!!! The only problem is……….. it isn’t a Mosque, and it isn’t at Ground Zero.
It is two blocks away from Ground Zero. I am curring in Australia, two blocks away from the nearest super market. I wouldn’t claim to currently be in the supermarket. It is therefore reasonable to say that the Ground Zero Mosque is not at Ground Zero. So, that leaves the word ‘Mosque’.
It is called the Cordoba Center. It will include a Theatre, a Performing Arts centre, a Basket Ball court, Bookstore, Child care, Prayer space, Restaurant, culinary school and fitness centre. It is already being used as a place of prayer for Muslims, and has been for quite some time. There is nothing that honours the victims of religious intolerance more, than a center dedicated to building relations, and showing that there does not have to be such separation, anger and fear. A symbol of the coming together of Islam and the West, and particularly Islam and America is a stage in contemporary times that we REALLY need to get to, and this Centre is an attempt to provide that link. We should be celebrating it. We should be celebrating that we are trying to move away from the past decade. We no longer want people like Palin and Bush and Cheney making sure fear is the order of the day. Innocent, decent Muslims are no different to innocent, decent Americans.
And yet a large number of Americans believe this to be an insult to them.
It defies logic.
America has sent thousands of troops to their deaths in wars built on the idea that oil revenue is worth far more than human life. They have seen a decade pass in which they were the most hated Nation on the planet, for the entire reign of George Bush. And they have the fucking nerve to suggest that it is a Mosque that pisses on the memory of 9/11 victims? No. Bush and the entire Republican faithful pissed on their memory years ago. One continuous piss, that continues to this day.
Over 300 Muslims died on 9/11. Not only that, but whilst the overweight American Right Wing sits basking in a sea of its own inherent racism, complaining and protesting against anything that isn’t White, Christian, and American; many more Muslims put their lives on the line fighting for America every single day. Mohammad Khaled, during 2006 endured heavy gone fire, fighting for a Country that now considers him insensitive if he wishes to practice his faith anywhere near the location of 9/11, committed by the very same terrorists he has vowed to fight against. Khaled left the U.S Armed Forces in 2006, because he was left stranded in Iraq whilst trying to protect three children from persistent gunfire. There are many more just like him. If I were Khaled, I would find it ridiculously difficult not to spit in the faces of every Right Winged American who puts me into the same category as a bunch of terrorists. Khaled, and others like him are better than that. They are better than Right Winged America. They deserve our respect above the Fox News brigade.
There can be no logical argument against the building. It is ludicrous to even try. It will always end up being a torrent of putrid racist anti-Islamic conjecture based on no logic or fact, and when you start to reason in that way, your argument becomes intensely invalid. The Economist magazine, a magazine I usually wouldn’t pay any attention to because we differ on our economic opinions, quite rightly said:
“Every single argument put forward for blocking this project leans in some way on the misconceived notion that all Muslims, and Islam itself, share the responsibility for, or are tainted by, the atrocities of 9/11.”
It is being built by the Cordoba Initiative. The initiative was set up, purely to help build stronger relations between the West and Islam. God knows, there needs to be some sort of relation healing between the West and Islam after Bush’s reign. However, it only works to help American’s innate fear of anything that isn’t American, grow larger. First it was the Communists. Anyone slightly Left of Reagan is accused of trying to bring Communism to America. And now it is Islam. Anyone who isn’t Christian is apparently attempting to ‘Islamify’ America. Which is ludicrous. When a Catholic Church is built, there is never any suggestion that there exists a Catholic conspiracy to pass all lawmaking of America to the Papacy in Rome. That is because it is ludicrous. But America always needs an enemy to fear, even if that enemy simply doesn’t exist. Today it is Islam. Tomorrow, it could be sweet old ladies.
There must be a distinction between law-abiding individuals who happen to have a personal belief in Islam, and the fundamental nature of Islam itself. Those who follow the fundamental doctrine of Islam, have failed to evolve with time, and have instead become what Christopher Hitchens so rightfully calls it ‘Islamofascist’. It is true, that these people are dangerous and that Islam has a lot of growing up to do. But individual Muslims, are not at fault.
Obama remains weak, and eerily silent. He is clearly worried about upsetting the anti-Islam right winged morons who inhabit his Country, given that this week a poll revealed that 18% of Americans believe Obama is a secret Muslim. Why aren’t Progressives everywhere standing up to these people. Islam is not the blame for the friction between themselves and the West. Fear across America is to blame. It is supplemented by Fox News and its associates in the Republican Party, because without fear and without someone to hate and invent bullshit about, the American Right Wing including Fox and the Republican Party, are nothing. A remnant of a past in which humanity is constantly fearing the ‘other’. An ‘other’ that simply doesn’t exist.
Abe Foxman, of the Anti-Defamation League quite pathetically and hypocritically (you’ll see why in a second) fanned the flames of bigotry with this:
“Ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right. In our judgement, building an Islamic centre in the shadow of the World Trade centre will cause some victims more pain – unnecessarily – and that is not right?. If you want to heal us, don’t do it in our cemetery.”
Normally I’d respect his view, despite how pathetic it is. However I can’t bring myself to do that, given that Abe Foxman recently seemed more than happy about the proposal to build a ‘Museum of Tolerance’ by an Israeli group in Islamic Mamillah Cemetery in Jerusalem. Oh the hypocrisy.
Supporters of the project include families of those who died in the 9/11 attacks. Donna O’Connor, whose pregnant daughter died on 9/11 said:
“This building will serve as an emblem for the rest of the world that Americans … recognize that the evil acts of a few must never damn the innocent.”
Very wise lady.
Terry Rockefeller whose sister died on 9/11 said:
“This doesn’t insult her at all. This celebrates the city she loved living in. It is what makes America what we are.
Sue Rosenblum whose sister died on 9/11 said:
“What are we teaching if we say you can’t build here? That it’s OK to hate? This is a country based on freedom of religion.”
Daisy Khan, who is working on the project quite rightly said:
“The presence of … mosques like the one planned near Ground Zero, which will be an educational center as well as a place of prayer, is one good way of transcending … ignorance.”
She is correct. The only way to defeat the ignorance of people like the American Right Wing, and Islamic Extremists, is to join the moderates on both sides together. Projects like this, acts to knock down the barriers that the Bush Administration thrived on, and what Sarah Palin continues to need in order to survive politically because without fear and hate the American Right Wing really is nothing.
Cordoba is run by Feisal Abdul Rauf, who spent weeks after 9/11 reaching out to the West and condemning all extremists. He is known for spending his life trying to build bridges between Islamic World and America. He has written countless books, and appealed to the U.S Government to fight Islamic terrorism by changing its foreign policy. He is a good person. The Centre, two blocks away from the site of the World Trade Centre has absolutely nothing to do with extremism or terrorism. The Centre is going to include a restaurant Americans seem unable to distinguish between Islam and terrorism. Yet, they seem perfectly able to distinguish between Christianity and Terrorism.
Army Of God, Christian Patriot Movement and Christian Identity are all terrorist Christian organisations operating around America. I presume I can count on the support of Sarah Palin, and the Fox News worshiping lunatics who are protesting against this Islamic Centre in New York, whenever Christians wish to build a Christian Church, or school, or centre, anywhere near the spot in which an abortion clinic was targeted by Christian terrorists?
1984 – Abortion Clinic in Pensacola, on Christmas Day bombed by Christian fundamentalists who called the attack a gift to Jesus on his birthday.
1993 – Shelley Shannon convicted of shooting Dr George Tiller, and later convicted of bombings and arson against Abortion Clinics. Three more people shot dead by Christian Fundamentalists. Dr David Gunn and Dr George Patterson shot dead by Christian Fundamentalists.
1994 – Two receptionists at Clinics in Massachusetts killed by Christian Fundamentalist. Five others wounded in attack.
1997 – Dr Gandell of New York is badly injured by glass when his home in New York is fired upon by Christian Fundamentalists.
1998 – Bomb in clinic in Alabama kills Security guard Robert Sanderson and blasts one eye out of a nurse named Emily Lyons…… by Christian Fundamentalists. Three people badly injured when acid was poured into the entrance of a Clinic in Miami. Dr. Barnett Slepian shot to death at his home, by Christian Fundamentalist.
2000 – Clinic in New Hampshire set on fire, causes $20,000 worth of damage. Thankfully no one injured.
2001 – Planned Parenthood Clinic in South Dakota set fire to by Christian Fundamentalist. The Clinic also received a letter with white powder in it, with the message “You have been exposed to anthrax. … We are going to kill all of you.”
2005 – Molotov Cocktail thrown at Clinic, everyone managed to escape unharmed. Christian Fundamentalists to blame.
2006 – David McMenemy drives his car into Edgerton Women’s Care Center, which he wrongly believed was performing abortions; he then takes hostages and douses the lobby in gasoline, setting it on fire.
2007 – A huge bomb is placed in a clinic in Austen, Texas. A Bomb disposal team manage to secure it, and no one is injured. Christian Fundamentalist to blame.
Since 1977, Christian Terrorism has claimed seven lives, 17 attempted murders, three kidnappings, 152 assaults, 305 completed or attempted bombings and arsons, 375 invasions, 482 stalking incidents, 380 death threats, 618 bomb threats, 100 acid attacks, and 1,254 acts of vandalism, according to the National Abortion Federation. Where is the outrage? Why aren’t Americans worried about this? Because they’re fickle, hypocritcal, fear mongering imbeciles. That’s why.
Given that Republicans voted down a bill that would provide funding to help 9/11 first responders who now suffer from respiratory health problems and cancer because they are, well, I don’t know why they did it. I presume it’s because they are scum; it is highly rich of them to now pretend they care about 9/11 victims. The entitlement was designed to help those who now have severe health issues because they were quick to respond to help during 9/11. The Republicans say it will kill jobs because it is being paid for by closing a tax loophole for the rich. So, to sum up, being able to avoid tax is far more important than helping those who now suffer from cancer. Why do these people have any say over the way the most powerful country in the World is run? It is so dangerously unnerving.
Perhaps they should honour Ground Zero in real American fashion. Erect a statue of Rupert Murdoch, under a big McDonalds M and then a Temple dedicated to the worship of Ronald Reagan, whilst sacrificing a Latin American person in his honour. The land of the free.