Ground Zero Mosque: Legal-Yes; Moral-Never
The Jewish synagogue, the Christian/Catholic church, the Shinto and Confucian shrines, the Buddhist and Hindu temples, and yes, even the Islamic mosque are all houses of worship to be respected, revered and prayed in by people of faith seeking answers, guidance, truth, atonement and presumably a path to goodness, peace, righteousness and betterment.
Yet, as anyone with a pulse knows, more wars have been waged in the name of all that is holy, from Crusades, Inquisitions, pogroms, holocausts and in more recent history terrorist attacks.
Catholic priests are not calling for the destruction of any peoples for not accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Jewish rabbis are not condemning non-Jews for eating a ham and cheese sandwich, yet Muslim imams around the globe are demanding that all other faiths bow to Sharia law. There are also regular calls for the slaughter of “infidels,” even among Muslims themselves, not to mention the shouts from the mountaintops for the destruction of Israel, the United States, Western Civilization, Jews, Christians and other non-Muslims.
The United States of America is presumably the most religiously tolerant nation in the world – starting with the Puritans who sought religious freedom in the 1600s before there was even a United States. Catholics found a religious haven in the Maryland Colony, Jewish refugees found homes in the United States and assimilated, some would say far too deeply for our own good.
It is the irony of this deep-rooted tolerance that will one day befall the grandeur and religious freedoms of the United States. Nine years after the devastating attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the failed assaults on the White House or Capitol Building in Washington, DC, 3,000 people of numerous faiths lay murdered by Muslim extremists in New York City, Arlington, VA and a field in Shanksville, PA – scores of whom were never identified or found.
Nine years after Muslim extremists issued a clarion call to the global community that they will not play by the rules of civilized society, and adding insult to injury, literally so, there is a mosque planned for construction in the shadows of the September 11, 2001 attacks and murders.
We, as Americans, are being told by one of the most intolerant faiths, to be the tolerant nation we have been to other faiths. Political figures with absolutely no spines have weighed in on this issue is a most cowardly fashion. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has called for “mutual respect and tolerance,” in his support of this mosque at this location. Just how many synagogues and churches are being built in Saudi Arabia or any other Muslim country? We can expect groundbreaking ceremonies about the time bacon is declared kosher.
There is tolerance and then there is myopic stupidity. This nation bends over backwards to be tolerant – even in the face of all the wrongs committed in the United States. No nation is perfect and the US is certainly no exception with a history of slavery and internments, but this is not an issue of payback or overcompensation. This is an issue of common sense. Ultimately, we are killing ourselves from within by giving in to people who want us dead. There is no gray area here.
In addition to the weak-kneed Bloomberg, there are the politically correct New York Congressmen Jerrold Nadler and Anthony Weiner as well as New York Senator Chuck Schumer, who in their abject liberalism have given their blessing to this insidious project. All four are embarrassments as Jews. Where is the backbone of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani when he is needed?
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the chairman of the Cordoba Institute, the sponsoring organization of the Ground Zero mosque, said 19 days following the 9-11 attacks and murders that the United States was an accessory in those attacks, that Osama bin Laden was “made in the US,” and demands that the United States become more Sharia compliant. There is certainly nothing tolerant coming from Imam Rauf.
Imam Rauf still has yet to condemn Hezbollah or Hamas as terror organizations and has called for jihad against Jews, Christians, the United States, Israel and other Westerners. Rauf calls the United States repressive as a political statement, yet in his demands of a more Sharia compliant America, is calling for the deaths of homosexuals, the stoning of women who might be adulterous, and is categorically anti-Jewish and anti-Christian. Where is the tolerance, Imam Rauf?
Then there is the insipid weasel-ness of the White House. Let’s start with that deer in the headlights White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, who little more than a week ago said, “We’re not at war with a religion, but an idea.”
How naïve. Just where did this idea originate?
What next? A mosque planned at the Pentagon and in the field at Shanksville?
Then of course, Barack Obama feels compelled to weigh in with his obtuse two cents after declaring this a “local issue.” Although it most certainly is not a local issue, he would have been better off leaving it at that then demonstrating his tacit short sightedness.
“Let me be clear: as a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country,” said Obama, Friday, August 13 while hosting an iftar, the daily breaking of the fast during the month-long observance of Ramadan.
“That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable,” said Obama in supporting the Ground Zero mosque and showing his true colors.
Is the erection of such a structure legal? Yes, it is legal, but it most certainly is not moral. Obama had a golden opportunity to do the right thing, but instead, as usual, bowed to political correctness by taking the easy way out. The right thing would be to defend the right of people to worship and defend people’s religious freedoms, but then to strongly encourage that Imam Rauf relocate the mosque from the shadow of the site of the greatest and most horrific attack perpetrated on American soil.
And although this mosque is slated for construction on private property, where is the funding, to the tune of $100 million, coming from? There should be absolute transparency as to the origins of every last nickel going into such a structure, assuming a construction crew in New York City can even be found to work on such a project.
Such transparency has been called for by New York Congressman Peter King and GOP gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio, both of whom oppose the building of the Ground Zero mosque, while Lazio’s opponent, New York attorney general Andrew Cuomo supports the mosque. (Hopefully the voters in New York will remember that on November 2.)
Most Americans agree that the building of this mosque is legal. At the same time they also believe it to be a slap in the face of those who died there as well as their families who will have to see that structure in perpetuity while remembering their loved ones died at the hands of Muslim extremists – a term the Obama administration refuses to utter, again in the interest of political correctness.
Opposition is so strong that 68 percent of those asked, oppose the mosque being built at Ground Zero – and this was a CNN poll – certainly no right wing media outlet. And those who approve because the cultural center has board inclusive of people of Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths, don’t forget, the Nazis had Jews laboring as kapos during the Holocaust. Even the left of center Anti-Defamation League called for the mosque to be relocated, calling it “insensitive,” said ADL Chairman Abraham Foxman.
Mr. Obama need be reminded that slavery was, at one time, also legal, but it too was never moral or right.
Column by Sanford D. Horn. Sanford is a writer and political consultant living in Alexandria.