The Ground Zero Mosque — located just two blocks from the World Trade Center — has become a misplaced cause for America’s liberals. Consider the remarks of New York Major Michael Bloomberg, as reported by the Wall Street Journal: “The World Trade Center site will forever hold a special place in our city, in our hearts. But we would be untrue to the best part of ourselves, and who we are as New Yorkers and Americans, if we said no to a mosque in lower Manhattan.”
Mayor Bloomberg, I agree that we must permit all peaceful religious groups to maintain houses of worship – even radical groups that I oppose.
But Mayor Bloomberg, you failed to answer a critical question. Why does the mosque have to be built at Ground Zero?
Well, here’s the answer. This mosque will be a shrine to the despicable terrorists who murdered close to 3,000 innocent people on September 11. Most Islamic leaders condemned the 9/11 attacks. But in radical Islam organizations like Al Qaeda, the monsters who killed innocent civilians are viewed as martyrs and heroes. These are the people who will be coming to New York, to pay homage to their martyrs at the Ground Zero Mosque.
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf would head the Ground Zero Mosque. Does Imam Feisal believe that the 9/11 attacks were wrong? Imam Feisal has said different things at different times. When interviewed in 2004 by the Sidney Morning Herald, Feisal did not denounce the attacks. Instead, he said this:
The US and the West must acknowledge the harm they have done to Muslims before terrorism can end, says an Islamic cleric invited to Sydney by Premier Bob Carr.
New York-based Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who impressed Mr Carr at an international conference last year, arrives in Sydney today for two weeks of meetings and public talks.
Speaking from his New York mosque, Imam Feisal said the West had to understand the terrorists’ point of view.
In a move likely to cause controversy with church leaders, Imam Feisal said it was Christians who started mass attacks on civilians.
“The Islamic method of waging war is not to kill innocent civilians. But it was Christians in World War II who bombed civilians in Dresden and Hiroshima, neither of which were military targets.”
The people who lost innocent husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, and parents on 9/11 will no doubt appreciate the Imam’s message — the attack was your fault.
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Mayor Bloomberg’s response to all this is to say: “This city was built on openness and tolerance and we’re not walking away from it.”
So is this a question of tolerance? Ok Mayor Bloomberg, how about the following fictional examples of your so-called “tolerance”:
– Consider a huge swastika located across the street from Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. Wiesenthal was a Jewish concentration survivor who hunted Nazis for war crimes, and publicized Nazi atrocities. Under Mayor Bloomberg’s logic, if we are going to permit a center that displays Nazi atrocities, don’t we need to tolerate such a swastika across the street? Regardless of the pain and suffering this horrific symbol would cause?
– In Washington, DC, the Vietnam Memorial is a somber tribute to the courageous Americans who served and died in Vietnam. Outside the Monument, why not show the 1972 video of Jane Fonda, laughing atop an anti-airplane gun in Hanoi? The video would be displayed as a symbol of opposition to the war.
– At the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, shouldn’t we allow those who dispute Lincoln’s policies to display a confederate flag next to the statue of Lincoln?
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I could go on and on. But these outrageous examples have made my point. As the Supreme Court has stated on a number of occasions, the rights to speech and religious exercise are not unlimited. Such rights must be exercised at the appropriate time, and in the appropriate place.
A Ground Zero mosque will cause more pain and suffering for the many people who already have suffered so much since September 11, 2001. To construct a mosque on the site is a slap in the face to the 9/11 victims, their families, and other patriotic Americans who will never forget this day.
For the City of New York to even consider such a hurtful symbol is beyond outrageous.