Why I Oppose the Ground Zero Mosque, Cordoba House, Park51, whatever you call it

I have nothing against individual Muslims. I believe there is a constitutional right to build a 13 story mosque and Muslim community center 2 blocks from Ground Zero. But just because there is a right to build it, it doesn't mean it IS right, morally. This is the view most Americans have the same view

Siena found 63% of voters oppose the project, compared to 27% who support it

Nearly two-thirds of voters - 64% - think the developers do have a Constitutional right to build the mosque and Muslim community center near Ground Zero, compared to only 28% who say they do not

There is barely a Muslim population in Lower Manhattan, so him building this to serve the Muslim population of lower Manhattan is a joke. Therefore, its size is only going to serve one purpose: being 13 stories and a mosque. There are already 2 other mosques which were built BEFORE September 11 around the area, and not as close to Ground Zero, not within enough distance to pass the mosque coming from one direction and turn your head to see the WTC within a minute.

Second: would you support building a 13 story Serbian Orthodox cultural center in Srebrenica, where Serbs carried out a genocide against Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks)? Would you support an 13 story American cultural center in My Lai, or Abu Ghraib(where not many people actually died) A 13 story German cultural center in Treblinka? A Turkish cultural center/mosque in Armenia? A 13 story Afrikaner cultural center in Sharpville? I think not. And in all cases, not every member of the offending group supported the actions. But enough did to carry out the acts and support those who were acting on behalf of the offending group. But the matter is that why would you remind the victims who live near (or were exterminated near in the case of Treblinka) the very site of an atrocity committed in the name or a nation (religious or ethnic) everyday about the people who did it by building a large building dedicated to them?

Yes there were Muslim victims, including first responders of 9/11, but they were not attacked as Muslims but as Americans whereas the attackers attacked overtly and expressedly as practicing, devout, pure dedicated Muslims AGAINST Americans. And in honesty, the vast majority of 9/11 victims were not Muslim.

Also, in the Middle East and wider Muslim world, the FACT that, yes, Muslims carried 9/11 out is widely questioned!!! The CIA and the Mossad are named by a large number of Muslims, who aren't even in Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, Jemaah-Islamiya, etc, as the perpetrators. Also, close to the time attacks happened, Osama Bin Laden was very popular in the Muslim world. Although his popularity has declined, the fact remains that the guy was popular in the Muslim world enough to find support and shelter to plan the attacks AND not be captured, as he is being protected by somebody. So the Muslim world would see a Muslim religious site go up near where members of their community, in its name, carried heinous acts while many Muslims cannot accept the responsibility that even individual Muslims had for this attack. I'm not saying all Muslims are responsible, but there are Muslims who did the acts AS Muslims, who are responsible.

This is very different, than say, "Jewish bankers," like Madoff, who did evil things, but he did not do what he did to serve the Jewish People, nor did he ever say he did, so therefore that horrid analogy doesn't apply.

Also, about the Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf: he purports to be a moderate, and his supporters point to the sensitivity training he gave to soldiers during Bush's term. (IRONIC, HUH?) Well, I have no idea why Bush did this, tho he might have close connections with the Saudis, most likely. But he is a radical, not just for his comments that America was an accessory to 9/11. Tho, some did try to blame us for helping Afghanistan resist Communist Occupation, when personally I think its not that we did that, because some of Afghanistan's current government are Russo-Afghan war vets, its that we didn't push for peacekeepers to go there after the war ended. My problem is with him, obviously, saying that, not admitting that Hamas is a terrorist organization, but also, he has some Huffington Post blogs which came long after his 9/11 comments. Heres some samples:

Rauf on Sharia law

Rauf on Fort Hood

Now notice how in his article about Sharia law,

Islamic law is about God's law, and it is not that far from what we read in the Declaration of Independence about 'the Laws of Nature and Nature's God.' The Declaration says "men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights; that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness...The principles behind American secular law are similar to Shariah law - that we protect life, liberty and property, that we provide for the common welfare, that we maintain a certain amount of modesty...Some aspects of this penal code and its laws pertaining to women flow out of the cultural context. The religious imperative is about justice and fairness. If you strive for justice and fairness in the penal code, then you are in keeping with moral imperative of the Shariah.

First off, my biggest problem is his token mention of things like stonings, beheadings, burkas, amputation. But not one paragraph in this article is dedicated to ENDING AT LEAST ONE OF THESE INHUMANE PRACTICES which are enforced by penal code. And then he tries to compare this Sharia to the Declaration of Independence???? ARE YOU SHITTING ME??! This kind of thing is "justice and fairness?" So just that a female rape victim needs 4 male witnesses to prove rape? Stoning for adultery, jail or worse if she takes off her burka so maybe men who will treat her better can see her, if she's in a bad marriage? Amputation for stealing something worth much less than an arm, for which the lesson could be taught by a prison sentence or criminal record which hurts job searches instead? He then says:

The two pieces of unfinished business in Muslim countries are to revise the penal code so that it is responsive to modern realities

So you can tell us how you compare this barbarism to America's pride, but you don't tell us HOW to revise the penal code to fir modern realities? Or maybe the problem is that Sharia, as applied in Muslim countries, IS the penal code, and is prescribed as such in the Quran, Hadith and Sira. Ok, I get that no one wants to violate the Holy Book, but in the West, its done all the time, which is why gay rights, abortion, and divorce are widely legal in the West, and gay marriage is gaining ground in the US and legal in much of Western Europe, and gay marriages done in Cyprus are recognized in Israel. Also, Mr. Rauf, describe the cultural context of Sharia law which you don't condemn.

Lets looks at:

What this unfortunate Army major did was against the laws of Islam, even though news accounts said he was an observant Muslim. It is too early to understand his motivations and mental stability. He obviously was violating his faith when he undertook this act. Killing is as much a sin in Islam as it is in Christianity, Judaism and all the major religions. Taking the law into one's own hands is against Islamic teachings.

We do not know how our soldiers will react under the stresses of war. It is something that we as religious leaders should take seriously as we minister to our troops.

I am concerned that this incident will cause some Americans to react against the Islamic faith and Muslim Americans. Our fellow Americans should understand that every major American Muslim organization has condemned it in no uncertain terms. Thousands of American Muslims serve in the U.S. armed forces, and they are essential to the U.S. goal of bringing peace, stability and democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan. They are supported by millions of American Muslims.

"Take the law into his own hands?" He did not take the law into his own hands, because that means one tries to punish an actual crime when he's not a cop. The people he MURDERED (word is not used once in the piece) were NOT criminals, so he wasn't taking any laws into his own hands, he was breaking laws with his own hands. Also, this is not an acceptable way to crack under the stress of war. It sounds like Rauf is trying to have it both ways: somewhat condemn the act of terrorism but rationalize it. Now he is right that American Muslim soldiers are patriots serving their country and are needed to help us win. But it sounds like he's more concerned with how what people will say about Muslims than about the victims and their families, the effect it will have on the war effort, and the problem with extremism, also another word he fails to use. Also, I see no explicit condemnation on his part about the attack, only those of others.

Also, it MUST be noted that given that, as you saw, many Muslims refuse to believe that individual Muslims carried out the attacks, many also supported the attacks, which is why OBL is was, and still is, so popular in the Middle East, along with Islamist parties in the Muslim world. Also, Islam does have a history of building mosques over sites conquered. This occurred in the Middle Ages and in the dawn of Islam. Islamists would like to return to this glory, the same glory which built the mosque of Cordoba over a visgoth Church in Spain before the reconquista, built the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount, the Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque over St. Nicolas Cathedral in Cyprus during the early Ottoman years, Hagia Sophia, the Ummayad Mosque in Syria over the church with John the Baptist's remain's which are still there. Islamists would LOVE to see a mosque on the site where landing gear hit from the 9/11 attack, and symbolically located, with full deliberate intent, by Rauf.  Moderate Muslims see why this is wrong:

"Many Muslims fear that the mosque will become a shrine for Islamists, which would remind Americans of what Muslims did on 9/11,” Dr. Gamal Abd Al-Gawad, director of Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo told The Media Line..."Some people express concern that if the mosque will be built, it will harm Muslims and Islam in America. It’s not good for Muslims and Islam to be in the heart of such a controversy..."

Abdul Al-Rashid says:

I cannot imagine that Muslims want a mosque on this particular site, because it will be turned into an arena for promoters of hatred, a symbol of those who committed the crime. At the same time, there are no practicing Muslims in the district who need a place of worship, because it is indeed a commercial district.

Why can't the Park51 supporters see this? Who does Rauf think he is fooling? He is a sympathant for terrorism, who clearly does not give a damn less about those who when down with the towers. There American people are a decent, good people, which is why they, along with myself, agree that there is a constitutional right to build it, but also agree why it isn't right. THIS IS NOT A RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ISSUE. That is a smokescreen excuse to ignore the problems, and pretend that any criticism of Islamic extremism or connection between Islam and the 9/11 attackers is racist, which is ridiculous. The 9/11 terrorists attacked us as Muslims for Islam, as expressed by themselves. They see thru this guy, and so do I. So does Harry Reid, and a majority of Americans in both parties.

The fact is 9/11 attacks were part of radical Islam's problem, which is that it requires Muslims to use their religion politically as justification to conquer opponents and, as they seek, territory to gain caliphate, and create a society based on Sharia law, which Rauf doesn't seem to mind. They do it not just against Israelis or Americans, but in every inhabited continent in the world. Rauf may not be a terrorist, but his political outlook, based on his desire to see Islam as the sole source of societal norms (whereas in the West Christianity is not the sole source of society, hence today's decadent liberal societies) is the attitude which gives Islamic terrorists power. Clearly, it will NOT promote tolerance, as yes, some of the haters are genuine bigots, tho most like me are not, but mostly because of the views of Rauf and his ulterior motives. Also, Islamists would see it as a shrine to their brilliant deeds and to hate on Jews, infidels, etc. Has this promoted tolerance since the brouhaha started? I think not.

Most Muslims are peaceful people, and most mosques don't preach radical jihadism. However, there is a large enough portion that do which gives these groups enough power in the Muslim world to operate and gain support. It is a battle within Islamic civilization, not just Radical Islam vs. the West. I'm not against building mosques simply because they are mosques. But the man behind this mosque symbolizes the battle, via his radical views and deliberate decision to provoke this fight. I cannot accept and ideology and a man who condones and doesn't criticize women being forced into burkas, or stoned for adultery, people beheaded for minor crimes, amputated, lashed, and so on. No one, especially if you call yourself "progressive" should accept a man who believes in this stuff.

I hope the Democrats in Congress see this, and start following the lead of Reid, because Obama has made a big mistake. The Democratic Party is in trouble, and given the truth behind this issue, doing a Bloomberg or Obama on this is asking to lose seats. This is one issue, which unlike immigration, health care, jobs, the economy, abortion, gay marriage, and environment, unites Americans.




Mr. President, why is Europe taking a stronger stance on Iran than you are?

Mr. President, you are the elected "leader of the free world." But why are you not leading? Why is Europe, the continent we freed of fascism and communism, owning you on this?:

There's more...

The EU's Iraq

While the nation is still debating whether the Iraq war really is "the most disastrous geopolitical tactic since Austria-Hungary attacked Serbia in 1914" or to send Keith Olbermann back to history class, developments loom ahead in the Middle East that may in the worst case prove even more disastrous than the `03 decision to invade Iraq. Developments largely neglected in U.S. corporate media; developments for once not the result of George Bush's bovine ignorance or Dick Cheney's sinister megalomania; developments not contrived in obscure neocon-devil's workshops but to be accounted for by liberal secularists and apologists of soft power. Developments that may take a turn for the worse today as Turkey votes.

There's more...

Us vs. Them: The Root Of Conflict

Generally, definitions are used to distinguish the meaning of one word from another. They tell us what a word means and in so doing they should likely, by omission, tell us what a word doesn't mean. While a dictionary is an invaluable tool, sometimes the meaning of words cannot be understood by simply reading the definition. Occasionally it requires looking at the underlying differences or similarities with other words.

Such is the case in a current issue that may have more global significance than any we have witnessed in a number of decades. The backdrop to this issue is religious beliefs. The conflict is being played out across a huge theater that spans multiple continents and involves numerous countries. At the same time, the battle lines cannot be distinguished by continent or country...or for that matter by city or community. This issue can best be seen in two defining conflicts. They are the `war on terror' and the `culture war'. The following definitions are essential to defining the conflict, and more importantly, to begin exploring the solutions. I've gathered this information from Wikipedia and Merriam-Webster OnLine.

There's more...


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