For once, the president and I agree on something. However, there is something to be said about the wisdom of this plan — he’s just not the one who ought to say it.
The Islamic community center that is being built near Ground Zero has stirred a lot of controversy. Many from the neocon, Islamaphobic right such as Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, Joeseph Farah, etc. have turned this issue into a national debate. Though many of these individuals’ arguments are ludicrous, some do make a point — especially many of the 9/11 victims.
It is not only insenstitve for Imam Rauf to continue with this project, but also potentially harming the overall American Muslim community. It’s safe to say that ever since this project was initiated, many anti-mosque individuals and groups are on the rise in our country. Yes, the Constitution does guarantee religious freedom, but the wisdom behind this inept PR move is obvious; it’s doing more harm than good.
9/11 is recent memory for all Americans. After all, it occurred only nine years ago. Many people still feel its effects every day. To ignore the cries of the victims’ families is irresponsible, inconsiderate, and unfair. Many New Yorkers also oppose (or feel uncomfortable about) this Islamic community center/mosque.
I’m not saying Imam Rauf is some a secret jihadist or terrorist sympathizer (as fanatics like Geller and Spencer say), but rather that this potential Islamic community center is already doing more harm than good. Imam Rauf needs to consider that if this was such a brilliant idea, it would not be such a polarizing issue.
Many families of the victims see ground zero as a graveyard for their loved ones. This should already raise red flags for Imam Rauf and supporters of this community center.
I do have to say, however, that the opposition side is just as ridiculous as the proponents’ side (excepting 9/11 victims, whose emotional involvement is understandable). Devout neocons like Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller are using this issue to promote their hatred and intolerance of religious freedom. Many of these fanatics are going as far as calling it an “Islamic supremacy mosque.” That idea alone qualifies them to be on the wall of shame. Calling Imam Rauf a terrorist sympathizer or supporter of Hamas is absurd. It’s no surprise that these people are always using issues like these to gain more publicity of their fearful, totalitarian agenda. Imam Rauf and others who support this comunity center should realize that this is adding the fuel to the fire and people like Geller and Spencer profit pretty well from the community center plans. So why not just stop and stop giving irrational neocons like Geller and Spencer something to talk about?
Either way, as “liberty loving” Pamela Geller says, it would be “beautiful thing” if the supporters of this ccommunity center ceased buliding it. We all know that to the Islamaphobes who oppose this to the detriment of religious liberty, it would also be a victory. Inside they would be jumping up and down, cheering and rejoicing.
But that is not the ultimate matter here. What matters is the right thing and to me, building this Islamic community center would be the wrong thing to do.Published in