Wichita Peace and Freedom Party Examiner
There are plenty of times that US citizens should rise to the occasion and point out to our politicians that they made a bad call. Unfortunately, bigotry and ignorance make most politicians of both parties cringe and run for cover.
The latest incident involves the building of Islamic Center (It may not actually be a mosque) over what has been described as Ground Zero in lower Manhattan where the twin towers were knocked down September 11, 2001, by two passenger planes hijacked by Islamic extremists. .
The attitude toward the building of a Mosque has brought out the religious anti-tolerance of the usual gang of right-wingers who want to make it clear that they believe this is a Christian nation and labelling an entire religion as a terrorists group is something we have grown to expect.
At first President Barack Obama said;
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. That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan… This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable.
He later backtracked and said he questioned the wisdom of it.
Probably the worst comment was made by the former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich who compared a Mosque with a Nazi flag;
“Building the mosque near Ground Zero,” says the former Speaker according to Media, is like putting a Nazi sign near the HolocaustMuseum… The folks who want to build this mosque, who are really radical Islamists, who want to triumphfully (sic) prove they can build a mosque next to a place where 3,000 Americans were killed by radical Islamists. Those folks don’t have any interest in reaching out to the community. They’re trying to make a case about supremacy… This happens all the time in America. Nazis don’t have the right to put up a sign next to the HolocaustMuseum in Washington. We would never accept the Japanese putting up a site next to Pearl Harbor.”
Most of the other conservatives have said it is insensitive to those who lost loved ones to the 9/11 incident. What they say about Moslems is not much different than what Gingrich said, ‘folks who want to build this mosque, who are really radical Islamists, who want to triumph fully (sic) prove they can build a mosque next to a place where 3,000 Americans were killed’ This implies that the religion itself, rather than the actions of a few extremist, were to blame. They are claiming that Islam is a religion and ideology that is un-American and for those who practice that religion and live as law abiding American citizens, their beliefs are belittle and treated as though they are un-American.
Not all Americans feel this way. Some relatives of people killed in the Sept. 11 attacks supported Obama's original comments.
“The mosque is "in many ways ... a fitting tribute," said Colleen Kelly of the Bronx, who lost her brother Bill Kelly Jr. in the attacks, according to Yahoo News.
Now if some politicians could show the same courage, this issue would be over.