Blogging Forgottonia

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Contra Bulkeley Regarding Park51 Project

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Yet again we have a local leader, this time retired judge Harry Bulkeley, weighing in against the Park51 project in New York City.  Again, I have a response.  Read the editorial first, then my response below.

No one has claimed that Muslims don’t have the right to build a mosque, there or anywhere else.

Have you seen some of the signs being waved at the Tea Party protests against the Park51 project?  I’m pretty sure that a lot of those folks think that the best use for a mosque is as kindling.  They absolutely want to deny Imam Rauf & the Cordoba House the right to build their community center – by fear & intimidation, if not clearly unconstitutional legal force.

By the way, a piece of the plane that hit the south tower landed on that building, so it is Ground Zero.

OK … well, dust from the towers spread over the whole island of Manhattan & beyond.  Are we thus supposed to shut down all of New York City and preserve it as a museum piece???

If it is an effort to heal the wounds, then why isn’t it a multicultural, interfaith facility?

It will be a multicultural, interfaith facility.  Yes, the Park51 project is a Muslim community center (only part of which will be a mosque), but ALL faiths and ethnicities would be welcome there.  Its purpose is to be a bridge of understanding to the broader community, and obviously understanding of the Muslim faith and its diversity is something that many Americans seem to be lacking.

Perhaps the developers don’t intend it as a victory shrine, but can anyone doubt that it will be perceived and portrayed as such by our enemies?

Do we really care what the Taliban & Al Qaeda think?  Would portraying the Park51 community center as a triumphal monument to Islam be a recruitment tool for them?  I don’t think so.  Right now we’re handing Al Qaeda & the Taliban the best recruitment tool they could imagine – all the images of American anti-Muslim hate filling the airwaves right now.

Imam Rauf has been working for years as a strong voice for interfaith cooperation in the U.S. and democracy & women’s rights in the Muslim world.  After 9/11, Rauf was sent to the Middle East by the BUSH administration as an emissary of our interests.  What he represents is the polar opposite of what Al Qaeda & the Taliban represent, and Osama bin Laden & Mullah Omar would likely deny that Rauf is even a Muslim at all.

Does Eric Rudolph, the Olympic Park bomber, represent all Christians?  Does Fred Phelps, pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church, represent all Christians?  Does Terry Jones, the pastor in Gainesville who wants to burn Korans, represent all Christians?  No, of course not.  So quit lumping Imam Rauf & the Cordoba House in with Atta & the other mass-murdering 9/11 thugs.

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Written by Matthew

August 29, 2010 at 11:43 am

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