Friday, September 24, 2010
Thousands of True Americans Respond to Call for Donations to Islamic Center
1 of 1
By Michael Moore
I knew that many of you would respond to my call to help out the embattled Islamic community center being built in lower Manhattan. I asked each of you to send a dollar (or five or ten) to their nonprofit organization, Cordoba Initiative, as a symbolic act against the bigotry Muslim Americans are facing. To help kick it off, I promised to match dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000, hoping to raise somewhere near that number by the end of this week.
That's not what happened.
Within hours of posting that blog on Saturday, so many thousands of you had responded, we were already far beyond the $10,000 goal. In fact, as of this morning, we're estimating that the funds raised from you have exceeded an amazing $50,000!
The people at the Islamic center are very appreciative that so many thousands have chosen to come forward in support of America and our First Amendment. And I, too, want to express my gratitude. (Anyone can contribute by clicking here.) Times are tough economically, and supporting our Muslim brothers and sisters is not a popular thing to do right now. I am truly touched by your generosity -- and people around the world will know that you, too, represent an America they rarely get to see.
I'd like to share some of the notes we've received from some of you this past weekend along with your donations:
Here's my donation. I'm a Presbyterian from Kalamazoo who has a friend who was on the plane that crashed near Pittsburgh (on 9/11).
Please find enclosed my receipt for my $5.00 donation. I am in the process of losing my house, but I will not ever lose my Soul. That was a great letter, I made the donation with out thinking about it twice. Thanks for matching it. Bless your heart.
From Rabbi Yonassan Gershom:
I am Jewish, and it is now the Jewish High Holy Day season, when it is traditional to give extra charity. I am donating $18 on behalf of my wife Caryl and I, as a gesture of fellowship and solidarity. (The number 18 in Jewish numerology is the number for life -- Hebrew letters chet (8) + yod (10) -- and it is traditional to give in multiples of 18.) Please, Imam Rauf, do NOT sell out to those who want you to move the Center -- that would be a victory for bigots, heaven forbid. Build it where it is planned, in peace, pride, and freedom! Peace-salaam-shalom!
I wish I could have donated more, but I'm unemployed and money is really tight.
Thanks for matching this, Mr. Moore.
What could be more appropriate than doing this on 9-11? Rock on, Michael.
I'm not sure you will ever read this, but I want to thank you for your
message you wrote on the mosque. It is exactly how I feel. Thank you
for expressing so eloquently and perfectly what needed to be said.
Keep up the work you're doing!
I want you to know that this is the first time i have donated money to a cause, other than donations to my religion (The Baha'i Faith, which you may not know has one of it's intrinsic values to be freedom of all religions: taking them as one single faith.)
I am active, by which i mean emailing my senators, in other areas such as protecting women's rights and gay rights, but i never donate to them. They are always asking for money, no matter what happens, and it feels like throwing money into a pit in the ground. So i draw the line at emails, I have too big a heart so i have to have good strong boundaries. ;) I never even donate to Obama, and i love Obama (but i don't trust his staff).
I guess i want you to know that you have something really good going on: you have my trust. And in donating to the occasional causes you deem worthy, i think what i am really doing is saying thank you. Thank you. =)
What the blog says is what I BELIEVE with all my heart. Nothing better could
have been written on 9/11. Many, many thanks. I am honoured to know you.
I wish you all the best and I HOPE, with your initiative and hard work and
with people like me supporting your efforts, we will be able to make a
For the Muslim center in NYC...
Michael, I'm not working and it's really a rough time for my husband and me, financially, but I wanted to do something nice for someone on 9/11, so I'm contributing to this cause. Love, love, love your emails, and you!
I wish I could have donated more but have been out of work for many, many months. Still, I wanted to make a token donation because I was very moved by the email I received from Michael Moore.
My thanks to Mr. Moore for, as usual, cutting through the BS and opening my eyes a bit wider to the truth.
First of all, I should state that I am not a fan of yours. I find the "style" that you tend to use to be...well, offensive. I do recognize that is probably intentional on your part as a way of driving home your points, but it puts me off enough that I don't bother.
I tend toward being a conservative...though that's probably more "fiscal" than "social". As a retired military man of 23 years, I am still embarrassed by the use of Don't Ask Don't Tell by the military rather than allowing homosexuals to openly serve. I'm certain you feel the same on that subject, at least.
And finally, I am an agnostic atheist (I don't believe in any God, but I recognize that I really don't know if one exists or not). So I'm not particularly moved to think in glowing terms when the subject of religion is broached, because I tend to see the negatives of religion rather than it's positives.
All that being said, I just want to say that I loved the article you wrote regarding the mosque being built in NYC and "this not being America any more". As I mentioned in my opening, I don't find myself in agreement with you very often. But this article was spot-on.
I am much more than a bit of an idealist still, and in my view, it is precisely for things like this mosque that I served. I don't mind the uproar over it, because that is those folks' right to free speech also, but I certainly think it should be built.
Thank you for the article.
I've worked in stamping plants (in Warren) and as a welder/machinist (in Detroit, near the Budd plant by City Airport) to put myself through college. I know what the working class went through to get a fair deal (my grandfather knew Walter Reuther). I have friends and relatives back in Michigan who are struggling - big time - to hang on. I don't know what we can do to raise class consciousness when our country is dominated by corporate controlled media (and the ultra-rich who own it) . Thank you for reminding America (again) how a decent human being behaves and what our country actually stands for. You make me proud to be from Michigan.
I live on Social Security and rarely can donate - but your compelling
invitation urged me to do more than cheer.
Thanks Michael for all your work.
Thank you for making it so easy for me to donate a little something to the Cordoba House project. It is the perfect way for me to show what I think of the situation.
This project, which was initiated as a way of reaching out to non-Muslim Americans with a message of Peace, Love and Understanding has been twisted and distorted by those who are trying to sow discord and destruction among us. More than them, we should blame all the politicians and media folks who have either remained silent or fueled the fires of hate each time they say the lying phrase "Ground Zero Mosque."
Here is my donation. This is the one and only donation I have made for 2+ years due to my financial constraints caused by an illness. Thank you for being you,
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Michael Moore's daily blog
I am opposed to the building of the "mosque" two blocks from Ground Zero.
I want it built on Ground Zero.
Why? Because I believe in an America that protects those who are the victims of hate and prejudice. I believe in an America that says you have the right to worship whatever God you have, wherever you want to worship. And I believe in an America that says to the world that we are a loving and generous people and if a bunch of murderers steal your religion from you and use it as their excuse to kill 3,000 souls, then I want to help you get your religion back. And I want to put it at the spot where it was stolen from you.
There's been so much that's been said about this manufactured controversy, I really don't want to waste any time on this day of remembrance talking about it. But I hate bigotry and I hate liars, and so in case you missed any of the truth that's been lost in this, let me point out a few facts:
1. I love the Burlington Coat Factory. I've gotten some great winter coats there at a very reasonable price. Muslims have been holding their daily prayers there since 2009. No one ever complained about that. This is not going to be a "mosque," it's going to be a community center. It will have the same prayer room in it that's already there. But to even have to assure people that "it's not going to be mosque" is so offensive, I now wish they would just build a 111-story mosque there. That would be better than the lame and disgusting way the developer has left Ground Zero an empty hole until recently. The remains of over 1,100 people still haven't been found. That site is a sacred graveyard, and to be building another monument to commerce on it is a sacrilege. Why wasn't the entire site turned into a memorial peace park? People died there, and many of their remains are still strewn about, all these years later.
2. Guess who has helped the Muslims organize their plans for this community center? The JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER of Manhattan! Their rabbi has been advising them since the beginning. It's been a picture-perfect example of the kind of world we all want to live in. Peter Stuyvessant, New York's "founder," tried to expel the first Jews who arrived in Manhattan. Then the Dutch said, no, that's a bit much. So then Stuyvessant said ok, you can stay, but you cannot build a synagogue anywhere in Manhattan. Do your stupid Friday night thing at home. The first Jewish temple was not allowed to be built until 1730. Then there was a revolution, and the founding fathers said this country has to be secular -- no religious nuts or state religions. George Washington (inaugurated around the corner from Ground Zero) wanted to make a statement about this his very first year in office, and wrote this to American Jews:
"The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy -- a policy worthy of imitation. ...
"It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens ...
"May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants -- while everyone shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid."
3. The Imam in charge of this project is the nicest guy you'd ever want to meet. Read about his past here.
4. Around five dozen Muslims died at the World Trade Center on 9/11. Hundreds of members of their families still grieve and suffer. The 19 killers did not care what religion anyone belonged to when they took those lives.
5. I've never read a sadder headline in the New York Times than the one on the front page this past Monday: "American Muslims Ask, Will We Ever Belong?" That should make all of us so ashamed that even a single one of our fellow citizens should ever have to worry about if they "belong" here.
6. There is a McDonald's two blocks from Ground Zero. Trust me, McDonald's has killed far more people than the terrorists.
7. During an economic depression or a time of war, fascists are extremely skilled at whipping up fear and hate and getting the working class to blame "the other" for their troubles. Lincoln's enemies told poor Southern whites that he was "a Catholic." FDR's opponents said he was Jewish and called him "Jewsevelt." One in five Americans now believe Obama is a Muslim and 41% of Republicans don't believe he was born here.
8. Blaming a whole group for the actions of just one of that group is anti-American. Timothy McVeigh was Catholic. Should Oklahoma City prohibit the building of a Catholic Church near the site of the former federal building that McVeigh blew up?
9. Let's face it, all religions have their whackos. Catholics have O'Reilly, Gingrich, Hannity and Clarence Thomas (in fact all five conservatives who dominate the Supreme Court are Catholic). Protestants have Pat Robertson and too many to list here. The Mormons have Glenn Beck. Jews have Crazy Eddie. But we don't judge whole religions on just the actions of their whackos. Unless they're Methodists.
10. If I should ever, God forbid, perish in a terrorist incident, and you or some nutty group uses my death as your justification to attack or discriminate against anyone in my name, I will come back and haunt you worse than Linda Blair marrying Freddy Krueger and moving into your bedroom to spawn Chucky. John Lennon was right when he asked us to imagine a world with "nothing to kill or die for and no religion, too." I heard Deepak Chopra this week say that "God gave humans the truth, and the devil came and he said, 'Let's give it a name and call it religion.' " But John Adams said it best when he wrote a sort of letter to the future (which he called "Posterity"): "Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present Generation to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it." I'm guessing ol' John Adams is up there repenting nonstop right now.
Friends, we all have a responsibility NOW to make sure that Muslim community center gets built. Once again, 70% of the country (the same number that initially supported the Iraq War) is on the wrong side and want the "mosque" moved. Enormous pressure has been put on the Imam to stop his project. We have to turn this thing around. Are we going to let the bullies and thugs win another one? Aren't you fed up by now? When would be a good time to take our country back from the haters?
I say right now. Let's each of us make a statement by donating to the building of this community center! It's a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization and you can donate a dollar or ten dollars (or more) right now through a secure pay pal account by clicking here. I will personally match the first $10,000 raised (forward your PayPal receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org). If each one of you reading this blog/email donated just a couple of dollars, that would give the center over $6 million, more than what Donald Trump has offered to buy the Imam out. C'mon everyone, let's pitch in and help those who are being debased for simply wanting to do something good. We could all make a huge statement of love on this solemn day.
I lost a co-worker on 9/11. I write this today in his memory.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
The Associated Press - 1 hour ago
NEW YORK — The imam behind plans for an Islamic community center near ground zero writes in a newspaper that the facility will include "separate prayer ...
Imam vows to identify funders of planned NY mosque
AFP - 1 hour ago
NEW YORK — The imam heading a planned mosque near the New York site of the September 11, 2001 terrorist strikes said he has been awed by controversy over ...
Rauf: Mosque will move ahead
Politico (blog) - Maggie Haberman - 3 hours ago
In his first words in weeks about the controversy surrounding his planned mosque and ...
What would you ask the imam behind the Islamic center near ground zero?
CNN (blog) - 8 hours ago
CNN has secured an exclusive interview with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf , the man behind the proposed Islamic center near New York's ground zero. ...
Imam behind NYC mosque back in US after Gulf trip
The Associated Press - Cristian Salazar - 18 hours ago
NEW YORK — An imam who has become the public face of a proposed Islamic community center and mosque near ground zero has returned to the United States ...
In His Gut
The Atlantic (blog) - 18 hours ago
I wouldn't close my eyes or our eyes to the increasing number of both naturalized and native-born citizens who enlist in the Islamic terror networks of our ...
New York Imam Says Islamic Center Will Proceed
Journal of Turkish Weekly - 22 minutes ago
The US imam leading plans for an Islamic center near the site of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York says the project will continue. ...
Cordoba House Imam Breaks Silence
Daily Beast - 51 minutes ago
The chairman of the Cordoba Initiative, the group behind the building of an Islamic cultural center and mosque in downtown Manhattan, broke his silence ...
What Imam Rauf has unleashed
WND.com - 1 hour ago
Shortly before returning to the US after his State Department Mideast tour, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf said in Abu Dhabi that the viral furor over his ...
Imam: Park51 Project Must Move Forward
NY1 - 2 hours ago
The Imam at the center of the controversial Park51 project in Lower Manhattan says he won't move the location of the proposed Islamic center. ...
Rauf touring on our dime?
Fredericksburg.com - 2 hours ago
Would some defender of the present order please provide the identity of the genius who concluded to send this Imam Rauf fellow off on a taxpayer-paid tour ...
Muslims praying at Pentagon irrelevant
Fredericksburg.com - 2 hours ago
The Aug. 19 article titled "Muslims pray at Pentagon" has no bearing on the situation regarding the proposed mosque in New York. The fact that Muslims pray ...
Imam not backing away...Pastor's Quran burning plan...Wind fans fires
Kansas CW - 3 hours ago
By AP NEW YORK (AP) — The imam behind the plans for an Islamic community center near ground zero says it's important Americans "not back away" from the ...
How Moderate is the "Ground Zero" Imam?
FrumForum - 3 hours ago
With the ongoing “Ground Zero Mosque” firestorm and the bigger battle over Islam in the United States, the founder of the proposed mosque/cultural center, ...
Imam Of Proposed Ground Zero Mosque Breaks Silence
CBS New York - 3 hours ago
NEW YORK (CBS 2) – After months of keeping quiet, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is responding to criticism about the proposed Islamic community center and mosque ...
Imam's remarks not controversial
Virginia Tech Collegiate Times - 4 hours ago
by Letter to the editor This is in response to Stephen Biernesser's letter “Ground Zero debate not so simple,” (CT, Sept. 2) about the Ground Zero mosque. ...
Rauf: 'We are proceeding' on Muslim center
UPI.com - 4 hours ago
NEW YORK, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- The imam of the Farah mosque in New York said Tuesday "we are proceeding" with plans for Cordoba House near Ground Zero despite ...
Imam defends mosque in editorial
7Online.com - Jennifer Matarese - 4 hours ago
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, executive director of the Cordoba Initiative, arrives at a Muharraq, Bahrain, mosque where he led midday prayers Friday, Aug. ...
Mosque Man Breaks Silence on Paper
NBC New York - Hasani Gittens - 5 hours ago
AP The holy man at the center of the raging controversy that has become known as the "Ground Zero Mosque" -- really a YMCA-like Islamic ...
Imam behind Islamic center near Ground Zero to break his silence
CNN Political Ticker (blog) - 7 hours ago
(CNN) - The Imam behind the controversial Islamic Center and mosque near Ground Zero will break his silence on Wednesday. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, ...
Hutchinson News - 10 hours ago
This growing upheaval over the plan of the New York Muslim community to build an Islamic Center near the sad emptiness of the WTC site is so misguided. ...
Pinellas Muslims strong in numbers, culturally diverse
Tampabay.com - Waveney Ann Moore - 14 hours ago
Imam Abdul Karim Ali counted himself among a small number of Muslims in the Tampa Bay area when he converted to ...
Ground Zero Mosque: A Solution
Miami New Times (blog) - Lee Klein - 15 hours ago
As we all know by now, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf has offered to build a mosque and Islamic cultural center in the ...
Means to an end
Muncie Star Press - Kevin Wingate - Sep 7, 2010
According to an expert on political Islam, more than 60 percent of the Quaran "talks ill of unbelievers or calls for their violent conquest or subjugation," ...
WashMo.com (blog) - Sep 6, 2010
So we have this Imam that wants to build a mosque slash cultural center, within spitting distance of the two gapping holes in the ground that was once the ...
Imam Feisal Rauf -- Sharia Uber Alles!
American Thinker (blog) - Andrew G. Bostom - Sep 6, 2010
There is nothing "nuanced" about Imam Feisal Rauf's belief in the primacy of Sharia (Islamic Law) in society -- any society. ...the American political ...
Sharia - Women at Risk
American Thinker (blog) - Eileen F. Toplansky - Sep 5, 2010
In this video entitled "Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf: Sharia and the US Constitution are the Same" which can be found on the lower right hand side of the site, ...
Imam: NYC Islamic center to include other faiths
The Associated Press - 1 hour ago
NEW YORK — A proposed Islamic community center near ground zero will include separate prayer spaces for Muslims, Christians, Jews and people of other faiths ...
Imam: We are proceeding with NYC Islamic center
CNN - 4 hours ago
By the CNN Wire Staff CNN's Soledad O'Brien has an exclusive interview with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf on "Larry King Live" Wednesday at 9 pm ET. ...
NY imam: Mosque project won't be stopped
msnbc.com - 4 hours ago
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, a leading figure for Islamic center project, is shown on a US government-sponsored trip in the Mideast. ...
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
By Rabbi Bruce Warshal*
To begin, the mosque controversy does not involve a mosque. It is planned as a 13-story community center encompassing a swimming pool, 500-seat performing arts center, gym, culinary school, restaurant and, yes, a prayer space for Muslims, which already exists in the current building. A formal mosque would forbid eating or the playing of music on the premises. I guess that we are now at the point in America where Jews can have our JCC’s and Christians their YMCA’s, but Muslims are not wanted.
There is also the controversy over the proposed name, Cordoba House. The hate-mongers have described this as a reference to Muslim designs to attack western culture, hearkening back to the Muslim-Christian wars of domination in medieval Spain. The name was chosen for precisely the opposite reason. In the tenth century Cordoba was the center of the most liberal and sophisticated Caliphate in the Islamic world. All religions were not merely tolerated but respected.
The caliph, Abd al-Rahman III, had a Jew as his foreign minister and a Greek bishop in his diplomatic corps. He also had a library of 400,000 volumes at a time when the largest library in Christian Europe numbered merely 400 manuscripts. There were also 70 other smaller libraries in Cordoba. The very reference to Cordoba reflects the sophistication and liberality of the Muslims behind this project. They have changed the name of the center to the address of the building, Park 51, to deflect criticism. This was unfortunate, since nothing will quiet a hate-monger.
Feisal Abdul Rauf, the Imam behind the proposed community center, has been attacked as an Islamic terrorist, even though he is a practitioner of Sufi Islam, which reaches out to all other religions as manifestations of the Divine. My God, the conservative Bush administration utilized Rauf as part of an outreach to the Muslim world. You can bet your life that he was thoroughly vetted by our government. He is currently being used by the Clinton State Department as well in the same capacity. Fareed Zakaria of Newsweek and CNN succinctly put it, “His vision of Islam is bin Laden’s nightmare.”
And what is Rauf’s sin? He will build a Muslim community center two blocks away from Ground Zero, variously described as a “hallowed battlefield,” “holy ground,” and a “war memorial.” Even President Obama in his defense of religious freedom commented that, “Ground zero is, indeed, hallowed ground.” I beg to differ.
If Ground Zero is holy ground, then the railroad station in Madrid, the Underground in London, the federal building in Oklahoma City, the Pentagon (where there is presently a prayer space for Muslims – yes, patriotic, religious Muslim Americans work at the Pentagon) and every other physical location that has been the object of terrorism is holy ground. If Ground Zero is holy space why plan for it to be developed with office buildings (in which the object will be to amass money – obviously a holy pursuit), a shopping center (in which consumer goods will be peddled to continue to gorge the American appetite for material possessions), and with a theater for modern dance (a project to which I personally look forward as a devotee of the Joyce, the modern dance Mecca of New York)? I’m sorry, but someone has to tell America that this designation of holy space is merely part of a mass hysteria that really scares me.
The question which must be asked is why this hysteria? The impetus comes from a triumvirate of right-wing Christians, Jews and politicians. Fundamentalist Christians are still fighting the crusades, still vying to convert the world to their truths. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world, to the distress of these Christian proselytizers. What better way to win this battle than to brand all Muslims as terrorists?
Right-wing Jews think that they are doing Israel a favor by painting Islam as a terrorist religion thereby proving that Israel need not negotiate with the Palestinians. The idea is to project the concept that we are civilized and they are not. This theme is picked up in the right-wing press of Israel. Commenting on the New York proposed “mosque,” a columnist in the Jerusalem Post declares that “Islamism is a modern political tendency which arose in a spirit of fraternal harmony with the fascists of Europe in the 1930’s and ‘40’s.” Ground Zero isn’t Israel’s “holy ground.” Why would he be involved with this discussion? Simply because right-wing Jews in Israel as well as the United States believe that demonizing the religion of 1.3 billion people is good for Israel. God help us.
Right-wing politicians join the fray. On Fox News Newt Gingrich compares a mosque at Ground Zero to Nazis protesting at the United States Holocaust Memorial. The Democrats are cowed by the American outpouring of hate and even Harry Reid voices disapproval of the Park 51 site. It’s a perfect storm of hate.
Periodically we go through this in America. The anti-Catholic No-Nothing party ran ex-President Millard Fillmore in the presidential election of 1856 and garnered 27 percent of the votes. We deported over 10,000 people during the First World War because they opposed our entry into that war and we incarcerated loyal Japanese Americans during the Second World War. Now during this “war on terror” I shudder to think where we are headed.
The tool used in this hate campaign is the concept of collective guilt. Based on that, all Jews are traitors since Ethel and Julius Rosenberg sold out this country. All Christians are terrorists since Timothy McVeigh attacked the federal building in Oklahoma City. Neither are all Muslims traitors nor terrorists. Islam is not monolithic. Its forms are as varied as Judaism or Christianity. I do not practice Judaism the same as a Satmar Hasidic Jew. A Catholic does not practice Christianity the same as a Jehovah Witness. Imam Rauf does not share the same Islamic beliefs as bin Laden.
Of all people Jews should beware of collective guilt since we have suffered from it for millennia. Yet the organization that started this hysteria is headed by a right-wing Jewish supporter of Israel by the name of Pam Geller. She is quoted in the mainstream media (including the Jewish Journal) as if she is a legitimate political voice. Yet on her blog, Atlas Shrugs, she has declared that “Obama is the illegitimate son of Malcom X.” She has written that we have “an American-hater for president.” She has proposed that devout Muslims should be prohibited from military service. She asks, “Would Patton have recruited Nazis into his army?” To all of the rabbis quoted in the Jewish Journal urging that the “mosque” be moved, know who is pulling your strings.
Finally, to the role of the Anti-Defamation League and its director, Abe Foxman. The world was literally “shocked,” that’s the word used by the Associated Press, by ADL’s call for the mosque to be moved. Fareed Zakaria called it a “bizarre decision.” Foxman, a Holocaust survivor, said, “Survivors of the Holocaust are entitled to feelings that are irrational.” Referring to loved ones of the September 11 victims, he continued: “Their anguish entitles them to positions that others would categorize as irrational or bigoted.”
How dare Foxman use the Holocaust to justify prejudice. He does blasphemy to the memory of Jews and other oppressed minorities whose lives were sacrificed on the altar of bigotry. Zakaria responds: “Does Foxman believe that bigotry is OK if people think they’re victims? Does the anguish of Palestinians, then, entitle them to be anti-Semitic?”
Five years ago the ADL honored Zakaria with the Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize. Incensed over ADL’s succumbing to bigotry, he has returned the award with the $10,000 honorarium that came with it.
The last word was recently written by Daniel Luban, a doctoral student at the University of Chicago, in Tablet Magazine: “While activists like Pam Geller have led the anti-mosque campaign and the broader demonization of Muslims that has accompanied it, leaders like Abe Foxman have acquiesced in it. In doing so they risk providing an ugly and ironic illustration of the extent of Jewish assimilation in 21st-century America. We know that Jews can grow up to be senators and Supreme Court justices. Let’s not also discover that they can grow up to incite a pogrom.”
· Rabbi Bruce Warshal:
** The article originally appeared in the “Florida Jewish Journal”
Ground Zero's Slave Graves
By Jen Phillips Wed Aug. 25, 2010 4:32 PM PDT— Slave register from Flickr user Wofford College via Creative Commons.The outrage about the "ground zero mosque" has turned very ugly, as this video of this recent protest shows.
People are calling Mohammed a pig. A New York City cab driver was stabbed today after his passenger asked him if he was Muslim. But I find the righteous outrage of those contending the former World Trade Center site is "hallowed ground" amusing, because they have no idea just how right they are.
Before the World Trade Center was even designed (with Islamic architectural elements, incidentally), the ground was indeed sacrosanct: The bones of some 20,000 African slaves are buried 25 feet below Lower Manhattan. As at least 10 percent of West African slaves in America were Muslims, it's not out of bounds to extrapolate that ground zero itself was built on the bones of at least a few Muslim slaves. That is to say, hallowed Muslim ground. For some time, activists, historians, and city officials have been working together to excavate and preserve the bones of the slaves buried under present-day lower Manhattan.
A recent excavation of a 14,000 square foot section of the six-acre burial ground found that 92 percent of the 419 skeletons were of African descent, and 40 percent were children under 12. The bones of the 419 slaves were eventually reinterred.African slaves couldn't be buried in New York City itself, so they were put to rest along the city's then-northern border, near present-day Chambers Street. The exact borders of the burial ground are fuzzy, and experts say that without test digs, they won't be able to tell how far it extends.
The area they've excavated so far ends just a block or two from ground zero, but with the huge number of African slaves that lived and died in New Amsterdam, I find it hard to believe the burial grounds didn't extend further.At any rate, some of the slaves' belongings were definitely at ground zero: About 100 boxes of artifacts from the African graves were stored at 6 WTC, which was crushed by the North Tower on 9/11, but thankfully archivists were able to recover them.
A few of the items were strings of blue beads found buried with the slaves...which some think could be Islamic prayer beads.Park51 won't even be at ground zero proper (across from Brooks Brothers or the Century 21 department store). But if it were, it would still be perfectly defensible.
In fact, since WTC was likely built over the centuries-old bones of Muslim slaves, it would be a downright blessing. http://motherjones.com/mojo/2010/08/ground-zero-was-built-graves-slaves At any rate, some of the slaves' belongings were definitely at ground zero: About 100 boxes of artifacts from the African graves were stored at 6 WTC, which was crushed by the North Tower on 9/11, but thankfully archivists were able to recover them.
The pics of Slave Register - http://www.flickr.com/photos/littlejohncollection/4326139964/
A few of the items were strings of blue beads found buried with the slaves...which some think could be Islamic prayer beads.
This is a link to a larger view of the slave registerhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/littlejohncollection/4326139964/sizes/o/in/photostream
on different forums and I shall date each one of them from hereforward
I have not written the questions out,as I do need the permission to quote some one
who is not a public figure or is not published in public media. It is on the face book and my discussion forums. Some of it is repeat, but mostly original.
August 31, 2010 at Facebook
Olberman, Stewart, Maddow do not speak for Muslims, I did not say that any where in my million + words I have writtin on the topic, they speak for the American Values, speak for America and speak for saving our nation from division cause...d by the few right wingers for their own poltical gain.
- A serious dialogue and conversation is the right thing to do and it should not be based on facts. Americans are misled by right wing gingrich, palin and their likes with their lies, once they all get the truth, Americans will stand for what is right;
1) it is not on ground zero
2) it is not a mosque
3) fox funded by same man
4) it is a political ploy
5) it's a memorial to 9/11
6) it is an interfaith chapel
7) Co-existence will be taught
8) It is open to every one to
9) It is not a seceretive place
These men and women Olberman and their likes are standing up for the truth and I hope you see that is the right thing to do.
Fox made a big deal about funding source, and turns out the same source funds them... as always Fox thrives on gossip, hate and falsities. Check this out: http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-august-23-2010/the-parent-company-trap
Do your own Fact Check..
We will advise the group hold off the project until elections are over, then the right wingers will not see any sense.
I understand your frustration and the honesty with which you have penned your thoughts.
The furor over Ground zero mosque is based on falsities propagated by my fellow Republicans and Fox News where I share my point of view. Those Ameri...cans who are against Ground Zero were duped, as they have been duped before. When they see all the facts, the emotions will subside and they will restore themselves to the American Values of liberty, justice and freedom. Already the 9/11 families are standing in support of this institution, a catalyst for change.
Peace does not mean compromising on truth, there is compromising with emotions and facts. To the Palins, Gingrichs, McCains and the others, it is not patriotism or emotions, it is all politics and they go to any extent. they lack morality to guide them.
However, as an American, I would like to see Republican majority in either senate or the house. When it was all republican in the governance we committed massive crimes of ruining our economy and causing unemployment and foreclosures. Had we had democrats in the house or senate then - there would have been discussions and perhaps, we would not have gone to war and killed 4000 of our men and women and murdered (due to war) nearly half a million Iraqis and Afghans – the criminal Bin Laden is still at large and we have killed and destroyed everything else. How goofy can we be? It is time to be self-critical.
Ground Zero is election politics, once the public rejects the right wingers again, and the public should, for the tension they have created over this building, I would hope they would learn that people are smarter than them and cannot continue to fool the Americans.
The following site is dedicated to Ground Zero
Please share the thought in my analysis that concerns you, so may address it.
Freedom is most certainly is the key for a better world and acceptance of that freedom and regard to that freedom makes it valuable.
...Indeed several nations practice intolerance towards people of other faiths and minorities and most of them happen to be in the Islamic world. Of course it is not religion that drives the loonies but their situations drive them to do wrong things and hide under the label of religion - as people of consicence we should not let them hide under such labels, as no religion teaches one to be a bad guy. Not one! Yes not one religion teaches one to be a bad guy.
The only ones that misunderstand the religion are the ones who committ wrongs and hide under the name of their religion, and the others who legitimize such cover.
It is time for the US to lead the world and create a model of co-existence and then we will have the nerve and morality to tell others. right now we do not have the morality to tell others to treat their minorities well or build a church in Bahrain when we are violating those ground rules ourselves.
Monday, August 30, 2010
By MICHAEL BARBARO
Published: August 24, 2010
Even as Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg firmly rejected calls for the relocation of a planned Muslim community center and mosque near ground zero, signs of growing division emerged on Tuesday within the political establishment in Manhattan, as the powerful speaker of the State Assembly expressed forceful opposition to the plan.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's Remarks (pdf)
When an Arab Enclave Thrived Downtown (August 25, 2010) Breaking his silence on the issue, the speaker, Sheldon Silver, a Democrat whose district includes ground zero, said the organizers’ honorable goal of healing post-Sept. 11 wounds and building bridges among faiths had instead provoked bitter fighting and raw emotions that could not be ignored.
“I think the sponsors,” Mr. Silver said at City Hall, “should take into very serious consideration the kind of turmoil that’s been created and look to compromise.”
Such a compromise, he added, would mean finding “a suitable place that doesn’t create the kind of controversy” engendered by the Park51 plan.
The opposition from Mr. Silver, a religious Jew who commands considerable influence in the city’s Democratic political world, is largely symbolic, because the city has already given its approval. But it fueled creeping doubts about the viability of the center, which faces a raft of obstacles, like paltry fund-raising, on top of the public outcry.
Mr. Silver’s remarks came on the same day that Mr. Bloomberg, the center’s most visible supporter, delivered a carefully prepared answer to the emerging voices calling for a compromise.
Speaking at a traditional dinner at Gracie Mansion as part of Ramadan, the mayor sought to tamp down the opposition and regain control over a national debate that has escalated by the day, starting as a local zoning dispute and becoming a referendum on the limits of religious tolerance in an age of terrorism.
Mr. Bloomberg, flanked by the center’s developer and the wife of its imam, said he understood the impulse to find a different location, in the hope of ending the controversy.
“But it won’t,” the mayor said. “The question will then become, ‘How big should the ‘no-mosque zone’ around the World Trade Center be?’ ”
He added: “There is already a mosque four blocks away. Should it, too, be moved? This is a test of our commitment to American values. We must have the courage of our convictions. We must do what is right, not what is easy.”
It was Mr. Bloomberg’s second major speech in three weeks supporting the plan, and its soaring tone and forceful arguments suggested that he had firmly embraced his role as a national defender of the plan for the center, even as high-profile voices have called for a re-examination of the wisdom of the current site.
Mr. Bloomberg rejected those calls, arguing that to move the center would slight American Muslims and damage the country’s standing.
“We would send a signal around the world,” he said, “that Muslim Americans may be equal in the eyes of the law, but separate in the eyes of their countrymen. And we would hand a valuable propaganda tool to terrorist recruiters, who spread the fallacy that America is at war with Islam.”
As the controversy has snowballed, the families of some Sept. 11 victims have lashed out at Mr. Bloomberg for supporting the project, saying he has lacked sensitivity to their pain.
The mayor seemed to directly address that criticism on Tuesday night. “There will always be a hole in our hearts for the men and women who perished that day,” he said, at one point acknowledging a woman in the room named Talat Hamdani, a Muslim whose son, Salman, was killed on Sept. 11.
But as he has in the past, with a mixture of compassion and impatience, Mr. Bloomberg encouraged the families of those who died to move on emotionally. New Yorkers, he said, had collectively rejected calls to make the entire World Trade Center grounds a memorial.
“We wanted the site,” he said, “to be an inspiring reminder to the world that this city will never forget our dead and never stop living.”
But even as Mr. Bloomberg sought to end the debate, prominent New York leaders urged the center’s organizers to consider an alternative site. Earlier in the day, two of those who have suggested such a compromise, Gov. David A. Paterson and Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, met to discuss the controversy.
At City Hall, Mr. Silver said, “I, along with the governor, believe very firmly that our Constitution guarantees us the right to freedom of religion and that includes the, obviously, the right to build houses of worship.”
But in a nod to Sept. 11 families, Mr. Silver added, “The sponsors ought to consider those circumstances and ought to say, ‘Let’s see if we can find something suitable that is sensitive to the issues that are being raised by some of the dissidents and see if we can place this in a different place.’ ”
As Mr. Bloomberg spoke, about 100 guests, dined on a traditional Middle Eastern menu of tomato and cucumber salad, hummus and pita, and fried feta.
At times, the mayor seemed emotional, especially as he recited words spoken by the center’s imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf, at the funeral of a slain Jewish reporter, Daniel Pearl, in which Mr. Abdul Rauf identified with Jews and Christians. As he recited a Hebrew prayer, Mr. Bloomberg’s voice began to crack.
In a brief interview, Sharif el-Gamal, the Muslim center’s developer, seemed to capture the gratitude of those in the room toward Mr. Bloomberg. “He touches my heart,” Mr. Gamal said, “every time I hear him talk about our rights as Americans and his brave and unwavering statements.”
Colin Moynihan contributed reporting.