We have to respect and honor the sentiments of every one who was a victim of terrorism and their friends and relatives who have suffered through 9/11. In behalf of the men and women who have lost their loved ones, a few are genuinely opposing the building of the community Center, a few are Altruistic and want the center to stand out as a beacon of hope and peace and yet a few are falling prey to the political opportunists. At the end, if we envision an America that is good for all, we have to consider dropping the “me, me, and me” and yield to what is good for America, in the long haul. Everything you want to know about Ground zero is at: http://groundzeromosque.blogspot.com/
Critical Questions about Ground Zero
A conversation between Greg Stone and Mike Ghouse
Greg, thanks for your questions and I am pleased to respond to each one of your concern or question in the dialogue format.
Greg: and it is hardly heinous behavior to ask for respect for the feelings of those who suffered.
Mike: We have to respect and honor the sentiments of every one who was a victim of terrorism and their friends and relatives who have suffered through 9/11. In behalf of the men and women who have lost their loved ones, a few are genuinely opposing the building of the community Center, a few are Altruistic and want the center to stand out as a beacon of hope and peace and yet a few are falling prey to the political opportunists. At the end, if we envision an America that is good for all, we have to consider dropping the “me, me, and me” and yield to what is good for America, in the long haul.
By the way there is a new coalition in the making supported by 9/11 Families who do not want mis-application of Patriotism in this issue. http://groundzeromosque.blogspot.com/2010/08/coalition-in-support-of-park51.html
Greg: If Truth is the path to peace then there can be no harm in the opponents of the project asking difficult questions and receiving honest answers.
Mike: That is my stand as well. Indeed, we have to check the motivation of those who are opposed, which is political. If you have surfed the net, you might reasonably conclude that the ones opposing are the right wing Republicans like Palin, Gingrich, Paladino, Corker, Tancredo, Rowe, McCain and others. They are the losers in 2008 elections and shamefully the right wing extremist voices in the Republican Party prevail, the moderate republicans are shamelessly silent on the issue. It is the ploy of the right wing republicans to gain a few seats at the cost of messing with the social fabric of the nation.
Greg: I found it to be snarky, dishonest, lacking in respect, and basically politically motivated garbage.
Mike: That is another point of view we have to factor in.
Greg: If the site of the mosque is not Ground Zero then why did the planners cite the location as being significant to their plans?
Mike: First of all the initiative to build the center was in the works much before 9/11, and like you, me or any American that buys properties on the market for sale; they bought this piece of land.
Greg: Why did they choose the site as a place to address and heal 9/11? And did not a piece of the plane that smashed into the towers land on that building? If a piece of the attack plane landed there.
Mike: A piece of plane fell on every building there, should we shut down all the buildings in the area? There is McDonalds, Burger King and hundreds of stores around Ground Zero. Why pick on this building? Is it because it yields political opportunity? Is it because it lends prejudices can surface in disguise of mis-applied patriotism? As Americans should we let bigotry prevail?
Greg: I believe it qualifies as Ground Zero.
Mike: I honor your sentiments, however the commissioners have voted 28:1 (have to verify this number – I have the article) and have granted the permit and have categorically said it does not qualify to be ground zero. If this were Ground Zero, all businesses within the same circle as this center around Ground Zero have to be shut down, then I am for it, but to single out this building goes against the values of America.
Greg: So to mock those who oppose it on that basis and to carry on with snide ridicule is dishonest and disrespectful. You surely do not support that, do you?
Mike: I do not devalue those who oppose (my statement above) and I can bet anything on it that it is politically motivated by the opportunist and that I do not value. As Americans we should not let these men and women abuse “Patriotism and Religion” to their advantage. Had Lincoln yielded to the pressures, we would not have had the civil rights, although the constitution offered equal rights to all, we still abused it by denying the rights to the women and African Americans. A lot of negative popular movements have been rectified by the courts, as they were fraught with mis-applied motivation of religion or politics (Google).
Greg: The fact that it is a cultural center plus a mosque does not mean it is not a mosque
Mike: It is a cultural center with a space for worship. Read below this Para.
What if it is a Mosque? Is any one dare enough to tell me that the American Muslims are on that SOB Bin Laden’s team? So they cannot have the Mosque? How dumb could it be to equate a foreign criminal with Americans? Can any one say a bold faced lie like that? That SOB Bin Laden pulled two of our symbolic buildings down and murdered nearly 3000 Americans; He is still at large. We need to find this criminal and punish him instead of ruining the fabric of our society. Muslims do not like this evil man, he not only maligned Islam by wearing the label of Islam, but he also fanned the prejudices against Muslims. He is the Villain and not anyone else and we need to get him.
It is not a mosque and it is not on Ground Zero. It is a Community Center, an interfaith chapel, a memorial for the 9/11, a pool for the community, an auditorium to hold conferences, a place to teach pluralism and co-existence and also place for Muslim prayers - above all it is open to the public.
It is a shrine and it is a catalyst to create a society we desire to live in with respect for every one of the 301 Million Americans.
Greg: I have heard Muslims, in increasing numbers, say that they, too, suspect the project is supported by Islamists, Jihadists, and others who have political, not religious, intentions.
Mike: We are Americans, each one of us has a right to oppose and support. Even if all Muslims in America oppose it, we still have to think what America is all about– was slavery the right thing? Was bigotry the right thing? Wasn’t women’s emancipation the right thing?
Greg: Why do you think it is not appropriate for opponents to have their questions answered in this regard?
Mike: It is very appropriate to have debates and every one has the right to oppose and the right to support. I have never said it is not appropriate to oppose.
Greg: Unless, of course, you do not care to bring peace. In that case, this is a great article as you say. It ups the divisions, it ups the disrespect, and it ups the hostility. Not such a great article.
Mike: I care to work for long term peace and we do not have to pander to the pettiness of the opportunists. There was tremendous hostility towards JFK for doing the right thing; it was the same towards Lincoln, it was against Gandhi and there was hostility towards that terrorist “MLK” (as they had called him) for fighting for the civil rights for all Americans. Over the time, people realize and appreciate what America Stands for; equal treatment of all citizens and liberty and Justice to every American. That is who we are, a nation founded on the righteous principles and we should stand by it and not pander to the inner devil of bias within us.