On mosque, U.S. should stand on moral high ground
By Mike Ghouse July 26, 2010; 5:37 PM ET
Published at Washington Post
Who are the folks opposing or supporting the Mosque near Ground Zero? The revelations are as clear as the day light, while the religious leaders are speaking boldly for freedom and co-existence, the right wing politicians have gone berserk and hanging on to tiny branches to save their political careers, and it is an abuse of Patriotism to have political gains.
If you have surfed through the internet, you might reasonably conclude that the ones opposing are the right wing Republicans like Palin, Gingrich, Paladino, Corker, Tancredo, Rowe, McCain and others. They continue to fall in the abyss of ignorance and are out of touch with the American public. The pied piper Limbaugh had led them once and his cooked up support will blind them again.
Until they come up with concrete alternative solutions for the difficulties our nation is facing, they will continue to hang on to anything they "perceive" will save them. The American public does not like divisive politics and I hope they understand and honor it, and become conflict mitigaters and goodwill nurturers.
Senator Croker writes, "These Muslims will stand inside their mosque and "gloat" over their "victory" and plot and plan more mayhem and murder!" Another one writes "Would Muslims in any part of the world let the Jews or Christians build a Church/Synagogue". Gingrich writes, "America is experiencing an Islamist cultural-political offensive designed to undermine and destroy our civilization." Not to be left behind, Sarah Palin appeals to the Muslims on twitter, "Peace-seeking Muslims, pls understand, Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts." There seems to be a competition among the right wing Republicans as to who can be the ugliest twister.
It is time for the moderate Republicans to speak up and wrestle out party leadership from the right wingers for survival. As Americans, our loyalty ought to be for our system of checks and balances. It is in the interest of sustainable and just policies to have each house run by Republicans and Democrats respectively. Most mistakes by our government have occurred when all the three branches of government were run by the same party. Monopoly in governance leads the other to resort to divisive politics.
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 creating a deficit and ruining our economy with the war. Bin Laden is the most hated guy for American Muslims than anyone else; he has provoked prejudice towards Muslims and has made their lives miserable. The right wingers on the other hand will pull all of us Americans down from the moral high grounds we have held for nearly a century and sink us in bigotry. We have stood up for the Holocaust survivors, the refugees and the oppressed people in Bosnia and elsewhere in the world.
The right wingers have made their business to mislead us, and now they are bent on making an issue out of a cultural center like the YMCA or the JCC and calling it a mosque as if it is not a place of worship and a dungeon where the public is not allowed. In reality, it is an open place where they will teach co-existence and pluralism and will be open to all Americans. The Republican PAC has produced a commercial that mixes the Muslim call for prayer with the destruction of our twin towers. This is destructively divisive. The center is not on the spot of Ground Zero but two blocks down. Does speaking the truth weaken them?
This is the very reason we need to support the Mosque to show to the world what freedom of religion means: to demonstrate our spirit of liberty and set an example of how a nation treats its minorities.
It also paves the way for critical thinking that we can distinguish between terrorists and Muslims, doctor killers and the Christians, Fred Phelps and Christianity.
America has led the world in Science, technology, innovation and has remained a beacon of morality and a defender of human rights. Our constitution is an exemplary document of democracy and now the time has come to lead the world in Pluralism and co-existence.
The other nations need to look up to us and not the other way around. We need to set higher standards of civility and NOT stoop down to the level of Talibans or some dictators and monarchs around the world. If we want other nations to behave, we need to lead the way. We need to stand tall and on a moral high ground and be an example of morality and civility to the world.
Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a write on Pluralism and Islam and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day; a frequent guest on the media. His work can be found in three websites and 22 blogs listed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/