Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ground Zero Islamic Center Moves Forward

On a positive note, plans to build an Islamic cultural center a couple blocks from Ground Zero is moving forward despite critic's accusations that erecting the building so close to the site of the September 11, 2001 would be insensitive to the victims of the terrorist attacks - attacks that also claimed the lives of Muslim-Americans.  Right-wing talking heads also claimed the center was being constructed as some sort of trophy for Islamic extremists.

I thought this excerpt from a Henry Goldman article at Bloomberg was very interesting:
“I’m pleased with the decision,” said Rabbi Robert Levine, who leads Congregation Rodeph Shalom on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. “That mosque could serve, as their program director made clear, as an example of respect for all people and a model of interfaith cooperation and that’s something that this city and this country needs desperately.”

More than 2,600 people died at the World Trade Center during the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, which were planned by al- Qaeda, an Islamist terrorist group headed by Osama bin Laden, according to the U.S. 9/11 commission.

“Let us not forget that Muslims were among those murdered on 9/11 and that our Muslim neighbors grieved with us as New Yorkers and as Americans,” Bloomberg said. “We would betray our values and play into our enemies’ hands if we were to treat Muslims different than anyone else.”
It seems the only people upset with the construction of this building are right-wing "Christians" - Jewish groups seemed mostly ambivalent in regards to the project.

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