On The Mosque Near Ground Zero

On The Mosque Near Ground Zero

"The proposed mosque near ground zero drew hundreds of fever-pitch demonstrators Sunday, with opponents carrying signs associating Islam with blood, supporters shouting, "Say no to racist fear!" and American flags waving on both sides ... " --The Associated Press.

My gut feeling at the moment is that the mosque planned for a site two blocks from New York City's ground zero will either not be built at all or will be moved. I am not a booster for the building of religious buildings, because places of worship seem to divide us more -- and not bring us together. I am a defender of rights, the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution. The Bill of Rights guarantees to every American the right to worship freely without intimidation. This anti-ground zero mosque protest is really an anti-Muslim protest, as the building of mosques in communities across America have come under attack by religious and cultural bigots. If American Muslims want to build a mosque on a site that meets all the local zoning laws, then they have the right to do so, period. Whether they should do so is a separate question. But they should not be intimidated in deciding whether to build and where to build.

Some Republican and Tea Party leaders are sending the terrible message that it is OK to be a bigot and a racist. They are, in so many words, saying that it is OK to create fear and hate, and unrest for the sake of campaigning for a few votes. This is retro-politics, going back to the dark ages of American politics, when demagogues railed against minorities in order to win elections, and to sell books, and to make money for themselves. Is there any difference between the politics of fear, hate, the use of hyper-charge rhetoric mastered by an old version of George Wallace and today's politics of Newt Gingrich? No there isn't. Is there any difference between the hate stirred up by Sarah Palin and the hate fermented by the old White Citizens Councils of the Civil Rights era South? No there is no difference. Is there any difference between the virulent bigotry of the early Ku Klux Klan, with its hatred for Americans whom were not white Protestants like them, and their use of threats, violence and intimidation against African-Americans, Jews and Catholics, and the vile and wicked hate stirred up by certain tea party activists (Tea Party Express) against American Muslims? No, there is not.

One should not let a gang of bigots and racists claim 9-11. Remembrance of that event isn't their exclusive property. 9-11 was an assault on America, on all Americans. All means all. How 9-11 is remembered and how those who died and those who sacrificed are remembered must not be left to the bigots. People of all faiths died on 9-l1, including American Muslims. Bigots and racists bring shame to America. They are a disgrace to America, to our country, which they claim to hold dear.