For months now, New Yorkers (as well as other Americans) have been more than a little upset about the plans to construct a 13 story community center and mosque a scant two blocks from Ground Zero (in the place of a building damaged during the September 11th attacks).
The project is a collaboration between the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Cordoba Initiative, both of which work to improve relations of followers of the religion.
Intended to be opened on September 11th, 2011 (the tenth anniversary of the dreaded attack), the building has drawn alt of criticism over its intended construction.
Pamela Geller, spokesperson for the group Stop the Islamicization of America told the New York Post:
"What could be more insulting and humiliating than a monster mosque in the shadow of the World Trade Center buildings that were brought down by an Islamic jihad attack? Any decent American, Muslim or otherwise, wouldn't dream of such an insult. It's a stab in the eye of America."
Yet despite the very vocal protests of new Yorkers, Daisy Khan- executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement – claims that the project is a go.
"For us, it's a symbol, a platform that will give voice to the silent majority of Muslims who suffer at the hands of extremists. A center will show that Muslims will be part of rebuilding lower Manhattan," said Khan, adding that Cordoba will be open to everyone.
"We were pleased to see that the community welcomed us as an asset to lower Manhattan," she added. "The community board approved it.
Questions have been popping up ever since the May 1st committee hearing where the community center/mosque received it’s afore mentioned approval, including inquiries about the funding of the project as well as the intentions of the Imam heading up the whole project.
Show me the money…
With a project budget at over $100 million, questions- both by private citizens and public officials- are being asked by the groups behind this little project as to exactly how they are intending to pay for this whole project.
In an op-ed for CNN, former US representative Rick Lazio had this to say on the matter:
“... The Cordoba Initiative has reported less than $20,000 in assets. Where the $100 million for his project would come from is anybody's guess. Furthermore, it's fair to ask why, exactly, Imam Rauf has insisted on building the mosque so close to ground zero, and why he wants to unveil it on the 10th anniversary of the attacks. This not an issue of religious freedom, but rather a question of safety and security.
New Yorkers deserve to be safe and to feel safe, and we have a right to know who's footing the bill for Imam Rauf's project. Are foreign governments or other organizations involved? And why is there such secrecy about the source of the money?
The Cordoba Initiative is legally required to file disclosure reports with the office of the attorney general, and it could easily be asked under state law to open its books for the office if Cuomo would simply make that request…”
Who’s Imam Rauf…
Many of you- like me- have no idea who Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is, let alone why his intention in building a mosque so close to Ground Zero is such a big deal.
So let’s just see what’s up with ol’ Feisal:
Noted Arab and Muslim leader, Imam Rauf has been a leader in the New York Islamic scene since 1983.
Shortly after the September 11th attacks, Feisal stated on 60 Minutes:
“Fanaticism and terrorism have no place in Islam" and went on to say, "I wouldn't say that the United States deserved what happened, but the United States policies were an accessory to the crime that happened."
In 2004, Feisal announced while preaching at his mosque that “…The Islamic method of waging war is not to kill innocent civilians. But it was Christians in World War II who bombed civilians in Dresden and Hiroshima, neither of which were military targets,” as well as claiming that unless the United states gave an “American culpa” to the Islamic world ‘… "An endless supply of angry young Muslim rebels prepared to die for their cause and there [is] no sign of the attacks ending unless there [is] a fundamental change in the world".
And again, in June of 2010 Imam Rauf went on WABC radio and- when asked about whether or not he would be willing to condemn the universally recognized terror group Hamas- publicly stated that “"I'm not a politician. I try to avoid the issues. The issue of terrorism is a very complex question... I am a peace builder. I will not allow anybody to put me in a position where I am seen by any party in the world as an adversary or as an enemy.”
Now… I wonder why anyone might have a few questions as to this guys fundraising or motivations…
Forgive… but never forget…
There is just something not right about building a mosque at Ground Zero.
For me, it would be like Conan being OK with Thulsa Doom building one of his snake obelisks over his father’s grave.
Not that I have an issue with Muslims or anything. Really, it isn’t…
Just think that the idea of replacing a building damaged by the World Trade Center collapsing after the September 11th attacks with a temple intended to praise the God the attackers believed commanded such attack is kind of crass… and that is if this Imam Rauf isn’t feeding us a line of bullshit and really does have the best of intentions.
I mean, let’s be blunt…
It wasn’t just by some lucky happenstance that there is a vacant lot just begging to be built on in the dead center of Manhattan. The lot is available because damn near ten years ago 19 motherfuckers who all were really sure that the will of Allah commanded them to crash hijacked airliners into the WTC in order to teach America a lesson its immorality.
I would have the same objections if it was Born Again Christians were behind the plot to knock down the towers and now, because some fucked up sense of self loathing brought about by our insane need to be tolerant of everything (even the grossly insane), we allow a group who sympathizes with the attackers’ cause to build one of those huge stadium churches.
In short, objecting to the building of a mosque at Ground Zero is not xenophobic, bigoted, or insensitive…
It is just a demand for a little class.
To build a mosque at Ground zero is wrong because it was in the name of the very faith that that mosque stands for that there is a need to build stuff on that site in the first place.
It is insulting.
Feel free to build the mosque anywhere else in New York City that you feel like…
Just don’t do it at Ground Zero…