What started out as an alleged $100 million Mosque project intended to bridge relations between Muslims and others has taken a bit of a tumble. It seems this Mosque proposal, which had been marching right along may have stumbled over the slumbering American conscience. Instead of providing a ‘bridge’ to better relationships, the project may end up being the ‘smelling salts’ needed for a dazed and unfocused American public in the process of being counted out in the center of their own ring. The citizens of the United States, normally tolerant of everything, opposed to nothing, and bordering on irrelevant, are once again showing vital signs.
A couple of months ago, New York City gave its approval for construction of a 13 story Mosque near the site of 9/11. With Mayor Michael Bloomberg, President Obama, and a host of other political figures wholeheartedly promoting the building, the Mosque appeared to be ‘a done deal’. In recent days, however, many Americans are beginning to question the motive of the project, in addition to the funding and the location chosen for the Mosque.
Opponents of the Muslim center have been labeled as intolerant and prejudice, (not to mention conservative and Republican). Before the label is applied, however, it might be wise to take a breath and consider reality. The idea of bringing the world together in united and peaceful harmony is soul stirring. In fact, years ago, Coca Cola accomplished it in a music video. “I’d like to teach the world to sing… in perfect harmony…” There is nothing I would welcome more than a country where individuals of all beliefs, opinions, backgrounds, and cultures can hold hands and sing unity songs. Those kind of things only seem to happen in the movies, on Broadway, and in music videos. In reality, world unity, understanding, and agreement are non-existent.
I am certain President Obama took office thinking he would have the ability to talk sensibly with the various leaders of the world and convince them to live out the hope and platform of freedom fighter Rodney King who once said “can’t we all just get along?” He soon learned that sensibility and logic don’t always prevail. In 2009 when the citizens of Iran protested the results of their Presidential election, Iran’s government brutally squelched the protesters threatening some of them with possible execution. When President Obama openly criticized Iran’s leadership for their harsh treatment, Iran’s president basically told Obama to ‘butt out!’ and mind his own business. The quick response from Iran seemed to surprise the White House, and consequently, there wasn’t much more said by them regarding Iran’s government from that point on.
This mosque proposal is not about religious freedom, as Obama and the New York mayor insist. It involves hurt, fear, lack of respect, unresolved feelings, and the revisiting of a nation’s wounded spirits. The face of Islam is not uniformly peaceful and completely trustworthy. Some loving and innocent Muslims understand the animosity the proposed mosque is causing and they are against it. They know this mosque won’t build bridges, but will create barriers.
As the Ground Zero Imam went on a $16,000 dollar federally funded tour to promote the Ground Zero mosque, it became hard to fathom just how much more bend there can be in the backbone of America. Obama is publicly supporting this mosque In the name of religious freedom. When did our government decide that it would begin advocating religious freedom. American government does its best to stay far from this any type of religious ‘hot potato’. That is why Franklin Graham was dis-invited to the pentagon on the National Day of Prayer. What happened to his religious freedom? He was even going to pay his own way to the event? Unfortunately, Mr. Graham made some statements regarding concerns he had about certain violent and aggressive Islamic teachings and principles found in the Koran. In that same interview, Franklin Graham also adamantly restated his love for the Muslims people as well. As a result, he was told to stay home from the National Day of Prayer.
Of course, this all occurred long before the current event now playing out in Pakistan where the American government sits uncomfortably squirming in their political seats, as a Christian woman, Asia Bibi, has been condemned to death by hanging. Her crime, you ask? She allegedly blasphemed the prophet Allah. Why, the primetime networks blaspheme the Lord 20 or 30 times every evening; in fact, they get paid to do it. The American people hang on every word, but Asia Bibi, will hang as the result of her words, unless it is halted.
Rauf went on to state that terrorism will cease only when we acknowledge the harm we have brought to Muslims. He also stated that Christians started the concept of mass attacks on innocent civilians. For his harsh words, Rauf is got an all expenses paid tour to promote the building of the Ground Zero Mosque…. in the name of religious freedom!
In light of these events, I can honestly tell you that my anger regarding this proposed mosque has slowly been replaced by optimism and a new found hope in this country. My hope is that peace will prevail as the protests regarding the building site of the Mosque continue. My optimism, however, is fueled by the stirring of the American conscience in the middle of the ring. This U.S. boxer sprawled in the middle of the ring had been flat on his back; he was dazed and dopey, not attempting to rise, because he was unaware that he was down. The Ground zero Mosque proposal seems to have snapped his head back to reality. it looks like he is getting to his feet. Only time will tell if he will get up in time to beat the ten count… but somehow I like his chances.