I know what I heard, a long awaited question and answer session regarding the Ground Zero Mosque. It was an interesting exchange between the Imam and CNN’s Soledad O’Brien on the Larry King Show last night. I felt the Imam did a good job at conveying his message and found his sincerity quite believable and heartfelt. I believe Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is a man of integrity and has a long history of peace making efforts and was very poignant in his delivery.
As I was watching though, I could pick out the comments that I knew would be demonized and took out of context by the opposition. Depending on your own perspective determines what you would take away from his message. Although the Imam did a good job, I am not sure he did a great job of swaying people’s opinions. If you sat down to watch that interview opposed to the Mosque, he probably did little to change your mind.
I, on the other hand sat down to watch the interview in favor of the Mosque. I walked away more determined than ever to show my support. Don’t get me wrong, I completely sympathize with the families of 9/11. I understand how they came to the feelings that they have. But those feelings are based on misinformation and lack of understanding. They are not able to separate peace loving American Muslims, from radical Muslims. They are treating ALL Muslims as terrorists, when the truth is, American Muslims were also victims on that horrific day.
History has taught us what hate and intolerance can do. This kind of opposition is nothing new. We have gone through it throughout history with the Jews, Catholics, African Americans, homosexuals and the list goes on. Every time, tolerance and acceptance won out over bigotry and ignorance. I, for one, want to be on the right side of history.