Leave it to our good friend, Michael Moore: he sure knows how to pour oil on troubled waters.
The 56 year-old filmmaker and promoter of liberal causes has decided to jump into the fray over whether a mosque should be built on a site two blocks away from Ground Zero in New York City. And he’s done so in his typically boorish, Michael Moor-ish manner.
Moore’s take on the subject: don’t build that mosque near ground zero; build it on ground zero.
On Saturday, September 11, 2010 – coincidentally the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks that killed 3,000 people and brought down the World Trade Center’s twin towers – Moore posted an “open letter” entitled “If the ‘Mosque’ Isn’t Built, This Is No Longer America” to his daily OpenMike blog on MichaelMoore.com. In this long, rambling, and sometimes barely coherent missive, Moore says he is opposed to building the mosque near ground zero.
“I want it built on Ground Zero,” he writes.
“Why?” Moore continues. “Because I believe in an America that protects those who are the victims of hate and prejudice. I believe in an America that says you have the right to worship whatever God you have, wherever you want to worship. And I believe in an America that says to the world that we are a loving and generous people and if a bunch of murderers steal your religion from you and use it as their excuse to kill 3,000 souls, then I want to help you get your religion back. And I want to put it at the spot where it was stolen from you.”
Good solid reasoning here, I guess. Moore’s “open letter” continues for another thousand or so words, all designed in Michael Moore’s highly abrasive manner, to inflame the passions of both sides involved in the controversy over the proposed building of the New York Islamic Center near Ground Zero.
I’ll let Moore’s words speak for themselves. Here are some of his more interesting and salient points:
“…There’s been so much that’s been said about this manufactured controversy, I really don’t want to waste any time on this day of remembrance talking about it. But I hate bigotry and I hate liars, and so in case you missed any of the truth that’s been lost in this, let me point out a few facts:
“…This is not going to be a “mosque,” it’s going to be a community center. It will have the same prayer room in it that’s already there. But to even have to assure people that “it’s not going to be mosque” is so offensive, I now wish they would just build a 111-story mosque there…”
“…Guess who has helped the Muslims organize their plans for this community center? The JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER of Manhattan…!”
“…The Imam in charge of this project is the nicest guy you’d ever want to meet…”
“…There is a McDonald’s two blocks from Ground Zero. Trust me, McDonald’s has killed far more people than the terrorists…”
“…During an economic depression or a time of war, fascists are extremely skilled at whipping up fear and hate and getting the working class to blame “the other” for their troubles… One in five Americans now believe [sic] Obama is a Muslim and 41% of Republicans don’t believe he was born here…”
“…Blaming a whole group for the actions of just one of that group is anti-American. Timothy McVeigh was Catholic. Should Oklahoma City prohibit the building of a Catholic Church near the site of the former federal building that McVeigh blew up…?”
“… Let’s face it, all religions have their whackos. Catholics have O’Reilly, Gingrich, Hannity and Clarence Thomas (in fact all five conservatives who dominate the Supreme Court are Catholic)…. But we don’t judge whole religions on just the actions of their whackos. Unless they’re Methodists…”
“Friends, we all have a responsibility NOW to make sure that Muslim community center gets built. Once again, 70% of the country (the same number that initially supported the Iraq War) is on the wrong side and want the “mosque” moved….”
…And on. And on. And on…
In order to ensure he’s takes seriously on this issue, Moore is putting his money where his mouth – or keyboard, as the case may be – is. He’s vowed to match the first $10,000 that’s donated to a non-profit, tax exempt fund he’s set up to contribute to the building of the mosque.
I guess Michael Moore just can’t help himself. The director and producer of a series of blatantly left-wing documentary films including Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11, Sicko, and Capitalism: A Love Story seems hell-bent on jumping with both feet into this sensitive and controversial issue. And he does so in his usual enraging and ham-fisted manner.
I think Michael Moore could have – and should have – taken the high road here, and provided a thoughtful and insightful analysis of the entire controversy, perhaps using his formidable filmmaking skills to present a well-reasoned examination of both sides of the issue. But he didn’t. Instead, he poured verbal gasoline on a still smoldering issue that shows no signs of cooling off any time soon. And I think that’s grossly irresponsible on his part.
The entire issue of whether a mosque should be built near Ground Zero is an important one that deserves serious and thoughtful consideration. It goes to the very core of the fundamental ideals that make America great – freedom of worship and expression; and the rights of minority groups vs. the desires of the majority.
I am personally still undecided on this issue. I understand the constitutional issues involved, and I appreciate how sensitive this matter is to people in the local communities. I continue to listen closely to arguments from both sides before I make up my mind.
One thing is for certain, though: I will not be listening to the inflammatory ravings of Michael Moore.
“If The ‘Mosque’ Isn’t Built, This Is No Longer America” by Michael Moore; posted to his daily OpenMike blog at MichaelMoore.com
Trending: Build Islamic Center on Groud Zero, says Moore – cnn.com article