Friday, September 10, 2010

An alternative view...

Warning.... this post has nothing to do with dogs or dog agility!

I continue to see many FB posts about stopping the building of the "ground zero" mosque. I also know that many of you feel very strongly, and I don't intend this to completely change your mind, but I would hope that it gives you an alternative view.
First, the "ground zero" mosque is not actually at "ground zero" but at 51 Park Avenue, several blocks away from the twin tower footprint-far enough that you cannot see 51 Park Ave from "ground zero." Second, the building will not be a "mosque" but a community center. Preliminary plans call for it to be an interfaith center that will have an Islamic prayer room-sort of like a YMCA or Jewish Community Center. Prior to 9-11, there was a space at 45 Park Ave that served as an overflow mosque, but that building was damaged, and no longer serves Muslims in this area.
Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, 120,000 Japanese-Americans (mostly US citizens) were forced from their homes and imprisoned in "war relocation camps." It wasn't until 1988 that then-President Reagan made a public apology and a minimal financial restitution for this. German-Americans suffered as well. During WWI, the Red-Cross excluded anyone with a "German-sounding" last name, and the Alien Registration Act of 1940 restricted the movements and property ownership of hundreds of thousands of German Amercians. In Minnesota, a Lutheran pastor was killed for praying with a dying woman in her native German language. Did we learn anything?
In a related act, a Florida church threatens to have a Qaran burning this year on September 11. What many people do not realize is that a large portion of the Qaran is actually the very same Old Testament that Christians use. It isn't until after that book of Malachi that the book diverges. (However, much of the story of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph is there as well).
Finally, I'd like to remind everyone of the Murrah Building Bombing in Oklahoma City. One of the most poignant memorials (for me) is a stature of Jesus with his back to the site of the tragedy with the inscription "Jesus Wept" placed there by St. Joseph's Catholic Chuch. What many people do not realize is that Timothy McVeigh was raised Roman Catholic and attended daily mass with his father at Good Shepherd Catholic Chuch in New York. What if the people of Oklahoma City had blamed that act of violence on his church and on his faith rather than on the warped violence of an extremist murderer? Would people have fought that statue, too?

1 comment:

  1. Very thought provoking post. I am one of those against the building. I don't know if your post will change my mind but it has certainly given me something to think about. A new perspective is always appreciated in the heat of an emotional issue such as this one. Thank you for taking the time to express it.

    Emma Rose and the Duchess