Friday, August 20, 2010

The Mosque Controversy

I've been holding myself back this past week from commenting on the ongoing "ground zero mosque" controversy because I don't really like getting too worked up about current events, but I can't hold back any longer in the face of such glaring ignorance, stupidity, bigotry and small mindedness.

As Jews we should be even more sensitive than others when it comes to the government or angry masses dictating to people where they can or cannot build a house of worship.
The fact that masses just swallow every stupid word they hear from right wing talk radio hosts hook line and sinker scares me.
The fact that it's even called the ground zero mosque doesn't make any sense.
It's in middle of a bustling downtown and is 2 blocks removed from ground zero. When was the last time you were at the Empire State Building? Did you notice what was going on on 32nd st? Exactly. And yet you hear all these people saying "I don't want to see a mosque when I come to this hallowed ground as if the crescent will be embedded on the needle on top of the freedom tower.

And to the comparison of building a German culture center in Aushwitz.
Here's how I see it.
Imagine it's 1934 and some brave German moderate anti Hitler group goes ahead an builds a center that promotes a more tolerant Germany on the doorstep of Dachau..oh I'd welcome that with open arms.

The utter ignorance of the complicated workings of the Islamic world and a the use of a broad black brushstroke to color all muslims as one and the same is stereotyping at it's worst.
If people would only learn history they'd know that there have been golden ages in our past where Jews and Muslims lived very well together and fed off one another intellectually.
How many people even heard of Sufism, (the type of Islam practiced by the head of this mosque)?
Did you know that The Chovos Halvovos and Rabbi Avraham Ben HaRambam were greatly influenced by it's teachings?

There are radical strains and more moderate strains in Islam and Al Quaida sees these moderate strains as much as an enemy as they do any other group. All you have to do is look at Iraq where radicals are blowing up anything that smacks of being moderate.
Why on earth would we be making enemies of a more moderate muslim group in a time like this is beyond me. We should be doing all we can to encourage more moderate forms of islam.

The attack of September 11th was an attack by a terrorist organization that has a radical interpretation of Islam on all people of the world that don't ascribe to their beliefs. If this cultural center were to have been destroyed by the 9/11 attacks they would have danced on the ruins with the same zeal that they danced on the ruins of the world trade center.
This makes them my brothers in this conflict that grips the world.

I know this is not going to be a popular post but I believe this very strongly and I hope that one day when the mobs come for the Jews someone, somewhere will stand up and say something on my behalf.



Blogger Chezky said...

Good to hear someone speaking up. (Whether I agree is another story.)

Alan Dershowitz, in his book "Chutzpah", aptly notes that Sephardi Jews have -on the whole- had a lot less persecution over the last thousand years than their Askenazic brethren. Worth digressing.

August 22, 2010 10:21 PM  
Blogger Mystery Woman said...

I could have guessed where you stand on this...

August 23, 2010 2:22 PM  
Anonymous Ruth.E said...

Well said, David. Well said.

August 23, 2010 10:24 PM  
Anonymous Sara said...

I am so glad to see someone writing this. I was sitting at my parents' house where they were watching Fox and there was a clip of one of the protests, and right before it ended there was a man with a Kippah holding a sign and shouting. I was so disgusted, for all the reasons you already wrote. May these people grow some sechel very very quickly.

September 19, 2010 6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David, I think you need to educate yourself a little more on the issues.

For example: Do you realize that the building IS ground zero? It WAS HIT by debris of the attack on 9/11?

Do you know their history, and their penchant for building "victory mosques" (read up on Cordoba, Spain - and figure out why they called this project "the Cordoba House" originally.)

Do you also realize that thousands of terrorist attacks around the WORLD - almost ALL are perpetrated in the name of ISLAM?

Did you ever watch the MEMRI translated films, word for word translations, of their Imams fatwahs, kindergarten (hate!) songs, and such?

So while I do not hate individual MUSLIMS, I am scared of, and hate, the culture that ISLAM has created. That takes away the peace of this world.

If you educate yourself, truly, truly read, any and all sides of the story, you will see that there is no such a thing as "radical islam". And most ex-mulsims are the ones that are trying to bring THAT FACT to our attention... as we're too stupid (and mired in guilt, thinking that we wouldn't want any opposition to a synagogue built.. although last time I checked, Jewish worshippers do not go around the world killing people in the name of the Torah) to see it for what it is.

And if Rauf truly wants to build bridges, he should back away from the plan that tramples on the feelings of 9/11 families... Legitimage feelings of "If terrorists killed, in the name of Islam, my relatives here, they should have the decency not to come and dance on their grave with their Mosque".

October 06, 2010 2:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read It's an eye-opener - trust me.

October 06, 2010 2:43 AM  

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