Skip to comments.New York Mosque Should only be a community center, ‘not’ a mosque: A Muslim’s point of view.
Posted on 09/12/2010 7:01:33 PM PDT by HushTX
As a Muslim it is my sincere wish Park 51 not be used as an official mosque. This decision must be made immediately to save the nation from an anxiety ridden divisive debate and also to spare the 9/11 victims families ongoing anguish. I believe I am not the only muslim who feels this way about this difficult issue. We all know everyone is well within their rights to establish a place of worship virtually any place they wish but there is something far more important in this particular case which is getting sidelined as we all get caught up in the increasingly loud and polarizing discussion about rights and liberties. In my mind what is being neglected is peoples sensitivities. Not too long ago a vicious and horrific terrorist attack was carried out on the soul of America hitting us deeper than we we ever thought was possible and changing forever, the way we look at foreigners, particularly muslims, as it was quickly determined the terrorists who carried out the attacks were muslims.
From their perspective the terrorists were successful beyond their wildest imagination. They not only killed almost 3,000 innocent civilians of 70 nationalities and almost all religious backgrounds, strategically, they also accomplished something else. They succeeded in preying on vulnerable minds to sow the seeds of hatred directed at all followers of Islam. For a moment I hated myself. I had to remind myself I am not one of those fanatics but the damage was done. I will have to walk in shame for ever. I knew I could never look in the eyes of the mothers who lost their sons and daughters. I could never face the little children whose parents perished in that inferno. My family and I cried, so did most muslims all over the world, as we saw television images of little children a few days after the attacks carrying poster signs painted by little hands Has any one seen my mommy? or My Dad is missing. Please let me know if you see him. If those images did not tear your heart to pieces than you were not human. Yet as spectacularly successful was their attack and as diabolical their strategy to create an environment of hatred for muslims in the US, miraculously they failed. Cooler, more mature and stronger minds prevailed. While certain people took advantage of the situation and pandered to widespread paranoia and fueled mistrust and xenophobia playing on weak minds, people devoted to the principles of human and civil rights spoke up. While some leaders labeled Islam as the devils religion others stood up and fought whatever the media could throw at their fellow citizens who were now under siege. This was after all the USA. These outspoken intellectuals came from all ranks of the public and stood fast. They made us stronger. We have the strongest army in the world with the most sophisticated weaponry but the collective moral courage of our citizens is even mightier.
It is the same people who, today have come out in large numbers to support the mosque. They are indeed true American heroes. I could never fault them. But what kind of a place of worship is built when it tramples the wishes of the people around it? Why would I want to build a monument to God that serves as constant reminder of the irreversible pain some fanatics inflicted on us? How can a mosque be built in a place where every time some people see it they feel a sharp jab in their hearts? Is it just to prove a point regarding constitutional rights? For Muslims a mosque is a place of quiet and peaceful worship. It is a place where a person is supposed to pray in total submission to Allah. I am supposed to have washed myself before entering the prayer hall. Not only cleansed myself of the dirt and grime and pollution by rinsing with water but also made sure I have not hurt a human being on my way to the masjid. Can I pray with a heavy heart? Will I be able to say my prayers in peace inside the mosque when I know there is a woman grieving outside on the sidewalk whos young pregnant daughter lost her life only 7 years ago and who will never live down that pain? Is this how I share in her suffering by flaunting my constitutional right in her face? This is not the Islam I have followed and practiced.
We Muslims are a strange bunch. We feel everything but most of us never speak up. And when we do most us are not very articulate. But we do feel very strongly about situations that affect humanity. We too are grounded in goodness. We are the silent and the meek. It is not surprising the famous rock and roll photographer Pete Sanders called Islam a silent religion. He was so taken by silent worship he embraced the religion. We are America. We drive cabs, work in construction and in restaurants and open up small businesses. We work as physicians and software programmers and architects and engineers. We like to laugh and enjoy life. We focus on our childrens schooling and success. We are just normal, average people, like anyone else. But still, primarily we stay quiet. But I feel very confident, if our homeland is ever attacked, we will be amongst the first ones to stand up and fight. I know I will.
I believe Park 51 can be a huge and positive contribution to an otherwise ghost town section of Manhattan if it is used as a community center; as a museum and a place where Islamic art can be showcased. It will revive the area and bring prosperity and light to a place suffering from economic darkness. I would also like to see a permanent section dedicated to the innocent people who died on 9/11 and to their surviving families, a place for quiet contemplation with a guest book for visitors to sign.
I emphasize that because I have noticed posters on FR have a tendency to attack the poster as though they wrote the content.
I am posting this because I found this post interesting, and while I am not 100% on board with the writer, I think it is worth reading regardless. It begs many more questions than it answers, but it is one of the few points of view like this I have come across. I thought my fellow FReepers would appreciate the chance to read and discuss it.
1) Freepers always attack the piece not the poster, unless the post is a waste of bandwidth.
2) Community Center = Mosque
2.1) Community Center = Mosque = Recruitment Center for Radical Military Operations against America
Yeah, sorry I made a general statement when I didn’t mean to.
What I meant was that I have seen instances of some people thinking the person who posted the content wrote or agrees with the content.
And I agree with you 100%. He can call it what he wants, but if it is a “community center” oriented on Islamic culture, it’s a mosque, regardless of a lack of religious practice. Under the concept of taqiyya, there can be no separation.
A rose by any other name..........
Then where is it from?
You do not link to a source. I did Google searches for a few text strings from the piece and the only hits are on this FR thread.
The reason they are not articulate enough to speak up is the torrets like symptoms they show. Like screaming “Death to America” every time they see a camera.
Why? Because a peaceful community center set up by people who are meek and good in heart will be commandeered by people who are neither meek nor good. What are those weakings going to do when some new Imam is sent to "take care" of the facility? Is there suddenly a shortage of mullahs who dislike the USA?
Besides, a community center will be a slippery slope. There will be so much space inside the facility that it's inevitable that some rooms will be allocated for prayers, thus making it a de-facto mosque. It's marginally possible to stop the project now, but how do you forbid specific use of rooms within a completed private building, years down the road? There is no way to forbid that.
There is no URL to the source, so I have no idea who wrote it, but such a moderate muslim should simply say "we sinned, and as a penance we give up the right to build a mosque here." This seems to be very obvious.
There are certainly times when what you describe does happen, unfortunately.
But more often than not, the commenter posts a reply to comment #1 (the original poster), but the text of the reply addresses the author of the article in the second person ("you"), so it looks like the comment is written to the OP, even though it is not.
Meanwhile, my comment on the article is (speaking to the author):
That's all well and good sentiment, but how about taking some action to see that your point of view takes hold?
An opinion piece on a blog post is a lazy man's way to take a stand. How about doing something?
Otherwise, you implicitly allow the opinion of most of your Muslim brethren -- that the Ground Zero Victory Mosque should be built -- to dominate.
(IMO, anyone who does not see that this project is a clear and evil attempt to plaster "See, we beat you!" over the remains of those who died in the 9/11 attacks is blind.)
I am in complete agreement that a blog post falls far short of what this writer needs to do to achieve his “goal.”
But I AM curious how he came to an idea like this. What are the chances it’s just a way to get people to “relax” about the whole mess? Does he understand that ANY Islamic presence there will be viewed the same way, especially since Imam Rauf has blatantly ignored the injury he is causing pushing through?
I doubt it.
I’m quite happy when I hear supporters of this project refer to it as a community center rather than a mosque. If it’s a community center, then the religious freedom argument goes out the window.
That is an EXCELLENT point that I hadn’t considered! I love it!
Oh, it's surely the case that there are reasonable people who happen to have been born into Muslim families, who view the world like reasonable people despite their faith in Islam. Perhaps this fellow is one such.
I am not ready to believe than every Muslim is a fanatic, either vocally or silently. There -have- to be a fair number of them who are not insane.
The problem is that in their silence, they are made non-existent in terms of their effect on the world.
> What are the chances its just a way to get people to relax about the whole mess?
Could be, that's an interesting conjecture.
> Oh, it's surely the case that there are reasonable people who happen to have been born into Muslim families, who view the world like reasonable people despite their faith in Islam. Perhaps this fellow is one such. I am not ready to believe than every Muslim is a fanatic, either vocally or silently. There -have- to be a fair number of them who are not insane.
I notice over here: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2588022/posts that the general consensus is that every Muslim is indeed a fanatic, that there is no such thing as what I described above.
I don't think I'll post to that thread. :)
[Runs back to bedroom to find asbestos underwear, in anticipation of incoming flames on -this- thread...]
Not everyone who grows up in a Muslim culture ends up a fanatical Muslim.
I grew up in the Middle East and there are few people as opposed to Islamic expansion as I am.
But then, I wasn’t raised a Muslim. Maybe that’s the difference. Of course, with the various views on Christianity, it’s possible a similar phenomenon has developed within Islam. Still, the theory is not enough to make me trust ANY of what is going on.
There are other places. There are thousands of Mosques in the United States. We have been gracious hosts. There are NO Christian Churches in Saudi Arabia... think ABOUT THAT for a minute.
It's easier to throw away good will than to get it back. Young innocent Muslim children will pay the price in rejection caused by their stupid, insensitive elders. Shame on radical Muslim adults. Shame on them for hurting their own children. My suggestion is for the quiet good people who just happen to be Muslim - to start exerting pressure on the jerks who make the big calls. This 'mosque issue' should NEVER have happened.
In a thousand years I can not imagine an American calling for an insulting memorial to the Enola Gay being put in Hiroshima or Nagasaki. It's just creepy and rude. Do Muslims lack manners?
Do Radical Muslims fart in elevators? And pretend they don't know better??
In other words, people with their own cultural and political aims co-opted the message of Jesus Christ, and used it to control other folks.
For the most part, that unfortunate era of Christian expansion pretty much ended, and today's evangelical movements are largely peaceful. This, in my opinion, shows the maturity and civilized nature of Christianity -- it mostly stopped being the excuse for people to subjugate other people.
Unfortunately, Islam is still at the stage of its inception in 600AD or so. It is still barbarian, rough, uncivilized, immature.
Again in my opinion, this is because true Christianity never espoused the violence that was committed in its name. Christ was a man of peace, not war. In returning to real Christianity, Christians found a message of peace.
Islam, on the other hand, espouses violence and demands that it be committed in its name. And Mohammed was a man of war, not peace. The message of Islam is not a message of peace, despite protestations to the contrary.
Caveat: I am not a student of Islam -- the above is not authoritative, just my opinion.
Do you want the world to live under Sharia or not? If so, then you want for American democracy to be destroyed. If not, then what kind of a Muslim are you?
As for laughing and enjoying life, I recall video of laughing Palestinians who were clearly enjoying life after the Twin Towers fell. Or perhaps they were enjoying death, it was hard to tell.
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