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A Religious Shrine at Ground Zero? (Why not a mosque, a church and a synagogue?)
The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership ^ | unknown | Daniel S. Brenner

Posted on 06/01/2002 10:25:49 AM PDT by LarryLied

A serious and inclusive discussion of the future of the Ground Zero site is now underway. The Civic Alliance to Rebuild Downtown New York is in the midst of conducting an important series of open public meetings on various aspects of the planning process. From the sidelines I’ve been following this conversation and have been keeping a close eye on the growing list of proposals by architects, urban planners, and others offering up cultural centers, art spaces, memorial parks and business complexes.

What is conspicuously absent from these proposals is any attention to religious needs that might be associated with the site. Even the discussion of the victims’ memorial that is to be erected as part of any rebuilding plan for the site, has been framed in essentially secular terms. No proposals even for the quiet, understated ecumenical chapels one finds in hospitals. As one of the many chaplains who witnessed the events of the 11th, and volunteered with many other clergy to help deal with some of the spiritual and emotional crises that followed, I’m wondering -- Why has religion suddenly been thrust to the sidelines?

Religious groups and organizations were among the first to respond to the attack. Moreover, in the days following the attack, Americans flocked to their synagogues, churches and mosques in record numbers. I will never forget watching the televised services held at the National Cathedral and Riverside Church, both powerful expressions of our collective sense of grief and hope.

But while those services were articulations of America’s common spirit, they also spoke to our religious particularities. As an American I listened intently to all the clergy who spoke, but as a Jew, I cared most about what the rabbis had to say. I imagine that this was the case for Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, and Buddhists, all who were represented in those services. America is great because we not only allow for the freedom of religion, but we have a public square that can encourage our religious diversity at the right moments.

For this reason, I would ask, why not build a mosque at ground zero? And a church, and a synagogue as well? Why not erect a vast inter-religious center on the premises as a supplement to the secular, cultural, and artistic elements that will figure in the blueprint for the site’s reconstruction? An inter-religious center could serve for educational purposes, and the religiously specific chapels could be used for baptisms, confirmation ceremonies, bar and bat mitzvahs, and even weddings of those whose parents or loved ones have perished in the attacks. It would be a site of healing for many. And just imagine what it would be like for American Muslims, and Muslim visitors from abroad to visit such a shrine.

Building a mosque on the site would also send a message to the Islamic world about America, and our commitment to the freedom of religion. At a time when many Muslims are being fed endless distortions about America and what we value, it will take more than a publicity mission by Muhammad Ali to change America’s image.

What traditional religious adherents in the Islamic world, and elsewhere fail to comprehend is the great irony of American church-state separation: The more secular the state, the more religious the nation. In America, religious faith is freely chosen and religious communities are strong. In an increasingly diverse world, America may hold the model that the world needs.

But would building an inter-religious center at Ground Zero help?

Maybe a few misguided Muslims would go there to praise Allah for his great victory in destroying the towers - but I imagine the vast majority of American Muslims would go to simply offer prayers of gratitude that Allah, in his mercy, has created a place called America, where both freedom and faith can flourish.

The perception of America’s role in the world is being redefined. In addition to being regarded as an economic and military power, we are now seen as a global police force attempting to root out terror. But America is a spiritual power as well and it is important that we do what we can to get this message out. Building an inter-religious center on the site of the World Trade Center could be an important step in this direction. It would be a living testimony to the American conviction that secularity and diversity are not the enemies of faith, but are rather the very basis of spiritual strength and religious renewal.

To read additional articles by Daniel Brenner, click here


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; US: New York
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1 posted on 06/01/2002 10:25:49 AM PDT by LarryLied
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To: LarryLied
... Why not a mosque, a church and a synagogue? ...
Why only a moque, a church, and a synagogue? I demand a pagan basilica with a bronze image of Baphomet suspended above a black-granite alter. Why should I be excluded from this ecumenical display of unity and resolve?
2 posted on 06/01/2002 10:33:59 AM PDT by Asclepius
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To: LarryLied
Why not a mosque? Because it is the Qu'ran and Islam that resulted in almost 3,000 deaths in the destruction of the WTC, so why honor the religion that inspired mass murder?
3 posted on 06/01/2002 10:35:03 AM PDT by Ol' Sparky
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To: LarryLied
There are more than enough churches, temples and mosques (particularly mosques) in New York already. The best way to commemorate the WTC and the massacre's victims and heroes is to raise another temple to New York's real religion: Commerce and trade.

A soaring cathedral to capitalism -- that's what we need.

4 posted on 06/01/2002 10:41:04 AM PDT by Big Bunyip
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To: LarryLied
Building an inter-religious center on the site of the World Trade Center could be an important step in this direction. It would be a living testimony to the American conviction that secularity and diversity are not the enemies of faith, but are rather the very basis of spiritual strength and religious renewal.

Why build a memorial to religion? The monument destroyed was provate property run as a capitalist enterprise. It was Islamic religionists who destroyed it. Religionists did not build the original structures. It is Islamic religionists who are at war with Christians and Jews and Capitalists. Screw the idea or erecting a monument to Religion. Let the private sector do what it wants with the site. Let the Government get on with the business of destroying those who would destroy us. Let the religionists teach moral behavior in their own houses of worship away from our public space and our private property.

5 posted on 06/01/2002 10:41:28 AM PDT by LoneRangerMassachusetts
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To: LarryLied
If you build a Mosque there then it will be the most popular Mosque in the US for adherents of the Blind Sheik, bin Laden, and every other fanatic Islamist. It would be Islamist fanatic Disneyland. Probably become their holiest shrine even over Mecca. Your average Muslim wouldn't be able to shove his way in the door for all the fanatics praying for Atta.
6 posted on 06/01/2002 10:46:34 AM PDT by Arkinsaw
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To: LarryLied
Never, ever a Mosque!

Personally, the shrine I favor would be a missile silo with a nuclear tipped ICBM permanenetly targeted towards Mecca.

7 posted on 06/01/2002 10:48:15 AM PDT by Maceman
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To: LarryLied
The author is so enraptured with his love for tolerance that he would have the gall to propose putting a Mosque on such a site? Maybe he would like to see an SS Legion hall built at Dachau as well.God save us from such idiots!!
8 posted on 06/01/2002 10:55:14 AM PDT by habs4ever
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To: LarryLied
As several articles have pointed out, Muslims view mosques as symbols of prestige and conquest as well as places to worship Allah. A mosque at ground zero would NOT be viewed in the Arab world as a gesture of generosity and reconciliation, it would be viewed as a gesture of weakness on our part and victory on theirs. The purpose of a memorial at that site should be to honor the dead, not to make some kind of empty ecumenical gesture.

A good analogy is the different religions' understanding of martyrdom. For a Christian, martyrdom is a matter of sacrificing yourself for the sake of God, usually to avoid apostasy or sin. A similar idea of sacrifice can be found in Judaism. For Muslims, however, successful martyrdom means killing as many infidels as possible. Just dying yourself doesn't cut it.

Jesus conquered through the cross. Mohammed conquered with a sword. There's a fundamental difference in these religions.

9 posted on 06/01/2002 10:56:03 AM PDT by Cicero
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To: LarryLied
Man, if you built a mosque imagine the symbolism the Muslims would take from that. They have a long history of conquering other lands and building Mosques were other temples used to be. They saw the WTC as a cathedral to capitalism. So hey, lets volunteer to build a mosque in its place. We won't even make them conquer us first. What kind of idiot suggests something like that?

How vacuous can our culture get?

patent

10 posted on 06/01/2002 10:59:19 AM PDT by patent
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To: Cicero
Well said.
11 posted on 06/01/2002 11:00:40 AM PDT by patent
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To: LarryLied
I am supporting Jonah Goldberg's suggestion that whatever the shrine is, it should be on the 200th floor of the new towers, right next to the anti aircraft emplacement.

So9

12 posted on 06/01/2002 11:07:37 AM PDT by Servant of the Nine
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To: Arkinsaw
It would be Islamist fanatic Disneyland. ... Your average Muslim wouldn't be able to shove his way in the door for all the fanatics praying for Atta.

And from time to time we could lock the doors and fingerprint, DNA sample and photograph everyone.

So9

13 posted on 06/01/2002 11:10:31 AM PDT by Servant of the Nine
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To: Arkinsaw
bait? I love it!
14 posted on 06/01/2002 11:11:11 AM PDT by P7M13
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Comment #15 Removed by Moderator

To: Maceman
I see you, and raise it to a MIRV
16 posted on 06/01/2002 11:12:32 AM PDT by P7M13
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To: LarryLied
why not build a mosque at ground zero? 

Why not build a giant latrine???

An inter-religious center could serve for educational purposes, and the religiously specific chapels could be used for baptisms, confirmation ceremonies, bar and bat mitzvahs, and even weddings 

Along with bombings ... don't forget the suicide bombings at all of these blessed events. We can't leave the muslims out, you know.

And just imagine what it would be like for American Muslims, and Muslim visitors from abroad to visit such a shrine.

A real hoot, I'd bet. They would get their chance to dance on the grave of the infidel.

Building a mosque on the site would also send a message to the Islamic world about America

Yes, but why would we want to send the message that we're weak-willed losers who can be easily conquered? 

Maybe a few misguided Muslims would go there to praise Allah for his great victory in destroying the towers 

Ya think?? Judging from the number of moderate, tolerant islamic regimes worldwide, I'd guess that number might be slightly higher than the author thinks - say, a billion or so.

but I imagine the vast majority of American Muslims would go to simply offer prayers of gratitude that Allah, in his mercy, has created a place called America, where both freedom and faith can flourish.

Yeah, that's probably right. <gag>

17 posted on 06/01/2002 11:13:24 AM PDT by watchin
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To: Ol' Sparky
The point could be made that the mosque would be erected in honor of the glorious islamoterrorists who murdered the 3000 on 9/11. What a nice way to demonstrate our political correctness and say to the islamic world that us non-islamoterrorists all know that they are only praying for peace and the common good of all mankind including unhyphenated Americans and the Eesrahailees in their mosques.
18 posted on 06/01/2002 11:14:21 AM PDT by RushLake
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To: Maceman
Personally, the shrine I favor would be a missile silo with a nuclear tipped ICBM permanenetly targeted towards Mecca.

Ding Ding Ding Ding !!!!

Folks, we have a winner!

19 posted on 06/01/2002 11:17:38 AM PDT by watchin
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To: Arkinsaw
It would be Islamist fanatic Disneyland. Probably become their holiest shrine even over Mecca.

Oh, are you ever right!

Mosque??? This would be one of the biggest mistakes the U.S. could make, IMHO.

20 posted on 06/01/2002 11:19:42 AM PDT by Ole Okie
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To: Maceman
Amen to that, my friend. And how about a statue of Mohammed, the Prophet of Satan, with an outhuse directly above it?
21 posted on 06/01/2002 11:21:05 AM PDT by Thorondir
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To: Thorondir
Blast! outhuse=outhouse.
22 posted on 06/01/2002 11:24:56 AM PDT by Thorondir
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To: Thorondir
It's the thought that counts, my friend, the thought.
23 posted on 06/01/2002 11:25:47 AM PDT by watchin
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To: Asclepius
"Baphomet"

Good gawd...that sounds suspiciously like the Final Boss in Mortal Kombat III...

24 posted on 06/01/2002 11:31:38 AM PDT by Windsong
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To: Big Bunyip
The best way to commemorate the WTC and the massacre's victims and heroes is to raise another temple to New York's real religion: Commerce and trade.
A soaring cathedral to capitalism -- that's what we need.

A government subsidized shrine of capitalism would be the epitome of ironic hypocrisy.

Let the private sector build whatever they want without sucking the lifeblood out of taxpayers.

Alternatively, if a memorial is to be built using taxpayers funding, keep the money-changers away at a respectable distance.

25 posted on 06/01/2002 11:32:23 AM PDT by Willie Green
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To: LarryLied
I have an idea: Let the owners of the property decide what they want to do with it!
26 posted on 06/01/2002 11:32:47 AM PDT by Caipirabob
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To: LarryLied
(Why not a mosque, a church and a synagogue?)

While we're at it, I believe we need a souvenier shop as well. We could sell pork BBQ sandwiches, BLT's, Ham sandwiches...and little plastic images of ol 'Hammed mounting his mare. Perhaps we could even provide a few items with inspirational sayings on them. One of my favorites is "There is no hog but allah, and mohammed is her pimp."

27 posted on 06/01/2002 11:33:33 AM PDT by neutrino
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To: LarryLied
Put the mosque in the sewer, where it will be more accessible to its constituents.
28 posted on 06/01/2002 11:34:01 AM PDT by clintonh8r
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To: LarryLied
Why not just huge pit of hungry hogs to devour any terrorist we throw in?
29 posted on 06/01/2002 11:39:31 AM PDT by Britton J Wingfield
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To: clintonh8r
LOL and loving it! Great post!

Human civilization had better wake up soon and get as serious about its survival as the seventh-century savages are about our annihilation!
30 posted on 06/01/2002 11:42:23 AM PDT by Thorondir
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To: clintonh8r
1. Build a mosque
2. Blow it up (or invite the IDF to bulldoze it down...)
3. Build a church AND a synagogue on top of the site.
31 posted on 06/01/2002 11:43:29 AM PDT by max_rpf
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To: max_rpf
1. Build a mosque
2. Blow it up (or invite the IDF to bulldoze it down...)
3. Build a church AND a synagogue on top of the site.

 

Just think of the message that would send to the Islamic world about America. It's enough to bring a tear to your eye.

32 posted on 06/01/2002 11:47:54 AM PDT by watchin
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Comment #33 Removed by Moderator

To: Cicero
I seem to recall him saying:

"By their fruits, ye shall know them"

"They will think they do God service by killing you"

"Not everyone who cries Lord, Lord will be saved (i.e. Allah)"

This isn't a war against Terrorists. Its a war against ISLAM. The sooner we learn that, the better.

34 posted on 06/01/2002 11:54:39 AM PDT by Windsong
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To: LarryLied
Building a mosque on the site would also send a message to the Islamic world about America

But it's exactly the wrong message. Mosques have always been used as a sign of dominance over non-Muslims. What they did to the Hagia Sophia, for example.

35 posted on 06/01/2002 11:55:07 AM PDT by A.J.Armitage
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To: LarryLied
Recently, the History Channel ran a mini-series on the impact of ancient Egyptian religion on Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It was noted that - in the M.E. - mosques are typically located directly on top of looted and destroyed temples and churches. In rare instances, the church (never a temple) still operates. The narrator glossed over the phenomenon as if this were a quaint custom, rather than sacriligious nose thumbing. The documentary never broached the subject of dhimmitude, the oppressive strongarming of Jews and Christians, or "people of the book" as moslems call us.

A mosque on the WTC site - situated neatly between a church and a synagog would become a tribute beyond the wildest dreams of the murdering jihadic terrorists who burned there along with thei victims. I could well imagine such a mosque becoming the new Mecca, right here on American soil. They may as well send up a white flag and build a mosque at the Pentagon.

36 posted on 06/01/2002 11:55:30 AM PDT by Harrison Bergeron
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To: watchin
FYI, this is going to happen MUCH sooner than you think (or wish). FYEO.
37 posted on 06/01/2002 11:57:04 AM PDT by Windsong
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To: LoneRangerMassachusetts
Well, your sinister "religionists" (as in, the mostly Irish Catholic firefighters) were running in to save people while everyone else was running out.
38 posted on 06/01/2002 11:57:50 AM PDT by A.J.Armitage
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To: clintonh8r
I know I was brought to my knees by the events of Septemebr 11th. Am I alone here? A place of prayer and contemplation is needed at that location because it is now in the annals of American history with the Alamo, the Old North Church, Arlington Commons, Arlington National Cemetary and Gettysburg. The Port Authority of New York somehow (WHY?) controls the development of the WTC site. Worshippers of Mammon (SP?) will win the day but a quiet corner to reflect won't be missed in the 12m sq.ft. that used to constitute the old WTC, will it? Would you begrudge us that?
39 posted on 06/01/2002 11:59:03 AM PDT by thegreatbeast
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To: kcrack
The seventh-century savages who seek to crush all of human civilization under their infidel-slaughtering, woman-fearing/hating heels just might not take that fluffy liberal message of yours the way you would. But, then, perhaps they don't smoke substances that make people write sentences like this: what are smoking ?

BTW: All your bases are belong to us.
40 posted on 06/01/2002 11:59:56 AM PDT by Thorondir
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To: Asclepius
I demand a pagan basilica with a bronze image of Baphomet suspended above a black-granite alter. Why should I be excluded from this ecumenical display of unity and resolve?

I have to agree with you. As someone increasingly leaning towards Druidism......I would have to request a complete replica of Stonehenge.

Having said that I have to go on record at this time, to demand reparations for the original on the Salisbury Plain! I mean...look at it....

....it's all broke up.........or sumpin'

41 posted on 06/01/2002 12:25:17 PM PDT by Focault's Pendulum
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To: LarryLied
Why not have a Nazi Flag and meeting center in a Jewish Holocaust museum. It's pretty much the same thing. Islam is a murderous ideology akin to nazism. It makes no sense to honor those who commit mass murder at the site their victims perished.
42 posted on 06/01/2002 12:32:09 PM PDT by Godel
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To: Asclepius
In addition I want a Zoroastrian "Temple Of Silence." A shrine to the "Great Mother."

Truly sick!

43 posted on 06/01/2002 12:36:08 PM PDT by AEMILIUS PAULUS
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To: LarryLied
A Mosque would be blasphemous.
44 posted on 06/01/2002 12:54:00 PM PDT by vance
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To: Thorondir; kcrack
Pssst. I think he's on our side.

I believe he quoted the article:

Building a mosque on the site would also send a message to the Islamic world about America, and our commitment to the freedom of religion
And then responded, albeit too hastily, to the quote:

- no offense, [but] what are [you] smoking ?
Am I reading you right, kcrack?
45 posted on 06/01/2002 12:55:27 PM PDT by watchin
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To: all
The author of this article, Rabbi Daniel S. Brenner, tells of his visit to Ground Zero:

On a long wooden bench along the wall sat priests, ministers, and an Imam. I squeezed in next to a Catholic priest and a young Episcopalian minister with a “Hello, my name is Christopher” name tag, feeling like we had just been drafted for a dreadful and hopeless task.

Then the Red Cross Spiritual Care Coordinator spoke. “OK, guys, listen up!” She was an amazingly energetic minister from California who conveyed a mix of pep and compassion: “I’m gonna make this brief because we don’t have much time before those families come in here and I’m assuming you all know what to do. I’ve seen this before. This is like what I saw in Oklahoma City—we need to be there and show God’s love—but I want to remind you that this is not a time to proselytize. This is ecumenical. No praying in the name of Jesus. Just be a spiritual presence. Show God’s love for them. Do what you do best. Remember, no praying in the name of Jesus!”

I raised my hand and she nodded at me. “Yes, Rabbi, what is it?”

“Is it all right if I pray in the name of Jesus?” 1


46 posted on 06/01/2002 2:47:54 PM PDT by LarryLied
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To: LarryLied
Building a mosque on the site would also send a message to the Islamic world about America, and our commitment to the freedom of religion.

I think I'm going to barf.

47 posted on 06/01/2002 2:48:36 PM PDT by Jorge
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To: LarryLied
Since 90% of the cops and firemen killed on 9/11 were Catholics, why not a Catholic chapel, with a side chapel taking up ten percent of the space, for those of other faiths?
48 posted on 06/01/2002 2:57:14 PM PDT by Arthur McGowan
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To: Asclepius
yeah, really! I agree.

And do they really think a mosque is appropriate? I'm not sure the victims of the Spanish Inquisition would like to include a Catholic or even Christian symbol in anything they do remembering their dead.

49 posted on 06/01/2002 2:58:57 PM PDT by Terriergal
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To: LarryLied
Building a mosque on the site would also send a message to the Islamic world about America, and our commitment to the freedom of religion.

That message is already out there. Do they really think that because we build another mosque that message will get and sink in to the kind of people who did/do/want to do stuff like happened on 9-11?

50 posted on 06/01/2002 3:00:48 PM PDT by Terriergal
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