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The Ground Zero Monument To Intolerance

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Posted on August 4 2010 3:00 pm

In its lead editorial today entitled “A Monument to Tolerance,” the New York Times attacks all opponents of the Cordoba House mosque-community center complex planned for near Ground Zero as bigoted foes of freedom of religion for Muslims.

The Times, with its usual sanctimonious flair, went after Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Rick Lazio (Republican  candidate for New York governor) and the Anti-Defamation League. At the same time, the Times lavished praise on Mayor Bloomberg for his speech yesterday, which followed his hand-picked Landmarks Preservation Commission’s vote to  clear the way for Cordoba House to be built.

Bloomberg called the proposed mosque

as important a test of  separation of church and state as any we may see in our lifetime, and it is critically important that we get it right.

Wrong. This has nothing to do with separation of church (or mosque) and state. It has to do with simple human decency.

As the ADL said in its statement opposing the location of Cordoba House, getting it right means not  ”building an Islamic Center in the shadow of the World Trade Center” which would “cause some victims more pain – unnecessarily.”

Why are the leaders of the Cordoba House initiative determined to ride rough-shod over the feelings of the families and friends of the victims of 9/11 - an attack carried out in the name of Islam? How can they trust the good intentions of the mosque’s leader Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf who said shortly after the 9/11 attack:

United States policies were an accessory to the crime that happened.

Where is the Cordoba House’s funding coming from? Will any of it be coming from the Wahabi Islamic extremists in Saudi Arabia who have funded hate centers around the world?

The leaders of Cordoba House should do the right thing and follow the example of Pope John Paul II, who asked 14 Carmelite Nuns to move their convent from just outside the Auschwitz death camp in recognition of the feelings of the survivors of the Holocaust.

Reach out to the families of the 9/11 victims and propose building a true inter-faith place of worship, open on equal terms to all religions in the name of healing and reconciliation. There are plenty of other locations in Manhattan to build a mosque. This would not be compelled by government direction in violation of the Constitution, as the Times suggests. It is just a demonstration of  human sensitivity and common sense.

As usual, the Times offers nothing constructive – just puerile name-calling and sophistic arguments.

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