What ever happened to us? Our media and politicians are almost accusing our President Barack Obama of betraying America for supporting the rights of American Muslims to build a mosque near Ground Zero… There is nothing more American than the stand of Obama, which is in line with the spirit of our forefathers… of President George Washington (1790) who said: “It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens …” Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower (1957) attended the dedication of an Islamic Center saying: “I should like to assure you, my Islamic friends, that under the American Constitution, under American tradition, and in American hearts, this Center, this place of worship, is just as welcome as could be a similar edifice of any other religion. Indeed, America would fight with her whole strength for your right to have here your own church and worship according to your own conscience…”
The Daily Show takes a hilarious look at our politics and naive media coverage of the Muslim center near Ground Zero. After his absences, Imam Abdul Rauf shared on CNN his worries about US national security from the radicals’ reaction to removing the center. But the media and politicians took his worries as a threat that he uses to achieve his agenda… something Jon Stewart says “is so yesterday” as they themselves have used such tactics to sway the public support to the Iraq invasion and in election campaigns! By the way @ 4:30, you’ll find my Hannity appearance featured on The Daily Show!
Once again, the rhetoric of Sharia taking over America has been exploited by Nevada Tea Party member Sharron Angle in her recent interview with the Mesquite Local News. You can listen to it here around 43 minutes in. “First of all, Dearborn, Michigan, and Frankford, Texas are on American soil, and under Constitutional law. Not Sharia law. And I don’t know how that happened in the United States. It seems to me there is something fundamentally wrong with allowing a foreign system of law to even take hold in any municipality or government situation in our United States.”
Obviously Angle has never visited Borough Park, Brooklyn where thousands of Hasidic Jews live their lives according to the Talmudic Law, which also has its roots in the “foreign” Middle East. Likewise, Angle’s flawed logic could be used against Catholics, who follow Roman Catholic Law dictated by a “foreign” Pope who lives in Rome. The US allows abortion and divorce, which is contrary to Catholic “Sharia” (law). Many Catholics want to change US law to make it conform more to their own Sharia laws, particularly concerning abortion. Does this make Catholics “anti-American?” According to Angle’s logic it would. Sharia (meaning legislation in English) is simply the rules that govern the lives of Muslims from daily prayers and fasting to inheritance. Sharia does not – and never will – apply to non-Muslims. The idea that Islamic law will take over a secular country like the United States is absurd. If Catholics – who unlike Muslims have political power and influence in the country – can’t overturn Roe Vs. Wade, what makes Angle think that Islamic law can even have the slightest influence on American law?
Today, there is not a single Muslim country that completely follows Sharia – even Saudi Arabia. Apparently Angle hasn’t read much about the Middle East or she would know that Saudi Arabia has been under attack by extremists who point out that Saudi is a monarchy, which is not allowed in traditional Sharia. Similarly, Egypt’s penal code is secular and based on French law. Most of the Muslim world doesn’t follow financial Sharia laws, which forbid Reba or interest on loaned money. If pure Sharia doesn’t exist in the Muslim countries, on what planet are Angle, Newt Gringrich, David Horowitz, and Pamela Geller are living on to believe that Islamic law will magically take over the United States.
Such anti-Muslim neocons are feeding us lies and fears about Islam and its Sharia takeover. They and other right-wing conservatives, like Randall Terry of Operation Rescue, have been quoting out-of-context Quran verses, that tell Muslims to fight the infidels, without reading the entire Quran or learning about the historic circumstances of those verses. These verses apply only to non-believers in God, excluding Jews, Christians and those who believe in God. Such non-believers are described as those who spread destruction in the early phase of Islam, not 2400 years after. Furthermore, that particular verse is followed by cautionary words reminding Muslims that killing a soul is like killing humanity and saving one is like saving the entire mankind. Jihad against the non-believers is almost discouraged unless the lives of Muslims are at stake. Obviously Muslims are content with our freedom and democracy that they keep flocking to America, and some already are fighting fellow Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan whom they see as the enemy of the U.S. But there are forces trying to divide us Americans. Perhaps we should look into the agenda of who’s funding Angle and other Islamophobic candidates from the Tea Party.
The title of this ABC show seems a little frightening. Immediately it creates and affirms the impression that there is something to fear of Muslims in America. Yet, it doesn’t shy away from the fact that there are existing fears, which the show tries to address.
In this ABC Town Hall Debate moderated by Christiane Amanpour, you’ll see a perfect example of anti-Muslims ganging up on moderate Muslims, like Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf’s wife Daisy Khan. By the way, Daisy was just honored by the 2010 Clinton Global Initiative for her ASMA organization commitment to training Imams on Women’s rights in Afghanistan. She was accused of radicalism and lying. Daisy had said that the attacks and propaganda against her and her moderate husband are tying their hands from advancing their interfaith mission and modernizing Islam, as represented in their Cordoba Initiative to build their center near Ground Zero and their wealth of work, sponsored by our US government to build bridges with the Islamic world. She was ambushed by Dutch politician and writer Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who wrote the screenplay for Teo Van Gogh’s controversial movie, Submission, who accused Daisy of playing victim.
I just don’t get it! On the one hand, Americans want to empower moderate Muslims to a have a stronger voice over radicals. On the other hand, we persecute them, and yes, throw them into the arms of angry mobs, hate mongers, and even Al-Qaida. How could such actions advance our American values, democracy and national security? We are basically intimidating moderate voices that support establishing the Muslim center by accusing them of lies, deception and radicalism. I was in the same position recently in my Hannity debate with David Horowitz. He accused me of being a Jihadi for not agreeing with his racist and politically divisive and unAmerican ideas. The lives of Daisy and Imam Abdul Rauf have been under threat way before the ABC debate. I wasn’t surprised when Daisy told me so herself. The other victim of this anti-Muslim war have been American mosques, which Robert Spencer of the Stop Islamization of America had claimed are fabricating their own hate crimes! It is a very strange logic, considering the FBI and Department of Justice have been investigating and reporting an increasing number of hate crimes against Muslims and mosques post the mosque controversy in May 2010. But it was good that the show had a former FBI agent in attendance, as well as an Imam, and families of 9-11 victims to present as diverse perspectives as possible from the sources themselves.
Donna Marsh O’Connor, who lost her daughter in 9-11 WTC attack said she was worried about what anti-Islamic advocates are reading. She kept correcting them on the issue of the mosque, saying it is an Islamic center not on Ground Zero, but 2.5 blocs away from Ground Zero. She doesn’t know Daisy or read her husband’s books, but in America, she said, “we hold people accountable for crimes after they commit them, never, never before.” O’Connor felt that on 9-11 she lost both her daughter and America. Pushing the Muslim center further from its location is like keeping America farther away from her. It is great this show addressed some missing links that created some imbalanced coverage of the Islamic center near Ground Zero so that non-sense talk based on assumptions can be corrected with facts from the sources themselves.
We always hear 70% of Americans don’t support the Muslim center near Ground Zero. Here are some American voices supporting it but rarely seen or heard in the media. Some are broke and still wanted to take an American stand to stop the bullies and reach out to fellow Americans who want to build Park51. You can view almost 200 comments on Michael Moore’s website to understand why they supported the Islamic center. Below are some of their comments…
Please find enclosed my receipt for my $5.00 donation. I am in the process of losing my house, but I will not ever lose my Soul. That was a great letter, I made the donation with out thinking about it twice. Thanks for matching it. Bless your heart.
From Rabbi Yonassan Gershom:
I am Jewish, and it is now the Jewish High Holy Day season, when it is traditional to give extra charity. I am donating $18 on behalf of my wife Caryl and I, as a gesture of fellowship and solidarity. (The number 18 in Jewish numerology is the number for life — Hebrew letters chet (8) + yod (10) — and it is traditional to give in multiples of 18.) Please, Imam Rauf, do NOT sell out to those who want you to move the Center — that would be a victory for bigots, heaven forbid. Build it where it is planned, in peace, pride, and freedom! Peace-salaam-shalom!
I wish I could have donated more, but I’m unemployed and money is really tight.
Thanks for matching this, Mr. Moore.
For the Muslim center in NYC…
Michael, I’m not working and it’s really a rough time for my husband and me, financially, but I wanted to do something nice for someone on 9/11, so I’m contributing to this cause. Love, love, love your emails, and you!
What could be more appropriate than doing this on 9-11? Rock on, Michael.
Michael Moore says Americans who believe in religious freedom should stop the bullies who want to stop building the Muslim community center near Ground Zero. He called upon each American to donate a dollar to support the center and stop Donald Trump from Trumping this project. Within minutes of his initial fundraising, he netted $10,000. In 48 hours, Moore had $50,000. Some could only contribute $5 because they were out of work or their house was in foreclosure. Even those who thought Moore was “offensive,” like retired soldier Trent Woodruff, said Moore was “spot-on.” On Real Time with Bill Maher, Moore was skeptical that 70% Americans were against the Muslim center, considering 70% had supported our war in Iraq. He describes Gingrich and Palin as cleric Gingrich and Mulla Taliban Palin for their level of bigotry that is so unAmerican. If they want to create a Muslim-free zone there, “Palin (should) to raise those Muslims (who perished on 9-11) up from the dead and remove them from there because their ashes are still there on Ground Zero.” But to keep with the humor of the show, he suggested removing McDonalds away from Ground Zero, since it killed more people than the 19 hijackers!
For all his 9 reasons why Moore believes supporting the center is the American way, check out his blog.
Stay tune for this heated debate on Sunday @ 10 on ABC. The guests: Evangelist Franklin Graham, Daisy Khan — Executive Director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement and one of the leading organizers behind the planned mosque and Islamic community center in New York City, Azar Nafisi, Author of “Reading Lolita in Tehran,” Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch, Peter Gadiel of the 9/11 Families for a Secure America Foundation, and Donna Marsh O’Connor of the September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows.
I thought it was a strange story but apparently it is true. A town in upstate new York is trying to force a local Muslim religious community to dig up a small cemetery on its own property and never bury any body there again. The town of Sidney claims it is illegal, though the town had approved the cemetery in 2005!
A great 60 Minutes report by Scott Pelley shows the ugly truth behind the people exploiting the Islamic Center near ground zero to their political advantage at the expense of dividing our country and hurting innocent Muslims.
The newly-elected president of the LaFayette Islamic Center received deadly threats culminating with the burning of his car in the center parking lot. Hisham Tillawi, who came to America seeking freedom, now feels surrounded by violence that could engulf his family. Fed up with the worsening status quo, Tillawi plans to file a class-action lawsuit against the U.S. government and media organizations responsible for creating anti-Islamic hysteria. His goal: to stop the media’s deliberate campaign to demonize Islam and Muslims so that the media and the government announce that Islam was not responsible for 9/11.
I know many of you would be shocked to hear Fox News actually praising the initiative to build a Muslim community center near ground zero, but it happened on December 21, 2009. While guest-hosting “The O’Reilly Factor,” Fox’s conservative media personality Laura Ingraham told Imam Abdul Rauf’s wife, Daisy Khan, “I can’t find many people who really have a problem with it.” At the end of the interview, she concluded, “I like what you’re trying to do.” Apparently, this happened after a positive New York Times article on the Cordoba project had appeared in the same month. Only after a unanimous vote by a NYC community board committee had approved the project on May 6, 2010, Pamela Geller of the racist organization, Stop Islamization of America, reframed the center as a mosque in her blogs and in the New York Post, titling it “Monster Mosque Pushes Ahead in Shadow of Word Trade Center Islamic Death and Destruction.” In her Atlas Shrugs blog, she writes, “This is Islamic domination and expansionism. The location is no accident. Just as Al-Aqsa was built on top of the Temple in Jerusalem.” Her organization funded the hateful ads up on NYC buses juxtaposing a plane hitting WTC building and a mosque rising from ground zero saying “Why There?” It is now common to see Pamela in her TV appearances claim that she “loves Muslims!” Check out the nine-month timeline of this Muslim bigotry.
A severed pig’s head has been left outside a mosque in Cambridge – triggering alarm among the city’s Muslims. Families found the head on the steps of the place of worship on Monday night on their way to prayers. An emergency meeting was due to be held last night after the incident at the Shah Jalal Bangladeshi Community House in Darwin Drive. Some Muslims believe the pig’s head attack could have been triggered after an application to increase the number of worshippers at the mosque prompted objections from some residents.
Roman Conaway is a veteran in the US armey with explosives training, who made anti-Islam and anti-government threats culminating with a seven-hour standoff with the police in which he took his wife hostage and made threatening calls to St. Louis area Muslims prompting the FBI involvement. Conaway, who claims he only read the Bible, has talked about those threats against Muslims and Obama for months on Facebook, which worried his family members. In the end, Conaway surrendered to the FBI, which found out that he used harmless props to fool people into believing he was acting on those threats. These devices include a belt with what looked like C4 explosives, wires and a curling iron he said he was using as a remote triggering device that would activate should he get shot or attacked.
For the people who claim there isn’t Islamophobia or intolerance of Muslims, I wonder what they would say to such video!
The Muslims they’re cursing and calling as “murderers” are Americans just as much as them. They love this country, they fight for it and some were first respondents who lost their lives to save their fellow Americans on 9-11. This rally of hate is the result of the work of Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer’s Stop Islamization of America. They are blurring the lines between the perpetrators of 9-11 attack, who are non-Americans, and the 7 million American Muslims, dividing our country for their own agenda, and in the end act as the defenders of America.
Brigitte Gabriel believes just because we have more mosques here since 9-11 that there is now enough tolerance of Muslims in America, ignoring the fact that hostilities to Muslims recently are on the rise as seen in headlines all over the media. Indeed the Department of Justice is already investigating a handful of anti-Muslim incidents in four states, including the stabbing of a Muslim cabbie in NYC. In addition, FBI agents and civil rights division investigators are looking into vandalism and other incidents at mosques or mosque construction sites in Arlington, Texas, Murfreesboro, Tenn.; Madera, Calif.; and Waterport, N.Y. Brigitte, who assumes President Obama is shamefully Muslim just because he’s trying to make peace with the Islamic world that we are at war with in Iraq and Afghanistan, is demanding that Mecca open its doors for non-Muslims if American Muslims want to have their center near ground zero. What a flawed logic that once again imposes our supremacy on the world! If Saudi Arabia has one holy city for Muslims whether right or wrong, it is their sovereignty. But if America has a Constitution that guarantees religious freedom for ALL about to break, that is a scar in our democracy. Today, Muslims can be scapegoated, but tomorrow some other group will be the target. America offers light and hope to the world. But it seems the people who are trying to act like they care about this country are magnifying the Muslim threat while trying to tear down the foundation of our pluralistic democracy and divide its citizens. That’s unAmerican!
A quick glance at this video will show you how the US media seems to mislead the public by framing the Muslim community center near ground zero as “The Ground Zero Mosque.” The fact is this is NOT a mosque, but rather a community center modeled after the Y and the Jewish Community Center, with a praying space for people of different religions, including Muslims. After an article on this community center appeared last December in the New York Times without controversy, anti-Muslim groups like Pamela Geller’s Stop Islamization of America, revived it in blogs framing it as the “Ground Zero Mosque” to inflame the public. The story along with its misleading framing was picked up by the New York Post, Fox, then the majority of mainstream media and some politicians, and the rest is history. Not surprisingly, the outcome of this well-orchestrated and misleading framing: 71% disapprove of the location of the “Ground Zero Mosque.”