The Mosque Near Ground Zero represents no insult and no threat to any American value. Opposing a Mosque Near Ground Zero does represent a threat to American Constitutional values. New York loudmouths and right wing nut cases are perfectly willing to trash the Constitution to serve their hysterical ranting and their own prejudices.
There is no more reason to oppose a mosque there than a synagogue. Muslims fight for this country just like Christians and others. Muslims cherish and participate in American society just like all others, only they customarily do it in a more successful manner. They are as cultured; as refined; as talented; as honest; as decent; as patriotic as any other Americans. They deserve respect. Not respecting Muslims is stupid, wrong, bigoted, racist and evil. Not respecting Muslims and their religious beliefs represents beliefs and practices more like Al Quaeda than anything democratic. In extremist groups intolerance is the rule. Extremist groups exist within every religion. They abound in Judaism and in Christianity. Religious extremists abuse women in Christianity and in Judaism just as do extremists in Islam. Abusers of women and children have no manhood and deserve no respect, not matter which religion they profess.
Wing nuts and other intolerant loudmouths should consider how much we regret having so badly treated the Nisei Japanese when we were in the beginning of World War II. We deprived those people of their liberties without due process and we have been ashamed of ourselves for giving in to that blind hysteria. We do not deserve to do that to ourselves again in the context of Islam and of the Muslims who live in harmony amongst us now. The parallel is obvious and compelling.
People have other nefarious interests in promoting intolerance. They serve pernicious agendas of their own. They profit or crave advantages from abusing Muslims and selling intolerance.
Muslims owe no duty to defer to the wishes of hysterical mobs in the location of their Mosque Near Ground Zero. There is no parallel between that and what the Pope did regarding a nunnery near Auschwitz. One could with equal probity criticize the Pope for deciding not to put a nunnery at Auschwitz. The Pope’s decision was a political decision calculated to serve the appearance of some ecumenical agenda then current in Catholic politics. Placing a house of prayer at the locale of an atrocity offends no legitimate interest.
Muslims in America are here because they seek the same blessings of democracy that we all seek for ourselves. There is no greater antisocial or criminal element within the American Muslim community than there is within the American Christian or Jewish communities.
The contributions of Muslim culture to the arts, science, medicine, music, philosophy and civilization are as great as the contributions of any other group. They are of equal merit from every perspective as any other group. They should be embraced as members of our family.
From another perspective, we need to consider that it is arrogant for us to pretend to have the right to sit in negative judgment of people because others than they are hostile to American policies. Many Christian Americans also have doubts about some of our policies abroad in this world. We have not always had wise leadership in recent times, and that disability has caused us to do some very stupid things for very inappropriate reasons. If we would reduce what we pay some people to pretend to be our allies, we might acquire a more realistic view of just how everyone else in the world really feels about us. Some of our so called allies take what we provide and hold us in low regard. We have in recent years referred to efforts as the product of coalition when in fact the other coalition members are effectively useless and pay token service to serve other agendas. The disparity of participations in Iraq and Afghanistan is exhibit one in the pretense that we have broad consensus in our campaigns abroad. Blame for our difficulties cannot be placed at the feet of Muslims.
Our difficulties in the early part of this century arise in large part due to our love affair with petroleum wealth. Our dependence upon fossil fuels has created a shadow international government of oil companies that, acting together as an industry, have created a government unto themselves. Everything we have done in the Middle East for a very long time has served the economic interests of oil companies and their bedfellows, oilfield service companies. Their influence in world affairs has succeeded in creating the instability that enriches them. Every strategic decision in the Middle East for a very long time has produced the imbalances that enable them to take advantages. It is very similar to a fiddling while Rome burns situation. People naively believe that decisions by the United States and its so called allies have been taken for reasons of spreading democracy, access and liberty to the downtrodden. When one compares the downtrodden without oil resources to the downtrodden with oil resources, the animus for international policy becomes much more obvious. One is not supposed to say such things, as they are politically incorrect. We are supposed to ignore the single most obvious influence upon our policy decisions. In doing so we are their fools.
And as fools, we allow ourselves to be drumbeaten into cultural conflicts that in fact do not exist. There is no more reason for Mullahs to have been allowed to exert extreme influences in world affairs than there would be for the Pope to hold sway, or for that matter any other extreme religious zealot. But religious, racial and cultural turmoil serve the interests of maintaining instability in oil producing regions, and that instability creates the appearance of risk that drives the economics of petroleum. The enormous resources that are consumed in these conflicts are unavailable for the development of alternative energy sources. The money spent in the last 15 years on and because of Middle East conflict would have paid not only for reformation of medical services provisions, but also for the development of alternative energy science. Keeping that money out of those channels keeps us in scientific impoverishment. Nothing better serves the interests of the oil companies than that. The price of oil is paid in lives and in life quality as well as in money.
The controversy over the Mosque Near Ground Zero feeds upon the cultural turmoil constantly stirred up over mineral wealth. The cosmetic blame games are nothing more than poisonous propaganda for and by stupid people who foment strife where there should and would be no strife but for petro economics. Companies that can keep people warring against each other to serve their economic interests, and that can finance brain washing of entire populations are, but are not recognized to be, governments unto themselves, using political governments as their puppets.
That we should hate Muslims or Islam and blame them for being the victims of petro politics just as we are the same victims is nothing but blind ignorance. Islam is another religion in the family of world religions. “In my father’s house there are many mansions” and “Other sheep have I not of this fold” are the true basis for religious tolerance. There is no true basis for bigotry and religious strife. There is only the serving of pernicious agendas.
We will grow up or continue to suffer the outrages of stupidity. The Mosque Near Ground Zero should be celebrated by all of us. We should embrace what our Lord said to us and support a many mansioned society that includes all the sheep of all the folds. Insha’Allah!
By Seamus Muldoon, Himself
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