Only Racists and Bigots, Such As Anti-Defamation League, Would Oppose Mosque in Lower Manhattan

It’s true. This country has not learned from its past. I live in a community in Chicago’s suburbs that refused to allow a mosque to be built in 2000 and beyond. Our mayor courageously defended it but the Muslim community simply abandoned the project after years of draining litigation and community racist opposition. They built one in nearby Orland Park which has been a credit to the community even if it too conservative and frankly inimical to radical, progressive views. I have also spoken in a mosque in Bridgeview or more precisely in a Muslim school attached to the mosque. At the peak of the racist passion in Palos Heights facilitated by a biased city council that wanted to terminate a legal property transfer, this statement was issued: “Government has no place in this matter,” said Mayor Dean Koldenhoven, sitting beneath Norman Rockwell portraits illustrating “Freedom to Worship” and “Freedom of Speech.” The mayor was a supporter of the mosque and Caroline Kennedy presented him a Profile in Courage Award in 2002. Unlike Senator Harry Reid, who now cravenly opposes the Ground Zero mosque due to his fear of losing his majority leadership and Senate seat, Mayor Koldenhoven was willing to put principle over loathsome self-interest: He lost reelection because of his ethical defence of the Constitution with its supposed First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion. There is practically a church on every corner here in this “religious community” but no Mosque was allowed.

This brings us to the racist bigotry of the moment. The Anti-Defamation League, another adjunct of the Israel Lobby despite its dropping “of B’nai B’rith” from its nom de guerre, is the apex of defamation and hypocrisy. They have the hypocritical arrogance to declaim against blurring the separation of church and state on their website but want New York City to prohibit the Muslim faith from being practiced in a mosque!! They censored David Irving’s important book Goebbels: Mastermind of the Third Reich that was about to be released by St Martin’s Press without having read the manuscript simply because of their hatred of the author. Who are they to determine what Americans read? Who do they think they are! Now these censors want to deny Americans who practice Islam from praying TWO BLOCKS FROM GROUND ZERO because of its hatred of Muslims. This is about racism. This is about collective guilt that all Muslims must be terrorists as if we as a nation are not mass murderers along with some of our partners such as Israel. {Read the magisterial and bold Goldstone Report!} This is about prejudice in a nation that has not learned from its past. To talk about Ground Zero as hallowed and sacred ground is nuts. There is a Roman Catholic church in the vicinity and apartment buildings. The mosque is not on the site of the former twin towers but blocks away. I know the area well when I stayed near there a couple of years ago while speaking at New York University. I walked it and took pictures of it.

Those who oppose this Lower Manhattan mosque are shameless and prejudiced. They are proof that this nation, that claims to be the beacon of freedom and democracy, is a biased, violent nation that won’t even ask itself this question: “Why were there attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001?” Maybe if this imperialistic nation would act less as a hyperpower and more modestly and listen to others it may have the answer. 1) the stationing of troops in Saudi where the holiest sites of Islam are located 2) the invasion of Iraq after Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait 3) the refusal to force Israel to abandon its occupation of Palestine and its confiscation of territory that does not belong to it.

Of course 9/11 was evil. Of course it was horrific. Of course it was tragic. However, unless one believes all Muslims are responsible and the organisers of the New York mosque are fifth columns, then one has  no rational, ethical or reasoned argument to prevent American citizens from practicing their faith in Lower Manhattan given appropriate licensing and local ordinances.

Shame on you Islamophobes. You who oppose the mosque are a disgrace to yourself and this country and you need to know exactly what you are: racists, xenophobes and ethnocentric bigots. There is no, repeat no, moral, ethical or legal justification to deny Muslims their right to construct a mosque at this location. None!!

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