Friday, August 20, 2010

Ground Zero mosque part of culture war or symbol of tolerance?

This is another link worth reading, I think. It's from the Christian Science Monitor.

What I think we have to realize is another attack by terrorists, especially if they end up homegrown is fought more by education than by military might. It's when people realize the value of their own lives, the gift they were given to be born and get this chance at living, that they will reject blowing themselves up for a promise of heavenly reward that is uncertain. It's not just about economics but about a view of life and how to live it.

Until this all arose, I didn't realize the site has been called Ground Zero. I really really dislike that name for it. It implies that what happened there is still controlling what we do. Yes, the killers were Islamic but they were not the majority in Islam anymore than the killer of Dr. Tiller represents the majority of Christians. Both though are part of segments that choose violence rather than reason as a way to win their point.

Like it is with so many issues, the right wing and left wing throw out a lot of propaganda and interpret things to suit an agenda. It takes education of Americans to sort through that to the reality. That doesn't happen on either side when hate and fear rule.

The right is trying to paint Imam Rauf as some symbol for bin Laden but he's really the opposite of that. When we discourage that growth in Islam, when we try to isolate and Satan-ize it, we end its chances of growing in positive ways and bearing fruit. It's like an orchard, you prune out the bad stuff to enable the good to produce. If you read what he said at the memorial service for Daniel Pearl, you see the two opposite views in action. One murdered a man for no reason other than hate. The other talked of the love that all religions should have at their epicenter.

Why I don't like the title Ground Zero is I think the epicenter of our country should not be a tragedy and a horrible event. People died there. A memorial to them is appropriate. Us not forgetting it can happen again and working to prevent that is appropriate but that cannot be the center of us as a people. We are bigger than that. Aren't we?


Darlene said...

I wish that we are bigger than that, Rain, but there are times when I wonder. Good post, thank you.

HMBabb said...

I've thought that the best thing we could do with the site of the WTC is to rebuild the towers except maybe one story higher. To do otherwise would, in my opinion, memorialize the terrorist act's success in altering our consciousness.
Also I think holding all of Islam accountable for the acts of its fundamentalist extremists without looking at ourselves for the behavior of Christian and Jewish extremists says a lot about us. "Judge not that (we) be not judged."

wally said...

What makes this issue interesting is the fact that, according to the Daily Beast, the project has less than $9,000 in the bank yet needs 100 million to complete the center. Most of the contributors so far are local Muslim Americans. One news story I read said that the controversy may preclude their fund raising ability. It looks like one more thing the Republicans use to foment fear.

Ingineer66 said...

HMBabb I agree with you on that one. I thought we should have rebuilt the towers just like they were and put a statue on the roof of one of them of a firefighter flipping the bird.

Wally give it a rest with the Republican bashing. That huge Republican Harry Reid is now against building the mosque. It is not just a Democrat vs. Republican issue.

Rain said...

This is the place for partisanship, ingineer. The issue is that we don't bash each other as commenters; but to say that the Republicans stirred this up is the truth same as they used those code red,orange,yellow to get victories during the Bush years. Scaring people is their game. And yes, Democrats can use it too which is no more admirable in my view.

For a long time, until Fox decided to make this a partisan issue, the Republicans didn't find fault with the plans for the center. Then they all jumped on it.

As for Reid, he's running in a tough battle in a state that has leaned red against an extreme rightie, so he's going to say a lot of things to win. It's not honorable but it's what it is in politics. He does not want it to be a partisan issue but it has been.

Try this article for how it has been used to become what it is with a party who has been pushing two wars to liberate Muslim people-- supposedly. You have to wonder what the real agenda was but whatever it was, now it's slam the religion time.

Frank Rich on how Fox betrayed Petraeus.

This blog is where I hope both sides of a very steep partisan divide can express what they think as long as they do not slam each other personally.

Politics though stays out of Rainy Day Thoughts... but not religion and it'll be there next blog ;)

wally said...

The comment I made was not bashing Republicans. Using negatively charged language and coloring hot button issues to disparage the opposition is an admitted Republican strategy. And it's one they're very proud of. See Newt Gingrich's memo, "Language: A Key Mechanism of Control"

Ingineer66 said...

OK I guess we will just call it political dialog. The Democrats are pretty good at attacking the messenger instead of the message too. I guess that is where we are in the political landscape of this nation. Instead of telling people how much better your ideas are than the other guys we just go on the attack. Sadly it seems to work because the candidates that do the most bitter attacking seem to keep winning.

Rain said...

Sure, political dialogue is fine with me. I have seen the left use the fear card also and think both deserve to get called out when they do things that are wrong-- as the commenter sees it and another commenter might disagree.

It is very hard to not have such debates turn personal but it can be done as none of us did 'it'. We just sometimes foolishly supported 'it'... Putting out the facts on what was done might help us see the light... or maybe not *s*

Annie said...

I totally agree with your pruning analogy and think it is indeed a shame that some people are trying to demonize all Muslims. You get what you ask for.

The great thing about immigrant countries like the USA and Canada is that people come here with many perspectives and backgrounds and have the opportunity to get along with others. If allowed to do so, it's a really good thing. But people who want to stop that, to stick to their stereotypes of how other religions or whatever are, spoil it for all of us.

Paul said...

They have a Constitutional right to build the Islamic Center-Mosque there and if they do it would be a true show of love and compassion to have a plaque or something similar memorializing the victims of 911 of all religions who perished there. Can anyone find fault with this idea ? Imam Rauf is certainly no Bin Laden. The thing is that many Americans cannot get that vision of those burning towers out of their minds. It's a trauma that's still with us just like Pearl Harbor in another era. As an old fireman, I think especially of those brothers of mine who died there. The issue has become a political football tossed to and fro by both sides for asundry reasons.Passions are running high over this issue. We all need to take a few deep breaths.

Rain said...

Imam Rauf had wanted it to be that as its purpose, a way to heal the neighborhood that is still so damaged from what happened, but I suspect it won't be able to be built simply due to money. They didn't have it all. They have a few thousand dollars now raised by Muslim women (or so I read) and hoped to inspire money from the project. Now the project has been so demonized that it's hard to see them getting it. That leaves the neighborhood with strip joints and dilapidated buildings. People like Glenn Beck, with his total hypocrisy on this, have a lot to answer for spiritually for why they did and what they accomplished. The idea that he would do positive interviews with this imam earlier and then turn on the project when he can get passion aroused shows the low level he has spiritually as a human being. He's beneath contempt but unfortunately a lot of people listen to him and believe what he says. He ought to be ashamed but sometimes people get so far out there that they lose the ability to feel shame.

It's a shame that it's gone to the level it has. I understand the need to be wary of the groups that would plot hate and destruction. They are still out there and they are the ones we need to go after as this isn't over.

What I thought was if we are attacked again, something you know the radical element will do if they get the chance, the US will go nuts over it. Clearly it isn't that far from it right now. We will be back to the way we treated American Japanese after Pearl Harbor.

I don't really think it's unique to our country to seek revenge-- it's just human nature but not the good part of it :(. If that happens, then bin Laden really wins. He wins when hate and desire for revenge are inspired and that tells you from where he's been coming and it's not love of anything.

Rain said...

and a plaque would be a good idea if they built the center. We need a memorial also at what they call ground zero that reminds future generations of the loss of life there and the reason it was lost was hate. It's what hate reaps.

Parapluie said...

I think they might still raise money for the mosque/ memorial/ community vitalization. They certainly have visability and peopleof other faiths might want to help in good spirit.

Bumps Stump said...

Hi Rain . . Your take on events is always interesting. My mind usually works quite differently than yours yet you seem to tolerate my opposition. Usually.

I think the radical Muslim minority has taken over Islam, and that the larger majority is thoroughly dominated. I also think it is difficult, if not impossible, to separate them. Radical Islam has declared WAR on civilization . . and moderate Muslims have let them do it.


The radicals in the midst of Islam have attacked America and proclaimed their intention to convert all non-Muslim Americans . . . or murder them. They have also made clear their intention to establish SHARIA LAW as the dominant law of our land. These things alone mean they advocate the distruction of our government.


To me, it makes no sense at all.


Rain said...

I got my reply to Dixon under the wrong blog topic to start; then had to move it. I will address this more in the blog to come when I have time and the grandkids are off swimming in town; but then that means you want to end freedom of religion in this country? If you consider all Islamic people to be our enemy, think there is no moderates in that religion and that they are all out to destroy the United States, why did we go to Iraq to liberate those people and empower them? What was Afghanistan all about since Bush didn't go after bin Laden that much and said he wasn't really that important in this war. Why were we there then? Why are we there now since these are all Muslim nations?

More on this coming with answers to those questions cj posted. I hope others will join in if they have information that is pertinent. It would be especially good to hear from Muslims given most of what you guys are parroting comes from people like Breitbart and their interpretation of events.

At least the righties who are willing to put an end to freedom of religion in the United States are being honest but I have to wonder if they realize how far this may yet go as more religions than Islam have done bad things in their fringes.

Rain said...

Incidentally I tolerate (bad word in some circles lol) all dissension if it sticks to the subject and does not insult other commenters or me *s*. I think it's valuable to debate ideas and there are two sides to most things. The issue we usually have to weigh is lesser of evils. We do this or that but they always have a cost and sometimes one we didn't anticipate like calling Islam evil when we are supposedly fighting in other countries to protect Islamic people. Doesn't that seem a little schizophrenic to anybody else?

So more coming in a blog directly on these questions and I hope we will get a lot of comments but no nastiness. Nastiness causes comments to vanish into the ether... too sad...