Friday, August 06, 2010

Say No to the Mosque at Ground Zero

By Diane Gooch

To many of us in the Two Rivers area, September 11, 2001, was more than a national tragedy; it was also a personal one. Among the thousands of innocent Americans murdered were my brother Paul Geier and many close friends. I admire and commend family members of victims who have translated their grief into activism on behalf of causes related to the events of that day. But for me, honoring my brother has been something my family has mostly done in private.

During my recent campaign for Congress, many well-intentioned supporters encouraged me to discuss the tragedy more openly, but I resisted that idea. Instead, I articulated my belief that our nation must remain vigilant and strong against the threat of global terror, even though most polling indicated that was not consuming voters as much as it used to, which itself is a worrisome realization.

But my silence ends now. It is unacceptable to build a mosque within blocks of the site where the World Trade Center once stood. It has nothing to do with what is allowed under the building code, or deemed legal by the city. It is especially irrelevant to discuss the virtues of religious freedom in the context of this debate. It has to do with understanding and respecting the fact that this is not an ordinary buildable lot. This is hallowed ground where the souls and remains of thousands of innocent Americans who were murdered by Islamic terrorists still reside.

I have no problem with building mosques in New York City, which hundreds of thousands of Muslims call home. In fact, the city today has over 100 mosques. However, it is not sensible to build a mosque at the site of two heinous attacks by Islamic terrorists that led to the death of thousands of innocent Americans. The World Trade Center was attacked once in 1993, and ultimately brought down on 9/11, both times by Muslims carrying out "jihad," or holy war against the United States.

I believe in tolerance. I believe in celebrating our religious and cultural differences. We also need to differentiate between militant Islam and the rest of Muslims who reject their violent manipulation of the faith. But it is sensible, in this case, for the Muslim community to select another site for their mosque and cultural center as a sign of good faith and mutual respect for the family of the victims.

The Chairman of Cordoba, the group seeking to build the mosque, is a man named Faidal Abdul Rauf, who when discussing the attacks of 9/11 told CNN "U.S. policies were an accessory to the crime that happened. We [the U.S.] have been an accessory to a lot of innocent lives dying in the world. Osama bin Laden was made in the USA." These are not the words of someone who understands the enormous pain that the families of innocent murdered Americans feel to this day. They also are more provocative than conciliatory considering that proponents of the mosque suggest building it would help the healing process.

We must not allow the terrorists who executed these attacks to undermine the spirit that make us so great as a nation and a people; our resilience, open-mindedness and love of freedom which we value as Americans. At the same time, we must reject being taken advantage of as a result of these virtues. We should never have to apologize for standing up in the defense of the memory of our victims on 9/11. There is tolerance, and there is insensitivity. This is a case of insensitivity. If the purpose of building this mosque is to "bridge the great divide," then maybe they should pick another spot.

This column was copied, with permission, from the TwoRiverTimes

13 comments:

ambrosiajr said...

So maybe Jews should not move next a German-American neighbor. What's the difference? You're condemning a whole group for the actions of the maniacal few. Maybe that Catholic-Irishman shouldn't move close to that Protestant Church. Lord knows there could be some terroristic thoughts.

Geez...we shouldn't be so quick to condemn a whole religion for the sake of the idiots. THAT'S WHEN THEY WIN!!!

Joe Schilp said...

No one is "condemning a whole religion," we're simply asking that they show the same tolerance and sensitivity that you seek and move it somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

There is no doubt in my mind that the location of this mosque was chosen to be provacative. The name of the organization behind it is provacative. The goal I assume is to make sure that when victims kin are visiting the memorial they will hear the Muslim call to prayer as reminder of who killed there loved ones. And isn't it pathetic that a Mosque will be built before the memorial?

Anonymous said...

Gooch is a bigot. I am so glad Anna Little beat this rich, ignorant, carpetbagger.

Anonymous said...

sorry, when the leaders and "silent majority" of Muslims step up and condemn the ongoing,murderous radicals among them/us, I'll believe it's a "peaceful religion"..

Anonymous said...

I have not heard a peep from any Muslim, anywhere, at anytime, condemn the actions of these lunatics. I don't think it is a minority of Muslims who are terrorists, in fact, I believe the ones who aren't terrorists, are supoorting it deep down inside. This mosque is nothing more than a perceived victory by the terrorists.

ambrosiajr said...

Please read today's editorial in the APP. It sums it up succinctly.

Anonymous said...

re- Anon 2.45AM- Another classy Anna Little supporter!!

Freespeaker76 said...

Anonymous (2:45) said...
Gooch is a bigot. I am so glad Anna Little beat this rich, ignorant, carpetbagger.

These kinds of comments are totally uncalled for. I wonder if this person is a Tea Partier, and if so; is this the image they want to portray?

Art, you think this kind of comment is appropriate here?

Disappointed

Art Gallagher said...

Gooch is a bigot. I am so glad Anna Little beat this rich, ignorant, carpetbagger.

re- Anon 2.45AM- Another classy Anna Little supporter!!

Anonymous (2:45) said...
Gooch is a bigot. I am so glad Anna Little beat this rich, ignorant, carpetbagger.

These kinds of comments are totally uncalled for. I wonder if this person is a Tea Partier, and if so; is this the image they want to portray?

Art, you think this kind of comment is appropriate here?

Disappointed


I don't believe Diane Gooch is a bigot. I agree with her that Lower Manhattan is no place for a mosque like the one being proposed.

Nor do I believe that the commenter was an Anna Little supporter or a Tea Partier. More than likely a Pallone supporter trying to create divisions and mischief.

Do I think the comment is appropriate here? I'm of two minds about that. I don't like the comment, but that is the tact the mosque supporters are making in response to those, the majority, who oppose it. Not just against Diane, but against all who are opposed to it.

It's the same false race card that the left is playing against the Tea Parties and anyone who opposes their agenda.

A large part of the value of MMM is the debate in the comments. That offensive comment is consistent with the larger debate outside of MMM on this issue. So yes, it belongs here.

What really disappoints me is that someone would think that a Little supporter or Tea Partier made the comment. Maybe a mischief making Democrat made that comment too. I haven't checked the logs and I'm not going to.

If I were to learn that the commenters who took offense and accused Little supporters/Tea Partiers of making the comment were close to Diane, I would be most disappointed for two reasons. 1) It would tell me that they haven't put the primary behind themselves and embraced Anna's candidacy fully, and 2) more importantly, it would tell me they are still too thin skinned to be engaged publicly at this level. When you put yourself out there as a candidate or a pundit, which Diane now is, you need a thick skin. People are going to say terrible things about you. People say terrible things about me consistently. It's a tactic they use to try to reduce your impact.

I doubt that is the case though. Probably Pallone supporters creating mischief.

The primary is long behind us. We're on the same team.

Please don't miss THE point said...

thanks, Art, agree,it'll take til Oct. or so,if ever, for some of the short-sighted among us to get past June, for sure, am stil hearing traces of it,too..please,let's all get past this constant "PC mentality," and focus on the pain Diane and all the rest needlessly suffered, losing loved ones to those barbarians!!..those of us who were lucky enough to be spared, could be in the next group of dead or survivors, don't you GET that they are NOT done, worldwide??!!..it's unbelievable, the ignorance, sometimes.... and, I like the new MMM logo, but could you put some red around it?.. it's a bit disconcerting to see that much "blue" color, here!.. adding red would make it good old red, white, and blue, no?..

Art Gallagher said...

Nor do I believe that the commenter was an Anna Little supporter or a Tea Partier. More than likely a Pallone supporter trying to create divisions and mischief.

One of the reasons I believe this is that I think most Little supporters and Tea Partiers agree with Diane on this issue. Also, they are the targets of false accusations of bigotry, and wouldn't likely throw that kind of an accusation at Diane.

I'm pretty sure that comment came from our growing lefty contingent of readers.....More Proof that Frank Pallone is worried about Anna Little.

MLaffey said...

Well said Mrs. Gooch.

The fact is that most Americans even the ones that oppose this particular Mosque support the right of Muslims to worship what and where they want. In fact Muslims have 100 times more religous freedom in the USA then Christians , Jews or any other religion has in predominantly Muslim Countries. This is as it should be.
It is not Mosgues that these people oppose oppose but a Mosgue on this particular site and it is with good reason that they do so.
You may argue that the reasons are not rational and perhaps they are not, but we are dealing with an event that was irrational and thier emotions are valid.

If as the proponents of this Mosgue claim their purpose is to foster interfaith dialog and understanding then they would build somewhere else. There insistance that it be built there makes me question their true motives.