I am getting very tired of hearing ignorant, emotionally charged, over-generalized protests against the Cordoba Initiative building a cultural center and mosque in lower Manhattan, adjacent to the site of the former World Trade Center. It is NOT a Sunni Wahhabi (Arabic: Al-Wahhābīyya الوهابية) mosque. It's not an attempt to "take over NYC and fill it full of mosques" - only the minds of paranoid, delusional, ignorant Americans would believe such an "insidious plot" could be conceived, publicized, and propagated, and executed.
How can I say this confidently? Consider the facts:
- Look at the staff of the Cordoba Initiative.
Sayyed Nadeem Kazmi is a prominent Shia [Director of International Affairs at the Al-Khoei Foundation (the largest Shia Institute in the UK)]. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is a prominent Sufi (SUFI, not SUNNI). Neither is a fundamentalist fanatic. Both have been recognized by informed Jewish leaders as proponents of peace & understanding
- all of the 9-11 Hijackers were Sunni, practicing, or non-practicing. Bin Laden is a fanatical Wahhabi Muslim devotee. Mullah Omar is a Wahhabi Sunni. The vast majority of fundamentalist Muslims are Wahhabi and Deobandis (you're not going to find a moderate Wahhabi or Deobandis any easier than you'll find a moderate Assembly of God preacher)
- there are more Jews in NYC than in any other city in the US. You really think there will be more Muslims than any other religion in NYC, anytime in the next 200 years?
To say that the Cordoba Initiative is a hate-filled group of fundamentalist Muslims bent on global domination would be like saying the Unitarian Universalist Church is hell-bent on burning witches at the stake, Or that the Bahá'í religion secretly drinks the blood of infants and puppies. It's ludicrous.
If you are going to rail against hate-driven fundamentalists who love to kill Americans, DON'T over-generalize to label "ALL Muslims" as in league with, collaborators with, supportive of the Wahhabi way of thinking. To say that, and to believe that, is like saying every Christian, from Mother Theresa to Jim Wallis to St.Francis of Assisi to Joseph Smith to the Marquis de Sade all went to Bob Jones University or support Jerry Falwell's Liberty University. To lump all Muslims together as equally desiring of restoring the Caliphate, is to say that in Northern Ireland, it was the Christians killing the Christians, instead of the Protestants & Catholics killing themselves.
Look at how the Shia and Sunni Kurds have begun killing each other in Mosul, Baghdad, Ramadi, Samarra, Fallujah, Karkuk, and Tikrit in 2010 now that the American patrols are staying inside the FOBs for the most part, and sectarian violence is simmering to civil war. If a Sunni Wahhabi fanatic had 1 bullet but he wanted to kill an atheist, a Hindu, a Christian, and a Shia Muslim, he'd kill the Shia heretic first, who is anathema to a pure Sunni Wahhabi, and then try and convert the other three. Look at the recent Sufi Muslim shrine that was attacked by suicide bombers, killing 35 and wounding 175 worshipers. Sufi's are a tiny sect of Islam, the 'whirling dervishes' who sometimes speak in tongues and have a more mystic interpretation of their faith. A hate filled Sunni Wahhabi thinks they are even worse than the previously mentioned Shia.
So there are these various sects of Muslims who really really don't like each other in their most fundamentalist, narrow-minded forms - just as Southern Baptists hate Roman Catholics (and have burnt crosses in their yards and lynched them in the 50s and 60s in the guise of the KKK), Hutus hate Tutsies in Rwanda, Bele & Lokai hated each other, Spanish Inquisitors hated Jews, etc... but the Cordoba Initiative has been working for years to try and over-come those animosities and build cultural bridges, so that fundamentalist extremist groups like Al Qaeda (القاعدة) have fewer recruits, fewer foot soldiers, less financial support. Jewish community leaders in NYC have lauded and embraced the Cordoba Initiative's work, seriously.
So why do New Yorkers fear this moderate, community & consensus building organization's attempt to build a mosque in lower Manhattan? Because they are reacting emotionally, and out of ignorance. They believe ridiculous internet rumors, and latch onto over-generalization about all Muslims and all of Islam, making themselves look as base, ignorant, and vile as the fundamentalist, hate-filled Al Qaeda terrorists who over-generalized that All Americans are evil and need to be destroyed. Heck, these paranoid New Yorkers are REINFORCING Al Qaeda's stereotype of Americans. Ugh!
The Bible[TM] is FULL of references to intolerance, violence, and killing of non believers and conversion of them or destruction of their way of life. Do all Christians believe those passages and interpret them the same way? NO!! So stop over-generalizing that all Muslims are all fundamentalist Sunni Wahhabi!!!!! Calling a Sufi Iman a Wahhabi is like calling a Pentecostal preacher an Anglican priest (nothing against Anglican priests or Sufi Imans, they are just have very different beliefs. I don't know any Pentecostal preachers, other than the one I saw in "There Will Be Blood")
"Sam Nunberg of the Center for Law and Justice said: "It would be like removing the sunken ship in Pearl Harbor to erect a memorial to the Japanese kamikazes killed in the attack.""
No Mr.Nunberg, it would be like removing One Of the sunken battleships in Pearl Harbor, and erecting a memorial to the Japanese translators who served in the US Armed forces in WWII, or a museum dedicated to the evils of imperialism (Japanese Imperialism that lead to WWII in the Pacific... not the US Imperialism since then), or erecting a think tank and library dedicated to the study of why stupid stupid stupid easy manipulated, fearful citizens support dictatorial unilateral Executive regimes like Hitler's, Tojo's, George W Bush's, Mussolini's, Pol Pot's, Argentina's President Juan Perón, etc.
Such dumb, xenophobic Americans are part of the problem, not part of the solution. I am glad I do not live in NYC - I'd probably be arrested for getting in a physical confrontation with these hate & fear mongers.
I started this rant yesterday, before the NPR story aired on it today... I just did not have enough time to finish it yesterday.
1 year ago