Sunday, August 22, 2010

Pump up the Love

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Municipal Land-Use Update - Ground Zero Mosque
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And now my turn. A couple months ago I was asked by a friend for my opinion about a mosque being built at ground zero. At the time I knew nothing about the matter and declined to comment, citing a need to research the issue before forming an opinion. True to my word I did read up on the issue listening to both sides and forming my own conclusions. Now admittedly I am biased. I pray regularly and join the congregation on Fridays. Also I know all too well what it feels like to pray in an overcrowded mosque. Mashallah there are so many worshippers we literally have to pray on the backs of the brothers in front of us!

The only logical thing to do in this case is to expand and build more floor space to accommodate the faithful. Which is why I find the opposition’s arguments completely absurd. “A terrorist command center” “A shrine to their victory” “turning Manhattan into a Mecca” “A place to dance on our graves” the litany of unfounded accusations go on and on. My question is this, where are they getting their information about Islam and Muslims? It certainly isn’t from the horse’s mouth more like the rear end.

Time and again we have made it clear that Islam does not allow for the killing of innocents and places a high value on human life. Also our leaders have issued countless statements sympathizing with the victims of 9/11, 300 of which were Muslims. But all of this is lost in the ether; pundits distort the facts and spew out hate filled garbage which is eaten up by their listeners. It is nearly impossible to get through to them as they refuse to hear anything else. They have in fact chosen to fear all except fear itself.

The fact of the matter is that the proposed cultural center is addressing a basic need of the community in that area. The organizers are more than happy to welcome members of all faiths and all walks of life into their doors. Think of all the good that would do. Taking kids off the street and giving them something productive to do (before you post an absurd response bear in mind I am referring to extracurricular activities). A place for the Abrahamic faiths to congregate and learn from each other's wisdom. And yes a place for Muslims to bow down before their lord and sustainer.

I’ve seen similar community centers acting as safe havens for troubled teens, a means for building bridges between communities a place to come together with love and brotherhood. They'll call me an idealist but all in all it sounds pretty wonderful to me. I would be happy to go down there and pay a visit when it’s done. You are welcome to join me. Peace.

UPDATE: This is a reminder to all NYS residents, the primaries are this Tuesday (Sept. 14, 2010) go out and vote. Send congress and the office of Governor a clear message. We will no longer tolerate an atmosphere of anxiety, we want peace with our neighbors and amongst our communities. No more policies of fear mongering. We will not be cowed into giving up our freedoms for a false sense of security. We want to treat our fellow man with compassion and justice. I want each and every registered voter to vote their conscience.

It should be obvious how the entities supporting war are the same entities who support making the rich, richer. Who support taking from the poor, working and middle class to further misguided attacks on innocent civilians. Their unwise policies have brought this country to near financial ruin and has made it that much insecure. I can't make up your mind for you only you know who you will vote for. But since you are an "I Don't Know" reader you are interested in my opinion.

If you happen to live in the 15th congressional district and are a registered Democrat. May I suggest a worthy candidate for your consideration? His name is Jonathan Tasini I had the pleasure of meeting him at my local mosque. He's a friend of the Muslim Community. And has a deep respect for Islam. He was in attendance during the Khutbah. Afterwards he had kind words to say about the sermon and the Imam. His choice of words were spot on. Greeting us with salam and calling us brohters and sisters, that is something to his credit. Furthermore he and his staff appeared very cordial and answered my questions in a respectful and polite manner. I was very pleased that day.

However I couldn't expect anything less, I attend Friday Prayers at the 96th street Mosque. The imam there is politically savvy and often invites Government Officials to speak on Issues concerning the Muslim Community. Previously we had NYC Comptroller John C. Liu speaking about how the office of the Mayor fully backs building of the Community Center in Downtown Manhattan. And that bigotry will not be tolerated. This certainly helps ease anxiety felt by Muslims, who just want to go about their lives and do not want to be thrust into a vicious political power play. So if Tasini is good enough for my Mosque he's good enough for me and this site fully endorses him as a public servant.

And if anyone asks you can say that this guy sent you...

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