A Christian, A Jew, & A Muslim Walk Into A Mosque

Posted: August 20, 2010 in Culture, In the News, Politics, Religion
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

rikkenian.deviantart.com

So some Muslims want to build a mosque and Islamic community center a few blocks from Ground Zero.

Okay. So what?

Well, it seems the former Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani, former House Speaker, Newt Gingrich, and former Alaskan Governor and potential 2012 Presidential Candidate (God help us all), Sarah Palin – among others – have a big problem with this.

To those who want to build the mosque, Giuliani claims, “All you’re doing is creating more division, more anger, more hatred.”

But doesn’t feeding the fear and bigotry, by not building the mosque, just endorse people’s prejudice and allow for more division, more anger, and more hatred? They are blaming an entire religion for the acts of a radical, fundamentalist few. According to the Pew Research Center there are 1.57 billion Muslims in the world, including 3,264 members of the U.S. military. Are they ALL terrorists?

The Catholic Church, with reportedly 1.16 billion members world-wide, has been rocked by scandal after scandal about pedophile priests. In fact, their own leader, Pope Benedict XVI, has repeatedly been found to have taken part in the cover-up. How many new Catholic Churches will we allow to be built near schools and parks? Wouldn’t that also be considered a slap in the face to the thousands of abuse victims? Hell, I once saw a liquor store literally next door to an AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) center in San Francisco. WWJD?

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A-Holes In Politics

To make matters worse, a-holes like Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich back up the ignorant opinions of people like Giuliani, ensuring fear and bigotry remain alive and well.

From The Los Angeles Times, Gingrich was quoted as saying, “America is experiencing an Islamist cultural-political offensive designed to undermine and destroy our civilization.” Destroy our civilization? Really? Islamists, Gingrich further warned, want to impose Muslim religious law, or Sharia, on the entire world, including the United States. A religion with the goal of recruiting and converting new members all over the world? Where have I heard that before?

As for Palin’s brilliant take on the situation:

There are a hundred mosques already in New York […] If the purpose of this mosque, as we are lead to believe, is to create this tolerant environment, to avoid anything like 9-11 ever repeating, you have to ask why didn’t one of those 100 mosques already accomplish such a thing? […] So I don’t buy into that reason, that that’s the purpose of this location being chosen.

Sarah Palin, Fox News, August 16, 2010

Yes. Sarah Palin is blaming the 100 existing mosques in New York for 9-11. Following her misguided thread of logic, shouldn’t we also blame the 300,000 Christian Churches in the U.S. (and/or its 56 million worshipers) for the actions of Evangelical Christians who, in addition to preaching “Thou Shall Not Kill,” are responsible for a multitude of bombings, attempted bombings, murders, attempted murders, and death threats against abortion clinics, doctors and staff?

Palin furthermore seems to be insinuating that there’s a hidden agenda to the choice of the mosque’s location. What does she think they’re planning to do? 9-11 times 100? Perhaps rather than spouting hate-mongering rhetoric, she should hire a new fact checker or scribble better cheat-sheets on her hand.

From the Fact Checkers at the Associated Press:

To be sure, the center’s association with 9/11 is intentional and its location is no geographic coincidence. The building was damaged in the Sept. 11 attacks and the center’s planners say they want the center to stand as a statement against terrorism.

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Practice What You Preach

If religion teaches us anything, it is that we should only do unto others as we would have done to us. Quoting President Obama from a 2009 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, this is the one law that binds all great religions together. Jesus told us to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” The Torah commands, “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow.” In Islam, there is a hadith that reads “None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.”

On September 25, 1789, our founding fathers protected these sacred truths when writing the Bill of Rights, the 10 original Amendments to the Constitution of the United States . The first of these ten declares:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

At this moment in our country’s history, some Americans are not only treating Muslims like the enemy, they’re trying to prohibit their basic right to practice their religion how and specifically where they choose. If I’m remembering my history correctly, the United States was established by men and women who fled Europe in the face of religious persecution, which eventually lead to the very Bill of Rights that now protects that religious privilege. I’m told many, of every faith, in the U.S. military have fought and died as well so that we can maintain this and all our other great freedoms. Why?

It’s time to stop paying lip service to faith, feeding the hate, and ignoring history. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness isn’t just a catchphrase; it is a right – one that has been fought and died for – and it applies to every American whether you’re Christian, Jew, or Muslim.

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Comments
  1. […] the fact that it was extremists who attacked us on 9-11, people are uncomfortable with peaceful Muslims building a mosque. Some even go so far as to say Muslims shouldn’t even be allowed to wear a religious […]

  2. Bob says:

    Cute, I like how you take what should be obvious and give it a shake!!! I have been reading pretty extensively on the “War on Terror” (thats an oxymoron if I ever heard it) and the fallout generated by extremists on all sides. It’s really disturbing when you look at the level of intolerance on all sides here. They all claim to have a peaceful loving relationship with what they understand as god. But yet are all willing to pick up a gun and kill in that peaceful name?? I just don’t get it myself.

    Anyways good take on a serious topic.
    Bob

    http://bahbs.wordpress.com/

  3. superpaulia says:

    We will all have to make some difficult decisions soon

  4. Blake says:

    I thought we all came to America to have a place where we COULD persecute other religions, right? High five! No?

  5. ryszardwg says:

    Great post! Funny how the Fundamentalist don’t recognize themselves…

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