Monday, August 16, 2010

The Mosque!

This post is about the Mosque that is being proposed near ground zero in lower Manhattan.

I know it is a controversy!

If, for a brief moment, in the reading of this post, we each could suspend our anger, put aside our innate prejudice. (And we do have some) and think about the positive position it puts America rather than the emotional hold the attacks on 9/11 have on all us, maybe we can find reason without retribution.

Originally I was not for a Mosque being built anywhere in lower Manhattan. To me it was and is sacred ground. A place regarded with reverence. It still is and it always will be.

I watched one plane plow into the World Trade Center and I reported on the carnage of the others. The tragedy, the anger, continued for days and consumed our life and lives. It was the most emotionally wrenching experience of any story I ever covered in my nearly 50 years of reporting the sordid stories of human kind.

These days we have a lot of eloquent people, media personalities, loquacious politicians, who know the buttons to push, both for and against an Islamic Center. And there are the family members who’ve lost loved ones in New York, Pennsylvania or at the Pentagon. They too speak out and amplify the emotion and pain of 2001. It is their right and their responsibility.

I now support the building of a Mosque in lower Manhattan for these reasons.

It shows to extreme Moslems that America stands for a core principal upon which it was founded. Freedom of religion and the right to worship anywhere.

It shows the Islamic communities world wide that America embraces not one, but all of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s four freedoms. They are and I quote from FDR’s speech before Congress.

The first is freedom of speech and expression -- everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way -- everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want, which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants -- everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear, which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor -- anywhere in the world.”

Despite the pain of loss, despite the sadness and sorrow we all share for those who lost so much, despite our human emotional need for retribution and retaliation, we might choose to take another path. The one taught by a great teacher over two thousand years ago and by many of the noted spiritual teachers throughout history.


1 comment:

Gabi K said...

I remember, the memorial services after 9/11 were held by all religions. Right?
Why now not allowing serving all religions around Ground Zero?

Just my thoughts...

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