What is the goal, purpose, agenda behind New York City mosque?
Posted: Wednesday, September 1, 2010 8:01 pm
By: Glenda Caudle, Special Features Editor
By GLENDA CAUDLE
Special Features Editor
I’m just asking.
Just a few simple questions.
The last time I checked, I still had the right to do that.
So here’s what I’m wondering:
1. If the goal is to stir up the anger and hatred of disaffected young Muslims scattered across the world, how might one go about that?
2. If the goal is to tear open afresh the wounds inflicted on families, friends and communities who lost loved ones to a senseless assault, the better to forcefully remind them of the ongoing ability to inflict future hurt, harm and danger, how might one accomplish that aim?
3. If the goal is to stake out and unhesitatingly identify an area as subjugated “spiritual” territory won by those who claim a particular religious orientation, how might one pursue that goal?
4. If the goal is to secure a beachhead for the establishment of sharia law in new vistas, how might one launch that initiative?
5. If the goal is to set people at odds with each other and create fresh political turmoil to weaken a nation that desperately needs to be whole and united in protecting its citizens from enemies foreign and domestic, how might one proceed?
There is a single and simple answer to all these questions: Build a mosque adjacent to Ground Zero in New York City.
The pain, dissension and disagreement that emanates from even a suggestion of its being built will accomplish all the goals listed above, save one — and that the first. But happily for those bent on mayhem, the resulting and completely legitimate suggestion — that there are more appropriate locations for this place that is described as being dedicated to worship and goodwill — will accomplish (when skillfully skewed) even that first-listed aim.
1. Impressionable young Muslims, here and abroad, hearing the distorted pronouncements that their religious liberties are being attacked by those who prefer the mosque be built elsewhere, will likely respond with renewed hatred and violence against the nation that dares question the suitability of the construction. Goal accomplished.
2. New Yorkers still mourning, forced to view daily the handiwork of people who have expressed a measure of sympathy with the murderers of their loved ones, will — as the walls rise — live in the shadow of fear that the enemy may strike again, and this time from the vantage point of closer range, if they are displeased. Goal accomplished.
3. A nation held in contempt by those who scorn its freedoms, as well as its excesses, will be reminded, moment by moment, of the victory claimed by religious zealots in its very heart. Goal accomplished.
4. A country founded on religious liberty will find that liberty twisted to condone its precise opposite in the form of religious law that — in its most stringent interpretation — tolerates no dissension and derides the very concept of freedom. Goal accomplished.
5. A people divided by internal debates, not over what is legal, but over what should be carefully examined and understood before it is accepted and celebrated, will prove to be a weakened foe. Goal accomplished.
In fact, the building of the proposed mosque just a few blocks from the site of the World Trade Center murders has nothing to do with religious, political or social rights or even what is lawful.
Many things are lawful that are unwise. Many things are legal that are unjust. Many things are allowed by man-made statute that are an assault on human liberty and decency. Consider the fact that slavery was lawful for many years, that assault perpetrated against a female spouse was legal for some time, that the brutal taking of human life in the womb is allowed, and sometimes encouraged, even today.
There is no argument about the legality, the lawfulness or the allowance of a house of worship of any faith being constructed on private property. No, that is not what the dissension is about. And neither is the self-described but not-existent persecution of Muslims what the discussion is about.
The focus is, and should be, on determining the purpose, the goal, the agenda, behind the building.
Because it appears more and more that the construction of the proposed mosque, just a few blocks from the site of the World Trade Center murders, in fact, has everything to do with advancing an agenda.
We can know what the agenda is by determining who supports it and observing how open the proponents are to rational discussion and humane response to concerns about the project.
This much is clear: If the purpose is peaceful, if it is grounded in love and concern for others, if it is an effort to build bridges of understanding and promote healing, those pursuing the goal will gladly acknowledge and accede to the concerns, pain and distress of those who are asking them to reconsider their original plan.
If the agenda is a good one, a God-inspired one, they will be open to finding a new location for the mosque. In so doing, they will prove themselves to be a tolerant, kind and loving people interested, truly, in living out a peaceful religion’s tenets.
If, on the other hand, they persist in building, they may be within their legal rights, but they leave their goals open to legitimately negative interpretation.
The Muslim religion is practiced peacefully by many adherents; however, it is also claimed as the guiding force by many who interpret its teachings to legitimize violence and deceit against non-believers. It should not be an affront to any religion for someone to seek to determine which precepts are being put into practice by a particular group of worshipers. It should, instead, be viewed as an opportunity to put forth the faith’s most laudable teachings.
So, I’m just asking. Just a few simple questions to try to determine the real purpose, the real goal, the real agenda here.
I think I still have that right, despite the fact that Speaker Pelosi has suggested I should be investigated for raising the questions; despite the fact that others of a similar mindset as the congresswoman will, if they stay true to form, accuse me of all kinds of hatred and intolerance and religious bigotry and try to silence me by their contempt.
I’ll go on asking.
In a free society, shouldn’t that be encouraged?
In a free society, isn’t that a way of maintaining freedom?
Mrs. Caudle may be contacted at glendacaudle @ucmessenger.com.
Published in The Messenger 9.1.10