According to a recent poll, 2/3rds of New Yorkers don’t want a Muslim mosque to be built as planned because it is too close to Ground Zero. Once again, I suppose we have FOX News, Rush Limbaugh, and the other fake news entities who profit off of hate mongering to thank. Then again, the ignorance of the American people also knows no bounds.
Never did I dream that half a century after the days of Martin Luther King, Jr., our country would be riddled with discrimination against homosexuals, continued bigotry directed against women and African-Americans and religious persecution. The founding fathers would be turning over in their graves. Regarding the mosque: For one, the proposed Mosque is planned as a base of worship for Sufis. Sufi Islam is about as far from Al Qaeda as one could possibly get. Fundamentalist Christianity has more in common with Al Qaeda than the Sufis. The face of Sufism, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, is the Timothy Leary of the Muslim faith, preaching true love, peace, understanding, and following the dictates of the heart. You know, all that stuff that the “good Christians” protesting the mosque profess to believe in.
Furthermore, what kind of religion is going to be practiced in the mosque is not an issue. Freedom of religion is our country’s most fundamental right. Not the freedom to practice Christianity. The Founders, being smarter than most people are even today, were deists, refusing to conform to any standardized religion. This country exists as a haven for people wishing to be free of religious persecution. Trying to stand in the way of that mosque is not just morally wrong; it’s un-American.
Another disturbing poll I recently saw said that the people who believe Obama is a Muslim is up 7%, to 18%. That statistic in itself doesn’t disturb me. Half of the knuckle-draggers in this country still think the Theory of Evolution is a tool of the Devil. What bothers me is that it matters. That Obama, and all the Presidents before him, should have to defend their Christianity, that going to Church every Sunday is part of the job. Growing up, I was led to believe that one of the things that makes this country great is that anyone could become President. Clearly, as groundbreaking as Obama’s election was, this is still not the case.
As a Jew, I was also taught at a very early age that bigotry against one group is a danger to us all. Some may say that the violent nature of terrorists who happen to be Muslims changes the nature of the argument. I disagree. I have no love for terrorists, particularly Islamic terrorists who are among the many groups throughout history that have special brands of atrocities set aside for my people. But all Muslims are not terrorists any more than all Jews are money-hoarding puppet-masters, any more than all Christians are drooling, witch-hunting Bible-thumpers.
Let me close by reemphasizing what I just said, because it’s important, and most people don’t realize it until it’s too late.
Bigotry against one group is a danger TO US ALL.