By Dee Newman
New polls indicate that while voters in New York State disapprove of the project to build an Islamic community center and place of worship near the World Trade Center site by a wide margin (63-27 percent), they also overwhelmingly agree (64-28 percent) that there is a constitutional right for the center to be built. It would, therefore, seem that the objection to building the center is based more on passion and emotional feelings (loss, sorrow, anguish, pain, grief, resentment, fear, anger, and/or rage) rather than on sound rational legal, logical, or ethical motives.
It is, therefore, not only altogether fitting and proper, but imperative that we as a community of concerned and caring human beings reach out to those who are still suffering emotionally and psychologically from the attacks on 9/11 with empathy, care and concern and help them to work through their emotional distress.
However, we should never allow the irrational, emotional and psychological sufferings of the majority, their grief, anxiety, fear, and anger to supersede the fundamental principles and values of this nation. It is one thing to listen with compassion and understanding to their distress. It is all together another thing to acquiesce to it or accept it as a healthy, appropriate, or just response.
Those politician and their surrogates in the media who continue to exploit and manipulate the anguish, fear, and anger of those who are still suffering from the horrific events of September 11, 2001, as well as, those who continue to use and even express a xenophobic anti-Muslim bigotry for patrician political gain must be identified and exposed for who they are – deceitful, malicious, fear-mongering immoral political hucksters.
Furthermore, those politicians who have succumbed out of self-interest or other pathetic reasons and objectives to these vicious, bigoted, and hateful political attacks from far-right extremists must also be identified and expose for who they are – moral cowards!
A few closing observations: I am amazed that so many people who supported from the get-go our goal to free the Muslim people of Iraq from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein and who continue to defend to this day the sacrifice and lost of thousands of our young men and women to that end, are now horrified by the prospect that a Muslim community center and place of worship may be built near to “Ground Zero.” It makes no sense!
In addition, many of those who are now advocating government interference into the free exercise of religion, impeding on First Amendment rights, are some of the same folks who are constantly demanding Second Amendment Constitutional adherence when it comes to the right of the people to keep and bear arms. It seems many of them find it just as easy to pick and choose Constitutional rights as they do Biblical passages when they are trying to justify their intolerant and discriminatory actions.
Nonetheless, these positions are not only hypocritical and immoral; they are illegal, illogical, and irrational.