51 Park (the Muslim structure)

Below is an email sent to members of Democracy for America (of which I am NOT a member).  Democracy for America was set up by Howard Dean after the 2004 presidential election and is making waves by breaking w/ him on the issues of the “Muslim YMCA”.

While I have mixed opinions of this building, I do support our right to free speech and religion.  I also would like to note that the structure that exist currently already houses Muslim prayer rooms.  Would everyone be freaking out if it were a Catholic Cathedral in the neighborhood?  After all, their priest have hurt several children… What about a Baptist Church?  In the 60’s their preachers supported lynchings in the South!  Also, the Pentagon was quick to point out that a Muslim prayer room exist a mere 90 feet from where the airline struct the building on 9/11….

I think most people against this mosque need to wake up and realize a few things..

#1. We are NOT a theology.

#2. We DO have freedom of religion in this country… every religion.

#3. Just because Sarah Palin is against it, doesnt mean you have to be.

and #4. We were NOT attacked my the Muslim religion on 9/11, nor were we attacked by a group of white Christians in Oklahoma City… we were attacked by extremist..  During WWII a Democratic President made the mistake of placing a number of Japanese-American into camps… they didn’t attack us, and nor did all Muslims…

In any case… below is the email…

[L]et’s be clear, the subject of the highest profile Muslim structure, 51 Park in New York City, will have a basketball court and a culinary school. Two floors will have a prayer room. The other eleven will host movie nights, performances, group dinners, etc — it’s basically a Muslim YMCA, open to everyone. These moderate Muslims are doing everything we could ask of them. They’re trying to build a bridge in the communities they live in, trying to show the world that Muslims are cool and interesting and diverse, and proving that being a Muslim does not equal being a terrorist.

But they’re being thrown under the bus by our elected leaders, egged on by some of the ugliest elements of the right-wing. Well-intentioned leaders of the Democratic Party are getting caught up in the fray as well, some of them seeking to find common ground with an implacable opposition. It’s not helping.

This isn’t just a Manhattan problem. Right now, there is opposition to mosques in Staten Island, Brooklyn, Southern California, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Illinois, and dozens of other locations across our nation. Where would they move? If public pressure can be brought to bear to take down the most high-profile Muslim community center in liberal NYC, then these other places don’t even have a chance, Ground Zero connection or not.

Frankly, this isn’t about Ground Zero. This is about America. This is about freedom. This is about people and there seems to be no place that Muslim people can go without being harassed.

The harassment has to stop, and that starts with you and me.


One thought on “51 Park (the Muslim structure)

  1. James… For years we have heard about sensitivity, and tolerance for this group, or that group, or this religion or that religion.

    In my personal opinion, the people responsible for the plan to place a mosque in such close proximity to what is considered sacred ground by some is a slap in the face.
    Maybe it is time for some other groups, other than republicans, Americans, Christians, whites, etc to show some sensitivity and not try to force their way into a location as a political statement.

    And for the record, I have not witnessed any harassment of Muslim people, but one sure way to be harassed is to try and force your beliefs upon others.

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