Yeah, I said it. I commemorated the lives lost on September 11, 2001, when I was a sophomore in high school, by donating money via PayPal to Park51. Because if that masjid – yes, I’m rejecting the damaging argument that ‘it’s not a mosque, it’s just an Islamic center!!1!’ – isn’t built, then America’s promises mean nothing. They mean absolutely nothing.
And the people who died in the attack on the Twin Towers, including approximately 60 Muslims whose families still visit NYC and grieve, whose families reject the equivalency of ‘9/11 victim’ with ‘white Christian,’ did NOT die just so we could sit around and question our Bill of Rights and whether it applies to all Americans.
The 19 men who carried out those attacks did so without any regard for the religion of their victims, which, again, included around 60 Muslims. And yet they stand in for and represent more than 1 billion Muslims worldwide.
They stood for division and enmity and hatred, saying that Muslims would never belong in the West, that America hates Islam, that this country would see the return of internment camps and the loss of civil liberties for followers of the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (S).
I can’t say that they were completely wrong.
And that is why I am donating to Park51. Because I *WANT* them to have been wrong. I want them to have been crazy to think that. I want there to be a masjid close to Ground Zero. Not in the hallowed ground, because that’s not where it is, it’s actually a couple blocks away in an area that has a sizable Muslim community and has had one for years, but that’s beside the point.
(Also, what’s the difference between ‘hallowed ground’ and ‘normal ground’ aside from the lack of Muslims? No one’s ever been able to answer that for me.)
I want there to be a masjid close to Ground Zero. It is the best place in the world for a masjid, because aside from being a religious symbol, it will be a political, cultural, secular symbol of the fact that the terrorists didn’t win: that America accepts its Muslims, accepts their place in our society, and understands that a house of worship in no way means that we want a caliphate set up in D.C. and a Shariah amendment added to the Constitution.
(Moron alert: Most Muslims don’t even know the provisions of Shariah law. It is very complicated and nuanced and takes years upon years of intense study, which is generally left to the realm of Islamic scholars. But don’t let that conflict with the nonsense FOXNews tells you.)
I want there to be a masjid close to Ground Zero as a show to all the terrorists around the world whose ranks are surely swelling with this anti-Muslim sentiment in the US and Europe, that they were wrong. My country accepts my religion and accepts that I, as a Muslim, am not a threat to anyone here just because I touch my forehead to the ground several times a day, don’t wear mini-skirts, haven’t ever smoked pot, and may one day choose to cover my hair again.
The 19 hijackers on 9/11 didn’t care about the religion of those American citizens they killed that day. It would be very nice for America to show that it doesn’t care about the religion of its citizens, either; that it refuses to draw lines in the sand between different faiths in connection with basic civil liberties.
If you feel the way I do, consider donating to Park51 / The Cordoba Initiative by clicking here. One of my Twitter friends DMed me about Michael Moore offering to match the next $10,000 in donations if you forward him the PayPal receipt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stand up for our Bill of Rights on this anniversary of 9/11. Stand up for the same rights the victims in the Twin Towers that day had, that they unknowingly died for.
My condolences to all who lost friends and loved ones on that day. God bless America, and the rest of the world.