The Minkoff Minx {Go Ahead…Make Your Move!}

"I get very passionate about what I think is right."-Hillary Rodham Clinton

Working it in…

But we live in a bizarro world where terrorists and their sympathizers get to build mosques by Ground Zero (still wondering why that’s happening? It’s called money, and if you think it’s not going to be built, think again. Unless you have more money than the Saudis that chunk of defecatory disrespect will most likely be built because, in case you haven’t been paying attention, your elected officials don’t really give a whit about what you think or feel).

I think that this statement above, written on the blog Oh My Valve, truly says something, money is the main motivation behind Bloomberg’s approval. And speaking of Bloomberg…He recently gave a speech with the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop…his props (various religious leaders…I mean he even had a monk in robes) surrounding him as he spoke.

William Kristol has this point up in his editorial…Shut Up, He Explained Mayor Michael Bloomberg to New Yorkers.

Last Tuesday, standing in front of the Statue of Liberty, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke on the subject of the proposed mosque at Ground Zero. His remarks will be read with curiosity by future generations of Americans, who will look back in astonishment at the self-deluding pieties and self-destructive dogmas that are held onto, at once smugly and desperately, by today’s liberal elites. Our liberation from those dogmas, and from those elites, is underway across the nation. But it’s worth taking a look at Bloomberg’s speech, if only to remind us of what we need to ascend from so our descendants can look back with curiosity at the ethos to which we did not succumb.

As is the way of contemporary liberals, Bloomberg spoke at a very high level of abstraction. He appealed to the principle of religious toleration, while never mentioning the actual imam who is responsible for and would control the planned Ground Zero mosque. To name Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf might invite a consideration of his background, funding, and intentions. Do Rauf and his backers believe in the principles underlying the “inspiring symbol of liberty” that greets immigrants to the United States and before which Bloomberg stood? Bloomberg didn’t say. It apparently doesn’t matter. Toleration means asking nothing, criticizing nothing, saying nothing, about whom or what one is tolerating. This is the Sergeant Schultz standard of toleration: I know nothing.

Knowing nothing, or wishing to know nothing, about the mosque, Bloomberg took it upon himself to lecture his fellow New Yorkers on their obligation to be true to “the best part of ourselves.” That part is apparently the part of us that allows at once for intellectual obfuscation and moral preening. Bloomberg never acknowledged that sane and tolerant people might object to a 15-story Islamic community center and mosque right next to Ground Zero. He could not be bothered to take seriously the reservations and objections of a clear majority of his constituents. “In fact, to cave to popular sentiment would be to hand a victory to the terrorists—and we should not stand for that.” So public sentiment be damned. There’s nothing to be learned from the ignorant and bigoted residents of New York.

Instead, Bloomberg lectured: “On September 11, 2001, thousands of first responders heroically rushed to the scene and saved tens of thousands of lives. More than 400 of those first responders did not make it out alive. In rushing into those burning buildings, not one of them asked ‘What God do you pray to?’ ‘What beliefs do you hold?’ ” True, certainly true. But Bloomberg did not permit himself to ask what vision of god, what set of beliefs, inspired those who set those buildings aflame. Bloomberg said that it was our “spirit of openness and acceptance that was attacked on 9/11.” But attacked by whom? Bloomberg wouldn’t say.

In fact, he denied the propriety of asking such a question. It would have been one thing—a more defensible thing—if Bloomberg had argued that there was little that could be done legally to stop the mosque and that New Yorkers should therefore make the best of a bad situation. But that was not his message. Instead, Bloomberg came to the Statue of Liberty not simply to accept the mosque, but to praise it: “Of course, it is fair to ask the organizers of the mosque to show some special sensitivity to the situation—and in fact, their plan envisions reaching beyond their walls and building an interfaith community. By doing so, it is my hope that the mosque will help to bring our City even closer together. .  .  . I expect the community center and mosque will add to the life and vitality of the neighborhood and the entire City.”

But have the real, existing organizers of the mosque shown much sensitivity to other New Yorkers? The answer is no—but if you’re a contemporary liberal, you don’t get into the actual, existing facts in order to make a judgment. You govern on the basis of what the organizers’ “plan” nominally “envisions,” you appeal to a hope and expectation that even Bloomberg can’t really believe in. But it allows him to avoid coming to grips with what is really happening and what lies behind the popular sentiment of disgust, even revulsion.

The conclusion of Bloomberg’s speech was odd: “Political controversies come and go, but our values and our traditions endure—and there is no neighborhood in this City that is off limits to God’s love and mercy, as the religious leaders here with us can attest.” Do the rest of us need Bloomberg’s hand-picked religious leaders to tell us that there are no limits to God’s love and mercy? We do doubt that encouraging this mosque to be built is an appropriate expression of respect for God’s love and mercy for those who were killed almost nine years ago. And we would note that no expression of New Yorkers’ love and gratitude for the victims of September 11 has yet been built at the site of Ground Zero during Mayor Bloomberg’s tenure.

It is likely, we believe, that civic pressure will cause the mosque to be moved elsewhere—Bloomberg’s lecture notwithstanding. But if Bloomberg were to have his way, it’s worth noting that he would presumably attend a dedication of Feisal Abdul Rauf’s mosque at Ground Zero before he would attend a dedication of a proper memorial to those who died there.

Contemporary liberalism means building a mosque rather than a memorial at Ground Zero—and telling your fellow citizens to shut up about it.

—William Kristol

I went ahead and quoted the entire thing, I am keeping a record of all these articles I find about this…just for my own therapy.

Build the Mosque someplace else in Manhattan. This is my main point to all of this hype about the Cordoba House, or as it is neutrally call now, Park51.  My disgust is not about hate, it is about respect for the over 3000 people  who were killed on that site. It is about honoring these poor victims of terrorism…not some PR move. That is it. These families are still waiting for their memorial. They are still finding remains of those who were killed almost 10 years after the attacks.  Why do they have to put it here, at Ground Zero…why can’t they at least put it in another location. My husband was there on September 11th, he is a survivor. He lost three friends from his office. He saw groups of over 20 people holding hands jumping from the towers. He saw people burst into bloody heaps when their bodies hit the building, or the light poles in the plaza, or the ground. He saw the body parts strewn all over the ground. He had to dodge the bodies that fell, in fact one of the friends he lost died from getting hit by a jumper…right in front of my husband. He saw it. He was in a war zone. He experienced something that none of us can imagine. We (our kids and I) did not know he was alive until he walked in the door at 7pm that night. He still has nightmares about this and suffers from PTSD, it ruined our lives.
Recently, while speaking to Veterans in Atlanta, Obama referred to PTSD as “PTSD is a pain like no other — the nightmares that keep coming back, the rage that strikes suddenly, the hopelessness that’s led too many of our troops and veterans to take their own lives.” If Obama can acknowledge the lingering effect of PTSD, then the Cordoba House supporters should also understand the pain they are causing those of us who suffered these terrorist attacks.  Just because this attack was not located in a military zone, does not mean that these people did not experience a war zone. These families and survivors are still experiencing Post Traumatic Stress, so if you truly care about being sensitive to the families…then stop calling those who protest the Mosque location bigots and racist.
I think it is a bad thing building the 13 story Mosque and Community Center right in Ground Zero. (Even if it is technically 2 blocks from Ground Zero, they are still finding human remains farther than the 2 block radius.) To those who approve the Ground Zero location of this Mosque, be humane, have some sensitivity about this issue. I cannot repeat myself enough…it is not about racism. Common sense should dictate the location of this Mosque/Community center. Just move the damn thing…

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2 Responses - Comments are closed.

  1. Minkoff Minx says:

    23. Catherine Fitzpatrick
    New York
    August 6th, 2010 1:46 am

    I was counting on Paul Berman to give all of this a closer look and see if it was more of a sort of Tariq Ramadan situation than he appears to concede now. The answer to the Tariq problem and the problem posed by this mosque is certainly not to block visas or building permits. That’s not what a liberal democracy does. Religious groups and religious thinkers should be free to speak their minds and worship as they see fit. But by the same token, so are the rest of us, and our queries and concerns and unease about this proposal has to be tolerated, too, and cannot be written off by facile liberals as “hate” or “bigotry”.

    So please. Stop implying that the only people who are debating this project are right-wing conservatives. Many people are privately expressing concerns, but now feel sufficiently politically-incorrect that they will not speak. Is that what putting up a mosque achieves, the supression of people’s ability to speak their minds freely without fear? The same First Amendment rights that give this religious organization the right to build their mosque is the exact same one that gives the publice the right to criticize it and to ask probing questions about its leaders’ and supporters’ motivations and intentions. Or did you think to install a “defamation of religion” concept in defiance of the First Amendment by smearing anyone who disagrees with this project as a right-wing nutcase? Any religious group that is not proven to actually use violence or directly support terrorism, which follows the basic building code and building permit rules in this city gets a religious building. Understood. And now they enter the fray of New York City — and international politics — and First Amendment rules apply here, too. Accordingly, I have some questions:

    o Cordoba appears to be inspired by a kind of revisionist myth of Al-Andalus. Does this belief system include, as in the original Al-Andalus, the revival of and promotion of the caliphate, the religious transnational ruling body of the Islamic historic imagination? What exactly is this group picking and chosing out of Al-Andalus, and what is it in fact revising in the historical record?

    o The leader of this group has a book called “What’s Right with Islam is What’s Right With America” highlighting notions of democracy and tolerance. OK, but is the author also prepared to contemplate that what’s wrong with Islam in many places is what’s right with America — *separation of church and state* and the First Amendment? Is the concept of separation of church and state supported, or is there a notion that some sort of creeping convergence should take place?

    o There’s a sense of a hustle underlying this project in which an unconscious meme seems at work. It goes like this: when terrorists bomb a location and kill people, it seems as if the message is that the right thing to do afterwards is to put up a mosque on that site, so that the world can distinguish between violent Islamic cults and moderate Islamic mainstream groups. Except…it looks like the former is evangelizing to make it possible for the latter when that happens.

    o We’re constantly told that the Cordoba project condemns terrorism, disassociates themselves from terrorist acts, repudiates violence, etc. etc. *But these statements are not written on its website*. Why? Instead, on the website, we find things like discussion of sharia law as if it is a given, and not subject to criticism but merely a topic for “dialogue”. What’s up?

    Let’s knock off the argumentation that this group “isn’t at Ground Zero,” shall we? Or that “you can’t see the site from there”. That’s silly. They have consciously embarked on this project in a deliberately in-your-face way. New York is famous for all kinds of in-your-face projects. Here’s another one. And let’s be clear: it’s ok to push back when people push things in your face. It’s not about “hatred,” but it’s about debating — legitimately and rightfully under the Constitution — the intentions and motivations and ideas of a group that claims moderation, but still raises many actions by its leaders’ speeches and by the entire project itself.

    After all, what is at the root of reservations about this project? Merely ignorant fear? No, legitimate fear that it represents encroachment of the separation of church and state in this country, and a public commons free of coercive religious expression.

    Want everybody to distinguish between what we are told is the minority of violent Islamist cults and the moderate group that seeks peaceful change? Then be willing to be debated to the hilt. Then be willing to stop hiding beyond invocations of “hatred” and “tea party” and “Sarah Palin” and answer questions of the type I am asking.

    The chief notion that the group seems to promote is this: that the U.S. is to blame itself when it is attacked by terrorists, due to its support of Israel, or its cooperation with governments like that of Saudi Arabia in the interests of security or energy.

    But sorry, you don’t get to claim moderation, morality, and peace when you can accept excuses for terrorism. There aren’t any excuses for terrorism. If you don’t like U.S policies, you have to document their effects and work peacefully to convince other people, not imply that they need to be changed coercively, under the force of terrorists, as if they are a positive force for change. They aren’t. They are deadly murderers who are the products of oppressive societies whose leaders seek to distract from their problems by obsessing about Israel and America.

    Among the activities of this group’s leader is supporting the Gaza flotilla. But that is not peaceful — it was a provocative direct action that deliberately provoked force as a tactic.

    So, hand out the permit, and let the debate begin: do you or do you not condemn violence as a means to an end?

  2. Minkoff Minx says:

    I just posted my feelings about the location, I have no problem with the building of a mosque/community center.
    There is this:
    A Muslim victim of 9/11: ‘Build your mosque somewhere else’
    Mischief in Manhattan
    We Muslims know the Ground Zero mosque is meant to be a deliberate provocation
    I believe that there is a Greek Orthodox church that was heavily damaged on 9/11 and they are having problems rebuilding it. (as far as getting permits and the like) Which is another story and seems a bit strange to me…
    Honestly, the whole thing is heartbreaking for me…And just because I do not agree with the exact location of this building, does not mean I blame an entire religion…The building will have an auditorium, pool, restaurants etc. (I do not even want to think about the segregation of women at this “community center”…which will happen…) It is a question of location, that is all for me…We still have the suit and shoes that my husband wore that day, covered in ash, ash that includes the remains of almost 3000 people. We respect this, we do not take the stuff to the cleaners and just move on…
    There has to be some understanding from those who approve of the location of the mosque/center…have some sensitivity about it. Please, do not forget the victims and their families.

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