The Associated Press came out with an article about the proposed mosque by ground zero. Iman Feisal Abdul Rauf is a Moslem leader in the endeavor to build an Islam mosque two blocks away from 9/11 ground zero in New York City. The plan is to build a 13-15 story interfaith center that will have room for 2,000 Moslem worshipers on two floors. Needless to say, there is much controversy amongst American Christians, particularly amongst 9/11 survivors and family members, to the construction of the mosque so close to ground zero,.
Rauf and his wife, activist Daisy Kahn, are now engaging, as a result of this controversy, on a domestic as well as international/global quest to build friendly multi-cultural centers world-wide, to promote unity of varying cultural/religious practices—a bold mission, to say the least, especially for a Moslem following 9/11.
Rauf says he socializes with men of various religious traditions, who support his idea, and wants to see Moslem women empowered in political and domestic life—a big step forward, if he achieves it. He is opposed in his endeavors by a lot of Republicans who see his building his mosque so close to ground zero as a slap in the face to the surviving families and America as a whole. I wonder how many of those Republicans are divisive right-wing Bible-bangers—Christians opposed to the Moslem faith.
I don’t think New York City is in any kind of jeopardy by the construction and presence of this mosque. Firstly, it’s going to be carefully monitored and scrutinized by the powers-that-be. Secondly, it’s a multi-cultural concept where I think Christian extremists are as great a danger as Moslem extremists. And thirdly, it’s the extremists that cause the problems and conspiracies, not the mainstream Moslems, Jews or Christians.
America has become a nation of rich diversity that’s going to bring with it extreme views and behaviors. But the ongoing presence of extreme organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan and their prominent place in American history speaks to the violence and extremism in our society all along regardless of Moslem or other extremists.
Even when people unite in good will, there’re always spoilers or “extremists” who degrade the sanctity of the peoples’ intentions. We will never get rid of evil, because it’s just the flip side of goodness. As long as people are involved, aggression will co-exist alongside justice. There are mechanisms in place that manage both—social controls. When we come to terms with the evil or darkness that exists within each one of us, we will learn tolerance for diverse others and intolerance for violations of our god-given rights as human beings.