Feisal Abdul Rauf has a nice column in the NYTimes today explaining his position in regards to Cordoba House. But he gets a few things screwy.
One is any empathetic understanding of why people might be unhappy with his decision to build the place in that spot and
I am very sensitive to the feelings of the families of victims of 9/11, as are my fellow leaders of many faiths. We will accordingly seek the support of those families, and the support of our vibrant neighborhood, as we consider the ultimate plans for the community center. Our objective has always been to make this a center for unification and healing.
two is a threat of what happens if he doesn’t build it.
The wonderful outpouring of support for our right to build this community center from across the social, religious and political spectrum seriously undermines the ability of anti-American radicals to recruit young, impressionable Muslims by falsely claiming that America persecutes Muslims for their faith. These efforts by radicals at distortion endanger our national security and the personal security of Americans worldwide. This is why Americans must not back away from completion of this project. If we do, we cede the discourse and, essentially, our future to radicals on both sides. The paradigm of a clash between the West and the Muslim world will continue, as it has in recent decades at terrible cost. It is a paradigm we must shift.
In other words, if we don’t build this, the terror will go on.
Third is a bit of bigotry that I don’t think he meant to do.
Lost amid the commotion is the good that has come out of the recent discussion. I want to draw attention, specifically, to the open, law-based and tolerant actions that have taken place, and that are particularly striking for Muslims.
If law-based, tolerant actions are particularly striking for Muslims then doesn’t that make them all a bit of a threat? (no, I do not believe that Muslims en masse are a threat but that statement certainly makes it sound like they are!)
Mr. Rauf doesn’t mention why he has to build the Cordoba House where he’s going to build it and I suspect at this point in time it’s not only stubbornness, but hostility that is keeping it where it is. This column he wrote tries to brush aside all concerns and focus on things like tolerance and freedom of religion without having much to do with freedom of speech of those protesting.
Good for him for giving it a go, but….no – he didn’t change my mind or my objections. And yes – he of course has the right to do this just like the Reverend Terry Jones has the right to burn the Koran. (totally different. One to supposedly heal and the other purposefully hurtful – yes, I know)