Why Americans are angry about the Ground Zero mosque
By Linda Prussen-Razzano
Despite the passing of nearly a decade, I can still remember her. Immaculately coifed, stylishly dressed, one could easily picture her strolling through mid-town on a shopping trip with friends, brunching with the girls, or fretting over which Ivy-league college her children were going to that year.
She wasn't doing any of those things. She was like countless others – down at the makeshift wall – where frantic family members hung pictures of their loved ones and scrawled the same beseeching plea, "Have you seen me? Missing…" She was desperately clutching pictures of her husband, her face collapsing in panicked anguish, her eyes and voice thick with tears. When the television cameras finally approached her, she offered the trembling pictures to them. Her husband worked in the upper floors of World Trade Center at Cantor Fitzgerald.
One thing that remained impressed in my memory was her thick, Middle-eastern accent.
For some inexplicable reason, her agony comforted me. Make no mistake; I was distraught that she and countless families across the country were dealing with this horror. The pictures flashed across television and the internet, each more powerful and heart-wrenching, each more enraging and crushing. There was no happiness waiting by the phone to confirm that this friend was still alive, or that another family member had been heard from. Within my immediate circle, people were learning the terrible news of yet another person lost forever. Pictures of 9-11 still bring flowing, uncontrollable tears of bitter sadness to my eyes.
But her pain was an affirmation that the monsters who committed their heinous act of war were the deranged fringe of the Muslim faith. They were the brain-washed and depraved fools of a lunatic's bizarre world-view. They attacked us because we were Americans; it didn't matter what religion we practiced or where we came from.
They hate us because we are Americans, and that is reason enough.
The passage of nearly a decade has not changed this. Years of war has not changed this. The toppling of regimes has not changed this. The Islamofacists are still clinging, like depraved fools, to a lunatic's bizarre world view because it is being taught across the Middle-East.
Now, Americans want to put a Muslim Community Center near the grave of the World Trade Center, coined in discussion groups as the Ground Zero Mosque.
Those spearheading this effort don't understand why they are facing such resistance.
I'll tell them why.
September 11, 2001 was not the first time Islamofacists tried to bring down the World Trade Center. They viewed it as an iconic symbol of America. Across the globe, American-haters were dancing gleefully while thousands of our friends and neighbors died agonizing deaths in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington. The vivid image of people leaping to their doom instead of being consumed by fire doesn't wash down the mental drain. But these vile creatures were dancing and celebrating the gruesome deaths of people who had never harmed them. They rejoiced that Allah had struck at the perceived heart of the United States.
Americans understand this. Americans also understand that placing a Muslim Community Center, or a Mosque, or whatever the media wants to call it, near Ground Zero would be another iconic symbol; that of Allah's additional triumph over America. It would be cause for the American-haters to once again celebrate.
The sad reality is that deserved or not, intentional or not, that is exactly how it will be received.
Does the Cordoba Initiative have the right to build the Park51 Center? Absolutely. Do they have a right, granted by God, to freely practice their religion? Of course, all human beings have that right. But is building this Center near Ground Zero the just and proper thing for Americans to do, recognizing the symbolic importance to the world, as our country continues to battle extremist elements who are perverting the very religion these people hold dear?
No, absolutely not. A patriot would not willingly give our enemy any cause to rejoice, particularly a symbol that allows them to once again dance on the graves of 3,000 of our fellow citizens.
Americans understand this, are sensitive to it.
How come the builders, Mayor Bloomberg, and most recently, the President, are not?
Linda Prussen-Razzano is frequent contributor to Enter Stage Right and a number of other online magazines.