Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin

I sometimes suspect that people forget that our nation has freedom of religion, or of no religion, as one of its core principles. As I watch the confrontational picketing of the Park Place Islamic Community Centre on the news channels, the feeling of disappointment in my fellow Americans deepens.

At a quick glance online, you can find historic accounts of the Great Mosque at Cordoba. Cordoba is what the developers intend to call the centre. The original Spanish structure, dating back to the 600s, had been the site of a Visigoth church.

The Great Mosque was built on that site over the course of two centuries which centered what became the most cultural city in the world, including the world's largest library. After the expulsion of Jews and Moors from Spain in the 16th century, Queen Isabella renamed the structure the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin. Thus provides my shocking title.

But forgive me for I digress.

I began by expressing sadness by the rhetoric coming from those who would deny a religious group from opening a community centre where it is legally protected. Considering the few blocks from the Ground Zero site, I would think more patriots would be jumping at the chance to show the world that we are truly a diverse and tolerant nation. Coming from me, you'd have to believe I support that which is found not only in our Constitution, but in the Bill Of Rights as well.

Park Place is as close to Ground Zero as Kingston's Central Post Offrice is to our Broadway. I'd say they are worlds apart and given the size of the buildings between them, they'd have nothing to do with each other. Ask anyone in midtown.

This is more of a contrived issue for the coming election. Conservative pundit Laura Ingram herself supported the construction of this community centre and thought the better of it only six months ago. Plenty has changed as we head into the midterms. We get the same old "Don't look at issues. Don't look at ideas...look over there!" method of campaigning by the GOP.

Lets just say, if a group wanted to destroy America, they would do it by getting us to turn on each other. Create divisiveness, mob thinking and foster hatred. Are we to allow this to continue?

Case in point: The largest shareholder of FOX News is an Australian. The second largest shareholder is Prince Alwaleed bin Talal al-Saud of Saudi Arabia, through his Kingdom Holding Company. You've seen this here and at other sources before. Does this not concern you? Should it?

Prince Alwaleed is a Muslim. Does it matter? He is from Saudi Arabia. 19 of the 21 hijackers of 9/11 were Saudis. Even those who I know pine for the good old Bush years, express confusion when reminded of this and the close ties the Bush family had with the Bin Ladins. Then they ask why did we go to war with...they stop the question and quickly get back on script.

Alwaleed and the Saudis made their fortunes in oil. They have a vested interest in keeping us dependent on that oil. Those invested in the oil industry here in America, have the ability to ignore the glaring duplicity in whats considered terrorist supporters and good business partners.

Maybe they have a vested interest also in tearing us apart from the inside out.

It seems to be working.


Tim Halpin said...

that is the final resting place of 3000 amercians that unknowingly gave their lives for me ,i wouldnt build a anything on your familys grave.why are we considering allowing anyone let alone a mosque to build on our patriots graves.let them rest in PEACE !!!!

Mike Madsen said...

Tim, glad you wrote in. I suggest we take a trip to NYC together. I'll show you the sights around ground zero. First we'll visit the OTB only 200 feet from the closest curb, then after a bite, we'll visit the porn DVD shop only one bock away (great news, there's viewing booths). We could stroll up two blocks to the oldest Mosque in Manhattan to chat with the Imam, you know, the one W used as a liason for continuing discussions to the Middle East at Karen Hughs request.
After all that, end the evening at the "Gentlmen's Club" only one block from WTC.

If we stop by 51 Park Place, I could show you the view across the street. A massive wall of office buildings. There is no view to speak of. Not that Faux News will ever show that on TV. That would ruin everything.
Pick a time when you're free & call me.

Anonymous said...

There certainly is a lot of yelling going on throughout the mediasphere. I might as well put in my two cents.

We do have freedom of religion in this country and that doesn't change because it's inconvenient or because it makes certain people uncomfortable. We don't behave like the Taliban. We don't behave like Al Qaeda. At least, we try not to behave like them, even in difficult times. Even when we are at war. Yes, even then. That is what makes us different. That is what makes us the United States. That's what makes me proud to be an American. And yes, thank God, I'm free and I will stay free so long as people cannot dictate to me according to their fear.

Fear is the enemy here. Fear destroys our reason and makes us prey to enemies without and within. I think more people should visit the area in question before speaking on it. It would certainly change the perspective. What surprizes me is the FOX connection to the Saudis. I think that may be our weakest link.


Anonymous said...

My concern is where the funding is coming from in building this mosque. With a reported bank account balance of about $180,000 how are they proposing to raise the capital? That's what really frightens me. Al Queda has been known to circumvent their monies in their many ventures to raise necessary funds for their war against the infidels. I would hope that the Feds would be keeping a forensic eye on this so called organization whose mission is to promote healing among Americans and the world. As for healing us I would say no thank you. I will heal myself in my own time.I don't need a mosque community center smoothing the way for dialogue. What I would say is that the moderate Muslim denomination has never really spoken out against the extremists.That would have gone a long way in smoothing relations with non muslims. They too fear death from their own religion(Sharia) so how in the world will this building or foundation promote this agenda.You already have a majority of Americans pissed off regarding this issue. It is almost like too little too late!

Anonymous said...

Where's the outrage over building churches that rile up our frothing masses to enact dominionism in the manner of sharia law? A little equal time is due for our own homegrown fanatics that seek to overthrow our country from within.

Tim Halpin said...

mike you dont have to preach to me,i grew up in nyc.i played in those back yard was the Bronx County court house.untill u truly understand what the REAL nyc residents feel then how can you make a comment.i bet you had a different oppinion of BP too untill everyone hear they were instumental in getting the pa am flight bombmer released did we all gasp in shock.all im saying is the area is in poor taste as a building site.i havent heard from any of organisers of the mosque how sorry or sensitive they all feel.just that new yorkers are prejudiced against them.well mike how about you run for your life while a building is crashing down arround you.i think your oppinion would be different thenmingo

Anonymous said...

As a well known Conservative/Libertarian, Ron Paul's statement shines out in the midst of the right-wing BS being disseminated. His son should listen.

It is interesting that he links the attacks on the building of the mosque to the neo-conservatives constant search for a place to conduct a war.

I wish progressive Democrats would speak with such clarity.

Anonymous said...

From Mother Jones;

President Obama has declared that a group of moderate Muslims have the right to build a community center in lower Manhattan, two blocks from the site once occupied by the World Trade Center towers.
Yet representatives of a wholly US government-funded outfit have joined the vociferous opposition to the Park51 or Cordoba House project that critics have dubbed the "ground zero mosque." A leader of this group—which receives $4.3 million a year from the government—has even proclaimed that the community center could be a front for Islamic terrorism.
That's not all: The same agency, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCRIF), has been the subject of an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint for allegedly discriminating against Muslim employees.