On 9/11: Compassion Begins at Home

It is often said that a person can not truly love others unless they first learn to love their self.  They may go through the motions of love, and in fact will usually put themselves last in an effort to convince others of their love.  But this is not love.  And the object of this “affection” will not usually appreciate nor respect the desperate efforts to please, somehow sensing the emotion is not truly love.  This self-loathing placating kind of love and compassion has become an epidemic in America; and the issues surrounding the most senseless egregious act of terror against everyday American citizens proves it.

It is true that most Muslims are everyday citizens like the rest of us, worshiping quietly and living their lives productively.  It is also true that others of their faith have demonically hijacked the entire Muslim religion and interpreted it as a reason to demean and stone their women, judge and persecute others who were raised in different faiths or do things differently, and encourage their young ones to strap on bombs or board planes and kill as many innocent “infidels” as they can.

If it’s really true that Islam is a religion of compassion and peace, then why the desire to rub salt into the wounds of the families of the nearly 3000 American citizens who were murdered on September 11, 2001?  There are many other places to build a mosque or Muslim community center in New York so why the desire to build one on the ashes of the innocent Americans killed on that late summer day in the name of Allah?  No true Muslim of faith would find it in their heart to hurt and disrespect the memories of these victims.  No truly compassionate American citizen would think it is so important to not upset the architects of this building at the expense of the pain it will cause the friends and families of the people forever buried there.  I am not against anyone building a mosque in this country.  I am only questioning the motive as to why it must be built RIGHT THERE?!  Why do they refuse to back down?

Of course, anyone that questions the motives of imam Feisal Abdul Rauf or his adherents are immediately branded with the “intolerant” or perhaps even “racist” label that are the most common epithets of choice of the America-hating crowd.  Our country is one of the most tolerant diverse countries on the planet and most of us love it that way.  Christian churches, Jewish synagogues, and Muslim mosques stand together within walking distance in most cities.  Although there are some intolerant individuals in this country, the rule of law is that everyone is free to worship (or not worship) as they please without worrying that some government-sanctioned thought-police will force you to dress and pray like everyone else or suffer dire consequences.  Unlike many countries where people are imprisoned or even executed for practicing another religion or carrying the holy book of another faith, we work side by side and easily mingle with our fellow citizens of different religions and races.  Yet one sign of respect, one small concession asked of these “Muslim community center” proponents and the bleeding hearts are tossing insults.

Of course, Main Stream Media is mum on the possibility that this building could be a so-called victory mosque like the ones mentioned in this and other blog posts.  I personally have no way of knowing if this is why some people are so adamant about this “Muslim center” being built so close to Ground Zero.  But if I were truly a person of faith, I would not be fighting for something that is so disturbing to so many fellow American citizens that mourned the senseless loss of life of our Christian, Jewish, atheist, agnostic, Muslim, Hindu et al. countrymen nine years ago today.

20 Responses to “On 9/11: Compassion Begins at Home”

  1. 1 lynette September 12, 2010 at 12:06 am

    les, i agree with you 100% about the particular choice of siting being incredibly insensitive and distasteful. i think 9/11 was a terrible day not just for America (although especially for America), but the repercussions around the world, for every faith, deserve to be acknowledged and honored and the terrible tragedies felt here at home respected and treated with kindness and compassion.

    i cannot imagine being one of those who lost a loved one on that day. what a terrible burden to carry throughout one’s lifetime.

    i hope with all my heart that reason and compassion win.

    • 2 les September 12, 2010 at 12:17 am

      Exactly, Lynette. I don’t believe ANY new buildings representing ANY particular religion should be built so near this hallowed ground. If anything should be built, it should be something to honor all the victims and/or our diverse American way of life because after all, our American way of life is what was under attack that day.

  2. 3 John & Perla September 12, 2010 at 6:31 am

    Once again, very well put. And because of my position, I add: It is unacceptable the way some who call themselves Christian have responded to the whole thing. We are to walk in love and THAT is to be our witness to the love of Christ.

    • 4 les September 12, 2010 at 9:21 am

      Thanks, John. Intolerance goes both ways. Everyone can clearly see that the nut job wanting to burn the Quran is only causing a bigger rift between people. Why can’t some people see that insisting upon building this community center so close to the site of so much heartbreak is just as provoking and insensitive?

  3. 5 Cyndi September 13, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Respectfully, I don’t agree with any of this controversy and believe it to be just another argument that does nothing but add to the huge anti-Muslim sentiment in our country, founded on the principle of freedom of religion. It also adds fuel to the fire for the remaining crazy people out there…see how anti-Muslim Americans are…they must be killed…you get my drift.

    The psychos who committed the crimes on 9/11 may have said they did so in the name of Islam but just like any other insane religious extremists, their actions go against everything the religion actually teaches. The community center, which will also contain a mosque is located 2 blocks from ground zero, will not be visible from ground zero, and just as many families of victims support it as those who do not.

    I do believe that ground zero itself should be a memorial park or something to that effect, as opposed to more commercial buildings.

    • 6 les September 13, 2010 at 2:09 pm

      But Cyndi, why the insistence on building it so close? Why can’t they compromise and/or change their plans? There were victims’ remains 2 blocks away. I don’t think it’s racist to wonder why it is always the white Christian majority in America that must ALWAYS back down, can not think or say ANYTHING without being called racist and intolerant, when actually, they are only looking for a little of that tolerance and consideration.

      And why do people believe the media-fed fantasy that Americans are so intolerant? People walk the streets in Muslim veils, Jewish yarmulkes, and Sikh turbans in America and worship, preach and proselytize whatever faith they believe. Just try walking around with a Bible in some Muslim countries. How many Coptic Christians were recently killed in Egypt while attending services? And why do our women have to cover their heads and dress in their garb when we go there? Why are authors threatened with death for writing something these people don’t like? Do Americans do that as a policy? Do Christians put out fatwas? THAT is intolerance, but no one dare say that in these “politically correct” anti-American times.

      The families of the victims of 9/11 have suffered enough. And if these people are offended by having a new Muslim community center built so close to Ground Zero or having part of the Shanksville memorial in the shape of a crescent (an important symbol of Islam), then by damn, someone should be a little sensitive to THEIR wishes and back down in the name of peace and love and religion. That is, if this religion is TRULY a religion of love and compassion–and I’m betting that the truly devout Muslims, the majority without an agenda, would be fine with it being several blocks away. It’s the motives of the few, the fanatic noisy minority that are stirring up the problems–and if things were in reverse and a bunch of rogue Christians had destroyed an important part of Muslim culture, you can bet that there would be no “Victory Chapel” being built on the site–out of respect for the victims, and because most Christians would be outraged at the thought!

  4. 7 Cyndi September 13, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    My understanding is that the owners of the property can build whatever they like there. That is one of the best things about our country. I truly don’t understand all the anger, arguing, protesting or why anyone needs to back down over anything. It’s a building with a mosque in it, along with basketball courts and a culinary school open to the entire community. It has nothing to do with anything that occurred on 9/11.

  5. 8 Consuella Banana Hammock September 14, 2010 at 10:30 am

    les, i have wondered if you were going to blog about this. i should have known it was only a matter of time.

    i don’t know that i can really add anything to the argument except to say that i am convinced that our country is the most tolerant in the world. even in france there is more more government control over religion. girls can’t wear headdresses to school. there is a list of cults that are illegal and not granted permits to conduct activities that proselytize. etc. etc. basically they control religion legislatively.

    the beauty of america is that you can believe a cat is God, build a shrine to honor garfield and beg anyone you want to come and worship him.

    do i think it is a bit insensitive for them to build the mosque near ground zero? yes. do i feel like they have the right? yes. this reality, though hard and painful, is what makes our country a free one. i guess rights have to trump feelings because someday i may need the same measuring rod to be applied to me.

    • 9 les September 14, 2010 at 10:49 am

      Of course I had to blog about this, Consuella. You know I can’t hold back on these things.

      I’m so glad you’re back here in America to enjoy the freedom we really have. And I agree with you, of course, that property owners SHOULD have the right to use their property as they see fit. But without a doubt, this has the appearance of being very insensitive and is indeed very hurtful to many Americans. So why push for it? Other developers (including Donald Trump) have offered them money above and beyond what the property is worth in order to avoid this controversy. And I really would like them to investigate where the money is coming from to see who is really behind this whole idea—entrepreneurs or someone with a political/religious agenda?!

    • 10 Tammy September 15, 2010 at 12:41 am

      “i guess rights have to trump feelings because someday i may need the same measuring rod to be applied to me.”…

      This is a most powerful statement!!!!!

  6. 11 Tammy September 15, 2010 at 12:40 am

    I am on both sides of the fence on this one.

    On one hand, I think it is incredibly selfish and insensitive for the Mosque to be built near ground zero.Personally, I do not think it should be built in that location.

    However, we are a country built on freedoms. As a member of a community which has certain rights withheld, I am hesitate to say that we should deny a group the right to do something that is legal.

    I watched a very enlightening video on the Muslim faith, I tried to locate it to post it here but could not find it again, and was appalled at the teachings of the Koran, albeit some must be interpretations. In the same breath, I am just as appalled by the interpretations/beliefs of many other religions including Mormonism and Catholicism.

    I enjoyed this post because I enjoy hearing everyone’s opinions.

    • 12 les September 15, 2010 at 7:55 am

      I also enjoy hearing everyone’s opinions and am so happy we are all mature enough to express them in a thoughtful and respectful way. I think it’s good to look at every side of an issue–rarely are things just black and white. There are normally many valid points in any controversy.

  7. 13 Dawn September 17, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    I’m the one who had to go off to investigate the matter because I’m not current on issues like this, I am not avoiding the news on purpose.

    So I read just enough to gather neither side is intent on building bridges towards peace.

    Some Russian dude outbid Donald Trump … and I personally think that Donald can’t be out-trumped and he’s just enjoying the sensation of his name splattered all over the news. He’ll be branded the hero of the day so that the people who lost loved ones in the hands of some radical extremists that were insane don’t need to be reminded of this wound ever again.

    This issue does pack an emotional punch, and at the end of the day we need to decide what we value and what we wish to uphold. Like the constitution for instance which was not written with any religious persuasion on purpose.

    Also, I am so very happy you wrote this post Les because I do not pay attention to some things and really want to know more about.

    • 14 les September 18, 2010 at 12:22 am

      I’m glad you took the time to look further into this matter, Dawn. I don’t usually write things just to be controversial; I do write about controversial topics that really stir emotion in me. Even though I didn’t lose a close friend or relative on 9/11, that day changed me like it did most Americans. Unfortunately for moderate Muslims, that day will always be associated with their religion–it was perpetrated by Muslims, and thousands more were shown celebrating the aftermath. Why would they want to keep reminding us of this connection? They claim they want to build this as a center for healing and understanding–the best way to do this would be to walk away and build somewhere else.

  8. 15 Dawn September 17, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    Also … why do we allow un-citizens to buy our land? Please do fix the error in my last run on sentence 🙂

    • 16 les September 18, 2010 at 12:26 am

      Money talks. One of our biggest clients at work was bought out by some Dutch company. This is how capitalism works–but I hope we wake up and start keeping a little bit of Americana for ourselves!!

  9. 17 Dawn September 18, 2010 at 1:24 am

    Also, anyone note that there were Muslims murdered by terrorists on 9/11?

    Does this have the scent of what vegans might do if a steakhouse opened up in their neighborhood … I don’t know why I think this thought but it just feels kind of like being said.

    • 18 les September 18, 2010 at 1:11 pm

      There were a number of Muslims killed in the terrorist attacks, because America is made up of people of many different faiths and ethnic backgrounds. That is one of the strengths of this nation. We learn and grow from variety. These terrorists were attacking our way of life, our openness, our inclusiveness. And they don’t care who they kill. They kill their own people, in their own countries, over matters that should be left to a higher power. Who do they think they are to impose a death sentence on anyone? But they still did it in the name of Islam so I still think they should lay off the mosque idea.

  10. 19 robinaltman September 19, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    I often look at these issues and think, “Where has common sense gone?” You’re right. It’s just insensitive. There’s plenty of places to build on. Give me a break. It’s almost childish – like a toddler testing limits. I’m strongly against any hate of any religion or race and I’m strongly for common freaking sense. Sheesh.

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