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9/11 And Some Troubling Aspects Of Its Legacy

Saturday, August 07, 2010

In a recent post I mentioned the Dove Outreach Center, a church in Gainesville, FL, having a burn the Koran day on 9/11. I mused whether or not they would have a burn the Bible day on 4/19, the anniversary date that bible verse quoting Timothy McVeigh blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. To make my point I could have used other examples going as far back as Salem Massachusetts when certain members of that colonial community were hung after being charged with practicing witchcraft and/or being witches. Not withstanding the legacy of a fine practicinor of Christian orthodoxy like Torquemada, the legacy of Christian sensibilities being upset and subsequent actions following their apple carts being overturned is not a good one. That's why this business about the uproar over an Islamic Center at the Ground Zero site is so troubling.

Watching the likes of Newt Gingrich, Rick Lazio, and Sarah Palin pander to right wing Christian organizations by taking public stands against the building of the Center is par for the course in its hypocrisy. A case in point is the Pentagon. It also was a target on 9/11. Back in May of 2007 Salon's Justin Elliot pointed out that since 9/11 Muslim prayers have taken place daily in the Pentagon since we, you know, actually have Muslims serving in the military. The American Muslim Armed Forces and Veteran Affairs Council estimates there are currently around 15,000 members of the United States military that are practicing Muslims. If one were to take a casual stroll through Arlington cemetery they might be surprised at the number of tombstones that have symbols of the Muslim faith etched in them. That's why this movement to quash an attempt to build an Islamic Center that includes a Mosque is so troubling. What about these individuals in Arlington who were self identified Muslims that died to preserve our freedoms that included practicing the faith of your choice?

The movement to oppose the building of this Center is driven by the Christian right. Their actions should give anyone pause when freedom of religion gets this kind of challenge in America. Don't take my word for it. Just ask the ghost of Sarah Good.