Wednesday, August 25, 2010

We are All Americans

Last night Mayor Bloomberg held a very insightful dinner amidst heavy criticism over the proposed Cultural Center in New York's Ground Zero. He supports the Park51 Project as do I however he was much better at articulating why. Americans always seem to live in fear. Fear of what we don't know, what we don't understand and as its becoming more and more comfortable its breeding some pretty twisted behavior. This should not define the elections in November but serve as a distinct shift in our Nation's maturity. Who are we to judge which religion gets space to build their faith. If it were a protestant church we wouldn't be having this debate. As Bloomberg states below, we must always lead by example. Isn't that what we teach our children?


Stephen Prothero wrote today about Bloomberg's remarks.

{"The community center can and must be built at the Park51 site, he said. Anything less would “compromise our commitment to fighting terror with freedom." During his remarks, Bloomberg welcomed Talat Hamdani, whose son, Salman Hamdani, a paramedic and Ne York City Police Department cadet, died on 9/11. He also welcomed Sakibeh and Asaad Mustafa, whose children, he said, “have served our country overseas.”

Bloomberg brought home the point that the propaganda war now being waged on Islam in America threatens to undercut our counterinsurgency battle for "hearts and minds" in Iraq and Afghanistan. “If we do not practice here at home what we preach abroad–if we do not lead by example–we undermine our soldiers,” he said. “We undermine our foreign policy objectives. And we undermine our national security."

“In that spirit," Bloomberg concluded, in words that echoed John F. Kennedy's "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech, "let me declare that we in New York are Jews and Christians and Muslims, and we always have been. And above all of that, we are Americans, each with an equal right to worship and pray where we choose. There is nowhere in the five boroughs that is off limits to any religion."}

*Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World."

1 comment:

B said...

Great post. I live just steps away from GZ.
Thank you for sharing.

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