Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Muslims are demanding that our public schools should force non-Muslim students to take sensitivity training. Say what?! It’s the Muslims who need sensitivity training!
By Marilyn Penn
September 15, 2010

It’s hard to believe that only nine years after 9/11, our national dialogue has been preoccupied not with reminders of who the individual victims were and how their families’ lives and our own have been forever altered, but with the sensibilities of the Muslim world, here and abroad. The New York Times featured front page stories all week preceding this memorial date concerning Muslim Americans who feel the sting of discrimination or who also suffered loss on 9/11. An op-ed piece by Imam Rauf, the soi-disant Muslim moderate who has never devoted his attention to publicly excoriating the so-called extremists of his own religion, took center stage in the newspaper this week to warn us against further antagonizing Muslims and full page ads by various church groups shifted our attention from Muslim saber-rattling to the need for Christian and Jewish tolerance of our Muslim brethren. Even if the Ground Zero Mosque ends up moving some blocks north, we have already sorely disrespected our fallen heroes of 9/11 and our servicemen and women who are ongoing victims of Muslim violence and hate. We have willingly offered a victory salute to those who continue to despise and attack us as our politicians and president remind us that it is more important to accommodate the needs of some Muslims than the heartfelt sorrows of bereaved survivors of 9/11 which should include all Americans including Muslims.

For clerics of any faith to equate zoning issues with religious bigotry is especially heinous as all of them understand that they are prime beneficiaries of exactly such considerations when bars and movie theaters are not located in the immediate vicinity of their houses of worship. Educators understand this as well, as do all politicians and most Americans who understand full well that a democracy always involves compromise between the needs and wishes of competing groups. In this case, we have the families and survivors of the worst attack against America pitted against a group of Muslims who do not live in the community they insist they must serve. Has anyone bothered to inquire how many Muslims actually live in Tribeca? On Warren Street, a few block north of Park Place, there already is a large community center with an indoor pool that is open to all families of any faith. The pretense that the Cordoba project is providing something essential for this community is sheer window-dressing to deflect its main purpose which is to serve as a mosque.

All positions have been stated, embellished and some have been willfully distorted by those who know better into an example of religious intolerance, when in fact, there are thousands of mosques in America and millions of Muslims are gainfully employed and treated equally to people of other faiths. The myth of Islamophobia is a manufactured one and far from creating sensitivity training in schools as some Muslims have insisted, there needs to be sensitivity training for Muslims concerning the devasating debacle we all sustained during 9/11 and the recognition that in its aftermath, some of our Muslim citizens were demonstrably overjoyed by this event. The New York Times, a leading purveyor of righteous indignation on its editorial page, should remind us why they would not publish the cartoons of Mohammed despite our hallowed freedom of the press while they excoriate those who object to the Ground Zero Mosque as abrogators of our sacred freedom of religion.

1 comment:

Centurion said...

The writer must be mistaken. Islam is a religion of peace....