Saturday, September 11, 2010


September 11th is particularly pognant this year.  It is a difficult day for many americans anyway; a day to remember and, even nine years later, to grieve.  It is a day that we, the citizens of the most powerful country on earth, are confronted by our vulnerability.  Nine years and one day ago, the US was on top of the world.  We were the gentle giant, leading the world with our innovation and thriving economy.  It seemed inconceivable that just 24 hours later, we would be brought to our knees in shared grief, anger and disbelief.  The horror of it all is still a raw, gaping wound on the psyche of the country as a whole. 

This year, 9/11 will be more emotional for many because of the proposed mosque scheduled to be built two blocks away in a building that was partially destroyed on 9/11 when it was hit with the landing gear of one of the planes.  This project is an affront to all who lost loved ones that horrific day.  For those who say "It's not the "Ground Zero Mosque" - it's two whole blocks away!"  the response is simple - it was destroyed by the same forces that destroyed the Twin Towers.  It is Ground Zero.  Adding insult to injury, the mosque has been fast tracked, even though a Greek Orthodox church, which was destroyed on September 11, 2001 when one of the towers fell on it, has yet to receive approval to rebuild.

This past week has been a three-ring circus of outrages, from the unyielding determination of the mosque builders to the lunatic in Florida who has threatened to burn a Qu'ran today to the burning of american flags in protest of the qu'ran burning.  The nearly 70% of americans who oppose the mosque have been called "islamophobes", racists, zionists, and a plethora of other insults in an attempt to shut them up.  They have even been threatened, if you consider a warning of a potential explosion of rage in the muslim world if the mosque isn't built exactly where Imam Rauf wants it built as a threat.  His assertion that "the story will be that the radicals have taken over the discourse" is laughable, at best.  The "warning" he issued is quite indicative of exactly which radicals will take over the discourse, and from where the violence will come.   Michelle Malkin has an interesting rundown of some other incidents that have caused "explosions of anger" in the muslim world.  This threat is nothing new.  It is endlessly fascinating that, with all the rhetoric over the years that attempts to paint "radical christians" and right wing extremist opposition as somehow worse than jihadis, there has been no talk of the potential risk of a terrorist attack on the mosque.

Quite frankly, the constant threats have become tiresome, as is the perpetual kowtowing to these extremists. No, they don't represent a majority of muslims, but they certainly seem to be the only voice we hear on the subject.  There should be no support whatsoever for the burning of the qu'ran, and the pastor who threatened it dropped the level of the debate to somewhere in the septic tank range.  However, his attempt to equate the atrocity of burning the qu'ran with the atrocity of building an islamic center and mosque on the site of a devastating, deadly attack made in the name of islam has some merit.  Both acts are an affront to all that is civil and respectful.  The fact is, both acts are legal under our constitution, and both acts are morally objectionable.  In the case of the pastor, he stepped back from the edge.  In the case of the imam, he is refusing to budge from his position.

If the aim of this "cultural center" was really to build bridges between the muslim world and americans, Rauf is definitely going about this the wrong way.  Part of building a bridge is to meet halfway.  Demanding the submission of the american people to his will is most certainly not what most people would consider compromise.  That President Obama is backing Rauf and his demands is not surprising either.  After all, this is the man whose idea of compromise is for his opposition to shut up and support his agenda or be demonized. 

Staking out a position on the legality of the situation but refusing to comment on the morality of it speaks volumes about Obama's inability to properly unite and lead this country.  He may be charismatic, but he lacks empathy and he seems to lack the understanding that he is not just the commander in chief, but our moral leader as well.  That he does not understand the pain the mosque is inflicting on his people is indicative of his problems in the polls of late.  Because the wound is still raw, we need a leader who understands our pain.  Sometimes, a president is like a mother - required to reassure, comfort and defend her children even when she doesn't understand the full extent of their pain.  The fact that they are in pain is enough for her to act on their behalf.  Instead, Obama comes off as some sort of frustrated step-father, who cannot understand why the child can't move on and has no interest in building a bond by attempting to empathize.  It seems that all he sees are petulant children making his life difficult with their ridiculous demands for solace, understanding and protection from that which hurts them.  For all of George W. Bush's faults (and there were many) he got this concept, and his approval ratings in the aftermath of 9/11 illustrate that quite clearly.

It is ironic in the extreme that the so-called party of compassion is so very uncompassionate when it comes to this grievous wound to our country.  This year, when the hallowed ground of Ground Zero has become a political football for islamic radicals and the progressives who cater to them, our national loss is all the more poignant. 

 Cross Posted at Sisterhood of the Mommy Patriots

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