Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Jews For Park51

I don't know if ya'll have been following the news about the proposed mosque near Ground Zero, but the debate is heating up like the wildfire in Contra Costa.

The acts of [opportunism], [ignorance], [intolerance], and outright [hatred] are stunning... and shameful. We all as Americans should be embarrassed and ashamed by what our countrymen are doing. In just the past few days I've seen and heard and read about more Islamophobia than I'd ever known existed.

Perhaps [the most depressing protests] are coming from the ADL. As a Jew, religious freedom is something important to my people, something we've sought for millenia since the time of the Romans through the Spanish Inquisition and beyond the Holocaust. And yet, to see other Jews engaging in prejudicial, discriminatory, even outrightly racist politics is frankly disgusting.

To the protesters, have ya'll ever read the constitution? The first amendment guarantees "no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". So for fuck's sake people! If the Ten Commandments can be put in courtrooms, and the Bible is studied in classrooms, and prayer is allowed in schools, and FauxNews is STILL allowed to exist, then why can't a mosque be built in New York City?

To the supporters, whether or not you are Muslim makes no difference. Whether you believe in the right for Israel to exist makes no difference. Whether or not you even like me makes no difference. In this country, you have the right to your religion, especially one that promotes peace between people (as Islam does).

This is something many "Christians" in this country could take a lesson from. What did Jesus say? Turn the other cheek! The meek shall inherit the Earth!

And to my fellow Jews, what did God say? Love thy neighbor! Love thy motherfuckng neighbor!

If this mosque is not allowed to be built because of the controversy with it's location, we will have lost all credibility as a country of the people, by the people, and for the people. We will have lost our sense of freedom.


6 footnotes:

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, it's not even a mosque. It's a community center with a mosque in it (among other things). Honestly, it sounds really cool--if I lived in Manhattan I would hang out there in a hot second.

I've read other commentaries that note that no one cares about the strip club on the same block (because everyone knows titty bars are as American as it gets), "Muslim" and "American" are not mutually exclusive, etc., but I'm sure you've already read all that. And I too, cringed when I heard about the ADL.

Zek J Evets said...

I didn't know it was a community center. That IS interesting, because I wonder if they'd have a problem with the center if they didn't include the mosque? It's true they didn't make a fuss about the strip club nearby, or the fact there's ANOTHER mosque only 4 blocks away from Ground Zero.

To me the fact that the ADL noted in their press release that their motivations weren't motivated by bigotry, yet so obviously support a bigoted action is reprehensible. Sometimes my peoples can be really stupid =/

Mira said...

I don't find any of this surprising at all. In fact, it's all predictable (which is sad and scary). I'm not saying just about ADL, but everybody else involved.

All a person can do in this situation is to do what you did: voice your opinion, (dare to say) especially if your people (whatever group you see as "your people") is doing something you don't find ok. It's important to state they are not doing this in your name and you don't agree.

Zek J Evets said...

@mira: thank you! that's exactly how i feel as well.

however, i often wonder what the rest of the world must think of us when they hear stories like this in passing. it's almost enough to make one embarrassed to be american.

Mira said...


I don't know how to say this, but the rest of the world is generally not that crazy about America.

(Joke, joke!)

What I'm saying is, at least in Europe, people think they are smarter and better than Americans so they see thing like this as "typical" for ignorant Americans... That is, until they realize it's mosque! Muslims! Middle Easterners! and admit they would not like to have "those people" around either.

Zek J Evets said...

@mira: this i can believe. although europe has its own forms of islamophobia, i think america (and france to some extent) takes it to silly, and dangerous extremes.