Saturday, September 4, 2010

Responding to opponents of the "Ground Zero Mosque"

( I am NOT Bernadette Devlin-McAliskey NOR am I connected to her in any way. I discuss naming it after her in the "notes" post)

Part of this is a bit late, but there are two things I’d like to mention about anti-Muslim bigotry.

First is a response to opponents of the “Ground Zero Mosque.” I’m not sure how many people have figured it out or been told about it, but it can’t hurt to get the word out some more. When the opponents say that the people behind the community center/mosque should build it someplace else to put an end to the controversy and not offend people (i.e. relatives of people killed on 9/11) there’s a great response I thought of a few days ago. Compare their request with the request that Rosa Parks move to the back of the bus (in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955). She didn’t and those behind the Mosque/community center shouldn’t be pressured by people to back down over where to build it.

There is something similar in N. Ireland’s recent history. In 2001, for about 3 months residents of a loyalist area tried to block Catholic children from going to a Catholic school just inside the area. Some parents and their children took a different route to the back door. Many/most took the normal route to the school, even though the loyalists hurled a lot of verbal abuse and objects at them. I found a flyer in Belfast not long after that which compared their decision to take the normal route with Rosa Parks’ action.

Second, I heard about 2 weeks ago that a major and festive holiday for Muslims (Eid) will this year fall on Sept. 11th. I’m not sure what can be done to avoid violence towards Muslims on that day (I can easily see bigots getting pissed off that Muslims are celebrating on 9/11). I thought it couldn’t hurt to mention this, and it might help in some way.

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