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Michael Moore: If That ‘Mosque’ ISN’T Built, This Is No Longer America

September 11, 2010

Thanks to Len.

If That ‘Mosque’ ISN’T Built, This Is No Longer America

OpenMike 9/11/10
Michael Moore’s daily blog

I am opposed to the building of the “mosque” two blocks from Ground Zero.

I want it built on Ground Zero.

Why? Because I believe in an America that protects those who are the victims of hate and prejudice. I believe in an America that says you have the right to worship whatever God you have, wherever you want to worship. And I believe in an America that says to the world that we are a loving and generous people and if a bunch of murderers steal your religion from you and use it as their excuse to kill 3,000 souls, then I want to help you get your religion back. And I want to put it at the spot where it was stolen from you.

There’s been so much that’s been said about this manufactured controversy, I really don’t want to waste any time on this day of remembrance talking about it. But I hate bigotry and I hate liars, and so in case you missed any of the truth that’s been lost in this, let me point out a few facts:

1. I love the Burlington Coat Factory. I’ve gotten some great winter coats there at a very reasonable price. Muslims have been holding their daily prayers there since 2009. No one ever complained about that. This is not going to be a “mosque,” it’s going to be a community center. It will have the same prayer room in it that’s already there. But to even have to assure people that “it’s not going to be mosque” is so offensive, I now wish they would just build a 111-story mosque there. That would be better than the lame and disgusting way the developer has left Ground Zero an empty hole until recently. The remains of over 1,100 people still haven’t been found. That site is a sacred graveyard, and to be building another monument to commerce on it is a sacrilege. Why wasn’t the entire site turned into a memorial peace park? People died there, and many of their remains are still strewn about, all these years later.

2. Guess who has helped the Muslims organize their plans for this community center? The JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER of Manhattan! Their rabbi has been advising them since the beginning. It’s been a picture-perfect example of the kind of world we all want to live in. Peter Stuyvessant, New York’s “founder,” tried to expel the first Jews who arrived in Manhattan. Then the Dutch said, no, that’s a bit much. So then Stuyvessant said ok, you can stay, but you cannot build a synagogue anywhere in Manhattan. Do your stupid Friday night thing at home. The first Jewish temple was not allowed to be built until 1730. Then there was a revolution, and the founding fathers said this country has to be secular — no religious nuts or state religions. George Washington (inaugurated around the corner from Ground Zero) wanted to make a statement about this his very first year in office, and wrote this to American Jews:

“The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy — a policy worthy of imitation. …
“It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens …

“May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants — while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.”

3. The Imam in charge of this project is the nicest guy you’d ever want to meet. Read about his past here.

4. Around five dozen Muslims died at the World Trade Center on 9/11. Hundreds of members of their families still grieve and suffer. The 19 killers did not care what religion anyone belonged to when they took those lives.

5. I’ve never read a sadder headline in the New York Times than the one on the front page this past Monday: “American Muslims Ask, Will We Ever Belong?” That should make all of us so ashamed that even a single one of our fellow citizens should ever have to worry about if they “belong” here.

6. There is a McDonald’s two blocks from Ground Zero. Trust me, McDonald’s has killed far more people than the terrorists.

7. During an economic depression or a time of war, fascists are extremely skilled at whipping up fear and hate and getting the working class to blame “the other” for their troubles. Lincoln’s enemies told poor Southern whites that he was “a Catholic.” FDR’s opponents said he was Jewish and called him “Jewsevelt.” One in five Americans now believe Obama is a Muslim and 41% of Republicans don’t believe he was born here.

8. Blaming a whole group for the actions of just one of that group is anti-American. Timothy McVeigh was Catholic. Should Oklahoma City prohibit the building of a Catholic Church near the site of the former federal building that McVeigh blew up?

9. Let’s face it, all religions have their whackos. Catholics have O’Reilly, Gingrich, Hannity and Clarence Thomas (in fact all five conservatives who dominate the Supreme Court are Catholic). Protestants have Pat Robertson and too many to list here. The Mormons have Glenn Beck. Jews have Crazy Eddie. But we don’t judge whole religions on just the actions of their whackos. Unless they’re Methodists.

10. If I should ever, God forbid, perish in a terrorist incident, and you or some nutty group uses my death as your justification to attack or discriminate against anyone in my name, I will come back and haunt you worse than Linda Blair marrying Freddy Krueger and moving into your bedroom to spawn Chucky. John Lennon was right when he asked us to imagine a world with “nothing to kill or die for and no religion, too.” I heard Deepak Chopra this week say that “God gave humans the truth, and the devil came and he said, ‘Let’s give it a name and call it religion.’ ” But John Adams said it best when he wrote a sort of letter to the future (which he called “Posterity”): “Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present Generation to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it.” I’m guessing ol’ John Adams is up there repenting nonstop right now.

Friends, we all have a responsibility NOW to make sure that Muslim community center gets built. Once again, 70% of the country (the same number that initially supported the Iraq War) is on the wrong side and want the “mosque” moved. Enormous pressure has been put on the Imam to stop his project. We have to turn this thing around. Are we going to let the bullies and thugs win another one? Aren’t you fed up by now? When would be a good time to take our country back from the haters?

I say right now. Let’s each of us make a statement by donating to the building of this community center! It’s a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization and you can donate a dollar or ten dollars (or more) right now through a secure pay pal account by clicking here. I will personally match the first $10,000 raised (forward your PayPal receipt to webguy@michaelmoore.com). If each one of you reading this blog/email donated just a couple of dollars, that would give the center over $6 million, more than what Donald Trump has offered to buy the Imam out. C’mon everyone, let’s pitch in and help those who are being debased for simply wanting to do something good. We could all make a huge statement of love on this solemn day.

I lost a co-worker on 9/11. I write this today in his memory.

“The man who speaks of the enemy / Is the enemy himself.”
— Bertolt Brecht

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Faith Jackson permalink
    September 13, 2010 6:14 pm

    We will see, no one knows in what way the pendulum will swing as it usually goes from one extreme to the other. Women certainly have been blessed in this country and are still on that journey to gain full respect and are fully capable, important people not to be owned or possessed by another human being.

    I am certainly in favor of my children marrying whom they may desire without religious judgment. It does disturb me when I see children that have been murdered for marrying outside their religion and the parent feels justified in the name of God to do so. Religiosity is the letter of the law in any religion, and this has turned many a heart to power, greed and control, instilling a God of fear.

  2. September 11, 2010 10:20 pm

    I like Michael Moore’s docu-films and the fearlessness with which he exposes issues in his films. But then it is only in the Western world where one can have the privelege of such freedom. To a certain extent some countries in the East have limited freedom. I say limited because, we have groups of religious beliefs who have gained prominence over the years because of numbers, to impose what they feel is right or wrong. So one has to tread very carefully in such countries and what may appear to be democracy is really not democracy in the real sense. I am not going to be more explicit than that. And that itself shows the inherent fear in me. So what is this fear and who puts this fear in us? Hitherto the United States was one of the few countries one could escape to and smell the air of freedom. Unfortunately, it is on the brink of experiencing eventually what all of us experience elsewhere. When you cannot walk in your own country showing your legs or hair or walk with confidence on the streets, because the others will want to tear down that confidence by attacking you until you submit to their way of life and cover yourself from head to toe and walk tip-toe with your mouth shut and not express yourself freely with what God has given you naturally, the freedom to talk, then and only then, will realisation dawn. The realisation of what “nipping it in the bud,” really means. Of the line to be drawn between tolerance and cowardice. The Western world may see it as tolerance (the stance taken by Mr. Moore of wanting a mosque on ground zero) but the rest of the world would only view it as submission. Sadly this is the practical truth of the matter. Taking a high moral ground is good, but at the cost of putting lives at danger and that too other people’s lives is a different matter altogether. Being liberal and high-minded works only with certain strata of societies but not to those who live and die by the sword. Everytime the baby cries, to give in and yied to the baby’s demands would only spoil the child. The proverbial, “Spare the rod, spoil the child,” is very apt here. It is very sad that the high moral ground is not taken by the other side and if only the people who have proposed such construction would see the sensitivity of the situaiton and show that they are not like the terrorists, and move their structure elsewhere, I am sure that would send a message to the terrorists. A message, that the rest of the Islamic people will not give in to the terrorists’ demand, and a message which would have more meaning than to construct the mosque at that site.

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