Thank goodness she added that last part because a U.S. President with polling organizations for a spine, and who should be indicted for war crimes with regard to his version of drone warfare, should not be held up as a peacemaker.
Setting aside her many gaps in knowledge about Obama's actions since taking presidential office, Rima Fakih has taken on the role of the child in the Emperor's News Clothes with her comments about the planned mosque near Ground Zero. She said that the mosque shouldn't be so close to the World Trade Center and added, "We should be more concerned with the tragedy than religion."
With those 10 words Rima cut through the hot air uttered by pundits, politicians, religious leaders, and self-termed defenders of human rights who've held forth on the mosque issue. She also inadvertently cut through her hero's poll-straddling utterances about the mosque:
According to ABC News, U.S. president said Friday that he believes Muslims have "the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan," but the following day said that he would not comment on "the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there."(1)Moving along, Rima's observation goes to the heart of the matter, which has become a referendum on the motives of Feisal Abdul Rauf, the imam who put forward the mosque plan.
It's not about Rauf, who is as phony as his defenders. Everyone knows that if the family of a drunk driver who ran down your relative shows up outside the memorial service to tell you the murderer doesn't represent the family, they're not sorry for your loss or the victim.
You don't force mourners into the role of a saint, and to do so is cruel and inhumane. Again, everyone knows that -- and those who refuse to acknowledge they know are pursuing a political or religious agenda.
Yet it took a beauty queen who characterizes herself as spiritual rather than religious to point out the obvious in one sentence to the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim religious leaders that upbraided Americans who just want to mourn their dead without being forcibly reminded the murderers did their evil in the name of Islam. If that's not the Cosmos making an editorial comment on religion, I don't know what is.
In closing I'd like to thank Rima for setting my own thinking straight.
As I watched the collapse of the World Trade towers I said, "Start rebuilding tomorrow, and rebuild them exactly as they were."
I was so full of rage at the moment that I was thinking of only one thing: sticking it to the enemy. However, I never revisited my opinion until Rima spoke out. After pondering her words I asked myself whether I'd like to see the Vietnam War and World War Two memorials on the Washington National Mall bulldozed to make room for office buildings.
Let's be clear: if the Americans who died in the 9/11 attack had been working in office buildings in Mashed Potato Falls, Wyoming there would be no question about making the entire site into a memorial. But because the buildings were situated on one of the world's hottest real estate properties, all the decision-makers twisted themselves into the shape of a pretzel to rationalize returning commercial office space to the site.
So if one wants to be brutally frank Rauf is simply taking a page from the planners who are returning commercial office space to the place where thousands of Americans were ground to dust by proposing an Islamic center two short city blocks from Ground Zero that includes "recreation facilities, a restaurant, swimming pool, fitness center, auditorium, a culinary school" and a mosque.(1)
I now wonder if it ever occurred to Congress to ask all Americans if they'd mind adding a few cents to their taxes in order to compensate New York City and New York State for the loss of revenue that would entail by keeping the entire World Trade Towers site as a memorial.
It would be up to a future generation to consider converting part of such a memorial to commercial office space. But I venture the present generation of Americans should be able to put the tax idea to a vote.
1) Quotes are from Natalie James's August 21 report for The Money Times, First Muslim Miss USA Rima Fakih opposes Ground Zero mosque.