|Muslims are reciting Quran in a mosque in NYC.|
If any of you have not read newspapers or other-than-entertainment magazines lately, you probably have not noticed that there is a very furious reaction among majority of Americans (most notably New Yorkers) against the building of a mosque. The proposed site to build the mosque is near Ground Zero, which is the remain site of WTC (the Two Towers). Well, most Americans accused Muslim terrorists who did that, but remember it is not all of them who do. Their main reason was simply that the Americans are still feeling deep sense of hatred and anger about the September 11th. This is a news excerpt from an online news portal:
(Aug. 19) -- Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, using the words "hatred," "anger" and "pain," turned up his rhetoric today against plans for building an Islamic center two blocks from the site of the 9/11 attacks.
Although he acknowledged the legal and constitutional rights of Muslims to build the mosque near ground zero, he said in an NBC "Today" show interview that the question was not whether the development should go ahead but rather one of "sensitivity and people's feelings."
The Americans consider the Ground Zero as a sacred place and building a mosque that they consider as a place to spread war against them is not something they want to happen. Have you noticed that this kind of problem comes and goes and forgotten? It is always the same. How many inter-faiths organisation have been organised? Of course it is a continous effort, but the pain that they feel still being projected towards Muslims.
You don't have to be prejudiced against Islam to believe, as many Americans do, that the area around Ground Zero is a sacred place. But sadly, in an election season, such sentiments have been stoked into a political issue. As the debate has grown more heated, Park51, as the proposed Muslim cultural center and mosque two blocks from Ground Zero is called, has become a litmus test for everything from private-property rights to religious tolerance. But it is plain that many of Park51's opponents are motivated by deep-seated Islamophobia.
That is the article from Time. What strikes me is that the problem is stoked in political issues because the election is just around the corner. Don't you notice the same problem we are having here in Malaysia regarding the use of the word Allah?
Muslims here are sensitive about the use of the world Allah in churches. However, is it legal for the non-muslims to use it? The court decision says yes, it is legal then. But it still is pending in Mahkamah Rayuan.
Most Americans also are sensitive and feel deep sense of pain when they want to build the mosque near Ground Zero. It is also legal for the Muslims to build it. Furthermore, Americans always fight for freedom and justice, isn't it?
What the two cases have in common is that they both are influenced by politics. Isn't it always politics which always make things worse? In Malaysia, the never-ending emotional politics spark the religious issue, and in America, election makes thing worse. If there is any solution to inter-faiths problems...