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In response to 'Ground Zero Mosque' Editorial by Philly2Philly.com's George Leon

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In Response to George Leon’s Mosque Editorial

George Leon’s recent editorial, “The Ground Zero Mosque Is Inappropriate, Offensive and Divisive” is yet another ignorant screed that argues emotion is better than logic and that all big bad Muslims are out to get us. He starts off praising Americans because “Americans can be proud that the event and subsequent terrorist acts never precipitated a backlash against American Muslims. We have not seen Muslim businesses burned or boycotted nor have we read of violence or discrimination against Muslims.”

Wow, George. Is that how little you think of your fellow Americans? “Thanks everyone, for not going nuts!  Boy, you sure showed some restraint not to go on a crazy rampage burning, looting and killing people!” Gee, George, thanks. And I thought the only reason I didn’t go commit violent acts was because I’m not a criminal. Now I know that it’s because I’m an American who showed real restraint!

Clearly, Americans are smart enough and civilized enough not to confuse innocent civilians with those who threaten our country…”

Yeah, about that. Maybe you haven’t seen this little video called “Collateral Murder” from WikiLeaks.

What part of civilization do you like best in the video? The part where Americans shoot and kill journalists or the part when they mow down the guys trying to save a dying man?

“Which is why allegations that opposition to the Ground Zero mosque are based on so-called Islamophobia and intolerance are as ridiculous as they are disingenuous.”

Riiiiight. First, it’s a community center, not a mosque. Muslins pray every day, wherever they are, at certain times. Should we also ban their prayers within a certain radius of Ground Zero, otherwise known as that big hole in the ground no one seems to be able to fix? Your argument is as hollow as the Segregationists, who meant no harm to black people they just wanted them “not in their neighborhood”.

“There is no issue of religious freedom or private property rights here.”

Actually, that’s all it is. We have Freedom of Religion in this country and its private property. You know, Native Americans used to own your land until your Christian ancestors drove them away. Maybe tear down your church so you don’t offend them? Hey, feelings are more important than logic, sanity or principles right?

“Consider, for example, how the National Parks Conservation Association is objecting to Wal-Mart’s plans to build adjacent to a Civil War National Military Park in Virginia. It’s simply the wrong building in the wrong place regardless of the developers’ legal rights.”

Wow! What a perfectly apt example! Comparing an ancient religion and the billion or so people who follow it to, a discount store looking to cash in on tourists! Show me in the Constitution where we have a right to build a place that sells cheap tube socks regardless of how it junks up the look of a neighborhood.

“And even if we were to believe that construction of the mosque is aimed at cultural healing and bridge-building, it will easily be interpreted by radical Islam as a statement of triumphalism.”

And here’s where you sail into Bigot-town, population you. “And even if we were to believe” Photo: http://d.yimg.com/a/p/rids/20100803/i/r3367520984.jpg?x=400&y=265&q=85&sig=66QOsm8ArdJE3r.VPy3MWA--assumes that everyone is just as prejudiced as you when it comes to the community center. “It will easily be interpreted by radical Islam as a statement” another assumption, Nostradamis, that you can’t back up, prove or otherwise justify other than with your precious, precious “feelings”.

“If there is one thing that mainstream America and radical Islam can agree on, it is that a mosque built near ground zero will be a monument to the 9/11 attackers, not their victims.”

Yes, the big bad boogie man “Radical Islam”, which seems to include everyone, including the Americans trying to build a community center, according to you. Sadly, the rest of the world does not paint a billion people with such a big brush. Somewhere Osama Bin Laden is laughing that he can pull your strings so easily.

“So the issue is not that it should be illegal to build the mosque, but rather that it should be voluntarily moved elsewhere out of respect for the sentiments of the majority of Americans – if indeed the intent is bridge-building rather than triumphalism.”

No, the issue is, should a bunch of bigots drive law-abiding people off their own property because they “feel” bad. Oh, and now you speak for the “majority of Americans”. How did that happen? Get elected did we? Newsflash: Sentiments are not part of the legal system of this country.

“But some have questioned the motives of the mosque builders. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who is leading the effort, has been quoted as saying in 2005 that “the United States has more Muslim blood on its hands than Al Qaeda has on its hands of innocent non-Muslims.””

And we should always, always punish people for speaking their minds right? I mean, say something wrong and you shouldn’t be able to practice your religion on private property. George feels bad.

Here’s the numbers George: Americans killed by Al Qaeda on 9/11: 2996

Iraqi civilians killed: around 100,000        

That, of course, doesn’t count the Afghanis or the Pakistanis. And considering that according to our own intelligence there are probably less than 100 Al Qaeda guys in all of Afghanistan, it’s probably physically impossible for us to kill more Al Qaeda guys than have been killed by “collateral damage”. Therefore, it’s a true statement, sad as it is. It doesn’t even count the thousands of Iraqis who died during the sanctions. Maybe you don’t follow news in the rest of the world, but some of us do.

“And shortly after 9/11, the Imam stated on 60 Minutes that “United States policies were an accessory to the crime that happened… Because we have been an accessory to a lot of--of innocent lives dying in the world. In fact, it--in the most direct sense, Osama bin Laden is made in the USA.” Such rhetoric seems neither “moderate” nor aimed at healing and bridge-building. Some would consider it incendiary. Others would compare it to Reverend Wright’s famous remarks about 9/11  that “America’s chickens are coming home to roost.””

Except for the fact that it’s all true. Osama Bin Laden was created by the CIA to help fight the Russians in Afghanistan. He was, in a sense, “made in the USA”. Thousands of Iraqis died during our sanctions. And only someone completely ignorant of our decades of interventionist foreign policy of being the world’s policeman wouldn’t say “the chickens are coming home to roost.” The CIA calls it Blowback.

“But in the upside down world of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, it is the mosque opponents who are suspect and should be investigated. Apparently, we should be concerned about the First Amendment rights of those wanting to build the mosque but disregard those of average Americans as well as the families and friends of 9/11 victims who object to its construction. Among the politically correct elite, there is no room for dissent.”

Except you’re being just as big as a hypocrite as the Lady Speaker. So you’re First Amendment Rights have to be protected, but the Americans’ who want to build on their own property, their First Amendment Rights should be trampled on because you feel bad. I lost a distant cousin on September 11th. The community center is fine with me because I know none of the people building it had anything to do with that day. It’s like blaming all Italians for the Mafia or all Oswalds for shooting JFK or blaming all Chinese people after a Chinese guy cut you off in traffic. It’s bigotry, plain and simple.

“I also find it ironic that the very people who object to prayer in public schools, who want to remove “In God we trust” from our currency, who want to convert Christmas to a “Winter Holiday,” who object to vouchers for parochial schools, who want to eliminate faith-based initiatives and essentially remove any vestiges of our Judeo-Christian heritage from the public square are now so worried about the mosque builders’ First Amendment rights of religious expression.”

Yes, because we’re all a bunch of Liberal Commie so-and-so’s looking to pull you down, George. It’s all about you, isn’t it? The whole darn world’s against you and your Christmas and your religion. Poor Christianity never gets a break. Boo-hoo. Poor you.

“Again, that’s not the issue. When concerns were raised about building a convent in Auschwitz, Pope John Paul II wasted no time in relocating the facility, despite the church’s “legal right” to build on the location. As a religious leader, Imam Feisal  might take counsel in the late Pontiff’s wisdom and, if sincerely dedicated to healing and outreach, build the project elsewhere. But in the planned location, its construction can only result in further divisiveness and anger, which our country surely does not need.”

Wow, I just don’t have the space to pick apart that guilt-by-association argument. Maybe it’s because the Vatican is an actual country of sorts and took a “neutral” stance while the Nazis ran amok. Last time I checked, Al Qaeda wasn’t a country and there isn’t a Muslin country on Earth that welcomes them.

But more importantly, last time I checked no one building the Proposed site for "Ground Zero Mosque." photo: http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/OB-JL006_mosque_G_20100801220358.jpgcommunity center in Manhattan was a member of Al Qaeda. Hell, you can’t fart sideways in this country if you’re a Muslim without Homeland Security running a check on you. Oh and don’t go to the airport with your funny sounding name if you expect to get on a plane. That’s just “common sense” right?

No doubt if you were writing this editorial during World War 2, you’d be for the Japanese Internment Camps? Who cares about principles, rights and common decency? You’re scared!

Well, George, the only people I fear in this country are people like you. Sheep. The same sheep that let George W. Bush and his Congress strip away our liberties in the name of “safety”. The same sheep that would rather bomb first and never think later. The same sheep that refuse to read the facts about a foreign policy that continues to make America hated around the world. The same sheep that elected Obama and did nothing while he continued the same murderous policies only worse. The same sheep that sleep soundly despite robot drones that kill from above in our name.

This country’s about freedom and it wasn’t founded by sheep.

Tony DiGerolamo is a New Jersey screenwriter, novelist, comic book writer, game designer and actor.  He is best known for his work on The Simpsons and Bart Simpson comic books.  He has also been a joke writer for Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, a scriptwriter for Space Ghost: Coast to Coast  and a blogger for Comedy Central’s Indecision ’08 website. Check out Tony at www.superfrat.com

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To contact Tony, email him at tonyd@philly2philly.com