What should "Ground Zero mosque" leader be saying right now?
The Washington Post’s “On Faith” blog panelists have shared their thoughts about what the “Ground Zero mosque” leader Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, should be saying in light of the growing controversy surrounding the proposed plans for Cordoba House (the project’s name) about two blocks from Ground Zero. The panelists were asked what message of faith could Imam Rauf offer to Muslims and non-Muslims that could turn this moment of division into a time of healing.
Interested in what they have to say? Here’s a sampling:
Aseem Shukla, co-founder of the Hindu American Foundation: ”An important dialog about propriety and religious freedom has morphed into one of the most disturbing, polarized and often profane shouting matches over faith in recent memory. But, disturbingly, the person who can most easily defuse a storm that threatens America’s vaunted values of tolerance and pluralism, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, is completely and continuously absent from the scene. Absence may make the heart grow fonder; but absence can also make malice grow stronger.”
Jordan Sekulow, human rights attorney and director of international operations at the American Center for Law and Justice: “It is Imam Rauf, and not the bipartisan majority of Americans from all walks of life who oppose the Ground Zero Mosque, who must apologize for fueling anti-American Islamic terrorism. As more information about Rauf becomes available, it is clear that he has spread the same kind of propaganda that al Qaeda uses to recruit new terrorists and is out of touch with reality when he joked about suicide bombers in front of a foreign audience.”
Danielle Bean, Catholic author and editorial director of Faith and Family magazine and Faith and Family Live: ”Having a “right” to do something does not necessarily make it the “right” thing to do. Imam Rauf may not be the problem, but he has an opportunity to be part of the solution to this ugly and divisive controversy.
We need look no further than Pope John Paul II for an example of the peace-making power of sometimes backing down. As Archbishop Timothy Dolan reminded us last week, in 1993 there was a similar conflict between Jewish leaders and Polish Carmelite nuns who lived in a convent on the grounds of Auschwitz. Technically, the sisters had a “right” to reside there. But because the late pontiff respected the sensitivities of a wounded people and the raw emotion attached to a location so closely connected to tragic injustice, he wisely ordered the sisters to move.”
To get to the “On Faith” blog to read the full text of the postings, go online to: Ground Zero mosque leader
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