Examiner Editorial: Defending memory of 9/11 victims isn't 'un-American'

With New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg now condemning as “un-American” those who believe the ground zero mosque should be moved elsewhere, the ill-advised project's most prominent defender is tottering on the precipice of the deep end. It is unfortunate that a man who made a fortune building a media company devoted to providing accurate and timely business information now resorts to such extreme rhetoric. The mayor needs to get a grip and apologize to those he has insulted, who include, according to multiple opinion surveys, clear majorities of New Yorkers and the American people.

It's also time for the project's main advocate, Imam Fiesal Abdul Rauf, to explain his previous rationalizations for terrorist attacks against America. Speaking in Australia in 2005, Rauf said: “We tend to forget, in the West, that the United States has more Muslim blood on its hands than al Qaeda has on its hands of innocent non-Muslims. You may remember that the U.S.-led sanctions against Iraq led to the death of over half a million Iraqi children. This has been documented by the United Nations.”

Aside from the United Nations' utter lack of credibility, Rauf, who described himself on that occasion as an Islamic spokesman, echoed a familiar alibi of Islamist terrorists who murder innocent men, women and children, including many who share their faith. President Clinton, who supported the sanctions, rejected the alibi as nothing more than a lie that originated with former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

In the same Australian appearance, Rauf acknowledged that terrorist acts are wrong, but he implicitly defended those who commit them, saying, “but after 50 years of, in many cases, oppression, of U.S. support of authoritarian regimes that have violated human rights in the most heinous of ways, how else do people get attention?” That argument simply won't cut it with Americans who long ago tired of hearing the most heinous of crimes explained away as products of the perpetrators' damaged childhoods, poverty, drug abuse, or whatever else happens to be the fashionable excuse of the moment.

Rauf might gain some credibility if, while on his current U.S. taxpayer-funded junket to the Middle East, he used the occasion to challenge Muslim leaders to end their barbaric practice of executing those who convert from Islam to another faith. He could further gain credibility in the United States by demanding that Muslim leaders also allow Christian and other missionaries to operate openly and without fear in their societies. There are 100 mosques in New York City: Will 100 Christian churches ever be permitted in places like Riyadh and Kabul?

editorialsOpinion

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

City officials closed San Francisco County Jail No. 4 on the top floor of the Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant St. in September, reducing the number of beds in the jail system by about 400. 
Kevin N. Hume/
S.F. Examiner
SF jail closure prompts doctor to call for release of more inmates

Reduced space increases risk of COVID-19 spreading among those in custody

Cyclists have flocked to Market Street since private vehicles were largely banned from a long stretch of it in January. (Amanda Peterson/Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Plans for sidewalk-level bikeway on Market Street dropped due to costs, increased cyclist volume

Advocates say revisions to Better Market Street fail to meet safety goals of project

Prop. 21 would allow San Francisco city officials to expand rent control to cover thousands more units. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Tenant advocates take another try at expanding rent control with Prop. 21

Measure would allow city to impose new protections on properties 15 years or older

Singer-songwriter Cam is finding musicmaking to be healing during 2020’s world health crisis. 
Courtesy 
Dennis Leupold
Cam challenges country music tropes

Bay Area-bred songwriter releases ‘The Otherside’

Anti-eviction demonstrators rally outside San Francisco Superior Court. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Report: Unpaid rent due to COVID-19 could be up to $32.7M per month

A new city report that attempts to quantify how much rent has… Continue reading

Most Read