It feels strange weighing in on a house of worship thousands of miles away, well, at least for me. A proposed mosque two blocks from Ground Zero has Palin tweeting on a Sunday afternoon.
According to Politico:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg's City Hall hit back at Palin, first tweeting "@SarahPalinUSA mind your business."
The aide, policy hand Andrea Batista Schlesinger, followed that up with:
"@SarahPalinUSA whose hearts? Racist hearts?"
Bloomberg has defended the plan for the mosque, arguing that blocking it would impinge on religious freedom
For NYC, 9/11 was a day many Alaskans couldn't fathom. I'd never been there. My father didn't know about the terrorist attack for weeks because he was on the Koyukuk River hunting moose. Another hunter was informed after a military escort surrounded his small aircraft on his return to town. Last year I visited New York City and wept when I realized how terrifying it must have been. I had no context until I stood in the canyons of buildings.
Do you want to guess how many mosques are in Wasilla?
The "stab through the heart" of 9/11 was felt by many, including Muslims. This article tells of some victims that day:
Imagine being the family of Salman Hamdani. The 23-year-old New York City police cadet was a part-time ambulance driver, incoming medical student, and devout Muslim. When he disappeared on September 11, law enforcement officials came to his family, seeking him for questioning in relation to the terrorist attacks. They allegedly believed he was somehow involved. His whereabouts were undetermined for over six months, until his remains were finally identified. He was found near the North Tower, with his EMT medical bag beside him, presumably doing everything he could to help those in need. His family could finally rest, knowing that he died the hero they always knew him to be.
Imagine being Baraheen Ashrafi, nine months pregnant with her second child. Her husband, Mohammad Chowdhury, was a waiter at Windows of the World restaurant, on the top floors of Tower One. The morning of September 11, they prayed salaat-l-fajr (the pre-dawn prayer) together, and he went off to work. She never saw him again. Their son, Farqad, was born 48 hours after the attacks -- one of the first 9/11 orphans to be born.
What about the thousands of Muslims who serve in our military? Does that yellow magnet on your car say "Support the Christian Troops"?
Maybe Sarah Palin's soon to be released little book of "Clever Sayings That Rock!" will include George Santayana's "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Almost 110,000 Japanese Americans were interned in 26 different camps after the Pearl Harbor attacks. 33,000 Japanese Americans served in the US Military during the same time.
I trust New Yorkers.
If we become a country willing to discriminate against people of faith, we will have become the extremism we fight.
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