Funding for the Ground Zero mosque is a big secret that organizers are keeping locked-up, while telling everyone this mosque is about dialogue and healing.
In mystery, the mind conjures. I am left only to piece together what this mosque could mean, from what I've learned about Saudi Arabian Big Oil money and Wahhabi Islam and 9/11. All that post-9/11 traumatic stress that went into research was reawakened with news of this mosque.
Demanding privacy and secrets about funding is puzzling and maddening to anyone who cares about what happened to people on 9/11.
When all is said and done, $100 million is going to buy a secretive oil tycoon in Saudi Arabia a victory mosque on what is technically and literally Ground Zero. That is my biggest fear.
Everyday-Muslims may be hurt by that statement, but everyday Muslims don't seem to care that their identity is going to be represented by Saudi Arabian aristocrats who will make Imam Faisal's dream a reality but only as they see fit. Money will decide the final shape of the mosque.
Building a mosque on ground so intimately associated with the hijacking is highly symbolic. The plane only hit a few buildings directly. Burlington happens to be one of them and so has become the ferverent choice on which organizers must build no matter what.
Does moving the site to a less symbolic locale reduce its funding potential? Is the symbolism of the site the deal-breaker?
Although the Sufi mysticism taught by Imam Faisal is wonderful, and everyone should know Rumi, the $100 million is not coming from Sufi collection plates, but from Wahhabi-promoting regimes. It is irresponsible to define this project before the money has come in, and before the funders priorities are understood and incorporated into the final plan.
It is disrespectful to demand that those in the 9/11 community be made feel unAmerican because they're not so enthusiastic about defending the Constitution in the name of Saudi Arabian religious visions on Ground Zero. Financiers of this project will demand that their Wahhabi-predisposition be represented somehow in the monumental edifice.
By the time the billionaires have made their changes, this mosque will be a skyscraper over-looking the 9/11 Memorial. We are told it will 15 stories, but add three more, and it will pop up above the two buildings between it and the WTC site. There are no guarantees that this won't happen. Why would anyone be enthused to fight for this right?
The sad fact of Islam is that it is a religion under attack by Big Oil money. Saudi Arabia actively promotes Wahhabi Islam, which is the extremist (and popular) violence-promoting ideology favored by big money and many in the aristocracy of Saudi Arabia.
Jon Stewart warned about lumping all Saudi Arabians together on his August 19, 2010 show in a segment he called Six Degrees of People Who Eat Bacon. He warned about making faulty connections between Saudi Arabian aristocrats, everyday Saudi Arabian people and Saudi Arabian terrorists.
If we live by that rule too absolutely, we may over-compensate, and fail to ever scrutinize aristocrats who use Islam and the Islamophobia to hide.
Saudi Arabian billionaires have gotten away with more than they should have on 9/11, and New Yorkers--real New Yorkers--don't have to feel ashamed for resisting the PC cult that must diminish the feelings of 9/11 in order to champion the rights of rich Saudis to gloat.
No one would make these sweeping (and maybe unfair) connections if the organizers would make assurances about financial backers on this project.
Islam is a religion with militant sects, heavily funded by oil money. That may sound like a slander on Islam, but it is really a crisis that faces all of us.
Muslims should not rally around a project built in their name, when they don't know about the project's money or the priorities of the financiers.
By the time it goes up, the Ground Zero mosque could become a Saudi Arabian skyscraper, with a mosque on the 18th floor, overlooking the 9/11 Memorial, while New Yorkers grieve their family below.
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