An Open letter to the Muslim Summit of 19 Sept 2010

Imam Rauf
Imam Rauf

To : Shaiks and Imams Gathering in New York

Salam Alliekum

I write to you today as a Citizen, an Old Warrior, a Christian, and an Independent Voter of the United States of America. I say all this because I want it to be clear that I have no political agenda, but do I think have a unique perspective to offer you on the current situation with the issue facing you on the proposed Park51 Mosque.

You gather to offer your voice to Imam Rauf and advise him of a course of action. You are faced with a rare point in American and even world history as you have the opportunity to offer him both a prudent and wise course of action on how to proceed with his project. I say a rare point because more often in America the assertion of your rights is a wise and prudent thing to do; it normally reconfirms the American exceptionalisim that has been the wonder of the free world and the bane of dictators and oppressors worldwide.

This case however is one where your rights are undisputed and that has been confirmed by all parties in the debate. However, this is about being wise. You as faith based leaders carry a special obligation to consider the wise as well as the right.

The vast majority of Americans are wrongly being mischaracterized as Islamophobic. We are not, but we do think that there are aspects to the Islamic culture in much of the world that are in direct conflict with our fundamental beliefs of individual liberty and freedom, not to mention human rights and those of women in particular. I’m not here to editorialize it; I state it as a fact that this conflict exists.

Further, the Islamic faith has allowed itself to be hijacked by terrorists and in the Madrassas throughout much of the world, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Taliban in particular. With so much leadership that preach a jihad philosophy many of us have a hard time separating the wheat from the chaff. So everyday those of the true faith (Allah be Praised), are tarred with the manure of those who hate.

I could easily envision the day when the next terrorist makes a Hadj to Park51 and from an upper floor confirms his commitment to die while looking down on the 9-11 Memorial. I can also see the reverse where some Christian extremist does the same from your proposed interfaith center just before he pulls the lanyard that sets off his suicide vest. For this reason and for the pain it causes to the families of our citizens that died that day, I advise you it would be the wise thing to do and move the Mosque.

You have the opportunity to bring interfaith dialog and healing just a few blocks away. You risk, more conflict and many, many trials and tribulations on even getting it built in its current location. There will be pickets and protests every day once construction begins. That is, if it even can begin since the trades unions are currently indicating they won’t work on it.

I think it would also be wise to disassociate yourselves from Imam Rauf if he refuses your advise. His continued intransigence is to me and should be to you, a cause for concern. He purports to be a pious Muslim but does not act within the tenants of your faith in his current business practices, and has aligned himself with property developers that do the same. If this project is to continue (even at a different location) it must be done with a board of directors that are faithful, and honest men both in word and deed.

There you have it gentlemen, you are faced with a unique moment and opportunity in history, I suggest to you here and now you have a fundamental duty to do the right and wise thing and insist Imam Rauf move the project and make it a useful addition to SOHO in New York. See your duty, do your duty, and may God Bless you in your endeavor.

Praise Allah, God, and Jaweh

The one God of all mankind

JH Ellis Sr (USA, ret) , Hmrjmr1

I welcome comments from all points of view but will ruthlessly delete inappropriate, or comments that do not contribute to the debate. Thanks for stopping by....

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Comments 25 comments

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

Brilliant letter, Hmr which should be sent out. Now if only the people involved can be as wise as you.Thumbs up..awesome!

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

hmrjmr, This is a brilliant letter and I hope it gets to the right people who make those decisions. I really think it should be sent as you explained the situation in a strong, but compassion way. Rated up!

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Hmrjmr1 6 years ago from Georgia, USA Author

Bpop - Thanks lets hope some of them read it here on the web. Pass the link along maybe it'll get picked up!

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Hmrjmr1 6 years ago from Georgia, USA Author

Pam Thank you Ma'am!!

Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 6 years ago from Moundsville, WV


Thank you sir for both your previous service, and your current service in writing this masterpiece of a letter. The thoughts within are both brilliant and forthright!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Hmrjmr1 6 years ago from Georgia, USA Author

Thanks Tom sometimes you just have to lay it out there, in a just the facts sort of way. Have a great weekend lad!

H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 6 years ago from Guwahati, India

Your honest approach and appeal in the name of almighty is most respectful and praise worthy.

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Hmrjmr1 6 years ago from Georgia, USA Author


Always glad to have your input. Thanks for stopping by!

Wealthmadehealthy profile image

Wealthmadehealthy 6 years ago from Somewhere in the Lone Star State

What words do I have left to add? The people above me said what I was going to say....This letter needs to be sent to the appropriate party for viewing. It is a masterpiece in faith...and your words are true....Many blessings to you!

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Hmrjmr1 6 years ago from Georgia, USA Author

WMH- and many back to you! Thanks for your support.

LRCBlogger profile image

LRCBlogger 6 years ago


there is a lot of rational thought behind this hub so don't take my questions the wrong way. If it is to move, what about the mosque built in the pentagon shortly after 9/11 that was built under GOP controlled congress and president. Why was it ok to build that one and not this one? Is the pentagon not considered part of 9/11?!?!

Also, they are building a church in my neighborhood right by an elementary school. How far from the school should the church have to be?

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Hmrjmr1 6 years ago from Georgia, USA Author

LRC - Thanks for your questions, I welcome them. The Mosque in the pentagon is 'down the hall' from the Memorial and is another doorway/room in the hallway; as is the Chapel. It just doesn't present the same overview as Park 51. Also the Pentagon by it's nature is a less open space, (while visitors are allowed, mostly the folks that use it are fellow service members). If I understand it correctly from a friend who has been stationed there, there was a Mosque in roughly the same location prior to 9-11.

I would also suggest if you find a church being located near a school offensive then you should approach your local zoning commission and voice your concerns.

This is no more or less than what I and so many others are doing here and in other forums. It is one of the many things makes our country great and sets us apart.

Thanks for stopping by.

carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

You stated your case beautifully, Big John!!

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Hmrjmr1 6 years ago from Georgia, USA Author

Thanks Chris appreciate your stopping by!

50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 6 years ago from Arizona

Hammer, you've presented it as it should be, just the facts. In the replies you stated, "I would also suggest if you find a church being located near a school offensive then you should approach your local zoning commission and voice your concerns." This is so accurate a thought as well as a legal means to stop the mosque in NYC. I hear talk of 70% of NYC's populace is apposed not to the mosque, but to the site it is proposed. A route that the 70% should bring to the zoning board and by the democratic majority system within our Republic, zone it a "NO" for a center of any religion. Keep it fair and balanced by making any religion banned from building in a perimeter set down for the area of the towers. I see that as simple, and why it's not, is beyond me as exceptions are made everyday by zoning boards across the country.

If it is fear of violence that is holding things back, we just as well get on with the show as if it's not now it will be later only bolder after they find that one imam can railroad this country with his agenda and draw the support of a joke for a POTUS who conveniently dusted off the Constitution when it suites him to do so after his declaration that it was antiquated in our current times.

dang! 50

saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

I ditto all of the above. This is an excellent hub and I hope it falls into the right hands who can have a listening ear and open hearts for all concerned. I will pass this on through my Face Book, Stumbupon and Digg connections. Peace my friend, well done, Bravo.

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soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA

Very nicely written letter Hmrjmr!. Was there any summit? Generally Muslims with extremist views do not do such a thing and most other Muslims even if they understand just keep silence. Chances are very less that issue will get resolved so easily. Combination of people posing themselves liberals and extreme Muslims is indeed often quite deadly (People call Imam Rauf, a secular Muslim but how can any reasonable person be so insensitive to feelings of almost all in his region). Wish you all the good luck (well to actually almost all Americans on this issue- I think most Indians understand your sentiments, we have passed through similar problems several times and many have remained unresolved for decades).

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Hmrjmr1 6 years ago from Georgia, USA Author

50 cal- Dusty my friend, this highlights my greatest frustration with current POTUS; given another opportunity to actually provide some leadership he has once again failed abysmally. He actually stared the leadership right in the eye when he made the wisdom comment in Louisiana then ran away from it as fast as he could. Continues to give much cause for concern as World events continue to unfold.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Hmrjmr1 6 years ago from Georgia, USA Author

saddlerider - Thanks for stopping by, commenting and the links! Appreciate it!

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Hmrjmr1 6 years ago from Georgia, USA Author

soumyasrajan - I learned much from my Indian, Pakistani, Bosnian, Nepali, and Bangelei co workers in Iraq. What I learned in particular was that these diverse cultures can not only get along, but excel in a high stress customer service environment. It requires much listening and positive leadership but it can be done.

Lets hope this is a start, as the summit was held but I have not yet heard the result. That could be a good sign, but I'm not counting on them having any good result since their stated intention was to show support for Imam Rauf. Another opportunity for real leadership walked away from by the Muslim community as well.

Thanks for stopping by sir.

Catering to Fanatics is Dangerous 6 years ago

Only people who hold Islam responsible for 9/11 could oppose a mosque two blocks from the site of the attack. Anyone who believes that the whole of Islam is their enemy is as crazy as Osama bin Laden.

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Hmrjmr1 6 years ago from Georgia, USA Author

Catering - I think I clearly outlined a case for the opposite of your statement above. I do not hold Islam responsible for 9/11 and I do think the Mosque is too close. We will just have to disagree on this.

Granny's House profile image

Granny's House 6 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

Hmr, I too agree with you and most of the comments. I will add to Facebook. I think everyone should read this.

Good Job!

Zakmoonbeam profile image

Zakmoonbeam 6 years ago from Parts Unknown

Wow. This is the first Hub of yours that I have read, and consider me a fan from this point on. Eloquent and well thought out, you made your point tactfully yet strongly. Thank you.

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Hmrjmr1 6 years ago from Georgia, USA Author

GH - Thanks so much appreciate you spreading the word.

ZakMB- Thanks for stopping in appreciate it fanning!

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