An Open letter to the Muslim Summit of 19 Sept 2010
To : Shaiks and Imams Gathering in New York
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
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