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It is indisputable that as Muslim immigrants we, as a whole, have failed to put ourselves in the shoes of the host people. For the last few decades almost all that Americans have seen from those of us who take our religion literally is violence, conspiracy, intimidation, gender-discrimination and terrorism. Meanwhile, those of us who consider ourselves moderates have mostly stood silently by, watching open or stealth intolerance in the name of Islam from the sidelines.
The following is an example of graceful behavior when it comes to religious tolerance: On March 3, 2002, the Hindustan Times in India conducted a poll on building a temple on the ruins of the Babri mosque destroyed by radical Hindus. The destruction involved mass-murder, mass-rape and the burning of properties of thousands, mainly Muslims, in communal riots. The result of the poll showed an astounding 69.13% of Hindus supporting the rebuilding of the original mosque and in opposition to building a Hindu temple. That was enlightenment on their part.
Ground Zero is a place of the mass-murder of innocents. Opposition to building a mosque there is not “anti-Islamic conspiracy” but the opinion of nearly 70% Americans and 61% of local citizens (CNN, Aug 17, 2010). Indeed we have a legal right to build it, but lest we forget: applying a right attached to religious faith mandates serious wisdom. The plethora of “Legal Right” gave unethical legitimacy not only to the mosque-builders but also to the “Koran Burning” project on 9/11 of Rev. Terry Jones’ of Florida Dove Outreach Center. “It is our right” he claimed on CNN. Yes, Jones finally abandoned his idea of carrying out the plan yesterday (Thursday, September 9), but one still wonders: Is Jones not aware that progressive Muslims also share his agony about Sharia law? Is he not aware that, after functioning for fourteen years with the support of provincial law, the Canadian Sharia Court was legally uprooted not by violence but mainly by the forceful movement of progressive Muslims (i.e. the Muslim Canadian Congress, The Canadian Council of Muslim Women and the International movement against Canadian Sharia Court)?
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