Saturday, August 21, 2010

What would Jesus say about Islamic Center near the WTC site?

What was, initially, a local (NYC) issue has now become media frenzy throughout our great country. I've especially seen it become a political furor, and no wonder, as it IS an election year.

Of course you must have guessed by now that I'm referring to the "mosque" NEAR the former World Trade Center site or "Ground Zero". As the uproar has festered and become a national issue and fodder for politicians to raise their voices, I have become increasingly discouraged that so many of my fellow Christians seem to have forsaken some of the basic tenets and teachings of our Lord. In fact, my heart breaks and I wonder "What would Jesus say?"

Some background :

I am a survivor of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, working at Wall St. and Broadway…getting caught in the "lookie-loo" stream that tried to take me nearer while I fought to get far far away. I got caught in the debris of both fallen towers, have scars to this day of burns suffered, and that's just the physical stuff. I saw horrors never before seen on an NYC street and I still look up when I hear a plane nearby. Mentally and emotionally, while I have healed, there is still hurt. My balcony looks out across the Hudson River where there is now a hole in the skyline. Ok…hoping you get the picture, While I didn't personally lose a loved one, I have a sense of their pain. I "get it" OK. That being said, these same folks who are calling the actual WTC site "holy ground" have held up construction at the site for various and sundry reasons. In part, IMHO because they really never got any closure. Truly I hurt for them.

All that being said, over the years whenever a politician wants to get attention, or express outrage we hear "Remember 9/11" or "national security"

What most distresses me is the huge negative response from many of my fellow Christians. It seems to me that, while still calling themselves followers of Christ, their loyalty to their favorite politician has blinded them, or at least given them some selective memory. It distresses me that a church in Florida is holding a "Koran burning party" . I don't know enough about this church to comment on their beliefs, but I bet these same folks would be outraged at a "Bible burning celebration"!!! Jesus said we are to LOVE our enemies! Matthew 5:44–48 Where is the victory in vilifying those whose beliefs are not our own? And really-are ALL Muslims our enemies? I really have to wonder if these folks have ever read the Koran! Even MORE scary is that I would like to ask if they've ever truly read what Jesus taught!!!

Have folks who protest this building, or other mosques in other parts of the country given any thought to the truth that Jesus died for them too? John 3:16 (please note the word "WORLD") How would these same feel if we, as Christians were the underdog in this? Didn't Jesus say, love thy neighbor AS thyself? Matthew 22:37-40. My question and one I believe Jesus might ask is "WHERE IS THE LOVE?" As Christians, isn't that at the very heart of all we believe in? Have so many lost sight of the truth that God is sovereign and in control? 1 Peter 2:13–17 I really and truly resent those who claim the fellowship of Jesus Christ and yet have so much HATE! And Jesus warned them too! Matthew 7:15–23 . In my ears I hear from these protesting Christians "Lord Lord, didn't we protest mosques, burn others holy books and kill Muslims in Your name"

It hurts that so much real HATE SPEECH is out there because someone is a practicing Muslim. SO WHAT if they are! Some politically motivated groups say that our President Obama is Muslim. Again, SO WHAT! This one is, IMHO, just a disguise for those who are really upset that a black man is president and/or that their political party is not in power. Check it out! Never mind the fact that before he was elected these same folks were outraged that he was a 20 year(?) member of a church that featured a pastor who had, on occasion, spoke in terms that were also hateful.

All that being said, let's get on to some facts:

First, it is true that those who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks and many others are indeed Muslim. That does NOT mean that all Muslims are terrorists! I submit that these use their faith as an excuse to force their own beliefs on others and it's not really about religion but about POWER. Throughout history, all three major religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) have done the same. Check it out people!!

Remember that many of the Muslim faith are also descendants of Abraham-and blessed by God Genesis 17:20. It amazes me that so many Christians who embrace Israel as a "cause" forget this truth from Scripture.

People of the Muslim religion have been in our country practically since its founding.

The Cordoba Initiative and Imam Rauf are of the Sufism sect. A very moderate "denomination" of the Islamic faith. Check it out for yourself. Use your intelligence and do PERSONAL research people, instead of listening to all the talking heads whose REAL motive is television ratings, getting re-elected, etc. In other words $MONEY$, POWER, INFLUENCE which of course leads to more of the same if they win.

Imam Rauf has worked with the State Dept of both political parties to foster a better understanding and dialog with our Muslim neighbors. Remember Jesus teaching about peace and peacemakers? Matthew 5:9

Summing up I am feeling very ashamed right now. Ashamed of those who blindly protest without practicing the Berean method (Acts 17:10–11) and do the research for themselves! Ashamed of those who, under the guise of "American patriotism" foster hate! Ashamed of those who, in the name of Jesus Christ, burn books that others regard as holy! While I empathize with those who lost loved ones in the 9/11 attacks, I believe its time to FORGIVE and get on with it. Jesus said a LOT about forgiveness too. Matthew 18:21–22

I hope that this has given readers some food for thought. I am interested in hearing opposing views too.





  1. Donna, you definitely gave me a lot to think about from a totally different perspective. Personally.. I have nothing against them building an Islamic center in NYC, I just WISH that it wouldn't be so close to the WTC site. I believe that it is going to take an act of God to stop it from happening if it's not meant to happen. There are a lot of agendas surrounding this, both negative and positive. I do think you are right in the sense of that we need to Forgive. 9/11 was a turning point in so many peoples lives. I think a lot of NYers and those who otherwise were affected by 9/11 see their lives in a pre 9/11 and post 9/11 sense too. The event had an impact on so many lives, and it is only natural that it would make for some pretty strong feelings where this is concerned. That doesn't necessarily make them right, but it makes it understandable and there are always going to be people that is going to take advantage of these strong emotions ( aka politicians and what not ) for their own gain.
    I totally understand where you are coming from and although personally I would like to see the Islamic center/mosque built elsewhere I am really not gonna sweat it... so to speak. I just know that no matter what MY GOD IS IN CONTROL!!!

  2. Hey Katrine! Thanks for your comment and viewpoint. To elaborate a little-I am just a bit confused by those followers of Christ who, in the name of Christ are doing hateful things. Additionally, I think we all need to consider what our priorities are. Is God first-or is our country first? I, for one, will keep God ahead of patriotism as I pray to live as Jesus taught. Bottom line, as you said God IS in control. Praise the LORD! BTW, did you know that a congregation of Muslims has been worshiping at this place for a few years? AND that there are two other similar places of worship within a few miles? No protest there as they were there before 9/11!

  3. No I didn't know that, but that's probably because, like so many people, my information mostly comes through the media and we all know how things get totally obscured in the media. That is why I really appreciate when people like yourself step up and say "wait a minute"!! I will stand by my wish that they wouldn't build it so close to "ground zero" but like you said.. there have been muslims worshiping there for a long time.. I agree with you that God must come ahead of Patriotism simply because as it stands today Patriotism and God is like oil and water. The government of this country and other special interest groups ( you know which ones I mean ) have successfully cleaned God out of our Govt, our schools and even some of our "churches" I find this incredibly sad, but at the same time.. it's according to God's Word in the sense of being the opposition the Bible said we would face. We will not win over the Islamic world for Jesus if we show them the same hate that they have shown towards us ( not all muslims are included in previous statement ) Jesus said to turn the other cheek. We are to lead by example and so far I think that, in general, the Christian world has done a really poor job at setting a loving example. I think you are absolutely right in saying that we need to forgive because in doing so we are showing Christ because HE forgave ALL! God Bless