Ms. Khan, you claim to want to create “a place where the counter-momentum against extremism will begin.”
Mr. Ramadan, you say Islam is “a religion of peace and justice. … The people here are trying to connect this vile attack on our nation to the religion Islam, though that exact act stands against everything that Islam stands for.”
Well, your plans for a mosque so near the World Trade Center are misguided and will not accomplish what you both claim to intend to accomplish.
So here’s how to begin the “counter-momentum”:
First: build a memorial in Mecca which honors the religions of all the victims of 9/11 and which pledges never again to allow such an atrocity to be committed in Islam’s name.
Next: let’s see you build churches, cathedrals, and synagogues in the capitals and major cities of every Middle Eastern Islamic country. Yes, that’s right — Saudi Arabia too. Have every Middle Eastern government enact laws guaranteeing complete freedom of worship, to all people of every religion; even to Muslims. There are already plenty of mosques in New York. Where are the churches in Riyadh?
Next: let’s hear the Imams expound on why the atrocities committed in the United States, Bali, London, Madrid, and Mumbai (just for starters) are contrary to “the religion of peace and justice”. All the Imams. And let’s hear them apologize, loudly, repeatedly, at prayer and in public, for the sins committed in the name of Islam. Actually, we need more than apologies — we need some atonement. Atonement would be good. This list can be considered a start on atonement.
Next: let’s see you put your impressive public relations skills to some positive use, by convincing Hamas, Hezbollah, the Palestinian Authority, Iran, and all the other relevant Middle Eastern Islamic players to recognize Israel’s right to exist. Get Ahmadinejad to admit the Holocaust happened and get him to forswear the lust to bring about a second Holocaust.
Finally: If there’s any money left over after you have built all those churches and synogogues, then let’s see you put it to work in the community of those who were wronged. Yeah, I’m talking about reparations.
There’s a start. Admit who was wronged. Admit who did the wronging. If those evil men had the wrong idea about Islam, then that’s where the teaching needs to take place — in the mosques of Islam, in Saudia Arabia and in Afghanistan and in Syria and in Iran and in Pakistan and in Nigeria. New York City is completely irrelevant to the mission you claim to hold dear.
Still attached to your Ground Zero mosque? Then I will say only this: the strength of your attachment to the Ground Zero mosque is the proof that your stated mission is a deceit.
You may be able to snow the PC lefties in New York. Know that the rest of us are watching. We have no particular reason to trust your words, and 3000 reasons not to. The “counter-momentum against extremism” must begin within Islam. Good luck.