Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Other Opinions · The Mosque at Ground...
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The Mosque at Ground Zero

Stephen Tuttle - August 16th, 2010
The Mosque at Ground Zero
There is a plan afoot to remodel an already existing structure in New
York City as a mosque and community center. It is two blocks from
ground zero. The opposition to it is loud, growing and misplaced.
The arguments go like this: it’s too close to ground zero, the
feelings are still too raw, it was Muslims who attacked the World
Trade Centers, blah, blah, blah.
Worse, the debate has now been fully politicized. Former New York Mayor
Rudolph Giuliani has weighed in, calling the decision to go forward
with the plans a “desecration” and wrongly accusing those involved in
the planning of being “sympathetic to terrorists”.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which should know
better, says it will open old wounds. New York Governor David
Paterson, while expressing some support, has offered state funding if
the proposed project is moved. And, of course, Sarah Palin, who has
become something of a scavenger of human misery, has decided that
vocally opposing the mosque is an excellent opportunity to make some
cynical political points.
On the other side, current New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has openly
supported the plans and watched his traditionally high approval ratings sag.
The man who planned this 13-story, $100 million development that will
include a community center, performing arts center and day care center
in addition to a mosque, is either the greatest con man we’ve
encountered in some time or exactly the kind of Muslim with whom we’ve
been trying to curry favor since 9/11. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf extols
the virtues of democracy and freedom and, in fact, has publicly said
the United States is the model on which his kind of Islam should be
It is more than ironic that our tax dollars have been used to support,
and in some cases build, these kinds of Islamic centers around the
world in an attempt to promulgate peaceful, mainstream Islam. There
are those insisting no such thing should be built in lower Manhattan,
a brief ferry ride from the Statue of Liberty. Apparently there will
be no yearning to be free going on in their neighborhood.
Our continued insistence on lumping all Muslims -- and there are more
than a billion of them around the world -- into the same group with
those who have bastardized the Quran for their own murderous ends is a
grotesque mistake that belittles us and the values in which we so
strongly believe.
More to the point, it feeds the beast we’ve come to call radical Islam
more fuel for the hatred machines they continue to build – America is
intolerant, America hates us, America is the enemy.
You would think this kind of religious bigotry would be part of our
past. Every major religion has had its violently extreme splinter
groups and their moments of inexplicable darkness. Murderous
megalomaniacs have infected Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and even
Buddhism. Yet no one has suggested their houses of worship should move
someplace else.
We’ve opted not to condemn or attempt to banish any of the great
religions based on the bad behavior of a relative handful of rogue,
murderous adherents. We’ve accepted the quite correct notion that no
religious belief system should be condemned in its entirety because of
a few lunatics claiming to represent it. But we have excluded Islam
from this obvious truism.
Then there’s the entire matter of the First Amendment. Our various
government agencies don’t get to decide how we worship or where. The
first couple of layers of governmental regulators have made decisions
allowing the mosque to move forward. Even if roadblocks are erected,
as some on the New York City City Council and within the New York
Legislature have suggested, it’s quite likely the courts will remove
those hurdles. As they should.
Yes, it was Muslims of a sort who hijacked commercial jets and rained
horror down on New York City, Washington, D.C. and the rolling hills
of Pennsylvania on 9/11. But theirs is not the Islam practiced around
the world. In fact, the violence and hatred practiced by the Taliban,
al Qaida and other Islamic terrorists are not recognizable as any
religious belief system at all.
A mosque and community center in
New York, close to ground zero, is the perfect
location and the perfect opportunity for us to learn about real
Islamic practices, and for them to reach out to a community so badly
wounded by a handful who tried to steal a religion away from them and
quite literally destroy that which Allah asked them to
If radical Islam rears its ugly head in a new center in New York,
we’ll know about it soon enough and can then take the necessary steps
to stop it. But it is past time we give those Muslims who want nothing
more than to peacefully coexist with their neighbors the chance to do
just that. Our politicians have plenty of other issues to soil with
their grubby quest for another handful of votes.
The mosque and community center should be built not because it will be
a symbol of Islamic tolerance, understanding and pluralism but because
it will be a symbol of ours.

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