Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Monday, July 26, 2010

See Something, Say Something

On September 11th, Americans and freedom-loving people worldwide saw something: they saw Islamic terrorists slam a hijacked commercial airliner into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City.

They said something, too: “Never again.”

Nearly nine years later, they see something else: a hole in the ground, where the base of the memorials is slowly, torturously (according to a wife of one of the construction workers) being built. A memorial that could and should have been built long ago but for the stalling of bureaucracy. The people said something, but no one listened.

The customs agent at the Portland Airport saw something: a man who looked like a terrorist. He wanted to say something, but was afraid because he feared he’d lose his job for violating the agency’s politically correct guideline of not judging people by their appearance or ethnic background.

Now Americans see that a suspected terrorist supporter is planning to build a grand mosque/community center two blocks from Ground Zero on Park Place. Originally it was to be called the Cordoba House, and the project is still entitled, “The Cordoba Initiative”. Fortunately, someone said something about Cordoba and how Muslims build their mosques on the conquered temples of other religions.

They’re saying something, in great numbers: that the mosque is an affront to the families of victims who died there. The secular politicians see it too, but they say the very Islamic radicals who wish to destroy American principles are protected by them.

They say that whether we like it or not, Muslims have the right to worship where and when they please. This is, after all, America. The building this group plans to raze already serves as a mosque in between an Amish market and a bar.

A community board member, speaking on WOR radio this morning, said the same group that approved the mosque (though not as overwhelmingly as it seems, he says; many members abstained from voting) will also determine the building’s landmark status.

From what he says, because the building is already a mosque, they would be giving landmark status not only to the building’s architectural history but its current status as a mosque. Furthermore, there was no way they could have legally denied the building’s use for religious purposes.

A more courageous political body would have taken them on and denied them the right to build this new mosque, Constitution or no Constitution. The one avenue open to opponents is the benefactor’s dubious history as a supporter of terrorism. For some reason, he has not been obliged to reveal the sources of his funding, even though it would seem that would be excellent grounds for denying a permit.

You would think their motives would be obvious, given the huge hole just steps away from where the mosque is to be built. Two short blocks. But we can’t be sure, claim the authorities. We have to give them the benefit of the doubt.

The customs agent was obliged to give Mohammed Atta the benefit of the doubt. The laws said so. I’d love to ask Mayor Bloomberg if he were given a camera with a telephoto lens and he saw what looked like a group of innocent construction workers in some sensitive area, what would he do?

The camera is capable of focusing in on faces at a distance. Would it be his imagination if he thought he saw someone on the FBI’s Most Wanted List? Could he be sure without having the list in front of him? The only thing to do is call the authorities.

Only – they couldn’t have gotten where he sees them without the permission of the authorities. The evidence is there, but to whom do you say something? Of course, it’s not your problem if you say something but they don’t do something. But the fact that it is happening in plain sight where they should be able to see it is not an encouraging sign.

Sort of like today. In this case, Mayor Bloomberg is the authority.

We see a hole in the ground where the World Trade Center used to stand. Every year, we see their families come to mourn their lost loved ones. We see very slow progress on the memorial and the construction of the other buildings. We say we’ll never forget.

We see a building two blocks away, that had been a clothing store, that was damaged by a piece of one of the hijacked planes on 9/11. We see that St. Nicholas Church hasn’t been rebuilt. But we do see a new subway station. We see that building that was damaged has been converted to a mosque, with plans for an even grander monument to that religion, one that is to debut on Sept. 11, 2011.

We see it all very clearly and ominously and we are saying something. However, the answer we’re getting is that this is America, the land of the free, and they can do anything they want. We mustn’t judge them, anymore than the customs agent should have judged Mohammed Atta (although he was forced from his job afterwards for not doing that job).

The authorities say we must be tolerant and open-minded of the Muslims. We mustn’t judge them, even though their religion has usurped and overturned free democracies all over the world. We mustn’t say anything that would upset them or deny them the freedom to destroy freedom because we might destroy freedom ourselves in the process.

I see something similar to what I saw nine years ago. A purportedly “innocent” project perpetrated by some well-known bad actors in public view, ignored or undetected by security officials who didn’t see anything and certainly didn’t say anything.

We see them now building their mosque and we’ll see them later. We will watch in impotent silence when they one day bow down at the future World Trade Center memorial to honor not the slain innocents, but their own dead heroes who brought about the calamity in the name of Allah. And we must not say anything.

Because we’re Americans.

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