The proponents of the Ground Zero mosque first use our freedoms to mock the tragedy of 9/11, and now they add insult to outrage by asking us to pay for the edifice that will exacerbate the pain of that event. The mosque’s developers are seeking taxpayers’ money to bring their vision of a Muslim victory symbol to Ground Zero. If that were not sufficient to pour salt into the wounds of 9/11, the ever-politically correct NBC has named the mosque’s lead developer, Gamal El Sharif, one of its “people of the year.”
From New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to the Obama administration to our politically correct elites, there is no lack of support for the Ground Zero mosque. In contrast, some leaders in the Islamic world have understood both the cultural insensitivity of the project and its detriment to Islam. Imam Abdul Rauf, who boasted that he would raise millions for the mosque, has been as incapable of raising money as he has, according to one of his dissatisfied tenants, of fixing the rat problem in his New Jersey slum.
The problem with the current campaign against the Ground Zero mosque is that it is defensive. There is a better way to deal with this issue. Let us build something positive near the site, something that will serve not just as a memorial to those innocents who perished at the hands of Islamist fanatics, but something that would continually serve as a forum for confronting all the world’s ideologies that find their inspiration in hatred.
The Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, with support from the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, Americans Against Hate, the Armenian National Committee of America, and the Human Rights Foundation, to name a few, is proposing the creation of a human rights plaza dedicated to the ideals of one of the great humanitarians of the twentieth century, Raoul Wallenberg. The purpose of the plaza would be to coordinate with the Ground Zero Freedom Tower and to bring human rights activists together from all over the world to address the dark ideologies that prey on the most primitive instincts of the human psyche. What better place for the implementation of such an undertaking than the shadow of Ground Zero, where there is a constant reminder of the consequences of evil?
The creation of such a memorial would appropriate Ground Zero for its rightful heirs, the people of America. Seminars and research projects would be directed at confronting the world’s great evils: fascism, communism, totalitarianism, racism, anti-Semitism, Islamism, and all of the world’s belief systems that find in hatred the great unifier for mobilizing socio-political and religious movements.