News / USA

Sensitivity vs. Rights in US Mosque Controversy

Islamic Leadership Council Members (from left) Imam Talib Abdur Rashid, Imam Al-Amim Abdul Latif, Zaheer Uddin at news conference in New York, 1 Sep 2010
Islamic Leadership Council Members (from left) Imam Talib Abdur Rashid, Imam Al-Amim Abdul Latif, Zaheer Uddin at news conference in New York, 1 Sep 2010

The ongoing controversy over a proposed Islamic Center in New York is pitting constitutional rights against the sensitivity of many Americans over human losses caused by the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.  The Islamic Leadership Council, a group claiming to represent more than 55 major mosques and Islamic organizations in New York, said American Muslims are no less sensitive than fellow citizens who oppose the Islamic Center.

Imam Al-Amin Abdul Latif of New York's Ash-Shura Mosque told a news conference by local Islamic leaders at City Hall that the construction of the Islamic Center near the site of the 9/11 attacks is not the only issue at stake in the current controversy.

"The broader issue is the issue of ethnic and religious hatred being spread by groups trying to stop the building of mosques and Islamic institutions across the country," said Latif.

Another Imam, Talib Abdur Rashid, said many Americans are ignorant of the fact that hundreds of Muslims were among those who died at the World Trade Center on 9/11.  Several were first responders, such as fire fighters and emergency medical workers, who came to the site before the twin towers collapsed on them.

"We do not believe that we are good enough to die, that we are good enough to minister to others, that we are good enough to respond to tragedy, but we are not good enough to be able to build a place where we can pray, right where we worked and died," said Rashid.

Speaking at a recent New York rally against the proposed Islamic Center, Sudanese immigrant Simon Deng, himself a Muslim, drew cheers when he noted there are already more than 100 mosques in New York.  He spoke on the block separating the World Trade Center and the proposed Islamic Center. "Take this mosque and take it far away from those who died here.  What is your problem by insulting us?  What is your problem by bringing back the pain?"

The Islamic Leadership Council noted it was not Islam, but Muslim extremists, who caused that pain.  The Council also rejected language that distinguishes between Muslims as them and Americans as us.  Its members note there are millions of Muslims in the United States with a history in this country that goes back centuries.

Also addressing the news conference was New York Congressman Charles Rangel, who noted for every group of immigrants that came to the United States, another group did not want them here.  He said the problem of opposition to Islam is not a problem for Muslims, but a problem for America.  Rangel called on Americans to do the right thing by respecting the Constitution, which guarantees religious freedom for all.

You May Like

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs