[Preface: I asked Sean to write a few words about the Ground Zero mosque. I've edited this slightly for clarity.]
How The Mosque Disrespects the Dead
When my wife left for work on the morning of September 11, 2001, Manhattan looked the same as every other day. The skyline was a familiar frame where we had lived for most of our lives. Looking up through the shafts of steel, the blue sky gleamed. We talked about going out for dinner that night. With my parents staying at our place, we could leave our son with his grands. She wanted to sit on a patio and enjoy the nice weather. About an hour after I had said goodbye to her for the last time, the city changed forever. Terrorists using hijacked aircraft destroyed the buildings where we worked. The skyline was no longer the same, but the soul of the city changed as well. A black cloak lay over the city, smothering us with grief. After a few years, the citizenry adjusted to “The New Normal”. We were not the only ones. Families of the heroes on Flight 93, and the people in the Pentagon had a transformative new reality to assimilate into their experience. The whole country understood we were at war with the people and yes, the ideology, of the people who had committed these cowardly acts.
Almost as soon as workers began to haul away the rubble, a group of 9/11 families began a campaign to force the city to look for human remains in the debris that was shuttled off to Fresh Kills. The families have generally been unsuccessful. The city says it is too expensive to look for every scrap of human remains. The bodies will forever be mingled with the garbage that the city of New York throws away. Of all the political causes that arose out of the 9/11 attacks, this one touched me the most. I’m enraged that some of the dead are being treated like garbage. Many still remain in that pit and though I hate the fact that they met their untimely deaths there, I was at least consoled by the promise of a beautiful, respectful memorial where the families could grieve and the city could restore its faith in the goodness of humanity.
A decade later, the pit remains where my former office building dominated the southern tip of Manhattan. Two blocks away, a mosque will be erected, declaring victory in the place of the Twin Towers.
Now there is no place for the dead. The choice between a garbage dump at Fresh Kills or in the shadow of a mosque is a slap in the face to every single victim from the city of New York. I expect this from radical Muslims. They came here to kill us. The fact they would also piss all over the graves of the dead is perfectly in character. But the city of New York and Mayor Bloomberg have to be ashamed for allowing the three thousand dead to be disrespected this way. They could have stopped it but they welcomed it in the name of political correctness.
Will the mosque be allowed to issue its adhan five times a day? The thought of visiting the Ground Zero memorial, if it is ever built, and hearing the Muslim calls to prayer, would be enough to make me sick. The irony of this seems lost on the ruling class who have remained silent on the issue. For the families, it is a reality that must be confronted. It is like killing them all over again.
There are over 100 mosques in the five boroughs of New York. If they need more space, they can build one somewhere else. Building a mosque so the shadow looms over the bodies of my wife and friends is not a legitimate choice for anyone who cares about peace and respect. Ground Zero is a grave. In June, a new batch of remains were found. This is a decade later! I have no doubt that remains will continue to be found for many decades. Muslims shouted Allah Akbar as they killed my wife and friends and scattered their bones all over the city. The least they could do is let the dead rest in peace.