Muslim 9/11 victim: 'Build your mosque somewhere else'

There are plenty of victims and victim's families from 9/11 who oppose the proposed Ground Zero Mosque, but Neda Bolourchi, who witnessed the murder of her mother when the plane she was in slammed into the North tower of the WTC, feels particularly violated by the idea.

Not only is she a Muslim, but she views GZ as a cemetery - the only place where she can visit and feel close to her mother since no body was ever recovered.

She writes in the Washington Post:

When I am asked about the people who murdered my mother, I try to hold back my anger. I try to have a more spiritual perspective. I tell myself that perhaps what happened was meant to happen -- that it was my mother's destiny to perish this way. I try to take solace in the notion that her death has forced a much-needed conversation and reevaluation of the role of religion in the Muslim community, of the duties and obligations that the faith imposes and of its impact on the non-Muslim world.
But a mosque near Ground Zero will not move this conversation forward. There were many mosques in the United States before Sept. 11; their mere existence did not bring cross-cultural understanding. The proposed center in New York may be heralded as a peace offering -- may genuinely seek to focus on "promoting integration, tolerance of difference and community cohesion through arts and culture," as its Web site declares -- but I fear that over time, it will cultivate a fundamentalist version of the Muslim faith, embracing those who share such beliefs and hating those who do not.

Neda gives the lie to those proponents of the mosque who characterize opposition to it as religious bigotry. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is, the left just doesn't accept the significance of 9/11 - they never have and they never will. To them, it was a sad day, and not much more. No need to go to war to stop another one, right? They reject the War on Terror - to the point of even banishing the phrase from official government documents. They reject the idea we are fighting a putrid ideology (also removing the words "radical Islam" from government documents). And they find it more troubling what America is doing to defend itself than the potential for disaster presented by our enemies.

The mosque will almost certainly be built. If that happens, the leaders of the Cordoba project will carry a heavy burden to make good on their promise that the Islamic Center and Mosque will truly foster interfaith understanding and dialogue. As it stands now, few believe them.


There are plenty of victims and victim's families from 9/11 who oppose the proposed Ground Zero Mosque, but Neda Bolourchi, who witnessed the murder of her mother when the plane she was in slammed into the North tower of the WTC, feels particularly violated by the idea.

Not only is she a Muslim, but she views GZ as a cemetery - the only place where she can visit and feel close to her mother since no body was ever recovered.

She writes in the Washington Post:

When I am asked about the people who murdered my mother, I try to hold back my anger. I try to have a more spiritual perspective. I tell myself that perhaps what happened was meant to happen -- that it was my mother's destiny to perish this way. I try to take solace in the notion that her death has forced a much-needed conversation and reevaluation of the role of religion in the Muslim community, of the duties and obligations that the faith imposes and of its impact on the non-Muslim world.

But a mosque near Ground Zero will not move this conversation forward. There were many mosques in the United States before Sept. 11; their mere existence did not bring cross-cultural understanding. The proposed center in New York may be heralded as a peace offering -- may genuinely seek to focus on "promoting integration, tolerance of difference and community cohesion through arts and culture," as its Web site declares -- but I fear that over time, it will cultivate a fundamentalist version of the Muslim faith, embracing those who share such beliefs and hating those who do not.

Neda gives the lie to those proponents of the mosque who characterize opposition to it as religious bigotry. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is, the left just doesn't accept the significance of 9/11 - they never have and they never will. To them, it was a sad day, and not much more. No need to go to war to stop another one, right? They reject the War on Terror - to the point of even banishing the phrase from official government documents. They reject the idea we are fighting a putrid ideology (also removing the words "radical Islam" from government documents). And they find it more troubling what America is doing to defend itself than the potential for disaster presented by our enemies.

The mosque will almost certainly be built. If that happens, the leaders of the Cordoba project will carry a heavy burden to make good on their promise that the Islamic Center and Mosque will truly foster interfaith understanding and dialogue. As it stands now, few believe them.


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