[Hyscience Blog, United States]



Pak Tribune, Pakistan

It's High Time We Muslims Confronted Our Own Hypocrisy


"What really boggles my mind is when I think of what would happen if Christians were involved in a terrorist attack on one of our holy cities: would we ever, ever contemplate allowing Christians to build a church next to the attack site?"


By Anwaar Hussain*



October 4, 2010


Pakistan - Pak Tribune - Original Article (English)

Feisal Abdul Rauf, executive director of the Cordoba Initiative, has traveled the world to talk to moderate Muslims on behalf of the U.S. State Department. He now finds himself ensconsed in a fierce battle to prevent his initiative from being completed.  

BBC NEWS VIDEO: Developer of Ground Zero Islamic center, Sharif El-Gamal, defends the site of the project,' Sept. 29, 00:02:34RealVideo

Someone needed to say this, so here it is.


We huff and puff in a self-righteous rage over the refusal of a few in the US of A to allow the building of a mosque near Ground Zero. Particularly for the bigots on either side, the issue has become so all-consuming that it's hard to distinguish their collective voice from one continuous, high-pitched, piercing blare.


Quite a few on my mailing list enthusiastically forwarded me an amazing article written by Michael Moore (yes, of Fahrenheit 9/11 fame) titled as, If This Mosque isn’t Built, This is no Longer America. In this stunning piece, Michael Moore wants the mosque built "not two blocks from Ground Zero" but "on Ground Zero." He goes on to give a long list of reasons for this. What really stumped me in Michael’s write-up was that since the beginning, according to him, it has been the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan whose rabbi has been helping the New York Muslim community in their quest.


And I thought the Jews were our worst enemies.


Bang in the middle of this controversy, other dazzling news was almost drowned out. According to a Christian Science Monitor report, the hundred thousand strong Muslim community of the Italian city of Milan are pushing for building the first-ever mosque in that city. And who is their most steadfast ally in this quest? Lo and behold, it's none other than the Vatican itself. Says Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, the Catholic Church’s highest authority in Milan, “Milan civil institutions must guarantee everyone religious freedom,” and “Muslims have the right to practice their faith.”


All power to the Muslim communities in New York and Milan - and Michael Moore and Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, but where does that leave ordinary Muslims like me? I'm all confused. I thought these people could never be friends with Muslims. That, as a matter fact, is an article of faith with us Muslims. I appeal to the paragons of moral consistency to now come to my aid. And pronto please. What's happening? Someone please reassure me that these friendly gestures are actually more "Judeo-Christian conspiracies" against us Muslims. And if they are, what exactly are we going to do about them? Refuse the help or refuse building the mosques?


But that's not all I'm puzzled over. I also need to understand why in our holy land [Saudi Arabia], a country that is a role model for the Muslim world, a kind of apartheid against non-Muslims is practiced. Christians and other non-Muslims are prohibited from even entering the two holy cities [Mecca and Madina] where there are signs that Muslims must go to certain areas and non-Muslims others. There are more than a million Roman Catholics in that country without a single church for any Christian denomination. Not allowed to practice their faith openly, these Christians are forced to worship secretly in private homes. Even articles and symbols like Bibles, crucifixes, statues, carvings, items with religious icons, etc. are prohibited. The government doesn't permit non-Muslim clergy to enter the country for the purpose of conducting religious services. In that country, blood money for the accidental death of a Christian male is half as much as that for a Muslim (lucky, one would say, because all others i.e. Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs etc. are valued at 1/16th the amount).



The Star, South Africa: South African Muslims Prevent a 'Bible Bonfire'

Sotal Iraq, Iraq: Muslim Clerics Must 'Render Unto Caesar What is Caesar's'

Jakarta Post, Indonesia: The Ground Zero Mosque, Jewish People and Indonesia

News, Switzerland: Moderates in 'Radical Headlock' Over 'Ground Zero Mosque'

La Nacion, Chile: Extremists and the Media Put World on a Hair Trigger

Folha, Brazil: Xenophobia is Again in Fashion Around the World

Financial Times Deutschland: West Must Halt Downward Slide Since 9-11

El Mercurio, Spain: The 'Neo-Nazi' Campaign Against President Obama

El Mundo, Spain: Beck and Palin Search for Mythical 'Paradise Lost'

Der Standard, Austria: In Despair Over Democracy - Both America's and Ours

National Post, Canada: U.S. Democracy Suffers 'Death By Talk-Show Host'

La Jornada, Mexico: Beck and the New U.S.-Right: 'Like a Horror Movie'

Iraq News Agency, Iraq: Sarah Palin: The 'Seductress' of the American Election

Die Tageszeitung, Germany: Let's Punish Pastor Jones By Looking Away

Folha, Brazil: Pastor Jones Takes Journalists for a Ride

Der Spiegel, Germany: Daughter of Terry Jones Asks Dad: 'Papa, Don't Do It'

Der Spiegel, Germany: Jones Condemned By His Ex-Church in Germany

Telegraph, U.K.: Can One Idiot Really 'Threaten World Peace'?

Telegraph, U.K.: 9/11 Quran Burning: What U.S Law Says

Daily Star, Lebanon: Quran Burning a Threat to America and the World

Rheinischer Merkur, Germany: Cordoba House: Let it Be a Triumph of Tolerance

ABC, Spain: Cordoba House: The 'Impossible Mosque'

ABC, Spain: The Mosque Near Ground Zero: A Case of Insensitivity

La Opinion de Zemora, Spain: Cordoba House and 'Hussein of Yankeeland'

Guardian Unlimited, U.K.: The Poison Behind the Ground Zero Mosque Furore

The Telegraph, U.K.: The Depressing Debacle of 'Ground Zero Mosque'

BBC News, U.K.: Mosque Dispute Exposes Obama on Two Sides


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But above all, what really boggles my mind is when I think of what would happen if Christians were involved in a terrorist attack on one of our holy cities: would we ever, ever contemplate allowing Christians to build a church next to the attack site? Not that there are any, even without such attacks. Whether Muslims were or weren’t involved in the 9/11 attacks is beside the point. Rightly or wrongly, they are perceived to have been. 



Not only that, people [in Muslim lands] are actually killed for having differing beliefs. In a country like Pakistan, Christians, along with other minorities of course, are routinely persecuted, their churches burned and their homes and communities vandalized, while we stand by like helpless bystanders. Even the ancient Bamyan Statues [of the Buddha] in Afghanistan, an international heritage site, weren't spared. Yet when we go and reside in the West we foam at the mouths with self- righteousness demanding equal rights in matters of worship and daily living. We are the rowdiest, loudest and most violent protesters when we protest a seeming injustice.




Why do we all forget the aforesaid facts when we cry out for equal rights and freedom of speech, thought and action in the West? Why don’t we demand the same in our own countries? Why do we lapse into collective silence at the persecution of minorities in our countries? Why don’t we believe in giving to others what we claim for ourselves? Why don’t we see the heartrending injustice of it all?


Why are we inured to these basic human values? When will we understand that fear freezes the mind, keeping it forever at the mercy of ignorance? That superstition is a dagger that slaughters the intellect?


And if it isn't the case of a callous indifference to basic human values or of fear or superstition, then what is it?


Is it ignorance? Is it duplicity? Is it dread of the unknown? Is it the lethal mix of all three that keeps us from being honest? Or is it plain old hypocrisy?


Anyone care to answer?


*Anwaar Hussain is a former Pakistan Air Force F-16 fighter pilot. With a Masters in Defense and Strategic Studies from Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamaba, he now resides in United Arab Emirates. He has published a series of articles in Defense Journal, South Asia Tribune and a host of other web portals. Other than international affairs, Anwaar Hussain has written extensively on the religious and political issues that plague Pakistan.


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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US October 7, 9:59pm]


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