View Full Version : Birthday wishes and political assumptions

Joe (SoCal)
09-17-2010, 09:04 AM
So today is my 46 th birthday and as is the case with Facebook I'm getting lots of well wishes.

One of the first I got was from my step sister. She posted :

"Happy birthday, and No Ground Zero Mosque"

WTF :rolleyes::rolleyes:

At first Im like what a weird juxtaposition my birthday and a ground zero mosque. Then I'm like what a weird ASSUMPTION that I would naturally be opposed to the Islamic cultural center.

Why is it that the right wing nuts just assume that their ideology will be unquestionably accepted as correct.

Well I deleted her post and sent her a private message that will probably secure her to either unfriend me or at the very lease never post political assumptions on my Facebook page again ;)

Thanks for the birthday wishes

But I prefer to keep most political commentary off my FB page.

FWIW my opinion on the Islamic Cultural Center being built a couple of blocks away and ina a totaly different neighborhood than ground zero Can be summed up in this quote ;

“Liberty is the only thing you cannot have unless you are willing to give it to others.” -William Allen White

There are already mosques in NYC, one of which is four blocks away and holding services daily. Ever since they coined the term "Islamic terrorist", there is no distinction between the two.

It is not a mosque that the Muslim community is trying to build at Ground Zero, it is an Islamic cultural center. The aim of this cultural center is to promote interfaith dialogue. It is not in Ground Zero, it is four blocks away from where the attack happened. While some radical Christian groups chose to have a National Burn-a-Quran Day on Sept 11th of every year, Muslims chose to build a cultural center at Ground Zero to promote peace and spread the true understanding of Islam. The center is still only an idea. In fact, fundraising hasn't even begun for the project; it's still in its developmental stages.

Many opponents of building the Islamic cultural center at Ground Zero claim that such a pursuit is an insult to the families of the victims of 9/11. Let me remind myself here, was the 9/11 attack carried out by Muslims or terrorists? So if you think an Islamic cultural center is an insult to the families of 9/11 victims, don't you think your objection is also an insult to those who want to build this center because they are being falsely labeled as “terrorists”? Also, are we fighting a war against terrorism or Islam? What about the Muslims who were also victims of the 9/11 attack?

There were 63 known Muslim victims on that day. Since politicians, xenophobes, and people guided by religious fundamentalism fail to make mention of these people, I thought it vital to reference some names of the victims of 9/11 who were also Muslims:

Mohammad Salman Hamdami was a part-time ambulance driver, medical student and NYPD police cadet. When he saw smoke coming from the twin towers, he drove right to the scene and tried to help. Since he wasn’t working and no one knew his whereabouts, the media were all-too-happy to identify him as a terrorist.

Rahma Salie was a passenger on the American Airlines flight that crashed into the North Tower. Rahma, a Muslim of Sri Lankan origin, was traveling with her husband Michael, a convert to Islam, to attend a friend's wedding in California. Rahma was 7 months pregnant with their first child. Rahma's name was initially put on an FBI watch list, because her "Muslim-sounding" name was on the passenger manifest and her travel patterns were similar to those of the hijackers (she was a computer consultant living in Boston).

Baraheen Ashrafi was nine months pregnant with her second child. Her husband, Mohammad Chowdhury, was a waiter at Windows on the World restaurant, located on the top floors of Tower One. He went off to work the morning of September 11th and she never saw him again. Their son Farqad was born only 48 hours later and was one of the first 9/11 orphans to be born after the attacks.

And the list continues. Many Americans question why this center has to be built at Ground Zero. First of all, the building that the Islamic community has chosen is not quite at Ground Zero. It is about 4 blocks away and is not even visible from the site of the attacks. Plus, if we look back at history, every time Muslims have planned to build a mosque or a cultural center, they have been opposed and have faced various attacks and objections.

I think the word “terrorism” needs to be redefined in America. The whole nation needs to understand what terrorism is and what Islam promotes. At the moment, we Americans as a nation are refusing to listen. We cannot continue to view other religious practices through the lens of our own practices; nor can we make judgments based on how the media portrays other religions. Suspicion, intolerance, and mistrust of others are driving us apart. We are stronger when we share, and smarter when we listen to each other and coexist. At the end of the day, religion was meant to bring happiness to humanity, not to cause tension. When one deprives an individual of their basic human rights (e.g. religious practice; in this case, building the Islamic cultural center), one deprives them of their sense of belonging, which in turn, leads to a long line of consequences (e.g. low self-esteem, violence, aggression, separation, etc.).

See this is why I don't post political opinion on my FB page ;)

I still love you and thanks for the birthday wishes
Your bro Joe

Tall Boy
09-17-2010, 09:14 AM
Wow, I am very impressed. Iíve never seen anyone thrown under a bus quite so eloquently, not to mention a family member, yes, I am very impressed.

Joe (SoCal)
09-17-2010, 09:18 AM
You should see the low tolerance I have for chain emails especially from family ;) I never get anymore :D

Andrew Craig-Bennett
09-17-2010, 09:23 AM
Well done, Joe.

(Oh, and Happy Birthday!)

09-17-2010, 10:41 PM
Thanks, Joe.

Thoughtfully done.


09-17-2010, 10:53 PM
Bravo, Joe! And a very Happy Birthday! (Whew! 11:52 P.M.! Just made it!):D

peter radclyffe
09-17-2010, 11:33 PM
i'd vote for you Joe, & i have never voted

09-18-2010, 12:49 AM
Well done Joe, and happy birthday too.

Robbie 2
09-18-2010, 04:23 AM
Best wishes Joe.

09-18-2010, 04:45 AM
Happy Birthday Joe and ain't family grand !:rolleyes:

Joe (SoCal)
09-18-2010, 05:59 AM
Follow up: This was my sisters response

AHHHH, see I knew I would get a reponse from you... You see I knew your position on this because it was a post I read of yours that first introduced me to the subject. Now I myself feel it is a VICTORY MOSQUE, but I just wanted your attention. And I got it :)

And my quick retort.

Did you take the time to read what I wrote, or just looking to grab my attention ?

Fwiw calling the Islamic cultural center a victory mosque is like calling a YMCA St Patricks Cathedral. But I assume trying to convince you of this would be like arguing with my kitchen table.

Take care I'm off to my birthday dinner. I hope all is well with you.

Your bro Joe

09-18-2010, 06:08 AM
happy b-day Joe, keep taking your vitamins. Pushing buttons, it's almost like love.

Ian McColgin
09-18-2010, 06:21 AM
Well done, Joe. Reminds me of how lucky I am that my sibs and I are of the same political-spiritual universe and that those cousins who are of the prayerful right are afraid of us.

Happy birthday.

Garth Jones
09-18-2010, 07:22 AM
Excellent! And happy birthday.

Tom Montgomery
09-18-2010, 08:05 AM
Good man! You did good.

09-18-2010, 08:08 AM
At the moment, we Americans as a nation are refusing to listen

Much like most other American moments. Happy birthday, Joe.

bob winter
09-18-2010, 08:24 AM
Happy birthday, Joe. I have my doubts that religion was ever meant to make people happy, though.

James McMullen
09-18-2010, 08:47 AM
Joe, that was an excellent essay. With your permission I'd like to send that to a culturally insane relative of my own--not that I'm expecting it will do much good :(

Bob Adams
09-18-2010, 08:53 AM
My in laws should read that! Happy Brithday Joe. 46? Youngster, hell I think I still had hair when I was 46;)

Ed Harrow
09-18-2010, 08:57 AM
Well written, Joe, nicely said.