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The Muslim Mosque and America's Hypocrisy

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Islamic extremist al-Qaeda terrorists proclaimed "in the name of Allah" before crashing two airplanes into the World Trade Center and killing thousands. Many Americans oppose the building of a Muslim mosque and community center near Ground Zero. A mosque is a religious house of worship in the same way a synagogue is to Jews and the church is to Christians. Opponents to the building of the mosque condemn all Muslims for the sins of the al-Qaeda terrorists. Yet, Christians also kill in the name of Christianity. No one ever argues about building churches.

Historically, Christian Americans killed, stole and destroyed the lives of African- Americans, Native Americans and other minorities in the name of Christianity. In the building of America, Christians committed ethnic cleansing on Native Americans, nearly destroying their entire race, in part, due to intolerance, ignorance and religious beliefs. In the 1800's, Christians justified their actions, by labeling Native Americans as "heathens", because they did not practice Christianity. Blacks were enslaved in support of Christianity. Frederick Douglas spoke in 1845 about the connection between Christianity and slavery. He stated "men were sold to build churches; women sold to support the gospel; and babes sold to purchase Bibles for the poor heathen." During the Civil War, southern white Christians fought to keep blacks in slavery in the name of Christianity.

America's first true homegrown terrorist group, the Klu Klux Klan, formed as a racist and anti-Semitic movement in 1866. The Klan's ideology was "Christian" oriented as they often recruited in churches although they practiced hate and violence against blacks and those in support of blacks and other minorities. The KKK sign of the cross is no coincidence as the same sign of the church and Christianity. The KKK burned blacks' homes and lynched blacks well into the 20th century.

After the Civil War, whites used Christianity to promote segregation as the way God intended for us to live, "separate but equal". Yet, segregation caused the loss of lives, black businesses, economic gains, denial of voting rights and resulted in inferior education, inadequate housing and overall substandard quality of life for blacks. Segregation resulted in whole towns of blacks being burned down, including the 1921 Tulsa, Oklahoma massacre where over 1000 black homes and businesses were burned and many lives lost.

In the 21st century, home grown American terrorists still kill and destroy in the name of Christianity. Many abortion doctor killings are committed in the name of religion. In 2009, Scott Roeder, a born again Christian, murdered abortion Dr. George Tiller, out of his religious and zealous Christian beliefs. In 2003 Reverend Paul Hill, a former Presbyterian minister, was executed for the 1994 killing of abortion doctor John Britton. A December 25, 1984 bombing of a Pensacola, FL abortion clinic was said to be a "gift to Jesus" by one of the bombers. Recent reports indicate the KKK is seeing a spike in membership since 2006 as a result of a perceived "assault on Christianity" due to gay marriage and immigration issues. Islam has no unique claim to religious terrorists who commit acts of violence in America in the 21st century.

The September 11 terrorists called themselves Muslims just as abortion killing doctors, Klu Klux Klansmen, Christian slave masters and proponents of segregation called themselves Christians. Their representations of Christianity never stopped the building of any churches. Native Americans, African-Americans and others have never turned their backs on the Christian church, for its acts of violence and racial atrocities, in the same way we are now turning our backs on Muslims and building the mosque near Ground Zero. We cannot make decisions based on our religious intolerance and beliefs. If America made decisions based on religious beliefs, then slavery, segregation and systemic lynchings and killings of minorities might still be alive and well. All were sanctioned in the name of religion and "Christianity". Mayor Blomberg is right when he says it's a sad day in America when we deny a house of worship to be built based on our intolerance of other religions. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), who is Jewish and represents the lower Manhattan neighborhood surrounding Ground Zero, calls it a "slap in the face if you think that the people in the {Muslim} congregation are responsible for al-Qaeda". He understands that if we allow this to happen to Muslims, it will happen to Jews, African-Americans and other minorities in our country, given the opportunity. Christians, African-Americans, Native Americans, Jews and other minorities should stand in solidarity of the building of the mosque.

Are we really this hypocritical and intolerant in America?

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Washington DC based Debbie Hines is a lawyer, former prosecutor and legal/political commentator. She frequently appears on television commenting on gender and race issues in law and politics. As an ivy league educated woman of color, she speaks (more...)
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