(See video: http://www.youtube.com/
It is most certainly regretable at best, that certain television networks, news networks and certain politicians — Republican and Democrat — have latched onto this paranoia, this fear, of Muslims in the United States, for economic and political gain ahead of November's midterm congressional elections.
Even more disappointing is the fact that an organization, in the name of Islam, played its part in giving ammunition to the very enemies it knew were ready, willing and able to use the Park51 project as a catalyst for the the Islamophobic war against Islam now threatening to burn like a wild fire in our own country.
This past Saturday President Obama was asked about the issue during his trip to Florida. He said, "I will not comment on the wisdom of making a decision to put a mosque there."
I respect the President's decision, but thank him for planting the seed. And I will question the wisdom of the location for construction of Park51.
Is the wisdom used by organizers of the Park51 project in choosing a location within such close proximity to Ground Zero representative of the wisdom the nation's Muslim community wants to see in members of its leadership?
There are members within mainstream US Muslim organizations that don't like what I have to say, but I do not recall having given any one of them permission to speak on my behalf - nor am I aware of there being any campaign nominating and electing a single one of them as being representative of the national Muslim voice.
Cordoba/ASMA leadership may very well continue to insist on and indeed succeed in building on the property chosen; but I ask again, at what price?
The backlash of this decision will ripple through the Muslim community for years, and our youth will be counted among the casualties. Where will the Cordoba/ASMA leadership be then? Home safe in their own beds, or perhaps on holiday in Qatar or Bahrain.
Over on YouTube the anti-Muslim Rally at Ground Zero has already been viewed is video has been viewed nearly 50,000 times.
Meanwhile, on a Mideast tour funded by the U.S. State Department, Park51 organizer Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf said in Sunday's AP report that the attention generated by the project is "positive" adding that he took heart from the dispute, saying "the fact we are getting this kind of attention is a sign of success."
In a March 2002 PBS interview Rauf also said, "we are accountable to God for our actions."
Park51: Yes, I Get Mail
Park 51 Organizers Missed Opportunity to Promote Tolerance and Understanding
Park 51/'Ground Zero Mosque' - The Crux of the Matter
MWA Director Commends NY Governor in Step Toward Compromise on Ground Zero
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Aishah Schwartz, an American Muslim published writer and activist, serves as Founder and Director of the Washington, D.C.-based Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA), established in 2006. She is also a retired 17-year career litigation legal assistant. As an activist her focus leans toward the rights of Muslim women and the plight of the Palestinian people affected by the Israeli imposed illegal embargo on Gaza.