The parallels are very similar–as are the lessons. I do understand the pain and deep hurt and viceral anger at the attack carried out by extremists who killed innocent friends and family members in the name of Islam. I pray often for those who hold in their hearts the heavy and unrelieved weight of their personal loss and sarcrifice.
But I know the path of reconciliation and personal healing requires a strength of spirit rooted in love. The best way to honor the brave and wonderful souls we loss on 9/11 is to show the victory and triumph to that love. Sharing that love shows and affirms the very reasons we miss them so much and experience the loss so deeply.
On 9/11, my daughter worked in an office building directly across the street from one of the Towers, and was in the subway when the first plane hit, but was able to evaluate safely. I think often how glad I am to have her, and feel the guilt of the survivor for those who loss so much. Still, with due respect and honor to those who experienced the direct losses, I do not believe their memory is served by assigning collective guilt.
The politics of those angered by the request to build the mosque on Park Avenue are asserting that proximity is policy and are making an unspoken equivacy between the “hallowed ground” and the Giza settlements. “Location is power; seize and preserve the ground at all costs” is the mantra for supporters of both issues. Strength and might are being equated as “feel good” territorial imperatives.
The fact that this creates a subjugated class of citizens and rights is overlooked and disguised by arguments framed in emotional (insulting, demeaning, provocative, goading) and security (new source of possible attacks) terms.
Park Avenue, circa 1922, when the avenue consisted of a park.
Top: Malcolm X Mosque, Harlem, New York. Images in the public domain.