salaam salaam its been too long!
We’re in the midst of Ramadan 1431AH/2010CE, and the landscape in America is seeing visible signs of an ever present Muslim population. The next few entries will be discussing milestones of American Muslims in the public sphere.
Politically, the drama couldn’t be any higher surrounding the controversial Cordoba Center- a proposed Islamic cultural center just several blocks away from Ground Zero. According to polls, close to 70% of Americans are against building the institution! What’s unfortunate is that many Republican politicians are justifying the unfounded and bigoted fears people are bringing to the table in regards to its construction.
The President came out strong in supporting the right to religious freedom, but had to back track and pick his words, in order to avoid any political backlash and not come off as picking sides in a ‘regional/local’ debate. It was refreshing however, to have Mayor Bloomberg thrust full support behind the project:
“This nation was founded on the principle that the government must never choose between religions or favor one over another. The World Trade Center site will forever hold a special place in our city, in our hearts. But we would be untrue to the best part of ourselves and who we are as New Yorkers and Americans if we said no to a mosque in lower Manhattan”
While the institution is cleared to be built, what remains to be seen is the social reaction towards an increasingly visible Muslim presence in the public sphere.