Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sacrificed Survivors
The Untold Story of the Ground Zero Mosque

An organization called the “Christian Action Network” sought out the surviving family members of the 9/11 victims who blamed (and still blame) Islam and all Muslims for the 9/11 terrorist acts. Why were these the only people sought after by this group and what is the goal of this so-called “Christian Action Network”? Are they spreading the message of Christianity? The Christian Action Network, or CAN, is actual one of many quasi-religious, radical, right-wing arm of the over $40 million Islamaphobic network whose overall goal is to defame and slander Islam and its followers, the Muslims.

With the funding and creation of this film. “Sacrificed Survivors – The Untold Story of the Ground Zero Mosque”, they are picking up the ball where paid Islamaphobe, Pamela Geller left off. Geller is a radical, right-wing blogger who is very intertwined in the whole charade of defaming Islam and Muslims, “whom she loves”, as her empty claims go. Geller is given the credit for creating the lie that The Cordoba House as a “mega mosque” and a “triumphal mosque” in a failed attempt to link the suicide terrorists of 9/11 infamy to an unaffiliated group of Muslims. The Cordoba House was renamed Park 51 by its owners as they saw how sensitive that the opponents were to the name of this project. It made no difference to Geller and her supporters. Once the mainstream media began to pick up the story from her blog and the misnomer, “ground zero mosque”, they began to mimic this misnomer.

Two points that the reader should be made aware of regarding this building project.

  1. Park 51 is an Islamic Community Center, much like a YMCA. Of its planned 13 stories, only the top two are planned to be reserved for a mosque. That equates to 15% of the building dedicated to being a mosque. The lion's share of the building will house a full basketball court, a workout gym (complete with free-weights and other fitness equipment), a swimming pool (not a “foot bath” for washing feet before prayer), a 500-seat theater, a culinary school, an Islamic Cultural Center, an inter-faith prayer room and a 9/11 memorial. Geller and her supporters never mention any of these entities, particularly the 9/11 memorial...and this is all public information.

  2. Secondly, Park 51 is 2½ blocks away from the nearest corner of the World Trade Center property. While Geller hastily informs people during hotel meetings and anti-mosque/anti-Islam rallies that the owners of Park 51 bought the property at 45 Park Place, she intentionally omits the fact that they were initially in the process of purchasing a property several blocks away, but that deal fell through. It wasn't until later that they were made aware that the property at 45 Park Place was available. In fact, I was informed that there were X-rated “peep shows” closer to the World Trade Center property than Park 51! Yet, none of the opponents of Park 51 have made the same vocal effort to have these establishments shut down because they “view the entire area as hallowed ground”.

Enter the Christian Action Network. They along with the producer of the film, “Sacrificed Survivors” wanted to raise monies (i.e. they want their cut of the Islamaphobic network pie) from the Islamaphobic hype drummed up and concocted by such infamous people as Pam Geller and her ilk. There would be no “two sides to the story” in order for them to ride the manufactured wave of hysteria. In the process of selecting families and friends of those who had died as a result of the terrorist attack of 9/11, they only chose to interview those who connected (in their own minds) the terrorist attack with Islam and Muslims. There were many non-Muslims who rightfully held those responsible who actually committed that heinous act; not Islam, not every Muslim on the planet and certainly, not American Muslims! There were also Muslim family members and friends who lost loved ones in that tragic event. While the film producer deviously interviewed two men with Middle-eastern/Indian accents (who, like everyone else interviewed, also blamed Islam and Muslims for this terrible tragedy), the reader should know that not all people with Middle-eastern/Indian accents are Muslim nor are they necessarily Islam-savvy. Many, particularly in the U.S. are Christians. Sadly, because they have those accents, one might assume that the poor definitions that they give for Arabic terms are accurate. Madrassa, they say means “Islamic school” (it actually just means “school” in the Arabic language) .

The irony is, if Muslims made a like rebuttal film featuring Muslims and others who truly support the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment (which promotes freedom of religion), then the opponents of Park 51 would view the movie as biased, they'll mislabel the non-Muslims as un-American, “dhimmis” (non-Muslims living in Islamic countries who are not required to join the military, but pay a tax to support said military), “terror-supporting”, “Islamofascist” and other made-up, disrespectful vernacular.

I feel sorry for the survivors who lost loved ones in the terrorist attacks of 9/11. For a couple of years, I made myself available to speak at inter-faith sermons and meetings to explain how this terrorist act had nothing to do with Islam. I heard many Islamic leaders in the United States and elsewhere apologizing and differentiating Islam from the terrorist attacks (remember there were 4 planes and 3 different states attacked – NY – 2, PA – 1 & VA -1. Those outside of the DC Metro area assume that the Pentagon is in DC; it isn't). One young lady who graduated from my high school a year after I did was killed in the Pentagon attack. Though he was uninjured, my brother in-law worked at the Pentagon and we couldn't reach him until after 11 pm that evening. During my 25-year high school reunion, I learned that one of my classmates was visiting the World Trade Center that day and helped to evacuate it after the first plane struck the first tower. When they were given the “all clear”, he refused and kept evacuating people from the second tower until the second plane struck. That's when he, too, left the area. In the meantime, his wife (like my brother in-law and schoolmate) was working in the Pentagon. By the grace of God, she, too, survived, uninjured. I came to realize that the time for apologizing for something I hadn't done wrong was over. For years, I kept hearing the lie the Muslims (sometimes, “moderate Muslims”) were not speaking out against this vile act of terrorism. They were clueless to the fact the even during the attacks as news media was covering the Twin Tower footage (before the buildings fell), Yasser Arafat (whom U.S. citizens were brainwashed to dislike/hate) called then-President Bush to express his condolences and condemn that vile act. This was reported during the 10 o'clock hour. From that point forward, Muslim leaders and Muslim organizations were chiming in with Yasser Arafat.....publicly. Chances are, those who didn't hear them were limiting themselves to getting all of their information from the right-wing media and their Islamaphobic spin/leaning..

This tragedy struck more than just those in the lower Manhattan area of New York City. This tragedy struck and affected everyone in the eastern region of the United States, directly, the whole country, indirectly. Tim Brown (former firefighter interviewed in this film) is a hypocrite by proclaiming that the “only people who should talk about 'ground zero' are those who lost loved ones”. He is interviewed sporadically throughout the film. He blames a general “them”, not ever saying terrorists or Muslims. He also says “them” when referring to the owners of Park 51, in that same, vain attempt to connect the unconnected. Then (here's the hypocrisy), at the end of the film, he sheepishly looks into the camera appealing for those of us who he (in so many words, told us that we have no say in the matter) to join them in the anti-Islamic, anti-American, anti-U.S. Constitutional cause and rally against an unrelated organization's effort to build a community center on their own private property.

This film featured interviews from paid Islamaphobes, members of infamously anti-Islamic organizations, groups listed as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center and a news clip from a former speaker of the House and failed GOP presidential candidate (who made anti-Islamic statements during his failed campaign run). There were Christians who lost loved ones who don't blame Islam or all Muslims that they could have interviewed. The Muslim families and friends who lost Muslim loved ones could have been interviewed. These people actually want Park 51 to be built the show the difference between terrorism & the killing of innocent people and Islam. They want the memories of their Muslim family member to be differentiated from the un-Islamic misdeeds of the terrorists.

I almost feel sorry for construction worker Andrew Sullivan who was also interviewed for the attack-film-against-Islam. While he was just as biased in his baseless attacks against Islam like everyone in the video who blamed Islam and all Muslims for 9/11, he later had a falling out with the CAN who neglected to pay for his plane ticket and missed work to show up at an out-of-state event where they were spreading their message of hatred, division and misinformation. Again, CAN's goal is to pack rooms with paying attendees to hear the perspectives of these interviewees, not to promote the truth.

Throughout this film, many of those interviewed make the weakest comparisons between the terrorists and Muslims. At no time do they cite how any of the owners of Park 51 were involved with the terrorists involved or their misdeeds of the 9/11 attacks. They also, spent a good portion of this film trying to make Muslims seem un-American/anti-American, in yet another attempt to make them “outsiders”. In his closing remarks, Tim Brown says that he wants people to know about the first responders to this tragedy. Now, if they did speak to one of those surviving first responders, he would give a much different story than the lies, exaggerations and blame-game rubbish being touted in this film. This first responder was a Muslim firefighter. He is featured in a YouTube video and speaks in support of Park 51 and he speaks against the terrorist acts of 9/11 and how it was un-Islamic for them to commit that act. But these people wouldn't use that footage. The minute he said, “I am Muslim”, that interview footage would have been left on the editing floor.

In hindsight, I find it fittingly ironic that the producer of this film entitled it “Sacrificed Survivors” because that is exactly what they and CAN did. They, literally, sacrificed the surviving family of those who died in the 9/11 tragedy all in the name of defaming Islam. They allowed them to make invalid connections between the terrorists and a group of Muslims that didn't even know those terrorists, let alone support them! They offered no correction were most of their statements were in desperate need of correction. This story (READ:LIE) is actually an “over-told” lie about a community center that is at least 2½ blocks away from the WTC grounds and CAN's attempts to vilify the owners, Muslims and Islam. After coming to these rational conclusions, I'm starting to wonder if the Christian Action Network really care about these people at all or if they were only interested in their bottom line! Neither they nor their actions don't appear to model after Christ or his actions.

Galen Muhammad
Stop Islamaphobia in America (SIIA)
Stop Islamaphobia in America

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