9/11, mosques and street dances

The ninth anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, passed last weekend.

There were solemn memorials in New York City, Washington, D.C., and the field in Pennsylvania where one of the hijacked planes came down. Even nine years later, the memory of those events and that tragic day pulls at hearts across the world.

An obscure pastor, Terry Jones, seized the spotlight for a few days with a threat to burn Qurans, the holy text of Islam. Jones decided not to burn the books after he was told it could spark attacks on Americans.

The debate over a Muslim community center that wil include a mosque being built two blocks from ground zero, where the Twin Towers stood, remains a bitterly divisive issue.

Here in Mitchell, a poker run and street dance was held on Saturday. About 300 people attended the daylong event, according to organizers.

Was that an appropriate way to mark 9/11? Was Pastor Jones making a valid point about radical Islamic terrorists or merely stirring up more hate? And how did you observe this sad day in American history?

3 thoughts on “9/11, mosques and street dances

  1. Pastor Jones was seeking attention – and probably got more than he bargained for. The national media jumped on the dramatic bandwagon, and quickly made a mountain out of a molehill. The pastor (using the term lightly, IMHO) should have been brushed off as being someone undeserving of the coverage he received – it was undeserved, and nothing but inflamatory. It was a ridiculous stunt that only highlighted the immaturity of the man.

    I wouldn’t know about the appropriateness of any 9/11 observance – to each his own, right? I spent the day reflecting on where I was at the time, how I felt as everything unfolded… watching TV programs about the events and the aftermath, and talking with my family about how those couple of hours of time changed this country, it’s citizens, and really the world. And I spent the day thinking about the victims of the tragedies – the heros, the victims, the perpetrators (and what they thought they could accomplish), and the rescue personnel who have had their extended health care denied by our government…

  2. Some think the American Muslims who want to build their community center and mosque, at a location NEAR (but not AT) ground zero in Manhattan (one of three sites where Americans died that day) should be forced to give up their right to religious assembly because of what foreign terrorists with a shared religious heritage, (but not a shared religious theology) did in 2001. What they did included killing Muslims. It was an attack on America, not an attack on Christians.

    Opponents say it is insensitive because of the location – it would be OK if it was built further away. But, ignore the protests (and arson attempts) at locations hundreds or thousands of miles distant from NYC America is still strengthened by its willingness to protect religious freedom, not stifle it. Pastor Jones threat and other attacks on Islam are hateful, unAmerican and actually fuel terrorism, making us more vulnerable to future attacks.

    I spent the day doing ordinary things with my famiily. Although I will never forget 9-11 and the innocent lives lost that day, I think the best response is to go on, secure in our strength; to commemorate, but not give excessive attention to the terrorists.

  3. I’m not very sure if the poker run and the street dance were appropriate. Many are still in the mood of grieving especially on that day. Pastor Terry Jones might have realized his mistake but he already attracted much attention. On the other hand, I spent my day as usual but I said a prayer for those who were affected by the tragedy. May we all find peace in our hearts despite everything that’s going on.

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