Saturday, September 11, 2010

9 years later...

Today marks the anniversary of 9/11. Today I had the privilege of being with my college students. We engaged in an "adult" discussion. I have to say that because I'm used to facilitating discussions among junior high students. When I facilitate those discussions, I have to tell them not to use words like, "retarded," "gay," and "stupid." This, on the other hand, was refreshing. I got to be part of the discussion as well. "What is your take on the mosque in NY?" That was the first question. Maybe they just wanted me to start the discussion. I was happy to do it. I crave adult conversation sometimes. Mr. Soup and I have exhausted the mosque discussion. (it's actually NOT a mosque, but a Islamic Community Center) His take: it's too soon and not appropriate. My take: "ain't nobody gonna tell me I can't build something somewhere.' That was pretty much the discussion in class today too. Although, most people agreed with my husband.
As class went on, my view sort of changed too. I still support the community center being built. In my heart and my mind this building would symbolize peace and change. It would bring people together and signal a shift in America. However, building this community center near the place where so many lost their lives is not going bring peace. In fact, it has created chaos. While the bastards who terrorized America 9 years ago are not representative of Islam, Islam and terrorism will always be linked as a result. As my husband, a non-practicing Muslim, pointed out, sparking fear and hatred by building this community center is not going to open anyone's eyes to the beauty that is Islam. He is right. Islam should be understood and accepted, not hated.
I guess I had a hard time accepting this. As someone who's always in the middle (racially, politically, etc.) and always seeking a compromise, I want everyone to get along and to live in harmony. It's a sad realization that it's not possible in this America.
I will never forget the moment I learned of the 9/11 attacks. Not only did we lose lives, but we lost an America that was tolerant and practiced freedom of religion. We now live in fear and it has paralyzed our nation. I weep for the lives we lost and the nation we lost.
I remember when...

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