Monday, August 29, 2011
No Clergy At 9/11 Commemorative Ceremony
In a little over two weeks, citizens across America will remember
the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks
on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and in western
Pennsylvania. For many Americans, that beautiful, crisp September
morning ten years ago, which suddenly turned into a scene of
unprecedented horror, will long remain a painful memory. On that
terrible day, many Americans, myself included, turned to God for
comfort and guidance. The churches and synagogues in our area and
around the nation were filled with shocked and frightened people
seeking answers to the senseless evil that we witnessed take thousands
of innocent American lives. Even people who were not normally
religious were coming to church or seeking out spiritual guidance to
help deal with their own bewilderment and grief.
Now New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has decided to exclude clergy
from the city's upcoming 9/11 commemorative service. Why? His answer
was, "there is not enough room."
Former deputy mayor of New York, Rudy Washington, who served in
former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's administration, expressed outrage at
the current mayor's decision.
"This is America, and to have a memorial service where there's no
prayer, this appears to be insanity to me," he said, "I feel like
America has lost its way."
Although he suffered injuries during his time spent near Ground Zero,
Mr. Washington successfully organized the "Prayer For America"
service at Yankee Stadium in 2001. On that day, leaders from all the
major religions-Roman Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Protestants,
Sikhs, Greek Orthodox-peacefully assembled to address the crowd and an
even larger television audience as the service was broadcast across
"I brought every major religion to this event in Yankee Stadium," said
Mr. Washington, who is considering holding a news conference on Sept.
11 to object to the exclusion of clergy. "I'm very upset about it.
This is crazy."
I agree with Mr. Washington.
This is America. We are a nation which was founded on the
Judeo-Christian principles of the Holy Bible. And although many of our
citizens are not Christian or Jewish, it is because our Constitution
guarantees freedom of worship, that they have been able to immigrate
here from all over the world and practice their religion in relative
safety and peace. There is no country on the face of this earth with
the religious tolerance of America.
However, speaking at a recent dinner celebrating the end of Ramadan,
an Islamic time of required fasting, invited guest Mayor Bloomberg
addressed the attendees, saying, "We are all Muslims now."
Who are "we" Mr. Bloomberg? Do you mean "we" as in "America is all
Who are you trying to ingratiate yourself with, Mr. Bloomberg, that
you would make such an outrageous, if telling statement?
After all, since you are such an unabashed supporter of the proposed
mosque, or "Islamic Center" being built only blocks from Ground Zero,
could it possibly be Iman Rauf and the Muslim Brotherhood?
For those of you who are not familiar with Rauf, he is not only the
mastermind behind the construction of the much protested against
mosque being built near Ground Zero, but he is actively involved in
attempting to ban freedom of speech in America, and promoting the
implementation of Sharia Law here.
Although Rauf was born in Kuwait, his father, Dr. Muhammad Abdul
Rauf, was Egyptian, and a contemporary of the founder of the
Egyptian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan al-Banna. Rauf has
been well schooled in the long tradition of radical Wahhabism, which
is the principle religion of the Muslim Brotherhood, that he acquired
at the controversial Al-Azhar University in Cairo. You might recall
that fifteen of the nineteen hijackers on 9/11 were also practicing
Wahhabis. This particularly virulent sect of Islam, which origins
come from Saudi Arabia, and not Egypt, as erroneously reported in the
American mainstream media, opposes all practices not sanctioned by the
Koran, which includes non-participation in any inter-religious
dialogues/ceremonies with infidel Christians and Jews and others.
Could this be the real reasons behind Bloomberg's decision to ban
clergy from the upcoming 9/11 commemorative ceremony? Is he afraid of
"offending" radical Muslim sensitivities?
Fortunately, there is going to be another commemorative event, the
second annual Freedom Rally, to be held at Ground Zero on 9/11, and
sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, a human rights
It will be hosted by Pamela Geller, Executive Director of AFDI and
publisher of the acclaimed website, Atlas Shrugs.
“It is crucial to stand for freedom on this tenth anniversary of the
heinous 9/11 jihad attacks,” said Ms. Geller. “We must show the
jihadists we are unbowed in the defense of freedom. As a judge
yesterday dismissed a suit by a New York firefighter challenging the
construction of the mosque, the last legal hurdle blocking it has been
removed. But we are not giving up. It is time for free citizens to
make a stand.”
The Freedom Rally will also feature a number of guest speakers
including 9/11 family members Alexander and Maureen Santora, who lost
their firefighter son, Christopher; Sally Regenhard, whose son,
Christian, was killed on 9/11; Nelly Braginsky, who lost her son,
Alexander, and others.