By Stefanie Schappert
Special to The Clyde Fitch Report
It’s barely three days after the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks. I worked through most of it, covering the memorial ceremony and the following mosque rallies from the newsroom, like I have many times before. I actually like working on the anniversary — it gives me something to do on such a mournful day. It’s either that or wake up way earlier than I’m used to, stumble to my couch and stay in my pajamas until lunch with tears streaming down my face as I watch faces crumple and listen to 2,749 names float into the sky above Ground Zero. In some ways, it seems like this past Saturday’s anniversary happened months ago, in other ways it seemed like the whole entire nightmare happened yesterday.
What was different about this anniversary, of course, was the dueling rallies held both for and against the “Ground Zero” mosque after the ceremony. Now, most New Yorkers, including many of the victims’ families, felt it was inappropriate to hold these protests on 9/11 no matter what side you were on and I had to agree with them. To me, it was just poor taste, even downright rude, especially from the folks supporting the building of the mosque and Islamic center.
Did these folks really believe that the best way to champion their cause was to rally steps from thousands of mourning 9/11 victims’ family, friends, and rescue workers while chanting that the two-thirds of Americans against the proposed mosque are “bigots, racists, and worse than Hitler”? I mean, who does their PR? For the family members who joined in the anti-mosque rallies after the ceremony, many say they felt they have a moral obligation to speak for their loved ones and I respect that.
While I was watching the circus unfold, it dawned on me that while everyone and their brother seemed to be weighing in on whether to demonstrate on the anniversary, there was one person whose voice was nowhere to be found: that of our favorite Islamic leader, the man behind the curtain, the bridge builder himself, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.
At first I said to myself, Ok, the man of a thousand questions is at least showing some respect for the victims’ families and keeping his controversial mouth shut, even with all the Koran-burning hoopla coming from that loony Florida pastor. And — maybe because he had a better PR team — the Imam stayed quiet all throughout the 9/11 anniversary. Not a peep. Not a headline.
Rauf just couldn’t help himself. Just like his veiled threats to America last week on CNN, he continued to talk about his three favorite topics: himself (he really, really likes that one), the Muslim world and his new favorite catch-word: Islamophobia. And once again — like we didn’t hear him the first time — he drives home the fact that he’s just in utter disbelief that any fair-minded American would think a mosque at Ground Zero is insensitive: “I would never have done it. I’m a man of peace. I mean the whole — the whole objective of peace work is not to do something that would provoke controversy.”
His wife, Daisy Kahn, continued the diatribe: “This is like a metastasized anti-Semitism. That’s what we feel right now.” You mean like comparing the past Nazi slaughter of millions of Jews and the present day constant threat of annihilation by Muslim nations like Iran? Yeah, that’s just what it’s like, Miss Daisy. In fact, in some Chinatown sweatshop we’re sewing your crescent moon patches right now.
And that’s when I really saw through the Imam and his clan. Rauf is just another self-serving wolf in sheep’s clothing. And it’s not because of his refusal to denounce Hamas as a terror organization. It’s not because he writes books describing how to infiltrate the west and slowly change our society to an Islamic one. It’s not because he’s called the U.S. an accessory to 9/11. It’s even not because of all of Rauf’s unsavory bedfellows, past and present (did you read the latest story about one of his longtime business associates — an Imam/9-11 Truther who’s been recently preaching at the Burlington Coat Factory that al Qaeda had nothing to do with the attacks?).
It’s because if Rauf really was a man of peace, he’d practice what he preaches. This self-proclaimed bridge-builder ignored the one thing that could actually make a difference in the way Americans view his intentions: addressing the American people on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks and apologizing on behalf of Muslim extremists for murdering 2,749 innocent people. He could have shown his leadership skills and asked his mosque supporters to stand down for the day out of respect for the families.
Instead, 9/11 came and went and Rauf said nothing. He never even acknowledged the anniversary — not the week before, not the day of and not now, the week after.
Try and convince me this man is on the up and up. Really stop and think about it. He said absolutely nothing. Crickets.
We have governors and politicians still apologizing for slavery hundreds of years later. Why? Because it was such an atrocity. The scars go that deep and it helps people heal.
Rauf’s latest flap? Besides trying to prove he’s a New Yorker by professing his love for the Giants, he said this on Monday: “It is absolutely disingenuous as many have said that that block is hallowed ground, with strip joints around the corner with betting parlors.”
Yes, Imam, but strippers and gamblers did not fly two airplanes into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, causing the horrifying deaths of 2,749 people. You sod.
Readers, did you see the map, created by the FDNY’s “Phoenix Team,” of recovered body parts? It was anonymously released, and it’s supposedly just one of many such maps. To date, 21,812 body parts have been recovered from the site, some mapped less than 350 feet from the proposed mosque at 51 Park. Out of those, there are still 1123 victims that have not been positively identified by the medical examiner. Again, heartbreaking with no acknowledgment.
So, let’s review: an Imam is trying to convince Americans to be OK with letting him build a 13-story mosque and Islamic center less than a block away from the site of the largest terror attack by Muslim extremists in world history.
These are Rauf’s peace-pushing arguments as put forth by him during the week of the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks:
1) In my opinion, it’s really not sacred ground.
2) If we don’t let him build the mosque, the Muslim world will be incited to new levels of violence against us.
Wow, sign me up.
Stefanie Schappert is a freelance journalist based in New York. A staunch conservative in a self-professed city of liberals and the military wife of a Green Beret, she created Lipstick Conservative to share her unique viewpoint on politics and culture. This broadcast news veteran and former NFL Cheerleader is known to hang out with quite a liberal crowd and has been the buzz kill during many a dinner party. Contact Stefanie or learn more at lipstickconservative.com.
Lipstick Conservative does not necessarily represent the views of The Clyde Fitch Report.