Wednesday, September 1, 2010

To the Tea Partiers: not on 9/11

As August saunters away, it's possible that she'll take this ugly 'ground zero mosque' episode with her.

But extremists, politicians, and media outlets are latching onto the cause with insidious glee, scheduling the latest protest-a-palooza on a day usually reserved for national mourning - September 11th.

Raging against the machine of Islam is fine 364 days a year - if that's your bag. But this is an exception: the one day when the petulant loons should check their outrage and reserve the spotlight for those who perished and the ones who lost them.

The Island has been vocal and steadfast against the Park51 community center with special attention on the Tea Party, using the hypocritical stance to whip up anger among the white conservatives of Richmond County.

The organization has joined with Pamela Geller, the same vitriolic blogger who spread rumors of Sharia Law penetrating Midland Beach, to promote these anti-mosque events to Island residents.

But with the bitter anniversary fast-approaching, some of the victims' families are voicing concern about the planned event. Geller and others should listen.

Dennis McKeon, an Island resident who launched a group to support relatives of the 9/11 victims, released the following statement:
"...we have always maintained the position that 9/11 was a day to respectfully remember and honor those who died...
"We will never support such activities that disrespect the memories of our loved ones on this sacred day at this sacred site."
McKeon and his group have also been outspoken against the Park51 center, but on more pragmatic grounds.

Geller and others are casting the issue as a fascist takeover of their Judeo-Christian nation, and her poorly-scheduled event is more evidence that her deluded crusade is backfiring - sniping other, more moderate, mosque opponents with friendly fire along the way.

The event should be canceled. (This is not a day for a hyper-partisan debate.) But that won't happen.

It could, however, be quickly denounced by anyone involved before they're dragged into the grime of this clearly offensive attention-grab.

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