She saw her mother slaughtered on 9/11 and she is a Muslim. If any of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf’s elitist American friends have hearts that beat for something more than money, power, and ideology, they might not want to read the opinion page of the Washington Post this morning; Neda Bolourchi might get to them:
I have no grave site to visit, no place to bring my mother her favorite yellow flowers, no spot where I can hold my weary heart close to her. All I have is Ground Zero.
The Sept. 11 attacks were the product of a hateful ideology that the perpetrators were willing to die for. They believed that all non-Muslims are infidels and that the duty of Muslims is to renounce them. I am not a theologian, but I know that the men who killed my mother carried this message in their hearts and minds. Obedient and dutiful soldiers, they marched toward their promised rewards in heaven with utter disregard for the value of the human beings they killed.
I know Ground Zero is not mine alone; I must share this sanctuary with tourists, politicians, anyone who chooses to come, whatever their motivations or intentions. But a mosque nearby — even a proposed one — is already transforming the site from a sacred ground for reflection, so desperately needed by the families who lost loved ones, to a battleground for religious and political ideologies. So many people from different nationalities and religions were killed that day. This site should be a neutral place for all to come in peace and remember. I believe my mother would have thought so as well.
The Iranian revolution compelled my family to flee to America when I was 12 years old. Yet, just over two decades later, the militant version of our faith caught up with us on a September morning. I still identify as a Muslim. When you are born into a Muslim family, there is no way around it, no choices available: You are Muslim. I am not ashamed of my faith, but I am ashamed of what is done in its name.
On the day I left Ground Zero shortly after the tragedy, I felt that I was abandoning my mother. It was like being forced to leave the bedside of a loved one who is dying, knowing you will never see her again. But I felt the love and respect of all those around me there, and it reassured me that she was being left in good hands. Since I cannot visit New York as often as I would like, I at least want to know that my mother can rest in peace. …
READ THE REST (if you are not a heartless, elitist financial genius and power-hungry politician).
Note from me to Mayor Michael Bloomberg:
As I have written more than once on these pages, 22 of those murdered by Muslims on 9/11 were Muslims and their deaths were no less a loss, no less tragic. Yet the 9/11 first responders did not die to save freedom, they died while saving lives. It seems to me that you are clueless on that score.