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Help mosque or help extremists
Saudi blogger Eman Al Nafjan says critics of the Park51 mosque in New York could be unintentionally encouraging extremism.
September 15, 2010 3:12 by kippreport
They use as examples for this argument America’s support for Israel, the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan and discrimination against Muslims in western countries. The opposition to and cancellation of Park 51 looks like a future addition to the list, alongside the burning of the Qurans in Florida.
Put yourself in the shoes of someone born in a Muslim country who only speaks the language of that country and who has never been anywhere besides that country. Your religious leader, your school teacher or any other person you might have reason to be drawn to tells you about the Palestinian plight illustrated with photos of maimed children and refugee camps. He then talks to you about the innocent civilians killed indiscriminately by American tanks and bombs. Iraqi women raped by American soldiers. He shows you pictures from Abu Ghraib. He talks to you about how Americans hate Muslims and illustrates about how thousands of Americans opposed the building of a mosque and how an American priest is going to burn the Quran. How would you feel?
Do Americans really want to feed into that argument? Islam is the second largest religion in the world, second only to Christianity. It’s not going away, you either help moderate Muslims or you feed into the fundamentalists’ view of the world. Who do you want to be proven wrong?
Eman Al Nafjan is a post-graduate student from Riyadh and author of the Saudi Woman blog.
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