On Mayor Bloomberg's Courageous Stance

In the wake of 9/11 there was a serious possibility of widespread attacks on Muslims in the United States. By and large, President Bush defused that possibility. And for this I give him credit. Even so, there were cases of significant mistreatment of South Asians in particular. There were people rounded up for deportation and mistreated while in detention before being deported. A number of regrettable things did happen.

More recently there has been a resurgence of anti-Muslim attitudes. The proposed Muslim community center in lower Manhattan near what was the site of the World Trade Center has threatened to become a new rallying point for hate and anti-Muslim sentiment.

I think it is important that a political leader has stood up and taken a firm position on this. A principled stand can make an immense amount of difference preventing demagoguery. I commend Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his calm and dignity in dealing with this matter.

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Thanks for these comments commending Mayor Bloomberg. Since you wrote this, President Obama has taken a similarly courageous stand on this issue. The president's stand was particularly courageous, given the certainty that his political enemies would use his comments stand against him.

Thanks for saying what every American leader should be saying today.

Freedom of religion means just that. People who have that sense of freedom need to stand up and speak out. If we let hatred grow, it will come back to haunt us as a society in unspeakable ways. Atrocities committed against human beings begin with hatred and separatism and grow. Why is there so much hatred and where are those who harbor tolerance and a righteous rule of law?

Yes I agree with you Gita.we need reconciliation and tolerance not clash and hatred.All people who believe in this philosophy should stand up.

Thank you for your stand on this, and for all that OSI has done to safeguard human rights in America and abroad.

The core fallacy seems to be that Islam = al-Qaida. And that this terrorist attack was a purely religious expression. Otherwise, why would Americans move against the whole religion, and against everyone who happens to share the religion of these particular terrorists?

We urgently need better understanding of the diverse, decentralized religion of Islam. We could start by taking the time to meet our Muslim American neighbors. They are good people, and cannot be held guilty for crimes they did not commit.

There must be a permanent anti-terrorism sentiment in the US and around the world. But we must be very careful and not confuse anti-terrorism with anti-Muslim attitudes or against of any other religion, ethnic or country of origin.

Just as there are some Muslims who think that they can achieve their objectives by violence and destruction, there are Protestant, Christians, and followers of any number of different religions and political views who think the same way.

The foundations of our country have rested on religious freedom; how ironic that we became a country because our ancestors were fleeing religious persecution and intolerance, and now some amongst us are showing this same intolerance to others. I, too, applaud Mayor Bloomberg and our President, and others who have spoken out in support of their positions.

I'm not sure I can even begin to understand the loss that one feels when something like this happens to New York's family. The dignity of those that died is and should always be our first concern and to hate those that survived of the Muslim faith and some how want to honor those who did not survive by making such a profound statement that those who died would never cry out from hollowed ground for revenge. Let those who died rise above those so hurt that only hatred can somehow make it right. I do not have a legal right to forgive those who committed murder-suicide only those that have that right are those forever consecrated to that hollowed ground. I choose to believe they have risen above hatred, I choose to honor them by not hating Muslims,I have no more right to hate the innocent Muslims any more than I do not have the right to forgive those who were guilty of this act or those that sent them. Our freedom is only freedom when we allow others to have the same freedom we enjoy.

As a Muslim I'm extremely happy to notice that many people , in America in particular, have managed to keep their calm and lucidity in the midst of the shock caused by the terrible 9/11 event. Apart from the strong arguments put forward by my predecessors in favor of tolerance, I'd like to recall the fact that 9/11 hit people of all skin color, creed and religion. Why then should some people think that only non-muslims were hurt? Besides, religious violence committed by the so-called muslim terrorists have so far made more victims amongst Muslims than non Muslims. I hope some day some researchers will beter inform us on this. For now, thank you to all those who contribute for the birth of a world where extremism and hatred will have no place.

Mayor Bloomberg and our President Obama,this is a courageous stand, keep it up. Always stand tall as you did on this occasion.

Thank you for posting on this issue. I read one of your books for a class in graduate school and it had a great influence on me.

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