jeudi 26 août 2010

Mosquée de Ground Zero : la polémique enfle

Par Laure Mandeville
Plusieurs centaines d'opposants ont manifesté, dimancheà New York, contre le projet de construction d'un centre islamique à deux rues de Ground Zero, site des attentats du 11 septembre 2001. (Crédits photo : AFP)


Des manifestants se sont fait face dimanche soir à New York. Le débat affecte la popularité de Barack Obama.
La place de l'islam dans la société américaine est-elle en passe de devenir un sujet majeur de la campagne pour les élections de mi-mandat du 2 novembre?
L'attentat perpétré cet automne sur la base militaire de Fort Hood par un officier américain musulman a profondément marqué les esprits, réveillant la peur d'une «cinquième colonne» islamiste prête à frapper le pays dans le dos. La découverte de l'implication de musulmans américains dans plusieurs projets d'attentats avortés, comme celui de Times Square, a accru les soupçons d'une nation qui pensait son modèle d'intégration des minorités supérieur à celui de l'Europe.(Figaro)
MOSKEETom Vandyck,.
Er zijn verkiezingen op komst in de VS, dus hebben een aantal Republikeinse politici de controverse aangegrepen om stemmen te winnen met angst zaaien en verdeeldheid stoken. De kampioen wat dat betreft, is Newt Gingrich, ex-voorzitter van het Huis van Afgevaardigden, potentieel presidentskandidaat voor 2012 en een man die nota bene bekend staat als een van de grootste Republikeinse intellectuelen.

"Er moet geen moskee komen bij Ground Zero zolang er geen kerken of synagogen zijn in Saoedi-Arabië", stelde Gingrich in een mededeling. Dat is natuurlijk praat die recht uit een bruin café of een Vlaams familiefeest vol fans van Philip Dewinter kan komen. U weet hoe dat gaat: "Wat denken die vreemdelingen wel? Dat zouden wij eens moeten proberen in Marokko."

Nog een van Gingrich: "Nazi's hebben ook niet het recht om een bord neer te zetten naast het Holocaustmuseum in Washington." Met andere woorden: moslims staan zonder onderscheid des persoons gelijk met nazi's. Dat weten we dan ook weer.

Er is echter meer. Zo blijkt uit de peiling namelijk dat 34 procent van de conservatieve Republikeinen denkt dat Obama een moslim is. Bij mensen die een negatieve waardering hebben voor Obama's werk als president is dat cijfer 30 procent. Met andere woorden: hoe meer je tegen de president hebt, hoe meer je geneigd bent om hem een moslim te noemen. Moslim is dus gewoon een scheldwoord voor iemand die je niet kunt uitstaan.

Ook in Amerika houden mensen overigens hun portemonnee dicht voor de slachtoffers van de overstroming in Pakistan. De excuses daarvoor zijn dezelfde als degene die je leest op de Vlaamse internetfora. "Pakistan is een terroristenland", heet het. "We willen geen geld geven omdat het regime daar corrupt is." Dat dus in tegenstelling tot Haïti, ook lang geen voorbeeld van goed bestuur, dat wél op een stortvloed van miljarden mocht rekenen. Je hoeft niet van slechte wil te zijn om te veronderstellen dat Pakistani's naar mededogen kunnen fluiten omdat ze moslim zijn.

(…) In Gainesville, Florida, was een kerk vorige week van plan om korans te verbranden. Wás, want de plaatselijke brandweer stak daar op het laatste moment een stokje voor. Toch goed dat er nog iemand zijn verstand gebruikt.

BROADWAY AND THE MOSQUE
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN(NYT)
I like the way Newsweek described it in a recent essay on creativity: “To be creative requires divergent thinking (generating many unique ideas) and then convergent thinking (combining those ideas into the best result).”
And where does divergent thinking come from? It comes from being exposed to divergent ideas and cultures and people and intellectual disciplines. As Marc Tucker, the president of the National Center on Education and the Economy, once put it to me: “One thing we know about creativity is that it typically occurs when people who have mastered two or more quite different fields use the framework in one to think afresh about the other. Intuitively, you know this is true. Leonardo da Vinci was a great artist, scientist and inventor, and each specialty nourished the other. He was a great lateral thinker. But if you spend your whole life in one silo, you will never have either the knowledge or mental agility to do the synthesis, connect the dots, which is usually where the next great breakthrough is found.”
Which brings me back to the Muslim community center/mosque, known as Park51. It is proposed to be built two blocks north of where the twin towers stood and would include a prayer space, a 500-seat performing arts center, a swimming pool and a restaurant. The Times reported that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the Muslim leader behind the project, said he wants the center to help “bridge and heal a divide” among Muslims and other religious groups. “We have condemned the actions of 9/11,” he said.
Personally, if I had $100 million to build a mosque that promotes interfaith tolerance, I would not build it in Manhattan. I’d build it in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan. That is where 9/11 came from, and those are the countries that espouse the most puritanical version of Sunni Islam — a version that shows little tolerance not only for other religions but for other strands of Islam, particularly Shiite, Sufi and Ahmadiyya Islam. You can study Islam at virtually any American university, but you can’t even build a one-room church in Saudi Arabia.
That resistance to diversity, though, is not something we want to emulate
When we tell the world, “Yes, we are a country that will even tolerate a mosque near the site of 9/11,” we send such a powerful message of inclusion and openness.

SURPRISE, SURPRISE, SURPRISE
I just saw the movie “Invictus” — the story of how Nelson Mandela, in his first term as president of South Africa, enlists the country’s famed rugby team, the Springboks, on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup and, through that, to start the healing of that apartheid-torn land. The almost all-white Springboks had been a symbol of white domination, and blacks routinely rooted against them. When the post-apartheid, black-led South African sports committee moved to change the team’s name and colors, President Mandela stopped them. He explained that part of making whites feel at home in a black-led South Africa was not uprooting all their cherished symbols. “That is selfish thinking,” Mandela, played by Morgan Freeman, says in the movie. “It does not serve the nation.” Then speaking of South Africa’s whites, Mandela adds, “We have to surprise them with restraint and generosity.”

I love that line: “We have to surprise them.” I was watching the movie on an airplane and scribbled that line down on my napkin because it summarizes what is missing today in so many places: leaders who surprise us by rising above their histories, their constituencies, their pollsters, their circumstances — and just do the right things for their countries.
I tried to recall the last time a leader of importance surprised me on the upside by doing something positive, courageous and against the popular will of his country or party. I can think of a few: Yitzhak Rabin in signing onto the Oslo peace process. Anwar Sadat in going to Jerusalem. And, of course, Mandela in the way he led South Africa.
But these are such exceptions.
(…)There are at least three different intra-Muslim wars raging today. One is between the Sunni far right and the Sunni far-far right in Saudi Arabia. This was the war between Osama bin Laden (the far-far right) and the Saudi ruling family (the far right). It is a war between those who think women shouldn’t drive and those who think they shouldn’t even leave the house. Bin Laden attacked us because we prop up his Saudi rivals — which we do to get their oil.
(…)In short: the key struggle with Islam is not inter-communal, and certainly not between Americans and Muslims. It is intra-communal and going on across the Muslim world.

LET THE FUTURE BURY THE PAST.
As one of Mandela’s guards, watching the new president engage with South African whites, asks in the movie, “How do you spend 30 years in a tiny cell and come out ready to forgive the people who put you there?” It takes a very special leader.
This is also why the issue of the mosque and community center near the site of 9/11 is a sideshow. The truly important question “is not can the different Muslim sects live with Americans in harmony, but can they live with each other in harmony,” said Stephen P. Cohen, author of “Beyond America’s Grasp: a Century of Failed Diplomacy in the Middle East.”
Indeed, the big problem is not those Muslims building mosques in America, it is those Muslims blowing up mosques in the Middle East. And the answer to them is not an interfaith dialogue in America. It is an intrafaith dialogue — so sorely missing — in the Muslim world. Our surge in Iraq will never bear fruit without a political surge by Arabs and Muslims to heal intracommunal divides. It would be great if President Obama surprised everyone and gave another speech in Cairo — or Baghdad — saying that.

THE US BLOGGER ON A MISSION TO HALT 'ISLAMIC TAKEOVER'
New York blogger Pamela Geller is a key force in the campaign to stop Islamic centre near Ground Zero
Pamela Geller jokes on a video blog about being dressed 'in my burka' while warning of Islamic 'world domination'.
Pamela Geller is on a mission to save the free world and she's doing it, on this occasion, in a bikini as she writhes around in the sea.
"Here I am in my chador, my burka," Geller jokes to the camera in one of a string of video blogs campaigning against Islamic "world domination" shortly before kicking back in the waves.
The flamboyant New Yorker, who appears on her own website pictured in a tight fitting Superman uniform, has emerged as a leading force in a growing and ever more alarmist campaign against the supposed threat of an Islamic takeover at home and global jihad abroad – and never more so than in the present bitter dispute over plans to build an Islamic centre near the site of the World Trade Centre, brought down by al-Qaida.
Geller has been at the forefront of drumming up opposition to the centre, two blocks from Ground Zero, through an array of websites such as the Freedom Defence Initiative (FDI) and Stop Islamisation of America (SIOA). They have become increasingly influential as conservative politicians exploit anti-Muslim sentiment before November's congressional and state elections.
Geller's answer is that the planned centre is viewed by Muslims as a "triumphal" monument built on "conquered land".
As extreme as that may seem, Geller and her views have been embraced by leading politicians such as Newt Gingrich, the former Republican speaker of the US House of Representatives, and John Bolton, the conservative former US ambassador to the UN, who are scheduled to speak at a rally against the controversial New York Islamic centre organised by Geller for September 11.
Gingrich this week likened the planned centre to putting Nazi signs outside the Holocaust museum.
The campaign against the centre also has the backing of Liz Cheney, daughter of the former vice-president and prominent conservative activist in her own right.
Geller has also compared the proposed mosque to a building a Ku Klux Klan shrine next to a black church in Alabama.
Geller writes for an Israeli media network based in the occupied territories that is the voice of the Jewish settler movement.
(…)Geller has allied herself with racist extremists in South Africa in promoting a claim that the black population is carrying out a "genocide" of whites.
The website also carries a picture of Geller hugging Geert Wilders, the far-right Dutch politician who advocates banning the Qu'ran and the construction of new mosques, and runs a support campaign for him as he faces trial for incitement to hatred.
The Pamela Gellers of the world apparently will do anything they can to attack Islam and this Islamic centre has provided them with a very large opening."
"It's clear that many are exploiting this issue and the deep-seated anti-Muslim bigotry that underlies much of this controversy for bare political gain [but] there certainly is a constitutional right to speak out against this or any other project.
"We have a robust protection of free speech in this country including the right to speak hatefully."

COMMENTAIRE DE DIVERCITY
OBAMAPHOBIA
Surprends nous Barack Obama!
« J’ai commencé à perdre » aurait dit Napoléon « quand j’ai cessé de surprendre »

“We have to surprise them with restraint and generosity.” lance Mandala dans le film Invictus en parlant des blancs d’Afrique du Sud. Nous aimons passionnément ceux qui nous surprennent par leurs initiatives généreuses comme Yitzhak Rabin et Anwar Sadat s’engageant hardiment au risque de heurter leurs propres opinions publiques dans un processus de paix ; comme Gandhi et on aimerait tellement ajouter comme Barack Husein Obama. Mais voilà que l’Obamania succédant à son élection se transforme jour après jour en une pernicieuse « Obamaphobia » au visage grimaçant et inquiétant, dévoilant un aspect clairement fascisant de la démocratie américaine. Comme Sarkozy, les Républicains américains perdent tout sens de la mesure.

Invoquant la liberté de pratique religieuse comme « l'une des raisons majeures de la création de l'Amérique», le maire démocrate de New York, Michael Bloomberg, un Juif, avait soutenu fermement la démarche, y voyant le symbole de la capacité du pays à surmonter ses divisions et à rallier les partisans d'un islam modéré. En ligne avec cette approche, dont il avait souligné l'enjeu dans son discours du Caire en 2009, Barack Obama, on le sait, s'est invité dans le débat pour expliquer que les musulmans avaient le droit de construire ce centre près de Ground Zero. Mal lui en prit, il dut faire marche arrière et se rétracter. Mal lui en prit.
« Tout à son idéal de réconciliation de l'Occident avec l'Islam, le président semble avoir sous-estimé les appréhensions et les préjugés islamophobes de la société américaine. »
Selon un sondage de Time Magazine, pas moins de 43% des Américains ont une vision négative de l'islam. Cette méfiance grandissante rejaillit sur le président, dont beaucoup d'Américains apprécient peu les gestes d'ouverture vers le monde islamique, alors que les boys tombent sous les balles des talibans en Afghanistan. «C'est un musulman, il n'est pas des nôtres !», confiaient ce week-end, dans le Wyoming, trois cow-boys après une soirée arrosée. Selon un sondage du Pew Center, près de 20% des Américains partagent cette opinion. Cette hystérie est poussée à son comble par la blogueuse New Yorkaise Pamela Geller qui est la cheville ouvrière d’une campagne acharnée visant à empêcher la construction du centre islamique près de Ground Zero. Elle n’hésite pas à denonncer une tentative larvée “of Islamic takeover at home and global jihad abroad”.
Etonamment, ces propos extrèmes sont rélayés par Newt Gingrich, (the former Republican speaker of the US House of Representatives) candidat possible à l’investiture républicaine et Liz Cheney, (daughter of the former vice-president and prominent conservative activist).
“Geller has also compared the proposed mosque to building a Ku Klux Klan shrine next to a black church in Alabama.”
Précisons encore que Geller est très courtisée par Geert Wilders le bouillant leader du PVV hollandais, (the far-right Dutch politician who advocates banning the Qu'ran and the construction of new mosques, and runs a support campaign for him as he faces trial for incitement to hatred.)
Dans une Amérique marquée par huit année Bush et élevant le conformisme au rang de vertu, d’où peut bien naître un anticonformisme divergent ? “Where does divergent thinking come from? » Demande I Thomas L. Friedman dans le New York Times.” Et de répondre aussitôt “It comes from being exposed to divergent ideas and cultures and people and intellectual disciplines. As Marc Tucker, the president of the National Center on Education and the Economy, once put it to me: “One thing we know about creativity is that it typically occurs when people who have mastered two or more quite different fields use the framework in one to think afresh about the other. Intuitively, you know this is true. Leonardo da Vinci was a great artist, scientist and inventor, and each specialty nourished the other.”
La pensée divergente et créative, c’est celle là même qui nous incite à regarder l’autre et sa différence comme un défi à surmonter, un pont à franchir, une possibilité d’avancer et de sortir de notre narcissisme enfermant. C’est une véritable invitation au dialogue intercuturel.
“The resistance to diversity, though, is not something we want to emulate. When we tell the world, “Yes, we are a country that will even tolerate a mosque near the site of 9/11,” we send such a powerful message of inclusion and openness. “
Mais le vrai défi, selon Friedman, ce n’est pas tellement de faciliter un dialogue entre musulmans et non musulmans mais bien de susciter un dialogue constructif des différentes sectes musulmanes entre elles, comme il l’explique dans son remarquable article auquel nous renvoyons le lecteur.
“The truly important question is not can the different Muslim sects live with Americans in harmony, but can they live with each other in harmony,” said Stephen P. Cohen, author of “Beyond America’s Grasp: a Century of Failed Diplomacy in the Middle East.”
“It is an intrafaith dialogue — so sorely missing — in the Muslim world. It would be great if President Obama surprised everyone and gave another speech in Cairo — or Baghdad — saying that. “
Pointons encore qu’à Gainesville en Floride, des paroissiens s’apprêtaient à brûler des corans en public quand ils en furent empêchés par les pompiers. Quand Hitler ordonna de brûler publiquement des milliers de livres jugés subversifs, il n’y eut pas de
valeureux pompiers pour éteindre le bûcher des ouvrages dissidents
Surprends nous Barack Obama!
MG

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