Muslims nervously await 9/11 amid row over mosque planSeptember 7th, 2010 - 2:20 pm ICT by IANS
By Arun Kumar
Washington, Sep 7 (IANS) Muslims in the US are nervous about celebrating Eid this year as the festival coincides with the 9/11 anniversary that too amid a controversy over plans to build a mosque near ground zero.
A worried US commander in Afghanistan has criticised a Florida church’s plan to mark the anniversary of Sep 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington by burning copies of the Quran, and warned that the demonstration “could cause significant problems” for American troops overseas.
“It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort in Afghanistan,” Gen. David Petraeus said in a statement issued Monday.
The Dove World Outreach Centre in Gainesville, Florida, insists the Quran burning event is “neither an act of love nor of hate”, but a warning against what it calls the threats posed by Islam.
With about 120,000 US and NATO-led troops still battling Al Qaeda and its allies in the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban movement, Petraeus warned that burning Qurans “is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could cause significant problems - not just here, but everywhere in the world we are engaged with the Islamic community”.
Several religious organisations have joined with US Muslim groups to oppose the Quran-burning. The National Association of Evangelicals is urging the Florida church to cancel the event, warning it could cause worldwide tension between the two religions.
Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Hindu leaders in Gainesville have organised a “Gathering for Peace, Understanding and Hope” the night before the scheduled Quran burning.
Meanwhile, Ibrahim Hooper, national communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), told CNN: “Most Muslim communities will be reluctant to have something that’s perceived to be celebratory on 9/11 even though we’re not celebrating 9/11.”
“There’s a whole cottage industry of Muslim bashers now who would seize on that,” he said. “Unfortunately, these are the times we live in.”
With many American Muslims already feeling intense scrutiny over the controversy surrounding a proposed Islamic centre and mosque near New York’s ground zero, many mosques and Islamic groups are dramatically altering their usual plans for Eid ul-Fitr, the end of Ramadan, CNN said.
The Islamic Centre of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, which made national headlines after the site of its future mosque was vandalised last month, has decided against scheduling any festivities for Saturday.
“It’s a sad day for us as Americans and it’s a sad day for us a nation and we don’t feel it would be right to celebrate on the anniversary of 9/11,” Abdou Kattih, vice president of the centre’s board of directors, was cited as saying by CNN.
In lieu of celebrations, many mosques are planning open houses next weekend in the hope of strengthening ties to their communities, according to Naeem Baig, vice president for public affairs at the Islamic Circle of North America.
A coalition of influential Muslim groups has announced a national day of service for Sep11, aimed largely at burnishing the image of American Muslims at a sensitive time.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at email@example.com)
- US commander in Afghanistan asks church not to burn Quran - Sep 07, 2010
- US church to burn Quran on Sep 11 - Jul 31, 2010
- US pastor rethinking on cancelling Quran burning (Third Lead) - Sep 10, 2010
- Pastor cancels plans to burn Qurans, then backtracks (Second Lead) - Sep 10, 2010
- Petraeus Warns Koran Burning Endangers Troops, Church Fires Back - Sep 08, 2010
- Americans Stand Against Small 50 Member Church Burning the Quran - Sep 09, 2010
- Fla. church adamant on burning Korans on 9/11 despite widespread outrage - Sep 08, 2010
- Jolie Denounces The Quran Burning Plan By Christian Church - Sep 09, 2010
- Quran burning 'outrageous', says Vatican - Sep 08, 2010
- Top U.S. Commander In Afghanistan Slams Dove World Outreach Center's Proposal To Burn Quran - Sep 07, 2010
- Condemnation of planned Qur'an burning in Florida grows - Sep 08, 2010
- US pastor 'seriously considering not burning Quran' (Intro Nightlead) - Sep 10, 2010
- Nepal Muslims warn of World War III over religion - Sep 10, 2010
- Obama backs controversial mosque at 9/11 Ground Zero - Aug 14, 2010
- Iran says Israel behind Quran burning plan - Sep 09, 2010
Tags: american islamic relations, arun kumar, bashers, cnn, david petraeus, florida church, gen david petraeus, hindu leaders, ibrahim hooper, islamic community, muslim communities, muslim groups, national association of evangelicals, national communications director, outreach centre, qurans, religious organisations, sep 11 2001, taliban movement, world outreach