The AP is reporting that "9/11 politicized by mosque, Quran controversies." This story was brought to you by the fiction writers in the mainstream media.
First, ours is not a political rally. We are coming to pay our respects to those beloved Americans lost on 911 and to stand against the Islamic supremacist mosque. The left protests in their ugly fashion at Ground Zero every year. Every year the left hold political rallies of the ugliest stripe. And there has never been so much as one drop of ink written about it. But if patriots intend to gather, the media is in full spin mode.
Secondly, the media created the qu'ran story. The media created the firestorm. The Ground Zero mosque story, on the other hand, came largely to the fore outside the mainstream media. The people drove that story and forced the media to cover it and the politicians to take a stand. The mosque is the people's story. The provocative act of Pastor Jones and his tiny congregation was made a national story by the national media to incite the rhetoric and conflate the Ground Zero mega mosque opposition with incendiary book burning. As I have said, the burning of books is wrong in principle: the antidote to bad speech is not censorship or book-burning, but more speech. Open discussion. Give-and-take. And the truth will out. There is no justification for burning books. If Americans are free and not under Sharia, then the church can do this if it wants, and their freedom and rights should be protected. Islamic supremacists should not be allowed a victory for their violent intimidation -- if these people want to burn a book, they're free to do so. More of my position of the qu'ran burning here.
The opposition to mega mosque on Ground Zero has nothing to do with this although it bears noting that the radical Pastor canceled it, the radical imam did not. Imam Bridge builder building one way bridges.
Nowhere do emotions run higher than in New York, where the proposed Islamic center just two blocks north of ground zero has inflamed passions before the commemoration.
Activists are organizing a pair of rallies — one against the planned Islamic center, one supporting it — to follow New York's official ceremony at a park southeast of the trade center site.
The anti-mosque rally has bitterly divided family members of those who died in the attacks, with some planning to attend the rally and speak, while others denounce it as unnecessary and wrong.
Sally Regenhard, who lost her firefighter son, Christian Regenhard, in the attacks, said she would attend the city ceremony in the morning where the names of the dead are read aloud, as she has done each year since the attacks. Then, she planned to head over to the anti-mosque rally.
"The purpose is to speak out and express our feelings that this mosque, the location of it, is a grievous offense to the sensitivity of 9/11 families," Regenhard said. "There's nothing political about people who want to speak out against something they think is so wrong, so hurtful and so devastating."
But Donna Marsh O'Connor, whose pregnant daughter, Vanessa, was killed in the attacks, supports the mosque. She said she strongly opposes the planned rally and the political motivations behind it.
"It's more of the same hate mongering and fear mongering that's been going on for years," O'Connor said. "People have a right to free speech. But if they're talking about sensitivities to 9/11 families, why are they rallying and doing events on a day we should spend thinking about those we lost?
The rally is being hosted by Pamela Geller, a conservative blogger who has actively opposed the planned Islamic center since the project's inception.
John Bolton, who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush, was expected to send a videotaped message of support to the rally, as was conservative journalist Andrew Breitbart. Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician who advocates banning the Quran and taxing Muslim women who wear head scarves, planned to address the crowd in person, as do a handful of Republican congressional candidates who have made opposition to the mosque a centerpiece of their campaigns.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Geller said the rally would be "respectful" and was not intended to provoke violence or other inappropriate behavior on what has typically been a somber, mournful anniversary.
"It's a rally of remembrance for tens of thousands who lost loved ones that day," Geller said. "It's not a political event, it's a human rights event."
Former 9/11 Commision chairman Lee Hamilton said the U.S. relationship with the Islamic world "is one of the really great foreign policy challenges of the next decades."
"We're not going to solve it in a year or two or five or even 10 years. The kind of debates we're having today in New York City and Florida and other places reflects that. How do we get right, how do we line up this relationship better than we do," Hamilton said.
New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told reporters this week his department was prepared for the rally and had already deployed additional security at the mosque site since it's been the target of protests already.
But, Kelly said, police weren't anticipating major problems.
"We have no reason to anticipate violence at these demonstrations. ... There is no indication, no intelligence that would indicate violence occurring," Kelly said.