The issue of whether or not to build a mosque near the site of the World Trade Towers terrorist attack has been hijacked for political expediency, said Mike Beitler, Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate in an op ed on his website. “To collectively blame every Muslim for the actions of a few is probably the most un-American act I can think of,” Beitler said. “Our country was formed by the ideals of individual liberty, not blaming the innocent for a crime committed by the other.”
Terrorism is a tactic that uses fear to make people act in ways against their belief, he said. “To defeat terrorism, we must embrace the ideas of freedom and liberty and protect the rights of all individuals and not just of a select few.”
Beitler said that some politicians have decided to take a different path, which he describe as “the religious crusade for some, this hatred of the other.” “These are not American ideals,” Beitler said, “they are fascist ones.”
One of the most shameful things he said he’s learned about the political manipulation of September 11 is the refusal to mention the Muslims murdered that day.
One of the 63 Muslim victims was Mohammad Salman Hamdami, a part-time ambulance driver, medical student, and an NYPD cadet.
When he saw smoke coming from the twin towers, he drove right to the scene and tried to help,” Beitler said. “Since he wasn’t working and no one knew his whereabouts, the media were happy to brandish him as a terrorist and say that he was involved in the plot due to his ethnicity and religion.”
Rahma Salie was passenger on the American Airlines flight that crashed into the North Tower. She was seven-months pregnant and traveling to California with her husband to attend a wedding. Beitler said that Rahma was put on the FBI watch list because of her “Muslim-sounding” name and her travel patterns were similar to those of the hijackers. She was a computer consultant living in Boston.
Although her name was eventually removed from the list, several of her family members were barred from taking flights to her memorial service,” Beitler said.
Mohammad Chowdhury was a waiter in the Windows of the World restaurant on the top floors of Tower One. His wife Baraheen Ashrafi gave birth to a son two days after the attack.
“I wonder what the eight-year-old Farqad is thinking today when he hears that a mosque his father might have worshiped in should not be built because it’s an affront to his father’s memory,” Beitler said.
Beitler said he’s been silent on the issue in the hope that common sense would prevail. To a libertarian, this is not really an issue, since the Constitution protects religious freedom and property rights. “Everything else is irrelevant,” he said.