For første gang siden 9/11 har det skjedd noe som gjør minnemarkeringen på årsdagen politisk full av spenning. President Barack Obama forsøkte å si at USA ikke ble angrepet av islam, men en foraktelig gjeng som perverterte religionen.
Men Nytimes skriver med bekymring at markeringen også var preget «by events hard to envision just a year ago — heated demonstrations blocks from ground zero, political and religious tensions and an unmistakable sense that a once-unifying day was now replete with division.»
Striden var følbar på selve markeringen. Folk bar plakater:
The posters and photographs that victims’ relatives held aloft bluntly injected politics into New York City’s annual ceremony, addressing the debate over plans to build a Muslim community center and mosque near ground zero.
Two posters cited the victims James V. DeBlase and Joon Koo Kang. One read, “Where are OUR rights?” The other: “We love you!! Islam mosque right next to ground zero??? We should stop this!!”
It all amounted to a Sept. 11 starkly different in tone and emotion from those of the past. For the first time, the anniversary of the worst attack on American soil and the deadliest disaster in New York City history served almost as a political backdrop. The rancor and venom of a ground zero politicized by clashing views on Islam and America contrasted with the heartbreak of a place where wives were made widows, where firefighters and fathers-to-be died.
Striden om det islamske kultursenteret er noe helt nytt. Amerikanerne sto sammen på årsdagen. Nå er de plutselig delt.
“We need to get back to that commonality and spirit that we had after 9/11,” said Julie Menin, the chairwoman of the community board for Lower Manhattan, who has been involved in efforts over the years to rebuild the area after the attacks.
“Whether they were Democrat or Republican, religious or atheists, the country was united,” she said. “Now people are being torn apart by this issue, and people have forgotten what 9/11 really means, the idea of trying to pull together in this commonality of spirit.”
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf lå lavt. Kona Daisy skulle deltatt i en økumenisk gudstjeneste, men dukket ikke opp.