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Say Yes to a National Muslim Holiday

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
Imam Khalid Latif, a chaplain for New York University and the New York Police Department, recently appeared on CNN. He suggested that the New York public schools should close for at least two important Muslim holidays each year. I could not agree more. Latif suggests that American Muslims are trying to develop their own contemporary identity as the religion of peace and tolerance. In his view, closing schools for major Muslim holidays would help that process since an Americanized modern and moderate Islam would benefit all Americans.

However, I would alter Latif's suggestion slightly. We should treat the various Muslim holidays as we have the birthdays of American presidents with the singular Presidents' Day. My recommendation: we roll all the Muslim holidays into one National Muslim Day and celebrate it on September 11 each year. The New York schools can then follow suit along with the rest of the country.

Rather than working to educate us slow-learning Americans about the merits of holidays like Eid al-Fitr and the birthday of Mohammad, it seems most fitting that we celebrate the contributions and significance of Islam in America's history with one special day each September 11. Mohammad likely does not enjoy birthday cards anyway because those cards too often are filled with cartoons and sketches.

For the inaugural National Muslim Day, President Obama and the mayor of New York can offer inspiring words from the newly proposed $100MM Cordoba Center located a few hundred feet from Ground Zero in the former Burlington Coat Factory whose roof was battered and beaten with burning debris from the collapsing Twin Towers. The Cordoba Institute will place a 13-story mosque, gym, bookstore, and meeting place in the shadow of the unfortunate man-caused disaster in Manhattan. This location seems most fitting for the new holiday's festivities, given the Islamic invasion and takeover of the original Cordoba in the eighth century. One of the Islamic conquerors' first acts was to “convert” the Christian Church of Saint Vincent there into the Great Mosque of Cordoba as a symbol of Muslim conquest and rule. In other words, we destroy your iconic symbols and replace them with ours, kind of like what is happening at Ground Zero right now. Perfect place for the headlining events of National Muslim Day.


During his keynote address that day, President Obama can expand on his recently expressed thoughts and concerns that al-Qaeda is a racist organization who does not value African life as much as it does other human life. Those comments were made in his interview with South African broadcasters in the wake of the tragic Islamic al-Shabaab terror attack on World Cup viewers and soccer fans in Uganda. To the untrained eye, it would seem that al-Qaeda, al-Shabaab and other Islamic terror organizations have no appreciation for any human life at all, given their predilection for seeking to blow up planes over Detroit, kill soldiers at Fort Hood, explode bombs in Times Square, and plot nationwide mayhem with young Muslim American citizens like Najibullah Zazi. President Obama's comments can enlighten us all to just how these terrorist groups view African lives differently than those lives of the other people they blow up and decapitate. Yes, their anti-African bias really should concern us.

As the nation rejoices and celebrates on September 11, NASA can showcase special events across the country to feature its new efforts at collaborating with and inspiring the Islamic world. NASA executive, Charles Bolden, will serve as ringmaster for the tent displays featuring the scientific discoveries or international contributions of note that have come from the Muslim world in the past century. Unfortunately, there are no such discoveries or contributions as evidenced by the relative dearth of Muslim Nobel winners or patent filings. A better use of those tents might be to host stonings of Muslim adulteresses (if Iran will provide them for the occasion) and honor killings of Muslim daughters whose words or actions have brought shame to their families (Rifqa Bary will not be available). On second thought, maybe NASA just should not participate on September 11. Perhaps they can occupy themselves with other tasks that day like air, space, aeronautics, that kind of thing. One day a year on those tasks should not be too distracting.


At the Pentagon, Janet Napolitano will offer inspiring words about man-caused disasters and how we are avoiding those now. Eric Holder will expound on how there is no such thing as “radical Islam,” nor is there any connection between Islam and terror at all. And John Brennan can recite in Arabic the wonderful dimensions of jihad since the rest of us evidently do not comprehend the nuances of that glorious idea as well as he does. During these lectures and encomia, free copies of Orwell's 1984 will be distributed in order to advance the public understanding of doublespeak.

Finally, the one unifying event of the day that will happen in households all across the country on September 11. Every family and person will be required to view Alice in Wonderland. After all, Alice seems like the perfect inspiration for National Muslim Day, doesn't she? “If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary-wise; what it is it wouldn't be, and what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?”

What a wonderful day it will be. I could not agree with Imam Latif more. I only wish he could expand his vision to include all of America rather than just the public school students of New York.

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