"So if the attacks weren’t secular events, wouldn’t an official secularization of the 10th anniversary ceremony be a moral victory for the perpetrators?"...Mayor Bloomberg has always said Islam had nothing to do with 911 (para. 8).
8/25/11, "Prayers at Ground Zero," NY Post Opinion
"Besides, he (Bloomberg's aide) wondered, which religion -- or religions -- would get to be represented? Wouldn’t those denied a spot be offended?
And therein lies the real problem.
Given the circumstances, the presence of clergy of one faith tradition -- Islam -- almost certainly would spark controversy, which the city would clearly like to avoid.
It’s an undeniable fact that the 9/11 attacks were planned and carried out by fanatics in service of an extreme form of Islam. They were motivated, too, by hatred of those who embrace other religions, or none at all -- as Americans are wont to do.
So if the attacks weren’t secular events, wouldn’t an official secularization of the 10th anniversary ceremony
- be a moral victory for the perpetrators?
Besides, in the immediate aftermath of the attack, many Americans sought comfort in religion. Yankee Stadium hosted an interfaith ceremony less than two weeks later.
Just as first responders and the military figured prominently in America’s response, so did clergy. That’s undeniable.
It makes scant sense for a 10th-year anniversary ceremony to obscure those facts by excluding them.
That the format shunned religious leaders and prayer in the past is hardly grounds to do so yet again: If it was a misguided course then, it’s worse now.
Bottom line: Officials planning major events involving clergy face similar challenges all the time.
And manage to overcome them....
Frankly, it’s hard to see any reasonable cause to bar, say,
- an opening invocation."...