The International Freedom Center Content and Governance Report (pdf) was released last week, fleshing out plans for the IFC's cultural facilities at Ground Zero. Not surprisingly, the controversy is only getting worse. For instance, before Ground Zero visitors experience the "tragedy of September 11" (as if it wasn't an atrocity), they will be forced walk through an exhibit about the world's perspective of 9/11 -- presumably minus the perspective of the Palestinians who danced in the street. And in addition to MLK, the Greatest Generation and Soviet gulags, there will be exhibits about the South African Constitution and Gandhi, too, all tied to 9/11 yet not distracting from that hallowed ground.
Yeah, right. I became distracted just reading about it. The IFC report is full of reasons why the IFC should not be built at the World Trade Center site (see Jeff Jarvis for more), but one contradiction stands out above the rest.
The IFC has repeatedly claimed that the center's purpose is to present mankind's "ongoing struggle for freedom," yet nowhere in the report nor in past statements can I find anything about the ongoing struggle against Islamism, the fundamentalist, anti-freedom ideology that motivated the Taliban to oppress Afghanis and harbor al Qaeda murderers, that motivates Saudi Arabia to deny women the right to vote, that motivates Iranian mullahs to hang homosexuals and sponsor terrorists, that motivates Palestinian suicide bombers to slaughter Jews, that fuels a global jihad, and -- most relevant to Ground Zero -- it's the ideology that motivated the 9/11 terrorists. Here's as close as the report gets:
While the motives behind the September 11 attacks were complex and criminal, by responding with an institution dedicated to freedom, we will create a fitting legacy for generations to come.
"Complex and criminal"? As John pointed out to me, that describes a bank heist not an ideological movement that has declared war on us, killed thousands on and off American soil, and forced us into a global military conflict.
If the IFC can't even get that right, if they can propose to be critical of Communism, Nazism and Jim Crow laws yet never utter a word about the evil of radical Islam, how can they be trusted to honor those who were murdered on 9/11? In short, they can't.
For the latest news on the ongoing struggle to prevent the IFC from being built at Ground Zero (e.g., Senator Hillary Clinton has come out against the IFC), visit Take Back The Memorial and 9/11 Families for America.
UPDATE II: Take Back The Memorial has posted a strong statement against the IFC (see the bolded line below for a perfect summation of what is going on): Family Member Group Press Release:
The IFC is a redundant institution that intends to appropriate 9/11 content in order to create an artificial connection to the site and use it to promote a decidedly political agenda. They intend to steal the stories of our loved ones away from the memorial and memorial museum – to pillage the most important artifacts like the Koenig sphere – to blatantly plunder a family-driven initiative called the ‘Living Memorial’ - to ransack our highly personal family tributes and belongings that we keep in our family room. All this in order to force families and the public to visit the IFC and force feed their views. Where in the absence of leadership is the gatekeeper that should be zealously guarding all that is most precious to the memorial and memorial museum? Why is the gatekeeper allowing Tom Bernstein and friends to exploit 9/11 and go on a veritable looting spree? [Emphasis added]
As they say, read the whole thing.
UPDATE III -- Sept. 28 -- BIG NEWS!: IFC Ousted From Ground Zero!.
Posted by Forkum at September 25, 2005 10:41 PM