New York Green Candidate Hawkins on 9/11 and Politics
Howie Hawkins, the Green Party of New York State candidate for Governor, said today that he was very disturbed by the efforts of the Republican Governor candidates to advance their sagging election prospects by crudely inflaming religious and ethnic tensions by attacking the proposed Muslim Center near the former World Trade Center.
Why do these Republicans hate our freedom? Freedom of religion is the first freedom protected in the First Amendment. It’s about freedom of thought, the foundation of freedom of speech, press, assembly, and petitioning the government for redress of grievances. Why do right-wingers like Lazio and Paladino hate our U.S. Constitution? They talk freedom and practice repression. They sound like Big Brother in George Orwell’s 1984: War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength.
“At a time when the Great Recession is still throwing New Yorkers out of their jobs and homes, when the state budget is bust because all the major party politicians refuse to make the rich pay their fair share of taxes, these guys are trying to win the election by dividing New Yorkers against each other by race, ethnicity, and religion. They are making the Muslim community center an issue to divert attention from their unpopular response to the economic crisis of cutting public spending, gutting our schools, hospitals, mass transit, highways, police, and other public goods and services, and throwing thousands of more teachers, transit workers, police, and other public workers into the unemployment rolls. I trust that New Yorkers will see through this ugly strategy,” said Hawkins.
Hawkins said he supported the proposed Muslim center. Hawkins noted that it would have an interfaith mission of service and mutual understanding, and was approved by the Community Board of Lower Manhattan, following public hearings, by a vote of 29 to 1, with 10 abstentions. The proposed center features space for inter-community cultural events and multi-faith prayer, community services such as gym facilities and cooking classes, and a memorial to those who died on September 11.
Hawkins said he is troubled by how both Republicans and Democrats have manipulated the murder of thousands of innocent individuals on September 11, 2001 to further their political agenda of armed invasion of the Middle East to seize oil supplies while curtailing civil liberties here in the United States.
“I wish the Democrats and Republicans were more interested in answering the myriad unanswered questions about 9/11, starting with who actually paid for the attacks, an issue the 9/11 Commission said was not important to resolve. The Commission pointed out that the Saudi Arabian ruling family had been financially backing the Al Qaida terrorists for years, something that the two major parties don’t seem too concerned about since they sell us oil. The Commission failed to investigate why the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency wired money to the 9/11 lead hijackers right before the attacks. We received documentation this week that the ISI continues to actively support Taliban in who are fighting American soldiers and Marines,” said Hawkins, a former Marine.
“No one has been indicted for providing logistical support to those who murdered 3000 Americans on 9/11, and it seems no one in the government is interested in investigating who there were. Why aren’t Lazio and Paladino asking why our City and State governments have failed to rebuild at the WTC ten years after the attack? Instead they act as bigoted demagogues, sacrificing the fundamental freedom of religion for which the American revolution was fought at the spurious altar of scapegoating and social division,” remarked Hawkins.
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