A group of New York Muslims have taken offense to a small town’s new 9/11 memorial that honors those who died in the September 11th, 2001 Islamic terrorist attacks.
The Islamic Organization of the Southern Tier wrote a letter to city leaders in Owego, alleging that words engraved in the granite memorial would encourage hatred toward Muslims.
The entire inscription on the memorial reads:
“On September 11, 2001 nineteen Islamic terrorists unsuspectedly boarded four airliners departing east coast airports to hijack the planes and carry out a series of coordinated attacks against the United States. This is a tribute to all the lives lost that day and to the heroic sacrifice of all who rushed to help. As Americans, we honor their memory by living our lives in freedom. We will never forget.”
The memorial, which will be dedicated on Saturday, identifies those responsible for the attacks as “Islamic terrorists.”
A spokesperson for the Islamic Organization of the Southern Tier, based in Johnson City, N.Y. told a Fox television affiliate that having the words “Islamic terrorists” on the monument is a “broad brush against the many Muslims who live in the Southern Tier.”
“They want us to change the word from ‘Islamic Terrorist’ to either ‘terrorist’ or ‘Al Qaeda terrorist,’” City Manager Donald Castelluci told host of Fox News & Commentary, Todd Starnes. “I sent them back an email saying I disagreed with their premise 100 percent.”
Mr. Castelluci said they have no plans to change a single letter in the town’s memorial, and that it will stay just the way it is.
“I don’t live in a politically correct world,” he told Fox affiliate WICZ. “I live in a historical fact world…whether it’s American, homegrown, Christianity, Islamic, you call it what it is. And we don’t whitewash things, especially here.”
On Saturday, the citizens of Owego will commemorate the 15th anniversary of September 11th by dedicating their memorial park to local resident Derek Statkevicus, who worked on the 89th floor of the second World Trade Center.
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