The people who are commemorated are not even the revered figures whose names must not be trampled, but the names are the same, and so the name of the pro-Western secularist Mohammad Reza Pahlevi must be removed because his first name is the same as that of the prophet of Islam, and New York City taxpayers have to pay for this particular homage to Islamic sensibilities. Anyone who doesn’t agree that this must be done is a racist, bigoted “Islamophobe,” and so that is that, right?
“NYC to remove Islamic names from sidewalk due to vandalism,” by Melkorka Licea, New York Post, March 18, 2017:
The city must remove 11 names revered by Muslims that are etched on downtown sidewalks — because it’s an insult that people are trampling on them, critics are demanding.
“It is a hate crime and must be prosecuted,” Alina Nisar wrote on an online petition calling for the removal of the name Mohammad from the 200 names in black granite along Broadway from Battery Park to City Hall, installed in 2003 to honor every ticker tape parade to travel down the corridor.
To many Muslims, trampling over sacred names — such as the religion’s prophet Muhammad — is an insult.
“Walking on an important symbol is a sign of disrespect,” said Ibrahim Hooper, the spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
“As Americans might view walking on an American flag or a grave disrespectful, in Islamic culture, the prophets are some of the most important things in the world.”
But the engraving — located on Broadway between Rector Street and Exchange Place — isn’t for the prophet at all, it’s for Mohammad Reza Pahlevi, the former Shah of Iran who was a close ally to Uncle Sam.
Pahlevi’s name was installed to commemorate a City Hall reception and parade for the ruler on Nov. 21, 1949, as part of the Big Apple’s “Canyon of Heroes.”
“It was with the utmost respect…that we placed granite markers…to more permanently commemorate them,” said Jessica Lappin, President of the Alliance for Downtown New York.
It’s unclear why there is a movement afoot now — as opposed to 14 years ago — to remove that name, and 10 others.
“It really hurts the feelings of people of Muslim faith,” said Yasir Bhai, the treasurer for One Nation US, who helped create a separate petition late last year that now has over 700 signatures, they said.
Other revered names the group would like removed from the sidewalk include Ibrahim, Ahmad, Hassan and Ali.
Those names appear for the former President of Sudan Ibrahim Abboud, the former President of Guinea Ahmed Sékou Touré, the former king of Morocco King Hassan II and the former Prime Minister of Pakistan Liaguat Ali Khan.
A Downtown Alliance spokeswoman estimated it would cost taxpayers roughly $10,000 to remove each name totaling $110,000 for all 11….