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Flight 93 Families: Memorial Does Not Mimic Crescent

Flight 93 Families: Memorial Does Not Mimic Crescent
Religion News Service, 9/14/05

The president of the Families of Flight 93 on Wednesday (Sept. 14) labeled as “absurd” a Republican congressman’s claim that a proposed memorial in Pennsylvania is a “tribute to hijackers” because it incorporates a crescent shape that he said is associated with Islam — and therefore terrorism.

Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., told the National Park Service that the memorial to the hijacked flight that crashed on Sept. 11, 2001, should be redesigned. Families of the victims called his comments “an unfortunate distraction.”

“A very small, violent militant contingent does not own a copyright on the words ‘crescent’ or ‘red crescent,'” said D. Hamilton Peterson, whose father and stepmother were passengers on the flight that crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pa. “New Orleans is known as the ‘Crescent City.’ That doesn’t suggest it is demonically oriented. . .”

Edward Linenthal, a member of the Flight 93 Advisory Commission and a historian of American battlefields and memorials, called Tancredo’s comments “disgraceful.”

Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Washington-based Council on American Islamic Relations, was similarly dismissive. “We believe this is a made-up controversy, something that’s been trumped up by extremist and anti-Muslim Internet bloggers. The design has nothing to do with Islam,” he said.


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