Can't Prevent Mosque at Ground Zero
There has been much gnashing of teeth, wringing of hands, and bursts of anger about the prospect of a mosque being established two blocks from the former WorldTradeCenter site in New York referred to as ground zero.
Like it or not we live in a democracy where freedom of
speech and freedom of religion are two of the cornerstones of our country for
which so many of our brave soldiers have paid the ultimate price to
preserve. These Muslims are not the same Muslims who attacked us on 9/11
and they have the legal right to place a Mosque anywhere it is legal to do
To deny them that right is to destroy everything this country stands for and ultimately give the terrorists the victory they seek. To assign them guilt by association is like saying all Christians have the same values as the KKK. Shall we put all Muslims in internment camps like we did with Japanese-Americans after Pearl Harbor?
It may be in bad taste, rude, and disrespectful to establish a Mosque near Ground Zero or it may not, but it is not illegal to have bad taste or to be rude or to be disrespectful. Is it rude for Japanese citizens to visit Pearl Harbor or to own property near Pearl Harbor?
At the foundation of anti-mosque movement is the firm belief that Islam is inherently evil which it is not. Many have used the Bible to justify murder, slavery, and other horrific acts and it undoubtedly will happen again in the future just as Islamic extremists justify their acts of terror with a misguided interpretation of the Koran.
Also at the core of those expressing outrage is the belief that the 9/11 attack was all about religion which is was not. It was more about politics. Regardless, the attack was an obscenity for which it will take a lot of time and lot of soul searching to heal the wounds. But it is worth taking that step just as we have with the Japanese. Given the right attitude this could actually be a step towards that end. To live in hatred hurts you not your enemy.
Democracy can be very difficult and this is one of those times. May cooler heads prevail.