I've been wanting to say something about the Islamic Community Center being proposed in lower Manhattan just a few miles from where I sit right now and while much has been said about it I don't think it's been said quite this way. Read on and let me know what you think in the comments.
Let's begin with some clarity: The "Ground Zero Mosque" isn't. First, it is not at ground zero. It's 2 blocks away from the closest corner, which is a long way by Manhattan standards and it's not even visible from the site. And it's not a mosque. Yes, there's a small prayer space inside but there are small chapels in airports and on military bases. Are those churches? There are often small prayer areas in Jewish Community Centers. Are those synagogues? Of course not. A true mosque does not permit entry to non-Muslims. The Islamic Community Center, including the prayer area, will be open to all. By any reasonable definition it is NOT a mosque and if you continue to call it that you're either misinformed, confused or you're lying and fear-mongering.
So with that out of the way:
The first amendment guarantees Muslims the same religious freedom as Christians, Jews, Hindus, Atheists, Buddhists, Mormons and anyone else who lives in the United States. Of course this includes the right to build a cultural center anywhere they meet the zoning regulations, even two blocks from the WTC site.
Now, if it were Al Queda trying to erect a building near the site where they murdered 3000+ souls I would be marching in the street with just everyone else in North America. But it's NOT Al Queda. It's the OPPOSITE of Al Queda. The Imam who is heading up the project was lauded by none other than George W Bush for his moderation and Presidents Bush and Obama have both sponsored his trips to Muslim countries to try to bridge the gap between the cultures. This is exactly the kind of ally the United States needs against the radical monsters who so badly pervert their religion that they can excuse and even applaud the killing of innocents.
The murders of the 9/11 attacks are no more Muslims than the Klan are Christian. Or the Nazis were. Or the Aryan Brotherhood are. All of them killed Blacks, Jews, Gays, and more in the name of Jesus Christ. And let's not forget all of the bloodbaths that the Church itself perpetrated like the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition, among others. Then there are crazies like Scott Roeder, who killed abortion provider George Tiller in his own church and Eric Rudolph who bombed an abortion clinic, and all of their allies who have maimed and killed for Christ. Can we paint all Christians with the blood from their hands?
Of course not. Which brings me to one of the biggest and least-mentioned victims of 9/11: Islam itself. There are over 1.5 billion Muslims world-wide and all but a tiny shred of a percentage of them are peace-loving and just want to provide for their families, especially those who live in Western countries like the USA. Sure there are a few hundred monsters who have twisted it beyond recognition but how is that different from the monsters who've perverted Christianity for the same purpose: to kill or convert all who are different?
"Oh, but the Koran calls for killing infidels" some cry. Have you actually read the old or new Testaments? The first few chapters have one brother killing another and not long after there's the drowning of most of the world, followed by a father almost killing his son, husbands sleeping with their servants, enslavement of an entire people, calls for stoning and so forth. It's not rated-G, to say the least, and it's no less brutal than the Koran. Reasonable people ignore unreasonable passages in their holy books.
Through no fault of their own those 1.5 billion innocent Muslims and the very religion itself have been smeared and persecuted based on the actions of a few maniacs. Is that fair? No. Is that right? Hell no.
How many of them have lost their homes, their property, their loved ones to that persecution? How many Americans have been beaten or killed for being Muslim or even just because someone thought they were were Muslim? Islam has been dragged through the mud because a few hundred psychopaths have wrapped themselves in its name.
If the 9/11 hijackers had come from Sweden and called themselves Lutherans would we have attacked Finland? Would we have invaded Iraq if it were a Christian country?
The best way to combat their disgusting hatred is to welcome and embrace the reasonable.
Anything less amounts to abandoning the fundamental ideals and freedoms of the Constitution and the very foundation on which this country was built. It's doing the terrorists' work for them.
And that would be totally absurd.