Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Ground Zero Islamic Center

Recently President Obama gave his support to the establishment of a mosque and Islamic cultural center close to Ground Zero in NYC. He made an emphatic statement about not wanting to hinder the free practice of religion. That is fine, but it’s not necessarily about the free practice of religion. Let me throw out several points with respect to this issue:

First, nobody is hindering free practice of religion. What’s at issue is WHERE you freely practice that religion. Town zoning boards do this all the time. Many cities and towns have thrown impossible stumbling blocks to prevent the building of new churches. Let’s eliminate such egregious practices against churches before we allow an Islamic center in such a sensitive area.

Second, we must remember that the World Trade Center was destroyed in the name of Islam. The perpetrators were misguided and part of a lunatic fringe of Islam, yet nevertheless the act was done in that name by its proponents. With nearly 3,000 people killed at the WTC site, I believe good taste and sensitivity to those whose loved ones, friends, and co-workers died there (I’m among those who lost co-workers) should be the rule. I suspect, although I can’t say for sure, that this center is being established where it can be as an affront to Americans. In a city as large as NYC, couldn’t they find another location?

Third, I believe the Muslims do have a right to establish a mosque and cultural center wherever they want, but good sense and sensitivity should prevail, not this in-your-face disrespect to those who lost loved ones and to Americans in general. We should remember that Islamic terrorists are still working hard to do us harm, including some who are American citizens.

Last, if Obama is so serious about the free practice of religion in this country, why doesn’t he speak out against those who want to pull down crosses and do other things to eliminate God and religion from this country. I’m speaking of the ACLU, the Freedom from Religion Foundation, and Americans United for Separation of Church and State, to name a few. If he wants the Muslims to have their rights, how about Christians? I know most of these issues are decided in the courts, but the president speaking out against such persecution would be nice.

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