Posts Tagged ‘mosque

25
Aug
10

How do you feel about the controversy over the mosque at Ground Zero?

For those who may not know about the story: There is a big controversy brewing in the United States right now regarding the possibility of a mosque being built on the former site of the World Trade Center, which was destroyed by terrorists on September 11th, 2001. Some have suggested that since the terrorists were Islamic, this act could be seen as a sort of religious “conquest.”

As it turns out, this is yet another case of the American public having an incorrect view of reality, which has been aided by a news media that isn’t very interested in setting the facts straight (after all, rationality doesn’t sell as much cat food and laundry detergent as outrage does).

Here are some facts on this issue:

1. The “Ground Zero Mosque” isn’t slated to be built at Ground Zero (or, the former site of the World Trade Center). It is two blocks away.

2. The “Ground Zero Mosque” isn’t a stand-alone building, nor is it even a mosque. It will be a prayer room contained in a community center.

3. There is already a mosque built closer to the WTC that no one seems to have any sort of issue with whatsoever.

Now, for my opinion. I’m not comfortable with the government deciding which religions can buildĀ  holy sites and which cannot. That act goes against our Constitution. If they were to decide that no religious buildings were permitted at all, then that would be as reasonable as permitting any of them. So if there’s going to be a ban, then they must ban everything – mosques, churches, synagogues, temples, you name it.

A few folks who are much smarter than myself have made some excellent points on this issue. In the New York Times, Dick Cavett had the following to say:

“What other churches might be objectionable because of the horrific acts of some of its members? Maybe we shouldn’t have Christian churches in the South wherever the Ku Klux Klan operated because years ago proclaimed white Christians lynched blacks. How close to Hickam Field, at Pearl Harbor, should a Shinto shrine be allowed? I wonder how many of our young people — notorious, we are told, for their ignorance of American history — would be surprised that Japanese-Americans had lives and livelihoods destroyed when they were rounded up during World War II? Should all World War II service memorials, therefore, be moved away from the sites of these internment camps? Where does one draw the line?”

The only point I would add to Mr. Cavett’s comment is this: The Murrah Building in Oklahoma City was destroyed by Christian terrorists. Are there churches near that site? If so, we should tear them down before we start restricting mosques at Ground Zero.

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I am an atheist, a person who does not believe in the existence of any gods.

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