Be Tolerant

I had stopped writing about anything other than book reviews here for a while, but something pressed one of my buttons.

I read that 68% of Americans oppose the “Ground Zero Mosque” that is not built on ground zero nor is strictly a mosque, but is a community center. I have heard people say that it is just too close and is an affront to what those people died for. The way people talk it makes it sound like bin Laden is trying to build a victory marker, which is stupid.

For those that oppose the center, would you oppose it if the builders specifically denounced 9/11? Would you oppose it if the builders stated that it was an attempt to show New Yorkers that not all Muslims want to bomb the city? What does it take?

It seems the opposition to the center is around a few points:
1- It is built at Ground Zero. False, it is not even bordering Ground Zero.
2- It is funded by terrorists. False, there has been no fundraising for the project yet.
3- It is built as an affront to those who died in 9/11. I have not seen or heard anything like that. Seems like fear mongering by idiots trying to score political points to me.

Implicit in all of the arguments against the center is that all Muslims are terrorists. That is wrong. This shouldn’t even be a political issue, this is just a common decency issue. Freedom of religion means letting people worship in any lawful way they please.

Finally, we have the opinion that the Muslim world wrongfully hates all Americans. Perhaps they do, that is not important. But can we really criticize them for hating us, when issues like this make it evident that we hate them too. Why should they like us when we persecute and villainize them for doing something legal? If you want a peaceful world, embrace peaceful people of all religions, including Muslims, and all of us can reject violence regardless of claimed belief system.

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