A Word on the Ground Zero Mosque
Defending Religious Liberty
Some controversy has recently been stirred on the proposed building of an Islamic Cultural Center some two blocks from the location of the September 11th attacks. Many people oppose this thing being built and have assaulted Obama for supporting the rights of Muslim Americans... But WHY?
Muslims did not attack us on 911. TERRORISTS did. There is just as big a difference between a Christian terrorist and the average American Christian as there is between an Islamic terrorist and the average American Muslim. Many claim that the Islamic Holy book, the Koran, contains commands of violence. I hate to burst your bubble folks but the Bible demands violence as well. There are versus in the Bible where God commands the Israelites to kill entire Civilizations, to commit genocide and leave none alive. My point is that no one can disagree that there are ugly aspects of these ancient documents but in the modern world people have learned to adapt their faith and follow the verses that allow them to live in Western Society without a problem.
Islam has adapted and has been in America for a long time. The Islam practiced here in America is far removed from what is practiced in third world Middle-Eastern countries.
The danger of terrorism comes from ALL religions when they drift into fundamentalism and extremism. We cannot, however, sacrifice religious liberty for the perceived safety against terrorism that it might bring.
This cultural center was a golden opportunity for us to show the world that America is tolerant. It was our chance to show the world that we know the difference between the extremists that attacked us on 911 and the peaceful American Muslim of the 21st Century. Now our intolerance is adding fuel to the fire as Taliban leaders rejoice over our outrage here in America. Now they can say to the men they are trying to recruit for evil deeds: "See, America is not the bastion of freedom they claim to be, see how their hate flows forth against Islam."
The frightening thing is the prospect that this "Mosque" is being used as a political tool and that the majority of outrage was created by politicians to help them get elected in an election year.
The First Amendment is clear, we must protect religious liberty. The right to worship is one that many who came to America cherish most of all. The Pilgrims fleeing religious persecution were some of the first settlers to the New World.
There is grave danger inherent in the hate and bigotry of some of those opposing this Mosque. It is a Xenophobia the likes of which this nation has seen many times before. From resistance to racial integration, to the rounding up of Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor, time and time again the propagandists and liars and the fearful masses they prey upon, have turned against their fellow Americans and the freedoms they so cherish. We must not repeat history again. We must not allow hate to continue. I hope sincerely that the politicians quit spinning their lies for long enough to keep this nation from slipping back into the dark. I hope that Park 51 stands for a hundred years as a bastion to a time when the glorious song of religious freedom drowned out the banshee screams of bigots and the fearful bleats of the deceived sheep...