To Build or Not to Build: A Mosque near Ground Zero
What is really at the heart of the debate between the Muslim community and those who do not think they should build a mosque near Ground Zero? Do we even know, ourselves, how we feel about this, and if so... why? We need to ask ourselves one question, and that is... why do we care, and is it a matter I should be emotionally invested in? Let's say, you are against the idea, and you feel as if it were "disrespectful" to those who lost their lives there, on 9/11. I think this is a valid concern for many people... both, for and against the project. The individuals who lost their lives during this tragic event were unable to receive proper burials. Their bodies were, for the most part, obliterated... their remains unable to be identified/ or gathered together for what most people view is a symbol of respect (the burial/funeral). Why do we care, though? Many of us- the majority of us- do not know, personally, anyone who worked in the Twin Towers or who passed on that day. We care, because... no matter where we were on that date, we were riveted and immobile that entire day... stoically watching, in disbelief, as we saw broadcast after broadcast of a series of horrific events... right here, in the U.S. We care, because... we were created with hearts and most of us feel things in regards to events that happen, in our lives. We care, because... we are human. We also have to ask ourselves the tough questions... which none of us wants to do. There are two sides to this coin... not just one. Let's begin with religion, and the freedom of religion. Do you enjoy the freedoms we have, as citizens here, in the U.S.? Who, exactly, can partake of those "freedoms?" Do you have to be a certain ethnicity to enjoy such freedoms? The last time I checked, the only "prerequisite" to enjoying such freedoms, is... that, you be a citizen of the U.S. A citizen's nationality can be brought about a couple of different ways, in the U.S... through birth in the U.S., or by coming to the U.S. and taking a citizenship test. It seems to me, the debate begins here... although no one wants to admit it. The natural-born citizens (those born in the U.S.) seem to have a bit of an "entitlement" mentality, when it comes to their births in the states. On the other hand, we have individuals (foreign-born) who come to the states, oftentimes, to also enjoy the benefits of being in "The land of the free." Why do we, as natural-born citizens think we are any better than ANYONE ELSE? Those of us who do feel this way should not. God made us all equal... no one "better" or "more entitled" than the other. So... if someone from abroad moves to the states and takes a citizenship test, to become a U.S. citizen, aren't they just as entitled, as are the ones born in the states, to enjoy these freedoms and liberties? I certainly think so. It's almost like saying, a child who is adopted is not entitled to the same love and respect, and liberties, as a person's biological child. It's ridiculous! To my knowledge, the individuals in charge of seeing that the mosque is built, as well as the many people who will worship there, are, indeed, U.S. citizens. If that is not the case, I haven't heard it. That said... if we enjoy the freedom, as U.S. citizens AND as Americans (and that does not mean "race"), then we also must accept the fact that, other citizens of the U.S., likewise, deserve that same enjoyment. It has NOTHING to do with where you came from or where you were born. The truth of the matter, is... as long as you're a citizen, we should ALL be treated equally. I also notice many of those against the project saying things like, "They're the same people that crashed the planes into the World Trade Center, and we're going to let them build their church where they killed lots of Americans?" I have a theory about people who harbor racists thoughts, ideas and beliefs. I've heard some say, "They just don't know they're being that way." That is ridiculous! If you don't know what you're doing, then you probably shouldn't be walking around, free! My own, personal belief, is... racist thoughts and ideas are inborn; that is... they were taught, at some point, in a person's life. Those kind of angry and hateful messages and ideas cannot be contained, and that is why you'll hear racial slurs, ignorant statements, race-related "jokes," etc. The bottom line, is... these people who want to build the mosque are no more involved with Al Quaeda or radical Islam than you or I. If they were, they certainly wouldn't be trying to gain attention, by constructing what may be one of the world's most controversial landmarks. I say, "Give the nonsense a rest! Quit nitpicking and grasping at proverbial straws, where there is little or no validity! It's shameful and just makes ALL Americans look like idiots!!!" As I've attempted to point out... most of what those against the mosque feel, say and think is based (if not solely, in large part) on racist ideals. Those who want to change that characteristic about themselves will, or will not. In closing, I want to leave you with a snippet of our country's constitution. I remember it going something like this, "All Men Are Created Equal..." It is on these principles our founding fathers built America... in the hopes that ALL MEN would come together, in "The Land of the Free and Brave," and unite, as ONE.