If you haven’t heard about the mosque/Islamic center debate then you must be hiding under a rock. Ever since the proposal–a mosque and center to be located near ground zero–has been made public, those who are pro and con have found themselves lock in verbal combat seemingly to the death. The controversy over the mosque has greater significance for the faith world then most realize.
Politically speaking, Democrats, who probably would have been quick to speak up in favor of the mosque under different circumstances, have brought down their microphones to the levels of silence. They have gone as far as distancing themselves from Obama, who last Friday, though he deny that he was referring to this specific debate, declared that Muslims have the right to build a religious center in lower Manhattan. This was certainly not a moment of political brilliance from the president but it was one of pure honesty, something utterly lacking in the politics of today.
The Republicans, having aligned themselves with two-thirds of voters that are not in favor of the center, have begun to hammer away at this as if it is of pivotal importance to the welfare of the nation. Well, perhaps it is. However, so is everything else that is ignored, like the border. It’s very difficult to tell when politicians are concerned about the issues for the sake of them or for political ground.
I’m pretty sure that what you really want to hear is my perspective on the issue. Let me be direct and state that I’m against the building of the center in that area. My first reason against such a proposal is not because I’m anti-Muslim and so on, but because I think the level of attention that this issue has gotten will bring out individuals who will seek to use the center as base for their ploys. I’m fully aware that the mastermind behind the mosque has a good reputation, but there is only so much you can control.
The terrorist, who wants negative publicity in order to terrify the American public, would probably love to blow up a center like that. Not only would such an act struck terror in the heart of Americans but it would make it very difficult to trust any moderate Muslim. I say this because it would be very difficult to prove unequivocally that the Muslims who are behind the building of such a center are innocent in the event that something bad should take place. Thus, anyone from the Islamic faith who rises up with an idea after such an event would be looked at with great suspicion. Is it worth it? I think not.
I know that some people view it as a strictly religious right issue, but it’s more complex then that. There is no Islamic law that states that a worship place must be erected in this area, therefore caution should be used in the suggestion of such things. Americans are not ready to revel in the idea of a society that embraces all religions, though we would like to think that we are and that we do. We are only willing to deal with religions in which the elements don’t pose significant threats to the fabric of our society.
My second reason for aligning myself against the building of the center is because a majority of voters are against it. This is largely due to their emotional tie to the events on 9/11, which brought about large trust issues. Since I have already stated that there is no reason why the mosque must be in this area, I can go on to say that those who are behind this project should be mindful of the opinion of the majority. They are taking an unnecessary risk that can prove to be hazardous to the already fragile relationship that exist between the American public and the Muslim world.
Will you agree with everything that I’ve just written? Probably not. However, I think it is important to factor in these things in our national debate. We all know full well that it’s not about the reputation of those who are behind this project, it’s really about the sensitivity that Americans are feeling towards a particular religious group. It’s sad, but that’s the reality. It’s a sensitivity that they are not willing to admit. They are afraid of Muslims because a group of radicals blew up the WTC. Though most Muslims condemned the act, they are still looked at with great suspicion.
I am for building Mosques near ground zero, but I question and disagree with the wisdom of doing such a thing at this time.
- Some Muslims Question Mosque Near Ground Zero (abcnews.go.com)
- You: In Ground Zero mosque controversy, conservative writers have growing influence (washingtonpost.com)
- Mosque controversy (bbc.co.uk)
- The Ground Zero mosque and the legitimate boundaries of religious freedom (thehill.com)