According to a poll, 75% of Americans don’t want a mosque built at ground zero. However, I’m not sure that the 75% know or want to know that the proposed mosque is not just a mosque, but an Islamic cultural center to provide a place of worship for Muslims, Jews, Christians and others. One of the goals of the project is to foster interfaith dialogue and understanding; a sanctuary for tolerance. This purpose threatens radical Islam.
Islam is not the enemy, yet the protests suggest otherwise. There seems to be a belief among many Americans that followers of Islam hate America and rejoiced after the 9/11 attacks. This argument is like saying that all Christians support the twisted beliefs of domestic terrorists groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, the Hutaree, and anti-abortion groups who use their radical Christian views to justify violence and murder.
I recognize the psychological need to have an enemy, but let’s be clear that our enemy is not only radical Islam, but radical elements within Christianity. Christians might say that the radicals are not really Christian. Muslims would say the same of those 9/11 terrorists.
And the site is not at ground zero. People are talking about the Islamic cultural center as if it were rising from the ashes of the twin towers. It is blocks away from ground zero. For the record, the ground zero memorial towers are being built at ground zero, not a mosque.
9/11 was a tragic day in American History. I will never forget the day, and will continue to remember the fallen for as long as I live. The war on terrorism is not a war on a nation, a group or a religion. It is an ideological war. We are a country founded on the idea of freedom which now extends to freedom for all. When we follow the ideals of democracy, tolerance and respect for human rights, others will follow. We cannot impose these principals of love, but simply provide an alternative ideology. The lunatic fringe will always exist, both domestically and abroad. We simply must be careful not to let ideologies based on fear, hate and violence drive our agenda. Nor should we give evil ideas the fuel to expand by calling too much attention to them. History will show that a way of life based on peace and justice will be the key to the survival of the human race.
For other thoughts connected to the events and controversies of 9/11, see my other blog posts: