Religious Freedom: Mosque near Ground Zero?

Religious Freedom. Freedom of Speech. Higher Education. These are phrases America was founded upon.

Why in 2010 are we struggling with our most practical ideals?

This whole debate whether or not it is “right” to build a Mosque & Islamic Center within 2 blocks from Ground Zero is  ridiculous. Such a topic shows the ignorance of some Americans. Where extreme Islamic Terrorists attacked 9 years ago, we will forever mourn. But this debate is parallel to saying (for example) that Mormon temples should not be built within blocks from schools, because a few extreme Mormons from the infamous ‘compound raid’ that occurred in Texas last year were arrested for molesting and courting under aged girls.

Unfortunately, many individuals do not see that correlation, because the Mormon religion, a branch of Christianity is much more understood to them than that of Islamic faith, which as well is a relative of Christianity. Statistics show that less than 1% of the Muslims in the world are extremist/terrorists. Of course it’s impossible to really track them down, as many of these terrorists hide in caves in which a Census volunteer would have a hard time tracking down & knocking on their rock to fill out their form.

As the liberal minds debate with conservative minded individuals on every day issue, I am shocked that this debate has lasted for weeks. I am shocked at the ignorance of our citizens.

If you take a look at the Quran, even read a few pages, you will see that they are a religion that preaches Peace. Yes there are things in the Quran I personally do not agree with. Such as certain issues particularly the chapter on Women. In certain more extreme translations, the text could easily be misinterpreted as vengeful war being okay in certain circumstances. The same could go for every other religion. The Mormons for example. Most Mormons will tell you that it is not okay to impregnate a 13 year old girl, as well as engage in polygamy. But it happens, and it’s happening in certain neighborhoods in the US. Extremism happens, in every aspect of human life, whether it’s religion or politics, which essentially go hand in hand.

A mosque being built by ground zero does not have to be a symbolism of Americans degrading the memories & lives of all those that were lost. It could only mean that if you believed that. Those of Islamic faith are people just like you and I. They may look different from you because some women choose to cover their hair or wear certain clothing. At the end of the day, people need a place of worship. 2 blocks from ground zero or 20. Muslim lives were lost too during 9/11, and most discriminated against until this day (who have nothing to do with Al Qaeda). Muslims in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan are losing lives every day due to billions of dollars spent by the US government. Why? For their oil. Should Afghanistan refuse a pledge for an American school to be built if some soldiers wanted to send their kids there? Because of what we’ve done to their people?

I’m glad that the NY mayor Bloomberg supports the Mosque being built. Perhaps if the American media took a little bit more interest in educating audiences on different religions and cultures, instead of so much focus on Celebrity Gossip/TMZ type news, we would all be a lot more open minded.

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