Saturday, August 14, 2010

Right...But, Oh So Wrong

President Obama finally came out and lent support to the legality of building a mosque in close proximity to Ground Zero. Correctly, he states that our Constitution does not allow us to discriminate against anyone based on religion. Barring the mosque's construction would be against the very fabric of American liberty and freedom.

However, what I cannot fathom is the Islamic community's insistence on the location of this mosque. Public outcry has certainly been vocal, yet respectful, in stating that building a mosque here is at best inappropriate...and at worst an outright insult to the victims of 9/11 and our nation.

I can only see two reasons why they would choose this sight, and both are terrible decisions. The first and less heinous is simply: This is the Muslim version of Selma; however, I don't think this will help the Muslim call for less discrimination in the USA. In fact, I believe that building a mosque on 9/11 grounds will only enflame an already contentious relationship between the Muslim community and the American populace.

Within Islam there is a concept called "Dar al-Islam," which means "The House of Islam." Anyone or any group that submits to the Islamic beliefs is within Dar al-Islam. If you are not a Muslim, you belong to a different group, "Dar al-Harb," which means "The House of War." Some (but definitely not all!!!) take this literally and believe that Islam is at war with a non-Muslim world. I pray that the mosque is not a flag planting, a sign of conquest. I don't believe this is the reason, but I also have witnessed some very disturbing manipulation by religious figures in other similar situations. Unfortunately, religion can bring out not only the best in us, but the worst as well. Muslim, Christian, atheist, etc., all religious views have done terrible things in the name of their gods. My prayer is that this mosque does not become a symbol of Islamic Terrorist "power."

In the end, I think that the Muslims desiring this mosque need to reconsider this site. If I could say one thing to them it would be: Have the decency and the compassion (and the common sense!?!) to choose a different location! In the long run you'll make more friends by saying, "You know, we don't want to make a situation worse, how can we work with the NYC community and the nation as a whole to help heal this wound?"

This is a classic example of how being "Right" can be so amazingly wrong.

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