There is a lot of anger over a proposed Islamic Cultural Center slated to be built a few blocks from Ground Zero in New York. Many opponents of it claim that it creates a ‘victory shrine’ implying that the religion of Islam were the culprits behind the 9-11 attacks. This is of course, an unfair and incorrect implication. Muslims world wide denounced the actions of Al Qaeda, who claimed responsibility for the attacks. But the question remains, is it wrong for there to be a cultural center there?
Well, let’s look at the facts. There’s already a prayer room for Islam on the property. The existing building is going to be torn down, and a newer one will be built in it’s place. In this new $100,000,000 building, there will be something for New Yorkers of all beliefs. There will be restaurants, art galleries, and book stores. Yes, there will also be a Muslim Prayer Room, but what’s the problem with that? There’s one there already.
Many people are just afraid of Islam. It’s something they’re unfamiliar with. However, a widely held belief is that Islam is not that wide spread in the United States. In New York, there are hundreds of mosques. Most argue that the difference with this mosque, is that it’s going to be built two blocks from Ground Zero. City blocks in New York are huge. It’s not like it’s being built directly atop the site of the former World Trade Towers.
Contrary to popular belief, mosques do not create Islamic Militant Exteremists. A study by Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy and the University of North Carolina concluded that “American mosques are actually a deterrent to the spread of militant Islam and terrorism.” The professors in that study went on to further state that “many mosque leaders had put significant effort into countering extremism by building youth programs, sponsoring anti-violence forums and scrutinizing teachers and texts.”
President Obama recently stated, “Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances.”
There has been a lot of hate towards the President regarding this sentiment. Most are stating that he is backing up his own people, because he himself is a Muslim. Is he a Muslim or is he a Christian who attended a resentful Reverends church for twenty years? Muslims would not conceal their faith. There’s no reason to. People need to get over the fact that President Obama is right in this regard, and quit trying to demonize him as a Muslim. There’s nothing wrong with being Muslim. There’s nothing wrong with this cultural center being built in New York, on private property, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. For those who say, he’s a Muslim, I say, who cares?
New York’s mayor Michael Bloomberg praised Obama’s statement, and even compared him to George Washington, who supported a Jewish congregation in Rhode Island. Former Republican now Independent Governor Charlie Crist from Florida, also fully supports President Obama’s stance on the Center. However, most do not believe that Bloomberg or Crist are closet Muslims. So why do people believe that of the President?
Bottom line is this. Your tax dollars are not being used to construct this Center. It is privately funded, privately owned, and privately operated. There’s more things wrong with Wal-Mart than there is with this Cultural Center.
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