When A Mosque Is Just A Mosque
So there's this mosque proposed for a building near Ground Zero in New York City, the former Word Trade Center towers, and it has ruffled feathers of many Americans. It has even drawn comment from the highest office in the land, that of President Barack Obama.
What I can't understand is why this is national news or even fodder for presidential statement? It's a mosque, a house of worship and a center for religious study. In that respect, it's not much different than St. Paul's Episcopal Church which sits across the street from Ground Zero and served as a triage center in the minutes following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
In case you're wondering, yep, I was around on the day that Muslim extremists backed by Osama bin Laden launched the worst attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor, or even the Civil War. I remember it vividly. In my job as a reporter, I met widows and parents of people killed in the Twin Towers. My sister-in-law was supposed to be on one of the flights from Boston. I'm very close to this event.
But my proximity doesn't limit my vision; my ability to see that not every Muslim person is a freedom hater. Just like not every Catholic priest will break his vows in some way or another during his tenure.
Similarly, the proximity of a house of worship and religious study to Ground Zero shouldn't be a national issue. Are we really that xenophobic as a culture? Or is this just some of our own home-grown extremist blowhards creating an issue where there is none only to draw attention away from something else? What else? Who knows? I'm not going to offer a suggestion.Continued on the next page