Building the Mosque complex on Ground Zero is a huge opportunity for America to show the world, and especially the Muslim world, that they are an open society, with true values of freedom, respect and kindness.
Extremists use the rhetoric of hatred and the excuse of “Western domination” to perpetrate their attacks throughout the world. Global jihad nurtures itself and recruits new martyrs by claiming that the US and its allies are enemies of Islam; hence why they encourage followers to fight them anywhere in the world-even in Arab nations like Indonesia and ultraconservative Saudi Arabia.
The war in Iraq made matters worse for the “Westernphobia” feeling amongst extremists; and with the current conflict in Afghanistan, things are looking dim for allied forces in their fight against terrorism. Furthermore, a new trend has been increasing and could potentially be the new wave of terrorism: homegrown terrorism.
This new trend has been growing steadily, and with Internet becoming the new recruitment and training tool, terrorists are for sure going to take advantage of this and enlist more “jihad Jane” type of jihadists.
Building this complex, which is not only a Mosque, but also a place to play sports, learn and socialize, will have positive outcomes for the US and the Muslim world. It will become a symbol-a true symbol-that will unite Muslims with Jews (NY has more Jewish people than Israel itself); Muslim with Americans (not every Muslim preaches America’s destruction); Muslims with Christians (the center will not be an exclusive one, but rather an inclusive one); and, most importantly, it will turn Muslims against extremism by learning the values of life, America, democracy and all the aspects terrorists hate about freedom and life.
If regular Muslims feel welcomed in America and that their religion is being respected and that they are not being signaled as terrorists, this is one propaganda and rhetoric tool extremist networks will not be able to use and recruit new martyrs.
It doesn’t mean that they will cease in their fight against freedom, democracy, and human rights, but it is an important tool that they will not be able to preach on and use it to inspire future bin Laden “wannabes.”
It is true that some people still haven’t healed from the attacks of 9/11, but this center might bring, believe it or not, just that with a new beginning in the relationship between faiths around the world, and specially with the huge Muslim population that will reject al Qaeda’s philosophy. With this center, America might have its best weapon to fight extremism and show the 1.57 billion of Mohammad’s believers that the US is an ally, and not an enemy of Islam. After all, not every Muslim is member of al Qaeda.