On July 28 the Anti-Defamation League, an organization devoted to combating anti-Semitism, issued the following statement…
We regard freedom of religion as a cornerstone of the American democracy, and that freedom must include the right of all Americans – Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and other faiths – to build community centers and houses of worship.
We categorically reject appeals to bigotry on the basis of religion, and condemn those whose opposition to this proposed Islamic Center is a manifestation of such bigotry.
However, there are understandably strong passions and keen sensitivities surrounding the World Trade Center site. We are ever mindful of the tragedy which befell our nation there, the pain we all still feel – and especially the anguish of the families and friends of those who were killed on September 11, 2001.
The controversy which has emerged regarding the building of an Islamic Center at this location is counterproductive to the healing process. Therefore, under these unique circumstances, we believe the City of New York would be better served if an alternative location could be found.
In recommending that a different location be found for the Islamic Center, we are mindful that some legitimate questions have been raised about who is providing the funding to build it, and what connections, if any, its leaders might have with groups whose ideologies stand in contradiction to our shared values. These questions deserve a response, and we hope those backing the project will be transparent and forthcoming. But regardless of how they respond, the issue at stake is a broader one.
Proponents of the Islamic Center may have every right to build at this site, and may even have chosen the site to send a positive message about Islam. The bigotry some have expressed in attacking them is unfair, and wrong. But ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right. In our judgment, building an Islamic Center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain – unnecessarily – and that is not right.
The ADL’s statement cuts to the heart of the matter of the proposed construction of an Islamic Mosque near the site of the World Trade Center 9/11 disaster of 2001. That is; Muslims have every legal right (if all funding is legitimate) to build the mosque the questions is- is it right to do so? What do you think and why?
A moral decision must always include the reality of human nature; people are irrational, emotional, and sometimes violent. Most opponents of the mosque at Ground Zero understand that most US Muslims don’t side with Osama Bin Laden and Al Queda. However, most practicing Muslims in any part of the world would have no problem with Muslim domination of the United States or any other non-Muslim nation. That’s part and parcel of Islam as stated in the Quran (Koran).
Unlike the attitude of most Christians toward the Old Testament (much of it isn’t for all people for all time), Muslims hold firm to most of the Quran’s teachings-the world is composed of two houses the house of Peace (all Muslim nations) and the house of War (all non-Muslim nations).
Opponents of the Ground Zero mosque also understand the resentm
ent and sadness many Americans hold toward the radical destruction and murder caused on 9/11. Ground Zero has come to be an almost holy place, a solemn place, a place to remember, a place to heal.
Would Muslims want a Jewish synagogue or Christian church built near the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca? How would Japanese react to an Enola Gay replica erected near the Hiroshima Peace Memorial? How about a fertilizer factor built near the Oklahoma City National Memorial at the site of the 1995 bombing? In themselves none of those things are “wrong” but neither are any of them smart or sensitive to the feelings of other people.
If the proponents of the Ground Zero mosque were truly interested in showing solidarity and sensitivity to what Ground Zero signifies, they’d donate the money they’d spend on the mosque to the Ground Zero building projects. It’s that simple.