The latest story to hit the news these days is about the plans that are in place to build a mosque a few blocks away from Ground Zero. I can understand the sensitivity of the issue. But, I think some people have blown it out of proportion.
The most extreme example is when Newt Gingrich made the statement that if we allow the mosque to be built near Ground Zero, it would be like allowing Nazi’s to build a center near a Holocaust museum. Wow!
Get a grip. That’s not even close. The correct comparison to make would be if we would allow Christians to build a church near a Holocaust museum.
I don’t think any Jew would have a problem with that although they would have a problem with a Nazi center. Not all Christians are Nazis even though the Nazis were technically Christian. They referred to themselves as Christian.
Not all Muslims are Taliban. Not all Muslims are terrorists. Not all Christians are Nazis. We all, every religion, have extremists who blow up abortion clinics, stone couples charged with adultery, or fly planes into buildings. But we all, every religion, also have a civil mainstream community that makes up the majority, the huge majority.
Building a mosque a few blocks away from Ground Zero is most likely not intended to offend the American people. There are quite a few Muslims who are also American. Muslims may only make up .6% of our population as per the Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook. But out of 310 million as of July 2010, that’s about 186,000 Muslims.
The most important thing you might be forgetting is that Muslims also died on that horrible day in September. Salman Hamdani was an EMT who was trying to help people as best he could. He was buried underneath the rubble and his remains were finally found. But until then, he was a suspect. He is just one example of the number of Muslims who were either in the building or on one of the flights. Salman was also a New York Police Department cadet. He was a hero even though law enforcement had him listed as a suspect because he came up missing that day.
Now, the politicians are using this issue as a way to align themselves against each other. The most pathetic concern here is how blatantly wrong they are and they keep spewing misleading information out of their mouths without any responsibility to be factual. Every day on the news and in other programming, we hear some expert offering an opinion that is drawn without knowing all sides of the story, put together with fictitious assumptions and blasted out without any regret.
We need to heal. I understand that many of our American families lost loved ones that day. But, we can’t heal as a nation if we don’t learn to embrace those people who are hurting along with us.