On December 15, 1791, the First Amendment of the United States Constitution came into power. It reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
The last part does not really pertain to this post, but I wanted to post the Amendment in its entirety to try to diffuse possible beliefs that I edited it down to my liking.
Personally, I support the mosque being built in Lower Manhattan, not because I am, as some have said, “a Muslim sympathizer,” but because I believe in the First Amendment. I do not believe that the government needs to get in the way of this Islamic community center being built in Lower Manhattan. The building is currently not occupied and has not been since September 11, 2001, when the building (which then housed a Burlington Coat Factory) was severely damaged due to one jet engine falling into it.
I am a Christian, and therefore I do not believe that the way to Heaven is through the Islamic religion, but I do not believe the followers of Islam to be inherently evil as many, quite possibly a majority, of my friends and acquaintances have implied.
When you associate the attacks of September 11, 2001, with Islam, it is just like associating the Waco Siege with Christianity. The 19 cowards that attacked the United States on September 11 where not followers of mainstream Islam but rather a radicalized part of it, just as the Branch Davidians in the Waco Siege were not a part of mainstream Christianity.
Those who argue that the Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan is a “tribute to our 19 brothers’ marvelous work” are just wrong. There is no other way to say it–they’re wrong. That is not the purpose of this facility, and in fact, the purpose is just the opposite. The purpose of building the center is to open it up to the community. The plans call for multiple activity areas inside the facility, with only the top two floors being dedicated to the practice of Islam. The other areas of the facility are open to the public, no matter what your religion or creed. The purpose is to show that Islam is not a religion that believes in the destruction of America.
Those that argue that it legally should not be there need to think about it. If they’re Christians, would they want a church to be told where they can and cannot build a church? If they’re Jewish, would they want to be told where they can and cannot build a synagogue? I don’t think so. Every religion would take offense to that because of the First Amendment, which makes the infringement of religion illegal.
Some of our founding fathers came to this “New World” because they were looking for religious freedom because their faith was being oppressed in Europe. We, the United States, are now becoming the oppressor since we are calling for the government to step in and tell the Islamic leaders that they cannot build this mosque, which is just wrong.