Religious ignorance in this country, particularly since 9/11, is a disturbing issue for me. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the controversy of building an Islamic mosque and community center near Ground Zero.
Based on the various news broadcasts and casual conversations of educated Americans around me — including my own mother ― it seems many have forgotten the distinction between Islam, a peaceful faith that is the second, most common religion in the world, and Islamic Extremists, a network of violent terrorists.
We hate terrorists because they hate us for our way of life. Yet, American protestors hold up signs saying, “You can build a mosque on our soil when we can build a synagogue in your Mecca.” Irony, anyone? Looking at this, it would seem that religious freedom is only given to the majority. Hmm, where have I heard this before? Don’t want to own up to that little hypocrisy, do you America?
I’m a native New Yorker. I was there when the Twin Towers fell. The tragedy, trauma, and tremendous loss of life have affected me deeply. But, I refuse to let what a handful of blindingly hateful, militant monsters did to me, my loved ones and my country turn me into them. I’m not going to tell anyone what they can believe in. And I’m sure as hell not going to tell them where they can practice those beliefs.
The majority of the Ku Klux Klan are white Christians. They have brutally murdered countless men, women, and children for more than a century. But we don’t blame all white Christians for the actions of a few dregs of society, do we? Tell me, America, what is it about Islam that makes you so willing to abandon your ideals of freedom and equality? Maybe that was another provision in the Patriot Act.
Have you already forgotten what so many of our people have, and continue, to die for? Don’t you realize that you are trampling the very values that thousands of innocent people died for that very day? Opponents of the construction of the mosque have conveniently forgotten the very foundation upon which this country was built ― freedom from religious persecution. Our forefathers were so determined to prevent this type of tyranny from existing in the New World that they framed it in the Constitution.
The good ole U.S. citizens, who vehemently protest the building of the mosque, forget that freedom of religion doesn’t mean freedom for some. It means freedom for all. And I thought we we won that battle 227