Ground Zero mosque highly contested


by Kevin Hesse
Eagle Staff

September 11. Mention this date and only one thing comes to mind: the tragic date of the biggest terrorist attack on the United States.

On that September morning, 19 terrorists hijacked four commercial airplanes and crashed them into the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon.

Now, nine years later, Muslim cultural leaders want to build a mosque only two blocks from Ground Zero. After heated debates around the nation, Muslims say it is merely a community center, but many others see this as an insult to the victims of the attacks.

The choice to build a Muslim community center only three blocks from the location of Ground Zero upset many people because of the masses who attribute the September 11 attacks to those of Muslim faith. Ultimately this controversy (and other bipartisan beliefs) has caused a schism between American citizens.

In Gainesville, Fla., Pastor Terry Jones of the Gainesville Bible Church decided to have his own methods to protest the building of the mosque.

He and the members of his church scheduled a Quran burning for the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks this year. However, on September 11, 2010, Jones was not present for the Quran burning. Instead he flew up to New York City earlier in the week to meet with Muslim cultural leaders, and the Quran burning was canceled.

Skipping out on an event like this is very common among pacifist protesters. They seem to be hypocrites.

It is obvious that Pastor Jones is a coward; he never intended to burn copies of the Quran; he only claimed he would. He is just another man who wanted to see himself on the five-o’clock news.

Some would say that Muslim Americans are facing the worst discrimination in America today.

However, asking the Muslim community to move the mosque and community center further away from Ground Zero is not too much to ask.

There appears to be a common misconception about the building of this mosque and community center: that our president is the one behind the decision to build the mosque and community center. Not so.

Building the mosque and community center was the decision of the local Muslim cultural leader, Faisal Abdul Rauf.

Obama supports the building of this mosque and community center, which is a 100 million dollar project, and is attempting to push the project forward to completion.

The problem with this is that Ground Zero, nine years later, is still an empty construction zone.

The idea of the freedom tower was developed about two years after the twin towers came down. Ground breaking was set for 2004 but was pushed back to 2006.

The protesting between Muslims and other groups has only caused tensions between the two to rise and for everything as a whole to slow down even more.

This is a New York City matter, not a national one, so the federal government (more specifically President Obama, Congress, and of course Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi) need to stay out of it. They are not making the situation any better.

The inter-faith relationship between Americans is, sadly, so fragile, and this controversy is a spark that could cause a minor situation to have a nuclear response.

The way I see it, the whole situation is hypocritical.

If our country invaded Mecca and destroyed the Kaaba, then decided to build a Christian church and community center two blocks from the ruins of the Kaaba, Muslims would be offended.

You cannot remove religion from the equation.

Faisal Abdul Rauf should know better than to decide on a site that is only two blocks from where the towers fell. Rauf has a choice to build it somewhere else; he only chose the site two blocks from Ground Zero because that is where he wanted to put it.

Attempting to do so is insulting, at best.

Building a mosque and community center two blocks from where the towers fell is disrespectful. They need to build it somewhere else in New York farther away from Ground Zero and wait until the hostilities between Muslims and other groups subside before they even think about building anything associated with Islam near the site of the tragic attacks.