Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Planned Muslim center in NYC tests American values

USA Today
July 21, 2010

Just the mention of the words "mosque" and "Ground Zero" in the same breath is enough to send some Americans around the bend.

And that's precisely what has happened since plans to build a Muslim community center two blocks from the World Trade Center site became public in May. Critics have launched demonstrations, protested at public hearings and called for an investigation into the finances of the center's promoters.

Among the most vehement opponents are families who lost loved ones on 9/11. Some say the center would defile sacred ground. Their anguish is almost palpable. But that doesn't make them right.

In fact, allowing the center to go forward honors the values that the terrorists sought to destroy. It also undermines al-Qaeda's attempts to convince Muslims that the United States is at war with Islam, when in fact the USA is the home of religious freedom, including freedom for peaceful Muslims to practice their faith.