Published: August 22, 2010
From the East Coast to the West Coast, and most places between, the hot news topic has been, and, quite likely, will continue to be, “Islam/Muslims/mosque.”
Granted, it is all-too-easy to run a subject “into the ground,” to coin an old phrase.
However, given the fragile nature of this subject – Islam vs. Christianity, sincere concerns vs. radical schisms – all peppered by a few agenda-propelled, double-talk politicians viewing current approval ratings with one eye and the upcoming election with the other, every responsible American should set aside enough time to seriously ponder this matter.
Because the future of America very well could be hanging in the balance – teeter-tottering back-and-forth.
On Aug. 14, at a White House ceremony to mark the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, President Obama stated: “As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable.”
Countered U.S. Rep. Peter King, (R, New York), whose district is on Long Island: “It’s insensitive and uncaring for the Muslim community to build a mosque in the shadow of Ground Zero.”
A logical take is that President Obama and Rep. King, for the most part, speak for collective America regarding the pros and cons of this controversy.
Sure, if you want to put forth the necessary effort and really get into specifics, there are numerous case studies that support the theory that, in general, Muslims hate Americans; Muslims mistreat their women; Muslims are a legitimate threat to American security.
On the other hand, though, there are case studies that reinforce the theory that the aforementioned are applicable only to extremist Muslims, that there are law-bidding Muslims who choose to live in America, simply, to have better lives, and harbor no ill will against America.
But, again, Obama and King sum it up.
Still, some are in agreement that the proposed building of a mosque approximately “two blocks from Ground Zero,” site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, does add a new dimension of concern.
Many have asked the simple, yet oh-so-important, question: What is the real reason behind the Islamic community wanting to build a mosque so close to the spot where the 9/11 terrorist attacks took place, a God-awful moment in American history?
One side will argue that Islam is attempting to shove its practices and political prowess down America’s throat.
Another side will counter that Islam, merely, is exercising its right to Freedom of Religion.
Thus far, the wisest comment I’ve heard on this issue came via the highly popular, rock-radio show John Boy and Billy, which airs live out of Charlotte, N.C.
The guest, that particular morning, was a man who had served as mayor of Charlotte during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. (I didn’t catch his actual name. He might still be the mayor there.)
While commenting that – in an attempt to maintain as much calm as possible – as mayor of Charlotte he visited churches, synagogues, and mosques in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. He also said, essentially: Yes, legally and Constitutionally, Muslims have the right to build a mosque near Ground Zero, but it’s not the right thing to do, and they shouldn’t do it.
It’s gonna do more harm than good.
He displayed Solomon-like wisdom when he further stated: It wouldn’t have been right if Lee Harvey Oswald’s family had expressed a desire to bury him near the Grassy Knoll, would it?
You can take it from there …
Mike Vinson can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.