Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mosques in the United States

I revive this blog because we have once again lost our way. We are suffering in many ways in this country from ignorance based fear and a serious need for revenge. Almost 10 years ago a horror was visited upon our land by a group of individuals who took the Religion of Islam and turned it into a weapon to attack innocence. But we weren't attacked by Islam and while it seemed immediately after the attacks we learned more about Islam now I fear we have forgotten. People are looking at the building of a mosque in lower Manhattan as some kind of attempt to build a trophy on the site of the destruction of the towers. I have read about horrors around the world attributed to Islam and people feeling this mosque is like giving more power to that expression of Islam. I even read one blogger that suggested that during prayer she felt that the people praying would peer out over the hole in the ground at ground zero and have an ecstatic moment she likened to orgasm. (Now let's for a minute remember that prayer rooms tend not to have windows to the outside and to face ground zero would mean almost turning their backs toward Mecca).

What I can't understand is that the fact that if we allow the mosque to be built, if it becomes a center for understanding in lower Manhattan, if we can all stand together in solidarity against fundamentalism in every flavor we would be defeating the hopes of the terrorists. They want us to give up our values, they want us to not give a stronghold to a form of Islam that is not theirs and they want us to be so afraid of Islam we are willing to give away that which is at the heart of our country, freedom. What we need is more bridges to understand Islam. I think Cordoba House could be one. Someone asked me if I can say with 100% certainty that no terrorists will worship there. I can't. But then I can't say that about Christian Church nor some synagogues I know of.

Religious freedom is what we are founded on, it sits there as the first of our Bill of Rights. Let's not give that away through fear or ignorance. We need to find a way to be the light of the world.

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