Mosque in NY
While in principal we cannot dictate to any group what to do with property they purchased (as long as its within zoning rights), the Muslim group in NY who have interest in building a mosque close to ground zero require some couching and good P.R.
I think we all agree that the reason we all came to America and became citizens of this great nation is for the founding fathers established in the Bill of Rights.
The First amendment talks about “Freedom of Speech, Press, Religion and Petition” for those of us who have forgotten what it says: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” What a powerful statement, the founding fathers didn’t put this amendment as the last one; no they put it as the first foundation of this nation. They also didn’t include one religious group or another but just said religion. The NRA goes up in arm supporting the second amendment (Right to keep and bear arms), we need as a nation to fight for what has been established in the Bill of Rights.
It does bother me when I hear the argument regarding building a mosque in NY and some group saying if we allow this then Saudi Arabia should allow building a church there. What is wrong with this argument? For starter you just equated yourself with a regime that was not built around the same principals as here. Second if countries had something similar to Bill of Rights then we could argue treatment of same and the rights of each group to practice religion as they see fit, but that is not the case.
Even though we know what the constitution allow us to build such a place, one must be sensitive to the community they are from, to build a bridge between the Muslim community in NY and other religions in NY (including non religious groups) the founder of this mosque needs to listen. It seems the community has spoken… no mosque. Move the mosque and prayers to another location where you can build a beautiful mosque building and use the building close to ground zero as center similar to the YMCA where everyone is welcomed to join and interact with each other in safe friendly environment. The center then can be a true bridge for community members to see that Muslims are no different than anyone else who moved to America (legally) and help in making this nation better and stronger.
I tell Imam Feisal and his congregation please consider the outcome and the wisdom of such a decision. Starting a project where your neighbors are not comfortable with cannot be a good start. Please do hire a good P.R. firm to move you in the right directions of building the bridge that you seek.