The First Amendment of the United States Constitution states the following: “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.”
Now, let’s focus on the section that pertains to religion. Again, it states Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Okay, let’s bring it home by examining what shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise thereof means. Call me stupid, but I believe that basically means Americans have the right to practice whatever faith they want whenever they want. Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, not in “Gotham City”.
A large number of New York City residents, particularly the families and loved ones of 9/11 victims, have expressed extreme outrage over the fact that city officials are considering building an Islamic cultural center, which will include a makeshift mosque, near Ground Zero. They’ve made it abundantly clear, to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and numerous city officials, that the center and praying section have no place near what the grieving families consider sacred ground.
I totally understand the frustration and rage of those that vehemently oppose the plan. These people have lost husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and a host of loved ones in the most horrific way. September 11 will forever remain one of the most tragic and gut-wrenching periods in not just New York City history, but in American history.
The anger and fear has now spread to different sections of the country. Perhaps the fear is predicated on the notion that if anything resembling a mosque is erected near Ground Zero, it won’t be long before other sacred sites all across America will have cultural centers and mosques in close proximity. Thus, leading many ignorant Americans to believe the country is somehow turning into the United States of Islam. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
You want the hardcore, raw and uncensored truth, folks? Here it is. The cultural center has every right to be built near Ground Zero because the religion of Islam didn’t bring down the Twin Towers. Islamic extremists brought them down! There’s a huge difference. Moreover, Muslim employees were also crushed to death when the towers fell. Sadly, the growing opposition and rage over the proposed dwelling has caused many to lose sight of these two crucial facts.
Here’s another fact. Many areas near Ground Zero are sprinkled with sidewalk merchants and carts that sell Halal food. The merchants and cooks are of Muslim decent and serve hundreds, if not thousands, of Americans on a daily basis. We buy their trinkets, handbags and chicken with rice and white sauce dishes with a smile. It makes no sense for so many to fiercely oppose a proposed mosque when millions of Americans embrace and conduct business with Muslims in and around Ground Zero annually.
Allow me to take this commentary to the extreme. What if a group of Jewish extremists took control of the planes, in order to protest overwhelming U.S. sentiment in favor of the Palestinian people’s right to exist and control large sections of Israel, and smashed them into the World Trade Center towers? Do you think the outcry against a proposed synagogue near Ground Zero would be as strong? I don’t think so.
Setting aside the conspiracy theories of “Info Wars” talk show host Alex Jones (http:www.infowars.com) and the 9/11 Truth Movement, I have no problem admitting that I have great compassion for those seeking some form of closure regarding the events of 9/11. However, in all fairness, and in defense of the Constitution of the United States of America, the families and others should stand down, quell the anger and resentment, and respect the mandates set forth centuries ago by our Founding Fathers. Most importantly, they should look deep within and ask the hard question: Should we hold Islam or hate-filled radicals responsible for taking our loved ones away?
This commentary is from the heart and......From The G-Man.
Photo source: Agência Brasil by Antonio Melina/ABr.
Author: Antonio Melina/ABr