On the morning of September 11, 2001, 19 Islamic Terrorists hijacked four commercial airliners, and used them as weapons of mass destruction against predominantly American citizens. In lower Manhattan, two of those airliners were flown into the Twin Towers, at the World Trade Center. We are approaching the nine year anniversary of that infamous and painful day. I still remember where I was when I found out about the attacks on thousands of innocent people. Do you? The problem with America today is, we are beginning to forget that horrible day. We forget that we are at war with Islamic terrorists world wide. Our brave men and women are overseas right now defending our freedom, in memoriam to those victims of 9/11. However, recently there has been been a spike in people wanting to stand up for those lives. Unfortunately, the issue that people are taking on is a highly controversial one. Just like in every other issue this country faces, their are supporters and opponents. Both sides of the issue have high profile support. Such as Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich for the people against, and President Obama and Mayor Michael Bloomberg who support.
On Tuesday, May 25, 2010 a New York advisory Panel approved a plan for a 13 story mosque and Islamic center to be built only two blocks from Ground Zero. The people behind the project say that they are Americans who are just trying to practice their god given right of freedom of religion. And who truly wouldn’t agree with being able to practice their religion freely? Not me, that’s for sure! My only question to the developers of this project is simply this: Why does it have to be two blocks from where Islamic terrorists destroyed the lives of over 2,700 people. You have a right to build this center, there is no question about that! However, if you claim to be peaceful, why can’t you understand why the American people are so against this project. According to Rasmussen, 58% of New York voters oppose the plan to build the Mosque at this sight, while 54% of all American voters feel the same way. The developers of the 13-story Cordoba mosque two blocks from Ground Zero say the project is “about promoting integration, tolerance of difference and community cohesion through arts and culture.” Why can’t this project be completed uptown (some estimates claim there are over 30 Mosques in Manhattan alone & this area is not a heavily populated one other than for businesses)?
This issue rose dramatically from being a New York issue, to a National issue rather quickly. Most prominent politicians had decided to stay out of the debate, until this past weekend. President Obama on Friday, at an iftar ( a meal to break the fast of Ramadan) at the White House decided to tip his hat to the developers of the center. Until this time, the White House told the media that the President would rather stay out of local issues as their were much more pressing ones on the national level that he needed to continue to focus on. Why did the President decide that now was the best time to enter into this debate? In my humble opinion this wasn’t a smart move by the President whose party is largely divided on the issue and in a very tough election year. Some media outlets are portraying the issue as a campaign issue for November, while other ones (liberal outlets) have barely commented on the issue until very recently.
Unfortunately, for the Democrats this issue is just icing on the cake to some Republicans. Right now, Republicans are portraying the Democrats who support the project as being out of touch with the American people. Lucky for the President, he is not up for election in November. His party is not as lucky though. In the House of Representatives there are a total of 257 Democrats seats up for grabs, while the Republicans have 178. In the senate 19 seats are up for election for the Democrats, while 18 are up for Republicans. On the left, candidates in highly anticipated elections, such as that of Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid have distanced themselves from the President’s comments and has in fact, come out against the comments.
In conclusion, I believe the Mosque will ultimately be built. Should the Mosque be built two blocks from Ground Zero? No! Should a Shinto pavilion be built at Pearl Harbor? Or how about a Church next to Auschwitz? The building that they are trying to build over should be given landmark status due to the fact that one of the landing gears of one of the planes landed on it. It should be part of a future memorial, not part of a 13 story Islamic center. I am 100% for people being able to practice their religion freely. This is not a matter of people being able to practice their beliefs without being persecuted. This is an issue of remembering the lives of the innocent people that died that day, including the heroic first responders. Hopefully the rumors are true that the project developers are open to the idea of relocating the site. If not, like I said above the project will get completed. It will continue to outrage Americans who are against the project, and continue to separate the Democrats who are brave enough to make it an issue. Let’s hope for memorials sake we continue to cherish the lives that were lost on that dreadful day, and turn that site into a landmark! What do you think?