Editorials and Opinions

Opposing Viewpoints: The mosque at ground zero is unnecessary and draws attention

By Ashan Singh
Published: November 2010

Rather than padding an argument with the security of The Constitution’s flowery, scholarly language, take a look at the argument from a more ethical standpoint. Sure our Bill of Rights ensures our protection of religious freedom, but when it comes to a situation as such, who is counting?
The attacks on September 11, 2001, marked the worst attacks on our country since the Pearl Harbor bombings during World War II. You would think different steps would be taken regarding the aftermath of such instances, but it seems the opposition prefers to profess the first amendment to its entirety.
In reality, the matter of the construction of an Islamic Center in close proximity to Ground Zero, is one that should undoubtedly be dealt with a significantly higher degree of sensitivity. If you want to attribute your preconceived notions to party loyalty, I’d like you to keep in mind that I generally am in favor of more liberal political ideologies. With that being said, it honestly seems that the construction of the Islamic Center so close to Ground Zero seems to not be the best idea for both those affected by the attacks of September 11 who are opposed to the construction, as well as the patrons of the Islamic Center itself.
Without a doubt, there are no legal issues regarding the physical building of an Islamic Center, as a matter of fact, I’m not completely opposed to the idea- I’m just simply pointing out the negative aspects of the whole matter, which significantly outweigh the positive.
Think about it this way: not as a matter of religious freedom but rather as a matter of moral principles. Imagine a meat shop opening the middle of a city where the whole population declared themselves vegetarian. Depending on how you look at it, it’s a slap in the face to both parties. In one way the meat shop owner is saying, “Ha! We are the only store selling the food you have devoted your lives to resisting. Or, the vegetarian community of the city would laugh in the face of the meat shop owner with the knowledge that not only will their business be unsuccessful, but they would essentially be a laughing stock of the community.
While my comparison has its flaws like any other, the main components present a direct example of the issue at hand. The building of an Islamic Center in close proximity to Ground Zero could very easily be considered a slap in the face to the community working in the area around Ground Zero. By looking at it that way there is a general assumption that the entire Islamic community was behind the attacks of September 11, which is incredibly false. However, it was after all, Muslim extremists who were the perpetrators, and the construction of a mosque has only served to inflamed anti Islam sentiment in the US, ultimately hurting the vast majority of Muslims who are guilty of nothing.
The presence of an Islamic Center close to Ground Zero serves as a painful reminder to the people of New York City of a group of brainwashed men who misleadingly bore Islam on their back as the driving force behind their actions. While many acknowledge that it was NOT Islam that attacked the United States on September 11 2001, the presence of an Islamic Center still reminds the people of the community what happened that day.
With the amount of publicity that has erupted from the issue, the Islamic community of New York City is simply making a mistake by continuing the construction of the Center. With the national attention gained from the matter, the Islamic community behind the construction is asking to be a target of unwarranted acts of hatred and unnecessary notoriety. I understand that they have the right to profess their right of freedom of religion, but it would honestly work against them in the long run.
With that being said, I have absolutely nothing against any decision to build an Islamic Center in close proximity to Ground Zero. But to me, it just seems unnecessary, and not the best idea for either party: It’s unnecessarily reminding the community around New York City of the attacks of September 11, and it’s setting the Islamic Center up for needless sabotage.

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