Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Mosque Near Ground Zero


It seems everyone has an opinion about the proposed mosque near ground zero.  Some say it is disrespectful of the many people who died by the hands of Muslim terrorists, while others feel that building a mosque so close to ground zero is no big deal.  After all, this is America right?

I agree, this is a free country and Muslims should be able to build a mosque wherever they chose.  However, I am left asking the question, "Why is it that the United States, a land of immigrants, hates immigrants so much?"  While I am appalled at countries like France who ban headscarves and other ethnic dress, they aren't a nation of immigrants.  Until the latter part of the 20th century, the population of many Western European countries were homogeneous.

Since colonial times, new arrivals such as the Germans in Pennsylvania to the Latin Americans and Middle Easterners today have not been welcomed.  Is it because new immigrants have a different language, customs or religion, which scares Americans or is it something deeper?  Derrick Bell, the first tenured law professor at Harvard Law School, believes that people of color and immigrants will only be treated better if there is a motive to do so.  The Civil Rights Act, which was passed in the 1960's to undermine Soviet claims of racism, seems to support this assertion.

Whatever the reason for America's intolerance of immigrants, we should strive as a nation to welcome the less fortunate, support immigration reforms, address issues that cause people to leave their homelands and for goodness sake let them build a mosque near ground zero!

2 comments:

  1. I totally agree, Theresa! I live in NYC and feel that opposition to the "Mosque near Ground Zero" is mostly based on emotion and intolerance. Some of it is also politically motivated. I have had to hold myself back from getting into arguments about it with friends and co-workers. I strongly feel that this country should stand for tolerance and religious freedom, not for fear and prejudice. Most Muslims are moderate and peaceful -- it is the few crazies who give Islam a bad name. People forget that some Muslims were also victims on 9/11/01 and many serve in the US armed forces, risking their lives to protect our freedoms. Thank you for stating an intelligent opinion on this subject.
    Lisbeth

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much Lisbeth! I am glad you enjoyed the article.

    ReplyDelete

Kind, thoughtful and intelligent comments are welcome! Debate is welcomed, but harsh, judgmental comment are not.

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