Mosque near ground zero a no go

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New York natives are scheduled to receive a new building near where the Twin Towers once stood, a building the majority does not want, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf proposed to build the Cordoba House, a 15-story Islamic community center two blocks away from the site of one of the greatest tragedies in our nation’s history. A poll of New Yorkers showed that 52 percent are opposed to the Muslim center being built in that location, while only 31 percent are in favor of it.

The Cordoba House project would contain a performing-arts center, gym, swimming pool and a mosque. The fact that there is a mosque is almost in small print.

The term “cultural” or “community” center only misleads the non-Muslim world. Let’s be clear. It’s a mosque.

According to Daisy Khan, executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement, as quoted on Newsweek’s website, “The time for a center like this has come because Islam is an American religion. We need to take the 9/11 tragedy and turn it into something very positive.”

The proposed building is having just the opposite effect on the minds of New Yorkers, though. It is adding fuel to the fires of anti-Islamic sentiment.

Many who argue for the creation of an Islamic center near ground zero cite the First Amendment as their trump card, but the constitutional right to freedom of religion is not in question here.

No one said Muslims cannot worship. In fact, there are more than 100 other mosques in New York City.

The First Amendment means that Americans have the right to worship however they choose. It does not mean they can build a place of worship wherever they choose.

In fact, there is a church whose congregation has been trying to rebuild their place of worship for the past eight years. It was destroyed in the 9/11 attacks when one of the towers fell on top of it.

According to Fox News, negotiations to rebuild the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, which once stood near the Twin Towers, were stalled last year and will not be revived, according to government officials.

While the Greek Orthodox Church will not be built near ground zero, the mosque’s progress is moving forward, despite public opposition.

Muslims have a plethora of other mosques in New York City where they can worship in fellowship. Ground zero is a very sensitive area for Americans, and Imam Rauf needs to respect this and build his “cultural center” elsewhere.

Author: Garrett Pekar

Garrett is a sophomore mass communication/journalism major from Granger, Texas. He is the opinions page editor for The Bells. Garrett is also an RA in McLane Hall as well as member of the men’s tennis team. His hobbies include spending quality time with friends and family, listening to music and playing some of his own on the guitar.

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