In Theory: Weighing an Islamic center near Ground Zero

July 21, 2010

Those for and against a proposed Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero butted heads during a passionate three-hour hearing of New York's Landmarks Preservation Commission last week, CNN reported. At issue is whether a more than century-old building should be preserved and made into a mosque and community center at the site where the Twin Towers once stood. What do you think? Is it appropriate to build an Islamic center and mosque on the site where the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were destroyed by Islamist hijackers on Sept. 11, 2001? If not, what should be done with the building instead?


Is it appropriate to build a mosque on the site where the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were destroyed by Islamist hijackers? It's certainly legal. This is America! I assume it's possible.

By some stretch it may even be ethical. But is it appropriate? Of course not!


What could be less appropriate than building a mosque on the ashes of the Twin Towers, where innocent men, women and children were savagely murdered at the hands of Islamic terrorists shouting, "Allah Akbar"? Could there be a greater gift to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Osama bin Laden than to erect a mosque on the very site where they committed their religious slaughter?

Understandably, many New Yorkers are resisting this effort by the Kuwaiti-born imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf, to build a mosque near Ground Zero. I join with those who argue that the Twin Towers site has become far more than just real estate in lower Manhattan. Hallowed by the blood of its victims, Ground Zero has become a symbol of America's sacrifice and resolve.

Building a mosque there, where the radical Islamic crusades became real to Americans, would be an unnecessary provocation and a finger in the eye of the families of the victims who still grieve.

I remember that day. Along with other disbelieving Americans, I watched with horror as Muslim children around the world danced in the streets and their parents gave them candy. On that day we began to question what we had been told was a "religion of peace."

Though he is not against building the mosque, Mayor Bloomberg understands the lingering pain New Yorkers feel.

"I think it's fair to say if somebody was going to try, on that property, to build a church or a synagogue, nobody would be yelling or screaming," Bloomberg said in May.

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