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article imageOp-Ed: Ground Zero Mosque controversy provokes blatant racism

By Bennett Kaplan     Sep 3, 2010 in World
New York - This article may be long, and it may be short, but it is going to get the point across. The "ground zero mosque controversy is disgusting, and it should be a joke to even consider it a real issue.
September 11, 2001. American Airlines flight 11, and United Airlines Flight 175 from Boston are flown into the World Trade Center by extremist Al-Qaeda members. As we near the ninth anniversary of this date, racism and arrogance are the cause of some very unnecessary trouble.
Park51, also known as the Cordoba House, or the "Ground Zero Mosque", is a $100 million planned Islamic community center.
Heres the catch. It is located within 600 feet of Ground Zero. With this, protesters have had a field day. Opponents to the Community Center claim that it would be "offensive" to the families of 9/11 victims, and that it would stand as a victory memorial to the Islam, for the 9/11 attacks.
I have two problems with the protesters reasoning. I'm going to start out with a couple of numbers. As of 2001, Al-Qaeda has between 500-1,000 members. Islam as a religion, has more than 1 billion members. As a percentage, that means less than one millionth of a percent of Muslim people are associated with the extremist terrorist group.
Too add to that, the Muslim community does not even consider these terrorists to be practicing Muslims. Thats right. The majority of the Muslim community thinks just as much as you or I that these terrorists are horrible, soulless people. These terrorists should not be associated with the rest of Islam, and that is where the misunderstanding, and for a lack of better terms, racism comes from.
People who are opposed to the idea of an Islamic community center, believe that Islam represents the 9/11 attacks, and therefore believe that it would be disrespectful to have an Islamic place of worship anywhere near Ground Zero.
The overriding factor however, is that these terrorists that committed the 9/11 atrocities, are no more Muslim than you or I.
After thinking about it, doesn't it make you ask the question: Why is an entire religion being blamed for the actions of extremists?
To even consider these people to be part of the Islamic religion would be like saying the KKK is part of Christianity.
Because its easy to point a finger towards something thats easy to blame. Its easy for people to blame the Islamic people for an attack, because the majority of terrorism originates in the middle east, and many attackers consider themselves to be Muslim, which we have already discussed is not the case.
If not for that reason, than I would have to say that it is blatant racism. To say that a peaceful people cant build a community center because of an attack that did not involve them whatsoever, would be going against the United States Constitution. Need a history lesson?
The first amendment of the United States Constitution states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Sadly however, that is the same law that permits thousands of New York City residents to continue to protest this Community Center, and if It were my guess, I would say that that nothing is going to stop these protesters from preaching there message of hate and racism.
I'm going to leave you with one thought. 50+ Muslim people died in the 9/11 attacks. To all the protesters of the community center, what would you say to the family's of these people?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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