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Whether it’s a mosque or community center, it should be built

Originally published September 24, 2010

Talking about politics and/or religion in a group setting is probably one of my least favorite things to do … and yet, I’m about to do both of those things right now.

I’m sure at this point most people know there are plans to build a mosque in lower Manhattan, close to where the World Trade Center buildings once stood.

But is anyone else as surprised as I am in regards to the vast amount of people who are so adamantly opposed to it?

First of all, the mosque isn’t being built on Ground Zero, or really even that close to it.

I would understand opposition to the mosque if it were being built right where the towers used to be, but that is not the case.

The location for the mosque is actually a few blocks away in a building that used to be a Burlington Coat Factory. I doubt you’d even be able to see it from Ground Zero.

Also, the mosque isn’t just going to be a mosque – it will be a large community center with basketball courts, bookstore, day care, an art school, an auditorium, a theater and even a 9/11 memorial.

It may as well be called a “community center” because that’s what it is.

I guarantee there’d be a whole lot less controversy if it was going to be called a community center instead of a mosque. This is something that everyone in the area can benefit from, regardless of their religion (or lack thereof).

Speaking of religion, does anyone realize that not all Muslims are horrible? There were a couple of terrorists who were Muslim, and they did some hijacked the Muslim faith absolutely horrible things in its name, but that is no reason to condemn an entire faith.

Similarly, building a mosque near Ground Zero would not be a “victory” for Islam (a rather weak argument I’ve seen in a few anti-mosque petitions), especially since the ideals of a few Islamic radicals do not represent the ideals for an entire nation.

From a legal standpoint, there is nothing illegal about building a mosque near Ground Zero. Absolutely nothing.

It would be built upon land that the organization already owns, and not only that, but 29 out of 30 Manhattan community board members already approved its creation.

Plus, don’t we have rights to practice whatever religion we choose in America?

Doesn’t the Constitution allow us a lot of freedoms that would have to be completely ignored and disregarded if someone were to try and stop the mosque from being built?

To quote a great article I found on, you can’t legally stop people from obeying the law.

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