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When Was Freedom of Religion Revoked?

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The project of a proposed mosque near ground zero has generated a lot of news and controversy as of late; arguments are flying back and forth on both sides, ranging from freedom of religion to association with terrorism. One side claims that it is an act of racism to deny the right to construct the mosque, and the other declares that the erection of the mosque is a terrorist plot, or at best, a place of assembly for the ‘malevolent’ Muslims to strike down American values.

But for me there is no debate or divide among my thoughts, and it is clear, in my view, what the intentions of those who are planning the mosque are; they wish for a place to practice their religion peacefully and to promote tolerance, especially in an area that is plagued with much Islamic hate. Although I can respect the wishes of some levelheaded protestors who would like the mosque to be built outside of the ground zero area, in respect for the tragedy of September 11th, 2001 and all of those whose lives were lost, the mounting ignorance and closed-mindedness on the opposition’s side of the argument continues to persuade me against reasoning or understanding;


“Steve Ayling, a 40-year-old Brooklyn plumber who carried his sign to a dry spot by an office building, said the people behind the mosque project are ‘the same people who took down the twin towers’ ". [1]


The meaning of this statement is loud and clear; Muslims or people of the Islamic faith are terrorists who intend to do harm to the United States and its citizens--cut-and-dry, end of story, no debate. Such an accusation is so very full of ignorance, and so clearly stereotypical, yet the deep hatred felt by many for the proposed mosque and the people behind it is perpetuated not by fact, not even by logic or reason, but by associations between Middle-Easterners and terrorist crimes.

In short, the construction of the mosque is objected because of the country from which the project-goers are from and the religion they practice. As far as I have heard, in the United States we still retain the freedom to practice whatever religion we wish; and yet astoundingly, two thirds of the population of New York opposes the construction out of this mosque, out of a hate that is generated by fear. [1]

Recently there has also been a new development in the attack on the Islamic religion. A Florida reverend, Mr. Terry Jones, has planned the burning of Qurans, the Islamic holy book, on the anniversary of September 11th. Jones claims that he hopes through this act he will send a message of remembrance to “those who were murdered and killed at 9/11”, and that although Muslims are free to worship and practice their religion in the United States, they still must honor and respect the United States’ constitution. [2]

But burning a Quran does not accomplish either of these goals. In my mind, Terry Jones is clearly quite an imbecile, or a terrible liar with other intentions. Claiming to want to send a message that the United State’s constitution is to be respected and honored by burning a religion’s holy book is utterly hypocritical, counterproductive, and frankly, a completely idiotic plan; trying to teach respect through disrespecting; trying to teach honor with an act of insolence and contempt. There is no logic behind Terry Jone’s plan, nor the thought of consequences, or even whether it is civil to go around burning a book worshiped by an entire people.


Intolerance and ignorance are a spreading issue which must be halted. Logic, reason, and pure commonsense must be restored.

[1] http://www.aolnews.com/nation/article/new-york-city-mosque-rallies-over-mosque-near-ground-zero-get-heated/19603484
[2] http://www.aolnews.com/surge-desk/article/gen-petraeus-florida-quran-burning-will-endanger-us-troops/19622613?icid=main%7Cmain%7Cdl1%7Csec1_lnk1%7C168787





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Thesilentraven This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 13, 2010 at 7:42 pm
I'm so glad that you hold these beliefs; they are very wise. I can understand halting the building of the mosque at Ground Zero (though I'm all for it being built there), but burning the Quran is outrageous. Thanks for writing this.
 
zekephoto replied...
Sept. 14, 2010 at 12:13 am
I appreciate it. It is nice to hear that others hold a similar opinion to mine.
 
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