Weapons of Mosque Destruction

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After 9/11, Americans saw all Muslims as terrorists. Almost ten years later, the remaining hate is making Americans forget our founding values.

Almost three out of four Americans are against a planned mosque two blocks away from Ground Zero, according to a CNN poll. Opponents of the mosque and community center believe it should be built farther away from Ground Zero because it is not respectful of the deaths caused by radical Muslims.

Many Muslims living in New York City do not have a place to worship. According to the New York Times, the two mosques in downtown New York City turn people away because they do not have enough space. (One of the overflowing mosques is four blocks away from Ground Zero.)

Even if a mosque was not badly needed, the Constitution’s protection of the free exercise of religion allows Park51 to be built. Freedom of religion is why many people came to America anyways. The Pilgrims did not come to the New World to eat turkey and gravy with the Indians; it was to practice their religion freely.

Those who accuse the leaders of the mosque of being disrespectful to the families of victims of 9/11 need to remember that these Americans who are Muslim also have a right to practice their religion. The Constitution preserves the rights of all Americans, even when society opposes granting citizens’ rights.

The lessons of Pearl Harbor should be a guide to how to honor the victims of 9/11. However, the American response to it should be a cautionary lesson from recent history to those madly determined to take away American Muslims’ constitutional rights.

The ethnic hatred in response to Pearl Harbor caused our country to forget the rights of Americans that were of Japanese descent. The U.S. unconstitutionally put many Japanese-Americans in internment camps. Lieutenant General John L. DeWitt told Congress that they should put them in internment camps because “American citizenship does not necessarily determine loyalty.” The current religious hatred toward Muslims is frighteningly similar.

A model of how to react to hate can be seen before our nation was founded. After the Boston Massacre, colonists accused the British Redcoats of murder. However, John Adams was the only lawyer willing to defend the British because Bostonians were more interested in literally tarring and feathering the British than seeking the truth. (The trial proved that the colonists provoked the British soldiers’ musket fire.)

Adams defended the lobsterbacks because he believed society should be ruled by law not emotions. His idea of the rule of law is what is now at stake. Because if a society’s emotions decide what is right and wrong, who will defend the unpopular? If no one defends the hated, will Americans be put in our own internment camps?





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Mama Badger said...
Sept. 26, 2010 at 3:28 pm
Enjoy your good article, Jack.  It is sad and hard to believe that three out of four Americans are against this planned mosque.
 
Mountain Woman said...
Sept. 26, 2010 at 2:07 pm
Jack, I enjoyed your article. It's great to remind everyone what principles our country was founded on. 
 
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