Our forefathers came to the colonies in search of religious freedom and it became a founding principle of America. As stated in the first amendment “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The current debate about a purposed Islamic center two blocks away from Ground Zero has become ridiculously out of focus. The real question here is not about sensitivity but can the government deny U.S. citizens the right to build a house of worship on private property based on their religion? According to our own Constitution they absolutely cannot. Furthermore it is obvious that the debate has too often strayed towards an anti-muslim campaign which actually hurts the U.S. With the recent wave of Islamophobia that has swept from New York to California we have in fact helped out extremist militant leaders. By marginalizing muslims in America through Them Vs. Us sentiments, we further the spread of terrorism. We create an American-Muslim population that can be easily recruited by terrorist organizations. I may only be a teenager but even I can see that it is fear that has influenced conclusions made, not facts. We must set aside the ignorant fear and allow this mosque to be built. It would stand as a symbol to all other nations that America holds to its principles of religious freedom and is therefore stronger than ever before.
A Test of Tolerance
October 11, 2010