Keep Your Religious Hatred to Yourself

I’m not terribly religious, but I’d like to offer a prayer for the lives lost nine years ago today in the attack on the World Trade Center. Everyone lost someone or something that day, and it should be remembered. And while typoattack is right when he says there’s been too much bitching and moaning, I must disagree on the point of “getting over it.” Thousands of lives were lost that day and it sparked the loss of millions more. The day holds an incredible power, especially for those of us who lost relatives, friends, and loved ones.

But unfortunately it also brought fear and hate to a country advertising freedom and peace. The so-called “Islamophobes” lump all Middle Eastern and Islamic people into one category, and while it does seem that the majority of the Middle East is against us, the fact of the matter is, the attack was carried out by one extremist sect of the Islamic religion. And I agree that it is wrong to discriminate on such grounds.

However, I think that the Cordoba House mosque should not be built near Ground Zero. Not now to say the least. Perhaps someday there will be less of a stigma around the site, but I still feel it is too soon, and, despite my above views on Islamophobia, I feel it is disrespectful to all who died that day. The American people are in a general sense too uneducated and prejudiced to realize the difference between Islam and the extremists who launched the Iraq War. If the mosque is built there it will only stimulate more hatred.

In fact, I don’t feel any religious site should be built there. It’s too controversial an issue, and there is no one solution — other than a new location — that will satisfy everyone. I’m all for religious freedom, but keep your religion out of my secular world. If religious prejudices are spewing over into the secular, there’s a problem.

The only thing I really feel should go on or around Ground Zero is a memorial, for one, because it is something that needs to be remembered. Not because we need to inspire more and ongoing hatred and fear of terrorists, but to honor the lives of the many who died just for going to work, and all those who died, and are still dying, to preserve our freedom. I suppose the erection of the “Freedom Towers” is also all right by me; at first I was relatively upset that there were plans to build a new set of towers, but when I really think about it, it’s hardly an option to leave a giant empty lot there, and at least the Freedom Towers will fill the hole in our skyline, if not the one in our hearts.

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