Martin Niemoller’s famous rant from WWII came to my mind as I listened to the debate over the so-called “Ground Zero”Mosque, as bigoted and malignant a discussion as any racist rant from the 1900s. We are not at war with Islam, or rather, most of us are not. To equate the actions of a few terrorists who were Moslem with the religion of Islam is like equating the KKK or the Nazis with Christianity. Which makes it all the more despicable when the hate-mongers such as Newt Gingrich equate the building of a community center open to people of all faiths blocks away from the “hallowed” Ground Zero with an attack on the victims and families. Over 300 American Moslems died in the World Trade Center attack.
As Jon Stewart observed on the “Daily Show”, it is like holding a religion responsible for the actions of its biggest “a-holes”. “It is not a matter of what we can do – it is a matter of should we?” Catholics can build a church next to a playground… but SHOULD they? Jews can wear a Yarmulke on Good Friday (the day they successfully killed our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ), but SHOULD they?”
The truth is that Moslems are building a Community Center with a Culinary School and Basketball courts, blocks away from the World Trade Center site, and a shorter distance to an already existing Mosque that has been in the neighborhood since before the Trade Center was even built! The Center would be open to people of all faiths. Anyone who objects to this is a simply a bigot, and we all need to speak out when they come for our fellow Americans – including Moslem Americans.