Photo by Kristen BonsOn Monday night, members of a Community Board in New York City voted 29-1 in support of the construction of an Islamic mosque at Ground Zero. The Manhattan project plans to open its doors on September 11, 2011, the 10-year anniversary of the deaths of 2,996 people in the name of Islam.
Frankly, I can't think of anything better than building a place of worship for the religion responsible for every single terrorist attack on America in recent history. Wait, maybe I can. How about not building it?
Islam is not cool. I'm all about free choice, so I have no problem with people choosing to believe whatever they want to believe. If someone wants to be part of a community that oppresses women and encourages violence, then they are welcome to join it. I just hope they never change their minds, because the penalty for leaving Islam is death.
Reconcile that with the peaceful image the group tries to project, all while advocating brutality to women to keep them in line. This is a religion that sees absolutely nothing wrong with locking a teenage girl in a closet for four months because she sat and ate her lunch with a boy.
Muslim supporters and supporters of Muslims claim that the building will be a symbol and show that Muslims are invested in rebuilding lower Manhattan. I say it's a sign of disrespect to the men, women, and children that lost their lives when the World Trade Center towers were knocked down in the name of Allah. I'm talking serious nose-in-the-dirt-and-spit-on-your-face kind of disrespect here.
The leaders of this project claim to be peaceful, yet they insist on building a controversial building on practically sacred ground. Those two things don't reconcile each other.
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the man in charge of the project, denies that Muslims were responsible for 9/11, instead blaming America itself for the attack on civilians. He's also intent on the US letting religions judge their members with their own laws, rather than American laws. By the way, this would make stoning legal in Islamic communities.
Why the building of this mosque is even being debated is beyond me. While I don't believe that our government should outlaw Islam any more than I think it should outlaw Nazism, we have to stop romanticizing it. Both are incredibly oppressive regimes with brutal beliefs.
I doubt anyone would try to build a center for the Nazi community to worship and say it's ok; we're the good Nazis.
(Editor's Note: For another point of view, read An Islamic Mosque at Ground Zero ... Not Quite)