September 11th was the ninth anniversary of the Twin Towers disaster and Ground Zero is still sore. A proposed “ mosque “ and Muslim cultural center near Ground Zero, about two blocks away, is igniting passions, and the result is extreme heat all over the country. The controversy is about more than a few angry individuals. It is about the United States’ ability to forgive a culture. Everyone seems to have an opinion and they vary from angry to calm, from illogical to well-reasoned. Everyone from politicians to blue-collar workers are shouting to be heard. With so many opinions, reaching a peaceful conclusion seems impossible.
The president, Barack Obama, seems to want to remain neutral. He hasn’t given very many statements regarding the center, and those that he did give were non-conclusive. For other politicians, however, the topic has become an election platform and a debate topic. Stating your opinion about the center has become a way to get votes or gain favor with like-minded individuals. The hot topic is keeping all levels of the government on their toes.
Regular people from all over the country have many different opinions. Some express them loudly, forming protests and writing angry letters to the editor. There are some who are under the impression that all Muslim activities are dangerous and that having gatherings of Muslims near the site of 9/11 is desecrating it. They protest that if the center is allowed there, that we are supporting terrorist behaviors. On the other side of the spectrum, people cry out that the center is protected by the first amendment. Shouting matches online, offline, and sometimes both are only adding tender to the flames.
I’ve personally formed some opinions regarding the Islamic Cultural Center. The terrorists that crashed into the Twin Towers were hateful, prejudice, extremists. By prohibiting the prayer room and center, we too would be hateful and prejudice. Children grow up thinking Muslims are evil creatures who are not at all upset for what a few extreme members of their religion did to scar a nation. If American people learned more about Islamic culture and religion, perhaps they would be more understanding. I think that America, as a country, like to think of herself as a strong world leader, but underneath that, we are just a paranoid, uninformed, mess.
I truly love living in America and believe the majority of Americans are good people, but the few that remain angry and scared are bringing the rest of us down with them. It’s true that Ground Zero is a sensitive spot, but all the protests and fights are a little much for an Islamic Culture Center and Prayer Room two blocks away from the site. Being accepting of all cultures races and religions is part of the reason America is the “Land of the Free”. Innocent Muslims are still paying for actions they did not cause, like, or participate in. A few of these Muslims gather at Ground Zero to pay homage to the many Muslim people who died in the towers when they came down. And the sooner we forgive, the sooner those people’s deaths are avenged.