By Chase Stevens ’12
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is building a community center called Park51, located two blocks away from Ground Zero, where the World Trade Center once stood in New York City, which includes an area for Muslims to pray.
Called the “Ground Zero Mosque,” there are many people that oppose this community center being built.
These people range from misinformed to racist.
In a CBS article against the imam, comments included well thought-out opinions, such as “For real typical middle east slumdog! This group must be wiped out of this planet earth. Islam is not a religion of peace, but violence!”
Another user claimed that “OF COURSE he’s gonna deny everything and try to make it all nicey nice! He wants to claim Ground Zero as his PRIZE!”
Opponents of Park51 say that building a Mosque so close to Ground Zero is offensive to the families who lost loved ones during the 9/11 attacks.
This is objectively wrong. As in, there is no logical way for this to be true.
First of all, Muslims have been praying there daily since 2009 and no one has noticed or taken offense.
Secondly, equating Muslims with terrorists is even more offensive.
Nearly all Muslims are not terrorists, and to equate a whole religion with terrorists is a racist notion.
It is the equivalent of saying that if every single Muslim is a terrorist, then every single Christian molests young kids.
Thirdly, there is a strip club closer to Ground Zero than Park51 is.
This degrades the memory of 9/11 more than an Islamic community center ever would.
Fourthly, Park51 is two blocks away from Ground Zero and cannot be seen from there. Everyone says that this is still too close, but no one says how far away it actually has to be.
Lastly, the imam is protected by something called the “First Amendment.”
Opponents of Park51 may not have heard of this, but this gives the freedom to all American citizens, including Muslims, the right to worship whichever God they want.
The government cannot impede on that right in any way, shape or form.
However, some people don’t listen to the facts and rely on their inherent racism. In a different article by CBS, when asked if Park51 would be used as a way to orchestrate more attacks the United States, one man wrote, “Do I have the facts? No. Can I rule it out? Absolutely not. And I do believe quite a few people will agree with me on this.”
Another commenter wrote that “How many more innocent lives must be lost before the West wakes up to the clear and present danger posed by Islam?”
Again, this is objectively not true. While 9/11 was a horrible attack against America, killing more than 3,000 innocent civilians, our retaliation against that has been much worse.
The Iraqi Body Count Project estimates that more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed by American troops.
People with an education above that of third grade can see that we have caused the equivalent of 33 9/11 attacks against Iraq alone.