22 August 2010

45-51 Park Pl

I wasn't going to write this post, and then I wasn't going to post it, but the last few days have seen such a surge of negativity that I simply can no longer remain silent.

1. They have no right!

Actually, they do. Whether it is a mosque or an Islamic Center makes absolutely no difference. They have every right to erect their building, having gone through the appropriate (city) channels and obtaining the requisite permits.

Read the actual wording of the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Forcing them to relocate, whether by injunction or through persecution, is in direct violation of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. You can't simply throw it out just because it happens to be inconvenient with regard to your own personal opinion. I suppose you could spend the rest of your life picketing in front of the building once they build it - after all, that is your right - but I do hope you'd find something a bit more productive to do with the rest of your life.

2. But Ground Zero is Hollowed Ground/The remains of my loved ones are still there!

How far is far enough? The location is already several blocks from Ground Zero. I was living on Union Square when 9/11 happened - about two miles away. I breathed in all the smoke when the winds shifted the plume northward. I remember the smoke was so thick that I couldn't see my hand if I held it out in front of me. Are my lungs also hallowed ground, too, because some partials of human flesh might have rested there?

3. Islam/Muslims are evil!

It is not the fault of Islam that 9/11 happened, and blaming all Muslims for the actions of a few psychotic extremists is not only unfair, but it also solves nothing. I almost lost my father that day. I watched, helplessly, as people jumped to their deaths. I am sorry it happened, and I grieve for those that lost loved ones that day, but I urge you to not let your personal grief infringe upon the rights of others.

The right path is not always the easy one. In fact, it rarely is. Our Constitution makes us great. Don't throw it away.

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