Ground Zero Mosque Gets Support From Obama
Speaking at a White House event to observe the holy month of Ramadan, President Obama stressed his support for a plan to build an Islamic mosque near the ground zero site of the 9/11 attacks that resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people. The ground zero mosque has met with stiff opposition with little support from the public.
The ground zero mosque is a $100 million Islamic community center that is planned to be built 2 blocks away from the site of the 9/11 attacks that were carried out by Islamic extremists.
Speaking about the ground zero mosque, President Obama indicated that Muslims have the same religious freedom rights as other Americans. “That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances…” Obama further elaborated, “This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable.”
Obama’s statement supporting the ground zero mosque dodged the question on if the ground zero mosque should be built by asserting the “right” to build the mosque.
The Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…” America has a strong history of supporting religious freedom and religious tolerance.
Does the group planning to build the ground zero mosque have the right to build a mosque near ground zero? Absolutely. However, the real question is should the ground zero mosque be built.
A recent poll shows that Americans oppose the building of the ground zero mosque. The question becomes, does the wishes of the community trump the right of others to practice their religion as they see fit.
It is easy to assert the opinion that Muslims have the right to build mosques and worship as they prefer to worship. It is also easy to assert that Muslims have the right to build a mosque anywhere that doesn’t violate local laws.
The issue of the ground zero mosque becomes complicated when the question shift from “does somebody have the right” to “should somebody exercise that right”.
What do you think?