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LETTER: Building a mosque near ground zero sends the right message

Monday, August 23, 2010 | 12:50 p.m. CDT; updated 2:28 p.m. CDT, Monday, August 23, 2010

CORRECTION: President Barack Obama said "Our capacity to show not merely tolerance, but respect toward those who are different from us – and that way of life, that quintessentially American creed, stands in stark contrast to the nihilism of those who attacked us on that September morning, and who continue to plot against us today." A previous version of this letter incorrectly quoted Obama.

We are against torture until we want to use it, we believe in fair trials until we don’t like the defendant and we practice freedom of religion until we don’t approve of the religion. It is time to look at our Constitution and the Bill of Rights and really examine the bedrock principles on which this nation was founded.

Building a mosque near “hallowed ground” says to the world that we don’t blame a whole religion for the actions of a few and that we practice what we preach. Our strength is in our acceptance and trust in our people, and we cannot give lip service to our principles and spurn them when challenged.

President Barack Obama said it best when he said that the proper way to honor the events of Sept. 11 was to apply American values. "Our capacity to show not merely tolerance, but respect toward those who are different from us – and that way of life, that quintessentially American creed, stands in stark contrast to the nihilism of those who attacked us on that September morning, and who continue to plot against us today."

We are not diminished by extending constitutional protections to people we may not like. It is the one thing that sets us apart and allows us to truly be that “shining city upon a hill."

Jane Whitesides lives in Glasgow.

 


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Comments

Ray Shapiro August 23, 2010 | 10:43 p.m.

(...we practice freedom of religion until we don’t approve of the religion.")

This is not a freedom of religion issue, this is a freedom of building issue, under a unique situation of sensitivities.
Far better for the Nation of Islam to demonstrate some understanding towards those who empathize with the victims of the September 11th attack on America.
Seems "they" themselves are unable or unwilling to empathize with anyone but their own Muslim brethren.
The balls in their court.
Should "they" want to make any "brownie points," build this house of worship as far away from Ground Zero as possible.
(May I suggest somewhere in the Mojave Desert?)

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush August 24, 2010 | 2:09 a.m.

Well said, Jane.

(Report Comment)

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