July 15, 2010

NYC Muslim Community Center

I'm busy with VBS this week.  (It's going great; thanks for asking!)  But a news story caught my attention that I feel compelled to write about. 

Apparently, there are plans to build a Muslim community center two blocks from "Ground Zero" in New York City, site of one of the 9/11 attacks.  Much protest has been raised about this. 

[A search for "ground zero mosque" will bring up countless websites with news about this.  Here's one; here's another.]

Well, it seems to me that one could just as easily argue against the presence of a Christian church near the site of the Oklahoma City bombing.  After all, Timothy McVeigh was a Christian.  Since he was a Christian, it's insulting to allow a Christian church to be located near the site of his terror attack.

The argument is ridiculous.  Not all Christians want to blow up buildings; Not all Muslims are terrorists.  I currently work with folks from all different religions (including Islam) on the South Coast Interfaith Council. All of them are people of peace, and work to promote peace in their community and in their world.  None of them rejoiced at the 9/11 attacks (as some protestors of the mosque have claimed).

That there are people who remain full of fear and bigotry is not surprising, but the fact that so many people are listening to their lies and believing them is troubling.  Fear will not lead to a more peaceful world.  Only getting to know one another and understand one another will accomplish that.

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