Guest Editorial – Mosque at Ground Zero (8/31/10)
President Barack Obama makes two important points about the proposed mosque near Ground Zero:
First: "The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country...is essential to who we are."
And secondly: "Al Qaeda's cause is not Islam — it is a gross distortion of Islam."
The pervasive idea that a mosque near Ground Zero is wrong is analogous to saying that building a Christian church near the site of Oklahoma City's Alfred P. Murrah Building is wrong, because Timothy McVeigh was influenced by the Christian Identity movement - a twisted, hate-infused version of Christianity.
If we decide it's wrong to allow this building to proceed, we let fear and ignorance win. And, we haven't learned anything from 9/11.
In a way, the presence of a mosque so close to this hallowed ground makes a bold, affirming statement that we are the courageous citizens who live in this country - that grants freedom in all its glory and across such a wide spectrum.
I believe we must dig deep and rediscover what really makes us Americans. Our goals must align with authentic American patriotism and responsibility which cultivate the environment of openness that over 200 years ago our founders worked so diligently to build and foster.
I'm Kerry Isham and that's my…Point of View.