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The Ground Zero Mosque Debate, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 421

Essay

The debate over the building of the mosque and community center in a location near to ground zero in New York created a hot debate topic in America and around the world. The builders of the proposed mosque/community center wish for it to be a means of healing the rift that has occurred between America and the western world. On the other side, there is the feeling that building a monument reflective of the Muslim world at the place where the World Trade Center towers once stood is offensive. At the core of this debate is the tender emotional issue  that the Muslims feel they, as a group, are victim of the supposed actions of a fringe group while many Americans feel that ground zero is sacred territory where Muslims, at least for now, should not tread.

Fox News presented the two sides of this issue in a live debate on August 10, 2010. On the Muslim side endorsing the Mosque was Nihad Awad, Executive Director of Council on American/Islamic Relations (CARE) and Tim Brown, former fire fighter and first responder to the Towers on 9-11 took the side of the opposition. When asked why choose this particular spot for building the mosque, Awad answered, “Why not? Religious freedom is granted to everybody in America (Fox News, 2010).” He argues that even though across the world Muslims have been condemning the acts of 9-11 and the terrorists, there is still the unfair and unfounded association of the Islamic faith with terrorism and in particular 9-11. Mr. Brown responds with the argument that it is an act that is insensitive to the families who lost loved ones on 9-11 to have a Muslim community center built 600 feet from ground zero.

In the end, Awad makes the justified point that the Constitution of the United States guarantees freedom of religion to all Americans. Denying the rights of Muslim Americans to build a church is a direct violation of the Constitution. While issue at first looks like simply an emotional one, at its core it is a matter of constitutional rights. While there is the feeling among opponents that building the community center so close to ground zero is insensitive, it ultimately comes down to whether or not we value freedom and will stand by the constitution or condone censorship and will deny others the freedom to worship when, where and how they choose.

Resources

Fox News (August 10, 2010) “Tim Brown and Nihad Awad Debate the Ground Zero Mosque” Web. Retrieved 26 October, 2010 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RadJ9-BxVNQ

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