The President felt compelled to comment on the mosque developers right to build a mosque at ground zero, but said that he would not comment on the wisdom of that decision. I don’t think anyone questions the developers’ constitutional right to build the mosque 2 blocks from where the Twin Towers fell. However, many agree that the decision is provocative and disrespectful to the emotional scars that tie that area to the Muslim extremists who took down those towers and killed thousands of innocent Americans. We are clear that those building the mosque are not the same as the Islamic fanatics who commited that horrible terrorist act. The builders of the mosque do not by their Muslim faith share the name twisted, perverted vision of Islam and Jihad that terrorists use to justify their senseless acts of violence and murder. But to claim the goal of the mosque to to foster understanding and build a bridge across faiths rings hollow when the selected site has proven to cause less unity and more emotional turmoil among New Yorkers and Americans towards Islam.
So can we all agree that the mosque is legal and permitted, but nonetheless unwise?
Likewise, I don’t understand what point that this church in Florida is trying to make by burning a Koran on the anniversary of 9/11. Sure, they have the legal and constitutional right to burn the Muslim holy book. But where is the wisdom? Burning a book that is sacred to others is likewise provocative and fosters disunity. The fact that a church that is supposed to represent the love of Jesus would make a statement so antithetical to Christ’s message, is even more disgusting.
There are scars and fresh wounds between Americans and Islam because it is radical Muslims perverting their religion that have targeted America, “the great Satan”, for destruction. We should not hold non-radical Muslims accountable for the actions of those fanatics. And the majority of Muslims, who do not believe in the Jihad against America, should be the loudest voices in opposition to the perversion of their peaceful religion.
Both Muslims and non-Muslims can react in visceral, damaging and provocative ways that keep those wounds open and bleeding, or we can all practice a little bit more wisdom in the exercise of our constitutional freedom to build a mosque or burn the Koran – by not doing it.