When I was asked to be a contributor to this blog, I was very excited. On my radio show I try to focus on the things that liberals and conservatives have in common, therefore making it easier to talk about our differences. Now, I am a staunch conservative but I have the ability understand all points of view, whether I agree or not is a different story. That is why I take such issue with the mosque being built NEAR the sight of Ground Zero. Let me make it clear (To steal one of Obama's favorite lines), I know that it is not AT Ground Zero, but it is too close for comfort for an overwhelming majority of Americans.
Let's look at history. The swastika has been around for thousands of years. It has been a sacred symbol to Hinduism, Buddhism and many others. It was used by the Vikings before Hitler's grandfathers grandfather was even thought of. Around 1920 the swastika was adopted by the Nazi party and, therefore, sealed its place in history. Generations later, the symbol is still illegal in Germany even though in its infancy, the Nazi party was only about 3% of the German population. That point is key.
Flash forward to 9/11/2001. We all know what happened and how many thousands were killed. We, as average citizens, also know that the attacks were waged by "Radical" Islam and not the religion/nation as a whole. Recent estimates say that the "Radicals" only make up about 3% of the Islamic faith. Hmmm, interesting.
It has been said over and over again, and I am one of them, that we are a country that tells Wal-Mart where they can and can't build and how they will build if allowed at all. To this day there is not a Wal-Mart in Manhattan, NY but several mosques. But there is an even deeper point. When American forces took Baghdad in, I believe, 2003, they raised an American flag. There was an outcry that started with President Bush and worked its way down. We were not there to conquer, we were not a conquering nation, we were there to help the citizens of Iraq. Now, however you feel about the war, that was our stance. We were not going to fly our flag in the face of the people, but that is exactly what is happening to us now. Muslims and the Nation of Islam are flying their flag, symbolical, in the face of the victims of 9/11 and of the American People.
I feel like I am talking to my kids when I have to say "Why do I have to be the one to tell you that this is a bad idea." Why do we have to be the ones that are understanding and sympathetic. Not one person, with any brains, is saying "You Can't Worship." In fact not one person is TELLING them, Muslims, anything at all. We are asking, pleading, don't do this here. Yes, a lot of people do see Muslims, as a whole, as the ones that attacked us in NY, at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, P.A. I think that it is up to the Muslim community to make us understand that they are not. Show us some compassion and admit that this is probably not the place to plant your $100,000,000 flag. Be understanding that we, and to a greater extent New York, are still raw. We have gotten into the legalities, but there are a lot of things that are legal to do that are not right to do. I think it would go a long way in how Average Americans view Muslims if they just stepped up and said "You know, we have every right, but this is not the place or the time." If they would do this, they would hear a "Thank you" from this American and a million others like me.
Thank you for letting me have my say.