08/26/10: Letters to the Editor

Throughout the large protests that have flooded the streets, televisions, newspapers, magazines, and talk shows have been signs depicting individuals who disagree with the building of the New York City mosque within two blocks of where the Twin Towers once stood as being “intolerant” of the religion of Islam. Instead of pointing fingers at each other, we need to evaluate the cultural significance of building a mosque two blocks away from the most significant event in my lifetime.

We must first understand that the vast majority of Muslims are good people that obey the laws of their country and practice their religion in a peaceful way. The number of Muslims engaging in terroristic activity is a small percentage compared to those who do not. Most Americans wouldn’t think much of it if they meet a Muslim in a social setting. Muslims come to the U. S. because of the wonderful opportunities this country has to offer, many of which come because of the affluence of Western Culture; yet the religion itself and the Arab culture have vast hatred toward Western culture.

The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have become a very touchy and upsetting portion of our culture, just like any other country has its share of touchy and upsetting events. So my question is: why build the mosque at this location if you wish to participate in American and Western culture? I believe the members of this mosque have the right to do so, but I question the manners and the respect to understand the cultural significance of this area. Would building a Japanese shrine next to Pearl Harbor be respectful and well mannered? Would building an Antebellum-South museum next to the Martin Luther Kings center be understanding of the vibrant African-American culture in Atlanta? All these things have the intention of preserving or understanding certain cultural significances, but they all lack respect and manners.

The building of this mosque is a serious statement about the Muslim culture in America. I question why Muslims living in Liberal-Democracies in the U.S. and Europe sit in silence when leaders within the religion, like Osama Bin Laden, do these horrible things in the name of their religion and their God. Why does it take a talk radio show host or writer calling them out on this for them to admit the obvious truths of their religion? The Ground-Zero mosque developers need to not only understand the cultural significance of this area, but the pain and suffering the 9/11 victim families have gone through in the name of their God and their Religion.

James Padget

Second-year MGT