As you all know, I have no opinions when it comes to politics. I stay out of it altogether, it's just better that way. Then again, maybe that isn't entirely true. Perhaps I give an opinion once in a great while, when I feel it is necessary. Alright, I admit it, I have offered my thoughts and opinions on many occasions, and this morning will be the same. I just can't help it, after hearing nonsense all weekend regarding the proposed Islamic cultural center planned for Manhattan, I can't help myself.
First of all, to the families, friends, co-workers and neighbors of those that were lost on September 11th, 2001, I can't even begin to understand what you have gone through, and continue to go through every day of your lives. You have lost something that can never be replaced. I'm truly sorry for each of your losses and hope that time can heal those wounds.
That being said, the proposed Islamic cultural center should NOT be considered a slap in their face. It should not be looked at as a victory by Muslim extremists at the foot of Ground Zero. It should also not be a political issue, not when unemployment is hovering around 15% nationwide, and when, oh yeah, there is supposed to be a separation between church and state, but that must not count in years that contain mid term elections. It seems as though people on the right are confused with where the actual cultural center will be. People on the left are scared shitless to say much of anything about it. Here are some things to keep in mind when forming your own opinion on the matter, care of yours truly.
The "Ground Zero Mosque" is neither at Ground Zero, nor simply a mosque. The proposed Islamic cultural center, which would be home to a culinary school, a 500 seat auditorium, a swimming pool and a prayer space, is actually two blocks away from Ground Zero. The building wouldn't be much different than a YMCA or a Jewish Community Center. It cannot be seen from Ground Zero, and you cannot see Ground Zero from it. It is intended to be open to the public, not just for Muslim Americans. It is planned to be in an abandoned space, formerly a Burlington Coat Factory, and would really only be seen if you went looking for it. If built, the 13 story cultural center will be, I repeat, one of hundreds of buildings within two blocks of Ground Zero. This area is densely populated and already includes a couple of mosques and less "hallowed" institutions such as strip clubs, bars and offtrack betting establishments. So, where exactly is the problem here?
The United State of America prides itself on being the land of the free. We value the Constitution. Why then, at the same time are we skipping over the very First Amendment of the Constitution? You know, the one that guarantees freedom of speech and religion. Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House of Representatives recently likened Islam to Nazism. So as to not take him out of context, his exact quote was "Nazis don't have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust Museum in Washington." First of all, this is the part of the problem right now, and a good reason for nobody in the rest of the world to like us or even take us seriously. We spend too much time saying stupid crap and starting ridiculous controversies that shouldn't even exist. Dear Newt, while it is your right to have this opinion, you make yourself sound like an idiot. We need people to start coming together, working together, and bringing this great country, the land of the free, back to where we once were, and it starts with accepting people of different races, religions and backgrounds. In the year 2010, we should be well beyond all this. I'm just saying...