Who Really Wins?

Sarah Palin's Facebook Posts July 22 An Intolerable Mistake On Hallowed Ground (Excerpts)

Earlier today, Mayor Bloomberg responded to my comments about the planned mosque at Ground Zero by suggesting that a decision not to allow the building of a mosque at that sacred place would somehow violate American principles of tolerance and openness…Many Americans, myself included, feel it would be an intolerable and tragic mistake to allow such a project sponsored by such an individual to go forward on such hallowed ground. This is nothing close to “religious intolerance,” it’s just common decency.

- Sarah Palin

August 14 Legitimate Questions for the President

Mr. President, should they or should they not build a mosque steps away from where radical Islamists killed 3000 people? Please tell us your position. We all know that they have the right to do it, but should they? And, no, this is not above your pay grade. If those who wish to build this Ground Zero mosque are sincerely interested in encouraging positive "cross-cultural engagement" and dialogue to show a moderate and tolerant face of Islam, then why haven't they recognized that the decision to build a mosque at this particular location is doing just the opposite? Mr. President, why aren't you encouraging the mosque developers to accept Governor Paterson's generous offer of assistance in finding a new location for the mosque on state land if they move it away from Ground Zero? Why haven't they jumped at this offer? Why are they apparently so set on building a mosque steps from what you have described, in agreement with me, as "hallowed ground"? I believe these are legitimate questions to ask.

-  Sarah Palin

It wasn’t until I read this that I realized how ridiculous this Islamic Centre near Ground Zero issue has become.  Sarah Palin, among many others, has adamantly opposed the building of the Manhattan mosque to preserve the honor of the victims of 9/11. I can’t say fully understand the reasoning behind the terrorist attacks on the twin towers because no reason will ever justify that kind of massacre. Yes, the attacks demoralized Americans and furthered the understanding of, what should be considered, a peaceful religion. However, to discourage building a place to manifest the true nature of Islam only fuels the people at both radical ends.

On one side you have this ignorant “politician” and justifiably angry citizens who carry a disdain towards Muslims all together after the attack. According to Palin, who has endlessly voiced in her naïve opinion on this, “This is not an issue of religious tolerance but of common moral sense... a stab in the heart of the families of the innocent victims of those horrific attacks.”

I definitely understand the anger behind this issue. It seems outrageous to build an Islamic Center near those grounds. However, to deny a certain group of faith their right to do so infringes on the very fundamental rights we are seeking to defend against the radical terrorists. “By doing so, it is my hope that the mosque will help to bring our City even closer together and help repudiate the false and repugnant idea that the attacks of 9/11 were in any way consistent with Islam,” states Mayor Bloomberg in his speech defending the building. To go back on the principles that America most cherishes let’s the terrorists win and the victims die in vain.

And on the other side, we have people who want to build this Islamic Center despite the anger it will arouse. If after 9 years since the incident, Islam is still misunderstood and tied to justifying terrorism, then what good will this Center do now? What is the purpose of still wanting to build this mosque even though it will clearly fall into further discrimination and possibly face much vandalism? Because if it's being built to build better relations and minimize the divide between Americans and Muslims, it's failing so far. Then again, a point is to be made.  And it really has been with weeks of endless debates over this site. I think that instead of having 11 stories to exemplify Islam, they should split up the Center to manifest the good in all faiths and create a memorial to further honor the victims of 9/11.

The basic point I’m trying to make is that it is hypocritical for us to deny these citizens their right to build a place of worship on private property. Mayor Bloomberg precisely made this point when he states,

“We would betray our values and play into our enemies hands if we were to treat Muslims differently than anyone else. In fact, to cave to popular sentiment would be to hand a victory to the terrorists and we should not stand for that... We do not honor their lives by denying the very constitutional rights they died protecting..”

I avoid reading anything Sarah Palin posts on facebook because most of it is geared towards fueling hatred towards our President. A truly legitimate question to ask would be why she believes she is adequate enough to run our country. Anyway, I’m tired of seeing this on the news and coming across messages like these. It is every leaders duty to protect what we preach to others. I’m moderately surprised and glad that President Obama also stood up and defended the building of this Islamic Center in order to preserve the constitutional principle of religious freedom and equal treatment.