All across the nation grounds for potential mosques are being met with opposition. There is a split between those who want to simply practice their religion in a holy place and people who feel mosques are breeding grounds for terrorism.
The high profile debate over a possible mosque being built near ground zero in Manhattan, has sparked a national debate over the issue.
But are opposers taking it to far? In California in late June, local Tea Partygoers took picket signs and dogs to Friday prayers at a mosque that is seeking to build a new home for worship in a nearby vacant lot.
Prior to the possible construction of the mosque in lower Manhattan, the disconnect for mosque construction was mostly due to traffic, noise and parking. Now, for many it seems the real problem is Islam itself, especially for some Americans who feel like mosques have potential to be terrorist meeting spots.
“They quote passages from the Koran and argue that even the most Americanized Muslim secretly wants to replace the Constitution with Islamic Shariah law.”
The problem is that if the construction of mosques is halted or denied, it could be considered a direct violation of the Constitution. At the end of the day, such actions would be denying Muslims the right to religious freedom under the stereotype that “all Muslims are terrorists.” Is this the best way to uphold American democratic values?
In Manhattan, things seem to be moving forward with the support of local government officials, including Mayor Bloomberg, who recently delivered a speech on religious freedom.
Do you think Manhattan will set an example that other places in the U.S. should follow? Or will the debate continue, forcing a fight every time Islamics try to establish a new mosque?