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Letter to the editor: 'Not 9/11 sensitivity driving this uproar'



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August 25, 2010 - Dear editor,

It's not 9/11 sensitivity that's driving this uproar…

Since it is established that Muslims have the same right to build a place of worship and practice their religion as everyone else in this country, let's get on to the real issue.

Is it really about the "rightness" of building a mosque two blocks from the WTC memorial or about Islam itself? If one truly feels that building a place of prayer, an Islamic cultural education center, and a memorial to the victims of September 11, 2001 is inappropriate, let me remind readers that terrorists attacked the World Trade Centers, not Islam.

If that is not the case of Sept. 11, 2001, and Islam attacked America, I propose that we stop building churches in Lake Orion… and everywhere. After all, we have to apply the same parallel.

Churches clearly glorify the Crusades. Every time I pass one on M-24 or Clarkston, I am always reminded of the 1.5 M killed in 200 years of constant violence and warfare. Christians have the right to build churches and practice their faith, but it's a bit inappropriate to build churches near people whose ancestors came from Europe.

What's more is that the Baptist ones should definitely not be two blocks from any person who knows someone in the military. The Westboro Baptist Church military funeral protests are too terrorizing for Baptist churches to be out in our community.

Opponents to the proposed mosque site, do you see what's missing in my argument?

These ridiculous demonstrations of religious violence are the fault of religious fundamentalism, not Christianity or Islam. Forgive me for offending in my comparison, but just as Fred Phelps and his church do not speak for all Baptists, "Islamic terrorists" do not speak for Islam.

Public commentary shows how needed an Islamic cultural center and mosque are needed. Do opponents off the planned mosque know Islam outside of 9/11?

People understand religion in terms of what has been most compelling to them. Terrorist attacks are certainly enough to leave an impression of what religion can do. But denying others religious freedom cannot be better than reconciling our own faith, hope and compassion….

It's not 9/11 sensitivity that's driving this uproar.

We need to know more about Islam if we are going get past the fear that is driving this debate.

-Kyle Goodall

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