No matter how stupid, insensitive, or self-serving we might think it is, the New Yorkers who wish to build a mosque near ground zero do have a right to build it. As I’ve said in a previous post and comment, I don’t think anyone is questioning that right although I read a lot of partisan comments saying that conservatives are trying to deny this right which they of course are not.
More recently there is a pastor in the Southeast who is making the news because he has said he was going to burn a Koran on the anniversary of 9/11. And just like the mosque, no matter how stupid, insensitive, or self-serving we think it is, the pastor who wishes to burn a Koran on the anniversary of 9/11 has every right to burn it.
In both cases, the people of our predominantly Christian believing nation affirm the rights of each party to build where they choose and burn what they choose. Our personal feelings don’t trump their rights no matter how wrong we feel it is. What a great, peaceful and tolerant nation we live in.
Yet, from around the world, the collective voice from predominantly Islamic believing nations has warned that if we let the pastor light up his Koran, there will be violence. And if we stop the mosque from being built near ground zero, there will also be violence. In our nation people have the right to freely speak and freely practice their religion, but they don’t have a right to threaten violence and harm upon others. We need to remember this as we are being cajoled into accepting Islam as if it were just another denomination to choose from; it’s not. To a Christian someone burning a bible will most likely elicit a prayer for the soul of the arsonist, whereas it seems that for a good percentage of Muslims around the world, burning a Koran will elicit a prayer for the arsonist’s death. Why is it again that Islam is referred to as the religion of peace?
It’s time to keep our mouth open on these issues before violence in the name of Islam becomes a problem within our nation. Our 1st Amendment keeps our federal government from valuing one religion over another, but we as citizens have every right to our personal views and our opinion. We have a right to speak out.