Ground Zero Mosque or Monument?

History is the great predictor.  To understand today, all you have to do is look at yesterday.

Do you remember where you were when the planes hit the World Trade Center? Can you still see the billowing clouds of smoke blacking out the New York skyline? Those towers, once pillars of strength and freedom, became mass graves in the space of a few minutes. Firefighters, police officers and innocent men, women and children died in a firestorm of hate. Our countrymen and women were killed at the hands of radical Muslim extremists.

Now, nine years later, it’s clear that some in America have forgotten the horror caused by these extremists. Those who have forgotten expect the rest of us to forget, as well.  We don’t show the pictures anymore; we don’t talk about those responsible for plotting and carrying out the deadly terrorist attacks; we are told we can’t be angry, rather now we are expected to blindly accept hatred for America in the name of tolerance.

Under the guise of “religious tolerance” we are now told we must allow a mosque to be built next to Ground Zero.  The media scolds those of us that disagree and tells us to be tolerant, be respectful and accepting of other religions.  Why is the same not being asked of them?  Is this really about tolerance?  

The 9/11 attacks focused on American landmarks.  The day the two planes hit the World Trade Center, that piece of land in New York City took on new meaning. It was no longer just a location in New York, but a symbol of America as powerful as the stars and stripes.

The murderous radical terrorists who took the lives of thousands of innocent Americans did so in the name of religion.  So to build a mosque celebrating that religion on the very ground they attacked understandably has many people in this country a little hot under the collar. 

If Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the cleric behind the Cordoba Initiative, wanted to act out of compassion and sensitivity, it would seem more appropriate, more tolerant, to build a memorial as a tribute to the victims of radical Muslim extremists.

The history books show, “victory mosques” have been consecrated or constructed by the Muslim community on or near locations of conquest.  In 1453, Mehmed II, the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, conquered Constantinople. One of his first acts was to convert the Hagia Sophia, a Christian Church for more than nine-hundred years, into the Ayasofya Mosque.

Additionally, the Cordoba House’s namesake is taken from the Great Mosque of Cordoba, which was built when Medieval Islamic invaders constructed a mosque on the site of a ransacked Roman Catholic Cathedral in Spain. This initiative, to build a mosque near Ground Zero, seems to many in this country to reflect history’s past.

In America, one of our greatest freedoms is our right to worship as we please.  Our nation is known for promoting liberty and freedom for everyone.  Muslims, like every other religious group, should and do have the right to build places of worship. But like other religions and cultures, they too are expected to show the same tolerance and respect being asked of those of us who feel Ground Zero is off limits.

Thousands of our sons, daughters, fathers and mothers at this very moment are stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan fighting in the deserts and rough mountain terrain the very forces that shattered our nation nine years ago.   Thirty-five American warriors from my Congressional District area have given their lives protecting us from these same radical extremists that murder in the name of religion.  It seems to me that the tolerance lesson is being preached in the wrong part of the world. 

If the true purpose of building this mosque on the site of the worst terrorist attack in our country’s history  is to promote education and understanding of the Muslim religion, then I suggest the supporters take a look at history and rather than repeat it, remember it. 

And that’s just the way it is.