No mosque near World Trade Center site

August 06, 2010

It seems to me that the there are many persons, including the author of the editorial ("Freedom and religion," Aug.5), that have very short or convenient memories. I want to quote a section of the text: "That's just the opposite of the fanaticism and fear motivating the Sept. 11 attackers, a tiny minority of disaffected, violent extremists whose twisted views are a perversion of Islam. They no more represent the vast majority of Muslims worldwide than the Ku Klux Klan represents the worlds Christians."

Hmmmm! I can clearly remember the video coverage coming in from many Muslim countries at the time. There were thousands of persons demonstrating in the streets of major and even small cities in many Islamic countries when the attack and its results were announced. This outpouring of glee over the success of the terrible massacre of thousands of innocents still lingers in my mind. I cannot forget the images of that day. The destruction of the World Trade Center and the deaths of Americans had the effect to cause Muslims to cheer and rally in the streets sickened me and I was disgusted. I am still disgusted.

It is a travesty to imply that there is only a tiny group of Muslims that wish to harm our country and its citizens. There are thousands in the Mideast that believe that we should be attacked. Why? I wonder; could it be because we have supported Israel? Otherwise, why the large demonstrations when the terrorist attacks are successful? I find it ironic that our citizens and country seem to be hated so much by those in the Islamic world. When disaster struck via the tsunami, America answered the call once more. We were heavily involved with the tsunami relief effort and gave millions of dollars collectively to that support. The genuine support exemplified by that outreach changed little in the of their sentiment toward Americans. Many who gave to that cause demonstrated true concern and compassion for the pain of the afflicted. Did we cheer the event? No! I ask myself why try to normalize relations with those that wish us harm us? Yet, contrary to the perceptions of many persons in that part of the world we continue on that road.

That is my reason for wishing and hoping that the Islamic nations of the world, and those that cheered the ugliness of the perpetrators or those that simply gave homage to them silently in their heart, not be rewarded by allowing the construction of a large Islamic center within a few blocks of ground zero. In some future time when such an attack would be condemned by the majority and general population of the Muslim nations of the world I could be inclined to believe that there could be a reason to have an Islamic cultural center in New York City or any other venue in this country, but never on or near the hallowed ground of the World Trade Center site.

William L. Engle, Jr.

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