“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances,” (Bill of Rights, 1st Amendment, 1789). These words represent an everlasting debate in our country and this world. People continuously talk about the first amendment gives them the right to say what they want, protest what they want, believe in whichever God they want and exercise their beliefs without consequence. So why is it that so many people in this world cannot respect the religion of others? I admit that I am somewhat of a non-believer about certain things. This is my right as an American as well as a human being. My God is nonjudgmental, accepting of all races, creeds, genders, lifestyles and life preferences. He forgives, forgets and loves unconditionally. He also respects all religions and a person’s right to worship as they choose. In light of recent news regarding a mosque being built at Ground Zero, I’ve decided to research a bit about Islam and those who devote their lives to Allah.
The word Islam translates to mean submitting to God (and his will). Sound familiar to all of you Christians out there? Both religions are monotheistic and believe in this one factor whole-heartedly and without question. The one difference is that Christians believe in Jesus Christ as their savior; Muslims believe in Muhammad as the true messenger of God. The biggest difference between the two religious figures is that Jesus is thought to be the son of God by Christians whereas Muhammad was only an average man with an above average connection to God or Allah as Muslims call him. Allah translates simply to God. Language and regional barriers seem to be the only things that keep these two religions from seeing how very similar they are. Many will argue that Muslims are overzealous in their faith causing such events as 9/11/2001. “No true Christian would ever do such a thing” is the argument heard most often. Allah no more teaches one to kill in his name than God does. The same argument can apply to Muslims. One who would do such a thing is not acting out of his faith of his God, but out of his need to prove his race or religion is better and should hold all power.
The biggest problem that erupted from 9/11 is the religious prejudice that has come to fruition, or actually grew more rampant, towards Muslims. Not every person of Islamic faith acts in such an extreme and violent manner. Look at key events in history. Adolf Hitler was a self proclaimed man of Christian faith. He killed millions of Jewish individuals because they were just that; Jewish. They looked and believed differently than he did. David Koresh, another man of Christian faith, recruited individuals, held them in a compound and convinced them he was a true man of God. His followers eventually died in that compound with him. Timothy McVeigh has admitted that the Waco incident was a motivator for him to set off a bomb in Oklahoma City. This brings Koresh’s death toll up a little higher. Because of the acts of these men, are people all over the world supposed to view all Christians as evil and the entire religion as a pseudo-faith meant to recruit individuals for mass destruction and murder?
Our president, Barrack Obama, has admitted to his Islamic faith. Anti-Obamas view him as the antichrist because of his faith. Many feel he is up to some kind of demented plan to take over the world starting with America. This is just plain crap. The argument rolls over into the newly proposed Mosque being built at Ground Zero; Obama approves of it. As part of his agreement might have to do with his faith, it has more to do with civil rights. The law does not allow him to say no to such proposals just because it’s a Muslim place of worship. The aforementioned 1st Amendment prohibits such acts by our nation’s government. Everyone has the right to practice whatever religion they so choose. You cannot judge a person based on who their God is. You cannot force your own God upon those who do not love him the way you do. Everyone is different. This is what makes this world so beautiful. What would make it even more beautiful is if people could learn to accept such differences and embrace. Learn from those who are different and help teach them about you. Show people that your way is not necessarily better; it’s just a different view. Give people, Obama included, the chance to prove themselves worthy or unworthy. Too many counted him out before he even got started.
As far as this Mosque is concerned, I do not agree with the proposed location. I feel it is more of a safety issue than it is a religious matter, though. Thousands of Americans died in 2001 in the surprise attack of the Twin Towers. God only knows how many more will be taken if this place is erected. People are pissed. They always will be. Most are looking for revenge and they will use this Mosque as their method. Take into account the number of deaths involved in 9/11; the people who died in the crash, the people who died in the pentagon, the people who died during rescue efforts and all of the soldiers who have since died avenging that day. Americans feel someone needs to pay and if this Mosque is built, they will see someone who can and will. What they do not see right now is that in the long run, this really isn’t going to help anyone feel better about losing the ones who have perished in the past nine years. The only thing we can do is honor them by never forgetting that day. Disregard your animosity towards the Muslim faith and look at the bigger picture. America is the land of opportunity, the place everyone wants to be. Do not let the ‘enemy’ win by allowing them to take this from us. Worry about what is important and keeping our citizens and visitors alive.
I guess the basic point of this is to let people know that they need to open their minds and judge people based on their actions, not their race, color, creed, or religion. When we sit back and truly look at one another, we really are not all that different. These men who bombed our country were acting on the orders of an overzealous, power seeking Muslim who used their faith in God to empower himself. Bin Laden is simply another Hitler or Koresh trying to gain power and control over a world that he views as weak. Honor the fallen by not giving him the satisfaction. Give him credit for nothing. Remain united, continue to love, and have faith in whatever God you so choose to. Love your neighbor regardless, take time to know them and what they are about, embrace the diversity of a nation, and respect the things that make us who we are.