(UNEDITED)This is in response to the August 19th S-E editorial, "Obama is right on mosque". Freedom of religion is not the issue at all with this mosque; there are up to 100 mosques in the NY city area, with one mosque a few blocks away. The central issue is the location of this mosque close to what we consider as a memorial to the people who were murdered there. From the time of its inception, Islam has celebrated its victories by building mosques on the holy sites of the people it conquered; e.g., al-Aqsa mosque in Israel and the Cordoba mosque in Spain built over a Christian cathedral. No other site is acceptable to them because an alternative site will not symbolize the destruction of the World Trade Center as a victory for Islam.
Obama has made the case for tolerating Islam on the grounds that our religious diversity promotes religious freedom. Yet if introducing Islam promotes religious freedom, then why is there no religious freedom in the Muslim world? How many churches and synagogues are there in Mecca or in Saudi Arabia itself? Why are churches firebombed in other countries and people murdered because they are not Muslim? The only conclusion is that Muslims
demand religious freedom; yet they do not give it to people of other faiths.
Obama also has said that "... we can only achieve 'liberty and justice for all' if we live by that one rule at the heart of every great religion, including Islam- that we do unto others as we would have them do to us." However, this is not the rule at the heart of Islam. As seen many times over, the rise of Islam means the end of liberty and justice for all. To promote liberty and justice is to stand against Islamic bigotry.
Approximately 70% of Americans oppose the building of the mosque at its proposed location. It seems that ordinary Americans understand what's at stake and have more common sense than many of our current leaders, including the President.
Gerald J. Boyum