The New York Mosque
By Joao Pereira Coutinho
Most Americans do not want a mosque in that area. Period!
Translated By Perola Vieira
23 August 2010
Edited by Patricia Simoni
Brazil - Folha - Original Article (Portuguese)
Here are the facts: Nine years ago, approximately 3,000 people were massacred at the World Trade Center by Islamic fanatics. It has been nine years, and now a cultural and religious Islamic association, undeniably “moderate,” wants to build a mosque two blocks away from the attack. The United States is split in half. Worse: Most Americans do not want a mosque in that area. Period!
I followed the debate. I listened a lot. And read too. I respect, with pure reverence, the American Constitution and the freedom of worship it grants to the sons of the republic. But, with the proper salute to loyalists, I am with most Americans. The law is useless and sometimes harmful when it is insensitive to common sense.
And before you insult me or threaten with the usual emails, I reaffirm three truths: Yes, Islam is a religion of peace; yes, Muslims are not all terrorists; yes, there are extremists and fanatics in all religions. But, curiously, no one would be debating the issue if the construction plans for the area dealt with a church or a synagogue. The simple reason: Nine years ago, the dawn broke on Manhattan, not with fundamentalist Christians or Jews taking down the twin towers because of fundamentalist interpretations of the Bible or Torah.
We discuss the mosque, because — like or dislike reality — Manhattan dawned with Muslim terrorists, a tragedy for the world, no doubt, but also for the Islamic religion. Because the terrorists themselves, and not any kind of “hysterical Islamophobia," are the ones who deface Islam with the colors of death and jihad. If U.S. authorities had shown good sense from the beginning of the process, the mosque would be built in Manhattan, certainly, but never in the vicinity of Ground Zero, where the city's memory is still raw. To forget the obvious and discuss the beauty of the Constitution, as Barack Obama tried to do, is evidence of blindness or cowardice or an unfortunate combination of both.
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