Mountain Sun

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Monday, August 23, 2010

All Mosques are Too Close to Ground Zero

Reading Glen Greenwald's column today regarding Sunday's ugly anti-Muslim protest at the Park51 center, I was immediately reminded of an equally ugly islamophobic event that took place recently in Bridgeport, Connecticut (CT Post, August 6):

The CT Post article:

BRIDGEPORT -- About a dozen right-wing Christians, carrying placards and yelling "Islam is a lie," angrily confronted worshippers outside a Fairfield Avenue mosque Friday.

"Jesus hates Muslims," they screamed at worshippers arriving at the Masjid An-Noor mosque to prepare for the holy month of Ramadan. One protester shoved a placard at a group of young children leaving the mosque. "Murderers," he shouted.

Police arrived on the scene to separate the groups, but said no arrests were made.

Flip Benham, of Dallas, Texas, organizer of the protest, was yelling at the worshipers with a bullhorn. "This is a war in America and we are taking it to the mosques around the country," he said.

Mustafa Salahuddin, an Ansonia police officer and parishioner at the mosque, calmly watched the protesters from the mosque's parking area. "This is unfortunate, but it's a free country," he commented on the protest. "But I believe Jesus would have been appalled by this. We revere Jesus the same way they do."

The Masjid An-Noor mosque is roughly 49 straight-line miles from Manhattan.   That is about 980 city blocks.   

The ugly display on view in Bridgeport begs the question--how far from Ground Zero does a church have to be, in order that citizens be allowed to practice their religion without prejudice and interference?   How many blocks from ground zero, or Manhattan,  or New York, must they be?  Where can a mosque be safely built?  

The answer appears to be "nowhere".   In this country, all mosques are too close to Ground Zero.

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