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Mosque at ground zero would send right message

Days after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush went to a Washington mosque to deliver a clear and courageous message: We are not at war with Islam.

As much as the murderers who plotted and carried out the hijackings that killed 3,000 Americans tried to twist the tenets of a peaceful religion to justify their evildoing, the true followers of the faith knew better. This was not about Islam vs. the West, as much as Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda terrorists wanted to incite the passions of the Muslim world.

Bush, a born-again Christian, justly called for religious tolerance in those jittery times.

Now it is New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg who is showing grace and perspective under pressure. Bloomberg, who is Jewish, has stood tall in supporting the right of an Islamic group to build a 13-story mosque and community center near ground zero.

Some, but not all, of the relatives of Sept. 11 victims have objected to the center. A halt to the center has become a cause celebre for certain conservative broadcasters.

But, as Bloomberg noted, those attacks came from fanatics who “didn’t want us to profess our own faiths, to speak our minds, to follow our own dreams and to live our own lives.”

The construction of that mosque would symbolize the inability of those terrorists to undermine our constitutionally protected freedom of religion in this country.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/08/09/EDFG1EQC2Q.DTL&feed=rss.opinion#ixzz0w9WDP51b

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August 9, 2010 - Posted by | Muslim

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