By Sherine El-Abd
The talk about the proposed mosque/Cultural Center proposed to be built near Ground Zero has been overwhelming. As a proud practicing Moslem and as an extremely patriotic American, I am troubled by both sides of this case. Those who are against construction of this center/mosque are giving the worst and uninformed arguments because they are afraid and their fear which is justified, has caused them to bash Islam and Moslems with blanket uninformed statements. Islam is not a religion of peace, The Quran teaches its followers to kill the infidels, Moslems want the United States to follow Sharia Law, etc. To this group of people, I ask you in the gentlest way to either refrain from making these statements or if you feel the urge to comment on Islam, then please read the Quran first and make sure you have your facts straight.
To those who are angry and insist on having the mosque built near Ground Zero, I say, first of all, never forget that the criminals responsible for our nation’s nightmare are the number one enemy of both the United States and true Islam. Nobody has tarnished and smeared Islam more than them. If you are a Moslem and you love your faith, you should demand that funding sources for this mosque be revealed. As a patriotic American, you should demand the same. Regardless of where this big project is proposed for construction, we must know where the money is coming from and the source should be clean! Relocating a potential problem does not eliminate it.
Additionally, God is kind and compassionate and so should all his followers. As a kind and compassionate people, we must insist that our behavior regardless of whether it is right or wrong must never be construed as offensive to others. Needless to say, there is a large number of people who feel very strongly against having a mosque so close to Ground Zero; therefore, I ask that you be kind and compassionate and respectful of those sentiments whether you have the legal and constitutional right to do so or not. We live in the greatest country on earth because there is no country that respects individual rights, freedom and dignity more than the USA. The only way to maintain the greatness of this nation is not to abuse the rights we have.
Finally, I know that many have been critical of some of our legislatures for signing onto bills that they have not even read. They voted on the health care bill for instance without reading the bill. They were irresponsible and uninformed. Let us not be guilty of the same. I appeal to the media in particular, please do not make comments and state them as though they were facts unless you have checked your sources and are confident that your statements are accurate.
As a proud and practicing Moslem and someone who has read the Quran, I know that Islam is a religion of peace and I know that the Quran does not call non Moslems Infidels. As a matter of fact true and educated Moslems believe in the teachings of both the old and new Testaments. One of the longest, if not the longest, chapters of the Quran is titled Mary and it tells us of the Immaculate Conception, the birth of Christ and the teachings of Christ. As an equally proud and patriotic American, I am grateful for all the rights my citizenship allows me and I will always do my best to protect not only my rights but the rights of all others as well. May our mutual God Bless our nation and all of its people.
Sherine El-Abd is the NJ Federation President of the Republican Woman's Federation