The hoo-ha over the effort by Muslims to build a mosque near the 9-11 memorial in Manhattan leaves me of two minds or major opinions that might seem contrary to anyone who considers me as an idealist or absolutist in any way.
As one who supports the ACLU and the principle of freedom of religion I continue to support the concept of free religious expression by individuals or groups.
The problem comes when I see such expression as linked with any effort whether insidious or blatant to advance any agenda that has the potential to encroach on the freedom or rights guaranteed me by the civil government that has legitimate power over me.
I Am aware that some of basic tenets of Islam are contrary to the theoretical freedom I desire continuing to live under in America.
Note well I specified my current freedom as theoretical rather than perfect since I Am aware that other individuals and groups already have successfully encroached on that freedom under the guise of their religious and civil liberties.
These are not Muslim but rather claim to be Christian and consider their actions and or rights just as justified by their Bibles as Muslims do under there Holy Book, the Koran.
It may be a matter of degree as to how intense the efforts or actions of Christians in general or specifically seem compared to the same for Muslims but when my rights are concerned I lump them both as dangerous to my rights when unrestrained.
Christians may not generally consider their religious practices or rights as equivalent to what some Muslims like the Taliban are rightfully accused of but in my opinion a pox on both their houses when any action I consider as detrimental to my freedom is taken or even proposed no matter who is behind the action.
I have taken issue with some of the "Conservative" Christians here on WOTL just as they have with Islamists.
I will continue to do so as long as I see the actions of those claiming the right to lord over me with their claims of moral superiority despite the Constitutional protection which specifies that I as a citizen be free of such influence.
I realize no power or right is absolute so I countenance much public expression and action by Christians that I might even consider admirable in certain circumstances.
I don't consider Muslims as criminal or dangerous to my freedom IF, and it is a very big if, they can maintain sufficient self control to respect my rights even if contrary to their Koran.
I demand the same from Christians claiming Biblical authority to advance their agendas when I see such as contravening my Civil Rights.
Unfortunately reality has demonmstrated many instances where "Christians", especially one specific sect, claiming Biblical authority have demonstrated the same psychology or logic they so rightly complain about concerning Islam.
The bottom line concerning the 9-11 memorial is that it would be a good place to show Muslims that their religion is considered by many of us to be the main reason for the 9-11 attack.
Despite any good intentions expressed by any wishing to build a mosque in the same area it would be considered an affront to those of us who rightly associate their faith in action with an effort to advance the reality of their agenda that severly clashes with an American's concept of Civil Rights.
© 2010 Albert 1 - 8/4/10