There is no question, that the day of September 11th will forever be a noteworthy day on the calendar. The phrase, “the day that changed our world forever” best describes all that surrounds the 9/11. So, as we take a moment to remember those that we lost on that ill-fated day nine years ago, we are also engulfed with the sensitivity issue around the future of ground zero. Yes, I’m referring to the controversial mosque that is slated to be built near ground zero.
With the debate growing day by day, so is the intensity and backlash as both sides are not content on compromising. The tension has risen to such a point that there is a growing sentiment of dislike, which is now entering discrimination.
The political (and legal) response from New York City Mayor Bloomberg and President Obama is that Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf and his proposal to build a mosque is acceptable. And quite frankly, it is. Adbudl Rauf has every right to build or transform any real estate or property he owns into a house of worship, not to mention, the freedom to practice any religion. Our Constitution protects and offers that ability and right.
However, while I understand Abdul Rauf’s legal right to freedom of religion, I agree that there is a certain height of sensitivity that is now September 11th and the area around ground zero. A grand mosque on the site is hurtful to families and victims of the tragedy. Some will go as far as saying that the mosque also causes a suspicious caution with fear that the Mosque will be a “celebration” for radical Muslims, as well as a center for radical recruitment. And to be honest, I can’t quite completely dismiss that idea.
However, when it comes to going as far as Reverend Terry Jones from Florida and his "proposal” of having a pow wow of burning Qurans – give me a break. Reverend Jones has no other agenda, divine-like or political, other than his own.
So what is the best solution to this conflict?
If the Mosque is built, there will be a revolt towards Muslims and further discrimination against people of middle eastern descent.
If the Mosque is not built, Abdul-Rauf stated the following in an interview:
"My major concern with moving it is that the headline in the Muslim world will be Islam is under attack in America, this will strengthen the radicals in the Muslim world, help their recruitment, this will put our people — our soldiers, our troops, our embassies, our citizens — under attack in the Muslim world and we have expanded and given and fueled terrorism”
Damned if you, damned if you don’t.
However, the least damaging conclusion to this situation might be the craziest option of them all – selling the property to Donald Trump. Trump offered Abdul-Rauf and his team of investors $6 million for the property, which is the price they paid for the property plus an additional 25%.
Trump admitted that purchasing the property is not a good business decision. Nonetheless, like everyone, he sees a potential explosion of human relations boiling. Trump stated:
"I don't even want this piece of real estate, but it would a way of solving a problem. Because it will end a very serious, inflammatory, and highly divisive situation that is destined, in my opinion, to only get worse."
Unfortunately, there has yet to be any type of interest from Adbul-Rauf and other principal investors.
Moving forward this situation has to be resolved. What started out as an issue of sensitivity and human concern versus legality and democracy, has now turned into one filled with anger, discrimination, and xenophobia. It is an issue that is ready to spill over. One that should be closely monitored moving forward. And most importantly, like Trump, one that needs an alternative solution.