They may have the right, but it would just be wrong

“No Mosque here!”

That is what a group of protestors shouted during a demonstration concerning Park51, the proposed Islamic community center and mosque. It is a 13 story building that is to be built two blocks from the World Trade Center. 1000 protestors showed up as well as around 200 supporters. The building of this community center has sparked heated debate on both sides. The question is.should they build the mosque at its current proposed location?

President Obama recently stated that they had a right to build the mosque, as did the governor of New York David Paterson. Freedom of religion is one of the founding principles of this country. But having the right to do something doesn’t necessarily mean that you should do something.

During that same demonstration I mentioned earlier, an observer videotaped an incident in which an American citizen who said he was Christian, was verbally assaulted because some of the protestors in the crowd mistook him for being Muslim.

He was escorted away from the gathering for his safety and asked to leave. He felt that he was being denied his right to be there. This is the type of backlash we could potentially see if it is built at the proposed location.

This is a perfect example of why it would not be appropriate at this time. Many people still equate being Muslim with being terrorist. This is completely wrong and unfair.

An entire group should not be blamed for the actions of a group of extremists. But, as has happened in the past with other groups, they are the current people that society does not trust.

It has been less than 10 years since the 9/11 tragedy. The wounds are still fresh for many people. At this point in history it would be inappropriate to build such a place so close to Ground Zero.

That is not to say they shouldn’t be able to build the mosque somewhere else. Gov. Paterson has offered a deal to the developers to relocate the proposed mosque to a state-owned land in a different location.

Stephen Boyd-Morales is a City Times staff member

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They may have the right, but it would just be wrong