I'm not a fan of monotheistic (ie We're right, everyone else is wrong, and going to HELLLLLLLLL) religions, at all. I consider myself to be spiritual, highly so. But absolutely not religious. I think it's good to have beliefs. Just not to have fanatical dogma. I think it's better to put people and this life we're living now first, not some imagined hereafter.
Having said that, this is America. It's a f***ed up place, but there are at least a FEW things about it, that are supposed to be good, and something to believe in. One of those things, is the idea that people are supposed to have religious FREEDOM in the United States, without fear from persecution. Allegedly, that's one of the major reasons that the "founding fathers" and other settlers came here in the first place. Not a great deal for the Native Americans, but that's another matter entirely. The point is, that if someone wants to build a building with a mosque IN it, so what? If people were making this big of a heinous issue because someone was building a Jewish Cultural Center, open to the public, with a synagogue on the upper floor, most people would be all over how RACIST and vile that was, to protest such a thing. Muslims live in this country. They are American citizens. Many have lived here their entire lives, even for several generations. Most, I would assume, are "good Americans" (whatever that means), and more importantly, good people. Just because I don't agree with Islam, doesn't mean these people shouldn't have the same rights, and be given the same simple, decent human respect as you or I. I don't agree with Christianity or Judaism either, and this country is full to the brim with Christians. That doesn't mean I don't think they too, should be treated fairly, and equally.
That's supposed to be the whole point of America. The "Land of the Free", where everyone IS supposed to be treated fairly and equally. That obviously isn't quite how things work, but regardless, it is still an ideal that we strive for. Or should be striving for. It's an ideal worth upholding. Muslims didn't attack the World Trade Center. Terrorist, fanatical fundamentalist freaks did. That's like saying that, as Native Americans, you don't want a Christian church ANYWHERE on American soil, because the Catholic Church, and European Christians in general, wiped out millions and millions of your people, and pretty much destroyed most of your culture, and stole land your people had lived on for thousands of years. See the connection? That's an even MORE extreme example, with an even MORE legit cause.
People are blowing this s**t way out of proportion, plain and simple. They want to call "Ground Zero" sacred ground, yet there's no problem with the fact that there are several churches right in the vicinity. Nor is there any apparent problem with the fact that there are plans, if the damned thing ever gets built, for the NEW building, to have an underground shopping mall. Yeah, no better way to honor the dead, than by buying discount shoes, and going to Sabarros and Orange Julius. Please.
All this is, to be completely frank, is an attempt by the Tea baggers, and the crazy elements of "the right", to try and gain votes in November. That's it. For all the "oh, this is a sacred issue, look what they did to US" crap. It really comes down to "vote for me, I hate Muslims too" rhetoric. I'm part Lebanese myself, and while that isn't even Arab, and technically Lebanon is a Mediterranean country, it's still connected in many people's minds, to the Middle East, and as such, I have felt some of the sting over these many years, of the open hate, nastiness, and racism towards middle eastern folks in general, after 9/11. Which is sad, because I never really internalized the fact that I WAS part "middle eastern", until people started running around, openly saying s**t about "sand n******", etc. I had never thought too much about it before...growing up, I was just "American". But hearing those kinds of comments, really pissed me off, because in a way, they were talking about me. Still pisses me off.
So let people build a "Mosque" a few blocks away, and not even within eyesight of "Ground Zero". Who cares? The Fox News, Glenn Beck type hysterics that are building up in this country, quite frankly, are rather scary. This isn't a "Christian Nation", it was never meant to be, it was meant to be a nation for EVERYBODY. That's the idea. And if it ever STOPS being a nation for everybody, then the very idea of America, as it was founded, is pointless.