Diversity makes America a stronger country

What many people seem to not understand about the New York mosque is that it is not a Islamic and  Al Qaeda monument. Islam did not attack us on 9/11, rather, some very radicalized religious criminals motivated by U.S. foreign policy who happened to be Arab and Muslim.

Ground Zero is hallowed ground for all Americans who remember that dark Tuesday morning, but it in no way was a religious motivated attack. If Islam was honestly at war with the West, it would be WW3, not low intensity guerrilla warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan. The ideology of Al Qaeda, worldwide Jihad, is quite extreme even by other Muslim Jihadi standards.

The Cordoba house wants to be a conduit between non-Muslim Americans and their Muslim neighbors by being a cultural center to help non-Muslims understand Islam and Arab culture. It is not an insult to those who died in the World Trade Towers. No one is singing praises for Bin Laden and his minions.

The Imam who is heading this endeavor is a partner with our foreign service, who goes overseas and tells other Muslims about Islam in America, often mentioning that he has more freedom in America practicing Islam than he would in a Muslim country.

Muslims have been in this country even before it was country; the idea that we only will tolerate people if they are like “us” is not in the American multicultural spirit that I grew up in.

When immigrants come to America, they’re supposed to “assimilate.” As someone who has lived overseas for half of his life I know how hard this actually is, especially when you look, dress and talk differently than the locals. But it is not impossible; it just takes time, and you never forget where you came from, nor should you.

Every culture and religion adds to our American society and makes us stronger.  Yes, there are parts of Islam that the average American has no real understanding of things – like the covering of women’s hair and body, Jihad and the Prophet Mohammad’s life. This is why we need places like the Cordoba cultural center, so we can at least know their reasons behind their beliefs. 

So I ask anyone who is against the mosque near ground zero to please remember Muslims are not the enemy!