The debate of whether to approve building the Cordoba House (a.k.a. ground zero mosque) or not is not a new news now but it seems it is making lot of buzz lately. Especially, that some politicians, like Sara Palin, get involved, when she tweeted against building the mosque, merely for the sake of attracting more supporters. She is after all the expected new president after the disastrous performance of Mr. Obama, according to the media.
Ground zero is the place where the September 11 terrorist attack took place. Some Americans believe building a Mosque near that place means a victory of Islam over Christian America. As of Sunday, August 8th, 2010 at 5:15 pm there are more than 30 million search result for “Ground Zero Mosque”. It is that big of an issue here.
It is very sad that some Americans think of the minaret as a symbol of hatred and define Islam as a violent religion. Unfortunately, the way American’s media, lead by FoxNews, approach their viewers about Islam is the same way banks, credit card and insurance companies approach their customer. Those companies have one thing in common; never let your customer understand your fine print policy. And that is exactly what the American media does when it comes to Islam; confusion lead by many misleading stories.
To be fair not all Americans oppose building this mosque. Actually, the city council approved building the mosque. And some Americans don’t feel offended building this mosque near ground zero. The over 30 million search result about the ground zero mosque proves that there is a huge debate not between Muslims and non-Muslims but among Americans in general.
This mosque is a 100 million dollar project called Cordoba house. The main goal of this project is not to be a place of worship rather it is intended to build bridges between Muslim Americans and their non-Muslim fellow citizens. As a Muslim I am against this project because it is not merely a mosque rather an Islamic Center that might be looked at as a monument of some sort. The interpretation of what this monument represent (for both Muslims and non-Muslims) might be vague.
Living in the US for 8 years I found that Muslim Americans spend lots of money, time and energy trying to improve their image as Muslims. Unfortunately, this made many young Muslims generation loose confidence on who they are. How self-assured kids or teenagers can be when they grow up in a community feeling that they always have to say sorry for September 11 and that they always need to assure non-Muslims their loyalty to the country they call home.
Muslim Americans are in no need for building more mosques. What they really need is to build more Islamic schools. They need to build self-confident Muslims. Muslims here spend millions of dollars building mosques but when it comes to Islamic schools they fail to donate enough money. Maybe because they think a good looking mosque is a good image for Islam but a school might be looked at as a Madrasa, which according to many Americans a Madrasa means a Taliban school that only teaches Quran and making bombs.
Many of you may say Islamic schools are not important, kids can be taught about Islam in their home. Unfortunately, this rarely happens. Islam is not something minor in our life. Islam is a way of life. To be a Muslim you need to learn about it every day and live by it every hour.
Finally, I don’t believe building an Islamic Community Center near ground zero serves any purpose other than enraging some people. Muslims not just in America but everywhere need to concentrate more on building true Muslim character not Minarets.