by Mark Ryabtsev
On August 14, 2010, Obama.net
San Francisco - The most basic rights given to all citizens of the United States of America are spelled out the Bill of Rights of the Unites States Constitution. In the first amendment of that constitution, the right of religious freedom is explicitly spelled out. However, there are times in American history when some seem to lose sight of the first amendment and are not tolerant of others beliefs and rights.
Currently, in the New York City, one of those occurrences is taking place.
There is a plan to construct a mosque, as well as an Islamic center, close to ground zero, the sight of the September 11 attacks. Some are criticizing the plan as a disgrace to the location and as something that should never come into fruition.
However, President Barack Obama is supporting the proposal. Obama said, “Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances.”
Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City, said of Obama’s comments, “President Obama’s words tonight evoked President Washington’ own August reminder that ‘All possess alike liberty.’”
Obama also acknowledged the concerns about the construction. Obama made it clear that he has not overlooked the 9/11 attacks and understands why that event makes some uneasy about constructing a Muslim center close to where the attacks occurred.
However, Obama made it clear that to win the battle against terrorism is not to oppress those who have similarities to the terrorists from the Middle East, but to show “respect to those who are different from us.” He said that our ability to accept others regardless of religion or skin color is what sets us apart from the terrorists who are against us.
Obama in no uncertain terms said that the project should be completed. He said, “this is America and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country and will not be treated differently by their government is essential to who we are. The writ of our Founders must endure.”