There is going to come a time in the not so distant future when my children ask me about 9-11. They'll look to me to answer the hard questions about how and why something like this could happen. It won't be the first time that we have talked about why people are willing to maim and murder others for no reason other than ideological differences.
And when that day comes I want to look them in the eye and remind them that we judge people based upon what they do or what they do not do. They know that remaining silent in the face of wrongdoing can be just as bad as participating in it. That is not liberal, kumbaya, feel good clap-trap but common sense.
If you stand around while kids tease other kids you are helping to create an environment in which that kind of abuse is acceptable. It doesn't mean that should or have to like everyone either. You don't have to be friends with everyone. And just because you have the right to do something doesn't mean that you should either.
I love America for what it has given my family. I am thankful, grateful and respectful of our heritage and traditions. Those laws and traditions means that the group that wants to build the mosque at Ground Zero has the right to do so. And if I lived in a world in which everything was black and white I would say that it is the end of the discussion.
But I don't, we don't and for my children's sake I cannot stand idly by without proclaiming my opposition to this. There is no reason nor need for a mosque or any sort of religious institution to be built there. It is not because the murderers who slaughtered the innocent on that day happen to be Muslim. It is not because there is a history of Muslims trying to claim control of land by building mosques on the sites of churches and synagogues.
Let me be clear that I won't say that this is the reason for the selection of this location any more than I will say that it isn't. I don't know what the reason for it is and I don't care.
My position is that Ground Central should be open and inclusive to all groups. Keep religion out of it.
It is not because I do not like religion, consider myself to be an atheist or dislike Muslims. There are good Muslims and there are bad Muslims just as there are Jews and Christians.
Building a mosque at this location doesn't do anything but help to foster an environment in which we define ourselves based upon religious affiliation. It will be divisive and create animosity. It doesn't have to be built there. There are lots of places within Manhattan to build one, it be wise to choose one of those other locations.