Religious bigotry is against this nation’s principles

  • Tue Sep 7th, 2010 8:57pm

Events in the news, both here in South Snohomish County and nationally, have left us disappointed in some of our fellow Americans.

A proposal to build an Islamic community center near Ground Zero in New York has created an uproar among critics who feel that the people behind the center are being insensitive to the memory of the 2001 terrorist attacks.

In Florida, a pastor wants to burn copies of the Quran, the Islamic holy book, on Sept. 11. The pastor is still going ahead with the planned day of burning, even after Gen. David Petraeus warned that the event could incite violence to Americans worldwide — including our troops.

And in Mountlake Terrace police were dispatched because a man stood outside a mosque, spitting at and yelling obscenities at Muslims, calling them terrorists.

Let’s get one thing straight: Although a few Muslims were behind the attacks on Sept. 11, not all Muslims are terrorists. The fact that this even needs to be said is a sign of how far the national discourse on the topic has sunk. In following that reasoning, it would follow that since a few Christians have killed abortion doctors, all Christians are murderers. And that’s simply not true.

The rising anti-Muslim rhetoric is disturbing at best and downright scary at worst. You don’t have to agree with Islam, you don’t even have to like it, but you have to respect that Muslims are free to worship in America — it’s guaranteed in the First Amendment to the Constitution.