The approval by the authorities in the United States to build an Islamic cultural center at a location near the spot of the September the eleventh attacks in America resulted in a controversy that touched on the basic rights of Americans protected by the first amendment of the American constitution. The Commission for Landmark Preservation in New York approved the construction of the Islamic center just two blocks away from the site of the World Trade Center because the two buildings torn apart to give way for the construction of the Islamic center were not very distinctive landmarks in Manhattan (Aljazeera).
This decision proved to be divisive to the American public because it degenerated quickly into a national debate and a political issue. The perpetuation of lies, half-truths and truths by the opponents and the proponents of the construction of the Islamic center characterized the debate about the issue raising the tensions between the opponents and the proponents of the construction of the Islamic center. The approval of the construction of the mosque was a setback to the opponents of its construction because they equated it to the insolence of the memories of the people killed in the September eleventh attacks (McFarland).
However, for the proponents of the construction of the mosque, the decision represented a commitment by the America to respect the freedom of exercise of religion protected by the fourth amendment of constitution of the United States. Sixty eight percent of all Americans were opposed to the constriction of the mosque .A complacent and polarized media helped perpetuate some false ideas about the construction of the mosque in lower Manhattan at the height of the debate (Gladstone).
The controversy surrounding the building of the mosque did not touch on the just the human rights protected by the first amendment only. It also touched on the unique history of the ground zero as well. For example, many Americans who opposed the construction of the Islamic center yet they are supporters of freedom of religion. For The people who lost their friends and relatives in the September, the 11 attacks, their wounds were still hurting in them and they could not tolerate anything close to the site because ground zero is the only cemetery they have for their dead relatives (Gladstone).
The construction of a Muslim center close to the site represented an abomination to them because it symbolized the triumph of radical Islam in America (McFarland). This emotional dimension of opposing the construction of the mosque provides some validity in some of the arguments for the opponents of the construction of the mosque at a location near the site of the September the eleventh attacks in lower Manhattan in New York.
The first falsehood Perpetuated by the media that resulted in the explosive nature of the debate is that the Islamic center was being built at ground zero, the site of the former World Trade Center building. This was not...