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New York Activist - Debating Park 51 - Research Paper Example

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Newt Gingrich commented on the issue of Park 51 saying, “Nazis don’t have a right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust Museum in Washington”. This comment found its way into an article by Timothy Garton Ash in the Guardian Newspaper. …
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New York Activist - Debating Park 51
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New York Activist - Debating Park 51

Download file to see previous pages... The significance of the first amendment to the Park 51 debate remains undeniable. The debate revolves around the construction of an Islamic Community Center on the 51 Park place in Lower Manhattan in New York. The major problem arising from this construction is its proximity to the World Trade Center site. The World Trade Center site is under construction to replace the building lost in the 9/11 terrorist attack. The Islamic extremists claimed responsibility of the 9/11 attack that killed over 2500 people. Therefore, the majority of American citizens dispute the construction of an Islamic center two blocks away from the terrorist scene. The Cordoba Initiative, responsible for the construction of the Islamic Community Center aims to create a place where all the religions interact. The 16 story building contains a 2 story prayer space open to anyone from any religion. People supporting the construction of the building argue using a constitutional point. They believe that the first amendment of the constitution allows the Muslims to construct a mosque or a community center in America. The supporters also view the community center as an avenue for healing and reconciliation after the events of 9/11. However, the opponents of the construction of the Islamic Center argue appealing to an emotional point of view. The opponents feel that the building displays insensitivity and disrespect to 9/11 victims. They think that the surrounding territory around the World Trade Center should remain a sacred place of mourning for lives lost, without the irritating presence of a mosque. The spiritual leader of the Islamic community center, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, also raises controversy. While the leader professes to be a moderate Muslim, he appears to support Muslim extremists. His protection of Muslim extremist in public on many occasions raises questions about his good intentions. Imam Rauf attended a CNN interview conducted by Soledad O’Brien. In the interview he seemed evasive on the issue of the Hamas (Butler, Grant and Randall 24). He failed to clearly state whether he thought their acts were terrorist or not. Newt Gingrich commented on the issue of Park 51 saying, “Nazis don’t have a right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust Museum in Washington”. This comment found its way into an article by Timothy Garton Ash in the Guardian Newspaper. However, the proponents of the building responded by pointing out an incident of 1977. At the time, neo-Nazis peacefully demonstrated in a holocaust survivor’s occupied neighborhood. This happened with the authorization of the United States Supreme Court respecting the constitution’s first amendment. The opinion polls in America proved that 61% of Americans and 77% of New York residents opposed the construction of a mosque on the territory next to Park 51. Proponents insist the community center, which will also have a gym, culinary school, restaurant, swimming court, basketball court, child care facilities and a library among others, affirms America is a free country that respects its constitution. Meanwhile, the opponents of Park 51 like former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani doubt the goodness of constructing the center. He speculates that the construction of Park 51 creates further divisiveness between American and Muslims. More than a half of America takes offence of the proximity of Park 51 to the World Trade Center, hence constructing it might result not in reconciliation, but in divisiveness. Other opponents of the construction like Donald Trump think the Islamic center signifies victory of the 9/11 attack. RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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