Nation up in arms over mosque near Ground Zero

Julia Fox, Staff Writer

           There is talk of a Mosque being built just 600 feet away from where the World Trade Center once stood. It would be part of a $100 million Islamic community center two blocks away. The problem at hand is the debate on if it is right and should be allowed or not for a mosque to be built in this location.

            Here in the United States the First Amendment gives us the freedom of religion.  Therefore some may think that it is wrong to stop the Islamic community from building their place of worship. Although, many do not feel it is right to have a mosque be built so close to ground zero where terrorists killed almost 3,000 Americans.

       President Obama did not reveal whether he thinks it is a good idea to build the mosque in this location or not, but he did recognize the fact that the Muslims do have a right to practice their religion here. 

            Governor Charlie Crist agrees with President Obama. Governor Crist said that he believes the Muslims should be able to build the mosque near to ground zero and he doesn’t think that they even have the option to stop them; it is their freedom. He said, “I know there are sensitivities and I understand them. This is a place where you’re supposed to be able to practice your religion without the government telling you can’t.” (

            Student Nicole Alemán believes, “It’s not appropriate for a mosque to be built two blocks away from ground zero, but I do not think the government has the right to deny the Islamic community from doing so.

            Yet, on the other side of the fence, the argument is that the mosque is deliberately being built extremely close to ground zero and it is viewed as offensive, especially to those who lost loved ones in the September 11th attack. Many Americans are up in arms over the whole situation. The nation knows that where the World Trade Center once stood is sacred ground.

            US Senate candidate Marco Rubio says, “We are a nation founded on strong principles of religious freedom. However, we cannot be blind to the pain 9/11 caused our nation and the families of the victims. It is divisive and disrespectful to build a mosque next to the site where 3,000 innocent people were murdered at the hands of Islamic extremism. I strongly disagree with President Obama and Charlie Crist.” (

            Student Brittany DiIorio says, “I think that the Islamic community has the right to build the mosque near ground zero. However, they should not out of respect to the American lives that were lost in the terrorist attack.”

            Also in opposition to the major Islamic cultural center near the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, called the Cordoba, is Pamela Geller. Geller is the leader of a group called Stop Islamization of America. She stated, “What could be more insulting and humiliating than a monster mosque in the shadow of the World Trade Center buildings that were brought down by an Islamic jihad attack? Any decent, American, Muslim or otherwise, wouldn’t dream of such an insult. It’s a stab in eye of America.” (

               On one side of the debate stand those who cite the First Amendment as grounds for allowing the mosque to be built.  On the other side stand those who are  outraged at the thought of a mosque being built within 600 feet of where the lives of American heroes were lost at the hands of terrorists on September 11, 2001.