The Ground Zero mosque is defended by Bill of Rights

By Letter to the Editor

The Bill of Rights grants us all the freedom to practice our religions. This was held dear to the founders of our great nation because of the persecution they and their ancestors suffered prior to coming to the New World. Now we threaten to take this right away from some of our citizens.

It began with the controversy over what people are calling the Muslim Community Center that is to be built 2-4 blocks away from the World Trade Center (WTC) and 9/11 memorial. Many people call this an insult to the memories of the people (including non-extremist Muslims) who died from the actions of extremists. So why build there?

A few months before the WTC first opened, a mosque called Masjid Manhattan opened. In close proximity to the WTC, it operated without problems, but in 2008, they lost their lease and were forced to move into a small basement

The new center will serve the needs of the people who have already been there for 27 years. 

New York was just the beginning. This summer, protests against the building of local mosques have been occurring around the country. If Muslims are not allowed to exercise their right to freely practice their religion, the groups behind this oppression will be fueled and grow in number and support.

I plead with you to not give support to those who would take a founding freedom of this country away from a segment of its citizens. When that occurs, we cease to be the land of opportunity and home of the free.

-Alisa Antonelli

Dubuque, Iowa

Class of 2004