Islam in the United States: Expression or Preparation?
The United States was founded on the principle of equality among men, regardless of the circumstances that attend the person’s station of life. The premise is that all men were made equal, in that the laws of the State should be applied impartially to any and all circumstances. However, a recent issue on the defiant refusal of a community to allow a local Muslim group to construct their own worship center has seemed to place a cloud of hostility in the area and a cloud of doubt on the tenets of the Constitution. The issue is also being widened from opposition of the mosque in a particular location to now embrace the possibilities that Islam is undermining the tenets of the Constitution and posing a direct threat to the American way of life and the security of the United States.
In the article of Goodstein (2010, p.1), the brewing “battle” in a Manhattan neighborhood about the planned mosque in the area has fanned fears on the possible attempt of Islamic, more particularly fundamental Islamic extremists, in using the mosques as a possible base to train and equip terrorists to launch their attacks in the United States. With the 9-11 attacks still vivid in the minds of the American public, the threat of these elements, perpetuated by some that have come allegedly from within the ranks of these radicals, has generated a great deal of fear in the United States that has resulted in the backlash of Americans rallying against mosques being built in their areas.
However, the point being argued by Goldstein is that the fears of the American public that the racism that is attending the opposition of these elements in even considering the establishment of these religious facilities in the United States is the real reason behind the refusal, and not the supposed local problems-noise, traffic and waste-that these facilities will supposedly generate.
At the center is the tenet of the United Constitution is the argument of being able to practice one’s religious beliefs without government or any hindrance, or whether the Muslims, being the targeted group, does not have that right in that the mosques are not, according to critics, religious facilities but training grounds for potential terrorists. Nevertheless, the main issue here is that racism is the driving force in the opposition, and not the farcical declaration of other mundane problems that the establishment of these facilities can create.
What is tragic here is that the main fear that Muslims intend to replace the US Constitution with Shariah law is even scoffed at even by the Muslims in the United States. In fact, there are observers that note that if Muslims were opposed to the tenets of the Constitutions, these would not even consider living in the United States and want to live in areas with strict application and enforcement of Shariah laws. In essence, the laws of the United States that respect religious freedom and equality form a significant of the foundations of the choice of many Muslims to live in the United States, and that the fear of replacing this with Shariah will work against them.
In concluding, Goldstein notes the sentiment within the Muslim community on the massive propaganda campaign against Muslims in the United States. Again, the issue is centered on the movement of people with zoning concerns ballooning to issues on invasion and massive indoctrination of Islam. The picture being painted, however, by members of the American Muslim community is one of eventual acceptance. Hopefully, the issue will strengthen the resolve to maintain the “invitation” of the US to all who wish to find freedom to discover this on American shores, and not an attitude of hostility and intolerance (Goldstein, 2010, pp. 1-2).
Goldstein, L. (2010, August 7). Across nation, mosque project meets opposition. The New York Times U.S. pp. 1-2