Ground Zero Mosque
By Mohamed Sahraoui and Jason Klaiber
Photo courtesy of Google Images
The New York Times reported that a Muslim community center will be built two blocks away from where the Twin Towers used to stand and will house a mosque, a 500-seat auditorium and a pool. This has caused a media uproar and President Obama has even gotten involved. But is it important to the students and staff at Jamesville-DeWitt High School?
"I support freedom of religion. The rule of law should be followed and not the passions of the moment," said Principal Paul Gasparini, who is also a former social studies teacher. He said that the Muslim community should be allowed to proceed and build the Islamic center. "The great thing," Mr. Gasparini said, "is that the church answers to the law with no discrimination." He said there are no guiding religions in this country. "The law doesn't answer to the church and the law cannot discriminate against the religion Islam." He added, "If it's not allowed, this issue will be a black mark on freedom of religion. However, I believe reasonable people will prevail."
Junior Stacy Salanger also believes that because of the First Amendment, "The Islamic center should be built because we Americans came here seeking religious freedom," she said. She also added that it would be racist to prevent the building of an Islamic center when there is a church right across the street from Ground Zero and a synagogue nearby. Physics teacher Patrick Ferrick said, "The thing that makes me worried is that the country itself is founded on the premise of religious freedom. We have to protect that at all costs. I think we should be bending-over backwards promoting peaceful co-existence. Unless we get rid of all Muslims, we should start getting along."
Senior Tom Wilson also agrees with Mr. Gasparini. Wilson said that the group of Muslims in New York City who want to build the Islamic center have the right to do so. However, he also said that it could be "discourteous" to people who are ignorant of the religion of Islam. He said this issue of the "Ground Zero mosque" is dividing our nation.
English teacher Joyce Hansen said that a lot of people, including average citizens, are sensitive about the subject. Mrs. Hansen said, "People in New York City are having trouble With the Islamic Center being built." Mrs. Hansen is still 100 percent in favor of the Islamic Center being built. Even though Freshman Matt Parker said the Muslim community should build the Islamic Center as long as they are going to be respectful to Ground Zero.
President Obama is under monumental pressure because of this topic. Mrs. Hansen said that he is being sensitive towards people in America and feeling the pain from the families of victims of 9/11 and doesn't want plans to move forward. Salanger likes the fact that "Pres. Barack Obama is siding with the underdogs." Sophomore Saadat Badruddin said Pres. Obama is doing an excellent job of handling the scenario and eliminating all the false thoughts and doubts about the Muslims in this world today.