It's Not Just Ground Zero That's Hostile to Mosques
And the fights raise larger issue: Religious freedom
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2010 7:58 AM CDT
Linda Setlech yells out as groups planning a mosque and cultural center near Ground Zero spoke about plans for the center in New York, Tuesday, May 25, 2010.   (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – The ruckus over whether to build a mosque near Ground Zero is supposedly centered around the propriety of the proposal, but it's really indicative of a series of not-in-my-backyard fights ranging from not-so-hallowed grounds in Murfreesboro, Tenn., to Sheboygan, Wis., reports the New York Times. But whereas squabbles in the past might have hinged on traffic or congestion, the Times reports that "the gloves are off" and the real objection is out in the open: Islam itself.

With opponents convinced that Islam is nurturing terrorists and its adherents plotting to enact Sharia law on US soil, the debate is a fundamental one: Whether Islam is too dangerous to allow freedom of religion. "Islam is not about a religion," says one Tea Partier. "It’s a political government, and it’s 100% against our Constitution.” But for every vocal opponent comes slow but steady support. “They’re Americans, they deserve to have a place to worship just like everybody else,” says one proponent.