The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Mosque debate overshadows issue

Viewpoint by Charles Swanigon/reporter

When investing in real estate, location is very important.

Soho Properties bought land a few blocks from where the World Trade Center attacks took place.

According to CEO and Chairman Sharif El Gamal, the site was originally intended as a condominium community.

Now, it is the location of Park 51, a $100 million 13-story glass and steel mosque better known as Cordoba House.

The location, name and backing of the mosque have raised eyebrows and blood pressures. Cordoba draws reference to the Christian city of Cordoba, Spain, that was conquered by a Muslim army.

Activist and author Faisal Abdul Rauf will head the mosque. In the past, he has drawn criticism for saying the CIA was to blame for the Sept. 11 attacks.

The fact that the mosque will be located two blocks away from the site where the attacks took place provokes some.

With that being said, it will not be the first mosque in the area. It will not even be the first mosque built in the area since Sept. 11.

Some New Yorkers believe all of lower Manhattan is “Ground Zero.” 

The owners of this site have been trying to sell it since the attacks. Originally listed for $18 million, it sold in July 2009 for $4.85 million.

Several noted Republicans such as former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin have openly opposed the building of the mosque.

President Barack Obama cites the First Amendment of the Constitution and religious tolerance as to why he will not stand in the way of construction.

Republicans have used that to attack the Democratic Party ahead of November elections where the party will fight to retain control of Congress.

I side with President Obama, who said, “Our nation’s commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable.”

However, I need further information. I want to know without a shadow of doubt that the mosque will not accept funding from or harbor Islamic extremists.

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