I’ve disagreed with Gazette editorials. So it is good to be able to praise the outstanding editorial (Aug. 20) supporting the Muslim center two blocks from ground zero in New York City, and also the excellent AP article featured on the first page pointing out, among other facts, that two other Muslims facilities already exist close by.
As The Gazette editorial says, terrorism is a terrible distortion of the Muslim faith and this Muslim center location is a test of our society’s bedrock principle that every religious faith deserves all of the rights enjoyed by every other.
I would add a practical point. The best way to alienate anyone is to treat them disrespectfully, as less than full citizens. For the most part, American Muslims have been an integral part of our economy and political system. This has not been the case in several Western European countries and may be one reason why some Muslim youth have lashed out in those societies. For the most part, that has not occurred in America.
Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin appear to have revealed their true colors in their blatant demagoguery on this issue. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a Jew, and President Barack Obama, a Christian, deserve credit for speaking out eloquently saying that Muslims deserve equal treatment under our law. Unfortunately, Obama weakened his position somewhat the next day.