Defiling hallowed ground |

Defiling hallowed ground

Let us be clear about the hallowed ground of ground zero. It is not the physical presence of Muslims that defiles this hallowed ground. No one prevents them from walking along the sidewalk, working on construction, selling food to the construction workers, or tries to obliterate every trace of the bodies of Muslim workers and first-responders killed there on 9/11. Only if they attempt to pray do they defile the hallowed ground of ground zero.

How defiling is a praying Muslim? We know that four city blocks is sufficient to avoid desecration – there has been a mosque four blocks from the hallowed ground of ground zero since the 1970s.

Clearly, two city blocks, even invisible from the hallowed ground of ground zero, are not protection enough. But there is a possible compromise. The community center could be built two blocks away from the hallowed ground of ground zero, without a praying area. A shuttle bus could take Muslims who wish to pray to a safe site two blocks away, at little extra difficulty, except to Muslims.

Martha Coyote

Nevada City

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