4 . BEACON NEWSPAPER, August 19,2010 Supporters o f Mosque at Ground Zero are espousing invalid argument There is n o thing w rong w ith disagreem e n t a n d debate. In fact, A m e ricans love a healthy discus sion about c o n troversial issues. Such discussions often lead to a better understanding o f the final outcom es and a greater ability i f n o t to accept th e m at least to abide b y them . That is h o w a d e m o c racy works. H o w it doesn’t w o rk is for one side to adopt a straw m a n argum e n t: a false and disingenuous position that disrespects th e integrity o f th e o p ponents. Yet, that is precisely the road taken by N ew York C ity M ayor M ichael B loom b e rg and Pres ident Barack O b a m a and others w h o have lent their s u p p o rt to the construction o f a n M o sque in chafing proxim ity to G round Zero. All their caveats aside, their argum e n t is filled w ith as m u c h straw as a thousand b ails o f hay. The o p p o n e n ts o f this p lan are n o t, as Bloom b erg and O b a m a h ave pronounced w ith false indigna tion, looking to deny M u slim s the right to prac tice their religion in this country. This is n o t a First A m e n d m e n t issue, as they claim . Yesterday, today a n d tom o rrow M u slim s can follow their re ligious beliefs and practice their religion as they see fit from sea to shining sea. Just n o t a t G round Zero. O p p o n e n ts o f the m o s q u e argue, a n d rightfully so, that w h a t is n e e d e d in this case is a c o m m o n - sense approach to developm e n t that is practiced in every com m u n ity throughout this great land w ith full legal p rotection. It is called zoning. D o we consider, for exam p le, the denial o f a plan to build an X -rated bookstore near a school as a n infringem e n t upon free speech; or for that m a tter the c o n s truction o f a shoe m a n u facturing plant in a residential area as a lim it on free en terprise? C e rtainly not, because we understand that these laws take into account the legal, social and com m u n ity sensitivities o f citizens w h o also enjoy rights and privileges u n d e r the law. O u r governm e n t officials have an obligation to con sider b o th w h e n m a k ing these difficult a n d often controversial decisions. Instead, Bloom b erg and O b a m a and others have chosen to adopt a position o f m isguided righteousness that is b o th naïve a n d weak. It sub stitutes feel-good politics for the m o re difficult but m u c h -needed position o f leadership. A n d , sum m o n ing up the nam e s o f Septem b er 11 victim s and the hundreds o f thousands o f A m e rican w a rriors w h o fought, died and were injured in the w a r o f terro r since 2001 to bolster their im age o n ly a d d s insult to injury. It’s p a n d e r ing at its worst. W e have learned m u c h since terrorists, hijack ing planes and the M u slim faith, barreled into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon nine years ago. W e were roused from o u r sense o f security and naïveté by a bru tal hatred th a t was brought to o u r doorsteps. N o w is n o t the tim e let dow n o u r g u ard. Ignoring all o f th a t now and failing to u n d e r stand the reality that this M o sque will b e c o m e a victory for these villains is tantam o u n t to op e n ing the door a n d inviting them in. It m ight m ake you feel w a rm and fuzzy Mr. M ayor and Mr. President, b u t its dangerous and deadly. e v i n E a s t w o o d FAMILY STICK FIGURES AS SEEN IN... NEW YORK.. SAN FRANCISCO.. ... T E X A S . .. ... U T A H ... asr R e a d e r s ’ V o i c e s : Letters and Commentary The Beacon Newspaper invites readers to present their views, ideas and issues. Please submit letters to the editor to us at 65 Deer Park Ave., Babylon N Y 11702. 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