The recent controversy over a proposed Islamic community center and mosque being built near Ground Zero continues today in a national discussion with little reason. I thought this post, complete with six questions, is a great response to those who are so fearful of Muslims exercising their right to practice their religion.

1. Since the proposed site for the Park51 worship space is 2 blocks away from Ground Zero, why do you keep calling it the “Ground Zero Mosque”?

2. What precisely is an acceptable distance from the former site of the World Trade Center for Muslims to practice their religion? (Terms like “so close” or “in the shadow of” or “steps away” are obviously subjective.)

3. Is there a difference between violent Islamic extremists and mainstream Muslims?

4. If your answer to #3 is “yes,” why is there an objection to Muslims practicing their religion in Lower Manhattan?

5. Since Muslims have been holding religious services at Park51 for over a year, should they be stopped?

6. As Park51 is private property, are you in favor of the government regulating how the space is utilized?

If you disagree with the mosque’s construction and feel like taking a shot at answering these, please comment.

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