Sunday, August 22, 2010

The American way: tolerance for diversity

The American way: tolerance for diversity

Posted: August 22, 2010
The Indianapolis Star
Letter to the Editor

The rancor over a building project in lower Manhattan is troubling on many levels. It seems nonsensical that the Cordoba House, which has met all city requirements and has received all necessary permits, should be prevented from building on property it has owned for years. There's nothing sacred about a former Burlington Coat Factory.

Sure, the project will be a Muslim community center, and it's a couple of blocks from the World Trade Center, largest of the Sept. 11 attack sites. However, the United States is not at war with Islam.

Al-Qaida masterminded the 9/11 attacks, not Cordoba House. A mosque is just part of a planned community center. In any case, what's wrong with organized prayer at that location?

We in the Nationalities Council of Indiana know that our state is a better place because of "the sheer creative energy that comes when you mix all our diverse people and cultures together," as Thomas L. Friedman noted in The New York Times recently.

Indy's International Festival each fall highlights the fact that Indianapolis is composed of many different ethnic groups, some of which include Muslims.

Tolerance is an American value, right up there with freedom of religion and freedom of speech. It's part of the American way of life that has attracted immigrants for centuries.

Susan McKee
Past president
Nationalities Council of Indiana
Past president, International
Center of Indianapolis


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