Excerpt:

In the 1960s, my parents left their despotic motherland of Syria for the promise of genuine liberty and religious freedom in America. In the decades since, we have led the construction of a number of mosques in the towns where we lived.

Some went up without challenge from the local community, but others met with palpable local discontent. In those cases, the law and the natural American affinity for religious freedom eventually paved the way to the ribbon cutting.

These were all humble mosques, funded locally by our congregations. It's plain the planned "Ground Zero mosque" is something very different. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, his wife, Daisy Khan, and an investor intend to build "Cordoba House," an ostentatious $100 million, 13-story Muslim community center including a gym, a swimming pool, a performance-arts facility and a mosque.


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