Saturday September 11, 2010 was the 9th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan. Previous anniversaries have been filled with memorial and prayer services, as well as a feeling of unity in the country and solidarity with those people who lost someone in the attack. However, this year it seemed the mourning over those lost was just a backdrop to political and religious debates and “heated demonstrations.” People crowded into ground zero and surrounding neighborhoods, some were there for the services, some protested for or against the new mosque being built, while others protested against Islam itself. President Obama stated that America is not “and will never be- at war with Islam,” and urged unity amongst citizens as well as “tolerance.” However, there was an “unmistakable sense that” on this “once-unifying day,” the country was “replete with division.”
One American said, “I think it’s offensive that my friends are ordered to go to Muslim countries and defend Muslims there against some radicals that attacked us, but peaceful Muslims can’t build a community center in New York City in their own country.” Another American said, “If we allow them to build [the mosque], then that’s saying we gave in, and Americans don’t give in.” What do people think about the two perspectives, taking into consideration American troops abroad as well as the attacks on 9/11.