9/11 Muslim first responder: I’m American, too

As you’re well aware, there’s a tremendous amount of controversy surrounding the construction of a mosque near Ground Zero. The animosity generated by the idea led some extreme groups to host a “Burn the Quran Day” on this past September 11. Firefighters, EMT’s, law enforcement officer and others in the first responder community shouldered a large loss of life when the World Trade Center towers fell, not to mention having to endure the health risks and prolonged hazardous exposure involved in the cleanup that followed.

We found a video interview with Rudina Odeh-Ramadan, a Muslim-American first responder that was on the scene of the 9/11 attacks in New York. Her perspective:

The debate surrounding the Ground Zero mosque continues, with many claiming that its construction stands as an affront to the events of September 11. Odeh-Ramadan challenges those who feel that the Muslims who wish to build the mosque should reconsider the location out of respect and a need for peace by likening the Muslims’ constitutional rights to those of Rosa Parks in the Civil Rights era:

“Why didn’t Rosa Parks just move to the back of the bus? It would have been easier for everyone else. We can’t do that. Muslim Americans are Americans and all are afforded the same civil liberties.”

We’d like to hear your thoughts on the video and the continued debate on the construction of the mosque. For many, it’s not an easy question: Do the constitutional rights of citizens outweigh the collective cultural sensitivity to a tragic event in American history? Where do you draw the line?

In light of the proposed mosque site near Ground Zero, what do you feel is more important?

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