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Letter: Mosque Near World Trade Center

Being an American and military veteran, I support our cherished freedoms, especially freedom of religion. As a Roman Catholic of Irish descent I was raised to practice love of mankind and acts of charity. Family legend has it that my late grandmother carried hand grenades in her bicycle basket for the Irish Republican Army during the uprising. My family came to America and three generations have served in the military during periods of war. We love our nation and our community. We defend our nation against those seeking to murder innocents. We do not have a Holy War or Jihad against members of other religions. Instead we support them and recognize their contributions to our community and way of life.

I could never think of a Catholic Bishop or Pastor instructing me to pilot a plane into the World Trade Center; or bring a shoe bomb onto an airliner; or drive a car bomb into a major city or to gun down my fellow U.S. service members. Or take school children hostage. I went into a bookstore in Port Jefferson and heard the clerk listening to a terrorist training audiotape. The tape instructed him to resist the American and British infidels if captured according to Osama and Mullah Omar. The authorities told me not to worry that all Middle Eastern college students in the United States have these tapes and this book clerk doesn’t sound like a threat.

I have great respect for Muslims who are peace loving and believe in our American way of life. Out of respect for the victims of the terror attack of Sept. 11, 2001, an Islamic Cultural Center and Mosque should not be built in the shadow of the World Trade Center. And American taxpayers should not foot the bill for an Iman to travel to the Middle East seeking funding for this Mosque.

Greg Bennett