Mosque opponents using fear to divide

Last Thursday evening hundreds of residents in my hometown of Murfreesboro, Tenn., attended the Rutherford County Commission meeting to express their outrage over a proposed Islamic center of worship in the community.

This is just the latest in a string of incidents around the country threatening the constitutional rights of Americans just like you and I. A group of citizens recently blocked a proposed mosque in Brentwood, Tenn. There are a growing number of people who are opposed to a mosque planned near ground zero in Manhattan.

The events of 9/11 and other actions taken by al Qaeda planted the seeds of dissent, intolerance, hatred and fear. Those seeds are growing. Al Qaeda’s endgame is destroying our way of life, our American principles and values.

As a Marine who has deployed through out the Middle East, I have worked, trained and broken bread with Muslims. I have known their families and communities. I have fought with them and for them, as I have for this country and my fellow citizens, many of whom are also Muslims. I can’t stand by while some people are accused of being guilty by association of one’s religion and therefore discriminated against.

Ben Leming at The Hill’s Congress Blog, 23 June 2010