Opinion: Only Muslims should decide whether to build Ground Zero mosque

When I first began reading about the controversy surrounding a proposed Mosque being built near Ground Zero in New York City, I was completely mystified: We live in America! In 2010! Are we seriously debating whether a mainstream religion should have the right to build a house of worship?

I was even more bewildered when I read that 52 percent of New Yorkers were opposed to the construction of the Mosque, with 31 percent in favor and 17 percent undecided. Filled with moral outrage, I posted an angry Facebook status with a link to an article about conservative politicians capitalizing on the bigotry.

Almost immediately, though, I began to question my indignation. Having lived in New York for about three months now, I can attest to the fact that it's among the most tolerant places in the world. On any given subway car, you'll find more economic, racial, religious and political diversity than most college campuses. The 8 million people who live in New York 's five boroughs are not generally a bigoted bunch – so why were they showing such contempt for Muslims?

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