The debate over whether a proposed community center and mosque should be built two blocks from Ground Zero in New York has created a buzz nationwide about America's relationship with Islam. President Obama has even weighed in on the issue, stating that he supports the right of Muslims to build it, but he did not weigh in on the wisdom of this decision.
Yesterday a new Pew research poll revealed a decline for the support of Islam amongst Americans since 2005. Yet the poll also revealed that less people in this country view Islam as a violent religion. Meanwhile, Time magazine's cover poses the question: Is America Islamophobic?
In an attempt to gage public opinion on this matter, PBS stations from California to upstate New York asked Americans to share their thoughts on Islam. This video reveals some of these sentiments.
"I see they're (Muslims) persecuted a lot because of what happened with 9/11. But I think they're just like us, the same people." --Richard Woodson, San Diego
"I don't see it (Islam) as any more radical than any of the other faiths. You have fringe groups in every faith, whether it is Muslim, Mormon or Jew." --Karen Ross, Boise, Idaho
"The difference between Christianity and Islam is that, in Christianity, Christ died for us; in Islam, you die for Allah." --Stephen Rineair, San Antonio
1.What is Islam?
2. What is a mosque?
3. What is religious freedom?
1. What were your initial thoughts on the construction of a proposed Islamic community center near Ground Zero in New York?
2. Should Muslims have a place of worship this close to the site of the 9/11 attacks? Why or why not?
3. What is religious diversity? Is your community religiously diverse? How does that affect how people treat each other?
Obama's Cairo Speech Calls For 'New Beginning' With Muslim World:
Lesson Plan: Sharia Law: