The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

July 6, 2012

Our View: Cowards and hatred

For most of us, it was a day set aside to celebrate our independence and the fact that we live in a country where people can freely express their own individual ideas.

Yet, there are those living in our community whose day was marred by a deplorable act.

A fire early Wednesday at the Islamic Society of Joplin’s mosque is under investigation. Photos taken by a security camera on the property depict a man outside the mosque throwing something on the roof of the building in the area where the fire started. Investigators say the act was intentional.

Thanks to a passer-by who called the fire department, the mosque at 1302 S. Black Cat Road received only minimal damage. But, we are still left with the far greater damage done Wednesday to those ideals we hold dear.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

These words from the Declaration of Independence, signed on July 4, 1776, declare the ideals of individual liberty. Among the freedoms we cherish is the freedom to worship. The Declaration of Independence is still considered the nation’s symbol of liberty and Thomas Jefferson’s most enduring monument. It is where Jefferson expressed the convictions in the minds and hearts of the American people.

Setting fire to a church, a mosque or a synagogue is an act of cowardice and hatred.

Doing it on the Fourth of July is an added slap in the face.

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