The 40 Year Old Bat Mitzvah

Islamic Center of Temecula Valley Expansion Protests

Posted in Uncategorized by Juliet on July 13, 2010

Why yes, I do happen to have an opinion on this issue. Here’s a link to my letter to the editor of The Californian. It’s the second letter on the page. The full text is below. The editor chose the header, “Freedom of Worship for All,” though I probably would have chosen, “Don’t Be a Hypocrite” instead:

As a Jew living in Temecula since 2003, I have had occasions when my views have been in opposition to those of local Muslims, many of whom worship at the Islamic Center of Temecula Valley. Last summer at the Duck Pond, we were literally on opposite sides of the street as demonstrators and counter-demonstrators.

I firmly believe, however, in their right to worship openly and freely. I am aghast at protests against the Islamic Center’s desire to expand to a site better suited to their needs.

The population of the entire valley has grown, and people of every faith now call Temecula home. The Muslims who worship at the Islamic Center already live here. They are our neighbors. They are our co-workers. Their children are our children’s classmates.

Imagine fighting relocation of a Catholic church because of the global sexual abuse scandal. Buddhists and Hindus don’t hold Christian tenets, but it’s hard to imagine community uproar if either of those groups chose to build a house of worship here.

This outcry is poorly disguised religious intolerance. Our American way of life demands freedom of worship for all, not just a hand-selected few who look just like us.

Juliet Grossman


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