- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My chief problem with the proposed Islamic cultural center near ground zero is that modern-day Islam has become as much a political movement as a religious one (“Panel allows mosque close to ground zero,” Page 1, Wednesday). As such, why is it granted favorable status under our tax codes and other laws?

I think, because Islam does not fundamentally believe in separation of religion and state and because so many of its beliefs are political ones, Islam is a political movement not entitled to the protections of statutes dealing with religions. If the builders of this cultural center are willing to pay taxes as if it were any other downtown building, then I would be OK with its placement near ground zero.

CARL STRASS

Virginia Beach, Va.