Less than 100 feet from where a hijacked airplane slammed into the Pentagon, Muslim military personnel bring prayer rugs on weekday afternoons for group worship.
On Fridays, a local imam conducts a service in the Pentagon Memorial Chapel built after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks by al Qaeda that killed 184 people at the U.S. military headquarters.
The chapel, with stained-glass windows, burgundy carpeting and a wooden altar, provides a place of prayer and religious observance for anyone regardless of faith or culture.
Its welcoming calm and nondenominational culture are in stark contrast to the emotional debate over plans to build an Islamic cultural center and mosque two blocks from ground zero in New York City, where planes flown by al Qaeda hijackers destroyed the World Trade Center, killing more than 2,700 people…
“I’ve never had a question about it” in four-plus years at the Pentagon, Army spokesman George Wright said…
“We’re very tolerant here of one another and our faith,” he said. “We don’t keep track of who comes in.”
Of course, what’s “normal” in the political life of the United States of America doesn’t have as much to do with tolerance or freedom – as it does with power and control.