Every year thousands of innocent people around the world are deprived of their lives in the name of religious intolerance. Even in the West and particularly in America, where most of the people take religion as a personal matter, the situation is not much different than from the rest of the world. The case study of the proposed Islamic community center near ground zero New York would give us a very clear picture of the so-called secular society of America. Park 51, originally named Cordoba House, is a planned 13-story Muslim community center to be located two blocks from the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. The major part of the center will be open to the general public. It will contain a Muslim prayer space that has controversially been referred to as the Ground Zero mosque. The proposed construction of this community centre has become a controversial issue and hotly debated in a number of various religious sections of American society. Some of the politicians who want to win the political sympathies of the religious community are also trying to exploit the situation. No mosque at ground zero, they maintain. A former Republican stated that the US will not allow Sharia in the United States. This man is one of the possible presidential candidates in 2012 election. As a result of this type of instigation, angry Americans are unnecessarily participating in different protest rallies. They are raising slogans in opposition to the building of new mosques and Islamic centers in America. A Fox News poll also added to the severity of the situation. It showed that while 61 percent of the Americans believe that Cordoba House has a constitutional right to be built near Ground Zero, 64 percent believe it is not appropriate to do so. It is nothing but an irony that in spite of such a horrible situation, the USA claims itself to be a secular state where every citizen has equal moral rights of living his life according to his own creed and religious ideology. On the other hand, countries like Pakistan are being consistently branded as fundamentalists and extremists. Despite the fact that Pakistan was created in the name of Islam, there is no such type of extremism as we find in the USA. In Pakistan, every religious community enjoys complete religious freedom. The Christians, Hindus and the Sikhs are allowed to build their Churches, Gurdawaras and Temples respectively. Different religious segments and factions have been co-exiting harmoniously for a long time showing signs of tolerance. Religious tolerance and sectarian broadmindedness as envisaged by teachings of Sufism have remained the hallmark of Pakistani society. PROFESSOR ALI SUKHANVER, Multan, November 27.