The Ground Zero Mosque: “No” Means Crazy Wins. Screw That.

I don't want to live in a world where this guy has the final say.

I’ve been happy not to take the time to sink deeply into myself to discover how, if I were King of the World, I would decide the question of whether or not to build the Ground Zero mosque, since: (a) Why bother? and (b) Who cares what I think? Plus, whenever I imagine myself King of the World, I always end up thinking about what my crown would look like. I’d want something stunningly regal, but not be too heavy. Nobody wants their king having to wear a neck brace every time he issues an edict. And I’d issue lots and lots of edicts, so that’d be a concern. I’d want a crown that’s impressive, yet sporty. Maybe something along the line of a king baseball cap. With a big red “K” on it.

Anyway, see? This is why I never tackle big issues.

That said: if I personally had to decide on whether or not to build the proposed near-Ground Zero mosque, and had no more information about the issue beyond what I know of it right now, I personally, as King of the World, would build that mofo so fast it’d be up in a week.

I have issues with crazy. I hate crazy like I hate nothing else in this world.

I think not building the mosque at Ground Zero is handing crazy a win.

If insane Christians, in the name of Christianity, killed three-thousand people in a building somewhere, I’d crave a huge Christian church as near as possible to the site of that tragedy. I’d want that declaration; I’d want the final word in that way to be, “Screw you, crazies. This is who we are. This is how we live. This is what we stand for. We are honorable.”

I can’t deny someone else what I would want for myself.

Love your neighbor as yourself, and all that.


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  • Tanager

    Hm, I'd say a crucial difference here is that, if some crazed Christians murdered over 3,000 people in the name of Jesus, Christians all over the world would not be dancing in the damn streets and shooting rifles into the air in victory as a statement that the act was a fantastic and applaudable act.

  • Martha

    It's a great statement that crazies cannot touch how we define ourselves: as a nation that doesn't discriminate and believes in religious freedom! We've got to quit identifying the faith with the fanatical practice of it!

  • Mindy

    Tanager, *most* Muslims did not do that. Especially not US Muslims. But there would be some, there would be fanatics would be thrilled.

    And, in essence, we've done it already – in the name of war, in the Middle East, for a decade. Not trying to start a debate on the wars, but we've done our share of killing in the name of our western ways – which, to many, is a thinly disguised veil for Christianity, because Bush made no bones about the fact that he felt divinely inspired.

    We can't let Bin Laden win – which is what happens when we turn on each other. And Muslim Americans are part of that "each other" we must embrace. They are as peace-loving as most of us are, and this is a place for them to participate in community. We should embrace the effort, and let it stand not as a mocking of 9/11, but as a testament to our strength as a nation in spite of it.

  • But, Tanager, the problems are that the crazy Muslims who were celebrating are not the ones trying to build this building. We have a word for lumping everyone together as if they're a homogeneous group … and you wouldn't like it being used in reference to you.

    Moreover, yes, Christians do celebrate when people get killed. Have you noticed the war pep rallies going on all over the place? Have you listened to the discussions regarding civilians casualties? Christians aren't that innocent.

    To John … I'm right with you. Crazy paranoia should not be the deciding factor.

  • DonP

    There is a direction written in a place of wisdom whereby, stumbling blocks placed at the feet of the clumsy or weak are to be avoided. There are, it seems to me "clumsies" in abundance on both sides of this issue. If I had heard the leaders of the Muslims en masse, declaring their disapproval of the massacre I would vote to uphold the freedoms this country was founded on and allow the mosque to be built. I did not hear such disapprovals. If I were to hear those disapprovals today, even now at this late date, I would still say yes to the mosque. By withholding their combined disapproval, they are declaring themselves sympathizers with a group of people who have declared war on this country. I am waiting. Perhaps I missed it?

  • The best thing we can do is to send a message of tolerance to the rest of the world by allowing this Islamic group to build their community center. It's called "leading by example."

    Besides, if we say "no mosques near the WTC site," how much of a distance are we talking about? Two blocks? Six blocks? Half a mile? No mosques on the island of Manhattan?

    The point is, local government prohibiting the construction of this Islamic community center, which happens to include a small mosque, just doesn't jibe with our whole separation of church and state thing. That rule goes both ways to keep government out of our churches AND our neighbors' – even if they are Muslim.

  • Tanager

    OK, so we have: casualties sustained during acts of war are the same as the deliberate, intentional targeting of civilians with the sole and express purpose of murder and mayhem. According to wken, Christians celebrate these civilian deaths (and military ones) with open glee on a par with the very vocal and public support of these very deliberate terrorist murders.

    And I guess we're also saying that building a church on a site where some crazy Christians murdered a bunch of innocents would be justified even if it deeply wounded and outraged a significant percentage of the survivors and victims' families because our desire to make a statement is more important.

    There are very good reasons why this mosque is so intensely controversial. And anyone who thinks that building it will not simultaneously render a political statement very different from the one proposed here – that America is tolerant, peace-loving, and embracing – is naive. JMO, but I can certainly understand those who oppose this mosque's location and would not label them as paranoid, prejudiced or blind slaves to a stereotype: I would call them rightly hurt, angered, and still in pain.

  • Anna

    Timothy McVeigh was a Christian terrorist. Should we allow churches near the site of the Alfred P. Murrah building?

  • I continue to follow my plan to be the undisputed King of the World. The key part of that plan is that it will happen through NO EFFORT OF MY OWN. My primary edict will involve mandating a minimum blood/THC level. If you're caught in public not stoned enough, there will be hell to pay!

    As for the Islamic Community Center (it's not a Mosque) near (not at) Ground Zero, if you want to perpetuate OBL's creed that the U.S. is at war with Islam, then block the place. If you want to prove him wrong, build it.

  • Diana

    Facebook Discussion on This Blog Entry:

    Person #1: The mosque is so insensitive to the families and victims of 9/11 – what's the point – it's up there with Jews and Jesus – the hijackers were Muslim right – this is sickening – this place will be constantly vandalized etc and rightfully so.

    Person #2: It's only insensitive if you believe that Islam is an intrinsically evil faith.

    Person #3 (me): Not necessarily true. I personally believe that the Muslim faith can be practiced in a way that is positive toward the whole of humanity, just like it can be practiced in less positive ways. But if I had a loved one who perished in the 9/11 attacks, I too might feel that putting a mosque that close to the scene of the attack was a slap in the face to those who died.

    On the other hand, I agree with John that: "If insane Christians, in the name of Christianity, killed three-thousand people in a building somewhere, I’d crave a huge Christian church as near as possible to the site of that tragedy. I’d want that declaration; I’d want the final word in that way to be, 'Screw you, crazies. This is who we are. This is how we live. This is what we stand for. We are honorable.'" So I think I see both sides on this issue.

    What if we were to put both a Muslim Mosque and a Christian Church side by side on the same property? In fact, what if we were to put representatives of all the various peace-loving religious non-religious viewpoints (kind of like a spiritual United Nations) on the same property? Not that this will ever happen, but wouldn't that make the best statement of the triumph of (God's) love and freedom over hatred and fear? I think it would.

  • Blaming the Muslims for Al-Qeada makes as much sense as blaming the Christians for the Ku Klux Klan. In both cases you've got murderous a[ir]holes who justify their bigotry by selective verse farming.

    You wanna argue that in both the cases of the Muslims and the Christians you have too many mainstream members who are unwilling in the name of "keeping peace among the brothers" to confront the bigotry of the murderous a[ir]holes attaching themselves to the faith then we're all guilty as charged.

  • From a recent article in The New York Times, describing the proposed Muslim … facility: " … a tower of as many as 15 stories that will house a mosque, a 500-seat auditorium, and a pool."

  • DR

    You've so beautifully articulated the other perspective of building the mosque here. For me, I am weighing in like John is – building it – if only because for me the importance of claiming everything that John said might have more long-term positive impacts in terms of a statement on what is really TRUE about religion and the importance of separating the fundamentalists from those who faithfully practice it's true tone and spirit.

    That all being said, to expect the same "this is a larger principle in action" reaction from the family members and friends who lost their brothers, sisters, babies, husbands? There feelings of outrage and betrayal seem reasonable if they are – because of their loss – unable to get behind the larger meaning of what this mosque is intended to be.

    That being said, and this is not going to be a popular statement (sorry in advance). But lately I've wondered how far we get to go with our woundedness? How much license do we give those who had loved ones killed to just hate all Muslims in general and refuse to even entertain the idea of the mosque *as it is intended*? How far do all of us get to go after being really hurt? Do we just get to keep hating an entire group of people that represent the people who ruined our lives? I don't think we do. I don't that is healthy for us.

  • Gina Powers

    Ugh….brain still waking up, will repost this in a minute or two. While I do not believe that Islam is an intrinsically evil faith, am not sure about putting a Mosque near Ground Zero…..need to chew on this one for awhile. Great responses and perspectives, though!

  • John McNeil

    Great post J. Shore. To those others…

    There were already 100 mosques in the 5 boroughs!!! Muslims have been living and worshiping in NYC since the 18th century. If I recall correctly, there was a mosque near there on 9/11. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 (51, if Palin, et al, will acknowledge the unborn baby of Muslim ethnicity) Muslims died in the attacks as well. Including Salman Hamdani, a NYPD Police Cadet and paramedic, who was initially suspected of participating in the attack (by, guess who???) until they found his body crushed by the North Tower near his EMT bag.

    It seems to me that all the uproar is just bigotry, ethnic politicking, and xenophobia; the same crap that no talent, garbage politicians/leaders have been using for 1000's of years to fan their core constituencies.

    “The attack was an act of war — and our first responders defended not only our city but also our country and our Constitution,” he said, becoming slightly choked up at one point in his speech, which he delivered on Governors Island. “We do not honor their lives by denying the very constitutional rights they died protecting. We honor their lives by defending those rights — and the freedoms the terrorists attacked.” Michael Bloomberg

  • Tim

    Man, that one went completely over my head.

    Personally, if I were a Muslim, I would want to be as sensitive and thoughtful as I possibly could to further the notion that Islam is a religion of peace.

    I have a copy of the Qur'an on my bookshelf. I've read my Bible maybe 20 times or more, but admit that I haven't made it completely through the Qur'an. All I really have to go by are what appear to be some of the claims of Islam's adherents. So I would appreciate some feedback.

    The two biggest claims that are troublesome for me are 1.The retention of Jesus as a Prophet, when Islam rejects Jesus' claim of being the Son of God. If Jesus was a liar, how can He still be considered a Prophet? 2. Most Muslims agree with the Christian teaching that perfect love casts out all fear. But the Qur'an seems to contradict that idea to a large degree. Allah loves, but Allah puts conditions on that love. It is primarily shown what attributes Allah does NOT love, and while the Old Testament (and New) explains those things which God detests, the New Covenant reveals the concealed OT affirmation that only God can make us pure and holy. The law (or conditions) are a standard to reveal our own failure and need for God's love and grace in view of our ability to perfectly perform His will.

    All this to say that I have a difficult time understanding how fear can be cast out when our righteousness depends upon ourselves. The same fear resides even in the Christian Church. Why I'm not sure. We have a Savior from sin, but we still cling to the law as a means of satisfying God by our own merits. Seems to me such belief can't help but incite fear and even many Muslims believe that perfect fear casts out all love. Could somebody tell me why it appears that places of Christian worship, or Hebrew worship, or Hindu worship, etc are not accommodated or even tolerated in Saudi Arabia?

    Perfect love would have me scrap plans for building a Mosque near the site of 9/11. Scripture that I think is appropriate in my thinking would be avoiding the appearance of evil or impropriety (1Thess. 5:22). Can any readers with a greater knowledge of the Qur'an cite a similar encouragement in that text?

  • DR

    That's not how a lot of Fundamentalist Christians celebrate. I have no doubts if Obama was somehow hurt or God forbid, killed by a lunatic, there would be thousands of Fundamentalist Christians quietly celebrating that death and definitely celebrating it much more loudly with one another.

  • DR

    Love this comment. Thank you.

  • John McNeil

    Well said. And it needs to be remembered that is was only 19 crazy, Muslim cowards (admittedly, with help) who perpetrated those despicable acts. If ever white man is judged by the acts of 19 other crazy, white, males cowards, I have NO doubt that I would be hated. If every white woman is judged by the acts of 19 other crazy, white women, I have NO doubt that all white women would be hated. The same goes for ALL Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, firefighter, white-collar workers, blue-collar workers, teachers, accountants, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, etc…..the JUDGMENT and HATRED could be endless and just as nonsensical.

  • Nothing to add, but I thought that this paragraph was worth repeating:

    "It seems to me that all the uproar is just bigotry, ethnic politicking, and xenophobia; the same crap that no talent, garbage politicians/leaders have been using for 1000′s of years to fan their core constituencies."

  • Tim

    Sure we should. While McVeigh was raised Catholic, he deserted his faith as an adult. His terrorist act was not done in the name of Jesus or God. It was personal vengeance against what he believed was a tyrannical U.S. government who acted illegally against the Davidian cult holding a military compound in Waco, TX. The 9/11 terrorists, as misguided as they might've been by their interpretation of the Qur'an, DID claim Allah as the cause for their terrorism.

  • Tanager

    Maybe only 19 (plus helpers) "did" this deed, but how far do you think the "help" they received extended? And how many thousands of Muslims rejoiced in what they did? Publicly? How many more remained utterly silent or suggested the U.S. was partially (if not mostly) to blame?

    There is a difference. If Christians had done this there would – I certainly hope – be a HUGE and very very vocal denunciation by hundreds of thousands of Christians all over the world. That is largely – very largely – lacking here. It contributes to the pain and horror felt by so very many.

    This is not a question of labeling and stereotyping. I don't see why people want to make it one. It's a question of simple sensitivity and freaking TACT. Anyone who thought this wouldn't cause pain, anger, political and religious strife, etc. is just…well, frankly, a total moron.

  • 9/11 is a very emotional thing for the nation, and especially to those near Ground Zero. To build a Mosque near there on purpose is bound to create an emotional reaction. It's not crazy, it's human. To build the thing in such an emotionally charged area is perhaps insensitive, or perhaps just a failure to understand that doing so will not foster any kind of good relations between Muslims and the rest of NYC. If anything, it's reopening wounds that are still fairly fresh, regardless of whether these Muslims are peace-loving moderates.

    To me, the concept of building the thing seems crazy.

  • while I see your point, I can't shake the feeling that it is in poor taste to put a Mosque so close to ground zero. Not for all the conservatives that think Mosques shouldn't be allowed ANYWHERE, but for the victims and their families. Why there of all places? It just seems insensitive to put it there.

    However, from a legal standpoint, I understand the ruling not to make that building a landmark. I just wish they wanted to build it somewhere else.

    I think it is worth mentioning though that the extreme rhetoric that has emerged from this argument insisting that all mosques are evil and should not be permitted is wrong. I think the argument should stay isolated to this particular mosque.

  • I repeat the question that's been asked a few times —

    How far away, then, would be okay?

    The fact that I've never heard anyone give an answer to that question has indicated to me that there is no real logic at work, just manufactured emotional reactions.

  • DR

    This comment is at it's most basic element, speculation and stereo typing. First, those who are Muslim in other countries are subject to the same types of media filtering that we are – everyone is looking for ratings, that doesn't change from country to country. Of course we're only going to see the Muslims who are celebrating on TV much like we only see the fires on our local TV station first. Sex and violence sell, and so does controversy.

    Second, I'm rather shocked at all of this "where were the good Muslims when all of this happened?" The number of protests and statements put out by Muslims all around the world expressing their grief, remorse and indignation over this horrible act committed by a few of their own lunatics who happen to share their own tent was EVERYWHERE. It really was. That you're actually suggesting Muslims worldwide didn't protest this is bewildering, you're obviously bright and well educated. It was just simply everywhere.

    Lastly, how comfortable are you being lumped in with the Tim McVeighs of the world? How many Christians protesting his terrorist act or all of the hate crimes done in the name of Jesus would actually satisfy you? How would you react if a friend of yours was indignant that you didn't fly where all of the God Hates Fags protests occur and do everything you could to protest that? What if you didn't blog about that everyday, and as a result of either or both of those decisions, your friend decided to lump you in with the God Hates Fags group? That is on the same continuum you're on here.

    If you're not comfortable being lumped in with all of the fundamentalist Christians who have done *way* more terrorist, violent acts in this nation across time vs. this one particular act? Then you're being pretty hypocritical here. Assuming that you see yourself as one of the "good" Christians (if you are one at all, apologies if that's an incorrect assumption), you can't can't demand differentiation while at the same time, not give it to this particular religion as well.

  • To heck with the Mosque and the auditorium, what the world needs is a good Islamic pool. I can't wait to see proper Islamic swimming attire.

    But John, I expected something from you on my brilliant plan for world domination.

  • John McNeil

    A reading of American and World history would show that people of ALL faiths, nationalities, and ethnicities generally lack a certain intestinal fortitude when standing up to government and religious leaders and saying "Stop" when a minority is being persecuted.

    As far as Christians somehow having cornered the market on "righteousness" where were these "…hundreds of thousands of Christians from all over the world…" when: the Taliban was only persecuting its own people, the Jews were being slaughtered prior to and during WWII by a leader proclaiming to be Christian; the denial of BASIC civil rights to African Americans in an often-referred to "Christian" nation; when Bosnian's were slaughtered by another self-proclaimed Christian; or when Rwandans were slaughtered by the 100's of thousands.

    And please google "Mosgue" and NYC. At last count there were over 100 of them. And those pesky Muslims have been practicing their religion in and around that area since the 18th century.

    Also do you know the number of Muslims who died in the attacks? 50+; Have you read the stories about the 1st Responders who died and were also Muslim? I seriously doubt they or their families were celebrating the fact that they had been crushing by steel and concrete.

    It seems to me that 9/11 was an attack on America and NOT an attack on Christianity, despite continued 'politicking' of that view. Otherwise the planes would have landed somewhere like Notre Dame, Oral Roberts University, or the 700 Club and NOT one of the most diverse ethnic and religious cities in the world.

    IMO, attempts to somehow portray this (building a mosque) as an attack on Christians is moronic.

  • You are very Christian centric. I don't believe that most christians would agree with your thinking. Jews are the biggest religeon denouncing building the mosque. Would you support building a monument to Hitler outside the Nazi concentration camps as well just to show how broad minded and upright and moral you are?

  • He's baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

  • This is nice work, John.

  • SO FUNNY! And I did see your earlier comment on the state of your world domination. Too funny again! (I was leaving when I saw it, so no time then to comment.)

  • Has anyone actually seen or heard anything from the families of the victims of 9/11 say anything about the mosque? 'Cause all I've heard from are the political idiots and religious groups…maybe I've just missed it…

  • Nice. Wow. This has turned into some awesome comment thread.

  • Thumbs up, Ken.

  • Elizabeth

    @gothiquefae: As a New Yorker, I can assure you that survivors and victims' families have been consulted and have expressed myriad opinions on the proposed mosque. There is no consensus. With all of the nationalities, religions, and economic backgrounds represented by those who died, what they have most in common is their pain.

    As much as I feel for their loss, catering to their feelings is quite the thing to do around here. You'll find survivors and victim's families are implicitly asked for permission on anything in the public realm, from tax laws and the new baseball stadium to Bloomberg's third term. If you are genuinely interested, the New York Daily News and the New York Post's websites would be good places to look for "real" survivor opinions.

  • Elizabeth

    Oh, and if anyone is interested in the "man on the street" opinion, the News and the Post are also rightfully famous for their rowdy and vibrant letters to the editor pages. I'll bet there are some really insightful gems hidden there–as well as a generous helping of rants by crack-pots and dreamers.

  • Troy

    Three blocks over to the left

  • Troy

    If it really needs to be a religious memorial, and I'm not convinced it really does, I think something multi-denominational would be more appropriate.

  • Tanager

    Maybe I missed it, but I don't think anyone was trying to say the mosque was some sort of attack on Christians; now the 9/11 was, for that matter. It's just that John used the example (well, theoretical counter-example) using Christianity and building a church. So that sort of got extended.

    I'm really not *trying* to stereotype anyone. I simply wanted to present that there are very valid reasons – emotional or not – that people are upset about this building. And those reasons have nothing to do with Christianity, for the most part. I don't think McVeigh is an apt comparison, either – it's not a bad one to bring up, but it is simply not the same. Not near the same scale of years of coordinated planning and clandestine support and conspiracy. Can Christians be jerks? Yes. Do they corner the marketplace on righteousness? I certainly never said that. I just extended the example John put out there.

    I definitely could have minimized the Muslim outpouring of condemnation and grief over 9/11 because I let those who either said nothing, praised the attacks, or expressed grief with the "but America was sort of asking for it" caveat overshadow those admirable reactions. My bad. In the intervening years I've seen too much bad press. I don't know if that's because it's the only thing that sells or not. I'd really like to think someone would cover the public Muslim resolve to promote peace, tolerance and diversity, but maybe no one is interested.

    I think a lot of people would simply find it a more appropriate expression of honor if, say, this Muslim Center was situated elsewhere in the city, just a little further away. The controversy is to be expected. Until the center opens, and it is demonstrated that is it really not just for Muslims, that it is open to New Yorkers and the general population (which is the plan) then people are going to be upset. I support building this center, hoping that it indeed fulfills its stated desire to be an open place of respect and diversity. Perhaps there will even be a part of it that very visually condemns all acts of violence committed in the name of Allah and Islam. Probably every spiritual practice needs a memorial like that, re-committing itself to the peaceful practice of their respective faiths.

  • Tanager

    "Nor that 9/11 was." Oops.

  • Tanager

    Just check it out online! When I was looking for modest bathing suits a few years back, boy did I find them! Look for the "bodykini" and you will see 🙂

  • Ally

    Rather than the legal and emotional hooplah surrounding this issue, I wish more people would simply tell the Cordoba Initiative (I think that is the name of the group) that we would think that they would show more sensitivity. I think we have every right to be hurt, angered, and downright pissed off by 9/11. There are children without a parent, brother, sister, grandma, grandpa right now, because of this event. It may seem like a long time, but it really isn't. But that doesn't mean we take it out on all Muslims, for pity's sake, and I don't think anyone is saying that, whether for or against the Mosque. I think we'd like to see more compassion and sensitivity from the Muslim community that is pushing for this (I'm sure there are many Muslims who think building the Mosque there is a poor idea.) We'd like to hear them say, We want to do this, but because we love our country, and she is still wounded, we will build elsewhere if this is going to hurt anyone.

    Because it wasn't just 19 men. It was a branch of Muslim beliefs that is a cult, and there are many who stand for those men, not against them, and claim the Muslim faith. And while we can NOT brand the entire faith by their actions, emotions and pain on both sides is still high. So some sensitivity from the Muslim community should be called for. Whether or not they would offer it — that is unknown. But I think it's an honest, respectable request. But at the end of the day, this is a free country — or at least, we like to think it is. To stop them from building this, unless it can be done via legal, honest means that would stop anyone else from building there too, is giving up who we are.

  • Susan Golian

    …and this breaks my heart. I think the most telling moment during the last presidential campaign came when someone in the crowd was screaming "Kill him!" while Sara Palin was talking about Obama and she just smiled and nodded, Obama was shushing his crowd with, "Now, there's no place for that here!" when his crowd booed McCain/Palin. Love thy neighbor, indeed.

  • Tim

    To butcher Aimee Mann's lyrics to Voices Carry, I'll hope that anyone old enough to remember '80's music will sing along…




    I think the Mosque should be far enough away that when the families of the slain come to remember their lost family members at the 9/11 site, they wouldn't have to hear the Islamic call to prayer blasting out over the Mosque's PA system.

  • Diana


    (sorry. Could have resisted but chose not to. Please feel free to moderate this comment out of existence.)

  • Diana

    Maybe this.

  • Cheryl Tobin

    Feelings! We all have feelings,sometimes irrational, they just don't cancel other people's civil rights. Not all the victims of 9-11 oppose this building. Why be so concerned about the bigots in this group? Maybe someone should educate them about our constitution instead. Basically, I think this is just a good excuse to pile on Muslims since the Jewish people have managed to to paint our American history as Judeo-Christian this generation so they aren't the low man on the totem pole at this time. Don't even get me started on how Christians try to swing their weight around in America because I grew up in America where I was forced to say Christian prayers in school and even on the job as a social worker in Oklahoma. God, I'm glad for the constitution!!!

  • Gina Powers

    Liz, I would LOVE to see those, thanks for the suggestion! Umm….can you put up a linky-dink or two? Yeah…I'se lazy…..;).

  • Gina Powers

    THIS here, Ally…thank you!!

  • Gina Powers

    Wha—Dude?!? (Marriagecoach dude, that is) Why the hostility? I'm not sure a Mosque is appropriate either, but holy buckets……..!!!!

  • I thought this article about the imam behind the mosque was interesting.

    "And yet Park51's main movers, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and his wife Daisy Khan, are actually the kind of Muslim leaders right-wing commentators fantasize about: modernists and moderates who openly condemn the death cult of al-Qaeda and its adherents – ironically, just the kind of "peaceful Muslims" whom Sarah Palin, in her now infamous tweet, asked to "refudiate" the mosque. Rauf is a Sufi, which is Islam's most mystical and accommodating denomination"

  • Diana

    Yup. By their fruits, you shall know them.

  • Cheryl Tobin

    Actually, Timothy McVeigh was raised a Catholic and returned to the Catholic faith and had a priest and a Catholic mass at his death. There is a large statue of Jesus right next to the Murrah building memorial in Okla.City. Should this be allowed? Also, there is Catholic Church nearby but nobody seems to care about this because Christians rule!!!! Now back to trying to tie all Muslims together with 9-11. It's always those other people ,who are not like us, who are causing all the problems and they all think alike so we certainly should deny them their civil rights, especially if a bigots feeling are hurt 10 years later by a building 2 blocks away.

  • DR

    I'm a little confused, Cheryl. While I don't have any problem putting a mosque at the 911 site (I'm a fan of the idea), how is putting a mosque there or not putting a mosque there impacting anyone's Civil Rights? If you could be specific in how that would occur either way, I'd appreciate it, I'm missing something unless you're making a larger statement on how Christians in America have in many ways trampled on the Civil Rights of others in America (which I agree with as well).

  • DR

    Oh My God. Hilarious.

  • Abso-freakin-lutely, brother! I'm so tired of these people only speaking out of their "experiences". It's about time men of God like this fellow here speak on behalf of all Christians and just end the debate once and for all.

    Let me break it down for you, I think marriagecoach and I here are in full agreement.

    God = Christians.

    Christians = America.

    America = Truth and Freedom

    Truth and Freedom = God

    God = Christian.

    Therefore, Christian memorials are appropriate and edifying at any and all American sites, Muslims are here to destroy us, much like the Atheists. That mosque? Two words, and those words are "Trojan horse".

    I hope this helps.



  • Cheryl Tobin

    I think a basic civil right in America is freedom of religion and the right to build places of worship on private land without other religions or people piling on and trying to tie your religion to the evil acts of a few and asking you to go elsewhere. Nobody piled on Catholics over Timothy McVeigh and The Murrah building and how close Catholic's could have a church so why this hoopla over Muslims and where they can build a place to worship?

  • Matthew Tweedell

    First, think about it: stopping it now would send a message to many Muslims in the world that Osama bin Laden was right: America really is an enemy of Islam.


    I've learned I should avoid passing judgment on the veracity of a person's claimed faith; so I am not quick to say, for example, "John Doe is not a true Christian then," if Mr. Doe claims that he is; it is not my place to judge men's hearts. Yet I must conclude, from all appearances, Osama bin Laden is NOT a Muslim. Muslin means servant/slave, referring to one in submission ("islam") to the will of God and thus one through whom God's will is done on earth. The notion of God here is of He that is most beneficent, most merciful, most compassionate, and the Greatest. Therefore, the will of God will be compassionate and will be victorious. Therefore, Osama bin Laden has strayed far from submission to that will, the will of Allah the Merciful, the Compassionate. Thus, he is no servant of the Lord. Al-Qaeda is no Islamic organization.

    Of course, it is the fact that they claim to do heinous things in the name of Islam that mars the association of Islam with the tragedy of 9-11 (including through the physical proximity of sites associated with each of those), especially for many of those for whom 9-11 was most tragic, most victimizing, most traumatic. Now I remember reading a lively discussion before in the comments on this very blog to the effect that in the aftermath of rape, things associated with it in the mind, including the very mention of rape itself, can often trigger intense psychological pain in victims.

    However, this isn't about being forced to relive the trauma (though to some degree this might be incidental for some people, which—very sadly—is their problem; I've got my own problems which I do not force the rest of society to accommodate; perhaps they need counseling, and perhaps the government should have made provision for a program of extensive counseling for the families of 9-11 victims). Rather this more akin to being able to resume some sort of a normal sex life. It's about healing, and it's about overcoming.

    Being blinded by emotional content to seeing things for how they are is exactly what fuels the terrorist. Not Islam. A greater insult to the memory of those that perished on that day would be that we resign ourselves to letting this win and furthermore forsake some of the very freedom that it was Osama's aim to oppose by this massacre. "Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment." Cut through all the emotional content and it's just building. It's cutting — yes — but in poor taste? Well, there's a difference between nude art and pornography. Here is art—here is a symbol: here is healing; here is overcoming.

  • Matthew Tweedell

    What better call would there be to hear at such moments? Bustling New Yorkers calling for a cab?

  • DR

    What does "Christian centric" mean? Is that like a Jesus weeble-wobble?

  • Tim,

    "1.The retention of Jesus as a Prophet, when Islam rejects Jesus’ claim of being the Son of God. If Jesus was a liar, how can He still be considered a Prophet?"

    Jesus isn't considered a liar. The Quran shows Jesus as refuting the lies Christians have told about him being the Son of God. Jesus isn't the problem for Muslims, but it's our corrupted Bibles who have made Jesus into something he never claimed (according to them).

    "All this to say that I have a difficult time understanding how fear can be cast out when our righteousness depends upon ourselves."

    I agree.

    "Could somebody tell me why it appears that places of Christian worship, or Hebrew worship, or Hindu worship, etc are not accommodated or even tolerated in Saudi Arabia?"

    I guess they want Saudi Arabia to be a Muslim land only…except for foreign workers who may not be Muslims.

    "Perfect love would have me scrap plans for building a Mosque near the site of 9/11. Scripture that I think is appropriate in my thinking would be avoiding the appearance of evil or impropriety (1Thess. 5:22). Can any readers with a greater knowledge of the Qur’an cite a similar encouragement in that text?"

    Well Muslims seems pretty big on avoiding evil. Like a single guy and girl should never be alone to avoid the temptation of sex, but I'm sure building an Islamic Center doesn't seem evil or improper to them. 🙂

    While I agree with John's post, I tend to agree with you on this…

    "Personally, if I were a Muslim, I would want to be as sensitive and thoughtful as I possibly could to further the notion that Islam is a religion of peace. "

    I can see both sides.

  • Cheryl Tobin

    As Queen of the universe I approve of your first edict of mandatory blood/THC levels and will allow you to go forth with my blessings as King of the world. Is it time to celebrate now?

  • ” … a tower of as many as 15 stories that will house a mosque, a 500-seat auditorium, and a pool.”

    If we can sneak a priest in there in the middle of the night & turn it into holy water, we can make 'em all Christians! The only question would be whether they're Catholic or full-immersion Baptists.

  • The bottom line for me is that it is none of my business whether or not law-abiding U.S. citizens choose to build a mosque near Ground Zero or not. The only sense in which I object is that I desire for every person on earth to acknowledge Christ as Lord and Savior. Barring that–and knowing submission to Him is an entirely personal issue; that's the way God wants it–another mosque in any location just is not something about which I want to have a deciding opinion.

    As for the "poor taste" objections–a place to worship God cannot be in poor taste, period. Sensitivity can be carried way too far, way too easily. In my opinion, that's the chief failing of the Church today–being overly concerned about sensitivity, rather than substance. But that's fodder for another post.

  • DR

    I think a basic civil right in America is freedom of religion and the right to build places of worship on private land without other religions or people piling on and trying to tie your religion to the evil acts of a few and asking you to go elsewhere.>>>

    First, I believe that the land we're referring to is government-owned/controlled land. Not privately owned land.

    In earlier comments, you encouraged people to "learn the constitution". Yet you've responded with what you "think" a basic Civil Right is. Is what you've stated here a part of any Civil Rights legislation?

    And for the record, Tim McVeigh self-identified as an agnostic though he had deeply-rooted involvement in the "Christian Identify" movement which is primarily a racist "whites only" terrorist organization.

  • Matthew Tweedell

    "First, I believe…" as many others do.

    When you believe in things that you don't understand, then you suffer.

  • Cheryl Tobin

    As long as it's a desire in your heart , and not harrassment or compulsion of other people on this planet, I think that's fine but I seem to meet a lot of Christian's who believe they are on a Mandated Crusade from God to save my soul from hell for eternity and if they keep talking about Jesus all the time I'll see the light. Instead, I see the exit and they still wonder why we are not friends anymore. I wish everyone would lighten up and realize on a very basic level were all connected and be a little nicer to everyone regardless of religion,spiritual views or lack thereof. We each have reasons and stories about ourselves,other's and the right way to do things. Yet, we have all this hate. Today Muslims are the bad,evil people. I bet the Jewish people are glad about that! Personally, I'm just happy I wasn't alive during the Inquisition because being a solitary,older woman,who loves animals, gather's herbs and goes for long walks in the woods alone I would definitely have been Burned AT The Stake by you know who!!

  • Yes, DR. This is the same reason I don't like those Russian stacking dolls: they're so full of themselves.

    (I stole that from a recent post I saw somewhere.)

  • Cheryl Tobin

    (1) I don't think this is govt. owned land although I'm sure the govt. has control of all land in America on some level (2) Do you really want to argue about whether a right in the Bill Of Rights is a civil right too? Geez (3) I agree but what I said about his Catholic ties are also true. I'm getting the feeling you want to argue more than you want to understand.

  • Cheryl Tobin

    Please google the words civll rights before you respond.

  • Elizabeth

    @Gina: Before I was on my phone, so no dice, but I'm logged on the computer now. Try these.… and . They both have letters pertaining to this today.

  • Andrew

    "We’ve got to quit identifying the faith with the fanatical practice of it!" The problem with this statement is that you can't. At the very roots of Islam is jihad. At the very roots! To die in jihad is the only sure way to enter Heaven according to the Muslim faith. Do you really think they want to build a mosque there just because?

  • Cheryl Tobin

    Actually, after reflection, I'm dying to know what you think civil rights are and what you think the Bill of Rights is? My mind is spinning? Please clarify!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Elizabeth

    An eloquent, compassionate, and logical response, Matthew. Perhaps the most insightful of your many comments. I've missed seeing your insights around here. Thanks for once again sharing your remarkable scholarship.

  • Cheryl Tobin

    Okay, I KNOW for a fact that our Bill of Rights is the document that enumerates what civil rights would be in our country when it was founded. It is considered by many political scientists to be the best civil rights legislation ever written and admendments have been added ever since to include more and more people. Blacks,women and now gays fight for these civil rights. I'm just surprised for some reason you don't consider this Civil Rights legislation. I don't want to be tacky but Geez what are they teaching these days?

  • His alias has been back for a while too.

  • The two aliases of Mr. Wilder agree with each other. Who woodda thunk it?

  • Cheryl Tobin

    Actually all this anger directed now at Muslim Americans because of 9-11 is sad. If I was Muslim I would find it difficult to like or even talk to people who demonize me, my relatives,friends and neighbors because of our religion in America. Trotting out dogma about why everybody in this religion wants to take over the world is catering to the fringe element in all the worlds' religions. I actually remember when it was Catholic's and Jews who were despised. Telling them to go build their house of worship further from ground zero re-enforces the belief that we really believe they are connected even though Muslims were killed at the WTC and they have fought and died for our country for generations. Yet the emotions of anger,hate and fear seem to prevail over facts.

  • DR

    Cheryl, I actually *want* to put a mosque there. We agree on this. But you're also injecting a lot of things into this conversation that are confusing, so I'm asking you to clarify them because in your earlier comments you are insisting that people put fact over feeling. Are you willing to do the same?

    (1) According to the Wikipedia, ownership of this land is both private and government-controlled.

    (2) I'm not particularly wanting to get into an argument about anything, nor do I need to Google, I'm familiar with natural rights and Civil Rights and all of the various distinctions. You proactively brought in the Constitution so it seemed like you were suggesting there was some legality at stake, here. I was curious about that but you certainly don't have to answer if you don't want to. Cheers!

  • Cheryl Tobin

    Muslim Americans want the same rights as all other Americans have and if your are anything other then a White, Christian, European male your ancestor's or you had to fight bigots for your civil rights too and that is where The constitution,the Bill of Rights and the amendments come in with the Court system. They really are for all Americans regardless of race,religion or national origin. It just seems far to many people want civil rights for themselves only. That is why I absolutely love our documented civil rights and the court system. After reading some of these posts I'm realize, despite our official govt. policy that we are not at war with Islam, that their are many Americans who think we are or at least we should ask them politely to just go worship further away as the ADL so eloquently suggested because the right thing to do is to be sensitive to bigots not the people whose civil rights are being violated. That's a first for the ADL.

  • DR

    Got it. Thanks for the explanation. Couldn't agree more.

  • DR

    Cheryl, please slow down. You're jumping all around to make a point that I already agree with. Please consider opening your mind (if it's not open already) to the fact that there are christians here who don't represent what you've had to fight against for so long (I get it). I'm not your enemy, you said several things that initially felt convoluted to me. You've explained. We're good. I feel like you think I'm winding you up here, so I think I'm just going to bow out.

  • schimbare

    Andrew, do you have some proof of your assertions regarding jihad? Please share.

  • Robert Meek

    I remember my feelings on and after "9/11" – I felt like as if the world had come to an end. I felt dismal. I felt emotionally drained. I felt pain. I was, after a while, unable to watch more of it, as every time I turned on the TV, it bombarded my senses.

    I even reached out to someone who had just left me August 27, 2001, on the day of our 15th anniversary, who was not all that civilized to me, really, at that point, for support. (When people leave you for someone else, they tend to "demonize" you, to feel justified in what they have done to you.)

    Amazingly, he came through, and emailed me a careful and thoughtful response that was very supportive and caring.

    What I did NOT feel AT ALL was, in any way, shape, or form, hate or rage at Muslims. Even then, I realized that those few loony ones were not indicative of most of them.

  • Cheryl Tobin

    Oh I don't mind answering or taking the bait. Yes, I'm more than suggesting that there is a legal issue here. The legal issue with the constitution.the bill or rights and the amendments is that you can go to court and have the U.S. Government protect and/or enforce your civil rights guaranteed by these documents. That is why the ADL is trying to use shame,guilt and anger of victims to get the Muslims to move their place of worship because they don't have a legal leg left to stand on even though they tried to get the building declared an historic building so they could deny muslims their civil rights to worship anywhere on private land(which is all on some level under govt. control) but Mayor Bloomburg and council have approved. Actually no one would have any civil rights if there was no legal way to guarantee them. We would all depend on whatever the group in power at the time wanted to allow other people. You have to have legal rights to have any civil rights! I really, really wonder why you ask these basic, American civics questions. I'm not telling you anything that can't be found in an 8th grade civics book. I don't want to be disrespectful and maybe you aren't from this country and are unfamiliar with our laws and rights and how they are enforced. Whatever, I'm signing off for the evening. Hope you have a peaceful,enjoyable evening because I'm going to!!!

  • schimbare

    Tim, the people responsible for the Islamic center have already said that there will be no outdoor call to prayer for the neighbors to hear.

  • DR

    Cheryl, there are no legislated Civil Rights that I'm aware of that dictate anything about religious groups getting to put mosques on what appears to be a primarily government-owned property. OK? That's the discussion people are having, and you seem to be having a discussion about Civil Rights in general assuming that those here are like every Christian in the world /christian system who's ever crammed down their religion or thinks that Muslims are the devil. I don't see too many of those people here (though having been in Oklahoma seeing a Christian prayer on the headlines of the newspaper there, I can only imagine what you've contended with).

    Regardless, that's the point I'm trying to make to you (as I wade through your rather flimsy slams at my education).

    I hope we connect better on another thread, perhaps. See ya!

  • i thought you made him go away forever….

  • I personally see nothing wrong with building a Islamic center at the site were so many lost their lives including innocent Muslims. Extremists in Islam are not a exhaustive representative of all who are Muslim, just like Pentecostals are not an exhaustive representative of all Christians. Sadly this campaign against a body of faith is nothing new.

    A local guy wrote the following blog entry. He is a history professor here, and I love his blog. It is an interesting take on this whole mosque controversy thing.

  • Tim

    Unless I misunderstood your reply, it sounds as though you think I'm trying to tie all Muslims to 9/11. I'm not. I was only making the distinction in reply to Anna's comment, that 9/11 was done in the name of Allah. I don't ever recall reading that McVeigh committed his act of terrorism in the name of Christ. His act was politically motivated against what he believed was a U.S. Government gone rogue.

  • Tim

    Very good. That's a step in the right direction. I wasn't aware of that provision.

  • Tim

    Calling for a cab? You mean standing near the curb with a hand raised? I've never had to utter a word to hail a cab in NYC.

    Yeah, I realize lower Manhattan can be noisy at rush hour, but I've been to the site a couple times. Sitting at the site on Church street, I was able to hear boat horns from the North Cove Marina the equivalent of 4 blocks away. So bustle isn't really that overwhelming. The Mosque site is 2 blocks north and one block east.

    I was informed down the thread that the Mosque won't call prayer over any exterior PA system. So my point is now moot.

  • Tim

    Cheryl, if you have to go back to the Salem witch trials to fault our evil Christian history, I guess you should be safe here. I used to practice Voodoo back in the early '80's and my Christian neighbor never said a word about my pagan pastime. Go gather in peace.

  • Ummm …

    You might consider learning about comparative religion from sources other than talk radio.

    "Jihad" does not always refer to armed conflict. In many cases, it refers to spiritual warfare and efforts to purge sin from one's own life.

    Moreover, it is simply untrue to say that that's the only sure way to enter heaven. That statement can't be defended if you've done more than skim the surface of Muslim theology.

  • I think that the use of a priest and holy water would mean that they'd have to be Catholic.

    We Baptists don't use holy water (any old river or tap water is fine), and don't have priests.

  • That's what I wish I'd posted … well said, DR!

  • Oops … by "DR," I mean "buzz"

  • No, and I wouldn't support an al-Qaeda office, either.

    What does that have to do with a peaceful Islamic center?

  • Ummmm … what call to prayer?

    Have you looked into this at all?

    I stand by my assertion about knee-jerk reactions, since your answer winds up as non-sequitor.

    On the other hand, kudos for trying! That's more than I've seen from most anyone else.

  • ManimalX

    So… after they get their little mosque, do we get to build a church or a cathedral in Mecca? Because, you know, Islam is such a loving religion of peace and tolerance that it really shouldn't be a problem. /sarcasm

    I always wonder why it is that people claim Islam is a loving religion of peace and tolerance. If they are referring to all of the professing Muslims who are doing it WRONG, then yeah, I guess that is Islam. But real Islam that actually follows the Koran, the Hadith, and the teachings of fundamental imams? Not so much.

    The "Ground Zero Mosque" should be built post-haste, if only to prove (yet again) that our way is better than the severity, violence, and oppression of real Islam.

  • But let's be absolutely clear: the attack was motivated and justified solely by religious belief (Wahhabism). All of those who carried it out were believers in Wahhabism. Wahhabism is the dominant Islamic tradition on the Arabian peninsula, though its influence is minor in the rest of the Middle East. Because Osama bin Laden comes from Saudi Arabia and is Wahhabi himself, Wahhabi extremism and radical ideas of purity have obviously influenced him considerably. Adherents of Wahhabi Islam do not regard it as simply one school of thought out of many; rather it is the only path of true Islam — nothing else counts.

    Even though Wahhabism is a minority position overall in the Muslim world, it has nevertheless been influential for other extremist movements throughout the Middle East. This can be seen with a couple of factors, first of which is al-Wahhab’s (the founder) use of the term jahiliyya to vilify a society which he does not consider pure enough, whether they call themselves Muslim or not. Even today, Islamists use the term when referring to the West and at times even to their own societies. With it, they can justify overthrowing what many might regard as an Islamic state by essentially denying that it is truly Islamic at all.

    Saudi oil money fuels the spread of Wahhabism and we pretend it's a small extreme of islam at our peril. Is Cordoba House financed in any way by Saudi money?

  • Melissa

    Tildeb, I have a sister who travels and works in some of the very places you mentioned here (and others) and her perspective is EXACTLY the same as what you shared. We had this discussion only a couple of days ago. She has many Muslim friends with whom she has had this very discussion and they have expressed (some even laughingly) that the mosque will indeed be a symbol of victory to Muslims worldwide and wondered why we would allow our ourselves to be mocked in this way. I asked her if any of these folks seemed extreme to her and she told me that they were (or appeared to be) just normal, everyday people, many she knows quite well. For some reason, I felt sort of terrible about the whole thing after that – not really what I wanted to hear as I support the project. My sister just laughed because I seemed shocked and said (as she has many times before) that I am way too insulated and just don't have a damn clue when it comes to the rest of the world. (Apparently, travels to island locales don't count.) Maybe she's right but I refuse (maybe stupidly) give up hope of some kind of peace after 9/11.

  • DR

    This comment is so ignorant and outrageous that it makes me a little sick to my stomach to read.

  • ManimalX

    And yours is completely void of anything that backs up your outrage.

    Please, show me the error of my ways. Prove something I wrote wrong.

  • No, Christians won't be allowed to build churches in the repressive kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

    That's what makes the US, a republic founded on the ideals of freedom and democracy, different from wannabe-theocracies and monarchies.

    That's an absurd argument designed to provoke visceral response and bypass people's thought processes.

  • How about you start by reading the Bill of Rights, Amendment I?

    Then move on to the rest of the Amendments. Hit on principles like "due process" and "equal protection" and other things that define the American government and protect the rights of all citizens from the tyranny of others. You won't find those in Saudi Arabia. We don't make tit-for-tat exceptions to amuse ourselves, because we profess to believe in higher ideals of justice and equality.

    I agree with DR (and this time I mean DR) … but you're probably just quoting Rep. Gingrich, who made the same idiotic argument the other day. It drew lots of applause from people who claim to love the Constitution but have probably never read it.

    In this country, we don't blame entire groups for the wrongs of some other members.

    At least, we're not supposed to. Apparently it's okay with certain groups — and Muslims are one of those right now.

  • DR

    Nah. Thanks though. Not worth the time.

  • ManimalX

    Yeah, that's what I thought. Next time you feel the need to be "outraged," keep it to yourself. If you aren't going to have the courtesy of backing up your drive-by comments with some sort of intelligent reasoning, then you are just wasting everybody's time.

  • ManimalX


    You wrote, "How about you start by reading the Bill of Rights, Amendment I?"

    Umm… ok. That was a great read, thanks for suggesting it. Too bad it had nothing to do with anything I wrote above.

    You wrote, "Then move on to the rest of the Amendments. Hit on principles like “due process” and “equal protection” and other things that define the American government and protect the rights of all citizens from the tyranny of others."

    Again, nothing to do with anything I wrote.

    You wrote, "You won’t find those in Saudi Arabia."

    Right, and you know why? Because Saudi Arabia uses the Koran and Hadith as their effective "constitution!" When real Islam governs, the result is severity, violence, and oppression. If that isn't true, prove me wrong. Saudi Arabia? Ruled by fundamental, orthodox Islam and is severe, violent, and oppressive. The Taliban in Afghanistan? Fundamental, orthodox Islam producing a sever, violent, oppressive government.

    Then, look to somewhere like Turkey. They are 99% Sunni Muslim, and yet they are a republic governed by a secular constitution that provides for freedom of religion and universal suffrage. Non-Muslims and women can walk down the street without being afraid of being blown up or decapitated. Why? Because though Islam is the national religion, the nation is not governed by the Koran and Hadith (shari'a law).

    But… wave wave hand wave that inconvenience away, right?

    "I agree with DR (and this time I mean DR) … but you’re probably just quoting Rep. Gingrich, who made the same idiotic argument the other day. It drew lots of applause from people who claim to love the Constitution but have probably never read it."

    I haven't heard anything from Newt for ages (I tend to avoid talk radio and the news channels, with certain exceptions), but if his statement was similar to mine, he must be a pretty smart guy!

    You wrote, "In this country, we don’t blame entire groups for the wrongs of some other members."

    When did I do that? I blame Islam for being evil at its core. I completely admit that there are lots of nice, friendly, loving Muslims. Those are the ones that are doing it wrong, playing spiritual buffet with their faith (taking what they want and ignoring what they don't like).

    And if I am wrong, and examples such as Saudi Arabia and the Taliban really ARE the aberration and not the real face of Islam, then I challenge the so-called real Muslims to start standing up, speaking out, and acting out to fix their religion. I ask sincerely: please, Muslims, if your religion really is peace, love, and tolerance, then start taking care of business and taking out the trash that is giving your faith a bad name.

  • Thanks Elizabeth.

  • I’m late to this party but there’s something not right here.

    I was raised in various countries and so perhaps my perspective is a bit skewed but to the average muslim in, say, Kenya or Indonesia, the raising of a place called Cordoba House a few hundred feet from Ground Zero means only one thing: a very potent symbol of islam’s victory over the Infidels.

    Because we understand and uphold the secular values of freedom, we understand that it is indefensible to deny a religious order the right to build a house of worship (including a community center, cultural gallery, swimming pool, and so forth) on private property. But that’s not the issue.

    The issue is about what Cordoba House represents. That name is not an accident nor is what it represents to muslims. The intention of the builders is crystal clear to muslims no matter where they live, and the date of opening is therefore hardly surprising: September 11, 2011. What do you think are the chances that the opening ceremony will be planned to take place to the minute of the first attack?

    This issue reminds me of the one between what is legal and what is right. They do not mean the same thing any more than criticizing the incredible insensitivity shown by this proposal, by its offensive name, by the provocative date of its opening, and by its potent symbolism, does not mean giving in to bigotry and fear. There are very good reasons, as Tanager has eloquently written, why this building is a provocative insult not only to the families of the WTC victims but to the very values that forms the legal basis upon which such a building must be allowed. So although it may be legal, building it doesn’t make it right.

  • vj

    "I’d really like to think someone would cover the public Muslim resolve to promote peace, tolerance and diversity"

    Isn't the desire to build THIS building, in THIS place, evidence of "Muslim resolve to promote peace, tolerance and diversity"? It's hardly a memorial to the perpetrators (I know you don't anywhere suggest that it is, and have in fact expressed your support for the building, but it seems that some who do oppose the building have somehow conflated its location as support for the perpetrators, which just seems an insane jump of [il]logic).

  • DonP

    ( back ground harp music) You bring back happy memories Mr BS. OOps I mean Brian Shields. A nostalgia lost to life as it were. There was a season in my life when THC cured all my ills.

    ( strings and brassy brass, angry trumpet decrescendo) Then the bills started coming due.

    (tinkly, pretty happy, happy harp music) Still that was bliss wasn't it? I had a thousand years to live. Time for world conquering would come, maybe more than one. But that was going to wait. Until it didn't.

    (crying winds breaking to silence) Where the hell did all that time go?

  • ManimalX


    Out of curiosity, I went and found the comments made by Gingrich. You know, the "idiotic" comments that you claimed were the same as mine?

    Sorry, but you receive a big fat FAIL.

    Gingrich essentially stated that no mosque should be built near ground zero because Christians are not allowed to build churches in Muslim nations. From the comments I read, it seems that he wants to give Islam a dose of its own medicine. But the problem with that has already been mentioned here. Allowing the government to say, "a private citizen can't build a place of worship on private property," is completely contrary to what the USA stands for. Act more like Saudi Arabia? Hell no! We are the United States of frakkin' America, and we don't stoop to using oppression, violence, and persecution against our own citizens or our guests. At least, we shouldn't…

    If you had actually read my words (you know, the ones I picked on purpose to communicate my message?), you would see that my comments differed quite drastically from Gingrich's. While I pointed out the hypocrisy of the situation, my conclusion was the exact opposite of Gingirch's: let the mosque be built because we are BETTER than the cowardly Muslim oppressors who don't allow Christian churches to be built. You can try to blow us up all you want. We will still welcome you, we will still extend the hand of reconciliation, and we will still extend to you the liberty you hate so much.

    Hell, I'll even come to the ribbon cutting ceremony (or whatever passes for such at the opening of a new mosque) with a smile and a welcome basket full of baked goodies.

  • DonP

    Did I miss the part where the majority of the leadership of the Muslim faith denounced the 9/11 massacre? Or did I not hear their silence when the majority of the Muslin world were dancing in the streets? Let the Faithful leadership of the Muslim faith either say yea or nay to sympathizing with the enemy of our country. Let it be heard once and for all. Then we will know if they should be afforded the same freedoms as the rest of us. We are free to be free in this country we are not free to declare war on it and begin targeting innocent civilians. The silence of the Muslim leadership speaks loud enough for me.

  • DonP

    Did I miss the part where the majority of the leadership of the Muslim faith denounced the 9/11 massacre? Or did I not hear their silence when the majority of the Muslin world were dancing in the streets? Let the Faithful leadership of the Muslim faith either say yea or nay to sympathizing with the enemy of our country. Let it be heard once and for all. Then we will know if they should be afforded the same freedoms as the rest of us. We are free to be free in this country we are not free to declare war on it and begin targeting innocent civilians. The silence of the Muslim leadership speaks loud enough for me.

  • DonP

    Excuse me but; Did I miss the part where the majority of the leadership of the Muslim faith denounced the 9/11 massacre? Or did I not hear their silence when the majority of the Muslin world were dancing in the streets? Let the Faithful leadership of the Muslim faith either say yea or nay to sympathizing with the enemy of our country. Let it be heard once and for all. Then we will know if they should be afforded the same freedoms as the rest of us. We are free to be free in this country we are not free to declare war on it and begin targeting innocent civilians. The silence of the Muslim leadership speaks loud enough for me.

  • DonP

    Nowhere until we hear the majority of the Muslim leadership denounce the 0/11 massacre.

  • DonP

    I meant 9/11 massacre

  • DonP

    O crap! I meant the 9/11 massacre.

  • DonP

    You are wrong. America equals free to be Christian or blue for that matter. Blue does not equal America. And neither does Christian. This country was created by and is a gift from God. It is a place whereby mankind can be free to choose Him or not. This country is the physical manifestation of His most treasured gift; Free Will.

    If history proves anything, a Christian or any other religiously run government, will devolve to an oppressive authoritarian government. Witness Salem in our own country. There are hundreds of examples down through the ages including Judaism and Christianity.

  • DonP

    Now having said that, I agree in part with the rest of what you said. Unless we hear from the great majority of the Muslim leadership, a repudiation of the 9/11 massacre then they are enemies of the state.

  • "When did I do that?"

    Wait for it …

    " I blame Islam for being evil at its core. "

    Right there, in your next sentence.

    The relevance of the Bill of Rights is that you're trying to condition policy here in the US on policy in Saudi Arabia. That's not how we do things. Injustice is injustice, even if someone vaguely similar to the people against whom we're committing an injustice commit an injustice.

  • After a brief Google search of that moniker, I think that most reasonable people would ignore you … and your little tirade here does nothing to change that. DR simply realized sooner than I did that you're kind of nuts, and arguing with you is a waste of perfectly-good time.

    Looks like ManimalX is a Birther, among other signs of lunacy. Possibly not the same person, but the writing style is similar. Long on vitriol, short on merit.

  • Diana

    Yeah. This is true. Welcome to life.

  • DonP

    Here is a fact for you, I have not heard the majority of the leaders of the Muslim faith stand up and renounce the 9/11 massacre. In my book, that makes them sympathizers and enemies of the state.

  • DonP

    Here's another fact. After the massacre, Muslims all over the world were dancing in the streets. Not a word from the leaders of the Muslim faith world wide.

  • Who exactly are "The Muslim Leadership?" In Islam there's no rigid hierarchical structure like in Christian Churches where you can say who the "leadership" is. Instead individual Imam's spring up all over the place, issue Fatwas, and speak for their small group of followers. And in any case, why should all Muslims be held hostage to what their "leaders" say or be condemned by you as traitors?

    And no, I'm not going to post this as follow-up everywhere you've made the same inane point on dozens of threats. Sheesh.

  • Diana

    "After reading some of these posts I’m realize, despite our official govt. policy that we are not at war with Islam, that their are many Americans who think we are or at least we should ask them politely to just go worship further away as the ADL so eloquently suggested because the right thing to do is to be sensitive to bigots not the people whose civil rights are being violated."

    Okay, I'm going to cut in here, because it's something that I keep hearing in the comments on this post and I think it's inaccurate.

    A person who is opposed to building a Muslim center (Mosque or otherwise–doesn't matter) that close to the scene of the 9/11 attacks is not necessarily a bigot. I'm not saying that there aren't bigots who are opposed to this building. I'm saying that one does not have to be a bigot to be opposed to it.

    When it comes to being "sensitive" on this issue, I don't care what most people think about it. What I do care about are those who lost loved ones in the attack and those who were otherwise most personally affected by the attack (survivors, first responders, etc.) If those people are okay with this building, more power to them. They are expressing an enormous amount of grace, strength, and courage in very painful circumstances and my hat is off to them.

    On the other hand, it wouldn't be terribly surprising if some members of the above group were less than enamored about having that building that close to the former site of the twin towers. Just like I'm not terribly surprised at the notion that a woman who gets pregnant as the result of having been raped might be less than enamored about bringing the pregnancy to term. While someone else might be dumb enough to argue "but the baby didn't rape you," (yes, I actually heard someone use this argument on national TV once. Charming, is it not?) I understand that while that might be a logical argument, logic doesn't necessarily play in this circumstance.

    So it is with this building. The argument "but these Muslims weren't the ones responsible for the 9/11 attacks," while a logical argument, is not necessarily the point. The point is, if I lost a loved to 9/11, or if I had been there and actually experienced the carnage for myself, I, too, would probably be less than enamored at having a Muslim building that close to the site, even if I logically understood that these Muslims weren't the ones responsible for the attacks that killed my loved one(s) and/or otherwise traumatized me.

  • Cheryl Tobin

    If you think this is primarily government owned land then nobody would need to discuss this issue. The ACLU would stop it! Please don't ask me why I think the ACLU is concerned with civil rights or religious symbols on government property as my head is still spinning from yesterdays discussion of why the Bill of Rights is a civil right and why this is important in the discussion about where a mosque could be built. I'm deleting this blog because I don't enjoy teaching 8th grade civics on my days off.

  • Tanager "I support building this center, hoping that it indeed fulfills its stated desire to be an open place of respect and diversity. Perhaps there will even be a part of it that very visually condemns all acts of violence committed in the name of Allah and Islam. Probably every spiritual practice needs a memorial like that, re-committing itself to the peaceful practice of their respective faiths."

    Indeed. What would be the message to the world if every faith had a place that ringed the site, surrounding it in mutual respect and honor for each other…?

    I think the building of this mosque has the potential to set peace and healing in motion.

    Peace and healing have to begin somewhere. Maybe this is the first step towards it…

  • DonP

    from wikepedia about the Imam who want to build the Mosque in question:

    "In a 2001 60 Minutes interview, Abdul Rauf condemned the 9/11 attacks as un-Islamic, and he stated that the U.S. was "an accessory to the crime that happened," because, "we have been accessory to a lot of innocent lives dying in the world."[2] In 2010 he declined to state that Hamas was a terrorist organization."

    Sounds like forked tongue to me.

  • Nicely written, Diana. The issue is presented as either supporting our values (for) or giving in to our fears (against). David has presented the fear as 'crazy' and I think we need to remind ourselves that sometimes dichotomies presented as if there were only the two positions are more often than not false.

  • Cheryl Tobin

    Please don't get sucked into a discussion with someone who doesn't understand why the Bill of Rights is important to this discussion. I did that yesterday and my head is still spinning.

  • DR

    I'd go ahead and keep your day job.

  • DonP

    Well, there you go. Totally separate and distinct issues. You are for allowing our enemies to bed down beside us and I am not. Plain and simple. Because our Government has perpetrated atrocities you would sleep with your enemy. Not in my back yard Mr.

    As far as the Muslim leaders issue goes; I would expect to see and hear Imams all over the world clamoring to get their face on TV. Renouncing the crazies who perpetrated the massacre. In times past, when the Klu Klux Klan was perpetrating their miserable deeds there were many a Christian leaders denouncing them Same with cult leaders like Jim Jones and others of his elk.

  • DR

    Or perhaps Don, he's trying to actually identify who the enemy really is?

  • DonP

    PS. I scan many a liberal,conservative, foreign and yes even pro Muslim news sources almost every day. Now maybe I missed some, but virtually every interview and statement I have heard out of the mouth of Muslim leaders have couched they're words so as not to offend the "crazies" Either it was wrong or it was not. Period.

  • No, I'm not trying to lie down with our enemies, I'm trying to make a distinction between people like Imam Rauf who take a reasonable and nuanced stand on 9/11 and our true enemies like OBL and Ayman al-Zawahiri who wish only our destruction. It surely can't be good for America to define as enemies ALL Muslims.

    As for Christian leaders clammoring to be on television to denounce racism, that wasn't my experience growing up in Dallas during the Civil Right era. My memory is of major white preachers clammoring to be on TV to denounce MLK and to say that "Our N-word" were "Good N-word" and not uppity. I remember Pator W.A. Criswell of the First Baptist Church of Dallas clammoring to keep his church all-white… to the point of funding black congregations so "those people" would stay "with their own kind." Were there white Chrfistians who marched with King? Yes, but they were no where near the "majority." Should all Christians of the time be called bigots because "a majority of their leaders" didn't rush to the Civil Right crusade? Of course not, no more than all-Muslims should be labeled enemies and terrrorists because they aren't holding anti-al Qaeda press conferences.

  • DonP

    I thought of that. But the issue is not if our Government is more of an enemy to us than the Muslims. Clearly both are equal in that respect in different ways. My point as much as I can on my own influence it is; not in my back yard damn-it.

  • DonP

    'Nuff' said, I guess. I do see the Constitutional issue here. I do not see the Imams statement as balanced. I see it as cowardly. I see it as lending support to our enemy's ideology. I see it as he not wanting to ruffle the feathers of those who support the house he is the head of.

  • vj

    I'm reminded a little of something I heard Chris Rock say on Oprah a few years ago. He had returned to his home town, and was collected at the airport by a limousine. At some point he realized that the limo driver was someone who had in some way victimized him during their school years. His first instinct was to 'lord it over' this guy, who had clearly not made as much a success of his life as Rock had, but then he realized that in doing so he would in some sense justify the original bullying perpetrated against him all those years ago, and so he decided rather to be the 'better' person and not sink to the level of tit-for-tat.

    In the spirit of 'doing unto others as you would have them do unto you', would it not be more gracious to welcome the Cordoba House as a means of more deliberately including Muslims (particularly American Muslims – it's their country that was attacked on 9/11 after all) in the wonderful freedom on which the US is founded? And then we could only hope/dream that at some point hence this might one day be reciprocated in places where currently church buildings are not welcome….

  • DonP

    I suppose I was sheltered. I was raised in a devoutly "Christian" home. With all the attending "Christian gatherings from here to "Timbuck Two" (ever how you spell that one. I did not experience what you did. I am sorry for your experience. I do remember hearing our social circle renouncing all such behavior.

  • UHM, the Spanish in the California territory were Christian.

    History has a long record of people committing atrocities in the name of religion, we certainly cannot put all the blame on an entire body of faith for the actions of some within that particular faith. History also shows where groups of different faiths have co-existed peacefully for centuries. India is a prime example. It is primarily Hindi, but it has had a Islamic minority for several hundred years, as well as even smaller Buddhist and Sikh minorities.

  • Brian S writes The 9/11 attacks were unIslamic and wrong AND the U.S. was not an innocent victim here. We have provoked the attackers through our policies over the years…

    This is not an uncommon opinion but is it true?

    What many compassionate and caring people have a hard time understanding is that there really are many people who think the attacks represent what's best about islam and was morally right (certainly defensible as appropriate retribution for having a military presence in the Kingdom). You seem to lend some credence to this notion of justifiable retribution by asserting the victim was deserving…! I honestly don't think you mean to suggest that a single person killed during 9/11 with the exception of the hijackers was deserving of this death sentence but you tread terribly close this assertion by attributing blame beyond those directly responsible.

    What is really hard to appreciate is what it means to the security of the west that many people fully endorse the intention and the results of the 9/11 attacks. It means there are many people who want to kill you for your apostasy and think themselves justified by their religious commandments to carry out god's will as ordered. Whether or not you call these earnest folk 'extremists' doesn't matter. They are here. They are religiously motivated. They appear to be religiously moderate right up until they do something that you call extreme. But you forget at your peril (and mine) that many folk are dedicated to your death because you offend their god. You may insist that such an opinion is misguided, but when someone has the Truth and believes it is empowered by god, it is very difficult to have a rational discourse about why one should not follow or submit to such a really intolerant commandment. Further calls for greater tolerance by many in the west and immunity from criticism of those religious beliefs that allow for none on pain of death is not the approach that will bring about more moderation or re-interpretation of submitting to god's will; instead, it is a clarion call for all of us who appreciate the limits of tolerating the intolerable to criticize at every opportunity every expression of that belief in the public domain.

    Few westerners have bothered to study the qua'ran nor have spent much time interpreting it according to the authority of various haddiths. We hear from many muslims that islam is a religion of peace and we are offered quotations to back it up. But this cherry picking is often intentionally misleading. It is understandable if naive why so many nice westerners buy into this. It feels familiar: in the same way many christians award more weight and clarity of religious instruction to the New Testament over the Old, so too are the later writings in the qua'ran deemed of greater weight than the earlier ones. The references to peace and love and respect are almost entirely earlier writings (usually directed only at the Faithful) and references to holy jihad and religious conquest and administration are later (directed at bringing everyone to Allah).

    But please don't take my word for it: ask a muslim to explain. Read the qua'ran. These explanations will show you why so many imams the western press likes to call 'moderate' (it's actually quite an insult to a muslim to imply anything less than full submission to god) seem to offer some religious support for the attacks even while expressing great regret for them. In particular, Wahhabism (the religion followed by all the hijackers) is based on following scripture more strictly than many muslims would like, but let's not forget it's not an easy job for one muslim to tell another that following the scripture too literally is anti-islamic. In spite of your assertion to the contrary, it's not. And therein lies the hard truth we cannot ignore.

  • Matthew Tweedell

    You mean you don't use cellphones to call taxi providers? That's how it's generally done in the big cities of Ukraine and Russia as well as in my small town in Indiana.

  • Well look. Personally I find Christianity and Islam equally preposterous and there are many instances in history in which sects of Christianity have been just as murderous and pigheaded,

    Wahabbism is not the only form of Islam. There are the Sufis who don't buy into any of that Jihad nonsense. One of the toughest challenges al-Zawahiri and Qutb and the other intellectual leaders of the Islamists have had to deal with is the Qu'ran's strict prohibition against suicide. That's enough to make many Muslims believe 9/11 and similar attacks are un-Islamic. Many think the methods of the attack alone make it a violation of the religion even if they agree with the political motivation behind it. That;s not a fringe position, either within Islam. It's the fundamentalists who hold the fringe. (You'll note I never used the word "moderate", you did)

  • DR

    In the spirit of fairness, there's plenty of lunatics who would have celebrated if Dubya had been hurt/killed as well.

  • Tim

    Have you been to Manhattan? You can't hawk a loogie into the street without hitting a passing cab.

  • vj

    Yeah, Sylvie, I know what you're getting at, but I don't think India is a really good example – less than 100 years ago they had to partition the country after independence to separate most of the Hindus from most of the Muslims (modern Pakistan was originally part of India) – and even now there are periodic outbursts of one group doing something terrible to another (such as demolishing temples etc). And Kashmir is another whole Hindu/Muslim drama all by itself, not to mention the terrorist attacks in Mumbai a while ago…

    But I suppose the fact that such a populous nation with so many divergent constituencies is not more over-run with group-on-group attacks etc perhaps does indicate that they've got something right after all (unless it's just that most of the people are too busy trying to make a living to get all philosophical and care what anyone else is up to!) India's democracy probably has a lot to do with the relative peace – perhaps just the idea of possibly being able to join the governing classes thru non-violent means helps to temper the culture clash?

  • Diana

    So, FJS=Marriagecoach1? See, that kind of surprises me.

    What FJS writes is often funny to me–deeply tongue in cheek. Whereas what Marriagecoach1 writes usually makes him sound like he has a perpetual case of hemorrhoids. If they're both one and the same, then my hat is off to the man's talent as a writer. To manage to create two such completely different internet personae and play them off of each other takes some serious talent.

  • If I can be serious for just a moment, this is a real threat, and one that warrants careful scrutiny and concern.

    First, they will build a religious center. Then they will recruit from the local population, probably starting by converting the children, knowing that eventually their parents will follow suit. They will offer food and community support, in return for service. Non-believers will be systematically removed, either driven away or killed outright. Within a very short time, our entire culture could be supplanted by foreigners shrouding their beliefs in a message of peace and love, but with an undercurrent of threats and violence.

    It worked for the Spanish in California. History repeats itself. We must be ever vigilant.

    Okay, I can’t be serious for a moment.

  • First, you set up a strawman then don’t respond to my point. Who is the “Majority of Muslim Leaders?” How would you know what a majority of muslim leaders thought? How would such a poll be taken?

    Second, what Imam Rauf says seems true to me. The 9/11 attacks were unIslamic and wrong AND the U.S. was not an innocent victim here. We have provoked the attackers through our policies over the years including the attack on the pharmaceutical plant in the Sudan, the pre-911 attacks that killed innocents in Afghanistan, our blind support for Israeli genocide of Palestinians in the Lebanese camps, the list could go on and on. We can have a reasonable discussion about whether each of these attacks was justified but we can’t just blithely act like the U.S. hasn’t also killed innocents in the world.

  • Diana

    You mean, take the high road? Bite your tongue!

  • ManimalX


    A "Birther?" LOL! Your utter lack of research ability is so atrocious as to be hilarious (Google? Really?). I think I asked ONCE on another forum a while back when the issue with Obama's birth certificate came up: "So… why doesn't he just release his birth certificate?" It seemed to me that it was an issue that would be easy for the administration to resolve, and I was wondering why they didn't just settle the matter.

    If you had taken time to read any of my other… 3,000+ posts on that forum, you would have discovered that 1) my theory was that he just didn't want everyone to see "Muslim" on his birth certificate because it would have cost him votes, and 2) I denounced the Birther movement several times.

    Also, a survey of said Google results tells me that not every result of "ManimalX" is me. Its a pretty popular name in various gaming and sci-fi circles, and I'm not the only one who uses it. Just FYI.

    I do applaud you on your ability to use straw men and ad hominems to disguise the fact that you have no intelligent response to my very valid points, though. They are amateur tactics usually used out of desperation, but it can work sometimes if the audience is particularly gullible.

    In the future, if you want to know my opinion on something, all you have to do is ask (or maybe do more than read a few words of a Google hit?) 🙂

  • ManimalX


    When I use the term "Islam" I am referring to the institution of Islam, not the people who follow it. So no, I'm not blaming all Muslims for the actions of some Muslims. I'm blaming Islam (its doctrines and teachings) for being rotten at its core.

    And your whole Bill of Rights argument is still eluding me. When did I ever advocate violating or suspending the Bill of Rights? Or am I still missing your point?

    Remember, my final position is: let the mosque be built because 1) it isn't the government's job to interfere in private citizens building places of worship on private property and 2) because we are better than oppressors such as Saudi Arabia.

  • Tim

    I’ve googled that claim before. Also Snoped it. Seems that nobody could actually back it up.

  • Susan

    Haven't read the string, but for what it's worth, I'm with you John Shore – as far as building it. One of the reasons our country was established was for religious freedom. If it cannot be granted to the muslims, then we cannot expect it to be granted to those of us who aren't muslims. Period. Why is this an issue? Someone posted a "like" to the page: "I live for Jesus Christ, who then is with me? yet their status said: "I'm so angry about the mosque being built, I hope it gets blown up just like our towers on 9/11 and they'll know how it feels" 1) How can people be so blind as to how unlike Christ they are and 2) how do they not see their opposition to the mosque being built as unconstitutional? 3) why is it any less of a dishonor to the unsuspecting muslims who died on 9/11 – to deny their house of worship being built near the location where they perished?

  • Matthew Tweedell

    But I thought they decided it would be better to call it Park51.

    Nevertheless, you are right that it may seem a symbol of victory to certain right-wing Muslims around the world. Those are the relative minority (in a relatively few countries) actually celebrating in the streets in the aftermath of 9/11, and those are the ones whose spirits will soon burn in hell, so I'm not too concerned about what they'd think about it—whether it might give them something else to waste there breath cheering about. But your characterization of whole countries like that does a bit concern me: it is the same as associating all Texans with people who think we should just go ahead and rid the world of all those Muslims, as such *is* the impression that some people who've lived for a time in some part thereof express.

  • Matthew Tweedell

    Thank you, Elizabeth.

  • berkshire12

    Please, just go away.

    And could we all PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE stop calling this thing a Mosque???

    It's NOT a mosque.

    It's NOT a mosque.

    It's NOT a mosque.

    It's a cultural center that also has a prayer room–which makes sense, given that one of the duties of a devout Muslim is to pray 5 times a day.

  • berkshire12

    The please just go away part was fro Marriage Coach–I don't know why it didn't go right under his comment. Just making that clear.

  • berkshire12

    I agree, DR. Hard to know where to even begin.

    But isn't it interesting that the Muslims who fit the writer's hateful view of Muslims are the "real" Muslims, and the one's who defy and contradict that view are "doing it wrong".


  • berkshire12

    Just a point of clarification–DR posted a wiki link about the ownership of the world trade center site, and its confusing public/private aspects.

    This proposed Islamic cultural center is not to be located there. Its proposed location is two blocks away from the WTC, not within the WTC borders described in that wiki entry.

  • berkshire12

    On Cordoba's website, they discuss the plans for the facility, and in response to Mayor Bloomberg's message of support (wherein he refers to the building of a 'house of worship'), they thank him for his support but take pains to mention that they are not building a "house of worship" for the exclusive use of Muslims.

    I love the NY Times, but they and other organizations seem to have taken to using a short-hand and refer frequently (if not exclusively) to the "Ground Zero Mosque", even knowing that it is neither at Ground Zero or intended as a Mosque. The inclusion of a prayer room at the center doesn't make it a mosque. I think they do a disservice to all parties (supporters and detractors) but not being more careful in their descriptions.

  • DonP

    Excuse me in advance please, for the unwholesome words that have come to my mind over your reply. I will endeavor to be polite.

    Hear me loud and damned clear: Anyone who in any way thinks that there was any justification, even in the slightest for the 9/11 massacre is an enemy of America. Nothing complicated here, no reading between the lines no couching my words to appease another entity including my good moderately thinking Christian friends. On this one I am unalterable. Let me hear a clear unqualified statement reflecting that position from any Muslim and he is my country's friend anything else and he or you for that matter are my country's enemy.

    If this were another country perpetrating this cowardly killing of innocent civilians all over the world (even amongst themselves for God's sake) they would have been knocked back to the stone age by now. This is absolutely no different. These are not country's fighting us militarily for atrocities we have committed. These are Jim Jones nut-balls attacking innocent civilians. Let Muslims separate themselves once and for all from the nut-balls.

    I'll say it again, Give me a clear unequivocal statement, unqualified with excuses, renouncing the massacre from any Muslim and he is my country's friend. I would say to him"build your building where ever you wish". This is hardly the reasoning of a man who lumps all Muslims in the "crazy" camp. If you had bothered to read the next to the last sentence in the piece you replied to, you would not have made such an asinine ( and I use that word with all it's inherent meaning) to make such a statement.

  • DonP

    So the building is not a Mosque. Fine! Let it be built with the contingency that when the building is occupied it may be occupied by anyone and everyone at the same time. Never let it's doors be closed on Muslim only activities. Make it a condition for the permit.

  • berkshire12

    This so-called “mosque” IS their statement against 9-11. But it is not the only statement the Muslim community in American has made against it. Not by a long shot.

    Firstly, forgive me if other comments have already posted about this fact, but I haven’t had a chance to read through everything on here, so this might be redundant, BUT it’s not a “mosque” they’re building.

    It is also not “at” Ground Zero.

    It’s to be an Islamic cultural center, similar in its aim to NYC’s 92nd Street Y–which is an amazing place, that has a multitude of educational and cultural programs that are wide-ranging, from public figures speaking, to comedians, to dance events, to other cultural events, to educational programs. It’s a wonderful, fantastic place.

    The Islamic center is planned in that same spirit, as a community resource and a way to have people of all faiths (or no faith at all) come together for common purposes. It is not being built only for Muslims. It is to be a *shared* community resource. It also happens to have a prayer room–and given that devout Muslims pray five times a day, I would expect the place to have just such a room. Let’s be clear though–it is NOT a mosque. Let me also be clear that even if it WAS a Mosque that I, a non-Muslim and a Native New Yorker, would still whole- heartedly support it.

    On the radio the other day there was a writer named Amitave Kumar, who is a professor at Vassar College. He has written a book about the post-911 world (which you can read about here:

    He pointed out in the on-air discussion, that when Muslims do speak out against 9-11, they don’t get the press that the ‘haters’ do.

    There are probably all kinds of reasons for that, but I would suggest the main one is that it’s not controversial, and won’t sell ads and commercials as well as the haters, and even more, we need to have someone to blame, a scapegoat, and showing reasonable Muslims . . . well, kind of spoils that for us and robs us of our right to be reactionary and bigoted when its convenient. It would require of us that we think as rationally and critically as we claim we’d like them to. It would require that we look at ourselves more critically, as well. Where’s the fun in that?

    Another thing he brought up was that it is well known that after 9-11, and after we went to war in Iraq, a major recruiting tool for al Qaeda was the scandal at Abu Ghraib prison. Yet, I have never in all these years heard any of my American friends suggest that Americans aren’t standing up and speaking out enough against those atrocities and others, including numerous reports of desecration of the Koran as a form of taunting Islamic prisoners. Wrong is wrong, but somehow we seem to think we have a right as Americans or as a wounded party to do wrong. Well, I’d suggest that we don’t. We are holding the Muslim community to a higher standard than we hold ourselves in that regard (to be sure, many Americans were appalled–but a great many did the equivalent of “dancing in the streets”, and we seemed to think that was just fine). Read the comment board of any article relating to Islam or terrorism/terrorists, and tell me Americans don’t do their own little dance. Does that mean all Americans are evil? Or just that we’re entitled to do that, and other groups aren’t? In fact, for me, I have to ask my friends who’ve made that same argument that Muslims don’t speak out against the highjackers enough (which is not the case, as far as I can tell–and I live in a diverse region where there are many Muslims), when was the last time you yourself spoke out against injustices committed by members of your faith or your government or your race . .. or whatever collective group you can claim membership in? As far as I can tell, most people can’t be bothered to take a real stand against much of anything at all, especially if doing so poses risks to them personally. But maybe I’m just a cynic. I don’t know. I’m one who does speak out, often, and just as often find it a lonely pursuit.

    As someone whose life and sphere of activity is very tied to NYC, I am not at war with Islam. I fully understand the very prominent and forceful statement that the Cordoba initiative is making against 9-11 and the hijackers by doing precisely what they’re doing. Do not forget that these people are also Americans. They suffered that day along with all of us–and perhaps more, because it was not only planes that were hijacked, but their entire religion. They are saying in this project just what you wish they would say–“No! Extremists of the world, take note. You do NOT have the final say on who we are as Muslims. You do not have the final word on what America is or isn’t–we will show you its greatness in the freedom it affords us to be a presence here. We will have the final word on who and what we are as Muslims, and what we stand for”. The same forceful statement could not be made elsewhere–it would then be just another community center, with just another prayer space (and sadly, there is evidence to support that people would fight their right to build elsewhere, too). No, this statement can only be made in this place.

    When the Cordoba project opens, I hope I’ll be able to be there to support them. I want to stand with my friends and neighbors as a community of Americans who believe in pluralism, who believe that the real terrorists (extremists, of any religion or political orientation) should never be allowed to have the final word, who truly believe in freedom and peace, and who believe that education, unity and harmony are worthy goals.

    And I’m really looking forward to some performances or even classes in Middle Eastern dance and music, for readings of Arab poetry, and whatever else they plan to offer.

    Oh, on more link of interest–I think this Rabbi said it very well:

  • DonP

    I said this below. But, in case you missed it here it is again: “I scan many a liberal,conservative, foreign and yes even pro Muslim news sources almost every day. Now maybe I missed some, but virtually every interview and statement I have heard out of the mouth of Muslim leaders have couched they’re words so as not to offend the “crazies” Either it was wrong or it was not. Period.” Additionally, “from Wikipedia about the Imam who want to build the Mosque in question:

    “In a 2001 60 Minutes interview, Abdul Rauf condemned the 9/11 attacks as un-Islamic, and he stated that the U.S. was “an accessory to the crime that happened,” because, “we have been accessory to a lot of innocent lives dying in the world.”[2] In 2010 he declined to state that Hamas was a terrorist organization.”

    You can sleep with the enemy if you want but until they quit making any kind of understanding statement that even remotely excuses the massacre, I will do all I can to see that everyone of those who make those kinds of statements are deemed enemies of the state. War was declared on this country by a bunch of crazy Muslims. Let those Muslims that do not support that war separate themselves from the rest with a loud voice. It is time to stand up and be counted. How about some dancing in the streets FOR America.

  • berkshire12

    Again, that is precisely what the Cordoba initiative aims to do–they ARE that loud voice separating themselves from the “crazy muslims” to whom you refer.

    But that’s not god enough for you.

    And, as another poster suggested when you first posted this, Abdul Ruaf presents a nuanced view of 9-11, that is much needed. Likewise his refusal to oversimplify the situation in Gaza and the status/role of Hamas.

    You are clearly viewing all members of Islam as “crazy Muslims”, at least by your statements here–even those who subscribe to Sufism, as the Cordoba founders do. Even when they do what you want and make a strong statement against the fringe element–as in this Cordoba initiative–it isn’t enough for you, as I said above.

    So what do you *really* want?

    What’s the *real* issue?

    You don’t have to answer that for me, of course. But in the interest of honesty, you might ask it of yourself.

    Right now, it just sounds like bigotry, pure and simple; a desire to hold onto hatred of an entire group of people.

    “until they quit making any kind of understanding statement that even remotely excuses the massacre”

    So, no one who takes a view other than your own, no one who tries to understand what motivates such an insane act of violence (and they are trying to *understand*–not excuse it) has any validity in your view.

    This is dangerous thinking. An attempt to understand the complexity of issues, and what motivates human behavior is essential in finding ways to making sure such things do not happen again. It’s easy shots, and simplistic reasoning that says “they’re just religious fanatics” that endangers all of us. You might not like what Abdul Rauf suggests in his comments (that is, that in this world there *is* such a thing as cause and effect, and we are all connected), but you ignore it at your peril.

  • Melissa

    As I said before, the Muslims my sis has befriended and encounters on a daily basis are not cheering 9/11 or spewing anti-American garbage. They have normal conversations in which they have indicated they believe the Ground Zero mosque will be a symbol of Muslim victory and they also cannot believe we can’t see that for ourselves. That simple. Apparently, not all Muslims who support this belief are out in the streets ranting. Some just quietly support the cause. Having been in those parts of the world for years, I trust her perspective.

  • Diana

    Something weird is happening with the nesting function, because when I received your comment in my e-mail, (the one telling Marriagecoach1 to “Please just go away,” it did reference his comment before showing yours. But now, as you’ve noticed, it’s not nesting in the correct spot. Weird!

  • Matthew Tweedell

    Do you even read what I'm saying when you argue with me, Tildeb? We just went through this: it's NOT called Cordoba House. (In any case, Cordoba was a beautiful historical example of Jews, Christians, and Muslims living together under one community.) And what “interpretation” are you disputing exactly?

  • Matthew Tweedell

    You misunderstand what true Islam is.

    First, those with understanding know that the words of God are not temporal in nature nor are they ordered from least to greatest.

    Second, there is the lesser jihad of the struggle against injustice, oppression, apostasy (which you misunderstand when you claim Mr. Shields would be guilty of it, as apostasy is when a former believer renounces his faith), and idolatry. And there is a greater jihad, which is the struggle for one's own soul against desires that go against full submission to Allah. As for the lesser jihad, it may be conducted by the tongue (or the pen), by the hands (through doing good works), or by the sword (or other weapon of war). If it is necessary to fight evils by the sword, then certain rules of engagement are prescribed, including avoiding the slaughter of women, children, and the elderly.

  • Matthew Tweedell

    Are you sure that they understand correctly that it’s actually not a mosque, actually not located at ground zero, and not some kind of memorial or anything? Then if it constitutes a symbol of victory for true and typical Islam, so be it—that could mean none other than victory over extremist elements perverting their religion. Other than this, I am at a loss as to how victory for the average Muslim would be symbolized in park51. It seems to me that you misunderstand your sisters’ friends rather. I feel they are pointing out, to which I am agreeing, that this would be taken by radicals within their own culture as a symbol of their victory. If they meant that they themselves would be the victors, they wouldn’t be saying it laughingly, unless diabolically so. It is my impression that at least the more northerly Islamic countries generally have a different understanding. I don’t know how fully integrated your sister is into the culture or what she does (and hence whom she has contact with) there, but in any case it could also be that our sample size is a bit small for drawing much conclusions anyway.

  • So riddle me this, Batman: why, if your interpretation is more accurate than Melissa’s, is it called Cordoba House?

  • Matthew Tweedell

    I would disagree with the implication that I am kafir. Anyway, what counts is *true* victory, not some supposed symbol thereof; so, again, I don't care if they'd see it as a victory symbol. The real victory, in the end, will be for Truth.

  • Yes, MT, I read what you write. But your writing of something does make your interpretation true. Forgive me for daring to argue with you.

    For example, we know that the Cordoba House will now be called Park 51. Why the name change FROM the Cordoba Initiative? The point you seem to miss is that the name Cordoba has figured prominently since this mosque’s inception. (“But it’s not a mosque!” I hear you saying. “It’s an islamic cultural center.” True. It simply contains a large area dedicated to to be used as if it were a mosque.) And the history of the Cordoba mosque represents to MUSLIMS is one of a great victory over the infidels. What it represents to you (your interpretation) is a lollipop and rainbow version. That’s sweet but it misses the point. Again. What does the center mean not to you and not to me but to the islamic world? It does not represent some kind of theological rapprochement between islam and other faiths, which is the way many here would like to interpret it. But that’s naive and dangerously so. How we interpret it is not the point because kaffir don’t count in the land of islam; what counts is building the symbol of victory over the infidel to all true muslims no matter where they live.

  • By all means take up this argument with those who adhere to Wahhabism and explain to them where they’ve gone wrong. Mind you, MT, I somehow doubt they will take kindly to your suggestion that what they practice is not true islam. In neither case – with either a ‘true’ believer or a ‘according to MT not-quite-so-true believer – can I imagine any muslim (or christian for that matter) able to explain what it would take to know that their beliefs were wrong.

  • Matthew Tweedell

    And here you have come to the question of what is true! I say that this is “true” Islam not because it is a preferable interpretation but because it is the only self-consistent way I know of for understanding Islam, and the truth cannot contradict itself! We may have various modes of modeling, explaining, and understanding truth, but any of them must be internally consistent, because that is a part of the very definition of the term. True Islam is submission verily unto Truth Himself (and historical Islamic philosophy has a rich tradition of pursuing that very end); yet like true Christianity, and every civilization on earth, it is ever under threat from the willful ignorance of the self-absorbed. Combating this with the tongue—and yes, if God so wills it, even with the sword—is my jihad.

  • Frank D.

    To start with-in spite of what you see on your favorite television show, it's liberals who committ the violence in our society. The number of abortion doctor murderers, so called hate crime related violence, etc. make up just a tiny percentage of all violent crime. I've been in law enforcement for 20 years and it's not the so called "fundies" that keep me busy. In fact, they almost never cause any problems. The vast number of people I arrest, for any crime, are Godless liberals.

    As for Islam, the fact is that it is NOT a peaceful religion. Its creator, Mohammad,unlike Jesus, was not peaceful and set the example for his followers. That example is to further Islam peacefully when your numbers are small and to use violence as soon as your percentage of the population makes it possible. Former professor of Islamic history at the University of Cairo, Mark Gabriel, spells all this out in his book "Islam and Terrorism." Here is an outline of what Islam has done repeatedly throughout history and what we can expect.

    Below two percent Muslims are well-behaved citizens and cause little apparent trouble for the host society.

    At two percent and three percent Muslims begin to proselytize from other ethnic minorities and disaffected groups with major recruiting from the jails and among street gangs.

    From five percent on Muslims exercise an inordinate influence in proportion to their percentage of the population. They push for the introduction of halal ("clean" by Islamic standards) food, thereby securing food preparation jobs for Muslims. They increase pressure on supermarket chains to feature it on their shelves–along with threats for failure to comply (United States, Switzerland, Sweden). At this point, Muslims work to get the ruling government to allow them to rule themselves under Sharia, or Islamic law. (England, Netherlands, Philippines).

    When Muslims reach 10 percent of the population, they increase lawlessness as a means of complaint about their conditions (Paris–car burning). Any non-Muslim action that offends Islam will result in uprisings and threats (Amsterdam, Denmark–Mohammed cartoons, murder of Theo van Gogh).

    After reaching 20 percent of a population expect hair-trigger rioting, Jihad militia formations, sporadic killings and church and synagogue burning (Indonesia, Ethiopia).

    After 40 percent you find widespread massacres, chronic terror attacks and ongoing militia warfare (Bosnia, Chad).

    From 60 percent you may expect unfettered persecution of non-believers and other religions, sporadic ethnic cleansing (genocide), use of Sharia Law as a weapon and jizya, the tax placed on [conquered] infidels (Sudan, Albania).

    After 80 percent, expect to find state-run ethnic cleansing and genocide (Syria, Egypt, UAE).

  • DR


    Don't you have a sandwich board to wear somewhere? Hurry! Arthur is waiting, those signs won't paint themselves!

  • DonP

    Hey DR, have you ever heard/read Frank calling Black people nigger or gay people faggot? I haven't been here long enough to know Frank or heard him use those terms. But, maybe you have. I know you would like to use this as an example of cooking all the ugly and pretty vegetables in the same stew. But you would be wrong unless of course that truly was what you were doing. As for the Imam, Abdul Rauf , he on the other hand, believes innocent American victims of the 9/11 massacre were partly responsible for their own deaths. Now I don't know about you but if that man was black or gay I would find it difficult not to use those words to describe just how I felt about his opinion. As it is I'll just label him an enemy of the state. Let an Imam who condemns the massacre without qualification, build their building. Not this nut-ball of a so called "moderate Muslim". Ha!

    And now we have our own ignorant, lying son of a ………………woman, President showing his own true colors. And that by opening his stupid mouth in public, supporting an enemy of the state.

  • DR

    Don. Feel free to call me wiping all tea party members with the same ignorant, racist brush, that's fine. But as you do, consider giving equal time to our dear Frank who in several comments just declared liberals as a whole more violent and immoral than anyone else. That might get me to actually listen closely to what you are offering.

  • DonP

    Not that I necessarily agree with Frank here; But. then again I haven't been an observer of the bottom stew pot for as long, as he has. I have no real stats to argue the point intelligently without name calling. Do you?

  • DR

    Where did I call him a name? Please copy and paste it, I'm not seeing any name-calling on my part.

  • DR

    Oh and one more thing, Don – the stats Frank offered were from Arthur C Brooks who've I had the displeasure of sharing a State with for 40 years. I got the pleasure of hearing firsthand on a number of occasions what Frank has to say about gays and lesbians as well as people of color – believe me, the link I listed doesn't even come close.. I've no idea what Frank calls people of color – once I read his little rant on how evil Liberals are, I stopped listening as most reasonable people would.

    As for you, I've plenty of Conservatives in my life, online and in the media I respect and treasure. The fidelity they show toward their faith, their true care about their nation and particularly how much they do for our military knows no bounds. So I'm not exactly looking at a guy who feels comfortable in any scenario calling anyone who is gay or of color a slur – not exactly a Conservative role model.

  • DR

    *what "Arthur" has to say firsthand, rather. I got too much sleep my typos are worse than usual.

  • I'm surprised, John, that you would allow Frank D. to use smear phrases like "The number of abortion doctor murderers," and "Godless liberals" without at least some admonishment to keep it civil and play nice.

    It's phrases like these that seem to grant both forgiveness and justification to anyone who would carry out violence against these supposed sanctioned and deserving targets. Thank goodness DR had the moral fortitude to step up to the plate with some well deserved ridicule. That DonP would then rally to Frank's defense is rather telling about where his true loyalties lie, which is not with the rights of other citizens like those killed in the 9/11 attacks that he ironically uses to justify his opposition about Park51 but with Frank's strident and militant smearing of others on shared religious sympathies!

    Good grief.

  • Frank D.

    "I’m surprised, John, that you would allow Frank D. to use smear phrases like “The number of abortion doctor murderers,” and “Godless liberals” without at least some admonishment to keep it civil and play nice."

    What? "abortion doctor murderers" is referring to people who murder abortion doctors. "Godless liberals" is referring literally to liberals who don't believe in or fear God. In other words, Godless liberals.

    Good grief.

  • DonP

    Look again. I didn't say you did.

  • DR

    Oh, Internets. I want to love you, but you make it so damn hard.

  • DonP

    Hey! You asked: "Where did I call him a name? " I answered.

    Your dismissal has the tone of superior speaking to a charge. I most humbly bow to your obviously great and wise self and will not continue.

    Next time, "brainiak", don't ask a question if you "don't have a need to get into this."

  • Frank D.

    The Crusades are a perfect example of this. Christians, Jews, and Muslims got along just fine for hundreds of years. But when Muslims became strong enough they threw the Christians out. And, this is important, most Christians didn’t really care. However, if Christians could not go to the Holy Land to worship, they couldn’t go there to do business either. Therefore, the powers that were, including the Pope, used religion as a tool to motivate the masses to go and “liberate” the Holy Land. In other words, like almost all other wars, the Crusades were about economics.

  • DR

    Don, I’ve no need to get into this with you. Seriously. Think what you will. Peace.

  • DonP

    @tildeb , I did confess my ignorance about Franks history and beliefs. If you could actually understand every day English, you would know that I was not defending Frank. I was defending Tea Party members. What rubbed me the wrong way about DR's words was that he implied that all Tea Party members are racists.

    With that said, if you have read anything that I have said on the matter of the Muslim spear in NY's side, you would know that my problem is with Imams who have to qualify their repudiation of the 9/11 massacre with their belief that somehow innocent murdered civilians bear some responsibility for the acts of a bunch of cowardly nut-balls.

    I say again: Let the building be built but not by this Imam. Let it be built by people who once and for all publicly disavow themselves from the violence of their nut-ball brothers without qualifying the statement with: Somehow innocent civilians "deserved it" or bear some responsibility for their own massacre.

  • Patty

    Where is the "Like" button? Thank you for your comments!

  • DR

    Nicely offered. This is accurate.

  • Phew! DonP had me going there.

  • Matthew Tweedell

    "Teabaggers" is at least as rude as "godless liberals".

  • Matthew Tweedell

    You are mischaracterizing Imam Rauf's position regarding the terrorist attacks of 9/11. You say that he says we somehow deserved it, when he has specifically said, "I wouldn’t say that the United States deserved what happened." He also affirms the innocence of the victims and that this is not legitimate Islamic jihad, saying, "The Islamic method of waging war is not to kill innocent civilians." If he seems less than unequivocal on such issues, his defense is that "I'm not a politician. I try to avoid the issues. The issue of terrorism is a very complex question… I am a peace builder. I will not allow anybody to put me in a position where I am seen by any party in the world as an adversary or as an enemy." So, considering the role he sees for himself, I can understand his need to be sensitive to others’ frustration over U.S. policies. Yet he is the author of "What's Right with Islam is What's Right with America" for Pete's sake. However, people elsewhere in the world do often see a lot *wrong* with America (and her policies, e.g. in regards to Israel) that we don't always have a clear perspective on. Of course, in Islam as in common sense, there is absolutely NO justification for the 9/11 massacre. But there are still reasons; there are still triggers that sent these men over the edge, to take out their delusional rage on America in particular. (You see, they don't have school shootings and such over there.) Perhaps you should try to see the world through their eyes. A friend of mine recently posted a link on facebook to a short video that I think might help us to see things how many in the Middle East do:
    Do you want to prove their inner suspicions right, that America really is an enemy of Islam?

  • Is it? I'm not American so I just went with the local lingo. The definition here is that Teabaggers are those people who belong to the Tea Party, a conservative grass roots movement known for protesting federal spending. No offense intended… merely ridicule for the very naive and often ignorant policies many in the movement seem to endorse.

  • MT, I have lived in Mulsim countries and visited others. I also have friends from various countries who are muslim so please do not presume to tell me I am incapable of seeing the world from different perspectives. It is for this very reason that I have expressed how many in the mulsim world will interpret Park51 to be a symbol of victory over the infidel and not, as many would like to believe, a symbol of America's religious tolerance.

    And be careful with comparisons… especially about student deaths. Where shooting in schools is tragic, I have yet in comparison to see US government agents act to cause more.

    And of central importance to all of in the west is understanding that the fundamental tenets of islam as expressed in the qua'ran and haddiths (not just by 'fundamentalist' muslims or just a 'fundamentalist' interpretation let me be very clear) is antithetical to secular enlightenment values. They are in direct conflict.

  • Matthew Tweedell

    "Teabagger" originates as the term for a person who's into "teabagging", a slang reference for a certain sexual practice. I can understand how many may not be aware of that though. (In America, that would include a lot of older conservatives, but also young teenagers.)

  • Matthew Tweedell

    I did not tell you, nor did I presume, that you are incapable of seeing the world from different perspectives. I was responding to DonP, and where I say "we", I mean typical Americans.

    As for the Qur'an/hadith and enlightenment, I'm sure one could (and some surely do) say the same about the Bible.

  • Ain't that a vision!

  • DR

    You're right, but there's also a second meaning that's sexual.

  • This showed up as a response to me, so I assumed…

  • Matthew Tweedell

    Just FYI: Both in my email and in the way the comment nesting displays for me, it indeed shows as a response to DonP ("@tildeb , I did…").

  • In response to tildeb on August 15, 2010 at 9:30 am:

    My point, MT, is trying to get a handle on how we can know something that has no corroborating evidence (direct or indirect) in the natural world. Any suggestions?

    I think that would be definition […]

  • I have read your comments, DonP, and I too am against the building because it’s insensitive. As for DR, let me reflect your attitude and say that if you understood everyday English you would see her offense was taken from the first paragraph about godless liberals and the link to reflect what must be in Frankspeak god-full liberals like the Teabaggers. In other words, my interpretation of her comment string is don’t grab hold of the extreme examples and think yourself justified for a extrapolating generality.

  • DonP

    @tildeb, Does he or does he not qualify his statement with excuses for the massacre? The question is redundant. Don't argue the point when his own words are all over the internet. The man can not utter a virgin word if disgust with out qualifying it with support for his nut-ball brothers. Here is the qualifying part that you left out:"But the United States’ policies were an accessory to the crime that happened."

    You asked:"Do you want to prove their inner suspicions right, that America really is an enemy of Islam?" I will say this again since you so obviously blind to my reasonable position. This Imam is an enemy of the state. His own words prove it. As I have already said; Let the building be built but only by an Imam who has the courage to denounce the massacre without excuses or qualifying his statement with anything other than sorrow for the innocent civilians killed by his cowardly nut-ball brothers.. Now tell me tildeb, who mischaracterized who here?

    So now you see what he has said: "But the United States’ policies were an accessory to the crime that happened." You see what I have said: "Let the building be built but only by an Imam who has the courage to denounce the massacre without excuses or qualifying his statement with anything other than sorrow for the innocent civilians killed by his cowardly nut-ball brothers." And, now I ask; Who is who's enemy?

  • Here's a great perspective on just how "hallowed" this ground is.

  • A McDonalds, a Dunkin Donuts, a "gentleman's club," and a table selling glass replicas of the World Trade Center?

    Wow … I need to rethink my position. That is pretty sacred stuff. I'm not sure that there is anything that better-reflects the US's idea of what's really sacred than this. A mere church shouldn't be allowed to interfere with THAT kind of deep and meaningful stuff.

  • Diana A.

    Love this! This does give a whole new perspective to the argument and immediately goes on my Facebook. Thanks for sharing!

  • Lady

    How ignorant and bigoted can you get? Where did you get such ‘deep knowledge’ of the roots of Islam? The principle of Jihad in Islam is to fight against aggression or injustice, not to randomly blow up the world. Just because a couple of extremists skew the words to mean what they want doesn’t mean that all mainstream muslims are fanatic radicals.
    The problem with you, and most people, is that you hear something on TV, radio, or from a friend, and you consider it to be “the solid truth that cannot be revoked”. Without a shred on knowledge or evidence. This is as shallow as calling all Christians racists because of the existance of the klu klux klan!!!

  • Lady

    How ignorant and bigoted can you get? Where did you get such ‘deep knowledge’ of the roots of Islam? The principle of Jihad in Islam is to fight against aggression or injustice, not to randomly blow up the world. Just because a couple of extremists skew the words to mean what they want doesn’t mean that all mainstream muslims are fanatic radicals.
    The problem with you, and most people, is that you hear something on TV, radio, or from a friend, and you consider it to be “the solid truth that cannot be revoked”. Without a shred on knowledge or evidence. This is as shallow as calling all Christians racists because of the existance of the klu klux klan!!!