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9/11 anniversary politicized by mosque, Quran controversies

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Fear, ignorance and intolerance. And add hate mongering to the organizers and politicians capitalizing on this issue.

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Why don't they build an INTER-FAITH Center there at Ground Zero - in the spirit of co-existing, working together to make this world a safer place and a place of HOPE for our children ! ? !

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It's a shame that such a small and stupid creature like Jones can make it into news on the anniversary of this horrible event, but there you have it. People like him are no different than the scum who committed the terrorist acts 9 years ago, and I hope his week of infamy haunt him for the rest of his life.

As for everything else, well... what's there to say? It's the anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in recorded history, and my heart goes out to any and all that lost loved ones on that day. The world clearly hasn't found peace out of the event, but I hope the victims can some day.

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I am a firm believer in freedom of the press, however, why is the stupid action of a born again nut case with a congregation of about 20 plastered all of the news? I think this is a classic case of the mass media trying to make the news instead of just reporting it. With freedom of the press comes responsibility of the press. Now the whole muslim world is up in arms and thinking that this guy represents the sentiments of most americans.

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I think this is a classic case of the mass media trying to make the news instead of just reporting it.

True, dat. Remember the reaction from members of the "religion of peace" a few years back when the now-bankrupt Newsweak falsely reported -- then later retracted -- a story about the Koran being flushed down a toilet at GITMO? It included muslims shooting an 84-year-old nun four times in the back in Africa.

RR

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3,000 killed on 9-11, in an attack that intended to slaughter 10 or 20 thousand. Billions of dollars in damages done to the city which is the world's banking and financial center. The Pentagon attacked and a third plane destined for the White House prevented from completing its suicide mission only by the heroic efforts of civilian passengers who died for their country that day. Plane travel forever altered, whole new new governmental agencies created, meaning even more taxes, and endless security hassle...

But yeah, we need to talk about some unknown loon in rural Florida who wants to burn a religious text which is the Muslim equivalent of a book sacred to many Christian Americans - - but one that most of the man's critics declare is as fit for burning or desecration as any other symbol of our nation, like the flag.

"People like him ["Pastor Jones"] are no different than the scum who committed the terrorist acts 9 years ago..."

Only in a moral universe where cowardice and silly postmodernist situational relativism are actually regarded as virtues.

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People like him ["Pastor Jones"] are no different than the scum who committed the terrorist acts 9 years ago

Jones only wanted to burn up a book, which he's legally allowed to do in the U.S., not people, which is not legally allowed to do in the U.S. Big difference.

RR

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In less than a decade, a mosque is being built (proposed) on the very sight of the attack. Unimaginable in any other country except the USA....showing the depth to which freedom is defended in that society. The Q controversy guy is at the other spectrum, and that kind of kook exists in every nation ad nauseum.

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Funny, I don't remember "Little Italy" in any American city threatening to kill anyone or burn down half the city over insults to Christianity such as "Piss Christ" or the portrait of the Virgin Mary smeared in elephant dung. This is the United States we are talking about. Land of the free. But many idiots worldwide believe the only universal freedom is the freedom from being offended. Well, I say, burn, baby burn and let the muslims learn to suck it up like the christians have and grow a thicker skin. And if they instead choose to burn down half of Paris on 9/11 or 9/12, well, c'est la vie.

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Obama said he hopes Jones “prays on it and refrains from doing it.”

Wrong answer, Obama. He should have said that Americans have free speech rights and that he stands by them no matter what. If Obama were truly the leader of all Americans he would support the preacher's rights and tell the muslims they need to learn to tolerate others. If they can't then, we will go after any that harm our people.

RR

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The Islamoterrorists have won once again when a U.S. president begs an American citizen not to exercise his free speech rights.

Then again, what can you expect from someone who wrote:

"I will stand with the muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction."

RR

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but one that most of the man's critics declare is as fit for burning or desecration as any other symbol of our nation, like the flag

LOL! There's a vast difference between acknowledging a person's first amendment right to burn a religious book or flag and "declaring" those items as "fit for burning."

Hey, but don't let the truth get in the way of your rant.

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Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician who advocates banning the Quran and taxing Muslim women who wear head scarves, planned to address the crowd in person

....WTF? That guy should not be on US soil giving speeches.

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smithinjapan: People like him are no different than the scum who committed the terrorist acts 9 years ago

Dumb.

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Bebert61 has a fine example for the willfully blind here:

Funny, I don't remember "Little Italy" in any American city threatening to kill anyone or burn down half the city over insults to Christianity such as "Piss Christ" or the portrait of the Virgin Mary smeared in elephant dung.

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Ground Zero mosque, portrait of the Virgin Mary smeared in elephant dung.

Ahh, people who don't read the news properly. The mosque isn't being built on the site of the attacks, it's several blocks away. There are porn stores closer to Ground Zero than the mosque is, so tell me, which is more disrespectful? And I included the Virgin Mary comment because again, the news misreported it. No dung was used on the painting, it was used as a stand to prop it up - just another example of the media twisting something to warp the opinions of the public.

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@"The mosque isn't being built on the site of the attacks, it's several blocks away. "

The building the mosque would replace was in the debris zone. There are photos which show engine parts from one of the doomed planes being removed from the Burlington Coat Factory. After crashing through the WTC apparently the trajectory was such that parts of the engine penetrated the walls of the Burlington building that day. Feel free to verify for yourself at http://bigpeace.com/mtodd/2010/08/24/the-mosque-is-at-ground-zero/

"There are porn stores closer to Ground Zero than the mosque is, so tell me, which is more disrespectful?"

Porn - available in the big city ? Say it ain't so!

Talk about a pathetic and withered red herring. There were porn shops there before the WT Centers were even built...

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My guess is that the God of Abraham...who is the patriarch of Judism, Islam and Christianity...is looking down and thinking "What are these people thinking?".

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MisterCreosote: I would think that most people would consider "hallowed ground" the place where the towers fell, not where they found plane engines. The point I was trying to make is people are making a huge deal about a mosque/community center being an insensitive gesture, while in my opinion, there are much more insensitive things much closer to the actual Ground Zero than the old BCF building.

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My guess is that the God of Abraham...who is the patriarch of Judism, Islam and Christianity...is looking down and thinking "What are these people thinking?".

Exactly my thoughts. This is the time when HE should appear on a piece of toast or prime time television to give us a sign!

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Rush Limbaugh and Pastor Jones were high school classmates. Why does that surprise me?

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"This is the time when HE should appear on a piece of toast or prime time television to give us a sign!"

One wonders what SHE would look like if SHE appeared.

Bebert: Why look for analogies? A Koran was actually burned by the Westboro church in 2008 and nobody cared. Not only is this guy's right protected, people have actually done it with no penalty or censure whatsoever. What happened with Pastor Jones is called "tempest in a teapot." People and the media are being played like a fiddly by extremists and the pandering media.

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@ "I would think that most people would consider "hallowed ground" the place where the towers fell, not where they found plane engines."

I would think hallowed ground is where the survivors of those who lost loved ones that day say it is.

Check the photos of the site I linked to. As is rightly pointed out on that page, the ash that covered the street the BCF building was on undoubtedly contained the pulverized remains of those killed by the Muslim fanatics who turned civilian transport jets into missiles that day and whose goal was slaughter on a scale 10 to 20 times what they achieved.

Yes, construction of a religious building is within the rights legally guaranteed the Mohammedan group behind the proposed mosque; but we have laws because we first have a civil society, and in this case the law is being used against those who respect and uphold it to break those bonds.

No civilized society allows for the desecration of its dead or insults to their memory by outsiders, least of all to those wrongfully killed by a historical or traditional enemy.

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"Why don't they build an INTER-FAITH Center there at Ground Zero - in the spirit of co-existing, working together to make this world a safer place and a place of HOPE for our children ! ? !"

Because the center cannot hold. Too many forces are ripping people apart from each other. There just isn't enough love to go around anymore.

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Klein:

" Why don't they build an INTER-FAITH Center there at Ground Zero - in the spirit of co-existing, working together to make this world a safer place and a place of HOPE for our children ! "

Because Saudi-Arabia would never fund an "inter-faith" center, and CAIR at al would have no interest in promoting it. The purpose is to show the supremacy of islam, and not any kind of equality.

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The mosque site was locked and vacant Friday. Police officers guarding the block said the building would be closed through Saturday and worshippers who normally attend services there had been directed to a different prayer room about 10 blocks away.

A very respectful place for them to worship and distance away to worship in peace from controversy I'd say. Might even be a good site to expand it to a community center for those who may wish to know more about Islamic culture in a quiet setting.

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No civilized society allows for the desecration of its dead or insults to their memory by outsiders, least of all to those wrongfully killed by a historical or traditional enemy.

How exactly would a community center be desecrating the dead? What about the practicing Muslims who were working in the two towers and in the Pentagon and died that day? Are they "outsiders"? Or a "historical/traditional enemy"? What a fine way to honor their memory, by continuing our irrational hatred for their religion. The fact that the 9/11 attackers were Muslim extremists should have no bearing on where people are allowed to worship or gather.

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PS. I know the Pentagon has no bearing on the New York site, but guess what - there's a mosque in there too. I don't see anyone freaking out about it the way they are over the proposed community center.

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"No civilized society allows for the desecration of its dead or insults to their memory by outsiders, least of all to those wrongfully killed by a historical or traditional enemy."

Yeah. Except that the Alamo has vending machines and a gift shop, as does the Arizona memorial, and the Black Hills have Mt. Rushmore and the Crazy Horse monuments, which are offensive to different people in different ways. Boot Hill? The OK Corral? And wasn't some part of the Gettysburg battlefield turned into a "cyclorama"? And all of those places will sell pictures and souvenirs made in China, a former foe of the US of A. Americans want to make English, the language of their colonial oppressor, the official language of the country. I hear people have picnics on Boston Common, where the Boston Massacre occurred. And the British have STILL not apologized for burning down the White House, but their Queen has visited many times. She has met every single president since WWII, at least.

And what about the Civil War prison site that they had not even located until last month? Who buried those bones with respect and reverence?

I don't think that you can presume to speak for the armies of the dead. It might be that the best use of "ground zero" area would be for the US to sell it off to the entity that will earn the most taxes with the land. With all of these "icons" accumulating over the short span of 240 years, there is not going to be much of a place for plain folk to live and go about their business if they have to do it while avoiding the bones of our brave forefathers and schlocky gift shops.

If you speak for that army of the dead, do you really want to go here: "a historical or traditional enemy." That would include about every country or former country on the planet, I think. England, Canada, Russia, Japan, Germany, Austria, Romania, Turkey, Hungary, China, Hawaii, Italy, France, Spain, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, Guatemala, and that just kind of covers pretty recent politics. If you want to assume that the US was involved in the Crusades, then you might be able to justify animosity against Islam, but that is as far as you can go. The US never declared war on Iran, for instance. The US and ALL Islamic countries as far as I know, were best buds up through WWII, and kept pretty good relations, as I recall, up through 1956 or thereabouts.

The rationale is bizarre and very un-American. If the US wants to be at war with everyone, I guess that is one outlook. I think it is a loser perspective, considering that everyone (even native Americans) are immigrants from somewhere. I will go so far to say that this outlook is a product of 9/11. It stands as a monument to 9/11: The day the US turned paranoid. The US was a better country before 9/11, and it was not because it had two extra skyscrapers. Americans started turning the nation into an uglier place on 9/12. From that day, everyone became a potential enemy or a "traditional or historical enemy", not a potential friend.

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Nonsensical headline, because 9/11 was political to start with. It was the most spectacular attack by jihadists fighting against modernity and for the world-wide Caliphate. No matter how much you coach that in religious terms, it is politics.

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kazan:

" PS. I know the Pentagon has no bearing on the New York site, but guess what - there's a mosque in there too. "

No, there is not. Please don´t spread that urban rumour. There is a multi-faith prayer room in the Pentagon, not a mosque.

If the Feisal Abdul Rauf was to build a multi-faith prayer building at 9/11 instead of his mosque, there surely would be fewer ruffled feathers about it. Of course, he would not get Saudi money to fund that.

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Klein2

The US and ALL Islamic countries as far as I know, were best buds up through WWII, and kept pretty good relations, as I recall, up through 1956 or thereabouts.

Not trying to make any political point here at all. Just wanted to point out that your very mistaken on your history.

In March 1785, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams went to negotiate with Tripoli's envoy to London, Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdrahaman (or Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja). Upon inquiring "concerning the ground of the pretensions to make war upon nations who had done them no injury", the ambassador replied:

It was written in their Koran, that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave; and that every muslim who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to paradise. He said, also, that the man who was the first to board a vessel had one slave over and above his share, and that when they sprang to the deck of an enemy's ship, every sailor held a dagger in each hand and a third in his mouth; which usually struck such terror into the foe that they cried out for quarter at once. [2] [3]

Jefferson reported the conversation to Secretary of Foreign Affairs John Jay, who submitted the Ambassador's comments and offer to Congress.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Barbary_War

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No, there is not. Please don´t spread that urban rumour. There is a multi-faith prayer room in the Pentagon, not a mosque.

Thanks for the correction. I don't doubt fewer people would be mad about the building of a multi-faith prayer room... but I can guarantee people would start freaking out when Muslims began showing up to use it.

From that day, everyone became a potential enemy or a "traditional or historical enemy", not a potential friend.

Everything you wrote is absolutely spot on. I couldn't agree more.

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Klein:

" Yeah. Except that the Alamo has vending machines and a gift shop, as does the Arizona memorial, and the Black Hills have Mt. Rushmore and the Crazy Horse monuments, which are offensive to different people in different ways. "

A more relevant example would be Pope Paul, who called back the carmelite nuns when they wanted to build a convent in front of Auschwitz. Precisely out of respect for the victims.

Do not expect similar respect from imam Rauf and his Saudi sponsors.

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The examples Klein provides - the Alamo,Gettysburg, Pearl Harbor - involved commissioned armies of soldiers fighting men of the same.

9-11 was an act of terror in which more than 3000 innocent people were killed in a pre-meditated attack that has become the most photographed and documented event of its kind in history.It was, to any sane observer, obviously part of a larger attack upon the US and the free West. It is very telling that "progressives" want to limit it to New York and the "only 3,000" who died that day.

"Americans started turning the nation into an uglier place on 9/12. From that day, everyone became a potential enemy or a "traditional or historical enemy", not a potential friend."

Ridiculous. That is up there with the "predictions" from all the clever people who assured us Obama would be killed within his 1st year in office.

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I would think hallowed ground is where the survivors of those who lost loved ones that day say it is

No. There has to be some compromise with those who want life and progress to go on. And it is the latter who must hold the sway because the survivors and their memories will all pass away.

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A more relevant example would be Pope Paul, who called back the carmelite nuns when they wanted to build a convent in front of Auschwitz. Precisely out of respect for the victims.

This example has been frequently cited, and never correctly.

First of all the convent WAS already built in the camp known as Auschwitz I, and the nuns were already residing there. Poles, and Polish-Americans like myself who are familiar with the grounds and the area, know that Auschwitz I was the place were most of the victims were non-Jewish. Far more Poles died in that camp than did Jews. The vast majority of Jews died in the camp that was set up for them about a mile away -- known as Auschwitz II, or Birkenau.

So, as Yossi Klein Halevi writes in a recent New Republic essay:

"For Jews around the world, the convent was perceived as an attempt to “Christianize” the Holocaust, to deny the Jewishness of the overwhelming majority of the victims of Auschwitz. In 1989, I went to Poland and discovered to my shock that the Jewish critics were wrong. The convent was founded in Auschwitz I, a slave-labor camp and administrative center for Auschwitz II, or Birkenau, the death camp whose purpose was the destruction of the Jewish people. The distinction was crucial for Poles: Thousands of Polish Catholics died in Auschwitz I, and the nuns were there to pray for their souls and counter the evil that had been done on Polish soil. There was, in other words, no intention to Christianize the Holocaust."

As Halevi continues: "And so the Polish pope ordered a convent of Polish nuns out of Auschwitz — in the process sending an extraordinary message of spiritual generosity." To say that it was simply done out of "respect for the victims," diminishes the message, the act, and the millions of victims who were Catholic.

By the way, many of the barracks within Auschwitz I are dedicated to the specific countries whose non-Jewish resistance fighters and political prisoners perished there. One barracks is dedicated to the Jews who died within the camp. And there is always a rabbi there reciting the prayers for the dead of his people.

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There was an interesting article on AOL news about a Firefighter who lost his son at the WTC, neither he nor his family feel any anger, etc.

Same I found today after visiting a muslim friend who lost a family member at the WTC. NO anger, no hate just sadness.

I reckon it would be the same with most of the families, the loss and sadness outweighs the feelings of anger, hate, etc.

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I reckon it would be the same with most of the families, the loss and sadness outweighs the feelings of anger, hate, etc.

Yeah, I agree. It's among the ones that didn't lose any immediate family members that you'll find the rabble-rousing and hate-mongering. Several of those here would be excellent at provoking a lynch mob.

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Nice balance to some of the issues....

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/09/10/ramadan.roadtrip.folo/index.html?hpt=C2#fbid=kubv1hwSHNi&wom=false

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Superlib.

Thx, for the article.

When I visited my friend today it was a big gathering of muslims from a variety of places (Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc), many study at ICU.

Was a great celebration and my friend asked me to bring CD's of Cat Stevens(Yussuf Islam) along and we sad and listened to the lyrics and talked about life, etc while we ate the traditional food, etc.

One of the best "Eid ul-Fitr" clebrations I been to over the decades. All joked about the "Ground Zero Mosque" and the "Idiot in Florida".

Seen the same during Gulf War I when some of my Muslims colleagues talked about that their "Idiot" sons wanted to go and join the Jihad and fight the Infidels. Sounded like the got a few slaps round the ear-lug instead. :)

Lets all celebrate 9/11 and remember all the people that died from all the different nations and creeds.

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It's pretty sad that some people cannot let go of their hatred for one day to respect the dead. Would the dead really want their legacy to be this hatred and intolerance? I don't think so. It's sad how some people's emotions can be manipulated so easily.

It really does make me sad.

Taka

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One more headline to reinforce the Muslim-911 link.

The purpose of this is to reinforce the mistaken idea that Muslims did 911. When will Americans learn that Muslims had nothing to do with it? I hope they learn before they are thrown into one more war against a Muslim country.

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MisterCreosote: No civilized society allows for the desecration of its dead or insults to their memory by outsiders, least of all to those wrongfully killed by a historical or traditional enemy.

One might well ask whether a civilized society would visit destruction, displacement and death upon the citizens of two countries in order to avenge its wounded pride. There seems to be something rather vague about what civilized societies will or won't do.

However, Imam Rauf and American Muslims are not outsiders, nor are they desecrating the dead or insulting their memory. And they aren't historical or traditional enemies of the US, either. They are, however, people to whom 2/3 of the American population are quite willing to say, "We don't want your kind building here."

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Quotation from the "30mosques" video (via CNN)

"We're right now in a very troubling time in America. I'll admit it. I really think so. I think things are really difficult now in America. And the accepting nation that my parents first came into about 27 years ago ... it just doesn't feel like it's the same country anymore. But a part of me still feels it's there, so going on this road trip is one of those journeys to see how broad of a definition of America are people willing to accept..."

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Religion is the tumor of mankind.

It is just ridiculous that every idiot who thinks about burning something nowadays, is getting his own headline. And even worse is that these idiots are getting attention from politicians as if there weren't any more important other issues.

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sabiwabi: "When will Americans learn that Muslims had nothing to with it ( 9/11)?"

When will sabiwabi learn that Muslims had EVERYTHING to do with it? Sadly, probably never.

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I think it is only ok for terrorists to make their head quarters there near ground zero in NYC, when these same Saudi terrorist allow US to make churches, Jewish temples, Buddhists, Hindus etc...ALL NON MUSLIM ones say around MECCA, in Saudi, then we could really take these hypocrites seriously, until they start to should some repent for 9/11, the Saudis etc...are just all talk and corrupt and behind terrorism, so no they do not deserve to have any Saudi funded mosque near GROUND ZERO in NYC, USA.

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The mosque site was locked and vacant Friday. Police officers guarding the block said the building would be closed through Saturday and worshippers who normally attend services there had been directed to a different prayer room about 10 blocks away

I honor the courtesy and respect and the decision of the Iman to direct those who follow Islam to a different location 10 blocks away to worship on this day. It makes for a civil and tolerant society. Thank you.

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@"One might well ask whether a civilized society would visit destruction, displacement and death upon the citizens of two countries in order to avenge its wounded pride. "

So - - there was only destruction, displacement, and death in Iraq and Afghanistan?

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When will sabiwabi learn that Muslims had EVERYTHING to do with it? Sadly, probably never.

No, all the evidence points to a group, which does not have any Muslim members. That is why they need these controversies, and to prepare the American population for their next war against a Muslim country.

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I honor the courtesy and respect and the decision of the Iman to direct those who follow Islam to a different location 10 blocks away to worship on this day. It makes for a civil and tolerant society.

Yes, one would never believe that such a society would enshrine religious freedom in its constitution, but rather depend totally on "tolerance" at the whim of the majority at the moment. And, at the moment a minority group tests the clear promise of the document, the majority society suddenly becomes uncivil.

And so America fails yet another test.

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I don't think we should let America be defined by those who hate it and I don't think we should let Islam be defined by those who hate it.

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Yabits: Quotation from the "30mosques" video (via CNN) "We're right now in a very troubling time in America. I'll admit it. I really think so. I think things are really difficult now in America. And the accepting nation that my parents first came into about 27 years ago ... it just doesn't feel like it's the same country anymore. But a part of me still feels it's there, so going on this road trip is one of those journeys to see how broad of a definition of America are people willing to accept..."

From the article:

"His takeaway from the trip, he says, was seeing how Muslims in America have assimilated in their communities, from Jacksonville, Florida, to Wichita, Kansas, to Oklahoma City. "It was really cool and refreshing to see people who genuinely love the communities they're in and they're there to stay," Ali said. "They're involved in the community, not just the mosque." It was also remarkable to have people, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, "just bend over backwards and be friendly to us," he said."

I hope I didn't ruin your dinner, Yabits... :(

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MisterCreosote: So - - there was only destruction, displacement, and death in Iraq and Afghanistan?

No, there were plenty of good intentions as well.

But you are side-stepping the implicit question about the validity of your predications in regard to civilized societies. And you are completely avoiding the fact that the planned cultural center is not the project of outsiders who are historical or traditional enemies and who seek to desecrate the dead or insult their memories.

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I don't think we should let America be defined by those who hate it and I don't think we should let Islam be defined by those who hate it.

I don't think we should take seriously the comments of unintelligent and hateful people who misconstrue and misrepresent criticism of America, and American policy, with hatred for America. Such people are not to be trusted to relay who on any side hates what.

I hope I didn't ruin your dinner, Yabits...

Since I grew up among American Muslims in Dearborn, MI, I understood where these two guys were coming from, and admired them for taking on their journey -- which they ended in my old hometown yesterday.

The truth is that America has a love-hate relationship with Islam. This is reflected in the ambivalent tone that pervades a lot of what the pair write. It also shows every time some conservative nutcase emphasizes President Obama's middle name, as though there's something wrong with it that they expect other Americans to "get." Nudge-nudge, wink-wink.

It will disappoint you to know that I spent yesterday's afternoon meal among Muslims celebrating the end of Ramadan -- and thoroughly enjoyed it.

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And you are completely avoiding the fact that the planned cultural center is not the project of outsiders who are historical or traditional enemies and who seek to desecrate the dead or insult their memories.

Extremely well-said, SezWho2!

The burden of graciousness -- if it can be called a "burden" -- is always on the majority power.

In the case of the Catholic convent at the Auschwitz I compound -- a place where the Polish Catholic victims vastly outnumbered Jewish victims -- the burden was on the Polish Catholics to honor the wishes of the minority in that specific locale -- which maintains a permanent vigil kept by rabbis. (There are relatively few Jews in Poland today, and the vast majority of Poles were in support of the convent.)

It is upon the majority of Americans in NYC to extend the same graciousness to a minority religion seeking to exercise its right to worship in a place that it owns. Can America be that gracious? Time will tell, and I keep hoping so.

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Yabits: I don't think we should take seriously the comments of unintelligent and hateful people who misconstrue and misrepresent criticism of America, and American policy, with hatred for America. Such people are not to be trusted to relay who on any side hates what.

Agreed. But it's a shame that you don't fall into the category of someone simply criticizing America.

Of all of the information available from CNN and the 30Mosques.com websites, the blogs, videos, articles, etc., you chose to focus on the one audio clip that took place early in the journey where he's doubting the acceptance of the Muslim way of life in America. That's probably the only part of all of the information that paints a negative picture for Muslims in America. And that's the only part you chose to post for all to see, ignoring the dozens if not hundreds of positive experiences and the conclusion that Muslims do enjoy quality of life in America.

That didn't happen on accident. That wasn't a random sample. It was the only negative sample available, and it was only available because it happened near the beginning of the trip before they realized that their preconceptions were not accurate. Posting that single piece of information was an obvious attempt at propaganda on your part. You intentionally tried to give the readers here a completely different impression of the story than what was actually recorded. You already know this, but my guess is that you feel your War on America is just too important to always be honest.

I'll leave you with another quotation from the same video, something I think you really could learn from:

"Here I was, walking into this place, expecting that this guy was going to be prejudice towards me because of my skin color or because of me being a Muslim. But what ended up happening was I was being prejudiced towards him because I thought that these guys were bigoted, rednecks, whatever you want to call them. And it was really a unique learning experience for me because I realized the personal baggage that I bring to the table when I meet people."

At least he has the ability to be honest and change his ways. He's a good example for you to follow. You have a long journey ahead of you.

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SuperLib: It was the only negative sample available, and it was only available because it happened near the beginning of the trip before they realized that their preconceptions were not accurate.

That's a fair point. However, just as preconceptions can be inaccurate, epiphanies may be false.

I think it may be quite true that people are accepting of individual Muslims and that individuals who are expecting prejudicial treatment are surprised to find generosity toward them as individuals. It wouldn't follow that the same generosity extends toward groups or that prejudice doesn't exist among those who show generosity.

Prejudice seeks to draw lines--not with my daughter, not in my neighborhood, not near Ground Zero. It is not so apparent in individual treatment of individuals as it is group treatment of groups who somehow cross the line, whether by design or by mischance.

The "victory mosque" protesters seem to hold that Imam Rauf and his backers have crossed a line by design. I think there was certainly design in the location, but I find the drawing of a line obnoxious. I have little doubt that the reaction would have been much different had the cultural center been planned at a location 4 blocks away or 5.

I think that in this case the line was drawn to exclude a certain group. The exclusion was first. The reasons came later. I don't think Imam Rauf set out to cross any lines by design. I think this comes under the category of mischance. However, it is certainly an affair that tests the true tolerance of Americans and I think that here, where group looks at group, that tolerance is sorely lacking.

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And that's the only part you chose to post for all to see, ignoring the dozens if not hundreds of positive experiences and the conclusion that Muslims do enjoy quality of life in America.

I thought it provided an interesting contrast and more rounded view than the Panglossian interpretation that CNN wanted to push.

That wasn't a random sample. It was the only negative sample available...

No it's not. Here's a sample from Day 9 of their trip -- called "Epic Fail," when a Mississippi trooper who has pulled them over wants to know what they think about the "Ground Zero mosque."

"What the heck? At this point, it is clear that our southern Biloxi, Mississippi cop is fishing for some dirt. 'Well…' I finally reply thinking of the conservative talking points I’ve been reading, “For them to build it by Ground Zero is very insensitive.”

This passage clear proves that these two guys are capable and adept at making up things that they believe their audience wants to hear. That does not mean that they're not honest and sincere with many of their positive findings.

On Day 22, in North Dakota, they ask why the oldest mosque in North America (built in 1929) was demolished in the 1970s: "Oh, I’m not going to go there,” she said as she looked away. “I wasn’t there at that meeting so I don’t want to get into it.” I can sense the question is a sensitive subject, so I decide not to pry."

Day 23, Minneapolis: "“Look, don’t take offense.” Eid says to me as we’re driving. “Ever since people from our community left to fight in Somalia, the FBI and the media has been down our throats.”"

Day 16, Phoenix: "I asked him if the ICCP has gotten any opposition to their new mosque, in light of all the Ground Zero hullabaloo in New York. He said unfortunately they have been getting opposition. What’s interesting is many of the city planning boards have been incredibly supportive and cooperative with the mosque’s plans over the years, but in recent months they seem to be scrutinizing the plans even more and pushing up deadlines for them.

"The current mosque has been in the neighborhood for over 15 years to little or no complaints from local residents. Now all of a sudden, a few neighbors have regularly complained to the city about the mosque’s parking situation and other issues. The city recently even tried to prohibit street parking by the mosque only on Fridays from 11-3 p.m., which is usually when the Friday Jummah prayers are."

All in all, the pair had relatively little interaction with non-Muslims on their journey to visit mosques and Islamic communities across America.

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I'm sorry Yabits but I'm just going to have to accept their conclusions despite your best attempts to rewrite them by cherry-picking limited information. You can pick and choose some points but considering they actually went through the process I'm going to have to believe their overall opinion of Muslims in America over yours. They gave plenty of examples of running into non-Muslims and how it actually made one of the men realize that he had his own baggage about racism, a realization that you're still far away from learning about yourself. Overall their conclusion was that it was a positive learning experience and there's really nothing you can do to change that unless you contact them directly and argue your points to change their minds.

It's not that spinning the story into a negative isn't impossible, it's that you're willing to expose your bigotry in the process. Really the only move you have left is to convince us that you don't care about your bigotry then the entire process becomes moot.

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You can pick and choose some points

LOL!! At least you've changed your tune from the "only negative sample available" refrain.

Your credibility went straight off the cliff from there. It's you who want to completely discount the subtler and more nuanced aspects in favor or your Pollyanna view.

SezWho2's post above at 08:18 AM JST, is worth reading multiple times because it contains much in the way of wisdom and discernment that completely eludes you.

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@"The truth is that America has a love-hate relationship with Islam."

No, actually, the truth is that it is Islam which draws clear divisions among mankind. Since you supposedly grew up among Muslims you undoubtedly know about Dar al Islam and its obligation to subdue by any means necessary Dar al Harb.

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Since you supposedly grew up among Muslims you undoubtedly know about Dar al Islam and its obligation to subdue by any means necessary Dar al Harb

LOL! It's pretty clear you didn't grow up around Muslims, or know anything about them at all that holds validity. Among the hundreds I was around -- and many known very closely -- there wasn't anyone who was on that mission. They always seemed delighted when I asked about their faith, but never, ever pushed it on me.

Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses and a score of other Christian sects are far more overt in their attempts to win converts.

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The truth is that America has a love-hate relationship with Islam.

I need to modify my previous statement. It's obvious that there's much in the way of hate with many Americans' views towards Islam, but I really doubt there's very much in the way of love.

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@"It's obvious that there's much in the way of hate with many Americans' views towards Islam, but I really doubt there's very much in the way of love."

What's there to love about something as barbaric as Sharia Law?

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Yabits: Your credibility went straight off the cliff from there. It's you who want to completely discount the subtler and more nuanced aspects in favor or your Pollyanna view.

"After 13,000 miles, I think that America still exists, and I'm happy to know that it does," said Tariq, a 23-year-old American of Pakistani descent. "It's really made America feel like home to me in a way that I've never felt before. The America that we think about [as immigrants] is still actually there. I've seen it! And I'm seeing it still."

How on earth can you spin that? You certainly won't let it stand, so you have to make some kind of effort. I'm curious, so, by all means, do your thing. :)

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"It's really made America feel like home to me in a way that I've never felt before. The America that we think about [as immigrants] is still actually there. I've seen it! And I'm seeing it still."

Good stuff. Although the vast majority of Americans have never believed otherwise it is always nice to see the verdict again, for the millionth time, made by a newcomer to our shores. Thanks for posting.

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After 13,000 miles, I think that America still exists, and I'm happy to know that it does," said Tariq, a 23-year-old American of Pakistani descent. "It's really made America feel like home to me in a way that I've never felt before. The America that we think about [as immigrants] is still actually there.

It doesn't require any effort at all to see that, prior to the trip, they had some doubts and questions. They admit as much. As much as the America they "discovered" on their trip still exists, so too does the America that gave them doubts in the first place.

America is not the perfect place that you keep trying to spin. It was never perfect to the duo and is still far from perfect after their trip -- which they say they are still trying to process. (Tariq expresses this in another interview when he talks about non-Muslim Americans needing to come out of their "comfort zone," just as the two did on this trip.)

For purposes that may have as much to do with their personal careers as anything else -- Ali is a comedian and Tariq an advertising rep -- the two chose to emphasize the positive aspects, and by their own admission avoided controversial issues. And yet, despite that, some of the less positive experiences of Muslims in America did find their way into their blog. (They also mention the difficulty a Mormon family in Utah was having accepting the marriage of their daughter to a Muslim man.)

More than anything else, the blog shows the cohesiveness and welcoming nature of extremely diverse Muslim communities all over the United States during the month of Ramadan. There really weren't that many interactions with non-Muslim Americans by comparison."

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Any discussion of Sharia Law with ordinary Americans Ali and Tariq met on the trip ? ?

If not, why? It is central to Submission (Islam).

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MisterCreosote: No, actually, the truth is that it is Islam which draws clear divisions among mankind.

I think that the truth within the truth is that Muslims see those divisions in different ways. I grew up among good Christian folk who spent considerable time pondering if the Jew could be saved and how the US could have a civil society despite the clear-to-them Biblical inferiority of blacks.

I think it would be a really good idea if non-Muslims stopped trying to make a case for the exceptionalism of Islam.

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@" I grew up among good Christian folk who spent considerable time pondering if the Jew could be saved and how the US could have a civil society despite the clear-to-them Biblical inferiority of blacks."

Well, what to say ? I also grew up in America. The experiences you speak of seem quite foreign. In fact, they seem fabricated to me.

When Saudi Arabia - - the spiritual home of Islam (Arabic:"Submission") - - allows for the construction of churches, synagogues and Hindu temples where its many, many foreign workers might be allowed to worship, I will admit I was wrong.

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MisterCreosote: Well, what to say ? I also grew up in America. The experiences you speak of seem quite foreign. In fact, they seem fabricated to me.

When you don't know what to say, deny and accuse--not that any of these things respond to the point, mind you. But they at least distract from it.

I don't know where you grew up or when, but it seems to me that you really ought not accuse people of manufacturing experience until you get your facts straight. For my part, I think that anyone who grew up in the Bible Belt in the 50s and 60s must surely know what I am talking about--unless of course they were profoundly asleep during that time. I also think that if you look at America today you can see the growth of megachurches as a political Christian movement that is really an extremist interpretation of textual Christianity. Despite the number of adherents, the message is skewed.

What people in Saudi Arabia do is really not to the point. You are looking there at a single Islamic state and using it as a proxy for all of Islam. It is not. Islamic practices are many and widespread and your attempt to use Saudi Arabia as the defining element of Islam has scarcely more to recommend it than using the Vatican to define Christianity or the Hassidim to define Judaism.

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Yabits: America is not the perfect place that you keep trying to spin.

I think the confusion about the middle is on your end. I originally posted the article and said that it helped to give some balance to what was in this thread, which talked mostly about the current problems. It seemed fair and reasonable to show that there are also positive aspects of Muslims in the US and I think both sides should be shown. You obviously require a strawman to justify your attacks so suddenly my posting of one article is turned into some kind of claim of American perfection.

Apparently, what I did was seen as a threat or an attack, and you immediately went into damage control control mode. But there was no threat to begin with. Or perhaps the only way you know how to have a conversation is to go to war with someone, I don't know. Your last post contained speculation about ulterior motives from the creators, which should give readers an idea of just how desperate you are to kill any positive message. When the information doesn't fit your needs, you simply make up a story and blanket yourself in that warm, comfortable imagination of yours. Who knows....maybe these guys are CIA? ;)

Anyway, I think my work here is done. I hope people read and enjoyed the story and saw some positive things that could help with Muslim relations in the future. You won't be able to stop that.

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SezWho2: What people in Saudi Arabia do is really not to the point.

It depends on what you're talking about. If the message is tolerance, and I believe that is one of the many messages in this debate, then I think it's fair to point out the intolerance of places like Saudi Arabia and Muslim countries with similar practices. If not then you're simply saying that one group should be tolerant while another should be allowed to be intolerant.....which isn't really the best message if you're trying to teach your own people the need to be tolerant.

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I think the confusion about the middle is on your end. I originally posted the article and said that it helped to give some balance to what was in this thread, which talked mostly about the current problems.

I really don't think so. I looked over the videos and blog entries and saw that how the trip was being presented didn't reveal the full picture. Rather than say that outright, I simply posted a direct excerpt without any personal comment of my own.

And you jumped all over it. Readers can go back through the thread and see just who it was that went on the attack first.

It seemed fair and reasonable to show that there are also positive aspects of Muslims in the US and I think both sides should be shown.

And living among Muslims for most of my life, I know there are many positive aspects, but the overall scorecard is mixed. One doesn't have to look very long to find a full ration of anti-Islamic sentiments expressed on this forum. And this is just a microcosm of the sentiments that drove the Quran and Park51 Islamic center controversies.

And yet you choose to come after me -- a guy who has liked and respected Muslims for most of his life.

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and said that it helped to give some balance to what was in this thread

The excerpt from the trip that really gives balance is the reformed Jewish couple in St. Louis who regularly goes to mosque, and who takes part in the worship and customs of their Muslim neighbors.

For two Muslims to travel around and visit Muslim communities and mosques isn't much of a balance all by itself. I am delighted the the vast majority of non-Muslims they ran into treated them so well that they were willing to reconsider some of their preconceptions. But it only takes one really stupid, hateful act to put a strain on the other side of the scale.

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SuperLib: I think it's fair to point out the intolerance of places like Saudi Arabia and Muslim countries with similar practices.

You can point that out all you want, but it is not relevant to the issue of tolerance in America. What would be your argument: they're intolerant so it's OK for us to be intolerant, too? at least we're better than they are? Obama should chide Saudi Arabia?

How would any of that be relevant to what is going on today with respect to the Islamic cultural center?

If not then you're simply saying that one group should be tolerant while another should be allowed to be intolerant.

No, I'm saying all Americans should be tolerant and that they should be so without regard to what the Saudis do. Except militarily, we cannot disallow intolerance among the Saudis.

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Yabits: I really don't think so. I looked over the videos and blog entries and saw that how the trip was being presented didn't reveal the full picture. Rather than say that outright, I simply posted a direct excerpt without any personal comment of my own.

So how should we characterize your attempted character assassination of the two creators? Just commentary from someone who wanted to reveal the full picture?

For two Muslims to travel around and visit Muslim communities and mosques isn't much of a balance all by itself. I am delighted the the vast majority of non-Muslims they ran into treated them so well that they were willing to reconsider some of their preconceptions. But it only takes one really stupid, hateful act to put a strain on the other side of the scale.

That's a personal choice. If someone allows one person to undo the kindness of many others, then it's their loss. As an anti-American I know you need to focus on the one person, but it doesn't really give an accurate overall picture except for your mental condition.

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Yabits: And living among Muslims for most of my life, I know there are many positive aspects, but the overall scorecard is mixed.

Probably the same with blacks, Jews, Indians, or pretty much any minority.

One doesn't have to look very long to find a full ration of anti-Islamic sentiments expressed on this forum. And this is just a microcosm of the sentiments that drove the Quran and Park51 Islamic center controversies.

And one doesn't have to look far to see anti-Americans who believe that anything they say or do is justified because they feel their goal is just.

The Koran burning and Par51 are good case studies. Some of the opposition includes anti-Muslim sentiment. But in reality the level of support for moving the mosque dwarfs the support for the minister. There has been little to no support overall for the minister. There has been a lot of support for moving the mosque. If the reason were anti-Muslim sentiments, then I think you'd find the numbers would be about the same. But they aren't. There's more to the mosque issue than just your typical anti-Muslim rhetoric.

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SezWho: You can point that out all you want, but it is not relevant to the issue of tolerance in America. What would be your argument: they're intolerant so it's OK for us to be intolerant, too? at least we're better than they are? Obama should chide Saudi Arabia?

The focus of your message should be large enough to include Muslims in countries like Saudi Arabia if you really want to address the problem of intolerance. You're sending a mixed message when you tell someone, "You should be tolerant, but please ignore the intolerance of those people over there. It's not important."

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SuperLib: You're sending a mixed message when you tell someone, "You should be tolerant, but please ignore the intolerance of those people over there. It's not important.

Should the focus of the message be large enough to also address the Hindus and the Muslims in India, the Protestants and Catholics in Northern Island, the Tutsi and the Hutus in Rwanda, the Tamils and the Sinhalese in Sri Lanka? Or is it just Muslims living elsewhere that we should talk about when we speak to the American people regarding tolerance?

Yes, if you really want to address the issue of intolerance--intolerance generally and globally--the focus of your message should be larger. However, it need not be larger if you want to address the issue of intolerance in America.

There is no mixed message in telling your tribe or clan that "we do not eat our peas with a knife, never mind that they do over there." There is no mixed message in telling Americans that they must be tolerant of other Americans. The child says, "But, dad, everyone else is doing it!" And the adult says, "I don't care what everyone else does. I care about what you do." There's no mixed message there.

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Well obviously I would focus on intolerance when it comes to the US and Muslim countries. That's to say I think it's fair to include the lack of tolerance that Muslim countries have for other religions when discussing the New York City mosque. And since you know I support their right to build the mosque, obviously I'm not using the "look at what they're doing" response to try to stop the mosque, I'm using it to say that we should look at a bigger picture of intolerance since it's such a good opportunity to do so.

There is no mixed message in telling Americans that they must be tolerant of other Americans.

I think there is a mixed message when you tell someone they must be tolerant of a certain religion, then turn around and say that they should not discuss the intolerance of that same group towards our various religious practices in their countries. In the end you turn into a proxy for intolerant Muslims who say that they can build anywhere whereas we cannot. The goal isn't to stop the spread of the religion, but to promote the spread of religion on both sides, not just one.

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SuperLib: I think there is a mixed message when you tell someone they must be tolerant of a certain religion, then turn around and say that they should not discuss the intolerance of that same group towards our various religious practices in their countries.

There may be a mixed message in that. But I have not said that. In fact, I have said that you can discuss that all you want.

My point was that the discussion of intolerance in Islamic countries for religious preferences of residents not of the Islamic faith is not relevant to a discussion of religious tolerance for Muslims in the US. So, yes, the cultural center issue might be a good opportunity to look at the "bigger picture of intolerance". But why stop with Muslims? There are no reasons other than prejudicial ones to do so if what we really want to do is look at the bigger picture.

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Sezwho2

It appears that you are saying Americans are beacons for the world. Our values make us better that those people over seas so let us not fall to their intolerant levels. Let us resemble the more enlightened people that we frequently prove to be. We prove it, in part, by the lack of hate marches against Islam and the lack of "death to Islam" chants in the US.

We also speak out loudly against Christian extremist. Christians speak out loudly against Christian extremist. The muslim world has not been guided or encouraged by it's defenders to do so. Americans are held to a higher standard because we are better people. People in America should learn that expecting to receive tolerance as you give it is racist. You did not use those words but the inference pretty close.

Most silly Americans want to treat others well and for others to treat them well in return. I guess everyone does not agree with this line of thinking.

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level of intolerance"

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blueshocker: It appears that you are saying Americans are beacons for the world.

I'm having a difficult time trying to figure out which are your ideas and which are your conceptions of my ideas. In any event, I am not saying that Americans (or America) are beacons for the world. America might have been that once, but it is not now.

What I am saying is much more simple. It's not a question of being better or worse. It's a question of what we have voluntarily tasked ourselves with--and that is tolerance of American citizens with various religious. It isn't consistent with our task to contemplate treating some of our citizens with less tolerance on account of what other countries do with their citizens whose religions are closer to our hearts.

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Silly headline. 9/11 was always political. The 9/11 attackers represent radical islam, and radical islam is political... or how does one call the goal to unite the world under one islamic Caliphate?

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Sezwho:

" My point was that the discussion of intolerance in Islamic countries for religious preferences of residents not of the Islamic faith is not relevant to a discussion of religious tolerance for Muslims in the US. "

It is extremely relevant, because it shows the nature of the ideology that Americans are asked to treat without suspicion.

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WilliB: It is extremely relevant, because it shows the nature of the ideology that Americans are asked to treat without suspicion.

It doesn't show any such thing. Americans have far more to fear from Americans who have a monochromatic view of Islam than they do from American Muslims.

Americans aren't being asked to treat Muslims without suspicion. Americans are being asked to treat them with tolerance. Please, have all the suspicions you want. Just don't make up that the "ideology" of Islam in Saudi Arabia is the same as the "ideology" of Islam in Iran or Turkey or Malaysia or the US.

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