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Obama says Muslims have right to build mosque near ground zero

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President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg are right. Meanwhile Rep. Peter King, Sarah Palin and many in the GOP want to have their cake and eat it too. GOP leader Boehmer wants to respect freedom of religion but ban the building of this mosque. Hello? You're either for religious freedom or you're not. He can't have it both ways.

Peter King claims building the mosque is insensitive and uncaring. And invading 2 countries wasn't? King and his ilk represent the worst of America - racist igorant individuals. I understand he's scared of the extremist brand of the Muslim religion, but this isn't an extremist sect, in fact, the Muslim Americans who will attend this mosque are probably more like him than he wants to acknowledge.

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You can absolutely guarantee conservatives will pull up the drawbridges, slam on their blinkers and start screaming 'terrorist!', 'my rights are being trampled on!', '9-11!' - you name it. But at the end of the day, with conservatives, it's all about an ignorance-based fear of the unknown. America deserves much more than this dangerous mindset.

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It's because Obama hasn't figured out the difference between a religion and a political ideology. Islam is a political ideology that is contrary to the US constitution. It is disguising itself as a religion and is creeping in to many countries, so we will eventually be outnumbered and oppressed. Wake up Obama!

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It's because Obama hasn't figured out the difference between a religion and a political ideology. Islam is a political ideology that is contrary to the US constitution.

Me thinks it is YOU that does not understand that difference between religion and political ideology.

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djuice - the Muslim religion is a political ideology? It has more followers than Christianity. And too many Americans and their leaders are all too ready to mix religion and politics, often with catastrophic results. What's the difference?

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Alas, unsurprising. The victory mosque will go up.

Rahel Raza nails it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VwL8IqnZ2o

"Bloomberg and other bleeding-heart white liberals like him dont understand the battle that we moderate Muslims are faced with in terms of confronting radical Islam and Islamization and political Islam in North America which has only grown since 9/11 because of political correctness." Raheel Raza

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VwL8IqnZ2o

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SushiSake:

" the Muslim religion is a political ideology? "

Yes it is. As you would know if you learned its history and content.

" It has more followers than Christianity. "

Than Catholicism. And that is irrelevant to what it is.

" And too many Americans and their leaders are all too ready to mix religion and politics, often with catastrophic results. What's the difference? "

The difference is that Americans have a constitution, and Islam has Shariah. And that that Americans have (as you point out here) a separation between religion and government. Islam knows no such separation, and has never known it.

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@ SushiSake3: Fear of the unknown? I'd say we were all pretty up close and personal with the result of ignoring the danger that Islamic extremists bring. Watching your city being attacked, planes driven into buildings, the Twin Towers collapsing, people jumping out of windows; over 3000 innocent victims murdered... You speak as if people should have no reason whatever for their rage and apprehension. 10 years later, we have a sitting President who is tripping over himself to be "tolerant" of an Islamic organization that means to build a Mosque, just blocks away... His naivete is the stuff nursery rhymes are made of... "The Emporer's New Clothes" on steroids... I pray for a grown up to replace him, and soon.

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Jefferson and the Founding Fathers must be rolling in their graves. Wasn't religious freedom one of the first freedoms granted. When fundy bozos like CUFI here: http://cufi.convio.net/site/PageServer?pagename=homepage have the kind of belligerent influence they have in Washington, it makes a mockery of the First Amendment. It's either freedom for all, or freedom for none. Which is it? Can't have one group more equal than others, now, can we?

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President Obama is standing up for the U.S. Constitution. Those in the GOP who are against this mosque are either ignorant about the religious freedom aspect of their own Constitution or deliberately re-interpreting it for political and brownie points among Americans who really should know better. Again, President Obama is standing up for the U.S. Constitution. It's amazing that some Americans have a problem with that.

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willib, you claim America separates religion and politics? That is blindingly ignorant of reality. Haven't you heard of prayer breakfasts?

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The building of a Mosque so close to ground zero would be on the same par as the U.S building an Army base right next to the Hiroshima peace park. Liberals here would have fit and rightly so, insensitive to the victims of 9/11 hell yes it is.

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pamelot, it's incredible that you can claim that the president, who is staunchly standing up for his country's Constitution, is 'falling over himself' to be tolerant. Just incredible.

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Djuice said, "Islam is a political ideology that is contrary to the US constitution. It is disguising itself as a religion and is creeping in to many countries, so we will eventually be outnumbered and oppressed."

Thank you for such an intelligent and concise way of summarizing this issue. THis issue is not religion so much as it is security. Well done!

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"willib, you claim America separates religion and politics? That is blindingly ignorant of reality. Haven't you heard of prayer breakfasts?"

You're right SushiSake3 about the practice but WillliB is right about the theory; religion and politics should be separate. As for prayer breakfasts, I think those suck, too.

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Sushi Sake:

" you claim America separates religion and politics? That is blindingly ignorant of reality. Haven't you heard of prayer breakfasts? "

Yes, all modern democracies do separate religion and politics. (That is the argument for allowing to build the victory mosque in the first place, isnt´t it?

You can argue about the legality of "prayer breakfasts" all day long, and I am sure some lawyers do, but they are not comparable to the replacement of a secular law with Shariah, which islam inevitably wants.

Imagine old testamentarial law and the bible as constitution...

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Sailwind:

" The building of a Mosque so close to ground zero would be on the same par as the U.S building an Army base right next to the Hiroshima peace park. "

Yes, or an even more closer comparison, which the MCC brings up:

“Do you not understand that building a mosque at Ground Zero is equivalent to permitting a Serbian Orthodox Church near the killing fields of Srebrenica where 6,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered?” the letter asked.

http://www.muslimcanadiancongress.org/

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It's because Obama hasn't figured out the difference between a religion and a political ideology

Maybe it's because Obama has figured out there is no difference between a religion and a political ideology.

"Ultra"-conservatives/nationalists/anarchists - followers of any extreme political movement demonstrate the same un-thinking "faith" that dodos following the christian/muslim/judean, and in fact any other religion, do.

There seems to be a human trait for blind adherence to religious/political dogma, although I just don't get it. It seems like mental illness to me. I can't think of single war or even minor conflict that isn't rooted in some moron insisting his brand of god/race/government was the right one and it was his/their/our/your DUTY to show unbelievers the error of their ways.

However ignorance might be strength, but is also weakness. The US constitution, may be outmoded, but it was written by intelligent, people, and it just won't be bent to suit as easily as that. As intended, it thwarts one sect deciding whats good for everybody.

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So much fuss about a place of worship. The real question is: why do people worship abstract concepts instead of thinking rationally?

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"Jefferson and the Founding Fathers must be rolling in their graves. Wasn't religious freedom one of the first freedoms granted."

Yes and no; Freedom of Religion was only half of the equation. They other half was freedom FROM religion. In the context of this mosque, no one should have to potentially face harm due to the religious convictions of a relative few. One other interesting point; many of the founding fathers were atheist and/or agnostic!

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The building of a mosque close to Ground Zero in no way resembles the US building a military base close to the Hiroshima Peace Park. What an odd and prejudicial thing to say. The comparison is odious.

As I understand it, the mosque would be built by American citizens on privately owned land for the primary, but probably not exclusive, use of American Muslims in the New York area. A military base near the Hiroshima Peace Park would be built by foreign troops on land requisitioned from the Japanese government and grudgingly surrendered by Japanese citizens and it would be built for the almost exclusive use of foreign troops, troops which perhaps largely support the use of nuclear weapons.

I do not for any second imagine that the Muslims who wish to build the mosque have much support for the destruction of ground zero. American Muslims, too, died in the attacks:

http://islam.about.com/blvictims.htm

It's like someone said, "We are so sorry for what happened. Let us build something of great beauty here, in the open, so that you can understand what we feel for America and what we feel for the destruction which happened here." It's like someone said that and so many others said, "Nuts to you, you towel-heads. Why don't you just go back to where you belong and take your friggin' minarets with you."

If Muslims are denied the right to build a mosque, the area must be declared a secular, non-religious zone: "Hey! You there! Quit your prayin'!"

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Do they have the right to build a Mosque so close to ground zero? Of course they do. Do they have the freedom to do so? Of course they do. This really isn't about their rights or ability to worship as they please. It is about the other part of freedom. The freedom and ability to also chose not to build a Mosque on this site.

They have chosen not to exercise that part of their freedom and have embarked on a different course that will do nothing but antagonize and offend by consciously placing this Mosque on this site so near hallowed ground.

Again this is on par with building a museum dedicated to American Technology and ingenuity in building the Atom bomb and placing it in Hiroshima at ground zero or a placing a German Cultural awareness center next to Auschwitz.

It saddens me to see President Obama is more concerned about offending Muslim sensibilities rather then defending the sensibilities of his own countrymen who he leads first and who are vastly opposed to this Mosque being built so near ground zero.

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So if I understand this, the radical right blame Islam for 9/11, not a group of alleged terrorists with their brains warped to a mentally ill version of the sect.

Ahhh, to hear Mrs Palin shriek about "freedom" one more time....

What a bunch of charlatans.

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Remember everyone, Obama's still looking for a new place to worship. Maybe this will be it. Praise Allah.

RR

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So if I understand this, the radical right blame Islam for 9/11, not a group of alleged terrorists with their brains warped to a mentally ill version of the sect.

A CNN/Opinion Research poll released this week found that nearly 70% of Americans opposed the mosque plan while just 29% approved.

I guess 70 percent of Americans are now radical right and 'racists' on this issue.

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I'm all for the construction of a Yasukuni replica in Nanjing too, but I think that'll run into some problems....

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at an annual dinner in the White House State Dining Room celebrating the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Wonder if Obama will be hosting a dinner honoring Yom Kippur.

RR

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over 100 guests at Friday’s dinner included ambassadors and officials from numerous Muslim nations

Seems the MSM overlooked the fact that a Chief of Mission for the Palestinian Liberation Organization was at this dinner. Our own government has declared the PLO a terrorist organization. And yet, this administration invites a representative from this terrorist organization to the White House to be wined and dined.

Go figure.

RR

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This is going to be entertaining. Just take a wait and see attitude. The PC crowd may end up crying in the graves they've helped dig for themselves. Freedom of religion as long as that person's religious practices don't violate others basic human rights. LISTEN to the muslim apostates, they know the pattern. If you ignore them then you truly are intentionally blinding yourself to facts.

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Obama made this disgraceful announcement at a dinner in the White House celebrating the start of Ramadan. He bends over backwards to be politically correct, and the politically correct disease will bring America down. Over 70% of Americans oppose the building of an Islamic Center and Mosque near Ground Zero. Over 53% of New Yorkers oppose it. Obama has no love for America nor for the Will of the Majority. Perhaps that is because of his Marxist leanings, and perhaps his desire to bend over backwards to placate Islam is because his formative years were spent in a Muslim country.

The decision to allow this Islamist Center to be built near Ground Zero is unacceptable to the families of the 9/11 victims and also to many more people like myself who are not even Americans. They have the freedom, under American law, to build their places of worship elsewhere. Obama`s "This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable" beggars belief. Maybve so, Barak, if you happen to be Muslim. Sadly, the same ""freedom" seems to be being taken away from Christians in America, these days, though. In American schools and colleges Christians are not allowed to read the Bible, pray, or even say "God Bless You" at their Graduation ceremonies these days. Where is the "religious freedom" there?

Obama is a disaster for America, and also for the world.

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"Freedom of religion as long as that person's religious practices don't violate others basic human rights."

So just how is this violating other's basic human rights?

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Obama also talked about "not only tolerance, but respect." Excuse me? I can have neither tolerance nor respect for an ideology that encourages its members to refer to unbelievers as "infidels" and to go out and blow themselves and "infidels" to pieces.

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I'm thinking individuals like RomeoRamen would much rather enshrine religious intolerance into the Constitution. For some, running away from the problem is easier than standing up like a man and dealing with it.

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"Freedom to not do something."

I've now heard it all. Yes. Those darn muslims infringing on white people's rights to not have to look at non-whites.

They are so rude.

Taka

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It would be like....building a church next to Aushwitz because blather blather It would be like...building a Crispy Creme next to a Weight Watchers blather blather

Less than a dozen guys committed a crime there and an entire religion has to pay the price.

I wonder if they banned churches in Oklahoma City.

Taka

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I'm not talking about the mosque Madverts I'm talking about Islam itself. The religion runs counter to democracy and human rights no matter how much apologists want to make white into black and black into white. The muslim population is actually quite small in the US at around 2-3 million and thanks to the ex-muslims waking up the real "moderate" muslims the number of fundamentalist muslims is probably much smaller than that. Of course all it takes is a few hundred thousand hard core fundamentalists to build nice little enclaves and camps in various parts of the US which is already going on.

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sailwind: Again this is on par with building a museum dedicated to American Technology and ingenuity in building the Atom bomb and placing it in Hiroshima at ground zero or a placing a German Cultural awareness center next to Auschwitz.

It's nothing like that at all. If you say it often enough and loudly enough you'll get the mob riled up. But that's only because it feels better to use your testosterone and adrenaline than to use those gray cells. The analogy fails on almost every point of comparison.

I understand what you are saying about the Muslims not exercising their right to not build a mosque there. Will you agree then to declare it a religion-free zone?

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RomeoRamenII

Your party's candidate lost the election in 2008. When are you going to come to terms with that and stop attacking Obama every time you post?

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Freedom of religion as long as that person's religious practices don't violate others basic human rights."

So just how is this violating other's basic human rights?

In the case of Islam, blowing innocent people up in the name of their religious practices comes to mind.

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samwatters: In the case of Islam, blowing innocent people up in the name of their religious practices comes to mind.

It's a shame that comes to mind. The attack on the Twin Towers was not perpetrated in the name of Islamic religious practices. And the people who are seeking to build the mosque were neither party to the attack nor supported it.

The mosque could be a great, visible sign to the Muslim world that America truly is a tolerant society. It looks, however, that American reaction to a peaceful American Muslim overture will only demonstrate how intolerant we are. The Muslim world of Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan will not understand that Americans can be generous and forgiving. They will only interpret this outrage for what it mostly seems to be here--petty, vicious and lacking in knowledge.

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and lacking in knowledge.

Yup!

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These people who are building this mosque -- and now Obama supports -- aren't about to let the feelings of the people who lost loved ones on 9/11 to stand in the way of what they want. Which is really ironic because we are being taught all the time that everyone else have to be sensitive to Muslims all the time.

If muslims were truly a religious and caring people they would back off and build somewhere else.

RR

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Many people are buying into the propaganda war between Christians vs Muslims. Muslims have very little to do with "the war on terror" while the US Gov has nearly everything to do with the "war on terror."

I am against indebting the American populace (really the World) to fight this false "war" and I am against the media for promoting this "war."

=build this Muslim cultural center for the benefit of individuals, families, and society.

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According to a CNN! poll, 68% of Americans oppose the Ground Zero mosque, while only 29% support it.

Must be another case of the majority being wrong and thus being overruled by our elite leaders.

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Obama backs mosque near ground zero

But, but but .... just a few days ago this administration claimed it would be taking no position on the Ground Zero mosque, with Gibbs telling the MSM that Obama does not want to meddle in local affairs.

Heh, Looks like there's lot of local affairs (can you say "beer summit") this White House "does not want to meddle in".

RR

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"In the case of Islam, blowing innocent people up in the name of their religious practices comes to mind.

Isn't it the Christians who are doing the invading of Iraq, Afghanistan and now Pakistan at the behest of their Jewish masters, for their religious beliefs that it is THEY who are entitled to other nations' resources? Whose countries exactly are Muslims invading? ? ? And destroying a nation's infrastructure? Whose Marines rape 12 year old girls, and then burn them alive? It's Christians and Jews doing the invading and killing with white phosphorous and other banned weapons, not Muslims. Check your facts.

Christians and Jews doing the killing and invading. That's who. And don't give me 9/11 tripe.

Freedom of religion as long as that person's religious practices don't violate others basic human rights.

Good, so be good little Christians and Jews and leave the Muslims alone, with their own oil. You want it? Pay market prices for it."

I agree with 99% of everything you said. I'm an atheist and would love to see all religion on a short leash. But despite your rant, you cannot intelligently deny that Muslims have acted violently---just because Christians and Jews do it too doesn't make it right---and the president needs to remember that certain rights supercede other rights. Besides, relax, you got your mosque! It was a fair political fight, your side won but I am going to exercise my freedom of speech and protest for the time being and also serve as an adhoc watch dog to make sure that any radicals who have any ideas know that they are being watched.

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"It's a shame that comes to mind. The attack on the Twin Towers was not perpetrated in the name of Islamic religious practices."

Yes, it was. True Islam calls on the destruction of all things not of Allah. This interpretation of the Quran has been repeatedly put forth by native Arab-speaking scholars. It is the one article of faith Islam-apologist cannot escape.

"And the people who are seeking to build the mosque were neither party to the attack nor supported it."

I agree with you but the radicals will sooner or later infiltrate this mosque. It has been done before and by all religious groups and history has shown us (think Catholic church sex scandal here) that moderates will not move against the radicals.

"The mosque could be a great, visible sign to the Muslim world that America truly is a tolerant society. It looks, however, that American reaction to a peaceful American Muslim overture will only demonstrate how intolerant we are. The Muslim world of Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan will not understand that Americans can be generous and forgiving. They will only interpret this outrage for what it mostly seems to be here--petty, vicious and lacking in knowledge."

Nonsense. AMericans are generous and tolerant and have proved it time over. But the choice of this site is not an accident; they symbolism is too strong to ignore. If Muslims wanted to build a moqsue on the other side of town, I would have little problem with it. But near Ground Zero---the symbolism is just too great to ignore.

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Taka:

"I wonder if they banned churches in Oklahoma City." Having been a person who was once stationed in Texas when the branch Dravidian church was blown up by the FBI, we were all on the lookout for those types, we were warned about "whites" who were in Militias, and if you don't recall, we fried McVey

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Osama bin Laden, if he's still alive, must be laughing his ass off.

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RomeoRamen: These people who are building this mosque -- and now Obama supports -- aren't about to let the feelings of the people who lost loved ones on 9/11 to stand in the way of what they want.

American Muslims lost loved ones on 9/11, too. The Muslims already have a prayer center at the site which is "near Ground Zero". What would you do? Drive them from "near Ground Zero" altogether? How near may they dare approach? Or would you just be content to have them occupy the deteriorating a 160-year-old building and pray shabby?

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amazing what a piece of paper can do.

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Sarge: Must be another case of the majority being wrong and thus being overruled by our elite leaders.

I think it has often been observed that our Founding Fathers knew that the majority was often wrong. And so, the founding elite (which is what they were), set up a constitutional government based on laws and which so happened to favor the elite being in positions of government. Mobs should not make binding decisions.

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If I said that – during the war – all Japanese were kamikaze and all Germans were Nazis, I’d rightly be laughed out of court.

RomeoRamen’s comment:“If muslims were truly a religious and caring people they would back off and build somewhere else.” highlights exactly the same kind of ignorant, broad-brush ignorance that is so dangerous.

RomeoRamen has labeled all Muslims as terrorist material for the crimes of the very few.

As Taka so accurately said it – “Less than a dozen guys committed a crime there and an entire religion has to pay the price.”

Facts like this have slipped right past folks like RomenRamen like a thief in the night.

Romeo, how about doing yourself and the rest of us a favor and actually putting some thought into your posts before you embarrass yourself again?

Thanks.

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Samwaters:

While away getting married, I lost 800+ co-workers. You points hit the issue hard: "I agree with you but the radicals will sooner or later infiltrate this mosque. It has been done before and by all religious groups and history has shown us (think Catholic church sex scandal here) that moderates will not move against the radicals."

and things like this have been witnessed. There is a mosque right beind the WTC that's been there before I ever worked there. they could have simply reformed that one. But no!

"I agree with you but the radicals will sooner or later infiltrate this mosque. It has been done before and by all religious groups and history has shown us (think Catholic church sex scandal here) that moderates will not move against the radicals. As a few of the little bird chesters here - "bang on".

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No, samwatters, I think the attack on the Twin Towers was motivated by several factors, among them US favoritism of Israel, US troops in Saudi Arabia, and a perceived anti-Muslim bias on the part of the US. I think Islam was exploited to carry out that attack and I think that some of those on board the plane might have believed as you do. However, I don't think that those who masterminded the attack did so in the name of Islamic religious practices. The attack was obviously designed to scar and to send a message. It was not designed to bring us all home to Allah.

If you think that radicals will soon infiltrate this mosque, I think you are mistaken. It would be much easier for radicals to infiltrate something that is smaller and has a chance of operating under the radar in a way in which this mosque never can--if it is built. If it is built, it will be conspicuous and well-watched. Or perhaps it's our security apparatus that we need worry about.

As far as American generosity is concerned, yes, we can be generous. But Americans make a mistake when they think of themselves that they "are generous". We have been almost constantly at war since our initial act of disloyalty and we have left a trail of devastation. I think the best that can be said is that we are generous when we can have things our way. If we cannot, we can be very savage. I think a lot of people around the world observe this about us. We seem to need a boogeyman and these days Muslims are it.

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It’s just incredible reading some of the comments on this thread of people who oppose the building of this mosque.

It’s like watching a bunch of fired up old golfers being asked to talk about global politics – lots of tough words but at the end of the day, they don’t really have much of a clue what they are talking about.

Here, we’re getting people letting their emotions cloud over the raw reality of the U.S. Constitution, blaming an entire religion for the deeds of a handful, questioning yet again President Obama’s citizenship (what has that got to do with anything?)

Time to face reality Americans – President is standing up for and defending YOUR CONSTITUTION.

Q: Why can’t you?

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Bold. Very bold, and principled. But was it political wise to take a stand in an issue he could have ignored? Maybe not. (but perhaps the right thing to do from a moral perspective...)

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aren't about to let the feelings of the people who lost loved ones on 9/11 to stand in the way of what they want. Which is really ironic because we are being taught all the time that everyone else have to be sensitive to Muslims all the time.

Lol. Welcome to the oppressive new world order. US troops are chasing islamic boggey men in caves while mohummed atta and co are relaxing in Dubai. Sure you can build a Mosk next to it but never build a church next to it. That may well provoke the Christian God., if he/she/ it actually exists.

Whatever they do, it matters none. The whole 9/11 job stinks to rigel star system and back. It takes very little sense to be able to debunk it all. The worst thing is the rest of the world lives with it blindly while the US government gobbles up private enterprise with tax dollars and transforms itself into the communist country right before blind eyes of the fat, scared, depressed public who throw down fastfood and mass media manipulation like kobayashi at a hotdog eat off.

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samwaters - "But the choice of this site is not an accident; they symbolism is too strong to ignore. If Muslims wanted to build a moqsue on the other side of town, I would have little problem with it. But near Ground Zero---the symbolism is just too great to ignore."

So, let's just trample on the US Constitution, shall we?

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It's just incredible reading some of the comments on this thread of people who support building this mosque, as if allowing this, though technically legal, would also not be offensive to anyone in the least. It is. CNN says 68% of Americans are against it. So you know at least 70% are against it.

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Sarge - "According to a CNN! poll, 68% of Americans oppose the Ground Zero mosque, while only 29% support it. Must be another case of the majority being wrong and thus being overruled by our elite leaders."

Most Americans believed Saddam had WMD and look where that got them.

Really, it's no surprise that Sarge, RomeoRamen, etc. don't care what the U.S. Constitution says, I mean, the previous U.S. president - who they threw their weight behind, proclaimed America's founding document was just a "goddammed piece of paper!"

I guess when you don't give a toss about the U.S. Constitution, you shouldn't really be expected to abide by it.

It's just good that President Obama - unlike his distinctly un-American detractors - does give a damn about his country's Constitution.

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The Muslim faith is based on peace and love and compassion."

George W. Bush, Sept 28, 2001

Ooops, I guess the Obama's drooling detractors on the Hard Right missed this one.

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"No, samwatters, I think the attack on the Twin Towers was motivated by several factors, among them US favoritism of Israel.."

Everyone is entitled to their opinion and there is no shortage of distorted information out there but I believe that the bombers were acting in the name of Islam. As were the people who rioted when someone drew pictures or Mohammed. As were the people who.....well, you get the point.

"It’s just incredible reading some of the comments on this thread of people who oppose the building of this mosque.

It’s like watching a bunch of fired up old golfers being asked to talk about global politics – lots of tough words but at the end of the day, they don’t really have much of a clue what they are talking about."

WHicih is why I visted three former members of the Muslim faith and asked ther opinions. Their responses were the same; Islam seeks the destruction of all things not of Allah and the most holy followers are the ones who committ acts of violence against non-believers. I'm not pulling this stuff out of the air and at the end of the day it's really not my problem because I don't live in NY but, just as people are shocked that people like me are not more tolerant, I'm shocked by the number of people who don't look at this religion and see its basic beliefs and recall the pervious acts of violence and say, sure, no problem go ahead and build a mosque right next to the site of the biggest Islamic terrorist attack in the US.

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Sarge - "It's just incredible reading some of the comments on this thread of people who support building this mosque, as if allowing this, though technically legal, would also not be offensive to anyone in the least. It is."

Sarge, what you fail to understand is that simply being 'offended' by something is no basis with which the zoning/building laws can be ignored or the U.S. Constitution can be trampled on.

It takes guts to stand up for principles - something your president is doing real well at, and that sadly, the rabid Right is failing to do on every count.

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President Obama is standing up for the U.S. Constitution.

I can't get my had around why some Americans want to throw some of their laws and the U.S. Constitution under the bus whenever it suits them.

Does anyone else know?

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samwatters- "I'm shocked by the number of people who don't look at this religion and see its basic beliefs and recall the pervious acts of violence and say, sure, no problem go ahead and build a mosque right next to the site of the biggest Islamic terrorist attack in the US."

I see where you are coming from, and can understand most of your above post, however not the above excerpt: - 9-11 was carred out by extremists.

You cannot broadbrush an entire religion for the deeds of a handful without having a massive burden placed on you to back up what is essentially a planet-sized generalization.

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Why are so many so willing to live in fear .. of a community center??

This just shows how inward-looking and fearful many Americans have become, and it's no thanks to the ongoing torrent of hatespeak coming out of the Right's news outlets and talk shows.

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sushi: "You cannot broadbrush an entire religion for the deeds of a handful without having a massive burden placed on you to back up what is essentially a planet-sized generalization"

Oh, but you do.

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If you really want to honor the victims of 9/11, let this mosque be built and send a message that freedom trumps intolerance in America.

However, if you want to honor the terrorists who committed these acts, then continue to support the values that they died for - hate, intolerance and fear.

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Well, this seems to be coming down to what you value more: Freedom of religion or the "right" not to be offended. Which is more sacred to you, the Constitution of the United States or the area around Ground Zero?

I've made my choice.

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"I see where you are coming from, and can understand most of your above post, however not the above excerpt: - 9-11 was carred out by extremists."

According to the Quran, the "extremists" are the holiest of Muslims.

"You cannot broadbrush an entire religion for the deeds of a handful without having a massive burden placed on you to back up what is essentially a planet-sized generalization."

I'm not brushing anything. I am telling you that the Quran calls its followers to destroy all things not of Allah, etc. The RELIGION calls its followers to do so, not a handful of extremists. The extremists are following the RELIGION. Does the existence of moderate Nazis who did not torture Jews mean that the concept of Nazism is OK? Of course not! Why? Because the CONCEPT of Nazism is wrong! It's the CONCEPT of Islam (destruction of all things not of Allah) that is the problem.

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And yes, before that it was the Jews, then before that it was the Chinese then before that it was the Irish and then before that the boogeyman was the Native Indians.... 70% of the public has been brainwashed by the far right for the past 8 years with all the great spin on FIX NEWS. Oh Im sure theres a few in there that honestly feel the way the way they answered, but after the past 8 years of propaganda I am not the least bit surprised.

Obama has been trying to clean our image in the middle east and other muslim countries. Turning a few minds will have been well worth it.

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Triumvere - "Well, this seems to be coming down to what you value more: Freedom of religion or the "right" not to be offended."

The "right" not to be offended isn't a right.

"Which is more sacred to you, the Constitution of the United States or the area around Ground Zero?"

I'd go for the Constitution, considering 1/ it's what America was founded on, and 2/ because Muslims died on 9-11, too.

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"Well, this seems to be coming down to what you value more: Freedom of religion or the "right" not to be offended."

Nonsense. It's a debate regarding security and how large the role of religion should be in the daily lives of people who wish not to practice it. "Being offended" is the least of our concerns.

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samwatters - "I'm not brushing anything. I am telling you that the Quran calls its followers to destroy all things not of Allah, etc. The RELIGION calls its followers to do so, not a handful of extremists. The extremists are following the RELIGION."

You are still broad-brushing, in this case, you are broad-brushing moderate Muslims - the vast majority - who have no interest in killing anything - as being extremists.

That's like saying all Christians are fundamentalists, which is also unwise.

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This is disgusting and insensitive-- perfectly Obama. No one is stopping the Muslim people from practicing their faith-- but putting a community center right next to Ground Zero? Why don't we just build a KKK 'community center' right next to Obama's family's house and the white house. I mean, they are free to do it right? God bless the Constitution. What a slap in the face to all Americans. Obama is more concerned about pleasing EVERYONE ELSE but the country he represents. Again, I'm not saying the Muslims should just hide in a corner and never practice their religion or never speak again, but why choose the most offensive place ever? You can say "you shouldn't generalize a country because of what a group of people did" but I'm not. I'm just saying they are putting the community center in the wrong place. It's time to help America, Obama, not everyone else but.

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samwatters - "Nonsense. It's a debate regarding security."

Nonsense. There's soldiers with machine guns in Grand Central.

You think NY security forces are afraid of a community center?

No, this is fundamentally about the ignorant, easily-led Right who want to trample on their own country's Constitution, and the rest, who actually give a damn about the Constitution.

Anyway, there's a mosque 4 blocks away that has been there since before the WTC was built. Is that a threat to America, too?

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Standing up for the Constitution, even when it hurts, is a sign of true patriotism.

The U.S. Constitution has been behind a way of life that the forefathers of this generation's Americans fought and died to protect and defend.

But some in this generation would rather throw that same Constitution under a bus because they're petrified of a community center.

Wow, this recession is really frazzling some people out.

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"No, this is fundamentally about the ignorant, easily-led Right who want to trample on their own country's Constitution, and the rest, who actually give a damn about the Constitution."

Well, I'm a Socialist so I doubt the Right thinks any higher of me than they do Bin Ladden. But one point on your reply; why get so nasty? I'm making logical points based on research. You're calling me "ignorant" and insinuating that I don't "give a damn about the Constitution" and what not. Such replies are hardly going to win opponents of this mosque over to your side.

"Anyway, there's a mosque 4 blocks away that has been there since before the WTC was built. Is that a threat to America, too?" Excellent point! Why are they demanding another one at this site? Makes me wonder.

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Are there ME financial interests involved in rebuilding Ground Zero ?

That's the only reason I can imagine that there is a mad rush for this 13 story mega mosque by a pro-Sharia, anti-free speech imam while New York Port Authority throws up roadblock after roadblock to the rebuilding of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at the same site.

Believe me, Muslims know exactly what they are doing while we are asleep...they know it's a good time. Follow the money. They (and Obama) are far from stupid.

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I can't wait to see the GOP use this Obama speech in Novemeber to run against the First Amendment.

Bring it on!!! :-)

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"You are still broad-brushing, in this case, you are broad-brushing moderate Muslims - the vast majority - who have no interest in killing anything - as being extremists. That's like saying all Christians are fundamentalists, which is also unwise."

First, I'm an atheist so I don't feel the need to comment on Christianity. Second, could you show me a passage in any version of the Bible that calls its followers to destroy things not of God (sic)?

That's the point I'm trying to make: Islam calls its followers to do just that. See my ealier Nazi anaolgy for why this renders the whole "moderate" argument meaningless.

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Looks like I need to bring some apostates here to wake the sleepers up. They know more about Islam than any of us since they were born and raised in it. Hate to break the news to you Sushi but you're nowhere near the know all about Islam and its ways.

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When you live in a big city -there are few places to build. When you have an opportunity and the money you must take advantage of the opportunity.

Many of these Islamic Extremest groups were started/encouraged by the CIA/USA/banking cartel. Same for many of the militias, KKK, Etc. =For any "war" you need 2 sides minimum and the financial terrorists are having a hard time finding enemies.

Look at Saudia Arabia. -Extreme Muslim nation under strict control and a puppet of the US (source of many 9/11 insiders) Not a true Muslim nation like Iran.

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samwatters - "You're calling me "ignorant" and insinuating that I don't "give a damn about the Constitution" and what not."

My apologies. That comment was not aimed at you.

"That's the point I'm trying to make: Islam calls its followers to do just that. See my ealier Nazi anaolgy for why this renders the whole "moderate" argument meaningless."

No, it's the moderate Muslim majority who have no intentions to do any harm at all that is being lumped in as being extremists - an argument that just doesn't fly.

Thanks for pointing out that you are an atheist, however, I'd like to take another concept from Christianity to back up my point - the Bible claims Jesus instructed all Christians to go out into the world and make disciples of all men.

The vast majority stay at home, and that's the point - the moderate majority of any religion shouldn't be hog-tied to the extremist elements, regaardless of what a particular religion's holy books say.

You also said, "the Quran calls its followers to destroy all things not of Allah, etc."

Again, similarly, most don't do that.

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"The vast majority stay at home, and that's the point - the moderate majority of any religion shouldn't be hog-tied to the extremist elements, regaardless of what a particular religion's holy books say. You also said, 'the Quran calls its followers to destroy all things not of Allah, etc.' Again, similarly, most don't do that."

True, but the point that MUST be made is that Islam is a violent religion. Regardless of whether or not followers are violent, the religion calls its followers to violence. When people like me oppose this mosque on the grounds that Islam is violent and we are told that the majority of Muslims aren't violent we can only shake our heads. Islam is a violent religion and, for that reason, I am leary of this mosque at this location.

Gotta get some sleep. Thank you ---sincerely!---for the debate. I appreciate your time and honesty! Best wishes, Sam.

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"its members to refer to unbelievers as "infidels""

Well, they ARE almost synonyms. If you don't have fidelity to your faith, you are an unbeliever. This does not bother me. It is not like calling someone a pagan or barbarian just because they aren't Christian, which has happened A LOT down through history.

Uh. Regarding this issue. There are two questions that define the discussion. What does America stand for? And what will right-wingers fall for?

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A mosque on Ground Zero... I question the motivation of that choice. Couldn't they find another place ? So many people died in WTC in the name of Allah and islam.

samwatters : "Islam is violent and we are told that the majority of Muslims aren't violent we can only shake our heads."

... and the most intolerant one contrary to what they want the world to believe. Domination of the non muslims is prescripted by the religion itself. The moderate muslims have no power. In fact, moderate islam doesn't exist. It's a lure. The concept is already a complete failure in France. All the moderate imams there are under police protection because they are molested by their own people.

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“As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country,” Obama said, weighing in for the first time on a controversy that has riven New York City and the nation."

Ok Obama, it sounds right when you say it like this but there's a problem here : islam does not recognize democraty. They obey to their own rules and if they're in a democratic country, they will pressure to change the democratic fondations to their own and only benefit and take over soon or later. So allowing them to grow in the US or in any others democraty is really bad idea.

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sailwind said: I guess 70 percent of Americans are now radical right and 'racists' on this issue.

If the numbers are correct, yes to the racism, but perhaps better defined as bigotry. Remember this is the same nation that had segregation of whites and coloreds until the 1960s. The focus of bigotry and xenophobia has changed, but because these are the same people or their children, the bigotry and xenophobia are still there. If you don't think it will take decades of marches to get Americans to drop their bigotry toward Islam, think again. And when that happens, its just a question of who will be next in line, as the bigotry and xenophobia will still be there, they will just know its wrong to apply it to coloreds and Muslims.

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The funny thing about this whole freedom of religion arguement is, that Muslims are free to have mosques, to worship, and yet somehow when people question whether or not there should be a mosque at ground zero, celebrating the death of 3000 people, we're now against freedom of religion.

The question of course is why? Why do they have to have it next to ground zero. There is only one reason why, and we all know it. Theres a reason people are calling it the victory mosque. Being opposed to having it built there, despite Sushi's moronic argument to the contrary, does not you are against freedom of religion. Well, if you remove your brain then perhaps it does, with the brain in place, no, no it doesn't. It does however mean you don't favor the celebration of the 19 murderers. And that after all is what this is really about. People who support this being built, support celebrating 9-11 and the 19 killers who carried it out. Those opposed to it, think that is wrong.

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Bigotry is the better term. Remember Islam is a religion not an ethnicity. One thing worth mentioning though is the total ignorance of Islamic bigotry. Totally seems to have slipped other peoples minds. It was considered just another religion until a large amount of innocent people around the world got hurt. Keep that in mind.

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Triumvere,

"Well, this seems to be coming down to what you value more: Freedom of religion or the "right" not to be offended. Which is more sacred to you, the Constitution of the United States or the area around Ground Zero?

I've made my choice."

Succinctly put.

Sadly as we've seen here for many years, the same people getting offended by this systematicaly put their partisan politics ahead of the Constitution of the United States.

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Sailwind,

"guess 70 percent of Americans are now radical right and 'racists' on this issue."

Heh, well, 70% also believed "Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the Sept. 11 attacks" (a poll out almost two years after the terrorists' strike against the US).

Maybe the people being polled are fraught with too much emotion, which is seriously affecting their ability to speak any sense.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2003-09-06-poll-iraq_x.htm

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Molenir,

"somehow when people question whether or not there should be a mosque at ground zero, celebrating the death of 3000 people, we're now against freedom of religion."

The mosque is celebratory to the events of 9/11 now is it? Heh, this is the kind of hysterical behaviour that takes away any kind of credibility from the hardcore conservative's view-point.

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Heh, sail,

You've got me piqued on this polling American people thing. Check this one out:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19390791/site/newsweek/

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a mosque at ground zero, celebrating the death of 3000 people

Wow, I wonder which sect of Christianity nurtures the kind of hatred evident in the bearing of false witness such as the above statement.

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While its yet to be seen how this mosque will end up (will it be infiltrated by extremism or will it not). Germany has officially closed one down, although it is nowhere as big as this one is going to be.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/september-11-attackers-former-mosque-closed-2047530.html

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Heh, sail,

You've got me piqued on this polling American people thing. Check this one out:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19390791/site/newsweek/

Newsweek!!!! Gosh, ain't that a non biased site. Thanks!

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Principles are worthless if not equally applied, and 'rights' protect no-one if they are not universal - because, if they are not, they can one day be taken away from you.

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It would be like....building a church next to Aushwitz because blather blather It would be like...building a Crispy Creme next to a Weight Watchers blather blather

less than a dozen guys committed a crime there and an entire religion has to pay the price.

I wonder if they banned churches in Oklahoma City.

Taka

I take it Taka if ain't down with the Mosque built built by ground zero that I'm some sort of of a 'racist'?

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Obama made a big mistake by weighing in on this issue. The government of the United States of America should not be discussing religion and comments about whether a mosque, church or temple should be built here or there. I persoanlly think that building that mosque so close to the site of the destroyed world trade center buildings is a bad idea and is a slap at america's face. There are plenty of other properties in the greater new york area to build that mosque. Obama needs to fix the problems inside the USA and defending the borders and getting rid of illegals should be higher on his agenda than commenting about the new york mosque which makes him look like a Islam sympathizer.

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I think your getting far too emotional about the issue. The mosque is blocks away! Take a chill pill

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sailwind,

If you cannot accept a mosque built near ground zero, then you are an agent of intolerance. You might as well be racist, there's little difference.

I believe in the America the Founding Fathers created. The one where we may disagree but will fight to the death for your freedom of expression.

The one you believe in is too cowardly and too intolerant to be the real America. The Constitution says as much.

Taka

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It's a matter of law, not public opinion polls. America is much stronger than any mosque no matter what it preaches. People will use this as a hot button but the mosque will be built then it will gradually fade away in people's minds. The last thing we want to do is follow Europe's path of racism towards Islam.

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Libs by their very nature are complainers and NYC is Lib City central. No matter what is built there (or close by) will be complained upon relentlessly.

So to me a Mosque makes perfect sense. And i guess Libs are anti-Mosque now. But when are Libs never against something. =A divide and conquer strategy that has been working and derails social networks. You should not blame Libs for a strategy that works (for them).

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Europe's racist path towards Islam?

The intolerant one's in this scenario are certainly right wing Americans

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"The last thing we want to do is follow Europe's path of racism towards Islam."

Europeans are fighting to keep their culture and democraties alive against muslim immigrants who refuse to integrate and show real signs of intolerance against the western and european culture. Their whole societies are shaked by islam.

Trust me, the day muslim immigrants will boo your national item or call you a "dirty American" in your own country like British and French people are in England and France, or the moment they will pressure you to stop celebrating Christmas and put Christmass trees before your house, you'll understand what I mean ! Muslims are 10 millions in France in a country with 60 millions people and they are investating each part of the society, asking to change the republic laws and trying to control the freedom of speech on islam...

I think you guys need to open your eyes on the problems faced by Europe with islam.

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"national anthem", sorry

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"America is much stronger than any mosque no matter what it preaches."

America can be destroyed by the inside.

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Wow, I wonder which sect of Christianity nurtures the kind of hatred evident in the bearing of false witness such as the above statement.

Probably the same sect that engenders such blatant lies and misrepresentations as the one in this statement.

Principles are worthless if not equally applied, and 'rights' protect no-one if they are not universal - because, if they are not, they can one day be taken away from you.

So, asking that the mosque be moved a couple miles down the road somehow makes everyone against the constitution? There is a simple test that one of the first supreme court justices proposed. Your right to swing your fist ends, where my nose begins. There are limits on rights, your freedom of speech doesn't extend to yelling fire in a crowded theater. A lot of people think this is akin to that. Move the mosque a few miles away and no one cares. Try to build it on hallowed ground, and you're raising an awful stink that offends the noses of just about everyone except the dhimmi apologists.

I take it Taka if ain't down with the Mosque built built by ground zero that I'm some sort of of a 'racist'?

Thats certainly seems to be the latest line by the Dhimmis.

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There is a limit to everything.

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bobbafett, Lizz and Badsey made some interesting posts. So many interests at play.

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So, let's just trample on the US Constitution, shall we?

Just like you like to do when faced with the "right to bear arms" argument? Start practicing what you preach.

Why are we always bending over backwards to accomodate when a few muslims are "insulted" but when quite a lot of New Yorkers and others are "insulted" we still have to bend over backwards to make sure that the muslims get their way once again?

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On the subject of this building proposition. To add, this reminds me of when the late president Gerald Ford stated "there is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe". This statement was a career ender.

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To the New Yorkers, Pennsylvanians, New Jersery folks and others who died and those that live on with their memories, may you and your loved ones rest in peace.

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Well it's technically NOT a mosque, it's a community center with an area for prayer. Funny how the media and/or the people opposed decided that. Obviously because it sounds more provocative.

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America can be destroyed by the inside.

Indeed. But it's not the Muslims I'm worried about.

What, exactly, is "America" to you? A certain mix of ethnicities? A certain culture based on Judeo-Christian values? An expanse of land? What do you imagine you are defending by taking a stand against the mosque?

Perhaps it is the libertarian in me, but I see America as an idea; a set of principles and ideals. A place where men are all men are equal, and free to choose their own destiny. Where fundamental rights are protected, with justice and opportunity for all. Now, it is undeniable that America has not always lived up to this lofty ideal - it is an ideal, after all, and there are no utopias on this plane of existance. But we have always stived to be more than we are, to crawl - slowly, painfully - toward the goal.

So, what are you defending if in doing so you violate those founding principles? With out them, in my conception, there is no America.

I have been an ex-pat. I will likely be again. But I have always been and always be an American, not matter where I am.

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Well it's technically NOT a mosque

...

Please. This sort of semantic trickery is not helpful. Yes, it is a community center, with resturants, etc... But it contains, as the main focus of the building, a mosque intendend to serve the Muslim community of Manhattan. If you want to chastize the media and public figures for calling it the "ground zero mosque" when it isn't actually at Ground Zero. Or the hate-inciting "victory mosque" epithet. But don't pretend it's not a mosque.

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Obama is bending over backwards to placate Muslims. This is another example. The building of a huge Islamic Centre, featuring a large mosque, close to Ground Zero, is si,ple intolerable. Its like building a statue of Hitler beside a former Nazi Concentration Camp. I hope the Americans rise up and stop this from happening, and I also hope they give the Democratic Party a thrashing at the polls in November. I also hope that this is Obama`s first and last term as President.

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So, asking that the mosque be moved a couple miles down the road somehow makes everyone against the constitution? There is a simple test that one of the first supreme court justices proposed. Your right to swing your fist ends, where my nose begins. There are limits on rights, your freedom of speech doesn't extend to yelling fire in a crowded theater. A lot of people think this is akin to that. Move the mosque a few miles away and no one cares. Try to build it on hallowed ground, and you're raising an awful stink that offends the noses of just about everyone except the dhimmi apologists.

How can you assert basic principles and then violate them in the same paragraph? You've gotten this precisely backwards. Of course rights are not absolute; they cannot be as they invariably come into conflict with other rights, and even themselvs. Thus you cannot use the principle of free speech to libel, threaten or incite.

But what rights are we talking about here? I count Freedom of Religion, and... what?

There is no right to "not be offended". That's the sort of Free Speach killing PC bull$*&# that conservatives and libertarians have been fighting for decades now. I support your right to "ask" the mosque to move in consideration of 9/11 victims. Hell, I support your right to protest the mosque, criticize Islam, and even make racist statements should you choose to (I am not indicating you have, rather that you have the right to say what you want no matter how extreme or offensive I might find it). But you have no right to agremeent or immunity from criticsm. And I say that demanding the mosque to move is contrary to the principle of Freedom of Religion, and that that principle is more important than "Ground Zero" or the feelings of those who have suffered.

What right do you imagine the builders are comming into conflict with by building the mosque two blocks from Ground Zero?

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Taka According to your reasoning, anyone opposed to the building of this mosque near Ground Zero is a racist. What utter bunkum. For a start, over 70% of Americans, and 53% of New Yorkers, are against this thing. Does that mean they are all racists? In addition, you seem to have some racial issues yourself, judging from your comments re white people.

The building of this proposed mosque is grossly insensitive, and spits in the faces of the victims and their families, for starters. You can dress it up as "showing tolerance" all you like, but it is simply tthe Political Correctness cancer which is eating American and Western society these days. Obama and his political correctness towards Islam will destory America.

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Or the hate-inciting "victory mosque" epithet. But don't pretend it's not a mosque.

Allow me to correct you. Its not the hate-inciting "victory mosque", but rather the a statement that acknowledges reality for a certain portion of the Muslim world. Pretending it isn't what it is, is merely hiding your head in the ground and asking reality not to bother you. What, you think the funding for this mosque is coming from local residents?

But what rights are we talking about here? I count Freedom of Religion, and... what?

In my above example, do we have the right not to take a punch in the face? When we recognize what it is that this mosque symbolizes to those trying to build it, if we agree with it, or find it non offensive, then fine. Most people won't care if another mosque is built in the city. Theres one just a few blocks away anyway. Been there for years. If the Muslim community truly needs another mosque, then by all means, most reasonable people would support their right to build one. However just as you wouldn't support a Nazi's right to put up a statue of hitler next to a concentration camp, why should we allow or encourage a mosque being built on that site? And don't kid yourself. Communities can act in ways that prevent buildings from being built. They could zone things differently, pass incentives encouraging them to move the mosque a mile down the road where no one would care, they could decide the building is historic and move to preserve it. Any one of these things would prevent the mosque, and be totally legit. Asking that a mosque be moved a mile or 2 down the road is not violating the first principles of the constitution. In fact it is acknowledging it. Its saying, you have the right to build your building, please build it there, as opposed to here. Reasonable people could easily come to agreement. However that is not, and never has been the point of this mosque. Hence, once again the accurate description of it as the "Victory Mosque."

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To: Madverts

Re: Polling

It may hearten you to know that, while ~70% of Americans oppose the mosque, ~60% of Americans recognize the builders' right to do so.

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I should also add that, while New Yorkers as a whole oppose the mosque, the residents of Manhattan (where the mosque is to be built) support it by a good margin.

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Let's face it, if laws had to be ignored, overruled or reinterpreted every time a conservative felt 'insulted', 'hurt', or 'upset', there would be no point having a legal system as laws would be made irrelevant on a whim.

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Possibly the biggest threat here is that conservatives who feel 'insulted', 'hurt', and 'upset' are actually willing to ignore their own Constitution and local bylaws. Folks, we have laws for a reason, and whether you are 'insulted', 'hurt', or 'upset' is irrelevant. Follow your own laws and respect your Constitution.

Some posters above have protested that they are being made to 'bend over backwards' to please Muslims. How about bending over backwards to follow your own laws?

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Its not the hate-inciting "victory mosque", but rather the a statement that acknowledges reality for a certain portion of the Muslim world.

So, the idea is that I'm supposed to oppose the mosque because jihadists will look on it as a victory? Putting aside the fact that fanatics like Bin Laden look on Muslims who happen to follow a different brand of Islam to be infidels and heretics, so what if jihadist see it as a "victory mosque"? I could give a flying #^% what OBL thinks. What I do* care about are the founding principles of the United States of America.

In my above example, do we have the right not to take a punch in the face?

Of course you do. You are protected from physical and verbal assaults, as well as threats. But you are NOT protected from insults or having your sensibilites offended (save obscenity laws, but I would argue that those violate Freedom of Speech and should be abolished...)

When we recognize what it is that this mosque symbolizes to those trying to build it,

I do not recognize this. Nor do I accept the false equivilance of your holocaust example.

Communities can act in ways that prevent buildings from being built. They could zone things differently, pass incentives encouraging them to move the mosque a mile down the road where no one would care, they could decide the building is historic and move to preserve it. Any one of these things would prevent the mosque, and be totally legit.

I find this to be a fundimental injustice and a betrayal of out fundamental principles, regardless of the legality.

Asking that a mosque be moved a mile or 2 down the road is not violating the first principles of the constitution. In fact it is acknowledging it. Its saying, you have the right to build your building, please build it there, as opposed to here.

I am not as opposed to this line of reasoning as you think I am. I would not support the building of a mosque on ground zero, even if the builders had the legal right to do so. But I cannot abide the concept of drawing an arbitrary "no-Muslim-zone" around around the site. How far is it to extend, and who is to decide? Apparently not the residents of Manhattan; polling shows that they support the mosque.

Even as we debate, groups are protesting the building of new mosques in communities across the US. Despite your personal statement of acceptance for a mosque being built "a mile down the road" from the WTC site, it is clear that there are many who do not want mosques (or Muslims) anywhere the US. I sympathize with your feelings concerning 9/11 and the appropriateness of the mosque location, but Freedom of Religion - something far more important - is at stake here. It must be defended.

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Let's face it, if laws had to be ignored, overruled or reinterpreted every time a conservative felt 'insulted', 'hurt', or 'upset', there would be no point having a legal system as laws would be made irrelevant on a whim.

And athiests destroying Christmas is what? This has nothing to do with conservative or liberal. New York is among the most liberal states in the country, yet the vast majority of New Yorkers oppose the Ground Zero Mosque. Does that mean they're secretly conservative?

Some posters above have protested that they are being made to 'bend over backwards' to please Muslims. How about bending over backwards to follow your own laws?

Or how about this, we simply say, you want to build it, build it a mile or 2 down the road, or don't build it. We don't bend over backwards, and we also follow the law. Everyone except those who are insistant on the "Victory Mosque" idea are happy. The Muslims have their new Mosque, the families of the victims who died on 9-11 are respected and no one is hurt or harmed.

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OMG people, don't use the word 'racism'! Racism does not apply to religious beliefs! If anyone keeps using Racism and Islam or muslim in the same sentance you may as well call yourself a racist for being an athiest or agnostic for thinking or saying all religion should be abolished! Islam is a religious ideology NOT a race, and certainly not an ethnicity!

The building of the mosque may be legal by US law and constitutional rights, but once again the will of the majority has been completely bypassed to appease a few.

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The building of the mosque may be legal by US law and constitutional rights, but once again the will of the majority has been completely bypassed to appease a few.

Tyrrany of the Majority is not Liberal Democracy; the system you claim to advocate was designed to protect against this very thing.

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I sympathize with your feelings concerning 9/11 and the appropriateness of the mosque location, but Freedom of Religion - something far more important - is at stake here. It must be defended.

Well said, Triumvere! I am with you 100% on this point.

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If there's one thing for certain, it's that Manhattan, home of monuments to egotism and greed like the Trump Tower, is a place where money rules. In a way, there's something deliciously ironic about how a Muslim community centre will be in place and running before any new buildings are completed at ground zero.

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American Muslims lost loved ones on 9/11, too.

Apparently someone missed listened to the cockpit recordings of 9-11 where the Islamoterrorists' last words were praising Allah before slamming into the World Trade Center. The "peaceful Muslims" should show their sensitivity to all who died in the towers that day and advocate moving the mosque out of the neighborhood.

RR

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Obama said Saturday that Muslims have the right to build a mosque near New York’s ground zero, but he did not say whether he believes it is a good idea to do so.

Heh, Obama's voting "present" again.

RR

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And athiests destroying Christmas is what?

... say what now?

I take it you mean that "PC" style anti-offense campaigns are not the sole province of the right. If so, then I heartily agree; the left is generally much worse; Conservatives do not care if others are offended, so long as they themselves are not. Liberals, on the other hand, imagine that they are protecting disadvantaged and minority groups by being offended on their behalf, resulting in dangerous, self-righteous campaigns of speach suppression.

Free Speach is a fundamental principle, and needs to be applied consistantly. This is why groups like the ACLU and FIRE are so important, even if those they defend are odious. When an institution like ADL fails do stand up for the right it is sworn to protect, it is not doing its job.

Or how about this, we simply say, you want to build it, build it a mile or 2 down the road, or don't build it.

How did you arrive at this 2 mile figure? Is it your personally acceptable compromise? Who gave you the athority to arbitrate? What if 9/11 survivor X or widow(er) Y demands a minimum of 3 or 4 miles? Where does it end?

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Racism does not apply to religious beliefs!

Certainly not! I don't think anyone meant to imply such.

However, you are missing the big picture here. There are a combination of forces at work in situaltions like this: one is religious rntolerance (the one most central to the mosque issue). But important to are racism and cultural bias. (Recall that the vast majority of Muslims are not "white" (as it is popularly defined) and do not come from Western cultures. Ther three are intertwined and it is difficult - and ultimately futile - to attempt to tease them out; it cannot be done, and in the end doesn't really matter - a victim of bigorty does not care whether the perpatrators are "true" bigots or are merely misguided.

This is certainly not to say that ALL opponents of the mosque are bigots.

This sort of careless and irresponsible rhetoric has already raised its head in recent debates over Immigration and the Tea Party movement. It is as self-defeating here as it was there. On the contrary, there are plausable - but ultimately unconvincing, in my personal opinion - reasons to oppose the mosque. However you are fooling yourself you don't think that racism and the other biases don't play a role for a significant portion of the oposition. How significant? Ultimately impossible to tell, but highly unlikely to be negligable.

It would be an extreme irony to accuse an individual of bigotry simply for opposing the mosque.

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Obama is right on this one.

Having said that, the republicans are going to play the fear card. Actually, I cant fault them for doing so. The American public seems to eat up paranoid fear mongering on a lot of issues. Weird.

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RomeoRamen: Apparently someone missed listened to the cockpit recordings of 9-11 where the Islamoterrorists' last words were praising Allah before slamming into the World Trade Center. The "peaceful Muslims" should show their sensitivity to all who died in the towers that day and advocate moving the mosque out of the neighborhood.

You are hitting new lows. How many cockpit recordings of crashed planes end with the phrases, "Oh, God!", "Lord have mercy!" or so on? You are demanding that American Muslims assume mass collective guilt for something that they did not do. Again, however, if you are OK with removing all religious institutions from the neighborhood, I could support that.

Even so, how close dare they come, according to you?

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Molenir, perhaps I have the wrong information, but I wasn't under the impression that the mosque was planned to be built on hallowed ground. I thought it was planned to be built on the site of an old building, not at Ground Zero, which they now use as a prayer center. How big is this hallowed ground of which you speak--all of lower Manhattan?

Who is calling it the victory mosque? American Muslims? I doubt it. Why do you say that supporting Muslim's right to raze the current building and build something more grand celebrates the 19 men who flew into the Towers and the deaths and destruction which ensued?

As far as I can see, you are indulging yourself in viciousness.

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Taking poison in small doses doesn't always give you immunity, it just means you can die a slower death.

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This land this mosque is to be built on is not hallowed ground. That is just more emotional clap-trap from people who should know better.

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RomeoRamenII said: Apparently someone missed listened to the cockpit recordings of 9-11 where the Islamoterrorists' last words were praising Allah before slamming into the World Trade Center.

Christians and Muslims both worship the same OT God. So do Jews. The different names are irrelevant. Its the same God whether he is called God, Allah, or Yahweh. By your logic, all Islamo-Judeo-Christian faiths should be banned from having a prayer center near the former site of the WTC, if what you post could be confused for logic.

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Triumvere said: It would be an extreme irony to accuse an individual of bigotry simply for opposing the mosque.

My friend, if most of the people in opposition had the capacity to understand that statement or half of the post it came it with, they would be on our side. The one thing they all have in common might not be bigotry, but certainly, it is a lack of capacity.

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There's no point trying to reason, here. You either see the danger, and understand the outrage people feel, or you reason away, pulling out every blindfold at your disposal. I find it ironic that Obama would take the opportunity at this time, to use The Constitution as a means to prop himself up on the "tolerance" pedestal, to protect the rights of Muslims- He's been all but using it as tp, regarding the rights of other American citizens.

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Americans who oppose this mosque seem 1/ more than a little confused as to how big the Muslim-Free Zone they seem to want around ground zero to be, 2/ more than happy to ignore local bylaws, and 3/ happy to trample on the Constitution that was behind the lifestyle some of their fathers and grandfathers died trying to defend.

Not very American.

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Here is an article regarding mosques by a muslim apostate. As I said they were born and raised muslim and chose to leave. http://www.faithfreedom.org/articles/op-ed/mosques-and-the-islamization-of-america/

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Taking poison in small doses doesn't always give you immunity, it just means you can die a slower death.

I beg to differ, my friend. I spent the last few years building up an immunity to iocane powder.

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Not only do I think this mosque should be built, it should stand higher than the WTC.

I also think there is no problem with opening an adult video shop right next to an elementary school.

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SushiSake3 at 11:03 AM JST - 15th August

Americans who oppose this mosque seem 1/ more than a little confused as to how big the Muslim-Free Zone they seem to want around ground zero to be, 2/ more than happy to ignore local bylaws, and 3/ happy to trample on the Constitution that was behind the lifestyle some of their fathers and grandfathers died trying to defend.

Not very American.

So because Americans are excorcising their right to freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of conscience they're being un-American? You really need to read this article and tell me how this particular issue isn't un-American. http://www.freep.com/article/20100713/NEWS02/7130318/1001/rss01

And this: http://www.amilimani.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=26&Itemid=2

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@Molenir Let's face it, if laws had to be ignored, overruled or reinterpreted every time a conservative felt 'insulted', 'hurt', or 'upset', there would be no point having a legal system as laws would be made irrelevant on a whim. And athiests destroying Christmas is what? This has nothing to do with conservative or liberal. New York is among the most liberal states in the country, yet the vast majority of New Yorkers oppose the Ground Zero Mosque. Does that mean they're secretly conservative? Some posters above have protested that they are being made to 'bend over backwards' to please Muslims. How about bending over backwards to follow your own laws? Or how about this, we simply say, you want to build it, build it a mile or 2 down the road, or don't build it. We don't bend over backwards, and we also follow the law. Everyone except those who are insistant on the "Victory Mosque" idea are happy. The Muslims have their new Mosque, the families of the victims who died on 9-11 are respected and no one is hurt or harmed.

I think people seem to forget the main resentment for having the Mosque built right across from Ground Zero, it has nothing to do with intolerance or racism, it has everything to do with being sensitive and being respectful towards the majority of the families that don't want it built there. Why does it have to be built right across from where the terror attacks took place. It was Muslims that flew the planes into the towers, does that now mean that everyone hates Muslims or that they have no rights to build a Mosque? Absolutely not! Are the Japanese allowed to build a Shrine right next to Pearl Harbor, certainly not. Why should this be any different. Having it there will probably have a negative impact and stir up bad feelings in many people. So I cannot see why they can't go two blocks away and build it, what is the big deal? Having it built there would look like a "Victory Mosque" Because the majority of people oppose it now all of a sudden they are the evil ones. It's easy for the people that were not involved or directly affected by that horrific tragedy. I am all for free speech for all people and all religious beliefs, having said that, This is NOT a free speech issue! This is about being respectful towards the families that were affected by this event.

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bass4funk.

How is "2 blocks" away right across from ground zero.

Your suggestion of 4 blocks away will still get the same response as "right across" and there was/is a mosque(for decades) even closer to the WTC than the planned one.

People these days here Muslims and Mosque and start panicking and stop thinking, IMHO.

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days here = days hear

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HonestDictator said: So because Americans are excorcising their right to freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of conscience they're being un-American?

No. Its what they are using their freedom of speech to support. Not one word in Sushi's post is about "shutting up", so your dragging the freedom of speech into this goes to show the limits of reasoning ability.

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bass4funk said: I think people seem to forget the main resentment for having the Mosque built right across from Ground Zero, it has nothing to do with intolerance or racism, it has everything to do with being sensitive and being respectful towards the majority of the families that don't want it built there.

You are talking yourself into a circle. The families who don't want it are mostly giving into intolerance because of their grief. They have associated all of Islam with the terror attacks. Its wrong, and their grief is no excuse. They are entitled to their grief. But their intolerance is as unconstitutional as their hate is misplaced. Both their intolerance and hate are "understandable", about as understandable as a slave master not wanting to set his slaves free. That does not mean its going to fly nor should it.

Its interesting the associations people make. Just associating any group with 9/11 outside of al-Quaida is already a stretch. But if one is going to make the association of Islam, and not specifically Sunni Islam, Wahhabism or fanatical Islam, what mental defect prevents them from associating all religion with 9/11.

The association is CRAZY. It may be borne of grief. But suspending the Constituion or local law because of the craziness of grief would be one hundred times more crazy. 9/11 was nine years ago. If they have not recovered from their grief just enough to distinguish between who is responsible and who is not, we better put those people in padded roooms, because they are dangerous.

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So how far is far enough?

Is Staten Island far enough?

http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local&id=7488854

Or maybe Tennessee?

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-07-03-mosque-protest-tennessee_N.htm

Or California?

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0731-mosque-protest-20100731,0,20718.story

It seems that distance does not really matter for some people. It's good to see that a lot more people show up in favour of the mosques than to protest them, though.

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"So how far is far enough?"

Mars?

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Seems to me that people who rail on and on about religion and Christianity should know what THE BOOK really says. Almost always they don't. Is that beyond review or critique? Would it make a difference if I were an ordained minister or rabbi? Or do rabbis and ministers just have to shut up? Why? Is SamWatters a religious authority?

Deciding that Christians have some right to put a church on Ground Zero but that mosques are not allowed must not be based on the reasoning that Christianity is less violent than Islam.

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@MistWizard

I'm not talking in circles. Most of the families DO NOT want the mosque to be built, saying that it is out of sheer intolerance is a total ruse. For you to say their grief is "no excuse" shows a real lack of sensitivity on your part. This is exactly what I'm talking about. You are trying to make arguments while ranting and quoting about the Constitution. As far as teaching the world about the various differences within Islam is a valid point. I do think that many people lump all Muslims under the same banner. But that is not the real issue at the moment. I think if you were to ask ANY of the family members how they feel if the Mosque were to be built a couple of blocks away, I'm sure, they wouldn't have any objection, but it seems like for political correctness, we should be inconsiderate of how the families feel, because the Constitution is what's really important, right? I think the real danger is organizations such as the ACLU.

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Mistwizard - "The families who don't want it are mostly giving into intolerance because of their grief. They have associated all of Islam with the terror attacks. Its wrong, and their grief is no excuse. They are entitled to their grief. But their intolerance is as unconstitutional as their hate is misplaced."

Extremely well put.

"The association is CRAZY. It may be borne of grief. But suspending the Constituion or local law because of the craziness of grief would be one hundred times more crazy. 9/11 was nine years ago. If they have not recovered from their grief just enough to distinguish between who is responsible and who is not, we better put those people in padded roooms, because they are dangerous."

Agreed.

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I think the real danger is organizations such as the ACLU.

Interesting comment. Why?

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"am all for free speech for all people and all religious beliefs, having said that, This is NOT a free speech issue! This is about being respectful towards the families that were affected by this event."

By disallowing this mosque ON PRINCIPLE, you are saying that it is more important than your PRINCIPLES and more important than anything you ever did ON PRINCIPLE. Get it? Obama knows the risk, but he knows that this is a time when the US has to put up or shut up. What does it stand for?

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Yumimoto: Europeans are fighting to keep their culture and democraties alive against muslim immigrants who refuse to integrate and show real signs of intolerance against the western and european culture. Their whole societies are shaked by islam.

That's because of Europe's failure to integrate Muslims into their society as well as America has. Bending laws to stop a mosque is a good start to creating alienation, and the end result could very well be a European situation in the US. I don't want to see Muslim ghettos, riots, murdered politicians, clothing bans, anti-Muslim election platforms, etc. in my country. That's a European thing. Banning mosques will eventually lead us down that road.

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bass4funk - "we should be inconsiderate of how the families feel, because the Constitution is what's really important, right?"

Yes. The Constitution must come first.

If it doesn't, what other events will come up that will make people like you want to to ignore the document your country's Founding Fathers created (why do I - a non-American - have to explain this???)

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Or how about this, we simply say, you want to build it, build it a mile or 2 down the road, or don't build it.

On the surface this would seem to be a reasonable compromise. Indeed, if this was merely a debate over the appropriateness of the location, I might be inclined to advocate it. But the feeling is that things have gone far beyond that point. The politicians and culture warriors have grabbed ahold of it and blown it into this huge confrontation, and the issue has become increasingly about whether Muslims have a right to build the mosque and whether they belong in the US at all.

On one side we have a vocal and growing faction which sees Islam as a direct threat to everything the US stands for, a kind of gangrene which, if left unchecked, will eat away at their freedoms and way of life. And to stop this rot, they are more then willing to hack off the limb.

On the other side there are those of us who see a posioned dagger, laced with resentment and fear, pointed at the heart of the principles we hold dear: plauralism, religious freedom, and equality under the law. Cut out these threads and the tapestry unravels: delicate, interdependent strands painstakingly woven over two centuries of blood and conflict of comming apart in out hands.

Overdramatic? Perhaps. But it captures the deadly seriousness which animates both proponents and opponents. Personally, I have confidence in America's resiliancy, that our inevitable forward progress toward the realization of our ideals will not be defeated by the setbacks we will surely suffer along the way. Still, I would not have another Korematsu v. US, another abortion of human and civil rights done in the name of freedom and security. And so I will take a stand.

The grand irony of all this, of course, is that both sides believe themselves to be protecting the very thing they see the other as poised to destroy.

Make no mistake: for every hack politician or pundit, spin doctor, closet bigot, right-wind demagogue, rabid left-wing radical, or covert jihadist weighing in on the issue, there are legion of earnest and well meaning Americans who believe whole heartedly that they are standing on principle, upholding what is right.

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bass4funk - "we should be inconsiderate of how the families feel, because the Constitution is what's really important, right?"

If you are going to put the grief of a few thousand people ahead of the power of the Constitution, which governs the lives and rights of 300 million people, you need help.

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On an entirely different note than has been explored in this thread... I propose a possible solution that might be very enlightening.

If one believes in Godly things, has anyone considered what bad karma this is? Maybe the mosque should be built just to see which way the divine winds are blowing. If it gets destroyed by blue lightning, then that says something, doesn't it? On the other hand, if the rest of Manhattan is turned to atomic ash by some Iranian nuke in the future, and the mosque remains standing, well, then we will all just have to accept that as righteous retribution, right?

On the other hand, if you DONT believe in those Godly things, then who cares? We should let the site go the highest bidder and acknowledge our real god: Mammon.

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My point is, to think it's OK to build a mosque right next to Ground Zero is extremely poor judgment, even if it is perfectly legal.

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Yes, Sarge, it is perfectly legal, and your or anyone else's disagreement with it is no grounds whatsoever for your country's Constitution to be run over, no matter how much you want to thumb your nose at it.

I thought this would have been obvious by now.

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Sarge, what other situations would have you want to ignore the Constitution and the rights enhrined in it?

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Sarah Palin - "We all know that they have the right to do it [build the mosque at the planned sight.]"

Oops, now even Sarah Palin is contradicting conservatives.

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"Well it's technically NOT a mosque"

And I still say it's NOT a mosque.

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Sarge, last week yo were anti-gay marriage; this week it's anti-Muslim mosques.

It's pretty depressing,

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@SushiSake3

You are getting off target. If you are going to put the grief of a few thousand people ahead of the power of the Constitution, which governs the lives and rights of 300 million people, you need help.

If it doesn't, what other events will come up that will make people like you want to to ignore the document your country's Founding Fathers created (why do I - a non-American - have to explain this???) No one asked for an explanation.

I'm not the one that needs help, this topic is turning into a Liberal/Conservative discussion and is totally idiotic! Again; everyone is missing the point. Build the Mosque, build it I say! But why does it have to be at the site where 3000 people were murdered. Why? If you are going to build it, do it a couple of blocks away, no problem. I don't see any intolerance in that.

@Klein2

By disallowing this mosque ON PRINCIPLE, you are saying that it is more important than your PRINCIPLES and more important than anything you ever did ON PRINCIPLE. Get it? Obama knows the risk, but he knows that this is a time when the US has to put up or shut up. What does it stand for?

No one said anything about "disallowing" the Mosque to be built. I really doubt Obama knows the risks. I think the people that were adversely affected by this have the right to have and feel resentment to the Mosque being built on THAT particular location. If anyone's right is being fringed upon it is the families that have lost loved ones.

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That's because of Europe's failure to integrate Muslims into their society as well as America has. Bending laws to stop a mosque is a good start to creating alienation, and the end result could very well be a European situation in the US. I don't want to see Muslim ghettos, riots, murdered politicians, clothing bans, anti-Muslim election platforms, etc. in my country. That's a European thing. Banning mosques will eventually lead us down that road

This is an increadibly important point. There is a real difference between the Muslim population of Europe and that of the US; one that seems to be fueling radicalization of second generation muslims in Europe, while American Muslims seem much better integrated.

Part of this is simple demographics; while numbers are difficult to come by, estimates range as high as 7 million for the United States (600,000 in New York City) compared to a population of 310 million. In Europe, France alone is estimated to have 6 million (out of 65.5 million). Naturally, more Muslims means more potential Islamist radicals, but there does seem to be a real difference in the level of integraion of the population, which I beleive has to do with the difference in how Europeans and North Amercians view interation.

European countries are, of course, far older than North American ones, and are conceptually more strongly tied to ethnic and language groups, with class issues heavily emphasized. The US and Canada, on the other hand, are countries built on immigration, with racial and ethnic issues emphasized over class. (This is obviously a gross generalization, but bear with me here). The US, in particular, has endorsed (and exported) the concepts of the "melting-pot" and the social mobility of the "American Dream". While many may criticize these concepts, it is undeniable that they have inspired a massive quantity of immigration (legal or otherwise) over the years.

American, by in large (Arizona not withstanding!) has embraced immigration and immigrants as a whole, though there has been friction regarding different ethnic groups over the years. The end result is that immigrants - including Muslims - tend to come to the US looking to start a new life there. Europe's Muslim population, in contrast, seems to have come largely looking for work, rather than permanent settlement. Combined this with more closed European attitudes toward immigration and nationality, and you get a certain amount of tention.

This is further compounded by Europe's "multi-cultural" approach toward integration (an approach I am extremely critical of). While meaning well, multiculturalism tends to reinforce cultural differences rather than promote integration, as it seeks to "protect" foreign cultures from the host culture. While, certainly, there is always friction between immigrant cultures and the host cultures (racism and self-segregation naturally occuring), multi-culturalism helps to encourage self-identification as seperate from the host culture at large.

The 'melting-pot' model, on the other hand, helps to promote immigrants viewing themselves as part of the mainstream; even in the face of racism, bigotry, and cultural and religious intollerance, they can look to the trials, travails and ultimate sucesses of previous immigrant groups. Assimilationism helps 2nd and 3rd generation Muslim immigrants see themselves as Americans first and as ethnic/relgious subgroups second, decreasing the chance of radicalization. In contrast, the combination of multi-culturalist attitudes, hostility to immigration, and parents who view themselves as seperate from the host culture, stifles the assimilationist tendancies of 2nd and 3rd generation Muslim immigrants. The result is generations of youth who feel that they don't have a place in their own country, which leads to resentment and increasing radicalization.

Long-winded, poorly-written, and over-simplifed, I appologize, but I think the basic thrust is correct. This is one of the reasons (beyong funamental principle and basic morality) why the "Ground Zero" mosque is so important. Standing up for plauralism and religious freedom in this case sends an important message, both to Muslims in the US and around the world: that you US Muslims are truly citizens, and that we mean what we say about freedom and equality. In that respect, Obama's declaration today was critical.

An aside:

I'd be interested to hear what out Canadian pals have to say about Muslim immigration and integration. We here in the States have a tendancy to think of Canada as a cleaner, safer, blander copy of the US (and not much more), which papers over some real differences in politics and social opinion. Canada seems to walk the line between American-style welcoming of immigration, and European style multi-culturalism. How's that working out for you guys?

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And I still say it's NOT a mosque.

How is it "NOT a mosque"? Would you care to enlighten us?

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I find it ironic that Obama would take the opportunity at this time, to use The Constitution as a means to prop himself up on the "tolerance" pedestal, to protect the rights of Muslims- He's been all but using it as tp, regarding the rights of other American citizens.

Oh please. The Constitution is open to interpretation. But it is the job of the courts to rule on that, not you. And they will if need be. And if they rule in your favor, fine. But if they rule against it you have to respect to process of government.

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But why does it have to be at the site where 3000 people were murdered. Why? If you are going to build it, do it a couple of blocks away, no problem. I don't see any intolerance in that.

...but, but, but it ISN'T right at the site... it's literally "a couple blocks away." Just like you wanted! So... what's the problem?!

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I think Ayaan Hirsi Ali was not wrong when she wrote in her latest book "The Nomad" that we in the West are too accommodating or even bending over backwards when it come to relations with Muslims immigrants. Do we ever tried to build a church in Saudi Arabia or a woman from the West free to drive around on her own or clad 'immodestly' in accordance to them, I guess not. Didn't they say Islam is a 'peaceful and tolerant religion'? If President Obama's intention is to assure that the mosque built near ground zero will deter another plane crashing in, then so be it.

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" Or how about this, we simply say, you want to build it, build it a mile or 2 down the road, or don't build it. "

If they build it 2 miles down the road, it is doubtfull they they would get the same funding from Saudi Arabia.

The point of the victory mosque is of course to build it right there. And everybody, except bleeding-heart Western liberals, knows that.

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tettoe:

" If President Obama's intention is to assure that the mosque built near ground zero will deter another plane crashing in, then so be it. "

By that logic, they would have to build a mosque on top of the White House and the Pentagon too.

Coming to thing of it, you can be sure that Faisal Abdul Rauf thinks that is an excellent idea.

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Triumvere said: How is it "NOT a mosque"? Would you care to enlighten us?

Well, the press is not trying very hard to enlighten you. In fact, I hold them directly responsible for spreading the lie. The plan is to build a community center with a prayer room aimed specifically at Muslims. If you have any idea of Muslim prayer, you will realize this is better than having all the Muslims whip out their prayer rugs at 12 noon in cafeteria. But its still not a mosque!

Seems to me that that word mosque has been specifically injected to incite an internet riot. And given the large number of extremely weak minded individuals out there, it has worked.

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Is this mosque going to have a banner condemning the 9/11 attacks which were carried out in the name of Islam?

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Sushi: "Oops, now even Sarah Palin is contradicting conservatives"

She wasn't contradicting comservatives, she was speaking the truth. Gosh, Sushi, can't you compliment Sarah Palin when she speaks the truth?

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Any problem with Obama I blame on white americans who thought they had to vote for him for the "feel good" effect. I bet that number was at least 20%, the others were just liberals.

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Is this mosque going to have a banner condemning the 9/11 attacks which were carried out in the name of Islam?

Asked and Answered, Sarge. No banner, but the builders have offered to include and inter-faith prayer room and permanant memorial to 9/11 victems. Seems superior to a banne, if you ask me.

The plan is to build a community center with a prayer room aimed specifically at Muslims.

This contradicts what I have read, namely that the upper floors will be a mosque. Can you back up your assertion? Also, I'm slightly hazy as to what the differences between a permanant, "muslim-oriented prayer room" and a "mosque" are? Care to elaborate?

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Triumvere: European countries are, of course, far older than North American ones, and are conceptually more strongly tied to ethnic and language groups, with class issues heavily emphasized. The US and Canada, on the other hand, are countries built on immigration, with racial and ethnic issues emphasized over class.

And that's the trap of denying the mosque. That's when walls begin to separate different groups in society. There's no way American Muslims will be able to look past this situation if the mosque is not allowed to be built. And surely it won't make them feel like they are Americans, it will make them feel like Muslims who reside in America with a second-class status. I'd rather not see how that would play out over a generation when fathers start shaping the minds of their sons.

As for the "victory mosque"....I really couldn't care less what such people would think. They're brainwashed radicals who end up with the same result no matter what the situation is. Don't build the mosque? Then play the "America hate Muslims" card. Build the mosque? Then play the "victory" card. It's not like they're drawing up a list of pros and cons and debating American society in an honest way. Their goal is to teach hatred and the information is manipulated to get that result every time.

Is the mosque bad taste? Not really, as long as it promotes peace and integration then I think it's a worthwhile message with an irrelevant location. Does it suck that Muslim countries are mostly intolerant towards other religions and probably wouldn't extend us the same courtesy? Yeah. That part does suck.

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Superlib, I agree. Good call.

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President Obama, as many posters on here, realize what it is that America --and any democratic society-- stands for and it isn't intolerance or the denial of religious freedom; much as I am godless and have a total lack of faith, I would never assume to deny someone their right to believe in the supernatural or prevent them from peaceably worshipping their beliefs. Peace in. Daft nut-job fanatics, that's right, those decrying these muslims the right to a place of worship are fanatics, OUT.

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Is the mosque bad taste? Not really, as long as it promotes peace and integration then I think it's a worthwhile message with an irrelevant location.

190 comments so far the majority of which has no problem with building a Mosque but a good many does has a problem with location. If the intent is to promote peace and integration by the people behind this Mosque, they are sure going about it in a very bad way.

I see a visit by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to this Mosque in the near future next time he is in New York to address the U.N.

I see Hugo Chavez dropping by and a whole host of pretty unsavory characters on the world stage who will use this location to 'rub America's nose in it'....... The location does matter and does make a statement and it isn't one of tolerance or inclusion, it is one that allows a platform whether intentional or not to be abused by those who have given Islam a bad name in the first place.

This is simply the wrong site to place a Mosque and the lesson that would be taught if the founders of this Mosque decided to move it to a different location well away from ground zero, would then really be one of tolerance and respect for those that travel to ground zero to pay their respects and should not have to reminded that the terrorists who committed 9/11 yelled 'Allah Akbhar' before they slammed in the planes.

Ishallah to all.

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Triumvere said: This contradicts what I have read, namely that the upper floors will be a mosque. Can you back up your assertion? Also, I'm slightly hazy as to what the differences between a permanant, "muslim-oriented prayer room" and a "mosque" are? Care to elaborate?

Thank you, it appears you are correct. I kept hearing about a community center, but it appears it will include a mosque, just as you say. Even so, I doubt it will look like any mosque I ever saw. But then, one should not judge a book by its cover.

In my checking I learned something else interesting. I have pointed out that Imam Rauf who wants to build Cordoba house is Sufi. It turns out he was also born in Kuwait. Sufi is no one's enemy, and last I checked, Kuwait was a staunch ally. People opposing this have one more reason to be ashamed for treating this man like an enemy.

Blaming all Muslims for 9/11 is as idiotic as it gets. Obama, like Johnson, will come out on the correct side of history on this decision despite fierce opposition. But the people in opposition don't care about history. They want a fight. They love to fight. The cause is secondary, so they don't care how stupid they look. They are basking in the glory of trouble, hate and strife. They are mentally ill.

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SuperLib at 04:54 PM JST - 15th August

Super, I only wish posts like that from you were more common. Save that one on your desktop as an example to yourself. I actually read that AFTER my last post. I touched on similar points, but I don't think I made it one quarter as clear as you did.

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@Sailwind

Excellent point. All these comments and you hit the nail straight on. That sums up the whole argument.

Kudos!

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I think we can sum up these arguments. 90% of the posts here are from people who say they have no problem with the Mosque being built. About half oppose the location, not the actual building of a mosque. The other half are from weak minded Dhimmis who think they should be able to build it at ground zero to honor the 19 martyrs. Oh, they make lots of noise about freedom of religion etc, but thats really all it boils down to.

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Given that a majority of Americans believe these two false ideas: (1)The point of the victory mosque is of course to build it right there. And everybody, except bleeding-heart Western liberals, knows that. (2) Is this mosque going to have a banner condemning the 9/11 attacks which were carried out in the name of Islam?

It's one thing for people to think Americans are fools. It's quite another for them to put this in print and prove the point. How do you deal with a nation of people who choose ignorance, and who simply do not want to see the truth of 9/11? Or that the antipathy that many around the world, not just in Muslim countries feel for the USA, is borne simply because the USA has the habit, verifiable by history, of messing around with other people's countries and stealing their resources. All in the name of democracy.

There are none so blind as those who do not wish to see.

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Sailwind, lets condemn the guests when they arrive and speak, not before. In fact, I think a lot of you intolerant people out there should beleive Sailwind and view this as an opportunity for more conflict and "see I told you so"s. Too bad you did not think of that before though, because we have already figured out that principles don't mean anything to you at all and that you think the constitution is just a piece of paper.

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"The other half are from weak minded Dhimmis who think they should be able to build it at ground zero to honor the 19 martyrs"

Yeah, that's some summing up you got there!

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Too bad you did not think of that before though, because we have already figured out that principles don't mean anything to you at all and that you think the constitution is just a piece of paper.

The constitution does not ban Zoning laws. That is why if the community desires it can ban certain businesses and organizations from areas of the community. I'm sure you have heard of residential zones and commercial zones and zones just for parks etc. So don't go with the tack that I think the constitution is just a piece of paper that can ignored here.What can be done legally and by the constitution is change the zoning law where this building is located. Turn it into a residential zone only and build condos on the site. Those are 'principles' that I stand on and mean something to me and I fully support the constitution which allows zoning laws to be passed in the interest of the community at large.

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Gordon Duff at Veterans Today is reporting, "There never were plans for a mosque at “ground zero.” The entire story is made up by a public relations agency working with the Israeli government and the GOP. There are plans for an Islamic center in an old Burlington Coat Factory store blocks away. That far down the island of Manhattan, a couple blocks away is 'across town.'"

Fool you once.....

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None of the reports I saw from day 1 were talking about a mosque on Ground Zero.

Always about a property 2 blocks away and that certain groups wanted the building designed as a national treasure(due to architect) to prevent the mosque from being build.

They tried to claim national treasure statues as the building as damaged during the attacks.

Those are the facts I read here and on other sites.

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Doesn't seem like any of you understand that islam is a political ideology with world domination as one of it's primary goals. There is no way that islam could ever represent peace just because of it's precepts.

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Who cares what it is.

What I care about is how the average practicioner I meet interacts and how they live their lifes.

Same for christian(crusadsses against christian sects, Spanish Inquisiton, etc) or any other faith.

The Muslims I met care and have the same every-day worries as you and me and they don't want to destroy anything non-islamic, etc.

The sheep will always be mislead by someone. How many christian priests are there that preach against Islam and how they are a danger, rather than preach the message of Jesus of love and forgiveness.

I don't care about fear-mongers and people that make X-claim based on half-truths and mis-informations.

I worked with muslims for years my son goes to school with muslims, those are the TRUE muslims for me. The average Joe and Jane.

Nuff said.

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why do I - a non-American - have to explain this?

wow that came as a surprise.

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Doesn't seem like any of you understand that islam is a political ideology with world domination as one of it's primary goals. There is no way that islam could ever represent peace just because of it's precepts.

Guilt by association. McCarthyism at its best. Thats what they said about the evil Communists that rear their ugly heads over Sarah Palin's house. Come on people. Majority of these people sell liquor and send their kids to catholic school. World domination my butt. The crazy few that are outcast in Tunisia, Algeria, Morroco, Afghanistan, Yemen and Pakistan are all out to make a name for themselves. Killings = Free Press. Just listent to the interegation of the Mumbai bomber. That crazy sob and his ilk are one upping each other.

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Even radical Americans deserve the right to vomit up their bile, hatred or even just plain paranoia of Islam. Merely a few years back the same voices on JT were calling for internment camps for muslims in the wake of 9/11.

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The anti-mosque crowd is basically just one more hate group that America doesn't need. Not suprisingly, in the last 2 days they have reinforced every negative stereotype the rest of us had about them - the unfounded hate, the igorance-fuelled anti-Muslim blowback, the dangerous over-generalizations, and the deep-seated fear of the boogie monster that always lives in their dreams. Unfortunately, 'maturity' never comes to mind when I think about them, which luckily isn't something I get a kick out of.

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sailwind said: The constitution does not ban Zoning laws.

Sailwind says "hi!" from left field! No the Constitution does not ban zoning laws, but it does ban discrimination in their application! If this were to be a Catholic church going up you know frakking well there would have been not one peep about it.

If the Methodists wanted to build a church near the site of the Murrah building blown up by Timothy McVeigh, we also know there would be not one peep. In case you don't know McVeigh blew up the building as revenge for the government attack on the Branch Davidians, a branch of Christianity. Now if it was a Branch Davidian church we were talking about, there might be a point. But its not, its Methodist. And this community center/ mosque is Sufi. The hijackers were not.

What is going on, if it involved zoning laws, would be a flagrant misuse of them and an abuse of the constitution. In typical conservative fashion, you have no interest in the principle of law, you just want to twist the letter to suit your intolerance.

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The terrorists don't have an ice cube's chance in hell of bringing more harn on America than U.S. conservatives have since 2000.

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What is going on, if it involved zoning laws, would be a flagrant misuse of them and an abuse of the constitution. In typical conservative fashion, you have no interest in the principle of law, you just want to twist the letter to suit your intolerance.

Please point out anywhere where I am intolerant of Muslims building a Mosque or for that matter their right to worship as they please????? The issue is the location and the implications all around. If you are going to accuse me of being 'intolerant' provide proof. In the meantime please show a little tolerance for someone who just happens to think that building a Mosque around ground zero is a pretty bad idea all around for all parties and that includes Muslims themselves.

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No-one can deny that Obama is in a lose-lose situation based on his color alone on this issue.Going either way would piss off someone,which the opposition party jumped on.

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SushiSake: the dangerous over-generalizations

Do as I say, not as I do?

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Sailwind, sorry pal, the simple fact that you have a problem with the location of the planned mosque clearly shows you disrespect the First Amendment. I bet some people actually believed you when you said you joined the military to protect America and the Constitution...

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Interesting article on the "Tolerant" Iman behind this Mosque. Interview he gave in Australia (I can see why he wouldn't let loose in an American paper).

The US and the West must acknowledge the harm they have done to Muslims before terrorism can end, says an Islamic cleric invited to Sydney by Premier Bob Carr.

New York-based Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who impressed Mr Carr at an international conference last year, arrives in Sydney today for two weeks of meetings and public talks.

Speaking from his New York mosque, Imam Feisal said the West had to understand the terrorists' point of view.

Nice, we have to understand terrorists point of view and we get understand right at the site where 3000 died because of their point of view.

In a move likely to cause controversy with church leaders, Imam Feisal said it was Christians who started mass attacks on civilians.

"The Islamic method of waging war is not to kill innocent civilians. But it was Christians in World War II who bombed civilians in Dresden and Hiroshima, neither of which were military targets."

Nothing like mending a few fences their with on that one with Christians.

Imam Feisal, who argues for a Western style of Islam that promotes democracy and tolerance, said there could be little progress until the US acknowledged backing dictators and the US President gave an "America Culpa" speech to the Muslim world.

And of course America needs to apologize to the world.

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/03/21/1079789939987.html

Yup, going to be real 'fence builder' and healing site for this Mosque at ground zero.

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sailwind: The constitution does not ban Zoning laws.

And zoning laws do not ban a mosque at that site.

That is why if the community desires it can ban certain businesses and organizations from areas of the community.

If the mosque included a strip club, then you'd have a case. But it doesn't. Or at least I don't think it does.

I'm sure you have heard of residential zones and commercial zones and zones just for parks etc. So don't go with the tack that I think the constitution is just a piece of paper that can ignored here.What can be done legally and by the constitution is change the zoning law where this building is located. Turn it into a residential zone only and build condos on the site.

My guess is that houses of worship or community centers would be allowed in areas zoned both commercial and residential. At least that was my experience when I worked in real estate. But then you'd be getting into the whole issue of the government using what amounts to police powers to curb the Constitution. That's just not going to fly.

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It's just unreal that Sailwind doesn't think these statements might have a shred of truth in them:

"The US and the West must acknowledge the harm they have done to Muslims before terrorism can end, says an Islamic cleric invited to Sydney by Premier Bob Carr."

"Speaking from his New York mosque, Imam Feisal said the West had to understand the terrorists' point of view."

It's individuals like Sailwind - too proud to apologize, too proud to bother to take the time to learn about other cultures, let alone religions...

Sailwind is like a driver who, when he sees himself driving straight for a wall, doesn't just cover his face, he actually slams his foot on the gas.

Sadly, Sailwind has the answer, a very solution to the plague of terrorism - he just doesn't know it.

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SuperLib, I never thought I'd say this in a million years, but your 04:54 PM post was supurb.

Thanks for your thoughts.

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One of aspects about this issue that sucks the most is that all Muslims are being equated with terrorism. It seems to be a real effort by the Right Wing Fear Media to smear an entire religion for the actions of a fanatical few.

That's more despicable than any perceived emotional insult being inflicted by the building of this community center.

The mosque's opponents would likely realize this if they had actually exercised some mental horsepower to consider the issue rather than just jumping to conclusions force fed to them by the shrieking heads on Fox News.

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How far does the mosque have to be away from Ground Zero to not be Ground Zero? 4 blocks, 8 blocks, 20 blocks?

I've heard at least 5 different distances on the Right Wing News - 10 m, 20 m, 50 m, 1 km, 2 km.

Which goes to show that even the talking heads on certain conservative news shows don't have a clue - it's all subjective, in contrast to the First Amendment, which is about as absolute on this issue as you can get.

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sailwind said: Interesting article on the "Tolerant" Iman behind this Mosque.

Everything he said showed tolerance, but maybe a bit too much tolerance. Not all terrorists have a point of view. But some do and its not so easily dismissed. Just labeling people "terrorist" is too easy.

But I do agree that there are those in America who are at least partly responsible for bringing hatred onto America, and, bizarrely, many Americans step up to bat for them...then wonder why hard balls are heading their way!

In the meantime please show a little tolerance for someone who just happens to think that building a Mosque around ground zero is a pretty bad idea all around for all parties and that includes Muslims themselves.

It may well be a bad idea. But that is only because of the stubborness of intolerance. I guess its sink or swim time and a majority of Americans have chosen "sink" for some reason. Darned if I am going to tolerate it though. They need to either learn or be put in their place with a hard "thump". Like little kids who insist on playing with matches, you may not be able to make them understand the problem with their behavior right now, but you darn sure better make them stop.

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Yup, going to be real 'fence builder' and healing site for this Mosque at ground zero.

If having no fence means acquiesing to an "America is always in the right" point of view, I don't think Rauf is going to get the job done, no. I think the guy is about compromise to establish a true tolerance rather than knucking under to achieve a phoney one. Again, I think of segregation where there was the phoney tolerance of its ok to be black so long as they don't use my water fountain, my public toilet, look at my daughter and are always sure to say "Yassaa" when I bark an order while referring to them as "boy".

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Yup, going to be real 'fence builder' and healing site for this Mosque at ground zero.

If only they would go somewhere where you wouldn't have to look at them.

They are just so inconsiderate of your intolerance, sailwind. It must hurt you so.

Taka

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By the way, it's not a mosque, it's a cultural center, it's not at ground zero, it's at a Burlington Coat's factory nearby.

Yep, no one here is getting their emotions and inner fears played upon.

Such ignorance.

Taka

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It's pretty telling that the GOP - the party that is making the biggest fuss about this issue, is the same party that blocked the bill that would have given $7 million to first responders who became ill after working at the scene of Ground Zero.......

What does this say about the GOP?

It says they are far more concerned with a community center to be built in Burlington Coat's factory 2 blocks away from ground zero than they are about providing heath care for 9-11 first responders.

Haven't heard a peep from Sarge, Sail, etc. about this travesty.

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SushiSake: SuperLib, I never thought I'd say this in a million years, but your 04:54 PM post was supurb. Thanks for your thoughts.

You can go ahead and keep your thoughts to yourself. Your attacks aren't doing anything at all to bridge the gap between those who support the mosque and those who don't. You're easily one of the most intolerant people in this thread. WillB has Muslims, Sabi has Jews, and you have Americans. Having you stand next to me in a debate is a liability that I'd rather not have.

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What we also haven't heard a peep from Sarge, Sail, etc. is why they are so determined to ignore the First Amendment of their own country's Constitution.

The conservatives are sinking lower and becoming more anti-American almost by the day.

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Superlib - "WillB has Muslims, Sabi has Jews, and you have Americans."

Americans have Americans. That's why this is such an issue, a wildly overblown one at that.

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Taka, please. We have already gone over this. The building includes a mosque, the construction of which is the main point of the building. Claiming that it is "not a mosque" is as dishonnest and unhelpful as calling it "the ground zero" mosque when it isn't at Ground Zero.

Cordoba House, renamed Park51 and sometimes referred to as the "Ground Zero mosque", is a planned $100 million, 13-story, glass and steel Islamic community center, which will include a mosque, a 500-seat auditorium, a swimming pool, a restaurant, and a bookstore.[5] The center also aims to provide space for Friday prayers for 1,000–2,000 Muslims.[6] The proposed Cordoba House would replace an existing 1850s Italianate building that was damaged in the September 11 attacks, located two blocks (about 600 feet, or 180 meters) from Ground Zero in New York City.[6][7]

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While the media widely described the center as a mosque, and the protests were against the mosque, the Initiative's official blog portrayed it as a community center with prayer space, making comparisons to the YMCA or Jewish Community Center.[49] The Initiative said that some services planned for the Cordoba House, such as the restaurant and performance center, disqualify it from being a mosque.[50] Despite that, the official website for the facility described, among various amenities, "a mosque, intended to be run separately from Park51 but open to and accessible to all members, visitors and our New York community".[51]

Besides the Muslim prayer room or mosque, the Initiative's plan includes a 500-seat auditorium, theater, performing arts center, fitness center, swimming pool, basketball court, childcare services, art exhibitions, bookstore, culinary school, and a food court serving halal dishes.[13][20][9][52][10][5]

El-Gamal said he wanted the building to be energy-efficient and transparent, most likely with a glass façade.[53] The project envisions the demolition of two buildings at 45–47 Park Place and Broadway which were damaged on 9/11.[3] They would be replaced by a glass and steel 100,000-square-foot (9,300 m2) structure with a new address, 45–51 Park Place.[3] A number of commentators said that the builders planned various construction milestones, such as groundbreaking and the start of construction, to coincide with anniversaries of the September 11 attacks.[54][55] Khan was reported as saying in July 2010, however, that such assertions were "absolutely false" and that the construction timeline had not been determined.[56]

Khan also said that it was anticipated that 1,000 to 2,000 Muslims would pray at the mosque every Friday, once it was completed

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Triumvere: Your post is self-contradicting. "The building includes a mosque, the construction of which is the main point of the building." Well if it's 13 floors with a swimming pool, fitness center,bookstore etc. than how is a mosque the "main point"?

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Thanks Dewaashita

You know guys, the Western world need to know that the Muslims have understand the weakness of democraties. The lay system allows them to grow and impose themselves. They use the same method eveywhere in secular countries : they turn the democratic principles against themselves (hope this sentence is correct and comprehensible) and play on Westerners guiltiness by calling them "racists" everytime something is refused to them. Islam is a religion of conquest. Conquest is all over their books and their history.

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Triumvere: Your post is self-contradicting. "The building includes a mosque, the construction of which is the main point of the building." Well if it's 13 floors with a swimming pool, fitness center,bookstore etc. than how is a mosque the "main point"?

Because the express purpose of the building is the mosque. What is difficult to understand about this? All the community center stuff is secondary. Thus, while the building is much, much more than a mosque, the mosque is the focal point.

To put it another way, the builder's main priority is to build the mosque. If you told them, "you can build this center, but you can't include the swimming pool" then they would probably say ok, because the swimming pool is a minor detail. But if you said, "you can build this center, but you can't include the mosque" they would not agree, as having a mosque is the main purpose of the Cordoba Initiative.

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"Because the express purpose of the building is the mosque. What is difficult to understand about this? All the community center stuff is secondary. Thus, while the building is much, much more than a mosque, the mosque is the focal point."

Triumvere: Sorry, but your arguments are pure speculation on your part(or someone else who influenced your thinking)Are you privy to the thoughts of the building planners?

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Going back a bit to the discussion of zoning laws, a zoning restriction would have to outlaw ALL use of property in the zone for ANY religious purpose -- Christian, Muslim, non-denominational, etc. What is anti-American to the core is the attempt to use a zoning law to exclude one particular religious group.

I simply don't see how any "bridge" can be built between American principles and those opposed to everything America is supposed to stand for. How long can a "serious discussion" be had between a group that wants to stand up for key ideals and another group that wants to behave like a lynch mob?

The inflammatory lie that a mosque would represent a place of celebration over the deaths of 3000 people is one of most evil and hateful misrepresentations I've read anywhere about anything, and I simply don't see how bridges can be built with that kind of evil.

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Triumvere: Sorry, but your arguments are pure speculation on your part(or someone else who influenced your thinking)Are you privy to the thoughts of the building planners?

Now you are simply being obtuse. The Cordoba Initiative has clearly communitcated its intent through a number of different media. And now you are telling me that a group explicity formed to build a mosque somehow condiders building said mosque to be a secondary goal? You are not interested in seriously discussing this issue.

I give up. Clearly the primary point of the building is to provide the muslim community of Manhattan with an indoor swimming pool.

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My personal objection to this building is the name, Cordoba; this is a snide reference to the Spanish province a lot of Muslims believe is theirs.

More seriously, I can’t understand why the Muslims involved with this project are so determined to get that building in that place. Would it not have been a little more respectful for them to have tried to understand the feelings of so many people and simply built the thing someplace else?

If I wanted to construct a building and came up against this level of debate I would question why the client was being so adamant and failing getting an answer that made sense I would back out and not build. There isn’t a NEED to build on this site, so why create so much bad feeling? Fine, they have the right, but why force the issue even if you have the right, some other agenda perhaps?

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My personal objection to this building is the name, Cordoba; this is a snide reference to the Spanish province a lot of Muslims believe is theirs

Actually, Grafton, the Cordoba reference is apt, but in entirely the opposite way; the Caliphite of Cordoba is generally regarded as a high point for interfaith relations, and is the considered a golden age for Jewish culture in Spain (a culture that was persecuted by a sucession of later, intollerant Muslim leaders and ultimately destoyed by the Spanish Inquisition). As part of the Cordoba initiative's stated goal is to brigde the gap between Islam and other religions, the name seems apropriate.

Of course, you can see the name as a coded message pointing to an underlying jihadist agenda, if you so choose. But there is a much more plausible explanation.

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Triumvere at 02:25 AM JST - 16th August

"Of course, you can see the name as a coded message pointing to an underlying jihadist agenda, if you so choose. But there is a much more plausible explanation."

I think you know I wasn't being serious about the Cordoba thing.

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I think you know I wasn't being serious about the Cordoba thing.

Sadly, there are those here who would make the same argument in perfect seriousness. Best to refute it as quickly as possible.

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So Sushisake hasn't answered for his "trample the constitution" comment. He supports trampling when it comes to "the right to bear arms" though.

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""Now you are simply being obtuse. The Cordoba Initiative has clearly communitcated its intent through a number of different media. And now you are telling me that a group explicity formed to build a mosque somehow condiders building said mosque to be a secondary goal?"

Well Yes. Show me ONE statement by that organization that indicates what you claim. It may have been pointed out in previous posts that there is ALREADY an actual mosque four blocks from ground zero. So the Cordoba Initiative is spending $100 million on a community center to "sneak" (my words, but your sentiment)close to ground zero? This is just silly conspiracy theory.

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Grafton: I can’t understand why the Muslims involved with this project are so determined to get that building in that place.

Because they couldn't get the actual World Trade Center site.

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Now time to question the motivation of the French governements.

I think you will find this has something to with the legacy of French Colonialism in Africa. French Muslims are predominantly of North African descent, are they not?

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There is a huge anti-mosque crowd. There are groups currently protesting mosque construction around the US. This is like standing infront of a house and saying "there is no house here." It's obviously false. Why would you do that?

Really? A few hicks in Tennessee make up a huge crowd? This is America. Most Americans simply don't care. So please, rather then saying its obviously false, provide some evidence to back up your claims about a huge anti-Mosque group. Even in this thread, I haven't seen anyone who comes out and says Muslims shouldn't be able to build a Mosque in America. They're all saying, they shouldn't build it THERE. Note the difference.

Please, please stop doing this. The ad hominem attacks add nothing to the debate, but do considerable damage to any serious attempt at discussion.

Sorry, calling a spade a club is not something I can do. A spade is a spade. Someone who is a Muslim apologist, who basically bows down to Islam, who thinks we should bend over backwards for that religion, while simultaneously condemning others is a Dhimmi. Theres no 2 ways about this. Pointing this out, is not an ad-hominum attack, is simply facing reality.

I simply don't see how any "bridge" can be built between American principles and those opposed to everything America is supposed to stand for. How long can a "serious discussion" be had between a group that wants to stand up for key ideals and another group that wants to behave like a lynch mob?

Wait, for a moment there I got turned around. Which side is behaving like lynch mob, and which is standing up for ideals? Come in here reading these threads, I can't tell anymore. The Dhimmis try to destroy anyone who oppose the Mosque for reasons that are easily understandable. People who think building a Mosque there is disrespectful of those who died.

So Sushisake hasn't answered for his "trample the constitution" comment. He supports trampling when it comes to "the right to bear arms" though.

Very good point. Also interesting to note, that freedom of religion only applies to Islam, not Christianity. Ever notice that about these leftists?

Going back a bit to the discussion of zoning laws, a zoning restriction would have to outlaw ALL use of property in the zone for ANY religious purpose -- Christian, Muslim, non-denominational, etc.

Nope, can simply zone it so that no new churches can be errected in the area. Already existing churches, including a Mosque by the way, would be fine. I wouldn't have any problem with this at all. Of course I also wouldn't have any problem with them building a Mosque a bit further away, but I digress. That doesn't fit the acceptable destroy the infidels line you guys are going with.

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paul,

Here is the Park51 (aka Cordoba House, aka Ground Zero Mosque) page.

http://www.park51.org/facilities.htm

So, now we are clear that the building contains a mosque, yes?

The Cordoba iniative is not trying to "sneak" anything. They require as second mosque because the first is not large enough to service the 600,000 Muslims living in NYC. As proof of this, the building in question has already been in use as a mosque for the past few years. Thousands of Mulims already use it in this capacity every week.

It stands to reason that a religious organization who's main goal is to serive the Muslim comunity of New York would want to build a mosque that serives that community. But lets take a look at Cordoba Initiative's other stated goal - bridging the gap between the Muslim and non-Muslim communities of New York. This is where the community center comes in - it is open to all, and contains interfaith prayer facilites. But without those religious facilites, this planned bridging of communities doesn't work. It just becomes another community center, save with a halal resturant. The religious spaces are key to the stated purpose, and the mosque is the most prominant of them.

I cannot "prove" this to you, but it is simple logic. You will note that the Park51 page de-emphasizes the Mosque (the page is an archived version, and is not the original or the current version). The language used to descibe Cordoba House (including the name, which has been changed) has evolved in resposne to pressure from the anti-mosque campaign; the builders de-emphasizing the mosque - refrered now by yourself and others as a "prayer-room" - in favor of the community center. Not surprising given the amount of criticim the project has received.

Please note, there is nothing "wrong" with the Cordoba institue wanting to build a Mosque or a community center to service the Islamic community. If a Christian group intended to put up a Church and community center designed with interfaith cooperation in mind, that would be fine to. But it would be rediculous to say that the focus was not serving the Christian community.

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So Molenir, if I may borrow your powers of summerization for a moment, you are saying that:

If you oppose the mosque you are taking a principled stand; only a tiny minority of mosque opponants oppose Islam itself.

If you support the mosque you are a craven appologist for Islamism.

Do I have that right?

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Nope, can simply zone it so that no new churches can be errected in the area. Already existing churches, including a Mosque by the way, would be fine. I wouldn't have any problem with this at all.

This doesn't strike you as discriminatory? Allow churches to be built in an area, but then - when members of another faith declare their intent to build a house of worship - you ban any new religious construction? And the effect is that Christians contiune to worship freely, while members of other faiths are prevented from doing so? What is the effective difference between this and establishing a "no-mosque-zone"?

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If you support the mosque you are a craven appologist for Islamism.

If you support building the mosque there, using specious reasoning about freedom of religion, then yes you would qualify as a Dhimmi. Please note however, this is not about building a mosque. Nor is it about Muslim apologists, though that would be a good topic all its own. No this is about why they insist on putting a mosque at ground zero. I and just about everyone else has repeatedly said, its about building it THERE. Its not about making a community center for those of the Muslim faith. Its never been about that. Oh, there is an element to that, but if that was all there was to it, it wouldn't be attracting the funding it is. Putting it there serves only 1 purpose. That is why its alternatively called a Victory Mosque. Moving it a few miles away would still serve the Muslim community, and wouldn't outrage the sensibilities of just about everyone.

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Facilities Park51 will grow into a world-class community center, planned to include the following facilities: •outstanding recreation spaces and fitness facilities (swimming pool, gym, basketball court) •a 500-seat auditorium •a restaurant and culinary school •cultural amenities including exhibitions •education programs •a library, reading room and art studios •childcare services •a mosque, intended to be run separately from Park51 but open to and accessible to all members, visitors and our New York community •a September 11th memorial and quiet contemplation space, open to all

"...a world-class community center, planned to include the following facilities:..." Let others interpret the above statements as to whether the primary purpose of the building is a mosque. I happen to think a fair minded reading would support my contention that it is not.

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paul,

So, you decided not to read the last part of my post? Or just not to acknowledge it?

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Also interesting to note, that freedom of religion only applies to Islam, not Christianity. Ever notice that about these leftists?

Yes I have noticed it. If a Christian group ever gets mentioned on this site they instantly become "Right Wing Christian Fundamentalists" that all the lefties oppose and wipe their rights right out of the discussion.

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Cordoba Initiative

http://www.cordobainitiative.org/?q=content/about-ci

(The site is currently under construction, so you may experience some navigatory issues. Also, it appear the park51 page I posted earlier is not an archived one as I thought, but the current version).

I invite everyone to read and to draw their own conclusion. But I still do not understant how A) the community center is supposed to bridge gaps between faiths without the religious facilities or B) how calling it a "muslim oriented community center with a prayer room" rather than a Mosque furthers the conversation.

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Obama has called Ground Zero "hallowed ground". So, why hasn't he encouraged the mosque developers to accept Governor Paterson's offer of assistance in finding a new location on state land if they move it from that site? That decision must be above his pay grade.

RR

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A "peaceful" religion, looking to improve its image in the U.S., wouldn't be looking to poor salt in the wounds of so many Americans.

RR

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"A "peaceful" religion, looking to improve its image in the U.S., wouldn't be looking to poor salt in the wounds of so many Americans."

RomeoRamenII, I am concerned about the timing of this support in that it's so close to obon, not only that, many Asians died.

I would like to throw in September the 11th is right around the corner. Rosh Hashana as well. This is not strictly an American tragedy.

This seems cruel.

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@molenir @RomeoRamenII

"If you support building the mosque there, using specious reasoning about freedom of religion, then yes you would qualify as a Dhimmi. Please note however, this is not about building a mosque. Nor is it about Muslim apologists, though that would be a good topic all its own. No this is about why they insist on putting a mosque at ground zero. I and just about everyone else has repeatedly said, its about building it THERE. Its not about making a community center for those of the Muslim faith. Its never been about that. Oh, there is an element to that, but if that was all there was to it, it wouldn't be attracting the funding it is. Putting it there serves only 1 purpose. That is why its alternatively called a Victory Mosque. Moving it a few miles away would still serve the Muslim community, and wouldn't outrage the sensibilities of just about everyone."

This is also why so many liberals and many Muslims want to invoke the race, religion victim card. I'm wondering where Sharpton and Jackson are? I think most logical and rational thinking people writing on this topic agree that building the Mosque itself is not the problem and nor does it bother anyone. But as some of the previous comments mentioned before: Why particularly t that precise location? Why the grandstanding? Why are they pushing so hard to build it next to ground zero? The final conclusion is that one can take from it is that it "IS" indeed a Victory Mosque stop beating around the bush and call it what it is. Would Christians be allowed to build a Church next to Mecca?? A peaceful religion would understand this and be more sympathetic to this. This decision is not helping Bloomberg and Obama's overall popularity, in fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see Obama slip in the poles significantly because of his strong support for this.

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@mikehuntez

Yes I have noticed it. If a Christian group ever gets mentioned on this site they instantly become "Right Wing Christian Fundamentalists" that all the lefties oppose and wipe their rights right out of the discussion.

Because Christianity and conservatism is seen as being repressive, liberalism is seen as Progressive and out of that PC progressiveness (because they are a minority religion in the states) they are seen as the victim. So to mention anything negative or to challenge the religion is seen as intolerant. If you speak out, you are racist towards all Muslims or xenophobic. A typical liberal playing card.

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Molenir, you said the mosque is being built at ground zero. It's not. The site is Burlington Coat Factory 2 blocks away. Why you would want to inject such an obvious widely known falsehood into the conversation at such a late stage is beyond me. The only reason I can think of is the need to play the victim card. Add to that, your suggestion to change zoning laws to prevent any new churches from being built is nothing more than a thinly-veiled anti-mosque tactic. Add to that, your 'mov(ing) it a few miles away' clearly shows your disdain for Muslims; almost like telling a colored person to 'move down the back of the bus.' Interestingly, it seems there is still no clear consensus among the mosque's opponents as to exactly how far away is far enought. Molenir's 'a few miles' is the greatest distance I have heard yet. Other - I guess more open - opponents have opted for 20m, others 50m.....

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Im sure y'all know a hell of a lot more than me, but, while I can understand the thinking towards the term Victory Mosque. Isnt there another way of thinking about it, to answer the question why there? Maybe its admittance that they were connected? And taking it to there, is because it will take the talk there, rather than an ocean away?

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Any source as to where the term "Victory Mosque" comes from? ie who used it first, etc.

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Molenir, you said the mosque is being built at ground zero. It's not. The site is Burlington Coat Factory 2 blocks away. Why you would want to inject such an obvious widely known falsehood into the conversation at such a late stage is beyond me. The only reason I can think of is the need to play the victim card.

Sorry, but your spin doesn't work here. It is the Ground Zero mosque. No its not on the actual site, it is however merely 2 blocks away. Its about building it so close to the actual site. Your attempt to spin it otherwise, is disingenuous at best, outright dishonest at worst.

Add to that, your suggestion to change zoning laws to prevent any new churches from being built is nothing more than a thinly-veiled anti-mosque tactic.

This suggestion was made in response to others who claim any attempt to prevent this is against the constitution. To put it simply, it is not. And changing the zoning laws is merely 1 route they could go. Certainly it isn't the only route. But changing the laws so that no new churches or mosques can be built down there seems reasonable and fair for all.

Add to that, your 'mov(ing) it a few miles away' clearly shows your disdain for Muslims; almost like telling a colored person to 'move down the back of the bus.'

And this comment pretty well cements your status as a Dhimmi. Wear it with Pride Sushi. And remember to bow down whenever you see one of your Muslim masters. Hey, at least you'll be in good company alongside Obama. Out of curiosity, is there anyone he hasn't bowed down to yet?

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The trouble with the demand for the Mosque to be a certain distance away is not just the insane implication that all of Islam, and Sufi Islam no less (eyeroll) is somehow responsible for 9/11. Another problem with that is that there is already a Mosque 4 blocks away from the site of the WTC, and its not Sufi. Imam Rauf ALREADY has a mosque 12 blocks away and its been there since the 80's, so its not like he dragged himself all the way from Kuwait just to build a mosque near the former WTC, is it? This is the guy's own neighborhood for krissake!

Many of you still don't get it, but Sufism is extremely peaceful and non-violent. It is EXACTLY the kind of Islam, nay EXACTLY the kind of RELIGION that haters of terror should support. You actually think other Islamic sects even care about a Sufi Mosque until Americans stand up to oppose it? No more than the Catholics would care about a Protestand church! I can only conclude that the opponents actually WANT more Islamic terrorism if they are going to attack Sufis for being "too close" to ground zero. For that, they deserve only domestic terrorism from those of us who would have preferred peace if not for those idiots making trouble. Yes, I am considering supporting militancy to do a conservatives favorite thing: deliver a pre-emptive strike.

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Seriously, who need facts when you have talking points? Amiright, guys?

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Molenir, you agreed the mosque isn't at ground zero, despite your claim to the contrary. How's an own goal feel? :-)

And despite your emotional claims, allowing this mosque to be built isn't bowing down to anyone - it's respecting your Constitution - something you seem to have no problem ignoring.

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Seriously, who need facts when you have talking points? Amiright, guys?

Dhimmi...check.

Victory Mosque...check

Two blocks is too close...check

It's about respect, not the law...check

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Oh, and Molenir, yovr 'build the mosque anywhere but here' attitude is preventing freedom of worship and therefore against the First Amendment of your Constitution. I must admit it's been entertaining watching you spin it every other way but what it is.

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@SushiSake3

Here we go with the Constitution argument again. No one is objecting to building the Mosque, but THE LOCATION is the crux of the problem, why some of you don't want to see that is just mind boggling. No one is preventing freedom, no one is preventing worship, but many of you ARE trying to impose and make this whole debate seem like people don't want the Mosque to be built at all which is not the case. Why is it that every time liberals start to lose in a debate, they have to resort to the constitution to bail them out. So that means-victims are not important, yeah, the terror attacks happened almost 10 years ago, it was a long time ago, so why dwell on it? Move on, forget about it. This is so unbelievably pathetic.

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pamelot: There's no point trying to reason, here. You either see the danger, and understand the outrage people feel, or you reason away, pulling out every blindfold at your disposal.

Now there's a sentence. There's certainly no point in trying to reason with people who disregard facts and who wish to make up the rules as they go along.

I guess I'd have to say that I'm one of those who doesn't see "the" danger. And of all the people who claim to see "a" danger, I've yet to hear a rational statement of it. But if I can sum up what seems to be the general tone, according to those who see a danger, there is no Islam except that which flies 747's into tall buildings.

Yep! That's a danger that rates in small fractions of a percent on my scale of probabilities. Much higher would be that a mosque would be a force for good--both for Americans and for world-wide Islam. It makes little sense to try to "Americanize" Islam in the Middle East when we could more effectively allow it to be done right here. We have been rather successful in Americanizing Catholicism, Protestantism and Judaism (not that these are necessarily successes that should be cheered), so why not Islam as well?

As for people's sense of outrage, I think there are some very skilled professional rabble-rousers who help to whip that up. Even so, I think that among those who disapprove there are comparatively few who are actually outraged. The noise machine, however, doesn't try to reason things away nearly as much as it tries to do away with reason.

As far as "reasoning away"

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base4funk, can I ask what you think 'religious freedom' means? It seems that according to people like you, religious freedom comes with conditions, ie: do it, BUT not here. Q: How is that different from the racial segregation days in the US and SA, where colored people were told, you can ride the bus, BUT we want you to sit down the back. It's no different. And Muslims died on 9-11 too - do they just not figure in your argument? The arguments of the mosque opponents have holes so big you could drive a Mac truck through it, but at it's base, their argument is all about religious intolerance, playing it fast and loose with the Constitution, and labeling all Muslims - even the peaceful mainstream ones - as potential terrorists and/or terrorist sympathizers. Mindsets like this are shallow to the extreme.

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WilliB: If they build it 2 miles down the road, it is doubtfull they they would get the same funding from Saudi Arabia.

How much are they getting from Saudi Arabia?

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RomeoRamen: A "peaceful" religion, looking to improve its image in the U.S., wouldn't be looking to poor salt in the wounds of so many Americans.

I don't think it's the case of Muslims trying to pour salt on American wounds. If you ask me, it's more the case of a vicious few re-opening American wounds and shouting that what might be salve is certainly salt.

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@SushiSake3

This is what I mean, you are twisting and contorting the subject trying to make this debate sound like this is all about religious intolerance when in fact, it has absolutely nothing to do wit it. And please do not try to equate this issue the struggles of the civil rights movement. I know about this topic all too well. It is very different. I don't need to explain it to you because that would be getting off the topic, but your analysis is way off and no correlation. Of course there were Muslims that died during the attacks, we all know this, but who were the perpetrators? Christian Bible-thumbing fanatics? Was it Israel or the IRA? The answer is NO! Because of it was Muslim terrorists that did that, for the families that suffered, having a Mosque built in that location is a huge slap in their faces. Intolerance would mean; No, never under any circumstance whatsoever can there be a Mosque built anywhere in Manhattan, them you would have a good argument, but so far, it falls short and at best it looks like grabbing at straws. Again, believe what you want, "they have the right"(which is something blacks never had before the civil rights movement) to build the Mosque, but if these people have respect, sensitivity, tolerance and compassion in their hearts, they would automatically try to relocate the building of the Mosque and this story would not have made front page.

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bass4funk, when you say that Americans should not build a center for their faith because some terrorists with nominally the same faith destroyed lives and buildings near the proposed building site, it has everything to do with religious intolerance.

Ban all religious activity or ban none.

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This issue has nothing to do with freedom of religion; nobody is saying the Islam should be outlawed in the U.S.; nobody is saying that no new mosques can be built anywhere in the U.S. and nobody is saying that existing mosques should be torn down and destroyed.

This is about one group that wants to build a monument to al Qaeda's attack on the United States on 9/11/2001 within a few minute's walk of Ground Zero. That should never be allowed.

RR

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RomeoRamen: This issue has nothing to do with freedom of religion....

This issue has everything to do with religious intolerance. If you are saying that religious intolerance has no relation to freedom of religion, it's a point I won't argue. It's also a point that I'd like to see you demonstrate.

The Constitution guarantees freedom of religion as far as regards the State. It does not citizen's tolerance of religions not to their liking. And what we have here is intolerance in spades.

As far as the rest of your post is concerned, what group is it that's trying to build a monument to al-Qaeda's 9/11 attack? Who are they and what have they said? How do you know that what they have said is different from their underlying motives? Where do you get your information?

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@SezWho2

I agree. Ban all religious activity or ban none. I'm not advocating that they should build a Church or a Synagogue at or around Ground Zero. They all should be treated the same, however, building a Mosque across the street from ground zero serves no purpose and is not necessary. There is only one reason why they are fighting so hard to have it built at that site and if anyone wants to believe otherwise really needs a wake up call.

@RomeoRamenII As usual, you hit the nail right on the head! 100% correct!

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bass4funk, I disagree that building a mosque serves no purpose. Even most people who disagree with my tolerance for a newly-built mosque on that site agree that it serves a purpose. They think it exists to celebrate a great Islamic victory and to celebrate the glorious martyrdom of the 19 holy warriors.

While I disagree Islamic end-zone-dancing is the purpose of the construction, I think there is a purpose. I think the purposes are to (1) construct a better facility on the site they are now using, (2) to provide a center which is more hospitable to Muslim families and to the community, (3) to provide a place where people can better inform themselves about Islam and Islam in America and (4) to offer a place of interfaith understanding and prayer. It seems as though Americans are not really down with number (4), however.

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RomeoRamenII: This issue has nothing to do with freedom of religion

Your comments have nothing to do with freedom of religion, but the issue does.

a monument to al Qaeda's attack on the United States on 9/11/2001 within a few minute's walk of Ground Zero. That should never be allowed.

If I agreed with the above, which I do, then he only difference of opinion we have is what the Islamic Center is. I don't consider it to be a monument to the 9/11 attackers. May I ask why you think it is?

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If it's a 13-storey community center (YMMA) and it has a prayer room in it, how does it differ from a hospital with a chapel in it? And how does that constitute a mosque? And, if it's not a mosque, then why call it a mosque except to inflame hatred? The way I read it is the building that is there has been used as a Muslim center for some 15 or 20 years (correct me if I'm wrong), and that the City of New York has already approved the project to proceed. Now I have been told (since I don't live in NYC, nor have been to this address) that there is an existent mosque in the neighborhood. What if some proposed building a church near there? What if someone wants a synagogue? Both kissing cousins of the Abrahamic religion of Mohamed. Maybe that's why they fight like siblings, because they are siblings.

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This issue is about religious intolerance because 1 religion is being targeted. And it is a Constitutional issue because the desires of some mosque opponents to boot this mosque down the road does not exemplify 'freedom of religion' as enshrined in the First Amendment because it comes with conditions attached that prevent freedom of worship. What I don't understand is how mosque opponents have - somehow - managed to dump all Muslims into the Bad Guy box and label them as such. That, to me, is an emotional reaction and the height of ignorance. Yes, 9-11 caused a massive amount of physical and psychological damage, but it is no excuse whatsoever to blackwash all members of an entire religion for the actions of a handful.

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While I disagree Islamic end-zone-dancing is the purpose of the construction, I think there is a purpose. I think the purposes are to (1) construct a better facility on the site they are now using, (2) to provide a center which is more hospitable to Muslim families and to the community, (3) to provide a place where people can better inform themselves about Islam and Islam in America and (4) to offer a place of interfaith understanding and prayer. It seems as though Americans are not really down with number (4), however.

You forgot (5) Pick a location to make numbers 1 thru 4 totally null and void.

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"Islamic end-zone dancing"????? classic!! a whole religion going "In your face". although given the factionalism within Islam, a little unlikely.

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sailwind, what are you talking about?

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If I agreed with the above, which I do, then he only difference of opinion we have is what the Islamic Center is. I don't consider it to be a monument to the 9/11 attackers. May I ask why you think it is?

Because if they moved it a mile or 2 down the road, no one would care. They wouldn't have to fight so hard to get it built. That they are fighting so hard to build it at that location shows there is meaning behind it. Not just to those opposed to its location, but to those in favor of it. Both the Dhimmis and the Muslims.

This issue is about religious intolerance because 1 religion is being targeted. And it is a Constitutional issue because the desires of some mosque opponents to boot this mosque down the road does not exemplify 'freedom of religion' as enshrined in the First Amendment because it comes with conditions attached that prevent freedom of worship.

Blah, blah, blah. Come on Sushi, the Freedom of Religion argument doesn't work. Only someone completely lacking intelligence would accept it. It simply doesn't play to anyone with who is even slightly open-minded. You can do better then this. If this is going to be your argument, you might as well just go ahead and shout racism while you're at it.

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Sezwho, Sailwind is talking about religious intolerance and ignoring his country's First Amendment. Quite a feat, however shameful.

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"Until muslims accept the fact that their culture and religion is barbaric and contributes nothing to society, we don't need a mosque near one of their most destructive acts."

Heh, at least your honest, I'll give you that.

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Sailwind, RomeoRamen, etc. if everyone demanded that rules of law be circumvented, ignored or weakened whenever people like yourselves get upset, you may as well just throw the rule book that governs society out the window. Change this law, hey, why not change that law too. You need to understand that circumventing, ignoring or weakening one law will set an unecessary and unwelcome precedent to bend another law. It's a slippery slope. What Americans need to do now more than ever is abide by the Constitution and all existing laws - and don't let short-term emotions prevent them from doing so.

No excuses. No exceptions.

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Molenir, I think that those who do not want it built are fighting hard to prevent the construction. The opposition has called for the fight. Should the Muslims just give up and abandon their current location? Their fight is a fight for their rights and against religious intolerance.

Much has been made of the Muslims right to build and their right to choose not to build. Little has been made of the right of non-Muslims to forgive the innocent for the actions of the guilty.

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Molenir, you didn't provide any information to back up your rant against my freedom of religion comment. Is that because you can't back it up? Just curious....

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Little has been made of the right of non-Muslims to forgive the innocent for the actions of the guilty.

And none has been made of the right for the families of the victims of 9/11 to be able to visit this now hallowed ground or also of their religious freedom to pay their respects in peaceful solitude without political bullshit getting in the way to prove a point.

Nope let's forget that and put a Mosque nearby so they can now worship the God of Political Correctness and Tolerance and be reminded that 9/11 occurred because they were guilty of the crime of being just Americans and for many in the Islamic world that means does mean a death sentence.

Insensitive on the part of the backers of this Mosque and also what so many leftists here always decry about how Americans in Foreign countries behave, pretty damn arrogant.

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Islamic end-zone dancing.

i love it. that has to be one of the best phrases i have heard in a really long time.

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Sailwind, what you're talking about isn't a right. It's an emotional outburst.

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Sailwimd, 1/ again, it's not on hallowed ground - it's 2 blocks away. 2/ again, Muslims died on 9-11 too. Why shouldn't their relatives be allowed to remember their loved ones at a mosque? 3/ Why do you appear to lump all Muslims together as 'bad' people? Was the entire Muslim religion behind 9-11? You know as well as I do that's ludicrous. Oh, and many supporters of this mosque aren't bowing down to any god of PC. No, they're doing something you are should be doing: respecting America's Constitution.

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Obama is correct - under US law and its guiding principles, any kind of "church" is fully protected against government meddling. The US government isn't even supposed to SEE a "church" per-se, it's no different from a shoe store or resturaunt or aquarium. The 'religious' aspect must be ignored lest the government seem to be preferring one religion or denomination thereof or religion-in-general.

Sorry ... but it HAS to be freedom of religion for ALL or very quickly it will be freedom of religion for NONE.

Or perhaps you'd like to explain just why the US govt should become a lot more like the Taliban ?

It doesn't even MATTER exactly WHY Moslems want to build this edifice in that spot, wouldn't matter if they came out and said it was supposed to be a "statement" or "insult" or assertion of Islamic superiority. They have the absolute right to put the mosque there, period, and a couple centuries of law will back up that right.

Sometimes (often, actually) being right can be UNPOPULAR. Of course such instances are the most important time to BE right.

In truth I'm kind-of suprised seeing a modern US president actually take an unpopular stand in defending constitutional principle. Usually they're far more concerned about their ratings in the political polls. Award one goodie point to Obama, this time.

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All your points are excellent, glycol57.

Earlier, I said that many of the opponents of the mosque were clearly demonstrating a lynch mob mentality. The message is almost one of "We're going to show these followers of Allah that they can't get away with this, no matter what the official laws may say."

In at least one of the threads dedicated to this topic, certain opponents of the mosque made their wishes known that if it was built, that it should be attacked or destroyed. I've seen as yet no call for violence made by the supporters for the American freedom of worship against the mosque opponents.

We've also seen the most outrageous lies and slander against Muslims. For example, the statement that building a mosque is the Muslims' way of celebrating the deaths of 3000 people. Really, this is some of the most vile, anti-American (in the guise of "standing up for right") diatribe I've ever come across.

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Sorry ... but it HAS to be freedom of religion for ALL or very quickly it will be freedom of religion for NONE.

Some real voices .......... And the ones who should only really count in this discussion out of respect for their losses.

Outspoken family members of people with Western New York roots who lost their lives in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center are joining the chorus against the proposed mosque, part of a 13-story, $100 million Islamic center.

"I think it's an insult, an in-your-face insult, to the families of the victims of 9/11," said Leonard A. Castrianno of Amherst, the father of Leonard M. Castrianno, 30, who was killed in the terrorist attack. "What makes it more insulting is that they want to start building on 9/11/11."

Paul Walier, whose sister, Lake View native Margaret Walier Seeliger, 34, also died in the World Trade Center, doesn't understand why the mosque can't be built maybe 10 blocks away.

"I think it's provocative," Walier said of the proposed site. "I think it's an inflammatory symbol. If you go 10 blocks away, you'd be in a whole new neighborhood."

"Nobody's saying they can't do it," he added. "They can worship, and they can build [a mosque]. But I think you're creating a lot of anger and pain and provocation, with no purpose."

Marjorie Mantione, whose niece, Lackawanna native Renee A. May, 39, was a flight attendant aboard Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon that day, called it "mind-boggling" that people even are discussing the proposed mosque so close to the World Trade Center site.

"Why?" the North Buffalo woman asked. "Why would anybody want to put it there? What point are they trying to make?"

"Nobody's telling the people of that faith that they can't practice their religion in America," she added. "But does it have to be right there, at the site? The pain that they're causing the families is just putting them through everything again."

Sheila Rooney, the sister of Sean Rooney, a Buffalo native who died in the World Trade Center, seemed more torn about the issue than other family members who were interviewed. Personally, she said she has no problem with the concept of an Islamic mosque and cultural center in lower Manhattan. But she objects to both its location and the furor that the proposal has created.

"I believe they have the right to do it," said the resident of Fayetteville, near Syracuse. "But having the right to do something doesn't mean it's the right thing to do."

http://www.buffalonews.com/city/article99415.ece

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"I think it's an insult, an in-your-face insult, to the families of the victims of 9/11," said Leonard A. Castrianno of Amherst, the father of Leonard M. Castrianno, 30, who was killed in the terrorist attack.

It's only an insult if you believe that all of Islam was behind the attacks, rather than an extreme fringe whom all but a tiny fraction of religion rejects.

But I think you're creating a lot of anger and pain and provocation, with no purpose

No. That's simply how some people choose to respond to someone else's freedom to worship as they choose.

"But having the right to do something doesn't mean it's the right thing to do."

The government is there to protect and enforce rights. President Obama understands the constitutional point of view on this perfectly. If the community that has gotten so upset over this approached the group building the mosque calmly and civilly -- AND prepared to take "no" for an answer -- this whole thing might have reached a completely different outcome.

But the outright slander of Muslims by calling the site a "victory mosque" and place a celebration for terrorism, tipped everyone off to this sleazy and hate-filled group's real agenda.

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yabits said: I've seen as yet no call for violence made by the supporters for the American freedom of worship against the mosque opponents.

Sorry yabits, but I broke the code. However, I take it back. It would just be giving the mosque opponents what they really crave, which is an excuse for violence. Better to let mosque security hand their intolerant butts back to them.

But yeah, I broke the code. These attacks on the U.S. Constitution in the name of bigotry and intolerance do annoy the crap out of me. They should have understood by now, but like children, they either can't or won't, and positive reinforcement has proven ineffective. Negative reinforcement is needed, but like I say, let mosque security handle it. Course, some will cry they went all the way to the mosque and got their butts kicked, but we can just say back to them, they should not have been within 2 blocks of that mosque!

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Sailwind.

The U.S. Constitution.

Respect.

How about it?

Posting a list of bereaved Americans' comments does little except show your emotional bent toward this issue.

As I have clearly written in earlier posts - it is critical the U.S. Constitution is upheld.

It is critical that existing U.S. laws are abided by and not twisted to calm short-term emotional anger.

And again, Muslims died on 9-11, too. Why shouldn't their relatives be allowed to remember their loved ones at a mosque?

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And again, Muslims died on 9-11, too. Why shouldn't their relatives be allowed to remember their loved ones at a mosque?

I guess remembering their loved ones at ground zero itself like everyone else does is somehow out of the question for Muslims?

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Nobody is denying them the right to worship or the right to build a Mosque even the families themselves. What they are questioning is the wisdom and judgment of the Muslims to build at that particular location.

Just as you would do and I would do if and let's leave the religious aspect out of this for a moment.

Just as you would do or I would do if Boeing bought the building near the site and declared they would going to turn into an aviation Museum to promote their Jets. Be a pretty dumb idea don't you think. It would perfectly legal but it would be dumb and there would also be a huge outcry as to how insensitive Boeing was to the families in the planes and rightfully so. One thing the constitution is also about the right to do very dumb things and the right of those of us to be able to call it such.

This is bad thing for Muslims all around, will set back efforts for building bridges and understanding of their faith for years and I see no good that will come out of it at all for anyone and that includes President Obama himself, by building a Mosque so near the site that the vast majority of all Americans would rather that they didn't.

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@glycol : "it HAS to be freedom of religion for ALL or very quickly it will be freedom of religion for NONE."

Even if that religion is against the democratic principles of the USA ?

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"a 13-story, $100 million Islamic center"

It should be at least 100 stories, and it should be built before the Freedom Tower. At the rate the Freedom Tower is going up, this should be no problem.

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The last time NYC Libs were this upset about a building is when they built the Guggenheim. I say build 2 mosques -One for people to use and one for the Libs to complain about.

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sailwind, family members of 9/11 victims have every right to visit Ground Zero and continue their grieving. They don't have to be rational. They can take as much umbrage as they want to the planned construction.

However, I think this is a matter of religious intolerance. Had it been Jimmy Jones at the controls taking his congregation into the Towers in lieu of offering them Kool-Aid, I don't think anyone would object to the construction of a new church--especially if it were on the site of a previous one.

People have every right to hate. It's just not good for them, not good for the radioheads that use hatred to stir up a good boil of rage and not good for America. It's time to build, not to hate.

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Badsey, libs aren't the ones complaining about it.

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However, I think this is a matter of religious intolerance. Had it been Jimmy Jones at the controls taking his congregation into the Towers in lieu of offering them Kool-Aid, I don't think anyone would object to the construction of a new church--especially if it were on the site of a previous one.

If it were a People's Temple church, all kinds of people would have objected, Sez.

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Incredible, they lost family members on 9/11 and you want to 'belittle' them and their opinion on this with your superior intellectual rebuttal points

A lot of innocent people have also become victims via retribution by others who themselves have endured a heinous event. I dare say that there is no excuse for this. No matter how a person has been victimized, it does not provide an excuse to take away the rights of people whose only guilt is through association by race, nationality, or creed.

Respect for the freedoms of those in a minority is the American way, and, yes, I believe it is the superior way.

No wonder you support this location for a Mosque, might as well tell them they deserved losing family members....

A number of the family members I have lost have died fighting for American freedoms. They don't deserve having their sacrifice squandered because of some people who would rather replace sound reason with pure emotion in trying to justify removing those freedoms from others.

And so that's what the anti-mosque side is all about: Vengeance, and lying in the pursuit of vengeance.

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SezWho2, exactly, exactly.

This issue is all about religious intolerance and subverting the Constitution to cater to a few who have let their emotions and anger take over their logic faculties. BTW, this has been a pretty interesting thread. More than 200 posts.

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"to cater to a few who have let their emotions and anger take over their logic faculties"

This isn't catering for a few, that's simply not an accurate description.

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I guess remembering their loved ones at ground zero itself like everyone else does is somehow out of the question for Muslims?

Oh, come on now. There would be no problem whatsoever in putting a prayer and vigil center near the site where who many lost their lives. To Christians and Jews, it would be as natural as rain.

But for Muslims to do it? There simply has to be some nefarious purpose involved. (Don't they realize how much we hate them? And yet here they are throwing it in our faces.)

No. The proposed mosque is critically needed right where it is going. The spiritual growth of the lost and deluded American depends on it.

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sailwind said: Nothing like building peace and co-existence their Mr. Wizard as you cheer on the violence.

In fact, I hope the violent stay away from the mosque. But I don't think they will. Many mosques were attacked after 9/11 and it is obvious that since 9 years of the question was not enough to set people straight, and not the president stepping in to set people straight, and not over 300 comments discussing this to set people straight, well some people are just not going to be set straight through peaceful means. Sadly, peace and appeasement does have its limitations. But as it always does, it teaches us who is just friggen impossible and deserving of a beat-down.

You will be on the wrong side of history Sail, just like a supporters of segregation. There are no excuses. America has to get through and over this, and most unfortunately, violence probably will have to occur for that to happen. But it wont be me cheering Sail. It will be the intolerants. Finding violence necessary does not mean I will break out the pom-poms. I am not a conservative cheerleader. My attitude will be more of a fatherly "See what you made me do?".

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sailwind said: What they are questioning is the wisdom and judgment of the Muslims to build at that particular location.

Gunning for landmark status was a lot more like the mafia selling "protection", or dragging Japanese to internment camps "for their own good".

If and when there is violence, and the same posters opposing the mosque support the violence, will we still have to listen to this "just questioning the wisdom" stuff?

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I have still not seen 1 legitimate complaint about this Mosque -that hasn't even been built yet. What exactly in regards to this Mosque are you unhappy about.

When you are surrounded by Libs it is hard to tell the difference. =I could ask someone in Montana about this mosque and situation and they couldn't care less = "Well what's the problem?" --> I would have to respond "I don't know. -Libs?" Resonse = "oh"

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I wonder what our Arabian, Kuwaiti, Iraqi, Afghan and Pakistani allies are thinking about all this?

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badsey - if I've got this right you're berating "libs" for having a problem with this mosque?

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Call me slow, but I still don't understand how Sailwind, RomeoRamen, Molenir, etc. can take a terrorist event involving likely no more than 50-odd people, and wake up one morning and think 'Hey! Every Muslim everywhere is guilty and a potential terrorist/terrorist sympathizer.' My 2-year-old could do better than that.

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Really, if we were all taxed for thinking, conservatives would be the richest demographic in America. :-)

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When you are surrounded by Libs it is hard to tell the difference. =I could ask someone in Montana about this mosque and situation and they couldn't care less = "Well what's the problem?" --> I would have to respond "I don't know. -Libs?" Resonse = "oh"

Libs? Are you saying liberal thinkers don't want the mosque and community center? If so, you couldn't be more incorrect.

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Really, if we were all taxed for thinking, conservatives would be the richest demographic in America.

This is quite funny. It's usually Conservatives who don't care what others think. It goes to show why conservatives would have this POV. Pure ignorance.

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If the funding is legitimate for building the community center and mosque, it should be allowed to be built, period. This is not a popularity contest. We need to get off our butts and start building something at the WTC site. How long does is that gonna friggin' take, geez. The site is 2 blocks away and is next to an Amish market. The building is very old looking and the new one will make the area look much nicer. People need to get over it and start worried about real issues. This will bring in much needed money to the city and the area. (To the naysayers) If you don't like it so much get out there and build something yourself.

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Is "Thou shall not concede even the most minor of points even in the face of overwhelming evidence" one of the Commandments now?

Park51 does not, apparently, contain a mosque, despite the fact that a mosque is listed as one of the facilities on Park51's web page.

No-one, anywhere, opposes the building of mosques so long as they aren't on that most sacred ground, Burlington Coat Factory. Nevermind those movements to block mosques in multiple states across the country, or the posts declaring Islam to be a barbarity utterly incompatable with western values.

So, who's winning guys? Red team or Blue team? Is there a trophy at stake or something?

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MistWizard: there are complains, and they are not coming from libs.

You do realize that over half of democrats oppose the mosque.

The survey, released on Wednesday, showed nearly 70 percent of Americans opposed it, including 54 percent of Democrats, 82 percent of Republicans and 70 percent of independents.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100815/pl_nm/us_usa_politics_muslims_1

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Psst... Helter_Skelter, your link has expired.

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This is a like to the survey Helter_Skelter references:

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/08/11/cnnopinion-research-poll-august-6-10/

The demographic info is located on the last (8th) page.

The only group which appears to support the mosque by majority is self-identified 'liberals' (51% - and even then, 45% oppose).

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"link", not "like". Sorry.

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I have still not seen 1 legitimate complaint about this Mosque -that hasn't even been built yet. What exactly in regards to this Mosque are you unhappy about.

300 plus posts, and he still can't figure this out? Badsey, you reading at all? Surely you're smart enough to figure this out. What we are unhappy about, is that they are trying to build this so close to ground zero. Thats it. If they moved it a few miles away, no one would care. Including those in Saudi Arabia footing the bill for this "Victory Mosque".

'Hey! Every Muslim everywhere is guilty and a potential terrorist/terrorist sympathizer.' My 2-year-old could do better than that.

And Sushi continues is pathetic attempt to make this about Religion. No, not every Muslim is guilty of terrorism, but every terrorist is Muslim, particularly those who on 9-11 murdered more then 3000 people. Do we want a monument to the faith of the killers being built in the shadow of their tomb? In that case, lets all get a subscription together so we can build a monument to Hitler next to Auschwitz. Yeah, its that offensive.

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SushiSake: Call me slow, but I still don't understand how Sailwind, RomeoRamen, Molenir, etc. can take a terrorist event involving likely no more than 50-odd people, and wake up one morning and think 'Hey! Every Muslim everywhere is guilty and a potential terrorist/terrorist sympathizer.

Their opinions aren't based on "a terrorist event". It's based on Muslim terrorist events occurring around the world on a near daily basis. I think you are slow in putting the pieces together.

But kudos to you for recognizing Muslims were involved in 911. At least you're not one of those conspiracy whack-jobs who post on this site (you know who you are).

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Psst... Helter_Skelter, your link has expired.

Reuters Sunday 8/15/2010: The survey, released on Wednesday, showed nearly 70 percent of Americans opposed it, including 54 percent of Democrats, 82 percent of Republicans and 70 percent of independents.

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/22/20100815/tpl-uk-usa-politics-muslims-81f3b62.html

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No, not every Muslim is guilty of terrorism, but every terrorist is Muslim, particularly those who on 9-11 murdered more then 3000 people. Do we want a monument to the faith of the killers being built in the shadow of their tomb? In that case, lets all get a subscription together so we can build a monument to Hitler next to Auschwitz. Yeah, its that offensive.

Yes, sheer ignorance and blind hatred is just that offensive.

As has been pointed out, the terrorist faction numbers less than a few hundred out of over 1.7 billion worshipers. Attacking an entire religion on that basis should offend anyone with an IQ over 60.

Equating a mosque to a "monument to Hitler" is the kind of display of sheer hatred and the Big Lie that the very man himself dedicated his life to. People who rarely use their brains can't be expected to pause to think that the very place in Poland where so many perished at the hands of Germans is always recalled by its German name instead of its actual Polish one.

And so, if you stop to think about it, Auschwitz itself IS a monument to Hitler. By contrast, it is absolutely insane to describe the area in south Manhattan as something that is the handiwork of the Islamic faith practiced by hundreds of millions of believers. Every expression of this kind of insane hatred only reinforces the need for a mosque at the site -- the closer, the better.

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Writing in Newsweek, Fareed Zakaria says this:

The ADL’s mission statement says it seeks “to put an end forever to unjust and unfair discrimination against and ridicule of any sect or body of citizens.” But Abraham Foxman, the head of the ADL, explained that we must all respect the feelings of the 9/11 families, even if they are prejudiced feelings.

OK. We can respect their feelings. But to the extent that those feelings are rooted in prejudice we can also ignore them. We should not be led by the nose by the feelings of 3000 families.

But what about the others? the 70% of Americans who are not families of the victims? Should we sacrifice Constitutional protections and legal rights to their opinions even if their opinions are uninformed or prejudiced? Again, no.

I think the argument that Muslims would have done better to select a different site would have held at least some sway--if they were not already using the site on which they plan to build. To deny them the right to build on that site is to tell them that they have to get out if they want to improve their facilities--either that or to require them to maintain two facilities. Popular opinion which knows but ignores this is oblivious to the prejudice which underlies it.

Or, if we must go by popular opinion, why not accept the popular opinion in the borough where the center is planned. I think that only about 36% of the residents in Manhattan oppose it. Or would the 73% of the Staten Island folks who oppose the construction be happier if the building were constructed in--gulp!--Staten Island? No? ...didn't think so.

And what must the folks in Idaho think? And how much should we value that opinion?

No. The real shame here is two-fold: first, that there are so many uninformed opinions and that they are given equal weight with informed ones and, second, that are so many who are willing to exploit the devastation of 9/11 to pursue an angry, bigoted and hateful agenda.

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Yes, sheer ignorance and blind hatred is just that offensive.

Building a monument to a murderer, beside the site of his victims death is precisely what we are referring to. How is Hitler different from the 19 hijackers? In scale? Is that the test? What precisely is so offensive about the idea of moving this mosque just a mile or 2 down the road? And don't try the freedom of religion argument. That doesn't play for anyone with more then 2 brain cells. How about facing reality for once. Hell, even Dirty Harry is opposing it now. When most Americans, including Loons like yourself oppose the building of this monument next to ground zero, it should tell you something. Sadly, you and so many others don't seem to be listening.

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Or, if we must go by popular opinion, why not accept the popular opinion in the borough where the center is planned. I think that only about 36% of the residents in Manhattan oppose it. Or would the 73% of the Staten Island folks who oppose the construction be happier if the building were constructed in--gulp!--Staten Island? No? ...didn't think so.

I don't think it matters. Just move it away from Ground Zero, move it to another building, perhaps one that wasn't actually struck by debris from the event. Or is that simply too much to ask.

What you and yabits, and several others simply refuse to understand is, that no one cares if they build a mosque in New York. We care if they build it there. Thats it. Move it a few miles away, and all the fuss dies down. Going and trying to build it at ground zero, and the insistence that it be built there, speaks volumes as to the intent of the builders. As well as to the Dhimmis that support them.

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MOST muslims will view this as just another mosque. If they live or work nearby, it will be very convenient.

SOME muslims will view it as "the victory mosque" and over time, this may become the site for more radical elements...

MOST people against the mosque being built at this location don't want to give radical muslims more ammo.

Get it?

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IMO, Radical Islam couldn't give 2 hoots if the mosque is build or not. They will use anything to fuel their hatred and justify their actions. Especially a refusal to let it be build.

OTOH, preventing the mosque from being build will hurt the local Muslim community that exists around the area and who are need in of bigger facilities than the currently existing ones.

And the area being designated for redevelopment makes sense that it was chosen.

As far as the Qu'ran stating that all Muslims MUST destroy anything non-islamic, etc we got a LOT of poor/naughty Muslims(worldwide) who don't follow the Qu'ran.

Just my view.

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Showing opposition to the mosque just shows how xenophobic and ignorant too many people in the USA are with regards to Islam. Islam didnt cause the airplanes to crash into the World Trade Center. Fanatic's did.

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Building a monument to a murderer, beside the site of his victims death is precisely what we are referring to. How is Hitler different from the 19 hijackers? In scale?

You are talking about building a monument to a specific person. In the case of the 9/11 hijackers, you are taking the fact of their religion and applying their act to the rest of the 1.7 billion followers of it.

Let's say a person is a vegetarian (as Hitler was). Does that mean it's offensive to build a vegetarian restaurant near a "sensitive site?" He was a German. Does that make a German language bookstore automatically an offensive tribute? Most Germans are Lutherans and Catholics. Does that make those churches automatically offensive?

What precisely is so offensive about the idea of moving this mosque just a mile or 2 down the road?

This is where your entire argument falls down flat on its face. Why would any mosque be "less offensive" further away? Isn't such a move catering to hatred, ignorance and bigotry? The very same evil and sinful feelings that religions need to stand up and confront?

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Note to above....Austrian, actually, but you get the point.

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Heh, Molenir, what a difference a day makes. Yesterday, you were calling it the Ground Zero mosque and claiming the site was hallowed ground. Today, it seems you finally got the memo to correct the blatant mistruths in your posts - well done - it is near ground zero, not at it.

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Molenir, what you didn't get the memo about is that no matter how you vainly try to spin it, your desire to boot this mosque a couple miles down the road as well as your attempt to blackwash well over a billion Muslims for the deeds of a handful shows nothing but religious intolerance, not to mention a level of shameless mental blinkering we haven't seen on JT since, well, your last post.

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Molenir, if, as you claim, this issue has nothing to do with freedom of religion, then let this mosque operate anywhere its owners like. No, but you want to boot it 2 miles down the road and go against the First Amendment. It doesn't take a lot of mental horsepower to see your argument has no grounding in reality whatsoever.

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I wouldn't put too much stock in the opinion poll. There's a difference between saying you support or don't support something and saying someone has the legal right to do or not to do something. Since I'm not a fan of religion I'd personally be opposed to any house of worship in my area, but I would never say they didn't have the right to build it or actually take steps to stop them.

And I don't necessarily think those who really are opposed to it being built are automatically against Islam or don't support freedom of religion. I'm sure a percentage of them are, but overall I wouldn't characterize the position for everyone. Even Obama hasn't come out and given an opinion as to whether it's a good choice or not, he's just said that he won't legally oppose it being built.

From the Newsweek article referenced before: "On Saturday, seeking to clarify his position, Obama said he supported the right of Muslims to build the centre but would not comment on the "wisdom" of deciding its location in Lower Manhattan."

There is an issue of taste or tact, and I think one can call that into question without necessarily being anti-Islam. You don't have to think that all of Islam was responsible for 9/11 to believe that a house with that faith would be a bit insensitive near the WTC.

It can be a credible argument, but that doesn't mean it trumps the rule of law. In the end the Constitution wins. But it doesn't mean feelings of opposition are automatically racist.

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Heh, Molenir, what a difference a day makes. Yesterday, you were calling it the Ground Zero mosque and claiming the site was hallowed ground. Today, it seems you finally got the memo to correct the blatant mistruths in your posts - well done - it is near ground zero, not at it.

Sushi, I gotcha, if its 1 milimeter away from Ground Zero, you'd be crowing about how its not actually on the site. That pretty much sums this up. No, its not on the actual site, it is however merely a short distance away. Debris hit this building on 9-11. This is just another sad and transparent attempt by you, to spin this to be about Religion, rather then what it is, a monument to the 19 martyrs. Its not about Islam, but the radicalized form of Islam. This is not about just a Mosque, otherwise the builders wouldn't mind moving it a few miles down the road. But of course we all know this. Even you know it. You just don't want to acknowledge reality. Take your blindfold off Sushi.

You are talking about building a monument to a specific person. In the case of the 9/11 hijackers, you are taking the fact of their religion and applying their act to the rest of the 1.7 billion followers of it.

Fine, so rather then a monument to Hitler, make it a monument to the Nazis in general, and all their wonderful accomplishments. That would be a bit closer to this. And still preserve how offensive the idea truly is. Thats precisely what you are trying to do.

Ya know, if you step back and look at this from a little distance, its amusing how you guys are normally so politically correct, and yet on this, you are all in favor of giving offense. Guess its because Islam is the victim right? And victims can never be subject to PC standards. Whats hysterical, is knowing that if the 19 hijackers were Christian, and the church being put up was a Christian one, you guys would immediately switch sides.

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There is an issue of taste or tact, and I think one can call that into question without necessarily being anti-Islam. You don't have to think that all of Islam was responsible for 9/11 to believe that a house with that faith would be a bit insensitive near the WTC.

It can be a credible argument, but that doesn't mean it trumps the rule of law. In the end the Constitution wins. But it doesn't mean feelings of opposition are automatically racist.

そう。その通り。

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Molenir: What you and yabits, and several others simply refuse to understand is, that no one cares if they build a mosque in New York. We care if they build it there.

I quite understand that you do not want a mosque built there. You'll pardon me, however, if I do not believe that you would have the same objections to a cathedral, church, synagogue, temple or Bank of America. You care that it's a mosque. And you seem to care because you choose to hold, or cannot help yourself from holding, an entire religion culpable for the actions of a few. This is a prejudicial assignment of blame. And publicly exercising your objections rather makes you an agent of intolerance.

You'll also forgive me if I do not believe that no one cares if they build a mosque in New York. I think there are plenty of people who don't want a mosque in their back yard. Witness the furor over the plan to build a mosque on the site of a disused convent on Staten Island. Now there are Islamic centers on Staten Island. S I suppose you could make an argument that people don't care about building mosques, but only a mosque on a former Catholic site. But my point is that while you may say that people don't care, they do. They care very much. And I daresay it's prejudicial.

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Molenir, again your argument is runoing off the tracks. 1/ What you and others might find offensive is no basis to skirt, twist or ignore local laws.

2/ You claimed the site wason ground zero. It is not, and thank you for correcting your error.

3/ Unlike yourself, myself and others are claiming this issue is about religion. You said it yourself it's an Islamic mosque. What else is an Islamic mosque about besides religion? 4/ You claim the shrine is a 'monument to the 19 martyrs.' Where on Earth did you get that idea from?

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You'll pardon me, however, if I do not believe that you would have the same objections to a cathedral, church, synagogue, temple or Bank of America.

You'll pardon me if I think putting a Target department store near the area would also be pretty insensitive, then again I guess that would make me prejudice against Department stores also by your logic.

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Molenir, using your argument, all Christians should be labeled 'traitors' for the deeds of Judas, and all new synagogues banned within 'about 2 miles' from the garden of Gethsemany. This point or your point - I really don't know which one is more ridiculous, sorry.

Remember this: your and others' outrage is no basis whatsoever to change or circumvent zoning law. Also, do you know which branch of Islam the 9-11 hijackers belonged to? Does this branch have connections to Muslims who will attend the mosque in question? And yes, it does matter.

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@SezWho2

OK. We can respect their feelings. But to the extent that those feelings are rooted in prejudice we can also ignore them. We should not be led by the nose by the feelings of 3000 families.

That comes with the territory. Of course there will be an outfall and there well might be to a certain extent a small segment of the population that will hold resentment regardless. Is it right, of course not. But to say we should ignore the feelings of 3000 is totally absurd. Again, imagine if your loved one was killed in such a manner. It's easy to make baseless arguments if you were never affected by this tragedy.

But what about the others? the 70% of Americans who are not families of the victims? Should we sacrifice Constitutional protections and legal rights to their opinions even if their opinions are uninformed or prejudiced? Again, no.

If the 70% of the Americans who are not part of the people that were murdered on that day feel otherwise, I feel that there can be a complete compromise. Give them their Mosque, let them build it a few blocks away. Problem solved! Families are happy and the Muslims can be happy an they can build a functional adequate facility. Again, if THEY ARE SINCERE! The Constitution is respected, the families feelings are respected and the Muslims rights are respected, everyone happy, problem solved. Even Obama had to take a step-back over the comments he made last week. Q. Why are the majority of Americans for building the Mosque, but wanting the Mosque to be built in a different location. Your argument doesn't hold up. I can understand if the majority of Americans totally objected to building the Mosque being built.

-Everyone can have their cake and eat it too.

I think the argument that Muslims would have done better to select a different site would have held at least some sway--if they were not already using the site on which they plan to build. To deny them the right to build on that site is to tell them that they have to get out if they want to improve their facilities--either that or to require them to maintain two facilities. Popular opinion which knows but ignores this is oblivious to the prejudice which underlies it.

I think the only prejudice here is; that these people want to impose their rights and not factor in the feelings of the families hit by this tragedy. I don't see any tolerance here, only intolerance, which speaks volumes to most Americans.

Or, if we must go by popular opinion, why not accept the popular opinion in the borough where the center is planned. I think that only about 36% of the residents in Manhattan oppose it. Or would the 73% of the Staten Island folks who oppose the construction be happier if the building were constructed in--gulp!--Staten Island? No? ...didn't think so. And what must the folks in Idaho think? And how much should we value that opinion? No. The real shame here is two-fold: first, that there are so many uninformed opinions and that they are given equal weight with informed ones and, second, that are so many who are willing to exploit the devastation of 9/11 to pursue an angry, bigoted and hateful agenda.

Your argument sounds like liberal spin. You are taking this way out of context and getting way off track. This issue has nothing to do with Idaho, Staten Island or anywhere else. You keep bringing up the same words "prejudice and intolerance" Nothing is illegal, the Constitution is NOT violated, it has everything to do with appropriateness that's the key word. If the public said, NO and were adamant about it, I would tend to agree with you, but that is not the case here.

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Fine, so rather then a monument to Hitler, make it a monument to the Nazis in general, and all their wonderful accomplishments. That would be a bit closer to this. And still preserve how offensive the idea truly is.

I suspect many of the people who equivocate on the "insensitivity" of this issue do so because they view Muslims as akin to Nazis. That is the only way that the analogy works.

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SuperLib: There is an issue of taste or tact, and I think one can call that into question without necessarily being anti-Islam. You don't have to think that all of Islam was responsible for 9/11 to believe that a house with that faith would be a bit insensitive near the WTC.

Of course there is an issue of taste or tact. I think that has been well-recognized here. And of course one can question taste without necessarily being anti-Islam. One can. It's possible. And in those cases I would expect the objections to be couched simply as objections of taste or tact without the additional accompaniment of arguments about the victory mosque, about Saudi Arabia's evil schemes, about the ultimate plan for Islamic world dominance, about US security issues and so on.

As far as I can see, the only people putting stock in opinion polls are those who are using the polls to argue that "the American people" are against this. I think that's a fair and accurate argument if the polls are correct. As your comments suggest, opposition takes many forms and I think this also has been well-recognized here. You'll have to decide for yourself what form the current thread's opposition has taken.

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You'll pardon me if I think putting a Target department store near the area would also be pretty insensitive, then again I guess that would make me prejudice against Department stores also by your logic.

What is this I don't even

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"This is not about just a Mosque,"

Molenir, no matter how abusive anyone gets, I still like your comments.

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bass4funk, you say:

But to say we should ignore the feelings of 3000 is totally absurd.

If anything is absurd, it is that statement. The opinions of 3,000 are ignored every day. If you were to have your way and the State were to interfere with the construction of the mosque, I daresay you would be ignoring the feelings of 3,000 Muslims. You seek to make Ground Zero a shrine to the martydom of 3,000 people and you fall in with those whose argument against a mosque is that it would be a shrine to the martydom of the 19 perpetrators.

Give them their Mosque, let them build it a few blocks away.

My sarcasm really wants to come out here. Trying to keep it in check, I would observe that it is already a few blocks away. You would allow them to have a mosque, but tell them where they can and cannot build. If any argument does not hold up, it is yours. You claim that a majority of Americans are "for building a Mosque", but this is not quite true. A majority of Americans are against building a particular mosque at a particular place. Tell me where the majority of Americans believe that this 13-floor culture center should be built.

I think the only prejudice here is; that these people want to impose their rights and not factor in the feelings of the families hit by this tragedy.

"These people"? What people? Why do you say that they have not factored in the feelings of the families affected by 9/11. How could you even know that? I find that statement incredible. I think it more likely that they did factor in those feelings when they planned for an interfaith facility within the cultural center. If there is anything they did not factor in it might have been the rabidity of talk radio and the power of ideologues to stir things up.

Your argument sounds like liberal spin. You are taking this way out of context and getting way off track. This issue has nothing to do with Idaho, Staten Island or anywhere else.

I quite agree that this issue has nothing to do with Idaho, Staten Island or anywhere else. It even has nothing to do with opinion polls. It is a matter of appropriateness. In my view, and considering the new facilities as they have been designed, the planned center is a perfectly appropriate improvement to the prayer center that is already there. What is inappropriate are the objections to it, no matter how many Americans agree. The reason I keep talking about prejudice and intolerance is that there is more than a little represented on this board.

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Perhaps 50-odd people involved in 9-11. Almost by default, 1.7 billion Muslims - worldwide - are deemed tarred. Honestly, I think only very disturbed minds could make a leap of logic that vast.

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sailwind said: You'll pardon me if I think putting a Target department store near the area would also be pretty insensitive, then again I guess that would make me prejudice against Department stores also by your logic.

Yes, I think that would be correct. So what do you have against department stores? The only other thing I can think of is that, to you, the approx 8 blocks of space the whole WTC site comprises is not enough, and you would like to flatten or preserve at least 2 blocks around it. That would include a Merchant's Barbeque, which is a pretty insensitive name if you think about it. Also a Staples office supply, a Brooks Bros., a Deutshe Bank, Nomura holdings, American Express, Vanderbilt Asset Management...I mean HOW DARE those people go on with business as usual as if the WTC site is not right accross the street or a short walk away! Then we got the Millenium Hilton with an excellent view of the site, where someone could potentially rent a room, overlook the site and clap and cheer in total privacy. And don't forget about St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church or Trinity Church or St. Paul Chapel, all closer than the planned Mosque. And you know, I am not quite sure that Our Lady of Victory Church is quite far enough away even though its out of the two block radius. I mean, geez, what is that name about? Pretty insensitive! They had 9 years to change it, but no.

So which is it Sail? Flatten or preserve? At what distance? And don't tell me you were actually concerned about the building that once housed the Burlington Coat Factory. Heck, I doubt you could tell me the name of that building off the top of your head. Its not even visible from the WTC site.

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Yes, I think that would be correct. So what do you have against department stores?

If you can't figure out that Target department stores with their 'Target' logo bullseye would be pretty insensitive not to mention pretty stupid if they chose to put one of their stores near the site and wouldn't also cause a firestorm of protest.....then you really are lost in what this discussion is really about.....symbolism and what it means to people when you get down to it.

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If anything, allowing the building of the mosque will show those few Islamic extremists "Hey, look, you guys attacked us, and guess what? We're moving on. We'll always remember what you did - and how it affected us - but we're not going to let your act of hate overwhelm us and consume our thoughts."

My biggest beef with this issue is that - as so many people have pointed out - Muslims also died in the 9/11 attacks. What must their families think about the knee-jerk reaction that this mosque will be a 'shrine to the hijackers etc etc'.

And for those of you here trashing Islam: did you know that merely decades ago, there was no such thing as fundamentalist Islam? No stoning women, no wearing burqas, no 'death to the infidel'? Islam elders in Iraq talk about the good old days when both sexes could celebrate weddings together and nobody had to cover their face. Fundamentalist Islam is a recent movement, Islam itself is a peaceful religion. What makes it not peaceful - just like Christianity, by the way - are the legions of people fighting in holy wars over it.

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If you can't figure out that Target department stores with their 'Target' logo bullseye would be pretty insensitive not to mention pretty stupid if they chose to put one of their stores near the site and wouldn't also cause a firestorm of protest.....then you really are lost in what this discussion is really about.....symbolism and what it means to people when you get down to it.

... wait, this is a joke, right? I mean, you are totaly pulling out chains here... right?

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... wait, this is a joke, right? I mean, you are totaly pulling out chains here... right?

No joke, totally serious. Though I think the folks at Target are smart enough not to do anything so foolish would tarnish the Target brand and hurt sales. Now the Islam brand of 'sales strategy' here could errr use a little work as far as location goes.

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Just because you can, doesnt always mean you should. Yes they have a right to build a mosque there. Though they shouldnt put it there.

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genji17 said: Just because you can, doesnt always mean you should. Yes they have a right to build a mosque there. Though they shouldnt put it there.

Completely sensible statement that. The trouble is that the intolerants take that as carte blanche to take action against the mosque instead of just letting them alone to take their risk.

sailwind said: Now the Islam brand of 'sales strategy' here could errr use a little work as far as location goes.

And no comment from you about the Merchant's Barbeque and Our Lady of Victory Church?

Target stores might very well acknowledge the feelings of people so weak-minded they would make such an association and and allow that association to affect them. It hardly makes being so weak-minded excusable. But Target is a store and can afford to go elsewhere. Muslims are Muslims whereever they go, and if people can't get over a Mosque two blocks from ground zero, they sure won't be able to get over a turban-wearing individual visiting ground zero either. This association cannot just be side-stepped. It has to be squashed and ground into a fine powder. The people making it need to be drug upstairs, hosed down and slapped around, for the sake of the future.

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No joke, totally serious.

So... wait... what?

You are saying that if Target, by virtue of having a target shaped logo, were to build a store two blocks from Ground Zero, that you would find it hurtful and offensive?

...

....

I don't know what to say to you.

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sailwind said: If you can't figure out that Target department stores with their 'Target' logo bullseye would be pretty insensitive

If I had even made such a connection I never would have given it any weight at all. Not only is my mind not so weak, I simply will never tolerate that in myself or in others. Why should anyone? For even a second? Especially Americans who are prone to saying things like "Buck up Princess!" Such weak-mindedness is for other people, not Americans.

Moderator: Readers, no more Target analogies please.

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I'm sticking by my guns. There's no law against what the group is trying to do, and considering that there are several churches of different sects of faith in the immediate area, another house of worship/community center shouldn't really make a difference. Lingering paranoia over Muslims and Islam is what's destroying the public, not mosques.

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tell that to fdny and nypd widows

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tell that to fdny and nypd widows

And the widows of the Muslims who were working in the buildings that day when they were hit? What should we tell them? That because they are vaguely connected by religion to those who attacked their husbands, they aren't allowed to worship near the site?

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Why is it so difficult to see these arugments from a perspective other than the one they're used to? Have we, as Americans, really become so insensitive to people different than us?

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I like the "no churches in Saudi Arabia" parallel that is being drawn.

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tell that again to the widows of those who ran into the towers..lets be more tolerant..that will bring back your dead...but tell the Muslim widows..what if there was never a religion..and we were all agnostic...how many wars would have been prevented? give up the religion is a lot easier!

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Read whaleburger's mail while humming the tune of "Imagine". Makes a lot of sense.

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^^ Except you know, like there is that thing called the first amendment.

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give up the religion is a lot easier!

You're losing the point of your argument by turning into one about religion.

And not all Muslims are fanatics. A very small percentage of them are, actually, just as a small percentage of Christians are fanatics. Unfortunately, it's part of this small percentage that attacked the WTC, and now the majority of practitioners are having to suffer for it.

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KIaz, not may christians been suiciding thmeselves in the name of god recently (or did i miss them)?

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Did you read my argument at all?

I said that the majority was suffering because a few followers of a small minority of their religion committed a heinous crime.

Many people can believe in something without it ever affecting the world at large. Most Muslims are like this. They should be able to practice their faith wherever they chose to, without being persecuted simply for their beliefs and for the location of their mosques - just like the rest of religious practitioners in America.

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Now you're just being odd. The first amendmant guarantees a right to more things than freedom of religion - freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, etc. Getting rid of it won't help a thing, so I'm wondering whether or not to still take you seriously.

The only way to solve this mosque issue is to educate people, and end the fear-mongering that perpetuates hurtful rumors.

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for the non-Americans on here - what is the first amendment? the right to make a fool of yourself?

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Wakarimasen said: for the non-Americans on here - what is the first amendment? the right to make a fool of yourself?

That is part of it. I take you think people should not have that right. I am sure Stalin would have agreed.

The thing is, we can't really know who the fools are until we give them a chance to make a fool of themselves. Just another reason to shut up and let the mosque go ahead.

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sailwind, I don't think you are following my logic at all. To follow your logic, though, it would seem that you would ridicule the notion that your finding a mosque offensive could merit my accusation that you were prejudiced against houses of worship.

I, too, find that somewhat ridiculous. I'm quite OK with establishing a zoning ordinance that forbids houses of worship in some area around Ground Zero. That would be fair and even-handed. However, objecting to a mosque because it is an Islamic house of worship (and not because it is a house worship) is prejudicial.

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Freedom is a funny thing. If you give it to some and not to others, it had a tendency to disappear for everyone. Likewise, when you defend it for one, you defend it for all. It really is something that requires a great deal of open mindedness to thrive.

Despite the feelings of anyone, if the area is zoned appropriately for a church or place of worship, then the Mosque has as much right to be there as any other faith's building.

In some ways perhaps it is fitting that it be there. If the Mosque and her people are people of peace, then sharing the area with peace loving people is completely appropriate. Certainly as much so as sharing it with the church of any other faith.

If you do not want all religions judgeed by the actions of a few nut jobs, like the Idaho Nazi Christian right as representatives of all of Christianity, then do not allow Al Qaida to represent all of Islam. See Islam for what it is, another faith of ordinary people no different than Catholicism or Buddhism.

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@SezWho2

The opinions of 3,000 are ignored every day. If you were to have your way and the State were to interfere with the construction of the mosque, I daresay you would be ignoring the feelings of 3,000 Muslims. You seek to make Ground Zero a shrine to the martydom of 3,000 people and you fall in with those whose argument against a mosque is that it would be a shrine to the martydom of the 19 perpetrators.

So by your illogical argument, the majority of Americans that don't wish the "Victory Mosque" to be built there because it would be provocative and would insight already hostile feelings to a large segment of the population that oppose THE LOCATION of the Mosque, tell me-why are some Democrats such as Harry Reid even saying it's a bad idea to build the Mosque near Ground Zero and there are other Liberals saying the same thing. Many in the Presidents own party are jumping ship on this one, it is simply a bad move. Might I ad, as I stated numerous times and please if anyone else can answer this simple question: Islam is supposed to be a tolerant nation, if that is true, then why not build it a few blocks away, why does it have to be at that precise location, why is the Imam so stubborn to have it built there? ***Historically, in Muslim wars when they would conquer a city, they would erect a Mosque, that is a fact. So it seems like with all the fighting, grandstanding and being unrelenting in most peoples eyes proves that point. Am I wrong? I really don't think so and by their actions, I am quite sure of it. This is all a ruse, pure and simple.

"These people"? What people? Why do you say that they have not factored in the feelings of the families affected by 9/11. How could you even know that? I find that statement incredible. I think it more likely that they did factor in those feelings when they planned for an interfaith facility within the cultural center. If there is anything they did not factor in it might have been the rabidity of talk radio and the power of ideologues to stir things up.

To sum it all up and to make it all simple, No, they did not. If the people that want to build that Mosque truly sincere, without a doubt Ground Zero would not be part of the whole equation.

My sarcasm really wants to come out here. Trying to keep it in check, I would observe that it is already a few blocks away. You would allow them to have a mosque, but tell them where they can and cannot build. If any argument does not hold up, it is yours. You claim that a majority of Americans are "for building a Mosque", but this is not quite true. A majority of Americans are against building a particular mosque at a particular place. Tell me where the majority of Americans believe that this 13-floor culture center should be built.

Anywhere, but Ground Zero.

It is a matter of appropriateness. In my view, and considering the new facilities as they have been designed, the planned center is a perfectly appropriate improvement to the prayer center that is already there. What is inappropriate are the objections to it, no matter how many Americans agree. The reason I keep talking about prejudice and intolerance is that there is more than a little represented on this board.

That is your belief and even though, most people would probably disagree with you, even the majority of Americans are not against the Mosque being built as most on this site, but the way they are doing it, we don't even know who's funding it, we also have the right to know that. So there is not a whole lot of transparency going on, this worries a lot of people. Also you need to factor in, let's say for arguments sake the Mosque is built and standing, what happens if radical clerics like the blind Sheikh (for example) want to visit the Mosque? Again, these are things that you have to consider and the overall outcome that it would make were that scenario to take place. There are too many holes in your arguments. This is not about individual rights, it is purely about imposing and that is really what's at play here.*

**

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SezWho2,

My objection to this one and only one house of Islamic worship is the un-neccessary, needless provocation it provokes by locating here. The unpleasant reminder for the families that they lost loved ones not due to Eskimos but to those that went so far as to actually commit suicide in the very name of Islam itself. When the families of the victims feel they can extend the branch and have healed enough to have moved on and actually invite a Mosque to be built near ground zero, then I would be down with this. They aren't ready yet to extend that branch and the Muslims behind this Mosque should respect that, they don't and that is the sad part.

Because given enough time that branch would have been offered there is no doubt in my mind that it would. Americans are a good people always have been. I also think the backers of this Mosque are more interested in making a political statement than any really hand of reconcilation and understanding or bridgebuilding.

Saddens me to no end to be called prejudical toward something that I clearly see as doing nothing to remove that prejudice toward Muslims but just re-enforces that prejudice even more against them and stronger than ever by them insisting on building on this site.

And if that makes me prejudical in your eyes so be it.

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@SezWho2 I meant tolerant Religion, "mistyped" my bad

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The only way to solve this mosque issue is to educate people, and end the fear-mongering that perpetuates hurtful rumors.

Or, they could simply move the mosque a mile or 2 down the road. That would cost a lot less money, and be much more effective at ending the controversy. Of course it wouldn't have the symbolism of the ground zero mosque, but ya can't get everything.

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sailwind said: When the families of the victims feel they can extend the branch

To Muslims? I completely understand what you want to say, but the trouble is you want to start too many steps down the line. You have to go to the root of this, and any suggestion that all of Islam is behind 9/11 is just totally unacceptable, I don't care how crazy with grief someone is. Read this again:

tkoind2: If you do not want all religions judgeed by the actions of a few nut jobs, like the Idaho Nazi Christian right as representatives of all of Christianity, then do not allow Al Qaida to represent all of Islam.

If we take tkoind2's advice we achieve the goal of tolerance faster. If we take your advice Sail, reaching of the goal is postponed indefinitely as we chase our tails in a maze of misguided points waiting for 9/11 victim relatives to get over misplaced finger-pointing that has already gone on for 9 years. And in the inter-rim, we hand more fundies more material to work with, thus creating a downward spiral of fundie attacks, a blaming of all Islam, leading to more fundie attacks and so on.

I want nothing more than to nip that potential in the bud. 9 years is already too long to tolerate misplaced anger and misplaced intolerance. This mosque has as much to with Al-Q as you do for all of you being born wiht 5 fingers and 5 toes, which is to say, nothing! 9 year old grief is no excuse for seeing what is not there to the point of discriminating against people. So stop pandering to intolerance. Its un-American.

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Molenir said: Or, they could simply move the mosque a mile or 2 down the road. That would cost a lot less money, and be much more effective at ending the controversy.

It would end this specific contrived controversy only to lend creedence to the idea that they have anything to do with 9/11, which would be a SUPREMELY stupid thing to do. However, I am sure you relish that outcome.

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So stop pandering to intolerance. Its un-American.

this is why America cannot tolerate Islam. Any religion or government that cannot accept others being intolerant - hence the cartoon fiasco, death threats against creators of South Park , have no place in America. Tolerance and ridicule is free for all. So lets have that Mosque near 911 and a big poster of Allah with a bomb in his turban next to it.

Then all will be fair

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9 year old grief is no excuse for seeing what is not there to the point of discriminating against people.

Don't worry MistWizard pretty soon there 9 year old grief will be seeing plenty that wasn't there before, a Mosque where they lost their loved ones as if that won't remind them of some very unpleasant things related to Islam.

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sailwind said: Don't worry MistWizard pretty soon there 9 year old grief will be seeing plenty that wasn't there before, a Mosque where they lost their loved ones as if that won't remind them of some very unpleasant things related to Islam.

You seem to be a bleeding heart conservative. What doesn't have the potential to remind them??? How about the near 400 posts here??? Why, we should destroy the internet, just to avoid causing them pain!

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This is getting crazy. Sailwind, Molenir and other opponents of this mosque: Please present one - just 1 - piece of credible evidence that the future users of this mosque had any connection to 9-11. Until or unless you can do that much, please just give up any and all blackwashing of all Muslims. Give it up. You are making yourselves out to be even more intolerant than the Muslims you are attacking, despite your knowing little if anything about them. You want understanding for the feelings of families of 9-11 victims? How about showing some for the Muslims you are attacking - people who you have no reason - besides your own paranoia and prejudice - to unload on. You think they are bad or dangerous? Step up and prove it. You don't like the location? Quit talking of moving it '2 miles' down the road and start having faith in your fellow Americans, regardless of their religious beliefs. It's incredible - Molenir is still talking of the 'ground zero mosque', while admitting this morning that it's not. Sailwind is talking about reconcilliation while simultaneously wanting to boot this mosque to the back of the bus. The key charateristics I am seeing again and again here among mosque opponents are: religious intolerance, denial of the rights afforded by the First Amendment, a near childlike kneejerk blackwashing of all Muslims for the crimes of a handful, and repetition of a bunch of long-discredited talking points, 'victory mosque' being one of them. I can't help noticing the argument of the mosque opponents is imploding about as fast as their paranoia is rising.

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Sailwind is talking about reconcilliation while simultaneously wanting to boot this mosque to the back of the bus. The key charateristics I am seeing again and again here among mosque opponents are: religious intolerance, denial of the rights afforded by the First Amendment, a near childlike kneejerk blackwashing of all Muslims for the crimes of a handful, and repetition of a bunch of long-discredited talking points, 'victory mosque' being one of them. I can't help noticing the argument of the mosque opponents is imploding about as fast as their paranoia is rising.

Add Senator Harry Reid to your list also now.

And on Monday the highest-ranking Democrat in the Senate officially came out against construction of the mosque in its current location

"The First Amendment protects freedom of religion," reads a statement from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's office (D-Nev.). "Senator Reid respects that but thinks that the mosque should be built someplace else.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/16/reid-mosque-should-be-bui_n_683762.html

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It's pretty ironic - mosque opponents have claimed Islam teaches intolerance, while they themselves show intolerance toward this mosque. Pot. Meet kettle.

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Sailwind, that was a lame move bringing Reid into the debate. He's a politician hunting foq votes. You and I are not. You can do better than that.

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Bringing Harry Reid into the debate is just desperate.

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Sailwind, that was a lame move bringing Reid into the debate. He's a politician hunting foq votes. You and I are not. You can do better than that.

No matter what I post Sushi your just going to call me an intolerant racist at the end of all anyway. Pretty hard to have any discussion when you don't or can't even acknowledge that just maybe I might have a some real valid points regarding this issue instead of constantly being bombarded with being called, 'intolerant' 'weakminded' 'racist' ad naseum.

All your posts and you haven't really stated the if you think building a Mosque on this site is a good idea or a bad idea. Senator Reid just weighed in a Democrat, so now you have political cover at least if you actually would say that maybe this is not such a smooth move after all on the part of Cordoba House. Just think if you did side with the opinion that maybe they should move the location after all because America isn't ready yet to fully embrace and kumbaya it with the Muslims at ground zero, you can always blame it on Fox news and those Republican and right talk-show hosts who have brainwashed those ignorant bible, gun glingy, masses, maybe even sneak Bush in there also for good measure.

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"All your posts and you haven't really stated the if you think building a Mosque on this site is a good idea or a bad idea."

Seems like you haven't been paying attention, Sailwind.

I fully support the building of the mosque at this site.

And I haven't called anyone a 'racist' - are you sure you have been paying attention?

"because America isn't ready yet to fully embrace and kumbaya it with the Muslims at ground zero,"

You are still lumping all Muslims together. This is a big part of the problem, and you still don't appear to understand or be aware of the ramifications of what you are doing.

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When you deny Muslims the right to build this mosque, you are implying they should all take personal responsibility for the acts of AQ on 9-11. Should Christians have done the same when Timothy McVeigh bombed the Federal Building in Oklahoma City?

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grafton at 02:16 AM JST - 16th August. I can’t understand why the Muslims involved with this project are so determined to get that building in that place. Would it not have been a little more respectful for them to have tried to understand the feelings of so many people and simply built the thing someplace else? If I wanted to construct a building and came up against this level of debate I would question why the client was being so adamant and failing getting an answer that made sense I would back out and not build. There isn’t a NEED to build on this site, so why create so much bad feeling? Fine, they have the right, but why force the issue even if you have the right, some other agenda perhaps?

I think that was well put.

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"can’t understand why the Muslims involved with this project are so determined to get that building in that place. "

Is real estate (that corresponds with a 13 storey project) easy to come by in downtown Manhattan?

Just asking.

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@SushiSake3

Bottom line is: You are an advocate and a true staunch supporter of the Mosque being built and anyone of us that oppose it are, in your malign viewpoint "intolerant or racist" but it seems like to me, you are the one being intolerant of us voicing our opinions labeling us as Muslim bashers or haters just because no matter how you break it down, this has nothing to do with the Constitution, stop hiding behind it to try and make a illegitimate point. The Muslims have the right to build the Mosque (we all know this) but if they were really so tolerant (I know you think that opposing the location is being intolerant) they would have the decency to relocate the Mosque and in the process would have a great opportunity to show the world what real tolerance and sacrifice is. There, everyones right are respected and everyone can be happy and satisfied and that's the way it should be.

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Add Senator Harry Reid to your list also now.

Argumentum ad populum.

'A lot of people agree with me' isn't a logical argument.

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@SuchiSake

The USA are playing a very dangerous game with islam by being to kind and it could end with the downfall of the westerner civilizations. Islam is not a religion like the others. It is a global system that includes religion, politic, economy and war. To understand the process, read Peter Hammond's excellent book Slavery, Terrorism and Islam: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat.

Islamisation always comes when Muslims have enough members in a country especially when it's a democratic country like the USA. At this point, they will play the card of "religious freedom" (they prefectly know how the system works and how to takeover) as an excuse to expand.

Hammond shows in his book that they are under control when they represent 1% of the population (USA, Canada, Australia). Soon they reach 5% and more, they start to have a out of proportion influence like to impose halal meat everywhere and make money out if it (France, Sweden, Switzerland...). At 10%, they multiply illegal actions against non Muslims and every situation offending islam such as Mahomet's caricatures in Holland (India, Israël, Kenya...). At 60¨%, they start persecutions(Albania, Soudan...) and it goes on and on until they reach 80% with ethnic cleansing (Iran, Irak, Gaza, Pakistan...) and 100% (Afghanistan, Saoudi Arabia...).

Read the book to understand what could lead to a castastrophy if the USA do not stop this islamisation.

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Is real estate (that corresponds with a 13 storey project) easy to come by in downtown Manhattan?

even if that's the real reason, is that reason enough? so it means nothing what took place there 9 years ago? i wouldnt buy a place near a cemetery let alone a place where people died, much less a place where there was murder. but thats me.

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Should Christians have done the same when Timothy McVeigh bombed the Federal Building in Oklahoma City?

This tired argument again? I gave you more credit, Sushi. Tim McVeigh's religion was not intrinsic to his act of terrorism. You can't say the same about the motives of the 911 attackers. It's a lame analogy.

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I think they should build mosques right next to the Pentagon and the Flight 97 Memorial as well.

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@Sarge

Good point! That should solidify everything.

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It's pretty ironic - mosque opponents have claimed Islam teaches intolerance, while they themselves show intolerance toward this mosque. Pot. Meet kettle.

A curious argument. Should we all tolerate intolerance? I'm sure you'll agree, SushiSake, that South African apartheid was intolerant. And the rest of the world, especially the 'left', (rightly) refused to tolerate it. Does that make the rest of the world intolerant?

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The most shocking thing about this entire episode is how few Americans actually understand the concept or practice of "inalienable rights". Apparently if someone makes you angry for whatever reason then they no longer have any rights and you can stomp all over their religions or ban their churches or shut them up or anything you want.

Sure, there is good reason to be angry with certain Moslems, maybe even Islam-in-general ... but not even all the dead and all the grieving relatives over-ride the inalienable RIGHT for other Moslems to put a mosque on any commercial/private land they damned well please for whatever reasons they damned well please.

Other peoples rights can HURT ... other peoples rights can make you ANGRY - and if/when YOU need some of those inalienable rights yourself you'll understand why that doesn't MATTER. The rights are more important than 'democracy' or mob emotion or any individuals likes, dislikes or hatreds.

Any excuse to take a short-cut over the rights of "some people" means those in power or your good neighbors will soon find excuses to walk all over YOUR rights. They can always find SOME excuse ... unless NO excuses are allowed.

If Americans cannot see this, then it's a lost country - well on its way to some totalitarian hell. May as well just make bin-Laden the new Emperor Of America and be done with it.

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glycol57

Nobody, but nobody, has challenged the right of Muslims to build this mosque. They've only raised questions of good taste. Are questions of good taste totally irrelevant in modern America?

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"If Americans cannot see this, then it's a lost country - well on its way to some totalitarian hell. May as well just make bin-Laden the new Emperor Of America and be done with it."

If Americans do not look at the critical situation in Europe and the consequence of massive Muslims immigration, and if they do not see the manipulation behind the concept of "religious freedom" used by Muslims, then the country is endeed a lost country cause religious totalitarianism is near the door in the Westerner world. This mosque is just the beginning. They will never stop.

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taiko666 said: Nobody, but nobody, has challenged the right of Muslims to build this mosque.

This is like the mafia saying they just came to talk. They were not going to hurt anyone. Sorry, but we are not fooled. People opposing this mosque have brought social pressure to the table, and even had the audacity to use the voices of the families of the victims of 9/11 without asking their opinions. Also, they tried to give the current building landmark status to stop the mosque, while lying about their reasons for doing so.

Pat Robertson's ACLJ is doing everything it can to block the mosque. Its them filing petitions for landmark status, again, while lying about their reasons, just like a mob gang would do. Rep. Rick Lazio is trying build a political base by lying his @$$ off about Imam Rauf, saying he "associated himself with radical Islamic causes", which is his intentionally myoptic take on Rauf not taking sides, the typical "with us or against us" line that evil men use facetiously as in this case, just as they use landmark petitions facetiously, just as YOU are saying no one opposed their right facetiously now.

Mosque opposers have dance a clear circle around the heart of the issue of their hearts. We can see the circle plain as day if we just open our eyes to the lines they have traced. They lie. From beginning to end, they have lied. You know perfectly well their right has been challenged, just not directly in the light of day, but rather in the shadows slinking with the spiders and the rats.

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bass4funk, you're doing exactly the same thing Sailwind is doing - lumping all Muslims into one basket.

Why?

I asked this question before and I'll ask it again -

Please present one - just 1 - piece of credible evidence that the future users of this mosque had any connection to 9-11. Until or unless you can do that much, please just give up any and all blackwashing of all Muslims.

Sailwind couldn't answer it either.

What does this say about tolerance?

The problem with the mosque supporters is -

1/ They don't make any effort whatsoever to differentiate between the future users of this mosque and the Islamic extremists behind 9-11. All Muslims are the same - according to your thinking.

2/ They push back against followers of 1 specific religion (Muslims) - no one else, just Muslims, and then say it isn't a case of religious intolerance.

3/ They would like to bar the building of this mosque at the site of Burlington Coat Factory and then say it isn't a Constitution issue - specifically referring to the First Amendment's mention of freedom to practice religion (implying 'anywhere.')

There's only one word to describe the mental horsepower behind this rationale and it's 'Pathetic.'

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Nobody, but nobody, has challenged the right of Muslims to build this mosque.

Please stop repeating this lie. Polls show that 64% of Americans believe the builder have a right to build, but that leaves ~30% of the population who believe otherwise. ~30% of 310 million is a lot of people. And this doesn't, obviously, measure the proportion of people who are lying to cover their intolerance of Islam and Muslims.

First, speak for yourself; if you hit page-up you will find posts declaring Islam to be a threat to the US. Secondly, don't exaggerate; Communities across the nation (from Staten Island, to Tennesse, to Michigan, to California) are trying to block the building of mosques.

Look. Pointing out that the majority of posters here, as well as Americans polled, claim to support the right of the builders to build the mosque is a good thing to do, from both a debate standpoint (it strengthens your argument) and from the standpoint of seeking the truth (because it is true). But repeating a false talking point over and over again, when it is obviously false, damages your credibility. Just don't do it.

You have your point to make, and the numbers to back it up. Go with that.

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Sorry, I forgot, (as other posters have pointed out)

4/ Getting this mosque to move and build elsewhere would be an implicit indication that they had something to do with the attacks of 9-11.

The problem with this is that the mosque opponents have so far been completely unable to provide a shred of evidence linking the two.

Again, pathetic, not to mention lazy.

Mosque opponents have for some reason decided to join the dots in the easiest, most ill-thought-out way possible and com up with a picture of a dog instead of a chariot.

This is serious - if you are going to blame or disadvantage someone or a particular group, you had better have a damn good reason to do so.

These Muslims - guilt? For what?

Another point - what message will moving the mosque send?

As I wrote last night - if everyone demanded that rules of law be circumvented, ignored or weakened whenever people like yourselves get upset, you may as well just throw the rule book that governs society out the window.

Change this law, hey, why not change that law too. You need to understand that circumventing, ignoring or weakening one law will set an unecessary and unwelcome precedent to bend another law. It's a slippery slope.

What Americans need to do now more than ever is abide by the Constitution and all existing laws - and don't let short-term emotions prevent them from doing so.

No excuses. No exceptions.

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bass4funk - "The Muslims have the right to build the Mosque ....but if they were really so tolerant (I know you think that opposing the location is being intolerant) they would have the decency to relocate the Mosque and in the process would have a great opportunity to show the world what real tolerance and sacrifice is."

Sorry, that makes no sense at all.

Muslims worldwide would take one look at this and think, "Americans thought the location of our mosque wasn't to their liking and pressured New York city to move it."

Tolerance? Not likely.

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glycol57 at 10:27 PM JST - 17th August

Great post. That should be required reading for all mosque opponents.

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Let them build the Mosque, and watch how much money is spent with taxpayers money protecting it, probably more the the twin towers.

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Nessie said: This tired argument again? I gave you more credit, Sushi. Tim McVeigh's religion was not intrinsic to his act of terrorism. You can't say the same about the motives of the 911 attackers. It's a lame analogy.

McVeigh was not a member of the Christian sect of the Branch Davidians. But he committed terror as revenge for them. McVeigh himself was born Irish Catholic. His motivation was anger at the U.S. government for what they did to people as like minded as himself, such as those at Ruby Ridge and Waco. As such his motivations were political. It could be said his religion was American history the way he quoted Paul Revere and Thomas Jefferson. He was fanatical, which is to say he was crazy.

Mohamad Atta, leader of the 9/11 hijackers, was fanatical about Islam. Which is to say he was crazy too, not Muslim. And the only motives I ever heard for his part in the attack were political. It was things like the Oslo accords, the Gulf War, and the Israeli Operation Grapes of Wrath that set him on the road to 9/11. Religion may have greased the wheels, but the wheels were politics.

There is a link between politics and religion whether we like it or not. But that does not mean its all about religion, and that goes double when the people involved are crazy. Their motivations were cheifly political with a crazy link, and below that a religious link. I find enough parallels for comparision.

But hey, if you are going to prove a solid religious link go for it. Even if you somehow succeed, it wont be a link to Sufi Islam, that is for sure, and that would be the only link that mattered. Trying to connect the terrorism of Wahhabism followers to Sufism would be like trying to connect the terrorism of Irish Catholics to Mormomism.

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What I think a lot of the mosque opponents here are missing is and understanding of the practical differences between 'intent' and 'effect'.

Namely, it is stated (repeatedly) that the issue has "nothing to do with freedom of religion" because "nobody is challenging the right of Muslims to build the mosque."

Let us leave aside the exaggeration and assume that the basic premise is true: opponents of the mosque, by in large, respect freedom of reigion, but feel that the mosque should be moved due to issues of decency and sensitivity.

All very well and good, but the lies problem is the 'effect', not the 'intent'. Namely, in the bigger picture of things, your motivation for opposing the mosque doesn't really matter, as the effect is the same: Muslims are prevented from worshiping freely in the place of their choosing.

Thus, regardless whether your opposition is rooted and bigoty or a sense of common decency, that opposition infringes on a specific group's freedom of religion, and is against the spirit of the Constitution and the priciples it enshrines.

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linro said: Let them build the Mosque, and watch how much money is spent with taxpayers money protecting it, probably more the the twin towers.

See, that is EXACTLY the type of veiled threat a mafia man would make. Mana from heaven! Thank you!

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bass4funk, you said:

So by your illogical argument,...

...but didn't really bother to explain what was illogical. As far as I can see it's illogical because you object to it. Harry Reid is a politician and he's going to be careful not to throw any votes away. In an election year he's not going to tell people what he really thinks. Very few politicians ever do. Islam is not a nation, but it is supposed to be tolerant. America is a nation and it, too, is supposed to be tolerant. America's tolerance is enshrined in its Constitution. You ask Muslims to be tolerant and understand. Muslims can ask Americans the same.

Anywhere, but Ground Zero.

There is no plan to build a mosque on Ground Zero. None. Nada. El Zippo. There is a plan to build a new building at the site that is already in use as a Muslim facility. Despite your claim that there was no attempt to factor in the feeling of the community, I think that if you read how the center is designed it is quite obvious that there was such an attempt. To suggest otherwise is, quite frankly, unbelievable. They're Muslims, not idiots. But they certainly do appear to have misjudged the promise of America. Why would they ever think that other Americans would say to them that America would "allow" them a mosque, but only if they vacate the premises they now use?

There are too many holes in your arguments. This is not about individual rights, it is purely about imposing and that is really what's at play here.

There may be holes in my arguments, but you haven't troubled yourself to point them out. I will agree, however, that this is purely about imposing. And those who seek to do the imposing are those who seek to deny the Muslims the right to build.

I'm sure the majority of Americans disagree with me. But so what? I'm all in favor of respecting the grief of the families of victims. And I'm also all in favor of having those families respect the rights of others. Ditto for the other 70% of Americans. I see you are giving the Muslims a familiar piece of advice. It reminds me of a Nina Simone song. I can hear the refrain, now: "Go slow".

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By building this Mosque goes against what America in general stands for. women's right to vote and equal rights for all, this does not come close when it comes to Islam.

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sailwind: My objection to this one and only one house of Islamic worship is the un-neccessary, needless provocation it provokes by locating here.

There is no provocation here. There is only umbrage being taken by people who are willing to convince themselves that they are being provoked. It's the imply/infer thing.

American Muslims who have committed no crimes cannot and should not have to wait on 3,000 families deciding when it is OK to forgive them for something they have not done. American association of Ground Zero with anti-Muslim sentiment is pathological.

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Islam "taking over" is an immigration issue, not a mosque issue. We're lucky that we don't have to deal with those issues.

As for the debate itself, I think you're better off sticking to the legal issues. I might support the right for the people to build the mosque but I can't say I support what other supporters are saying. Probably it's because I know what positions the same posters have taken in the past so it's hard to really buy into some of their angles.

For example....

** Don't make blanket statements about Muslims. My take: I often see those people make blanket statements about Americans on a daily basis.

** Don't blame all of Islam for the actions of a few. My take: I see a lot of the same posters insisting that the US is currently at war with all of Islam. Or if they don't believe that, they're more than happy to justify feelings of misguided Muslims who believe that to be true.

** The mosque opinion polls show Americans hate Muslims. My take: When opinion polls show ill feelings towards the US from Middle Eastern countries, the same people don't come out and call those people racist. They fall over themselves giving examples of why America should be hated.

** America is being intolerant. My Take: These are the same people who wouldn't touch Muslim intolerance with a 10-foot poll. In fact, they often spend more time helping to reinforce it.

** It's not a sensitivity issue. My take: The sensitivity issue is a compelling argument. Let's see what those same people would say if a company wanted to open up a massive gun shop a couple of blocks away from a mass shooting location. Hint: They wouldn't be talking about the Constitution.

** It's not like this or that. My take: It actually kind of is. The current government in Germany has nothing to do with Nazis, but building a German cultural center near Auschwitz would be seen as a pretty insensitive thing to do, regardless of whether it's legal or not.

In the end, you have to pick and choose who you're going to debate with. I think some people are anti-Muslim and that is their angle. But I do think others see it more as a sensitivity issue, even if they don't really articulate it very well. That's to say it's not fair to characterize everyone as anti-Muslim just because they don't want a mosque there. What I find ironic is that those who are arguing for the mosque are most often the same people who wouldn't extend the same line of thinking to anything that's related to the US.

Like I said, in the end it's a legal issue. They have the right to build it and no one should have the right to stop them. But there is a sensitivity angle and some people, in my opinion, have every right to feel that the mosque is making a mistake. There's probably just as much anti-Americanism going on here from people who see an excellent opportunity to attack as there is legitimate anti-Muslim sentiment.

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Please stop repeating this lie

I've never seen anybody directly challenge the right of Muslims to build the mosque. And such a challenge would be clearly illogical. And the consistent tac of the mosque supporters is "they have a right to build it", with all other concerns null and void.

I believe that even if the mosque is meant as a provocation, or some kind of statement, there's nothing that can be done or should be done other than to appeal to the mosque proponents themselves. Even some Muslims are against the mosque, saying that it's counterproductive or a provocation, so discussion about the motives behind the mosque are clearly legitimate, and have nothing to do with 'intolerance' or 'bigotry' - the buzz-words which the 'new' liberals (as opposed to old school liberals like myself) like to throw around so ... liberally.

I think the proof of the pudding will be in the eating. Let's see how the Muslim world, and especially the fundamentalists in Afghanistan, Somalia, Nigeria, Indonesia etc respond to the building of this high profile mosque at the very place that symbolises their fight with the west. I reckon their cause will be nourished, aiding the spread of Sharia in those places and increasing the suffering of those over whom they have power, and about whom nobody seems to care.

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If Christians can be permited to practice selective interpretation of their holy texts, why not Muslims?

20 years ago, the spectacle of women being stoned to death anywhere in the world would've had liberals out protesting in the streets. These days it seems to have been accepted. How liberalism has fallen. What are people who do care about these women supposed to do? It seems any challenge to the ideology of Islam brings Orwellian charges of bigotry, intolerance or racism.

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SuperLib

Nice post!

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Please stop repeating this lie

Perhaps I should make it clear that I've seen nobody challenge the legal right to build the mosque. Challenging the moral right is entirely legitimate. Or do modern day liberals believe that having the law on your side gives always you moral justification? If so, you'd be at home in any authoritarian, fascist state.

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taiko666, legal trumps moral.

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@taiko : "20 years ago, the spectacle of women being stoned to death anywhere in the world would've had liberals out protesting in the streets. These days it seems to have been accepted. How liberalism has fallen."

Socialists in Europe are the same. They build mosques with public money even if the state is secular. They allow men to put women under hijab, etc. What is happening to the liberals ??

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SuperLib

"Islam "taking over" is an immigration issue, not a mosque issue. We're lucky that we don't have to deal with those issues." So you agree that Muslims immigration can cause problem. Thanks you for that. So if there's a massive civil war in Europe in the next years, don't call Europeans racists because :

Tolerance in the 21st century = anti racist totalitarism Translation : If you don't do what I want, I call you a racist and punch you in the face before sending you anti racist organizations. THIS is the new totalitarism.

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Perhaps I should make it clear that I've seen nobody challenge the legal right to build the mosque.

Then you haven't read the thread. (Understandable, since it is 400+ posts long, but still...) It has been repeatedly proposed that the entire area be re-zoned so that the mosque cannot be built there. That is significantly different than asking the builders to move the site on decency grounds.

Challenging the moral right is entirely legitimate.

I heartily agree. But I also believe that the issue of freedom of religion trumps that of morality/decency/respect or whatever you may wish to call it.

Or do modern day liberals believe that having the law on your side gives always you moral justification?

I am not a liberal. I do not speak for liberals.

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I stated before that this cultural center if legal then there should be no problem but I did also state that I question the wisdom and the motives of the organizers of this center and how they could not have predicted the controversy other then they were actually looking for a rejection or negative reaction in order to claim discrimination.

This seem to be a theme the days just this weekend I was reading how the Muslim groups are claiming racism in Japan because most places have rules forbidding burial without cremation and that the few that do are far form most places and the locals do not like it and oh yeah the land is "expensive"!

I only point this out because even though I have had many fine Muslim friends over the years right back to my childhood today it seem I do not recognize them anymore and that today where ever Islam is now it is heading for conflict with unyielding demands and claims of gods will!

Yes they have the legal right to build this center but would it have not been more beneficial to all to have found a location less likely to cause controversy and again make Muslims standout as if they just do as they feel they must in the name of God!

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We are fooling ourselves if we don't recognize that Islam and Islamisist terrorism are disproportionately problematic in today's world. Trying to draw false equivilance between these problems and those posed by other relgious groups is neither helpful nor intelectually honest. But that doesn't mean we should leap to the erroneous conclusion that Islam in fundamentally incompatable with western morality.

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Triumvere: "When Sharia comes up against the inalienable rights protected by the Constitution, that it is where Sharia fails."

"But that doesn't mean we should leap to the erroneous conclusion that Islam in fundamentally incompatable with western morality.

I wish this was true but recent happenings and news are showing that instead of Sharia law failing, in many western countries the Muslim communities are pushing for exemptions from the secular legal systems.

I the UK and France many so-called main stream Muslims have called for the "Right" to choose Sharia law over secular law in what they refer to as "internal maters" (marriage, divorces, children, etc..)

I Canada they are demanding that if Gay marriage is permitted then why can't they have Sharia law and have multiple wives and all the tax benefits that accompany it!

In some of these places like France and Quebec (Canada) it took a long and hard fight to rid their systems of the church's influence and now what these groups are proposing it to turn back the clock!

I will say this again YES they have the "RIGHT" to build but morally should they? And knowing how it feels and looks to others why are they?

Is it just to say "we can and we will!" and there is nothing you can do about it if you don't want to be called a racist!

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I wish this was true but recent happenings and news are showing that instead of Sharia law failing, in many western countries the Muslim communities are pushing for exemptions from the secular legal systems.

I the UK and France many so-called main stream Muslims have called for the "Right" to choose Sharia law over secular law in what they refer to as "internal maters" (marriage, divorces, children, etc..)

I am fully aware of this, and the threat it poses, but I am not worried about the United States implimenting Sharia. The Constitution prevents it, and Americans' ingrained libertarian streak will guarantee that that protection continues. It's easy to forget, but there are some serious differences between the way the British and even the Canadians approach these issues as compared to Americans.

I do not support seperate religious courts for Muslims, Jews, or any other faith. I find the British system of legitimizing religious councils to be extremely ill-advised. Of course it is possible to submit oneself to binding arbitration by religious athourities, but such arbitation can never be allowed to violate or supplant the law of the land. This is the other half of the Seperation of Church and State; the state may not interfere with the church (so long as it abides by the law) and the church may not interfere with the state. The two halves cannot exist seperately, which is one reason why supporting religious freedom is so important.

I Canada they are demanding that if Gay marriage is permitted then why can't they have Sharia law and have multiple wives and all the tax benefits that accompany it!

You may equate gay marraige and polygamy only if you are defining marraige by Judeo-Christian cultural standards (to which both are non-conforming). But if you define it as an issue of equality, then there is no conflict in allowing one while prohibiting another; under the current standard, both hetero and homosexuals have the ability to marry a partner of opposite gender, but for gays, this 'right' is valueless. In order to achieve parity, they must be allowed to marry a partner of their choosing. In contrast, there is no established right to marry multiple partners.

In some of these places like France and Quebec (Canada) it took a long and hard fight to rid their systems of the church's influence and now what these groups are proposing it to turn back the clock!

By all means, keep up the fight: support the seperation of Church and state. Oppose the spread of illiberal doctrine. But don't stop people from worshiping as they see fit. If you want to debate theology and morality, be my guest - we desperately need such critical thinking... But you do not do this by shutting down mosques.

I will say this again YES they have the "RIGHT" to build but morally should they? And knowing how it feels and looks to others why are they?

Is it just to say "we can and we will!" and there is nothing you can do about it if you don't want to be called a racist!

It is certainly possible for one to have the right to do something, and simultaniously, for the exercise of that right to be immoral or indecent. Furthermore, it is perfectly reasonable for you to plead with that person not to excercise that right on said grounds. However, if they choose to, if they say "we can and we will!" as you put it, then THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT. Because it is their RIGHT to do so. That is the essence, the very definition of a right. And if you block the excersise of that right, you are guilty of violating it.

Rights are hard, hard things, and that is the truth of it. You cannot apply them only when you deam the outcome just. They must either apply to all, everywhere, every time, or to none at all, nowhere, never. And the only thing that may abridge them is the excersise of another right.

I know that wasn't the answer you wanted, but it the only one to give.

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SuperLib: I do think others see it more as a sensitivity issue, even if they don't really articulate it very well.

that's thanks to a mercury-retrograde approaching and english not being the 1st language for many, incl myself. It was an interesting summary of some of jt's regulars. It sounds like what a lawyer or shrink would say. Cool heads should prevail.

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Superlib said: It's not a sensitivity issue. My take: The sensitivity issue is a compelling argument. Let's see what those same people would say if a company wanted to open up a massive gun shop a couple of blocks away from a mass shooting location. Hint: They wouldn't be talking about the Constitution.

Its one thing to say the people who lost loved ones on 9/11 are upset about the mosque. Its another to prove it.

As for your gun shop analogy, at least they would come clean and admit their intolerance to guns and admit it is the main reason they are against the gun shop. Sensitivity would be secondary issue used help others accept it, and not the main issue. That is the difference here. Most mosque opposers are not being honest about their sheer intolerance.

Also, religion has not changed much, but guns and arms have changed a lot. A lot of opposition to guns has to do with the fact that they are not all flintlocks anymore, and arms in general go all the way up to nukes! I doubt the Founding Fathers would be pro-arms these days. In fact, most civilized countries seem to be pretty anti-arms for civilians while being very pro-freedom of religion and very anti-discrimination. The reasons have to do with things changing. I see no change that would call for a rolling back of religious freedom.

Further the Constitution was originally only about white males. But our view on that has certainly changed. Indeed, some parts of the Constitution are more important than others. Not everything can stay of equal weight for all time.

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Cool heads should prevail.

One prays this will be the case.

Like I said, in the end it's a legal issue. They have the right to build it and no one should have the right to stop them. But there is a sensitivity angle and some people, in my opinion, have every right to feel that the mosque is making a mistake. There's probably just as much anti-Americanism going on here from people who see an excellent opportunity to attack as there is legitimate anti-Muslim sentiment.

This strikes me a perfectly fair and rational assessment.

Generally speaking, charges of hidden bias as motivation are generally more counter-productive than anything else, even if you are utterly convinced of their veracity. Frustrating for many, but one needs to be able to assume some quantity of good faith on the account of those they are debating if any conversation is to occur at all. It is just as well, as assertions are either true or false regardless of the bias or objectivity of those that offer them.

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well, in light of some really disgusting remarks against those of us who lost friends and family on 9-11 "Its one thing to say the people who lost loved ones on 9/11 are upset about the mosque. Its another to prove it."

Well, so I guess you are all in favor of a Marine Corps monument in Haditha because it was a few Marines and not all.....

You can not tell that you agree that putting up a mega mosque 600ft from Ground Zero having its opening day on 9-11 is meant to bring peace. I find is equally such a piggish thing is how so many politicians are jumping on the bandwagon of this and of course the only religious place in that area goes on in need of major repairs and can't get such repairs due to "new" zoning regs and of course money. To the Imam: the money you are going to use on this would be better spent on Muslims individually.

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having its opening day on 9-11 is meant to bring peace.

The Imam has refuted this; there has been no timetable set for the groundbreaking or opening, he has said.

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he Imam has refuted this; there has been no timetable set for the groundbreaking or opening, he has said." Of course many would say that's conspiracy talk, but I just came back from the area. the proposed date, which was in the NY Post and on many handouts, the date to be opened was/is indeed on 9-11, on the tenth anniversary.

Again, I ask the question, should the USMC erect a monument to the Marines that died in Haditha that was the catalyst that led to the killings of Iraqi civilians, since it was only a handful of Marines and not even 0.1% of them that were bad?

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I'm sorry Skip, with all due respect to the Post I'll believe it when I see it. Hell, if I'm wrong and the Ground Breaking really does occur on the anniversary of 9/11, I'll buy you a beer.

Would you care to explain how your hypothetical Haditha monument is equvillant to a mosque? I'm not making the analogy, unless you are saying that Muslim houses of worship are defacto monuments to terrorism? Wouldn't, say, a US army base be a more appropriate analogy?

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@SezWho2

bass4funk, you said:

So by your illogical argument,... ...but didn't really bother to explain what was illogical. As far as I can see it's illogical because you object to it.

Not only me, the vast majority of Americans OBJECT to THE LOCATION, stop spinning. No objects to it being built!

Harry Reid is a politician and he's going to be careful not to throw any votes away. In an election year he's not going to tell people what he really thinks. Very few politicians ever do. Islam is not a nation, but it is supposed to be tolerant. America is a nation and it, too, is supposed to be tolerant. America's tolerance is enshrined in its Constitution.

Has nothing to do with being intolerant, been over that mantra! Has everything to do with decency, ethical and being responsible, which the Imam is not, insisting on the Mosque being built right at that location.

I did point out the holes in your argument, it is NOT only I that object to it, it is the vast majority of Americans. I already clarified that Islam is not a nation. Here we go with quoting the Constitution again. Has nothing to do with anything, we all know they have the right! Not the point, but of course you will want to into invoke it again. Fact is, we can go around and around in circles, but The US is tolerant for allowing the Muslims to build a Mosque in the first place as per the Constitution, but is it the ethical? The answer is NO! At the most, it is shameful.

You ask Muslims to be tolerant and understand. Muslims can ask Americans the same. Anywhere, but Ground Zero.

Muslims were the ones that flew the planes into the towers, the intent was clear. New Yorkers ARE tolerant for actually not objecting to building the Mosque, despite the Constitution. You are funny. We can banter back and forth about this, it boils down to decency, pure and simple. The right thing would be to relocate the Mosque, that is mine and most Americans as well as the families that were hit by this tragedy, no matter how many times you quote the Constitution.

There is no plan to build a mosque on Ground Zero. None. Nada. El Zippo.

Great! As it should be! No need to be provocative, the "Victory Mosque" being relocated would indeed be THE best idea. Both sides are being tolerant, everyone is happy!

Hopefully, I truly believe that at the end of the day the Mosque won't be built, it's too much of emotional topic for many Americans, even though the majority support the freedom to build the Mosque, the appropriate thing would be relocation. I give it another week or two before the final word comes down and that the Mosque will not be near GZ if they are going to build it. I know you will try to skew the facts, but the main thing is to honor families and their wishes without trampling on the rights of the Muslims that are so overly persistent on building this Mosque where it should NOT be built.

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skipthesong said: well, in light of some really disgusting remarks against those of us who lost friends and family on 9-11

Disgusting remarks? What is disgusting is you using their name assuming that most of them find the Mosque in poor taste! But then, you also seem to think its valid that they brand all of Islam as supporting the 9/11 terror attacks! Those are what are disgusting here, as well prestumptuous and audacious and odious.

Well, so I guess you are all in favor of a Marine Corps monument in Haditha because it was a few Marines and not all.....

Saying the Marine corps was a monolithic cohesive group would at least have some truth in it! There are about 203,000 Marines, all serving the U.S.A. there are about 1,570,000,000 Muslims. Get real!

And what will it take to get you to realize that Sufism is a branch of Islam fundamentally different from what the 9/11 hijackers were? What is your mental block on this simple point? Why would you take a Marine atrocity and then suggest a Marine monument, instead of Army, Navy or Air Force, at the very least? A child could have grasped this simple concept by now. Do yourself a favor and at least absorb that much.

Then you might want to move on the idea that the Imam behind this is neither Egyptian nor Arab. He is a Kuwaiti-American. So this is like a Canadian-Iraqi wanted to build a monument to the Iraqi army at Haditha!

The day a pure Arabian Imam comes to America to build a Wahhabi Mosque is the day your analogy even begins to float. But even then it will only float on the disgusting presumptuousness you are both believing and validating, that somehow the most unique branch of Islam could have any significant association to the 9/11 terror attacks.

Its odd, but discussion seems to have made you actually LESS rational and MORE emotional and presumptuous. You haven't learned a thing. People like you are dangerous. People like you are why Americans made mental connections between Iraq and al-Quaida and bought the WMD lies. People like you spark needless wars and get people needlessly killed. People like you spark terror attacks.

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But then, you also seem to think its valid that they brand all of Islam as supporting the 9/11 terror attacks! Those are what are disgusting here, as well prestumptuous and audacious and odious.

Thank you, Mist Wizard, seriously, because a lot of other people seem not to register this. Two good friends of mine, both Muslim and both wonderful people, got attacked the day after 9/11 simply because of their religion. People can't seem to conceptualize that Muslims aren't all automatically America-hating terrorists. I think that's one key issue that's hurting the arguments relating to the mosque.

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If anyone has a problem with an Islamic group owning the property, they should have thought of that last year when they bought it. If they have a problem with Muslims praying at the site, they should have thought of that last year when they started praying there. If anyone thinks the former site of the Burlington Coat Factory is a landmark due to age, they should have thought during all those years it was up for sale at a dirt cheap price. If anyone thinks that building has some special significance to 9/11, they had 9 years to think of that.

All this rage now is as belated as it is contrived.

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Some of you have become hypersensitive I guess to think the Sufi mosque insensitive.

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Some of you have become hypersensitive" So, if I had anything to do the killing of your friend, you'd just simply let my off spring live next door to you. And yes, a lot of people see the analogy of making a monument to the Marine who was killed in haditha and this Mosque. You just refuse to. for your information, I am sure, that I've lived and worked with more Muslims than you have, spent more time in Islamic countries than you have. We don't need a class, nor do I need a class on any religious comparisons. Again for your information, I worked there, you didn't. Why should I just sit back and suck it up whereas I would prefer a compromise. That is what, least everyone I know, is asking. If its really for peace and its causing this uproar, what makes you think everything is going to be fine and dandy once its up More for your info, I would refuse a branch Dravidian church being built in Oklahoma. Hell, I'd even refuse my mother's nutty religion too. So quit feel sorry for Muslim on me, tell that to over 800 co-workers, speed up my wife's insurance on her lost property, how about using that money to REAL PEACEFUL use. Move the mosque where it doesn't look over that gap and all would be fine. But no, you and their stubbornness prevails.

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And what will it take to get you to realize that Sufism is a branch of Islam fundamentally different from what the 9/11 hijackers were?

The day a pure Arabian Imam comes to America to build a Wahhabi Mosque is the day your analogy even begins to float.

So they also practice discrimination against Wahhabi and Sunni Moslems. Or they they just put them 'in the back of the Mosque'?

Suprised to you see you down with a sect that promotes discrimination and bigotry toward other Muslims.

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Triumvere said: Generally speaking, charges of hidden bias as motivation are generally more counter-productive than anything else, even if you are utterly convinced of their veracity.

I understand why you feel so. However, I think some of these in opposition are actually not even being honsest with themselves as to why they oppose. They need to search their soul for the real reason, because the stated reasons are ridiculous.

And also, some among them are clear within themselves about their reasons, but they are lying to us about them and they know it. I bring them up because we NEED to be able to recognize these people. If we cannot do that, there is a lot more at risk than some "hurt" feelings over a Mosque location. We risk war and death and even more terror.

Some of those against the mosque need to find the dishonesty within themselves and change internally. They need to see its not only intolerance but misplaced intolerance and erase that from themselves. Some need to realize this dishonesty of those in their camp and help them make that internal change rather than pander to those ugly misplaced feelings. The rest need to be rooted out and marginalized for their boldface lying, and I think of Pat Roberson's ACLJ and how they DID NOT file that landmark petition AT ALL in good faith. This sort of dishonesty cannot be properly dealt with by assuming these people are being honest. That path might be more effective for the present, but for the future, its a very dangerous path.

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tri: I'm sorry Skip, with all due respect to the Post I'll believe it when I see it. Hell, if I'm wrong and the Ground Breaking really does occur on the anniversary of 9/11, I'll buy you a beer." a beer? Thanks for the offer, but I think beer is real low class.

Would you care to explain how your hypothetical Haditha monument is equvillant to a mosque?" Marines died there and then a bad group of them went ballistic and caused a massacre that had this board rolling for days. How about we put a monument in that place and say it too will bring peace? I'm not making the analogy, unless you are saying that Muslim houses of worship are defacto monuments to terrorism?" I didn't say that. I am saying this one feels like it. BTW, I've lived close enough to mosques to know they are not, but one in particular is. Wouldn't, say, a US army base be a more appropriate analogy?" No.

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I still remember a number of posters here who thought the father of a friend of mine who wanted to put on a town's plaque "Killed by Islamic Terrorists" was a bigot because of that. Notice he never said anything about Killed by Muslims.

How hypocritical.

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See, mist too pointing towards Japan. Japan couldnt care less about the mosque, is one way it is seen, trade and barter as usual. Quibbling over God? Whats that?

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sailwind said: So they also practice discrimination against Wahhabi and Sunni Moslems. Or they they just put them 'in the back of the Mosque'?

I have no idea. But Catholics may enter a Lutheran church I am sure and be welcome. But I don't think they will be called upon to preach. You tell me.

Suprised to you see you down with a sect that promotes discrimination and bigotry toward other Muslims.

You really like to make up and imagine things and then include me in your little dream. Why don't you find out what is actually done in Sufi Mosques and then get back to me?

But your post got me thinking, so here is a question: Let us suppose a Muslim positioned himself outside the Vanderbilt Asset Management office and is facing southeast toward both the site of the WTC and Mecca. He whips out his prayer rug, kneels, and begins to pray. He is not blocking the sidewalk or anyone at all. Should you kick him now, or after he finishes praying? Why or why not?

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He whips out his prayer rug, kneels, and begins to pray. He is not blocking the sidewalk or anyone at all. Should you kick him now, or after he finishes praying? Why or why not?

You presuming, nay already think that I would kick him, nullify your question completely. You've just lump me into the stereotype that all conservatives or people who disagree with you are violent. Yet you decry that when someone states that or implies all Muslims are violent....Sad.

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skipthesong said: I still remember a number of posters here who thought the father of a friend of mine who wanted to put on a town's plaque "Killed by Islamic Terrorists" was a bigot because of that. Notice he never said anything about Killed by Muslims. How hypocritical.

If a mother put a plaque for her daughter that said "Killed by male rapists" you would just disregard the "male" bit and focus on the "rapist" bit, right? If the father of Mary Phagan put up a sign saying "Killed by a Jewish monster", you would ignore the "Jewish" bit and focus on the "monster" bit right?

Sadly, context is VITAL to human language. Short statements are prone to ENORMOUS misinterpretation for lack of it. We are all aware of this problem, so when you insert words like "Islamic", "male", and "Jewish" into a short statement on a plaque like that, everyone is justified in assuming your reasons for putting it there. It might not have been bigotry, but if it wasn't, then it surely was stupidity!

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sailwind said: You presuming, nay already think that I would kick him, nullify your question completely.

Okay then. Is he insensitive or not?

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Would someone care to share with me what there is to respect about Islam?

Everywhere I look in the Muslim world all I see is hatred, murder, mayhem and poverty.

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Well... or you allow them to continue praying at their Mosque... (it's not really THAT close to ground zero anyway). Or you forbid every religion...

Heh they should have forbidden the Americans to pray in Iraq... You guys killed many innocent lives there... And it is not in far away history.

More people have died in the name of Christianity then in the name of Allah...

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a beer? Thanks for the offer, but I think beer is real low class.

Don't care for beer myself. How bout a whiskey, then? Nihonshu, atsukan?

Skip, for what it's worth, I'm sorry for your loss. I don't think being upset or offended about the mosque is unreasonable, especially if you were personally effected by 9/11. But I simply don't see Park51 as a "monument" to or endorsement of terrorism. Ultimately, I have to weigh insensitivity toward the victems of 9/11 (and, by extention, the American public) versus what I see as the excercise of freedom of religion. And, when it comes to the choice, I have to go with my principles.

It would be different, for me, at least, if were were talking about Ground Zero itself. If we wer,e I would reafirm the the right of the builders, but join you in condemning the choice of location. But this "two block" vs. "four blocks" thing is too arbitrary for me. I don't think we have the right to dictate that sort of thing.

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Everywhere I look in the Muslim world all I see is hatred, murder, mayhem and poverty.

The recent developments in Islam, such as radical or extreme Islam, are just that - recent. Additionaly, the news is only going to cover the bad things going on.

Many Muslims exist with tolerance and respect for other humans and for each other. Hundreds of years ago, while Europeans were attacking each other based on what sect of Christianity they belonged to, the Muslim world existed in peace, inventing things like algebra, some tenants of modern medicine, and agriculture. People can't remember these things - or indeed, remember that peace ever existed in the Islamic world, because the recent developments have all been so overwhelmingly negative. Islam, like everything else, is susceptible to great change.

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yokohamarider said: Everywhere I look in the Muslim world all I see is hatred, murder, mayhem and poverty.

You are not looking in the Muslim world are you? You are looking in the news media, correct? Well, if you do that, then all you will see is hatred, murder, mayhem, and poverty, along with rape, child abuse, and thievery. Do the words, "media educated fool" mean anything to you? Don't worry, I was such a fool once myself. There is no replacement for going to Dubai and seeing the situation for yourself. But at least you could look at the Wiki which is not trying to sell itself by viewing the world like a horror movie: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dubai

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@Triumvere-I'll take that beer! And I think you hit the nail on the head too. I have my own opinions on that whole mosque thing, but in the end, America was based on Freedom...including freedom of religion. Great post! Cheers!

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Should the Ground Zero Mosque be built? No. Anyone who has not studied the 9/11 Commission Report, The Hamas Charter, the writings of Sayyid Qutb, The Holy Land Foundation Trial documents, "The Quranic Concept of War" or the Muslim Brotherhood, has no factual foundation for an argument to the contrary.

Of course, the typical Western lib who sides with the islamists has done no such reading.

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More people have died in the name of Christianity then in the name of Allah...

Unless your goal is to antagonize, this sort of thing really isn't helpful.

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@Triumvere-I'll take that beer! And I think you hit the nail on the head too. I have my own opinions on that whole mosque thing, but in the end, America was based on Freedom...including freedom of religion. Great post! Cheers!

Let me know if you're in Boston.

Oops. Did I just give myself away as a commie-liberal-pinko from Tax-achusetts?

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WilliB, of course, the typical fanatical American conservative who is against the mosque has read all the material that naturally and logically won't be on the test! Yeah, I remember you guys from high school and you haven't changed. You still don't understand why you fail!

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How much do you know about Islam Mist? Read the qur'an for yourself? Study the hadiths for yourself? Lived in an Islamic country for yourself? Were you born a muslim? Don't presume to know how their culture and religious beliefs are, or that the media is blackwashing it. In every story there is always some modicum of truth. One just has to find it. Point in case, Michigan.

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If you want some media that isn't against muslims, here is some media from Islamic ideology for muslims. Still can't believe you'd ignore the ideas coming from their own mouths. Muslim day sure has one very bizarre date to be held right? http://muslimmedianetwork.com

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kazan:

" The recent developments in Islam, such as radical or extreme Islam, are just that - recent. "

Not true. Mohammed himself conducted war, and the islamic expansion has continued ever since. What is recent is the long period of weakness in the islamic world, caused by the rapid technological advance in the West. But the islamic demand to submit the whole world under Allah remains unchanged, and is not disputed by any major islamic schools of jurisprudence (unless you count the Ahmediyya...).

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Like President Obama said, muslims have every right to worship within the confines of the law. They CAN build there. The builders need to evaluate if they SHOULD be there. Seems that they picked this location just for this type of publicity...to me that is.

I mean, a kid was escorted out of an Cleveland Indians game for wearing a Miami Lebron jersey for the kids safety.

Imagine what will happen when this many people, even more fired up that something as trivial as basketball.

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@genji17 no kidding. I know I'm not the type to go out of my way to destroy a building because I don't like it, but if a church can get burned by 2 teens who don't like churches, imagine how many problems this mosque is going to have when a large majority of Americans who don't like its location are going to react. Its not going to be pretty, and I'm sure the NYPD is going to have to patrol by it every half hour.

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I think that of all the posts here, the last two by genji17 and HonestDictator are the most telling about the American psyche!

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PeaceWarrior...not sure if its the American Psyche or just plain common sense. If you want to take a lit torch into a fireworks store, thats your right...what happens after is more than predictable.

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Nah genji17, I'm pretty sure it's the American psyche. Common sense would dictate non-violence.

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bass4funk said:

Not only me, the vast majority of Americans OBJECT to THE LOCATION, stop spinning. No objects to it being built!

I'm not even sure what you're trying to say here. I'll assume that you are saying that the vast majority of Americans object to the location, that I should stop spinning and that there is no purpose to the building of the center.

Yes, the vast majority of Americans say they object to the location but not to the building of a mosque somewhere. We don't know what the vast majority of Americans object to--only what they say they object to. They may have antipathies to any building of a mosque anywhere as far as we know, but constitutionally they know that they have no basis for saying that. As far as we know, the "close-to-Ground-Zero-have-compassion-for-the-families" argument provides pseudo-moral cover for an extremely deep-seated prejudice. In a Gallup poll taken in January of this year, 43% of Americans admitted to having at least a little prejudice against Muslims--more than twice as much as against any other religion. Admitted!

I don't think I've been spinning anything. You asked why Harry Reid said what he said. Well, I don't know the answer and I doubt that you do either. I only observe that he's up for re-election. And I really believe he wants to be re-elected. He was forced to declare himself and taking a principled stand against the majority of Americans on a visible hot-button issue in August is probably not the best way to win an election in November. Could it be his real opinion? Yes, it could be. He could also have found a convenient way to throw the Muslims under the bus. So, now, what "spinning" are you talking about?

As for there being no purpose, according to nihilistic philosophers you are absolutely right. Even Lear said it: "Reason not the need. The basest beggar is in his poorest need superfluous." What was the purpose for Trump Tower? What was the need to have it where it is located? I think, however, that the purpose of the center has been rather well articulated by its planners and, while they could have located such a center somewhere else, there was no need to remove themselves from a site that they were already using.

I did point out the holes in your argument, it is NOT only I that object to it, it is the vast majority of Americans.

Again, I have trouble with this sentence. Apparently you think you did point out the alleged holes. I seldom avoid a fight, so it's probable that I didn't understand what you were saying. So, try rephrasing. But here's a hint: neither you nor the vast majority of Americans objecting to the mosque or, for that matter, objecting to my argument constitutes a hole.

Muslims were the ones that flew the planes into the towers, the intent was clear.

So what? 19 people flew the planes into the Towers. None of them were American Muslims.

I know you will try to skew the facts, but the main thing is to honor families and their wishes without trampling on the rights of the Muslims that are so overly persistent on building this Mosque where it should NOT be built.

What's up with you saying that you know I will try to skew the facts? What facts do you think I have skewed? Specify.

The main thing is not the honoring of the families and their wishes. In the first place, not all 9/11 families object to the planned construction. So, it's a question of whether we honor all their wishes--which isn't possible--or just the wishes of the majority. Then the next question becomes one of how long the Muslims must continue to understand and respect the families feelings. Until the last family forgives? Until families in favor of construction become the majority? No. American Muslims should not be held hostage to the feelings of 3,000 families that cannot or will not forgive.

The important thing would be for the families to forgive American Muslims for that which they did not do and to try to seek reconciliation. This is probably not going to happen anytime soon, particularly with 70% of the American population supporting the families in feelings of continued bitterness. Absent the ability to make good on what would be the important thing, what the important thing is to respect the Constitution and the freedoms enshrined in it. And the second important thing is like unto the first: not to make up moral imperatives that apply to only one group at one time and in one place.

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@SezWho2

Your points are interesting, but still it boils down to selective liberal spin. I think I have made some valid points and you have made some interesting points, we both disagree on the issue and that is fine. I think you are misguided as you might think the same of me and let's call it a gentlemen's discussion. I don't think we need to bore everyone with the same mantra and beating the same drum. We will never agree on the Mosque issue. Personally, I doubt that the Mosque will be erected, hopefully not. If so, then that would really be the surprise of the year.

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I think, however, that the purpose of the center has been rather well articulated by its planners and, while they could have located such a center somewhere else, there was no need to remove themselves from a site that they were already using.

They have articulated that this will be Muslim Community Center to serve Muslims in lower Manhattan. Sounds nice an innocent enough, however there isn't a real Muslim community in Lower Manhattan. There is a transient Muslim community only.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf draws his flock from outside his Mosque location not with-in his own local community. The Iman said so himself.

The congregation attending your juma'a prayers is very eclectic. Do you know them, where they come from? Most of the Muslims in America are immigrants, second generation [Muslims] or students who came here from all over the world. What defines the people who come to my mosque is that their concern is more [aligned] to the spiritual aspect of things. They want the spiritual dimensions of a religion, not the colloquial.

The people who come here for jum'a [prayer] come from within the New York tri-state area. Of course, the majority work around here, but a number of them come from Uptown, Brooklyn or New Jersey , specifically to participate in the Friday prayer here and to hear my sermon.

There is no need for a 100 million dollar 'community center' to serve to spiritual needs of Muslims that live in the area because there really isn't any.

So who is going to use this 'community center' only Muslims who will travel from outside th area just to be near ground zero and leaving there own Mosques in their own actual communities behind. The link is a Muslim society website so the charge that I'm twisting the Iman's meaning when he declares his Cordoba Mosque is there to serve the Muslim Community in lower Manhattan are false. The Iman has not been totally truthful or forthright on this.

http://www.asmasociety.org/perspectives/article_11.html

As they say in Real Estate, 'Location, Location, Location.

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bass4funk: Your points are interesting, but still it boils down to selective liberal spin.

To accuse someone of "selective liberal spin" without specifying what you think the spin is a poor substitute for an argument. Gentlemen do not do that. Gentlemen do not use pejorative terms against their interlocutors.

No, we don't agree on the mosque issue. After reading the arguments on this board, I am more convinced that it would be a good thing if it were built. Apparently Americans need to understand a lot more about American Muslims.

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sailwind, you could if you want, read what they have actually committed to in their mission statement here:

http://www.park51.org/mission.htm

This mission statement says nothing at all about serving Muslims in lower Manhattan. It does, however, provide us with an idea of who the developers think are going to use the center.

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Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf draws his flock from outside his Mosque location not with-in his own local community. The Iman said so himself.

Sufism is the spiritual/mystical aspect of Islam as Kabbalah is the mystical aspect of Judaism.

The center will be there to serve the spiritual needs of those who hate and fear Islam -- as those needs are so much more urgent. As such, a better place could not have been selected.

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sailwind said: So who is going to use this 'community center' only Muslims who will travel from outside th area just to be near ground zero

You have quite the imagination sail. Or are you in fact a mind reader? But lets assume these nasty filthy ne'er do well Muslims do just want to be ground zero? Do you figure its to gloat, pray for the souls of the victims, or only pray for the perps, or pray for peace or what? You know, since you have these special powers, and we don't.

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HonestDictator said: How much do you know about Islam Mist? Read the qur'an for yourself? Study the hadiths for yourself?

Oh, I am quite sure you have read them all for yourself! No, my understanding is pretty limited to studying cherry picked quotes from Islam intolerants that were meant to prove something bayad about Islam but always came up short. Maybe they just picked the wrong verses?

Lived in an Islamic country for yourself? Were you born a muslim?

No, but I have lived in America and was raised an American and I STILL don't know everything there is to know about my countrymen. For example, I never would have imagined that this issue would have divided America into three distinct groups according to the two poll questions a poster told us about in this thread.

Don't presume to know how their culture and religious beliefs are, or that the media is blackwashing it. In every story there is always some modicum of truth. One just has to find it. Point in case, Michigan.

I agree with that as much as I agree that there is some modicum of truth that Americans grow more hated every day for good reasons. No one can completely know a culture, or a people's beliefs, or the whole truth, but, judging by your post, I now find you very likely to be among the least able to even have anything useful to say.

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The center will be there to serve the spiritual needs of those who hate and fear Islam

So if you hate and fear Islam you're going to pop into a Mosque to get your spiritual needs taken care of?

Excuse me but but It's going to take me awhile to wrap my mind around that abstract concept.

You have quite the imagination sail. Or are you in fact a mind reader? But lets assume these nasty filthy ne'er do well Muslims do just want to be ground zero? Do you figure its to gloat, pray for the souls of the victims, or only pray for the perps, or pray for peace or what? You know, since you have these special powers, and we don't.

Nah, I figure if they built away from the location, that they're not going to get all the Muslim 'out of towners' to visit the place and stay. Just read the mission statement (as if that wouldn't be just a tad bit biased) and the facilities sounds like a fun place to hang out, sorta of a like Muslim Disneyland right there at just by ground zero.

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So you pretty much enjoy assuming what a religious culture is then. FYI my uncle is muslim. When I went to visit him and some other relatives in Michigan back in '96 as an american born citizen he said some extremely troublesome things that most of our other relatives ignored until 9/11.

As for cherry picking verses from the qur'an? One doesn't have to cherry pick anything it's in many versions of the qur'an all saying the same thing. Thankfully the qur'an I own was given to me by my uncle. What a shocker! Many muslims that actually take the time to read it themselves from cover to cover always do one of two things, they start questioning their beliefs, or they wise up and leave Islam.

Americans growing more hated everyday for having issues with Islam, but if I were to replace the word Islam with christianity like any other athiest and say I don't like the christian religion because they try to force they're views over others you'd be silent because you know its not an issue, and yet you insist it is an issue that people don't like Islam as a relgion. I'm calling you out for double standards. Remember I don't have a problem with muslims as people but I do have a problem with the religion same as I don't have a problem with christians as people but I do have a problem with christianity. Figured it out yet? Or do you still desire to treat Islam as something special as a religion worthy of protection over all other religious beliefs? If you haven't notices Islam and it's adherants are blatantly doing what they can to make their belief system law. Nobody forced Islam into the controversy they're in with everyone else around the world except itself. Nobody woke up one day and thought,"Oh lets scapegoat muslims today!"

Since you enjoy keeping yourself deaf to what apostates of Islam have to say and deaf and blind to what activist muslims have to say even in the US then so be it.

I picked up the qur'an not as a means to espouse hate against Islam, but to understand Islam and what happened for a group of people to attack a nation as a whole. Unfortunately the qur'an proved itself for what it is and Islam for what it was. Just because you want to believe a wolf is a sheep and expect it to act like a sheep won't make it change its nature.

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@SezWho2

I know you want to have the last word and win the argument, so to satisfy your ego. You are right, there I hope you are happy with that statement, you are right, your opinions are spot on. We are all wrong about the Mosque, I am not a gentleman and hopefully, the Mosque gets built. This is too funny. Hopefully, this will put the debate to rest and we can finally let the people of NY decide the right step in factoring all of the wishes of the parties involved, again, hope they side with you as you are correct in your analysis of this perplexed conundrum. Silly me.

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I just read an article titled "Mosque near Ground Zero defeats terror's purpose." Heck, Muslims have attacked mosques many times. Having a mosque near Ground Zero would in no way guarantee no terror attacks.

Over 60% of Americans say opening this mosque would be the wrong thing to do. Looks like the majority are going to be overruled.

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I'm still not getting why most - if not all - of the mosque opponents on this thread are throwing Americans Muslims and the handful who were behind 9-11 into the same basket.

It's not just intellectually lazy, it's an incorrect assumption to make from the get go and is a key factor why there has been so much disagreement on this thread.

Apportion blame where it is due.

Blame is not due for the Americans Muslims who want to use this mosque.

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Sarge - "Over 60% of Americans say opening this mosque would be the wrong thing to do."

Something like 70+% of Americans thought Saddam had WMD.

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Why don't they just build another of America's greatest landmark to racial harmony and mutual religious tolerance in it's place? Where people of all faiths can mingle blissfully without fear of prejudice or hate.

That's right- put up another Wal-Mart.

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Over 60% of Americans say opening this mosque would be the wrong thing to do. Looks like the majority are going to be overruled.

I wonder why?

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This has been a fascinating thread - a lot of hard feelings and attitudes have been expressed - all good debate.

I think the battle lines have ben well and truly drawn, between the mosque opponents - many of whom want the feelings of relatives of 9-11 victims respected, and supporters, who seem to be more into upholding the Constitution and freedom of worship.

That said, I've never seen conservatives get such a beat down as they have on this thread.

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And yet the FBI is probably going to plant some observers in this mosque nonetheless because of ungrounded fears? Last time I remember the FBI checking out a religious organization and observing their actions was the Hutaree nuts, before that it was the WACO christian cult. They'll plant inside this mosque for the exact same reason to see who (and if we're lucky if any) going to the mosque are on the extremist side. If none turn up then all the people opposing the mosque (including me)can easily be given the "I told you so". But the same goes vice versa. Should any extremist elements pop up in this mosque that are captured then the supporters will have to accept Islamic ideology for what it is. A religion that quite easily makes it possible for extremists to infiltrate and carry out their religious ideals.

I just read on various pro and anti-Islamic sites that any US muslim that goes out of the country for any period of time whether they are a natural born US citizen, naturalised citizen, or working to get themselves US citizenship are finding it much harder to return to the US unless either they turn informant, and give up certain rights. They're automatically being put on the no-fly list from what the reports are showing.

If this is true either one of two things is going on. The FBI (which disassociated itself from CAIR and other Islamic organzations in the US) is filled with bigoted people from top to bottom. Or the FBI sees the threat to the country and recognises it for what it is and isn't going to toss their duty to protect and enforce federal laws in this country for political correctness if they know what the threat is and where it comes from.

Freedom of religion as long as it is within the confines of US laws. This mosque once again is within the legal rights of US law and constitutional rights to be built. But people oppose it because of the location even though it is 2 blocks away. Even US muslims with common sense are stating that it is insensitive. Legal? Yes. Wise? A resounding no from 70% of americans out of how many of those are muslim themselves?

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So if you hate and fear Islam you're going to pop into a Mosque to get your spiritual needs taken care of? Excuse me but but It's going to take me awhile to wrap my mind around that abstract concept.

Yes, apparently the concept of praying for a change in heart in one's enemies is completely foreign to "Christian" America.

Nevertheless it is the idea of a mosque that has brought out all the venom and hatred. Once the mosque becomes a reality, all that will change to acceptance. Therefore the mosque itself has become its own ministry to those who would never dream to enter it.

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A simple NO. Build this building anywhere you want whether or not it has the religious reasons to it. Why that location in particular? Just to create some waves? Then sorry, NO. It can be the President of USA or any other country. Can anyone take responsibility for what as lost in Ground Zero.

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Jkanda - "Why that location in particular?"

The building was purchased last year.

Why didn't you complain then?

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The building was purchased last year.

Yep, apparently, they lost the lease on their previous building two years ago and the place where they are at the moment can only accommodate about about 20% of the flock. They've been in Manhattan since early 1970, before the WTC without a problem. Plenty of time to complain, I think.

Does anyone know if you'll even be able to see the proposed building from Ground Zero?

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I'm still not getting why most - if not all - of the mosque opponents on this thread are throwing Americans Muslims and the handful who were behind 9-11 into the same basket.

It's not just intellectually lazy, it's an incorrect assumption to make from the get go and is a key factor why there has been so much disagreement on this thread.

Apportion blame where it is due.

Blame is not due for the Americans Muslims who want to use this mosque.

And therein lies one of the fundamental problems. Proponents of said mosque see this as simply a matter of Constitutional rights and an unfair grouping of guilt by association. But it's not so cut and dry. Here I have to admit that I have read very little of the qur'an, nor have I read much of the bible - fiction is not really my bag. But one only need look at the global map and see that a lack of human rights and draconian violence (stonings, be headings, etc) seems far more prevalent in those countries following Islam. Perhaps a bit of an over-generalization, but not too much.

The problem is that these extremists are present - or at least moderates leaning towards a more extremist point of view - more often than those espousing the peaceful nature of Islam care to admit. It's no secret that there were several well-known mosques preaching an intolerant hatred of the west in many cities across the US (many in downtown NYC)well before 9/11. Our ill-thought out wars where we have have - inadvertently or not - killed a great number of militants and civilians in these Muslim countries has very likely had the effect of at the very least creating scores of additional moderates that are a step away from becoming extremist. Yabits - the king of defending Muslims/Islam - himself on another thread stated that the young Muslims he knew growing up in Michigan were very impressionable.

When radical Christians 'go bad' they can of course be deadly. But more often they group themselves in armed compounds or join the Klan or something equally moronic. When the followers of Islam go radical, they train at terrorist camps then infiltrate normal communities in the US and elsewhere to await a chance to strike. People that met and knew the 9/11 attackers said they were nice, quiet guys. Normal Muslims.

Blind, misplaced fear? Perhaps - but just perhaps there is a bit of truth to the fear.

In the sake of showing that the followers of Islam can co-exist with the rest of the world, wouldn't it make more sense for the builders of this mosque to simply say 'you know what? if this makes so many so uncomfortable, we can build this a few miles away - no big deal'. I think the shear fact that they are insisting on building this fully knowing of the emotion and opposition it raises is more a harbinger of motive.

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bass4funk: I know you want to have the last word and win the argument, so to satisfy your ego. You are right, there I hope you are happy with that statement,....

I'm almost never happy exchanging ideas with someone who substitutes snideness for argument or who abandons sincerity in favor of sarcasm. However, I am even less happy to see Americans celebrate mawkishness and to invent reasons why their prejudices are correct. It has been nearly 9 years since the Towers were destroyed. It is time to move on.

There are no arguments against the notion of supporting the grieving families of 9/11 victims, just as there are no arguments against God, mothers or apple pie. In my opinion, however, it is a vast perpetration against the victims of 9/11 to use their families' grief as a pretext for attempting to stop the construction of a building being planned by Americans who happen to follow a faith which Americans are, in large part, prejudiced against. It would be much better to allow the Muslims to build as they wish and to commemorate ground zero with a simple stone marker.

The fact that many Americans disagree may prove to be politically relevant but it is not morally relevant. As a moral argument it is fallacious.

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"It has been nearly 9 years since the Towers were destroyed. It is time to move on."

Darn tootin' ! And while we're at it isn't it time to hoist a few statues and re-name some bridges after Adolph and his regime- a truly misunderstood individual in my line of thinking.

Sezwho- nobody is denying "peaceful" Muslims the opportunity to practice, preach, gather, or build anywhere in the USA- why does it have to be right next to the location of the fallen twin towers ??? Any comments from the muslim leadership in charge of this project ? I'd like to hear first hand why this site is so important to them.

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nobody is denying "peaceful" Muslims the opportunity to practice, preach, gather, or build anywhere in the USA-

Actually, I can think of three places at the moment where some people are trying to do just that... I mentioned them in an earlier post.

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"Actually, I can think of three places at the moment where some people are trying to do just that... I mentioned them in an earlier post."

Yes you did ! You highlited a link to the Tennessee story, which I read up on. The story clearly states that the muslim community "already has" a mosque and wants to expand it's size to bring in a "muslim center". The discussion is more about "over expansion" of the area !

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Voting to build a mosque elsewhere has nothing to do with telling them they can't worship -its just being sensible and sensitive to the situation. Even the mosque-builders should be aware of the still-healing-hearts in this instance. Just build the mosque somewhere else. Does it HAVE to be build there to be able to worship? no. If they're so adamant about building it there with so much opposition, i'd say they're pushing the point more to get people riled up and make people angry than anything.

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PeaceWarrior said: Does anyone know if you'll even be able to see the proposed building from Ground Zero?

No way. Its two blocks away to the north, on the north (far) side of the block and in the middle. David Copperfield could not get them a view using mirrors!

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"So how would you explain the fat that Americans are the largest charitable givers on the planet- responsible for more than 60% of the worlds total donations !"

Because the US ONLY gives when they get something in return.

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I see the tone of the conversation has degenerated. One asking that that we should not conflate Islam and Islamist terrorism would be wise not to impugn the character of an entire nation - especially one as diverse as the United States.

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"President Barack Obama said Saturday that Muslims have the right to build a mosque near New York’s ground zero, but he did not say whether he believes it is a good idea to do so."

Now there's diplomacy for you.

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Guilt by association isn't pretty. I too have read the articles that present the 9/11 attackers as not exactly devout Muslims since they were participating in activities that are strictly forbidden in the Muslim world (drinking, cavorting with strippers, etc.). Maybe they were, maybe they weren't - the so-called devout of any religion cheat all the time, it's human nature. Certainly they based their attacks on some sort of a built up hatred that had to come from an ideology, and a faith in Islam was most certainly the root in this ideology.

Right/wrong, Constitutionality, your perception of small-mindedness and hatred/derision of your fellow Americans aside, there is a fundamental solution here. Real estate in NYC is plentiful, and all of it expensive. Given the nature of events and the strong stance presented against them - even if it is without grounds (I'm not saying I agree that it is without grounds, just even if it is) - they could quite simply locate the mosque a further distance away. The flock could be inconvenienced to walk or take a cab the extra distance. Churches/religious centers shut down or relocate more often these days, it's not a big deal. If this mosque was in Iraq and the followers had to walk miles to get to it, they would do so without issue or complaint.

I guess I just don't see the point in forcing the issue. If you belong to a gay rights group and you force your way into a neighborhood that doesn't want you, it is an issue because the implication is that the neighborhood doesn't agree with your lifestyle. In that case I can see pushing forward. In this case, I don't think most (some certainly, but not most) that are opposed to the mosque think that Islam does not have a right to exist in America, or that Muslims don't have the right to practice their religion, but just that the symbolism of this location is simply to fresh in public memory to build a mosque which, like it or not, caters to the religious faith that at least was the ideological background of the men who committed mass murder on the site.

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President Barack Obama said Saturday that Muslims have the right to build a mosque near New York’s ground zero, but he did not say whether he believes it is a good idea to do so."

I think Obama has done the right thing, though I am somewhat displeased with the multiple "clarifications" - not in content, as I believe he is essentially correct, but in that their poor wording has made him look timid and weak.

It is extremely important for Obama, as president, to stand up for the Constitution. However, I do not feel it is his place to evaluate the "decency" issue. By virtue of being President, his personal opinion carries too much weight and would be damaging to the debate regardless of what position he chose.

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"By virtue of being President, his personal opinion"

Does carry a lot of weight- but is not the gospel ! Obama should step forward and clarify his position on this topic. By remaining quiet he only fuels negative speculation that he is weak, unable to address hard-line issues in a timely manner.

I for one have little interest in Obama's opinion- I'm more interested in Rudy Guilliani's point of view ! Anybody hear anything ?

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Obama should step forward and clarify his position on this topic.

Nothing good will come of this. If he declares that the mosque location is insensitive and should be changed, he inadvertantly creates a chilling effect on the excersise of freedom of religion and undermines the very principle he supports. If he declares that the choice of location in not insensitive, then he delegitimizes the feeling of the majority of Americans, including those who suffered personal loss on 9/11. There is no benefit to be derived here.

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Triumvere:

Obama is an elected official. The American public has a right to know where he stands on this issue- much like abortion, gun control, economic strategies, war etc. All politicians know that facing difficult issues comes with the territory... what he is doing now is waffling- and it's only a matter of time till the US press holds his feet to the fire for an answer. We all know about "rights" and "religious freedom" in the US- what we want to know is doea President Obama think it is a good idea to build a mosque within miles of ground zero ?

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To my point, why doesn't he just say something like 'Of course they have the Constitutional right to build a mosque on the proposed site, and as Americans we should all agree with and defend their right to do so. However, in the interest of sensitivity to the families and friends of those lost on 9/ll, and the majority of Americans who feel strongly against the building of this mosque so close to that tragic site, I would hope that they may yet reconsider and instead opt to build somewhere nearby that is close enough for their followers to attend, yet a respectful distance of a site that remains a raw wound in the American psyche. While it is certainly unfair and dangerous to brand a religion based on the cowardly actions of a few, it is time, discussion and understanding that will heal these wounds and not forcing a point for the simple constitutionality of the issue, even if, as in this case, it is based on fundamental rights that formed the basis of this country."

Okay, I'm no Presidential speech writer. But it is possible to believe in and support the constitutionality of something yet be opposed to it in principle. The issue is not cut and dry.

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Tigermoth,

A) how do you know he opposes the mosque location? B) perhaps he believes - as I do - that it in not the Presidents place to comment on the "morality" of the location C) perhaps he believes - as I do - that weighing in on the issue has the potential to stifle excersize of freedom of religon

You may not agree with these lines of thinking, but they are not unreasonable.

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Actually good point Triumvere, I don't know the President's true thoughts on this. I think the only reason it became an issue is that because of upcoming elections the interpretations and re-clarifications by staff of his statements have been purposely vague to avoid voter fallout. Understandable, though regrettable that in this day and age, and particularly in American politics we can't get a person's opinion without such fears.

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"that it is not the Presidents place to comment on the "morality" of..."

Morality of what... War ? Abortion ? Civil Rights ? Guns ??? Sorry to disagree- but it "is" the Presidents obligation and duty as a public official to make moral decisions- therefore it is also the responsibility of an elected official to let the general public know where they stand on such issues. Simply waving a hand and uttering "no comment" will find Obama a one term President for sure.

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Actually your question raises a good point. There is a separation between church and state that I think is a good one, but that does not equate to a separation of morality or opinion. In my view we elect a President not only based on their ability to defend and uphold the Constitution and ideals of the USA, but also their moral character and intelligence (supposedly, I know it rarely works out that way). I don't think it's a bad thing to know a person's true feelings on a difficult topic, and perhaps the political dodging that we get when elections loom is not a good thing. I miss the Teddy Roosevelt type who would be more apt to tell you what they thought, good o