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Rallies over mosque near ground zero get heated

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The other, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, said during a Middle East trip that the attention generated by the project is actually positive and that he hopes it will bring greater understanding.

Imam Rauf surely is an optimistic guy. If this is his mind-set, then the choice of locations makes a certain amount of sense.

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Hundreds? Including both sides?

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“Say no to racist fear!”

ok, I admit it, somewhere I missed it... when did islam become a race?

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If it is true that the mosque near Ground Zero is to promote tolerance;

It was suggested that a gay nightclub be opened next door to the mosque.

Two names suggested are; "The Turban Cowboy", and "You Mecca Me Hot".

On the other side they should open a butcher shop that specializes in pork! And across the street a store that sells and displays bikinis or ladies lingerie on manikins...or live models.

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Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” blared over loudspeakers as mosque opponents chanted, “No mosque, no way!”

Are they ignorant or stupid? This song is far from a flag-waving patriotic anthem.

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Humans are foolish, short sighted and ignorant. We fail to appreciate that it was just this kind of bickering and xenophobia that planted the seeds for 911. When we demonize others we dehumanize them. Only then does it become possible to see them as less than human and to carry out acts of obscene violence against them.

We spend too much time defining "OTHER" and far too little time seeing past denomination, race, nationality or ideology to see that we are all human beings trying our best to lead good lives.

This display is shameful and bodes poorly for my country's capacity to be a truly free and open nation. Another opportunity for understanding lost.

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Guess freedom of religion is only a novel concept.

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This is truly amazing because this whole "controversy" has been cooked up by politicians/ political pundits and will be forgotten after the Nov. elections.

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@brotokyo, excellent....

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Freedom of religion is a good thing - as long as it's your religion.

It's amazing how many Americans will twist the Constitution to fit their own wacko beliefs. Time magazine online has a great photo essay on the history of intolerance in America, dating from colonial times.

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the people behind the mosque project are “the same people who took down the twin towers.”

They certainly are not. A group of Muslims was accused of it, based on flimsy evidence, but Muslims certainly did not bring down the towers.

Anyway, in this video Olbermann gives a great perspective of this conflict.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZpT2Muxoo0

There is no mosque, its an Islamic center that will contain a prayer space.

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"Opponents of the $100 million project two blocks from the WTC site appeared to outnumber supporters"

That's not surprising; a solid majority of Americans oppose the mosque.

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@Sabiwabi, Osama Bin Laden himself got on video and bragged about how his picked crew brought down the Towers, so it's pretty clear that Al Qaeda did the deed.

As a man who has lived in NYC for seven years now, I say let the present owners do what they want with the property. That's the American way. Funny thing is, there is actually a strip joint on that block. What can you say, it's NYC, baby!!!!

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brotokyo & porter: The New York Dolls Gentlemen's Club and the Pussycat Lounge operate within the area of ground zero and the "mosque" for that matter. Funny how there hasn't been any protesters in front of those establishments.

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Are they ignorant or stupid? This song is far from a flag-waving patriotic anthem.

It's like that time Tommy Hilfiger used CCR's Fortunate Son in an ad for their "all-American" apparel line up... "Some folks are born to wave the flag, Ooh, that red, white and blue..." and then it just cuts off.

And I'm thinking: wait a minute, something's wrong with this picture...

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There is no mosque, its an Islamic center that will contain a prayer space.

We've been over this like a thousand times. Park51's own website clearly states it contains a mosque. Stop posting this.

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Triumvere; You can't seem to accept the fact the the mosque or prayer center or what ever you call it is part of a LARGER building which contains many other facilities. It is NOT a stand alone mosque building, so why only refer to it as a mosque exclusive of the greater part? Should the rest of the building simply be ignored?

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paul. We've been over this. Yes, the mosque is part of a larger community center. But the protesters aren't protesting the halal restaurant or the swimming pool, they are protesting the mosque. The rest of the building is fairly irrelevant.

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Somebody will file a lawsuit on the building of the mosque and that's when the anti-mosque folks are going to wind up losing.

Eventually the courts will rule that a mosque can be built. Whether they build it is something else. < :-)

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The people protesting "the mosque" either couldn't care less about the project as a whole or are quite ignorant of the facts.

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Somebody will file a lawsuit on the building of the mosque and that's when the anti-mosque folks are going to wind up losing.

I'm not sure that they have the standing to do so. I know America is overly litigious, but you genrally have to have a good reason to file a suit. The attempt to get the existing building landmark status failed, and there seem to be no other legal avenues to block the construction.

I wonder. Unless the builders cave to public pressure, the building is almost guarenteed to be built. Do you think that the intensity of the anti-mosque campaign will alienate American Muslims... or do you think that the builders' eventual victory - on Constitutional grounds - will help to validate Muslim citizens' identification as American?

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As a whole I think this will unite the Muslim people to try their hardest to be accepted in their communities even more. We already know we have some bad people here who want to hurt us. We have violent people or want to be that person who makes their mark against the US. We have to separate the kooks from American Muslims. They don't enjoy being the blunt of anti-Muslim rhetoric. However, I think that the anti-Muslim, the real zealous ones, to become more violent with Muslim Mosques and property, maybe even bodily harm. < :-)

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the clubs the above poster is referring to have been in the area long before 9-11 and without any shadow of a doubt, had completely zero participation in 9-11 attacks. We, those of us who were directly affected do have a right to question whether the supporters of the mosque were complicit or not whether you like it or not. This is not Demark, we still have our rights. If this building was truely for peace, they would move it. Or, could it be that since we now know the Imam and his wife have but pennies in their bank account, and there are still very few signs of how this is to be paid for, I would be within my right to accuse the developer of making this whole thing go haywire in order to sue, as aday states, and get paid big time.

As for the bigotted accusations, look, we already have several cities across America whose courts have taken Sharia law into account in cases, we have thousands or moasques, allow Muslims to work in hajibs, gave muslims free health care, allow those who immigrate after they have already been in polygamis marriages to bring everyone in the family. We allow them to buy and own property. Quit pushing for that

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the clubs the above poster is referring to have been in the area long before 9-11

So has this Muslim congregation skipthesong. They've been there, in Manhattan since early 1970, since before the WTC opened up, without a protest, without a problem.

We, those of us who were directly affected do have a right to question whether the supporters of the mosque were complicit or not whether you like it or not.

You can question all you wan but it is not a good enough reason to stop them from building their Islamic center. The place where they worship at the moment can only accommodate 20% of their needs. They are Americans, in the U.S.A. They shouldn't have to worry about 'where' they can build something. They own the building, let them use it the way they want.

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I'm not pushing for it. I'm not marching for it. But you know, listening to Mitch McConnell this year and the republican rhetoric, I understand the Muslims saying no. It may not make good sense, but just say no.

We, those of us who were directly affected do have a right to question whether the supporters of the mosque were complicit or not whether you like it or not.

No you don't. To say otherwise is to disregard the basic rights that this country was founded on. < :-)

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PW: "So has this Muslim congregation skipthesong. They've been there, in Manhattan since early 1970, since before the WTC opened up, without a protest, without a problem." I am well aware of that, in fact my first place in NYC was in Queens, across form a mosque. So, again, this proves my point, it is less to do with rights, than it is about tack and this, 13 stories which the Ground Zero would be visible, is tacky. And I'd say the same thing if the Christians thought of putting up a church in the visible area in the Oklahoma bombing (just to save you ranting time).

The place where they worship at the moment can only accommodate 20% of their needs. " Thus my point to question 13 stories.

Aday, look man stop. I got cut off.

No you don't. To say otherwise is to disregard the basic rights that this country was founded on" Oh really? I'm saving this for a future argument Aday. You're getting old man. You really are part of a few on this board who should make such a statement.

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Osama Bin Laden himself got on video and bragged...

Oh so they say. If you choose to believe that childish piece of propaganda, suit yourself.

Yes, the mosque is part of a larger community center. But the protesters aren't protesting the halal restaurant or the swimming pool, they are protesting the mosque.

Indeed, their website says the center will include:

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

So, these intolerant psychos do not want Muslims to have any place to pray near ground zero (or anywhere in America, probably)?

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skipthesong,

I'm saving this for a future argument Aday.

You have no argument. < :-)

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So, again, this proves my point, it is less to do with rights, than it is about tack and this, 13 stories which the Ground Zero would be visible, is tacky. And I'd say the same thing if the Christians thought of putting up a church in the visible area in the Oklahoma bombing (just to save you ranting time).

No rant, "tacky" is still not a good enough reason for them to stop building "where" they want if they own the building.

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Gen. David Petraeus. "How do you win Muslim hearts and minds in Kandahar when you are calling Muslims every filthy name in the book in New York?" < :-)

http://www.newser.com/story/98639/anti-mosque-patriots-undermine-petraeus.html#ixzz0xOZdjThJ

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The Pentagon has a Mosque? I wonder why there are no complaints about this? The answer is because the Republicans can't gain anything by creating fear.

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The Pentagon has a Mosque? I wonder why there are no complaints about this? The answer is because the Republicans can't gain anything by creating fear.

The military also has Muslim chaplains. I'm going to go out on a limb and say your average soldier has a better grasp of Islam and Muslims than your average citizen.

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As I said, this is manufactured controversy that will suddenly cool after the November election(and probably heat up again as we get closer to the following election)

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Boy, America is really looking dumb on the world's stage.

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i do understand why some muslim hated and ask for american to leave their land, that why i also understand why some new yorker don't want to see the islamic center too close to the ground zero.

i also agree with what Obama said, they have the right to build the center, but not the "wisdom" of doing so close to "ground zero,".

it would be fair only if the islamic supporter can try to push for the building of an american culture center in Afghanistan, and help make the Taliban and al-Qaeda understand and accept it.

if they can not, then stop insincerely talk about racist and Islamophobia. it is not both racist or Islamophobia. you simply a self-center trying to hurt people feeling and ask for their understanding of your culture but care nothing when the situation is reversed.

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Gen. David Petraeus. "How do you win Muslim hearts and minds in Kandahar when you are calling Muslims every filthy name in the book in New York?" < :-)" excuse me, but we lost 800 Americans that day, why should I want to win their hearts and minds? Why not the other way around. Until that point and actually well after spending a year in limbo, I still had no illgivings towards Muslims. But when the "oh, you must respect me (something that is usually won not demanded), or the "kill those who insult islam" blah. Don't play that with me. They got their work to do too and this 13 story community center is not making them look good. As for the pools and other facilities, watch, there will Muslim times (which they are already doing at some schools) and "all others" times.

aday: you have violated a lot of rights on this board.

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and i think it would be nice to plan for the building gay bars, sex toy shops around the Islamic center. hope that the muslim will accept it. it is a free country after all.

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yes let muslims build their mosquie, where they can brain wash other peoples brain to convince them to make more suicide bombings and kill more innocent people, great idea, I know what they do in the (mosquies) they dont pray to god, they brain wash other people, convince them that Jews are evil and if you sacrifice your self to kill an jew you will go to heaven. every body that commenting on this news, let them build mosquies every where then there will be suicide bombers in every country, very nice idea.

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Like him or not Olbermann was on target.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZpT2Muxoo0

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It's two blocs away from the 9/11 site and would be good place for religious understanding. I cannot fathom someone opposing this center. We need to spread more moderate Islam in the world. And these people are Americans, which gives them the same rights that we all cherish

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Btw, Avimazalto, I'm Jewish, and have plenty of Muslim friends. Last time I checked, MOSQUES aren't generally used to teach people to harm others

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I am with paulinusa that this is controversy generated for the upcoming elections.

We tend to see similar things happen worldwide as elections get closer and parties try to gather extra votes.

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Stats were 2 to one against - so that means 2/3 americans (in this sample survey) don't respect the US constitution regarding freedom of religion - that seems about right - 2/3 of americans I've met are racist in varying degrees - this includes blacks, hispanics, etc. American racism isn't limited to just whites. Country of liars (2/3).

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Of course, location matters. If the victory mosque gets built, lets see if anyone would be allowed to open a booze shop, a gay bar, a lingery shop or a dog shelter anywhere in the neighbourhood.

You see, some are more entitled to tolerance than others.

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why should I want to win their hearts and minds?

Maybe because that is the US military strategy in Afghanistan? Counter-insurgency and all that stuff. Otherwise, just go home now.

The use of "Born in the USA" is amazing. But not a surprise that things can be so screwed-up. The whole issue has been drummed up by FOX News and News Corp, whose second biggest shareholder is... of course! A Saudi Prince who is a financial backer of Imam Rauf. I mean, you couldn't make this stuff up!

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Why should the location of the Culture-center and mosque/praying-center affect businesses around it?

I have been to a few cities that have mosques, etc and no-one asked businesses around to stop doing their thing. Anyone even know where the Mosque in Shinjuku is?

Granted if there are openings close-by related business like halaal butchers, etc might move in to serve the visitors.

But that would be the same if a synagoge, hindu temple, etc opened.

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Right after the most hystrionic, childish and mud-slinging election in US history, radical Americans are lowering themselves to this kind of behaviour. It's embarassing.

Ah well, at least willi and friends will have the Florida Koran burning session in a Chruch no less, in "memory" of the September 11 attacks.

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"Of course, location matters. If the victory mosque gets built, lets see if anyone would be allowed to open a booze shop, a gay bar, a lingery shop or a dog shelter anywhere in the neighbourhood."

Jeez willi, your argument now hinges on the future conditional? The only intolerants here are you guys.

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It seems to be the same U.S citizens who hold a rigid view of the constitution's gun ownership and freedom of speech aspects that completely ignore it's advocacy of freedom of religious practice. Or does that only count for Christians? It is NOT a Mosque. It is NOT at ground zero.

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If two blocks from Ground Zero is too close, how far is enough?

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THE “ground zero mosque,” as you may well know by now, is not at ground zero. It’s not a mosque but an Islamic cultural center containing a prayer room. It’s not going to determine President Obama’s political future or the elections of 2010 or 2012. Still, the battle that has broken out over this project in Lower Manhattan — on the “hallowed ground” of a shuttered Burlington Coat Factory store one block from the New York Dolls Gentlemen’s Club — will prove eventful all the same. And the consequences will be far more profound than any midterm election results or any of the grand debates now raging 24/7 over the parameters of tolerance, religious freedom, and the real estate gospel of location, location, location.

Here’s what’s been lost in all the screaming. The prime movers in the campaign against the “ground zero mosque” just happen to be among the last cheerleaders for America’s nine-year war in Afghanistan. The wrecking ball they’re wielding is not merely pounding Park51, as the project is known, but is demolishing America’s already frail support for that war, which is dedicated to nation-building in a nation whose most conspicuous asset besides opium is actual mosques.

You’d think that American hawks invested in the Afghanistan “surge” would not act against their own professed interests. But they couldn’t stop themselves from placing cynical domestic politics over country. The ginned-up rage over the “ground zero mosque” was not motivated by a serious desire to protect America from the real threat of terrorists lurking at home and abroad — a threat this furor has in all likelihood exacerbated — but by the potential short-term rewards of winning votes by pandering to fear during an election season.

We owe thanks to Justin Elliott of Salon for the single most revealing account of this controversy’s evolution. He reports that there was zero reaction to the “ground zero mosque” from the front-line right or anyone else except marginal bloggers when The Times first reported on the Park51 plans in a lengthy front-page article on Dec. 9, 2009. The sole exception came some two weeks later at Fox News, where Laura Ingraham, filling in on “The O’Reilly Factor,” interviewed Daisy Khan, the wife of the project’s organizer, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. Ingraham gave the plans her blessing. “I can’t find many people who really have a problem with it,” she said. “I like what you’re trying to do.”

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skipthesong said: Gen. David Petraeus. "How do you win Muslim hearts and minds in Kandahar when you are calling Muslims every filthy name in the book in New York?" < :-)" excuse me, but we lost 800 Americans that day, why should I want to win their hearts and minds?

Because these hatriots against the mosque are generating more anger and getting our boys killed! Maybe you don't realize it, but our troops are not in Islamic countries on a pleasure tour! As we attack bad guys to fulfill our agenda, we are killing innocent people in the process. You seem to expect them to just overlook that and the fact that those are foreign troops on their soil, an affront YOU would not tolerate no matter what!

How many more Americans have to die before these protestors get there heads out of their butts? How many have to die before they start having shame?

It is beyond the idealism of what SHOULD happen. Of course, everyone should be free to protest whatever if they do it cleanly. But these jackasses are not only NOT doing it cleanly, they are endangering our soldiers and our mission, a mission that cannot be fulfilled while Americans back home prove they hate Islam!

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I am against using media propaganda and indoctrination to divide people. -and I don't think Obama will go on a hunger strike like Ghandi (Hindus vs Muslims) did.

=I am against this sort of Gov run terrorism anf fear mongering.

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GJDailleult said: The use of "Born in the USA" is amazing.

Just more proof that shame is as alien to these people as intelligence. But watch it though, they got tenacity in spades. In fact, they don't know when to quit and pointing out their stupidy is little deterent.

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I might be pegged as some sort of racist or whatever......But I'd rather have those who went to work on 9/11 and now who's souls are now forever locked in time through the actions of Islamic terrorists, have the dignity to finally rest in peace.

A Mosque near their killing field does not confer that dignity. They do not care about our current politics. They only know their killers we're Muslims and their hate for everything they were, which was .......just plain old Americans, Their moment is locked in time, why mocked them with a Mosque?

Let them rest....Please

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I think the Israeli Embassy should be moved right next to the victory mosque to keep an eye on them.

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skipthesong,

aday: you have violated a lot of rights on this board.

I haven't violated anybody's rights. What I have done is my very basic right of freedom of speech and you don't like it. You're all fine with your freedom of speech but you don't like the truth that I post.

Then I only show what General Petraus has to say about the whole matter and you pitch it to the side like trash and attack the messenger. < :-)

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Sorry Sail, intolerance is intolerance. It's one small step from calling the religion of 2 billion people to be that "of the devil", and publicly organizing a Nazi-style book burnbing session, like these brethren of intolerance:

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/US/07/29/florida.burn.quran.day/index.html#fbid=EJXGTpxIMgy&wom=false

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"I think the Israeli Embassy should be moved right next to the victory mosque to keep an eye on them."

That smacks of putting and Israeli and a Palestinian in a jail cell together. Not too bright.

Even so, a gay bar, a Jewish deli or butcher specializing in pork should all have the same right to be near this centre, should they decide to, once it's built.

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YongYang said: "It seems to be the same U.S citizens who hold a rigid view of the constitution's gun ownership and freedom of speech aspects that completely ignore it's advocacy of freedom of religious practice. Or does that only count for Christians? It is NOT a Mosque. It is NOT at ground zero."

I have to agree.

I wonder what will happen if they move it a couple more blocks away. Will that be too close as well? One argument was that the building should be a memorial because pieces of the WTC fell and damaged the building where the center is to be built. If that is the case, the opposition would have a better argument. They are not bringing this point up enough if it is true. The building is rundown (like so many other buildings in the area). I want to see the city come back to life like it was prior to 9/11/01. The terrorist did more damage than they even thought they could because the American psyche was paralyzed and still believes we do nothing wrong when serving our interest abroad and we are always right.

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"One argument was that the building should be a memorial because pieces of the WTC fell and damaged the building where the center is to be built"

I'm no expert but there must have been an immense number of buildings affected by the collapse of the WTC.

What these people really need to come out and say is "I hate Islam because of 9/11".

Then at least we're know they're honest, albiet intolerant.

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The whole islamic center must not be here thing...what a slap in the face to every American muslim.

They are being told that you are guilty of the crime of not being Judea-Christian.

America is making me awfully embarrassed over this one. It's like a collective temper tantrum. Not very adult at all.

Taka

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Rights exist with other and other's rights. Dialog is necessary to come to some negotiated outcome. As with any negotiations it is a give and take in trying to understand the others position. It may not be an ideal solution but one that all can live with. There never is the ultimate solution and we must always work to promote the good and mitigate the negative as we go forward. Let the two sides sit down and come to some understanding. Show the world how reason can prevail by two parties with good intentions.

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They do not care about our current politics. They only know their killers we're Muslims and their hate for everything they were, which was .......just plain old Americans, Their moment is locked in time, why mocked them with a Mosque?

This is one of the finest pieces of projection that I've read. What about the lives of the innocent Muslims who were killed in the towers or as first responders? Are they mocked by having a mosque built?

How about the nearly 5,000 American lives lost in Iraq fighting for the right of Muslims to worship as they please, be they Sunni or Shiite?

I don't understand what is so American about caving in to a very sad, emotional crowd that is as wrong as hell when they suggest in any way that America is at war with the religion of Islam. That much irrational hatred only heightens the need for this religious center.

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"Their moment is locked in time"

There is no truer statement for these protesters. The rest of the world has rightly moved on from the tragedy.

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Nothing stirs up the pot by calling people that are against a religion "racists". They still don't get it. Being muslim is not an ethnicity... how many times must I and others say it before they get it. They're trying to make it bigger than it is by claiming that because people despise or distrust Islam (a religion) that they're KKK, white-supremacist, christian fanatics. They can only wish.

These folks have the right to protest, as long as there is no "physical" harm then they can shout and yell and hold signs all they want.

Rauf appears to be more of an al-taqiyya kind of guy. Anything to pacify the "useful idiots".

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It seems to be the same U.S citizens who hold a rigid view of the constitution's gun ownership and freedom of speech aspects that completely ignore it's advocacy of freedom of religious practice.

Oh, no. They are being perfectly consistant: the rights are for them, not for you. Or, perhaps more accurately, you have the right to do everything that they have deemed culturally acceptable for themselves to do.

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If one more person posts "It's not a mosque" I think I am going to snap.

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If one more person posts "It's not a mosque" I think I am going to snap.

Ooh, this I have to see... It's not a mosque.

(waits for the fireworks)

Nothing stirs up the pot by calling people that are against a religion "racists". They still don't get it. Being muslim is not an ethnicity... how many times must I and others say it before they get it. They're trying to make it bigger than it is by claiming that because people despise or distrust Islam (a religion) that they're KKK, white-supremacist, christian fanatics. They can only wish.

So very true. Whats even worse, is that most people don't even care if they build a mosque, just that they not build it there. Islam, because of who the attackers were, is rightly associated with 9-11. No, the religion itself is not to blame, nor are most of those who follow it, however every single one of those responsible for it, followed it, and because of their beliefs, created the events on 9-11. Allowing a mosque, which celebrates this religion, to be built so close to the key events on that tragic day, is an insult to everyone. It is no more or less then a statement. A symbol of victory. And that is not acceptable. If people want a place to worship, they can build it any where they want, just not right next to the graves of so many who died because of that religion. As I pointed out before, its about like putting up a monument to Hitler or the Nazis next to a concentration camp. Possible, but in such poor taste it ought not be allowed.

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Ooh, this I have to see... It's not a mosque.

It's just baffling to me. I mean, the builders refer to the "dedicated prayer space" as a mosque, and it fits the definition of a masjid, but because it's on the list of "lefty talking points" it just gets repeated over and over again.

It's like the leftie equivilant to "the ground zero mosque" when the thing isn't at ground zero.

Can we get a moritorium on talking points? We can make a list... lets see, we can retire "ground zero mosque", "victory mosque", and "stab through the heart" for the rightwingers, and perhaps "muslim prayer space" and "Islam is the religion of peace" of the leftwingers. Any others I am missing?

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Molenir,

While I will agree that throwing around unsubstanciated charges of racism is irresponsible and needlessly provocative, I am curious how you come to the following conclusion:

Whats even worse, is that most people don't even care if they build a mosque, just that they not build it there.

How do you know this, exactly? I mean, many may say this to justify their position, but how do really know their motivations? At most you might be able to speak for yourself and perhaps those who you know well, but "most people"?

I don't think that it is too hard to see how racism might play a role in formenting opposition to a religion which is primarily adheared to by those traditionally designated as "non-white." We can admit that their is still a good deal of racism in the world, both in the US and abroad, yes? It is logical then to assume that those who hold biases again Muslims on religious, ethnic, or cultural grounds with naturally join the fight against the mosque. Therefore, it would be dishonest to claim that racism and the like play no part in the anti-mosque movement, even if you believe the majority of that movement to be principled and non-discriminatory.

Finally, it is hard to take the assertion that you don't have a problem with Muslims seriously when you follow it up with the follwing analogy:

As I pointed out before, its about like putting up a monument to Hitler or the Nazis next to a concentration camp.

It isn't anything like that, unless you view Muslims as the equivilant to Nazis and hold them collectively responsible for 9/11.

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How do you know this, exactly? I mean, many may say this to justify their position, but how do really know their motivations? At most you might be able to speak for yourself and perhaps those who you know well, but "most people"?

Well, you could of course go by the polls that say 70% of Americans think it should be built elsewhere. The numbers are even more lopsided if you ask New Yorkers. Speaking just about myself though, I am a fairly typical person though. Perhaps a bit more conservative politically then some, but for the most part, about average. All the people I work with, with whom I've spoken, are opposed to it being built there. I work in a rather diverse place, there are people from all sorts of backgrounds and they have a lot of viewpoints that frequently are in opposition to mine. When we aren't working many of us enjoy arguing politics. I have to tell you, that I was a little surprised that just about all the people I argue politics with, both men and women, both libs and conservatives, who rarely agree on issues, agree on this. Obviously I can't speak for everyone, but all the people I know, including quite a few liberals are opposed to this. Take that how you will.

We can admit that their is still a good deal of racism in the world, both in the US and abroad, yes? It is logical then to assume that those who hold biases again Muslims on religious, ethnic, or cultural grounds with naturally join the fight against the mosque.

You are jumping through a lot of hoops to try to get the racism charge to stick. Despite this, it simply fails. When even Muslims are opposed to it being built there, you know theres a problem.

It isn't anything like that, unless you view Muslims as the equivilant to Nazis and hold them collectively responsible for 9/11.

Your logic is not sound. The point is that I don't want a memorial built to honor the 19 martyrs right next to the grave of their victims.

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I think I’ve actually changed my mind somewhat on the mosque/center whatever. My argument was the same as others, that while constitutionally it should be allowed, tastefully (if you will) it should not. I think the US constitution is always open for interpretation, and not meant to be so strict that it cannot be adapted as times and situations change – but not in this instance. By that I mean things like gun control – the ‘right to bear arms’ was meant for a time when the U.S. citizenry made up the country’s militia force, and folks needed guns to hunt and protect themselves. With supermarkets and police forces, and a standing army these things have become unnecessary. Now the NRA’s screeching that every loon should be able to own an automatic weapon if they sign a form stating they aren’t nuts is dangerous at best. But religious freedom is religious freedom.

But, what those that decry this religious freedom are not taking into account is that the nature of Islam is a tad different than your average religion. Most of this might be perception, but today’s world examples bear this out to too large of a degree. All religions claim to be ‘the one’ and have edicts dictating that there should be only one ‘true’ god. Christianity certainly does. But most religions – particularly in today’s modern age where tolerance and human rights take a much higher precedence - do not call for the eradication of all other religions – or if they do it has long been realized that this cannot and shouldn’t be done. There seems to be a larger group in the Islamic world that believes this is not only possible, but eventual. And while you all dismiss this as utter nonsense and state that a much more moderate form of Islam is practiced by most Muslims today, many wonder. What does it take, how much indoctrination does it take to make a moderate turn the corner of radicalism? Experience seems to indicate that not much in too many instances. Suddenly they’re on airplanes lighting explosive underwear.

The point is that yes, America is based on freedoms. Islam is not; at least it doesn’t appear so. When women are being stoned to death for supposed adultery and basic rights are denied in the name of this great religion, it gives pause for thought. I think much of the American public feels or at least perceive that the tenants of Islam and the freedoms we promote are at odds with one another. It’s difficult to preach constitutional freedoms when the articles you are defending are so far from it. That doesn’t make it right of course. But all have to keep in mind that until more recently the numbers of Muslims immigrating to this country was not as high, and therefore the clash of cultures not so severe. Rightly or wrongly it takes time for the typical American who would fight and die for their right to wear shorts and t-shirt and listen to Black Sabbath to accept a culture based on religion where the women must essentially dress like ninjas to avoid offense and they aren’t allowed to drink (which is utter madness).

I don’t think that explains why a mosque built at that location raises such ire, but perhaps illustrates background emotions. Importing a system of comparative intolerance to a system based on tolerance (compared to most of the rest of the world) is bound to cause clash. And those that say Islam is not based on intolerance, or at least conformance is kidding themselves to a large degree.

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As I pointed out before, its about like putting up a monument to Hitler or the Nazis next to a concentration camp. Possible, but in such poor taste it ought not be allowed.

NO. It would be like putting up a Catholic church near a concentration camp considering what Hitler said in his writings. He was "fighting for the work of the lord." Those are his words.

The men that flew into the WTC had words of a religious context too. This is the equivalent.

What you are saying would be that it would be like putting up a memorial to Al-Qaida.

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I cannot believe that this debate is continuing. If you have ever been to New York, you know that there are all kinds of things, many of them offensive, located closer to "Ground Zero" than the "mosque" would be. They include bad fast food, strip joints, and a constant churn of roach coaches, kiosks, carts and stands selling all manner of I LOVE NEW YORK.

And that is as it should be.

The best point I have heard on the issue is from a comedy writer who brought up the point that a person should not be prevented from doing what they are legally entitled to do. Why should the role of government be to stop ANYONE from doing what they are legally entitled to do? Why would anybody be in favor of granting government that power? Most pointedly, why S. Palin and J. McCain?

I welcome this opportunity for the right to show exactly what they are made of. They really rose to the occasion. National fascism based on persecution of a minority religion. The world has seen this before, and it did not end well.

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Kleinz, read up on the Islamic websites. You apparantly know squat about the religion where posters and commentors on their sites love to describe how democracy fails and Islamic law is all wonderful, just, and righteous. They look forward to the day when Islamic and various versions of sharia are implemented.

I would not have a problem with Islam as a religion if it did not have an adherence code that states that the democratic system and rights obtained with those ideals works just fine for my way of life should be eliminated in favor of Islamic ideals. I remember the posters they have in NY saying all sorts of blatant lies such as, "Mohammed believed in human rights" etc. Read up on the history of Mohammed. Read the qur'an, read the hadeeths, and pay attention to how many muslims adhere to its codes. Even some muslims want to get out of Islam, but they're too afraid of being persecuted by other followers of Islam. That says tons in my book. I can tolerate nearly every religion under the sun except Islam because of what it stands for.

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Triumvere: But the protesters aren't protesting the halal restaurant or the swimming pool, they are protesting the mosque.

I think most of the protesters are protesting the size of the construction, its proximity to Ground Zero, the fact that it is Islamic and the idea that prayers to Allah would be accepted there. The fact that it will eventually contain a mosque is irrelevant. Even if there were only a prayer room, my guess is that they would call it a mosque. It's just so much better for rousing the rabble.

The planned construction does include a mosque. However, there will be no minarets, no domes, nothing that tastelessly calls attention to its Muslim character. It will not be visible from Ground Zero. If you were at Ground Zero and did not know where to go look for it, it would take you some time to find it.

What the protesters mostly want is their own anger and hatred. The construction of this center would not "rub salt into their wounds" so much as it would serve notice to them that American was not going to be guided by their anger and hatred. After nine years and two ongoing and useless wars to salve our wounded pride, it is high time that we find a better guide.

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The Muslims have every right to build this mosque. It's guaranteed in the Constitution. Too bad people of other faiths don't have the right to build houses of worship in certain Muslim-majority countries.

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Sarge at 07:10 AM JST - 24th August. The Muslims have every right to build this mosque. It's guaranteed in the Constitution. Too bad people of other faiths don't have the right to build houses of worship in certain Muslim-majority countries.

It's guarnteed in the constitution but it's in a poor taste. Do you want Japanese-Americans to build a Shinto Buddhist Temple next to Pearl Harbor?

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Nice to see freedom of speech and freedom of assembly used to denounce freedom of religion.

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Molenir,

Just so we a clear here, I'm not postulating that "most", or indeed, any specific percentage of the mosque opponents are racist, but rather that is unrealistic to assert that none of them are. Taking the position that the builders have the right to build the mosque, but should do so elsewhere is a reasonable position, just not one I agree with.

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Shinto Buddhist Temple next to Pearl Harbor?

They can build it right next to the Mormorn Catholic Catherdral and the Hindu Baptist Church.

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Here is an interesting pair of programs from a NY radio station that shines a fair bit of light on what is really driving the controversy.

Here is the open line show that was restricted to those who actually worked or lived in the area of Park 51 http://beta.wnyc.org/shows/bl/2010/aug/20/open-phones-lower-manhattan-residents-park51/

and here is a discussion with the spokesperson for one of the 9/11 family groups that support the effort and a spokesperson for one of the 9/11 family groups that oppose the effort http://beta.wnyc.org/shows/bl/2010/aug/17/

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They can build it right next to the Mormorn Catholic Catherdral and the Hindu Baptist Church.

Ooh, I like those combinations. Mormon Catholics, and Hindu Baptists. Trying to visualize what that would be like.

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I guarantee you,talking with friends who relatives I worked with died on 9-11, those who have lost friends, and those who are losing hope that any bbridge can be built when you have an Imam who has stood in defense of many of the terrorist actions against America leading the project, from NYC and after my visit there a few weeks ago, I've come to the conclusion that someone is going to do something bad to that place should they stupidly put it up. And when that happens, the lefties on this site will go and blanket all Christians (even if there is no proof of Christians doing it). Within a few years, someone is going to want to erect a church. But the lefties want have it. Watch.

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skipthesong, I think I'll just blame the radical right, you can label them any religion you like I don't care, but it's the right. < :-)

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skipthesong, the protesters may be atheist, proud Americans, Catholics and any assortment of people against the building of the mosque. It matters none really. The law may be with the mosque builders and nobody can stop it. < :-)

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The law may be with the mosque builders and nobody can stop it." We know that aday, its still disgusting. But you need to start being more across the board than just selecting part of the constitution.

They should have just built it with any other talk just like the hundreds of others that are going up in the area. They should have immediately questioned how this imam has the money on day one before the hype started They should have known that such a magnificent building would cause controversy until much more work in relations from their side has be done And the imam and his wife, ardent supporters of Hamas, just to name one, have some nerve comparing themselves to Jews.

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Within a few years, someone is going to want to erect a church. But the lefties want have it. Watch.

Charges of hypocracy are all well and good (I'm sure there are some who support the mosque who would not be nearly so quick to stand up for an evangelical church) but where do they ultimately get you? They certainly aren't an excuse to behave hypocritically yourself? Or are you going to oppose that theortical church like you are opposing the mosque?

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Or are you going to oppose that theortical church like you are opposing the mosque?" Yes, I would and I already told people here that I would oppose such a thing in Oklahoma City unless the great part of the people there wanted it. However, I am in no way a victim of Oklahoma in any way shape of form. As for 9-11, I am, a lucky one, but I am and so is my wife, and so was the 85 year old lady who was my manager's mother who lost 2 sons and a husband on that day, and yet it was her looking to build bridges and here because she opposed the proximity (maybe the media hype) many here along with certain news orgs have labeled her a bigot.

Pig mentality

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The economy is still going down the drain and China's gearing up for war but they're worried about is a non-Christian community center.

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Well, skip, at least you are consistant. So, am I, as a matter of fact; I'd support the building of a church two blocks from the Oklahoma city bombing and a Shinto shrine two blocks from Pearl Harbor - especially if they, like Park51, proposed to incorperate memorials and interfaith facilities.

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Or, to put this in more familiar terms:

I support your constitutional right to protest the mosque, I just don't think that you should.

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Triumvere:

But, would you support a Branch Dravidian church opening up?

There was arguments in the past year that certain things that were passed that they were for the better good. I think they would would win a lot more support if they moved it. If they were to move it and my friends were still protesting it, I'd tell them its time to stop. At the moment right now, this is almost like a Yasukuni jinja to me.

I don't think many here are really looking at it with their own hearts and minds. I think both sides of this issue are being led by media forces. Those on the left - NBC&CNN and those on the right Fox. I started going to Spanish news sources - my spanish is better than ever and I think I get a better perspective on things.

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The Oklahoma Bombing was not religiously motivated, so it's irrelevant to the discussion.

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would you support a Branch Dravidian church opening up?

This IS relevant to the discussion.

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But, would you support a Branch Dravidian church opening up?

An interesting question. To be honest, I really don't know anything about the Branch Dravidians beyond that they were involved in the Wako Texas seige. My general impression is that they were rather cultish. My overall impression of the Oklahoma bombing was that it was primarily motivated by anti-government paranoia rather than religious fervor. If the Branch Dravidians kept to themselves, and were not preaching terrorism and govenrment overthow or building shrines to McVeigh, then I probably would support their freedom to build a church. Now, some mays say Islam is a cult, or that Park51 will preach hate and jihad, and serve as a monument to the 9/11 hijackers - but I honestly don't believe any of that is true. Either way, however, they still have the right to build their church if they pleased.

I think they would would win a lot more support if they moved it.

This may indeed be the case; If the Imam is truely looking to build bridges, he may have made a serious mistake with his choice of locations. Maybe Cordoba house is better off somewhere else... it's just that I am not comfortable personally advocating this, given the implication for freedom of religion.

I don't think many here are really looking at it with their own hearts and minds.

I'd agree with this; there is a lot of politics mixed up in this thing. It does seem like partisanship is at an all time high in this country. Then again, I didn't live through Vietnam... I do think this is a pretty clear cut issue for libertarians, though. Of course, it's a lot easier for me to stand on principle as I was not personally effected by 9/11 nor was I personally offended by the proximity of the building site to Ground Zero. I can certainly see how others were.

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nessie: make up your mind

Do you or do you not see a comparison.

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Of course, it's a lot easier for me to stand on principle as I was not personally effected by 9/11

I have to guess you haven't been through an Airport lately to catch a flight. Heaven help you if you don't get there at least two and half hours early.

We have all been personally affected by 9/11, just not in such a personal loss as those who had loved ones in the Towers that day. I was still active duty military when 9/11 happened, you can bet your bottom dollar my life sure changed after that horrible day.

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Every time a voice is raised in protest against the mosque, another man joins the Taliban against the U.S.,...and also God kills a kitten. So for the love of our young men, and kittens, please stop this nonsense already! At least pretend you have some sense and shame!

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What I don't get about the culture centre is what is so bad about it. Yes it will include a prayer-area, doesn't the local YMCA, etc include one too.

A mosque(prayer centre) can fit into a very small area(sure as hell don't take 13 floors) and don 't need to sprout a minaret.

And I would guess that many people today live close to a mosque and don't realise it, same way they might live close to a synagoge, buddhist temple, etc.

So for me the whole shebang reeks of politics, etc.

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Every time a voice is raised in protest against the mosque, another man joins the Taliban against the U.S

Well I'll be... MistWizard at last understands one of the central tenets of Islam! Namely, do what we want or we will fight you.

As for the mosque: yes the law is on Islam's side. Yes, it's in incredible bad taste to build it there. Yes, it being a mosque, Islamic ideals such as death for homosexuals and apostates will be preached there. But hate speech enjoys the full protection of the constitution when it's Islam doing the talking. People who oppose aforementioned hate speech are slandered and maligned.

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One remarkable fact that I noticed while watching these people going at it, it's a really white crowd. there were very few non-Caucasians there that I could see protesting the Islamic center.

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Don't tell me that surprises you PeaceWarrior?!

Americans obviously want a Holy War. The Agnostic and Atheist citizens are beginning to pack. This starting to look ugly. America without freedom of religion. Could this location be a Jewish center? A YMCA or YWCA? The Ebenezer Baptist Association Headquarters?

Of course it could. And no one would care.

Proposing another location is fine, but if the landlord is OK with this then the argument should really be with them. They stand to make good money and probably don't want the prospective tenants to change locations. This seems like a forced land grab, but the city isn't involved. It reminds me of the time in the USA when people used to break windows and burn crosses in the front yards of neighbors they didn't like. Looks like we are going backwards after all. (Oh yeah...and it's Obama's fault.)

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Not surprised at all MrDarryl, just sad. But really, when I used the word remarkable, I really meant it. It was a sea of white, with the only darker face present that I could see being subjected to a lot of mean comments, and the guy wasn't even Muslim... it's on the net, youtube I'm sure. Unbelievable.

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Okay, let me try this again. A basis for opposing the mosque is the allegation that the motive for 9/11 was Islam. How does anyone know that? What is your proof? Seems to me the attacks were pure politics, namely, U.S. ties to Israel. So why is Islam getting drug into this at all? I will give everyone a chance to answer before making the allegation of pure bigotry again.

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sailwind,

Sorry if I wasn't clear, I was specifically refering to not having lost friends or loved ones in the attack.

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I would only counter that, at least on the outside as I'm not a follower, that there is no real separation between religion and politics with the followers of Islam, as your religion dictates everything that you do, and a separation of church and state is not in the code.

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I would only counter that, at least on the outside as I'm not a follower,that there is no real separation between religion and politics, as your religion dictates everything that you do, and a separation of church and state is not in the code.

A legitimate concern for any religion (including Chiristianity), though perhpas moreso for Islam which has a long history of conflating govenrment and theology. But, the problem with this is that there are literally a billion+ Muslims that don't practice Islam in this manner. Chances are you've met some of them in college, at work, or around your neighborhood.

If we are going to debate theology and interpretation, then I have a lot of problems with Islam, first and foremost the worrying trend of literalism. However, if we are going to talk about what we as a society find exceptable, then we are going to have to take into account how Islam is practiced in real life.

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I would partly agree with your remarks Triumvere, but would question your comment that that a billion + Muslims don't practice a more radical form (or more adherent form if you prefer) of the religion. How do you come to this conclusion? This seems a bit more difficult to gauge since despite the growing population in western nations, most Muslims still reside in Asia, the Middle East and Northern Africa. Can you say for fact that most of them are peace loving and don't want to see the death of the infidels who don't believe the tenants of Islam? You can suppose it based on those that you've met. I'm not saying it's not true, just that I haven't seen empirical data on this. I have no solid proof to the contrary either, but given your estimate that almost all practice a benign and more 'peaceful' form of Islam I would bet that certainly many more than that have at least a more vigorous belief in Islam that might be slightly less peaceful and benign in nature than you might suspect, particularly given the record of the west in dealing with the areas of the world that Muslims inhabit.

I think the problem is that while many conclude that the vast majority of Muslims do in fact practice a peaceful form of Islam, they don't take into account that they might not be getting a true picture based on the friendlier enclaves encountered here in the west, and that the Imams and holey leaders in Islam tend to be more fervent and radical, and they hold a great influence. I'm not concluding or even trying to vaguely insinuate that all Muslims are a step away from being suicide bombers, but rather that it bears a good, hard look.

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that a billion + Muslims don't practice a more radical form (or more adherent form if you prefer) of the religion.

Obviously travel and interaction are good for producing anecdotes, those those don't necessarily prove things. Mostly, though, it seems like common sense; most people are not radicals, by definition. Your average person tends to be primarily concerned with his own personal well being, and that of his family. He's thinking about his job, checking the sports page or the paper, and worrying about how he's going to pay off his car loan. And while he politics and religion may be significant part of his life, he's unlikely to be a fanatic about either. It's human nature, and I don't see any reason why Muslims should be any different (a view which ancedotal evidence tends to supprt, in my experience). The dude running the furnature shop in Cairo or Istanbul is likely to be more concerned about this month's sales figures than what the Imam said about Palestine at friday prayers. I recon that remains true even in, say, Iran - an actual Muslim theocracy. Take a look at the Green Revolution and you will find more or less what you would expect to find: the young, urbanized, and educated tend to support liberalization, the less wealthy and more rural and conservative support the theocracy, and the average guy keeps his head down and his door shut. (To draw an analogy, Colonial Americans may have had strong tendancies toward individualism and independence, but only a tiny minority joined the Revolution. Most sat at home and prayed that they wouldn't get shot.)

I think it's very easily to have your perspective colored by the behavior of radicals, which is calculated to be disproportionately prominant in comparision to that of the majority. When you look as something like, say, support for the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, you aren't going to get a good picture of what's really going on unless you get deeper into it, and do some critial thinking about socio-economic factors and the like. A local farmer who "supports" the Taliban is likely to do so more because 1) the local government is corrupt and doesn't provide for his needs and 2) they'll kill him if he doesn't, before reasons of religious fanaticism or nationalism. That said, I think its also true that Radical Islam plays a large role in a lot of the world's current problems (like terrorism) than radical versions of other major religions. We should be doing a lot of critical thinking about Islam, including criticims about how it's doctrine impacts the world. But part of that critical thinking is not dimsmissing the entire religion out of hand as being fundimentally flawed or incapable of moderation, when living examples of such exist all around us.

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Muchakucha: As for the mosque: yes the law is on Islam's side.

This is not quite true. The law is no more on the side of Islam than it is on the side of any other religion. What would be more accurate is to say that the law is on the side of those who plan the construction and on the side of those who favor and support the construction.

Yes, it's in incredible bad taste to build it there.

No, it isn't. If the objections were against altering any building within a certain radius of Ground Zero so that we could enshrine a certain area, the proposed construction would be contrary to the wishes of the majority but not in bad taste. If the objections were against building any faith-related structure within a certain radius, the same would be true. But those aren't the objections. The objection is that it is "that" religion. If anything is in bad taste, it is the objection.

Yes, it being a mosque, Islamic ideals such as death for homosexuals and apostates will be preached there.

I'm not sure that I would call those Islamic ideals any more than I would call the intolerance of homosexuals and "the Godless" Christian ideals. Be that as it may, how, pray tell, can anyone say that those precepts "will be preached" at this particular site? They are preached by some Muslims somewhere. It does not follow that they are preached by all Muslims everywhere.

But hate speech enjoys the full protection of the constitution when it's Islam doing the talking.

This is just silly. Islam enjoys no more protection for hate speech than does any other religion. I doubt that anyone can find a shred of evidence to support this claim. As far as I can see in this matter, those who are indulging in hate speech are those who oppose the construction and who do not scruple to make wild and preposterous claims about the nature of the people who want to build. I hear no hate coming from American Muslims.

People who oppose aforementioned hate speech are slandered and maligned.

I think they are mostly criticized when they themselves employ hate speech to slander and malign others. If people turned out in mass carrying simple signs that said "PLEASE DON'T BUILD HERE!" or "THIS HURTS OUR FEELINGS!", it would at least give the appearance that the agenda was one of taste. But that really is not the tenor of the argument against the construction. The argument against the construction is rife with hate.

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This is just silly. Islam enjoys no more protection for hate speech than does any other religion. I doubt that anyone can find a shred of evidence to support this claim. As far as I can see in this matter, those who are indulging in hate speech are those who oppose the construction and who do not scruple to make wild and preposterous claims about the nature of the people who want to build. I hear no hate coming from American Muslims.

Apparently you haven't heard anything written by, or said by the man behind this mosque. Else you wouldn't have written this drivel.

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Molenir, apparently you don't have anything at hand to support your statement.

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Let me put this another way. Pam Geller has touted the following video as evidence of hate and as an example of hate speech:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awISCKJzVtE

Clearly she has not a clue as to what hate speech is. Particularly funny is her contention that Rauf might be using the "N-word" in a hateful manner.

In her concluding remarks she says, "It seems to me that it is because the media is rabid in its frenzy to destroy good, decent Americans who oppose a 15-story mega-mosque on Ground Zero." In so doing she entirely misrepresents the nature of the planned construction and invents a "rabid media frenzy" which simply does not exist. It is quite clear that the person who is filled with hate is Geller.

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I'm not sure that I would call those Islamic ideals

Why aren't you sure? Those ideals are enshrined in Islamic law and easy to verify.

"the Godless" Christian ideals

Ok, some Christians think homosexuality is 'Godless'. There it stops. In Islamic countries, homosexuals are imprisoned or executed. Notice the difference?

Be that as it may, how, pray tell, can anyone say that those precepts "will be preached" at this particular site?

It's reasonable to assume that mainstays of the Islamic faith will be preached at a major mosque such as this. Death for homosexuals is routinely preached at London's biggest mosque, the prestigious Regents Park Mosque. Why do you think the Ground Zero Mosque will be any different?

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Molenir, apparently you don't have anything at hand to support your statement.

Do your own googlefoo. I don't feel like it today. Its not hard to do. Just look up Rauf and controversial statements he has made. Particularly recently. The man is not helping his case any with his continued statements.

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Why aren't you sure? Those ideals are enshrined in Islamic law and easy to verify.

This is odd. Many of the same laws you refer to as Sharia turn up in the Bible (not surprising as Islam and Christianity share the same Jewish heritiage). Yet you don't insist that all or even most Christians support such edicts. "True Christians do X, it's in the Bible" is not a convincing argument, but some how the same sentance with Muslim and Koran is? Muslims selectively interperate their holy texts just like the followers of other religions do. I think you will find that what is considered proper practice and what is acceptable under Sharia varies from culture to culture, and indeed from cleric to cleric. That's what all those fatwas are all about.

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And it culminates into this. A digital petition:

http://www.groundzerodeclaration.org/

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Muslims selectively interperate their holy texts just like the followers of other religions do

No Christians, or any members of any other major religion, selectively their holy texts to say that homosexuals or apostates should be killed. However 3 of the 4 main modern day Islamic jurisrudences say that homosexuals should be killed, and all 4 state that apostates should be killed.

The fact that homosexuals and apostates are persecuted, imprisoned, murdered and executed in Islamic countries seems to be happily tolerated and/or ignored by PC drones on the basis that 1) some Muslims don't agree with it and 2) It doesn't happen to them (yet).

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Muchakucha, you might want to rethink that 2:25pm post Two sources of Christians thinking that homosexuals deserve death: http://www.godhatesfags.com/ http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-6235745-504083.html

The point is that there are bad elements of all religions. That doesn't mean that EVERYONE in the religion ascribes to those bad elements. What do you think will happen if they build the mosque anyway? What would be the problem there at ground zero that wouldn't be present elsewhere?

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Muchakucha said: No Christians, or any members of any other major religion, selectively their holy texts to say that homosexuals or apostates should be killed.

Well then explain this:

After Matthew Shepard was killed in 1998, a pastor in North Carolina published an open letter regarding the trial of Aaron McKinney that read: "Gays are under the death penalty. His blood is guilty before God (Lev. 20:13). If a person kills a gay, the gay's blood is upon the gay and not upon the hands of the person doing the killing. The acts of gays are so abominable to God. His Word is there and we can't change it."

Or better yet explain the connection between religion and the 9/11 terror attacks. The anti-mosque people are dodging that bullet. They know its death to their litanies and proof of the disgusting intolerance they are defending.

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So, some guy goes and murders a homosexual, and you equate this to homosexuals being murdered in the Muslim world? Trying to say that because some nutcase in NC thinks its ok to murder someone they view as acting morally repellent, its somehow excuses near universal acceptance of the same behavior under Sharia law? Yeah, that makes no sense.

Moderator: Back on topic please.

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Molenir said: Do your own googlefoo. I don't feel like it today.

I think I speak for everyone when I say that it would be nice if you did not feel like making statements you can't be bothered to support more often.

Its not hard to do. Just look up Rauf and controversial statements he has made. Particularly recently.

I think this is the first time you have mentioned Imam Rauf by name. And when you finally do, you try to send us on a wild goose chase. I can only assume that you have researched his comments fairly recently since its only now you say his name and you say its stuff he said recently, and one would think the comments you allude to would be fresh in your mind. So, its bad enough you have executed the debate FAIL of "do your own search of my statements" but you double fail by not even giving us a clue to go on in doing that search even though this is all RECENTLY.

The closest thing I can find to you mentioning anything Rauf may have said is from way back:

People who support this being built, support celebrating 9-11 and the 19 killers who carried it out.

Is that a vague reference to Imam Rauf? Its a load of $#!T either way.

The man is not helping his case any with his continued statements.

And neither are you. Look, there is no way we can figure out what comments you have spun to get the unmentioned conclusion that "Apparently you haven't heard anything written by, or said by the man behind this mosque. Else you wouldn't have written this drivel."

What did he say? At least paraphrase it even though I know you will spin it wildly. Or, if you just took the word of another poster that he "supports terrorism" (which is utter crap) just own up to it.

People who support this being built, support celebrating 9-11 and the 19 killers who carried it out.

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What did he say?

He said: Religions do not dialogue and dialogue is not present in the attitudes of the followers, regardless of being Muslim or Christian.

So much for his 'outreach and bridge building' and he said it in Cairo two months ago.

Only two months before, on March 24, 2010, Abdul Rauf is quoted in an article in Arabic for the website Rights4All entitled “The Most Prominent Imam in New York: ‘I Do Not Believe in Religious Dialogue.’” Yes, you read that correctly and, yes, that is an accurate translation of Abdul Rauf. And Right4All is not an obscure blog, but the website of the media department of Cairo University, the leading educational institution of the Arabic-speaking world. In the article, the imam said the following of the “religious dialogue” and “interweaving into the mainstream society” that he so solemnly seems to advocate in the Daily News and elsewhere: This phrase is inaccurate. Religious dialogue as customarily understood is a set of events with discussions in large hotels that result in nothing. Religions do not dialogue and dialogue is not present in the attitudes of the followers, regardless of being Muslim or Christian. The image of Muslims in the West is complex which needs to be remedied.

http://themoderatevoice.com/82295/wading-into-the-mosque-controversy/

The man is dishonest in his motives, and that should be enough for anyone to say not here Mr. Rauf.

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“American Muslims who support the proposed mosque and Islamic center near ground zero are facing skeptics within their own faith – those who argue that the project is insensitive to Sept. 11 victims and needlessly provocative at a time when Muslims are pressing for wider acceptance in the U.S.,”

The Best One Yet The Canadian Muslim group rejected Rauf’s claim that the mosque will increase tolerance for Muslims, asking him, “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 [Kosovo] where 6,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered?”

http://bigpeace.com/jmwaller/2010/08/24/more-muslims-speak-out-against-ground-zero-mosque/

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Seems that there is a lot of hate speech on both sides.

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skipthesong said: Now you are twisting things

Dear God man! Its a straighforward question at the very core of the complaint!

Then the Imams of all sects need to do a better job.

At this rate, it would take more than just a better job, but rather a miracle to get these anti-mosque people to stop supporting intolerance or let go of their own. How can people who cannot be bothered to answer basic questions ever learn a damned thing?

And I am wishing to just a few of you privileged types

When I had a spoon in my mouth, it was plastic, not even steel. I am, without a doubt, one of the masses. My brain works just fine though, as my teachers will attest. But none of them knew a thing about money either and so we all remain poor. If I want a thing, I build it as often as I buy it.

and go through a few catastrophic events

That does not excuse oppressing people not responsible for those events.

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sailwind said: He said: Religions do not dialogue and dialogue is not present in the attitudes of the followers, regardless of being Muslim or Christian.

Okay. Now what does it mean?

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Muchakucha, you might want to rethink that 2:25pm post

Oh come on, those are links to a loony cult and a deranged woman. Mainstream Islam preaches death to homosexuals.

What would be the problem there at ground zero that wouldn't be present elsewhere?

This is a reasonable point. I just want people to realise exactly what is preached is mosques, and therefore what will be preached at Ground Zero.

To the Moderators: I did just as MistWizard asked. Surely it was pertinent to the topic? Or was the truth too unpleasant?

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Muchakucha: Why aren't you sure? Those ideals are enshrined in Islamic law and easy to verify.

I think a better question would be why you are so sure. Why for example do you think that Sunni, Shi'a, Sufi and Ahmaddiya Islam are all the same? Why do you think that Islam in Saudi Arabia is the same as Islam in Iran or Islam in Malaysia or Islam in America? Why do you draw conclusions of inevitability?

There it stops. In Islamic countries, homosexuals are imprisoned or executed. Notice the difference?

Notice that lower Manhattan is not located in an Islamic country.

It's reasonable to assume that mainstays of the Islamic faith will be preached at a major mosque such as this.

It's certainly reasonable to assume that the mainstays of the American Muslim faith as interpreted by its religious leaders will be promulgated there. It's not reasonable to assume that anything else will be.

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Molenir: Do your own googlefoo. I don't feel like it today. Its not hard to do. Just look up Rauf and controversial statements he has made. Particularly recently. The man is not helping his case any with his continued statements.

Been there. Done that. Asked you to respond. You don't feel like it. Or maybe, as I said, those who accuse Rauf of anti-Americanism and hate speech just can't find a sound-bite short enough to justify their claims.

A responsible part of any claim is the offering of evidence. You don't seem up to it and that's OK. I can google Rauf all night long and what I'm going to get is anti-Muslim bloggers repeating the same stories over and over and using evidence that just doesn't hold up. I'm going to get people like Pam Geller. If you have something better to offer, now would be a good time to do it.

If you ever feel like it, you can get more information about Rauf here:

http://mediamatters.org/research/201008240027

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why you are so sure

Because it's easy to check the teachings of the four main modern schools of Islamic jurisprudence.

Notice that lower Manhattan is not located in an Islamic country.

It's the same ideology, and that ideology could eventually be put into practise if it goes unchallenged. Can't happen in the USA? An arrogant delusion. Plus the fact that as Islam is seen to grow stronger in the USA (triumphalist megamosques certainly help), Islamic law takes a tighter grip elsewhere (eg Nigeria.) But the politically correct don't seem to give a hoot for the fate of mere Africans.

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At this rate, it would take more than just a better job, but rather a miracle to get these anti-mosque people to stop supporting intolerance or let go of their own." Almost every place I lived, with the exception of Japan, there has always been a mosque nearby. I've never asked them to close, and I'm not asking any to do so. I would ask the NRA not to hold a convention in a place that had experienced such an amazing shoot out. I would ask any christian church that is anti abortion not to build a church across from an abortion clinic. I'm asking for them to not place it as close as they are with so much fan fare and tell me that they are putting it up for those of that lost jobs, friends and even loved ones. And I've still maintained a middle of the road approach, whereas you, have become nothing more than those on the, as you like to call them, the right. Speaking of which, I, by default can not be a right winger. But, I provided you with link from Muslims sites, who agree with me. You dissed them. I told you its tacky to build, but just as tacky to tell the other closeby ones to close is just as tacky I told you that there are many, many of us hispanics, blacks, Asians, Jews, and Muslims are in sync and we are against such an advertised place for Muslims and we are offended that they feel they have the answer to what bridge should be to peace without even consulting us. Let me end here: Not one Muslim imam or someone with significance came to any of our meetings, funerals, nor public gatherings, but they were probably there for the payout. This too you diss, but it is you and this Imam that has all the answers. And yes you are born privileged even if you were born with a plastic spoon and grew up in a trailer, you are. now, maybe we are getting somewhere, you don't like yourself.

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Muchakucha: Because it's easy to check the teachings of the four main modern schools of Islamic jurisprudence.

If it's easy, then kindly direct me to where Rauf advocates or condones death to homosexuals and apostates. It is easy, right?

It's the same ideology, and that ideology could eventually be put into practise if it goes unchallenged. Can't happen in the USA? An arrogant delusion.

No, it is not the same ideology. And your easy check of the four major branches of modern Islamic jurisprudence should have uncovered that. I have no "can't-happen-here" delusion. (In fact, I think a good many American non-Muslims would be happy to find a "permanent solution" to the "homosexual problem".) I just think it's highly unlikely that it will happen here and I don't think that we can employ extreme measures to guard against remote contingencies.

As for the "triumphalist megamosque", please try to stick to the facts. Show us anything that smacks of triumphalism in the plans of those who have conceived this project. Muslims are not being triumphant. You are volunteering to be defeated. And it's not a megamosque. It's a community center which will contain a mosque.

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Sorry if off topic - Triumvere very good response to my last above; thought a shout-out in order. Reasonable discussion by those who don't always agree is possible - just not likely on here! Thanks.

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employ extreme measures

Asking them to build the mosque elsewhere is not 'extreme'.

The only measure that can be taken to prevent Islamic doctrine becoming law in the USA is to educate people about what Islam teaches and what Islamic law means to the people who have to live under it (and about whom nobody seems to care.)

Muslims are not being triumphant

That's subjective.

Look, it's no fun banging heads with you guys, being called a bigot and worse (right wing? Gettoutahere, you're dealing a with peacenik! Just one who's prepared to risk challenging modern PC dogma.) I'd be perfectly happy if the White House was bulldozed and replaced with a Hindu shrine or a Buddhist temple. But the thing is that Islam is not like other religions, and it's a great mistake to pretend that it is.

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Sorry if off topic - Triumvere very good response to my last above; thought a shout-out in order. Reasonable discussion by those who don't always agree is possible - just not likely on here! Thanks.

And the same to you, sir!

(or madam! as the case may be.)

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Muchakucha: Asking them to build the mosque elsewhere is not 'extreme'.

Quite right. On the other hand, insisting that they build the mosque elsewhere is. They've been asked. They have respectfully declined. Now they have protestors standing in front of the site--to say nothing of legions of bloggers--claiming that they are killers out to subvert American society and that they are spawn of the devil. And the protestors and bloggers have any number of radio talk show hosts to urge them on.

The only measure that can be taken to prevent Islamic doctrine becoming law in the USA is to educate people about what Islam teaches....

There is no current threat that Islamic doctrine will become law in the USA. I think education is a good thing, however, and I think any number of people would benefit from more education in a variety of areas. I distrust unique solutions, so I'll just say that, oddly enough, one measure that can be taken to get the American people to understand that American Islam poses no essential threat to the American legal system is to educate people about what American Islam teaches. Also, oddly enough, the planned cultural center could be one way of doing precisely that.

[Saying that Muslims are not being triumphant] is subjective.

Right. It is also a confession. It is a confession that I have not seen any Muslims being triumphant. And it is also a call. It is a call to those who claim that Muslims are being triumphant to produce some kind of evidence of this supposed triumphalism.

But the thing is that Islam is not like other religions, and it's a great mistake to pretend that it is.

So, who's pretending that? Hinduism is not like other religions. Buddhism is not like other religions. Christianity is not like other religions. Neither is Judaism. Might this not be one of the meanings of Rauf when he said there is no dialogue among religions? Ultimately it is their uniqueness that defines them.

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@SezWho2

Much of what you say makes sense; however, Islam sets itself apart from all other religions in two main ways. Firstly, it's a complete political ideology which aspires to be the only jurisprudence (Sharia) and secondly, so much of its doctrine pertains to non-ahderents of the faith (infidels.) The aggressive treatment of infidels (and apostates) is a major part of the Koran.

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Much of what you say makes sense; however, Islam sets itself apart from all other religions in two main ways. Firstly, it's a complete political ideology which aspires to be the only jurisprudence (Sharia) and secondly, so much of its doctrine pertains to non-ahderents of the faith (infidels.) The aggressive treatment of infidels (and apostates) is a major part of the Koran.

It is great that another religion is learning to grow and adapt like Islam is doing with modern Imams as leaders. The things you stated above show a linking of church and state by decree of Islam, but the USA keeps these things separate by decree of our constitution. It's good they are willing to grow the religion they love within the confines of American society.

They should just say they are not going to build a mosque. Then build the community center, and by the request of the members allow a place for prayer. That might fool these irate folks. But then again they might protest anything done by this Imam (you know, because the Muslims are subverts).

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one measure that can be taken to get the American people to understand that American Islam poses no essential threat to the American legal system is to educate people about what American Islam teaches. Also, oddly enough, the planned cultural center could be one way of doing precisely that.

It's good they are willing to grow the religion they love within the confines of American society.

So the conclusions being offered are that Islam and the 'modern' Muslims who follow its tenants are becoming 'westernized' or 'Americanized' and therefore absolutely no threat to our society. Is this truly the case? Yes, certainly the Muslim who has lived in this country for 20 years, or was born here is likely to see Islam and Sharia law in a more moderate light, and one that shirks off the ideas labeled as 'extremists' - i.e. subjugating or killing infidels, homosexuals, etc. But is this really true of much of today's immigrant Muslim population that is a bit closer to the less watered down version? I'm asking rather than making statement of fact. Is there data on this?

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A responsible part of any claim is the offering of evidence. You don't seem up to it and that's OK. I can google Rauf all night long and what I'm going to get is anti-Muslim bloggers repeating the same stories over and over and using evidence that just doesn't hold up. I'm going to get people like Pam Geller. If you have something better to offer, now would be a good time to do it.

Boo frickin hoo. 10 seconds later here ya go.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awISCKJzVtE&feature=player_embedded

Seriously, when I said I wasn't in the mood to do it myself, I meant just that. There is plenty of questionable stuff said by this man. Right after 9-11, and much more recently as well. Do your own research for a change?

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I wonder how many people that oppose this cultural center being built are Christian.

They certainly need to work on that whole "turn the other cheek" thing.

But again, one does not turn ones cheek when one is in the midst of a temper tantrum, which is what we are seeing here.

Taka

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Molenir, although a different URL, that is the same video that I--having done the research that you failed to do--posted to you. It is simply astonishing that any thoughtful person would put this forward as evidence of anti-Americanism or as an example of hate speech.

In this video, Rauf does 4 things. First he criticizes (and this word is used in its widest sense) the US for failing to adequately consider its own responsibility in the matter of Muslim extremism, particularly as directed toward the US. He does not fulminate. He merely dares to point out that the US bears some responsibility for deaths of innocent Muslims.

Secondly, he addresses the rather silly question of whether female suicide bombers are awarded 72 virgins. In response to this he indicates that the phrase 72 virgins should be construed to mean what the Koran indicates in a broader sense: "whatever the heart desires". That would be a teaching moment: nothing critical, nothing hateful.

Thirdly, he talks about the London and Madrid bombings--among others. His point is the same that is made by those who have rather more objectively studied terrorism. He says that terrorism has its roots in political grievances, not in religious frenzy. Contrary to what Geller says on her puerile title cards, he casts no doubt on the Madrid bombing. He simply says that we do not know who is responsible for those bombings. And, in fact, and contrary to popular belief, no al-Qaeda link has ever been established. It would be accurate to say that we do not know who was behind it. I don't remember off-hand the details surrounding the London bombing, but if Geller could be wrong once she could be wrong twice.

Finally, he delineates how prejudice is strengthened. In doing this he uses an example of how women who describe men as nasty and brutish create and perpetuate an image that serves no constructive purpose. He also uses examples of how using derogatory racial terms tends to separate races rather than promote understanding between them. We can be very clear what he is talking about because he actually uses the words that he finds objectionable. Yes, he uses the "N-word", but not in any hateful way.

If you ever find any real evidence of Rauf's supposed anti-Americanism or of hate-mongering on his part, I'd like to see it. However, Geller's take on what Rauf is saying here is what is drivel. And the use of it as evidence is simply drivel repeated.

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For those who don't know this organization has mapped out the prominent religous buildings near 1 WTC. Please feel free to say what you will, but I think it speaks volumes about this debate.

http://newpol.convio.net/site/MessageViewer?dlv_id=5161&em_id=1081.0

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SezWho: First he criticizes (and this word is used in its widest sense) the US for failing to adequately consider its own responsibility in the matter of Muslim extremism, particularly as directed toward the US. He does not fulminate. He merely dares to point out that the US bears some responsibility for deaths of innocent Muslims.

It depends on the context of the conversation. It's a reasonable point to make when talking about relations between the West and Muslim countries, but it's not appropriate when talking about 9/11 (or terrorism in general) because the overlap tends to give terrorism a foundation in logic, which it does not have. In the end the conversation ends up justifying terrorism even if the speaker does not specifically say so.

You really can't have it both ways. You can't say that terrorism is done by a tiny handful of extremists in response to political issues, but then turn around and blast someone who says Islam is the problem. The same dynamics are at work when you talk about tiny percentages. If only a tiny amount are responsible for terrorism then it would be hard to believe that the reason is something that all Muslims are subjected to. If the foundation existed in logic then the misdeeds by the West would produce a far greater number of terrorists, just as if the foundation existed in Islam then the religion would create a far greater percentage of terrorists. The problem exists with this specific percentage of people, not every exposed to Islam or everyone exposed to the West's foreign policy. The numbers don't play out in a way to make that point of view credible.

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“We want to build bridges,” Khan said. “We don’t want to create conflict, this is not where we were coming from. So, this is an opportunity for us to really turn this around and make this into something very, very positive. So we will meet, and we will do what is right for everyone.”

I'm reminded of the sci-fi comedy, "Mars Attacks", where the Martians keep on announcing, "We come in peace", and then kill everyone, then afterwards claim it was a cultural misunderstands and request another meeting... where they kill everyone again. There's even one hilarious scene where one Martian runs around with a translator shouting, "We come in peace", while his buddy runs around shooting everyone who comes out.

I can't help but see an analogue between this situation and that. There's a stark contradiction between what Khan is saying, “We don’t want to create conflict", and what he's doing, which is creating a massive conflict. When you see that magnitude of contradiction it doesn't take a genius to realise that Khan is not being honest. All he needs to join the crew of Mars Attacks is a bubble-headed spacesuit and a ray gun.

Gila Barzvi, whose son, Guy, was killed in the towers, stood with mosque opponents, clutching a large photo of her son with both hands. “This is sacred ground and it’s where my son was buried,” the native Israeli from Queens said. She said the mosque would be “like a knife in our hearts.”

People are so busy saying, "Awwww, poor Muslims.", that they seem to be forgetting that there are REAL victims here. This woman lost her son, doesn't she deserve some sympathy and respect? Frankly Khan's double-speak, claiming not to want conflict while actively causing a huge conflict, shows absolutely no respect or sympathy for the REAL victims of 9/11. Yes, legally he can build the mosque, but it's a pretty morally bankrupt society that asks, "Is it legal", and stops there.

Human rights, human dignity, basic decency, these are the true measures of whether something should be allowed, not just whether some law says it's possible. At the end of the day this is the fundamental conflict between Christianity and Islam. Jesus said, "Love one another", his focus was on people being kind and loving, and he actively opposed the pharisees and their heartless rule-based overly legalistic approach to life and religion.

The Muslims claim to respect Jesus as a prophet. Fine, then here's the challenge to Muslims, how can you do something so unkind to the victims of 9/11 and still claim to be following the will of God as manifested through the prophets. The answer is that you can't. You're no longer Muslims, you're just khafir.

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When the Carmelite sistes wanted to build a convent next to Auschwitz, Pope Paul called them back, out of respect for the sensibilities of the victims.

(And it certainly was not the Carmelite order that committed the holocaust...)

Do not expect any such sensitivitiy from Sharia-advocating Feisal Abdul Rauf and his Saudi financiers.

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taka:

" I wonder how many people that oppose this cultural center being built are Christian. "

Firstly, it is a mosque, and advertised as such on islamic sites. Secondly, there are also moderate muslims (the ones we should listen to) who are opposed to this saudi-financed propaganda stint.

Thirdly, a massive Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, or Hindu religious propaganda site next to 9/11 would also be inappropriate. None of those, however, have the insensitivity to propose such a thing.

Fourthly, the small greek orthodox church which had been in front of 9/11 still has not received permission to re-build, even though it has been there for decades, and is nowhere there the scale of the proposed 13-story, 1000-seat islamic monstrosity.

Double standards, anyone?

(Fwiw, I am atheist)

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In the proposed location one can find an off-track betting establishment and a strip club (http://daryllang.com/blog/4421), but people think a mosque is in bad taste? Seems like an improvement over what's there to me.

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This a quote from an article I found elsewhere. I thought this was a good analysis of the situation.

(Rauf) has it perfectly backward. It's a test, but not of America's values. It's a test of Islamic values. The developers' provocation could have been seen as a mistake, easily correctable by moving to another site. Instead, their cold insistence on staying put reveals an unappealing level of inconsideration, even hostility.

By digging in, they are passing up a chance to build the very bridge they claimed they wanted while reinforcing the darkest concerns about why they picked this site.

So very true.

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Talking about 'heated', a taxi driver was stabbed last night by his passenger after confirming that the cabbie was Muslim.

Police say the passenger asked the driver, "Are you Muslim?" When the driver said yes the passenger pulled a knife and slashed him in the throat, arm and lip.

Tragic stupidity...

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Peacewarrior:

There are idiots everywhere. However, please take in account that this might be staged. Similar propaganda attempts to use victimhood as a propaganda tool have often occurred.

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There are 9/11 victims who support the mosque. < :-)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/25/911-families-support-park51-islamic-cultural-center_n_694029.html

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WilliB,

This was a murder attempt, by a college student just back from Afghanistan. Apparently, he shouted to the driver: "Consider this a checkpoint." after making sure he was Muslim then started slashing him.

I will let the courts decide what to do with him.

All I'm saying to this one is, please stop the hate...

Moderator: All readers, back on topic please. Posts that do not focus on the planned mosque will be removed.

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daydream:

" There are 9/11 victims who support the mosque. < : "

You will find different opinions in any group. You would probably also find some Jews who´d agree with the Carmelite nun convent next to Auschwitz.

So how do you get to decide which one to listen to and which one to ignore?

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If every Muslim country allowed a synagogue to be built in the center of their capital cities then they would have something to complain about. It will never happen so they should respect the will of the people and move along.

Its the golden rule: Do one to others what you want them to do to you.

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Ust a bit of irony, but this year the Muslim celebration of Eid-al Fitr (the day afte the end of Ramadan, kind of like Easter at the end of lent)is g

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Just a bit of irony, but this year the Muslim celebration of Eid-al-Fitr (the day after the end of Ramadan, kind of like Easter ends lent for Christians) will fall on September 10th.....one day before 9/11. So can you imagine the stir that would cause if the ground zero mosque was there now and while the ret of America is preparing for memorials, all the Muslims are celebrating???

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At the end of Ramadan, Muslims throughout the world observe a joyous three-day celebration called Eid al-Fitr (the Festival of Fast-Breaking).

So actually it last for three days so they would be celebrating right through the 9/11 memorial ceremonies right across the street

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So actually it last for three days so they would be celebrating right through the 9/11 memorial ceremonies right across the street

Yes, and if they don't build the mosque, the off-track betting facility and gentleman's "club" that are currently on the mosque site will be open even later into the night.

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techall said: So actually it last for three days so they would be celebrating right through the 9/11 memorial ceremonies right across the street

First, two blocks away is NOT right across the street. Could you guys stop trying to bend space?

Second, a Muslim celebration? That is sort of like saying a funeral is a party. Praying, asking for absolution, visiting relatives, and having some food after fasting. You might think it was any other day from what I am reading about the holiday.

But I am sure some intolerant will be along shortly to sinister up the whole thing.

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I have been to a few over the Years.

Bassiccaly a get together for family and friends where lots of food and drinks are served(some special foods too).

And everybody sits around and socializes.

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WilliB said: You would probably also find some Jews who´d agree with the Carmelite nun convent next to Auschwitz.

The point is that you won't find many complaining or making veiled threats. That convent is still there as far as I know. And like this mosque, years from now, people will wonder what all the fuss was about. Politics thats what, sickening selfish and evil politics.

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@MizWizard:

I brought it up just because of the irony of the date this year. But, since you take umbridge, across the street, 2 blocks away, whatever, the whole controversity is beause of the proximity.

I spent 4 1/2 years in Iraq, most of my subcontractors were Muslims (mostly Turks) but each celebrates in a different fashion. The Turks had feasts outside (like Bar-B-Qs) with singing and dancing.

As I write this I am in Indonesia (Batam), one of the largest Muslim countries in the world, and the Hotel I am staying in (the Holiday Inn) has preparations for the Eids banquet.

There are a lot of intolerant people who will be at ground zero to mourn.

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techall said: There are a lot of intolerant people who will be at ground zero to mourn.

This is true, and anyone singing and dancing on 9/11 will at least have earned some yelling and screaming but no more. I sort of doubt any significant number of Muslims in NY would be so completely stupid as to sing and dance outside near the WTC site. But many intolerant others are so completely stupid as to think they would (not saying you are, but many others protesting).

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SuperLib: It depends on the context of the conversation.

The point that I am arguing is whether or not the imam of the proposed mosque has really been uttering anti-American statements. A certain portion of those opposing the cultural center have sought to smear Rauf in their attempt to stop the building of the mosque. The statement that you have questioned in my post relates to Geller's contention that Rauf preaches or at least promotes anti-Americanism. You say nothing about how any of this applies to the mosque. However, if the veracity of Rauf's contention depends on context, you can read the context here:

http://www.unisa.edu.au/hawkecentre/events/2005events/Imam_transcript.asp

I think you are quite wrong, though, about terrorism having no logic. I think it has the same logic as sanctions: if you cause enough pain, people will change their evil ways. It even has the same logic of those who protest the building of the cultural center and mosque: if you make the cost unacceptable, people will choose a way more to your liking.

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WilliB,

Then I guess you leave it to the letter of the law and not opinions. Based on the law they have every right to build it. Based on opinions....

How far away from ground zero should the mosque be built? 5 blocks, 10 blocks or not on Manhattan at all? How far WilliB? < :-)

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Yes, and if they don't build the mosque, the off-track betting facility and gentleman's "club" that are currently on the mosque site will be open even later into the night.

Betting and dancing naked women didn't bring down the towers. It can be argued by some whether or not the attackers were true followers of Islam, but they certainly had their fanaticism rightly or wrongly based in their own twisted version of it's teachings.

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this is lame, let them build the mosque. im sure there were muslims that died in the towers that werent "terrorists". those familys have a right to be in that area as much as anyone else does and practice whichever religion they wish to honor thier loved ones

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tigermoth: Betting and dancing naked women didn't bring down the towers.

I take your point, but one can also say that licentiousness and pederasty didn't bring down Sodom and Gomorrah. I find it disheartening that Americans still content themselves with easy answers 9 years after the little girl asked her mother, "Why do they hate us so?"

I don't think it is really very relevant what will or will not happen to the clubs and OTBs if the community center is built. It strikes me that New Yorkers have a fairly high tolerance for incongruity. Be that as it may, however, I'm fairly sure that if problems develop New Yorkers can work them out.

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Dr Ali Akram, a 39-year-old Brooklyn physician, came with his three sons and an 11-year-old nephew waving an American flag. He noted that scores of Muslims were among those who died in the towers, and he called those who oppose the mosque “un-American.” “They teach their children about the freedom of religion in America—but they don’t practice what they preach,” Akram said.

Akram uses the word "un-American" when he doesn't know what the meaning of the word. He is not sensitive toward people who do not want the mosque there. One can say that Akram is "un-American" too. Americans come in all different shape, color, and sizes with different ideas of what America and an American should be and shouldn't be.

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daydream:

" Then I guess you leave it to the letter of the law and not opinions. Based on the law they have every right to build it. Based on opinions.... How far away from ground zero should the mosque be built? 5 blocks, 10 blocks or not on Manhattan at all? How far WilliB? < :-) "

It is not about law, it is about respect and decency. The Carmelite sisters also had the legal right to build a Catholic monestary nex to Auschwitz, but Pope Paul called them back.

How much further away you can decide, but this building, right at the edge of ground zero and actually hit by parts of the fuselage, is clearly a political statement.

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Mistwizard:

" Second, a Muslim celebration? That is sort of like saying a funeral is a party. Praying, asking for absolution, visiting relatives, and having some food after fasting. "

Pal, that is not what is going on in a mosque. Islam is a profoundly political religion, and Rauf has been vocal in condenming Western democracy, blaming the US for 9/11, and advocating Shariah for the USA.

And that what his Friday kuthbas will be about too.

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Great cartoon here. So perfect...

http://townhall.com/cartoons/cartoonist/MichaelRamirez/2010/08/5

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Mistwizard:

" The point is that you won't find many complaining or making veiled threats. That convent is still there as far as I know. "

There are no veiled threats, and the convent is NOT there. Pope Paul told them to stop the project and build it somewhere else, not next to Auschwitz.

In marked contrast to Feisal Abdul Rauf, who insists that his "tolerant" mosque just has to be right there, no matter how the victims feel.

That was my point, which you completely missed.

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It is not about law, it is about respect and decency.

It is totally about the law. They have the right to build it there. You and the protesters have the right to shout out your opinions. Crazy wingnuts have the right to burn the Koran and you can't stop them. It's the law.

The protesters are only turning an act of hate into an act of intolerance but that's their right by law and they can't be stopped either. Leave they builders alone and let them build their Islamic center. Stop the xenophobia, they are Americans, just like you, dear protesters.

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All these rallies over this "mosque" is probably meant to cement in the minds of Americans the idea that Muslims were behind the 911 attacks, which they certainly were not.

Its interesting to see who is behind these rallies, the organizers.

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sabiwabi

Yeah, if those rallies are maybe done to work up anti-muslim feelings so that MAYBE an Iran invasion/conflict, etc would be easier approved by the People.

IMHO, some things the goervment does it will do anyway regardless of which party is in power. So gets me thinking.

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Hypothetical: Imagine if two jets hijacked my christian American terrorists crashed into the Saudi Royal palace and killed 3,000 Saudi's, do you think they would allow a Cristian church be built there? Replace Saudi with Afghan, Indonesia, Malaysia, or Pakistan or any other country with a Muslim majority in it. What think you?

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@space monkey

...do you think they would allow a Christian church be built there?

No, of course not.Theirs is a particularly unpleasant, oppressive regime which denies religious freedom to the people. You seem to be suggesting that The US should adopt a similarly intolerant position.

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space_monkey,

your hypothetical just brought the entire US to the same level of 'democracy' as the countries you have mentioned. Way to go!

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Note also that there is still some imbalance between the number of existing and tolerated mosques in Christian countries and the number of existing and tolerated churches in the Muslim countries. Not to mention the destruction, even today, of churches and other Christian monuments in some Muslim countries where intolerance towards the Christian religious practice unfortunately exists, such as in Turkey or in Azerbaijan. (http://asbarez.com/84376/armenian-kids-made-to-leave-sourp-khatch-in-akhtamar)

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WilliB said: and the convent is NOT there. Pope Paul told them to stop the project and build it somewhere else, not next to Auschwitz.

You are correct, its not there, but it was there for like nine years despite the Pope's orders. But it does not matter. This analogy does not work in reverse. If it were a Buddist monastery next to Auschwitz the complaints would be the same. Christians were not singled out. But at the Park51 site, if it were Buddists it would be A-OK and we all know it. Muslims ARE being singled out, and that is why it does not work in reverse, and that is why it is an even worse type of intolerance and discrimination, because its not even half equal opportunity, its focused all on one very general group, yet still 25 percent of the human race!

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WilliB said: In marked contrast to Feisal Abdul Rauf, who insists that his "tolerant" mosque just has to be right there, no matter how the victims feel. That was my point, which you completely missed.

I got your point just fine, right along with everyone making the same point. You just won't acknowledge the finer and more important point. Blaming the wrong people for things is not justifiable. Its not fair to the people being blamed. It is injustice of the highest order because its not even an accident. Its ugly. Its damnable. Its medieval. Its cruel. Its unforgiveable. Its stupid. Its backward. Its simply UNAMERICAN. And my sympathy for those who lost loved ones in 9/11 does not extend so far that I would throw the principles of the country or OUR SOLDIERS OVERSEAS under the bus to give them the fleeting sick pleasure of doing it.

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I find it disheartening that Americans still content themselves with easy answers 9 years after the little girl asked her mother, "Why do they hate us so?"

Very true, but the problems in the Middle East go way back before the western nations began exploiting the region, enforcing colonial rule and generally mucking about in their affairs. I don't even know if I'd conclude that America is the worst offender. Certainly as the largest power of mostly Christians who go against most of their religious values we are an easy target of vilification. I do find it puzzling that other nations can vilify us and hate most Americans base on perceptions of what our government does, but when we do the same we're 'intolerant right-wing lunatics' because we're supposed to serve as a shining light of constitutional democracy. We are human after all and subject to the same natural reactions of response.

But at the Park51 site, if it were Buddists it would be A-OK and we all know it. Muslims ARE being singled out, and that is why it does not work in reverse, and that is why it is an even worse type of intolerance and discrimination, because its not even half equal opportunity, its focused all on one very general group, yet still 25 percent of the human race!

You are correct in that it wouldn't be an issue if Buddhists wanted to build a monastery - why would it be? As far as I know Buddhist teachings don't involve the systematic eradication of all other religions - or at least if it does that are not as many radical loons trying to achieve this. Just personal opinion - as I think all religions are products of a natural human fear of death and need for hope - but Buddhism always seemed truly more about peace than most of the others. You and several others seem to conclude that the 9/11 perpetrators had no base in Islam whatsoever, and other than a link to an article written my some supposed 'scholar' who said they were drinking, gambling and not true Muslims, I've seen little to prove that they were not. Certainly they had a hatred of the west and a driving factor that made them do this. I would bet that driving factor was their faith and their version of what Allah and Islam would want them to do. Whether they were following a radical or perverted version is relevant in the argument that all Muslims do not follow such radicalized teachings, but also relevant in the argument that some form of radical Islam was in fact behind the motives for this attack.

There are obviously two dichotomys here

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whoops hit submit by mistake -

I should have said there is a dichotomy here and both sides are sort of right - which will lead to endless argument. To paint all Muslims and all Islamic teachings as 'evil and bad' is just plain wrong. To deny freedom of religion in a country founded on such principles is just plain wrong. BUT

You cannot deny there is a radical fringe of Islam, and that many more Muslims than perhaps you want to believe at least might follow a slightly more 'severe' shall we say form. Islam is a religion that by perception seems to not only embody the person's spiritual self, but their political and social ideology as well. Most might argue that all religions should. But the point is that when the general teaching and tenants of the religion are that no others should exist, and that there are - even if just a relatively small percentage - a fringe who would take this literally and kill to do it, then there is an issue. Nutter Christian groups usually lock themselves in compounds in places like Montana and are fairly benign. Nutter Islamic terrorists strap explosives to themselves and kill large groups of innocent people, often even fellow Muslims. You can see the difference I should think.

It's not a cut and dry religious freedom issue when the religion in question has faith based schizophrenia which causes others who want no part of it to die.

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I am not from the US. Just making a point. I agree two rights don't make a wrong but... they cannot expect everyone in the US to be tolerant of their absolute and total intolerance or every religion on earth!! as clearly stated in their Koran. Please don't discriminate against us even though we discriminate against everyone?? Give me a break.

Anyone with a basic education shouldn't listen to their indignant dribble. The whole debate is absurd and the people who want to build a mosque have no moral or rational argument to stand on. You reap what you sow. Places of worship are community centers and...the community don't want them. Get over it.

We have had the same issues in Australia.

Don't go where you aint wanted.

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tigermoth: Very true, but the problems in the Middle East go way back before the western nations began exploiting the region, enforcing colonial rule and generally mucking about in their affairs.

Regardless of how far back Middle East problems go, al-Qaeda does not go that far back and obviously Middle Easterners didn't hate us before we were us. We, ourselves, go at least as far back in their affairs as the shores of Tripoli and we have been quite active in our economic favoritism, military deployments and governmental interference.

I don't think it is at all puzzling that people can hate Americans based on what their government does. I think if you look at what is happening in regard to the mosque you find any number of Americans who are quite willing to hate Muslims based on what a few fanatics have done. However, regardless of any prior apprehensions, I think most people are willing to reserve judgment on individual Americans until they get to know them.

I don't at all think the issue of the community center is a matter of taste or appropriateness. If it is, then taste or appropriateness works both ways. And it is in bad taste to vilify the innocent for the actions of the guilty. It is in bad taste to attribute evil purpose based on remarks taken out of context and it is in extra bad taste to distort people's words for that purpose. It is also in bad taste for people to cling to grief and to expect others to continually treat them with kid gloves. And it is in bad taste for people to use their grief to seek to deny others their rights.

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I don't think it is at all puzzling that people can hate Americans based on what their government does. I think if you look at what is happening in regard to the mosque you find any number of Americans who are quite willing to hate Muslims based on what a few fanatics have done. However, regardless of any prior apprehensions, I think most people are willing to reserve judgment on individual Americans until they get to know them.

Well, if the implication is that other nations can indeed hate us because of the actions of our government, then why are you then surprised that many Americans mistrust Muslims because of the actions of some Imams and radical practitioners? I didn't vote for George Bush, but I'm condemned as an American because we invaded Iraq. Muslim A doesn't really believe in killing the infidel, but Muslim B does. All Americans are condemned; all Muslims are condemned. And before you point out that one is a government and the other a religion, I would point out that the distinction in the latter is very gray at best. How many Muslim nations would love to see the swan song of the 'evil west' because of perception and what their Quran tells them?

In the end it comes down to perceptions. Many of us perceive the building of this mosque at this particular location as being in poor taste. Many more don't. Some people think it's okay to wear those god-awful pajama things to the supermarket. It's all personal tastes and perception. Legally it should certainly be allowed, tastefully it depends upon your outlook.

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@tigermoth

In the end it comes down to perceptions. Many of us perceive the building of this mosque at this particular location as being in poor taste. Many more don't.

This has got to be the fairest, most intelligent post on this subject so far.

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In the end it comes down to perceptions. Many of us perceive the building of this mosque at this particular location as being in poor taste. Many more don't.

I believe the last number I heard was that some 70% of New Yorkers opposed it. In such a liberal bastion as that, it makes you wonder.

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I'm a New Yorker and while I have a less than favorable view of Islam I think this isn't necessarily what most from NY are opposed to. Particularly those from the City have seen it all and being against someone just because of their religion really isn't in the makeup. NYC is truly the melting pot. But it did hit the city very hard. And while it's easy for so many other to say things like:

It is also in bad taste for people to cling to grief and to expect others to continually treat them with kid gloves. And it is in bad taste for people to use their grief to seek to deny others their rights.

it's not so easy. With all of its multitude of problems, there is a spirit in the city that personally I haven't experienced anywhere else (not that I'm worldly by any means). It might sound corny to say, but a piece of that spirit was ripped away when the attacks happened. Sure, there's always the danger of being mugged or in the wrong place at the wrong time, but this brought a new and very unwanted dimension. Simply put it was a violation. I think most from NY have the outlook of 'not here, not now'. It's more complex than that and I'm not doing a good job in explaining it. It's easy to chalk up as intolerance, bigotry and blame but there's more to it than that.

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tigermoth: Well, if the implication is that other nations can indeed hate us because of the actions of our government, then why are you then surprised that many Americans mistrust Muslims because of the actions of some Imams and radical practitioners?

I'm not surprised. Just disheartened.

I did not talk about other nations hating Americans. I talked about people in other nations hating Americans and I also said that for the most part people suspend their judgment on individual Americans until they get to know them. Where there are notable exceptions I think you will find the greatest extent of American meddling.

However, it strikes me that there is a notable difference between hating Americans for the actions of their democratically elected government and hating Muslims for the actions of extremists. Inasmuch as hate can ever make sense, the former kind of does. The latter is more like hating the Catholic church because Sister Mary Joseph banged your knuckles with a ruler.

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SezWho2

"However, it strikes me that there is a notable difference between hating Americans for the actions of their democratically elected government and hating Muslims for the actions of extremists. as hate can ever make sense, the former kind of does."

Many, many Americans marched in masses and protested the actions of their democratically elected government over the last 10 years, yet you still think that it makes sense to hate Americans (inasmuch as hate can ever make sense, of course).

"The latter is more like hating the Catholic church because Sister Mary Joseph banged your knuckles with a ruler."

More like hating the Catholic church because Sister Mary Joseph banged your knuckles with a ruler in the name of Catholicism. On top of that, having very, very few people of the same faith speak out against Sister Mary Joseph's behavior. At that point, you'd be closer to an "apples to apples" comparison (less the dead bodies in the name of Catholicism).

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I would only counter that, at least on the outside as I'm not a follower, that there is no real separation between religion and politics with the followers of Islam, as your religion dictates everything that you do, and a separation of church and state is not in the code.<

tigermoth - Unfortunately, there are many here that choose to ignore your sound logic.

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Is it just me or isnt it ridiculous how so many people have suddenly branded muslims as terrorists.The people who destroyed the twin towers may have called themselves muslims but the fact of the matter is that they have nothing in common with ordinary decent muslims.If there are plans to build a mosque for people to worship in...do they think that only anti-american extremists are going to use it!!

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tigermoth said: As far as I know Buddhist teachings don't involve the systematic eradication of all other religions - or at least if it does that are not as many radical loons trying to achieve this.

If the religion of 25 percent of the human race did involve the systematic eradication of all other religions...I would not be typing this now! How, in the 21st century, people can be this irrational and fearful, is testament to our descent from monkeys frankly, cause there is nothing divine about it.

The only motive ever clearly floated for the 9/11 attacks was our relationship with Israel. Just because they were Muslim does not make all Muslims guilty, and certainly not Sufi Muslims, the most peaceful variety there is.

The 9/11 hijackers were all Saudis except for one, and most likely Wahhabis. So why don't you save for your hate for Saudi Wahhabis and leave Kuwaiti Sufis alone? At the very least? Do you possess at least that much intelligence?

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Tigermoth:

" You are correct in that it wouldn't be an issue if Buddhists wanted to build a monastery - why would it be? "

Actually, it would be an issue. Propagandizing religion near such a sensitive site always is. Of course, a saudi-financed fmosque led by a sharia-preaching, Hamas-loving imam is in in a different league.

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Sezwho:

" You say nothing about how any of this applies to the mosque. However, if the veracity of Rauf's contention depends on context, you can read the context here: http://www.unisa.edu.au/hawkecentre/events/2005events/Imam_transcript.asp "

Thanks for the link. I would strongly suggest you read the transcript carefully before claiming it shows how moderate Rauf is. Because it does the opposite.

He is speaking to a Western audience here, so he choses his words carefully. Still, note the content. Islam is perfect and does not need a reformation. The "religious freedom" as practised in Ottoman empire (where non-muslims had a second class dhimmi status) is preferrable to Western concept of religious freedom. The US was to blame for 9/11. Sharia is the perfect law. And so on.

As I said before, this guy is 100% shariah, only in fine cloths. Preaching this next to 9/11? Mind-boggling.

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There are lots of Canadians who believe that the Mosque should not be built at that location as some of the Europeans who I know. Just for the record.

No one is saying don't build a mosque, they are just requesting that they don't build it there.

Religious tolerance in America and the West is light years ahead of the Middle East. Other religions which are not Muslim are not tolerated and the few liberal M.E. countries which do tolerate other religions see the non practicing Muslims persecuted.

@Tigermoth "Very true, but the problems in the Middle East go way back before the western nations began exploiting the region, enforcing colonial rule and generally mucking about in their affairs. I don't even know if I'd conclude that America is the worst offender."

Muslims were mucking about with other peoples, nations, regions well before Westerners came into town. As far as America goes as being common hoodlum, you were much more gentlemanly than say England.

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WilliB, I read the transcript. That's why I posted the link. If you think it shows that Rauf is not a moderate, I think you are defining his terms according to your prejudices.

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Sunnynight: Many, many Americans marched in masses and protested the actions of their democratically elected government over the last 10 years, yet you still think that it makes sense to hate Americans.

You are reading very selectively aren't you. I think I have said a couple of times now that, with the exception of several countries where we have thought to use military might and economic sanctions instead of doing something constructive, I don't think that people hate Americans. I think they reserve judgment until they get to know them.

What I said was that comparing American hatred of Muslims on account of the actions of a few previously marginalized extremists to foreign hatred of Americans on account of the actions of the mandated American government, it is the latter that makes sense if anything does. And if your incredulity inheres in my willingness to stand by that, then you'll have to continue to be slack-jawed.

As far as Sister Mary Joseph is concerned, I note the danger of arguing by analogy. I don't care much for your revisions to it either. We could play the "more like" game until the cows come home. For example it would really be more like a majority of people in a non-Catholic country hating the Catholic church because the good Sister rapped you on the knuckles in the name of Catholicism. You insist that Islam was the reason for the Twin Towers. I think it merely facilitated it. In any event you will either note the difference between prejudicing the many for the actions of the few or prejudicing the parts for the actions of the whole--or you will not.

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I don't know! I just think that expanding their center at this place to be in bad taste as would be putting a Nazi info center next to a synagogue or a KKK info center next to a mainly black church despite the US being a free country for them to practice whatever they believe in or voice it publicly. Bad taste is bad taste and locating in these areas is just provocative on purpose so repercussions should be expected.

The group wishing to do the expanding should be smart enough to consider the feelings of the people by whom they are surrounded. Not too smart if you ask me. It has "brazen slap in the face" written all over it.

Now some would argue that not all muslims are terrorists and they would be right. But seeing that innocent mosques have been infiltrated with people who start to spout anti Jewish sentiment and eventually anti-American sentiment on American soil then I can understand the mistrust the locals have for this kind of thing to be expanded. I don't know why others can't see this.

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Religious tolerance in America and the West is light years ahead of the Middle East. Other religions which are not Muslim are not tolerated and the few liberal M.E. countries which do tolerate other religions see the non practicing Muslims persecuted.

I would say religious tolerance in US is on par with many of the ME countries and less tolerant than the most tolerant ME countries such as Lebanon, Palestine where Muslims and Christians as well as Jews lived side by side for centuries with no conflict. The mutated form of Christianity which is practiced in US is a far cry from the original Christians in ME.

I think Americans need to come to terms with reality. Namely that Usama bin Laden is not wanted for the terrorist attacks and that bin Laden is a CIA agent. It is more than clear that the US government bares responsibility for the attack and why Americans choose not to focus on the obvious shows that Americans lack character.

The anti Mosque racist Americans are ridiculing themselves, most people outside USA, in Europe and ME is rather suprized to see the close mindedness practiced by Americans, this in a country which like to pride and brainwash it's citizens with freedom.

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These rallies are frankly ridiculous as they are largely composed of one group of irrational people who believe one set of nonsense screaming at another group who believe in another lot of nonsense.

All religious belief when taken seriously should be recognised as a hindrance to the progress of humanity and the advancement of civilisation as a whole. The freedom to practice and hold clearly irrational beliefs is largely harmless and should be viewed by a rationally governed society as benign and eccentric a bit like those who pretend they are elves or dress up in Star Trek costumes. Problems would no doubt occur if such persons really believed that President Obama was Sauron and that all Mexicans were Klingons/Romulans and that is how those who have religious beliefs are acting.

However, those who commit or are planning or supporting crime should be investigated and prosecuted wherever there beliefs come from. All religion is based on irrational belief and it is all forms of irrational belief that are the real potential danger as these beliefs can radically distort thinking and in extreme forms lead to irrational and sometimes dangerous/criminal behaviour. Rational law abiding persons in every country should be protected against extremely irrational persons whoever they are and whatever group they belong to.

The fact that these irrational belief systems have been around for a while and pervade institutions from the top down should not fool us. The war on terrorism should be a war on irrational-ism and scientific ignorance.

Democratic nations should simply not vote for people who hold irrational beliefs such as evolution did not happen or that there is an all seeing extra terrestrial who wants us to eradicate all those who do not believe in it. As for those who make a good living out of peddling irrationality ... laws should certainly be passed to protect children and vulnerable persons from being brainwashed with such nonsense and they should be told the truth as we know it from evidence (rather than ridiculous unfounded beliefs).

We need to build a moral and just world without wasting our energies and resources on fairy stories and other fantasy that lead to conflicts over whose irrational belief system is the right one.

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Sir, Mr.Obama while permitting mosque near ground zero would have thought of ultimate human behaviour, since human beings are basically good and believe in values of life, even though many religious fanatics in the name of their religion fight, kill and loot in order to reach heaven. The religions are meant to know truth and be good to one and all.

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mikehuntez: I just think that expanding their center at this place to be in bad taste as would be putting a Nazi info center next to a synagogue or a KKK info center next to a mainly black church...

It seems to me that Nazis were and are opposed to the existence of Jews in their country and that the KKK was and is opposed to the existence of blacks in their neighborhoods. American Muslims are opposed to what?

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Sezwho2

It seems to me that Nazis were and are opposed to the existence of Jews in their country and that the KKK was and is opposed to the existence of blacks in their neighborhoods.

Germans spoke out against the Nazis before many of them were silenced. White Christians spoke out and marched against the KKK. When a group has a cancer in its mist, the larger group has to repel the cancer before it contaminates the whole.

American Muslims are opposed to what?

They are opposed to loudly distancing themselves from the Islamist extremist (you know, like the Christians did against Terry Jones). In America, Muslims are at a crossroad. Will they continue to let the Islamist extremists speak for them or will they define themselves? The polls are as they are for a reason and until you recognize that, the polls may continue to go against you and your interests. At some point the Muslims will have to make sure the American public clearly hears them or you will continue to see Islam being define by the only ones speaking loudly, the Islamist extremists. Telling American not to trust their lying eyes and lying ears is not going to cut it.

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