Obviously many people living far outside of New York City feel that they have a dog in the Ground Zero/Mosque controversy.  Actually, they probably don’t.  Ground Zero doesn’t really belong to America–not yet. 

Rather than taking a position, how about our contributors weighing in on the subject.   Can New Yorkers legally prevent an Islamic center from being built in the shadow of Ground Zero?   Next question is obvously, should they try to prevent the center from being built at this location?

And how about that rascally first amendment?

91 Thoughts to “The Ground Zero Mosque Controversy”

  1. Emma

    I do, however, refuse to buy petroleum products from Citgo to avoid helping to fund the efforts of dictator Hugo Chavez.

    So you know exactly where all of your petroleum products come from, Morris? Are you sure that none of these products fund the efforts of dictator Hugo Chavez? Are you aware that of the 42 gallons in a barrel of oil, over half is used to make the following products:
    Diesel fuel
    Motor Oil
    Bearing Grease
    Floor Wax
    Ballpoint Pens
    Football Cleats
    Bicycle Tires
    Nail Polish
    Fishing lures
    Golf Bags
    Dishwasher parts
    Tool Boxes
    Shoe Polish
    Motorcycle Helmet
    Petroleum Jelly
    Transparent Tape
    CD Player
    Faucet Washers
    Shower Curtains
    Food Preservatives
    Vitamin Capsules
    Panty Hose
    Life Jackets
    Rubbing Alcohol
    TV Cabinets
    Electrician’s Tape
    Tool Racks
    Car Battery Cases
    Insect Repellent
    Oil Filters
    Hair Coloring
    Toilet Seats
    Fishing Rods
    Denture Adhesive
    Ice Cube Trays
    Synthetic Rubber
    Electric Blankets
    Tennis Rackets
    Rubber Cement
    Fishing Boots
    Nylon Rope
    Trash Bags
    House Paint
    Water Pipes
    Hand Lotion
    Roller Skates
    Surf Boards
    Paint Rollers
    Shower Curtains
    Guitar Strings
    Safety Glasses
    Football Helmets
    Ice Chests
    CD’s & DVD’s
    Paint Brushes
    Sun Glasses
    Heart Valves
    Artificial Turf
    Artificial limbs
    Model Cars
    Hair Curlers
    Soft Contact lenses
    Drinking Cups
    Fan Belts
    Shaving Cream
    Golf Balls

    Can I come over to your house and watch while you make your Chavez-free shopping list for the week?

  2. Elena

    Welcome Karl! You made wonderful points.

    I love it when you reference your boxers to make a point : )

    I was disappointed when president Obama seemed to backtrack from his original statement.

  3. Welcome Karl. You certainly brought a new perspective to this bunch.

  4. @Elena, and I didn’t think he backtracked. I thought he reaffirmed the legality and refused to give a personal opinion.

  5. Morris Davis

    Emma – Your vast knowledge of petroleum-based products resulted in a very impressive list that would clearly earn an “A” in an elementary school quiz. I see that several far-right staple items are on your list including hair coloring (Tom Delay and Charles Krauthammer (or maybe that’s shoe polish)), lipstick (Sarah Palin and pit bulls and pigs), and petroleum jelly (David Vitter, Jon Ensign, Mark Sanford, Larry Craig and Vito Fossella), but you left off spray tans (Jon Boehner). And you still didn’t address my point that if we’re going to punish those who brought us 9/11 based on their unique characteristics then Bin Laden, 15 of the hijackers, and the main funding source for al Qaeda all originate from Saudi Arabia. So why aren’t you for persecuting everyone of Saudi origin (they’re all Muslim too, so your prejudice would count as a two-fer)?

  6. Emma

    Nice try at deflecion, Morris. So how’s that boycott workin’ for ya’?

  7. marinm

    Morris, swing and a miss. Thank you for attempting to debate but you are the weakest link. Good bye.

  8. Actually, since Citgo is the only company that I know about whose profits support Chavez, I boycott it also. I don’t ask anyone else to do that. I do the same with products made in China, if I can.

    If I could, I would buy only domestically produce items and use only domestic oil. However, that’s impossible.

    As to the mosque, we are fighting a philosophy based upon Islam. No, we are not fighting all of Islam. The Imam that is supporting this mosque lies. He supports HAMAS, etc, therefore he supports terrorism. He is part of the network that supports increasing the influence of Sharia in America. Muslims traditionally build mosques at sites of victory. I believe that is why they are adamant that this be built at this location. Sharia law and many fundamentals of Muslim teaching are anathema to US freedoms and law. We are in a war with people that support Islamism and jihad. This is part of it. When I see large numbers of muslims speak out and actually combat the terrorists, then I will no longer believe that we are in a religious war. When I see the Islamic nations allow the building of churches, temples, etc and allow freedom of religion, then will believe that Islam can be part of a free society. When Saudi Arabia stops supporting radical Wahabbist mosques, when Pakistani madrassas stop preaching violence to unbelievers, when Palestinians stop worshiping death, when Iran stops calling for the destruction of entire country, when women are not subjugated, persecuted, and killed, when muslim families stop “honor” murders, then will I consider that Islamic nations can be considered civilized. Look on a map. Where ever there is a border with a muslim country, there is violence.

    There are peaceful, law abiding, civilized muslims. I just wish that there were more of them.

    Stop the mosque.

  9. I do the same with products made in China, if I can.

    Good luck on that one. It is very difficult to do…avoid Chinese products. I try to avoid them also for several reasons, the most important being you don’t know what the hell is in them. The second reason is whatever it is you are buying was probably made by some child in a sweat shop. The third reason is I don’t like buying things from communist countries.

    However, I do make exceptions. I also don’t buy Exxon but I own their stock. Yes, I am a hypocrite.

  10. Buy BP. Its cheap now. Some little accident in the ocean somewhere. Didn’t amount to much…

    By the way, did you hear that the firefighting on the rig, which did not follow regs, was what sank the rig. Which is what damaged the well head? If true, that would mean that the Coast Guard is at fault……..

  11. marinm

    BP should’ve been smart and put a wedding ring on the cap. It would’ve immediatly stopped putting out.

    I jest… 🙂

    I disagree with Cargo in that I don’t think it’s in the govt’s position to stop the Mosque.. But, I don’t think they’re doing any favors for themselves by building it two blocks away from the WTC site. At the end of the day this is a NY matter and the voters of NY need to figure out if their representatives did thier jobs.

    MH, I’m 100% pro-sweat shops as the alternative in many of those countries is starvation or death.

    Cargo, interesting note about the cargo rig fire……… That’s why I want to see the final investigation occur and it’s results. It’ll be an interesting read!

  12. PWC Taxpayer

    I was totally for political correctness and unabashed appeasement to my muslem brothers – er – voting constituency until, of course, we saw the rather dramatic drop in the polls that necessitated the clarification that we really should also try to respect the desires and concerns of the victims of 9/11 in spite of the legalities.

  13. PWC Taxpayer

    To Republican strategists, the mosque fits into a pattern of issues in which Obama is not just disconnected from the mainstream but actually opposed to the positions of a majority of Americans. Most people don’t want the mosque; Obama favors it. Most people support the Arizona immigration law; Obama opposes it. Most people opposed the Democratic health care bill; Obama pushed it through. In each case, Obama and his Democratic allies knew what the majority of Americans wanted and ignored it.

    Sometimes a politician has to make a stand on principle. But voters will only put up so long with repeated defiance of their wishes. Obama and his party may learn that this November.

    Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/Dems-feel-the-heat-from-Obama_s-stand-on-mosque-499168-100807274.html#ixzz0wtMXAhdk

  14. marinm


    Too soon? 😉

  15. That was cold, Marin. It shouldnt get down to death or starvation in China. Why they have surpassed Japan.

  16. Rez

    Funny, my lovely wife of 37 years (tomorrow) didn’t see the humor. Go figure 🙂

  17. Rez, happy anniversary to you and Mrs. Rez.

    Has anyone seen Wolverine around lately?

  18. marinm



    Excerpt: Well-meaning American university students regularly campaign against sweatshops. But instead, anyone who cares about fighting poverty should campaign in favor of sweatshops, demanding that companies set up factories in Africa. … [T]hat would fight poverty far more effectively than any foreign aid program. …

  19. Bear

    Let me start by saying I’m a New Yorker so I know something about the general opinion on the Islamic center here in New York. All that are affected agree that they should build the Center. The Republicans figured they couldn’t run on Gay marriage because nobody cares anymore so this year it’s scare the people about an Islamic center. It would be nice to hear what they stand for once. WTF (What’s The Facts)

  20. Scout

    One of the things that puzzles me about this is how easily people are manipulated by third-rate pols on this issue. Everyone must be sleep-deprived, overworked, drunk or just brain dead. First, the Islamic facility is not at “Ground Zero.” In New York, a couple of blocks can be a world of difference. How far away does a religious facility have to be before it’s OK? Second, the stupid bastards who flew the planes into WTC and the Pentagon were about as “Islamic” as Timothy McVeigh was high church Episcopalian. They were nut cases who were as easily manipulated by the types of pols they listened to as a lot of people here are manipulated by the pols they listen to. Third, doesn’t anyone understand analogies anymore? There used to be a standardized test called the Miller Analogy Test. Everyone must fail that these days. Second Alamo thinks this would be like putting a monument to the Japanese Navy pilots at Pearl Harbor. To make the analogy work, someone would have to be proposing a statue of Mohammed Atta at Ground Zero. (His Hitler statue similarly is wide of the mark. No one is proposing an Osama Bin Laden equestrian bronze at the site of the twin towers. The only way these analogies work is by conflating the terrorists with all Muslims. Which is something the US Government since 9/11 takes great pains (for obvious reasons) not to do. Fifth, the enemies of United States who have used a perverted Islamic rap to attract recruits to terrorism just love it when the American population provides them with validation of their line that Americans are implacably hostile to Islam and Muslims. Islamic extremists love to paint Americans as hateful, ignorant anti-Islamic thugs. If you want to cut off these guys’ oxygen, make sure that you understand Islam and respect its mainstream elements. Sixth, what is the principle on which one forbids the building of this mosque? One has to come up with something better than Islamophobia. Is it the goofball worldview of the terrorists? Way to validate that looney fringe. Sixth, quite aside from what the Islamic world thinks of us, what do other nations think of a bunch of citizens who allow themselves to get so lathered up by a bunch of talk show hosts and aspiring pols? The more we dumb ourselves down in the eyes of the world, the harder our government has to work to convince other nations that we are a responsible, dependable, and clear-thinking ally. I could keep this up for a while, but I’ll sit back and watch what happens.

    Cargosquid: does the Coast Guard provide firefighting services? It may have in this case, but in most of my experience this kind of thing is done by private companies and, in harbors, local governments.

  21. The Coast Guard was in charge of the firefighting. (As I remember the report. Your mileage may vary.)

    I don’t want the feds to stop the mosque. I want the people to stop the mosque. I want those that oppose it to boycott building on it, servicing it, etc. I want the builders of it to realize that it is NOT a conciliatory act to build a mosque near the scene of the crime. I want them to realize that opening said mosque on 9/11 would be an insult.

    Let them open a mosque that openly condemns all acts of political violence, rejects HAMAS and other terror organizations, and rejects the violent teachings of Muhammed. Let them treat their women well. Let them allow other faiths to interact or convert their followers without a call for death. Let them open a REFORM mosque.

    Here’s what other Muslims say about the “Ground Zero” mosque: http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/4536.htm

    In an August 16, 2010 column in the London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, ‘Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed, Al-Arabiya TV director-general and the paper’s former editor, criticized President Obama for supporting the construction of the Cordoba House mosque at Ground Zero in New York. He stated that it would be unwise to construct a mosque at that location, saying that no practicing Muslims live in the area, and that the mosque would become a focal point for both the supporters of terrorism and the champions of Islamophobia. Therefore, he argued, it would be preferable for Obama to throw his support behind issues that are of real concern for the Muslims, such as promoting Middle East peace.

    U.S. President Barack Obama took a difficult position when he supported the construction of a mosque on a site where 3,000 U.S. citizens were killed by Al-Qaeda terrorists on September 11, 2001. Though the president’s position was correct in principle, that is, in terms of the principle of freedom of worship, I think he took a political stand [on an issue] that is unnecessary and unimportant, even for the Muslims. This mosque is not an issue for Muslims, and they do not care about its construction.

    “I can’t imagine that Muslims [actually] want a mosque at this particular location, because it will become an arena for the promoters of hatred, and a monument to those who committed the crime. Moreover, there are no practicing Muslims in the area who need a place to worship, because it is a commercial district. Is there anyone who is [really] eager [to build] this mosque?…

    Muslims do not [really] yearn [to build] a mosque near the 9/11 cemetery, nor do they care whether bin Laden’s cook is tried in a civilian court [or a military one].


    “a monument to those who committed the crime,”

  22. Bear

    If it were some other religious organization who wanted to build a center , would it be ok or is it just Muslims who don’t deserve a center 2 blocks away in a practically deserted area?
    I thought we all supported religious freedom or is it just the kind we approve of?
    In his speech Obama supported the first amendment, What else do you expect from a President?

  23. Scout

    CS – why would building a mosque in lower Manhattan be an insult? Is there some connection between the mosque and the events of 9/11? If a group wanted to open a synagogue, would we require them to reject the more lurid elements of the Old Testament (e.g., concubinage, slavery, mass slaughter of prisoners and innocents)? If Christians wanted to open a church, do we require them to reject the Inquisition or the Crusades before a permit issues? Is the basis of your opposition the location, or the religion? Why would we have to insist on internal changes to the religion if the problem is location? Wouldn’t we want to insist on those types of changes before any mosque anywhere were built? If so, what is the principle upon which we insist on changes in religion as part of the siting and zoning process? Do we confine our interest in reforming religions to certain religions when we link zoning and permitting to religious content, or will this be a general requirement for all religious structures?

  24. PWC Taxpayer

    I am actually neutral on the mosque itself, but, I want a number of muslem organizations to come out and say, “you know what, we understand the anger and the hurt and as a gester (sp) of peace and reeconciliation, we too ask that our brothers build their mosque at aonther location.” Where are these folks that do not want to put a stick in our eye. Where are these folks who understand that the Imam at this mosque is Hamas and is a part of the 1% of muslem crazies – like Obama’ very own Rev. Wright.

  25. Scout

    How do we know that the Imam “is Hamas” and part of the “1% of muslem crazies.” To “understand the anger and hurt” do we have to conflate Islam with the acts of the nuts who carried out the attack on WTC? Do we think that is factually a correct thing to do? How far away does the mosque have to be not to be offensive? Is there something magical about two blocks as opposed to five blocks or some other number? If Muslims in Tennessee were to build a mosque in Nashville as a gesture of peace and reconciliation after 9/11, would there not be protests of that?

  26. marinm

    This is really no different than a strip bar being opened near a school or a Wal-Mart being opened up near a battlefield. The law may allow it but if public outcry in that community is enough the project may be killed or the developer scores so much bad press the project is abandoned.

    As I’m not a New Yorker (I don’t understand and care for their repressive government) I don’t have skin in this game but to say that Mr. Obama expressed weakness when he clarified his comments and wighted in on what’s really a local city zoning issue.

  27. Scout,

    He has publicly refuses to consider HAMAS a terror organization. Conflating the tenets of Islam with terrorism is not hard when you consider that those same terrorist use Islam as a basis for their acts. Let’s say that 1% of the muslim world is part of the crazies….15 million people want to kill you. How many more “peacefully” support the goals of “radical” Islam? Remember, its not just terror that is anathema to US freedoms. Enactment of, or deference to sharia law is just at bad. How many devout muslims follow sharia law and want it enacted in the west?

    As to the zoning question, I don’t believe that the opponents have said zoning is an issue. The opponents have stated that they have the right to build there. But they state that its not right to build there.

    Mosques are religious buildings and political buildings. There is no separation of church and state in the muslim world.

    If an Imam publicly denounces terrorism or violence for political purposes, etc….THAT imam is interested in outreach and should build a mosque there. Let it become a symbol of civilized Islam.

    Islam is not just a religion. It is a political, legal and social system. Devout muslims support the mistreatment of women. They support honor killings. Stonings. Violence against those they say do not show Islam respect. They order the killing of those that speak out or expose the violence within the system. They cannot reform because their system does not allow it.

    Christianity solved their problem with extremism and now condemns it. Judaism has had it beaten out of it over the last 2000 years. Hinduism still has some of it, but, is not trying to export it. they are also in a conflict with Muslims. Since these groups are not preaching violence, they are civilized.

    Muslims use our laws against us. They are building a mosque named after a muslim conquest, want to open it on the day of a perceived victory at the site of a perceived victory, has an Imam that refused to denounce terrorism, contradicts himself in speeches according to his audience, know that Westerners do not know that Muslim tenets allow for deception against unbelievers.

    The area is not abandoned. It has many businesses. Other Muslims question the location for that reason and because it most probably will become a shrine to victory. Opponents have stated that a mosque built elsewhere would not be a problem.

    The World Trade Centers were brought down by terrorists fighting a religious war. We are in a religious war. Whether we acknowledge it or not. The enemy does not care.

  28. Scout

    I do not think the guy has said, as someone else implied up in the comment thread, that he is a member of Hamas. And I think he has renounced terrorism and violence for political purposes. That was one of the reasons he is so highly regarded by the last two US Administrations. The statements concerning this particular mosque have been that it will serve as an outreach and reconciliation facility. So are we OK under your 4th paragraph criteria?

    As to the bulk of your comment, CS, is the answer to have special laws that forbid Muslim places of worship? Your points are very much anti-Islam, not particularly related to the location of this mosque or any other. I would think a general ban on building Islamic places of worship would be the only logical way to address your concerns. But I’m at a loss as to how one does that.

    The world trade center was brought down by terrorists who had been played and manipulated by lunatics using a particularly toxic brand of Islam as a recruiting tool. There are people all over the world, from all the major religious strains, who are vulnerable to that kind of manipulation and who are willing to take extreme violent actions for an extreme version of their religion. It would be nice if there were easy answers for countering those types. I don’t see any. I suspect that allowing ourselves to fall into a grossly broad-brush way of thinking makes the job of the Islamist nut cases much easier, rather than more difficult.

  29. Emma

    Where are all of the separation-of-church-and-staters on this issue? What business is it of the President of the United States whether a mosque is built anywhere in the US?

  30. @Scout
    No, he isn’t part of Hamas. However, one cannot renounce terrorism and support Hamas. The problem is that if he is so interested in outreach, why is he building where it appears to be “victory” mosque?

    I agree with you statement about bans on building mosques. We can’t do that. Unfortunately, that means that houses of worship and community organization where those that preach death, will be built. So, since we cannot ban them for that reason, we must force them to see that being a violent religion does not profit them. I don’t agree that there are people from all over the world that will commit religious violence, with the exception of a very rare few. And no other religion advocates violence like Islam does. Because of its political and legal nature, its religious statements are taken as law. If you examine the world, only Hinduism has some violence related to its culture. However, most of that is due to conflict with Muslims going back to the 12th century.

    There is no organized violence in any other religion. I’m not anti-Islam. I’ve worked with hundreds of Muslims overseas, in Kuwait. They were great. We had wonderful discussions of the war, terrorism, how Islam is perceived int the West and vice versa.

    I am anti-violence, anti-persecution, anti-terrorism, anti-discrimination, anti-theocracy.

    Painting with a “broad brush” is dangerous. But so is too narrow a focus. I understand why Bush, etc, bends over backward to project Islam as a religion of peace. The alternative is to realize that huge segments of Islam is uncivilized and that our laws and principles have no protections against it.

    Except the people of America’s freedom of speech. We must point out what we see and discuss it, even if “feelings” get hurt. Because sometimes we are right. And more often than not.

    The militant Islamists know that they can use our culture against us, especially the left’s concern for political correctness and the need for being “nice.”

    “Nice” will kill us. We are at war with people whose motivation is religious and totalitarian. And they are ALL Muslim.

  31. This is why we don’t trust this Imam. He weasel words everything.


    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

    “We’ll look at all available options within the United States to start. We’re hoping to fund this predominately from domestic donors. That can be everything from institutions all the way down to personal [contributors,]” said Sultan.

    When asked if they would then turn to foreign donors, Sultan replied, “I can’t comment on that.”

    Pressed on whether the developers were willilng rule out accepting donations from the governments of Saudi Arabia or Iran, he repeated, “I can’t comment on that.”

  32. Emma

    “Obviously many people living far outside of New York City feel that they have a dog in the Ground Zero/Mosque controversy. Actually, they probably don’t.”

    If we find out that the mosque is being funded by extremist organizations overseas, then I do think we all have a dog in the fight. Why does it have to open on 9/11, too? How could the imam and company possibly think that that would play well?

  33. Scout

    I read that reported discussion on dialogue as I have prowled around trying to figure out why people are teeing off on this guy to the extent they are. I took the “dialogue” remarks to mean what they say – that the Imam, like many Christian clergymen, is certain of the inerrancy of his beliefs and that having “conferences in large hotels” (his example) doesn’t yield results. I think we might agree with that. That doesn’t bother me in itself. Most of my Christian friends probably agree with that. The issue, however, is how do we live together in this country.

    Hamas, as the Imam says, is a complex issue. People in the region will tell you that Hamas has a lot of moving parts. One of the reasons for its electoral popularity in Palestine is that it has social and political programs that are generally perceived as beneficial. It also has an armed component that is implacably anti-Israel. The outfit has some similarities to the Sinn Fein/IRA structure, but with a lot more social infrastructure. The military arm is the element that has gotten it tagged as “terrorist” by our State Department. The State Department designations appear very political and, at times arbitrary to people knowledgeable about the complexities of Middle East diplomacy, politics and security concerns. I can understand someone who spends a lot of time there being equivocal about hanging a one-word description on it or seeming to accept uncritically the US State Department designations.

    It appears to me that the “victory mosque” and triumphalist arguments against the site of this mosque are entirely coming from the opposition camp, not from the proponents of the mosque. This argument is a construct of non-Islamic elements hostile to the project. It either reflects a projection of fears, or is simply something that is made up. As vast as the worldwide internet is, I doubt that anyone can find anything anywhere in which Imam Rauf or his backers have described this as a triumphalist structure to commemorate a “victory” on 9/11/01. This is our fear talking, not their intent. In any event, I would guess that virtually any Muslim in the United States would view 9/11 as a huge tragedy for Islam in America, given the careless way many non-Muslims think about the links between their religion and the propaganda of the terrorists. I have never heard any Muslim here speak of 9/11 as anything but an utter calamity.

    CS, I’ve read your comments here and elsewhere for quite some time, and much of what you say I agree with. I think we are both political conservatives with strong views on defense and national security, and some life experiences that teach us that sometimes America just has to defend liberty far afield, as well as at home. But, in this thread, it’s very apparent that your views don’t have any other logical outcome other than overt hostility to Islamic citizens and residents of the United States. If Islam, as opposed to Islamic lunatics, is an immediate existential threat to the United States, we have no choice other than to convert or kill them all. That’s the logical outcome of your views. You have a lot of company in your perception. My concern is that Americans with these views actually exacerbate our security problems and confound our foreign and military policy by playing into a caricature of the United States that is peddled abroad by people like bin Laden. Your views, expressed vocally by large numbers of Americans, make more terrorists than my hope that America’s proven track record for religious tolerance and assimilation of other cultures can be a powerful weapon against the force of Islamic extremism. This observation has, I submit, validity quite apart from whether you or I are correct about our respective views of the situation. What I see happening is our worst instincts coming to the fore in a way that gives great comfort to our enemies. If anti-Islamic hostility is our public face, we are in imminent danger of becoming what our enemies say we are. And that’s a real long-term problem for American security.

  34. Scout,

    I actually agree with everything that you wrote above. The imam involved HAS been involved in outreach for the government. Our government has a terrible record of using the wrong people. Rauf, while he may be interested in peace, will not be able to control the attendees of said mosque, and it WILL be used by those against us as a propaganda item. Our tolerance is our strength. Our new addiction to political correctness is our weakness. If our meager version of “intolerance” of the way Islam interacts with the West, compared to the actual abuses withing the Moslem world OF FELLOW MUSLIMS, turns people into terrorists, they were already heading that way.

    I do think that our tolerance and religious freedom is a huge tool in reforming Islam. However, I want more evidence on their part. Trust, but verify. I don’t trust Rauf. He’s too……political. He parses every word. I don’t care if they build a mosque, even 5 or six blocks away. I don’t care what they say there. The location will not be connected to a “muslim victory.” If the mosque is built there, it will be used by jihadists as a propaganda tool to recruit and show weakness.

    Heck, even Muslims don’t want it. They see it as a connection between 9/11 and Islam:

    Excerpt from http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/top-muslims-condemn-ground-zero-mosque-as-a-%E2%80%98zionist-conspiracy%E2%80%99/

    The Egyptian newspaper Al Masry Al Youm reported that none other than Al Azhar — one of Sunni Islam’s most authoritative institutions — agrees, as shown by the following translated excerpt:

    A number of Al Azhar ulema expressed their opposition to building a mosque near [where] the events of September 11 [occurred], convinced that it is “a conspiracy to confirm a clear connection between the strikes of September [11] and Islam.” Dr. ‘Abd al-Mu‘ti Bayumi, a member of the Islamic Research Academy [of Al Azhar] told Al Masry Al Youm that he rejects the building of any mosque in this area [Ground Zero], because the “devious mentality” desires to connect these events [of 9/11] with Islam, though he maintains that Islam is innocent of this accusation. Instead, it is a “Zionist conspiracy,” which many are making use of to harm the religion. Likewise, Dr. Amna Nazir, professor of doctrine and philosophy at Al Azhar, expressed her rejection that a mosque be built near the World Trade Center, saying: “Building a mosque on this rubble indicates bad intention — even if we wished to shut our eyes, close our minds, and insist on good will. I hope it is a sincere step, and not a new conspiracy against Islam and Muslims.”

    I think that, as a “symbol of outreach” it has FAIL all over it.

  35. Edit “and show weakness.” above should read and show America’s “weakness.”

  36. Morris Davis

    At Pentagon, a lesson in tolerance N.Y. mosque debate should heed

    By Petula Dvorak

    Washington Post, Friday, August 20, 2010; B01

    Let me take you back to 2002, a year after the Sept. 11 attacks, with the horror and disbelief of that terrible day still very fresh in our minds.

    Now, would you believe that in November of that year, right next to the spot where 184 people lost their lives in the Pentagon, the military opened a sanctuary where Islam could be celebrated?

    This is truly on sacred ground, mind you. Not two blocks away, wedged between the Gap and Sephora in Pentagon City mall, out of sight of the original crash site.

    This prayer room is a mere 30 steps from the place where terrorists crashed the nose cone of American Airlines Flight 77 through the wall and killed Pentagon secretaries and military officers, soccer moms and Little League dads in a screaming “I-have-control-of-this-plane-and-I’m-going-to-die-in-the-name-of-Allah” instant.

    In this Pentagon chapel, Muslims can unroll their prayer mats once a day and give praise to Allah. On Fridays, they bring in an imam to conduct a service.

    Cue the outrage:

    “How dare they?”/”This is an insult to patriotic Americans everywhere, and especially to the families of those who died that day and the good men and women who are risking their lives for their country in the fight against terrorism!”/”Let’s stop this now!”

    Oh wait, there was no outrage. No hyperventilating by cable news anchors. No outpouring of hateful rhetoric on blogs and Web sites.

    “Nope, never heard a word about it,” folks in the Pentagon chaplain’s office told me Thursday after we visited the crash site memorial and the chapel next to it. “No one has had a problem with it.”

    It is a humble space, spartan except for a U.S. flag and a stained-glass window that depicts a Pentagon and a screaming eagle. The only sign that it’s not a lecture hall or meeting room is the piano in one corner and the stack of camouflage-covered New Testament books of psalms and proverbs on a shelf.

    Since it began use eight years ago, Korans have been opened and closed hundreds of times, Islamic prayers have been whispered by the thousands.

    The families, friends and colleagues of those who died or were injured in the 2001 terrorist attack have never complained to the Pentagon about the inclusion of Muslim services, officials said.

    The only thing they’ve heard recently is an inquiry from a couple Buddhists about starting services there, an official told me.

    In the heart of the U.S. military machine, in a place where generals stomp around like demigods and the hallways bristle with combat-ready warriors, religious tolerance is part of what it means to be American.

    “We are sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution. And freedom of religion is part of that Constitution,” said George Wright, who is an Army spokesman at the Pentagon. Until this week, when reporters like me flooded him with calls about the proximity of Muslim worship to the site of a terrorist attack, there has been no interest or controversy surrounding it.

    The people I spoke with at the Pentagon said they were surprised at the furor over plans to build a mosque and Islamic community center near Ground Zero in New York.

    It’s true that the chapel in the Pentagon isn’t a mosque; it’s designed for use by many faiths. Each week, it hosts a Catholic Mass, Protestant, Episcopal and Hindu services, a Church of Latter-day Saints Bible study, and a Jewish service and Torah study in addition to the Muslim prayers and service.

    But it’s worth looking at because had the establishment of Muslim services on hallowed ground in the Pentagon been framed with the same demagoguing, throat-clutching rhetoric that the debate in New York is being presented, seething fear could easily have run amok.

    It didn’t. And that says something about Americans at their best.

    Too bad our better angels aren’t on display in the New York mosque uproar. For years, no one complained about the two mosques that operate several blocks from Ground Zero or the propriety of a strip club and off-track betting parlor so close to the hallowed ground where almost 3,000 people died. Have any of the folks complaining so vociferously been to that part of New York? One block away, in the land of nasty little food stands, there is little that is sacred.

    In the Pentagon on Thursday, we walked past a CVS, a florist, a jeweler and a handbag store on our way to the chapel. It’s a little city in there, and as Pentagon citizens do their errands, about 300 to 400 of them duck into that chapel each week for whatever worship suits them.

    As we were talking about the 3,500 Muslim service members, one of the chaplains told me that there are plenty of U.S. military facilities across the globe that have spaces dedicated to Muslim services, not just interfaith chapels. “On bases in Iraq and so forth, we have mosques,” he said. “No one has ever raised any concern about that.”

    And here’s my question: Why should anyone?

  37. Excellent post, Moe. Thanks. So…are we to assume this issue has been…Oh I don’t know the word for it…politicized?

    Nooo…tell me it isn’t true. Frankly, I don’t see the difference. The Pentagon has never gotten the same ” Look at me!” that the WTC has gotten. The Pentagon people never got the big government bucks the WTC people got either.

    Perhaps that is why they humbly accept that we live in a pluralistic society where the first amendment thrives, and move on.

  38. Yes, it has been politicized. The military by law and nature is apolitical. Building a mosque within the debris field of Ground Zero, naming it after a Muslim victory, not considering the feelings and opinions of those affected, declaring that any objections about the mosque don’t matter, being a weasel wording politician that refuses to reject money from Saudi Arabia, etc, ignoring the objections of other Muslims, ignoring the obvious propaganda aspect, all of this makes this a political deal.

    Ace of Spades, comparing the building of the mosque to Americans building a museum of American Aviation triumphs in Hiroshima, which is similar to my feelings.

    And because we all would understand that such a feeling is not only inevitable but perfectly reasonable, of course no American — no nobody — would ever dream of erecting such a museum in Hiroshima.

    Such a museum is fine in and of itself– there’s a good one, I’m told, at the Smithsonian in DC.

    But in Hiroshima? Utterly insensitive, inappropriate, cruel, triumphal, offensive, demeaning to the memory of the dead of Hiroshima, provocative, disrespectful, arrogant, shameless.

    Mark that last word because that’s the one that I think is most important. People keep saying what this debate is about, or isn’t about. It isn’t about this, it isn’t about that. It’s not about freedom of religion, it’s about sharia. Etc.

    What it’s about is the utter shamelessness of this. The utter refusal for anyone involved in this grotesquerie to exhibit the sense of decorum and taste that even animals possess and evaluate what impact their designs may have on other people, including the direct victims of radical, triumphant Islam.


    I would suggest that Cordoba House fixate itself less on selling Islam to the West and more on selling Western values of anti-terrorism, render-unto-Caesar, and tolerance to Islam.

    Were they actually doing that, I would support this– wholeheartedly!

    But they’re not. Next to a hole in the ground created by Muslim excess and Islamic equivocation over the rightfulness of murdering the infidel, they want to erect and advertisement — not for peace, not for understanding, not for dialogue, not for anti-terrorism — but just for Islam.

    And they didn’t bother to ask if anyone would have a problem with this, and that’s because they never cared. It was never about that — it was about, just as suspected, erecting a trimuphal tower to the might of Islam.

    And they didn’t ask about that, and now that people have — since they weren’t asked in private, we have to tell them in public — they still don’t care.

    So don’t tell me this is about tolerance and moderation and building bridges.

    This is about a shameless attempt to grab up a piece of property on the cheap, a piece of property in downtown Manhattan that is only on the market at all because of the actions of some Muslims, and the shamelessness of other Muslims in plunking down cash of dubious sourcing to purchase the land at jet-fuel fire-sale prices.

    The multi-faith room in the Pentagon does not equal a multi-story community center including mosque, marketed to the world as an “iconic” center. The Muslims using the room at the Pentagon, I presume, are not using it to advance the cause of Sharia throughout the US.

    Sharia and American freedoms are not compatible.

  39. Scout

    What does Sharia law have to do with the Center in lower Manhattan? It seems to me to be logical to contend that we like the current system of law and governance AND the Community Center should be built where the owners of the land want it to be built. Any tension between these two thoughts? I wouldn’t think so.

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