Moving Park51?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Chairperson of Community Board 1 Julie Menin weighs in on the rumored plan to move the much-maligned Park51 project to a site near the former St. Vincent's Hospital.


Julie Menin

Comments [20]


Why did the caller who raised the issue of Wahhabism as practiced at a mosque near her apartment on the Upper West Side not receive more reaction? Saudi Arabia has one of the most conservative forms of Islam, the majority of 9/11 suicide bombers were from Saudi Arabia, and the country is run by a monarchy in which women are constrained and degraded by law. Why is this ok with anyone here? We need to finance hospitals here and not be beholden to a royal family widely regarded as reactionary and repressive. As far as Park 51, most people here and throughout the country don't really care, but many do question the motives. It's unnecessarily polarizing to suggest that people who raise questions are intolerant religious bigots. Nonsense!

Dec. 26 2010 11:28 AM

Yes, freedom of religion and speech: person is free to choose a path for personal spiritual growth.
As long as that path does not cross our democratic secular government (separation of state and church).
But Islam is not JUST a religion. It is also a system to govern/control the society (Shariah).
Communism was also a wonderful doctrine (of equality). If it wasn't for the part teaching to destroy democracy (and free market).
Yes, we need to be more educated about Islam.
It doesn't mean you need to learn it or practice.
Just compare facts. As for St. Vincent's. Let them pay, but without a mosque, if the king is so generous.

Dec. 23 2010 01:19 AM
J.W. from Connecticut

This is my opinion on this already-tired topic:

We should build the mosque *IN* the freedom tower, cover it from ceiling to floor with camera's and microphone's that the FBI/CIA can review at their leisure, and be done with it. Symbolic tolerance and real security, a win win.

Dec. 22 2010 12:24 PM
amalgam from Manhattan by day, NJ by night

@ gary from queens -

Yes, there have been recent atrocities committed by Israel, as established by the Goldstone report on the Gaza conflict. The report found that Palestinians did, too.

Sure, Gaza is no longer "occupied" by Israel, they are merely penned into one of the largest no-go zones in the world with as much or as little contact to the outside as the Israeli government sees fit. Hamas even though not good rulers and whose values run counter to my own, were democratically elected.

As for the Park51 - It's demonstrably not on "ground zero." Period.

Why would you think to compare the U.S. culture and law to Saudi Arabia? Do we not have a more robust history of legal rights and religious tolerance than they do?

Don't you think that that Park51 will be the most scrutinized community center with a worship area (not a mosque) in the world?

Don't you think the U.S. and NYC can handle the building of Park51?

Or do you base your anti-Islamic community center sentiment on the political correctness of not wanting to hurt the feelings and sensibilities of the families of 9/11 and others who don't want the building close to ground zero?

(Looking at all your right-wing National Review citations it seems that it might be the first time you fall in with the politically correct crowd on an issue.)

Dec. 22 2010 11:52 AM
Walter from Manhattan

Mayor Bloomberg is worth approximately 17 billion dollars. Why do we not suggest our mayor step forward and, in the tradition of previous New Yorkers of substance such as the Astors and the Rockefellers, re-open St. Vincent's as Bloomberg Hospital—thereby solidifying his reputation for posterity, and giving us back the hospital that we desperately need below 14th Street.
I would like to ask for free emergency room care for all residents that live between 14th St and The Battery and make less than 60K annually, but hey.

Dec. 22 2010 11:50 AM
Joyce Hunt from Upper West Side.

I was completely opposed to the mosque to be built 2 blocks from the 9/11 site.

However, I think it would be perfectly fine for the Saudis to take over St. Vincent's and to use it for whatever they want.

Dec. 22 2010 11:44 AM
gary from queens

Dear HughSansom

I'm not a racist. I provided evidence for the claims I made. you can refute the evidence, or try to. But ad hominems undermines your credibility.

Yes, I would condemn the racist language of Pamela Geller or Rep. Peter King. Please provide the alleged statements in full context, and I if i find it racist, i will call it.

Will I condemn Israeli atrocities in occupied Palestine? What atrocities, and what occupied territory? Gaza is not occupied. And the West Bank is run by the PLO, with Israel and the US training and arming Muslims there to enforce security. "Security" against what threat, you should ask? AGAINST JIHADISTS LIKE HAMAS!!!!

Dec. 22 2010 10:33 AM

we have ny presbytarian, long island jewish, maimonades hosptal,, and moslem hosptal?? on 7th and 12st?

Dec. 22 2010 10:30 AM
michael from NYC

A story in the NYPost about Saudis that everyone else is saying is UNTRUE...why is Brian Lehrer on WNYC repeating it over and over as if it's fact? WTF shoddy!

Dec. 22 2010 10:23 AM
David from Brooklyn

Why would you give 20 minutes of airtime to unverified hearsay? That's not reporting, it's free publicity.

Dec. 22 2010 10:23 AM
Katherine Jackson from LES

It's kind of ironic that the same sector of the political world is blocking the healthcare bill or Ground Zero workers in Congress opposed the Lower Manhattan Community Center on the grounds that it doesn't respect the "sympathies of the families." How about the families of the rescue workers? How about the rescue workers themselves?

Dec. 22 2010 10:19 AM
zahid from Brooklyn

Brian I think it's insult to your intelligence and to your listeners intelligence to play in hand of NY Post propaganda. I think it is more of what they want rather than what it is.

Dec. 22 2010 10:18 AM
keith from NYC

As a resident of the West Village, such a plan to develop St. Vincents would be a true God send to the area, and if the developers of the Mosque can hear this, please consider this an amazing opportunity to show your good will, to help a community very impacted by September 11th in ways that will ripple deeply in healing any wounds and differences our cultures that will go far beyond anything that you can imagine. I do not dispute the fundamental right to build and develop a Mosque a few blocks from Ground Zero, but that site could not have any where near the impact that redeveloping St. Vincents. That would be wonderful, really. Further, I personally hold responsible all the idiots, including Christine Quinn, who opposed the original plan for St.Vincents to re-development two years ago, when they should have known that their opposition would result in the closure of a badly needed facility.

Dec. 22 2010 10:17 AM
Kevin from Brooklyn

Put the mosque where ever you want. Anything that adds funded hospitals to New York City sounds like an idea worth looking into.

Dec. 22 2010 10:16 AM

Will Gary from Queens condemn Israeli atrocities in occupied Palestine? Will he condemn the racist language of Pamela Geller or Rep. Peter King?

Why should he? Why should Gary's opinion be tested by reference to the opinions of those to whom he has no relation?

So why should Imam Rauf be so tested? Because anti-Arab, anti-Muslim racists like Gary from Queens are not interested in truth or decency or just but in bashing Muslims, not matter where they are.

Dec. 22 2010 10:15 AM
dan kaplan from chelsea

Don't give in to the move. Republicans, fond of our founding fathers, and especially Jews, who are pushing for the mosque to move should know the following about the Touro Synagogue (oldest in America), in Newport, RI:

"In 1790 when President George Washington, in his letter "To the Hebrew Congregation in Newport," declared that the new nation would "… give to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance." These few words affirmed the founding fathers' commitment to the principals of religious freedom as a cornerstone of democracy in America."

Dec. 22 2010 10:13 AM
Lois from Brooklyn

What I'm offended by is your bringing this whole thing up again....why don;t you bring on Peter King and the two of you can bash the Muslims for your two hours. I used to find your show interesting now I find it truly offensive

Dec. 22 2010 10:13 AM
Gloria P. from Queens

I wanted the Islamic center to be built by Ground Zero. It would have hurt no one; it would have given America the moral high ground; it would have earned us goodwill in Muslim countries; and it would have cost us nothing. It's like the Muslim world writing America a big check.

Dec. 22 2010 10:11 AM
gary from queens

Imam Feisal Rauf’s has strong ties to the Muslim Brotherhood:

He also praised the prinicples of Khomeini’s 1979 Iranian revolution:

He refused to condemn Hamas:

His efforts to supplant our Constitution with Shariah Law:

Shariah is the legal basis for mainstream islam's intolerance of homosexuals, apostates, non-believers and the subjugation of women.
Example: Annals of Sharia: ‘Allah honored wives by instating the punishment of beatings’:

It is therefore likely that the Mosque will discriminate against women, for example. And it will not extend reciprocal tolerance to non-Islamic religious rites. Every Muslim terrorist is an Islamist, but not every Islamist is a terrorist. Imam Rauf is an Islamist who wants to peacefully replace our Constitution with Shariah. It's what Robert Spencer terms, the Stealth Jihad. Both violent and Stealth jihad is taking over Europe. Jews---the target of violent hate crimes by Muslims----are leaving several European nations in droves.

Hisham Elzanaty is the mysterious GZ mosque investor who has apparently contributed thousands of dollars to the Holy Land Foundation—which was set up by the Muslim Brotherhood to be an American piggy bank for Hamas during the Intifada. And we are to take it on faith that he’s really a great guy looking to help Imam Rauf “build bridges” by erecting this mosque?

Apparently, Bloomberg and Obama think so. They insist that by preventing the mosque to be built on ground zero, it will encourage recruitment to al qaeda. If they really believe that, then why aren't they confronting the islamist regimes that confiscate and destroy Bibles, crucifixes, Stars of David, and other articles of profound religious substance and symbolism to non-Muslims? Doesn't THAT encourage recruitment of Christians and Jews to anti Muslim terrorist organizations?! Oh, wait----there aren't any!

Put simply: All we want is for the mosque to be built elsewhere. Whereas Shariah calls for killing human beings who renounce Islam. Does the president or Bloomberg have an explanation for why Christians and Jews are not forming terror cells with the bonanza of recruits in response to what constitutes routine law enforcement in, say, Saudi Arabia?

Dec. 22 2010 10:07 AM
Robert from NYC

Call me a dreamer but I had this idea that somehow soon St. Vincent's would reopen. Well if the Saudi Royal family wants to do that, that's fine with me, as long as it's open to us all.

Dec. 22 2010 10:02 AM

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