Sacred Ground

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Flowers at the 9/11 Memorial pools. World Trade Center site. (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

Eboo Patel, founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core and the author of Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America, talks about the need for interfaith on the anniversary of the 2001 attacks.


Eboo Patel

Comments [59]

anna from new york

So, Ebbo Patel, an Islamic apologist, is running "Interfaith Youth Core" and "has been on advisory board to the Obama administration around civic engagement issue"
So, "INTERFAITH Youth Core" is run be Islam APOLOGIST!!!!! And he "has been on advisory board to the Obama administration." Hmmm.
Does Obama administration have any adviser who isn't Islam apologist or some renegade?

Sep. 12 2012 06:24 AM
anna from new york

Should I stress that Hugo Sanson treats texts the way Stalinists always treated texts, or it is obvious?
Oh Orwell, Orwell, we need you now.

Sep. 12 2012 05:58 AM
anna from new york

"John A.

Islam could use a good apologist. Aren't their two halves, within the faith, that are frequently at war with each other? In balance I could offer christian Ireland ca.1965, a problem now Solved. Anyway, looking forward, I go the the "Sacred Ground" page on Amazon for some answers.."
Yeah, John A, the propaganda literature is the place to find truth. Sure.

Sep. 12 2012 05:55 AM
anna from new york

To Hugh Samson.
Oh, the eternal evil.
My ex-friends, ATHEISTS of Protestant and Catholic background, insists that Islam is a "religion of peace." No, neither of them knows Arabic, read a sentence of Quran or know any Muslim.
They are, however, traditional neo-Nazis, who called themselves "left," multimillionaires with empty idiotic sick lives for whom the reality of Islam - historical (that of constant conquest) and contemporary (that of barbarity of stoning of women for being rape, of slavery, of hate) doesn't exist.
One has to be really a moron to see in the greatest book of all only a source for his propaganda. Throughout history, millions of much bigger minds than yours were inspired and guided by what they learned from the BOOK.
Now, those who are sponsored by the greatest racists of all times, Ahmadinejad, for example, label and silence decent human beings
dr anna, a proud and ETHICAL agnostic.
Please don't lump us together.

Sep. 12 2012 05:51 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

rose-ellen from jihad heights,

I hope the NYPD is monitoring you as they are monitoring your friends in New Jersey. You clearly are a danger to yourself and more importantly others.

Sep. 12 2012 05:02 AM
anna from new york

Dear Rose-Ellen,
Could you please peddle this hate filled propaganda somewhere else. Why don't you look at charming Muslim countries of the last several decades: Libya, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, etc. All of them. Countries where there is slavery, women are stoned for being raped, children sold into brothels, army etc.
How dare you to peddle you garbage about your love of .... Palestinians?
You like Ahmadinejad, other monsters and their (sold out) UN. Well, you can do it. But you can't babble on your moronic level without being confronted. This isn't your beloved Iran.

Sep. 12 2012 02:30 AM
anna from new york

"How about you quit the diplomacy and stop talking about engaging in dialog, and actually engage in dialog."
He isn't about dialog, he is only about propaganda.

Sep. 12 2012 02:21 AM
anna from new york

My stomach can't stand this nonsense.
This guy is a Muslim apologist, demagogue and hypocrite.
Nothing horrible happened after 9/11. Actually the response was very subdue considering the circumstances.
Patel talks about Jewish comedians supporting Muslims. There are over one billion of Muslims in the world and many live in insanely rich and powerful countries which terrorize the world and dictate policies they like. In times when antisemitism is the highest since WWII I would think that Jewish comedians could find another group to support.
How many Muslim comedians protest sick, state sponsored, clerics promoted antisemitism?
Why do I have a feeling that this "dialogue" is one way only. We the Muslims like ourselves and you non-Muslims must like us. OK. Now everyone is dismiss.

Sep. 12 2012 02:18 AM

Mr. Patel did a wonderful job not answering any of the callers' questions!
We get it - you're Muslim, and an American, and that makes you special. How about you quit the diplomacy and stop talking about engaging in dialog, and actually engage in dialog.

Sep. 11 2012 10:04 PM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

"Eleven years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, conspiracy theories about that day dominate Muslim public opinion. Although al-Qaeda routinely brags about its "achievement," huge majorities in major Muslim countries -- 75 percent of Egyptians, 73 percent of Turks -- still deny that Arabs carried out the attacks, as a Pew study reported in July 2011."

Muslims are insane .... and dangerous.
75% of much for the myth that "most Muslims" are reasonable.

Sep. 11 2012 04:34 PM
rose-ellen from jackson jeights

Oh and did I forget to mention Edward-there are a billion muslims on the earth today and they're not going anywhere. And here in the US on the streets of New York- where we got some long in coming blow back-they freely walk the streets,in Full Muslim Garb, and if you lay a hand on one you'll be arressted for a hate crime! By non muslim fellow citizens -no less! now THAT must get your goat as much as their daring stunt which launched the peoples century of the new millenium.

Sep. 11 2012 02:08 PM
rose-ellen from jackson heights

Keep dreaming your trite pop psychology inspiried little dream Edward-you obviously are clueless [about who you're dealing with as much as everything else!]

Sep. 11 2012 01:50 PM

@Nikki - There are many, here and abroad, who are trying to change the way Islam is imposed religiously and politically. It is what the Arab Spring was all about. But the root of extreme Islam is (1)lack of democracy (2)the fact that these extremists impose their version of Islam by force and (3) the extremism is being financially supported. The problem is that Islamic moderates lack the resources in these countries needed to take a stand.
It is also worth mentioning that in places where there have been some changes to these regimes, revolution is a slow process that is going to have positive and negative outcomes. We have yet to see how long the changes last because the movements have just begun. Honestly, the American democratic system has been around for over 200 years and its constantly changing.

Sep. 11 2012 01:07 PM

@ladyjay114 you're absolutely right, but I guess my point is (and this is totally a question that at this point has been, and is without answers) but how can you expect to make any sort of lasting holistic change if there is no one to challenge the very root of the problem? It's just like putting a band aid on a bullet wound. Here in the West, for the most part, people are "tolerant" sure we have exceptions to that statement like any other place but if no one is tackling the issue in the most dire of places then the work being done in America, while noble, is a little hopeless.

Sep. 11 2012 12:42 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

rose-ellen from jackson heights,

One I expect we will see you on TV, being taken away in handcuffs or a straitjacket.

Sep. 11 2012 12:31 PM

@Nikki - you make a good point, but the argument is simplistic. The reason why Sharia is imposed in states like Nigeria and Saudi Arabia is because there is no democracy. Those countries are controlled by religious dictators. If the people had the right to choose who can represent their country, even with Islam as the official religion, the extremist rulers wouldn't be in power.

Sep. 11 2012 12:18 PM
rose-ellen from jackson heights

We were attacked for our policies in their primarily muslim identified homelands-NOT because we're not muslims.They brought us to the knowledge that there could be consequences to US for our plicies toward THEM.That is the source of our anger. Didn't God tell these people that we have the right to kill them-not the other way around!Terrorism is a legacy of 20th c unjust meddling in their homelands.mMddling that benefitted us but harmed the indigenous arab people.Our policie included vetoing with a smug and simple stroke of a pen every UN resolution which would have brought some justice to the palestinians, as well as propping up dictators for cheap oil and military base as well as the first gulf war.Osama died believing in his heart of hearts that he did not start this war. He supported the arab spring uprisings against western backed and western propped dictatorships . He saw himself as a freedom fighter.Yes he was a mass murderer-so are we as we hid behind brutal mass murdering dictators for our benefit at the peoples expense.[look how we allow assad to commit genocide now.] And what's wrong with rioting over koran burnings or cartoons? If we published a cartoon that was anti-semitic or used the n word-how long would it be till riots broke out if there were no apology or if the publisher were not fired? People here get fired every day over offensive statements-Don Imus has had to apologize profusily for the rest of his life to keep his job over a silly joke he made!We have sacred cows too.We're ready to start world war 3 because iranians express beliefs about israel that we don't like!We're being hypocritical.

Sep. 11 2012 12:14 PM
John A.

Islam could use a good apologist. Aren't their two halves, within the faith, that are frequently at war with each other? In balance I could offer christian Ireland ca.1965, a problem now Solved. Anyway, looking forward, I go the the "Sacred Ground" page on Amazon for some answers...

Sep. 11 2012 12:08 PM

I was listening to the show regarding inter-faith in America and happened to hear when the Nigerian Muslim gentleman called in asking Patel what they were doing to spread the word of inter-faith to those countries that harbor religious extremist like Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, and Afghanistan, I just found Patel's response to be very weak. I understand that he is one of the leader for the movement in America but if there is truly to be any sort of progress made within the global community as a whole then why aren't these messages been spread is the areas that need them most? And why not from AMERICANS that are extending an "olive branch" as many of these countries have their own views and stereotypes about America and it's treatment of Muslim. That's the type of work that defuses hostility. I can understand that there are other organizations that work on a more global scale but he could've talked about what progress is being made globally and the organizations that focus on the bigger picture. I don't know his response was just too "PC" for my taste.

Sep. 11 2012 12:00 PM
Kate from Washington Heights

Haven't been listening today - but wondering if there's been any discussion about the role of the families of those who died. I have been distressed over the years by how the families seem to always call the shots. This was an act of war against our nation - just as a crime is an offense against the state, not against the individual. I do not like that the families feel they have the right to tell politicians they can't speak. It is, in fact, a public ceremony, not their private ceremony. Did families of the victims of Pearl Harbor take this kind of control of all things having to do with that act of war? I don't hear this discussed, presumably because people fear that they'll sound callous toward the families. Thanks for your great journalism, Brian.

Sep. 11 2012 11:58 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Aun Hasan Ali from East Windsor, NJ,

Is writer Salman Rushdie still in fear for his life due to the death fatwa pronounced by Ayaotllah Khomeini?

Salman Rushdie

Sep. 11 2012 11:56 AM
andre flores

On this day, Let's not forget, all the lives of those innocent people killed, lost..

Sep. 11 2012 11:52 AM
Aun Hasan Ali from East Windsor, NJ

One caller asked Muslims to speak out against terrorism. In fact, several Muslim leaders have issued formal statements condemning terrorism, a fact which Professor Juan Cole has documented on his blog Informed Comment. Furthermore, in specifically legal contexts, a jurist will only issue a responsa (fatwa) when the legal ruling is not clear. The fact that some jurists have not said anything is simply because there is no question that terrorism is absolutely forbidden in Islam. Finally, as a Muslim, I wonder why, for example, no one asks Hindus to publicly apologize for terrorist acts (e.g. the BJP in Gujurat).

Sep. 11 2012 11:50 AM
Patricia from FH

God bless you Eboo. The last caller demonstrated what a tough rode you have ahead.

Sep. 11 2012 11:50 AM
Tucker from Manhattan

A caller said that American Muslims were remiss in not having organized large public demonstrations in opposition to assaults by other so-called Muslims. As one raised in the Christian tradition, I need to point out that non-Muslims need to look in the mirror. There are within this country many attrocities - acts of prejudie and of violence - committed by so-called Christians. Where is the unified mass response by American Christians? Until this happens are we not removing the spinter from our brother's eye while ignoring the beam in our own?

Sep. 11 2012 11:47 AM

As long as your and every other Abrahamic religion says I'm going to burn in hell for not thinking like you do, why on Earth should I be tolerant to anything you say or believe?

Disrespectful to be an anti-religious atheist? I'm not the one who thinks you're going to suffer for eternity because my version of some goat farmer's belief system calls for it.

Sep. 11 2012 11:45 AM

I think atheists who are hostile to religion would be a lot less so if religion (esp. Christianity) was not shoved down their throats (and into their doctors' offices, in the case of women) and inserted into the political discourse by the far right.

Sep. 11 2012 11:45 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

On the contrary, Master Pinch.....

on this day, of all days, let's dispense with the dishonest political correctness (and your mock shock) of the other 364 happy talk days and recognize the "evil that lurks in the hearts of men."

Sep. 11 2012 11:45 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Where are "anti-war" activists to protest against the war in Syria? 20,000 dead in Syria. It's that a worthy cause?

Sep. 11 2012 11:44 AM
Nick from UWS

This guest is appears to be completely clueless to the fact that the very existence of multiple religions, putting huge segments of the population into differing and conflicting delusional mind states, is the very basis of the giant relentless conflicts between peoples. When people start rejecting this complete nonsense wholesale, then we will start to make progress. Who the hell cares if a religion is a "major identity to large groups of people"? Religion is wrecking the world, always has been and let's grow the hell up an get rid of it. We don't need the Inter Delusion Youth Corp to propagate a flee from reality.

Sep. 11 2012 11:44 AM
adrienne from UWS

It's great that Jon Stewart, a Jewish comedian stood up for Muslims, This man speakin on the radio seems like a rational, interesting man. But would he defend Jews? The Arab world is the sworn enemy of Israel and the Jewish people and the sworn enemy of the US. I think this man is very idealistic, I don't really understand him. Islam at this point in history, in the middle east. Honestly I think he's avoiding all the difficult points and in some way in his desperation, being dishonest.

Sep. 11 2012 11:44 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

@ Amy from Manhattan

Well, as an atheist I don't have a "faith" so yeah I guess I'm excluded from all this "tolerance" that they are talking about by definition

I reject some of the bigotry expressed here but why is it that any time Brian has a Muslim guest on and he mentions things like the reaction to the Danish cartoon, "honor" killings, the atrocities committed in the name of Islam...the guest always expresses they are against all of that in a very weak way. Great tolerance...terrific...but I would like to hear a much more forceful, passionate,convincing rejection of the extremists by muslim moderates.

Just as I would like to hear the same from Christians against the religious right. It's always a tepid rejection that sounds like it is not a chief concern of the speaker, quite frankly. And if your religion is really about "mercy" and "love" and all that good stuff...then your rejection of the extremists should be your TOP concern.

Sep. 11 2012 11:43 AM

To the caller who says that Muslims didn't organize to denounce the attacks: Muslims around the world actually did have big rallies against the terrorist violence! You have to realize that terrorists have killed more muslims than Americans. The reason why many Americans don't know about it was because the US media didn't cover it. Peaceful demonstrations by minorities against the violence that happens in their own communities doesn't "sell" so the MSM doesn't bother covering it. But if there is a demonstration by one ethnic group against another ethnic group, then the MSM is all over it.

If you really want to know what's going on, you have to watch BBC or Euronews. The American media (FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS) newsrooms are now profit driven, not journalistic oriented as they were decades ago.

Sep. 11 2012 11:41 AM
marco from New York

What a great argument for atheism...

Sep. 11 2012 11:40 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Please ask Mr. Patel what do surveys of Muslims say about who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks.

From what I have read the surveys say that a majority of Muslims say that the US itself perpetrated 9/11.

If the surveys are correct, that is a very sad fact.

Sep. 11 2012 11:39 AM

Dude, your media training is ridiculous. Answer a question like a human being.


You sound like a bad infomercial.

Sep. 11 2012 11:37 AM
pliny from soho

DAKAR, Senegal — Radical Islamists who control northern Mali extended their campaign of enforcing harsh Shariah law on Monday, amputating the hands and feet of four young men they accused of robbery in the main square at Gao, a principal town in the region.

“We cut their right hand and their left foot, in the city of Gao, at the Place de l’Indépendance,” Aliou Mahamar Touré, a professed Islamic commissioner with Mujao, an offshoot of Al Qaeda that controls Gao, said in a telephone interview. “We cut all that today. It is not us who ordered this. It is God.”

Sep. 11 2012 11:36 AM
Thomas Pinch

Martin, especially on this day, your comments make me very sad that I share this world and novel with you.

Sep. 11 2012 11:35 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Let not forget that the Islamic Republic of Pakistan was a safe haven for Osama Bin Laden.

Anyone really believe that the Pakistani government was not aware of what was in Abbotabad?

And now Pakistan is pursuing the people who aided the US in locating OBL.

Sep. 11 2012 11:35 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan


Sorry, Samir.....but even Obama kills known terrorists.

Sep. 11 2012 11:34 AM
Jeff Pappas from Dumbo

The Christians and Jews have a far dark side too, lest we forget...

Sep. 11 2012 11:33 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

@ Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

No, no one prays to Ann Coulter (though there are plenty of stupid extremeists who take everything she and Rush fatbag say as law)...but there are PLENTY of similar passages in the bible and Christian texts. But let's be fair, historically speaking, Christianity is steeped in blood quite frankly. And there are "bible quoters" who have murdered people in recent times.

We would be way better off without ALL religion.

Sep. 11 2012 11:32 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

It's not "bigotry" if it's true.
"Ignorance"....LOL, Brian....ignorant of the truth, we are not.

Numbers don't lie.

I don't want to harm any Islamists....I just don't want them harming me.

Sep. 11 2012 11:31 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

And Karl Marx is not god.

Sep. 11 2012 11:30 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Gays are not being hanged nor tortured in the US as they are in Iran and the Palestinian areas.

Sep. 11 2012 11:29 AM

Since Osamba bin Laden was explicit about his grievances with the U.S. (he was interviewed several times by Western journalists in the late 90s), all of which grievances were geopolitical, and none of which reflected American "pluralism", how is it that Brian takes as a matter of course that the 9/11 attacks were an attack on American domestic policy, rather than American foreign policy?

Sep. 11 2012 11:28 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I hope "interfaith" doesn't mean atheist & agnostics are excluded. Believers & nonbelievers also have stereotypes about each other & need to know each other better.

Sep. 11 2012 11:28 AM
Dan from midtown

What inspires you to stay on the altruistic offensive in the face of so much opposition?

Sep. 11 2012 11:28 AM
pliny from soho

Thanks to the caller who pointed out
that the true equivalent to 9-11
is Pearl Harbor
not Hiroshima

Sep. 11 2012 11:26 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Hugh Sansom

Coulter is not the Koran.

Sep. 11 2012 11:26 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan


Nobody studies Ann Coulter as a holy book.
LOL....nobody prays to George W Bush.
Bible quoters are not murdering dozens of people somewhere in the world almost every day of the year.
Nobody memorizes the words of any TV talking heads.

Islam remains, in the 21st century, drenched in blood up to its elbows.
Look at the religious bombings in Iraq in the last 24 hours.
Drenched in blood.

Sep. 11 2012 11:24 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Make that "blind" sheik.

Sep. 11 2012 11:23 AM

We have not removed any comments, but please remember the WNYC posting policy, which asks you to remain brief and civil.

-WNYC Moderator-

Sep. 11 2012 11:22 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Comrade Hugh Sansom,

The racists you conveniently forget are the racists, motivated by passages in the Qur'an, who hijacked 4 passenger planes on 9/11, lied to the passengers, and flew them into buildings.

As were the terrorists who drove the truck bomb into the WTC in 1993, inspired by the racist blink sheik who is serving a Life sentence.

Sep. 11 2012 11:21 AM

To the racists already busy quoting passages in the Qur'an as if this counted in any way against all Muslims everywhere:

"We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." — Ann Coulter

"[T]his crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take awhile." — George W. Bush

"Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him." — The Bible, Numbers 31:17

Sep. 11 2012 11:04 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

"Slay the idolators (non-believers) wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them and ambush them wherever you may find them."

Qur'an - Sura 9: verse 5.

On this sacred day, let's NOT FORGET what naive young men still read and cite in the holy book of this "religion of peace."

Sep. 11 2012 10:37 AM
Jeff Pappas from Dumbo

Some of my images from that day and some anniversaries.



Sep. 11 2012 10:02 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Never Forget.

9/11 Attacks and Investigation Images

The FBI Releases 19 Photographs of Individuals Believed to be the Hijackers of the Four Airliners that Crashed on September 11, 2001

9/11 Investigation (PENTTBOM)

Sep. 11 2012 09:39 AM
Jeff Pappas from Dumbo

Remember why we were attacked
Remember those who were lost
Remember the innocent killed
Far away lands kids bombed
Remember thou shall not kill
Remember not to over react
Remember facts not fiction
Forget about the lies
Forget Jingoism
Stop myths

Sep. 11 2012 09:06 AM

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