Streams

Mosque Near Ground Zero

Friday, May 28, 2010

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, founder of the Cordoba Initiative and the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA), and Daisy Khan, executive director of the ASMA, discuss plans to have a mosque and Muslim community center near Ground Zero.

Guests:

Daisy Khan and Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf

Comments [85]

Ben from Flemington, NJ

A national study conducted by Mediacurves.com asked about American opinions regarding plans to build a mosque and Islamic community center near “Ground Zero” of the World Trade Center attacks. Results found that Republicans were the least favorable of plans to build the mosque, with the majority of Republicans (63%) reporting that it was “not at all appropriate.” Also, 37% of Democrats and 39% of Independents indicated that the plans were “not at all inappropriate.” The majority of all political parties reported that it was disrespectful to the victims of the World Trade Center attacks to build a mosque near ground zero. More results can be seen at http://www.mediacurves.com/NationalMediaFocus/J7849-GroundZeroMosque/Index.cfm

Jun. 01 2010 05:35 PM
Mark from Mount Vernon

On Sunday, May 30, the Imam was interviewed on WABC's "Religion on the Line." He was asked if he believes Sharia law belongs in the US and where the funding the Mosque is coming from. He refused to answer either question. It was obvious to the host and those who called later that the Imam and his wife can not be trusted.

May. 31 2010 09:56 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

JP from NJ

"You danced around with a lot of rhetoric but still didn’t answer my question. Do you believe the US constitution should not apply to American Muslims?"

The US Constitution applies to American Muslims as it does to all Americans.

The US Constitution also protects us from those who for example believe that Sharia Law supersedes the US Constitution and work to overthrow the US Constitution.

What do you think motivated Major Hasan, the Ft. Hood shooter? Who were his spiritual advisors?

May. 29 2010 11:13 AM
JP from NJ

Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

You danced around with a lot of rhetoric but still didn’t answer my question. Do you believe the US constitution should not apply to American Muslims?

May. 28 2010 02:49 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

Edward From Washington Heights:
On the most segregated day of the week, Christian leaders preach hatred that leads to attacks on any number of “others”. Their flock bombs federal buildings and women’s health clinics; terrorizes immigrants, homosexuals, and even their own women to supposedly keep them in line; praises natural disasters, disease, and famine as God’s retribution. This type of hatemongering happens in any number of locations dotting America from coast to coast and you seem to give it a free pass. I’m sure the sum total of acts (attacks, but not necessarily deaths) committed by Christians because of the belief in their god in any given year rivals if not beats the number who died at the hands of Muslim extremists on September Eleven.

May. 28 2010 02:44 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

Edward From Washington Heights:
First things first, I’m an atheists, not Muslim; however, I am a firm believer in the First Amendment to the Constitution to the United States of America. I believe the very first part of that Amendment is vital to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of all Americans, the freedom to believe or not and the ability to exercise one’s beliefs freely.
Second, if you are a person of any of the Judeo-Christian faiths, reread at least the Ten Commandments of the Christian faiths. Anyone who is Muslim, please feel free to correct me, but my understand is depicting the profit is akin to idolatry, putting graven images before God. Similarly Jehovah Witnesses don’t celebrate holidays, birthdays and anniversaries because of the belief it puts the secularly created above God. No one’s talking about forcing birthdays onto them.
No one needs to depict the prophet any more than someone needs to draw despicable depictions of Jews. Any half-witted provocateur could claim they have some purpose of expression, but it accomplishes nothing but disrespect for another.
Name one feasible reason you, as a non-Muslim and non follower of Muhammad have for drawing him unless it is to stoke resentment or anger in others. I could go across the office and punch one of my co-workers in the side of the head and claim it as free expression, but we both know that’s BS. (The same with swastikas... it's all BS)

May. 28 2010 02:29 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Voter from Brooklyn
"I do not support depictions of the prophet anymore than I support drawing Jews as rats "

You are saying that any drawing of the prophet Muhammed is equivalent to drawing Jews as rats?

I can understand a drawing of Muslims as rats being offensive, but a picture of the prohet Muhammed reading a book is equal to a picture of Jews as rats?

Please explain to non-Muslims what is it about Muhammed that makes him off-limits to any image, as if Muhammed were a god, Allah.

BTW, you do know and acknowledge that pictures depicting prophet Muhammed have been drawn hundres of years ago.

May. 28 2010 02:05 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

JP from NJ,
I am glad that you acknowledge that 19 hijackers of 4 passenger planes on 9/11 were Muslim fanatics. timothy mcveigh was executed for bombing the Oklahoma City bombing. khalid sheik muhammed will stand trial too for his role in the 9/11 sneak attack. The Egyptian blind sheik Omar Abdel Rahman is now serving a life sentence for his role in the 1993 WTC truck bombing. The blind sheik preached in several NYC area mosques. What can a mosque do to filter out Muslim fanatics who preach hate of the US and Infidels/Kuffars and inspire deadly attacks like the Ft. Hood massacre?

May. 28 2010 01:51 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

Edward From Washington Heights:
I support everyone’s right to or not to practice their chosen religion, it is one of the greatest things about the United States of America. Also, I do not support depictions of the prophet anymore than I support drawing Jews as rats or painting swastikas on buildings. All three are despicable acts, though one happens to be sanctioned by WNYC.

May. 28 2010 01:29 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

Jgarbuz From Queens:
Hank’s message was in the spirit of painting with a very very broad brush saying an institution with a shared religion with people that have wronged America should be forced to atone for the actions of others by way of a “permanent display” styled scarlet letter. If that is the case, Jews have wronged America (not all of them, not even most of them, but some and since we’re blaming all for the sins of few here…) and Catholics have definitely wronged American youth (far more than the Jews, but still a minority… Broad brush time again). Hank’s message on its face was discriminatory, I’m proposing we do it for all or none.

May. 28 2010 01:24 PM
JP from NJ

Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

I sure do. And do you acknowledge that Timothy McVeigh was a white US born Christian that killed 168 people and injured 450 people on April 19, 1995. So should we hate all white Christian’s and suppress thier constitutional rights? Of course not. Are you saying those 168 people’s lives are worth any less then the 3000 that died at 9-11? I hope not. Again, what’s your point, US constitution should not apply to Muslims?

May. 28 2010 01:22 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

JP from NJ,
Do you acknowledge that 19 Muslims, 15 of whom were Saudis, hijacked 4 passenger planes on 9/11/01 and ended up killing about 3,000 people in the USA?

May. 28 2010 01:09 PM

@ John from Manhattan

I wasn't being "anti-christian"; I was expressing the hypocrisy of a double standard and a disrespectful indifference non-Christians. If a cross was being constructed or a church, there would not be the kind of uproar that the proposal of building a mosque or a minaret undergoes.

If that comes across as "diatribe" to you, then so be it, but I resent the insult.

May. 28 2010 01:01 PM
JP from NJ

Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Do I think drawing the prophet is disrespectful and in bad taste? Yes, just as much as disrespecting any religion for any reason. Do I believe people should do it? No, for reasons mentioned above. Should people be prevented from doing it? 100% no. Should it not allowed to be published? Absolutely should not be banned from being published for any reason. It’s called freedom of speech. Worse and more provocative stuff is printed in this country everyday. So what’s your point?

May. 28 2010 12:52 PM
JP from NJ

jgarbuz from Queens

Hate the American Nazi party? Yes. Support? No. No more then I would support today’s KKK. But I recognize that no matter how much I despise the KKK and what they say, they have the right to freedom of speech no matter how much I disagree with their message. To deny them freedom of speech could someday jeopardize my freedom of speech. I’m not willing to take that chance even if it means having to listen to their hate. Like it or not you have to take the bad with the good when it comes to the constitution if you want it to work for all. As I said. you cant pick and choose, its never worked out for the better...

May. 28 2010 12:42 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Do all the people who support the Ground Zero mosque also support the Freedom of Speech to draw fanciful pictures of the Muslim prophet Muhammed?

Do these same people support Freedom of the Press to publish the illustrations of the prophet Muhammed?

If you think that Muhammed cartoons are needlessly provocative, why is the Ground Zero mosque not too?

May. 28 2010 12:33 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

I also want to know whether both Imam Rauf and Daisy Khan will GO ON THE RECORD, declaring that a church and a synagogue be built in Saudi Arabia, to demonstrate Imam Rauf and Ms. Khans support of cultural diversity and Islams respect for non-Muslim religions.

Mecca would be a good location for the church and synagogue.

May. 28 2010 12:26 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To JP from NJ

So I suppose you would have supported the right of the American Nazi party (the Bund) to operate openly and freely in America during WWII.

May. 28 2010 12:25 PM
JP from NJ

jgarbuz from Queens

Jews and Christians are liberal and tolerable in this country? Really? That’s like saying all communists that were persecuted during McCarthyism were actually all communists. As you pointed out yourself, history in America has shown over and over and over again that when hate, anger and fear get in the way of individual constitutional rights, only bad things happen. That’s not a philosophical theory, that’s a historical fact. Can you name one time in our short history where suppressing someone’s constitutional right for any reason has made us a better and more free open society?

May. 28 2010 12:23 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Voter from Brooklyn

What does a spy ship accidentally sunk off the coast of Israel, or a Jewish crook who robbed mostly other Jews have to do with anything we are discussing?

May. 28 2010 12:20 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

The proposed mosque near the side of the 9/11 sneak attack is as outrageous as the british release of the convicted Libyan bomber of Pan AM 103, supposedly on compassionate grounds due to his death within 3 months (he is still alive BTW), but was in fact due to british compassion for Libyan oil contracts.

May. 28 2010 12:16 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

Hank From Forest Hills:
Forcing a Muslim community center/place of worship to have a permanent display on the terrorist attacks of September Eleventh is as repugnant as requiring the 92nd Street Y to have a permanent display on the 1967 attack on the USS Liberty and Bernie Madoff or forcing every Catholic church to have a permanent display detailing its rape victims.

May. 28 2010 12:15 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To JP
Not only would I have been opposed to locking up ethnic Germans or Japanese in America, but opposed to the locking up of the nearly 1,000 Jewish refugees who were locked up in Oswego, New York. And opposed to General Patton keeping barbed wire around our DP camp in Bavaria because he felt all Jews were just a bunch of dirty commies. And I oppose putting Muslims into camps today even if much of the Muslim world hates America for supporting a democratic Jewish state, even though they get more aid and arms than Israel gets. No, I am not for locking up Muslims, but I am opposed to their brazen affronts while some of their coreligionists fight us on every front, including here at home.

May. 28 2010 12:11 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To JP

Democracy is not a suicide pact. I am not arguing that Islam or mosques be banned from the US. I still remember vividly as a kid when communists were persecuted in America. I am not suggesting anyone be persecuted for their religious or political beliefs. I am stating that this demand by some Muslims is a calculated affront in time of war. When Islam becomes as liberal and respectul of individual rights as Jews or Christians have become over the last decades, I will alter my views. We are not at war with the Russian people, but only with Communism. I am not at war with moderate Islam, but only with Islamofascism which denies Jews and Christians equal rights in their many lands.

May. 28 2010 12:05 PM
JP from NJ

jgarbuz from Queens

So you agree with locking up US born Japanese citizens while white American Germans roamed free in this country during WWII?

May. 28 2010 12:02 PM
JP from NJ

jgarbuz from Queens

Please explain what does anything your saying have to do with freedom of religion in America? How does any of it even remotely justify suppressing anyone’s freedom of religion or any constitutional right here in America?

May. 28 2010 11:55 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Nobody is more FOR religious freedom than Jews, who have been the most persecuted minority in human history. But at a time when the US is still at war with hostile Muslim countries who not only want to destroy Israel, but also vociferously (and physically) attack the United States for various reasons, I don't think the US has to bend over backwards to enable them to set up more centers for propaganda and incitement, or even prosyletization. The fact that some of them are now taking a "softer" and "friendlier" tack, may fool some, but not me. A cultural community center is fine. A mosque there is a brazen affront.

May. 28 2010 11:54 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

John From Manhattan, Re: World Trade Center Cross.
I took your advice and researched the origin of the cross. Correct though you may be on its formation, it does not excuse that the wreckage of happenstance, where people of many faiths or none at all perished, was in fact erected by workers on “the pile” as a Christian symbol. Not only was it erected once, but multiple times (including building a special base at what appears to be government sanctioned taxpayer expense), each time as a Christian symbol and now resides on holy land. In addition, replicas of this Christian symbol have been erected around the city, at least one was not a “miracle” of the disaster, but was fabricated from debris.

May. 28 2010 11:53 AM
Hanky from Forest Hills

My 1st impression is anger & shock about a mosque in the shadow of ground zero. After listening to the interview there is more to consider....After all....we are in the U.S.A.! Don't wait for Saudi Arabia, et al to allow synagogues and churches to be built. They are not pretending to be democratic...never will be! I think a good compromise would be if the center had a permanent display about the terrorist attack of 9-11.

May. 28 2010 11:46 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Voter from Brooklyn

No. The Palestinians living in Israel are a 100 times better off in Israel than in the Arab countries, because Arab citizens of Israel, both male and female, have had the right to vote, work, and send their representatives to the ISraeli Parliament (the Knesset) since 1948. Many Arab anti-zionist parties calling for the destruction of ISrael sit in Israel's parliament. Imagine if open communists sat in the Congress of the US. If they didn't have it so good in ISrael, the 1.4 million Israeli Muslims would leave in a heartbeat. There are 21 Arab countries, but none (except Jordan) will give them even a fraction of the rights they have in Israel. And certainly not the economic opportunities. Christian Arabs in Israel have a higher per capital income than Jews in Israel.

May. 28 2010 11:45 AM

The United States has been a haven for religious
people fleeing Orthodoxy abroad. Jews, Christians
and Muslims have the freedom to worship here
in ways they could not before they immigrated.
Why should we close the door to any community of Faith if that faith is practiced peacefully? This is my tradition and I resent any who would change it because they are afraid.

May. 28 2010 11:44 AM
JP from NJ

Oops, my last response was to jgarbuz from Queens

May. 28 2010 11:43 AM
J. from Lower Manhattan

A BL listener for 20 years and lifelong resident of lower Manhattan, I was very disappointed by the lack of balance in your discussion of the planned mosque at the site of the deadliest Muslim attack on civilians in American history. Why not also invite those who oppose this plan and let people know how they can become involved?

I believe it would be more appropriate to build this near the mosque on Atlantic Avenue where the 1993 attack was planned OR in a Muslim neighborhood where the Sufi message of peace could be most effectively communicated.

May. 28 2010 11:42 AM
JP from NJ

In all due respect you have a tragic history but it still doesn’t trump freedom of religion or the constitution.

May. 28 2010 11:42 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

Jgarbuz,
So is your point on Palestinians that Israel is no better than any other country in the Middle East on its treatment of people and respect for life and freedom?
My point is this: The comments you have made repeatedly on these comment boards make it seem as if you want to live in a religious exclusionary bubble. If that is what you want, there is a place for you; that place is not the United States of America. I know it may seem like it, but it is not. If you want to live in a community, albeit imperfect, where we strive for peace, unity, and understanding then by all means stay.

May. 28 2010 11:39 AM
John from Manhattan

Voter Brkln-

Go over to St. Peters on Church St (by 0,0,0) and have a look see. Those I-Beams weren't welded - recovered as is.
Boy,if a Star of David had formed from all that twisting steel, I think we'd have a real conversation going. I'd expect it was the divine trying to tell us something or would you balk at that too?

May. 28 2010 11:34 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Vote from Brooklyn
I am lucky to live in America, because I was born in a German DP camp in Bavaria after my parents lost everyone and everything in the Holocaust. I am thankful to President Truman who, by special edict, allowed some 50,000 of homeless Jews into America, particularly as Jews and Arabs were fighting in Palestine, which is where we were initially waiting to go But the British and Arabs weren't letting Jews peacefully come. I wish the Arab countries gave the Palestinians the same right to be a free citizen that America gave me. Alas, most Arab Muslim countries DON'T let Palestinians have citizenship, the vote, and restrict their right to work. So yes, I bless America, and so should Muslims who have many homelands yet are allowed to come here with few if any restrictions, even as we are attacked by much of the Muslim world on almost a daily basis.

May. 28 2010 11:24 AM

since it seems extremely unlikely that every comment that is voted on gets exactly one yes and one no vote, I think your thingy here just doesn't work.

May. 28 2010 11:23 AM
JP from NJ

E_NYC from Brooklyn, NY

Shame on you for being anti freedom of religion. You can’t pick and choose who gets to pray what and where. That’s 100% unconstitutional which makes it 100% un-American…

May. 28 2010 11:22 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

Jgarbuz,
Then aren’t you lucky to live in the United States of America; respect our laws and Constitution. Don’t bring hate from the Middle East here.

May. 28 2010 11:19 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

John from Manhattan,
The cross in question was welded on site from steel recovered after rescue operations had ended and erected by workers. It was erected to memorialize the dead and was in the shape of the Christian cross. Had it been a crescent moon and star or even a Star of David, there would have been national rage. It was neither, it was a Christian cross evoking Jesus Christ on the cross.

May. 28 2010 11:14 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Vote from Brooklyn

I'd love to move to Saudi Arabia, but alas, under the decrees of Muhammad and Umar, no Jews or Christians are allowed to live in the "holy land" of Islam which is the Hijaz, meaning Mecca, Medina, and even most of what is today Jordan. This is the decree of the Prophet of Islam! So I cannot move to Saudi Arabia unless I convert to Islam. A Muslim or Christian can, and many do, live in Jerusalem, but no Jew or Christian can live in the holy land of Islam. Unless they convert, of course.

May. 28 2010 11:14 AM
E_NYC from Brooklyn, NY

This is a PR/Marketing move in the mane of religion! If these people REALLY want to help change the voice of radical muslim in the city build this mosque in QUEENS!!! Downtown Manhattan is NOT ground zero for radical muslim or muslim.

The 92nd St Y is on the upper east side which has one of the largest Jewish community. WHAT A JOKE comparison! Build this mosque where it's needed. Not where it will get the most attention/press.

Shame on people for not serious thinking about this beyond the peace and unity emotional aspect. We (liberal New Yorkers) should be the first to spot advertisement. Who are these guys trying to convert... radical muslim or us????

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, come back next month and sell us another reason why you want to build this mosque in downtown after you worked out a different angle or talking point. This one is not sucks!

E_NYC

E_NYC

May. 28 2010 11:14 AM
Judy from Long Island

Very articulate, impressive people. But after the piece, I still have two questions I wish someone had asked (and received answers to):

1. Who actually owns the land under discussion? If it's the Muslim group, how come we never heard about them in all the coverage to date? If not, how can they build on it?

2. Has any consideration been given to making it a truly interfaith chapel? A la the one at the United Nations? I think many couples would avail themselves of it, when they can't agree on church/synagogue/whatever, if it were truly all-inclusive. I know one couple whose parents couldn't agree, and I jokingly suggested the U.N. chapel -- and they booked it!

May. 28 2010 11:12 AM
Opal from NYC

For a religious group that has thrown certain other religious groups out of their Mid-Eastern countries, these agressive people are very demanding.

May. 28 2010 11:11 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

Jgarbuz,
This is the United States of America, not the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. If you want to influence what happens in Saudi Arabia, move there.
Who exactly do you think you are to tell anyone what to do on their land? That sort of entitled bigotry might fly in the Middle East, but not here in New York City.

May. 28 2010 11:09 AM
John from Manhattan

Neo-

The cross is a simple geometric object. Probability dictated that the resultant of the destruction of a towers, made of literally thousands of cross members, would result in a cross surviving - that would be seized upon for its semiotic properties. Although your lightly veiled anti-christian diatribe would't misses the poitn.

Besides these folks are Suffi, as far as I know Suffi Islam is as far from the radical as you can get.

May. 28 2010 11:08 AM
JP from JP

jgarbuz from Queens

Saudi Arabia does not have a constitution that allows freedom of religion. You should pray to your god of choice every day that you live in a country that does allow freedom of religion and a constitution that gives the right to even post on this page….

May. 28 2010 11:07 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

Jgarbuz from Queens,
You seem to forget the only reason you and other Jews are able to live in relative peace in the United States of America is because of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America. The same Amendments also allows Muslims the free exercise of their religion. If you do not like the opportunities the United States of America affords its citizens… ALL of its citizens, please go to a theocracy (similar to Saudi Arabia) were the dominate religion subjugates all other religions; Israel perpahs.

May. 28 2010 11:03 AM
JL Segal

Okay I was responding to jgarbuz's first comment and now I look silly. That later line about Saudi Arabia makes it obvious he thinks America is a Christian nation and there's just no getting through that.

May. 28 2010 11:03 AM

WE DON'T LIVE IN SAUDI ARABIA
(thank whoever)

May. 28 2010 11:02 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To J.L. Segal

Paranoia? I want to build a synagogue and Jewish cultural center in Medina to commemorate the martyrdom of the Jews of Medina who refused to convert to Islam and were beheaded. Is that okay with you? If you can clear that with the Saudi government, I'll go along with a Mosque adjacent to the WTC.

May. 28 2010 11:02 AM
Alaina from Weehawken

"Until such time as it becomes possible to tell the difference based on other than what is said"?!!

Therefore no one can trust anyone ever?

May. 28 2010 10:59 AM

Mosque or no, a public forum for interfaith reconciliation is needed. But shame on hypocrites who don't oppose raising crosses in the name of commemorating 9/11, because each one is a slap in the faces of Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddihsts, and nontheists who were killed, injured, or maimed after the attack.

May. 28 2010 10:58 AM
C.G. from Manhattan

I'd ask opponents of the center to consider whether the acts of extreme Christian activists like the Rev. Fred Phelps should be used as an excuse to curtail the activities of mainstream Christian groups. You may argue that Phelps hasn't killed anyone, but consider if Phelps were to take that step. How would that affect the goals, motivations, and capacity to do good of any Christian group that isn't allied with him? Do we indict people simply because there are extremists who profess to follow the same or a related branch of the same faith?

May. 28 2010 10:58 AM
eric from manhattan

Ask him to push for a church or synagogue to be built in Saudi Arabia instead...

May. 28 2010 10:57 AM
D. Kress from Bloomfield, NJ

There were Islamic features in the WTC and thus, irony in protests against the mosque near WTC
The World Trade Center had significant design aspects that were inspired by Islamic architecture. The decorative metal columns which ran up the outside resemble some of the architectural features of Moorish structures in Spain and others. This was most visible in about the first 100 feet or so from the ground up. While these features were overpowered by the sheer height of the building, I have read that the architects clearly had Islamic features in mind.

May. 28 2010 10:57 AM
Jim from NJ from South Orange, NJ.

The area of Lower Manhattan surrounding ground zero should be designated a "Religion-Free" Zone. Let's try banishing the fairy tales that encourage these 'Actions for God', and work towards a future based on Reason.

May. 28 2010 10:57 AM
JL Segal

to jgarbuz: yes, "Muslim advancement" is like the advancement of other religious groups, why wouldn't it be? The way you ask this question looks like you are implying that "Muslim advancement" must be code for Islamism, which is either a willful misinterpretation or unfortunate paranoia.

May. 28 2010 10:56 AM
JP from NJ

Anyone that apposes this is against freedom of religion. You can’t pick and choose who gets to pray. It’s all or nothing. It’s absolutely no different then limiting anyone on their freedom of speech for any reason. I realize this might offend some 9-11 survivors but this is completely unconstitutional. Sorry, the constitution trumps all tragedies. Otherwise why do we even bother to have a constitution? Its all or nothing.

May. 28 2010 10:56 AM
C.G. from Manhattan

I'd ask opponents of the center to consider whether the acts of extreme Christian activists like the Rev. Fred Phelps should be used as an excuse to curtail the activities of mainstream Christian groups. You may argue that Phelps hasn't killed anyone, but consider if Phelps were to take that step. How would that affect the goals, motivations, and capacity to do good of any Christian group that isn't allied with him? Do we indict people simply because there are extremists who profess to follow the same or a related branch of the same faith?

May. 28 2010 10:56 AM
Jim from NJ from South Orange, NJ.

The area of Lower Manhattan surrounding ground zero should be designated a "Religion-Free" Zone. Let's try banishing the fairy tales that encourage these 'Actions for God', and work towards a future based on Reason.

May. 28 2010 10:56 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

Entertaining such a subject/concept as “should a mosque be ALLOWED near “ground zero”” on this station is beyond repugnant. Especially if lines will be reserved to allow hate speech.
This conversation would not be aired on any other religion.
Also, please don’t feign any concern over Muslims especially since WNYC openly advocates stoking cultural hatred and mocking religious beliefs (Re: abandon your kids in the park and let them draw the prophet).
Wise to air this after you've already begged for money.

May. 28 2010 10:56 AM
John from Manhattan

I've had mixed feelings - initial gut reaction says no, but as I dwell on it and think that the terrorists also hijacked Islam on 9/11. Maybe this is the way to healing and begin the elimination of extremism.

May. 28 2010 10:55 AM
Zachary Stern from Brooklyn

Having the mosque there, especially a Sufi mosque (the hippies of Islam), shows the world that America, and especially New York, is not only accepting of all peoples, but that those people are an integral part of who we are as a city and a nation. The fact that this will be a Sufi institution emphasizes the moderate and humanist influence that America can have on those residing within out borders

May. 28 2010 10:55 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

When Saudi Arabia allows synagogues and churches to be built in Mecca and Medina, I will change my POV.

May. 28 2010 10:55 AM
steve from bklyn

is this like the catholic mission outside of Aushwitz?

May. 28 2010 10:54 AM
Serena from UWS

What a load of BS. Inappropriate to the point of mean spirited in it's callousness. Locating a mosque at ground zero plants a victory flag for terrorism. In the same way, comparisons to jewish community centers is also offensive.

May. 28 2010 10:54 AM
Maria

The "recruitment" argument could be made against ANY mosque - why not just make the US a "no mosque zone"?

May. 28 2010 10:54 AM
Ed from Brooklyn

I think it is great. Anything that can lead to a better understanding between cultures is a good thing.

Additionally, the Sufis are the best ambassadors for the job. The Americans who are so against this should educate themselves about who the Sufis are (such as the caller from Tribeca). I am an atheist, but works by Sufis like Rumi are both important and beautiful.

May. 28 2010 10:53 AM
Darius from Brooklyn

If they can't build a mosque near WTC site, do Christians still have churches in Oklahoma City?
Either they ban all religions or accept them all.

May. 28 2010 10:53 AM
Michael from long Island

I'am sick of the 911"families" trying to control what is built near ground zero.

May. 28 2010 10:52 AM
Laura from NY-Flatiron

Brian, tolerance now!

May. 28 2010 10:52 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

A cultural center is one thing; a mosque or synagogue or church is another. The 92nd street Jewish community center is not a synagogue. It is a cultural center. I have no objection to a cultural center, but I oppose a mosque adjacent to that particular center.

May. 28 2010 10:51 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Making the Ground Zero area a "no-mosque zone" would be as ridiculous as making the area around the site of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City a "no-church" zone.

May. 28 2010 10:51 AM

I've been to this Sufi Center, and these people are truly part of the Downtown community. Does New York City and America stand for tolerance or exclusion?

By the way, did you read Clyde Haberman in the Times today?

May. 28 2010 10:50 AM
EL

Who are the "some people" who are pushing back.. it seems a vague group.. can we have some examples?

May. 28 2010 10:49 AM
John from office

Brian, ask if there maybe a "reformation" in Islam, started by American muslims.

May. 28 2010 10:49 AM
john from office

I accept the site, we are Americans and they have a right to the location.

But, why the name. Cordova was the site of battles between spain and Islam??

Córdoba (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkorðoβa]; also Cordova) is a city in Andalusia, southern Spain, and the capital of the province of Córdoba. An Iberian and Roman city in ancient times, in the Middle Ages it was a capital of an Islamic caliphate and one of the largest cities in the world. Its population in 2008 was 325,453.[1]

May. 28 2010 10:47 AM
dboy from nyc

How 'bout no religious institutions whatsoever???

Anywhere!

Religion and "peaceful" are oxymorons!

May. 28 2010 10:47 AM
nat

If we allow this project to be blocked on the basis of it being an Islamic community center, we are essentially saying that there is a zone around ground zero where intolerance of Muslims is acceptable to us.

This land isn't in the foot print of the attacks, but blocks away.

The question then becomes, how big is the zone of intolerance? Is any mosque below Canal unacceptable? Permanently?

Is that really that message we want to send the world about the lessons we've learned from 911, that we actually can't exist peacefully with the Muslims in our midst?

May. 28 2010 10:45 AM
Merrill Clark from New York

Uhm, All of the 9/11 terrorists were men. Thus in the spirit of no mosque zones, perhaps we should not permit any men near ground zero. Where does this stop?

May. 28 2010 10:42 AM
candonow from Upper West Side

Triumphalist? I can't think of a more fitting way to move forward - toward peace - than to have a mosque and Islamic culture center there. It's truth and reconciliation writ large.

May. 28 2010 10:09 AM
anonymous

While I don't hold those who lost family and oppose the construction accountable - trauma is traumatic - everyone else should realize how anti-patriotic and contrary to the wishes of the founding fathers it would be to restrict construction of a peaceful place of worship anywhere for any reason. If we hold eternal grudges against entire religions because of tiny minority in those religion that are violently misguided, we would have no choice but to demolish every place of worship from sea to shining sea.

May. 28 2010 10:09 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

First of all, while though there should be modest chapels of every faith available nearby for those who wish to pray near the site of the terrorist tragedy, I vehemently disagree that any triumphalist house of worship should be built on the site.
And what is "Muslim Advancement?" Is that like Jewish advancement or Christian advancement, or Buddhist advancement, or Hindu advancement? What are they advancing to or on?
I think this idea is "chutzpeh" or brazenness to the nth degree. I oppose it with every fiber in my being. Thank you.

May. 28 2010 09:43 AM

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