Streams

Open Phones: Eminent Domain to Seize Islamic Cultural Center Land?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino is airing an ad in which he claims that he would "use the power of eminent domain to stop the mosque." 

Opponents of Cordoba House – would you like the state to seize the private property to halt the Islamic Center?

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Comments [107]

gary from queens

DEAR dba from nyc:

YOU WRITE:
etc------ Therefore, following your logic, it is acceptable to blame you for those who were murdered at the hands of the Crusaders, the treatment of American blacks by the Ku Klax Klan as inspired by their brand of Christianity. -----etc.

ANSWERS:

1. You forgot my earlier point: Guilt by association is not valid through casual associations. Only through substanitive ones. The average Muslim cannot be assumed to be guilty (of hatred etc) merely by being a Muslim. As Dick Morris wrote (below), about 20% of Mosques do not support Sharia, and its horrific doctrines of apartheid, mysogeny, and hate crimes. One might similarly, and arguably, claim that belonging to Meir Kahane's JDL would make that jew guilty by valid association. (They want to humanely deport arabs from israel.) But that issue is moot, because Israel outlawed the JDL and other groups considered "hate parties". Wish arab muslims would do their own housecleaning. We are not helping them by appeasing the radical factions like Rauf.

2. The examples you gave are PAST incidents. no one is guilty of the past actions of their forebears. That was the other point I made earlier too. Ossama bin laden CANNOT be blamed for the 1928 massacre of jews in Hebron. Only the crimes of humanity he is committing now. Plus, people like Rauf support Sharia and islamic literalism. His speeches in video and audio are well documented on neocon websites. Those doctrines support past AND FUTURE horrors to human kind that are apostates and infidels. We are currently under threat by a doctrine which PROSPECTIVELY orders its adherents to harm us.

3. The "Guilt" by association is not imprisonment or trial etc. It is merely a public rebuke and resistance, through any LEGAL and CONSTITUTIONAL means necessary to prevent the Guilty (supporters of the doctrines that killed our people) from building a triumphant institution on the remains of those who perished, as a result of the hateful ideology by said guilty parties. Rauf and others are well documented to be supporters of that ideology. Indeed, the Saudis---who prohibit non muslims from steping foot in mecca and medina, or to carry a bible anywhere in Saudi arabia----are the prime sponsors of the building.

Aug. 20 2010 12:52 PM
dba from nyc

Dear Gary from Queens:

With respect to ascribing collective guilt, let’s assume that you are a Christian. Therefore, following your logic, it is acceptable to blame you for those who were murdered at the hands of the Crusaders, the treatment of American blacks by the Ku Klax Klan as inspired by their brand of Christianity. And as a Jew, I should blame you for the Jews expelled and murdered during the Spanish Inquisition, the countless pogroms perpetrated by Christians against my Jewish ancestors living in Europe prior to their escape to Palestine, and finally the Holocaust which resulted from Hitler’s distorted and psychopathic view of the world.

Aug. 20 2010 10:24 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I wonder how many supporters of eminent domain for this use realize that the state constitution requires just compensation to the owners for the property seized. That means New York would have to make a larg payment to the same Muslims who own the site--the ones those who oppose the cultural center accuse of being pro-terrorism. What does Palladino have to say about that?

Aug. 20 2010 02:00 AM
gary from queens

DEAR dba from nyc:

YOUR WRITE:
[etc] It is tantamount to saying "you have the constitutional right to practice your religion as long as I approve of how and where you do it". [etc]

ANSWER:
straw man argument: None of the articles i posted asserts that government can legally deny a religion from building a place of worship, or even propaganda. The public can only protest and negotiate with the religion. WHICH IS WHAT IS OCCURRING. But gov. can apply zoning ordinances if they are applied without preference to another religion or religions.

HOW HARD IS THIS TO UNDERSTAND FOLKS? CONSTITUTIONALITY IS NOT A POINT OF CONTENTION. JUST A STRAWMAN ARGUMENT.

Aug. 19 2010 05:28 PM
GARY from QUEENS

LOOK WHO IS BEHIND THE MOSQUE
Published on DickMorris.com on August 18, 2010

excerpt:

There is a global effort to advance Sharia Law and make it the legal system of the world. Most major banks and financial institutions offer Sharia Compliant Funds which have their investments vetted by the most fundamentalist and reactionary of clerics to assure that they advance Sharia Law. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the founder of the proposed Mosque, helps to prepare a Sharia Index which rates countries on their degree of compliance with Sharia Law. In the United Kingdom, many courts have recognized Sharia as the governing law on matters between two Muslims.

Not only is Sharia Law a vicious anti-female code which orders death by stoning, promotes child marriage, decriminalizes abuse of women, and gives wives no rights in divorce, but it also explicitly recognizes the duty of all Muslims to wage Jihad against non-believers and promotes violence to achieve its goals. In this respect, violent Jihad is as inherent in Sharia Law as revolution is in Communist doctrine.

But there are non-Sharia mosques where peaceful and spiritual Muslims worship God in their own way without promoting violence. A soon-to-be published study funded by Frank Gaffney's Center for Security Policy, found that 20% of the mosques in the United States have no taint of Sharia and simply promote peaceful worship. But 80% are filled with violent literature, Sharia teachings, and promotion of Jihad and its inevitable concomitant -- terrorism.

Aug. 19 2010 04:31 PM
gary from queens

DEAR dba from nyc:

YOU WROTE
"I am sure that white segregationists were deeply offended when they were compelled to sit at a lunch counter or on the bus next to a black person.....etc."

ANSWER:

FIRST, The southern racists had more in common with the supremacy and exclusionary doctrines of Islam, than they had with the spirit of freedom and quality. But I will extend the "logic" you presented, and propose that had the southern racists established a RELIGION to justify their hate and intolerance, then that would give them the same pass you are giving islamic literalists like al qaeda and Imam Rauf!!!

SECOND, for lovers of big government (liberals), that which you describe (e.g. Jim Crow) were LAWS OF GOVERNMENT. Segregation was the law. Many whites opposed it in the south. A southern restaurant owner could not permit blacks to be with whites even if he wanted it. Government coerces people. People cannot coerce people.

Aug. 19 2010 04:19 PM
gary from queens

DEAR BlueDahlia77:

YOU WROTE:
"The individuals planning Park51 did not attack the US on 9/11, they have no known (only speculative) ties to extremists, and anything the Imam has said about the attacks is his God-given right to say as a US citizen."

ANSWER: You are not keeping up with my posts. See further down this link I posted which SHOWS THAT THE PERSONAL LINKS ARE THERE, if one would simply read it.

So you would permit Nazis today---who had not connection to Adolph Hitler---build their Nazi Center at a jewish memorial or cemetary (etc)?!

AGAIN:

"Rauf’s Dawa from the World Trade Center Rubble":
Meet the Ground Zero Mosque imam's Muslim Brotherhood friends.

Andrew C. McCarthy
July 24, 2010 4:00 A.M.

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/243536/raufs-dawa-world-trade-center-rubble-andrew-c-mccarthy

Aug. 19 2010 03:56 PM
dba from nyc

Simply put, by claiming that "yes, you have a constitutional right to practice your religion as you choose, but it is inappropriate to build the mosque/community center two blocks – and not on the actual site – from ground zero (or X, for that matter), defeats the purpose of such a constitutional right. It is tantamount to saying "you have the constitutional right to practice your religion as long as I approve of how and where you do it". Claiming that the developers should move the center because 60 or 70% of the public is opposed is irrelevant. The Bill of Rights was written precisely to protect unpopular minorities or unpopular ideas from the wishes/sensitivities of the majority. There are Muslim American citizens who are fighting in the military for this country. To say to them that it is inappropriate to build their house of worship because a non-Muslim majority is offended is to relegate them to second class citizens who must acquiesce and appease the majority.

Aug. 19 2010 02:50 PM
dba from nyc

Part II:

Furthermore, to say that well, it's OK to have a mosque elsewhere but not two blocks from Ground Zero because it is hallowed ground ascribes collective guilt on a particular religious group. As a Jew, I am appalled by this rhetoric and the ADL's participation in it. I am sure that no Jewish American group would accept objections to the building of their community center/synagogue because it would be offensive to whomever for whatever reason. In the pages of this newspaper, I often read readers’ comments about “Jewish baby killers, Zionist thugs” and other such epithets in articles about the Isaeli-Palestenian conflict. Just as I do not want to be lumped and classified this way, so I do not want to do the same to other religious groups. And as far as the Carmelite nuns at Auschwitz analogy, I personally was not offended by their presence since they were not the ones who perpetrated the Holocaust.

Aug. 19 2010 02:47 PM
dba from nyc

I am sure that white segregationists were deeply offended when they were compelled to sit at a lunch counter or on the bus next to a black person. I’m sure they wanted to say to black people “you have the right to eat at a restaurant, but just not sitting next to me”. It is a sad day that the “American exceptionalism” that the so many Americans so love to vaunt is reduced to this. The hysterical demonization that is underlying all this rhetoric is creating an atmosphere that is probably akin to the environment that preceded the rise of Nazi Germany, and that ultimately contributed to the final solution implemented in the concentration camps. The great ideals of freedom and liberty that was the foundation of this great nation are being eroded day by day with this kind of propaganda, and the cowardly way in which the politicians are jumping on the bandwagon and leading the charge. Bloomberg had it right, probably because he is a Jew and remembers what Jews have suffered, something the ADL has clearly forgotten.

Aug. 19 2010 02:46 PM
Bob from NYC Home of the Free

They should use eminent domain to deny them this location and I'll vote for that Republican. If you notice, they all had the same philosophy this band of merry men. They seemed remarkably, the same... Of course after the terror attack, their peaceful brothers rise up on the same spot and say, "We'd like to sing kumbaya" where our friends have recently blown you up. Eminent Domain. Deny it.

Aug. 19 2010 02:42 PM

@ Lisa

If people are still having highly visceral reactions to the attacks after nine years, I would hope they seek the help of a psychiatric professional because the trauma is continuing to effect them.

And, yes, I would show them a map of the WTC area to show them that they wouldn't need to pass the community center if they didn't have to.

And if the idea of an Islamic community center near the location of an attack occurred still makes them anxious and hate-filled, I would again encourage them to speak to a psychiatric professional. Too many people are confusing the acts of a few individiuals with the peaceful religion of over one billion.

The individuals planning Park51 did not attack the US on 9/11, they have no known (only speculative) ties to extremists, and anything the Imam has said about the attacks is his God-given right to say as a US citizen.

Aug. 19 2010 02:28 PM
jack from queens

I have just read some of the comments and I am tired of people calling others bigoted and racist because they dislike the way they are treated by other groups and take the bold step of vocalizing it. I am an American and have lived in NYC for 15 years and can not tell you the disrespect and downright insensitivity I have seen and felt from other groups who have come to my country. I would never treat people the way I have been treated when i travel. We all need to understand this -

This has nothing to do with bigotry. It has to do with common decency. If they don't have the decency not to build there, so be it. we have to decide if these are the kind of people who we really want coming to our country.

Look, besides, this kind of mistreatment is what our country was founded on. Our ancestors moved in, pushed the indians off their land, built houses on top of their burial sites and other holy sites. I'll take it a step further, one of my direct ancestors was one of the people who'd, in addition to bullying indians, ran Anne Hutchinson out of Boston for challenging the so-called pious men of authority. Did our ancestors give a damn about the indians or someone like ann hutchinson, no. Well it is the same thing happening all over again and the new comers, immigrants if you will, don't give a damn about us or how we feel.

We have two choices: start liking it or decide who we want in our country. I've traveled enough to know how other countries would deal with this and I prefer the European model; step in line or leave.

Aug. 19 2010 02:16 PM
gary from queens

LIBERAL VERSION OF SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE.

Religious freedom, liberal style, is to force jews and christian victims of islamic doctrine to finance the fundraising junket of Rauf, the Hamas supporter and builder of the mosque.

w w w . washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/18/AR2010081805702.html?wpisrc=nl_cuzhead
By Foreign Policy's Josh Rogin
Thursday, August 19, 2010
State Dept. sponsors trip for imam connected to N.Y. mosque project

Aug. 19 2010 02:10 PM
Ron from Brian Lehrer Show

First of all, I do not feel that it is right to employ eminant domain or any other so called saving our city by whatever means necessary. Have these people forgotten the constitution for which they say that they stand for? Eminant domain can only be justified if all the churches and synagogues in the area were bulldozed,also, for some overriding project that it is obvious that neither the city or the state intends to follow through on. They can say that it is to put up a monument giving tribute those involved with 911in one way or another. How can they say this when they only now, ten years later, they could not come to a satisfactory way to build anything on ground zero?

Also, these people should learn the difference between a mosque and a community. Neither the YMCA or the YMHA are places of worship.

Aug. 19 2010 02:06 PM
GARY from queens

THESE NY IMAMS ARE NOT RADICAL, YOU SAY?
JUST LOOK AT THE PEOPLE BEHIND THESE MOSQUES!

These are facts, with names, places and dates. Not a polemic.

"Rauf’s Dawa from the World Trade Center Rubble":
Meet the Ground Zero Mosque imam's Muslim Brotherhood friends.

Andrew C. McCarthy
July 24, 2010 4:00 A.M.

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/243536/raufs-dawa-world-trade-center-rubble-andrew-c-mccarthy

Aug. 19 2010 01:52 PM

Brian, I, too, am disappointed in your moderation of this topic. You are my favorite (and only) talk show host--what am I to do now?

Aug. 19 2010 01:34 PM
gary from queens

LET'S DISCUSS RELIGIOUS FREEDOM UNDER ISLAM:

FROM mCCARTHY AGAIN:

“Truly the pagans are unclean,” instructs the Koran’s Sura 9:28, “so let them not . . . approach the Sacred Mosque.” This injunction — and there are plenty of similar ones in Islam’s scriptures — is enforced vigorously not by jihadist terrorists but by the Saudi government. And it is enforced not because of some eccentric sense of Saudi nationalism. The only law of Saudi Arabia is sharia, the law of Islam.

As Sunni scholarly commentary in the version of the Koran officially produced by the Saudi government explains, only Muslims are sufficiently “strict in cleanliness, as well as in purity of mind and heart, so that their word can be relied upon.” Thus, only they may enter the holy cities. Authoritative Shiite teaching is even more bracing. As Iraq’s “moderate” Ayatollah Ali Sistani — probably the world’s most influential Shiite cleric — has explained, the touching of non-Muslims is discouraged, because they are considered to be in the same “unclean” category as “urine, feces, semen, dead bodies, blood, dogs, pigs, alcoholic liquors, and the sweat of an animal who persistently eats [unclean things].”

Aug. 19 2010 01:24 PM
GARY from QUEENS

ISLAM IS A RELIGION OF SUPREMACY.
AL QAEDA JUSTIFIES ITS ACTIONS FOR THAT REASON.

Just to show how mainstream this is: recall the man in Iraq recently who converted to christianity. The court imposed the death penaly. But then the publicity of the case forced Iraq to back away from that penalty. WHY? Because it was an embarrassment, because Iraq is still a client of the US. But the Iraq law was based on Sharia.

QUOTE FROM MCCATHY ARTICLE:

Contemporary Islam, by contrast, is counseling supremacism. It rips at our seams, demanding that Americans accept parallel Islamic societies, because Muslims must reject the mores of non-Islamic societies.

This same thinking undergirds Islam’s rejection of freedom of conscience, including the Koran’s prescription, in Sura 4:89, of the death penalty for those who renounce their Islamic faith (“They would have you disbelieve as they themselves have disbelieved, so that you may be all like alike. Do not befriend them. . . . If they desert you seize them and put them to death wherever you find them.”) Again, this is not an al-Qaeda doctrine. As the scholar Ibn Warraq observes, it is the interpretation shared by all classical schools of Muslim jurisprudence.

Moreover, the same theory that considers every Muslim to be a Muslim forever — whether he wants to be one or not — analogously holds that if a given inch of land has ever been under Islamic domain, it is Islam’s property in perpetuity. There is a reason Islamic maps of Palestine do not reflect the existence of Israel and that Spain is called al-Andalus.

Aug. 19 2010 01:19 PM

Bobby from ny
"hjs" you really buy that load of #&$# that the reason they attacked is they "hate our freedom?"

NO i don't believe that but that was not my point

Aug. 19 2010 01:03 PM
gary from queens

DEAR amalgam from Manhattan

YOU WRITE:
"Sets of laws don't kill people, crazed, radical Islamist terrorists do."

ANSWER:
Tell that to the political and religous minorities of Germany, Russia, and countless other nations.
Daily history shows that ideologies are the seeds of civil and religious law.

Islam is an ideology of apartheid.

QUOTE FROM MCCARTHY ARTICLE:

Sura 9:29, the verse of the Koran that immediately follows the commandment to exclude non-Muslims from holy sites, instructs: “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the last day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, from among the people of the Book [i.e., Jews and Christians], until they pay the jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

The jizya is a poll-tax imposed on dhimmis. Those are non-Muslims permitted to live in Islamic territories. The concept is that all the world will eventually be under the thumb of sharia authorities, with dhimmis tolerated so long as they accept their subordinate legal and social status (“and feel themselves subdued”). The alternative for dhimmis is war or death.

Aug. 19 2010 01:03 PM
gary from queens

DEAR amalgam from Manhattan

YOU WRITE:
Sharia did not murder thousands because Sharia is a set of Islamic laws (that have no truck in the American legal system).

QUOTE FROM THE MCCARTHY ARTICLE:

In Minneapolis, where thousands of Somalis have settled, taxpayers are being forced to support sharia-compliant mortgages and at least one Islamic charter school. Meantime, taxi drivers refuse to ferry passengers suspected of carrying alcohol, and a student in need of a dog’s assistance for medical reasons was driven from school due to threats from Muslim students against him and the animal — because sharia regards canines as unclean.

This aggression is a deliberate strategy, called “voluntary apartheid.” The idea, as explained by influential Sunni cleric Yusuf Qaradawi (the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual guide), counsels that Muslims in the West must push political leaders to indulge what he claims is their “right to live according to our faith — ideologically, legislatively, and ethically.” It is what imam Feisal Rauf means when he urges America to become more sharia-friendly by allowing “religious communities more leeway to judge among themselves, according to their laws.”

Aug. 19 2010 12:56 PM
Jansie from Rockland

Sad to say, in general, religious leaders don't seem to be leading the dialogue on this issue. Have they forgotten their own history? Will my great grandchildren look back in satisfaction with our steadfastness in living up to our stated ideals? Sometimes it's tough to be a good American!

Aug. 19 2010 12:48 PM
Sandra from Astoria

I too am sick of hearing these anti-mosque people airing their bigotry, especially during the holy month of Ramadan (I'm an atheist by the way).

How would they like it if during the month of Christmas, a group opposed the building of a church, and all you heard on the news was how terrible Christianity is, how it supported slavery, burned women at the stake, beheaded people during the Crusades, let priests molest children, etc.

Or a synogogue being protested during the high holy days, with people spewing anti-semitic comments on the TV and radio and internet every day?

If this center does get built, I fear for its safety because the public has been whipping itself into a lynching frenzy.

And the idea of using "big" government to subvert the 1st Amendment under the guise of eminent domain--wow. Is that what conservatism has come to?

Aug. 19 2010 12:45 PM
DW

@ Michael from Queens

Why is it disrespectful, burdensome, and hurtful?

I think, if explored, this "sensitivity" argument boils down to feelings about Muslims, which are huge generalizations and guilt by association.

I think it's disrespectful to Muslims that people tar them all (20% of the world) with 9/11.

From what I've seen, 9/11 victim's families seem as divided about this as everyone else.

Aug. 19 2010 12:43 PM
Edward from NJ

None of the most prominent opponents are simply asking nicely that the center's planners pick a different location. They start off saying it's "just too close", and then throw in hateful innuendo about secret motives and nefarious funding sources. The likes of Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin don't want to foster cooperation and understanding. They want to take the gut-level discomfort that many people -- rightly or wrongly -- feel and turn it into political outrage.

Aug. 19 2010 12:22 PM
amalgam from Manhattan by day, NJ by night

@ Thomas in lower Manhattan -

...or the peace of Sufi practice, i.e., moderation and toleration.

Since Cordoba house is run by Sufis, the latter must be expected.

Do you even know what Sufism stands for and means in practice? From your rhetoric, you seem misinformed.

Aug. 19 2010 12:17 PM
Michael from Queens

There is clearly no issue as to whether anyone has the "right" to build a mosque in that location so I don't see why that word keeps creeping back into the discussion. The question is really one of respect and empathy. I think it shows a lack of respect to propose building a mosque so close to ground zero. The proponents of the mosque are asking everyone affected by 9-11 to be tolerant of them and their rights instead of empathizing with the families of the victims and everyone else who suffered. It is selfish of the mosque supporters to add this burden to an already hurting group of people. Build it somewhere else and no one's feelings will be hurt.

Aug. 19 2010 12:14 PM
amalgam from Manhattan by day, NJ by night

@ gary from queens -

Your syllogism is faulty and illogical.

You say: "The mosque should not be built on the grounds where _Sharia murdered_ thousands."

Sharia did not murder thousands because Sharia is a set of Islamic laws (that have no truck in the American legal system).

"Sets of laws don't kill people, crazed, radical Islamist terrorists do."

Aug. 19 2010 12:13 PM
Thomas in lower Manhattan


How about tossing a third option into the mix: New Yorkers, 9/11 survivors and friends, family and citizens of Earth who would like to develop the old Burlington Coat Factory bldg. into the Downtown New York Infidel Civic Center: A sanctuary of civility, where the ideals of individual freedom and democratic process - freed from religion - might be on display and gently promoted.

And, as you insist on this topic,

Call it Cordoba House, Park 51 or the Area 51 cultural center for extraterrestrial culture, call it whatever you want - a "prayer space" for 2000 people - who will be observing the practices of Islam - is a mosque. The fact that a restaurant, pool etc also are housed in the building does not make it otherwise. There will be no Shabbat service, no mass, no diamond sutra or anything other than Islamic services practiced in that prayer space. What is proposed here is a Mosque. Housed in a "Cultural Center."

The insistence of this location cannot be viewed as anything but a provocation.
Some Muslims have spoken about this:

"...building a mosque at Ground Zero is equivalent to permitting a Serbian Orthodox church near the killing fields of Srebrenica where 8,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered" - Raheel Raza. see: http://raheelraza.wordpress.com/

There are others if you care to find them.

I am opposed to the government of the US, of New York State and New York City getting involved in this - through eminent domain or as a political rugby ball. As I would be opposed to money coming from Saudi Arabia, China, England or other governments to build this "abomination."
I am opposed to the development of this mosque, this cultural center, this center of a cult of oppression and violence. I hope public opinion will steer the project into oblivion. Yet, I find the threats by politicians, against the private property rights of Sharif El-Gamal and Imam Rauf's Cordoba Initiative and American Society for Muslim Advancement, abhorrent and ironic in their fascist bent.

You, Brian, as moderator of this "discussion" on your show, as well as Mayor Bloomberg, President Obama, and all who would involve themselves in this problem, must also be open to the view that the evidence - repressive governments, the words of the Koran, the practice of Sharia - (the list is long before you get to Islamic-fascist-terrorism) - suggests that Islam itself - at this point in history - is the problem - a force that destroys human progress - along with all the individual lives, either lived under the daily oppression of thugs of governments and/ or family, or snuffed out in the Sunni vs Shi'a feud, or any of the other violence perpetrated in the name of Islam and in the opposition to the spread of its ugliest manifestations.

Islamic Culture? Will its ugly, oppressive, violent misogyny be discussed at this Ground Zero Mosque? What sort of Jihad will be discussed at this “cultural center?” What sort of peace? The peace of Cordoba, the Caliphate?

Aug. 19 2010 12:08 PM
Steve from Brooklyn

There's a lot of demogoguery here. Eminent Domain is supposed to be used for a public purpose. Conservatives don't even like it being used just for economic development of supposedly blighted areas. Now some of them think it would be great to use it for this mosque deal? (Just like some recently and suddenly found landmarking to be a great thing!) They think the Governor should be able to say: "I don't like you so I will take your land." That's what this amounts to.

And Governor Paterson has no business offering to "help" build a mosque elsewhere. Ever hear of the "establishment clause?" It means the government is not supposed to help "establish" a religion, remember?

And to the mosque opponents: many people say: "Where are the moderate Muslims? We would like to hear more from them." Well, maybe they are here now and you seem to just want them to go elsewhere.

And to the Imam and the mosque supporters: Are you really building bridges of understanding by pushing ahead with the project in the face of so much hurt and objection in the community?

Everybody is talking at each other and attacking and the politicians should be ashamed of playing this for all they think it is worth.

And, by the way, some of the polls are absurd. Do we really subject people's Constitutional rights to polls where 53% may vote for or against them? If a court upholds a right against a 53% plebesite, it is said to be "out of touch with the people" and "legislating from the bench." Of course, if you are on the other side, the Court is "enforcing a sacred principle. A bit hypocritical. These remarks may apply to gay marriage, gun rights and a few other areas, as well as religious freedom.

(Gee I hope I don't get all the "freedom lovers" mad at me and wanting to take my house away or behead me!)

Aug. 19 2010 12:00 PM
Peter from Riverdale

I recently received a psychic message from a Mr. Ben Laden. Why me? I don't know, but I think it is my civic duty to share this. He said he was overjoyed by the opposition to the Muslim Cultural Center. He believes that the Sufi imam in charge is an enemy of all Jihadists- they believe in cooperation with Christians and Jews, and ecstatic dancing, of all things- and would be the first in line to chop off his head. However, the American people are proving his point that the Americans are not just against Al Qaeda and its allies, but against the 1.3 billion Muslims in this world. He wishes to thank all those opposed to the mosque for showing all Muslims that the Americans are against them. What a propaganda victory for him; nothing he could say would be more effective in radicalizing Muslims throughout the world. He hopes the opposition succeeds. Perhaps it will take a couple of Pakistani cabdrivers over the line, seeing that they (the Americans) are hopelessly against us (all Muslims), and find a target to vent their rage and humiliation.

Please remember, I am only the messenger of this psychic message, so don't shoot the messenger. My regards to fellow psychic, Shawn Spencer.

Aug. 19 2010 11:53 AM
Bobby from ny

"hjs" you really buy that load of #&$# that the reason they attacked is they "hate our freedom?" LOL
have you read the history of Arabs????? Do you know the profile of the guys on that plane????? I'm amazed that so called "educated" people are the most shut off and don't research.

Aug. 19 2010 11:51 AM
Hard Knox from Tha Streetz

It's sickening that this creep would use the issue to bolster support for his campaign.

Aug. 19 2010 11:49 AM
Lohnni from byc

Jason, what you said was very reasonable. A discussion like yours is important and calm and peaceful. But why in the shadow of the event? No one seems to want to address that peacefully. They just want to insist with vehemence that it must be at that spot, and to me, that is more of a violent, insistent, intolerant opinion than someone who says, make it somewhere else.

Aug. 19 2010 11:49 AM

if they "hate our freedom" don't they win if we lose our freedom?

Aug. 19 2010 11:48 AM
Lillian Larrier from Brooklyn

I do not think eminent domain should be used.
Let the Islamic Center be built.

Aug. 19 2010 11:46 AM
Lisa from nyny

@ "Blue"

Actually highly charged emotional events like 9-11 do make people vomit. What would you like to say to those people? Maybe you can give them a map and show them how to avoid your "ping pong" and "swimming pool" and "shuffle board" site. That's what it is right? With the big crescent on its outside????

Aug. 19 2010 11:43 AM
Jason from NYC from Lower Manhattan

One more thing...
I was in the WTC when they were attacked. I have horrible memories and still suffer from periodic nightmares. But, I believe in this country, what it stands for (or used to stand for), and used to be proud. Now, I'm sickened by the ignorance and intollerance surrounding almost every issue today.

Muslims are not terrorists- extremist who HAPPEN to be Muslims are. Chirstians are not terrorists- extremist who HAPPEN to be Christian are. What about GodHatesFags.com? This isn't a form of terrorism when they show up to funerals of fallen soldiers holding disgusting signs because of their extremist views? How about those preachers who preach hatred towards different groups? Remember Obama's old preacher (relax, I'm a supporter). The Oklahoma City Federal Building being blown up and killing many people? Just to name a few.

There have been many Christian terrorist attacks throughout history- I just can't understand how people cannot separate the extremists fromt the peaceful.

In 1970 a Mosque opened in lower Manhattan (and is closer to the WTC than the proposed community center). This is what they said...

"Masjid Manhattan and its members condemn any type of terrorist acts. In particular, the attacks of 9/11 where non-Muslims as well as Muslims lost their lives. Islam always invites for peace; therefore Islam is not responsible for the actions of some ill individuals who, independently from what Islam advocates, have hatred against humanity. As Muslims and as Americans, we will never forget the beloved ones who perished that terrible day of September 11, 2001."

My God, what terrorists!

Aug. 19 2010 11:41 AM
Edward from NJ

@Edward Anthony from NYC, I'd question your second prediction. If the center were to spring up overnight and open tomorrow, then it might be a target for right-wing domestic terrorists. But it won't open for years. The only things shorter than these nuts' fuses are their attention spans. By the time it opens there will be 20 newer targets for their outrage. Of course, I may just be optimistic.

Aug. 19 2010 11:40 AM
jawbone from Parsippany

It is interesting that the opponents of this cultural center are doing exactly what the Bin Ladin and Taliban-type extremists would do: Go after Sufis and try to shut them down. Repress them at best (they have to gather out of sight) or destroy them at worst.

The Muslim extremists think the Sufis are way too progressive (women sit with men in the same area for prayer! Gasp and best destroy them! They dance and sing! Gasp!)) and do not adhere to the what the extremists demand. So, in areas where extremists are in control, Sufis are repressed and worse.

So here we are, in the 21st Century, in the land of the Bill of Rights, trying to shut out or shut down progressive Muslims.

Way to go, extremist Americans.

And, given some rightwinger talking points and waving the "bloody shirt" (OK, declaring any spot where there was falling plane debris to be a Muslim free zone), these modern extremists in our nation can stir up a large percentage of the public.

Once again, the distance from the WTC location and the cultural center seems to increase the hysteria in people. And lessen their support for the founding principles of our nation. This was true after 9/11 as well.

Interestingly, once Obama took single payer health insurance "off the table," the MCM (Mainstream Corporate Media) barely mentioned that as a possible approach, but, with this Repub rightwing scare wedge issue, the MCM can't get enough. Hence this segment today.

Aug. 19 2010 11:40 AM
rich mcbride from NYC

The same non-NY faux-conservatives who DENIED aid to our first responders found a cheap way to pretend they care about NYC by objecting to we choose to be and do here. Why aren't those who defend the mosques linking it to the bill the Republicans killed that would have actually done some real good for heroes in desperate need? They have relinquished their right to an opinion by denying this critical aid. Let them argue about what to do with the relief funds Alaska has taken, hypocritically, from the Federal government.

Aug. 19 2010 11:39 AM

@ Lisa from nyny:

Park51 is TWO BLOCKS away from Ground Zero is not on a direct pathway to the site. People will not have to walk by the center if they don't want to. To say that a center -- that will NOT be a mosque -- will make people vomit says more about the person than the building.

Aug. 19 2010 11:39 AM
The Truth from Becky

I mean since we are just spouting off "ridiculousness" why not propose anything we want!

Aug. 19 2010 11:38 AM
Raka from ny

What will the visual elements be? Minerets? Flags?

Aug. 19 2010 11:35 AM
Yoki from Fort Lee

I would like to see a Japanese Center next to that boat museum at Pearl Harbor. And if it's denied, you're racist.

Aug. 19 2010 11:31 AM
Amanda from Manhattan

My husband worked In Word Trade 8. He was there on 9/11 and thank god was physically unharmed.

We were talking about the Mosque & Islamic cultural center flap the other day. I thought it was bad form and insensitive to put the Islamic Center at Ground zero but if the imam wants to be a heel, then let him. It's a free country. My husband disagreed. So, I asked him how close to ground zero was too close for such a place.

His answer: 2,752 miles.

I guess your point of view depends on where you were standing on September 2001.

Aug. 19 2010 11:30 AM
Edward Anthony from NYC

Two predictions: 1. The mosque will be built. 2. The mosque will be bombed by radical US citizens.

Aug. 19 2010 11:29 AM
Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn Heights

Eminent domain abuse (very bad policy) is way out of control generally in New York State but using eminent domain with the specific targeted motive of checkmating the exercise and expression of a particular religion would be unconstitutional for multiple additional reasons, like violating the first amendment, separation of church and state and equal protection. But who knows? These days the New York Court of Appeals (the state’s highest court) is apparently willing to approve eminent domain no matter what the motivation of the government officials. The court is already willing to allow government officials to be motivated by conferring no-bid benefit on a particular pre-selected developer like Ratner/Prokhorov or Columbia. It is only a small incremental step further to have the particularized motivation be to thwart the actions of a religious group’s selection of a place to worship.


Michael D. D. White
Noticing New York
http://noticingnewyork.blogspot.com/

Aug. 19 2010 11:28 AM
Matt from Westchester, NY

Those who don't believe in freedom of speech and freedom of religion are the ones who should leave the country, not Muslims or immigrants. All of this racism and misdirected hatred is unAmerican and offensive.

Aug. 19 2010 11:28 AM
Cambra from Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

To echo what others have said: the amount of debate surrounding this issue boggles my mind. First, a cultural center with a prayer room in it is not A Mosque. Second, mosques are not inherently bad. Negative reactions to this project perfectly highlight the lack of cultural understanding that its building is meant to help alleviate. I'm tired of thinly- and not-at-all-veiled bigotry being used to continually shift political debates and their media coverage to the right. Has anyone else read "The Republican Noise Machine"? Politicians who run on these type of platforms should just go ahead and change their campaign slogans to "No Human Progress Allowed."

Aug. 19 2010 11:27 AM
Ken from Little Neck

This discussion becomes more sickening and disheartening by the day. Is this not a country of religious tolerance anymore (if it really ever was in the first place)? Does the first amendment only apply to those who are like "us"? I cannot put into words how disturbing this topic has become for me. I'm ashamed to be an American at the moment, given the hatred that's being spewed by my fellow citizens.

Aug. 19 2010 11:27 AM
Cambra from Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

To echo what others have said: the amount of debate surrounding this issue boggles my mind. First, a cultural center with a prayer room in it is not A Mosque. Second, mosques are not inherently bad. Negative reactions to this project perfectly highlight the lack of cultural understanding that its building is meant to help alleviate. I'm tired of thinly- and not-at-all-veiled bigotry being used to continually shift political debates and their media coverage to the right. Has anyone else read "The Republican Noise Machine"? Politicians who run on these type of platforms should just go ahead and change their campaign slogans to "No Human Progress Allowed."

Aug. 19 2010 11:26 AM
jack from queens

that this debate is even going on is foolish. No eminent domain. That does not mean I am for the mosque. I am not because I do not like the way I am treated by muslims I have encountered in my life.
How many times have I been asked to get out of a taxi in NYC on a Friday night becuase I have been drinking? this is not what this country is about. this country is about freedom - if I want to drink a beer on a Friday I should still be able to get a taxi home. And yes freedom means that they have the right to build there and they will - they will take advantage of the freedom our country offers when it suits them and when it doesn't they get nasty (I've been ordered out of taxi's and don't think I was too polite back). Look what happen after 9/11, Muslims, not even extremists, were partying in the streets, shooting fire works off in Brentwood, Long Island (and we expect them to be sensitive about where they locate a mosque? you're joking). Why come here? They fly in the face of freedom and will continue to do so so long as it suits them. This is our fault Americans. Get over the Mosque and start writing to your politicians about the people we are letting into this country. I am afraid if we do not stop this now, our children will pay in a bad way generations from now.

It says "be civil" on the instructions for the comments I am leaving here. Civility would dictate that that mosque not go there - but these people do not know what civility is. why should I, an American be any different?

I speak the truth.

Aug. 19 2010 11:26 AM
Jason from NYC from Lower Manhattan

This is such an ignorant issue. There is already a Mosque at the WTC site which is closer than this COMMUNITY CENTER will be. Anyone against it should be ashamed of themselves. It isn't a comfortable situation- that I understand; however, which other Constitutional rights do you support getting rid of? In other words, all of you Christians (I am as well) will lose your right to practice your religion freely; without government involvement. This is not a Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Budhist, or any other religion country. This is America- you know, where people are supposed to be free, where we abide by the Constitution and do not force people to endure ignorance simply because it makes us uncomfortable.

THERE IS ALREADY A MOSQUE THERE!!

If you are ignorant enough to believe we are at war with Muslims then you are seriously misinformed and are likely a biggot. Don't forget- there are Christian terrorists (Timothy McVay for one example) who have also attacked our country. Should Christian churches be prevented from being anywhere near people who are uncomfortable with the religion becasue there are extremist who terrorize? The only thing I can say is you should be ashamed of yourselves.

Aug. 19 2010 11:26 AM
CL from New York

I'm sorry to say that I don't think this call-in segment added one beneficial whit to the debate. In addition to mistakenly characterizing the building as a "mosque," BL did almost nothing to focus the discussion. He merely allowed callers to voice their shabbily formed opinions. In response to one caller's claim that eminent domain was designed for precisely this sort of thing-- one of the stupidest comments I've heard in a long time-- he remarked, "Really?" I gather that this sort of unmoderated use of the public airways is deemed admirably democratic. It seems to me that it only adds to the barbarism, ignorance, and prejudice that surround the issue.

Aug. 19 2010 11:26 AM
Ben from Midtown

It's ridiculous "discussions" like these that remind me how selfish and stupid we really are when confronted by our vague fears and consternations. No wonder we threw the Japanese Americans into concentration camps during WWII; no one cares about trampling constitutional rights when it's someone else's.

Aug. 19 2010 11:25 AM
Judy Richardson from Kensington, Brooklyn

Eminent domain, no! The only thing I'm afraid of is that some nut job will harm the people using the proposed Islamic center in that location.

Aug. 19 2010 11:24 AM
jawbone from Parsippany

I did not know Republicans felt so honor bound to follow the lead of polls!

Since around 60% of the public polled as wanting a health care plan similar to Medicare, how could the Repubs oppose such a plan??

Since more that 60% of the public polls as being against staying in Afghanistan, how can the Repubs or any other pols continue to fund our military in that nation??

Oh, yeah -- scaring people is what Repubs do, and then the feckless, spineless Dem, especially the Corporatist types, feel they have to go against our national and the Dem Party's principles. These Me-Too Dems should be drummed out of the Party and definitely out of office.

A pox on both their houses. Stay home or vote None of the Above in November.

Aug. 19 2010 11:23 AM
Liz from Brooklyn

Would the people who think this mosque shouldn't be built at Ground Zero also remove a church near the Oklahoma city site? The bomber was Christian...
This is racism. People against this mosque are selfish, ethnocentric and above all un-American. Maybe they should move to France where racism is government approved!

Aug. 19 2010 11:23 AM
Lisa from nyny

Which part of the brain is dead on these people who don't understand that this makes people VOMIT to walk by this kind of a place in this spot?????

Aug. 19 2010 11:23 AM
Gary from queens

I understand there is a court doctrine of "preferential treatment" which would make it unconstitutional for gov. to say one church is permitted to be built in a designated area, but not another of another religion.

HOWEVER: it is Constitutional to exclude all religions, or all of anything else, to be built. If we had a mayor with balls and compassion for freedom loving people, this would then be a dead issue by now.

Aug. 19 2010 11:23 AM
Mom in NJ

Can we stop this insanity???

Brian shame on you for even entertaining such nonsense!!

The govt can't claim eminent domain unless it has plans itself to develop the land for public use.

I came to listen to this show for it's informed and fair airing of topics. I am starting to question what is happening with this show. It's seems Brian has now joined the other idiots in the asylum. Is not telling how many of your callers expressed their ignorance of the law but yet went on to make a statement of position.

I can't listen anymore!!!! Cancel my membership!

Aug. 19 2010 11:23 AM
Xtina from E. Village

Another typical example of Republicans trying to manipulate the Constitution to their own ends. They tried to landmark it, and then they would condemn it? The same land?

Aug. 19 2010 11:22 AM
dba from nyc

Part I:

Simply put, by claiming that "yes, you have a constitutional right to practice your religion as you choose, but it is inappropriate to build the mosque/community center two blocks – and not on the actual site – from ground zero (or X, for that matter), defeats the purpose of such a constitutional right. It is tantamount to saying "you have the constitutional right to practice your religion as long as I approve of how and where you do it". Claiming that the developers should move the center because 60 or 70% of the public is opposed is irrelevant. The Bill of Rights was written precisely to protect unpopular minorities or unpopular ideas from the wishes/sensitivities of the majority. There are Muslim American citizens who are fighting in the military for this country. To say to them that it is inappropriate to build their house of worship because a non-Muslim majority is offended is to relegate them to second class citizens who must acquiesce and appease the majority.

Aug. 19 2010 11:22 AM

Is this April fools? Eminent domain? And this rep is from the party that says gov't wastes too much of our taxpayers' dough?
wonder if he'd feel the same way if it would've been a Scientology center, Moony center, etc...

Aug. 19 2010 11:21 AM
Ali from bronx

Muslims were kill in the 911 attack,Muslims first responder responded and some of them are sick now, Muslims soldiers are taking the fight to the terrorist and dying for their country,so there is no sensitivity about that.I guess they are dying for nothing,stop the mosque and the terrorist win,by changing our way of life.Respect the constitution.

Aug. 19 2010 11:21 AM
lolki from qa

I would like to see a video arcade or a Disney Center.

Aug. 19 2010 11:21 AM
bob from ny

First ammendment is irrelevant it's an INSULT

Aug. 19 2010 11:19 AM

Do the callers opposing the cultural center think that Muslims and Arabs should be barred from lower Manhattan altogether? Perhaps they support walling off a section of New York in which all Muslims can be segregated.

Brian Lehrer's cowardice on this issue is shameful.

Aug. 19 2010 11:19 AM
Rachel Fennimore from NYC

The Islamic Center should be ALLOWED to be built. No one would be protesting a church or temple....who's to judge? Eminent Domain should not be applied here! More people should be educated on Muslim culture and know this is no threat to be built here. The muslims weren't the ones to destroy the Twin Towers, in my opinion it was our own U.S. government who planned it so they could launch this war on Terrorism. So messed up!

Aug. 19 2010 11:19 AM
Jeff Pappas

Eminent domain is totally wrong for most situations including religion and politics.
What a way to bring out the Racists. What about the hard core bad guy terrorists who are Muslim calling for ALL the Christian Infidels to be killed.
STOP PLAYING INTO THE HATRED AND RACISM !

Aug. 19 2010 11:18 AM

group punishment??

Aug. 19 2010 11:18 AM
Carl

What about eminent domain to close NY Dolls?

Aug. 19 2010 11:18 AM
LCruz

i support the use of eminent domain to stop the Muslim cultural center.

in the not so distant future all non Protestant religions faced scrutiny if not outright blockage when trying to expand and or build places temples.

Aug. 19 2010 11:18 AM
matthew

I am scared of this country

Aug. 19 2010 11:18 AM
The Truth from Becky

I think that everyone whose ancestors came here on a ship, should leave the Country.

Aug. 19 2010 11:18 AM
Amanda from Manhattan.

My husband worked In Word Trade 8 at the US Customs house. He was there on 9/11 and thank god was physically unharmed.

We were talking about the Mosque & Islamic cultural center the other day and I asked him how close to ground zero was too close for such a place.

His answer: 2,752 miles.

So yeah. It's just bad form and insensitive to put the cultural center in that location.

Emmenent domain away.

Aug. 19 2010 11:18 AM
dana from chester, ny

this mosque is going to be built with intentions of peace and spreading peace. i see no reason not to allow such a beautiful place to be built. this mosque has no relation to the september 11 disaster and politicians are simply using it to promote themselves. they are acting selfish and inhumane. if we are going to be constantly be living in fear, there will never be peace. this mosque will bring peace and humane piece of mind.

Aug. 19 2010 11:17 AM

Why is Brian Lehrer leading the callers?! He is posing leading questions. Is he trying to push for the answers he wants to hear?

Aug. 19 2010 11:17 AM

9/11 Victim's Mother Supports Islamic Center
Talat Hamdani lost her son, Salman, in the September 11 terrorist attacks. He was a NYPD cadet and an EMT. Hamdani supports the construction of an Islamic center near ground zero, saying not all muslims are terrorists. http://www.newslook.com/videos/242426-9-11-victim-s-mother-supports-islamic-center?autoplay=true

Aug. 19 2010 11:16 AM
Rev Susan from NJ

citing a poll to say x% disapprove of "building a mosque at Ground Zero" slants the whole thing... it is not a mosque; it is not directly on "ground Zero"... this use of polls as fact is misleading at best. Poll results depend so much on how the question was phrased and asked.

Aug. 19 2010 11:16 AM
michael from brooklyn

the whole opposition thing to this makes me ill. no, there is no right for the government to seize this building by eminent domain. that's using power to a crazy extreme. what the hell is wrong with us?

Aug. 19 2010 11:16 AM
Nico from North Crown Heights

I'm with Leah. Thought I'd post a comment, but I can't even listen to this anymore.

Ugh, and David Patterson -- can you please just go away already?

Aug. 19 2010 11:16 AM
Noah from park slope

WAR ON TERROR DOES NOT EQUAL WAR ON ISLAM - that is what terrorists would want us to believe.

Aug. 19 2010 11:16 AM

I'm offended that this candidate is claiming that Park51 -- by being 2 blocks away from Ground Zero(!) -- will turn Ground Zero into a war memorial. I haven't heard outright bigotry like this in a campaign since George Wallace.

BTW, Ground Zero has already become a ghoulish tourist attraction and I would rather the neighborhood reflect the different cultures of NYC and the people who worked in the WTC.

Aug. 19 2010 11:15 AM
jawbone

It is terrifyingly easy to stir up a mob mentality in this country. This is beginning to sound like the blood lust that made it easy for BushCo to take us into an illegal and useless war against Iraq.

When will the white sheets and pointy hats come out?

When will there be blood?

Aug. 19 2010 11:15 AM
Eric from Manhattan

I find that giving a platform for people to equate Islam with "terrorism" to be distasteful.

Personal property rights are what this country was founded on.

Aug. 19 2010 11:15 AM
Robert Moss from Bloomfield NJ

Check your experts, but I know that in New Jersey, eminent domain does not have to be "necessary", as you just stated on the air---only a public use.

Aug. 19 2010 11:15 AM
NeoAmsterdam from NYC

The WTC site is de facto public space, even if de jure it's owned by a handful of interests. Eminent domain does not apply.

Aug. 19 2010 11:14 AM

Newt Gingrich compared the construction of such a building to "putting a Nazi sign next to the Holocaust Museum."
this is the GOP!

Aug. 19 2010 11:14 AM
Nico from North Crown Heights

An Islamic cultural center would be a "monument to those who attacked our country"?

Islam, all the world's Muslims, did NOT attack our country. Al Qaeda attacked our country. How can people be so ignorant as to conflate the two?

And how on earth can someone who peddles such blatant bigotry even be taken seriously?!

What a disgrace.

Aug. 19 2010 11:13 AM
SEAN from brooklyn

Flag now reads
"I'll tread on you"

Aug. 19 2010 11:13 AM
Ali from bronx

Muslims were kill in the 911 attack,Muslims first responder responded and some of them are sick now, Muslims soldiers are taking the fight to the terrorist and dying for their country,so there is no sensitivity about that.

Aug. 19 2010 11:12 AM
Greg from Manhattan

This sickens me. Terrorists destroyed the towers, not ever Muslim. Why should they have to pay for what some extreme people have done? What happened to religious freedom, isn't that part of the Bill of Rights? Ridiculous.

Aug. 19 2010 11:09 AM
Know your history

Someone should ask Carl Paladino, whose wiki page says he is Roman Catholic, if he is aware of the history of anti-Catholic bigotry in this country. If he is aware, he should be asked how that knowledge squares with his current stance.

(The crux of the anti-Catholic bigotry was that Catholics would be beholden to a foreign religious leader - the Pope - at that they would undermine this country. Sound familiar?)

Aug. 19 2010 11:08 AM
amalgam from Manhattan by day, NJ by night

@ Edward - I think you're analysis is pretty much accurate.

As for:

1) What's interesting about this line of argument is that is that it is a _Politically Correct_ stance. Essentially, even though we agree that it they Muslim center's developers have every legal and constitutional right to build 2 blocks away, please be sensitive to 9/11 family members and the "hallowed ground" that is the unbuilt footprint of the WTC.Wha

t is interesting that many "anti-mosquers" around the country - though certainly not all - are right-wingers and of a politically conservative bent, those who have largely shown disdain for all things PC in the past. The show for those that fit this criteria are on the other foot.

2) This argument is just straight up, broad-brush anti-Islamic intolerance, and in some cases, hatred. There are quite a number of people in the U.S. - who even show up on this relatively liberal message board - who believe that Islam is: > not a legitimate religion, but a cult; >inherently evil and demanding that its adherents convert/take over the world (think "Red scare"); >cannot be integrated with Western and particularly American American structure-culture.

All this even when facts clearly point to the contrary. This is an emotional issue that I don't dismiss on those terms, but popular sentiment/emotions and hysteria do not trump the U.S. Constitution, and it certainly is no way to make policy decisions.

If Islam needs to reform itself, then let's allow them to do it.

Aug. 19 2010 11:07 AM
rick from Kew Gardens

Thank you Mr. Paladino for exposing the grandstanding hypocrisy of some politicians, especially that of Republicans in the last 25 years or so. Do a little real research (not the cherry-picking kind) and you will find extremists in all religions who have murdered in the name of their morals/faith. And using the courts to seize private property to prevent a privately owned religiously sponsored construction project from completion? Sounds more than a little unconstitutional, doesn't it....a little judicial activism anyone?

Aug. 19 2010 11:06 AM
Edward from NJ

JP, I tend to agree with you, but I doubt any of the callers will own that.

Aug. 19 2010 11:06 AM
Greg from Manhattan

This sickens me. Terrorists destroyed the towers, not ever Muslim. Why should they have to pay for what some extreme people have done? What happened to religious freedom, isn't that part of the Bill of Rights? Ridiculous.

Aug. 19 2010 11:06 AM
Adam from new york

There was a poll that reports 63% of new Yorkers are against the mosque building at 51 Park.

My impression: you show me the 63% of New Yorkers who are against project and I'll show you 95% of the bigots of New York.

Aug. 19 2010 11:05 AM

this is a test!
by the way i saw 'a friends of lazio" ad on morning joe this AM. he'll stop it also.

Aug. 19 2010 11:05 AM
Leah from Brooklyn

I honestly can't listen to this topic anymore and I'm becoming frustrated with Brian and his producers for a) continuing with the false terminology (it's not at Ground Zero) and b) continuing to entertain the story at all. Perhaps Patterson thinks he will make some political hay - albeit it in a lame-duck way - with this, but I find the BL Show's endless rehashing to be mere bottom feeding.

Switching to Pandora for a few minutes...

Aug. 19 2010 11:04 AM
JP from NJ

Edward from NJ

The “It's some sort of secret plot to undermine America.” Group will only be happy when we destroy the 1st amendment and outright outlaw Muslim religion in America.

Aug. 19 2010 11:02 AM
Mike from NYU

This is partisan dribble. A total non-starter. Will never happen and is just meant to be a political exploding football to throw to democrats. Just do us all a favor while dealing with the inevitable jackas$ bigot callers, be accurate. Don't continue to call it a mosque... its not. Don't call it ground zero... it's not. And don't tolerate the 19th century orientalist word for practitioners of the Islamic faith... mOslims.

What disappoints me in this whole ridiculous debate is that the value of the project is entirely lost. I'm not a Muslim and to be honest I only have a few Muslim friends. But I have been many times to the Institut pour le monde Arabe in Paris many times and its a great place. I was hoping this would be something like that for NYC. A good restaurant, maybe a cafe, a preforming arts space, and a rooms for inevitable academic conferences that will benefit the whole New York intellectual community.

BTW the place in Paris has one of the best restaurants and best view in the city, a great little museum and cafe, study space for scholars and is never ever crowded. NYC would be so lucky.

Aug. 19 2010 10:20 AM
Edward from NJ

There seem to be two main themes for opponents of Park51:

1) It's too close to Ground Zero, and it's insensitive to peoples feelings about what happened there.

2) It's some sort of secret plot to undermine America.

While moving the location would satisfy the "too close" objections, what exactly would satisfy the "secret plot" objections? Would it be harder to launch jihad and spread sharia law from Midtown? I'd like to hear some opponents' responses on this issue.

Aug. 19 2010 10:14 AM
Edward from NJ

There's simply no way an eminent domain claim would hold up in court, and since when do Republican support the seizure of private property?

Aug. 19 2010 10:05 AM

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