Streams

Islamic Cultural Center and Mosque Draws Competing Rallies in Lower Manhattan

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Separated by just a couple of blocks and a vigilant police force, supporters and opponents of Park51 rallied simultaneously on Sunday in hopes of influencing the public debate over the Islamic cultural center and mosque.

The rally against Park51 was the more sophisticated of the two events, boasting a stage and sound system from which Bruce Springsteen, John Phillip Souza and various country hits blared. The crowd numbered around 500 at its peak, about double that of the rally supporting Park51.

Here, the crowd was filled with motorcyclists -- some of them big, burly men in denim and leather vests, sporting red, white and blue bandanas, and plenty of tattoos along their tanned limbs. Many in the crowd held up signs with the word "Sharia" written out in big, red, drippy letters.

But one man, who only gave his name as Satya stood out: He wore a Gandhi T-shirt to the anti-mosque rally, and as someone from India, was one of the few opponents at the rally who was visibly a minority. Along with a friend, Satya displayed a banner with graphic images, showing the bloody aftermath of terrorist attacks around the world. This, he said, was the true nature of political Islam, and he insisted that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the man behind Park51, was not to be trusted.

"He is a stealth jihad," he said. "Taqqiya is a very developed concept in islam. You can use deceive to propagate Islam. And that is the reason why we have to be very careful who is saying what."

Bob Tichenor arrived from Yonkers, wearing his "Proud Infidel" T-shirt. He said he worries about radical Islam.

"I think we could all live together, be together -- they have rights, too, in this country," said Tichenor. "But I just think they're not being concerned about our people at this time, deciding what they want to do with this mosque here."

The other rally, supporting Park51, was organized by a coalition of anti-war and socialist groups, but drew unaffiliated individuals and some Muslims as well. The organizers weren't able to secure a permit for a soundsystem, so speakers ended up standing on a small step ladder and shouting their remarks to the assembled demonstrators. Many of them felt the opposition to the mosque was borne of Islamophobia.

"In the last 10 years we've seen all this demonization of Arabs and Muslims to help justify two unjust wars, Iraq and Afghanistan," said Hannah Fleury, a member of the International Socialist Organization. "And so to me this is the logical conclusion of that climate since September 11. So I'm absolutely opposed to it."

Wajid Akram came from Midwood, and brought his 11-year-old son as well. He was discouraged by what he saw as the low turnout from Muslim New Yorkers: "At this event, I see a lot of anti-war, pro peace, interfaith people who are here. And the Muslim community is very small. I would say less than maybe 20 percent, 30 percent at this rally. And it's just general apathy."

But Ieman Elzhogby, a Muslim woman from Staten Island who showed up at the event, says it's less apathy than a sense of fear that keeps Muslims at home.

"I think a lot of Muslims now are just so afraid," she said. "They're afraid to say, 'Hey, we're Muslims, we're Americans, why can't we have a mosque?'"

This week, defenders of Park51 are expected to come out in larger numbers; a coalition of groups including Common Cause NY and the New York Civil Liberties Union says it will issue statements in support of the project. Opponents are also upping their game: Stop Islamization of America is organizing a big rally featuring marquee conservatives like John Bolton and Dutch politician Geert Wilders, an outspoken critic of Islam. The event was originally supposed to include Republican and former House Majority Leader Newt Gingrich, but he has since pulled out.

Bikers from America's 9/11 Foundation Inc. end their three-day tour of Somerset, Penn., Washington, D.C. and New York near the site of the World Trade Center.
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

Bikers from America's 9/11 Foundation Inc. end their three-day tour of Somerset, Penn., Washington, D.C. and New York near the site of the World Trade Center.

Marco, who only gave his first name, arrived at the proposed site of Park51 before 8 a.m. He says his friend died in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11.
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

Marco, who only gave his first name, arrived at the proposed site of Park51 before 8 a.m. He says his friend died in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, and that the people that want to build the Islamic cultural center are doing so "out of spite."

Before the day's events started, this couple began yelling at Carol Braxton, 29, who served in the Air Force for six years and in the National Guard for half a year, and is in favor of Park51.
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

Before the day's events started, this couple began yelling at Carol Braxton, 29, who served in the Air Force for six years and in the National Guard for half a year, and is in favor of the Islamic Cultural Center.

Some protesters came from across the country.
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

Some protesters came from across the country.

There were only a couple hundred protesters in favor of the Islamic cultural center.
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

There were only a couple hundred protesters in favor of the Islamic cultural center.

Many of the protesters in favor of the Islamic cultural center claim it is strictly a First Amendment issue.
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

Many of the protesters in favor of the Islamic cultural center claim it is strictly a First Amendment issue.

Many of the protesters said they heard about the day's rally on the radio, while others received e-mails from pro-union listservs.
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

Many of the protesters said they heard about the day's rally on the radio, while others received e-mails from pro-union listservs.

Before the anti-Park51 rally, the PA system played songs like
WNYC

Before the anti-Park51 rally, the PA system played songs like "We Shall Not be Moved," "Born in the U.S.A." and "Country Roads."

Many of the protesters booed Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his pro-Park51 stance. They cheered former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who has come out against the project.
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

Many of the protesters booed Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his pro-Park51 stance. They cheered former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who has come out against the project.

Many of the motorcyclists stayed behind for the protest against the proposed Islamic cultural center. The protest lasted through Sunday afternoon with various speakers.
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

While many of the motorcyclists did not stay for the rally, many did stay behind for the protest against the proposed Islamic cultural center. The protest lasted through Sunday afternoon with various speakers, including families who lost members on Sept. 11.

The protesters in favor of Park51 gave speeches, but did not have a permit for a loud speaker, so they circled an area east of the proposed site.
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

The protesters in favor of Park51 gave speeches but did not have a permit for a loud speaker so they circled an area east of the proposed site.

Many of the protesters claimed a connection between the proposed Islamic center and the imposition of sharia law on Americans.
Stephen Nessen/WNYC

Many of the protesters claimed a connection between the proposed Islamic center and the imposition of sharia law on Americans.

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Comments [54]

kathleen Marcus from mohegan lake,ny

many were killed on 9/11.A cultural center should be built for all ,not a select group who may want to take a plunge in the pool after praying.
Why should only the islamic religion be given the right and the tax free establishment?
We were bombed on Dec7, 1941.Why is there not a Japan cultural center near the previous site?

Aug. 25 2010 11:06 AM
joksi from nyc

http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/

Aug. 23 2010 03:38 PM
andy from manhattan from manhattan

i think it would have been wise to have referenced on the media's piece for this show. it definitely makes points that this broadcast missed.

http://onthemedia.org/flashpop.html?playlist=%2Fstream%2Fxspf%2F157987

as for religious buildings being near the sites of atrocities carried out in the name of said religions, all major religions have blood on their hands. freedom must be a two way street, and fear does not ever lead to understanding.

obviously those on the right have no interest in understanding.

and mr. lehrer, we expect you and your program to challenge reckless statements and comparisons more directly, and aggressively when they are quoted on your show. sadly, your show today was not much more than another "mainstream media" source. we count on you to take more critical looks at divisive issues.

Aug. 23 2010 12:49 PM
andy from manhattan from manhattan

i think it would have been wise to have referenced on the media's piece for this show. it definitely makes points that this broadcast missed.

http://onthemedia.org/flashpop.html?playlist=%2Fstream%2Fxspf%2F157987

Aug. 23 2010 12:38 PM
Omar from Harlem

oward Dean complains of Dems demonizing opponents of Ground Zero mosque; will Pelosi investigate him?

I'm just waiting for Nancy Pelosi to open an investigation into the funding of Ground Zero mega-mosque opponents Harry Reid and Howard Dean. I expect Kenneth P. Vogel of Politico is already on the phone to Dean, doing his tough-guy act and snarling, "Look, we can do this the easy way or the hard way." Oh, let's do it the hard way, by all means, Kenny.

"Dean: 'Some' Dems demonizing N.Y. mosque opponents," by Jordan Fabian for The Hill, August 20:

Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said Thursday that some members of his party are "demonizing" opponents of the Lower Manhattan mosque.

Dean -- who surprised many political observers this week by saying that the planners should move the location of the planned Islamic center -- targeted Democrats and Republicans in an interview with MSNBC.

"I don't think -- I honestly -- I think some of my own folks at my end of the spectrum of the party are demonizing some fairly decent people who are opposed to this," he said. "And again, in no way am I defending the right-wing of the Republican Party. Sixty-five percent of the people in this country are not right-wing bigots. Some of them really have deep emotional feelings about this."...

It's amazing, but Howard Dean is actually talking reasonably -- although the problem of the mega-mosque at Ground Zero is by no means merely one of "deep emotional feelings."

Aug. 23 2010 12:31 PM
bos bogaz from office

Freedom and freedom of speech is for everyone. Hearing the arguments against the Center and/or Islam, I get the feeling that I’m living in a third world country.

Aug. 23 2010 12:21 PM
Omar from Harlem

I'm inclined to refrain from negativity in favor of emphasizing the positive and emergent in news having to do with Islam; however, whether dealing with the experience of the Banu Qurayza or with 9/11 and the Muslim Brotherhood, better intentioned believers and unbelievers (and Peoples of the Book) may be beset by well-founded doubts as regards media highlighted clerics. http://www.weeklyblitz.net/944/open-letter-to-imam-faisal-regarding-ground-zero

Aug. 23 2010 11:46 AM
CB from Brooklyn

Opponents of this cultural center keep asking who's behind it. I would like to know who's behind the opponents. Mr. Venugopal repeatedly notes that it was socialists and anti-war activists behind the pro-Park 51 rally, but makes no mention of who organized the anti-Park51 rally. Who secured the permits for a stage and sound system? Who paid for and distributed all those flags and bloody 'Sharia' signs? Who planned this rally to coincide with a biker rally? Why has this all come to a head now, when this building has been in development and Muslims have been praying in that very building for more than a year?

Aug. 23 2010 11:35 AM
Laszlo from Manhattan

"In 1998, Polish nationalists embarked upon a mission to put up 152 Christian crosses in honor of the Polish Catholic resistance fighters who were executed by the Nazis in a gravel pit behind Block 11 at the main Auschwitz concentration camp. This was their way of protesting Jewish demands, over the previous 10 years, that the 26-foot souvenir cross from a Mass, said by the Pope at Birkenau, be removed. The basic attitude of the Poles, as expressed to me, was "This is our country. You have your country and we have ours. If we want to put up a Catholic Cross in our country, we'll put it."

When I visited Auschwitz for the second time in October 2005, the 200 crosses that were put up in 1998 had long since been removed and peace had been restored."

There is precedence for not allowing a religion to build near sensitive areas.

http://www.scrapbookpages.com/poland/Crosses/Crosses.html

I don't oppose any religion building anything wherever they want, what I oppose is allowing a religion that denies civil liberties, that still practices stoning of women, who labels anyone not believing in islam as an infidel to be allowed to proselytize and convert people with such a poor record of civil liberties. Read the koran, I have and there are many more laws that would appall you. Other main religions also have some appalling laws on their books but they don't practice it but islam still does.

http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2009/03/honor-killing-islams-gruesome-gallery.html

http://www.floridacriminaldefenselawyerblog.com/2008/10/honor_killing_leaves_two_daughters_dead.html

Aug. 23 2010 11:24 AM
Omar from Harlem

But discretion does not seem to be part of Mr. Rauf's playbook: He is nothing if not American in his penchant for publicity-seeking. He also seems to know exactly how to play to the great conceit of modern American liberalism, which constantly seeks opportunities to congratulate itself for its superior capacity for tolerance. Apparently it did not occur to the members of the community board who so eagerly green-lighted Cordoba House to suggest to Mr. Rauf that the $100 million might be better spent building centers of "interfaith activity" in Riyadh, Islamabad and Kuwait City.

Be that as it may, I still think Mr. Rauf and his wife should be taken at their word—provided they are also held to it. As a confidence-building measure for those of us who live in the neighborhood, it would help if the pair voluntarily answered some questions about the nature of their beliefs. A sampler:

Who perpetrated the attacks of 9/11, and what was their religion?

Are suicide attacks or other forms of violent jihad acceptable under any circumstances, including against American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Does Israel have a right to exist as a Jewish state?

Do they agree with the State Department's designation of Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations?

What aspects of Shariah law, if any, do they repudiate?

Will their center invite the input and participation of Muslim gay and lesbian groups?

Do they consider the Muslim Brotherhood to be extreme?

What influence will any foreign funding of Cordoba House have on its programs or on the literature it distributes?

Finally, it is worth asking Mr. Rauf and Ms. Khan the broader question of how they think about tolerance itself. In the case of the famous Muhammad cartoons, "moderate" Muslims typically make the case that while free speech has its place, the sensitivities of the Muslim community should be respected. But tolerance can't just be a one-way street, and sensitivity is not the preserve of Muslims alone. So what do they make of the sensitivities of 9/11 families in the face of their mega-mosque? And if they are prepared to so lightly traduce on those sensitivities, will they perhaps return the favor by hosting an exhibition of pictorial depictions of the prophet?

The offending Danish cartoons won't be necessary: For material, they can draw on a rich tradition of Islamic portraits of their prophet, not least from the collection of the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul.

Eager as the imam and his wife are to present themselves and their center as progressive, mainstream and all-American, I have no doubt they will answer these questions in a way that satisfies community standards in Tribeca. It certainly should not embarrass the Tribeca city fathers—so keen to show off their liberal bona fides—to ask them.

Aug. 23 2010 11:18 AM
Omar from Harlem

If you think Charlie Rangel is a lying blowhard, wait till you read about "Imam" Rauf. The more you know, the worse it gets.

The Mosque at Ground Zero
Questions to ask the man who wants to build a Muslim cultural center near the former Twin Towers.


By BRET STEPHENS

The conservative blogosphere is buzzing with outrage over plans to build a 13-story mosque and Muslim cultural center just a few hundred feet from Ground Zero. As a resident of lower Manhattan, I see it differently: The center—to be known as Cordoba House and built (if it is ever built) at a cost of $100 million—might yet serve as an excellent test case for tolerance.

Muslim tolerance, that is.

That, at least, is how the concept is being advertised by Feisal Abdul Rauf, the Kuwaiti-born imam whose brainchild this is. "We see it as a major step toward the Americanization of the Muslim community," Mr. Rauf told members of the financial district's community board, which approved the project unanimously less than a week after the attempted Times Square bombing. His wife, Daisy Khan, who runs an outfit called the American Society for Muslim Advancement, adds that "it's going to be a place not only for Muslim activity, but interfaith activity of the highest order."

Opponents of the center insist that Mr. Rauf's image as a moderate is a sham. In the American Thinker, an online magazine, Madeleine Brooks reports that in a recent sermon she personally heard Mr. Rauf "deny that Muslims perpetrated 9/11," though she doesn't quote him directly. Alyssa Lappen of Pajamas Media website notes that the imam has urged the U.S. to allow "religious communities more leeway to judge among themselves according to their own laws," which in his case means Shariah law. There's also a question of how Mr. Rauf's Cordoba Initiative, which in 2008 had assets of $18,255 according to its IRS tax filing, plans to raise $100 million.

Opponents also argue that building the center so close to Ground Zero is an insult to the memory of the victims of 9/11. Germany has spent six decades in conspicuous and mainly sincere atonement for Nazi crimes. But it surely has no plans to showcase the tolerant society it has become by building a cultural center down the road from Auschwitz. Japan is no doubt equally disinclined to finance a Shinto shrine in the vicinity of the Pearl Harbor memorial.

Aug. 23 2010 11:17 AM
Drew from Brooklyn

As we continue to wander down this path of intolerance ,ignorance,and hatred.I can only be reminded once again of Germany in the 30's and the sytematic demonazation ,and degradation of those who are Citizens being made to believe they are interlopers in their own land.Are we going to end up in the same , barbed wire,ghettos, concentration camps.As a Jew I am appalled,angered ,and terrified by the response.

Aug. 23 2010 11:16 AM
john from Queens

Newt Gingrich is this big proponent of 'American Exceptionalism' and then he goes on to espouse unadulterated bigotry. Is this his version of exceptional-ism? After 9/11, I remember the very same people proclaiming that the terrorists attacked us because they dislike our freedoms. I guess the 'freedom' they talked about was only applicable if you said what they, believed what they believed and acted like they did.
I guess for the right-wing, truth does not matter. All they need are scapegoats and enemies to deceive the people from their bankrupt ideas.

Aug. 23 2010 11:14 AM
john from Queens

Newt Gingrich is this big proponent of 'American Exceptionalism' and then he goes on to espouse unadulterated bigotry. Is this his version of exceptional-ism? After 9/11, I remember the very same people proclaiming that the terrorists attacked us because they dislike our freedoms. I guess the 'freedom' they talked about was only applicable if you said what they, believed what they believed and acted like they did.
I guess for the right-wing, truth does not matter. All they need are scapegoats and enemies to deceive the people from their bankrupt ideas.

Aug. 23 2010 11:13 AM
john from Queens

Newt Gingrich is this big proponent of 'American Exceptionalism' and then he goes on to espouse unadulterated bigotry. Is this his version of exceptional-ism? After 9/11, I remember the very same people proclaiming that the terrorists attacked us because they dislike our freedoms. I guess the 'freedom' they talked about was only applicable if you said what they, believed what they believed and acted like they did.
I guess for the right-wing, truth does not matter. All they need are scapegoats and enemies to deceive the people from their bankrupt ideas.

Aug. 23 2010 11:12 AM

" fisisi from nyc
As soon as I hear a report that something was blown up by a Non Moslem that wasn't orchestrated with MOSQUE money inside a MOSQUE or CULTURAL CENTER, then I'll consider refraining from SPEAKING THE TRUTH"

Okay, here you go:
Oklahoma City Federal building-blown up by a CHRISTIAN

200 abortion clinic bombings- blown up by CHRISTIANS

Now will you shut up?

Aug. 23 2010 11:06 AM
Omar from Harlem

Islamic Center Backers Won't Rule Out Taking Funds from Saudi Arabia, Iran

'Ground Zero Mosque' Developers in Talks With NY Gov. Paterson

The developers behind the Islamic center planned for a site near Ground Zero won't rule out accepting financing from the Mideast -- including from Saudi Arabia and Iran -- as they begin searching for $100 million needed to build the project.

The religious organization and the development company behind the center declined to say how much of the $100 million needed to build the facility has already been raised.

"We are in the planning stages," said Oz Sultan, spokesman for the center now called Park51. "We have just started the process of fundraising planning."

Sultan said it would take three to six months to establish a plan on how to raise the needed capital. He said any fundraising campaign would begin domestically, but he would not comment on whether it would extend overseas or to foreign governments.

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

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

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

The center, in the works for over a year, has become a nationwide controversy as the anniversary of 9/11 approaches. Critics charge that having what they call a mosque so close what they consider hallowed ground is insensitive and an insult to the victims' families, especially since the attack was perpetrated in the name of Islam.

Fifteen of the 19 terrorists were Saudi Arabian and funding from that country could further anger those already opposed to the mosque. Many mosques in the U.S. have been funded in part with Saudi money.

Iran has been designated a sponsor of terrorism by the U.S. government.

Aug. 23 2010 11:05 AM
J Murphy from Long Island

Again the hate mongers are dominating the headlines.

I don't know why people are always so surprised when Americans hate someone new. Just like the haters who say Islam has a long history of terrorism, America has a long history of hating those who are "different" - Muslims, Mexicans, Blacks, Japanese, Chinese, Southern Europeans, Eastern Europeans.

Read your history books people - this too shall pass. And in the meantime, Americans will continue to hate as a means of diverting our attention away from our own exisiting, less black-and-white problems.

Aug. 23 2010 11:01 AM
J Murphy from Long Island, NY

Again the hate mongers are dominating the headlines.

I don't know why people are always so surprised when Americans hate someone new. Just like the haters who say Islam has a long history of terrorism, America has a long history of hating those who are "different" - Muslims, Mexicans, Blacks, Japanese, Chinese, Southern Europeans, Eastern Europeans.

Read your history books people - this too shall pass. And in the meantime, Americans will continue to hate as a means of diverting our attention away from our own exisiting, less black-and-white problems.

Aug. 23 2010 11:00 AM

I really wish that the people who support the Park51 project would organize a rally in support of it on 9/11. People need to see the faces of the New Yorkers who support the center, there are a lot of us.
Really tired of ignorant haters who don't seem to understand that the 9/11 bombers don't represent Islam anymore than Tim McVeigh represented Christianity.

Aug. 23 2010 10:59 AM
Omar from Harlem

Carl - 70% of Americans oppose the mosque at Ground Zero.

I'm a Democrat and an African American. My girlfriend is a Muslima.

Calling it a "wedge issue" is a phony diversion from the issue. More manipulative noise.

Can't the far left get off their divisive talking points for once?

Aug. 23 2010 10:57 AM
cwebba1 from Astoria

oic. I accidently posted three times. Sorry about that. This new format is confusing. Did I mention that they are planning to build a new *swimming pool* as a part of the Moslem Cutural Center #MCC? =)
Tell us about more of the cool stuff they are going to have in this center.

Aug. 23 2010 10:57 AM
Carl Ian Schwartz from Paterson, New Jersey

The GOP's use of this as a wedge issue is disgusting--but it's all that the Grand Old Party has to offer besides "No!" to any work to undo the damage 2001-2008 and return to power.

This sort of thing is very dangerous--as are comments by people such as Newt Gingrich calling people Nazis. Indeed, this sort of demonization of Muslims in general is EXACTLY what the Nazis did with Jews--even before the Nuremberg Race Laws.

If we deny one group equal rights for political expediency, playing on emotions, EVERY group is at risk.

We have learned nothing from history, and the GOP in its quest to return to power is copying our World War II enemies.

Aug. 23 2010 10:53 AM
fisisi from nyc

As soon as I hear a report that something was blown up by a Non Moslem that wasn't orchestrated with MOSQUE money inside a MOSQUE or CULTURAL CENTER, then I'll consider refraining from SPEAKING THE TRUTH

Aug. 23 2010 10:52 AM
kumran from Jersey City, NJ

Muslim Suicide attack kills 20 at Pakistan mosque
AFP - S.H. Khan - ‎2 hours ago‎
Kurram has for three years been a flashpoint for violence between Shiite and Sunni Muslims. Shiites account for around 20 percent of Pakistan's mostly Sunni ...

Muslim Miss USA against Ground Zero mosque
NDTV.com - ‎Aug 22, 2010‎
Polls suggest that the majority of Americans inside and out of New York, both Republican and Democrats, are against a mosque being constructed near the ...

Aug. 23 2010 10:51 AM
Pradah from nyc

I would rather have heard a report on the protests go longer than this garbage. These "journalists" have agendas.

Aug. 23 2010 10:51 AM
anne

There is strong support from the Jewish community in Lower Mannhatan for the Islamic Community Center. This is a fact. There is a swell of reactionary rhetoric against Muslims in this country fed by main stream right wing media commentators.
We need less fear and more provision of the facts from our news media.

Aug. 23 2010 10:50 AM
Jam..

I cannot believe the utter bigotry and xenophobia! Islam did not kill the 911 victims just like cristianity did not kill the victims of american terroists here. There are radical fundamentalists in all religions, there are normal, level-headed loving people in all religions. I cannot believe that this is not obvious.

Aug. 23 2010 10:50 AM
loksi from nyc

Big joke. This is supposedly journalism. Conjecture and no facts opinions and no facts.

Aug. 23 2010 10:50 AM
Angela from Manhattan

Regarding Mosque on Park Place...
I think those opposed are showing thier ignorance.
Should we bar Churches from building near children's playgrounds or schools (following child abuse allegations by Priests)?
Sounds absurd but it is the same.
This is not the first Mosque in NYC
and journalists should stop calling it the "ground zero"

Aug. 23 2010 10:49 AM
Lomino from nyc

Is this JOURNALISM???? Time magzine doesn't know attacks are planned in secret places?????? He doesn't know about Wahabis and the Saudi's this is a joke

Aug. 23 2010 10:48 AM
JJ from ny

Stop saying Thank you for taking my call" you're not calling an exec or a doctors office

Aug. 23 2010 10:47 AM
Jim from ny

Yes, we will outlaw WAHABIISM, and the MOSLEM BROTHERHOOD. Brian and Bobby.
this is a journalist? He doesn't know Saudis fund Wahabis! What a joke! Time Magazine!

Aug. 23 2010 10:46 AM
Jim from ny

Yes, we will outlaw WAHABIISM, and the MOSLEM BROTHERHOOD. Brian and Bobby.
this is a journalist? He doesn't know Saudis fund Wahabis! What a joke! Time Magazine!

Aug. 23 2010 10:46 AM
sylvia from NJ

Seems that Bin Ladden will not have to lift a finger to do more violence and harm in the USA with "good soldiers" like Gingrich and Fox News perpetrating hatred for political and financial gain.

Aug. 23 2010 10:45 AM
Roger Cohen from NJ

Pattty's comments are as insformed of the Protocols of Zion.

Aug. 23 2010 10:45 AM
Ellen from Brooklyn

This caller is ridiculous. What is she talking about? Some Muslims in the 62s did something bad and therefore no Muslims should be allowed to build anything? This is the ramblings of a crazy person.

Aug. 23 2010 10:45 AM
Ann Marwick from Mahopac, NY

Will someone tell me why the Ground Zero is always referred to as "hallowed" ground? As a Christian I take exception to this. Hallowed is reserved for Saints and/or Saintly. We have no right to call it Hallowed and the Muslims should be allowed to build on the nearby site. Oh and could you all continue to refer to it as a community center and not a mosque. thanks

Aug. 23 2010 10:45 AM
Brian from ss

If they all donate money to killing organizations, KILLING organizations, then you want them in your neighborhood at the friendly Y?????

Aug. 23 2010 10:44 AM
Steve from NYC

This is pure fear and bigotry. Nothing else to say.

Shame on FOX and the right for exploiting the situation for political gain.

Aug. 23 2010 10:44 AM
Shatisha from ny ny

Brian: Did they KILL anyone in other planned attacks that were planned inside buildings such as these???? Did they????

Aug. 23 2010 10:43 AM
Yo from Long Island City

Perhaps America is not ready to live up to its "freedom for all" mantra. America is still sitting in the exact spot where it was struck down nine years ago, licking its wounds, feeling sorry for itself, unable even to get up and look around.

Aug. 23 2010 10:43 AM
MK

I think the most appropriate western parallel to fundamentalist Islam ("Sharia" or otherwise, which I am sure most of these people have no idea what the word means) is not the KKK or Nazism, but EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN FUNDAMENTALISM.

Christian Fundamentalists are far more of a scourge upon modern American society: where are the protests about this? And, as a further parallel, I have yet to hear "moderate" Christians speak up and condemn the abhorrent attitudes espoused by their HATE MONGERING far right compatriots.

Aug. 23 2010 10:38 AM
Diana from brooklyn

We are nearing an election and allowing the politicians to create a huge issue for the purposes of roiling up emotions, polarizing the electorate and turning out the vote.

Aug. 23 2010 10:34 AM
Ron Walter from NYC

I do not understand why the media including WNYC allows parallelism of muslims and nazis or the KKK.

Aug. 23 2010 10:33 AM
pete

What I don't understand is why no one is complaining the OTB and Strip Club that is even closer to ground zero. Now it is really sacred?!

And the protesters: Go BACK to jersey, go back to Pennsylvania. go back VA!! This is NYC, not middle America. Fix your own home.

Aug. 23 2010 10:32 AM
Lara

I think the KKK's doctrine (if you can call it that) is a little less open to interpretation than Islam and a comparison between is completely absurd, not to mention one of the underlying reasons for this show.

Was anybody in the KKK ever hired by the current administration and George W. Bush's to give talks around the country to audiences representing the faith?

Aug. 23 2010 10:32 AM
cwebba from Astoria

I saw the ABC program yesterday. The #MCC will be patterned after the #JCC. I know that the #JCC serves all of #NYCers. This will be a great asset to the neighborhood. Review the ABC program online. The #MCC plans to build a *swimming pool* as a part of the center. I want to volunteer and design a mural for the #swimming pool.

Aug. 23 2010 10:19 AM
cwebba1 from Astoria

I saw the ABC program yesterday. The #MCC will be patterned after the #JCC. I know that the #JCC serves all of #NYCers. This will be a great asset to the neighborhood. Review the ABC program online. The #MCC plans to build a *swimming pool* as a part of the center. I want to volunteer and design a mural for the #swimming pool.

Aug. 23 2010 10:16 AM
cwebba1 from Astoria

I saw the ABC program yesterday. The #MCC will be patterned after the #JCC. I know that the #JCC serves all of #NYCers. This will be a great asset to the neighborhood. Review the ABC program online. The #MCC plans to build a *swimming pool* as a part of the center. I want to volunteer and design a mural for the #swimming pool.

Aug. 23 2010 10:11 AM
Jon from nyc

there are so many other places for this "peaceful" YMCA. what a shame that they're so insistent it must be in an exact place. that sounds like... well... extremism.

Aug. 23 2010 09:53 AM
Carolyn from Manhattan

The commentary was not journalism and more worthy of a Fox News channel. How did the "reporter" decide that all in opposition to the Islamic Center were "all American" and those in support of the center were "leftists, marxists, and socialists" - a rather broad sweeping brush based on some signs??? Your reporter needs to go back to school and do a brush up. Save the jingoism for other news outlets. WNYC and NPR are worthy of a higher standard.

Aug. 23 2010 08:18 AM
Jill from NYC

Your radio coverage fo these protests was so one sided as to be unlistenable. I turned it off. Describing the supporters as "leftists" and "Anti-war" while never describing the supporters or RightWing puppets or war supporters was one-sided at best, and slanderous at worst. Not one word was said about the people who live in the neighborhood and support this Center.
Sadly, I was VERY disappointed in the presentation of this confrontation. The truth is better served by Frank Rich in the NYTimes.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/22/opinion/22rich.html?ref=frankrich

Aug. 23 2010 08:11 AM
grace

Bruce Springsteen's music was "used" by Reagan I'd bet he's as offended by this use as the other. People don't seem to listen to the song and hear it's lyrics. It is a very strong indictment of US involvement in Viet Nam.

Aug. 23 2010 01:17 AM

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