Park 51 Context: Imam Rauf's Comments on American Mideast Policy

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Comments about American policy in the Middle East that Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf made in the aftermath of 9/11 are stirring the controversy over the proposed mosque and cultural center near ground zero. Kenneth Adelman, member of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board under George W. Bush and former director of arms control under Ronald Reagan, revisits the conversation about US policy that took place after 9/11 and helps put the Imam's comments into context.

→ Watch Videos We Played Today: Bush Speech on Iraq and Middle East (11/6/2003) | Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf on 60 Minutes

→ Complete WNYC Coverage of the Park51 Development


Kenneth Adelman

Comments [112]

gary from queens


My personal story of activism and sacrfice---which I assume is your point----would make you get down on your knees and thank me. At least when I was a liberal. And unlike you, i can prove some of it. But that is a pretentious exercise i never indulge in. And since part of my actions were on behalf of conservative causes later in life, it wouldnt impress you anyway. (I assume you are of the adolescent mindset that conservatives and rich, greedy, coldhearted people.)

Aug. 27 2010 10:36 PM
gary from queens


Shame on you Ron. You didnt read McCarthy and address his argument. You failed my test.

And just who the hell do you want to demonstrate your liberalism to?! The Islamists who live in shariah states all over the middle east who demand the death penalty to apostates? Who stone adulterous women to death and torture gays to death? The palestinians who already have a state in Palestine (whose name was changed to "Jordan"), but would rather kill jews? How about those lovable arab immigrants in europe who are killing and drive out the jewish population there? Or the muslim slave owners in Suddan? How impressed would they be by your liberalism?

Your naivete would be hilarious if it were not contributing to our vulnerability. They view your open attitude as weakness. Their word for it is "decadence." Their definition of that is a faithlessness in god, which they abhore. Appeasement too, is what they abhore the most. You will not defend you beliefs. THAT is how they view you. And by extension, us. That is why people like you must not prevail. Moving a proposed mosque 2 more blocks away does not compare to the secular intolerance that exists in the Muslim world. And now that they are taking over (through demographics) europe, we can add europe to that list of religious beligerance and bigotry. how many famous criticas of islam must leave europe to save their lives? Compare that to the US and my answer to you is: it is THEY who need to impress US with their liberalism!

Aug. 27 2010 10:25 PM
Ron from Flairon District of Manhattan

The building of a mosque/community center near to the "ground zero" attack is not only a statement of religious freedom, it is a statement that we are not afraid to stand by our own word of freedom. We now have the opportunity to show the world that these are not empty statements that we claim to have pride in, but that we live by the standards that we profess.Yes, the US is guilty of many atrocities but it has shown some of the highest moral values. So let's show these values that we are so proud of.

No a word to Gary of Queens: Yes, I am one of "those liberals" who has been to Birmingham and spoken in the church where 4 children lost their lives to a prejudicial bomb. Have you? I have been actively involved in Resurrection City. Have you? I have done draft counseling, to inform young kids of their rights during the vietnam war (not to send them to Canada). Have you?

Aug. 25 2010 11:37 PM
gary from queens


Be intellectually honest please:

If you find McCarthy to be factually incorrect, then point out where and how.


http:// www.

http:// www.

http:// www.

Aug. 25 2010 06:06 PM
gary from queens


August 24, 2010 4:00 A.M.
Inventing Moderate Islam
It can’t be done without confronting mainstream Islam and its sharia agenda.

Aug. 25 2010 05:57 PM
gary from queens

Have any liberals on this blog EVER defended freedom of religion before this controversy occurred?


Go to jihadwatch. com. search for christian, jew, nonmuslim attacks and persecutions in the mideast. there's a church bombing or serial murders going on every day. there's a great exodus of non muslims occuring from there, and jews leaving europe. to save their LIVES!!!


Aug. 25 2010 05:54 PM
gary from queens

To say that the US was an Accessory to the 911 attack is like saying that the US was an accessory to all of the sins the Soviets had committed----from Hungary to Afghanistan.


Because the US saved the soviet regime from Germany overrunning it during WWII.

Aug. 25 2010 05:47 PM
jason zenith from NYC

Guess it's "controversial" to state a truth about the USA that is negative. All the Imam said was absolutely true- the US killed more civilians than Al-Qaeda (which contrary to brain-dead nationalists, doesn't mean Al-Qaeda is "good"), and that Albright defended the killing of half a million Iraqi children (On CBS' 60 Minutes with Leslie Stahl). These are FACTS.They cannot be "controversial." And the Imam wasn't even talking about the MILLIONS murdered by the US, starting with the Native Americans, through the conquest of the Philippines,murderous mass slaughter of civilians in WWII by aerial bombardment, the CIA instigated slaughter of 800,000 Indonesians, 4 million killed in Indochina, and toss in tens of thousands more in Latin America. Doesn't mean Al-Qaeda are good guys- they're scum. But US high moral dudgeon is preposterous hypocrisy.

Aug. 25 2010 05:12 PM
ruth from NYC

Saudis Have Radicalized 80% of US Mosques (from 2005)
♻Saudis Have Radicalized 80% of US Mosques
Tue, Dec 6, 2005 at 5:57:46 pm PST

If you’ve been reading LGF’s extensive coverage of radical Islamic
front groups in the US, this story will come as no surprise—but it’s a
frightening wake-up call for a nation that has hit the snooze button
after our first wake-up call on 9/11: Expert: Saudis have radicalized
80% of US mosques. (Hat tip: LGF readers.)
The power of the extremist Wahhabi form of Islam in the United States
was created with generous Saudi financing of American Muslim
communities over the past few decades. Over 80 percent of the mosques
in the United States “have been radicalized by Saudi money and
influence,” Barsky said.

Before the 1970s, she explained, “Muslim immigrants who came to the
United States would build a store-front mosque somewhere. Then, since
the 1970s, the Saudis have been approaching these mosques and telling
them it wasn’t proper for the glory of Islam to build such small

For many Muslims, it seemed the Saudis were offering a free mosque.
However, Barsky believes for each mosque they invested in, the Saudis
sent along their own imam (teacher-cleric).

“These [immigrants] were not interested in this [Wahhabi] ideology,
and suddenly they have a Saudi imam coming in and telling them they’re
not praying properly and not practicing Shari’a [Islamic law]
properly.” This Saudi strategy was being carried out “all over the
world, from America to Bangladesh,” with the Saudis investing $70-80
billion in the endeavor over three decades.

Barsky, who heads the AJC’s Division on Middle East and International
Terrorism and is the executive editor of Counterterrorism Watch, said
this means that “the people now in control of teaching religion [to
American Muslims] are extremists. Who teaches the mainstream moderate
non-Saudi Islam that people used to have? It’s in the homes, but
there’s no infrastructure. Eighty percent of the infrastructure is
controlled by these extremists.”

As examples, she listed three important groups: the Islamic Society of
North America (lgf: search), which “supports the Muslim Brotherhood
(lgf: search) and the Saudi regime;” the Islamic Circle of North
America (lgf: search), which “is composed of members of Jamaat
e-Islami, a Pakistani Islamic radical organization similar to the
Muslim Brotherhood that helped to establish the Taliban;” and the
Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) (lgf: search), “founded
in the 1980s by pro-Hamas activists.”

Aug. 25 2010 02:31 PM
John Smith from Manhattan

maybe Islamics are Americaphobes

Aug. 25 2010 01:28 PM
Bob from nyc

If he used the "N" word in this piece, would that be "offensive"?

Aug. 25 2010 01:26 PM
Omutunde from Harlem

It is obscene that Mosque proponents, such as Yazmin, insisting that anyone who opposes the mosque is a bigot, anti-freedom or an Islamophobe.

No one is saying they don't have a right to build their mosque. We all support that freedom.

What is being taken issue with is their insistence on building this mosque two blocks from the site of the worst terrorist attack in American history.

Their willingness to soldier on in the face of such opposition shows the very core of their belief, which seems to be to dominate at any cost.

Aug. 25 2010 12:38 PM
Omutunde from Harlem

It is obscene that Mosque proponents, such as Yazmin, insisting that anyone who opposes the mosque is a bigot, anti-freedom or an Islamophobe.

No one is saying they don't have a right to build their mosque. We all support that freedom.

What is being taken issue with is their insistence on building this mosque two blocks from the site of the worst terrorist attack in American history.

Their willingness to soldier on in the face of such opposition shows the very core of their belief, which seems to be to dominate at any cost.

Aug. 25 2010 12:36 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

After several weeks of abstaining from any and all WNYC produced talk programming due to the increasing and unabashed bigoted tone and tenor (of the hosts and guests) as well as the increasing use of snarky opinion in lieu of factual information and reliance on extremist talking heads for content, I decided to check and see if it is worth returning as a listener; at this time, it is not.
Since I am now here, however, this is my take on this Constitutional debacle:
Personally, I feel, as a non-faith-based American, if Muslims would like to build a non-mosque on a site within a single block of strippers (LUST), an OTB (GREED), bars and clubs (GLUTTONY), the for-profit-pro-consumer-debt University of Phoenix (GREED), a drop-off laundry (SLOTH), and a gym (VAINGLORY) on so-called hallowed land, then let them. However, should detractors succeed in preventing the construction of the cultural center, the next danger to address should be our Catholic troubles. Manhattan—home to over 70 Catholic places of worship with a record of nearly 60 confirmed Pedophile Priests who have raped a minimum 100 of New York City children as a part of a global crusade to rape thousands if not tens of thousands of children through their networks of “rape temples” under foreign control, many of which not only are in close proximity to playgrounds and schools where children gather, but often fund and manage places where children gather—if not all of New York City needs to be cleansed the danger Catholics pose to our children. Nationally, the number of American adolescents raped by Catholics is sure to exceed the number of Americans who died September 11, 2001 at the hands of Muslims. Won’t somebody please think of the children!
If we are going to paint with broad brushes here, make sure we don’t miss any spots.

Aug. 25 2010 12:35 PM
plok from nyc

Imam uses the N word in the following piece:

Aug. 25 2010 11:49 AM
plok from nyc

Aug. 25 2010 11:48 AM

Democracy is NOT a suicide pact, and neither is the US Constitution. We should have learned that from the last century, when parties backed by militias (the Bolsheviks, the Fascists, the Nazis, the KKK, and more recently Hamas in Gaza) their "democratic" elections are only a monkey wrench thrown into the machinery of democracy. That is why our country was created as a democratic republic. But I am willing to put this mosque thing to a referendum, and go with the will of the people. If you can persuade the will of the people that this mosque is the right thing to do in this particular place, I will go along. No problem.

Aug. 25 2010 11:45 AM
Omutunde from Harlem

JP from NJ

Your straw man argument gets worse and worse.
Of course I'm against the KKK
So is America.
That's why they have been neutered.
That's not the case for terrorist Islamists who butcher people daily all over the world.

Aug. 25 2010 11:45 AM
amalgam from Manhattan by day, NJ by night

@ jgarbuz - How Politically Correct can you get?

I mean when certain unAmerican anti-religious (anti-Islam) zealots want people want to bend away from 1st Amend. rights because of "sensitivity," that is the height of PC behavior.

Are you this PC on illegal immigration? What about affirmative action?

Aug. 25 2010 11:37 AM

@Omar from Bedstuy

Check Charlie from Greenpoint's comment. In order to be true to America's values, we need to protect those rights that the Bill of Rights and the Constitution guarantee. There is very clearly racism and xenophobia motivating this anti-Muslim hatefest across the country. Governor Patterson is not a racist, necessarily, but he has no business proposing a separate location for the Islamic community center as a response to the racist response to Park51. It is not his place as a public servant/member of govt to get involved in what is essentially a local issue that is CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED.

Aug. 25 2010 11:36 AM
JP from NJ

Omutunde from Harlem

Sorry I don’t have time to go searching but are you denying that thousands were not killed over the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s? Are you saying the KKK is a group to just be ignored just because I can’t list the latest and greatest killings? Are you saying the KKK has changed their ways and is now all about peace love and happiness? Do you really think the KKK is a good thing?

Aug. 25 2010 11:34 AM
ruth from NYC

I thought the Brian Lehrer show is partially funded by the taxpayers. Don't we deserve a host that is more than peripherally aware of what is at stake? The imam's long ties to the Muslim Brotherhood are documented below. You are doing this country a great disservice by cherrypicking the "contexts" you seem to be in search of. Please book a Muslim like Noni Darwish (or others forced to live underground). Or, for the latte set... how about Rushdie?

Aug. 25 2010 11:31 AM
Maggie Tobin from Kensington, Brooklyn

In Omaha Nebraska there is an amazing organization called the Tri-Faith Initiative. There new campus will soon be home to a mosque, a synagogue, a church and a jointly operated educational community center(ABRAHAM'S TENT).This organization was formed because of their universal belief that education is the path to world peace.This is the only organization of its kind that I am aware of. They are focusing on the solution, not the problem. Perhaps there is something we New Yorkers could learn from this.

Please read one of the founders' ( Dr. Syed Mohiuddin) thoughts on the "mosque" proposed in downtown Manhattan.

From the OMAHA WORLD HERALD , by Mike Kelly (edited due to length)

Mosque Debate is Time for Statement

The New York City mosque controversy is the perfect opportunity for leading U.S. Muslims to make a strong and unified statement — that they love America as much as anyone, and that the acts of Sept. 11 were evil, horrific and despicable.
Language even stronger than that would be welcome. Condemn 9/11 and other Islamic terrorism in no uncertain terms, and openly and patriotically pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.
If American Muslims do that, they still won’t convince all doubters. But it might help.
Dr. Syed Mohiuddin, chairman of the department of medicine at Creighton University in Omaha, says that he not only agrees that Muslims like himself should speak out forcefully against Islamic terrorism, but that many already have done so — even if the general public doesn’t realize it.
A colleague, he said, compiled 200 pages of condemnations from Muslim institutions “vigorously and definitively condemning Sept. 11 and any issues of extremism.”
Mohiuddin, president of the American Institute of Islamic Studies and Culture in Omaha, said some critics blame the entire U.S. population of Muslims, who he said had nothing to do with 9/11.
“We are as troubled by it and as concerned about it as any other citizens of the United States,” Mohiuddin said Monday. “People should remember that a significant number of Muslims were killed on 9/11.”

New York isn’t the only place where planned mosques are running into hostility. But one place where the idea is not — at least so far — is Omaha.
A mosque is proposed as part of a unique tri-faith campus. Also planned are a Jewish synagogue, an Episcopal church and a fourth building for joint education.
Such a joint venture of Jewish, Christian and Islamic faiths apparently is being proposed nowhere else in the world. Alsharif said that fundraising is under way and that he is “100 percent” confident the campus will be built.
Mohiuddin wishes the New York project had been planned differently — the Omaha way.
“It would be better,” he said, “if they had done the same thing as we did, and had other religions also represented.”

Aug. 25 2010 11:30 AM
ll from ny

Aug. 25 2010 11:28 AM
zz from ny

Aug. 25 2010 11:26 AM
barry from ny

2010.08.24 Somalia Mogadishu 32 150 A barbaric assault on a hotel by Muslim terrorists leaves women, children and more than a dozen visiting lawmakers dead.
2010.08.23 Pakistan Landikotal 2 0 Local Taliban burn two men alive in their truck.
2010.08.23 Iraq Baiji 7 0 Suspected al-Qaeda shoot seven oil workers to death.
2010.08.23 Pakistan Matni 3 3 Three people are blown to bits by Mujahid bombers at a market
2010.08.23 Iraq Baghdad 3 15 A mortar attack and separate bombing at a coffee shop leave three dead.
2010.08.23 Thailand Pattani 2 4 Two civilians are machine-gunned to death by Muslim insurgents in separate attacks.
2010.08.23 Pakistan Kurram 8 10 Islamist bombers take out seven tribal elders and a teacher at a school.
2010.08.23 Pakistan South Waziristan 26 40 A suicide bomber at a seminary sends two-dozen other souls to Allah.

Aug. 25 2010 11:24 AM
Omutunde from Harlem

JP from NJ

Very weak response and comparison.
Please list for me KKK killings of the last 20 years.

Aug. 25 2010 11:24 AM

I believe just the opposite. That if the backers of this mosque do NOT show sensitivity, and do not back up and say, okay in the interest of sensitivity they'll move it elsewhere, it will indeed create a scar that will fester and not be quickly forgotten. It will indeed feed the very bigotry they claim the cultural center was supposed to ameliorate. It will not build a bridge, but rather create a chasm. It will be a pyrrhic victory at best. Because to move forward in face of the opposition of the will of 65% of the people will be a bruise that will not heal.

Aug. 25 2010 11:22 AM
Omar from Bed Stuy

Yazmin what are you babbling about?

Is Governor Patterson a racist and bigot too?

Crying wolf (racism) and trying to muzzle debate is only going to harden the view of Muslims as arrogant, intransigent Shariasts who lie about "bridge building" when all they are doing is bridge blowing up by shoving a mosque down everyone's throats in the long location.

Phony outrage and victimhood is a big fail in this case.

Aug. 25 2010 11:17 AM
Charlie from Greenpoint

Do we need another mosque, church, or synagogue anywhere in the world? I say no. Are the religious dogmas of Islam compatible with American values enshrined our by founding documents? Not really. Should we have to protect people rights to hold on to their religious dogma and superstition? Yes. Would it be just to use democratic processes to stop the building of this cultural center backed by only one religion based on that religion? No. Would it be wise? No. Short term preservation of American values demands that we let these religious people build their cultural center. Long term preservation of our way of life demands that we start reaffirming the values of the Enlightenment in civic discourse and public life.

Aug. 25 2010 11:17 AM
JP from NJ

Omutunde from Harlem

The Klu Kux Klan has been killing and terrorizing all minorities and America in the name of Christianity for over a 100 years. Does that mean all Christians are bad? Where is public Christian outrage? By the way, Klu Klux Klan has made a big increase in members since Obama has been elected. Where’s the Christian leaders with vocal concern over this?

It’s a two way street….

Aug. 25 2010 11:15 AM

@MikeInBrklyn from Clinton Hill- Great point, I totally agree. Backing down in the face of hate only empowers hate further. When American Muslims support moving the Community center away from Park51, it saddens me- they are clearly giving in to the fear and the hate-mongering. Moving Park51 isn't going to put the flames of this hate out- it will only fuel them. American Muslims along with the Christian and Jewish partners in the interfaith coalition helping plan Park51 need to stand up in the face of this un-American racism and xenophobia to develop the Islamic Community center. It's the only way to fight back against this completely disappointing and disgusting national anti-Muslim backlash.

Aug. 25 2010 11:13 AM
Omar from Bed Stuy

Omutunde - you are 1005 correct

but you see, white guilt and blaming the Republicans and whoever here in the States is so much easier than actually doing something about the daily killing and blowing up of mosques by raidcal muslims overseas...

Aug. 25 2010 11:11 AM

Humanity has been in conflict since Cain and Abel. Pinning all these conflicts on "religion" alone is sheer nonsense. You have conflicts between siblings, within marriages, between parents and children, and between clans, tribes and nations. The best antidote to conflict every created has been the advent of democracy, where different factions can vehemently argue and express their rage, bile, and opinions. But in the end, it is resolved, or at least ameliorated, by the ballot box, not bullets. When Lincoln was elected, the South sought to secede, believing their right to hold their slaves was democratically being taken away. In the end it did take bullets to resolve that issue, but only because one faction refused to give into the deliberative will of the majority as expressed at the ballot box.

Aug. 25 2010 11:07 AM
Omutunde from Harlem

Please don't cynically compare the struggle of African Americans for civil rights to the imposing of a Mosque 600 feet from Ground Zero.

Words do have meaning.

It is funny how patronizing white liberals can be as they fight to the death to push this Mosque.

would they only join Muslim moderates in trying to stop the killing in the world in name of Islam.

Just from the last TWO days:

Date Country City Killed Injured Description
2010.08.24 Somalia Mogadishu 32 150 A barbaric assault on a hotel by Muslim terrorists leaves women, children and more than a dozen visiting lawmakers dead.
2010.08.23 Pakistan Landikotal 2 0 Local Taliban burn two men alive in their truck.
2010.08.23 Iraq Baiji 7 0 Suspected al-Qaeda shoot seven oil workers to death.
2010.08.23 Pakistan Matni 3 3 Three people are blown to bits by Mujahid bombers at a market
2010.08.23 Iraq Baghdad 3 15 A mortar attack and separate bombing at a coffee shop leave three dead.
2010.08.23 Thailand Pattani 2 4 Two civilians are machine-gunned to death by Muslim insurgents in separate attacks.
2010.08.23 Pakistan Kurram 8 10 Islamist bombers take out seven tribal elders and a teacher at a school.
2010.08.23 Pakistan South Waziristan 26 40 A suicide bomber at a seminary sends two-dozen other souls to Allah.

Aug. 25 2010 11:06 AM
JP from NJ


This same scenario has played out on just about every continent in the world where we made friends with the devil to try and one up our enemy of that day. Not new, and not an isolated event. And in all cases, nothing but bad things happened as a result. So what’s your point?

Aug. 25 2010 11:01 AM
dboy from nyc

How much better would the world be WITHOUT any adherence to primeval superstitions - of any brand??

OMG! You would hardly know this is the 21st century replete with modern science...

Aug. 25 2010 11:00 AM
MikeInBrklyn from Clinton Hill

Listening to some of the Muslims that are calling in gives me an insight into what must have happened in the south during the Jim Crow days. The white majority would make threat against the blacks, many in the black community encouraged that waves not be made through opposition to the threats, and consequently the subjugation of the black populations succeeded. Maybe a simplistic summary, but it wasn't until Blacks were willing to suffer for their progress, did change occur.

When Muslims say the organizer of the center should acquiesce, they give power to the hate mongers to control their place in American society. In 2010, this should not be.

Aug. 25 2010 10:58 AM
Edward from NJ

There is absolutely nothing "explosive" about Pamela Geller's audio montage that people keep posting here. It's all in the realm of social and political analysis. There are no denunciations of America or calls to terrorist action. Given the extreme brevity of some of the clips, I also expect that even some limited context would severely undermine their already-minuscule shock value.

Aug. 25 2010 10:57 AM
Omutunde from Harlem

I am from Uganda - here 22 years. and I am in love how people of different cultures mix in this great city. But this mosque controversy is disturbing. First we were told that the mosque was intimately connected to Ground Zero, and that it was going to be a memorial to those killed in the name of Islam on September 11th. Now the media insists that the building isn't even in sight of Ground Zero, and has nothing to do with that hallowed ground. Then we were told that the mosque was an issue of religious freedom, and that it had to be built to preserve American values. Now we're being told that the building isn't a mosque at all, but a generic community center to be constructed on private land.

And above all else, we were told that the Ground Zero Mosque was being built to inspire dialogue and build bridges. But when American citizens have raised objections and tried to engage in discussion, they have been shouted down as bigots, racists etc... and by one Muslim "leader" at a pro-Mosque rally at Ground Zero, Zionists (apparently a serious slur for many Muslims) in a video clip now making the rounds on the web.

But almost 70% of Americans - including people of all races, religions, creeds & political beliefs, are against building the mosque near Ground Zero. Prominent Democrats like Harry Reid and Howard Dean among others have come out against the mosque. So have dozens of Muslims who have written articles and essays critiquing the Mosque project and it's choice of locations. And my Democratic Governor, Mr. Patterson, has even offered free state land to the mosque developers if they only relocated to another location farther from Ground Zero.

None of this stops some vocal supporters of the mosque from smearing ALL it's opponents as racists. Some mosque supporters have displayed the type of hubris and arrogance in their attempt to cut off debate that they allegedly are fighting against.

Yes, private land has a right to be developed as it's owners wish provided it complys to zoning laws. Yes, Msulims and all others have a right to freedom of religion and specch - no matter how insensitive or hateful that speech may be. Those are great American values. But so do the critics of the intransigent mosque developers who speak from one side of their mouth about dialouge and bridge building - but have crudely charecterized opposition to them as worse than anti-Semitism. Really. The best way for them to deonstrate the alleged goals of the mosque is to relocate.

It's a telling moment in America."

Aug. 25 2010 10:55 AM
N word from nyc

That's what they should call this show: Faux News.

Aug. 25 2010 10:55 AM

The US was forced into the "Cold War" by Soviet expansionism, in Greece, Iran, and the Middle East. The British had to force the Soviets to leave Persian soil at the end of WWII. The Soviets began their encroachments to try to deny the West Middle Eastern oil. The US had little choice but to back the Shah, the Saudis and others who we may not have liked, to guard our access to this relatively inexpensive "life-blood" we addicted ourselves to, and which we built our suburbanized "American dream" upon. The Soviets were doing all they could to try to deny it to us. We could not undermine the bastards who were on our side, because they were "our bastards."

Aug. 25 2010 10:54 AM
Elaine from Bx

I have never been moved to tears but this last segment did it. I was so saddened to hear so many muslims call in and say they would rather move the Mosque. I am a jew in the Bronx and have been fighting everyone I know that the Mosque cannot be moved, and it is hatred that is fueling the argument. I am saddened that Muslims in this country do not feel safe. This is not what this country should be about.

Aug. 25 2010 10:52 AM
Drew from Brooklyn

I don't know if you've covered this. The Daily Show is pointing out that FauX News gets most of their money from the same source that is funding the Islamic Center on Park Place. Check it out:

Aug. 25 2010 10:52 AM
Mmd from nyc

Any Moslem extremists would you like to call in now and be on our Moslem extremist line?

Aug. 25 2010 10:50 AM

Look- one of the things that make America great is our Constitution and our Bill of Rights. First Amendment rights entitle us to freedom of religion, freedom of expression and freedom of speech. Park51 is a Constitutionally protected expression of interfaith organizing and development by Musilms of the Cordoba Initiative. It should be built. As a Muslim American, I am totally in support of building it and believe that to move it would be giving in to all the anti-Muslim hate-mongering. It is un-American to fall to the demands of racist xenophobes for whom the project could not be moved far enough away from Ground Zero to be acceptable. The widespread anti-Muslim backlash being experienced by Muslim communities all over the country is an example of this- their proposed mosque projects are miles away from Ground Zero and are no more acceptable to those leading the anti-Muslim backlash.

Aug. 25 2010 10:50 AM
Daria from Brooklyn

Nobody "deserves" a horrible tragedy like 9/11 and Imam Rauf didn't say the US does. Terrorism is a global threat and the scariest weapon. It is mind-boggling though that Americans seem to ignore how arrogant and imposing this country's foreign policy has been for decades. Just why is waging a war considered a foreign policy option? Or meddling in other countries' affairs under the banner of establishing "democracy"? The number of Iraqi civilian victims of the war far exceeded the number of US soldiers killed, yet this is hardly noticed. Of course America's actions in the Middle East played a role in 9/11 attacks, and I really don't understand how this can be denied any further.

Aug. 25 2010 10:49 AM
JP from NJ


Just because the “West” moves in and brings modern amenities does not make it a great place to be. Look at Africa, Big chunks of Asia, South America and Central America. All living in squalor before the West came and “modernized" them. Now, all still live in extreme poverty, all on the verge of hunger and all on the verge of civil war. But most importantly all being exploited by Western corporations so that you can enjoy the luxuries everyday that you don’t even think about….

Aug. 25 2010 10:49 AM
Baratude from nyc

That caller didn't say, "civil rights movement"

Aug. 25 2010 10:49 AM
dboy from nyc

Is it just me or is anything "jgarbuz" contributes always offensive???

Aug. 25 2010 10:49 AM
The Truth from Becky

BK if you are going to copy my name at least get it right. The BK goes after Truth.

Aug. 25 2010 10:49 AM
Paul I. Adujie from New York, United States

Mayor Michael Bloomberg deserve our Thunderous Applause!

And so do all others, including Fareed Zakaria, who have courageously defended the rights of fellow New Yorkers, who happens to be adherents of the Islamic faith.

I am a Catholic, but, I will defend to the death, the rights of Jews, Hindus, Hare Khristina, and of course, Muslims to build a house of worship and a cultural center...

I am heterosexual, but, I will defend to the death, the rights of gays and lesbians to exercise their sexual preferences.

I do not smoke, but, I will defend to the death, the rights of smokers to puff their cigarettes...

This is supposed to be the American WAY!

Islamophobia in America, Islam And Muslims Under Siege

Muslims & Islam; Under Siege, Pressures In America, Still!

Aug. 25 2010 10:48 AM
Tara from FiDi

How can it be suggested that if the Muslim community trying to build the center and mosque should raise money for charity only? That's ridiculous.

My church is raising money right now to build a new place of worship on the UES. Should they donate that to charity instead? Of course not, we need a place to worship.

This opposition is just ignorance. And I LIVE three blocks from WTC. I'm more irritated by all the protesters who don't have to live here shoving their ignorant "Barry the Muslim" signs in varying degrees of grammatical incorrectness under my nose when I'm on my way to work.

People in my community want this center to be built. That's why the Downtown Alliance approves of it.

Aug. 25 2010 10:48 AM
Abdullah from nyc

And now, a call in just for radical Islamist. Radical Islamists, do you have a view?/ Call 212.... vomit, puke...

Aug. 25 2010 10:48 AM
Michael from Downtown Manhattan

Brian, don't you think one big reason that Muslims didn't show up to the protests at Park51 because they were worried about their physical safety? Look what happened when a non-Muslim gentleman of color, who happened to be wearing a non-religious skullcap wandered into the anti-Park51 protesters. It could easily have slipped ito violence.

Aug. 25 2010 10:47 AM
Abdullah from nyc


Aug. 25 2010 10:47 AM

go back to the 18th century. :)

Aug. 25 2010 10:47 AM

Brian don't you DARE compare this with the civil rights issue! This is a hot button for me you people always want to drag the Black struggle into all issues concerning opression! Today it is you Brian.

Aug. 25 2010 10:46 AM
John from nyc

Yes, you can go to the middle of the bus with your swastika.

Aug. 25 2010 10:46 AM
bib from nyc

Yeah this caller is for real..... right.

Aug. 25 2010 10:45 AM
Mike from NYC

The US inherited dominance of a world full of post-colonial regimes after WWII, including those in the Middle East. Instead of helping local patriots dismantle them and encouraging the development of representative governments, we supported the any powerful faction that represented itself as anti-communist, no matter how repressive they were. And in places like Iran (Mossadegh) and in Guatemala (Arbenz) the US overthrew representative governments or murdered the nationalists (Lumumba) because the right wing faction in the US government felt them insufficiently they considered so many here to have been "prematurely anti-fascist" before the war, and so black-listed or prosecuted them. The US government even went to war and lost 50000 of our own people to support a corrupt, post-colonial regime. These acts supporting unpopular, anti-democratic forces were a betrayal of US ideals and earned us the enmity of many people who were our potential, natural allies. Now the right-wing in the US is again betraying our county's ideals in their quest for this case gaining political power in the 2010 elections.

Aug. 25 2010 10:45 AM
Michael from Inwood

Do we want to be driven by fear or freedom?

Aug. 25 2010 10:44 AM

to hjs11211

So why didn't the Arabs free themselves from Ottoman rule over the 400 years of Turkish rule, and create their one big state or caliphate? Why did they wait for the British to do it for them? Or did they prefer Ottoman rule? In any case, the Ottoman empire joined Germany, was defeated, and the Allies and the League of Nations had the right to determine what was to be done with the defeated empire, as they did with the German and Austro-Hungarian empires in Europe.

Aug. 25 2010 10:44 AM
Jim from Brooklyn

As a New Yorker I would like to see an artist help with the history and display of the Landing Gear from United Airlines Flight 175 in a non denominational space at the site and architects to help integrate the adjacent religious spaces and the New York street.

Aug. 25 2010 10:44 AM
Lisa from Queens

Everyone needs to name this what it really is, a COMMUNITY CENTER. It's not a mosque. The plan is to have prayer room, but not a mosque. There are already 2 mosques in lower Manhattan and this will not be a 3rd mosque, it will be a community center.

Aug. 25 2010 10:43 AM
h l

Christians/Catholics would never put a church on native Indian grounds where they massacred them. Well, at least not right away, right?

Aug. 25 2010 10:43 AM
BK from Truth

Brian, what is a victory mosque????????????????????//

Aug. 25 2010 10:42 AM

Aug. 25 2010 10:40 AM
MikeInBrooklyn from Clinton Hill

I fully support this project and would suggest that there be no backing down.

The one thing I do wish would have happened is the landmarking of the building. It is a shame that another historic building must be sacrificed.

But to retreat as a result of this insane xenophobic uproar should be unacceptable to all.

Aug. 25 2010 10:39 AM
dboy from nyc

Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf's 60 Minutes comments are actually right on. Why is it that any critical commentary regarding US or Israeli Mid-East policies, stripped of gentle doublespeak is considered offensive?

Rev. Wright suffered a similar attack with his comments regarding 9/11.

Radical Islam and terrorism DOES NOT COME FROM A VACUUM. Actions (and inaction) have consequences. There are decades of flawed policy fueling the problem.

Aug. 25 2010 10:39 AM
Mike from NYU

@ the caller. No one will bomb the mosque. This is NYC not Mississippi or Indiana. The backward hicks that oppose this don't even live here. People in Lower Manhattan are happy to have it there.

Aug. 25 2010 10:39 AM

"There were NO Arab states prior to WWI. "

in 1917 the arabs wanted their own state not the many states created for western convenience. that's why they don't trust us.

Aug. 25 2010 10:38 AM

The West, and particularly the US, are typically blamed for all problems in the Middle East. But the reality is, that after WWI the 22 million Arabs lived in the most squalid poverty and deprivation as subjects of the Sultan in Istanbul. But since WWI, thanks to Western and American discovery, development, and addiction to petroleum, the number of Arabs has increased over 15-fold, to 330 million today, and their leaders live not in tents, but in luxurious palaces. Imagine if the west had stuck to electric cars and not gotten addicted to petroleum where the Middle East would be today. In TOTAL abject squalor!

Aug. 25 2010 10:38 AM
John from office

Brian, I thought Bush was an idiot?? But you use him now as a source??

Hearing him made me wish for a third term.

Aug. 25 2010 10:37 AM
Johnny from nyc

Hey Yassir. What's a victory mosque? Tell us all about it.

Aug. 25 2010 10:37 AM
Jack from Astoria

NEVER thought I would say this, but W sounds absolutely astute in the clip where he stresses how important Islam is and how all people have a right to worship as they please, astute especially compared to the Republican jingoists of 2010.

Must be "a stopped clock is right twice a day" syndrome.

Aug. 25 2010 10:37 AM

This topic is so tired. It feels like an exercise in meta politics.
Please talk about more pressing and interesting current events.

Aug. 25 2010 10:37 AM

Brian, I just heard the tail end of your guest from previous administrations, but I must say this. Many Arabs/Muslims, which are is not mutually exclusive, will call your guest's statement that "the freest people in the Arab/Muslim world are in Iraq and Occupied Palestine" as being absolutely LUDICROUS!!!

Aug. 25 2010 10:35 AM
Rosemary from Jackson Heights

On September 15, 2001, Frank Rich wrote a striking article in which he came close to "blaming" the U.S. or at least asking us to look in the mirror. He describes the turn-of-the-21st-Century-American Dream: "The first part of the dream was simple -- that we could have it all without having to pay any price, and that national suffering of any kind could be domesticated into an experience of virtual terror akin to a theme park ride."

Aug. 25 2010 10:34 AM
Sharazi from NYC

So, what Bush is wrong Muslims are not good citzizens things blow up near them every day in every country look at Iraq this morning... Bush was wrong again. He failed Yale, he was bought into Yale, he failed this, too

Aug. 25 2010 10:33 AM
Sharazi from NYC

So, what Bush is wrong Muslims are not good citzizens things blow up near them every day in every country look at Iraq this morning... Bush was wrong again. He failed Yale, he was bought into Yale, he failed this, too

Aug. 25 2010 10:33 AM
JP from NJ

Army of God, Christian Identity, Christian Patriot, Concerned Christians, Hutaree (the most recent group that plotted to kill a Michigan police officer and then kill other officers at his funeral) and the grand daddy of them all, the Klu Klux Klan, established in the late nineteenth century and still alive and well today, spreading murder and hate like all the other groups mentioned all under the name of Christianity. Lets also not forget all the Neo Nazi groups in this country that also claim to be fighting for white power and Christianity. Where are all the good Christians denouncing these groups? How many thousands of minorities killed by the Klu Klux Klan? I have never herd any Christian church of any sect over the last 100 years denounce or apologize for their radical and violent acts against Americans.

It’s a 2 way street….

Aug. 25 2010 10:33 AM

@ Blossom: Bin Laden was a freedom fighter in Afghanistan when the US, through the CIA, was funneling funds and weapons to the anti-Soviet forces. The CIA was also training the resistance movement. Then, when Soviet forces left Afghanistan, so did the US; causing the country to fall into an economic depression -- allowing the radical thought to fester and grow -- leading to the Taliban taking power -- leading to OBL starting an anti-US group, Al Queda. (Not to mention that he comes from a Saudi family with STRONG monetary links to the US.)

OBL is completely American made.

Aug. 25 2010 10:33 AM
HeightsG from Manhattan

The guest clearly said that
1. The US was indeed responsible for propping up those regimes and
2. The the US "had done very nicely out of it", specifically by getting oil from Saudi Arabia.

Then after those admissions he goes on to question whether Arabs can "handle democracy". He's disgraceful.

Aug. 25 2010 10:31 AM
Clear Thinking from NYC

George Bush and Imam Faisal are on the same page. Americans have to start #Thinking and stop #Reacting. As an #emigre colony you have resisted every subsequent #immigrant for 200 years. Thats boring #Islam

Aug. 25 2010 10:31 AM
Opal from New York City

The imam is absolutely right that the U.S. coddled Mid-Eastern countries depending our need for oil and other advantages that we might incur.
But I don't believe that terrorism is the asnwer. The support and toleration of the Shah in Egypt and his terrible treatment of his people is a case in point. Of course, Suadi Arabia, a land where women on not allowed to drive. And on and on.
Much of the anger is related to the State of Israel. I believe this anger is misplaced and I support Israel.
I support the building of the Center which includes a mosque.

Aug. 25 2010 10:30 AM

There were NO Arab states prior to WWI. The Allies via the League of Nations created 11 Arab states out of the defeated Ottoman empire after WWI. The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928 to oppose British and western influence in Egypt and the Middle East. But it was the Ottoman alliance with Germany in WWI that led to its defeat and dismemberment, and occupation by Allied forces. Had the Ottoman empire not allied itself with Germany, it might still exist today.

Aug. 25 2010 10:29 AM
BOB from NY


Aug. 25 2010 10:28 AM
dba from nyc

Very pleasantly surprised to hear that Adleman holds Bloomberg's position and supports freedom of religion without a "but"...

Adleman is disappointed by Bush's and Rice's silence on the issue. This is probably because they don't want sabotage what they see as a good republican way to win in November.

Aug. 25 2010 10:26 AM
John Cirace

Build Baby Build

Aug. 25 2010 10:25 AM
John from nyc

You are playing the wrong clip. How come you're not playing the clip that the opposition is playing instead of this 60 mins. clip?

Aug. 25 2010 10:25 AM
John from Manhattan

can you ask him about US efforts to overthrow the democratically elected government of Iran in the early 50s?

Aug. 25 2010 10:24 AM
john from Manhattan

Sayed Qutb, came back to Egypt in the early 60's to challenge westernization of Egypt supported by U.S. banks.

He was tortured by Egyptian security forces guided by the CIA.

His thinking became radicalized. His books were read by Zawahiri.

Zawahiri was arrested in the 70's, for his work with Islamic Jihad. He too was tortured with the guidance of the CIA. He became radicalized as a result and became a mentor to bin Laden.

In this way, the US set the stage for the creation of the radicalization of Islam.

Aug. 25 2010 10:23 AM
The Truth from Becky

You are so see through Brian with the president bush nonsense and you cannot even show proper respect and say President Obama. Just in case you think you are sneaking one by us.

Aug. 25 2010 10:23 AM
Mike from NYU

There is a big difference between "blame America" and telling America to take a hard look at its past and its own role in contributing to the situation in the mid-East. It's a bit of tough love but its not necessarily an indictment on current America at the time of the speech so much as an indictment of past-America in order to push better future policy in the wake of 9-11.

Aug. 25 2010 10:22 AM
Robert from NYC

How convenient for him to forget what he obviously is choosing to forget. He's a idiot and it's obvious! He believes what he chooses to believe.
Who really cares what W has to say.

Aug. 25 2010 10:22 AM

Bush was talking about Islamic governments in the Middle East. The Imam was blaming US support of Israel for the creation of OBL.

After hearing that clip, I can no longer support the mosque.

Lastly: for shame, Brian! The Imam didn't jsut say accessory, he said OBL was "made in America" (or "American made"). WHy are you attacking Adelman?!

Aug. 25 2010 10:21 AM
The Truth from Becky

FORMER President Bush!

Aug. 25 2010 10:21 AM
Ben from Manhattan

This reminds me of the classic situation where a cop kills a kids father and the kid grows up to want to revenge and attacks a group of cops. Do we call the first kop an accessory?

Aug. 25 2010 10:19 AM

The true test of religious freedom and tolerance will be when (1) all Muslims recognize the right of the tiny JEWISH state to live in peace, and (2) when Saudi Arabia allows Churches and Synagogues to be built in Mecca and Medina. Why shouldn't they be? Why are Jews not allowed to live freely in the Arab holy lands of Mecca and Medina? Why have 98% of the Jews been cleansed out of the Arab countries without acknowledgements or apologies? What about turning Churches into Mosques, and placing Mosques on top of other people's holy religious sites? Why no outrage over these sacrileges?

Aug. 25 2010 10:19 AM
amalgam from Manhattan by day, NJ by night

@ Steve from NYC - You're so right; how can we tolerate such a radical as Rauf?

Clearly his unifying, peace-loving rhetoric seeks to extinguish the Christian majority and white-bread culture (speaking as one) of the United States...And he and his ilk probably will...

Aug. 25 2010 10:19 AM
Karen from Upper West Side

If ever there was an Imam and not-Mosque not-at-ground-zero who should not be having trouble it is this guy. This entire scream fest is ginned up by Fox and Republicans for partisan purposes. It was announced back in Fall 2009 without making waves. Only months later when Fox and the right wing Republican noise machine decided to go after it, did it become an issue. Before all this the group had worked ahead of time with 92nd Street Y (Jewish), JCC Upper West Side (Jewish), YMCA (Christian). Their board is more diverse, with Jews and Christians, then the JCC. This is an entirely fraudulent partisan and racist bit of nonsense.

Aug. 25 2010 10:18 AM
Robert from NYC

I'm really tired of this story and the garbage being spewed against a "not-really-a-mosque-only" that's NOT on ground zero... FACTS! And there is some truth to Imam's saying we are somewhat to blame for our image as viewed in the Islamic world and this guy is still just promoting W. Who selects your guests, lately they stink. Yeah, there are at least two sides to everything but then there is very often a right side and a wrong side.So cut the balanced crap, it's getting really tired!!

Aug. 25 2010 10:18 AM
RLewis from the bowery

If big multi-national corporations and US military bases were moving into my country and changing my way of life, I'd be pissed off, too. They don't want to eat big mac's, etc., but we gotta sell that sh*&$ to more and more people to meet our hunger for $$$.

Aug. 25 2010 10:16 AM
dba from nyc

Ron Paul has made and continues to make the same analysis regarding the role of American foreign policy in 9/11. Just yesterday Ron Paul was interviewed on WABC radio and argued the same points as suggested the Imam.

Aug. 25 2010 10:15 AM
Britta B. from Cortland Manor, NY

I agree with Jeff and also applaud Mayor Bloomberg for saying exactly what should be said loud and often: Religious freedom includes all religions, not just the ones comfortably familiar to most Americans. And yes, where does it end, the no-mosque zone? And these restrictions and bigotry can very easily slip into other parts of our lives. Being German and having lived in the Eastern part, I know exactly where this state-induced oversight can lead to.
I also agree with the words of the Imam that the U.S. contributed to the hatred of it. He did not say we caused 9/11, or are responsible for all evil done to us, but our political behaviour in the past certainly hasn't endured us to the rest of the world.

Aug. 25 2010 10:15 AM
Steve from NYC

The Imam behind the "not Ground Zero not Mosque"is currently touring the Middle East and making Radical speeches that are sure to inflame the protestors back in the US.

Speaking last night in Bahrain to a multi faith audience at the Majlis of the Chairman of the Gulf for Council Foreign Relations, Feisal Abdul Rauf made the following statements.

He told religious leaders in Bahrain that the most important conflicts in the world were between the children of Abraham, whether the Israeli/Palestinian conflict or the US/Iran conflict and the challenge for them was how they could play a role in bringing peace.

"We are Christians, Jews and Muslims, but one of our faults is instead of worshipping God, we worship our religion and use that to cause division between us,"

He further went on to say

"The sense of brotherhood and unity that the prophets had for each other as servants of the true God is the primary lesson we should all learn.

"The demand is on us (Muslims) to feel a special brotherhood with the Christian and Jewish faiths and certainly our own.
"We shouldn't see differences, but see the differences that unite us and are part of one theme.

And he concluded with

"It's time we also saw that if we followed the laws of Moses, Jesus and Mohammed they were not opposed to each other."

Really this is the guy thats frightening the sheeple, and causing faux news to go into meltdown?

More detail can be found at
Today' s Gulf Daily News

Aug. 25 2010 10:13 AM
amalgam from Manhattan by day, NJ by night

Not only is this a test of religious rights and tolerance, it is - and I will say it again - a shift in Political Correctness ("sensitivity") by a right-leaning core of our population that have constantly railed against this notion.

Political Correctness is not always bad and is often productive, but it just has to be admitted by the right that that is their primary vehicle of argumentation.

The Anti-Mosque Movement is Politically Correct Nonsense:

Aug. 25 2010 10:12 AM

Kenneth Adelman has made sweeping, blanket condemnations of Islam only slightly less offensive than Pamela Geller's. He is very much of the Rep. Peter King and Newt Gingrich camp. And then there are the questions about Adelman's alleged involvement in spying for Israel.

Will Lehrer invite some unalloyed advocate of Islamic terrorism to "balance" Adelman, who is an unalloyed advocate of Israeli and US terrorism?

Aug. 25 2010 10:11 AM

As usual, it is LIBERAL Jews who lead the charge to protect the rights of Muslims to build mosques anywhere, Nazis to march anywhere, and Communists to do whatever. Strongest advocates of everyone else's rights, except that of Jews to live anywhere in their biblical homeland.

Aug. 25 2010 10:10 AM
Jeff Pappas from Ct.

As a non religious person with humanist views I am appalled at how much hate and racism is used by current Congressmen, Senators, Politicians, Pundits and Fox News. All religions are supposed to have protection in the USA, But the core values of most religions differ enough such that radicals from any of them can justify killing by picking and quoting texts for their ends.

Aug. 25 2010 10:00 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

This whole controversy has evolved into a proxy for other unrelated culture war battles.....from anti-Zionist attacks on Israel's reationship with the usual kneejerk defense of the "other".....whatever intolerance it may actually represent.

Well, I'll jump on that bandwagon and ask why gay New Yorkers aren't asking Rauf to include a gay cultural/community center in his big and spacious building....even one little room, tiny nook or, dare I say, closet? (With a listing in the building directory, of course.) That would truly be a test of his much ballyhooed mission of "outreach" to the downtown community.

Aug. 25 2010 09:13 AM

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