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May 31st, 2010
03:19 AM ET

A Muslim voice at ground zero

Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

The United States has from its inception seen itself as something new. But populism—the politics of nostalgia—has a long history here. And the nation’s capital is, among other things, a Necropolis—a site for the memorialization of the dead.

How a nation memorializes the dead matters, not least by revealing what it lives for. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial tells us that the dead are to be remembered by name. So does the Oklahoma City National Memorial, whose 168 chairs represent the individuals taken by terror on April 19, 1995.

The memorials we are now building out of the ashes of 9/11 tell us something about the United States, too, as does the Ground Zero site itself, which is why the recent scuffle over whether there is to be a mosque in the vicinity is a matter not just for the Tea Party spokespeople who oppose it or the New York City community board that voted 29-1 to support it. It is a matter for all Americans, and the questions it calls are two.

The first concerns the so-called war on terror. Is the United States at war with Islam? If so, there should be no mosque near Ground Zero, and perhaps no mosque anywhere in Manhattan or for that matter in the United States.

The second is whether we are at war with the First Amendment. The United States may well be the most Christian country on earth (at least three out of every four Americans call themselves Christians) but until the First Amendment is repealed it is also a country that guarantees religious liberty to Christians and non-Christians alike.

So I disagree with Rod Dreher’s claim that a mosque at Ground Zero is “insane.” And I agree with Joe Klein’s call to build that mosque in the name of American freedom.

But building a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero is not enough. If the Ground Zero site, forever hallowed by those who disappeared into death there, is to reflect American values, the religion of Islam should also have a place at the Ground Zero memorial itself.

Like the Vietnam and Oklahoma City memorials, the 9/11 memorial will include a litany of the names of the dead. It should also include the names of Muslims worldwide who denounce the terrors of 9/11 as a crime against humanity and against Islam itself. These people are out there by the millions.  Let’s gather their signatures online and display them in a database at Ground Zero.

For every right-wing talk show host who says the mosque, if built, should be bombed, there are in my view millions of Muslims who know their tradition well enough to denounce terror in the name of Allah. Am I right? Let's find out.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Culture wars • Islam • Politics • Religious liberty • Violence

soundoff (883 Responses)
  1. Jim

    Mohammad was no prophet. A demon perhaps that has millions deceived. Take a look at the muslim counties, they obviously are not blessed by the presence of God. Their allah is not our God; they worship a demon. Only through Jesus will you find your way to heaven. I pray in private, not to conform, but to better my relationship with God. We should pray that the muslims reject their own "faith" and see the Light.

    May 31, 2010 at 8:35 pm |
    • Jim

      Can we buid a nice big Christian Church next to Mecca?

      May 31, 2010 at 8:44 pm |
    • Carl

      Religious wars are all about "My imaginary friend is better than your imaginary friend".

      My Jesus/Superman/Buddha/Santa Claus is better than your Mohammed/Spiderman/Krishna/Easter Bunny/Tooth Fairy.

      June 1, 2010 at 11:06 am |
  2. Dan, CA

    Throughout history Muslims have used mosques as political statements. Building a mosque on ground zero is no different than building a mosque over a destroyed church or jewlish temple. This is what Muslims have done throughout history. The World Trade Center is a symbol of America which is why they destroyed it. Now the next logical step in the mind of a Muslim to build a mosque on top. By the way if 80% of mosques in the U.S. teach that ideally Sharia law should superseed our laws, they essentially all support a political movement at which we are at war whether we acknowledge it or not.

    May 31, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
    • Marcus

      similar to Christianity and Judaism and so on and so on blablabla we can all condemn one religion without putting blame to others but one would be foolish to think that no other religion has done what you just mentioned

      June 7, 2010 at 9:20 am |
    • Marcus

      similar to Christianity and Judaism and so on and so on blablabla we can all condemn one religion without putting blame to others but one would be foolish to think that no other religion has done what you just mentioned.

      June 7, 2010 at 9:20 am |
  3. Martin

    Why allow a religious building at all? If people are intent on building a mosque there, then surely you must allow a church and a synagogue to be build right next door

    May 31, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  4. sensible1

    Why don't the architects of this idea take their plans for a mosque, elsewhere in the city – why should it be close to ground zero ...?? You know how most of the country feels about this and yet you are insensitive to it. You have turned the argument around and are making yourselves feel like the victim here. I've never really heard this so-called 'moderate majority' speak up; and i can't help but think that if such a project goes ahead, it won't be long before the radical/extremist elements use it as propaganda and maybe worse. Why not just call it a 'worship center' or something to that effect, so that it has no religious affiliations at all ... and have a plaque stating that it was donated by the muslim community ...? Or, build a church/mosque/temple/synagogue all at the same location, as opposed to just building a mosque close to ground zero and creating the potential for more animosity than there already seems to be. Freedom of expression is a great thing; but along with that also comes social responsibility and the need to be sensitive to others living in the same community.

    May 31, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
    • arinna

      This is the most sensible comment I've read on this blog, so far!

      June 6, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
    • Marcus

      Agreed. Although you'll have to ask the all other (or just other) religious communities to use their money to help raise this building into a multi-temple building where all can pray and worship and so on, which I personally am doubtful about the altruism of religious communities when it comes to directly helping other religious communities.

      June 7, 2010 at 9:15 am |
  5. Jorge Aguiar

    To build a mosque in ground zero to me means to ALLOW YOUR ENEMIES TO DEFECATE IN YOUR MOTHER'S GRAVE WITH BLESSING ! In my opinion honor pride and country balance the first amendment rights of freedom of expression . There lots of places where people can express their religious believe without offending those who died there and the american forces that continue to fight for liberty and freedom AGAINST MOST WHO ARE IF NOT ALL MUSLIMS .

    May 31, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  6. R Hughes

    The US is not at war with Islam but radical Islam. Where are the millions that denounce 9/11? This article only received one and he was a Native American convert. If the author is right shouldn't there be more?

    May 31, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
  7. Randy

    Let us try this again and I don't think this needs censorship How many churches are there in Saudi Arabia? If your answer is anything greater than 0 you are wrong. Still waiting for those moderate muslims to speak up

    May 31, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
  8. nunyabuznez

    ...and on the eigth day man created God in his own image.

    May 31, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
  9. SCook

    At first when I heard this news I was angry and thought "no, that's crazy". After reading the comments, I don't really know if this is a good idea or a really bad idea. If we want to send a message of Peace, then why are we still fighting war in Iraq, Afganistan and Parkistan? Do we have a warrant out for Osama's arrest? Are we able to take him out? Are we at war with all muslims?? I don't think so, but someone told me, Not all Muslims are terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslims. How about building the mosque in New Jersey – or somewhere else? Less to complain about I would think. I don't know. I'll have to do my homework on this one and think long and hard.

    May 31, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
  10. C.Clinton Hourani

    It is interesting to see how radical both Christians and Muslims can be. If there should be no Mosques then should there be no Christian Churches? As a Native American who has seen her heritage taken away by the Christians, it is hard to understand why a Christian wouldn't want a Mosque on American soil. What you Christians fail to realize and understand is that there are American Muslims. I myself am a Native American Muslim, and my home,religion and country was attacked on that day. And too this day I am still being attacked! I am sorry that a few idiots calling themselves 'Muslims" attacked America, but this country does not belong to you, so what gives you the right to say who is free to worship and who isn't? My father fought for your rights as well as mine. So where are my rights?
    C. Hourani

    May 31, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
    • The Rod

      WELL PUT!!! Its funny how people forget the attacks that Christians have pulled on American soil and abroad....Jamestown...Waco...Oklahoma City bombing....ahhhh yes..those were white people so its ok to forget..

      May 31, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
    • Marcus

      well put indeed. and for those who argue against religious freedom and talk about acting within its boundaries, the boundaries have already been written and interpreted by the Supreme Court. if you dont agree on such boundaries, go appeal to the Court before you condemn the building of a Mosque.

      June 7, 2010 at 9:05 am |
  11. Toro

    There are a lot of you who believe that they should feed the crocodile in the hope that it eats them last. Stop this false understanding, oneness, or whatever you call it. I call it cowardice. You do not want to stand up to the people who want to destroy you. If you really believe in what you are saying, why don't you go to any of this islamic countries and preach what you are preaching here, and see how long before you are beheaded.

    May 31, 2010 at 1:54 pm |
  12. d.j.

    you are way off base,theydeclared jihad on us.their objective is to a world muslim religion in the near future.There will always be a war between the christians and the muslims.They will not convert me..

    May 31, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
  13. Jeff

    All my life (47), I have only heard, "Death to America!" from the Middle East. Pardon me for not interpreting that as a starting point for diplomacy.

    May 31, 2010 at 1:36 pm |
    • Carl

      If you understood the evil committed by American foreign policy over the years, the Israeli aggression, all the dictators and terrorists (including Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden) who were supported directly and indirectly at some point by the USA, you'd understand the resentment.

      June 1, 2010 at 11:02 am |
    • Steve Johnson

      @ Carl, you do realize you're not helping the situation by blaming Israel for every single thing wrong with the Middle East. Just a quick history lesson, the Middle Eastern governments treat their people far, far worse than Israel treats Arabs living there. Arabs receive medical care, schooling, government assistant, voting rights, etc., etc. Israel is a democratic nation with free elections, and they have a moral and legal code they live by. Now, let's ltake a look inside another country like Iran...oh wait, we can't...because they don't allow free media in their country, and if we show up, we'll be put in jail indefinitely and tried as a spy! And let's not even begin to talk about women's rights in the Middl East.

      June 1, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
    • Marcus

      @Steve – if you understood Carl's intent, he was simply explaining the ignorance of the previous poster. although he's only mentioned Israel, there's a whole lot of other reasons as to why so many people around the world say 'death to America' or other similar phrases that condemn America.

      June 7, 2010 at 9:02 am |
  14. David

    Stephen Prothero, you do realize muslim extremists were responsible for this tragedy don;t you? What in your right mind can you be thinking to propose any type of memorial except to honor and remember the people that died there. You seriously insult me. Why dont you get a islamic memorial at your deat sight and not propose your wishes on those that dont agree with you. It seems egotistical and inflammatory to propose an islamic memorial at ground zero. Let's move on to a world where people like you can keep their mouths shut and let more intelligent, sensitice and cultarally aware of what took place make the decisions and why dont you go write a children's book with some hymns in it.

    May 31, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
    • Abd al-Latif

      Do you really think you are more intelligent than Prothero? So far you have only displayed your ignorance, along with 90% of the other commenting rednecks here.

      June 1, 2010 at 10:17 am |
    • stephen douglas

      Abd al-Latif...you are more ignorant than 90% of the posters here. To say Muhammad never killed anyone is so incredibly dumb it defies logic. You are obviously one of the brainwashed, submissive fools promulgating this bogus religion. You cannot think for yourself because you have been reading and reciting that crud in the "holy" Quaran, which is nothing more than a ripoff of the Christian bible by a person who was run out of his own hometown for extremist beliefs. He went on to robbing caravans – although he never killed anyone, according to you – and eventually put together a small army that began "converting" towns everywhere they went – although he never killed anyone, according to you – and although history has recorded the beheadings that occured everywhere he went, he never killed anyone, just converted everyone. Hmmm, traveled with an army, was a robber, saw lots of beheadings but did not do any of them according to you, run out of his home, converted people everwhere he went but never killed anyone. Riiiiiight.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
    • stephen douglas

      Abd al-Latif...I forgot to mention, I have read the Quaran cover to cover, bookmarked passages in it, and reread them, along with the Haddith. Since I have been offered "the book" and have rejected it, I am marked for special punishment as an unbeliever. I also read the bible and did the same thing. So, I am not a scholar, but I am somewhat educated on the subject, and Islam is an intolerant, violent, vengeful cult – I don't consider it a religioin – and eventually more people will realize this, possiblly even Mr. Prothero – although that may be a stretch.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
    • Marcus

      oh yes, because with all your insults on Islam – Stephen – Christianity was not a ripoff of any other religion or comprised of other religious ideas!

      June 7, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  15. G. Gerhard

    We should consider ourselves at war with extremism and violence. The religious moderates of all faiths should be viewed as our partners, and as such they are often terrorized by the extremists. We need to give them a voice, and for the moderate Muslims this would be in a mosque. Allowing a mosque to be built at ground zero would indicate to the world that America is NOT at war with moderate Muslims, and is truly a secular state. We need to lead by example, and sometimes this is painful and controversial. What better way to help countries like Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Israel see the necessity of separating church and state?

    May 31, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
    • Sirreal

      I could agree with this if only the moderate Muslim would grow a vocal chord.

      June 1, 2010 at 9:56 am |
    • Abd al-Latif

      You'd be surprised how many of us have vocal cords...I am "moderate," I guess, but that doesn't mean I will be silent while my country kills and dispossesses my brothers and sisters in other lands.

      June 1, 2010 at 10:15 am |
    • Steve Johnson

      @ Abd al-Latif, the Muslims were out in full force in the tens of the thousands to protest the "Draw Mohammed Day" cartoons in May and Isreal yesterday about the floatilla incident (before even the facts were availabe). Where were the protesters the other week when dozens and dozens of Muslims were killed by extremists In Iraq, Afghanistan, or Pakistan? Where are the protests when Muslims kill, maim, and terrorize daily in the name of Islam? We see Muslims know how to rally around a cause...so why aren't your people rallying against Muslims committing these crimes in the name of your faith? If you all came out every day against extremism like you come out to defend your Prophet and to rally against Israel, then you would show the extremists they are not welcome. As far as I can see, they are not only welcome, but supported by the majority of the people. Hopefully you can prove me wrong some day.

      June 1, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
    • Marcus

      Muslims in the middle-east against extremist either
      do protest but are unheard of outside where they protest because of individual media bias in other countries
      or fear protesting out of the threats extremists have made

      Muslims in the US also protest, but in other methods. Actions speak louder than words, and the voice of moderate Muslims are trying to speak out by building this Mosque in commemoration for all victims of 9/11 irregardless whether they be Muslims or not. By building the Mosque near Ground Zero and not on it is also an action against the events of 9/11 and all other extremist activity. By then allowing the Mosque to be built would be an act, in New York and by Americans, of accepting moderate Muslims and removing our ignorant associations between Islam and terrorism. The Mosque would represent, for America, another step in the war against terror, whilst its denial would be another step in the war against Islam. If you agree on the latter then I have nothing to say, for it would be a waste of time to argue against ignorant hypocrites who have in previous statements condemned Nazi ideals.

      June 7, 2010 at 8:52 am |
  16. Bob

    No, there should not be a mosque at ground zero. Is the US at war with Islam? Well, they damned sure declared war on us!!!!!!!!

    May 31, 2010 at 11:37 am |
    • Abd al-Latif

      America declared war on Islam first. They sponsored the Hosni Mubarak dictatorship in Egypt (30 years and counting), the Suharto dictatorship in Indonesia (30 years), and many others; they sponsored Saddam Hussein's dictatorship, and instigated his war with Iran; they falsely accuse Iran of developing nukes, even though Israel already has them and Israel is historically a far more aggressive and dangerous country; and finally they sponsor Israel's aggression toward the Palestinians and are the only fig leaf that keeps the U.N. security council from preventing Israeli land-grabs which are against international law. And that's just the Muslim countries...don't forget Panama, Grenada, Vietnam, the list goes on and on.

      June 1, 2010 at 10:14 am |
    • Kraznodar

      Bob, you need to learn a little USA history. What is the only nation in history to use nukes in a war? What is the only country in the world that has used nukes, chemical and biological weapons? Which nation has destroyed the most other nations in the last 500 years?

      When the USA is sinless then we can pass judgment in such a silly manner. Till then you just look very ignorant.

      June 1, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
    • Steve Johnson

      We could back to the beginning of time to determine "who started it first", but what's the point in that? The point is now that Muslim extremists (which is a large amount of Muslims) are dominating the scene in the middle east. The majority of Muslims may not be terrorists, but they are absolutely silent when it comes to the extresmists who kill in the name of Islam. The majority of Muslims are appeasers and in many ways, just as bad. If this was a new mosque to represent a new side of a more peaceful Islam, I'd say go for it, but this is the old, hateful Islam. And please, stop blaming Isreal for every little issue you have, because while Israel is not perfect, they're a heck of a lot more moral and democratic to any other country in the middle east.

      June 1, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
    • Kraznodar

      Sorry, I missed part of a sentence there; The USA has tested nukes, chemical and biological weapons on it's own service people.

      June 1, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
    • sensible1

      When you put religion before country and look at everything through the prism of religion, you will never have strong feelings for the country you live in. Folks like abd-al-latif make such comments here and wonder what the fuss is all about and why everyone else has something negative to say about islam/muslims. What the united states/israel and others do worldwide, whether good or bad, are political issues. Nothing wrong with pointing such things out and criticizing; but when you begin taking sides purely on the basis of religion and ignore the fact that you live in this country as well; its logical for others to assume the worst. Just bcos i'm a catholic, living in the US, doesn't mean i have anything to do with the war that went on in ireland for many years between catholics and protestants. You want to be a devout muslim, by all means. But when you make statements to the effect that you want a mosque built near ground zero at all costs and the rest of us just have to deal with it, what you're implying is that it's all about you, your community and your religion and what the rest of the country/community feels about this is irrelevant. That's the reason why people are riled up about this. What the Bible says on pg5 and what the quran says on pg7 isn't the discussion here. It isn't as simple as 'you own the land so you can build whatever you like'. Sometimes the greater-good has to take precedence. On this particular issue, put your religion on the back-burner.

      June 1, 2010 at 9:47 pm |
    • Umme Omar

      @Bob, Muslims did not declare war on USA. Terrorists declared war on USA. Terrorists do not have religion. Muslims all over the world condemn 9/11 terrorist attacks.

      June 1, 2010 at 10:46 pm |
  17. Rlobert Ferdinand

    Let us imagine that a group of German WWII veterans- soldiers who served their country, ignorant or poopsed to Nazim- were to propose building a 'cultural center' in Jerusalem. Suppse that this project were sponsored by a group called The Berchtesgaden Initiative, whose misssion statement included promoting understanding between Germans and Israelis.
    How much rationalization would be needed to remove stench of accidental but unfortunate extreme bad taste of this idea?

    "Cultural insensitivity dressed in accidental but extreme bad taste" is the kindest spin one can put on this mosque project.

    May 31, 2010 at 10:07 am |
    • Kenneth Jensen

      Free speech is a pluralistic idea from a philosophical viewpoint, which is often forced upon society in an absolutistic way, as though it were the only truth. Can we really have a world without boundaries at all levels of existence? Absolutism has its difficulties without a doubt; but isn't the new pluralism that is being peddled like a religion just another form of absolutism in disguise? Freedom: yes. But, with some appropriate boundaries. You can't explode the Trade Towers in the name of Islam and expect every American to "get the Idea" of freedom. That discussion should occur somewhere else.than at Ground Zero. This "missionary pluralism" has already deeply polarized the American society. Those who push this brand of confining freedom need to rethink their absolutistic approach in the name of their own compromised philosophy.

      May 31, 2010 at 1:04 pm |
    • lynnellen

      Well said !!!!!

      May 31, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
    • Carl

      The problem with your comparison is that the majority of German soldiers fought on behalf of Hitler's Nazi ideals–taking over Europe through violence and war, white ethnic supremacy, etc.

      A majority of Muslims has NEVER supported terrorism. Terrorists are a small minority of extremists.

      A more apt comparison would be building a Catholic church near an elementary school. If a person associates Islam with terrorism committed by extremists, he should also associate Christianity with pedopheilia committed by priests.

      June 1, 2010 at 10:58 am |
    • Joe

      "If a person associates Islam with terrorism committed by extremists, he should also associate Christianity with pedopheilia committed by priests."

      Anyone with a fully functioning brain does.

      June 1, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
    • Steve Johnson

      @ Carl, the majority of Muslims may not be terrorists, but they are silent when it comes to those committing it in the name of their faith. Did you see how Muslims came out in the tens of thousands to protest the "Draw Mohammed Day" and how many tens of thousands came out on Monday to protest Israel's incident overseas (before the facts were even made available)? When was the last time you saw people of the Muslim faith march out in force like that against extremism used in the name of Islam or the daily killings of fellow Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Pakistan? Bottlom, they don't. They're appeasers. If a mosque was being built to represent the new, more moderate and peaceful face of the Islamic faith, I would say go for it, because it would be a slap in the face to the extremists. However, the Islam of today is no different than the Islam before 9/11. There is almost zero condemnation of the extremists, and extremists are continuing to send their message through schools, religious insitutions, and the media. Bottle line...this is the old Islam, and they are just as hateful and vicious as ever. This is a very sad thing.

      June 1, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
    • omdusa

      Yes, cultural insensitivity. You mean like yours.

      June 1, 2010 at 7:56 pm |
  18. Sailor1031

    Although muslims are able to build a mosque at ground zero, one would hope they would have sufficient sensitivity not to do so. However they do not seem to have such sensitivity. As usual the islamists are totally oblivious to anything but their own agenda, which unfortunately is culturally at odds with the rest of the USA. One cannot help but think that this project is merely an opportunity to rub the american nose in the dirt and is valued as such by the imams.

    May 31, 2010 at 9:36 am |
    • Billy

      What they have done is to build a monument to what they did. It absolutely should not have been allowed. Kinda like America putting a monument of the American Soldier in downtown Hiroshima after WWII. Just plain inapproproate!!!

      June 1, 2010 at 3:43 am |
    • Ali

      What amazes me, is that you are not aware that there were MUSLIMS that died on the WTC, infact there was a MOSQUE in the WTC, i have friends that are muslims that died in the WTC, so what are you talking about? From what i understand the proposed mosque is a few blocks away, the fact that there was a mosque and that muslims were killed in this act of violence calls for true rememberance to have a mosque on the site it's self to remember those muslims who were killed in the towers, who might have been in prayer at the mosque. Also a question that one might ask, why is it almost 10 years now, and the government still has not released the videos they confescated right after 9-11 in DC? might it be because we were lied to and this is evidence to proove it?

      June 1, 2010 at 8:19 am |
    • Mike in NYC

      Ali – – why is it almost 10 years now, and the government still has not released the videos they confescated right after 9-11 in DC? might it be because we were lied to and this is evidence to proove it?

      C'mon Ali, get over the conspiracy theory. I can guarantee you that if Obama had ANY evidence that Bush (or his people) were IN on, or in any way knew in adavance of, the 9/11 attacks they'd be released in a heartbeat. There is one thing for certain with Obama – he LOVES blaming EVERYTHING on Bush. He's even blaming the current drilling disaster on Bush so if 9/11 could be Bush's fault ... it would be ... AND it would give him the perfect excuse to pull all of our Troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan (which is what he promised to have done during his first year).

      June 1, 2010 at 9:35 am |
    • Abd al-Latif

      Why should we not build a mosque at "Ground Zero"? What is offensive about it? There is nothing offensive about worshiping God. We are who we are, we live here, and there is nothing you'll ever be able to do about it. So keep whining.

      June 1, 2010 at 10:10 am |
    • Carl

      There were terrorists who attacked the WTC on 9/11, and they were Muslims. However, the vast majority of Muslims do not support terrorism.
      There have been many Catholic priests who abused children. However, the vast majority of Christians do not support pedopheila.

      If it's inappropriate to build a mosque near the WTC site, then it should be equally inappropriate and tasteless to build a Church near a school that educates children.

      June 1, 2010 at 10:52 am |
    • Mike in NYC

      Abd al-Latif and Carl – I would have far less of an issue with Islam if I heard a loud cry from muslims around the world condemning what the extremists have done (both before and after 9/11). Unfortunately all I hear is deafening silence. At least the Catholic church gives lip services that they're trying to stop pedophile priests.

      June 1, 2010 at 12:40 pm |
    • Ali

      Mike in NYC,
      It has nothing to do with conspiracy theory, we know for a fact that the governement confiscated the videos, my question is simple why is it not being released? it is plain and simple if these videos do not show anything why are they not made public.

      as for obama blaming bush, that is only expected, even today if you are working and someone in your group were to leave it would be invariable that what ever problem happens that person would carry the blame even though it might be your direct responsiblility that is human nature.

      i am not saying that the american governement attaked america, but the fact of the matter is there are many things that do not make sense that occured on this date that does not make sense.

      for instance tower 7 which only had fires that supposedly fell from the other buildings and was not attacked with a plane still fell, tell me what caused this building to fall, we hear the owner saying they "pull it" meaning it was brought down intentionally but lets say he misspoke, what brought down this building? muslims just got the blame but the truth is still hidden.

      June 1, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
    • Ali

      Mike in NYC,
      as for condemnation by muslims of the "suspected" attackers of the towers, muslims are not to condem someone on hearsay, as a muslim if i were to bear false withness against someone i should be killed because i would be a plague to society. so as muslims we are not to accuse someone just because the assumption is made that they did the crime.

      and as i pointed out in my last post to you there is alot of missing facts that are not explained to justify that this was a strictly alqeeda attack or even if they were truly invovled. there are many plane crashes we know about from planes flying into mountains and to forests, we were able to atleast get a burnt suitcase in these wreckage, yet we are not able to get that from a plane that flew into the pentagon, the most secure building in the world and this plane that is basically made of aluminium breaks not one wall in the most secure building but multiple walls. call me a conspiracy theorist if you like to me an aluminum plan breaking multiple walls on the most secure builiding in the world sounds like a conspiracy.

      June 1, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
    • Steve Johnson

      The people who would like to build the mosque are the same ones who before 9/11 and afterward remained silent in condemning the extremism. Everyone: did you see how Muslims came out in the tens of thousands to protest the "Draw Mohammed Day" and how many tens of thousands came out on Monday to protest Israel's incident overseas (before the facts were even made available)? So I ask when was the last time you saw people of the Muslim faith march out in force like that against extremism used in the name of Islam or the daily killings of fellow Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Pakistan? Bottlom line, they don't. They're appeasers. If a mosque was being built to represent the new, more moderate and peaceful face of the Islamic faith, I would say go for it, because it would be a slap in the face to the extremists. However, the Islam of today is no different than the Islam before 9/11. There is almost zero condemnation of the extremists, and extremists are continuing to send their message through schools, religious insitutions, and the media. Bottle line...this is the old Islam, and they are just as hateful and vicious as ever. This is a very sad thing. Very sad

      June 1, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
    • Steve Johnson

      The Muslims were out in full force in the tens of the thousands to protest the "Draw Mohammed Day" cartoons in May and Isreal yesterday about the floatilla incident (before even the facts were availabe). Where were the protesters the other week when dozens and dozens of Muslims were killed by extremists In Iraq, Afghanistan, or Pakistan? Where are the protests when Muslims kill, maim, and terrorize daily in the name of Islam? We see Muslims know how to rally around a cause...so why aren't your people rallying against Muslims committing these crimes in the name of your faith? If you all came out every day against extremism like you come out to defend your Prophet and to rally against Israel, then you would show the extremists they are not welcome. As far as I can see, they are not only welcome, but supported by the majority of the people. Hopefully they can prove me wrong some day.

      June 1, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
    • mobadthangood

      I agree with Billy. Just like during the war with the Japenese. NOT ALL Japanese were out to destroy the U.S.
      Not all Muslims were out to destroy. But the ones that aren't have to suffer the consequences that the extremists do.
      I just like a group of kids. The group suffers because of what a few bad ones in the group do.

      June 7, 2010 at 1:38 pm |
  19. Sam Rather

    reality's comment shows the same misunderstanding of the Holy books as the terrorists around the world. All holy books' words can be misconstrued and used by insane minds. It will need those os us with supposed rational intellect between our ears to keep things sane and real. We are all in this together.

    May 31, 2010 at 7:20 am |
    • Legion

      Sam Rathers comments show the self delusion of the modern religious. Picking a choosing which teaching to follow.. supposed rational intellect indeed.

      May 31, 2010 at 12:01 pm |
    • Sirreal

      Sam, how do you "misinterpret" the New Testament? Where in there does it say that all others are infidels and should not be trusted much less killed?

      Your statement oozes philosophy and amounts to "if you only understood what you read, you would see it differently". Sadly, this isn't the case for the Koran. It doesn't matter what the Koran or the Bible have to say, humans need to stop hating, purging and killing each other. End of story.

      June 1, 2010 at 9:54 am |
    • Abd al-Latif

      Sirreal: Have you ever read the New Testament? In the book of Luke Jesus says "If I have enemies, bring them here and slay them before me."

      June 1, 2010 at 10:05 am |
    • Carl

      Christianity support slavery (Ephesians 6:5).
      The God of Christianity ordered his followers to murder non-believers (Deuteronomy 13).
      Many Christian priests in the Catholic church have been found guilty of child sxeual abuse.

      If you believe Islam supports terrorism, you have to admit that Christianity supports slavery, murder, and pedopheila.

      If you're willing to open your mind, and accept that Christians have an explanation why they don't have to obey these Bible verses endorsing slavery or murder, and accept that the vast majority of Christians don't support this abuse by priests, then you should also open your mind and accept that the vast majority of Muslims don't support terrorism.

      June 1, 2010 at 10:46 am |
    • Mike in NYC

      Sorry Carl but that's not what Deuteronomy says. Deuteronomy 13 specifically deals with a false prophet turning believers away from G-d. It says that any such false PROPHET should be put to death by those who he turns from G-d. It doesn't say that non believers should be murdered.

      As for pedophelia – there is NOTHING in the Bible that condones it. Just because some priests may be bad doesn't mean that the Holy Bible says its okay to abuse children.

      June 1, 2010 at 12:50 pm |
    • Nanme41

      To Abd al-Latif – Quote "In the book of Luke Jesus says "If I have enemies, bring them here and slay them before me." This was from a parable that Jesus was telling. It was the parable of the King who gave each of his servants money. The King was upset that the servant who was given a gift did not make a return on the money. Lets just get this straight, Jesus DID NOT SAY this statement. It was the KING making a statement within the parable. Let me guess, you could not find a quote that Jesus condems killing so you take this quote and distort it so it sounds like Jesus did?

      June 1, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
    • Chris

      In response to the poster quoting Jesus in Luke: OK, that sounded outlandish, so I looked it up. Did you neglect to mention that Jesus was telling a story about another man, and that line was spoken by that man during his telling of the story? Or did you just intentionally leave that part out?

      June 1, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
    • Steve Johnson

      @ Carl, you're missing the whole point. It's not the worlds in our holy text that are important, but it's how people act on and interpret them. Christians have become far more moderate than they have been in the past. And I can safely say the majority act in good faith. The people of the Muslim faith, however, are living in the dark ages when it comes to interpreting and acting on their religious texts. They take literally the interpretation of an interpretation of an intrepreation. Silly!

      June 1, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
    • Reality

      Luke 19:(11)12-24,27 is a parable. It was a nobleman's utterance not that of Jesus.

      /19:11/ (As they were listening to this, he went on to tell a parable, because he was near Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately.) /12/ So he said, "A nobleman went to a distant country to get royal power for himself and then return. /13/ He summoned ten of his slaves, and gave them ten pounds, and said to them, 'Do business with these until I come back.' /14/ But the citizens of his country hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, 'We do not want this man to rule over us.' /15/ When he returned, having received royal power, he ordered these slaves, to whom he had given the money, to be summoned so that he might find out what they had gained by trading. /16/ The first came forward and said, 'Lord, your pound has made ten more pounds.' /17/ He said to him, 'Well done, good slave! Because you have been trustworthy in a very small thing, take charge of ten cities.' /18/ Then the second came, saying, 'Lord, your pound has made five pounds.' /19/ He said to him, 'And you, rule over five cities.' /20/ Then the other came, saying, 'Lord, here is your pound. I wrapped it up in a piece of cloth, /21/ for I was afraid of you, because you are a harsh man; you take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.' /22/ He said to him, 'I will judge you by your own words, you wicked slave! You knew, did you, that I was a harsh man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? /23/ Why then did you not put my money into the bank? Then when I returned, I could have collected it with interest.' /24/ He said to the bystanders, 'Take the pound from him and give it to the one who has ten pounds.' /27/ But as for these enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them–bring them here and slaughter them in my presence.'"

      June 1, 2010 at 11:12 pm |
    • susan

      I just finished reading Infidel by Ayann Hirsi Ali. Her conclusions, based on experience, not speculation, are hard to ignore. Any religion that promotes genital mutilation, wife beating, honor killings and death to "infidels" does not deserve to be anywhere near ground O.

      June 2, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
    • RememberAmericaGr8

      If we are all in it together, then why don't you want to stop their Insane radicals from tearing down America. "It would be easier to think of Islam as a religion of peace if Moslems would just stop killing so many people in the name of Islam - and quoting the Koran while doing it." ~Act! For America

      June 3, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
    • jcrayomm

      Infidel is a horrible book if you want to learn about Islam. Mainly because Islam is against everything she hates about it. Female genital mutilation is strongly condemned in Islam. Beating your wife is condemned, please dot give me the verse which claims it is because this is translated wrong and doesn't give justification to beat your wife. Honor killing are also condemned in Islam. As is killing innocent people whether they are believers or not. Jihad ONLY applies to military targets and only if some one is invading your country or forcefully preventing you from freely practicing your religion. Islam is against all forms of oppression whether the oppressed are Muslims, Christians, Jews, or anyone else. During the middle ages Islamic areas is where science, philosophy, and the arts flourished. As middle eastern countries have moved away from Islam they have reverted to the backward ways of the Arabic culture prior to Islam but still unfortunately calling it Islam.

      June 6, 2010 at 9:20 pm |
  20. Reality

    Delete all references in the koran that dictate Muslim male domination of females and the world by any means and death to all infidels and then we can talk about mosques in Manhatten. Until then no male Muslims can be trusted anywhere on planet Earth!!!!!!

    May 31, 2010 at 6:09 am |
    • lynnellen

      You are 100% right !! It is interesting how anyone who does not agree is called racist, uneducated, intolerant etc.. Lets send these people to live in a Muslim country for a year or so and let them try to openly practice another religion, if women, dress and act as they would here, have the same jobs as here in the U.S. Oh wait, that is not allowed, you must respect and OBEY their culture and laws or face severe consequences. ie beatings, torture, jail ,beheading. Anyone ready to sign on?

      May 31, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
    • Freeman

      Well. Always blame about Koran that talks about Male domination. Can you please tell that US is not a male dominated country. Yes we (america) has freedom but why so many young girls being kidnapped, rapped and murdered. Where the religion comes into the play here.

      May 31, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
    • Wolly

      I usually don't comment on posts like this one, but I can't help wonder if you've ever even picked up a Koran and read it. I do NOT mean read "verses" that are supposedly pulled from the Koran on anti-Islamic websites, but actually going to the original text and reading it for yourself. People need to stop being satisfied with being hand-fed information by the media, and instead take some effort to learn about it yourself.

      Culture and religion in Islam are unfortunately very intertwined, and thus get very confused. True Islam does NOT condone violence against women; if you think this is an outrageous statement, look to the Koran and see how many time it talks about being kind to your mother, your wife, your daughter. Certain countries and cultures around the world who claim to have a "Muslim" government are a far cry from what Islam really is, and that gives a really bad name to the religion. Yes, oppression against women is a huge problem in a lot of Muslim countries and needs to be addressed. But don't ascribe that to the teachings of Islam, it is the culture and society that is the problem.

      June 1, 2010 at 1:08 am |
    • tigerjoe

      I agree 100%.......before they build the mosque they should denounce radical islam maybe even have a statement to that effect inscribed above the enterance on the front of the building.......surely that would "prove" thier intent!

      June 1, 2010 at 9:18 am |
    • Sirreal

      So true. As long as the true Muslim believers continue to allow their faith to be blended with cutlure or with some government sponsored Islamic Idealism, then we will contine to have these kinds of objections. When this religion can get over the public hatred it has with the West and Christianity, then maybe there will be some form of acceptance and peace. As long as Muslim trolls on this site continue to point at Israel and US support of it or the crusades from 100's of years ago or any of the other causes they continue to push, then individuals like myself and others in the Tea Party will oppose Mosques in NY at ground zero.

      If there really are millions of peace loving Muslims out there, please will someone point at them for me? If they exist, shouldn't they stand up and say so? Perhaps their collective voices will drown out the Al Qaeda/Taliban rhetoric we constantly here about in the news.

      Please Muslims, contain your own membership and reign in the loose cannons. I could live with you on this planet as long as you stop trying to kill me for being an infidel. But make no mistake, you phuc with this infidel and it might cost you your life. I have a terrorist hunting permit that does not expire.

      June 1, 2010 at 9:49 am |
    • Abd al-Latif

      To what verses are you referring? Islam gave women many specific rights, unlike Christianity, Judaism, or for that matter, Greek democracy or Roman republicanism. Islam was the best thing that ever happened to women–before Islam, in that part of the world, they counted for zero and could be killed with impunity (much like Hinduism until the days of British colonial influence).

      June 1, 2010 at 10:03 am |
    • joetunon

      Wolly and ABD,

      I have read the Koran in its entirety, as well as the Bible in its entirety. It is wrong to make a blanket statement that Islam condones discrimination against women or violence against infidels, but it is equally wrong to make the claim that there are no passages that explicitly call women inferior nor call upon violence to infidels. There most certainly are, and it is dishonest to say that they are taken out of context. I too invite anyone to read it for themselves.

      I don't have any issue with a mosque near ground zero, but I do have an issue with the rhetoric that claims God to be on one's side while demonizing the other (or the equivalent atheist ignorance that says religion is the root of all evil). How long before we recognize that the days of jihads and crusades being "willed by God" are over, and that attacks like 9/11 are simply crimes against humanity and therefore against God?

      June 1, 2010 at 12:28 pm |
    • FatSean

      Oh here we go. Ever read the Bible? I have. You should too before you shoot your ignorant mouth off about unfamiliar mythology.

      June 1, 2010 at 1:35 pm |
    • Steve Johnson

      Everyone: did you see how Muslims came out in the tens of thousands to protest the "Draw Mohammed Day" and how many tens of thousands came out on Monday to protest Israel's incident overseas (before the facts were even made available)? So I ask when was the last time you saw people of the Muslim faith march out in force like that against extremism used in the name of Islam or the daily killings of fellow Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Pakistan? Bottlom, they don't. They're appeasers. If a mosque was being built to represent the new, more moderate and peaceful face of the Islamic faith, I would say go for it, because it would be a slap in the face to the extremists. However, the Islam of today is no different than the Islam before 9/11. There is almost zero condemnation of the extremists, and extremists are continuing to send their message through schools, religious insitutions, and the media. Bottle line...this is the old Islam, and they are just as hateful and vicious as ever. This is a very sad thing. Very sad.

      June 1, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
    • Gigglebot2001

      Heck, let's protest all religions that push violence and domination! Remove all passages that demand women's subservience to men from the Bible, too! And all that stuff about stoning people to death, and owning slaves, and maybe then we won't have to organize protest rallies and picket lines and try to get all those evil Christian churches closed! Barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen indeed!
      Do you have any idea how absurd you sound?

      June 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
    • omdusa

      How about deleting the references to violence in all religious texts? Or do you think the Crusades were a good idea?

      June 1, 2010 at 7:54 pm |
    • Reality Check

      I have not read the Koran. Taken at face value, I doubt it can be as violent and male dominated as the Bible.

      Historically, per capita, Islam is not as violent as Christianity. If you don't think so, read the history of the crusades and the inquisitions.

      One good point, if Muslims erupted in protest against the extremists who blasphemy against their religion by committing acts of violence in its name with the save fervor they protest the drawing of the Prophet Muhammad, the world would see them more accurately. And the extremists would be more marginalized and find recruiting more difficult.

      June 1, 2010 at 11:50 pm |
    • GH

      Let me ask this question. Why do they feel the need to put a mosque there? Is it only to agitate? There is an awful lot of empty buildings in and around that area since 9-11. Why do they feel the need to have a mosque at ground zero? Listen, I know that it is a small percentage of radical muslims that are violent, but that doesn't dimiss the fact that it was muslims that hijacked planes with innocent people in them, crashed these planes into buildings with innoccent people in them with the purpose of killing thousands of innocent people. We are constantly seeing protests and outrage in the muslim wotld over things like caricatures, yet there were no massive protests over the murder of innocent civilians. In fact, there was rejoice. Why is it we have to appease? Why can't they be a little more sympathetic to the situation? Why do we have to have a muslim voice at Ground Zero? They already spoke and that's why there is a Ground Zero.

      June 2, 2010 at 9:01 am |
    • Michael

      The Bible says woman came from Adam's rib, and many US Christians think and practice men's dominance of women. Let's not worry about the speck in other religions without recognizing the log in Christianity's own eye. Extremists can turn any religion on its head, as so-called "Muslim" extremists have done recently. It's hard for other Muslims to criticize the extremists among them, because they'll be killed for doing so. It's time for the killing and intolerance to stop worldwide, and we can start by setting a good example and doing so ourselves.

      June 2, 2010 at 11:46 am |
    • jackw

      i'm still waiting to hear a true outcry from the "good" muslims against the islamic extremists who are bent on the destruction of the western world. have you heard them? well, maybe they haven't had enough time.

      June 2, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
    • Shadia

      Its sad that people blame a holy book such as the Quran as the reason a few Muslims decide to go and commit crazy terroristic crimes. Its not the Quran its the person to be blamed. I am a Muslim and no many other Muslims thathave raised their voice and have taken a stand against terrorism. I never blame the Bible when someone of a Christian background goes into a Muslim owned grocery store, gas station or any Muslim owned business and kill or harrasses the owner. I never blamed war veterans or Christians when Tim Mcveigh committes a terrorist attack that killed hundreds of people. I never blamed the Torah when a Jew in Israel kills a Palestinian. I know many,many, many Muslims share this opinion. Muslims died in the 9/11 tragedy and as said by Pres. Bush, "this is not a war against Islam this is a war against "terrorist" who are trying to destro our country (Hmm maybe we should also look in our own backyard for these terrorist). Anyways this Mosque is being built for every faith to engage in issues going on in our society today by the 3 major religions and if some still think building this Mosque is "insane" well maybe you should try to open yourself to to the 99% of Muslims who represent Muslims and Islam in a good way.

      June 3, 2010 at 10:59 am |
    • Robert

      What major world religion is NOT male dominated? It's sad, but true. You could just as easily say "remove all the references demeaning women from the King James Bible...then we'll talk."

      June 3, 2010 at 12:59 pm |
    • Carl

      "Lets send these people to live in a Muslim country for a year or so and let them try to openly practice another religion, if women, dress and act as they would here, have the same jobs as here in the U.S. Oh wait, that is not allowed, you must respect and OBEY their culture and laws or face severe consequences. ie beatings, torture, jail ,beheading. Anyone ready to sign on?"

      Actually, I have close family members who are Christian have lived in majority-Muslim cultures. Not all Muslim cultures are as backwards as the extremist ones (e.g. the Taliban). Just like not all Americans are as racist and intolerant as those in the Bible Belt.

      June 3, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
    • RememberAmericaGr8

      I agree with you Reality! They are patient and calculating. They know how to word things to the media so it sounds good. But they want their law, Shariah Law, to become our law. Forget the freedoms we now have. I love the quote at the bottom of most Act For America emails..."It would be easier to think of Islam as a religion of peace if Moslems would just stop killing so many people in the name of Islam - and quoting the Koran while doing it." And I never hear or see any Muslims ACTIVELY fighting the terrorism of their extremist. Just a few leaders claiming they "denounce" terrorist acts are meaningless. Again, just the right words to say. Words without actions have little consequences. Besides they have the religious freedom here to build Mosques. Just don't do it at Ground Zero!!! It would be a symbol of success to radical Islam.

      June 3, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
    • No Mosque

      Mohamed is a false prophet. All who follow his lies are interested in one thing, spreading the false prophets lies and ruling the earth. No mosque should be allowed anywhere in the US as these people are avowed enemies – from their own perspective.

      June 3, 2010 at 8:29 pm |
    • solo

      Muslims are not afraid of bible, in Lebanon and in UAE (dubai) and other countries there are millions of christiains that live with the muslims, I am a muslim woman, I never felt dominated, it iis ignorance that spreads among people like you and muslims that don,t know their Quran well to stand up for their rights as spelled in the Quran. It is the occupation of the middle east by european countries that spread ignorance and pushed women out of scholarly circles that they forgot/and are not aware of their rights – result is dominance by males, just the same as in the us. when women became aware they rose to the challenge and as muslim womwn become more knowledgable of their holy book and the traditions of their Prophet they will rise again and be a strong building unit in society.

      June 3, 2010 at 11:31 pm |
    • The Truth

      Wow Reality huh? How about you educate yourself on topics before you speak, and not based your information on what you see through the media and then you might get a real dose of reality.

      June 4, 2010 at 9:10 am |
    • Justin Asken

      Really, Mr. Prothero, you believe there are millions of Muslims out there ready to denounce the attacks of 9/11? So where have they been for the last 8 and a half years? In this land of free speech and in this time of internet-enabled speech where are the voices of the Muslims of whom you speak?

      When self-proclaimed Christians commit criminal violence the outcry and condemnation from Christian leaders is immediate and broadly-based. For example, the shooting of the abortion provider in Wichita was widely and unambiguously condemned by myriad Christian leaders from denominations covering the spectrum.

      The moderate Muslims (however many exist) would do the image and credibility of their faith a great deal of service by coming out in big numbers now (not waiting for construction of the 9/11 memorial) and condemning in no uncertain terms the slaughter of innocent life at the World Trade Center and elsewhere in the name of Islam, so that those of us on the outside of their religion have something to see besides the three versions of so-called and authentic Muslims currently available for viewing: the violent jihadists, the silent, and those that keep denying anything negative about Islam but stop short of condemning the violent jihadists. As to those that have remained silent, why? Are they afraid? Are they supportive of the jihadists? Both? Some other motivation? Why don't they speak out? It would be helpful to our understanding, and therefore our appreciation of them, to hear from them.

      June 4, 2010 at 7:54 pm |
    • Charles

      The Muslim religion is based on symbolism. To let them build on ground zero is monumental for them. It is a statement, "Not only did we destroy your building that is symbolic of American finance, we then built a symbol of our religion on the site" They want a mosque, build it elsewhere.

      June 5, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
    • dreaming of peace

      In here the column says that the mosque should be bombed... BUT wouldn't that mean the they are terrorist or extremist as well?

      June 5, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
    • shakenbake

      Islam is not an Abrahamic religion; all references from those naive dablers in religion need to reassess. For those of us that are actually educated on religion, we know that Islam began as a political power play (if you will) by the founder. It is well known that, if you read the Koran and the Torah, you will notice that both are the 'rules' – the Koran is very similar to the Torah – basically expaning the rules to make it the founders 'own' – this is all the Koran is – just a download of rules. Islam is not a religion until all of the other books of Islam on 'the way' (in Christianity this is the righteous Jesus and his interpretation of God's will) – such that Islam's actual 'doings' are human interpretation of the download of rules – a big difference from Christianity. There are also Paganistic traits in the Koran – whereby, other religions practice paganistic traits, but they aren't in their 'books.' The reason for this is the founder wanted the Paganists on the arabian peninsula to follow by relating, then expanding. Remember, communication back then was not email, so it move very very slow. Notice in the Koran, you have Paganistic 'ways' at the begninning, then more 'rules' toward the middle, then it touches on Christianity toward the end – why you ask? Very simple – the book was written based on knowledge of what other populist religious commuincations and understanding reached the authors.

      Now, for those that say the crusades were not good – no of course not – but guess what, when a human (the pope in this case) hears that people from his religion are being killed for not converting (door to door, town to town), what would you do? Now I ask you this, who started the crusades? I think your answer is different after all of these years.

      June 5, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
    • Coolface

      I want a McDonalds next to ground zero. That way I can have me an order of freedom fries whilst I ride upon the back of my Arab slave down the block. Arab slaves are the perfect alternative to oil you know, once were done invading the middle east you should all get one.

      June 6, 2010 at 12:10 pm |
    • Dl

      This is nothing but another ploy to continue the foothold here. For everyone that defends this, just let me ask one very simple question..."when have you EVER seen a muslim step forward and voice support for this country?" Just give me one example. I mean I've seen thousands of them dancing in the street, burning our flag but when have they ever sided with the US and voiced that opinion in public? They are doing here just as they have in Europe, when those countries try to resist their leaders are murdered so just remember what you are really asking for.

      June 6, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
    • Toby Kent

      Building a mosque at Ground Zero is as stupid and disgusting as erecting a statue of Adolph Hitler at Normandy.

      June 6, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
    • learnyourfacts

      this is a reply to lynnellen who is obviously an ignorant person. First of all you should make sure of what your saying before your say it. Most of waht you cal " Muslim" countries have more than one religion just like America is a "christian" country because most of its population is Christian. The same goes with the "Muslim" countries your referring to. Now people who refer to the koran since you know so much about it you should know that there is a whole part in their that talks about freedom of religion. Also people who think that the koran says that men dominate the world should read more into it because as i recall Islam is what gave freedom to women. You people are just ignorant and refuse to listen or learn about that facts and take stereotypes into consideration so yes lynnellen that does make you racist because you are discriminating against a certain religion.

      June 6, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
    • tootmonkey

      They are showing an obvious lack of taste and class by choosing that site. I read that they are saying it's a "community center" with a pool. Does that mean that women can wear a bathing suit???? How progressive.

      June 7, 2010 at 8:40 am |
    • Aglaia

      I guess we could write a law saying a Mosque cannot be build closer than 10 blocks from he World Trade Center Location. Or maybe not closer than 20 blocks. Then I would like a law that says that after nearly 3,000 persons are killed in American that America will not exceed more that 1 million killed in revenge overseas. I think we already passed that number with death in Afghanistan and Iraq already toping that number.

      June 7, 2010 at 10:46 am |
    • Dan

      First of all know that I am a Christian; that being said, I am foremost an American and as an American I believe that all people should be allowed to express their faith in our country (via their first amendment rights). With that though process, I do not see anything wrong with building a mosque near ground zero. This, simply put, is because it is a religious institution. If it was a monument to the 9/11 terrorists I would be appalled. But there is nothing wrong with people coming together to worship, regardless of location within the United States.

      June 7, 2010 at 12:01 pm |
    • robb

      Very sad to see some of these comments saying Muslims and mosques should not be allowed anywhere in the USA. Never mind reading the Koran- start by reading the Constitution! Freedom of religion is what this country was founded on.

      June 7, 2010 at 12:16 pm |
    • Dave S

      I just find the desire to build a mosque on this site to be incredibly insensitive. There are so many other sites that present opportunity to build; why this site? Do they have the right to do so? Sure. Should they be allowed to? Can't legally stop them. But if acceptance and integration is what the builders seek, they should do the build elsewhere. If someone in your family was killed, what would you think if the family of the killer moved in next door to you. Would you want to be doing backyard picnics with them? Build the mosque somewhere else, anywhere else and the controversy goes away.

      June 7, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
    • Dave S

      reply to Aglaia:
      Try to stay on topic. We are talking about building a mosque, not about the war. Note that we are not fighting against Muslims over there, we are fighting against those who train and spread terror. If there are a million of them and they keep coming, them a million it will be. But they are not muslims, they are terrorists. Use your influence to change their philosophy of death and we will gladly end our war against them. We are an open and accepting society.

      June 7, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
    • Really think about it!

      Hi guys. I'm a young muslim boy that is against terrorism completely. I admit creating a mosque near ground zero is not the best idea but what happened to the first amendment? Of course times are different now but still. Many muslims are peace loving people that would like to protest against terrorism. However if they speak up they will be killed. Just because we're in the U.S doesn't mean we're not vulnerable. There good and bad people in all religions. I'm not trying to change your views, I'm just attempting to show the other side of the stories. Just like you I would love to see the terrorists caught and killed! Don't get me wrong? I'm not violent! It just gets me upset when I see families crying for loved ones due to idiots that are absurd! Like I said I'm just trying to give another point of view.

      June 7, 2010 at 9:43 pm |
    • Free Thinker

      And while we're at it, lets delete similar entries in the old and new testement (and believe me they are in there) and apply the same rule to jewish and christian men. Because the pure words of both these religions say the same thing.

      June 7, 2010 at 10:00 pm |
    • Joan

      It doesn't matter what the Quran says. What matters is how Muslims behave. In the absence of any moderate voices publicly condemning violence and hate, moderate Islam is theoretical. Enough political correctness. We owe it to our children and future generations to ensure that they benefit from the freedoms that we enjoy today. Building a mosque in Ground Zero is distasteful and insulting. We must stop the propagation of hate and violence taught in madrassas and mosques across the USA.

      June 7, 2010 at 11:08 pm |
    • USA2024

      JUST ONE FACT, MUSLIM WOMEN have been ELECTAED MANY times by MUSLIM MEN in MUSLIM countries to be presidents!!!!!!!! Google it!!

      How many Women presidents in USA history?? As said, knowedge is power!!!

      June 8, 2010 at 7:29 am |
    • seriously

      you have to be kidding if you actually post comments based on what you see in american media about muslim countries. EVERY single muslim country, has a good share of people that live like Americans, wear, eat, drink, and live the way americans do. They also have a fair share of people who live in dirt poor conditions. Then there are those, who actually DENOUNCE the way 'westerners' live because sorry, they don't actually care for STDs, pregnant teens, disrespect for elders, parents/teachers and religious figures. Their methods, I'll agree, are not the best, and nor are they following the terms and requirements of the Quran (i would know, I've actually read it!) You don't have to be muslim, you just have to show some respect. If they are not tolerant, neither are a whole darn lot of you.

      June 23, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.