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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on earth (at least three out of every four Americans call themselves Christians) but until the First Amendment is repealed it is also a country that guarantees religious liberty to Christians and non-Christians alike.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. Simon Templar

    Lets start Victor with kicking their Mosque idea out of here! We don't want it! the majority of the American people deplore it! Its distasteful and the very fact that they are insisting this location is a very sinister message to us all!

    This is not an issue for you? How about flying a plane into a Synagogue, flattening it to rubble and killing all occupants, and then let the pilot's buddies – 'The Muslimists' build a Mosque there. Would you still feel the same way? like BS my friend!

    Don't use Islam and Politics as parallels; they are as one, entwined for their very own selfish objectives.

    June 7, 2010 at 11:01 pm |
    • Jim

      our children, grand children, great grandchildren? You my friend are a full blown conspiracy theorist. USA is in a middle of a war in Afghanistan and is loosing its troops with no peace in sight. Then there is this oil spill and a blame game between BP and washington. Why do you want to declare a war against Islam only because they want to build this mosque? There has been enough polarization already in USA. There are as many people on our side as there are on their side. both sides claim to be loyal to USA. Muslims that I know in my area also love this country dearly. They also claim to this country as much as you do.

      June 8, 2010 at 7:16 am |
    • sanethinker

      Jim, As I mentioned earlier most of the Muslim faiths are uneducated or undereducated (madrasa trained), they are incapable of confronting modern world and its challenges. This frustration manifests itself as jihad or other preoccupation to propagate their narrow agenda. Why else they protest at trivial issues which will be mostly ignored by others across people belonging to other faith?
      "Total submission" does not mean become pawn under imam/mullah, who are furthering their political agenda across almost all of the Islamic world incl. now Turkey. There is more country left in Islamic works which can remotely claim secular by others.
      Imagine if they did change their "total submission" instead to modern technology, we would probably have more eco-friendly sustainable world with lots of development across all, instead of endlessly spending fighting against war on terror or on finite resource like oil etc.

      June 8, 2010 at 7:32 am |
    • Umme Omar

      hi i agree with Jim and obviously not so with Simon or Sanethinker. Most Muslims are ready to face the challenges of the world and they are not pawns to Imams/Mullahs. I am a living proof (although most people in this blog will wish me dead) for that. I am an IT professional from India and I work from home. My Quran teachings help me be eco friendly and progresive person.
      About Turkey, don't be so fast. The World community at large has not given a verdict on why 9 people ended up dead on a love boat and whose mistake it really was. Turkey was always Israel's ally in that region. It is a NATO and EU member country.

      There are people on East coast who do not think the way you do. Here is this website http://www.wbai.org/ you can go there. It NY 99.5 FM channel and it does not adhere to any corporates, lobbys or government.

      June 8, 2010 at 10:23 am |
    • sanethinker

      Umme Omar, Good for you, reading Koran. Everyone of us have our own books to get inspired for each day to encounter challenges, but that is not the cause for us to brow beat in public. Check the student in seminary they are made incapable to handle modern challenges, on other side they are most vocal and protest with rage at slightest sense of perceived hurt across crescent. Can you explain why???

      Also why blame others when some of these crescent countries are not capable of cleaning their own house, why accuse others of interference/occupation when others are forced to take action for common good. Why this double standard???

      June 8, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  2. Victor

    Let me start with saying that I am Jewish. Jews were massacred in Europe and exiled from Arab world. The Moftie of Jerusalem made treaty with Hitler to kill the Jewish people in Israel. So being persecuted, I strongly believe a stigma on the entire population is morally wrong and will lead to abuse and killing of innocent people and we as the educated and free people of the world should avoid it. On the other hand the extreme Islam needs to be addressed and condemn in every opportunity. In fact I do not think there is an extreme Islam but there is an extreme politic. The Arab and Muslim leaders and government are using the religious sensitivity of their people to channel and deflect the anger of their population toward a foreign enemy, the Jews, the American the infidels.

    This is not the Islam that we have to condemn; this is the governments that we have to condemn that are pushing the people to this blind hate against who ever is not Muslim. These are the government of Iran, Saudi, and now the Turkey that inflame these sentiments. Unfortunately the fear is running deep in the Muslim community and no one has the guts to come out and speak freely. Allowing them to build a masque near ground zero will not change anything. The next airplane will fly to the adjacent building and the Muslim killed in the incident all go to heaven with 72 virgins as collateral damage.

    What we need to push, is not building mosque, church or synagogue, we need to push our government to stop using oil and stop supporting these puppet government and the brutal dictators that are brain washing the mass and fostering hate just to survive.

    June 7, 2010 at 10:46 pm |
    • stephen douglas

      Victor....Islam is like a cancer.

      You can host cancer cells for years and they may never develop into anything. They stay friendly. But, frequently, the cancer begins to multiply and spread. It invades other areas of the host. Soon, systems begin to fail. Gradually, it takes over until finally, the host dies.

      If that is not clear to you, you need to buck up. The building of a mosque anywhere near ground zero is a deliberate provocation by the Islamic leadership. Yes, there are many decent, peaceful Muslims, but they are the expendable pawns for the Islamic leaders. They are the friendly cells. But they can develop into a full blown invasion. Is that what you want for your children, grandchildren, great grandchildren?

      June 7, 2010 at 11:17 pm |
    • Jim

      ask our government to stop using oil...eh? How in the name of Lord is that gonna happen? First they have to drill some oil in USA...No actually first they need to clean this mess that BP has already created.

      June 8, 2010 at 5:23 am |
  3. Simon Templar

    They hate democracy! They hate diversification! t\They hate progess and modernisation. Openly they scream and taunt with such chants as Death to the USA, Death to Americans. So many westerners working through the red cross and other humane causes have been persecuted and brutally punished. No human rights are respected and observed. The very opposite of what the USA stands for and increasing threat to our very fabric of society. They believe in one agenda, and that global domination through Islam. Zero tolerance for any other faith. Test it if you will... walk through the streets of Saudi holding a bible and I will wager that you will not be coming home!

    Allowing this ludicrous idea of building a trophy mosque near ground zero will be a complete betrayal to all that have sacrificed for the USA.

    June 7, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  4. Gary

    Jim you are so correct. Funny how folks forget how many ensalved africans and murdered native americans it took to build this great nation....probly why China and India is kicking our ass in production......Gold is blessing china with American job....Made in China BABY

    June 7, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
    • stephen douglas

      Gary, Jim....No doubt Americans have commited some atrocities. But, I don't know of anywhere in the U.S. where we are conducting a slave trade, as in Somalia and Egypt, probably in several other Islamic countries as well.

      I'm also not certain when the U.S. last raided a Native American village.

      I don't consider myself a Christian, but the fact is that Christianianity has evolved, it has kept up with the times. Islam is a 4th century ideaology with access to 21st century weaponry, and that should concern you.

      So stop making excuses, knock off the blame game. The issue right now is that a group of Muslims with an agenda is deliberately provoking a confrontation by attempting to build this mosque at ground zero. New York is a large area and there is plenty of space. Build a dozen mosques, but not at that location. It will be a shrine to the murdering cowards for many radical Muslims. They will see it as a victory of sorts.

      You, Jim, and especially the knucklehead Prothero are naive fools. You are the kind who will stand by and let the country go down the toilet instead of standing firm to save it.

      June 7, 2010 at 10:56 pm |
    • Jim

      Stephen my friend, I don't want to burst your bubble but Muslims are already an integral part of this country. I send you this link just to show that now there are many americans who are converting to Islam and its almost like the oil spill in the gulf. You just cannot get rid of them. Good news is that most of them want to live in USA peacefully. yeah don't be off guard. We have FBI on them.

      June 8, 2010 at 7:30 am |
  5. Mike Speakman

    We and all other freedom loving peoples of the world are at war with Islam. As long as there are edicts stating religion is a group decision and allowing the concept of dimmification of non-muslims, then there can be no peace with Islam. Jihad equates to crusade except it's aiming at world domination.

    June 7, 2010 at 9:33 pm |
    • Jim

      yeah we are suchfreedom loving people. We loved the free black people of Africa so much that we brought them down here and gave them protection so nobody could take their freedom away from us. We loved the free indians so much, we actually keep them safely in their conservations, so nobody can ever dare to take their freedom away from us.

      June 7, 2010 at 9:55 pm |
    • Mike Speakman

      Jim, you are one big ignoramous!

      June 8, 2010 at 12:13 am |
  6. Don Gabel

    Build it in Iran.

    June 7, 2010 at 8:34 pm |
    • Jim

      yeah but they already built so many in Iran, they dont have any space so they are building some in USA.

      June 7, 2010 at 9:57 pm |
  7. Ben Cooper

    Here's a rule of thumb for you - the lower the IQ, the more likely the person is to be Islamic. Intelligent educated people will not buy into Islam, a religion of intolerance and death. Have you ever wondered what the IQ is of al Qaeda's followers? Probably less than 100, I would say...approaching Dull Normal to Borderline Deficiency. THOSE are the people Mohammed converted. So, are you impressed? What a following, huh? And not much has changed, either, since the first converts signed on to Mohammed's delusions of power. There's a reason the word "drone" exists in the dictionary.

    June 7, 2010 at 8:06 pm |
    • Jim

      Yeah but if they are so dumb, how come they brought down the WTC towers? Why our FBI could not stop them. Why people are going to let them build this mosque. They are winning every battle here. A muslims president is in the White house. I guess our IQ is less than 50.

      June 7, 2010 at 9:49 pm |
  8. Thurston Murray

    First i would like to say that I am a strong advocate of freedom of religion. Having said that, I am allso opposed to one group trying to offend or persecute another religion. It seems to me like common sense not to sttir relegious conclict by building one relegion cllose to where a relegious war was released on 9-11. Put it there and I would think it may be torn down. Now would that do to freedom of religion. Bad judgement by Muslims in this case. Sincerely, Thurston

    June 7, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  9. Mandy

    So people are arguing over putting a mosque 2 blocks from it? It's not on the site. The site itself should become a memorial out of respect. Is it one now? Sorry, never bbeen to New York 🙁 But why would you collect signatures of Muslims against the attacks? That seems odd. Are you going to collect every other religious person against it to? The memorial should just be about the victims. I'm sure ther were Muslims in that building who died.

    June 7, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
    • stephen douglas

      Mandy....You are another one who just-does-not-get-it. The muslim leadership has an agenda, and it is to advance Islam any way they can. Go read my post just above to Seth. Then go find your own English version of the "holy" Qu'ran and read it.

      Building a mosque anywhere near ground zero is a deliberate, planned, insensitive, provocative move by the Islamic leadership. It is wrong.

      June 7, 2010 at 7:51 pm |
    • Mandy

      Every religion has those agendas. All religions tell their followers to go spread the word. I personally don't like it when any religious nut comes up to me and tries to convert me to their religion. I would say the difference is to me that the Islamic states and half of the leaders are stuck in the middle ages with certain issues: sex, gender issues, marriage, etc. Stuck in the middle ages because their leaders still affect their community, people listen to them. I don't believe Christian pastors have the same control they once did over towns adn their congregation. A lot of their basic idiologies I don't agree with, so therefore I would never become Muslim. But you need to realize that not every Muslim is a terroist.

      June 7, 2010 at 9:08 pm |
    • Jim

      Boo hoo u r such a cry baby stephen douglas.

      June 7, 2010 at 10:01 pm |
  10. JK Smalley

    The important thing to remember is Don't Become Your Enemy. The WTC was bombed because of hate and ignorance. (It had NOTHING to do with Islamic beliefs. If we are closed to opposing views and different cultures than we are no better than the people we claim to hate. Islam did not harm us; radical terrorists did.

    June 7, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
    • Jim

      JK Smalley, you may be smalley but your heart is pretty bigey. I agree with u.

      June 7, 2010 at 10:04 pm |
  11. Jack

    It is so wrong and short sighted, insensitive and immoral to build this mosque. it will just further divide the muslims from the rest of the population except for Prothro the rest of the sellouts sellouts on this site.

    June 7, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
    • Jim

      man why do u care? let moslem divide from the rest of the population. You hate them right?

      June 7, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  12. Ben Cooper

    Sorry, Mohammed was not a prophet. He was a fake. You STILL ignore the fact that there too many Jewish references contained in the Koran to believe that Mohammed has anything to do with its construction other than tamper with it. Other than Mohammed, are there any Arab names mentioned in this book? Interesting that, six centuries AFTER the gospels are written extolling Jesus, Mohammed engages in a fit of jealousy and decides to install himself instead as God's prophet among Arabs that never heard of Christ at that time. So he bandied about Jewish biblical and gospel words AS HIS OWN to fool Arabs into thinking they were his words. Go ahead and find something this guy said that was not already stated in the bible or the gospels except, as I said, to kill the infidels. Such a peace-loving guy. Go on...tell me what he had to offer that was even remotely new. You CAN'T. Because he copied established Jewish writings. He probably never even heard of Abraham until he read the bible. And in any case - and I will repeat this for you - Jesus said there would be many false prophets to follow him. Guess who that includes? Yeah, so you keep believing Mohammed is a "holy" man while intelligent people understand he was a imposter.

    June 7, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
    • Jim

      Ok even if he was a false Prophet, for arguement sake, He still managed to convert almost the whole Arab world, most parts of Asia and Africa to Islam. These Muslims have not just reached Europe and North America, they have opened many mosques, preeching centres and networks in those places. So I think may be he really was a true Prophet. let me see where you stand right now. If they claim Jesus will come back one and convert to Islam , you are in big trouble. But if he was a false Prophet, then still Jesus will forgive them because this is what Jesus does. Forgives everybody, even his so-called murderers. So it is win-win situation for them.

      June 7, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
    • Gary

      you are the exact reason I despise religion ...

      June 7, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
    • Jim

      Who you? Osama Ben Looser should make you despise relgion. He is such an extremist.

      June 7, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
    • learnyourfacts

      the point your missing is that it says that Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) IS NOT saying that the words are his. EVERYTHING in the Bible,Quran and even Torah are Gods words and Jesus, Muhammed, Mossah are all messengers of God Preaching the same teachings over and over again. So it doesn't matter which Prophet is saying it their all saying the same thing. The point your making would conclude that Christianity is fake because it is taking what Judaism said and repeating it. Please Ben make sure of what you are saying before you say it. i really do pity you and your ignorance. I also forgot to mention that you can't "install" yourself as a prophet and that it is mentioned in the bible that another prophet will come and if he is false as you claim then everything in the Quran would not be true. You need to brush up on your religion because you really are starting to look bad. Anyway hope you have a lovely evening and i hope you whichever God you believe in leads you to the truth and helps you get through your difficulties.

      June 7, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
    • Jim

      These muselims are so clever, man I hate them so much, they wanna play safe. They belleve in every Prophet that ever came to this lousy earth and they even invented one more (MO) so they can beat us all. Lets beat them in their own game. lets invent a new Prophet so we can beat them too. Ben Looser, I mean Ben Hooper are you available? I mean its your call. Can you claim Prophethood so we can beat these Moselims in their own who-believes-in-the-most-Prophets game? You seem to have so much knowledge of all the religions.

      June 7, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
    • Mandy

      @ JIm. There are Christians all over the world too. So does that prove them right? Your logic is flawed.

      June 7, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
    • stephen douglas

      Folks, you are in luck. Just last night I flew a 1964 Mustang with silver wings crosscountry to the site of the twin towers. Once there, God Almighty told me to build a church. To gain more support I am to offer a special for the new congregation: you can make a ten dollar donation for only 8.99 and get full credit, offer good through the end of the year. God also said I could have my pick of any women in New York, unlimited. You folks cannot do this, but I can. God said so. And for the record, God also told me that this time I really am the last prophet. Really.

      You do believe me, don't you?

      June 7, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
    • Jim

      stephen what r u talking aboUT? Didn't they give you a ticket for flying under the influence of drugs?

      June 7, 2010 at 10:07 pm |
    • stephen douglas

      JIM...You suggested a new prophet. You should know that Muhammed claimed he rode a winged horse to the temple mount and that is where God told him to build a mosque. I am letting you know that last night I had a similar, more modern experience, thus I am proclaiming myself the new final prophet.

      Sorry it required an explaination. Can I still be the new final prophet? Can I ?

      June 7, 2010 at 11:05 pm |
  13. Simon Templar

    This is the ultimate disrespect to all US citizens, and to all in the Western World. Piece by piece we are not only seeing our freedom witter away, but our homeland too. Islam is even fighting for law changes in our own western countries: USA and Europe. Who wants this? Do you?

    This is time, young Americans, to raise the old order and say: 'Enough!'

    June 7, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
    • Jim

      too bad, the young americans are busy texting, but their parents don't dare say 'enough'. so much for the western values

      June 7, 2010 at 10:13 pm |
  14. Alex

    Hey, let the free market decide what gets built where. Anything else would be *gasp* Big Government intervention!

    June 7, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
    • Total non sense

      islam is a disgrace to the entire human race, not just the USA. Islam represent the the summon of how low you can go.

      June 7, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  15. randy S

    I disagree whole heartedly with Stephen..This is not the place to honor muslims. It is as it appears to be which is a Mosque arising out of the rubbles of the infidels' ruin. I will volunteer to help remove any mosque which is built there. It is our duty.

    June 7, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
    • JK Smalley

      You are wrong to blame an entire religion on a few radical terrorists. That would be akin to saying all Catholics are pedophiles. And to say you would take down any muslim mosque makes you no better than the terrorists that took down the buildings. If you must hate, hate correctly, not indescriminately!

      June 7, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
    • JK Smalley

      You are wrong to blame an entire religion on a few radical terrorists. That would be akin to saying all Catholics are pedophiles. And to say you would take down any muslim mosque makes you no better than the terrorists that took down the buildings. If you must hate, hate correctly, not indiscriminately!

      June 7, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  16. Ben Cooper

    Your defense of the Koran is amazing. I just got through telling you that the Koran is nothing but a re-packaged collection of the bible and the gospels, and you spout Koranic teachings that are exactly re-stated Jewish writings far, far older than what's in the Koran. Which words in that last sentence do you not understand? So MY words are nonsense? Really? Looks as though they're right on the money. And you would be hard pressed to defend the originality of that book in court. Mohammed was a plagerer and a fake. Why can't you get that through your head? And why can't you understand that Islam is, as I said, not a peaceful religion but one that is vicious and violent. How much more evidence do you need as you bury your head in the sand...that just because you haven't hurt someone, then Islam is just great! Too many people have died at the hands of Muslims. When one hears of terrorism, no one thinks of Christians. They think of - who else? - Muslims or pyschopaths. Imagine that...here we have Jesus who told us to love thy neighbor as thyself WITHOUT saying that, in order to do that, the neighbor must first believe in Him. Now, six hundred years later (LATER), we have Mohammed! And what does he tell us? To kill anyone who doesn't think like he does. Great!

    June 7, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
    • learnyourfacts

      Ben your as good a terrorist as anyone of the people who flew the plane through the twin towers because you are blinded by false statements. I am not going to even bother answering back anything you say because you are obviously not understanding what i am saying. It's okay for you to believe what you want maybe it brings you comfort to think that Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) is bad and that everyone who follows what he says is evil but there will come a day when everyone will know the truth. I advice you to see a psychiatrist because you obviously have some unresolved issues that need to be dealt with. Also keep in mind if you did lose someone in 9-11 you weren't the only one but just as i have learned to deal with my loss you eventually will too, and that is when you will realize that what your saying is nonsense. May God help you and bless your soul.

      June 7, 2010 at 2:01 pm |
    • learnyourfacts

      Ben guess what i did a little research and guess what i found ! The Lord said to me [Moses] […] ‘I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brethren; and I will put My word in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not give heed to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him.’ […] And if you say it in your heart, ‘How may we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?’ – when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously, you need not to be afraid of him (Deut 18:15-22). Is this not from the Bible itself ?

      June 7, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
  17. Silhouette

    Seth, my friend your message is of peace, but it sounds like you are offering the other cheek. People may consider US a secular country, but the fact is that its a christian majority country. Most of the innocent peple who lsot their lives on 9/11 were of christian faith. It makes more sense to appease the majority who lost their loved ones than to appease a much smaller group who also lost their loved ones, but are blamed to be the doers of this act.
    I would agree with you to build a mosque there if the air was already cleaned up between the parties. In the current situation it will just cause more bad feelings.

    June 7, 2010 at 1:00 pm |
  18. Seth

    This shouldn't be an issue. Most of the agitators arguing against this are Christian fundamentalists themselves, the sort who feel that the US should be a fundamentalist Christian oligarchy (a view espoused by many, many tea partyists). The fight isn't between capitalism and Islam, or the US against Islam, it is civilization against religious extremism. We need not stoop to the level of the fundamentalist to defeat them, but to overcome our own base responses that fundamentalism encourages, celebrate our culture of freedom and equality, and show both ourselves and the world that we're above the petty squabbles religion encourages. A mosque in that area is a fitting monument to our national character. Let them build the mosque, and let us all rejoice in trying to heal those broken bonds as one people.

    June 7, 2010 at 12:44 pm |
    • stephen douglas

      Seth....I am no religious extremist or fundamentalist. I look at the facts as much as possible with an open mind. I've read the Qu'ran cover to cover several times and broke it out again after I started posting to this forum. I did the same with the Bible.

      My newest fact is that you don't know what the h3ll you are saying. Read below and know that only one Muslim responded to it and only to the blurb about Mohammed and his wives – not to the killing and fighting:

      I have an English version Qu'ran first printed around 1934, translated by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, 2002 version. A book first printed in 1934 and reprinted numerous times since would have had all the translation bugs worked out of it by my 2002 version I believe.

      None of this is misinterpreted:

      Throughout the Qur'an there are "revealations" tellng Muslims to kill others for different reasons.

      There is a verse that says the Prophet does not burden himself with prisoners until the people are crushed...what happens to them???

      It says "Vanquish the unbelievers who are a people without understanding"...

      "Fight and slay the pagens wherever you find them, beleaguer them, but if they repent and establish regular prayers then open the way for them" (i.e., terrorize them until they accept Islam).

      "Fight those that believe not in Allah nor the last day"...

      "Fight the pagens all together as they fight you all together"...

      "Unless you go forth in the cause of Allah He will punish you with a grievious chatisement"...

      "When we decide to destroy a population, we first send a definite order to those among them who are given the good things of this life and yet transgress, then we destroy them utterly"...

      And my favorite:
      "O Prophet we have made lawful to you your wives; and those prisoners of war whom Allah has assigned to you; the daughters of your paternal uncles and aunts, and daughters of you maternal uncles and aunts, and any believing woman who dedicates her soul to the Prophet if the Prophet wishes to wed her; this only for you, not for the Believers at large."

      Ol' Muhamed made sure he was taken care of, didn't he??

      As I said previously, Muslims are practicing a 4th century philosophy while using 21st century weaponry.

      You can say Christianity is no longer the word of God, that it has been distorted by men. But, Christians are not running around blowing themselves up; attacking wedding parties or shoppers in a market or mosque; or cutting off heads of screaming victims; or throwing acid into the faces of young ladies; etc., etc. Christianity has evolved. Islam is stuck in ancient mud.

      So, maybe Muslims need to rethink where they are with a book written by a man who claims to have flown to the temple mount on the back of a winged flying horse while getting regular messages from God. A man who was booted out of his hometown, became a cutthroat robber of caravans, and then returned to his hometown and "converted" all the people without shedding any blood because of course everyone now welcomed him back and just rolled over and allowed him to take over the town with no resistance whatsoever. Right.

      Building a mosque anywhere near ground zero is flat out wrong. People like you, Seth, are the naive, ignorant fools who will allow it. There are many good, peaceful, well meaning Muslims, but they are expendable pawns for their leadership. How you or anyone else can support this is beyond comprehension.

      June 7, 2010 at 7:13 pm |
  19. Simon Templar

    Just one simple question: Why is it so important for the muslimists to build their Mosque by Ground Zero of all places? What statement are they trying to make?

    June 7, 2010 at 12:19 pm |
  20. Eric G

    While building a Mosque 2 blocks from ground zero should not be against the law, the builders need to understand that some people will find it offensive. These families lost loved ones to a terrorist attack by people who defined themselves as muslims. Weather or not the builders of the mosque consider the terrorists "true muslims" is irrelevent. Many citizens consider it insensitive. A possible solution was posted by someone way back in this blog and I would love to get a muslim's thoughts on it...... Rather than a mosque, why not build a non-denominational worship center where Muslims, Christians and Jews can all worship together? It would be a nice gesture to promote solidarity of humanity.

    June 7, 2010 at 12:17 pm |
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About this blog

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.