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on earth (at least three out of every four Americans call themselves Christians) but until the First Amendment is repealed it is also a country that guarantees religious liberty to Christians and non-Christians alike.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

    denounce radical islam? what a joke!! the millions of muslims worldwide act duplicity in the "hijacking of their religion by terrorists" and are complicit through their mass silence.....

    TRUST NO MUSLIMS! NO MOSQUE AT GROUND ZERO! PERIOD! EVER!

    June 1, 2010 at 10:26 am |
    • Abd al-Latif

      A popular Nazi children's book was "Trust No Fox on his Green Heath, and No Jew on his Word." So you are reviving the Third Reich here in America?

      June 1, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  2. Reality

    A Muslim voice at ground zero and an ex-Muslim voice that needs to be heard:

    "Some of the Saudi women in our neighborhood were regularly beaten by their husbands. You could hear them at night. Their screams resounded across the courtyards. "No! Please! By Allah!"

    June 1, 2010 at 10:13 am |
    • Abd al-Latif

      Until very recently, wife-beating was extremely common in America. That's why we now have domestic-violence laws!! It's very common historically in all countries. I have a neighbor who beats his wife, and he's definitely not a Muslim or a Jew, he is very likely a Christian.

      June 1, 2010 at 10:40 am |
    • Reality

      A Muslim voice at ground zero and an ex-Muslim voice that needs to be heard:

      "Between October 2004 and May 2005, eleven Muslim girls were (honor) killed by their families in just two regions (there are 20 regions in Holland). After that, people stopped telling me I was exaggerating."

      June 1, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
    • stephen douglas

      Wife beating is not condoned by the bible. The "holy" Quran specifically tells how to discipline women physically. You have also mentioned Muhammad never killed anyone. Are you crazy? You don't have a clue. You grew up with this nonsense, you have been brainwashed, and you cannot think for yourself. It is an historical fact he was driven from his hometown for his radical beliefs. Furthermore, if one person is shown getting beheaded while screaming for mercy and it causes an entire nation to demand we leave the Middle East, imagine what an entire village square full of heads of men and boys would do to the people living there. Islam under Muhammad began sliding into darkness, and the conversions so often mentioned in the "holy" Quaran are due to terrorism, especially by beheading. Conversion in Islam equals terrorism. And yes, Manhatten is expensive, but the obvious intent from me was to say there was far more money that exchanged hands, over and above any normal transactions. Sorry to have to explain it to you, but the reality is that your people have probably paid a ridiculous amount to our traitors in order to secure the approval to build. As for the argument that 100 years ago, or 500 years ago, or 1000 years ago Christians were worse, GET OVER IT. This is 2010. Join the rest of the world. The "holy" Quaran was copied to a great extent by Muhammad from the bible, he never got any "revealations", and he put in plenty of additional teachings to further his own purposes.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
  3. Tarek

    To all those who claim that there are no churches in Arab countries I would like to clarify that there are a lot of churches in Egypt (where I come from) and in fact important Christian holidays are recognized as official holidays for the entire country.

    In addition, Christians are allowed to assume very high government positions. As an example consider Dr. Ghali the Egyptian minister of finance (treasury secretary).

    And after all it would be insane to start arguing that two wrongs make a right or that taking the low road somehow levels the playing field

    June 1, 2010 at 9:52 am |
    • stephen douglas

      Tarek,
      Ok, you got all of us. You found a church and a public official who is in a government position. What about Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanastan, etc.? There are very few Christians, and very few churches. And, a lot of Christians had to leave due to being targeted by Muslims, whether extremists or not, Muslims. Islam is not a religion and tolerance, unless you throw out the teachings of the murdering Muhammad. Before his rise to power, Islam was a tolerant, advanced religion. Since then, it is a religion of vengence, intolerance, and hate.

      June 1, 2010 at 10:01 am |
    • Abd al-Latif

      Tarek is right, every Muslim country except Saudi Arabia has churches. Muhammad, peace be upon him, never murdered a single person in all his life. He was a force for peace, but also for justice.

      June 1, 2010 at 10:41 am |
    • Umme Omar

      There are many churches in my country too which is a Muslim country. I did my schooling from a very prestigious Christian Missionary school. Most of my teachers were Christians. All of us loved and respected them. Quran teaches us to forgive people and respect their religions. Why did people draw our beloved Prophet's SAW's pictures and no Christian condemned it? Muslims never draw Christ's or Moses' pictures and hurl insults towards them. Why did Israel attack aid workers ysterday and why no Christian condemn it. Why USA is not criticsing Israel? why America supports Israel?

      June 1, 2010 at 11:08 pm |
    • MuddyBuddy

      There are a lot of churches in Syria, a good number in Iraq and some in Iran.

      June 2, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
    • bob

      The Copts (Christians in Egypt) are treated as second or third class people. So what, there is a church. How many Copts have been murdered lately? Muslims want all Muslim countries to stay for the most part exclusively Muslim, then go to Western countries and rant and rave about cutting off heads and demand that we can't live by our own culture and customs, that we should bend to their will, while in their home country you can be arrested for carring a Bible.

      June 4, 2010 at 8:34 am |
    • rar

      tarek these churches are in danger every day. these christians are constantlly harassed and threatened. most of them leave as soon as they are able. at any time they can be attacked and killed and nothing happens to the murderers. the other mohams cheer them on.

      June 4, 2010 at 9:55 am |
  4. wvason

    Just one more instance of "outsiders" showing their lack of understanding and concern for this country and population. I know the argument that they are citizens also but they differ from the christian founders' establishing of this nation as "under GOD".

    June 1, 2010 at 9:50 am |
    • Abd al-Latif

      Not all of the founders were Christians; the most influential and important ones were Deists who privately thought that Christianity was ridiculous. As for "under God," yes, we Muslims agree with that. We worship God too. "Allah" means "God" (literally, "The God") in Arabic.

      June 1, 2010 at 10:43 am |
    • Joe

      "under god" was added to our currency and pledge over 100 years after this nation was founded. The founding fathers did not found this country "under god". History is an amazing subject. You might try studying some of it.

      June 1, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
    • mrtinez666

      The phrase 'under God' was not added until 1954. The founding fathers had nothing to do with it. You are FOS as so many are.

      June 3, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  5. stephen douglas

    I believe a lot of money has exchanged hands in this mosque deal. A lot. As for Mr. Prothero, you are so wrong it reeks. You and others who tolerate this so called religion are the pawns who will be marched ahead of the soldiers that will come behind you and terr0rise ordinary citizens into accepting their bogus religion. I have been saying it along with many others...this mosque will be a shrine for Muslims to martyr the murderers that perpetrated this massacre. Sure, there are moderates who did not condone the attacks. But where are the Muslim leaders who will stand up and shout to the world that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated and that the words of the Quaran need to be revised and brought in line with modern ideas and thinking? They are few and far between. Some tacitly supported these attacks. Some are just scared out of their wits to speak out for fear of reprisal, which makes this such a charming religion. The mosque at ground zero or anywhtere near is wrong, wrong, wrong.

    June 1, 2010 at 9:46 am |
    • Abd al-Latif

      No Muslim will agree to "revise" the words of the Qur'an, because these are the words of God. The very suggestion is ridiculous. "Modern thinking" needs to be revised and brought in line with God's wishes. We will do that, gradually and democratically, by means of persuasion. Yes, lots of money changed hands–the land is located in Manhattan! Were you expecting to find cheap land there?

      June 1, 2010 at 10:59 am |
    • rar

      to abd allatif. mohammed was already at war and hating the christians and jews. How could he worship the same god?. Right! he invented a new one he called allah and islam He started his own religion. allah is not the god of the bible don't know who or what it is but he is not the god of abraham isaac and jacob. abd alllatif you can try to justify or twist words and phrases whatever way you like but your end and your mohammedin religion is going to come to an end people see it for what it is. false

      June 1, 2010 at 12:42 pm |
    • stephen douglas

      ABD-AL-LATIF...Wife beating is not condoned by the bible. The "holy" Quran specifically tells how to discipline women physically. You have also mentioned Muhammad never killed anyone. Are you crazy? You don't have a clue. You grew up with this nonsense, you have been brainwashed, and you cannot think for yourself. It is an historical fact he was driven from his hometown for his radical beliefs. Furthermore, if one person is shown getting beheaded while screaming for mercy and it causes an entire nation to demand we leave the Middle East, imagine what an entire village square full of heads of men and boys would do to the people living there. Islam under Muhammad began sliding into darkness, and the conversions so often mentioned in the "holy" Quaran are due to terrorism, especially by beheading. Conversion in Islam equals terrorism. And yes, Manhatten is expensive, but the obvious intent from me was to say there was far more money that exchanged hands, over and above any normal transactions. Sorry to have to explain it to you, but the reality is that your people have probably paid a ridiculous amount to our traitors in order to secure the approval to build. As for the argument that 100 years ago, or 500 years ago, or 1000 years ago Christians were worse, GET OVER IT. This is 2010. Join the rest of the world. The "holy" Quaran was copied to a great extent by Muhammad from the bible, he never got any "revealations", and he put in plenty of additional teachings to further his own purposes.

      Wife beating is not condoned by the bible. The "holy" Quran specifically tells how to discipline women physically. You have also mentioned Muhammad never killed anyone. Are you crazy? You don't have a clue. You grew up with this nonsense, you have been brainwashed, and you cannot think for yourself. It is an historical fact he was driven from his hometown for his radical beliefs. Furthermore, if one person is shown getting beheaded while screaming for mercy and it causes an entire nation to demand we leave the Middle East, imagine what an entire village square full of heads of men and boys would do to the people living there. Islam under Muhammad began sliding into darkness, and the conversions so often mentioned in the "holy" Quaran are due to terrorism, especially by beheading. Conversion in Islam equals terrorism. And yes, Manhatten is expensive, but the obvious intent from me was to say there was far more money that exchanged hands, over and above any normal transactions. Sorry to have to explain it to you, but the reality is that your people have probably paid a ridiculous amount to our traitors in order to secure the approval to build. As for the argument that 100 years ago, or 500 years ago, or 1000 years ago Christians were worse, GET OVER IT. This is 2010. Join the rest of the world. The "holy" Quaran was copied to a great extent by Muhammad from the bible, he never got any "revealations", and he put in plenty of additional teachings to further his own purposes.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
    • Mike

      rar, you're right, Mohammed did invent his own god, just like the Christians before him invented their own god, and the Romans before them invented their own gods, and the Greeks before them invented their own gods, etc. One silly religion is no more or less important and another silly religion.

      June 2, 2010 at 10:46 am |
  6. Bubba

    Require them to put a mosque in the new building so if more nutcases want to bomb it they will be bombing a mosque as well.

    June 1, 2010 at 9:15 am |
  7. Alex

    If Christians had asked to build a 13-story church, would that have been approved?

    You do NOT understand the Muslim mindset – they build religious sites on top of “conquered” sites. This is a message to the rest of the Muslim world – who understands this practice very clearly – that Islam overcame a symbol of great evil, the Twin Towers. The flag of Islam will be flying over the site where “brave martyrs” gave their lives for the sake of their faith. They are so upset if we put our symbols or have a church in their county; yet they DEMAND more freedoms here than they allow us. Start picking out fabrics for your burqa or niqab.

    Reading the Koran is just the beginning of your studies – keep reading and become very aware and concerned.

    June 1, 2010 at 9:13 am |
    • Abd al-Latif

      All religions and indeed all societies do that...have you ever studied archeology? New sites are always built on top of old ones. Anyway, you are probably referring to the Dome of the Rock mosque in Jersusalem; I doubt you can even come up with any more examples. The Jews themselves coquered the Promised Land from the Canaanites, according to their Scriptures. Meanwhile the Christians conquered it during the Crusades (temporarily). What's different about Islam? Nothing, except that Americans hate us irrationally and want to wipe us off the face of the Earth.

      June 1, 2010 at 10:34 am |
    • Mike

      "We" meaning Christians, right? I'm an American, but not a Christian. It does not bother me that Muslims want to build a mosque at "Ground Zero". Personally, I'd prefer that nor religious buildings at all could be built anywhere in the USA, but for now I'll fight for equal rights for all religions. A.) Its the right thing to do, and B.) eventually by spreading harmony and unity among various religions, hopefully you people will see how silly your religions are and join the rest of us in the modern world.

      June 2, 2010 at 10:42 am |
    • nuser

      Oh, can we not do something? It is sheer insanity.

      June 3, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  8. Susan

    I agree with the author that if we value free speech, we can't object to the right of the proponents of this mosque building it in close proximity to Ground Zero. However, I think this yet another of "can" doesn't equal "should". In other words, while I think the Muslims who support the mosque have a right to build it(assuming it is in compliance with all applicable laws, etc), I think their decision to do so exhibits a gross lack of consideration for the sensitivities of Americans and, quite frankly, is in bad taste. If they want to be accepted in the US and have Amercians truly believe that they want to be an integrated part of our society, and are not on the side of Al-Queda and other forms of radical Islam that are out to destroy or dominate the US and the West, a better gesture would have been to donate the money they would use for the grotesque behemoth they plan to build to a survivors fund or to a memorial at Ground Zero. I think it's clear that their intent at this point, despite what they say, is to rub our faces in their religion. I think the name of the proposed Mosque, the Cordoba Center (Cordoba being the city from which they sought to dominate Christian Spain), speaks volumes about their intentions and provies that all the kind and charitable intentions they verbally espouse are lies.

    June 1, 2010 at 8:42 am |
    • Abd al-Latif

      Christian missionaries have been rubbing OUR faces in THEIR religion for hundreds of years...why shouldn't we return the favor? No, seriously, I keep hearing this phrase, "rub our faces in" followed by "the dirt," "their religion," etc. WHERE is the alleged face-rubbing in all this? Do you hate Islam so much that you think Islam = murder? We are just trying to worship God, that's all. Islam has nothing to do with the so-called "9/11" (actually 11/9) hijackers. If you want to find an American muslim who supports them, good luck to you. I have never found one and I am a Muslim.

      June 1, 2010 at 10:31 am |
    • omdusa

      Think about how powerful a message this will be to the world that America is not at war with Islam. This is probably the best idea the U.S. has had since 9/10/2001.

      June 1, 2010 at 8:03 pm |
    • nuser

      They wish to taunt the victims families. Bad taste does not begin to explain it.They are rubbing our faces in their victory
      for Allah. Ask them why they wish to do this, and the answer is absolutely insulting.

      June 3, 2010 at 11:16 am |
  9. rich romanik

    until there are christian churches and other religious buildings allowed in the arab countries there should be no mosques in the usa period. also killing christians in broad daylight in those arab countries should then be targets for drones.

    June 1, 2010 at 8:21 am |
    • Abd al-Latif

      Of COURSE there are churches in Arab countries...for example you have the Copts in Egypt and the Palestinian Christians, both go back hundreds of years...then of course there is Lebanon, and on and on. Saudi Arabia is the only exception. Aside from that, the number of mosques in America is growing every day. In my little town we are using a regular house temporarily but we're collecting donations to build a real mosque. You can't stop this...we keep having kids, we keep immigrating here...Islam is the fastest-growing religion here and will continue to be so. Your children may convert to Islam, ha ha. Keep whining, we will win.

      June 1, 2010 at 10:28 am |
    • rar

      abd allatif so you have shown what the mohams are about you blew your cover spreading your false religion and taking over other countries by population we will turn your women away from you. it is a known fact that good wins out over evil and you will lose in the end the usa is now aware you dont always fire a weapon. you people are told to populate the country to try to take over by sheer numbers. you will not win but i'm glad you are coming out and now saying something truthful about hostile take over by population growth we can see you now for what you are

      June 1, 2010 at 12:24 pm |
    • sensible1

      @ abd-al-latif. Religious fanaticism will never succeed. It cannot. Period. It is impossible to sustain any civil society long-term, based on religious dogma alone. Sooner rather than later it will crumble from within; even before external forces attempt to dismantle it. And for the duration that it does survive, there will never be peace and contentment – bcos human beings by nature don't all think the same, do the same things and want the same things – we cherish freedoms that come with modern civil democratic societies. Yes there are flaws in such a system, but the benefits outweigh them. You don't even have peaceful relations between the different sects of islam. Just this week, a 100 'Ahmadi' muslims were slaughtered in Pakistan by suspected 'Sunni' muslim militants. Your religion ain't perfect buddy. And a lot of it's followers don't quite seem to be the innocent little barbie dolls you're making them out to be. By making statements such as '... we will win ...' you're displaying to everyone what your core mentality really is. I honestly hope that morons like you don't represent the majority of muslims here.

      June 2, 2010 at 11:09 pm |
  10. Bob

    Islam and the west can never get along. The very basic underpinnings of our freedoms, economic success, cultural development, etc are founded on the basic teachings of Christianity and the idea of choice. We choose to to follow or not. That concept has become the foundation of the west and our success. People strive to come here and join the west / US because they want the economic opportunity, etc. Islam is based on the basic concept of submit. Obedience to Allah and those who interpret the Koran to their benefit. It produces a culture that is rigid, restrictive, and oppressive. The two world views are diametric opposites and can not get along. Islam has demonstrated that time and again. So no. Putting a muslim voice at ground zero is a bad idea.

    As for those from the islamic world condemning terrorism..... you hear them very rarely.

    June 1, 2010 at 7:49 am |
    • Abd al-Latif

      Choice in Islam: a verse in the Qur'an says "Let there be no compulsion in religion." What could be clearer than that? Meanwhile, there is NO such verse in the Christian or Jewish scriptures. Historically, in Christianity, there were no choices–Catholics killed Protestants and vice-versa in Europe only a few hundred years ago, and all of them killed pagans, Jews, and Muslims with impunity. No free choice there. Where did you learn your history? Also, look at the Jewish Bible or "Old Testament" which advocates genocide against non-Jews. Free choice has nothing to do with Christianity, though it has to do with Islam and with modern secularism. Islam is based on submission to GOD, not to mankind! Where did this idea come from? Christianity is NOT about freedom, it is about crushing, destroying and killing all non-Christians. Just look at the behavior of the Christians who dominate the U.S. military, and the Christians who financially sponsor Israel's bloody aggression in Palestine and elsewhere.

      June 1, 2010 at 10:25 am |
    • shakenbake

      Abd al-latif
      Read some of your replies – is it safe to say that you are unemployed?

      Regarding your lacking knowledge of Christianity – and Luke's passage where Jesus is allegedly slaying enemies... ooh this is a great one to google and 'scare' people, right Abd? in context, here is the answer: Luke 19 is called "The Parable of the Pounds". It has to do with what will happen after Jesus is crucified, and to those who follow him and plant the seeds He's given us. And it also talks about righteous judgement of those who are his avowed enemies. This final judgement is pronounced only by Him, and is quite clear on that.

      Now, Christianity is a difficult religion to grasp, I'll be the first to say it. It is one of the primary reasons why Islam is the fastest growing 'religions' in the world – particularly where folks have to understand that peace and righteousness are the core of Christianity (which no other religions has) and all of these people know is war. Eye for an eye is easier, more human and retaliatory than righteousness and peace, it is obvious – hence a growing Islam. Now, once you realize this, and you have a thinking mind of your own, you scratch your head and realize that one religion is God's will while the other is politics. This is why in the US, clerics in inner cities are struggling with a 75% rate of converts to Islam converting back to their prior religion or to another Chistian form of religion. You won't see this in Palestine – why? Cause war is not an out here. Folks realize pretty quickly that Islam in an educated society is much different than a 3rd world country or war torn nation – many folks see it as a 'try it' trend, then realize religion is not a 'fad diet.' Apostates are on the rise in Arabia for the first time in the Islams history. It will be interesting to see how this is hushed or spread?

      Sorry guy, you just are awash in your own religion so much that you don't even provide objectivity.

      June 5, 2010 at 10:53 pm |
  11. Tarek

    I am an Arab Muslim living in the US but am not American. I 100% denounce the terrors of 9/11 as a crime against humanity and against Islam itself. I also believe that the people that got hurt most by its aftermath were the Muslims everywhere around the world.
    In fact all Muslims I know think that 9/11 was a terror attack which is to be condemned and cannot be tolerated by the teachings of Islam.
    As for the mosque near ground zero I think it might be a very good idea. For one it shows the tolerance of the United States and it puts the mosque under intense sruitiny which will guarantee that the message it sends is moderate and inclusive. It also prevents the claim that the US is at war with Islam. This dangerous claim is promoted by many on both far right Muslim and Christian sides!

    June 1, 2010 at 7:45 am |
    • rar

      tarek, you are wrong. mohammedins are always trying to gain the foothold in our country by saying the usa will prove they are not at war by allowing us to build mosques . What about all the other ones that have been built??? mohammedins are the biggest liars and who is the biggest liar Satan, of course. Allow christian churches to be built in the arab countries so that you so-called moderate mohammedins will prove you are peaceful and tolerant!!

      June 1, 2010 at 9:28 am |
    • Abd al-Latif

      There are plenty of Christian churches in Arab countries! Aside from that, Prophet Muhammad denounced those who persecute Christians and Jews, and promised to testify against them on the Day of Judgement. This is confirmed by authenticated hadiths. "Let there be no compulsion in religion," the Qur'an says.

      June 1, 2010 at 11:03 am |
  12. gwriter

    Islam today is what Catholicism was in the Inquisition Era when millions were massacred, and which was orchestrated by many, including that cruel and ugly despot that resides in the Vatican. Luckily for the West, it went through the period of Renaissance, paving the way for moderation and tolerance. One hopes, although it seems unlikely, that Islam too could go through a Renaissance. But this has to happen from within the Muslim countries, and hence it appears impossible.

    Theology in any shape or form is poisonous. It is not the differences between religions (including Communism) that separates them, it is their similarities.

    Watching, listening and reading the outlandish views from religious moderates/fanatics worldwide, one is left to ponder on Robert Frost's couplet: "Forgive, O'Lord, my little jokes on thee, and I will forgive thy great big one on me."

    June 1, 2010 at 7:29 am |
  13. bill

    This is a slap in the face to all our soldiers who have died defending our country. This will become a matyr's place to worship those "who gave their life to fight the infidel American people". This is the only reason muslims want a place to worship at 911-did the muslims bring anything good to 911 or was the intent against our country. I am a vet and I am really upset over the latest ATTACK on our country.

    June 1, 2010 at 7:18 am |
    • Fdubs

      Yet you treat US soldiers as martyrs. Apparently you have no issue sending them to die, and then keeping them there with your guilt of being an accomplice to murder.

      June 1, 2010 at 8:20 am |
  14. Saddened

    To read these comments really saddens me. I thought in the past 10 years we would have realized as a country that 9/11 was a horrible tragedy brought upon by an extreme group of people (who happened to be Muslim) who hate America. Why do we do not denounce all people with brown hair because the hijackers happened to have brown hair? I know of many Christians with hatred in their heart who despise the direction our country is going in terms of social values, who have more violent tendencies than the many Muslims I'm friends with who are better patriots than 99% of people reading this article. Why not let a house of worship be built near a place where many Muslim and middle eastern Americans also lost their lives?

    And for those who ridicule the Koran, do you practice Exodus 21:15 (a child who hits or curses his parent must be executed?), Leviticus 20:10 (both parties in adultery shall be stoned to death)... and the list in the bible goes on and on....

    June 1, 2010 at 7:03 am |
    • stephen douglas

      You are quoting from the old testament, which is why I am against organized religion. Instead, compare the teachings of Jesus to those of Muhammad. Jesus did not teach vengence; he did not teach beating women; he did not teach how to become a martyr through warfare; he did not teach that it was ok for him to have access to virtually any female other than someone's wife; he did not teach the murder of unbelievers; I could go on, but you get the point...maybe. The historical Muhammad was a thief and a cutthroat who stole passages from the bible and declared they were revealed to him by God. His own people kicked him out of his hometown before he rose to power. You need to study the Quaran and the Haddith, availabe from your local Mosque in English as well as read up on your history from other countries, not the glop from Islamic countries.

      June 1, 2010 at 9:55 am |
  15. Josey Wales

    US has gone too long without taking a real stand on issues. We have given in to most every other country, given money to their well being, helped build other countries up and a host of other dumb actions over the past 100 years or so...all while letting the United States be left open to these same countries "doing us in", if you will which most ot them except Israel has done to us. We have not learned to get tough and be leaders in this country instead of being soft whimps and giving in and coddling other lesser countries. There is a premise about survival of the fittest and toughest, and we are a bunch of sheep in the midst of countries that we have made stronger than us....psychology is sure somewhere that says that we are one big cowardly nation at this time. Somehow we cannot swallow that advice and change our ACTIONS.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:37 am |
    • ana44

      Lesser countries? Lesser humans maybe? You betray yourself, I think. In fact Social Darwinism is a myth perpetrated by the greedy. In fact, what Darwin explained in his work based on observations in nature, is that "survival" is based on adaptation to changing conditions. The "fittest" are those who adapt! Neither Muslim, Zionists nor Christian extremists seem willing to evolve intellectually into the 21st Century yet. I pray do.

      June 6, 2010 at 1:57 pm |
  16. Jerimiah Johnson

    The US had better make a decision as to whether it is spending its money to fight wars with ISLAM filfth and end those wars ASAP, or whether it should be stuffing that money into coffers on SUNDAYS. It is time this country stopped living as though it is on a perpetual LSD type of out-of-touch reality!

    June 1, 2010 at 6:24 am |
  17. Mohammad Mojadidi

    Very well written piece with great insight. It is quite refreshing to know that atleast some writers in this country are aware of the millions of peace loving Muslims in the United States who have every right as anyone else to be functioning members of this community. No educated Muslim would support violence against innocent civlians. PERIOD.

    Thanks

    June 1, 2010 at 4:57 am |
    • Bubba

      Christians in this country have bombed schools and churches in order to kill and maim children, and they claimed they were all about the Bible when we caught them, and it shouldn't matter because the victims were black. Pick any religion and you will find maniacs using it to justify selfish acts of violence. Does this mean we should ban all churches? Get real, people, if we were at war with Islam we'd be fighting on twenty fronts. They love their children too.

      June 1, 2010 at 8:55 am |
    • George

      Thank you for saying this. Many many millions of other Americans need to hear this kind of thing from the Muslim community more often.

      June 1, 2010 at 11:19 am |
    • David

      Mohammad, could you please define "innocent civilians". This way we'll have a better understanding of your religion, specifically, those people who are not "innocent".

      June 1, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
    • MDropp

      Putting a mosque around ground zero is exactly what the 9/11 hijackers would want. Think of the message it sends to the lunatic extremists: "Burn them down and they will build a mosque from the ashes." Is that the message you want to send? All the rhetoric about showing acceptance is misguided because these extremists don't see the world the way civilized people do. They'll see a mosque built there as a reason to keep killing.

      June 5, 2010 at 1:58 pm |
    • Marcus

      like George, thank you for speaking aloud. and in response to the post above me – what you say may be true, but your opinion that people should deny the Mosque being built would mean that you too think like an uncivilized person – like an extremist. America is the land of the free because this country was built upon a constitution that has allowed us to exceed further as a society, unlike those uncivilized extremists. building this Mosque would be another stepping stone to the development of America among other things. And to approve of the Mosque would be another stepping stone to the development of Americans.

      June 7, 2010 at 9:30 am |
  18. mmi16

    Let's build a Christian Church and a Synagogue in Mecca!

    June 1, 2010 at 2:20 am |
  19. Carole Clarke

    While we may advocate freedom of religion, Moslems do not. They believe Mohammed was God's last word and if they cannot convince you of that, they are willing to kill you to further their beliefs. They will lie to your face with a smile to achieve their goal. For them 9/11 was a victory and a mosque near Ground Zero would be proof of that victory. For us to allow it may be an act of Christian forgiveness on our part but they would see it as weakness and stupidity. And they would have no qualms about exploiting that weakness. We should not harbor an enemy out of a sense of false nobility.

    June 1, 2010 at 12:34 am |
    • SteveHouston

      I would say that your analysis is 100% accurate. Islam exploded from Medina coercing and slaughtering its way accross 2/3 of Christendom. Had they not been repelled in Spain and at the Gates of Vienna, we would not be having this conversation. ............ but.......the battle rages on and outcome unclear.

      June 1, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
  20. Ed

    It is apparent that the Muslims who want to build their mosques near ground zero are very aware that they will become the focus of extreme scrutiny. That means that any use of the mosque to foment hate or distrust against Americans will bring them much more attention than they will want to deal with. It is interesting that Christian shrines in Israel are actually manned and maintained by Muslims. That says there are indeed Muslims who are peaceful. There are Christians in Israel who regularly fight each other over a tiny space on the roof of one church. Race and religion has no part of it, but the simple fact that some people just hate everyone. A mosque in NYC used as a base to attack Americans will most certainly not be a mosque very long!

    May 31, 2010 at 9:02 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.