June 6th, 2010
07:25 PM ET

Protesters descend on Ground Zero for anti-mosque demonstration

Protestors gathered in lower Manhattan mid-day Sunday to demonstrate against plans to build a mosque near the site of Ground Zero, where the twin towers of the World Trade Center were destroyed by Islamist hijackers on September 11, 2001.

Protest organizer Pamela Geller, a conservative blogger, and her group, "Stop the Islamicization of America," planned the event because, according to the group's website, "Building the Ground Zero mosque is not an issue of religious freedom, but of resisting an effort to insult the victims of 9/11 and to establish a beachhead for political Islam and Islamic supremacism in New York... Ground Zero is a war memorial, a burial ground. Respect it."

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- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Houses of worship • Islam

soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. shouttruth

    The ignorance in this country is completely off the human scale. I am an American and I believe in Islam and there is nothing that you can claim that would be justice to the real meaning and beliefs of the religion. I am in complete and utter shock of the terror that Americans are inflicting on Muslims now. You preach about the victims of 9/11, we all sympathize, did you know that 400 Muslims were in the towers that die and died innocently like everyone else? Do you not recognize that the "community center" taht is Park 51 is not actually on Ground Zero??!! Understand the full details before you speak and comment, because then you look like an incompetent idiot. Understand what "sharia" actually means, understand that "moderate Muslim" is not an actual term! Understand that you, yes you AMERICANS are being hypocrites in this situation and are hypocrites in your treatment of every single individual in this country who does not identify as a white, blonde haired, blue eyed individual. Stop the hate, we as a country have been through this sooooo many times- with sooooo many races and religions and PEOPLE- its ENOUGH!! I am an American, born and raised, and I love this country, but loving this country does NOT mean hating the people in it! Spread peace and set an example for the rest of the world- do not tarnish the image of the "freedomland" because of your own opinion that is based on no factual information.

    August 29, 2010 at 4:35 am |
  2. Jim

    Would the same protestors 'protest' of evangelicals build churches in Afghanistan?? Or Jews build settlements in West Bank?

    June 14, 2010 at 7:42 pm |
  3. Ed Armstrong

    Let's see, a group of Saudi moslems knock down the Trade Center murdering thousands in the process. Now more moslems want to erect a mosque at ground zero so people can see the religion of Islam is a peaceful one. Looks like more Islamic b.s. to me. Maybe if the peaceful moslems put bin ladin's head on a post outside we can talk further.

    June 14, 2010 at 10:58 am |
  4. Really?

    And slay them wherever ye catch them.." (2:191) and "..But if they turn away, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks." (4:89) uhhh the Qur'an

    June 12, 2010 at 1:14 pm |
    • BarbarainPA

      Nice cherry picking. I'm sure there are lots to cherry pick from in the Bible, like incest, drunkeness, etc.

      Hatred will eat you up like a cancer.

      June 14, 2010 at 11:34 am |
  5. Ayman Mahfouz

    This is really ridiculous and infuriating. Those ignorant intolerant people who are making statements about Islam left and right know nothing about it. They learn about Islam from other intolerant people who feed them hate. I have seen first-hand some Christian preachers do that (not that all of them do). Ask these intolerant bast**** if they know any Muslims in person or if they have cared to hear about the real Islam from real Muslims.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
    • TruthTeller

      I was a Muslim for a few years. I know what is in the Koran and Hadith: a few pretty verses of peace and many, many lines of sadistic horror and merciless cruelty. I've known quite a few Muslims. I even married one (shortest marriage on record – my choice!) If you meet a "nice" Muslim, he/she is not following the instructions of the Koran. Muslim "extremists" are not extreme at all: they are following the violent, aggressive example of Mohammed and the early leaders of Islam. Example of instructions on what to do with "infidels", straight from the Koran: "And cut off their heads and their fingertips and slay them wherever you find them..." Americans, wake up! The Muslims don't love America and yes, they do think they're superior (lack of any supporting evidence for this doesn't faze them), and they would like to see you dead, subjugated or converted to Islam.

      June 30, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  6. Ayman Mahfouz

    America took a wrong turn at some point, way before 9/11: "Thomas Jefferson learned Arabic using his Quran and hosted the first presidential iftaar during Ramadan. John Adams named Prophet Muhammad
    as one of the world’s “sober inquirers after truth”. Benjamin Franklin, who cited the Prophet as a model of compassion, wrote of his hope that the head cleric of Istanbul would preach Islam to Americans from a Philadelphia pulpit."

    June 11, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  7. Saudi_R_terrorist

    There is not a single person that show where Islam has fostered peace anywhere in the world. Wherever it exist, people suffer and live in fear.

    June 9, 2010 at 11:51 am |
  8. Saudi_R_terrorist

    A true God, if there exist one, surely would not want a butcher in his heaven. A man that killed and murdered thousands to prove his point. Hands cutting, eye poked, stoned to death – this is peace? Jesus killed no one to make his statement. Islam is peace – I think not.

    June 9, 2010 at 11:50 am |
  9. Saudi_R_terrorist

    A true religion does not have to murder people to believe in it, Islam does just that. Its a cult and nothing more.

    June 9, 2010 at 11:46 am |
  10. Saudi_R_terrorist

    Muslims may not all be crazy killers, but they are no allowed to think otherwise or be killed. Its the same thing. If Islam is a religion so is the KKK and the Nazi Party.

    June 9, 2010 at 11:45 am |
  11. Saudi_R_terrorist

    I have a lot against Muslims. Anywhere in the world where they exist, people are tortured, killed, murdered, enslaved, live in povert, they have the lowest IQ, they terrorize. And if U don't believe, their countries of origin speaks volumes. Its like black neighborhoods. None of them comtribute to the world peace. The stock exchange should move to Philadelphia. NY sucks

    June 9, 2010 at 11:40 am |
  12. Saudi_R_terrorist

    Luke – Blond Muslims do exist, and it is only because of the Muslim empire. Arabs are brown at best.

    June 9, 2010 at 11:37 am |
  13. Alex

    With all respect to the Muslim religion, i have nothing against the muslims and know that not all of you are terrorists, but camon building on ground zero, is a bit much.. its a memorial of what happened, and a memory of all that perished that day, just take the building somewhere else.

    June 9, 2010 at 11:30 am |
  14. Eva

    And Bin Laden is laughing in his cave....

    June 9, 2010 at 10:08 am |
  15. nizar

    "Islam": literal meaning submission to the will of GOD.As such Judaism,Christianity and Islam preaches the same...submission to the will of GOD. All mere labels....tainted by the political dominating control freaks.All religion preaches peace...helping the marginalized.

    June 8, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  16. TrudyBird

    That is poor taste and insulting. Of course not all muslims are crazy killers. But in this case... this is rubbing our noses in the fanatics glory.

    June 8, 2010 at 1:47 pm |
  17. Al from Canada

    On the Interview with the Moslem person defending 1.5 billion Moslem being so call tolerant . How come where the majority of these Moslem live does not allow Christian Churches or Synagogue in there country. Some don't allow Christan bible in there country. So much for the majority being Tolerant.

    June 7, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
    • Luke

      Because many Moslem countries are theocracies, not deomocracies. End of story.

      June 8, 2010 at 8:11 am |
    • Jim

      Wow, where did you get that information? I was raised in a muslim country and went to a missionary school with its own church. Please dont spread lies if you have ZERO knowledge of the muslim world. Yes, its spelled MUSLIM and non MOSLEM

      June 14, 2010 at 7:37 pm |
  18. kilchis

    What's the difference if it's a mosque,a synagogue,a kiva, a temple or a church? The first amendment protects all of them and as Americans so should we.

    June 7, 2010 at 1:17 am |
    • Sgstuck


      This is like a group of people protesting the fact that a Japanese person can dock their vessel in Hawaii.

      I understand that 9/11 is a sensitive subject to many and that extremist Muslims are a threat to our country, but it's no reason to protest those who are trying to paint a more positive picture of their culture.

      June 7, 2010 at 3:09 pm |
    • scottinnj

      Agreed, although I feel the mosque site to be in poor taste and consideration of others, it's their right. Who are we to say no? As a Protestant I found it disturbing to see the Mayor, the NYPD & FDNY chiefs Kneel before & Kiss the ring of the Pope when he came to NY a couple years back to bless the site. I appreciate the Pope's gesture, but to see elected and appointed leaders bow to a mere man to me was appalling.

      June 7, 2010 at 9:46 pm |
    • Saudi_R_terrorist

      First – it has to be a religion. Islam will murder you, if you do not believe. Its a cult, not a religion. A true religion is by choice. In all major muslim countries death is metered to those who do not believe. Muslims are secretly infiltrating peacefully and then watchout when they are a huge force to deal with. If they are a religion so is the KKK, NAZI party and the Hells Angles.

      June 9, 2010 at 11:57 am |
    • BarbarainPA

      To Saudi – you cannot be serious. First off, if Islam's sole purpose is to "kill those who won't submit" don't you think there would be FAR more crimes committed BY Muslims against non-Muslims? Yet daily we see more and more murders committed by people who are NOT Muslim. The fact that their religion is not mentioned proves this, because any time a Muslim commits any type of crime....their religion is mentioned.

      Secondly, it is stated implicitly in the Qur'an that, "There is no compulsion in religion" meaning you CANNOT FORCE SOMEONE to become Muslim....or, I guess you can force them, but if they do not believe in their heart, it's a moot point. I am Muslim. I came to Islam on my own, by myself, and when I finally stated I was Muslim, there were only 2 people there, both of whom I had just met that night. I am a white, American woman...raised in Pennsylvania (as a Catholic, though not strict), but I needed more information on Islam after 9/11 before I condemned the entire religion.

      Please, stop trying to spread lies and hatred. It will lead to nothing good or positive.

      June 14, 2010 at 10:48 am |
    • Eva

      you are very simple & good person, if the Saudi Arabia let you have a christmass tree in his country or to have 10'X10' church,that time it will be OK, send me your e-mail to prove you more & more.

      July 21, 2010 at 10:55 pm |
  19. Reality

    A mosque near the horror of 9/11 would simply emphasize the horror of Islam and its koran that dictates that Muslim males dominate the world by any means.

    June 6, 2010 at 10:44 pm |
    • MikeP

      Its funny how christians that will consider you ignorant for lumping them in with, say, catholics, pentecostals, or any of a hundred other christian sects they don't belong to, have no problem lumping all muslims together.

      Not ha-ha funny, obviously.

      June 7, 2010 at 2:33 am |
    • Reality

      Muslims are lumped together under the koran. Delete the koranic passages that dictate male Muslim control of the world and then we can talk about mosques in Manhatten. Until then no male Islamic can be trusted no matter their Wahhabi, Sunni or Shiite stripes.

      June 7, 2010 at 6:54 am |
    • Luke

      Reality – I am married to a blonde haired blue eyed muslim from eastern Europe. Her paraents are white and have blonde hair too. They would like to have a word with you about tolerance and sterotypes. There is a huge difference between terrorist cells and muslims. I do, however, know that the religion of Islam condones violence. That does not mean that the Judeo Christian teachings of the bible are less violent. That is a matter of culture.

      June 7, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
    • Reality

      Luke, the following sums up this thread: "Mohammed could not have known the size of the world, but several passages in the Koran show that he envisioned Islam dominating all of it, however large it might be: “He it is who sent his messenger . . . that he may cause it [Islam] to prevail over all religions´(Koran 9:33, M.M. Ali; see also 48:28 and 61:9). M.M. Ali designates these three passages as “the prophecy of the ultimate triumph of Islam in the whole world.”

      June 7, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
    • Cam

      Uh, Reality. You don't think the founders of Christianity knew the size of the world when it was founded do you?

      June 10, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
    • Pink Muslimah

      The Qur'an does not call for violence or male domination any more than the Bible does. Just as one has to consider the original language and the historical context for the Bible, so does one need to consider the same for the Qur'an.

      June 11, 2010 at 7:25 am |
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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.