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July 19th, 2010
04:44 PM ET

My take: Ground Zero mosque good for America and New York

Editor's Note: 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

I love New York, and I love the idea of a mosque at Ground Zero.

What began as a local question concerning the construction of an Islamic community center and mosque a few blocks from Ground Zero has morphed over the last few weeks into a statewide, national and international question — a hot potato in New York’s gubernatorial race, fodder for culture warriors on American talk shows, and a concern to moderate Muslims worldwide.

To those who are exploiting this issue for purposes of politics or ratings, I have nothing to say. Neither will I comment on cynical efforts to endow the building, a former Burlington Coat Factory, with the protection of landmark status, or even more cynical efforts to stir up fear of Islam through one of the most hateful ads ever proposed for television. But I sympathize with the anguish and anger of those who lost loved ones on 9/11 and who do not want to see a mosque built anywhere near what they see as sacred ground.

I am convinced, however, that all these efforts are wrong — wrong for the United States and wrong for New York City.

Two years ago I watched a performance by New York City's Clare Byrne Dance Company called “Kneelings.” It featured four dancers, walking west to east across 23rd Street, from the Hudson to the East River, and kneeling every block or so along the way.

The performance was beautiful, animating a Lower Manhattan morning with the postures of prayer and reminding me that something quiet and beautiful can always break out even in the busiest of places.

What really struck me, however, was the live-and-let-live attitude of New Yorkers. Some people stopped to ask what was going on. Others followed the festivities for a block or two. But most just walked on by. And no one bothered to judge.

That is because, at its best, New York City is a place where people are free to be their own idiosyncratic selves, to do their own idiosyncratic things and to hallow whatever they find holy, even in a space as public as a Fifth Avenue sidewalk.

New York City is where people come when they are tired of being judged for being gay or Sikh or brown or green. In New York, if you want to raise your hands on a street corner and proclaim the lordship of Jesus or the glories of hot yoga, go right ahead. If you want to walk across 23rd Street kneeling every few blocks, more power to you.

After 9/11 there was lots of talk about not letting the terrorists change us. Some of that talk was shortsighted. We should have taken the terrors of that day as a wake-up call to slough off our dependence on foreign oil, for example. But we were right to vow not to let the terrorists change America or its core values.

One of those core values is religious tolerance. To be sure, Americans have failed repeatedly to live up to this value. In the name of Puritan orthodoxy, we banished Anne Hutchinson from the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1638. In the name of Protestant America, we burned down a Roman Catholic convent in Charlestown, Massachusetts, in 1834. But the arc of freedom bends here toward more religious liberty, not less.

The key question underlying the Ground Zero mosque debate is whether Americans are at war with Islam — whether the so-called clash of civilizations between the Christian West and the Muslim world is something we are trying to avoid or something we are trying to provoke.

If Islam is the enemy, then we should not stop at prohibiting the Cordoba Initiative from constructing a mosque within its Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan. We should outlaw new mosques from Cape Cod to Southern California. We might even be justified in rounding up all American Muslims and putting them in internment camps as we did with virtually all Japanese-American Buddhists during World War II.

But if the enemy is terrorism, then we should realize that we only incite and inspire that enemy when we act as if we are at war with Islam.

Since 1654, when Jews first arrived as refugees from Portuguese rule in Brazil, New Amsterdam (as New York was then called) has been a model of thriving religious dissent. Today the five boroughs form one of the world’s most religiously diverse urban areas. Queens alone boasts over 200 houses of worship, including 30 Buddhist temples, seven Hindu temples, six Jewish synagogues, four Muslim mosques and two Sikh gurdwaras.

Opponents say the Cordoba Initiative mosque and community center, which would rise two blocks from Ground Zero, is too close to that site. I say it is too far away. I believe a small mosque ought to be integrated into the redesign of the World Trade Center site itself — a reminder in steel and stone that the United States is not at war either with Islam or with our core values.

Meanwhile, we should forge ahead with the proposed project. I understand there are concerns about the size and funding of the proposed 13-story, $100 million complex. But we cannot let the terrorists undermine the values of the United States, or the live-and-let-live character of New York City.

If this mosque is toppled before it is built, the terrorists win again. If it is built, America wins. So does New York City.

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

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Islam • Politics

soundoff (1,175 Responses)
  1. Lal

    Great commentary, we should not let extremists from al-Qaeda or extremists and bigots from right here in America change America from what it stands for. There is no place for bigotry and hate here, America stands for freedom, freedom for everyone regardless of race, religion, color or any other such character that is used to divide people. This freedom is not just a slogan, it is a way of life. We should not even be discussing this issue which obviously shows that we have some distance to go before we can truly represent the ideals that our country stands for.

    July 19, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  2. LMC

    If the terrorists had been Catholic, would we oppose the building of a cathedral? Just because the terrorists were misguided enough to believe that Allah would have condoned the attack, it doesn't mean that we have to be misguided as well. Allah and Jehovah are one, the interpretations are our own.

    July 19, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
    • Hibryd

      Catholic terrorists? Pshaw! Everyone knows all terrorists are brown Muslims. You'd never have white Catholics or Protestants bombing anyone. What's that? Ireland? Never heard of it.

      July 20, 2010 at 10:49 am |
    • DearyPie

      I guess you are unfamiliar with the IRA then Hibryd? There are quite a few books on the topic in your local library as well as on the internet. Let's keep our comments based on fact, shall we?

      July 20, 2010 at 1:04 pm |
  3. Jay

    A mosuqe at ground zero ... you have got to be kidding.

    July 19, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
    • Richard Nixon

      Someday hopefully we will get rid of all religions.

      July 19, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  4. Jaymo

    Look at how many Muslims were KILLED in the WTC attacks that were merely there at the centers doing their jobs. They were hard working Americans that most likely worshiped and prayed at mosques that were near Ground Zero since they worked and most likely lived near the buildings.

    I agree with the author, but I feel that the point needs to be added that people of many faiths were victims of the tragedy. Not just Christians. Look at the numbers people. Look at how many middle eastern people were "taken out" and not by choice. As were many Hindu, Buddhist, Jews, Christians, Sikhs, and so on and so on. Somehow the whole Ground Zero thing has become an attack on Christians. It wasn't. It was an attack on AMERICA and our business center, which was essentially an attack on American ideals (such as capitalism, freedom of religion, tolerance of other lifestyles, etc. etc.). Over the past nearly 10 years this whole situation has been somehow taken as "ours" by a certain group of people. That's entirely unfair. This was an attack on not just what you or I believe in, but in what we collectively believe in. It happened because the perpetrators very much WANTED to create a war in this country against those who follow Islam. Yes, I am going to say it.... by acting that way you are "letting the terrorists win" which is just sad. We're better than that America.

    July 19, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
    • CN

      If people of different religions were killed , then why only have a mosque built there..have a place common to all religions

      July 19, 2010 at 8:34 pm |
    • Heather

      This? Is beautiful. Thank you for being a voice of reason.

      July 19, 2010 at 8:44 pm |
    • DearyPie

      What a wonderfully put argument. It is nice to hear well reasoned opinion expressed on a comment board. Thank you for your input Jaymo. I hope what you have said reaches some hearts out there.

      July 20, 2010 at 1:00 pm |
  5. Phil

    I'm not for it but then again I'd be happy to see a bulldozer knocking down churches and temples too.

    July 19, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
    • Hotlanta

      I agree with you. More people have died in the name of religion than I care to count.

      July 19, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
    • Jennifer

      Sorry Hotlanta – more people have died in the name of trying to wipe out religion than in all the religious wars combined. Stalin, the Nazis, etc. A more accurate comparison can be made in more recent history. It’s also rather more interesting to compare the questions of violence done by each religion in comparison to the size of its population. I would include Atheism as a religion in this matter, in which case you’d have to chalk all the massacres due to communism and militant socialism (Russia, China, Cambodia, Vietnam, Cuba, Nazi Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, Franko’s Spain, etc.). That list alone is staggering, giving the lie to the idea that Atheism is somehow more peaceful than religion. That’s especially true when you’re talking about modern conditions–modern Atheism is vastly more violent than any religion with the possible exception of Islam. It’s past isn’t glamorous, either (Ghenghis Khan as the “Scourge of God” routinely slaughtered whole cities, man, woman, and child). (Great quote taken from a site dedicated to determining this question).

      July 19, 2010 at 8:39 pm |
    • Selfish Gene

      Do not count atheists in your club. No war was ever started in the name of no religious belief. Communists, Socialists and Fascists are not representative of atheism.

      Killing abortion doctors is not representative of all christians is it?

      July 20, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  6. T Tar

    writer of this article is a moron. islam is a violinet religion. go to Iran dude and report from there. no WAY a mosque should be on ground zero, NO WAY

    July 19, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
    • cub77

      So are Christians and Jews. Don't fool yourself buddy. Your' poop stinks too!

      July 19, 2010 at 7:13 pm |
  7. chasm

    First, our country was founded on religious freedom. Enough said on that point.

    Second, I can't think of a better way to shove it up the backsides of the Islamist idiots who recruit by preaching, "America is at war with Islam," than to build a mosque near ground zero. Our war it NOT with people whose view of God is as expressed by Mohammed. Rather, our war (my war, anyway) is with hate-mongering idiots who have nothing more constructive to do than to kill indiscriminately.

    July 19, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
    • dodworker

      The first comment to make sense so far....I work for the Army and I pay their bills including funerals for service members killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan. These service members are dying so Muslims can worship at Ground Zero. This is what America was founded on......religious freedom. I can't think of a better slap in the face of the fanatical Muslims than to allow this mosque to be built.

      July 19, 2010 at 8:12 pm |
    • redhook

      The US Constitution frankly states that they have every right to build a mosque there.

      Basic human compassion, empathy, and respect of others that all religions claim as their core values, supposedly including Islam, frankly states that they should not. Prove your religion has that compassion-build it somewhere else....

      July 19, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
    • Stephen Keyes

      Thank you chasm. Personally, I think the site should be surrounded with houses from ALL faith traditions. This was a WORLD TRADE CENTER, and members of so many different nations and faith traditions died on 9/11. A mosque on the site would speak volumes of who we are as a people IMO. Sadly, most of the posts on this article show only our 'backside'. Very sad indeed.

      July 19, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
    • tahira

      Stephen Keyes – what a beautiful concept that is! And yes, that would show them!

      July 20, 2010 at 11:26 am |
  8. jay

    did terrorist pay this guy to say this?

    July 19, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  9. Reality

    Another topic "beat into the ground"!!!

    Once again: Considering the flaws and errors in the theology and history of all religions, all priests, rabbis, imams, preachers and evangelicals should be given "pink slips". Churches, mosques, temples and synagogues should be converted to gardens with the following sign over the entrances: Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself and Do No Harm.

    July 19, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
    • Jennifer

      "Reality" – "love thy neighbor" is a phrase from the bible, a book that apparently you believe is useless. Every good tenant we have: love thy neighbor, turn the other cheek, be your brother's keeper, pray for those who persecute you, are all from that book. Without God, specifically the bible, you don't have any of these phrases you choose to tritely adopt, but not acknowlege their source.

      July 19, 2010 at 8:32 pm |
    • Mhanna

      Jennifer: "Love thy neighbor" or any other "good" quote from the bible is not originally FROM the bible. We've had these sayings for thousands of years prior to the bible being thought of. And we'd have them had it never been written.

      July 19, 2010 at 9:56 pm |
    • John

      @ Jennifer. Very well put. That genius did not realize what he was saying.

      July 19, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
    • Reality

      The Golden Rule or ethic of reciprocity is an ethical code, or a morality[2], that states (in four forms, see table below):

      1.One should treat others according to how one would like others to treat them (positive, passive form)
      1.Treat others as you would like to be treated (positive, active form)
      2.One should not treat others in ways one would not like to be treated (prohibitive, passive form)
      1.Do not treat others in ways you would not like to be treated (prohibitive, active form. Also called the Silver Rule)

      The Golden Rule has a long history, and a great number of prominent religious figures and philosophers have restated the above four forms of the Rule in various ways.

      The Golden Rule is arguably the most essential basis for the modern concept of human rights, in which each individual has a right to just treatment, and a responsibility to ensure justice for others.[3] A key element of the Golden Rule is that a person attempting to live by this rule treats all people, not just members of his or her in-group, with consideration. The Golden Rule has its roots in a wide range of world cultures, and is a standard which different cultures use to resolve conflicts.[4]

      The Golden Rule has a history that long predates the term "Golden Rule" (or "Golden law," as it was called from the 1670s[5]). It was present in certain forms in the philosophies of ancient Babylon, Egypt, India, Greece, Judea, and China.

      July 20, 2010 at 12:10 am |
    • Frogist

      I think Jennifer has a point. You cannot consider the Bible as useless and then quote phrases you consider good that are also in the Bible. It matters not where they originally came from. The point is the message is there. It's another form of "picking and choosing" what you want to believe which is a phrase some atheists use to demean christians' love of the bible. Also it's ironic that the phrase being discussed is the golden rule.

      July 21, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
    • Selfish Gene

      Frogist, that is not "from" the bible. It is pre-christian. it is pre-judaism. as is worshiping the winter solstice, being a man-god born of a virgin, and most of the rest of the bible. all borrowed from prior religions.

      July 21, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
    • Frogist

      Hi Selfish Gene, if you re-read my post you will see that I did say it does not matter where the phrase originated. The fact of the matter is that it exists in the bible. So it seems to me a contradiction to say the phrase is of worth but the book that it is written in is useless.

      July 22, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  10. Bob Dalzell

    We're a country of idiots. Only Australia has the guts to stand up to Muslims. They're going to take over our country without firing a shot, and we'll invite them to do it.

    July 19, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
    • VJ

      How about Israel.

      July 19, 2010 at 7:13 pm |
    • Mike

      God does not exist. Ban all religion.

      July 19, 2010 at 8:35 pm |
    • gortmull

      They started with Dearborn, Michigan

      July 19, 2010 at 9:18 pm |
    • Selfish Gene

      Not if the Mexican Catholics beat them to it.

      July 20, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  11. Jennifer

    Aren't we lucky ( blessed) to live in a nation where such disparate views, particularly in matters of faith, can be expressed; even though I agree with the commentator, I respect the posters' right to post their opposition to the commentary; what a GREAT country. However, I can't respect the posters' need to belittle expressions of opinions that differ from their own; why must they ( you) resort to name calling to make your point; do you feel it makes your argument stronger? Perhaps it their way of letting off steam? Anyhow, it seems more hurtful than helpful.

    July 19, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
    • jay

      names one churche in saudi arabia
      tey will put you to sleep like they did all of europe

      July 19, 2010 at 7:07 pm |
    • Brian

      Finally, a voice of reason from among the masses. Thank you, Jennifer, for your respectful, lucid comment. I agree with your statement in its entirety. Kudos to you on a job well done.

      July 19, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
    • DearyPie

      Thank you Jennifer for your post. Your comment is well stated. I believe it is amazing to see so many differing points of view on one subject. It saddens me to see out right hatred such as some of the ones posted using language that insults all. Those that use insults towards others as a means to validating their personal belief may lack in vocabulary to express themselves well. Thank you CNN for removing the poster who posted all in caps and used hateful and racist comments.

      July 20, 2010 at 12:52 pm |
  12. Robert W.

    So, can we build a Christian Cathedral in a Muslim country? How would it go over if it was near a place where crazy "christians" intentionally killed people? I guess, only in America this can happen.

    July 19, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
    • Josh

      Robert, we could build a church in a Muslim state, then it would be blown up because it would be an affront to their religion. Come on people, this is the truth and you know it! They blow up their own mosques, why wouldn't they blow up one of a differing religion? Be honest!

      July 19, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
    • Sabrina

      Ha
      There are several churches in Muslim countries, like Saudi Arabia. I love how ignorant everyone is.

      July 19, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
    • Josh

      Ok Sabrina....how about a place that the country considers sacred, like Ground Zero is sacred to Americans? Do you think they would leave it alone then?

      July 19, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
    • JJ

      Robert-you are right. I think the idea of a mosque there would be just provoking and would not reflect any consideration toward good muslims. Many many muslim people are feeling terrible that some idiots hijacked their religion to do evil to innocent people.
      When we do not respond with arrogance to arrogance something changes in the 'enemy'. An eye for an eye leaves everyone blind.

      July 19, 2010 at 7:48 pm |
    • wow

      there's many christian cathedrals in many muslim countries. people like you are so stupid it makes me sick!

      July 19, 2010 at 8:05 pm |
    • Chaos

      Would you like freedom fries with you comment Josh? Comparing out nation with others is pretty lame so I thought you would enjoy a side of lame with that.

      July 19, 2010 at 8:40 pm |
    • Luke

      Robert W. – It's an interesting paradox. No, we could not build a Church in a Muslim nation because they are theocracies, hence the phrasing Muslim Nation. We, however, happen to be secular. Hence, it is their Constitutional right to build a mosque wherever they want. If you are against the mosque, then you are again the freedom of religion clause in the Bill of Rights. Good luck debating that one.

      July 19, 2010 at 8:42 pm |
    • tahira

      Robert – my husband and his brother and sister all attended Catholic schools in Karachi, Pakistan. There are many churches in Pakistan. In Karachi, one even has a huge statue of Jesus in front of it. It has never been disturbed, much less blown up. One of my mother-in-law's fondest memories as a child was watching the nuns pass her house on their way to church on Christmas morning in Multan, Pakistan. Please, please, please educate yourself before you speak. I imagine you'd have less to say.

      When will you people learn to separate political actions from religious actions?

      July 20, 2010 at 11:23 am |
  13. Sensimillia

    I am a Muslim and Islam doesnt teach anything about blowing people up or harming anybody..Just because these extremists give us a bad name should not hurt the other billion of good muslims in the world. The person who owns this building where they want to build the mosque is Jewish so what does that tell you right there..

    July 19, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
    • Downwithislam

      Seriously? Islam doesnt teach hurting others? And you call yourself a muslim. I've read the Quaran in arabic and that book is about a religion built by the sword. How many times enemy, sword, death is said..countless times. "Do not make friends with christians or jews because they are your sworn enemy" ring a bell?

      July 19, 2010 at 7:37 pm |
    • Sorta..

      The Christian God is considered the only God who is based on love but there have been countless wars in which the israelites were involved in. Also, The crusaders declared a holy war on the muslims and killed thousands of them too. No side is without blame. And if you pay attention to the Bible, God calls christians to love everyone and not to JUDGE, that is His job....

      July 19, 2010 at 8:35 pm |
    • Luke

      Downwithislam – And Christianity wasn't built, physically, with the sword?

      July 19, 2010 at 8:39 pm |
    • N.L.H.

      Well, sessimillia, it tells me that the Jewish person who owns the building probably understands that this is NOT a place for a mosque. Oh,BTW, it also says in the koran that muslims should not show their true feelings toward non-muslims. They can extend their hand in friendship and have hatred in their heart. muslims are trained to hate non-muslims..... hell, they're trained to hate some other muslims. It is a belief based on hatred. We should not "tolerate" hatred.

      July 20, 2010 at 11:54 am |
  14. Fuzzy

    Muslim, Jew, Christian, they all believe in the God of Abraham. This issue only matters to people that are ignorant of their own faith.

    Maybe we can put a Church of Scientology celebrity center there. How's that?

    July 19, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
    • Annee

      Muslims don't worship the God of Abraham. Not the same. Judeaism and Islam are not related in any way.

      July 19, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
    • John

      Ignorance of the first degree...
      Jews worship the God of Abraham, a singular divinity.
      Christians worship an evolution of that idea, the idea of the Trinity, 3 gods in one, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
      Muslims do believe that their god, commonly referred to as Allah (although that term itself is merely arabic for the word "god" and is used by arabs of most monotheistic faiths) did also commune with Abraham, but there are many minor ideological differences between the Jewish idea of God and the Muslim idea of God.

      July 19, 2010 at 7:53 pm |
    • Sorta..

      They do believe in the God of Abraham. Ishmael, the son of Abraham through Hagar the hand maid (something like that) of Sarah who did not believe God would give her a son, was sent into exile after Issac was born to Sarah. Ishmael's descendants are the group that made up the Islamic religion and the descendants of Issac make up the Jewish and Christian religions. They technically believe in the same God but have different books, views on who is a profit and who is a divine being, and views on how to handle different situations. In Islam, there are 4 types of Jihad.. not the one we hear about, only. There is Jihad of the heart, tongue, hand and finally the sword. Jihad of the sword is the absolute last resort that is to be taken after all other options (heart: battle with the devil and your inner conscience, Tongue: speaking the truth, Hand: choosing to do what is right) have been exhausted. The term Jihad does not mean "holy war" like we have been led to believe but actually means "struggle". Jihad of the sword (the taking up of a holy, physical war) is the one that the Radical muslims have jumped to because they feel like the other 3 won't work.

      July 19, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
    • Lola

      Muslims intend to follow the God of Abraham. But for those that are making comparisons, there are histories in the OT/NT and Qur'an that are about the same people, but the versions of the latter definitely have their own spin....so reading the account of Abraham in the Old Testament teaches a different lesson than what is understood in the Qur'an.

      Same goes for the recounting of Jesus. To someone who has not studied either book these may seem like minor ideological differences, but truly they are fundamentally differing perspectives. Hence the absence of teachings on agape (ah-gah-peh) love in the Qur'an.

      July 19, 2010 at 9:47 pm |
    • John

      I agree. Complete ignorance in the first degree. Along with this idiot who posted this article. This guy obviously has blinders on to the world. AND is obviously just trying to gain attention by spewing ignorance. Not exactly how I would go about it.

      Plain and simple islam is evil movement to overtake and overcome the American way. A mosque is nothing but a petri dish for violence, radicalism ad lets face it, pure ignorance. It is funny that some people cannot see how the muslim world is spitting in our face by opening it on Sept 11. This $^%%$ who wrote this article is actually trying to lump peaceful religions with hateful and violent ideologies. But at least he is not fulling anybody. His lack of understanding on how the world works is way too off for anybody to get huffy and puffy. Desperation is a stinky cologne and this guy STINKS to high heaven.

      July 19, 2010 at 10:01 pm |
    • make a true statement

      What really needs to done to make a TRUE statement to the world is to build the TWIN TOWERS back – bigger, stronger, and better than before. This would show the resilience of our NATION!

      July 20, 2010 at 11:29 am |
  15. Interesting

    This is a weird issue for me. As a former military member and frequent traveler to NYC, I think the idea of putting a Mosque near ground zero is at best, insensitive. Whether peace-loving Muslims like it or not, Muslim terrorists created ground zero in the name of Islam. As Americans, we are constantly told to be mindful of the feelings of others and I believe Muslims can worship God with the same spirit in any building in NYC. Why this one?

    That said, I'm also a Libertarian. I fear an over-expanded government far more than any terrorist. So I say if they have the means and availability to build that Mosque there, so be it from a governmental view point.

    I would hope those wishing to build the Mosque would give New Yorkers the same sensitivity they demand from them but I don't think it's a government's role to tell anyone where their place of worship should be located. I guess that's about the best I can come up with...

    July 19, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
    • downwiththebanks

      When the hell are you people going to realize that 911 was not done by 19 Arabs?

      July 19, 2010 at 7:40 pm |
    • Darkus

      I think building a church in Massachusetts is also insensitive. I am mean that's where the Salem Witch Trials took place. We can't allow Christianity to gain a foothold in a place where they terrorized so many. Even peaceful Christians have forfeited the right to pray in that state.

      July 19, 2010 at 8:42 pm |
  16. Istrian

    I liked the idea of prohibiting the building of mosques from South Africa to New York.....repatriating Islamist back to theire cretin countries....now, that would make New York great!!

    July 19, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
    • Darkus

      Why stop with the muslims? Lets send all those barbaric christians back to Europe and South America. We all know the vast majority of founding fathers were Deist. We shouldn't have to tolerate the insantiy of jesus camps, and bible thumpers trying to bring us back to the dark ages. Christians are just as dangerous with their attempts to force their religion down our throat and in our society.

      July 19, 2010 at 8:39 pm |
    • Gene

      Darkus,

      "Christians are just as dangerous with their attempts to force their religion down our throat and in our society."

      Really, the liberals in government have already destroyed christianity in our society. From removing memorial war crosses to reciting the pledge of aligence in school. Removed God from most text books. What more do you want? While this is going on Islam gets a free pass. And O by the way when was the last time a christian strapped a vest on with explosives and killed innocent people at a market? When was the last time a christian recorded themselves while chopping off someones head yelling "allah akbar"? When was the last time a christian parent killed their own daughter for honor? I get it, your either a liberal, anarchist or worse a New Black Panther party member.

      July 19, 2010 at 8:52 pm |
    • Mainehunter

      Muslims condone killing people. Christians do not. There are actually many many Muslims that celebrate the killings at 911 and recognize the Muslim perpetrators as martyrs. These same people will no doubt celebrate by visiting the Mosque at the WTC site. So to all you liberal supporters I say that until the leader of the Muslim faith publicly denounces the cowardly acts of terrorism, all Muslims should be banished from this country. America is one nation under God. In God we trust. If they can't deal with this fact, just leave and crawl back to the cave they came from.

      July 19, 2010 at 9:21 pm |
    • jayshemwell

      Hey Gene...I'll answer your question. April 19, 1995 by Timothy McViegh. In Oklahoma City. Watch "Jesus Camp" and tell me who is scarier.

      July 19, 2010 at 9:47 pm |
    • Darkus

      When the leader of the Christian faith apologizes of Olkahoma City. Then we will consider it.

      July 19, 2010 at 9:51 pm |
    • Mainehunter

      @Darkus...Timothy McVeigh was a small time insane punk who was exterminated as should all terrorist minded people. He was not hellbent on religion as are all Muslim terrorists. In fact 99% of all terrorists are religious zealots and are Muslims. So the extermination technique seems appropriate for Muslims. Maybe you can have a little jihad for yourself and then you too can get exterminated. One Nation Under GOD. In God we trust. America...love it or leave it.

      July 19, 2010 at 10:13 pm |
    • Elizabeth

      Islam does not need a special building; they are not allowed decorations or even tables; they don't need mosques. I think that we should follow Switzerland's example and ban the burqua and veil for women. If they really want to live peacefully in America, they need to provide equality to women. There are some who bring slaves to America. There are some who kill their daughters, including in America. There are some terrorists, in America. These are many more than an occasional Timothy McVeigh, and are most often not connected to previously known terrorist groups. Furthermore, they bring shame to those from the Middle East who are Christians who come here because they are being squeezed out of their ancient homeland. We have religious freedom in America, with the understanding that people promote peace and equality, but if they won't play, they should be banned. America does not allow people to yell "fire" in the theater; there isn't total freedom of speech. We do not allow any sort of demonic cult in America (notice that we do not allow those who practice abuse of others, even if they call it a religion), but Islam does practice abuse of others, and should not be included in our freedom of religion.

      July 20, 2010 at 11:47 am |
    • Nonimus

      @Mainehunter: "America...love it or leave it."

      America guarantees the freedom of religious expression, which includes building places of worship... love it or leave it, please.

      July 20, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
    • Selfish Gene

      Gene,

      Who wrote the pledge of allegiance?
      When was under god added to the pledge of allegiance?
      Do you know? I do.

      July 20, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  17. Cincinnati Steve

    Islam is not a religion that can co-exist with civilization of today. It is fundamentally flawed, and to try to live and let live with this religion is foolish at best, and suicidal at worst. BTW, the first sentence was stated by an islamic woman, who knows first hand the dangers of this religion, and the atrocities it is capable of ... to any group it considers infidels, but especially to women who are regarded as sub-human.

    July 19, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
    • Dame

      All religion is fundamentally flawed. Your statement is an example of why that is.

      July 19, 2010 at 8:36 pm |
    • Mike Speakman

      Yes all religion is essentially flawed, however Islam is more so. The reason I state this is the fact there is an edict that goes something like this "Religion is agroup decision", this edict alone makes Islam a dangerous religion to have practiced in a truly free society. Add to that how Jews, Christians and other non-muslims are considered dimmy or dimmified, basically thought of as lower humans than Muslims. Hindus were at one time considered even lower than dimmified peoples and could be killed on sight without repercussions in the Muslim world. Regardless what Obama says the world is at war with Islam.

      July 19, 2010 at 8:54 pm |
    • W briley

      I have seen what tortures happen to women that dare defy. This is a brutal culture with no regard for human life. When a daughter or wife is tortured and killed for becoming too American. They spread the wifes body along the road I lived on in plastic garbage bags. They are sub-human at best. What is wrong with America for even considering.

      July 19, 2010 at 9:07 pm |
    • Brandon

      Okay, I am a Christian. And some of my best friends are Muslims. They've never tried to slit my throat or convert me or anything. We can all talk about our religions peacefully. What happened on 9/11 was a tragedy and murder. But they were committed by Al Qaeda. They claimed to represent Islam but they don't. They represent ignorance, prejudice, violence, intolerance, and hate. Hate is not limited to any race, religion, nation, people, gender, age, or culture. There are people that are white Christians that would do the same if they had the chance. In the Vietnam War, the 11th Brigade, Americal Division entered the village of My Lai. "This is what you've been waiting for - search and destroy - and you've got it," said their superior officers. A short time later the killing began. They killed 3/4 of the original civilian population in My Lai. So are all Americans vicious, mercilous killers? No. In 1995 Timothy McVeigh, a Christian extremist, bombed a government building in Oklahoma City. He killed 168 people including 19 children under the age of 6. Adolf Hitler slaughtered millions of Jews, Poles, Gypsies, just because of their race/religion. So does this prove all nazis are bad? Yes, yes it does. Does it prove all Germans are bad? No, no it doesn't. It's time to heal, it is never time to forget but it is always the time to heal and work together. Most Muslims aren't murderous freaks like Al Qaeda. They're moderate and nice, well some of them are, some aren't. Just like in any other group. So get over your discrimination of Islam and any others you have about any other races or religions and let's start healing.

      July 19, 2010 at 9:41 pm |
    • tyler

      excellently put Brandon! The mosque is built two blocks from the WTC not on top of it as so many of you like to say. This also isn't some nice Hagia Sofia mosque, it's a nice, well-designed mosque and cultural center. Seriously, I'm appalled at the bigotry going on in a country that preaches religious freedom

      July 20, 2010 at 11:03 am |
    • Siara

      I can't believe they're considering this and I can't believe so many people approve of it. This is a symptom of liberals refusing to respect their own country but eager to respect other cultures. Why can't you respect your own country too?

      July 20, 2010 at 11:35 am |
    • Hussein

      Let me guess... it was Ayana Hirsi Ali. I thought that I would let you know that she is not a muslim and indeed renounced her faith, so of course she will be anti-islamic.

      July 20, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
  18. aaron west

    r u kidding me!!!!!!!

    July 19, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
    • yessir

      I think a mosque at the trade center is a perfect idea. And I also think we should ask the kind, thoughtful, freedom-minded members of Al Qaeda to allow us to erect a large, Baptist Church in the middle of Kabul.

      July 19, 2010 at 8:48 pm |
    • Col. Sanders

      Do you think it's a bad idea to open Cochon Restaurant of New Orleans (BEST pork in the South) next to the mosque in New York?

      July 20, 2010 at 10:38 am |
    • nameless

      Isn't that called "pandering?"

      July 20, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  19. Elizabeth

    Really? I mean...really?! I didn't think people as ignorant as above commentators existed anywhere other than the most indulgent fantasies of the most left of individuals. I am stunned that people would think so narrow-mindedly based on so little fact, and actually feel it was socially appropriate to share these hateful thoughts in a national forum. I am dismayed.

    July 19, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
    • Eugene Frank MD

      Liz, yes, it is shocking that in discussing quite serious a subject, the effect on families, friends and the maimed survivors of 9/11 of erecting a mosque within the shadow of the 9/11 terror, that abuse is heaped on the the abuse we were rendered. But Stephen's need to turn the other cheek in favor of the mosque, is to turn a blind eye and deaf ear to those whose pain is exacerbated by such proximately: Cordoba's push to build in that sacred shadow says so much about how callous this pretentious group really is, defiant to a flaw and disrespectful. The issue of allowing a Nazi group to parade through a neighborhood of Holocaust survivors, is the equivalent of allowing this group to parade its religious and moral association in the tortured faces of those who still struggle with that traumatic loss. The provocative insensitivity of Cordoba should not be validated.

      July 19, 2010 at 7:40 pm |
    • Chaos

      Would you like freedom fries with that comment Eugene?

      July 19, 2010 at 8:37 pm |
    • Irma McCaffrey

      Unfortunately they are using Religion to mask their avowed intent to destroy the USA. I can't think of a more insulting thing to the many individuals that died in the 911 masacre. Having a Mosque built on that hallowed ground is an insult to their memory and the inteligence of the American people.

      July 19, 2010 at 9:09 pm |
    • Jim Bridges

      Elizabeth – There are nearly 6.7 billion people on this planet. Exactly which ones do you hate the most and why? You seem to assume that people are evil because they adhere to the cultures they were born into. You are a silly, silly, silly, ignorant person. Here's a suggestion: treat other people the way you want to be treated. We'll all be happier and safer for it.

      July 19, 2010 at 9:11 pm |
    • moregrey

      I am really posting this in response to a lot of comments on here. It seems there is some confusion around this site. The proposal is not to build a mosque on ground zero as some sort of memorial. Rather it is an independent group who have purchased a site and want to build a worship center. Regardless of what you think about a particular religion, have we really gotten to the point of narrow-mindedness that we are willing to tell people what the can build with their own money on land they have paid for. What I find particularly ironic, is this tends to be the same group of people that scream less government, capitalism rules, stay out of the way of the market. I am not suggesting that I necessarily agree with the building. I am suggesting, however, that once again this issue is far more complex than many have considered. Have a little tolerance, a little patience, a little skepticism, a little faith in humanity, a little patriotism, etc but have to much and we get some of the anti-American comments like some of the posters have offered (I guess it is funny how so many of us would disagree about what is really "un-American" of these comments). Proof positive that our ability to have thoughtful, political discourse is really eroding.

      Come on fellow Americans, lets be more thoughtful. Don't just have knee-jerk reactions to all things.

      July 19, 2010 at 9:12 pm |
    • Maria

      Boston U religious scholar, I say not. Those universities are a nest of unbiblical, secular teachings for the blind. But, hey this is a free country and, if you want to pay 30k a year for that, that is your waste of money.

      July 19, 2010 at 9:12 pm |
    • noname32343999

      Jesus would want the mosque built at ground zero. It is the Christian thing to do.

      July 19, 2010 at 9:39 pm |
    • Sammy

      I agree that people like this writer exist. More so that CNN would be okay to put his ignorance here.

      July 19, 2010 at 9:56 pm |
    • CO

      New York is a big city with many empty commercial buildings; no need to build a Mosque at the WTC site; build it at another location. It is a stab in the heart to those who lost family and friends on 9/11. My Mom was killed on Flight 93 on 9/11 and when the plane was taken over, the Jihadists yelled "Allah Akbar" and then terrorized those people for more than 40 minutes before the plane crashed. So, yes, there are Islamic Extremists in the world, and yes, they want to still cause harm to the infidels – us. As everything else going on today, this has become a political issue, not one of right or wrong, but one where some see the building of a Mosque near Ground Zero as a "Healing" process. The only healing I see is if those who were responsible for the financing of the 19 hijackers are brought to justice; now that would be healing.

      July 19, 2010 at 10:06 pm |
    • Richard Hode

      Elizabeth and Gene – I agree 100% with you that this is an insult to us, a slap in the face of America. The moslem murderers came here to cause mayhem, and for this they are to be rewarded with a mosque on the very site of their attack? Why? So that the moslems can dance in the street as they celebrate another victory over America? Our problem is that we have so many hand-wringers and liberals who are too stupid to recognize an enemy when they meet one. What will come next – the erection of a Shinto shrine on top of the USS Arizona memorial in Pearl Harbor? Shame on these weaklings and traitors.

      July 19, 2010 at 10:13 pm |
    • Elizabeth

      It is funny how many people thought I agreed with the sentiment that a mosque invites terrorism. I am a post-graduate sociologist, I am probably more comfortable with cultural relativism than most. My dismay is singularly that some people can think because extremist Muslims caused 9/11 that all...you know...I'm wasting my breath here. Spew hate. Amurca for Real Amurcans. Rah rah.

      July 19, 2010 at 11:03 pm |
    • Frank SMith

      Dismayed?? Really?? Do you know where you live? Half of our country thought it was a good idea to vote for Sara Palin for Vice President – You're just realizing our stupid people are in our country? That says more about yo.

      July 20, 2010 at 10:44 am |
    • Rob

      Funny Elizabeth, here I was in disbelief that people as completely out of touch with our nation's core principles as you existed.

      July 20, 2010 at 10:52 am |
    • Rob

      Oh I didn't read your second post Elizabeth. Well done...your original post literally tickled my gag reflex though, especially when I saw all the people agreeing with that crap. I remember when I was raised, being conservative meant being less persuaded by emotions and more driven by refined principle.
      Today conservative seems to mean- have blind emotionally based or whim based opinions and then seek out any rhetoric that reinforces those opinions. In fact, that ignorance was such an untapped market in our society, a once moderate news station was bought out and molded specifically to suck that market dry-unfortunately its also sucking this country dry of true wisdom.

      July 20, 2010 at 10:58 am |
    • Elizabeth

      While we are at it, why not look at Harvard, which has a huge center for the study of Islam (paid for by Saudi Arabia, specifically the Binladen family), but still continues its narrow Congregationalist view of Christianity (where is their huge Catholic or Orthodox center? non-existant). Such "scholars" have no clue about religious symbolism; nor fair balance. I propose that Christians erect a huge gold cross-topped church within 2 blocks of the center of Mecca. Would the Harvard "scholar" have an objection to that, or understand what it would mean to Moslems? This is what that Mosque is about, and those who do not understand it are incapable of the merest spiritual symbolism. Are such able to pray? Anybody can babble "Lord, Lord," but what good will it do when their entire purpose is to create controversy that could have been avoided if they would have kept the landmark building intact and quietly allowed prayer inside of it. On 9/11, appearing on top of the rubble of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, were unmelted candles and icons; this is a miracle in itself, but the greater shame is that it hasn't been rebuilt.

      July 20, 2010 at 11:27 am |
    • Siara

      They build a monument to Allah right on the site where a bunch of radical Islamics killed 3000 New Yorkers and you're stunned that anyone has a problem with it?

      You are disgustingly out of touch with reality.

      July 20, 2010 at 11:40 am |
    • Joe

      Elizebeth, you uneducated fool. Osama bin Laden was KICKED OUT of Saudi Arabia because he commited a terrorist attack on his OWN COUNTRY because the Saudi Arabian government chose the United States help instead of his. You really need to educate yourself. Osama is an angry little kid that hates Saudis, America, and anyone else that doesn't agree with him. That's why he's called an "extremist". Just like Glen Beck is a conservative "extremist". They preach their values and then preach anger and hate towards anyone that doesn't agree with them. The bin Laden family has no ties to their crazy son and essentially kicked him out of the family when he attacked his own country decades ago.

      People like you are trying to show this conflict as a religious war, which it isn't. This isn't "Christianity vs. Islam". To be perfectly honest, the two religions are very much alike. Unfortunately for Islam, the religion's native countries are awash with poor and uneducated. Those people tend to be very impressionable.

      Oh, wait. Let's look at the poor and uneducated in America. Hmmm. Aren't those the ones at the Tea Party rallies holding up hate-filled signs of President Obama? Aren't those the same people that would be dumb enough to protest the construction of a Mosque near Ground Zero?

      July 20, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
    • Frogist

      CO firstly, I am sorry for your loss. It must have been devastating to have her taken away so suddenly. I am in favor of the cultural center/mosque. And I do think it will promote healing. And it will teach us who the real enemy is, namely ignorance. When we see that moslems are not all terrorists it can only help us to feel more at ease within our own country. It will serve to embrace a culture and diversity and make us more cohesive and stronger as a nation. I've given you my reasons for why I want the building to go up. Youhave a unique position here and I guess my question is, why do you oppose it?

      July 21, 2010 at 9:46 am |
  20. Maria

    Indeed stupid to the core. How will the terrorist win again if the mosque is toppled before it is built? Terrorists want the mosque you chucklehead. Do you think that if they build it the islamic extremists will try to destroy it? No, they'll laugh again. And what does NYC win if they build that mosque there ? This is not about who wins and who loses, built the stupid mosque anywhere esle but there. It is about respect and being sensitive to people who have not forgotten 9/11. A mosque stands for the worshipping of the "one" whose name the terrorists killed in. Disrespectful!!!

    July 19, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
    • temitayo

      If osama Bin Laden and the Taliban hate America so much, then they hate the Americans who are building the Muslim center in New York too. And seeing how the builders of the muslim are law-abiding American citizens, it is not your place nor is it your right to tell them where they can whorship. I have a friend that is muslim whose brother was a NYC firefighter who tried to rescue Americans trapped in the rumble. He might not have proclaimed how much he hated terrorism to hundreds of newspaper as "evidence for people like you, but his actions said more than enough. The real "disrespect" is how people like you are so willing to collectively group everybody into one big fasle category
      I'm a Christian, but that doesn't mean I consider Pat Roberson friend

      July 19, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
    • Y

      I agree. stupid. all wrong for symbolism from the american perspective. and i'm not even a redneck, xenophobic american. i understand that 9/11 does not represent the views of the islam community at large but no way.

      July 19, 2010 at 8:05 pm |
    • Red White and Blue bleeding American

      I've never voiced my opinion like this before. But on this topic, I can't help myself. I think it is utterly ridiculous that this request has gotten this far. Come on. Get real. Now is not the time. Perhaps in a generation or two. Learn from history people. If this is allowed to happen now, it would make a huge statement in the heart of this country. A huge negative one. I could go on, but I'm just getting riled up just thinking about this!

      July 19, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
    • Joe

      Building a mosque on the Ground Zero site would be a disgrace. Here's an idea for America: how about if we actually start catering to the majority in this country. If white, American Christians flew planes into buildings in Saudi Arabia or Iran, do you think they would even consider building a Christian church there?

      July 19, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
      • ken

        Great point Joe!

        July 19, 2010 at 8:30 pm |
      • EricD

        Wow, quite a bit of pent up frustration. How nice would it be Americans acted in the real spirit of the Constitution and why American was formed: religious tolerance and freedom of speech. Would everyone feel better if a McDonalds was built? That is an excellent tribute to America, and so much easier than living as an example of tolerance.

        July 19, 2010 at 8:48 pm |
      • John E.Hopkinson

        Great point indeed, Joe! And others including sheeptoslaughter (??)
        If I needed a persona to define the Moslem term "dhimmi". , I would use this guy Stephen Prothero. and he is free to contact me for further clarification. Prothero is of the "religious scholar" genre, the ultimate oxymoron.
        The point is "offense". Offense to Islam is the food of riots and killings. Offense by Islam is clearly explained, thus acceptable to, the "believers" by the Koran. This Cordoba structure is an offense.
        We all need to show greater respect for the principles on which North America is founded. Never afraid of truth. Never afraid when truth offends.

        July 19, 2010 at 8:52 pm |
      • Kurt

        Now you're talking!!!

        July 19, 2010 at 8:56 pm |
      • Barada

        Joe, I don't think churches or synagogs can be built there now.

        July 19, 2010 at 9:31 pm |
    • sheeptotheslaughter

      Anyone who doesnt get what this is all about is either blind or stupid. When islam conquered spain they built a islamic "center" in the heart of the city named Cordoba. Coincidence that the name is the same as this new "center" next to ground zero? Even more strange that it will open Sept. 11 2011 on the ten year aniversary!? Stranger yet that they call it a "tribute"?? Who's paying for this again. I am emarrased to be an american.. home of the sheep land of the pea brain. This is no different than the Flying Imams; deliberate desensitization. Wake up or you might find yourself in a nightmare.

      July 19, 2010 at 8:30 pm |
    • EricD

      Everything would be so much easier if we all thought and acted the same. It would also be useless. Variety, in life/universe/everything, tests our capacity for knowledge and mercy. A mosque at ground zero is a testament to America's ability to be better than the hate-mongers of the world. In general, religions should not be used for political symbolism, though, in this case, allowing a mosque to be built balances the hatred of the act of destruction. If a real statement can be made, let a multi-denominational place of worship be built to prove religions can coexist peacefully in the US.

      July 19, 2010 at 8:41 pm |
    • SB

      Okay hang on... you know two families, and that makes up your entire data set? I respect their choice to leave, but how about all the Muslims who do still practice their religion? I don't know a single Muslim who has ever slit anyone's throat, "infidel" or otherwise... and I'm a Christian, born and raised in the middle east. I respectfully suggest that you gather a little more than two points of evidence before you pass sweeping judgment on the values of 1.57 billion (that's "billion" with a B) people.

      July 19, 2010 at 9:34 pm |
    • RandomDave

      dave – your friends must have been taught Islam in some madarassa. Trust me, I know. My parents and I were born and raised in America. My grandparents returned to Pakistan in 1999. I lived there myself for 2 years starting in 2001. I've been to the madrassas. They taught me to read Arabic. Not to understand a single sentence, but the alphabet and pronunciation. I never understood a SINGLE WORLD of what I was reading. When I wouldn't be reading the Surahs from the Koran, the "Imam" would come and preach death to Americans and Israelis. This was not Islam. I NEVER KNEW A SINGLE WORLD THAT I READ IN THE KORAN. I MIGHT HAVE AS WELL HAVE BEEN A SUICIDE BOMBER. AND THEN PEOPLE SUCH AS YOUR SELF WOULD BLAME ISLAM WHEN ISLAM HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT.

      Reading the Koran vs listening to some hate-filled idiot who thinks he's chosen to go to heaven while everyone who disagrees will burn in hell are completely two different concepts. To keep this short, my point is simple- God does not tell us Muslims in the Koran to go kill all the non-believers. Killing is frowned upon. Suicide is a sin for which there is no forgiveness on judgement day, so in that respect suicide bombing is completely banned!

      Whether you like Muslims or not is your choice. You don't have to like us nor respect us. Do as you wish, God gave you a brain and a free will so you can make your own decisions, not any one else. However, to say that Islam commands we kill all Christians or Jews or anyone else or make war and take innocent lives is completely false and ludicrous.

      July 19, 2010 at 9:41 pm |
      • Janaki

        So islam taught in madarassas lead one to become a suicide bomber. That part is correct based on evidence. But then how do you jump into the conclusion that their islam is not the right one and yours is the right one? Do you know better than the imams? Maybe you should seriously consider the possibility that your parents were decent people because they were not scholars of the islam and that quranic and islamic teaching does a terrorist make.....

        July 19, 2010 at 9:57 pm |
        • My Opinion

          People.. start loving and stop hating. If not, you become one of them.. haters = terrorists and not real muslims.

          July 20, 2010 at 12:48 pm |
        • Dhulfiqar

          Why are you assuming the teachers at the Madrassa are 'imams'? You do know its well documented that US just a year ago funded militants (MEK, JUNDALLAH, etc.) with arms, training, and with $500 million seed money? These groups are on the terrorist watchlist but they are being used to fight America's proxy wars. These "imams" you speak of are paid stooges, give 'em some dollars and they'll say anything to please the hand that feeds them. And no this isn't a conspiracy story, Paul Wolfowitz got the congress's approval for funding these groups before end of Bush's reign. Google it.

          July 20, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
      • Steve

        RandomDave,
        Why then do some mosques have tile mosaics on the side of them showing an airplane crashing into the world trade towers??? My church has nothing like that on the side!

        July 20, 2010 at 11:19 am |
        • JD

          Prove it. Let's see the evidence of these mosaics.

          July 20, 2010 at 12:11 pm |
        • Dilshad

          Steve,

          Which Mosque has these tiles?

          July 20, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
      • Cheryl

        Thank you for clearing that up for some of us. Most of us do not read Arabic so we cannot read the Koran for ourselves to see if it indeed teaches Muslims to kill non-believers. We need more Muslims to reach out and enlighten us about the Koran. We need more Muslims to reach out to Muslims in all Muslim countries and teach them that killing, including suicide killing is not part of the Islamic religion. You must try harder to put an end to all the killing or you will not rid the fear of the Islamic religion.

        July 20, 2010 at 12:14 pm |
        • Hussein

          The truth is that Muslims do reach out to others and teach. We teach the misinformed the truth so that the lies about our religion do not spread. Islam is a religion of peace, despite efforts to say the opposite.
          You tell us to put and end to the killing but that and that is an absolutely universal goal. However that is like asking to turn some that is insane into someone sane. These people would not care what anyone says, they are corrupt to the soul and should not be considered Muslims.
          The vast majority of Muslims around the world condemn the killings so telling them that killing is bad would be preaching to the choir in a sense.

          July 20, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
        • Safety

          You don't know anything about Islam.
          ==Before Mohammad come to scene, the Arab world had over 360 different Gods one for each day of lunar year.
          When Mohammad began to promote his new religion, he realized needed a God, so he chose one of the 360dieties name Allah. And Mohammad declared him to be the true god.
          There is no way you discount the carnage that took place as Mohammad try to establish and spread Islam. Slaughtering thousands of people in his way.
          He would tell his followers “who relinquishes his fate kill him. I have been ordered by Allah to fight with people till they testify there is no god but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger.

          July 20, 2010 at 1:42 pm |
      • terry

        All Islam is a dead and empty religion, There is no God backing the religion, Its is of the devil. There is only one God and thats the God and father of our lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the only one God ever raised from the dead. God spits on the suto devil god of Islam! Let them pray to a stone or tree they would be better off. The true God laughs at them. This building will mean nothing, empty like their dead god. Thats why they continue to suffer a life time of misery over there. The true God will not bless their land. Their dead god is nothing more than an idol, and the true God always sees to it that idols are destroyed, they are a stench to his nostrils the bible says. Enjoy your empty building.

        July 20, 2010 at 1:00 pm |
        • common sense

          terry, your way of thinking is exactly what caused the attack on the towers. lets not have a peeing match over who's god is better shall we? You can believe in who you like, just don't push it on anyone else or cause harm to others trying to sell it. Now you can read a religious text word for word all you like but if you do so you will miss the point of its overall meaning. I'm not sure if the Bible actually says that Jesus Christ is the only holy person in the universe and thats the only person you can ever possibly pray to....but if you thought about if it was possible for others who lived oceans away from where the Bible and Christian faith was created? If you lived in the rain forest in brazil or were an american indian in north American you had no idea about Christianity and you believed in whatever God you came up with. Would you like to punish those natives for not knowing about christianity because there was no way to deliver the message to them back before travel to those destinations were possible? So is it wrong from them to believe in their own gods ? they had no way of knowing about Jesus.

          August 3, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
      • Tony Vallone

        Let me put this in simple terms. If ten people state publicly that they are each going to kill someone in the name of the Big Blue Meany, and then ten people are in fact killed, then I am going to start thinking that I should be wary of anyone who represents the same Big Blue Meany. Let me further say that if the Big Blue Meany believes it is being unfairly criticized or feared, then isn't the onus on the Big Blue Meany to change people's perception? By the way, these are rhetorical questions because, like it or not, this is how the world works, and if you think it is unjust, then why don't you go find another world to live on.

        July 20, 2010 at 1:35 pm |
    • WL

      If only the terrorists shared your noble sentiments.

      July 19, 2010 at 10:08 pm |
    • Apathetic

      These comments are even more fun than the actual article! Look at all the sparks flying 🙂

      "A mosque stands for the worshipping of the "one" whose name the terrorists killed in. Disrespectful!!!"

      Let's assume Maria's statement to be true. Don't build the mosque because some Muslims killed in Allah's name. In this same line of thinking, you can no longer build churches because some Christians kill (kill abortion doctors, for example) in the name of God.

      July 19, 2010 at 10:14 pm |
    • Usman

      I'm not a terrorist, and I want the mosque built so that I can pray and reflect there. There goes your argument. Stop being afraid of me, and learn to talk to me instead. I'm not going to hurt you.

      July 20, 2010 at 10:14 am |
    • John Grame

      Since when do we care who is "laughing" at us – what are we in 6th grade? We care if what we're doing is right not if we will be laughed at. Stupid and ignorant people always laugh at what is right and especially what they don't understand. let them laugh.

      July 20, 2010 at 10:34 am |
    • Chandra

      How far did you go with your education?

      July 20, 2010 at 10:37 am |
    • Bama214

      Does the Islamic community really want the publicity of this issue? Do they really want to endure and provoke this polarizing rhetoric? It would seem that there would be alternate locations that satisfy everyone's desires for access under our religious freedoms without provoking a firestorm.

      July 20, 2010 at 10:45 am |
    • Rob

      Islam is as bloody a religion as the old testament is in the bible. People that can't separate Islam from terrorism are the most ignorant of the people in this country.
      Did you know that Jesus is also the most quoted prophet in the Koran?? Jesus didn't advocate violence did he? Neither does Islam any more than Christianity. The fact of the matter is, terrorists are disenfranchised young men who are often poor or easily manipulated that get brainwashed. They don't read the Koran and become terrorists on their own, they are used by those who wish to fight a war against the west
      (and if you read the history of the middle east- even 1900 onward- its easy to see what the middle east has against western civilization- and that's not even factoring in religion- that's just considering border drawing, resource exploitation and political meddling)

      July 20, 2010 at 10:48 am |
    • Larry

      I am very much open to religious freedom and think this country of ours has done far too much to shut it down, but this idea goes so far beyond reason I can't believe there is even a debate about it. Whether intended or not, the symbolism of an Islamic victory by constructing a mosque on the site of an attack by Islamic extremists is so blatantly obvious. If Islam is sincere in building a bridge of any kind, spend $100MM on a joint memorial effort that demonstrates how wrong this attack was. Seriously folks, this article is a joke right? April fools in July or something?

      July 20, 2010 at 10:50 am |
    • Elizabeth

      I agree. The video only shows a handful of people worshipping; they could use one room of this landmark building and not destroy it. Walk into any American museum (such as Brooklyn Museum) and the new renovations have a display of Islam at the entrance; gone are the Christian and Jewish first century displays. Where is the money to rebuild St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church which was destroyed on 9/11? If these Moslems truly believe in a merciful God, they would give money to that cause, instead of expecting the rest of America to be merciful to them. Sure they have a connection to terrorists; just the fact that they won't allow people to be anything but Moslem in the countries that are providing money to build the mosque proves that they intend to do the same here. If Saudi Arabia allows Christian churches in Mecca near their ground zero, then I would believe that Saudi Arabia has no evil intentions in lower Manhattan.

      July 20, 2010 at 10:55 am |
    • ybs

      What happened to equality & freedom of religion?

      All religions are one big pile of dung. Islam is one big pile itself but Christians have no rights subjugating non-believers or those who practice other faith.

      When a non-Christian faith becomes the faith of the majority in the U.S., Christians will sing a different tune on the separation of church and state. "In allah we trust" and "So help me allah" will sound as pleasant to Christians as "god" to non-believers today!

      The solution... no religion in state. Morality is based on the law. And law existed before many religions.

      You can do good without god/religion, unless you have a superiority complex.

      July 20, 2010 at 10:57 am |
    • brooklynbl

      All religions have violence. They can spout anything they want to. In the name of someone's GOD billions have been tortured and killed. So what kind of religions are they? They kill for land in the name of GOD. They kill for money in the name of GOD. But most of all they kill for power in the name of GOD.
      Every religion has a type of Hitler at it's head. When people believe in a GOD whose leaders are leaders just to be powerful or rich or right that religion gets those people to do the job for them.
      I have my God right here with me. I don't need to tell my next door neighbor that he will die because he doesn't see the same GOD that I do. If my religion told me that my GOD wants me to kill people than that isn't my GOD. So basically people just need a reason to blame the horrific deeds they do. The leaders of these GODS and I mean ALL of them to one extent or another get their followers to do the deed for them. And just like Jim Jones those leaders lead people to their deaths. And you, the ignorant public, because you have no GOD inside of you and don't know what is right or wrong, blindly follow them. I can be a GOD loving Catholic without following the pope and so on. So people think!

      July 20, 2010 at 11:08 am |
    • Rob

      What would be disrespectful would be the government to step in and impede people's constitutionally given right to buy property on the grounds of taking away people's constitutionally given right to worship as they choose. It'd be one thing if the mosque was going to be AT ground zero. Its another that its private property nearby. Are we really this out of touch with our country's core principles that the people who claim to be conservative and fight for freedom from government regulation want the government to set a SERIOUS PRECEDENT by stepping in and halting a private entity from buying property in the name of religion
      Separation of church and state?
      Right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness?
      John Locke?

      What has happened to this country?

      July 20, 2010 at 11:10 am |
    • menforme

      a big AMEN to you. totally agree. NO mosque on or near that land.

      July 20, 2010 at 11:11 am |
    • Sidnus

      Andy has a point. One of the pillars of the US is religious tolerance, which in recent years, has gone to the wayside. Unfortunately, most people know very little about Islam, and garner most of their information from pop culture (TV and movies) and the news. This has colored most people's opinions that Islam is a hateful and dangerous religion, when, in fact, it is not. Just like in Christianity, Islam has many denominations, and is viewed and practiced with variety. If I were an upstanding and peaceful Muslim living in the US, I would have been extremely offended by the response given by my neighbors and fellow Americans after the 911 attacks. Only a few people planned and executed this catastrophe, but all of them are being blamed. That response is as anti-American as you can get.
      In light of the plans to construct a mosque at Ground Zero, a better solution may be to build a religious sector in which the world’s main religions are represented. This would show our solidarity as humans, as Americans, and set an example to the world that we have not lost our values as a people, not to mention to provide a positive example of how tolerance can be achieved.

      July 20, 2010 at 11:14 am |
    • Desi

      No. They should not allow building the mosque. I The history shows (if anyone read INDIA and it's history) the tolerance
      of religion will lead to harmony is myth. In INDIA e you look at several issues sourrounding the temples/mosques. This will go for centuries.

      July 20, 2010 at 11:15 am |
    • Robert Rubinstein

      Maria:

      Do you realize those mass murderers also killed 300 of your fellow Muslim-American New Yorkers. I detect sublte bigotry in yor self righteous outrage.

      July 20, 2010 at 11:16 am |
    • SSA

      @Maria.

      Your statement is not accurate. If you knew about Islam you would not say that. Stereotyping all Muslims because of the actions of a few people hiding behind religion is not American. What is American is tolerance. If you want to start stereotyping then we can say people like Timothy James McVeigh represent all of America. We both know that is not true. I am a Palestinian Muslim that was born and raised in the Boston area and I am not a terrorist. I am not a racist either. I love America for what it has provided my family because of its values. Those values are tolerance, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and respect to all regardless. I am not a religious person but I do believe that this mosque should be built because it is ILLEGAL to stop it. If it is stopped out of the fact that it is a mosque rather than a church, synagogue, or temple that means America is moving towards apartheid which goes against the constitution and everything America stands for. So it is really a question of does America continue to operate as normal or does it start going against its core values, your choice.

      July 20, 2010 at 11:16 am |
    • ConcernedPerson

      HYPOCRISY runs rampant here. Just ask yourselves – would there be an outrage if a christian church were being built here, what about a jewish temple? If the islamic religion is responsible for 911, then when are christians going to own all the atrocities committed in the name of that murdering jesus? Hitler was a devout christian, so what does that imply in the context of this article.

      And then what about freedom of speech and freedom of business. Doesn't america allow property owners to decide what they want on their land, within zoning constrictions. So if a christian church would pass the zoning requirement, then so would a mosque. I hope no one here actually believes that the christian/judeo beliefs are more valid than the buddhists or hundus or muslims!

      If a mosque is inappropriate near Grnd0, then isn't it inappropriate to have a catholic church anywhere near a children's playground?

      July 20, 2010 at 11:22 am |
    • Chuck711

      This is not a question of religious tolerance. It's a question of imagery, and it's a question of intent. The image of a mosque at ground zero is offensive. It's an image of invasion and conquest. It doesn't even matter what the truth is in this case. It's all about the image, and the image makes me very angry. And what is the intent of those who insist on building a mosque here? It feels like provocation to me.

      July 20, 2010 at 11:31 am |
    • johann1965

      It seems clear that many of the Islamic faith disagree, some in a violent way, with western ideas. Some Mosques are focal points for this kind of hateful resentment of our way of life. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I actually do believe there are Islamic radical sympathizers living among us, as Americans, who would like nothing more than to dance on the graves of those who died on 9/11. This location is too close at this time. Ask me again in 20 or 30 years.

      July 20, 2010 at 11:32 am |
    • Joe

      Good grief, Maria. Could you be any more dense? Islam has NOTHING to do with terrorism. Nothing. Islam is not a terrorist organization. Islam did not attack America. A bunch of crazy, uneducated, Muslim hillbillies attacked America. They did it in the name of Allah. These psychos kill and use their religion as an excuse just like the American psycho that butchered her children because God told her to. Or the crazy America president that invaded a country and killed thousands of innocent people and sent thousands of American soldiers to an early grave because "God is on our side". People are stupid, Maria. People do stupid things in the name of their "God" all the time. This in no way reflects the religion, or the other millions of followers. You know there are Muslim American soldiers dieing right now in Iraq and Afghanistan for our freedom? You and the other brain dead idiots like yourself really need to open your ears and eyes. You don't HAVE to stay stupid. Educate yourself and open your mind a little.

      July 20, 2010 at 11:37 am |
    • Siara

      Terrorists will see that mosque as a memorial to the Islamic martyrs who "died for Allah" on 9/11. Where do they want their next mosque? In DC? Maybe they should clear out some real estate there too and move in ten years later.

      July 20, 2010 at 11:38 am |
    • What happened to our wisdom!!!!

      That's for sure what Bin Ladin wants us to do!!! We lost the wisdom to know what's right and wrong.
      We haven’t learned from this great religion (the fastest growing in US and Europe) aside from few words extract which isn’t related to anything and hang it as if it’s islam.
      Muslims are helping and feeding poor people on street, and we slam them... they are so helpful to American elders, and we keep on attacking them.
      I am sorry for the millions of American Muslim kids that live in such environment.

      Throughout the world, who fought and still fighting for us?
      Who is fighting now against Taliban? Wrong! Not the US army, Muslims are!
      Who is fighting for us in Iraq? Wrong!! Not the US army, Muslims are!
      Who fought to crash the Rusain empire? Wrong!!! not the US army, Muslims are!!
      Who donated millions of dollars to Katrina disaster, Muslims world did!!!!

      google it, knowedge is power.

      July 20, 2010 at 11:38 am |
    • Andrey

      Really people? First off, it is supposed to be a community center a few blocks away. Secondly, let's just say for a second that it is a mosque and that it will be right next to ground zero. What would be wrong with that? It is a place for people to practice their religion. Nothing more. It represents the Islamic faith. Nothing more. The fear mongering and hate that permeates these discussions is astounding. It is shrouded racism. Islam did not bring down the towers and kill thousands of Americans. Terrorists did. Specifically, Al-Queda. Extremism exists within all groups. It is an inescapable human behavior. If it's a community center, then let it go up. If it's a mosque, then let it go up. I'm an athiest so it's a moot point to me.

      The Glenn Becks of the world thrive on fear. And why not? It makes them money. They rely on people to believe without finding reliable sources of their own. They profit from the general ignorance of the vast majority of Americans. And it is these people that stir the hate and fuel divisiveness. We are a nation of peoples of every race and every creed, and yet there is an overwhelmingly popular sentiment that there is such thing as an American. There are American ideals. And it is these ideals that are sullied whenever a people, race, religion, or lifestyle are curtailed in this country because of fear and ignorance.

      July 20, 2010 at 11:39 am |
    • DearyPie

      So in your opinion Islam the religion of billion of people around the globe is to blame for 9/11. That would be the equivalent of saying that no church should be built near African American communities because it represents the ideals of the KKK clan. Terrorist among Muslim people are looked upon as evil, corrupt twisters of the Islamic faith. Their actions go against the very teaching of the religion. If anything we should look to gain allies among our Muslim neighbors. Associating their religion and place of worship with violence and hatred is hardly conducive to that goal.

      July 20, 2010 at 11:43 am |
    • seadiver101

      before forming a negative perception about Islam, or the building of Mosque(masjid) please try to read about Islam from a True book(yup there are alot of islamophobic books out there, not to forget fox news channel) anywho see this movie and i gurantee it will change your perception of the way our govt. works or least indulge you into some real thinking.. Zeitgeist, The Movie
      cheers from ur muslim bro.

      July 20, 2010 at 11:43 am |
    • johann1965

      I think it is foolish to believe that Islam is just along for the ride in the battle against terrorists who where spawned and warped by their own religion.There is accountability a-plenty for any religion who insists only believers will enter heaven. Come on.

      What I'm sensing is this is just too soon. It should wait another decade.

      July 20, 2010 at 11:46 am |
    • Ahlam

      Thank you for this great article. Unfortunately many people who oppose this mosque are nothing but ignorants. To actually claim that this mosque is for terrorists is insanity. I am a muslim New yorker and this mosque is more than welcome. It is for people of faith, and faith does not mean extremists or terrorists. I say this would be great for America and New York, and those who disagree....well, you have all your churches and synagogs, let muslims have their mosques

      July 20, 2010 at 11:46 am |
    • Rez

      Well saying this mosque shouldn't exist would be equivalent to saying that any church established during the crusades should be destroyed. What good would that do to humanity? How would that help the people who go to these places to pray that something like 911 never happens again? I'm spiritual but not a religious person primarily because I feel that in some ways religion can do more harm than good. The history of man kind is riddled with murders and cleansing over religious beliefs.
      If all Muslims are terrorist then this war on terror should be taking place on a massive scale in every continent on this planet. The difference between a Muslim and a terrorist is that the terrorist have taken something that is holy and used it to produce evil. By preventing this mosque from being built you are only fueling the fire and your opposing the principles in which this country was built.
      If you want to protest something then go protest to shut down every gas station with in a 10 mile radius of ground zero.

      July 20, 2010 at 11:47 am |
    • Kay

      Placing a mosque there is "in your face" and they know it. It is disrespectful to the non-Muslims who died in 9/11. If they want to build something there, it should be NON-DENOMINATIONAL and built by a cooperative effort by all people. The only reason a mosque center would go there is to CONVERT people to Islam and that is what the extremists wanted too (besides just moderate Muslims.)

      July 20, 2010 at 11:50 am |
    • N.L.H.

      AMEN ! Maria! Why should WE be expected to be sensitive??? WE ARE THE ONES WHO WERE ATTACKED !!!!!

      July 20, 2010 at 12:01 pm |
    • Howard

      @ Maria ...

      "Chucklehead?" And you call him "disrespectful?"

      July 20, 2010 at 12:06 pm |
    • Doug

      Yes, it's about time this idea got aired. The wingnuts have been sucking all the oxygen out of the discussion, but they're wrong. The best, most American thing we could do would be to encourage SEVERAL religious organizations to build near Ground Zero: a mosque, a synagogue, a church of two of various denominations, a Buddhist or Hindu temple. This is EXACTLY THE RIGHT PLACE AND TIME to reaffirm the fact that, unlike in the home of Al Qaida, America is a land of religious freedom and tolerance. The folks who want to forbid the mosque have, I suspect, a hidden agenda based in the "America is a Christian nation" falsehood–an agenda that makes them intolerant in ways that have dismaying echoes of exactly the intolerant behavior that's coming out of jihadist Islam.

      July 20, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
    • Tony L

      Whatever happened to the constitution and bill of rights? Personal property rights of building on your own property? The freedom of religion? So, if you people of hatred and racists decide that any person of Muslim faith should not walk near the ground zero next, what then? Or no Muslims in Manhattan can walk the street? or no Muslims in Newyork or US can live? where do you draw a line? This is a slippery slope. All our people regardless of our faiths have same rights and if these nuts are allowed to stop the building of mosque, there will be even worst backlash through out the world for US reputation and credibility. We call our selves proud of our constitution but cannot stand up for it when need to do that. Besides the Supreme courts will support the constitution. Thjs controversy is the political BS for the right wing nuts for votes and incitement trying to stir up trouble in a bad economy.

      July 20, 2010 at 12:11 pm |
    • jimbo

      I will give the people who wish to pray there the benefit of doubt, but consider this. When the Romans conquered Europe they built the arch of triumph's. And while the people who wish to pray there won't see it like that. Al-Quida will, and they will use it as a recruiting tool, it's just as simple as that. And for that reason alone I don't think it should be built there.

      July 20, 2010 at 12:11 pm |
    • nxent

      so... a handful islamic extremists means 'we' are at war with all 1.5 billiion muslims in the world? outstanding.
      and... christianity has exemplified religious tolerance over the years. those protestants and catholics always got along really well, and not once have they killed or bombed something in the name of god. peaceful bunch those crusaders were.
      let's see...why was this country founded? something about religious tolerance... but only if you're christian though.

      July 20, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
    • Linda

      How could they even consider this !!!! Why don't we just turn over the whole country to them, after all our president's name is Hussein..need I say more !

      July 20, 2010 at 12:28 pm |
    • Tom

      This proposal should be conditional.

      Condition: Twin towers be built in Mecca as well.

      July 20, 2010 at 12:32 pm |
    • Pancho

      "A mosque stands for the worshipping of the "one" whose name the terrorists killed in" Do you mean God? Because Islam is not the only religion to have its fanatics kill in the name of God. History is filled with all sorts of fanatics that took to killing in the name of God. And I'm not sure if you've realized, but fanatics also exist in other religious groups (Christian, Catholics, etc) – not just Islam. Should we also prevent those from building worship centers near Ground Zero?

      The founding fathers who built this country were fleeing religious persecution. If you start singling out ONE religion, then where does it end?

      Educate yourself. Amendment I of the US Constitution

      "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

      July 20, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
    • Nemo Crets

      Remember that many people who died on 9-11 were Muslims who were not terrorists nor their sympathizers. They were passengers on the planes and people in the WTC. There are over a billion of them, after all.

      July 20, 2010 at 12:39 pm |
    • Bonnie

      IMHO I just visited the site of the Oklahoma bombing. I thought it was a beautiful tribute to the innocent men, women and children that lost their lives to a homegrown terrorist. I, like Timothy Mcvay am from New York and I am not sure of his religous beliefs but I know we have nothing in common. A that monument was not built to show not everyone is like him, it was built as a tribute to the people that lost their lives that day. I believe the tribute/monument that should be built on ground zero should be built to honor the people that died that day and the people they left behind. I am not saying anything against muslims they do have the right to their beliefs and I am not saying all muslims are alike just as Timothy McVay and I are not alike but give that piece of land to the ones who died for it and build a mosque somewhere/anywhere else in this country. Lets think of the people that lost everything that day, Please.

      July 20, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
    • Jason

      @ Rise above
      “His commentary is saying that America is a land of freedom and religious tolerance.” We cannot erect a CROSS in the middle of a desert without bringing a law suit. But it is ok to build a mosque next to a place where so many people were killed by Muslim extremist. Tell me again about “religious tolerance.”

      July 20, 2010 at 12:49 pm |
    • Marecus Matthews

      The 9/11 attacks were disgusting and I know the hijackers are burning in hell, but 13 Muslims don't represent 1.7 Billion. People may disagree with the mosque/community center being built near the WTC site, but it is not anyone's place to decide how people worships and where they can worship. America is suppose to be the country of tolerance, but it seems were are backsliding. Two wrongs don't make a right. Building a mosque is no different than building a church or synagogue. I am an American, was born and raised here just like the 12 or so generations before me, have served my country in a military and federal law enforcement capacity, and am Muslim. I am more dedicated than the average American, but some feel I should not be allowed to practice my religion in certain places because of the actions of a few. That is ridiculous, especially since my religion has been in the United States almost as long as Christianity (1619). That is like me saying all Christians are evil and should not have freedom to practice their religion because the "Christian Warriors" known as the Ku Klux Klan have terrorized people for 144 years. Is that not an unjust assertion? If you believe that is unfair, then there is no way you should think it is fair to judge 1.7 billion people on the actions of a minute percentage. Everyone needs to remember it wasn't just Christians that were killed that day: 10% of those killed by the terrorists were Muslim. Don't judge us all and throw us all on one pile.

      July 20, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
    • Selfish Gene

      Terry, Islam is copied from the copy of judaism. The old testament was plagiarized by mohammy.
      Now that Sarah Palin is against the mosque, I support it. So there.

      July 20, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
    • Clayton

      "Terrorists want the mosque you chucklehead"

      I definitely can't agree with that statement. They don't want the mosque to be built. They want to use the intolerance and fear to further their goals against the Western world to show that we are trying to "destroy" their religion. To show that they are winning and we are afraid of them. That even in a country that claims to have religious freedom, that only the Christians get the final say in who can practice what and where they can do it. I hope this mosque gets built in New York City. I want the Muslims to show they are a part of the United States and that they're Americans. Muslims didn't come to this country to wage jihad on the nonbelievers, they came here to be Americans and live the dream. There are always a few exceptions and the media exploits these situations, but I know most Muslims are very good people.

      July 21, 2010 at 3:15 am |
    • Sam

      Religious tolerance...I get it. But let's get one thing straight, this is really about once very specific area in the entire country. No one is saying that Islam cannot be practiced In New York or anywhere else in the country. The real question is, "What is the point?" What does anyone GAIN from putting a mosque in that very specific location?

      The bottom line is that the pursuit of this matter is completely unnecessary and insensitive. There is no 'higher' rationalization for promoting this activity. If we want to show how the US has not changed it's ways, we should use that area for what it was used for before: Business.

      July 23, 2010 at 10:05 am |
    • Bill

      This mosque at ground zero makes as much sense as a statue of Hitler at the allied graveyard in Normandy, or the recently unveiled statue of Stalin in Virginia. Just plain stupid.

      July 25, 2010 at 4:24 am |
    • courtney

      Stupid mosque? Wow, how incredibly ignorant.

      July 27, 2010 at 11:55 am |
    • tom glossner

      What an all around, colossally bad idea. Who would even consider it?

      August 3, 2010 at 11:31 am |
    • Haley

      @ Linda
      Wow, so our president is a terrorist because his middle name is Hussein?
      Am I a Nazi because I have a German last name?? With your logic, I think you'd say so.

      August 3, 2010 at 11:32 am |
    • Katie

      I agree with Maria. A mosque should NOT be built near ground zero. It is DISRESPECTFUL to those who lost their lives on 9/11.

      August 3, 2010 at 11:44 am |
    • IJAZ ASLAM

      I am muslim and I beleive mosque should not built on this disputed place . Sep 11 was individuals act not the muslim act .They are still blaming all muslims who have nothing to do with sep11 . Sep 11 definately damage th trade center and hurt innocent who have not done any thing wrong. when muslim will practice at this mosque site .it will make other people annoying because it is was dispute plcae and muslim must refrain making that site a prayer place if they offer a free land because it will be used all the time for propganda againist muslims even muslim live in us have nothing to do with sep 11.

      Mosque is a place where people worship One Almighty .It can not be place where people hate or think of hate with each other.
      Please do not recommend that place for mosque otherwise it will be used against all muslim as propganda place even they law abiding citizen of this country .A lot non muslim extremist will used this mosque a propoganda tool.
      Pray To almight can be done any where not at ground zero. please do not recommend this site because this a place it will hurt to our white,black,spanish and muslim american

      August 3, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
    • Ed Moiselle

      When the Islamic World allows churches and synagogues in their land, we should allow them the same opportunity here, but not until then.

      August 3, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
    • David

      Im sorry, explain to me what a mosque has to do with what happened on Sept 11th? So individuals of a faith are unable to practice that faith because madmen used its name in an act of terror? This is the problem with the United States, you have no tolerance, and less understanding of what the underlying issues are. Mosques are not the problem, Islam is not the problem, extremist madmen are. Blatant ignorance is what has caused this to even be an issue.

      August 3, 2010 at 12:28 pm |
    • JG

      I am not a member of Islam, but the comments here are very pig headed, and i am shocked by the number of posters who don't know their history. Islam didn't bomb us the Taliban did. When the taliban bombed the WTC they didn't care what religion the people inside were. People of all religions worked in those buildings and died that day. Islam is no different that any other religion, all religions have cause pain, suffering, and ware in the last 1000+ years of human history. Islam is as American as any other religion because we area a melting pot. Now if they were building a memorial site for the Talian, then there would be cause for concern. Finnally those who are so worried about extremisam, look at our history and study the Christian Crusades, those were far more extream than anything today.

      August 3, 2010 at 12:43 pm |
    • JG

      I am not a member of Islam, but the comments here are very pig headed, and i am shocked by the number of posters who don't know their history. Islam didn't bomb us the Taliban did. When the taliban bombed the WTC they didn't care what religion the people inside were. People of all religions worked in those buildings and died that day. Islam is no different that any other religion, all religions have cause pain, suffering, and ware in the last 1000+ years of human history. Islam is as American as any other religion because we area a melting pot. Now if they were building a memorial site for the Talian, then there would be cause for concern. Finnally those who are so worried about extremisam, look at our history and study the Christian Crusades, those were far more extream than anything today

      August 3, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
    • Chimo

      I'm inclined to agree with Maria. I don't have a problem with someone wanting to build a mosque in this country. I do think though that because the terrorists (at least from their perspective) were killing Americans in the name of Allah, that to have a large mosque in that particular area would be very disrepwectful to those who lost a loved one that day. I beleive that their are many moderate muslims who hate the terrorists as much as I do and I think most ameircans do, but I just think that building this mosque their at that site is just pain wrong, and it's going to hurt a lot of good people and it's going to stir up a hornets nest with protesters both for and against it, and their are most likely going to be clashes over it.

      August 3, 2010 at 12:47 pm |
    • mazen

      Maria first of all is the name of one of our prophit mohammed peace be upon him. Secondly, as a muslim I know that the terrorists are manipulated and are few compared to main stream islam. Any attack on islam, you would give them an opportunity of gold for them to grow. On the other hand, we ,the moderate, would lose ground to them. give up fighting against islam. fight the ideas of the deviated muslims by not supporting the strong over the weak, the israelis over the palestenians. May God bring peace and harmony to muslims and cristeans and jewish. May God destroy the idas of the zionest and the terrorists.

      August 3, 2010 at 12:49 pm |
    • Eric

      Here's an idea – Let the Chief Islamic Cleric associated with this proposed Mosque/Cultural Center Put in WRITING that he Condemns the Terrorist acts of 9/11 and FURTHERMORE issue a Fatwa against all Terrorist acts in the name of Islam and to go even further – that he calls on His Highest Religious Holy Men to do the same from Iran to Saudi Arabia to Islamabad to Jakarta. The SILENCE of the Islamic Holy Figures in Condeming The acts of 9/11 was Deafening... NOW would be a GOOD time for Muslims who wish to Use Hallowed ground to Pray to their Supposedly Peaceful Prophet to BE HONEST and Either CONDEMN THE TERRORISTS AS EVIL using their OWN HOLY MECHANISMS with Ayatollahs in the above mentioned states called upon to Condemn the acts OR face the fact that they CANNOT CONDEMN the acts as UNISLAMIC because ISLAM IS NOT A PEACEFUL religion any more than the Prophet Mohammed (a GENERAL who used deceit in Treaty Negotiations) WAS NOT PEACEFUL and as a PILLAR of ISLAM (And the PERFECT Man as per Islamic Teaching) it precludes the VERY IDEA that ISLAM CAN EVER BE A PEACEFUL religion. How long do you think it would be after a Terrorist Act by a Catholic before the POPE would be called upon to condemn the act? Would he even NEED to be asked? Why the Double Standard?

      August 3, 2010 at 1:08 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.