July 23rd, 2010
11:35 AM ET

My Take: No conservatism in Gingrich's attack on the ground zero mosque

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

This week, Newt Gingrich joined Sarah Palin in expressing his opposition to the Islamic community center and mosque at ground zero.

Palin’s argument, while wrongheaded, was better. Her appeal was to “common decency.” Don’t build the mosque, she wrote, out of respect for the dead and out of sensitivity to those who lost loved ones on 9/11.

Gingrich’s argument, by contrast, was simply bizarre.

In a macho manifesto that echoed some of the most hateful comments attacking my earlier post supporting the ground zero mosque on religious liberty grounds, Gingrich wrote, “There should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia.”

Really? Since when has Saudi Arabia been the model for American civil liberties? And if it is our model, why don’t we follow it more rigorously, banning all mosques from all America, or for that matter all non-Christian places of worship?

And while we are at it, why stop at violating our citizens’ religious liberties? Saudi Arabia doesn’t allow political parties and severely restricts freedom of speech. So perhaps we should outlaw New York’s Republican and Democratic parties until Saudi Arabia agrees to allow political organizations. Perhaps we should shut down The New York Times until Saudi Arabia agrees to respect freedom of speech.

Gingrich’s truly bizarre argument basically admits that opposition to the proposed Islamic community center and mosque is rooted in religious intolerance. In fact, the whole point of the piece is to justify that admitted intolerance on the ground that Saudi Arabia is even more intolerant.

Reading Gingrich’s strange statement took me back to a chilling passage in a brilliant book by the Dartmouth historian Susannah Heschel called The Aryan Jesus. In this study of the intellectual lengths Christian theologians went to demonize the Jews during the 1930s in Nazi Germany, she makes a chilling observation about how racism works.  “By defining the target as immoral,” she writes, “the perpetrators permit themselves to violate their own moral norms.”

Do not misunderstand me. I am not saying that Gingrich is a Nazi, or a racist. I don't believe he is either. What I am saying is that he is following this same script. By defining his target—in this case “the Islamists and their apologists”—as immoral he and his followers permit themselves to violate America’s longstanding moral norms.

There are many words for such an argument, but conservative is not one of them. True conservatives seek to safeguard a society's core values, not to dismiss them in the name of the demon du jour. And one of America's core values, inscribed into the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights, is freedom of religion.

But we are at war, right? And don't desperate times call for desperate measures? According to Gingrich, “America is experiencing an Islamist cultural-political offensive designed to undermine and destroy our civilization.” And I will grant him that. There are Muslim extremists who hate America and want to destroy us.

But while terrorists may take down our buildings and murder our citizens, only we American citizens can bury our core values. And that is what Palin, Gingrich, and other so-called conservatives are all too willing to do.

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

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Islam • Politics

soundoff (600 Responses)
  1. brian

    As an atheist, I find all religions utterly idiotic and worthless. However, Islam holds a special slot, since it's the only organized religion that can be directly associated with systematic campaigns of violence by its leaders. Terrorists concentrate at mosques; that's how they're found out in the US and Europe. The myth that most Muslims reject violence needs to die a long-overdue death.

    July 23, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
    • Bernard Webb

      brian said: "Islam holds a special slot, since it's the only organized religion that can be directly associated with systematic campaigns of violence by its leaders."

      brian, brian, brian, you sound dumb when you say that. You need to go back to school and read about something called The Crusades. They were "systematic campaigns of violence" (against Muslims, imagine that) that were "directly associated" with Christianity, to the point that you were promised a place next to Baby Jesus in Heaven if you went to the Muslim homeland and killed people there.

      brian, your special hatred for Islam is based on deep ignorance and a lack of insight. You don't seem to know enough to deserve to have that strong an opinion, held so smugly and self-righteously. Turn off Glenn Beck and pick up a history book.

      July 23, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  2. IzDaMan

    Again not my words or take this is their own words from their books. They are the hatrers not us:

    IX. Jihad [Sura 9: The last to discuss Jihad]

    a. Jihad is a permanent obligation on the Muslim community until the entire world made the Dar al Islam.

    b. Jihad is sixth Right of Pure Worship between god and man – the first five being the “pillars” of Islam.

    c. The Quranic Basis for Jihad

    i. Islamic Law provides three options for ‘People of the Book’ (those who had a holy book prior to Muhammad): (1) They may convert to Islam; (2) they may be killed; or (3) they may pay the jizya (non-Muslim tax) and be subjugated to Islamic Law having little rights as non-Muslims under the law. Pagans and others who had no holy book prior to Muhammad must either convert to Islam or be killed.

    ii. “Fight and slay the unbelievers wherever ye find them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war. But if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them; for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Qur’an 9:5, the Sura of the Sword)

    iii. “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Apostle, nor acknowledge the religion of truth, even if they are of the people of the Book, until they pay the jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” (Qur’an 9:29)

    d. Jihad has only ever been defined in Islamic Law as ‘warfare against non-Muslims’:

    i. "to war against non-Muslims...signifying warfare to establish Islam" and is "obligatory for every Muslim" [Umdat al Salik, Classic Manual of Islamic Law (Shafi), Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, d. 1368.]

    ii. "war...is obligatory on men who are free, have attained puberty, who find the means for going to war, are of sound health, and are neither ill nor suffer from a chronic disease...the jurists agreed, with respect to the people who are to be fought, that they are all of the polytheists, because of the words of the Exalted, 'And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for Allah." [The Distinguished Jurist's Primer (Maliki), Ibn Rushd, d. 1198]

    iii. " 'Fight the unbeliever wherever you find them and lie and wait for them in every strategem of war...' 'I have been commended to fight the people until they testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah...' This honorable Ayah (verse) 9:5 (Qur'an) was called the Ayah of the Sword, about which Ad-Kahhak bin Muzahim said, "It abrogated every agreement of peace between the Prophet and any idolator, every treaty, and every term.' " [Tafsir of ibn Kathir, d. 1373]

    iv. "Jihad is a communal obligation...Jihad is determined till the Day of Judgment...'Then shall ye fight, or they shall submit (Qur'an 48:16)' When the Muslims commence battle, and they have surrounded a city or a fort, they are to invite the inhabitants to accept Islam...If they respond positively, they are to refrain from fighting them, due to the attainment of the purpose. If they refuse, they are to invite them to the payment of jizyah, and this is what the Prophet ordered the commanders of the armies to do for it is one of the consequences upon the conclusion of battle...if they reject the invitation, they are to seek the help of Allah and engage them in combat." [Al-Hidayah, A Classic Manual of Hanafi Law, Primary Hanafi Text since 767 AD]

    v. "Fight in the name of God and in the 'path of God.' Combat only those who disbelieve in God...Whenever you meet your polytheist enemies, invite them to adopt Islam. If they do so, accept it and let them alone...if they refuse then call upon them to pay the jizya. If they do, accept it and leave them alone..." [The Islamic Law of Nations (first book of Islamic Law), Shaybani's Siyar, 700's AD]

    vi. "The jurists have distinguished four different ways in which the believer may fulfill his jihad obligation: by his heart; his tongue; his hands; and by the sword...the believers are under the obligation of sacrificing their 'wealth and lives' in the prosecution of war." [War and Peace in the Law of Islam, Majid Khadduri, 1955]

    vii. "The word jihad is most often associated with the act of physically confronting evil and wrong-doing...if anyone dies in a Jihad they automatically go to Paradise. A Shaheed or Martyr, is described this way by Allah, 'Don't think that those who were killed in Allah's Cause are dead. No they are alive, finding their bounty in the presence of their Lord...the Law of the Land is the Shari'ah of Allah...the duty of the Muslim citizen is to be loyal to the Islamic State." [“What Islam is All About” (most popular Islamic junior high school text in the U.S. – printed in English), 1997]

    viii. "The Holy Qur'an spelt out the object of the divine war against Paganism soon after it commanded the Muslims to take recourse to fighting. 'And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression...'The Holy Qur'an wishes to see the Muslim armies always in an uppermost, dominating and commanding position over those of their adversaries....Terror struck into the hearts of the enemies is not only a means, it is the end in itself. Once a condition of terror into the opponent's heart is obtained, hardly anything is left to be achieved. It is the point where the means and the end meet and merge...Psychological dislocation is temporary; spiritual dislocation is permanent...To instill terror into the hearts of the enemy, it is essential, in the ultimate analysis, to dislocate his Faith. An invincible Faith is immune to terror...This rule is fully applicable to nuclear as well as conventional wars." [The Quranic Concept of War, Brigadier General SK Malik, Pakistani Army; Forward by Chief of Staff Pakistani Army Zia ul Haq (who became President of Pakistan), and Preface by Advocate General of Pakistan Brohy who calls this a "Restatement" of the Islamic Law of War. This was written in English in 1979 and is DOCTRINE in Pakistan]

    e. Jihad as warfare must be fought when the Muslim community has the ability to do so. Even when this is not possible, a standing requirement exists to wage Jihad via the pen or with words. At a minimum, however, all Muslims are under permanent obligation to hate and despise the non-Muslim rule (Jihad of the Heart).

    July 23, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
    • Amy J

      Do I need to go find all of the atrocious quotes from the Old and New Testaments?

      July 23, 2010 at 3:16 pm |
    • ALBERT

      Jesus stated, "i do not bring peace, no, but a sword"
      everyone wants to be correct, and no one wants to be on the wrong side, but the historical facts are this; 1. Judaism brougth the law and the prophets; 2. Christianity was born of Judaism; 3. Islam was born of Muhammad, who borrowed from the holy books. One Humanity, One God...however, we are commanded, "though shalt not kill" and we reason with you, and will be your friends, but we cannot condone a universal caliphate upon the Earth or universal Sharia law, as we are of the belief that Islam is a holy and just faith, but we have our own faith, and we believe in one God, jehova. Jehova is Allah. We recognise this fact. I speak only of what I know. I speak from a point of view of a Christian. We are commanded to turn the other cheek, but we also are ordered to fight to the last man in holy struggle as well. keep that in mind.

      July 23, 2010 at 3:23 pm |
    • IzDaMan

      Amy /Albert,

      The difference is that they are taking everything in the Koran literally and going out and killing people in the name of Allah, and establishing or instituting a new world order called the Calaphate. Remeber in 1923 the calapahte under the ottoman Empire was abolished, then in 1928 the Muslim Brotherhood; of which 90% of the mosques in America support, set out to re-establish the calaph and institure true Islam accross the world. The Muslim Brotherhood is a TERRORIST Organization, I really don't think that any organizaed religion sets goals to be a Terrorist organization and take over the governments of the world. Islam is the modern Nazi's of the world.

      July 23, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  3. June

    Well-written piece... and right to the point... tolerance is a particularly wonderful AMERICAN quality... let's not throw the baby out with the bath water!!!

    July 23, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
  4. CubanMom

    Disgusted with so-called-Christians who are judging and condemning Muslims. Your hate is no different than the terrorists hatred towards us!

    July 23, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
  5. JD in Moraga

    @David – The Christian Bible also requires separation ("Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers", etc.) and condones its own particular brand of nonsense. It also requires its followers to "obey the powers that be, for they are ordained of God..." so maybe you'll want to start observing the First Amendment rather than trying to dismiss it out of FUD.

    July 23, 2010 at 3:05 pm |
  6. KaiserSouse

    The racism in this country NOW is far worse than it ever was during segregation and the following civil-rights movement.

    July 23, 2010 at 3:05 pm |
  7. ChanceTheChase

    After 9/11, I decided that instead of autohating Muslims because of a small sect of radical fundamentalists, I visited a mosque. I went to a lecture given by a local Imam decrying the attacks on the World Trade Center. I watched as people prayed, and I listened to my Muslim friends who were facing a discrimination that they had never faced before. Instead of hating someone becaues they were a true religion far distant from the radicals who did these horrendous acts, I tried to understand. Most Muslims I do know are tired of defending their religion against these hateful speeches and ridiculous accusations, and quite frankly, I'm tired of hearing it.

    People who are against Islam like to quote passages from the Qu'ran that say "kill the infidels" and things of that variety. READ THE WHOLE BOOK. As a free American born and bred woman in the process of reverting to Islam on my own terms and not that of a man (another stereotype), I found that by reading the Qu'ran I felt a certain kind of peace. I encourage anyone who likes to cite the Qu'ran to read the whole book before assuming certain things.

    July 23, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
    • IzDaMan

      Do not believe everything they tell you. They are obligated to lie under Sharia. Again not my words these are their words only:

      XI. Lying

      a. Islamic Law specifically allows, and in some cases obliges, Muslims to lie to non-Muslims if doing so furthers the cause of Islam.

      b. “The Prophet said, ‘He who settles disagreements between people to bring about good or says something commendable is not a liar.’” [Sacred Hadith, Bukhari & Muslim]

      c. “I did not hear him (the Prophet Muhammad) permit untruth in anything people say except for three things: war, settling disagreements, and a man talking with his wife or she with him.” [Sacred Hadith, Muslim]

      d. “Speaking is a means to achieve objectives…it is permissible to lie if attaining the goal is permissible…and obligatory to lie if the goal is obligatory.” [Imam Abu Hamid Ghazali, Reknowned Islamic Jurist, quoted in Umdat al Salik, Sacred Islamic Law, Book R: Holding One’s Tongue, r8.2]

      July 23, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
    • PapaKat

      First, I don't think I beleive you are who you say you are, no thinking woman would ever convert to a religion as misogynistic and degrading as Islam if she had a choice. Maybe you are not a thinking woman. Eh.

      So reading the Koran gives you "a certain kind of peace" ? – whatever that may be. Reading the Lord of The Rings brings me peace, does that make me an elf? The bible does the same for other folks. why don't you read it too?

      If you convert to any religion, especially Islam which still has roots in medieval law and massive subjugation of women, you better know the whole of the law it sets before itself. You may just be setting yourself up for more misery.

      July 23, 2010 at 7:07 pm |
  8. IzDaMan

    Just stating the facts here from their books not mine or ours.

    Relations with non-Muslims [Sura 5: Last to discuss relations with non-Muslims]

    a. It is a permanent command in Islam for Muslims to hate and despise Jews and Christians and not take them as friends. This comes from both the Qur’an as well as from the sacred hadith scholars Bukhari and Muslim.

    b. “Oh ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors; they are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them for friendship is of them. Verily Allah guideth not the unjust.” (Qur’an 5:51)

    c. The Prophet said, "The hour [of judgment] will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them. It will not come until the Jew hides behind rocks and trees. It will not come until the rocks or the trees say, 'O Muslim! O servant of God! There is a Jew behind me. Come and kill him. Except for the gharqad, which is a tree of the Jews.’" [Sacred Hadith, Bukhari, 103/6, number 2926]

    d. Allah's Apostle said, "By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, surely (Jesus,) the son of Mary will soon descend amongst you and will judge mankind justly (as a Just Ruler); he will break the Cross and kill the pigs and there will be no Jizya (i.e. taxation taken from non Muslims).”[Sacred Hadith, Bukhari, vol 4, book 55, number 657] Note: this Hadith states that the Muslim prophet Jesus will return to earth with Muhammad and will cast all Christians to hell and, kill all Jews in order that Muslims may go to ‘Paradise.’

    July 23, 2010 at 3:03 pm |
    • Bill

      And this is different in principle from Christianity how?

      July 23, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
    • trudy's mom

      How can any religion that shows flagrant bigotry be valued in America???

      July 23, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
    • trudy's mom

      The Christian book, the Bible, does NOT call for hatred and despising of muslims. That is how the Quran is different from the Bible.

      July 23, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  9. massms

    Mr. Prothero: Your argument is as ludicrous as the rest of the liberal claptrap spewed by you clever sillies of academia. Read Andrew McCarthy's book, "The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America".

    July 23, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
    • Wakeup

      Read "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" and watch the movie Zeitgeist.

      July 23, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
    • Mike

      I love how right-wingers hate 'academia'. Dont like people smart, eh? Trust me, it shows (W, Palin). Is that because when people get educated they tend to become 'liberal'? Strange that intelligence seems to bring the liberal out in people. Frankly, all adults screaming about these caveman ideas of religion make me laugh. But ALL have the right to in this country. Take it up with the founders after you die.

      July 23, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
    • trudy's mom

      Read Infidel by Ayaan Hirsti Ali, Nomad by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, The Imam's Daughter by Hannah Shah, Now They Call Me Infidel by Nonie Darwish, Cruel and Usual Punishment by Nonie Darwish. These are all current books. The mainstream media has completely ignored them. Why?

      July 23, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  10. See Novak

    If a giant mosque is built near the site of the SECOND attack on the World Trade Center, the leader of the Islamic Extremists would use this to re-energize their movement and attract new recruits. They would spin this into a victory over the infidels, their greatest since their invasion of Spain in the 700's. It's simply not good policy.

    July 23, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
    • Wakeup

      No need for terrorists any more, people like have it in your own head!

      July 23, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  11. Levelheaded

    This Mosque is a Trophy for a Serial Killer.

    July 23, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
  12. Mike

    What a lack of self-awareness with you guys. You're complaining about Muslims religious intolerance........with religious intolerance.

    July 23, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
  13. Amy J

    I read Gingrich's "macho manifesto" and my reaction was pretty much yours: America is better than that. For Gingrich to actually say "we shouldn't because Saudi Arabia doesn't" is the most childish comment I've heard over this whole thing; he may as well stick out his tongue at American Muslims. Our Founding Fathers fled Britain for exactly this reason; America does NOT stifle the religious liberty granted our fellow countrymen! Is it offensive when American Muslims live and work in Manhattan, or just when they pray? The whole thing is outrageously petty.

    Asides from religous liberty, the "Ground Zero Mosque" is actually a community center for all citizens, with one floor dedicated to being a mosque; it is two blocks away from Ground Zero, which I visited on Google Maps last night to be sure of what I already thought: There are other buildings in the way! Ground Zero will not be visible from the community center, and vice versa.

    July 23, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
  14. CubanMom

    Last I heard we still live in a FREE Nation. We are ALL allowed to worship as we please. It is totally racist ......... yep....... racist, to make the statements that Palin and Gingrich have made! Considering the history of Christianity, with its hate-mongering, its Crusades, the way "Christians" came to the New World and forced their faith on Native Peoples, we, Christians should be very careful about throwing stones! BTW the 9/11 terrorists were a minority, of Muslims. There are millions upon millions of peaceful Muslims around the world and in our Nation that would never harm anyone. Once again the Republicans spew hate and fear, what else is new?!

    July 23, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
    • PapaKat

      The biggest racist in the US right now is probably sitting in the White House and he's not a GOP member, right? The Muslims started the Crusades, not the Christians and you probably won't learn this on any other news channel than FOX, but it is a high handed sign of victory over Christians (whose values strongly influenced the development of the US government, and its continuation today) when a Muslim can erect a mosque on a place where they have defeated an enemy, in this case Christianity and the US. Why are they always trying to buy up Christian churches instead of building a completely new, modern facility. You ought to know why!! These Muslim facsists know what they are doing, now that they are getting some push back they are crying the bigotry and race card. Well, wah wah wah. You seem to have bought it hook line and sinker too. You should be embarrassed.

      Islam is the enemy and they are amongst us – waiting.

      July 23, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  15. Mark

    How incredibly naive! Why does anyone think Americans want a monument at the site? It is hallowed ground. A place where nearly 3,000 innocent Americans were slaughtered by Islamic terrorists, and Prothero dares to suggest that Islam build so much as 'bus shelter' within a mile of this place? You disgust me. The Muslims who dare to rub this in our faces disgust me, and it should enrage all Americans that liberals with no sense of history, patriotism, or honor would so freely allow this site to be desecrated in the name of 'political correctness'. Stephen Prothero you're a liberal coward and you wouldn't have lasted 2 minutes in 1941. You dishonor those who perished on 9/11 - shame on CNN for publishing your vomitous ramblings.

    July 23, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
    • Bill

      Then why are you listening to Newt Gingrich – A man who did everything he could to avoid fighting the enemies of the US?

      July 23, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
    • Wakeup

      When has the 9/11 case actually been proven? Most of the case relies on a video tape that appears to be Bin Laden taking responsibility for it. The 9/11 commission said that they had no conclusions on who financed 9/11 and the question was inconsequential.
      Your comment is filled with buzz words with meanings that have been fed to you like "liberal" "patriot". The real cowards are the elite bankers that orchestrate wars from profit. Dick Cheney is should be mentioned in the same words as Hitler and Stalin. On the day of 9/11 he was in a bunker in charge of Norad which he took personally charge of before the 9/11 alerts. It took Norad 80 minutes to respond when it normally it takes 10 minutes to get a fighter jet up to a hijack plane.

      Anyway god bless all of you. Muslims, Christians, Republicans, Democrats, liberals, conservatives. We are all human beings.

      July 23, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
    • Joe NY, NY

      Why do you hate America? It's about freedom and justice for all, isn't it? Love it or leave it, dude.

      July 23, 2010 at 4:01 pm |
    • Mark

      Bill - Who the h3ll said anything about Gingrich??? Not me. I've lived among Muslims and all I can say is that you guys can play mental masturbation with the facts until you have a PC brain freeze, but you have no idea what you're dealing with. Kids growing up with trading cards and scrapbooks of homicide bombers, Muslim air traffic controllers in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore who refuse to acknowledge approaching U.S. flights out of solidarity with "the struggle". Globalization is the goal of Islam - and they will say or do anything to accomplish that. Think what you like, but I haven't met a Muslim in this, or any other country who doesn't sympathize with Al Qaeda or the Taliban.

      July 23, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
    • trudy's mom

      And I would like to know why CNN is taking such a leftist stand on this issue, giving absolutely no coverage to the testimonies of those who have escaped Islam, and barely lived to tell about it.

      July 23, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  16. Dave

    Stephen is right on the point - and he put it in as simple language as is possible. The more we polarize our society the more we fall right into the hands of Radical Fundamentalists. I don't fear all white christians people because of the actions of a few outlying crazy people throughout the years (KKK lynchings, racial murders during up till the civil rights movement, the unabomber terrorist attacks, the oklahoma city bombings) – and I dont fear all muslims as terrorists.

    Anyone who argues to the contrary only helps plunge the world into move violence. Maybe some of you would like that. I wouldnt.

    July 23, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
  17. jeff shindle

    From the safest places come the bravest words.

    July 23, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
  18. ErikTheRed

    I agree with much of your post. Your jab at RC Church pedophiles even has some merit, though I am RC However, your likening of the "founders .... of Christendom" to radical Islam is dead wrong. Early Christians, i.e before 325 AD, were pacifists, following in Jesus' example. They let themselves be killed in the name of their beliefs but did not attack those who attacked them, just as Jesus healed the ear of one of the guards coming to take him to his death. The acceptance of "justified" violence by the Christians was done to convert the Romans and then my ancestors, the Vikings, because these people saw physical battle as a good. I think this was a grave error by the Church and wish we would go back to those early times.

    July 23, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
    • trudy's mom

      Christianity cannot be compared to Islam, even if it is true that crimes have been committed in the name of Christianity. While the Quran commands that unbelieers be killed, Jesus commands Christians to love their enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. From the cross, He prayed that the Father forgive His killers. This is as far from Islam as you can get.

      July 23, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
    • Diana

      Trudysmom "Jesus commands Christians to love their enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. From the cross, He prayed that the Father forgive His killers. "
      Why don't you follow those words then instead of spreading your so called truths and hate of Muslims on this board. Your hypocrisy is showing!

      July 23, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
    • trudy's mom

      To Diana: In what way have I said anything hateful? Loving people does not mean accepting evil! I am not spewing untruths and hates. Read the facts about Islam, and the testimonies of those who have left it, at the peril of their lives. I guess you equate loving your enemies as submitting to them. And yes, Islam is an enemy of democracy. There is no such thing as islamic democracy.

      July 24, 2010 at 11:07 am |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      Muslims kill millions in the name of Allah
      Christians kill hundreds of millions in the name of other than Jesus
      That does not make christianity superior to Islam!! Quite the opposite, its Islam's ability to limit the killing to millions that makes it superior to Christianity. The dead are dead at the end of the day, they do not care in whose name they got killed. The one who kills less of them, is the one they would think is morally superior!

      July 25, 2010 at 10:14 pm |
  19. Terence Gaffney

    Gingrich & Palin are quite CORRECT! Gingrich being the best REASON why the mosque should NOT BE BUILT! Unfortuneately the USA FORGETS the WRONGS of certain peoples and countries towards the USA! As for Stephen Prothero – his comments and IDEAS are way-out in LEFT-FIELD!

    July 23, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
  20. mr. mark

    why is the opposition so hard to understand? I was in NYC on 9-11 – those towers and the people in them were destroyed by a group of Islamic fanatics, killing in the name of that religion. Now they want to build a mosque or Islamic community center or whatever it is nearby? It's just rubbing salt in the wounds – and there are many. If they REALLY want to practice community relations, donate the property and build somewhere else.

    July 23, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
    • Mike

      Ok Mark. But I expect you to protest any church near the Oklahoma City bombing site. After all, McVeigh was a christian.

      July 23, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
    • CubanMom

      Mark, IF you are going to condemn every Muslim and paint all the millions upon millions of Muslims in the world as terrorists. Then you need to take a deep breath and read a little about the bloody Christian history! NO one is exempt from sin. The terrorists that attacked NYC on 9/11 were Muslim, however, you can not condemn ALL Muslims of being terrorists. And IF you deny the Muslim-Americans the right to build a Mosque where ever they please...... what freedom will you want to take away next?!

      July 23, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
    • Maria

      You're also probably going to want to protest all the churches in Spain, since it was Christian leaders and politicians who tortured and exiled/executed thousands during the Spanish Inquisition. I guess all the churches in Ireland should go since the Protestants and Catholics were killing each other there. I suppose you'd also support no churches in the U.S. since there is a Christian basis to the KKK?

      July 23, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
    • StevenS

      This reply to CubanMom and Maria! No one trying to say that all muslims are terrorist. But those people who wanted to build the mosque in this specific location do have a different agenda – they are building it as a monument to terrorist and monument to Islam. Do you really think that regular muslim guy who drive a taxi in NY donates money to this mosque and they all can bring $100min? Are you dumb? Second point, show me muslims who raise their voice to build mosque in a different place? If it is for religion only, then they should not even argue to build it in another place – their Allah can hear them in 1 mile or 10 miles futher from Ground Zero! So, don't be naive!
      I am actually do not think that your name is Maria – probalby Fatima is more correct one.

      July 23, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
    • TRUTH

      StevenS: now you think all Muslims drive TAXI in NYC??? Let us assume, you are correct... Do you have any idea howmuch a NYC Taxi medallion costs? Gosh.. grow up !!!

      July 23, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
    • PapaKat

      Another stupid comment Mike, McVeigh didn't kill in the name of Jesus! The pigs that brought down the WTC DID kill in the name of Allah – guess you aren't getting that on CBS and CNBC – start watching a little FOX now and then.

      July 23, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
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About this blog

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