August 4th, 2010
07:40 PM ET

Lawsuit challenges ground zero mosque

By Elise Zeiger, CNN Senior Producer

A group representing a New York City firefighter who survived the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks filed suit Wednesday seeking to nullify a ruling that cleared the way for construction of what's come to be known as the "ground zero mosque."

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) filed its suit against the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission at the New York Supreme Court. The suit urges the court to nullify a decision by the commission Tuesday, when it denied landmark status to a building and thereby cleared the way for an Islamic center and mosque to be built on the site.

The lawsuit charges that the city violated its own policies and procedures in rejecting landmark status and exhibited "an arbitrary and capricious abuse of discretion."

"We seek to preserve and have landmarked a property that terrorism on September 11th, 2001, was unable to destroy, but which will be destroyed if the landmark's decision stands as is," said ACLJ counsel Brett Joshpe. "We believe that they rushed to a vote, that they rushed a decision without a full and fair public hearing and public debate."

The ACLJ is representing Tim Brown, a decorated firefighter who survived the Twin Towers' collapse.

"Who decided the boundaries of ground zero? Where did it end? It seems common sense to me that if part of the plane went through the roof, that certainly means there could be body parts there. And as far as we can tell, it has not been searched. We're gonna find out," said Brown, now retired, who said he lost 93 friends in the collapse.

The existing building is owned by the Cordoba Initiative, a Muslim outreach group, and already serves as a site where prayer services are held. The group wants to demolish the existing structure and build a "$100 million, 13-story community center with Islamic, interfaith and secular programming," the Cordoba Initiative website says.

The ACLJ, a legal advocacy group founded by televangelist Pat Robertson in 1990, is seeking to have the landmarks commission's ruling set aside by the court and have the commission reconsider.

The lawsuit says that the building in question had been under consideration for landmark status 20 years before 9/11, and that the designation is even more appropriate now since part of one of the hijacked plane from the attacks crashed through the roof of the building.

"For them to suddenly take this property in the dead of summer, on such a controversial issue, to publicly announce a hearing with very little notice and to provide only a week's time for public comment, really is uncharacteristic, especially for a property of this sort," Joshpe said, referring to the commission.

"We're not here because of hate or bigotry. Nobody wants to ban Islam," he said. "This is about insensitivity."

Brown, clearly outraged Tuesday's decision said, families of 9/11 victims "are physically ill over the vote. I'm here to defend those families."

"We are not going to back off, we are going to charge full steam ahead on this, and we're gonna see to it that this mosque never gets built on ground zero, on our cemetery," Brown added.

The court is expected to set a hearing date for the lawsuit sometime in October.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Houses of worship • Interfaith issues • Islam • Mosque • Muslim • New York • United States

soundoff (553 Responses)
  1. FishtownYo

    Christianity = hypocrisy

    August 4, 2010 at 9:21 pm |
  2. jobalou

    they wanted to build a big mosque in London England and the City was Thinking of saying yes
    until one councilor said, well how about the day we can build a christian church in Mecca and
    anybody can attend it freely then we will consider giving the go for a mega mosque here.
    They have yet to get permission to build that church. So to build that mosque

    August 4, 2010 at 9:18 pm |
    • Greg

      So I guess you are for removing any Christian church in OKC? Mcveigh was a Christian after all.

      August 4, 2010 at 9:22 pm |
    • Daniel standing in the fire

      If Tim could ask you only one question from the other side, it would be: "What is fulminated mercury?"
      Tim blew up a truck. There were two explosions that day, 18 seconds apart. The second one, 18 seconds after Tim's truck went up, was the one that really blew up the building and all the evidence it contained relating to the Branch Davidian massacre.
      Search for "fulminated mercury oklahoma" to become a GI Joe with a kungfu grip on reality as it played out in Oklahoma.

      August 4, 2010 at 10:10 pm |
    • Cedar rapids

      They should ban any more catholic churches until they allow a synagogue or mosque to be built in vatican city.

      Plus of course they did not build the mosque because they failed to submit planning permission in time but they hope to do so in the future.

      August 4, 2010 at 10:12 pm |
    • Greg

      Daniel, So you seem to think that the Feds blew up the Murrah Building? It never ceases to amaze me at how people can find ridiculous conspiracies in almost anything. You are an example of all that's bad about the internet.

      August 4, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
    • Daniel standing in the fire

      "Daniel, So you seem to think that the Feds blew up the Murrah Building? It never ceases to amaze me at how people can find ridiculous conspiracies in almost anything. You are an example of all that's bad about the internet."
      Means, Motive, Opportunity. Look at the seismographs.
      Fulminated mercury residue is still there in OKC, just as the superthermite/asbestos laden dust still litters NYC.
      Very often I do not like what science tells me, so I look closer, and in these two cases, science provides answers, while the official explanation in each case only adds to the list of questions. Find a demo guy ask him to explain the symmetry of the 9/11 implosions. Then have him explain to you the fundamentals of why the fuel/fertilizer/truck didn't and couldn't do the job in OKC.
      The "It is true because I say so" argument just never held water with me.
      Both of these acts demonstrate immeasurable contempt for humanity.
      I believe the victims do deserve to know the truth about who did these things and why.
      Greed and contempt for life will kill you, and they really just don't care if you die.

      August 4, 2010 at 10:59 pm |
    • SayWhaaa!!

      No that was not the reason, The mosque was so huge that it would totally destroyed the London's city scape, one with the Big Ben and Tower Bridge. That was their reason they wanted London looking like London of a 100 years ago

      August 5, 2010 at 12:57 am |
  3. Greg

    OK first off it is not ground zero. It is two blocks away, so that's a garbage arguement. Second, there has been a Muslim prayer center there for years and now because some right wing extremists want to create a wedge issue it's now a problem. Third whether this is granted landmark status or not will not prevent the Muslim Center from being built, it will just change how it's built. Grow up people and stop wasting time and money on your ridiculous fears.

    August 4, 2010 at 9:18 pm |
    • Illuminated

      Couldnt have said it better myself..

      August 4, 2010 at 9:40 pm |
  4. Kung Pao

    They bombed that area.. 99% of terrorists are Islamics.. That is an insult to build near that area, you don't see Christians bombing Mosques in the middle of the night do you? I would actually enjoy seeing that.. to hell with Islamics, god is not real anyway... please... throw away your primitive bronze age beliefs and the world will be better.

    August 4, 2010 at 9:18 pm |
    • Greg

      There has been a Muslim prayer center there for years chief.

      August 4, 2010 at 9:18 pm |
    • Daniel standing in the fire

      "99% of terrorists are Islamics"
      Can you quote any facts supporting this claim?

      August 4, 2010 at 9:23 pm |
    • Greg

      Your right, a good Christian like Mcveigh detonated his bomb in broad daylight.

      August 4, 2010 at 9:25 pm |
    • Greg

      You don't need facts when you rely on fear.

      August 4, 2010 at 9:26 pm |
    • Anonymous

      @Kung Pao: 100% of terrorists are from the planet Underpantsia. It's so obvious. You just have to look right in front of you derpaderpaderp. Yea, don't go claiming statistics using "it's right in front of you" as your support. It makes you look less than intelligent

      August 4, 2010 at 9:27 pm |
    • Greg

      So all those terror groups in Central and South America including what is considered to be the very first modern day organized terrorist group are all Muslims? You are clueless sir.

      August 4, 2010 at 9:29 pm |
    • Kung Pao

      woooow Timothy is something in comparison to all the worlds Terrorists.. I will give you a few other domestic Terrorists in Colorado, your argument is immaterial.... the fact is Terrorists are islamic and peoplewill racially profile no matter what you politically correct morons try to do.. . . .nothing you can do about it (he he). 99% are islamic, this is fact.. and if you don't see that. something is wrong with you.. brainwashed drone maybe? socialist? Liberals are such tards omg.. tell you what you have your politically correct society because it will never get you anywhere fast... and all the people with common sense will just annex an area... your words are insignificant. time for me to go now... I got the final say here. I wont' see your response (pwned)

      August 4, 2010 at 9:32 pm |
    • Mike T

      99% of terrorists are Islamic? You're pretty naive aren't you? KKK=terrorists. Skin Heads=terrorists. NeoNazis (and Nazis)=Terrorists. You'd better belive that there are more white supremists in the world than Al Queda members. And let me get started on the Christian terrorists going around blowing up abortion clinics? We don't need to band a mosque, we need to ban STUPIDITY because that kills more people every year than a bunch of crazy Muslim radicals every will.

      August 4, 2010 at 9:32 pm |
    • Kung Pao

      Mike T \: politically correct freak.. they are hate groups and are low key.. and they are not blowing up places anymore.. they are domestic terrorists if you will.. "were" so your argument is immaterial again.. Drone.

      August 4, 2010 at 9:34 pm |
    • Kung Pao

      To all of you... .if are blinded enough by brainwashed media to say "Islamics are not Terrorists" (I understand they are not all Terrorists). But who else do you see bombing stuff all the time? Its' mostly Islamic people, based on a belief of a God that does NOT exist. There was hate groups like the Nazi's but they were a Political Party, There was Timothy McVeigh but that is a 1 time occurance type of thing. People in Latin countries have gang violence political bombings over Drugs and things of this nature. They are not creating a major stink like the Islamics is my point. There is occassional issues with Ireland Terrorism in the 80's to 90s but that was domestic and not world-wide. Skin heads although a hate group are not "consistently" bombing stuff and doing suicide bombings. No fear mongering, I hate both sides REP and DEMs.. I followed both and Dems are the most idiotic people you can imagine.. REPS are christian freaks.. So basically it IS right in front of you, but for some reason when I say 99% of Terrorism and you disagree... I must say you are seriously f-cked up in the head and im sorry your small politically correct mind won't let you see the light. Drones

      August 4, 2010 at 9:47 pm |
    • Kung Pao

      now that I have owned this conversation... I will leave in my victory to never see your responses... and drive my expensive car that I purchased with my hard earned money.. not a government handout. 😉 owned!

      August 4, 2010 at 9:51 pm |
    • Letthembe

      I thought you were done here before and you pwnd everyone? Your lack of conviction in your statement is only out done by your lack of any intelligent responses.

      August 4, 2010 at 9:59 pm |
  5. FishtownYo

    Wow, there's certainly a lot of hate going on here. Muslims are ALREADY using the building for worship. Muslims OWN the building already. Why not refocus your anger on who really imploded the buildings on Sept 11? Surely jet fuel could never have done so.

    August 4, 2010 at 9:13 pm |
    • Anonymous

      And yet Muslims apparently can't make the building into a mosque. Go figure.

      August 4, 2010 at 9:16 pm |
    • May

      But the pilot that detonated the jet fuel by flying the plane into the builiding, was Muslim.

      August 4, 2010 at 9:19 pm |
    • Radam Ibn ul Czena

      The initiative might not own the Temple of Cordoba, however asserted here.

      The nature of their claim to the property is worth a thorough survey.

      Who owns the site?

      August 4, 2010 at 9:19 pm |
  6. solomon

    So you don't like Jews either? Religious Jews and Muslims observe very similar dietary laws.

    August 4, 2010 at 9:12 pm |
  7. jobalou

    once they have a mosque somewhere it means that land belongs to Islam.
    Little by little one mosque at a time they are trying to conquer the world.
    Wake up folks

    August 4, 2010 at 9:12 pm |
    • FishtownYo

      Christians aren't trying to take over the world? Don't be so stupid. Religions are reasons for hate. Most intolerant people are most religious. Religion is for holier than thou hypocrites...

      August 4, 2010 at 9:19 pm |
    • Greg

      There has been a Muslim prayer center there for years. Long before this became an issue, so your rant is baseless in this situation.

      August 4, 2010 at 9:19 pm |
    • steven harnack

      That's pretty laughable but you know what? If the price was good all of you drugstore patriots would sell in a heartbeat!

      August 4, 2010 at 10:08 pm |
    • Jack Hall

      That will be a challenge for Americans to remain vigilant and protect our Constitution. It may require Americans to become as fanatic about our Bill of Rights as Muslims are about the Koran. We will remember whose country this is.

      August 30, 2010 at 6:32 am |
  8. Roy

    While I don't have a 'strong' opinion one way or another, and am not an American, one word in the article does strike home. Insensitivity. Americans seem to be making a noble effort in welcoming and supporting various religions. It would be nice if those wanting to build on this site could do the same. Right or wrong aside, sensitivity provides a clear answer to this problem. Doesn't religion teach this?

    August 4, 2010 at 9:10 pm |
    • May

      You are right. The Muslims are being totally insensitive in their insistance, they certainly would not stand for it if it was in the reverse.

      August 4, 2010 at 9:22 pm |
    • J.B.B.

      Very well put Roy! It IS an act of total insensitivity to build this structure where so many do not wish to have it!
      Thank you!!

      August 4, 2010 at 11:54 pm |
  9. Adina Dana

    It is permissible to build a house of worship, on land and property properly purchased, and owned, in full abidance of municipal law.

    August 4, 2010 at 9:04 pm |
    • May

      If you insist, then the building should include houses of worship for all other relgions as well, or none at all. That would then look like a pentagon or something similar, with an entrance for Baptists, Methodists, Catholics etc. If the Muslims want to show tolerance, then let them begin by building a building to house them all!

      August 4, 2010 at 9:12 pm |
    • FishtownYo

      May: What Christian worship center did this? Both religions suck. Made up fairy tales for people who need a crutch.

      August 4, 2010 at 9:15 pm |
    • Illuminated

      May: If you haven't gotten around to familiarize yourself w/ the facts properly, allow me to enlighten you; they're not "just" building a mosque. Rather, it's also going to house a community/entertainment centre and the doors are wide open to all those of a differing faith. No different than your YMCA. Mkay?

      August 4, 2010 at 9:35 pm |
    • Jack Hall

      The First Amendment protects freedom of religion and freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances. A bill of sale is not as well protected as our Bill of Rights. The free exercise of religion means that Islam is not illegal here. The framers of the Constitution knew clearly that there were times when it was illegal to be Lutheran, Calvinist, Baptist or anything but Roman Catholic. There was time when It was illegal to translate the Bible into English. Muslims take a lot for granted. And so does Mayor Bloomberg and President Obama.

      August 30, 2010 at 6:07 am |
  10. Mark

    The thing for me is how insensitive can these people be? Ground zero is the site of a Muslim attack on us. why do they need to build it THERE? Why not somewhere else?
    "So what if 3000 people died here because of our religion? We don't care." is essentially what they are saying to us. Well, WE care. We don't want your mosque anywhere near this site because it was muslims who created the site. If it wasn't for your religion, there would be no ground zero. If you want to build a mosque in NY, build it somewhere else OTHER than ground zero or near it.

    August 4, 2010 at 9:02 pm |
    • Greg

      Let me know when you plan on banning all christian churches in OKC. Mcveigh was a christian after all.

      August 4, 2010 at 9:21 pm |
    • Illuminated

      Following your logic, the KKK is "Christian", the IRA is "Christian", the FARC is "Christian", and all other terrorist organizations clearly represent their faith, too!?

      August 4, 2010 at 9:27 pm |
    • bryan swicicki

      Mcvay dident murder in the name of his god....not the point though....how about puting a muesum dedicated to the american militia movemnt of the 1990s accross the street from OK City federal building

      August 4, 2010 at 9:39 pm |
    • mike cutter

      The terrorists were terrorists first and foremost, who happened to be Muslim. Assuming that this country is founded on laws guaranteeing equality, the terrorists will have won if we abandon our Constitution in order to persecute individuals or groups that DID NOT commit any crimes, but have the misfortune to be grouped with those who did by shared nationality or religion.
      By that same logic, we cannot complain about Muslim dislike of Christians, considering the crusades against them. Or the American invasion of sovereign Islamic countries for political reasons.

      August 12, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  11. Compromise

    Really it is insensitive to build it there.
    There are other more appropriate places to build one.
    To build one there is to slap all of the ones lost in the face.
    A community center, for all races would be better.
    At least that would be a neutral place, and all people could belong.
    Some food for thought: even terrorists go to Mosques to pray.

    August 4, 2010 at 9:02 pm |
    • Illuminated

      Some other food for thought: hundreds of the WTC victims were Muslim [Americans].
      Let's not allow our biases and ignorance take the better of us..

      August 4, 2010 at 9:23 pm |
    • patriot

      It's not about race, its about religion.

      And because we are in NYC/USA its about FREEDOM of religion and the right to assemble as a religious group. Otherwise we gotta lose all the rest of our freedoms too.

      August 4, 2010 at 10:06 pm |
    • Edward

      I do not know how many Muslims exactly died on 9/11. However, your claim that hundreds died (Would that be two hundred or 900? Regardless, this would mean that a dispropotionate number of Muslims happend to be in the WTC on that particular day, or flying on certain flight flights. Please, when you count up the Muslims killed on 9/11, don't forget Mohammed Atta, and the 18 other Muslims responsible for the deaths of 3,000 innocent men, woman and children.

      August 4, 2010 at 10:40 pm |
    • Farshid

      Excellent point. Like another blogger said, Muslims build Mosque to celebrate conquests and victories. Building a Mosque there is just as good as raising an Al Queda banner! And dont forget many of these Mosque preach radicalism. Maybe this Mosque is a shade more tolerant, maybe not!

      August 4, 2010 at 11:04 pm |
    • jessica

      Illuminated, nice try but the official number of Muslim (victims) is 28.

      August 4, 2010 at 11:47 pm |
    • Chillaxophone

      Terrorists go to Christian churches to pray, too. Does that mean there shouldn't be any Christian churches anywhere in America?

      August 5, 2010 at 8:23 am |
  12. Todd E.

    So, where is an acceptable place to build a mosque? My guess is that the answer that most of these dunderheads would give is, "At least 3963.1 miles from Ground Zero." That is calculated on the presumption that the Westernmost point in the United States is also the furthest point in the US from Ground Zero.

    August 4, 2010 at 8:58 pm |
    • Farshid

      There are plenty of Mosques. Hold off building any until there are some churches in Saudi Arabia.

      August 4, 2010 at 9:00 pm |
    • Bonesaw

      sure, when the US becomes a theocracy like Saudi Arabia give me a call alright?

      August 4, 2010 at 9:10 pm |
    • Illuminated

      Todd – you hit the nail on its head.

      August 4, 2010 at 9:29 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      This is a Saudi mosque? What does this mosque have to do with SA?

      August 5, 2010 at 8:25 am |
  13. Daniel standing in the fire

    "The ACLJ, a legal advocacy group founded by televangelist Pat Robertson in 1990"
    That about sums up the integrity of this claim.
    "Kiss my shoes and give me all your money or you are going to hell."

    August 4, 2010 at 8:57 pm |
  14. Hava Herz

    Just change (or enforce existing) zoning laws such that no strip club can be near the pelegrinous radius of Ground Zero, and 1 through 7 World Trade Center Towers. Such that none without God's Trust can build without God' will.

    But Let all tolerate those who do not have God on the side.

    August 4, 2010 at 8:56 pm |
    • Cedar rapids

      they do have a god on their side. In fact its apparently the same god that the christians and jews follow.

      August 4, 2010 at 10:13 pm |
    • Sag Khoda

      They do, not This Imam and Oz Sultan. It is not enough to denounce terrorism, to belong to the community of tolerant muslims.
      There is but one god and only one God.

      August 5, 2010 at 12:01 am |
  15. Farshid

    I would like as a matter of justice that no mosque be built near ground zero. Those terrorists bombed the twin towers in the name of Islam and there are still an army of biggots in their native country, Saudi Arabia who actually support them.

    We cant even visit Mecca, let alone build a church or ANY other of place of worship there. Actually most religions can not be practiced freely in Saudi Arabia without frear of persecution. And god forbid you are a Saudi and you convert out of Islam: its a capital crime.

    Fair is fair, if youa are a foreigner and a Muslim, specially a Saudi and want to go to a Mosque in NYC, you have to wait till I can build a church in Mecca!t Dont like it? Go back to Saudi Arabia. And you are a Muslim American and want more religious freedom than what you have? Move your residence to Saudi Arabia and enjoy the culture there!!!!!

    August 4, 2010 at 8:55 pm |
    • May

      What about the 'home grown' Muslim Cleric who has defected from the United States to wage war on us from afar and is likened to Osama Binladin? They are being raised up right here in America, it is after all their relgion that dictates their actions. We do NOT need them building at the World Trade Center site to thumb their noses at the rest of us.

      August 4, 2010 at 9:02 pm |
    • Anonymous

      1) Biggots IN SAUDI ARABIA. Yeah, I'm sure there are a fair share who are in America as well, but I'm fairly sure that it's not much compared to Muslims in America who don't support.
      2) That's Saudi Arabia. This is America. Big difference, ya know.
      3) If you're a Saudi who moved to the US, then why would you want to go all the way back to Saudi Arabia when there are mosques in NYC? Besides, with the religious freedom here, Muslims should be allowed to build the mosque.

      August 4, 2010 at 9:13 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      It seems you like nothing that comes from Saudi in the US.
      Perhaps you should consider that the majority of the oil money in the world flows through New Your City and at one bank.
      Perhaps you should consider that Saudi Arabia has the largest amount of money in that bank.
      And perhaps you should consider that a LOT of the gas you drive around with is from Saudi oil.
      THEN consider if Saudi pulls THEIR funds, say to go to the Euro, since they're not welcome here and the other Arab nations do the same, our economy would tank, as there is more money in THAT bank than our deficit is!
      THEN consider those nations also stopping oil flow to us, as their products and people are not welcome here.
      Nah, you'd say it's impossible. Mostly because you're too young to remember the oil embargo in the 1970's.
      I *DO* remember it. Gas lines a quarter mile long, gun fights over gas. People coming out in the morning to find holes punched in the gas tank so someone could steal the gas. Hoses cut in the gas stations to get the small amount of gas from the hose...
      Yes, DO go and blame and punish an entire nation over the actions of the few. And don't be surprised when they reciprocate.
      And I *DO* know it's the few, I *DID* spend nearly 5 years deployed in the middle east supporting the war effort AND had classified briefings on what was going on. AND I dealt on a daily basis with Arabs.
      But what would *I* know, after all, I only had a security clearance and dealt with such data. You certainly know more, since you have the budweiser clearance!
      Or should I apply YOUR logic? OK, ALL baptists and protestants (actually, baptists ARE protestant) are to be removed from the country. A few bombed abortion clinics and killed abortion clinic workers.
      ALL catholics are to be removed from the country for the same reasons. All churches, whether catholic or protestant are banned from being constructed in any location where religious violence occurred. That pretty much covers the entire nation.
      Well, that took care of Islam and Christianity.

      August 4, 2010 at 10:07 pm |
    • Bozobub

      @ Wzrd1: Completely false, doof. Most of our foreign debt is in CHINESE hands. I'm all for the mosque, but your silly threat/scenario is completely worthless. Additionally, if the Saudis ever pulled out of the US, THEIR economy would tank! Just look at who their main customer is...

      August 4, 2010 at 10:55 pm |
    • Farshid

      Are we talking economics or justice? The Saudi's make a profit selling their oil to us. They dont do it out of the goodness of their hearts. They keep their money at the Federal reserve in NYC because they know that we are trustworthy and wont rob them the way their own people do.

      I am all for freedom of religion and expression, but there needs to be some justice too. The Saudi's and Iranians walk all over us. They send their kids here to get educated and yet claim that we are corrupt. All I am saying is that if they hate American culture, they can go back. We are not begging them to come here. Moreover, they have no business talking about fairness when they deny us and EVERYBODY else the same rights in their own country!

      August 4, 2010 at 11:02 pm |
    • Pissed off Native American

      Our problem here in America is we are becoming too slack and to forgiven to ANYONE who insults us. Then wants to put up something in the name of their God and expect us to forgive it. Our problem is We think if we allow it, it will stop the war, and everbody is friends. CMON! OUR problem is we are sticking our nose into a war that has gone on centuries clear back to cain and able. After all, what else is there to do in the dessert but argue over religion?But to allow these extremist to build a trophy on a devistating site is wrong. What about the people that woke up and saw this happen live on tv, better yet the families that have suffered for just living there and the families of the firemen doing their job? THey go by there and remember their loved ones. The last thing they need to see is a mockery of the ones they lost. HAVE SOME SORT OF RESPECT IF THAT'S POSSIBLE.

      August 4, 2010 at 11:52 pm |
    • Sohei50

      This issue has nothing to do with SA. It's with extremists of a faith. Having said that, you should start a different blog about our comfiness with SA and the money we have paid them for decades for their oil. Question that first.

      August 5, 2010 at 3:03 am |
    • Sohei50

      You are an ignorant to equate a religion with one country. So which would the US be? There are over 30,000 Protestant denominations alone. That doesn't include the Roman Catholics, Greek or Russian Orthodox and such.

      August 5, 2010 at 3:36 am |
    • John

      So you support following example of other countries, especially ones whose actions you don't like? Does that make any kind on sense to anyone?

      August 5, 2010 at 6:26 am |
  16. May

    As a taxpayer whose money went to pay for treatment of the injured and pay offs for the victims families, I would like to be able to join in the lawsuit too.

    Further, has anyone noticed that the Muslims build mosques on the sites of their victories.

    August 4, 2010 at 8:52 pm |
    • Farshid

      Excellent point!

      August 4, 2010 at 8:56 pm |
    • Anonymous

      @amigay: Oh, I see. You're just being ignorant so that things will be shaped the way you see fit.

      August 4, 2010 at 9:34 pm |
    • Cedar rapids

      'Further, has anyone noticed that the Muslims build mosques on the sites of their victories'
      Every religion builds houses of worship in areas it takes over, christianity included.
      However, every religion also builds houses of worship regardless.

      August 4, 2010 at 10:01 pm |
    • V

      May, don't your kids ever wonder why you wear a "ghost" costume outside of Halloween? I feel like you would be more inclined to believe that the government faked 9/11 but I digress...

      August 4, 2010 at 11:50 pm |
    • Sohei50

      Haven't christians also? All over the planet for over a thousand years? Perhaps you should relearn your history.

      August 5, 2010 at 2:59 am |
    • paulbark

      A frivolous lawsuit. Looking for an activist judge. I thought the right wing was against those!

      August 5, 2010 at 3:22 am |
  17. Joshua

    Just let them have their mosque and show the world that we are tolerant of all people here. Then, build a liquor store on one side, a BBQ joint on the other and a strip club across the street and see if they are as tolerant.

    August 4, 2010 at 8:44 pm |
    • Anonymous

      Yes, let's show our tolerance by trying to drive them out. That'll prove that we're tolerant.

      August 4, 2010 at 8:52 pm |
    • May

      All you have to do is pass out Christian literature outside their mosque and you'll be arrested like they were in Michigan, that's how tolerant the Muslims are. NOT. Don't let them fool you, and DON'T fall for this 'politcally correct' crap!

      August 4, 2010 at 8:56 pm |
    • new yorkers for new york

      The iront, is there already IS strip club around the corner from ground zero. Thats the problem with non new yorkers trying to affect the outcome. ..they are completely ignorant of the city;s physical, cultural and social geography.

      Not only is there a strip club (kitty kat's where the girls have track marks and zombie eyes), There are west african muslim counterfeiters selling their trinkets AT GROUND ZERO. ..and they say a lot of this counterfeit good trade helps fund extremist groups...but those tourists and middle americans who rail against what they think should happen in MY city (and not theirs) continue to help fund terrorists by frequenting their stalls and carts.

      This center is both a mosque and an interfeith community center which we are lacking in downtown New York.

      I welcome their contributions and thank them for making themselves known, trying to assimilate into the greater community while contributing to it...thats exactly what we ask immigrants to do...even those who also lost their loved ones on 9/11.

      So quite simply, as I would never tell an Oklahoman what they can or cannot allow near their sacred ground, non new yorkers, aka OUTSIDERS should allow New Yorkers to decide what our city's fate will be.

      August 4, 2010 at 8:57 pm |
    • mnguest

      I like this idea

      August 4, 2010 at 9:18 pm |
    • Lee

      @May " All you have to do is pass out Christian literature outside their mosque and you'll be arrested like they were in Michigan, that's how tolerant the Muslims are." Didn't happen May and I suspect you know that. Were some Christians arrested? Yes, but not for the reason you stated.

      August 4, 2010 at 9:18 pm |
    • amigay

      i agree....see how long the 'tolerance and outreach' lasts.

      August 4, 2010 at 9:23 pm |
    • Sick of Tolerance destroying AMERICA!!!!!!!!!

      AMEN!!!!!!! Or play a few South Park cartoons mocking Islam, an see what happens

      August 4, 2010 at 9:45 pm |
    • Jeremy

      I wonder what would happen if someone wanted to built a Christian church right next to Mecca.

      August 4, 2010 at 9:55 pm |
    • Cedar rapids

      'I wonder what would happen if someone wanted to built a Christian church right next to Mecca.'
      Or a synagogue in the vatican city.

      August 4, 2010 at 10:03 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      I ACTUALLY got a bible from a Qatari imam and a koran from a Roman Catholic priest (Ok , military chaplain).
      And I got "Merry Christmas" from Arabs than I did from Christians.
      AND there *ARE* churches in the Islamic State of Qatar.
      So, kindly spew your BS elsewhere. Saudi is a special case, as is Rome and the Vatican City.

      August 4, 2010 at 10:57 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Oops, I forgot to mention one other thing.
      I also had a booze permit in Qatar. Hence, was allowed to purchase and take home to my villa "the haram" (forbidden) booze and drink it.

      August 4, 2010 at 10:59 pm |
    • J.B.B.

      Excellent, creative idea! Kudos to you Joshua!!

      August 4, 2010 at 11:44 pm |
    • Inayat I. Lalani

      Yes, do all those things if – and only if – they comply with current zoning ordinances.

      August 4, 2010 at 11:53 pm |
    • Daniel

      @new yorkers for new york. So, per your analogy, we should let the family of McVeigh build a shrine to him on the grounds of the OKC attact?!! Here's your card....

      August 5, 2010 at 12:19 am |
    • Anonymous

      The mosque isn't a shrine for the people who crashed the planes.

      August 5, 2010 at 12:41 am |
    • angie

      Yay. What a good idea!! It's insulting and ridiculous. It seems almost like a mockery. I would be so upset if I were any of the deceased family! How heartbreaking.

      August 5, 2010 at 2:49 am |
    • Mich.

      I like your style of thinking. If it does go up I would put up any amount of money to do this.....

      August 5, 2010 at 9:33 am |
    • Jack Hall

      Mmmmmm. BBQ

      August 30, 2010 at 5:47 am |
  18. Anonymous

    To put it simply, there's a word for this 'round here on the internet: butthurt.

    August 4, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
    • Bob

      I've called the Cyber Police and they've backtraced you. Consequences will NEVER BE THE SAME!

      August 6, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
  19. Luke

    I get my lunch daily from muslims near the WTC site, and have been for 10 years. Will they be deported? Are they allowed to set up carts and run the deli I love so much? Oh man, my days are going to suck 🙁

    August 4, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
    • joe

      Those gyros are pretty good.

      August 4, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
    • Allan


      August 4, 2010 at 11:31 pm |
    • Daniel

      They should be banned from america, yes. If you miss them so badly, you can join them

      August 5, 2010 at 12:16 am |
    • George

      If you only knew what they did to those sandwiches made for infidels.

      August 5, 2010 at 1:33 am |
    • rs1201

      If I were you, I would investigate the origin of any meat that you're busy eating in those gyros. Cats and dogs come to mind...I'm pretty sure that there was a scandal where the meat being sold was found to be of human origin...enjoy your sandwich!

      August 5, 2010 at 6:29 am |
    • MarkinFL

      Its pretty sad that the memory of the WTC attack is pretty much being taken over by radical racists. To think it was one about terrorism, now its just about race and religion. The terrorists seem to be winning this one.

      August 5, 2010 at 8:14 am |
    • Bob

      I love how after a hundred year battle with racism and having it be socially unacceptable, people still feel they can group people together based on the acts of a few.

      Let me put it in perspective.

      "Chris is my cousin and has down syndrome. He believes in Jesus Christ. Therefore, I can logically claim that all Christinans are retarded because of their faith."

      Makes sense to you?

      And yes, believing that God had to impregnate a virgin with himself to sacrifice himself to himself so he can create a loophole for a rule he created is in fact retarded.

      August 6, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    So now simply because terrorists who destroyed the Twin Towers happened to be Islamic, nothing Islamic can be built near there? Even though the mosque has absolutely nothing to do with the terrorists other than the fact that the terrorists were Islamic? Not only that, these were no ordinary Muslims. These were extremists. Y'know, people who are willing to kill anyone to send their message? People that are often looked down upon by many people, including the people they are trying to "represent"? I'm fairly certain that most Muslims in America weren't popping corks off champagne bottles. They were probably just as devastated as everyone else. Hell, I'm sure that there were a good number of people who died there that were Muslim.

    August 4, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
    • Stephen

      Until the Islamic community as a whole, condemns the acts of a few (theirs) no mosque should be supported anywhere in this country. We support Freedom of Religion as stated in the U.S. Constitution but WE do not need to tolerate crude acts of violence. Their cultures DO NOT and WOULD NOT ever allow a Baptist Church to build in Iran or Saudi Arabia would they?

      August 4, 2010 at 9:02 pm |
    • Anonymous

      Building a mosque =/= crude act of violence.

      In America, we have this thing called "Separation of Church and State."

      August 4, 2010 at 10:11 pm |
    • Mike

      Damn right, that is a huge slap in the face to all the 9/11 victims and there families! How dare they be allowed to build a mosque over the building that they decided to fly 2 planes into and kill 3000 people! That is a complete INSULT TO AMERICA! Go build a mosque in your own country!

      August 4, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
    • Anonymous

      @Mike: So the people who make the mosque are the same exact people who flew the plane? Those very people who crashed the planes are now trying to build the mosque?

      August 4, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
    • stan t

      stephen, the islamic community DID condemn the actions of a few on 9/11

      mike – the people who want to build this are AMERICANS. it IS their country. if you are such a bigot that you have a problem with this building then i would argue YOU arent a real american. why dont you move someplace where people dont ahve the freedom to worship as they wish. iran maybe.

      August 4, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
    • John

      "Their cultures DO NOT and WOULD NOT ever allow a Baptist Church to build in Iran or Saudi Arabia would they?"


      So your saying you want the USA to be an intolerant as Iran? Because that is what your post implies, that we are Americans should deny other Americans their rights because some other countries would deny people of other faiths their rights. Sad!

      Also I've seen and heard person after person complaining that this is to close, despite the fact that there is currently a prayer room there already, but my question is okay, if this is to close how far is far enough? 5 blocks? 10? How about Buffalo NY or is that to close also?

      This is simply rediculous, I say not only allow it to be built but welcome it with open arms and work to integrate it into the community, to do otherwise simply shows the world that the terrorists are telling the truth when they say that the USA is at war with Islam and all it's followers.

      August 4, 2010 at 10:49 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Mike, I lost one friend in one tower. I lost a cousin in the other.
      I lose friends in Mosul. I lost another friend in the "hills" of Afghanistan.
      I've spent over 27 years in the Army and am now retired.
      I spent nearly 5 years in the middle east supporting the global war on terror.
      I dealt with Arabs literally on a daily basis. THEY abhorred what was done and before you say some tripe about lies, consider that I was a welcome guest in a number of Arab houses at ANY time, something not normally accorded someone outside of the family.
      I'd say I qualify as an injured party. I also say, IF it is to be a multi-faith center AND an Islamic center, I have no problem with it.
      Were I to permit myself to be prejudiced against an entire faith that is not my own due to violent acts of groups and espouse their removal, I'd have to force the removal of Islam, Roman Catholic church, Baptists, some other protestant churches due to religious violence against abortion clinics and their staff. They committed acts of terrorism in the form of murders and bombings. So, essentially there is no difference, as the group who attacked the WTC started just as small in attacks and gradually built up to higher levels.
      But, no. I'm better than they are. I also swore an oath to obey and support the laws of our land and the US Constitution. An oath I never considered to have an expiration date.
      If we're the best nation in the world, why not ACT like it and be bigger than they are?
      Or do you LIKE making what Osama says we're like true?
      And if I'm a deluded fool, so was Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington. I rather like the company!

      August 4, 2010 at 10:51 pm |
    • SI(Stop Islam)

      This is stupid upon stupid.. Islamic countries behead people who dont conver to Islam and yet we want to bend over to these cult members??? It is simple... Until they reform their cult book of hate (quran) there is no room in our wonderful country for these brainwashed cult members to preach their hate of a country that has allowed them in with open arms... Islam is the cancer of the world today....

      August 4, 2010 at 10:56 pm |
    • Bill

      How would they react if someone wanted to build a pork processing plant next to their mosque???? Hmmmmmm religion of peace huh?????

      August 4, 2010 at 10:57 pm |
    • CommonSense

      If hundreds of American Christians conspired to attack the middle east in the name of God, succeeded in the attack, and killed thousands – then I would be opposed to building a church right next to that site in the Middle East.

      If Timothy McVeigh conspired with Catholics to destroy the Oklahoma building in the name of God, then I would oppose a Catholic church being built near that site.

      And if hundres of Muslims overseas conspired and murdered thousands in the name of Islam, then I would be opposed to a mosque being built near that site.

      For the record, I am a liberal, I voted Obama, I love Obama, I almost always vote Democrat – but I am against this mosque. Grossly, horribly insensitive.

      August 4, 2010 at 11:04 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      SI(Stop Islam): Cow pies! Meadow muffins! Horse puckey!
      I spent nearly 5 years in Islamic countries. They NEVER demanded conversion or even encouraged it.
      While I was in Qatar, I even witnessed a Catholic church and several protestant churches built.
      AND I had a booze license where I could buy a larger selection of booze than I could get in Pennsylvania and bring it home for consumption. I could also bring it to other people's houses who had a license for booze and consume it there.
      But they *REALLY* didn't like drunk driving. After making life miserable in prison, they eventually deport. Period.
      So, kindly go sell your pigeon pellets elsewhere.
      Kuwait had no booze, but didn't force, request or encourage conversion.
      Oman either.
      UAE, nope.
      Bahrain, nope.
      Saudi, nope.
      Iraq, nope.
      I'm kinda running out of countries...
      Go back to eating your stupid flakes, here's an extra helping of moron milk.

      August 4, 2010 at 11:06 pm |
    • anonymous

      it doesn't matter. how the hell do they have the right to build a mosque on ground zero. Ground zero is supposed to commemorate those who died during those attacks. they can't just build a mosque or even any building on ground zero, particularly muslims. After all the attackers were muslim. Muslim people have to accept the fact that their religion is in the spotlight. The terrorists attacked U.S on behalf of Islam.

      August 4, 2010 at 11:24 pm |
    • Just your average infidel


      August 4, 2010 at 11:28 pm |
    • Allan

      Look, it's New York. Simply ask the Muslims to not build the mosque and build something that is truly wanted by all people of NY like a porn distributino center, ACLU office space or garbage dump.

      August 4, 2010 at 11:29 pm |
    • Sydney Australia

      CORRECT! ! Simply because terrorists who destroyed the Twin Towers happened to be Islamic, nothing Islamic can be built near there. You got it. Simply because terrorists who destroyed the Twin Towers happened to be Islamic, nothing Islamic can be built near there. Some sites will forever hold a special place in the hearts of Americans. Pearl Harbor is another one. These feelings, these opinions are our right.

      August 4, 2010 at 11:31 pm |
    • Denise Kline

      Please research the background and money trail and the leaders backgrounds before you make an opinion.

      August 4, 2010 at 11:40 pm |
    • Seema Kurd

      Anonymous says that muslims were not happy when 911 happened. All the muslims I spoke to said that it was good what happened to America!!!None of the muslims protested. We moderate muslims should have been out on the streets protesting this act, screaming and shouting. But, instead we sat quietly in our living rooms and watched the horror on TV. On September 11, 2001 moderate as well as extremists were saying the same thing and happy about what happened. We are building mosques in every nook and cranny, but we are not addressing all the real problems we have. A man and his son in Mississauga ON killed their daughter/sister, because she refused to wear hijab. No imaam or mosque helped this girl, who was killed by her family members. Mosques should address these serious problems and help young people. So many of them are being forced to marry their cousins back home, to bring more families here in Canada and US. Its about time that mosques and Imaams start addressing these big problems, before more young people will die. People can pray anywhere, but these big issues like honour killing, forced marriages, mental issues, wife abuse, and so many others should be addressed. Then only there is a reason to build mosque or mosques everywhere.

      August 4, 2010 at 11:41 pm |
    • Clayton

      Stephen, well if you're going to try and sum up all the Muslims and make them apologize for something they don't want nor want to take part in, I guess Christians, Catholics, Jews, etc must all publicly apologize and condemn every atrocity committed in the name of their religion right? I'm sorry, but I don't see the masses apologizing for their religions endeavors or thirst for land/converts. You need to view the world more than just in black and white. Open your eyes to see that YOU aren’t the only person that matters or your religion.

      Not to mention your "Their cultures DO NOT and WOULD NOT ever allow a Baptist Church to build in Iran or Saudi Arabia would they?".... Seriously? So what you say is to act like all other countries? You want to become a country ruled by religion? I sure as hell don't. I will take a secular government impartial to religious views over anything else. Two wrongs don't make a right. Keep in mind, these are Americans who want to build the outreach center. Not "Saudi Arabians" or "Iranians". AMERICANS.


      August 4, 2010 at 11:43 pm |
    • oskhohosh

      I am sure you are a muslim and you will definitely support your kind. Honestly tell me how many muslim didn't blamed USA for the 9/11 rather than those terrorist right after 9/11. I was born and raised as a minority in a muslim majority country. You have no idea to live as minority in a muslim majority country. Don't tell me the trash islam respect other religion, I am living proof. I have came accross so many muslim they have always blame and hate this country since America went after the terrorist. There is severe disconnect between what you say and what you do. Where those so called moderate denounce, go on the street against the terorist. When some one just draw cartoon of muhammad the whole muslim world goes after them,. Where uch respose against the terrorist. You are equally guilty remaining silent such situation. Do your home work fisrt then tell others.

      August 4, 2010 at 11:52 pm |
    • honey

      hey soundoff go move to an islamist nation.....yea,you'll be treated fairly...

      August 5, 2010 at 12:09 am |
    • packysama

      Wow, Sydney Australia. You're thought process and logic are amazing. You use Pearl Harbor as an example. I'm surprised you don't want all the Hawaiian citizens of Japanese descent to not be able to live anywhere near Pearl Harbor. if you have ever actually been there, you'd know they are all over the place. My wife, a Japanese-Hawaiian grew up just up the hill and we can look right down on the Arizona Memorial (and the USS Missouri) from their front yard.

      I think that most of the people interested in building this mosque are citizens as well. They should have the same rights as everyone else. Why shouldn't any religious group or non-religious group build nearby. Maybe people will learn a bit more from each other so that some of this misguided hatred could be stamped out. You should be hating the scum that did it not the large group that they claim to be part of.

      Other people around the world could be saying the same thing about Christian, Hindi, Buddhist and Atheist misdeeds and, in fact, do. They look in the mirror and see you.

      August 5, 2010 at 12:27 am |
    • SoArizona

      It is NOT about religion. It is NOT about race. Almost every race and religion was represented in the deaths of the 9/11 victims.
      It IS about respect. I RESPECT all faiths and ALL rights. Which WILL include go outside of the Ground Zero area out of RESPECT. This is sacred ground of ALL faiths and RACES. ALL Nations. Understand this... YOU MAY HAVE IT ANYWHERE. But leave Ground Zero alone.

      August 5, 2010 at 12:28 am |
    • Anonymous

      For the record, they're building about 2 blocks away from Ground Zero.

      August 5, 2010 at 12:39 am |
    • SayWhaaa!!

      Hey Stephen if you had actually looked it up there are churches in Saudia, Im from Pakistan and there is a church right down the street from us. The only place where churches are not allowed are Mecca and Medina, which is like the Vatican for Muslims (see any mosques there). This lawsuit is ridiculous a part of a plane fell so what... Freakin Ash fell all over the d@mn city are those also landmarked.

      August 5, 2010 at 12:50 am |
    • George

      The problem is Islam. It is a cult of death and world domination. Why, since so many people are opposed to this mosque, or cultural center, ...why is it so important to the Cordoba Initiative to build one there, and to open it on 9/11? As an American I am sickened, but not surprised by, the insult.

      August 5, 2010 at 1:32 am |
    • oskhohosh

      I am sure you are a muslim and you will definitely support your kind. Honestly tell me how many muslim didn't blamed USA for the 9/11 rather than those terrorist right after 9/11. I was born and raised as a minority in a muslim majority country. You have no idea to live as minority in a muslim majority country. Don't tell me the trash, islam respect other religion, I am living proof. I have came accross so many muslim they have always blamed and hate this country since America went after the terrorist. There is severe disconnect between what you say and what you do. Where those so called moderate denounce, go on the street against the terorist. When some one just drew cartoon of muhammad the whole muslim world goes after them,. Where is such respose against the terrorist. You are equally guilty remaining silent such situation. Do your home work fisrt then tell others.

      August 5, 2010 at 2:12 am |
    • Sohei50

      And which religion was Timothy McVeigh? How many innocents did he kill? Are there Christian churches near there?

      August 5, 2010 at 2:42 am |
    • paulbark

      You're exactly right. Freedom of religion. The Constitution wins again!

      August 5, 2010 at 3:21 am |
    • Shane

      Actually Stephen, there are more than 500 Christian churches currently in Iran.

      Some other Islamic countries allow non Islamic places of worship, while others may not. But this is generally a country by country basis and not the entire Islamic culture

      August 5, 2010 at 4:32 am |
    • Connie

      Act for Americans.....exactly...straight out ot the mouths of the obvious radicals. Can any of you point out to me those who ARE NOT radicals?

      August 5, 2010 at 5:03 am |
    • Anonymous

      Cordoba was a city in Spain that represented the high tide of Muslim rule in that region.

      Something is not right about this mosque project.

      August 5, 2010 at 5:07 am |
    • Shane

      This would be no different than building a Shinto temple a block away from the Arizona memorial. Not all Japanese nor all Shinto practitioners were involved in Peal Harbor but its rather tasteless to place a temple close to a memorial. Muslims through history have a habit of building Mosques on conquered lands.

      Córdoba- Built on top of a conquered Spanish church
      Ka'aba- Built over a Pagan worship center by Muhammad himself
      Babri- Constructed over a huge Hindu worship center
      Al Aqsa- Built on the Temple mount, the holiest site in Judasim
      Ummayad – Built over Saint Johns burial site

      They have built thousands of mosques over the sites of conquered Jewish, Christian and Hindu holy sites. Its what they do. The largest Mosque in the US being placed at ground zero sends a very clear message to Islamic practitioners, particularly those in the Middle East.

      August 5, 2010 at 5:24 am |
    • Not Anonymous

      You didn't have to put a question mark at the end of the first sentence. You got it right in one.

      August 5, 2010 at 5:27 am |
    • rs1201

      YES, and that's a resounding YES to your question. Nothing islamic will ever be welcome on American soil. They hate our way of living and constantly vow to destroy anyone who does not follow islam. No other group in the world or on American soil threatens the safety of anyone except for muslims. They're constantly trying to blow us up and inflict as much damage as they can. Muslims born in America and very much aware of American values are taught to hate their fellow Americans and to find ways of destroying this country. So...I repeat myself...muslims and islam will always be regarded with suspicion and resentment for what they've done on our soil and what they are still trying to do on our soil.
      Explain that one "Anonymous"

      August 5, 2010 at 6:25 am |
    • Greg

      It's going to be built whether people like it or not. There is not a court in the land that will block this, because the constitution will not allow any other decision. This group that fronts for Pat Robertson is just trying to cause trouble with this suit. The suit is ridiculous on face value and has no merit. There has been a prayer cneter in this building for years and it's only a problem now, because Pat and his extemists are trying to create a wedge issue out of this. It's time people grew up and stopped wasting time and money on this. You are either for freedom of religion or you are not. You can't be for freedom of my religion , but not yours.

      August 5, 2010 at 7:30 am |
    • SR

      Dear Seema
      Thanks for bringing out the hypocrisy of the "moderate" muslims in the world. The attitude of muslims when challenged about the VIOlENT history and HATE speeches from their "prophet" is this: it's not us, it's them ("extremists"). Guess what? People are not drumming up quotes from some other book when talking about the violent speeches of mohammad. They are quoting directly from the koran. So it is time the "Moderates" either shut up or reform the violent book known as the Koran.

      We in india have sufferred for centuries and millions have died due to your violent religion.

      Stop it before your destroy America with your violent theology.

      August 5, 2010 at 7:50 am |
    • MarkinFL

      Wow, its amazing to me how many Americans want to turn this country into exactly what they claim to hate.

      August 5, 2010 at 8:12 am |
    • James

      Rauf(imam of the mosque) is a permanent trustee of an Islamic Cultural Center (ICC) which his father founded in New York City. Until September 28, 2001 - seventeen days after 9/11 - the ICC employed Imam Sheik Muhammad Gemeaha, who later said that “only the Jews” could have perpetrated the 9/11 attacks; that if Americans only knew about this Jewish culpability, “they would have done to Jews what Hitler did”; and that Jews “disseminate corruption in the land” and spread “heresy, homosexuality, alcoholism, and drugs.” Gemeaha’s successor at the ICC, Omar Saleem Abu-Namous, said there was no “conclusive evidence” proving that Muslims were responsible for 9/11.
      "I wouldn't say that the United States deserved what happened," Rauf elaborated, "but United States policies were an accessory to the crime that happened." in a 60 minutes interview. I do not know if there is a way to stop it because there are alot of racist and people who hate other religions that own land in this country, but it does not make me happy that they are trying to build this.

      August 5, 2010 at 8:19 am |
    • CnnAfrika

      I think because you don't have kowledge of what Islamic meant that is why you are making such a comments, I grew up in a muslim home and muslim environment and I knew what this meant, lets be honest with ourselves, we cannot say because we wanted to build a mosque and we should not respect or values human lives that lost in such a tragic way, if muslims are allowed to built a mosque there, it simply means the land that we have conquered and we subdue that land that is simply what it means. There are lots of different mosque in the city (downtown MH) there and they were been given chances to build the mosque elsewhere in downtown there, ask yourself this question, why must they be adamant that that is the only place they wanted to build the mosque? it's just a simple question, why that place???

      August 5, 2010 at 8:34 am |
    • SFCL

      First of all it is the community who decides what is built in thier community. Second of all maybe you should read a book or two. Incase all of you uninformed and "we should tolerate everything" types do not understand this. It is forbidden.. penalty of death to teach any religion other than muslim in any muslim country. Thus regardless of the US leading the pack, they simply do not want to follow. However since you seem to not understand the implications of what it really means, READ A BOOK!!! In earlier times, they were also used as community centres and as the seat of government. <-- Did you read that?

      The true meaning is that a Seat of Government (Muslim) would be placed in or around a site that was meant to be a victory over the US. Any Military member that is out there that has deployed to I or A will tell you exactly what the event meant to the people there. Do not confuse yourself on what it means. It has nothing to do with any faith, It is a mark or victory for them.

      And i'm sure many of you wont even bother to research it before you start with your ignorance again. So read somthing, learn somthing and for crying out loud. STAND up and stop playing patsy to the world. America is only as strong as the people in it, so grow a pair and be proud of who you are and stop trying to please every other nation!!!

      August 5, 2010 at 8:36 am |
    • John

      To start, I am against the Islamic community for wanting to build a mosque a ground zero. Not because I am like others who believe Islam is a deadly religion based on hatred and violence, because it is not. It is, like all true religions, based on seeking God (Allah is arabic for God, thats all, they don't believe in another God) in one's life. The Holy War, that Christians and others love to use as "proof" that Islam is violent, is just the internal struggle that one faces within oneself to battle the strong grip of sin. People on both sides have misused this term for their own political advantages. But I am not here to convince Christians or others to see that point, because frankly, I can talk till I turn blue in the face, and those people are just going to believe what they want to believe in anyways, no matter what logic is presented.

      I believe in freedom of religion which is what this country was suppose to be about. It just happens that it use to be based on Christian principles, but as it has been demonstrated recently, we have lost that foundation. Christianity, for many, in this country, is a social political club that has losts its way. However, the Islamic community, out of respect for the 9/11 incident, should back away from building this mosque. If they are truly seeking truth, peace, and God's Love, then they should realize that by building that mosque near ground zero, it will bring much hardship, pain, and possibly violence. This is a no-brainer. You don't have to be Einstein to figure this out. The very act is confrontational. So if the Islamic community builds it, then I suggest they are being confrontational. It wouldn't be that big of a deal, to move their mosque project to a more peaceful location. If its a question of economics, perhaps those that are opposed to the mosque building, could do their share and help fund the mosque being built in another location. That act of helping our fellow brothers and sisters would demonstrate an act of peace, charity, and brotherly love. Let us stop talking about being good Christians, and lets start acting like one.

      These are very troubling times and the last thing this country, or this planet, needs is more tension. So the bottom line is, put your faith where your mouth is, don't talk the talk, walk the walk, and that goes for both sides. True religion preaches peace and Love. How can we have either if we don't practice what we preach.

      August 5, 2010 at 8:43 am |
    • Rick

      ya know, I have to question the motivations of the people that want to build a Mosque near the site of that disaster. It seems to me that if a group of people sincerely wanted to integrate into this society that they might have a little more sensitivity for the victims and their nation. Are we all just so eager to prove that we are not biased and bigoted that we would actually consider this? Shame on us if we are. Besides, where does all the money come from that it would take to build a Mosque on prime New York City real estate? Something smells afoul.

      August 5, 2010 at 8:44 am |
    • muchogroucho

      You are very naive. It is a shrine – a symbol to put it there. The building is so close to the 9-11 site that the landing gear of one of the planes crashed thru the roof of that building. The Imams father was part of the Muslim Brotherhood that formed after the fall of the Ottomon empire. Their whole aim is to restore Muslim dominance over the world. In a recent sermon rauf the wolf in sheeps clothing behind this said: "why are they so hostile, anyway their grandchildren will all be muslim" to his congregates. Look up what cordoba means in their cordoba house project. It was the peak of the Muslim reigning in Europe.

      WAKE UP!!!!! Look at England, France and the rest of Europe today!!!!

      This Imam says America is ripe for shariah law where they have their own laws. Ever hear of the constitution!!

      WAKE UP!!!!!

      August 5, 2010 at 8:51 am |
    • Anonymous

      In my opinion there are no moderate muslims – every muslim is a terrorist, wherever there is a Mosque there is terrorism. Nothing but hate and bigotry flows out of a mosque. Until the New York city mayor (pseudo secular clan) and his council withdraws this illegal approval, we all should stop visiting New York city.

      August 5, 2010 at 8:54 am |
    • M.

      "Until the Islamic community as a whole, condemns the acts of a few (theirs) no mosque should be supported anywhere in this country. " Saying that is like saying Until the Catholic community as a whole, condemns the acts of a few (theirs, and by acts I mean the abuse of children) no church should be supported anywhere in this country.

      I mean come on the catholic church has been hiding pedophiles by moving them to different communities. Until recently they haven't even approached the topic, but still to this date they come short of prosecuting and punishing the priests.

      August 5, 2010 at 9:09 am |
    • Mich.

      Are you kidding me???? I bet you think it would be ok to build a worshiping center at Peral Harbor for the country that bombed us there? I hope if this mosque is built someone does build a pork factory next to it! Why is it that we, America, have to bend to everyone else? When we visit there country we have to go by there rules, they go as far as to even make us where those wraps around our heads if we walk down there streets. I can remember a former president that had to where one. They should have to take them off to visit here. Fare is Fare.I think if you move to America be American, thats it. Sure follow our own beliefs but use your head about. Building this at ground zero would be a slap in the face for anyone who is truly an American.....

      August 5, 2010 at 9:31 am |
    • Anonymous2

      You are factually incorrect. I live in Dearborn, Michigan and there were pockets of celebration in the heavily muslim areas of Dearborn. A friend of mine had her flag pole ripped out of her front yard (proudly bearing our American flag) by muslim teens on that day. I doubt the people who were happy about the incident in Dearborn consider themselves to be "extreme." The real issue here is that it's insensitive to those who perished. Build it 20 blocks away....not two. I seriously doubt Timothy McVeigh's family would be allowed to build a "Tim McVeigh Center" across from the federal building site in OKC.....

      August 5, 2010 at 9:47 am |
    • Mairin

      This is a matter of propriety. It is inappropriate to build a Mosque on this site. Its called. "let's not add insult to injury." Plain and simple.

      August 5, 2010 at 12:41 pm |

      Freedom of Religion is undeniable.Many of us have and do volunteer to defend this to our deaths.But to have a trophy of murder built at the place where islam(conspiuosly not capitalized) commited such a criminal act is an atrocity.It could be built anywhere else,why at "Ground Zero"? To build a mosque at the place where so many INNOCENT people were cold bloodedly MURDERED,is a slap in the face to America.Bin Laden has got to be cheering the fact that his attack would be remembered as a victory over America,by the building of a 13 story trophy over the site of the final resting place for so many innocent victims.America,as a whole,should be proud of our brave and not allow this to happen.

      August 5, 2010 at 1:04 pm |
    • JQ

      I am a retired soldier and the financial backers of this effort have the undeniable intent to create pain with this project. This is yet another in a long, recent series of actions to undermine our country from within our country. If the true intent of this project or it's represented religion was actually peaceful then the so-called religous sponsors would respect and understand that this can not happen. What reasonable, peaceful, honorable person would be such a fool as to attempt something like this.

      Growing Disgusted with the trend.

      August 5, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
    • Bob

      Stephen Wrote: Until the Islamic community as a whole, condemns the acts of a few (theirs) no mosque should be supported anywhere in this country.

      Allow me to translate from moron into english. "Until you do what I say you should do, you will not be allowed to exercise your rights in my country."

      August 6, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
    • Atheism

      Are you serious?! You need to have some respect for not only the thousands that died on 9-11 but for their families as well. The attacks on 9-11 are backed on Islamic beliefs. Of course building a mosque is a right to any citizen to build wherever he/she wants, but that's not the point. It's about having some respect for those innocent people who have died. So now lets build a mosque that might house people that will commit the same terrorist acts two blocks away from where 9-11 happened? Very smart.

      August 9, 2010 at 5:39 am |
    • sidd

      well it would be hard for cristian churches to be built there ...its the same with democracy, freedom of speech and may other things ... ..Comon now people we cannot compare the US to Iran and Saudi... we are a the land of the free ...what happened to our basics.... what happened to diffenret cultures and religions joining in to be americans.... this is why we are respected in the world and are looked up to for leadership ....... we need to realize we cannot give the extremist power to change out way of thinking, patriotism and out ability to execute free will ....

      August 13, 2010 at 2:07 am |
    • Jack Hall

      The First Amendment is not just about freedom of religion. It's also about separation of church and state. Which means elected officials should remain neutral, not cheerleading for a pet construction project. There's also freedom for the people to protest against the mosque and to petition the government to address their grievances. This is the part of the First Amendment that is far more important than free exercise of religion. The free exercise of religion only means Islam is not illegal here. It doesn't mean Muslims can build a Mosque anywhere they want, especially if the majority of the citizens have grievances against it.

      August 30, 2010 at 5:43 am |
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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.