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August 5th, 2010
05:40 PM ET

U.S. Muslims underestimate 9/11 effect, Muslim thinker warns

Linda Rivera holds her head after a New York panel ruled the site of a planned Islamic center and mosque near ground zero can be demolished.

There's been plenty of opposition to the plan to build an  Islamic center near the site of ground zero in New York, but so far it has overwhelmingly come from outside the Muslim community.

Now a prominent Muslim thinker is warning that the idea is potentially dangerously misguided, and that American Muslims have failed to grasp how deeply the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, affected the country.

"I don't think the Muslim leadership has fully appreciated the impact of  9/11 on America. They assume Americans have forgotten 9/11 and even, in a profound way, forgiven 9/11, and that has not happened. The wounds remain largely open," said Akbar Ahmed, an Islamic studies professor at American University in Washington, D.C.

"And when wounds are raw, an episode like constructing a house of worship - even one protected by the Constitution, protected by law - becomes like  salt in the wounds," he argued, even as he said that "blaming an entire community for 9/11 is ridiculous."

But a leading spokesman for the American Muslim community is not convinced by Ahmed's analysis.

"The Council on American-Islamic Relations feels the impact of 9/11 on a  daily basis," said its communications director, Ibrahim Hooper.

"We take hundreds and hundreds of cases each year of anti-Muslim bias and  hate crimes. To a large degree it's the by-product of 9/11," Hooper said.

He rejects the controversy over the planned Islamic center as "manufactured" by "bigots."

"There has been a mosque in that neighborhood for 27 years," Hooper asserted.

And he said Muslims should not back down simply because a vocal minority was complaining.

"I am not going to base my actions and my principles and my future on the  ability of bigots to manufacture a controversy," he said.

The American Center for Law and Justice filed a lawsuit Wednesday, trying  to throw an obstacle in the way of what has come to be known as the "ground zero mosque" - although it is two blocks from the site of the World Trade  Center and backers say it will be more a community center than just a house of worship.

Ahmed and Hooper did agree, however, that the New York dispute is just an  extreme example of a problem Muslims face whenever they set out to build a  house of worship in the United States.

"Every time Muslims raise their head in America, these groups are going to come against Muslims," said Hooper, adding that the problem is worse now than in the immediate wake of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks.

"There was still a reservoir of good will after 9/11," Hooper said. "Now you've got people bringing dogs outside a mosque in California last week."

"The attacks on mosques are increasing in frequency and intensity," Ahmed  concurred.

"You recognize a minaret, so that becomes the focus and the lightning rod  of the fear and anger," said Ahmed, whose new book, "Journey Into America: The  Challenge of Islam" is an intensive study of Muslim communities across the  country, based on a year of travel, visits, meetings and surveys.

He found that the closer you get to New York, the higher the tension is  between Muslims and non-Muslims.

"Step back and put (the Cordoba Initiative project to build the New York Islamic center) in the context of American society today and then it will make perfect sense - the anger, and also the failure of the American Muslim leadership, an influential leadership, to explain to Americans that we, too, are Americans. We live here," he said.

The Cordoba Initiative did not answer CNN requests for comment.

Ahmed, who is also critical of "the American leadership" for not building bridges with Muslim America, warns that the New York project could become a dangerous flashpoint.

"Say non-Muslims go attack this mosque or attack the imam, and in response some young Muslims blow something up or blow themselves up," he warned. "That is the worst-case scenario."

"The best-case scenario is that the Muslim leadership really steps up its activity to explain themselves to the American community. We are at a crossroads," he said.

And whatever happens will resonate far beyond America's shores, he said.

"What happens in America will have an impact in the Muslim world,  especially Afghanistan and Pakistan, and vice versa," he argued. "Whatever happens now becomes critical."

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Houses of worship • Interfaith issues • Islam • Muslim • Religious liberty • Violence

soundoff (904 Responses)
  1. Cletus

    There are Pagans who are accepting of Satanists in the name of tolerance. They are as misguided as anyone of any religion who accepts Islam. Islam is absolute spiritual totalitarianism and slavery. In their native countries, no other religion besides Islam is tolerated, period. There is no reasoning, compromise, or peace with Islam, ever.

    August 5, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
    • dave

      this a correctomundo statement. look at what is happening in europe

      August 5, 2010 at 7:50 pm |
    • Bonesaw

      it's called a theocracy

      August 6, 2010 at 12:47 am |
    • Sinbad

      Can you tell me one evil in the world's religious scripture that was ever perpetrated by Satan? Seems that whenever something evil is commanded to do one against the other the order is given by God or done in his name. Name one thing that Satan has done to harm anyone, anywhere. Religion is the greatest evil ever perpertrated upon human society by itself. Yet without it–and here's the paradox– we'd have even more evil because without the institutionalized church people wouldn't have any place to express their neurotic and psychotic behavior in a socially acceptable way. We will no doubt soon blow ourselves up before we cleanse ourselves of this ancient filth handed down by goat-shaggers and sheep lovers. Remember the words of Emile Zola: HUMAN SOCIETY WILL NEVER REACH ITS FULL POTENTIAL UNTIL THE LAST STONE FROM THE LAST CHURCH FALLS AND CRUSHES THE SKULL OF THE LAST PRIEST (of any religion!).

      August 6, 2010 at 1:04 am |
  2. Tony

    Ben your post is stupid, I hope it gets blown up

    August 5, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  3. jim

    I have NEVER heard a member of the Islamic religion condemn the 911 attacks without adding a giant BUT..... at the end of their statement.

    August 5, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
    • watching

      BUT BUTT

      August 5, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
    • roland choo

      Jim is exactly right,

      The muslims are downright defensive, evasive and total lack of sincerity whenever they issue statements defending their community over certain wrongs.

      They always issued statement like :

      1. It only represent a radical minority of the muslim community.
      2. All Muslims are peace loving people.
      etc...

      They have never doned any sincere inward checking of how much they have hurt the nation that welcomed them. Infact, they have biten the very hand that feed them.

      One good example are the RECENT new immigrants like the afghan n. zazi and the pakistani chap.

      I believe the whole U.S immigration dept and their policies deserved to be scrutinized, vast majority of the decision making people need to be sacked, they should take cue from their Australian counterpart. This immigration policy is a ticking time bomb.

      August 5, 2010 at 11:35 pm |
  4. SouthernBoy

    I guess we should put a Shinto temple at Pearl Harbor and let BMW build a car plant at Auschwitz next. Or maybe put a nice big Baptist church in the middle of Mecca.

    August 5, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
    • Mike

      This whole thing is flat out stupid. If everyone would put down their pitchforks for 2 seconds you could see that this is a huge distraction from the real issues...like the fact that our deficit is mathematically impossible to pay back thanks to irresponsible spending and a culture that thrives on excess and waste.

      But the Mosque is big and shiny and distracting, so go ahead and pretend that isn't there, it'll be you kids and grandkids to suffer through that stuff anyway so you'll only have a few lonely years to forget what bothered you so much about some stupid building in the first place.

      August 5, 2010 at 8:36 pm |
  5. watching

    Linda Rivera! she's from AZ!

    August 5, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  6. RSM

    I never had an issue with Muslims but this really ticks me off. It's like a trophy to radical Islam. I'm sick and tired of turning the other cheek. If they build it and it gets burnt to the ground I'll be the one sining fa lalalalallalalallalaa in the street this time

    August 5, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
    • 4thofJulybaby

      I'll be right there with you – along with millions across the country!

      August 5, 2010 at 7:44 pm |
    • Stan

      Let me bring the marshmallows please yeah !!

      August 6, 2010 at 5:19 am |
  7. rypay

    Just think how peaceful the world would be if there was no religion whatsoever...

    August 5, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
    • Leah

      Bingo!

      August 5, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
    • CMRS

      Amen to that! 🙂

      August 5, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
    • Adrian

      Most of the worlds problems arent caused by religion idiot.

      August 5, 2010 at 7:45 pm |
    • dave

      rypay, i agree, so eloquently put

      August 5, 2010 at 7:47 pm |
    • T. L. Dixon

      religion is the opiate of the weak

      August 5, 2010 at 7:50 pm |
    • Adrian

      T.L the man you quote from wrote a book that has killed more people in 50 years than all the religious wars and genocides put together.

      August 5, 2010 at 8:02 pm |
    • chela

      agreed!

      August 5, 2010 at 8:06 pm |
    • kb

      Just like John Lennon said in " Imagine ".

      August 5, 2010 at 8:07 pm |
    • JG

      Aaaaaamen! Religion has been the bain of this world's existance for FAR too long. Ask yourself why your soldiers are still in Iraq: Sunni's and Shiites. PERIOD. Hell will freeze over when these two religious groups can come together. WELL PUT!!

      August 5, 2010 at 9:33 pm |
    • Me

      It would be no more peaceful. Thous that abuse and pervert religion would just find something else to bend and pervert so that they can grab power.

      August 5, 2010 at 10:13 pm |
    • GreyGeek

      Religious faith was suppressed in the old USSR, China, Cuba, Cambodia and other Marxist countries where atheists controlled the politics, the courts, the police, the military and just about every aspect of life, both public and private. They gave rise to the gulags, the killing fields, the outright executions of millions ... was that the "peace" you had in mind? And why is it that the USA, since WWII, has spread more wealth around the world with the Marshal Plan, the Peace Corp, the Red Cross and dozens of other foreign aid programs than all of those atheist countries combined? Could it possibly be that most Americans are NOT atheists and feel an obligation to help others?

      August 6, 2010 at 12:08 am |
    • Gordon

      Yeah, last time religion was not involved, 150 million people died. Guess which? Communism of course.
      If you think religion is to blame for death, think what non-religion can bring. It's much more horrible than you can imagine. They have no moral compass, nothing to gauge the human dignity and life. Wake up from your ignorance and naivete.

      August 6, 2010 at 2:23 am |
  8. WSPenwell

    If the leadership of the mainstream Muslim faiths do not condone the "radical, fanatical fringe" Muslims, then they should publicly condemn them for the radical views. Until then the rest of America will be mistrusting all of the Muslim followers and their motives.

    August 5, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
  9. Noislamatgroundzero

    If someone wanted to build an "American Cultural Institute" near My Lai or at ground zero in Hiroshima – or at Wounded Knee – no one would dare refer to as "bigots" the Vietnamese or Japanese or Native Americans who opposed it.

    Why can't Americans periodically lay claim to the outrage, pain and victimization that much of the world takes for granted?

    Muslims around the world need to do a little soul-searching as to why much of the non-Muslim world is distrustful and resentful of them.

    August 5, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  10. HANOMAN

    It is not about building a mosque in NYC. It is about building a mosque in America. Period. This Muslim professor is really naive if he thinks that this is not the right place. Islamophobes are going to hate Islam, they are going to hate Muslims no matter how much they try to integrate with them. Just look at the mosque they are trying to build in Tennessee. 1000 miles away and the bigots still have an issue. Personally I don't care if the Cordoba house is built or not but looking at the hatred spewed upon me and my religion, I say build it. Bigger and Better.

    August 5, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
    • JG

      That is CRAP and you know it. This isn't about "Hate" for Muslims–it's about being sensitive to the hearts and lives of those that this tragedy touched......It's really quite simple, however, if you feel the need to make it seem "complex;" do whatever makes you feel something like this should be justified.

      August 5, 2010 at 9:30 pm |
  11. DrTom

    The mosque is not to be built at the WTC site or next to it but a block away. And so what. It was not Muslims that attacked us it was murderers/terrorists.

    August 5, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
    • sparknut

      Terrorists who attacked in the name of Islam.

      August 5, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
    • American

      You're right, Tom. That said, you wanna come build a Nazzi Pool Hall 2 blocks away from a retired gas chamber? Its totes not as an insult or anything though, its for the community.

      August 5, 2010 at 11:58 pm |
  12. MAC

    How's this, let's let them build it and then we fly a plane into it.

    August 5, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
    • T. L. Dixon

      sounds good to me

      August 5, 2010 at 7:53 pm |
  13. Jesus Christ

    I condemn a mosque from being built upon the grounds of America.

    August 5, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
    • watching

      US is a secular state, go back to your cave and dark ages

      August 5, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
    • Peter

      Hell Yeah!! Kick their asses Jesus!!!

      August 5, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
  14. sparknut

    I stood on the pile as the bodies of firefighters and office workers were brought out from the debris.
    There is no escaping the fact that those who were responsible claimed to be acting on behalf of Islam.
    Until the so-called moderate Muslims rise up to denounce and squash the extremist element among the Muslim faithful, I cannot agree that a mosque should be built anywhere near Ground Zero. It's holy ground to me.

    August 5, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
    • -_-

      We do stand up and denounce Al-Qaeda,the Taliban, and whoever else does such horribly acts in the name of ANY religion. Yourself and so many others just choose to ignore this... for reasons I do not understand.

      If you expect us to have massive rallies or whatever... meh. There's not even that many of us in the USA in comparison to everybody else. Like what... 1% of the USA is Muslim? 10%?

      I just think mass gatherings of Muslims in the USA is somewhat difficult to pull off anywhere but NYC.

      August 6, 2010 at 12:52 am |
  15. Andy Hill

    This is simply old fashioned hate and prejudice. The same kind that hated the Irish, Italians, Mexicans, Blacks, and Jews. Every new wave of immigrant is viewed as a hostile threat to the very fabric of America society. It is the old hate dressed up in a new set of clothes. A few misguided Muslims kill 3000 people and America can't let it go. However American Christians have killed close to million Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq and the American flag flies prominently in both nations. Every empire peaks and then dwindles. America has peaked, be careful how you treat others because soon you will be just another third world nation, and the over 1 billion Muslims will be on top. I wonder how they will treat you? Hopefully better than you treated them.

    August 5, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
    • sparknut

      Andy Hill: "A few misguided Muslims kill 3000 people and America can't let it go. "
      I'm sure if you knew any one of those 3,000 dead you wouldn't let go either.

      August 5, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
    • watching

      You are 100% right, it's the pathetic continues search for an enemy...

      August 5, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
    • Dew

      The big difference is that the Irish, blacks, Jews, or any other group didn't willfully attack civilians with such a hate and malicious intent. They all became Americans. These people have no intentions of good will in any shape or form and bring nothing but destruction to every country they touch.

      August 5, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
    • watching

      Yeah Dew..."The big difference is that the Irish, blacks, Jews" and yet they were attacked by your extremists...your statement backfired...

      August 5, 2010 at 7:43 pm |
    • Stan

      So you say your name is Andy ..why not tell us your real name abdulla

      August 5, 2010 at 7:45 pm |
    • Matt

      @sparknut: If we get to still be mad about losing 3000 civilians, then the MILLION PLUS Iraqis we've already killed mean the Middle East gets to be pissed at us pretty much forever...

      August 5, 2010 at 8:47 pm |
    • madarain

      Andy Hill, get your fact straight your 1 million death figure is off by 85% according to everyone who can count. (http://www.iraqbodycount.org/analysis/beyond/exaggerated-orb/) You were just repeating what you've been told by those you trust...instead of thinking for yourself. Guess who kills most muslims...OTHER MUSLIMS! And by the way the 150,000 who did die in Iraq, we not killed by Christians...they were Killed by SOLDIERS or TERRORISTS. and in the future being outnumbered by muslims wont make them any more right than they are now...they will still kill each other all the time.

      August 5, 2010 at 8:54 pm |
    • American

      Get the hell out of my country. You obviously can't feel the sorrow of an attack on your own nation so please just leave. The rest of us are more than happy to recover without you

      August 5, 2010 at 11:54 pm |
    • John Toradze

      That's the problem. It wasn't "a few misguided muslims". It was the result of a multi-decade reform movement that has swept the world. That reform movement takes koran and hadith at its word, as it is. It is an obligation in islam to kill the infidel. Period.

      Only people who are ignorant think otherwise.

      August 6, 2010 at 2:05 am |
    • NYer

      Andy, I love to here stupid numbers thrown out as fact. The US did not kill a million people in Iraq and Afganistan. With that logic I could say muslim terrorist have killed 100 billion people. I can not believe someone would be stupid enough to think that americans do not think about 911. I think about it every day. We are still fighting in the middle east over it. Everyday that I read that we catch another bad guy I am happy and think we should do anything to them to get them to talk. I will never forget, and I hope nobody else does either.
      It is interesting that with so few bad muslims you say there is, we are still fighting them almost 9 years later and they keep coming.

      September 6, 2010 at 12:07 am |
  16. steve

    This basically proves that the Muslim community does not care about the 3000 dead, but only cares about their self pity and alleged bad treatment that is the by product of the horrific act that was done in the name of their god.

    August 5, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
    • CL2

      Idiot. Muslim americans also lost many lives in the attacks. You act like all muslims are violent. How many crazy people have done insane things in the name of the christian god? Many. Does that mean that all christians are crazy too? You don't know how much of a follower you really are.

      August 5, 2010 at 7:49 pm |
    • SteveS

      it also proves you are a bigot!

      August 5, 2010 at 8:16 pm |
    • John Toradze

      No, not all muslims are violent. But the doctrine says they are supposed to be.

      August 6, 2010 at 2:03 am |
  17. AdamF

    It is ironic to find Hispanics protesting the mosque - do they really think that most of the bigots protesting the mosque care about your exact exact background? They hate foreigners or even people who happen to look foreign - they dont care about your personal values or behaviors. Just take the case of the two Christian Arab protesters protesting the mosque last month - the crowd nearly beat up these two individuals when they were heard speaking Arabic! NYPD had to rescue the protesters from other protesters!

    August 5, 2010 at 7:16 pm |
    • CL2

      These are the same people that are trying deport kind, hard-working individuals based on profiling.
      They are also the people who support Sarah Palin and her band of hatred.

      August 5, 2010 at 7:46 pm |
    • Nimrod

      I would suggest you look up the definition of the word bigoted before you start slinging the term "bigot" around as clearly it applies to you also.

      August 5, 2010 at 11:50 pm |
  18. watching

    Partial List of Muslim 9/11 Victims:

    Note: This list is as yet incomplete and unconfirmed. It has been compiled from the Islamic Circle of North America, the Newsday victims database, and reports from other major news organizations. The victims' ages, employers, or other personal information is included when available, along with links to further information or photos.

    Samad Afridi
    Ashraf Ahmad
    Shabbir Ahmad (45 years old; Windows on the World; leaves wife and 3 children)
    Umar Ahmad
    Azam Ahsan
    Ahmed Ali
    Tariq Amanullah (40 years old; Fiduciary Trust Co.; ICNA website team member; leaves wife and 2 children)
    Touri Bolourchi (69 years old; United Airlines #175; a retired nurse from Tehran)
    Salauddin Ahmad Chaudhury
    Abdul K. Chowdhury (30 years old; Cantor Fitzgerald)
    Mohammad S. Chowdhury (39 years old; Windows on the World; leaves wife and child born 2 days after the attack)
    Jamal Legesse Desantis
    Ramzi Attallah Douani (35 years old; Marsh & McLennan)
    SaleemUllah Farooqi
    Syed Fatha (54 years old; Pitney Bowes)
    Osman Gani
    Mohammad Hamdani (50 years old)
    Salman Hamdani (NYPD Cadet)
    Aisha Harris (21 years old; General Telecom)
    Shakila Hoque (Marsh & McLennan)
    Nabid Hossain
    Shahzad Hussain
    Talat Hussain
    Mohammad Shah Jahan (Marsh & McLennan)
    Yasmeen Jamal
    Mohammed Jawarta (MAS security)
    Arslan Khan Khakwani
    Asim Khan
    Ataullah Khan
    Ayub Khan
    Qasim Ali Khan
    Sarah Khan (32 years old; Cantor Fitzgerald)
    Taimour Khan (29 years old; Karr Futures)
    Yasmeen Khan
    Zahida Khan
    Badruddin Lakhani
    Omar Malick
    Nurul Hoque Miah (36 years old)
    Mubarak Mohammad (23 years old)
    Boyie Mohammed (Carr Futures)
    Raza Mujtaba
    Omar Namoos
    Mujeb Qazi
    Tarranum Rahim
    Ehtesham U. Raja (28 years old)
    Ameenia Rasool (33 years old)
    Naveed Rehman
    Yusuf Saad
    Rahma Salie & unborn child (28 years old; American Airlines #11; wife of Michael Theodoridis; 7 months pregnant)
    Shoman Samad
    Asad Samir
    Khalid Shahid (25 years old; Cantor Fitzgerald; engaged to be married in November)
    Mohammed Shajahan (44 years old; Marsh & McLennan)
    Naseema Simjee (Franklin Resources Inc.'s Fiduciary Trust)
    Jamil Swaati
    Sanober Syed
    Robert Elias Talhami (40 years old; Cantor Fitzgerald)
    Michael Theodoridis (32 years old; American Airlines #11; husband of Rahma Salie)
    W. Wahid

    August 5, 2010 at 7:16 pm |
    • H.W.

      Lists of Muslims who died in the 9/11 attacks are good reminders that no person was exempted from the tragedy simply because of faith or any other characteristic, but there's a lesson of caution in using such an approach to be taken from the recent BP spill. When BP's CEO tried to say that he was negatively impacted by the spill as well, perhaps in an attempt to convey a genuine sense of empathy and foster a feeling of camaraderie, it backfired.

      My suggestion – keep posting those lists, but precede them with brief explanations of the tenets of Islam that non-radical Muslims hold to be paramount.

      August 5, 2010 at 7:43 pm |
    • CL2

      Thank you for your post. People don't understand that there is no us and them. We are one. We grieved together and muslims too suffered incredible loss on 9/11. We need to have empathy for their sufferings before we can expect it for ourselves. This country has a lot of healing to do.

      August 5, 2010 at 7:44 pm |
    • Dave

      Breathlessly awaiting the count of Irish-American and Italian-American names for statistical comparison.

      August 5, 2010 at 7:48 pm |
    • Ash

      I only hope that they are viewed by the majority of muslims around the world as victims and not martyrs.

      August 5, 2010 at 8:08 pm |
    • diesel2u

      Maybe muslims should stand up to the islamic terrorist or are they cowards?

      August 5, 2010 at 8:19 pm |
    • Kendall

      Dave- Compare that stat with the stat of how many irish-americans and italian-americans worked there. I think that the % match rather well. What did you want? 50% of those dead on 9-11 to be Muslims who probably made up 1% of those that worked there?

      August 5, 2010 at 9:22 pm |
    • GreyGeek

      Let's not forget these 19 Muslims:

      AMERICAN AIRLINES #77
      BOEING 757
      1) Khalid Almihdhar – Possible Saudi national
      2) Majed Moqed – Possible Saudi national
      3) Nawaf Alhazmi – Possible Saudi national
      4) Salem Alhazmi – Possible Saudi national
      5) Hani Hanjour –

      AMERICAN AIRLINES #11
      BOEING 767
      1) Satam M.A. Al Suqami- Possible Saudi national
      2) Waleed M. Alshehri – Possible Saudi national
      3) Wail M. Alshehri
      4) Mohamed Atta – Possible Egyptian national
      5) Abdulaziz Alomari – Possible Saudi national

      UNITED AIRLINES #175
      BOEING 767
      1) Marwan Al-Shehhi
      2) Fayez Rashid Ahmed Hassan Al Qadi Banihammad
      3) Ahmed Alghamdi
      4) Hamza Alghamdi
      5) Mohand Alshehri

      UNITED AIRLINES #93
      BOEING 757
      1) Saeed Alghamdi
      2) Ahmed Ibrahim A. Al Haznawi – Possible Saudi national
      3) Ahmed Alnami
      4) Ziad Samir Jarrah

      Based on documents found in their luggage and personal effects the hijackers were convinced that THEY will be martyrs who will be rewarded in paradise with 72 virgins. The 3,000 were "sacrificial victims". Muslims are mass murdering other Muslims on a daily basis in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and other Muslim countries. I shudder to think how bad things would be if Islam were not a religion of peace.

      August 5, 2010 at 11:53 pm |
    • Sinbad

      So what does this list show? That the Muslim terrorists are willing to kill their own people of faith to get to the infidel–after all, the Muslims killed in the 911 attacks are martyrs anyway, right? Of more interest would be the proportions of Muslims killed relative to us "infidels"–building this mosque so close to ground zero is the mother of all bad ideas. And people are saying it's not ground zero–didn't part of the landing gear fall ont his building? Has this area been thoroughly searched for "infidel" remains?

      August 6, 2010 at 12:35 am |
    • Manbeagle

      Good riddance.

      August 6, 2010 at 1:10 am |
    • Steve Schoner

      According to the Koran and those 19 terrorists that did 9/11 these and other followers of Islam became instant martyrs to the cause of Islam, whether they wished it or not. And this proposed Mosque will honor them as such too, all to the disgrace of the survivors of that horrific act of mass murder committed by 19 depraved followers of Islam that took the Koran to literally.

      THIS MOSQUE MUST NOT BE BUILT ON GROUND MADE SACRED BY THE DEATHS OF OVER 3,000 PEOPLE AT THE HANDS OF ISLAMIC TERRORISTS.

      They can however build the Mosque anywhere but there.

      August 6, 2010 at 1:39 am |
    • Steve Schoner

      According to the Koran and those 19 terrorists that did 9/11 these and other followers of Islam became instant martyrs to the cause of Islam, whether they wished it or not. And this proposed Mosque will honor them as such too, all to the disgrace of the survivors of that horrific act of mass murder committed by 19 depraved followers of Islam that took the Koran too literally.

      THIS MOSQUE MUST NOT BE BUILT ON GROUND MADE SACRED BY THE DEATHS OF OVER 3,000 PEOPLE AT THE HANDS OF ISLAMIC TERRORISTS.

      They can however build the Mosque anywhere but there.

      August 6, 2010 at 1:43 am |
    • John Toradze

      I know full well from study and from talking at length with many muslims that there are some sects that are not particularly violent. But the ideology of islam is. It is absolutely clear in the books. It is an ideology of oppression, a medieval darkness.

      August 6, 2010 at 2:01 am |
    • Sarah

      What's your point? Do these deaths justify the hurt and anger that this individuals planning this mosque are causing to the families of other victims and this country?

      August 6, 2010 at 9:57 am |
  19. CNP

    People keep saying on the site of the attacks, it is two blocks away! Also We as Americans are better than that we should not let what other people do dictate how we feel or react or live we are suppose to be better than that. All Muslims are not evil just like many Christians who things "in the name of God" don't represent all Christians. If people think they are doing it to spit in the face of Americans well the people making a big fuss about it are giving them what they ask for more attention. I look at it like this in every group there is evil whether is race, religion, etc. I will never demonize an entire group over the actions of a few. I think us as Americans really need to take a step back and look at ourselves.

    August 5, 2010 at 7:16 pm |
    • John Toradze

      Son, it is not "a few". There are literally millions of muslims who are united in jihad against the infidel.

      August 6, 2010 at 1:58 am |
  20. J.

    Maybe if they identified themselves as Americans first and Muslims second they would be more excepted. That being said, they have a right to build where ever they want within the law, no matter how insensitive it is.

    August 5, 2010 at 7:16 pm |
    • Remas

      yes, because Jews always put America first...oh wait... or how every American politician must do the pledge of allegiance... to Israel.

      August 5, 2010 at 11:43 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.