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August 8th, 2010
10:15 AM ET

Developer behind 'ground zero' Islamic center: 'This is not about the World Trade Center'

[cnn-video url= http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2010/08/08/chernoff.sharif.intv.cnn%5D

Q: Why not have this center a little further away from the World Trade Center instead of just two blocks right there? There probably wouldn’t be much opposition…

A: This is not about the World Trade Center. This is not about a particular location.

This is about a need that exists within the Lower Manhattan community and its need that exists within the Muslim community to have a community and a cultural center. And it’s pretty hard finding real estate in New York

- CNN Belief Blog

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

soundoff (433 Responses)
  1. Bob

    Maybe if it's not about location, then they should just move it a few blocks further away to be considerate.

    August 8, 2010 at 12:08 pm |
    • maxx013us

      pray tell...how many "blocks/miles" off would be sufficient enough not to hurt your sensibility?? And what really defines/ed this? Any why really stop at that then ... why not just blurt out your real intent that given a choice you'd simply love to obliterate every known Muslim off this country or even this world. There is a word for it, GENOCIDE. And you are no different from KKK or Nazis or the radical Muslims.

      August 8, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  2. Brenda T

    The developer ONLY cares about money. He doesn't care about anything else. Why can't CNN talk to someone who DOESN"T have a stake in the center and has AN IMPARTIAL opinion.....NO, CNN can't do that because they are IDIOTS.

    August 8, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
  3. Troy

    Since Obama is allowing this to happen, we all know who he is in bed with......first NY City then next they will build one in the White House.....think about it.

    August 8, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
    • Ladislav Nemec, Big Bear, CA

      Obama has absolutely nothing to do with it. Although, after appreciating first his Cairo speech, I realized that he is hopelessly naive and was probably, by far, not ready to become our president. Not only in this aspect – your 'bipartisan' effort were and will be 100% rejected by Republicans – he probably believes that all Americans love this entire country. The Republicans love only the rich who pay them well.

      Muslims, on the other hand, pay nothing to Obama and he still respects them... We got big problems here.

      August 8, 2010 at 8:33 pm |
  4. John

    Zahra,
    The problem here is that people are pointing the finger at the religion of Islam because Islam takes control of entire government states and imposes laws that directly conflict with the way of others. England's official religion is Christianity, but the majority of the law is not strictly governed by Christian laws which specifically ban many individual freedoms such as dictating the way you dress.

    August 8, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
  5. buddha

    The problem is the location. Islam has done this for centuries. The world was too helpless to protest it. In iran they wiped out the zorostranism, in egypt they wiped out the rich and scientific heritage, in afghan they destroyed the bahamanian buddhas. You do not need the intelligence of the harvard professor or rocket scientiest to understand this. This is a black and white fact which speaks for itself. Before they built a a mosque let us built a multicultural center in saudi arabia, i.e in mecca.

    August 8, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
    • pferd

      could not agree more. when the muslims allow us to bring our religions into their countries then we can talk, meanwhile
      can't they be more sensitive and understand why this ground is called ground "0" and why we don't need muslims mosques there. that is like putting a nazi symbol in front of a temple
      and that moron on cnn who keeps spewing his stupid objection and that we are racists should be fired.

      August 8, 2010 at 1:12 pm |
    • maxx013us

      @ buddha and pferd .... Have you guys heard of Muslim nations by the names of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Bangladesh. Indonesia, alone represents more Muslims than probably entire middle east and they allow all religions to practice peacefully within their boundaries. But maybe it doesn't help your argument or you are IGNORANT (because you dropped out of school to flip burgers) that you don't know about such things.

      As for Middle East, lack of religious freedom is not because of Muslims but their rulers who we have hand-picked to serve our purposes. So, be thankful to these autocrats and dictators because they allow our country's foreign policy to fledge at the expense of their own countrymen. The problem isn't about lack of freedom within Islam but lack of knowledge amongst non-muslims who paint entire Muslim with same brush based on prism of media that you choose to see it through.

      August 8, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  6. Big Bob

    What race is Islam again? Really, stop throwing out the racist canard, the term has become almost meaningless.

    August 8, 2010 at 12:03 pm |
    • Tarn

      The term IS meaningless.
      But what can you expect in a debate like this? Mass delusion is the game, and everybody loses.

      August 8, 2010 at 12:50 pm |
  7. Dan

    Mr. Fahim Lodhi, I'm not sure where you got your numbers that close to 1,000 Muslims were killed on 9/11 but it must be new math; the Islamic Circle of North America list less then 60 Muslims killed and including 1 woman who was pregnant. Of course it didn't count the 19 Muslims that actually carried out the attack. I don't believe all Muslims are terrorist but I do believe that the majority of Muslims are silent when members of their "peaceful" religion commit terrorist attacks which makes them as much a part of the problem as the terrorist. Take a trip to the Muslim community in the Detroit area and tell me how peaceful and loving the Muslim community is. To answer your question about ignoring the Muslims killed on 9/11 as not being American; the simplest answer I can give is that the attackers openly indicated these Muslims were martyrs for Radical Islam, so pick your answer. Until I see American Muslims in the streets protesting terror from their religion I'm afraid all the talk is meaningless. Pump sunshine up someone else butt in the future.

    August 8, 2010 at 12:02 pm |
    • Jeff

      Good question – there are rallies from Muslims against terrorism. The unfortunate truth is that the news media DO NOT cover it. So no one hears about it. EVERY muslim organization has condemned the terrorists attacks, over and over again, but most Americans don't hear it. There have been marches and rallies ALL OVER THE WORLD, but no one sees them. Nearly EVERY Mosque I was ever a guest at spoke against terrorism and against extremism. And every single muslim i have ever met was the nicest most peaceful person. The terrorist are not a product of Islam, but a product of decades of war in Afghanistan, sanctions and war in Iraq. People commit acts of extremism at times of desperation. And those people are living in desperation. Not an excuse, but a result of it.

      August 8, 2010 at 12:14 pm |
    • frank

      Well put. Silence speaks volumes.

      August 8, 2010 at 12:14 pm |
    • sdia

      @ I agree with Jeff. Americans see the world through some media eyes which are so biased and information is scrambled. Look at the world in both ways and judge yourself. We respect some who fought for bring freedom for USt, but for british they are the extremist and terrorists. Two views for the same person. but in actual, they are the freedom fighters which is their duty. Same with palastenians...they're is no country called isreal before 1948. they killed and invaded ..so palestinians fight for their freedom. We see this through the media..this is been scambled and shown as their terrorists...think and judge yourself.

      August 8, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  8. Saad Hasan

    All the bigots and Islamophobes posting here ought to back up their bigoted statements. If you oppose the center for the reasons that you do then it makes an obligation on you to oppose the presence of Muslims anywhere in America and beyond. Why stop at the center, you lot should be calling for the total annihilation of Muslims from America. In fact you should do whatever is in your capacity to annihilate Muslims from the world, a la what Hitler did to the Jews. This is nothing but history repeating itself and what's more ironic is the victims from the last time around are now some of the most vocal proponent of a genocide. CNN's and the rest of the mainstream media ought to be ashamed of themselves for providing a platform for the worst kind of bigots to air their hatred openly.

    August 8, 2010 at 12:00 pm |
    • matt

      So you think that because we do not want a mosque at ground zero, we want to perform genocide on all people of islam? Stop thinking like a muslim, we just oppose you building a mosque at ground zero. Period.

      August 8, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
    • Kay

      I think it is shocking to see the Muslim replies on this board. Some have no understanding what it means to respect people of other faiths. If only Muslims died at Ground Zero I could see building a mosque there. But the terrorists KILLED in the name of Islam and the majority of victims were NOT Muslim. It is right and proper that people PROTEST a mosque being built there for these reasons. If Muslims cannot see that, then they don't understand what respect towards others means. And that is frightening to this whole country.

      August 8, 2010 at 1:02 pm |
    • Dave

      Kay – you just said there cannot be a mosque there because the majority of those dead were not Muslim. What an arrogant and inhumane thing to say. My family took a hard hit. My son served two tours in Afghanistan. Maggots like you would be happy if more of just Muslims died. Uneducated high school drop outs like you are nothing but a stain on not only our great nation by on society as a whole. You live off my tax dollar and try to tell me where I should or should not worship. If my religion is indeed wrong and yours is right, I pray you are with me in your Hell.

      August 8, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
    • maxx013us

      @ Matt and Kay .... all Muslims do not think of genocide the same way as all Christians (western nations) didn't commit holocaust or the OK bombing or child abuse at churches. But maybe it is too much for your pin sized brains to grasp. I am ashamed to call you my fellow countrymen.
      However, I wish you very best as you gargle out non-sense because it at least pulls the masks off your heads for what you are and it reads BIGOTS and RELIGIOUS ZEALOTS!!

      August 8, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  9. John

    Fahim,
    I work with several very "moderate" Muslim men. The more I talk to them the more I hear things out of their mouth which are appropriate in Islamic run states, but too extreme for living in the United States. Are they terrorists? No. However, the way they would necessary like things to be does not fit into U.S. laws and culture. Their non-verbal behavior gives off the impression that they are trying to hold back what they believe because they know they cannot say out loud how they view the world. We are a nation of infidels and that is all we will ever be. Look at the many groups of "religious warriors" are celebrated by every day Muslims. There is a reason non-Muslims go on alert around Muslims– things that come out of their mouth are alarming.

    August 8, 2010 at 12:00 pm |
    • PeteM

      I could say the same things about the Catholic Church, but they are just better at hiding these things in these modern times.
      Religion is indoctrinated madness. When done to children it is a form of child-abuse. There are many different types of shared beliefs which are also similar in this way. Any group in the USA may assemble peacefully. What they do to other people is where the stuff hits the fan.

      August 8, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
  10. Jeff

    Terrorist attacks have no more to do with Islam than abortion 50 million dead native americans have to do with christianity, or deal palistinian babies have to do with Judaism, or drone attacks in pakistan have to do with freedom. Get real people. They are fighting back because they hate the fact that we are there to start with. We have been in there affairs for several decades, well before 9/11 or any other attack. They hate that we support the dictators in Saudi Arabia b/c we love their oil. They hate that we support Israel's occupation of Palistine. They hate that we have occupied and caused the death of over 1 million Iraqis b/c Georgi boy wanted some oil and a chance to rape our tresury department. They don't want us over there, and they will fight us because of it. Listen to what Ron Paul said. If China had 100s of bases on our soil, meddled in our affairs, took our resources, and killed us all on top of that, we'd be pretty damn pissed and I bet you the hundreds of Christian militais in the US would fight back. I know I certainly would. And it would have nothing to do with Christianity, though it would be a great way to recruit people.

    August 8, 2010 at 11:58 am |
  11. Howler

    Shame on the city of New York , Mayor Bloomberg the developers and the people that are seeking this development. This is clearly a provocative development and all know it is. The muslims will celebrate another victory. Way to go you New York. Folks clearly do not see the big picture here. Islamic laws allows them to lie, cheat if it helps them with their objective. What better symbol of victory then building on or near a site that you attacked. Its a fight for your mind folks, better wake up.

    August 8, 2010 at 11:54 am |
    • geoffreyf

      Shame on the city of NY? How dare you. Has it occurred to you that the people of NY know what they are doing? Have you even bothered to learn about this center, it's thoughts and philosophies? I grew up a mile from the WTC, in a Jewish Household for what it is worth and I am 100% supportive of the Cordoba center.

      This bigotry is a stain on all that america stands for. It's ironic, my Grandfather face the same things when he came here. jews were accused of infant sacrifice and god knows what all. It was just as stupid as what people say about Muslims. To my friends who follow Islam, I will defend your right to worship as though I were among your faithful, as though you were fellow jews, with my last drop of blood. Not only for you but for what my country stands for. Bigots always loose in this country for the simple and fundamental reason that they are ignorant not only of the object of their bigotry but of their own countries history.

      We are all (supposed to be) of the book. To the Christian bigots, you should learn what that means.

      August 8, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  12. Rick McDaniel

    Yes, it IS about the World Trade Center. It is nothing but a monument to Islam, in the middle of the attacks on America. It celebrates those attacks, and is an affront to every American.

    August 8, 2010 at 11:51 am |
    • Dave

      I'm an American Muslim. I will practice my religion anywhere I go in this country, whether it's in Lower Manhattan or across the street from your house. There is absolutely nothING you can do about it.

      August 8, 2010 at 11:56 am |
    • meera lee

      is it an affront to those muslim families who lost loved ones in 9/11?
      http://islam.about.com/blvictims.htm

      August 8, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
    • Kay

      I agree. It is "in your face" and Muslims know it. The only reason a mosque (and don't forget the school that will be intentionally isolating Muslim kids and teaching them only Islamic teachings) is to be placed there is to push Islam in America. All churches are about gaining converts. That is exactly what the terrorists wanted (whether or not they practiced Islam properly or not). So moderate Muslims should respect the wishes of those who oppose the mosque and build somewhere else.

      August 8, 2010 at 12:56 pm |
    • Josh

      Dave, yes you do have your right to freedom of religion. Yes you do have your right to practicing your religion within the confines of U.S. Law (that goes for any religion not just the Muslim faith). This however, the placement in that location, practically on the doorstep of the WTC is inciteful at best.

      Let's spin the table around. Let's say that Christians on a spiritual mission from God destroyed several buildings in a large Mid-East city killing several thousands of people and decided to build a Christian "community center" several blocks form that location. What would be the response form you and other Muslims? I'm sure inciteful would probably be the least incredulous thing said in regards to that.

      August 8, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
    • Dave

      Josh – this is your ignorance at its best. Why are you so quick to assume I care about the Middle East? Take out this pile of feces from your mind, please. I'm an American Muslim. Born in THIS damn country. Why the hell would I care what happens over there? The people are already dying over there at the hands of their dictators. Are you really that stupid?

      August 8, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
    • Josh

      Dave are you that obscenely obtuse to see the correlation here? Don't tell me I'm the one ignorant. First I made absolutely 0 incendiary comments so you take that rhetoric back to the bus stop you got it from. Second you are calling me ignorant when you are incapable of putting yourself in the other persons shoes. Your remarks are very clear however of your level of maturity. Thank you for proving my point though.

      August 8, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
    • geoffreyf

      Have you read the stated reasons for the center? It is there for real estate reasons but also as a way of promoting understanding of the goodness of Islam for misguided moslems and to help other faiths to understand what they actually have in common with Islam, which is quite a lot.

      I am Jewish but I've been studying Islam and Arabic out of curiousity and believe me, it is interesting and amazing. How many of you bigots know the Quran goes OUT OF ITS WAY to recognize Jesus, Moses, David and others as prior and very valid Prophets? Do you know that?

      The entire history of the Imam for this center and the Cordoba institute is one of moderation and peace. Ascribing to them terrorism violent jihad or any of these horrible accusations is utterly baseless.

      August 8, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
    • maxx013us

      well said Dave, kudos!!

      August 8, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
    • benson

      Hey Dave, wanna bet? Come to my house and try to practice your crap.

      August 8, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
    • Bill

      Dave, with all due respect, your me-first just reinforces my perception of many muslims:

      Does the muslim community have the RIGHT to establish their center near Ground Zero? Of course. However, if they have have RESPECT for their fellow Americans, they would recognize how controversial this is and choose to locate somewhere else in the area. So, since they are not relocating, I am rightfully assuming that they are quite willing to assert their RIGHTS, without any regard to RESPECT for others. That, in turn, reinforces my belief that the perspective of many muslims is: 'I want what I want, and to hell with you.'. Is this really the message the muslim community wants to convery? I sure hope not...

      August 8, 2010 at 7:15 pm |
    • FreeInUSA

      @Dave: This is exactly the attitude that's gonna help muslim integrate in this society. You have nothing to worry about as noone will suicide bmb you for your beliefs

      August 8, 2010 at 8:14 pm |
    • Tony

      @ Josh
      Apparently you've never been to Iraq where we blew up, bombed, and shot the hell out of their entire country including their mosques. Then you know what we did? We built bases there.
      How's that for spinning the tables a little bit?

      August 8, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
    • Josh

      Actually Tony I have been to that part of the world, I was deployed out there for some time. The difference being that those were being used as storage facilities for weapons as well as harboring insurgents. Tell me Tony how many insurgents and weapons was the WTC harboring? How many insurgents was the pentagon harboring? I'll give you a minute to think about that one.......................... zero. Now try putting my comment into the proper context next time.

      August 8, 2010 at 10:38 pm |
  13. Saladin

    He certainly seems to believe in what he's saying. I can appreciate the difficulty in finding real estate in lower Manhattan but it almost seems naive to say "This is not about the World Trade Center." I think acknowledging it in some fashion makes more sense. "We're here to serve the community–and there's a real need–as well as bridge the gap inflicted by 9/11" would probably be well-received.

    August 8, 2010 at 11:48 am |
    • BD70

      We in upstate NY take offense to NYC being referred to NY. NY is a state and NYC is a city within that state. Please get it right. If real estate is sparse in NYC they get no sympathy from me. I would prefer NYC became its own place and stop depending on upstate to finance it.

      August 8, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
    • Ladislav Nemec, Big Bear, CA

      Naive? Extremely arrogant.

      August 8, 2010 at 8:29 pm |
  14. Bob

    The only "need" this fills is for the religion of a 7th century turbaned pedophile to hoist their flag on the site of their greatest crime.

    August 8, 2010 at 11:41 am |
    • Fahim Lodhi

      bob, I bet you've never talked to an American Muslim in your life...do your research, it is racist individuals like you who make America look bad.

      August 8, 2010 at 11:43 am |
    • realworld

      Oh, now not only are all Muslims terrorists, they are affiliated with pedophilia. I take it you spend the rest of your time traveling the country protesting the building of Catholic churches; that pedophilia happened in the last few decades, not supposedly 14 centuries ago.

      August 8, 2010 at 11:52 am |
    • Kay

      I don't agree with crude remarks but the founder of Islam married a 7 year old girl. That was the reference Bob was referring to, though back then, I doubt they considered it pedophilia. They still have marriages to minors in Islamic regions.

      August 8, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
    • phillip Marlowe

      Right on Bob! I agree

      August 8, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
    • sdia

      What kind of a racism grown in you!! Shame on u. you must be another american white who thinks themselves as the greatest. you do the same racism for black people..you think you are the only people should live on earth...People like you are the shame to Americans..

      August 8, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
    • SayWhaaa!!

      Get out of your trailor sometimes Im surprised you got internet access

      August 8, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
    • nomoregbldgk

      @bob
      as opposed to 21st century befrocked pedophiles?

      August 8, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
    • maxx013us

      @ Bob and Kay .. please cite your sources of information before claiming pedophilia. Just because you live (or were born) in America and happen to know English doesn't make you educated. Your ignorance and lack of education shows itself when you blurt out what you hear in your local parish and biased Fox media. I can say more to describe you and your likes but you are not worthy of my time.

      Just amazed by the utter ridiculousness of thoughts and opinion aired on some of these forums. Wonder if these guys realize that their thoughts and idealogies are no different from the radical Islamists and KKK closer by. Maybe, thats what scares these people more about Islam. When they read about the fundamental Islamists, maybe they see themselves in the mirror and get scared.

      August 8, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
    • Tony

      Mary was supposedly thirteen when she was "with child."

      August 8, 2010 at 8:17 pm |
    • Ladislav Nemec, Big Bear, CA

      Bob may be overdoing it but you, my dear Muslim, hate America so much that you would hoist some kind of Islamic flag at ground zero, that was, indeed, one of the rare accomplishments of the Islamic faith.

      Of course America looks bad, with or without Bob. We dare to fight you, not with much success, I am sorry to say. With allies like Politically Correct Mayor Bloomberg you have nothing to fear. You can kill us (and your brothers will as many as they can) but we have to accept your arrogance. I just hope that a street venodr will be selling eggs near your 'center' for WTC visitors to through them at your fancy fasade paid, no doubt, by the same people who financed 9/11 in the first place. OK, I am forgetting the 'narrative' – Muslims had nothing to do with 9/11...

      August 8, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
    • Nonimus

      I don't agree with Bob's intent at all i.e. mud slinging, but technically an argument for pedophilia could be made.
      "According to the traditional sources, Aisha was six or seven years old when betrothed to Muhammad."
      "Most of the sources indicate that she was nine years old at the time [the marriage was consummated]"
      – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aisha

      As are the claims of pedophile priests today.

      Not sure what either has to do with this building in NYC though.

      August 9, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
    • amuslim

      Nonimus:[I don't agree with Bob's intent at all i.e. mud slinging, but technically an argument for pedophilia could be made.]
      [- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aisha%5D
      What you might not have noticed is that the 3 citations wikipedia throws up are all citing one source. They also ignore the fact that there are 3 accounts that disagree. At worst, according to one source, Aisha was 7 when she was betrothed (akin to old time engagement) and 9 when the marriage was consumated. Two other original sources indicate it being more like 9-10 when betrothed and 14-16 when consumated (including the one source which points to it being 7 and 9). One source indicates it was 18 and 22. At least one source conspiquously doesn't ever mention her existance whatsoever.

      All this goes to show how things get muddy when you are talking about events from that far back, and taking a strong stance one way or another makes you look like a total idiot.

      August 9, 2010 at 1:47 pm |
    • Nonimus

      amuslim,
      So you're saying the case would not be solid for either side. Fair enough, I don't have the research to say otherwise.

      August 9, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
  15. Zahra

    The comments may express your feelings about a past event, altough does not mean that you grasped any of the meanings of the current issue.
    After every crime are we always going to acuse the religion of the doer of action? Or only if that person was muslim?
    Many comments are made about islam – and people mock and flood with more comments. What weight could have a comment made by a person ignorant of the matter? If you suffer from a medical condition, are you going to ask the plumber for advice?

    August 8, 2010 at 11:40 am |
  16. tommy

    Islamic terrorists who hates the American government's policy caused the demise of the twin towers which in turn killed not only American citizens but also other citizens of the world. The hatred should not be towards the practitioners of Islam or it's symbols.

    August 8, 2010 at 11:40 am |
  17. jim

    Jeff, you undermine the thrust of your argument by your sophomoric overuse of the word "ignorant" and its derivatives.

    August 8, 2010 at 11:40 am |
  18. Fahim Lodhi

    Your an Idiot for thinking all Muslims are terrorists. The Imam behind the construction of this cultural center openly opposes Al-Qaeda, and the Taliban, he even writes an opinion in the New York Times every now and then opposing them. Also you should read his book. It is people like you who fail to see Muslims in America are moderates and in no way they support terrorism. You fail to take notice that close to 1000 Muslims lost their lives on 9/11. All of those Muslims were AMERICANS, now are you not going to take notice their feelings or their families considerations? Are you just going to ignore the Muslims who lost their lives on that day and say they weren't Americans? This country was found on the basis of FREEDOM, and that freedom includes religion. Do your research before you start trying to debate something.

    August 8, 2010 at 11:39 am |
    • Sparky

      Religious Freedom? So there will also be a Synagogue, Church, Buddha center, Hindu center all under the same roof?

      August 8, 2010 at 3:09 pm |
      • nomoregbldgk

        @Sparky
        you got it, babe; "the secret of min" read it and come back and tell me more

        August 8, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
      • SeizeNN

        Religious freedom does not mean one place of worship has to cater to all religions. It also means that there is no obligation to try to bring people of different religions together to gain a better understanding of one another, yet this is the goal of the Cordoba Institute.

        August 8, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
    • Jo

      If the Iman of that Islamic cultural center is such a good person, he should be sensitive to the feelings of the people who died in the name of Islamd. He is building the cultural center on a site that was demolished during 9/11 when one of the landing gear from the planes fell onto the building. To most people, that is blatantly thumbing his nose at the people who died in 9/11. He has no respect.

      The site of 9/11 is hallowed ground, a holy site. It is a cemetery, and Muslims are going to dance on the graves of the people who died. No matter how you look at it, it's just not right.

      In the meantime, non-Muslims are not even allowed to enter Mecca, because it is a holy site.

      No one is saying all Muslims are bad. They are saying that, under the circumstances, a mosque should not be built on the site of 9/11. Ever...!

      August 8, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
    • john catao

      We can convert you into a terrorist in 1 hour.

      August 8, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
    • Mace

      Sorry you feel that way. Perhaps if the muslims were to act a little less radical in the countries that they do control and maybe learn to reign in their own members then they wouldn't inspire fear in this country. Perhaps if the Muslims would have let our buildings stand, we wouldn't fear them. It's great that you say muslims in this country are moderates, but again, I saw how muslims reacted when a cartoonist drew a picture of Muhammed. No other religion in the world would act like that over a cartoon of someone important in their religion. It wouldn't happen. So, Mr Lodhi, perhaps at some point it becomes the Muslim communities obligation to prove what they are about. I challenge you also Mr Lodhi to answer one question for me: Why this mosque, why this location? It is close to sacred to the American people at this point and I would think that, as a Muslim, the last thing you would want people thinking about when passing Ground Zero is the muslim religion. I think the memory we have of muslims at that particular location is pretty well established, perhaps somewhere else would be less controversial.

      August 9, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
  19. jim

    "This is not about the World Trade Center."
    Can anyone imagine a more idiotic comment?!

    August 8, 2010 at 11:38 am |
    • Fahim Lodhi

      jim, its not about the World Trade Center, the guy is right. As he just said there is not community center in lower manhattan. People say that if they wanted to construct it any where else people wouldn't oppose it, yet Mosques/Community Centers are being opposed all throughout America. DO YOUR RESEARCH!

      August 8, 2010 at 11:41 am |
    • jim

      Fahim Lodhi:
      Please stop referring to reading your biased Islamic propaganda as "research"!

      August 8, 2010 at 11:46 am |
    • Jeff

      Jim – do you even hear what comes out of your mouth? Seriously, does the crap that comes out of your mouth go through some screening process where you can see whether it's good crap or bad crap....b/c it's just crap. DO YOUR RESEARCH – Mosques all over the country are being opposed because of ignorance while these mosques are the best way to fight AGAINST extremism – according to research done by Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill.

      August 8, 2010 at 11:52 am |
    • bob w.

      read verse 4:89 in the Koran

      August 8, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
    • Jen

      Certainly, this is not JUST about the WTC. I will grant that. However, it can certainly be construed that way. Until moderate Muslims (who I know do exist) speak up and truly come out against their radical brethren, they are essentially speaking in support of them. Perhaps this guy is one of the good ones, but this STILL feels like it has to do with the WTC more than he wants to admit.

      August 8, 2010 at 12:23 pm |
    • Mike

      @Bob w.

      Read Corinthians 10:3-5

      August 8, 2010 at 12:35 pm |
    • Kay

      It IS about 9/11 due to location. It is "in your face" and Muslims know it. They KNOW they are disrespecting other people because there has been wide opposition to the mosque there. And yet despite this open opposition, they still want to put it there. Not to mention, there is need to know where the funding is coming from? Americans, especially those who suffered loss in 9/11 deserve to know who is funding this Islamic operation.

      August 8, 2010 at 12:51 pm |
    • Jeff

      Guys, you have GOT TO STOP taking verses and quotes out of context. Did Sherrly Sherrod not teach you anything? You cannot take stuff out of context and say look...here's what Islam says. We can do that with the bible as some people have done here to prove that point – we can do that with ANY book. The fact is, read the Quran, Bible, Torah, Vedas, etc, in CONTEXT. If I say..."If they choose to fight you, then fight them back. And do not be soft against them, and kill them where you find them. But do not transgress or be cruel." – If you say." Jeff says 'kill them where you find them,' then that is JUST WRONG and that's what you guys are doing with these religous books. You are just as wrong as the terrorists that do the same thing to recruit members. JUST AS WRONG

      August 8, 2010 at 1:41 pm |
    • Laura J

      It IS about the World Trade Center. Build it somewhere else. Michigan has mosques all over and no problems, why? Perhaps because Muslims here are normal citizens who would work very hard to be good Americans and succeed. They do not blame America for 9-11 like Imam Rauf. He supports Sharia law in the USA, need I say more?

      August 8, 2010 at 2:12 pm |
    • M&M

      Basically what he's saying when he says it's not about the World Trade Center, is that he doesn't care about what took place on 9/11. And in his own words, he said it's need for the Islamic people. Well since they already own the building they are hell bent on doing what they want. I leave them in the hand of God who can wipe them out in a split second. God does not like evil! Godly people don't hurt other people. Oh, we are not people, we are infidels who deserve to die! And they wonder why their people are suffering around the world?

      August 8, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
    • Matt

      @Mike
      Before you sited that verse (Corinthians 10:3-5) you did actually read it right? It is talking about our internal struggle as is made abundantly clear by the last line "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

      How is that in any way a Christian version of an Islamic verse that says to kill infidels?

      August 8, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
    • KD

      @ Jen and what makes you think that moderate muslims already aren't doing anything to counter the radicalism within Islam or what exactly do you propose they should do. You don't think that radical Muslims wear some head band by which they could be identified and handed over, I wish they did but they don't. If you read news properly you'd know enough to learn how moderate muslims have attempted to alert authorities and thwart imminent attacks (aka Christmas bombing effort). If that is not sufficient then what else do you expect? Please elaborate.

      August 8, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
    • Jon

      This is disgusting. If it’s not about the world trade center then pick another location to build it. They are obviously trying to make a statement and it is appalling that the city of New York would allow this. With the recent killings of aid workers, and others around the world by Muslims for their faith I’m surprised we remain so tolerant. Hell, they kill members of their own religion for differing beliefs! Can you imagine if Methodists killed Lutherans, or Calvinists killed Baptists? The United States is slowly being taken over by illegal immigrants and Muslims due to the insanely liberal government. We need people with common sense and who believe in protecting the country and constitution running things.

      August 8, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
    • Ladislav Nemec, Big Bear, CA

      Of course it is not. What happened on 9/11 is, according to Islamic 'narrative', a result of Israel/CIA conspiracy designed to antagonized Americans against Muslims and kill them. No wonder that the Muslims are fighting back and now want to make this point clear to everyone who would ever visit Ground Zero.

      Purely educational effort. The 'narrative' has to spread to USA – actually, it is already here but, so far, not very popular. Iit is, howerver, what millions of Muslims believe all over the world. So many millions cannot be wrong!

      August 8, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
    • hassan

      he is lair , nice smooth talking is just pure fake and acting . in the arab countrys next every church they build a mousqe !!!!!!!!!!!! ask any muslem person ,,,, will suadia arabia allow to build a Church in Macca or in El madinah el mounawra ?????????

      August 8, 2010 at 10:47 pm |
    • knicks

      Jim how ignorant are you? It's not about the world trade center...stop making ignorant comments

      August 8, 2010 at 10:56 pm |
    • Larry Duncan

      The name Abdul Rauf first proposed for his Islamic center is proof of his intention: Cordoba House alludes to one of the most famous victory mosques in the history of Islamic jihad in Spain–the Great Mosque of Cordoba. Most Americans don't understand what this name means. The name Cordoba House sends a clear message of victory over Western infidels to Muslims everywhere.
      When Newt Gingrich and others began calling attention to the significance of the name, the Cordoba Initiative renamed their center "Park 51," which is simply the address of their Cordoba House. Some people are being fooled by the Cordoba Initiative's song and dance. Wake up, people! Have you forgotten what fools Edouard Daladier & Neville Chamberlain were? Lying to your enemy is simply good strategy, & we infidels are the enemy to Islamic extremists. In some parts of the world America is known as The Great Satan.

      August 9, 2010 at 1:11 am |
    • Dr. Ali Maziad

      Being a proud American Muslim as well as a rational person, I understand the concerns of non-Muslims but I must say that those concerns are based on biased messages they receive from the news in USA. I live in USA & I listen to the news. basically unless you do your own research to really understand Islam, it will be pictured to you as a threat and you will believe it. It is true that there are "Some" radical groups that resort to violence & terrorism. However they don't represent the over 1.5 billion Muslims in the world but because of the biased news, that's what you see.
      Whether you believe in it or not, Islam preaches peace however, Islam asks muslims to protect themselves in times of war "In Battle fields" and those are basically the verses in the Quran that "Ask Muslims" to fight back & kill their enemies. There isn't a single verse that asks us to harm innocent non-Muslims. The question is, what is USA doing in Iraq & Afghanistan??! To those people, US troops are intruders raging war, so don't expect them to welcome them, they will fight back & kill those soldiers. What's not acceptable is harming civilians in USA. However, just as USA & Israel sees Muslim civilian casualties in those countries as collateral damage, don't be surprised if those groups try to bring war to USA.

      August 9, 2010 at 4:37 am |
    • Dr. Ali Maziad

      Another thing, I went through some of the comments and I can see some people with a lot of hate towards Muslims. I want to ask them one question, "Have you ever held a conversation with a Muslim before??"Hhave you ever read the Holy Quran?? or you're just judging based on reports from the news which is most probably the case??! BOTTOM LINE, Islam is "The Religion" whether you like it or not. Your hate won't change anything ....

      August 9, 2010 at 4:45 am |
  20. Jeff

    kyle, there is a need for you to get some real education. Or you can continue to live in the ignorance that surrounds your life. This is not a terrorist center, and It's unfortunate that I even have to explain this to you. These mosques in the US and around the world are not terrorist training camps, they are places that Muslims come to worship and learn about the real Islam, not the Islam ignorant americans have been preaching about. These ignorant americans are just as wrong as the terrorists that like to misquote and pull verses out of context. A study was done recently partnered by Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill that found that the mosques in the US are actually a GREAT source for fighting against extremism and bridging gaps, NOT terrorism.

    August 8, 2010 at 11:34 am |
    • bob w.

      read verse 4:89 in the Koran.....that verse says it all

      August 8, 2010 at 12:06 pm |
    • Bob

      i don't know what islam you're talking about, but I lived in the middle east for many years and you don't know a thing about islam! and to say that islam in the USA is different is totally absurd! when the islamic "community" within the USA stands up and protests in our streets against their radical brothers i will begin to believe that they are different. until then, they are nothing but the same bunch of radical, hypocritical, hate-monging, women haters (we keep them in the back room because we cherish them, ha, ha...) that i observed firsthand for many years in the mideast.! now, please, tell me about your first hand experience(s) with islam...

      August 8, 2010 at 12:13 pm |
    • Nunzi

      Please read; "Muslim Mafia", particularly chapter 14 and beyond & THEN you will see what the Muslim "program" is ! Or, read of Walid Shoebat's book; Why We Want To Kill You". Don't take it from ME, take it from the Camel's mouth!

      August 8, 2010 at 12:14 pm |
    • Mike

      @Bob W.

      Yeah, just like Leviticus 26:3: "and the sword will not go through your land. You will chase your enemies, and they shall fall by the sword before you. Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight; your enemies shall fall by the sword before you.”

      The Koran doesn't have the "war is good" speech cornered.

      August 8, 2010 at 12:28 pm |
    • jobo

      The real Islam says it is okay to lie to infidels.

      August 8, 2010 at 12:44 pm |
    • Kay

      The problem is we can't know for certain what will take place in a mosque. Other ex-Muslims testify that mosques are used for political purposes, to stir the masses and, of course, educate against modern culture. Many big mosques also include schools where they purposely isolate Muslim children to learn only about Muslim things. This isolation is what is dangerous.

      August 8, 2010 at 12:48 pm |
    • Mike

      @Kay

      Now that's funny. "most know they are used for political purposes, to stir the masses and, of course, educate against modern culture" – If you hadn't clarified I would have thought you were talking about a Catholic Church.

      August 8, 2010 at 12:57 pm |
    • Jeff

      @ Bob – so bob, you've lived in the middle east and haven't learned jack about Islam? You mean, like we've lived in the US and haven't learned jack about christianity. You can take an area of people and say "look, Islam treats women poorly, etc etc" and I can do that here in many parts of the US and say "look, Christianity treats women poorly." But we both know that isn 't true about Christianity because we choose to not be ignorant about that, but we choose rather to be ignorant about Islam because that's the direction the wind is blowing. Would you have persecuted Jews in Germany if you were living in that time, would you have had slaves if everyone around you was stupid? Would you have persecuted Jesus if that's what everyone was doing at that time.... only God knows, but you are doing that when it comes to Islam and Muslims because you choose to remain ignorant.

      August 8, 2010 at 1:36 pm |
    • meera lee

      BOB W. read the bible.

      August 8, 2010 at 1:37 pm |
    • Laura J

      Jeff, You are naive and a fool. Well intentioned, but a fool none the less. Perhaps you even believe that the 9-11 terrorists were Muslim by happenstance as well. I applaud your desire for peace and harmony, but remind you that your desires are not reality. The Jews in Europe also were sure that the Germans were not really all ready to kill them. The study you cite is flawed at its core as the premise cannot be supported. The terrorists developed in the US have come from Mosques. More importantly, look at the money trail on the funding here and the Imam. He has publicly stated that we are responsible as a nation for what happened on 9-11. At some point, cultural relativism is genocide / suicide. This is that point.

      August 8, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
    • g

      And terror cells have been linked to recruitment of terrorist activities in this country and in Europe. We were attacked on 9/11. End of story.

      August 8, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
    • Stephen

      @Mike

      So you found some verses in the Old Testament that deal with war... that's not a new idea Mike. Have you read the New Testament? Do you even know what Christianity stands for??? Christianity is a peaceful religion. And NO, those who claim to be Christians (but do not practice it's teaching, especially anything in the 10 Commandments – I'm talking about all 'thugs', etc) are NOT Christians. This point becomes very clear in the New Testament in the Pauline letters.

      As for Islam:
      1. Compare the eschatology between Islam and Christianity. You will be amazed at what they believe, how they will murder all Jews, and what the leader of Iran thinks when he speaks of the Mahdi.
      2. I knew a very friendly and smart Muslim in college while in Graduate school (actually I was best friends with one in undergrad, and I've dated another even though I am a Christian, but you get the point). When pressed on whether someone should die if they leave Islam, his answer was 'yes'. He really did believe that, because "it puts national security at risk" of his home country. It turns out that even though he was incredibly friendly, his views on Islam were not out of the mainstream Islam.

      And I had to leave dating my gf at the time because she was going to get an arranged marriage in one of those countries that have honor killings. (If you don't know what an honor killing is, Fox News just did a special on it yesterday, try searching for it).

      Moral of the story: Islam, no matter who or where it is practiced, is NOT a peaceful or kind religion. At it's heart it is about world domination and conversion through war. It is about women losing their rights to men. Even in the US, those who practice it MUST believe these things as a prerequisite for being a Muslim! (They must believe in the end of days, etc).

      August 8, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
    • M&M

      If Islam in the U.S. is different from in the Middle East, then it can't be Islam! It is a different religion. And frankly, in my opinion Islam is all the same. The basis and background of their teaching is to hate the infidels and they deserve to die. any religion that teaches their people that their religion is superior and that any one group of people deserves to die is a religion based on the devil. The devil is the only being who wants human beings dead! When people kill people, it's because they are under the control of the devil! Regardless to what religion they practice – the devil use people to kill people.

      August 8, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
    • Jeff

      @Laura – "the study is flawed at it's core" – and how is that? Anyone can sound smart, but what are you actually saying? How is it flawed? Have you read the study? What fundemental point in the study was flawed? Let's not just blow air here and sound like we're saying something.

      August 8, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
    • Jeff

      @ Stephen – all you've done is spoke about Arab culture in parts of the world and attributed that to Islam. We can do the same thing for red necks and call that Christianity.

      And for God's sake, stop this hate based on misinformaiton. Islam does not say kill the infidel you idiots. STOP taking stuff out of context.

      August 8, 2010 at 3:02 pm |
    • christian jihad

      I have educated myself; all of islam is a terrorist group. Mohamad was a brutal general who murdered hundreds of thousands, his only means of spreading his religion is by force and intimidation. We do not want your kind here.

      August 8, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
    • td

      Jeff you are ignorant and naive. I am so tired of bleading heart "intellectuatls" like you. Oh, well if Duke and UNC did research then that's all we need to know. Wake up you moron. No, all muslims are not terrorists but every single terrorist on 9/11 was muslim and the good conservative muslims are not taking a stand. If they are, it has not been apparent to me. Why don't you try to go to a mosque yourself. Better yet, tour the country unanounced a try to walk in to mosques all over the country. Good luck. Or better yet, try to build a church anywhere in Saudi Arabia...you can't, it's called intolerance. It's not that you can't build it near a controversial site like this, you can't build it in the capital at all and to build it anywhere else is a nightmare too. If nothing else this is just insensitive. How bad do they really have to have this? The muslims in lower Manhattan just can't survive without this center? I have a hard time buying that.

      August 8, 2010 at 3:36 pm |
      • acl812

        Every KKK member that hung black people and burnt a cross on a lawn was a christian, every priest that molested children was a christian faith catholic. The terrorist bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church was a kkk christian. I could break out the history books and list fact upon fact of terrible things done in the name of christianity. But none of these acts are referendums on christianity, nor should they be .Your logic is flawed. 'THe fact that the terrorists were muslim has no bearing on the validity of Islam the religion, just that they were islamic men, Islamic terrorists are WELL below 1 percent of the followers of the faith, so small a number that to note their faith doesn't speak to how the average follower of Islam behaves.

        August 9, 2010 at 3:40 am |
    • Eric

      Finally, another American understands my father is of American descent and my mother is Lebanese, I am proud to be a Arab-American born in the U.S.

      August 8, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
    • Jeff

      @ TD – they didn't attack us because they were muslim, or because they 'hate our freedom' or what ever rhethoric you want to believe. The fact is they attacked us and i'm afraid will continue to attack us as long as we interfere in their affairs. As long as we support their royal families in Saudi Arabia, as long as we give money to the Egypt to support their politics, as long as we continue to support Israel's occupation of Palistine, as long as we are in Iraq and Afghanistan, as long as we continue to kill innocent people in Pakistan. Imagine if other people were doing those things to us – we would be pretty pissed. I know I would be the first one to want to fight back.

      August 8, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
    • GeoffreyF

      The fundamental identifier of Bigotry and Racism is to negatively generalize the behavior of a few to an entire group those few belong to. It is especially Racist when the asssumptions are not supported by facts or knowledge. There is a lot of that here.

      What is interesting is that extremist moslems and extremist right wingers in the US have a lot in common. Both groups are bigoted, racist, see things in absolute terms, without nuance, believe in harsh penalties on their assumed enemies, use the precepts of their religion falsely to justify their evil behavior (or proposed evil).

      I have many Moslem friends, I have studied their faith, language and history. In terms of goodness, honesty, justice Islam is a religion of peace and these people are just like everyone else. Bigoted speach encourages the violent extremism on both sides.

      The Cordoba center is run by a group of Moslems who understand all of this and want to provide a moderate (and more traditional) approach to Islam and to help all groups understand one another. In terms of Humanity, they are far beyond the bigots who are posting here.

      August 8, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
    • geoffreyf

      Actually BobW, one verse in the Quran, The Gospels and the Torah ... do not say it all. One could cherry pick many verses from all these books that are quite similar. To "Say it all" you have to read the whole thing, which clearly you have not done. My guess is that some bigot cherry picked that verse to make a point with you.

      So let's go Verse 4:90 which is the very next one.
      "Except those who take refuge with a people allied to you, or those who, weary of fighting you or their people come over to you. If God had so willed He would surely have given them power over you, and they would have fought you. If they keep aloof and do not fight, and offer peace, God has left you no reason to fight them.

      So I agree, as with other scripture in both Judaism and Christianity, there are some extreme statements. However, as with the other scriptures, the general tenant of the Quran is peace. In other sections, it is quite clear that the "God" referred to as Allah is the same one recognized by Jesus and by Jews in the Torah. It is quite explicit. So the comments in all the scriptures of all three faiths represent intolerance toward those who reject God while accepting those who accept God, whether they rejected God before or not.

      Read the whole thing.

      August 8, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
    • Laura J

      Jeff, Thanks for at least saying I sound smart. Anyway, the flaw is this, you didn't read it either. So I stand corrected – I went back, found it and at least read it. What a pile of tripe you have written in its name. The study does NOT advocate mosques as some magical elixir to combat radicalism, it advocates non sectarian government outreach and quite frankly, underneath it, assimilation. The POINT OF THE STUDY was "Instead of analyzing what has happened to the few Muslim-Americans who have radicalized and broken the law, we examine why so few Muslim-Americans have followed the path of radicalization and violence." In no way does it discount the use of mosques as avenues of isolation and radicalization. It does not even address sects within Islam nor the avenues used to radicalize American Muslims. In any case, at the bottom of it all, it is irrelevant.

      Most American Muslims are rock solid Americans. Those, like this Imam Rauf, have no place here; we will never accept Sharia law – ever. His views are plain for anyone with internet access and the ability to read and listen. He advocates things we do not accept and have fought hard against in this country. I refuse to accept his garbage because he wraps himself in the cloak of religious freedom and Islam and not the Islam of the majority of American Muslims either. Give me a break – this guy is not advancing Islam, America or anything worthwhile and its so sad to see good meaning people defending this. Common sense tells anyone this site was chosen to provoke – and it is.

      August 8, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
    • unumba10

      CLEAR AS A BELL:

      Qur’an:9:5 “Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.”

      GOT IT, BLOOMBERG??????????????????????????

      August 8, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
    • barry

      I don't know what islam you study, but what I see it is not the preachers who are at fault it is the Quran what corrupts peoples mind. Because no matter where the person is from and which mosque he may have attended you all are fanatics. even now you sound so fanatic in your statement. It is evident that evey islamic country has some kind of terrorist group to save islam, which means to me that quran is the master mind behind the evil acts of islam and not the people.

      August 8, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
    • Jeff

      Laura, to say i 'haven't read the report' is just wrong. I try not to comment on something I haven't read or understood both sides on. My point in the beginning of this rant was in response to people that say mosques are breathing grounds for terrrism. And that is simply not the case what so ever. What I was referring to the report was not to show what happens to people that do become radicalized, whether they are muslim, christian, jew, or whatever they may be. The point was to bring some actual research, unbiased and scholarly (at least more than what most people have done) and show that mosques are not the reason why people become radicalized and in fact are a great way to fight extremism. Because the Imam is advocating Islamic Law is no different than the Christians that advocate for Christian law. The point is that they are and have the right to do so peacefully and I for one will defend their right to engage in dialogue. We need to separate the Muslims from extremists, as we've learned so easily how to do with Christianity and extremists, Judaism and Zionist extremists, etc etc.

      August 8, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
    • Jeff

      @unumba10 – great job. We're all glad you can read. Now try to read the rest of the context.

      August 8, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
    • Dan

      If you want to see th etrue face of Islam, watch the movie "Obsession." Over and over it shows the how Muslims in the West preach tolerance and them go home and, while in the Middle east, preach death to the infidel. The same imams saying diametrically opposed things to to different audiences. Look up "taqiyya." It is the practice of lying to and causing dissipation among the infidel to further the spread of Islam. It is part of the theology of this religion and we should not trust them as far as we could throw them.

      August 8, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
    • SayWhaaa!!

      Yeah Bob you may know a thing or two, but I am a Muslim and I know much more than you ever will, and Jeff here is describing exactly what you are.

      August 8, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
    • KD

      @ Stephen ... so you met one Muslim person and extrapolate that person's beliefs to that of entire 1.2 billion muslims, right? Well, I could use that argument and make all peaceful Christians look like Timothy McVeigh but that wouldn't make it right. So much for your lame argument and analogy. And PLEASE expand your sources beyond that of Fox network. Have you heard of a local PBS channel (channel 11 in most states), then start paying attention to its programs and compare that against what you hear from Fox. Rest which you believe more, I'd leave it you. READ!!! That is the sole message of KORAN and thats what the word means.

      August 8, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
      • Stephen

        @Jeff

        I dated someone who was born IN AMERICA and that was their family culture. Same for my best friend in undergrad. The grad student was from another country, true, but his beliefs were the same as the others.

        "Islam does not say kill the infidels"... ARE YOU NUTS?!?! Do you even know what Islam is!??! Have you ever read a Koran? That statement alone shows how clueless you are. Did you know that in some islamic countries, muslims celebrated when the twin towers were hit? No, I bet you didn't. Seriously get a clue.

        @KD

        You didn't read my post. I personally knew 3 of them very well. For 6 years I knew more muslims than I knew real Christians. I have read the Koran, studied it, etc. I can tell you that it is NOT a peaceful religion. Despite what you may think. "He who lives by the sword dies by the sword". Imagine this: Since according to the Koran all muslims only have the assurance that they will go to heaven if they die fighting for God (etc), they all want to die in battle to be a 'matyr' etc. Just imagine if mohammed said instead that the only way to heaven is to never harm a single human being after becoming a muslim. Image what the world would be like today. As for the Fox News story, I only mentioned it because I've never seen CNN hold a special on that topic, which was personal to me, and thought it would be easily searchable since it came out this weekend. Get a grip, alright, it's not like I'm telling you Fox is the only news source I read. I'm on CNN aren't I?!?!

        You both really need to get educated before you speak.

        August 8, 2010 at 10:11 pm |
        • maxx013us

          @ Stephen ... References to violence within religious books is not uncommon and can be found in almost all religious books be it New or Old Testament or Koran. That doesn't make these religions violent. Moreover, history of Christianity and Church is stained in as much or more blood as is attributed to Islam. Does that make the message of Jesus violent? Does that make all Christians terrorists? Hello No.

          To quote "it (Islam) is NOT a peaceful religion" is as hyperbolic as me stating Stephen is a crusader because of lame beliefs and arguments.

          As for your comments about Mohammed, go and read the history or autobiography of Mohammed. A good book would be by Karen Armstrong, you can look it up. She has authored 3-4 books that talk about the three monotheistic religions. You will get a perspective of what Mohammed was as a person.

          As for my educational background, suffice it to say that I hold post graduate degrees in 2 varied fields and an upbringing that teaches me to respect all religions and respect people of all faith. I was taught not to judge people by their faith or looks. Frankly speaking you haven't seen Mohammed nor 1.2 billion Muslims to paint all Muslims in one broad stroke. I do NOT believe all Christians or Jews or Muslims are violent but that each of these 3 great religions have threads (extremely small) that have deviated from their respective faiths and who use it for their own political gains.

          However, your biased opinion formed on the basis of interaction with few Muslims and your generalization based on this experience shows me the level of your knowledge and maturity. Merely being educated or having had the privilege of born in US doesn't make one learned and mature and deserving of first world citizenry that you currently avail of. Your posting speaks for itself and unfortunately paints an unflattering picture of you – one that of a religious ZEALOT – and nothing more.

          August 8, 2010 at 11:05 pm |
        • Stephen

          @maxx013us

          Thanks for the reply. It started off alright, but the end unfortunately took a turn for the worse with the laughable commentary about my character. Nevertheless, let me respond:

          1. You've made a very grave (but common, unfortunately) mistake in your analysis. This type of mistake would not be common among those educated in this 'debate' (if we are even having one, which I doubt, but just to be sure), so it appears that your graduate degree(s) are not in this field. The mistake is that you are making the actions of those referring to themselves as 'Christians' to that of Christianity. You are doing the same with Muslims and Islam. The difference is the in the New Testament, Jesus does not preach that we should harm ANYONE. In fact, when faced with certain death, Jesus himself heals a solder which one of his followers cuts off an ear during the ensuing panic. So when you try in vain to support your conclusion that "this history of the church is just as violent as other religions", that is a misnomer at best. What those self professed "Christians" did in the name of Christ falls in the face of what Jesus stood for. In the Pauline letters of the NT, it is shown that you cannot love Christ and not follow his commandments at the same time. In summary, these actions were caused not by Christians, but by those who claimed to be in name only.

          2. In contrast, Mohammed attacked caravans, killed many, taught his followers to kill the jews, and generally lived by the sword. He even died by it. I am not suggesting that every single Muslim on Earth follows Mohammed's advise to spread Islam by the sword. But you cannot refute that this very idea is embedded in the Koran. For you to call me a ... what was it? Religious Zealot? for merely pointing out a core belief of Islam, shows how little you know about this topic. I would suggest that when you find time, you do some more research and maybe actually READ the Koran. I have no problems being called a name by someone who has absolutely no clue what they are talking about in the first place.

          Per your request, I will look up the text you cited, however it will have to be more than biased to paint Islam as a peaceful religion. The author would need a hidden agenda to make that enormous leap...

          August 9, 2010 at 4:13 am |
        • amuslim

          Not a direct response to you, because I don't feel that I should open a dialogue with you, but a response to common cliche or trope:

          1. actions vs. teachings of Christianity (new testament): I read a lot of "new testament does not preach violence." If you take the same non-contextual snippets the same way as you do from the Quran, a few verses in Matthew, Revelations, etc. would contradict that statement. Luke 19.26 would be the biggest one that would make a few people stand up and take notice. Of course I am doing this to illustrate how taking anything out of context is a disservice to rationality and due respect, not to show that Christianity is a violent religion. As for actions, you show immediately that America is not a Christian nation. The fact that it has an armed force and a police system shows it has more in common with Islamic sharia than New Testement teachings.
          2. Attacked caravans: not per se but in terms of warfare. Killed many: unsubstantiated. Taught his followers to kill Jews: a lie. Lived/died by sword: lie (especially considering that he died rather peacefully). The idea to spread Islam by the sword is specifically FORBIDDEN in the Quran, which means you either didn't read it and are lying, or your powers of judgement are suspect.
          I admire healthy scepticism. I believe we should all be sceptics as well as believers, but challenge is not always scepticism. Challenge based on lies is not the way to expose truth, but rather an attempt to bury it.

          August 9, 2010 at 11:56 am |
        • Charbel

          Great arguments. Totally agree with you. People always confuse teachings of christianity against the actions of those pretending to be christians, as well as the old testament (for the person who said abraham wanted to sacrifice his son) against the new testament, which is the core of christianity, and where not a single reference to violence is present.

          The problem with islam is that violence is in their religion. Not in the people following it, but in the qoran itself. Muslims always go in in discussions and say the same old "You don't know anything! Islam is a religion of peace! DO SOME RESEARCH" but I've yet to find one of them who would support his sayings by quoting something from the qoran, or by explaining the qoran verses that incites muslims to kill other religions...still waiting.

          Till then say no for that mosque! As a Lebanese I can confirm that you cannot give these people freedom of acting...or else you would end up like us, having an islamic militia called "The party of God" (hezbollah) in your backyard.

          August 9, 2010 at 11:59 am |
    • don

      This is being built as monument to Islamic victory over the West . What better insult could they possibly think of but to build this memorial where their disgusting "heroes" were martyred. It's so incredibly obvious what's going on here.

      August 8, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
    • g

      Yes they are.

      August 8, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
    • Wert

      Why, yes, Jeff. Now that a superior intellect like yours has shown me the light, it's all very clear. That mean old Fox News has been slandering all of these fine devout people. I knew something was up when every week I see a photo of another one of these fine young "Americans" in some "terrorist" camp in the 3rd World. Why those boys are probably just missionaries! Yeah, let's train some more of these ambassadors of hope. Those silly Republicans just never will understand the the "real Islam" is a "religion of peace".

      I guess Lincoln was right. You CAN fool some people all of the time.

      August 8, 2010 at 6:36 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.