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. Dave

    America- stop gargling semen. There's literally nothing you can do at this point except swallow a little more.

    August 8, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
  2. Dave

    Dear Americans – there's nothing you can do about it. Keep whining and gargling up that semen. You wasted almost 10 years in Afghanistan and got no where. Iraq only turned into a hole. At this point, all you can do is complain about Islam. What's your solution? The Muslims aren't about to leave this country. You can't force them out either. Please, cut the foreplay. What's your solution?

    August 8, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
  3. Anthony

    People always state that the bible represents christianity. Christianity is based on the teachings of jesus christ. The bible does not contain jesus' teachings. The bible is the old testament, I.e the greek translation of the jewish torah. The words of jesus are found in the new testament. Never once will you find a reference in the new testament to bear arms against your neighbor. Never once will you find jesus stating to kill anyone. Note that Jesus' words are only found in 4 books in the new testament.

    Its amazing to me how similiar the Jewish Torah (Bible/old testament) is to the Koran. In both books you will find God instructing his followers to wipe out a race to establish a nation. So when a Jewish group takes offense at a muslim mosque, I laugh. For it was jews that killed every one in Canaan (man,women and child) in order to claim the land of israel. (read the bible/old testament/torah). I see a similiar lack of respect towards palestinians today. Either way, no one can live in accordance to the rules of Jesus, not in this world anyway. All of his followers would be killed. The Koran and judaism and the form of christianity that listens more to the bible then the words of jesus are the only faiths that can survive. Too bad all they want to do is kill each other.

    August 8, 2010 at 2:07 pm |
  4. cu_tiger

    See there's thing we have called the Constitution and it includes a little thing called the Bill of Rights.

    If the founding fathers could hear you say "Freedom of Religion!!!.....except for those people over there, in this location" they'd be rolling in their graves.

    August 8, 2010 at 2:07 pm |
  5. Josh

    Your usage of such prolific language is not helping your argument, but instead making you appear to be no better then someone wishing to incite others, much the same way a controversial Imam stating "this isn't about the World Trade Center" might do

    August 8, 2010 at 2:03 pm |
  6. Jeff

    This definatively exhibits the general degredation of our country and provides a glimpse into the America we will be leaving our children and grandchildren. I cannot imagine my grandfather, a pilot in WWII, and his countrymen and women, standing by and watching Japanese group of citizens erect a monument of their belief system on the beach at Pearl Harbor. What kind of politically correct, mamby pamby, sick, and twisted country has this become? "Tolerance" will be our downfall!

    August 8, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
  7. Wali M.

    I am from a Muslim country and I oppose building the mosque/Islamic center near the 9/11 site. We all need to be a little sensitive to other people's feelings. I left my country because of religious people imposing their will on people and if you give them and an inch they want a whole yard. The fact is if they built this mosque, it will be known all around Muslim world as victory for those who killed innocent people including Muslims. I know a lot of good Muslims that agree with me. Respect others if you wanted to be respected.

    August 8, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
    • Josh

      Now it is a shame that others don't get that. Me, I'm all for your right to religious freedom and freedom of speech. My time in the military and my oath to uphold the constitution precludes me from thinking otherwise. Like you I just feel that location is everything here.

      August 8, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
    • William

      Thanks. I think this is the wisest response in the whole thread.

      August 8, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
  8. Pet

    Look at the front of the new Time magazine. I think it speaks for itself. Enough said!

    August 8, 2010 at 2:00 pm |

    The point is that no body is is sayin that you cant build a religious building church or mosque in america...specially in new york,just dont build it there...the muslim community should know that,b'couse first of all we are americans,show some respect...

    August 8, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
  10. Jeff

    This definatively exhibits the general degredation of our country and provides a glimpse into the America we will be leaving our children and grandchildren. I cannot imagine my grandfather, a pilot in WWII, and his countrymen and women, standing by and watching Japanese group of citizens erect a monument of their belief system on the beach at Pearl Harbor. What kind of politically correct, mamby pamby, sick, and twisted country has this become? "Tolerance" will be our downfall.

    August 8, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
  11. Pet

    To Steve:
    Moron, the KKK are not a Christian organization, in fact they hate Christians(especially Catholics) with a passion. I love the way you just throw that in their just like you fools say Timothy McVeigh was a Christian, again not so. It is a proven fact that he was an agnostic. Do your research before making ignorant comments!

    August 8, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
    • Steve

      To Pet
      Moron the KKK is considered Protestant Christan which is considered one of 4 major divisions of Christanity... Do some research before commenting idiot.

      August 8, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
  12. NoName

    It is easy to criticize, hard to engage in a positive dialog. It may be hard to believe it that there were once natives of this land who were put to the moral tests of superiority. Oh btw, we also had slavery and did not grant rights to women.

    However, despite all the opposition, this nation fought its way to become better. It is not where it needs to be because there is a clear lacking of respect as evident in this forum, but there is also a clear lacking of trying to understand.

    If this community center was not near the world trade center, it would not have been as heavily opposed. Case in point, other than location, functionally, there is not much you can say.

    Listen to what the center has to say and observe their actions.

    If they really are going to be a breeding ground for terrorists, because apparently every single one of the 2ish billion muslims are, then it will be a great way to put a camera up and just capture them right there. Hey maybe this is a positive as well...

    But opposing people for their religious needs in the name of emotional balckmailing is not correct. I know personlly of those who died in the WTC towers and what a mockery of their misfortune...using the incident to engage in religious intolerance.

    August 8, 2010 at 1:54 pm |
    • Tarn

      A good post. Thank you.

      August 8, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
  13. Wild Bill

    Steve...Dude Spell Check!

    August 8, 2010 at 1:53 pm |
  14. Steve

    Ok Rudy or should I say Hitler. What you said is possibly one of the dumbest more racest comments ive ever heard. Muslims are not a cancer on society. Its idiotic rednecks like you. You are saying that because of one group that was muslim that attacked us, that makes all muslims terrorists? What about the KKK. They are a christan terrorist organization. So I guess that means that all christans are terrorists. Also what about the Jewish Defence League. The U.S government classifies them as a terroeist organization. So i guess that makes all Jews terrorists too. What Im basiclly saying is that all cultures around the world have radical groups and peaceful groups. Dont judge people because your too stupid and uneducated to learn about people and there cultures and ways.........................BTW This is not a Cristan nation according to our consitution so get a book and learn somthing.

    August 8, 2010 at 1:48 pm |
  15. KC

    Well said – it is simply bad taste and clearly reflects the obvious disregard for America, the fallen Americans at 'Ground Zero' (at the hands of radical Muslims) and American culture in general. Unfortunately, Muslims still refuse to assimilate into American culture, nor will they ever as we are still a predominately Christian country, which runs directly afoul with Islam. Thus, the hate, and thus the wars and death. The largest missing piece of understanding (which is so basic) is this: of all the religions currently practicing is this "freedom of religion' country, very few to none have violent sects that not only kill in the name of their religion, but more importantly, have a special 'fondness' to kill Americans. Christians/Protestants, Catholics, Mormoms, Scientologists, etc, etc, all do not have radical sects, nor do they try to kill their fellow countrymen as a result. This is the simple problem and never ending cause of tension.

    This is not hard to understand, nor comprehend. The desires of a few, do not persuade the masses, and eventhough the outcome maybe as they wish, the clear disregard for a mourning nation has never been more obvious than by this initiative.

    August 8, 2010 at 1:46 pm |
  16. Pet

    The US is not tolerant enough. I am sick of the bigotry in this country. We need to have all buildings turned into mosques and require everyone to worship Allah. Better yet, islam needs to be taught in all public schools. Only then will we live in peace. After all everywhere in the Middle East is peaceful so we need to follow their example. There is no violence anywhere in the Middle East that I can think of. Everyone gets along just fine where the majority of the polpulation are muslims. They are tolerant in their countries, allow everyone to worship freely and treat their women with utter respect, never beating them. Why cant we be more like them? (sarcasm)

    August 8, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
    • Jeff

      This is what CNN and the rest of the liberals want!

      August 8, 2010 at 2:01 pm |
    • g

      At least here you have the freedom to leave, and I would encourage anyone who hates America to do so, quickly

      August 8, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
  17. meera lee

    I've done some research starting with the list of people who died on 9/11 at the towers. I'm up to "s" and so far i have 15 people who have muslem surnames. But I don't think it was 1000 but less than that.

    August 8, 2010 at 1:36 pm |
    • nomoregbldgk

      @meera lee
      as if you can judge a Mulim by their surname I know one whose last name is Klienhammer

      August 8, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  18. LiberalNN

    Can you imagine in some alternative universe, instead of Muslims attacking us and killing 3000 innocent people in downtown NYC, some insane Christians had flown planes into buildings in Riyadh and 10 years later we tried to build a cathedral there? What do you think Saudi Arabia's response would be?

    But here in America, ruled by liberal politicians and politically correct media, welcome a new Islamic Center built on the remains of our dead. We truly are idiots and when Islamic terrorists hit NYC again it will be our own fault.

    August 8, 2010 at 1:35 pm |
    • Jeff

      If that were to happen, CNN would be the first ones raising an outcry to the audacity of the whole thing. They, and the rest of the extreme left, are the epitome of hypocracy.

      August 8, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
  19. Jeff

    Joe G: YOur mommy's calling I think its time for you to take your nap. Good night now.

    August 8, 2010 at 1:34 pm |
    • Steve

      Are you a five year old. Are you serious. Joey G is actually educated and knows alot more stuff relating to the middle east than you do. Open a book and ull find out that the problems i the middle east were cause by the Allies. YES the US, France and Great Britan. Stop being so immature

      August 8, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
    • Jeff

      Steve: (or should I say Joe G) come on dude I know its you. Sorry to make fun at your (or Joe G's) expense, its just that I'm not messing around anymore. Coming on here and spewing all kinds of foul rubbish about Christian's (the only ones who know the truth-that Jesus is the only way to God) is getting so sickening. I'm not even going to argue his positions on all of these things because they are so incredibly ludicrous. Okay besides this one: Christians have been giving their lives to help feed, clothe, and support the educational (and yes spiritual) needs of the great people of Africa for centuries. To imply that a Christian has ever gone to Africa to kill someone is utterly nonsensical. When you (or Joe G) goes on rampages of spewing vile hatred that has no basis on any planet, I have a tendency to poke fun. But really it just makes me sad for him (or you).

      August 8, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
    • Steve

      Im not Joey G??? and second of all I dont beleive in religion. There is no proof that there is a God if there is please feel free to tell me and a book and some man on a stage saying so doesent count. Also I was standing up for him because you were being immature when he was arguing a point. And also how are points ludicris. They are correct. Its a well known fact that #1 European Countries and America went to africa and made there people into slaves. #2 yea ok so christans have been doing that well so have other religions like islam and judisum. #3 yea they were spreading there religious veiws.... look at the crusades. If you refused to convert to christianity than you were killed. Look at the ottoman empire. You dident have to be muslim to have more rights. You were treated fairly. So tell me who is more tolerant of who

      August 8, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  20. deadMonster

    What a load of BS

    August 8, 2010 at 1:32 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.