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. nomoregbldgk

    Here, you get the whole book thrown at you for espousing the same pap n fodder you been fed apagein the life the ufo human link...mutants everywhere!

    August 8, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  2. Ali, Abdullah

    study Islam leads that Islam and terrorism are completely inseparable. The root of terror is Islamic fashion, is in the divine command itself. It is deeply entrenched in the preachings, commands, injunctions, inspirations, practices and the examples set by Muhammad and his contemporary followers, who lived by the sword (read terror) and used it as the most potent weapon to subdue their adversaries who happened to cross their path. If a Muslim follows the ‘Real Islam’-the unadulterated, pure Islam preached and practiced by Muhammad, he can’t but be a terrorist-plain and simple.

    August 8, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  3. Nader

    Islam teaches Muslims to be racist people. New York should do everything possible to stop the construction of the proposed mosque. If this mosque gets built, Bin Laden wins.

    August 8, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  4. Abdel Kareem

    No mosque near Ground Zero ( Cordoba House” overlooking the World Trade Center site – where a group of 19 Islamic jihadists killed over 3000 Americans and destroyed one of our most famous landmarks.
    Those Islamists and their apologists who argue for “religious toleration” are arrogantly dishonest. They ignore the fact that more than 100 mosques already exist in New York City.
    Saudi Arabia does not allow religious freedom; in fact Saudi government is not allowing churches or synagogues to be built even one church.

    August 8, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  5. Jay

    I agree. It is "in your face" and Muslims know it. They deliberately want to build the mosque to look proud of what they have done across the street. I know for sure the only thing they will teach their followers in the mosque to hate America. Putting salt to the wounds!
    If you practice or teach openly Christianity in any Arab country they (Government and the public) will kill you intentionally and no one cares or does anything about it. Then they come here in the U.S. and they wants their rights. Muslims are 1000 times better here in the U.S. than their own country. Somebody who pretends to have admirable principles, beliefs, or feelings but behaves otherwise.
    Female is nothing more than a production company and gives up all the rights right from the birth. They just want to produce as many babies they can so they can dominant the world in 200-300 years. All male Muslims are 110% male chauvinist.
    If this 9/11 attack was done on some other country, such as India – all Muslims would have been killed or forced to leave or they would have been in hiding or to convert to another religious. Here they are protected and they have the opportunities and they get the freedom and yet they openly hate Americans.

    August 8, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  6. Eldon

    My suggestion to the Muslims on this forum and elsewhere is not to waste their time and energy debating these airheads. Move on with your lives, prove to us that you are a good neighbor, and don't worry too much abut being "liked"- – some people will never open their hearts or minds (sometimes I wonder of they have the latter).

    Take a page from the Jews "book". They couldn't care less who liked them, or who protested against them. They built a prosperous and powerful nation that most people respect and admire.

    August 8, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  7. Magad

    ISLAM is darkness. ISLAM is a dark chapter in human history. this evil, criminal, murderous, hateful ideology of ISLAM which was spread by force, rape, murder and destruction.
    Country should do everything possible to eliminate Islam from this country and possibly from the face of the earth. The fact that Islam is involved in almost 99% are islamic terrorists on earth today.

    August 8, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  8. Joe

    I am not sure weather it's Islam or Muslim but one of them has a way to insult other religion. Little story some where in bangladesh rural village predominantly Hindu area. There was a bazar 99.% hindu 1% Muslim. one morning neighbor woke up hearing morning Azan. To their surprise the azan was coming from the bazars Durga temple. Temple surrounded by police man. Few who intend to protest is informed they would be arrested and pesecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Azan continued for months spreading "alahs" call for prayer under the protection of the law, where 1%. Of the population is Muslim. Similarly having a mosque very close to the ground zero may be similar except it is performed peacefully but the intention perhaps may be the same. There are moderate Muslim but Islam allows very little moderation. One should read the holly Quran. Where message of hate in open word, Asalamwalicom "peace be upon you" and it is accomplished through violence. If it wasn't the past reference of islam and how they expand people of new York would not reacted the way they have been. Mr. Zakaria yes I am fan of your but i strongly disagree with your statement. You should read history more. This little story never made any news. Do you know why? I am sure you do. Megoirty of fellow Muslim supports his/her wrong doing against any nonmuslim if the process helps proliferate Islam. Even the most moderate resort to silence I have seen it in my own eys. Minority in major Muslim country continue to decline do you know why and how. Because they are wrongfully prosecuted murdered and raped have you reported a single report about minority in Pakistan how they were treated I am sure you haven't. If it wasn't for the strong law of this country this mosque would been constracted through violence not just few block from the ground zero but on ground zero. Time to time in the History of The world, humanity were victims of religion. Hindus outcast millions of low cast Hindu. Christianity procure cirtificate of heaven and Muslim inflicted extreme punishment on nonmuslim and continuing. Let's not go to far Perhaps your past generation were forced converted few generation ago by Muslim conquer in India. Indian 911 came in 9th century when Muslim financed their war though the destruction of Hindu Temple and justifie them by Islam. They constructed mosque in the same location hurting millions of Hindu sentiment not a single moderate Muslim stood against it. Find one muslim in moderate voice in the history of Islam spoke against islams wrong doing. At least there are people here in the united state who have concious and they are speaking in favor of the establishment. there is nothing wrong constructing a mosque but I think it is a insulting construction. Those Muslim who died in 911 their feeling counts as well except those Muslim death were by another fellow muslim. Any loss of life is sad but I wonder how the family of those Muslims family feels about it. I hope they are not considered to be martyr. It's not about your award but it's about your position and the typ of reference you mention please read more perhaps it will help us all. Same for all please let's learn to respect eachother

    August 8, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  9. Dave

    Oh so because I'm not thirsty for your blood like you believe all Muslim to be, I don't know what I'm talking about? If there was any doubt before, you just proved my 'name-calling' is legitimate. If such events were to occur in that part of the world, it would be between the Arabs and the Israelis. I don't have any part in that. I'm an American who believes in conservative fiscal policies. This means I'm not wasting my time nor money trying to stop two brainwashed idiotic groups from destroying each other. They are hopeless. The fact that you bring them into this conversation shows your troubled character which desires more and more conflict. I don't even understand how a mosque getting blown up relates to the WTC disaster. How do YOU justify the tens of thousands of dead civilians in Iraq directly because of U.S. involvement? The fact that Al Qaeda which didn't exist in Iraq now has the country in a chokehold? By your logic, no American should ever set foot in that country, no Church should ever stand (since you idiots want us to believe America is somehow Christian), let alone permanent U.S. bases and oil contracts. Stop gargling on semen, please.

    August 8, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
    • Karen

      You know Dave, your are disgusting. Obviously you gargle on your own seman (or maybe someone elses, maybe a sheep) because you keep using that phrase. I don't give a rats ass that you were born in this country. I don't give a rats ass that your son served a whopping two years in Afganistan, and I dont't give a rats ass that you pay taxes. We all do. You are an atagonist. Instead of saying something constructive you are too busy calling the rest of us stupid. If you are one of the more moderate Muslims, your proving your own point.

      August 8, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
      • Ratsass


        Thanks, baby. I knew I could count on you to keep me around for a while.
        Don't ever get rid of me, ok?

        August 8, 2010 at 8:43 pm |
  10. andy

    oh my god. who the f*** still cares about a religion

    August 8, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  11. Sam

    This is an insult, an act of defeat and victory and future act of conquest toward The United States of America. Being slapped in the face
    There should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia. The time for double standards that allow Islamists to behave aggressively toward us while they demand our weakness and submission is over

    August 8, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  12. unumba10

    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.”

    August 8, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  13. unumba10

    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.”
    Mayor Bloomberg, can you read this?????????????

    August 8, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
    • PeterM

      With a military strategy like that, it's no wonder they fail so often.

      August 8, 2010 at 7:09 pm |
  14. Laura J

    @Dave, thanks for the kind words, apparently you are far more dense than anyone else on this board – ask any Muslim about building on the Haram El Sharif and then run like hell, moderate, liberal or radical. Perhaps your opinion would be more valuable if you actually knew what you were talking about.

    August 8, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  15. FrankLW

    The center's Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, rather than “building bridges”, is a fundamentalist Muslim interested in burning them. After 9/11 he said “United States policies were an accessory to the crime that happened” (providing an indefensible rationale for the terror and abetting yet more terror), and he refuses to condemn the mass murdering Hamas terror organization that targets civilians and celebrates their murder (which means he IS condemning their victims).

    Since Taqqiya, deliberate deceit that is condoned if it serves Jihad holy war, is a basic principle in fundamentalist Islam, it is difficult to take their nice sounding but deliberately AMBIGUOUS words at face value – quite the opposite.

    Furthermore, regardless of claims of “building bridges” by the center’s founders, fundamentalist Muslims can only read such a center as being yet another victory monument, and this will serve to embolden wannabe terrorists – aside from providing them food and shelter when they make their celebratory pilgrimages to Ground Zero and plot their next atrocities.

    Such a center has no place in America or anywhere else for that matter – and certainly NOT near Ground Zero of all places.

    August 8, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  16. Ron2158530

    The more freedom islam is getting the less freedom non-muslims have. The government is completely mind-blinded and not learning from bad lessons in the reality. I always encourage everybody to visit http://WWW.FAITHFREEEDOM.ORG before making any comment defending this satanic teaching.

    August 8, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
    • Ron2158530

      Sorry, the website is http://WWW.FAITHFREEDOM.ORG.

      August 8, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  17. demogal

    I am a practicing Christian and an American who watched the twin towers fall with my class of 10th graders. The location of this Islamic center offends me not at all. I have respect and regard for the religions of others, and blame the terrorist attack on the men who carried it out, and them alone.

    August 8, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
  18. Raymond

    @BOB W.

    If have to understand what the Quran is in order to understand some of its verses. The Quran was not revealed at one time or over a year. It was composed over 23 years and verses were revealed many times because of an event or question. The verse you have posted was revealed at the time of a battle against the polytheists of Mecca who were attacking the new Muslim community. It is not a commandment for all times or even to Muslims in general but it was a revelation to those Muslims who were there at the time.

    If we take that verse literally to apply to all Muslims, it CONTRADICTS so many other verses in the Quran. Also, it would mean every Muslim would need to carry a gun or sword and kill any non Muslim he sees everyday. It is illogical and if you study the biography of Muhammad from non-Muslim scholars they will tell you the same.

    August 8, 2010 at 4:09 pm |
  19. Carol

    The mosque should not be built near ground zero. If I had a relative who died there I would be distraught! Leave that area alone and go find another location. This one will only breed trouble.

    August 8, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
  20. Dave

    You should be ashamed for being so ignorant. Why should American Muslims care what those dictators in the Muslim world do? How does that even relate? It is none of our business. They can rune their own god damn countries, and when the populations are fed up with it enough, you'll likely see revolutions. We're already seeing that start in Iran. Their populations are oppressed at the mercy of those tyrants. Does that make any sense to your tiny little brain or is this too much for your level of grammar and comprehension?

    Well considering most Christians in this country would pull out a gun if I were to infringe on their civil rights, I don't think my words are doing too much damage. It's not about "helping" my argument. We already have the mosque in the building and pray there. There's nothing you can do about it. So again, I'm not trying to help my argument as much as inform you that you bigots are wasting your time. 😉

    @ Laura
    Actually, no I don't. My best friend is Jewish. Why would I stop his right to worship 2 blocks away from if someone else is responsible? Are you this dense? Jack@s$

    August 8, 2010 at 4:01 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.