August 22nd, 2010
03:16 PM ET

Protesters rally against, for planned Islamic center in New York

With chants and banners, protesters against the construction of an Islamic community center and mosque near ground zero faced off on Sunday with protesters in favor of the facility.

Hundreds of critics and supporters of the proposed center in New York showed up despite an overcast and drizzly sky to express their views amid the national debate over the facility.

Police estimated that by 11:30 a.m. supporters of the center numbered up to 250, and critics numbered about 450.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

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

soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Keith

    Try building it without the support of Union labor. These guys would rather pick up cans alongside the road than build at this site. Good luck crossing that picket line.

    August 23, 2010 at 8:12 am |
    • Bodhi2b

      Just more evidence that this world is ruled by the ignorant and that ignorance is growing. Obviously, odds are that the majority of the world will be those with less intellect since high intellect is rare. It's just a shame that we haven't come to the point in society where it should be required that those who make decisions must meet certain, more highly regulated, fool proof, corruption resistant criteria proving their intellect and open mindedness as well as weeding out individuals with preconceived notions, racist, sexist or religiously or other discriminative views (even if they themselves don't believe they are discriminative in their beliefs...this happens more than many people realize) and overall ignorant minds. But as long as ignorance, and the corruption that allows such ignorant people into positions of power, is the mainstay we will never be a world where the open minded, intellectual people are the only ones allowed to make decisions. It seems now the individuals in control are largely ignorant individuals and make ignorant and ill informed decisions based on personal views or biased accounts. But DO ME A FAVOR and tell the foreman or boss and all the blue collar workers in the Union that refuse to build the mosque that I am going to go to their neighborhood churches and complain that the churches remind me of my fathers death who was killed by CHRISTIAN EXTREMIST TIMOTHY MC VEIGH and that I am going to go to all the Catholic Churches and tell them that they must be torn down since they remind me of being molested by Father ---. And don't forget all the victims of Christianity's own Jim Jones...I'm certain you and all you Christian Extremists are in your churches, always trying to find ways to brainwash everyone into committing suicide like Jim Jones and have plans to blow up buildings like Timothy McVeigh and think about as well as act upon your perverted thoughts by molesting young boys....don't you? Or would that be a completely foregone conclusion? Would that be a prejudiced preconception? Would it be wrong of me to believe that since there are crazy, insane Christian Extremists who have ego-maniacal views of the world and have a long, LONG history (thousands of years) of killing and torturing innocent people and blowing people up and standing in the street with card board signs stating "The End is Nigh", that ALL Christians are the same? Are all Christians violent, vengeful, insane brainwashing bomb toting, sign carrying, child molesting lunatics? Or should I assume that because these stories of violence and murder are more popular than the pleasant, ordinary stories of peace and quiet Christianity, that I am being pre-judgmental and am erroneously judging an entire religion on these random negative events which have absolutely NOTHING to do with true Christianity? Let me ask you this: how would you interpret the Bible if you had never heard of it before and knew nothing about it until you read some of it and, obviously, you would have to start in the beginning...The OLD TESTAMENT? In the old testament God is an insane, vengeful, jealous, murdering entity that makes Christianity seem violent, bloody and insane...just as the Muslim faith appears to people who know nothing about it. It would do everyone some good to simply try to understand the faith from the Ordinary Muslims point of view, if only to know what you are judging. How can you judge something you know nothing about? How can you say you don't like someone you have never met? Same thing. I pray to whichever holy name (God, Allah, Jehovah, Krishna, Jesus, etc.) suits the ONE Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent being that ignorance is wiped away from our species and we become a closer, more loving, peaceful creature and that we realize how much time we waste and how much further we push our fellow neighbor and brother under God, regardless of creed, away debating over who's God is better and discover the error of our ways before we destroy each other...before it's too late, because The End is Nigh!!!!! 🙂 LOL!!!!! Really though, isn't the world full of enough tragedy, and aren't their so many more important things that need our energy and attention like the innocent children in Pakistan dying from diseases from the flood or the homeless children in our own country, or the lack of education, which is exactly what leads to this kind of debate? Should we be wasting our time and energy on this silly SUPERSTITIOUS idea surrounding this Mosque/Ground Zero issue? (sorry, I probably should have put G.Z. first in that word grouping, such as "Ground Zero/Mosque" since Ground Zero is more important...or is that an immature and silly SUPERSTITIOUS thing to worry about? Is it really that serious or important?) That is how important worrying about where the Mosque is built truly is when it is compared to all the serious things going on in this world. Come on people!!!! Worry about something REAL! Thanks for listening to my rant...I hope I have opened your eyes at least a little bit. Namaste'.

      August 24, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
  2. Rebecca

    Its not a mosque.. its not at ground zero.

    We're not at war with Muslims and certainly not Muslim Americans, we're fighting Al Queda, terrorists and extremists.

    I think we let the terrorists win when we become less American and violate our own constitution by messing around in people's religious affairs.

    August 23, 2010 at 12:43 am |
  3. Reality

    Our War on Terror- a summary

    – Operation Iraqi Freedom- The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,481 and 924 died in non-combat, 97,172 – 106,047 Iraqi civilians killed,

    – Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops 1,116 killed in action, 902 killed in non-combat situations as of 08/10/2010. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror,

    – Sa-dd-am, his sons and major he-nchmen have been deleted. Sa-dd-am's bravado about WMD was one of his major mistakes. Kuwait was saved.

    – Iran is being been contained. (beside containing the Sunni-Shiite civil war in Baghdad, that is the main reason we are in Iraq. And yes, essential oil continues to flow from the region.)

    – Libya has become almost civil. Recently Libya agreed to pay $1.5 billion to the victims of their terrorist activities. Apparently this new reality from an Islamic country has upset OBL and his “cra-zies” as they have thre-atened Libya. OBL sure is a di-sgrace to the world especially the Moslem world!!! Or is he???

    – North Korea is still u-ncivil but is contained.

    – Northern Ireland is finally at peace.

    – The Jews and Palestinians are being separated by walls. Hopefully the walls will follow the 1948 UN accords. Unfortunately the Annapolis Peace Conference was not successful. And unfortunately the recent events in Gaza has put this situation back to “squ-are one”. And this significant stupidity is driven by the mythical foundations of both religions!!!

    – Bin La-d-en has been cornered under a rock in Western Pakistan since 9/11.

    – Fa-na–tical Islam has basically been contained to the Middle East but a wall between India and Pakistan would be a plus for world peace. Ditto for a wall between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    – Timothy McVeigh was exe-cuted. Terry Nichols will follow soon.

    – Eric Ru-dolph is spending three life terms in pri-son with no par-ole.

    – Jim Jones, David Koresh, Kaczynski, the "nuns" from Rwanda, and the KKK were all dealt with and either eliminated themselves or are being punished.

    – Islamic Sudan, Dar-fur and So-malia are still terror hot spots.

    – The terror and tor-ture of Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait were ended by the proper application of the military forces of the USA and her freedom-loving friends. Ra-dovan Karadzic was finally captured on 7/23/08 and is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the law of war - charges related to the 1992-1995 civil war that followed Bosnia-Herzegovina's secession from Yugoslavia.

    – And of course the bloody terror brought about the Ja-panese, Na-zis and Co-mmunists was with great difficulty eliminated by the good guys.

    August 22, 2010 at 11:50 pm |
  4. Bodhi2b

    I am a young, white Irish woman, in case that means anything to how people view my comment, since it seems it does most times.

    But to classify all Muslim's as terrorists and extremists or murderers is no different that classifying all Christian's as Timothy McVeigh's and Jim Jones' or to say all Catholics are child molesting perverts. But I can't understand how it is possible that so many people are this close minded and can't see that they are being ignorant in this belief. Let's not forget that if you are a Caucasian that your ancestors were most likely murderers and oppressors too since they had to rid the land of the natives...not to mention the fact that most of your not so distant relatives "owned" slaves. So WHOSOEVER IS WITHOUT SIN, CAST THE FIRST STONE!!!. What is wrong with people? What is wrong with my America, "land of the FREE"?

    August 22, 2010 at 10:56 pm |
    • Reality

      "Casting stones" in modern terms is essential for enforcing the rule of law i.e. jail terms, county work details, revoking licenses, alimony, child support and/or removal from society. Waging war on terror is also essential but requires bigger "stones". See below:

      August 23, 2010 at 12:02 am |
  5. Bodhi2b

    Does anyone recall Timothy McVeigh and Jim Jones? Wouldn't these people be considered "Christian Extremists" or even "Christian Terrorists"? I don't see anyone complaining about churches being built near any of the victims or families of victims of these guys. That is exactly what people are saying about the Mosque. Because the Muslim versions of Christians "Tim" and "Jim" blew up the WTC it doesn't mean we should stop the ordinary Muslims from building their Mosques, just as it would be ridiculous to stop the building of Christian churches near the families of the victims of "Tim" and "Jim". Not to mention the victims of the many Catholic priests who molested children all around the world. No one has complained about Catholic Churches near the families of these victims. What is the difference? And because I am neither Muslim nor Christian my opinion is completely unbiased. When the reply from most that "it is disrespectful" for them to build, it still implies that you are considering the Muslims who are building the Mosque as the same as the extremists who blew up the towers. It's like classifying all Christians as "Tim's", "Jim's", and perverted priests. "DAMNANT QUOD NON INTELLIGUNT" = "THEY CONDEMN WHAT THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND" (this comment is a rewording of the earlier comment above in an attempt to make this clear to everyone, just in case the first version was too difficult for some to understand.)

    August 22, 2010 at 10:56 pm |
  6. Bodhi2b

    For one to say that building a Mosque near ground zero is wrong is no different than someone saying they don’t want a Christian church being built somewhere because someone close to them died in a Christian cult bombing or suicide like Jim Jones or Timothy McVeigh, or to say they don’t want a Catholic church to be built because they or someone they care about was molested by a priest. The effects of these things stretch across the country as well as abroad so are we to stop building all Christian churches everywhere? It’s ridiculous that people cannot separate or even recognize the difference between the extremists and genuinely compassionate, religious people when it comes to a religion that Christian American’s don’t understand, but when it comes to your own religion you have no problem separating the crazies from the ordinary members of your sect. “DAMNANT QUOD NON INTELLIGUNT” (Latin for “they condemn what they do not understand”.) And just in case anyone is wondering, this comment of mine is completely non biased since, while I am still religious and even though I was born a Christian, I am now neither Christian nor Muslim…I am Buddhist…we American’s need to learn tolerance and begin to understand that to learn about other people’s views can help us better understand our own. Open your eyes. I am ashamed at the amount of ignorance in my country.

    August 22, 2010 at 10:55 pm |
    • Chris

      Thank you. Nice to see some intelligence in this forum.

      August 22, 2010 at 11:40 pm |
  7. Mark from Middle River

    US Vet

    I do not sir but notice how many other places on this planet where folks are killing and mass graving each other. The sad thing is that when you watch BBC you hear some of the victims always shouting where is America , where is America ?

    August 22, 2010 at 9:30 pm |
  8. US Army Vet

    Perhaps we should have let Hussein and his thug sons continue their atrocities on the Iraqi citizens?

    August 22, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
    • Nugsters

      What happened, your story changed. I swear I thought you were looking for the Bomb. you did give a hoot about the Iraqi people when Suddam was buying your weapon...I think you cared much about the plight of Muslims.....

      August 22, 2010 at 9:18 pm |
  9. jeff

    Some people love freedom of religion when it's their religion, but not not when somebody elses

    August 22, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
    • Chris

      100% Agreed with you.

      August 22, 2010 at 11:39 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Truer words have never been spoken!!!!!

      August 23, 2010 at 8:45 am |
  10. glen

    If the project starts soon perhaps the grand opening will be September 11, 2011. Every well-minded person knows what is really going on here. There are Mosques at historical sites all over the Muslim world. Never-the-less, this is America. What do you think makes us different from the Muslim world? Try building a Buddhist temple in Saudi Arabia.

    August 22, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
    • Kate

      If you don't know what makes us different, then your civics teacher failed you miserably.

      August 22, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  11. Nugsters

    Islam is a terrorist religion by your account. let's look at the violent history in the last 100 years:

    100000 Philippians killed.
    2 million Vietnamese killed
    600 k Iraqis bombed to death
    1000sounds of Afghans civilians
    many in south America.
    2 million Iraqis displaced

    who killed theses people. oh i forgot, its Ok to kill in the name of freedom. Freedom is only offered you.

    August 22, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  12. Brian

    What on earth was President Obama thinking? Did his advisors actually tell him to go “Pro Ground Zero mosque” with 90 days until the midterms when Democrats are about to get sliced up like a Hibachi Steak at Benihana?

    Did someone on his team point to Iran and said, “Don’t worry Mr. President, we can win with 32% of the vote, Ahmadinejad did it, so let’s go pro Ground Zero mosque today?”

    Read this article which satirizes the whole mess.

    VERY FUNNY stuff.


    August 22, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
    • David Johnson

      Although I voted for Obama and think he is a good president, I have to agree with you on this. I fear what will happen come November. *sigh*

      August 22, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
    • Rebecca

      Its not a mosque and its not at ground zero. And Obama is all for the government not meddling in peoples religious affairs.

      August 23, 2010 at 12:44 am |
  13. Reality

    And where did the following acts of koranic-driven terror and horror originate? IN A MOSQUE!!!

    1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

    1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

    2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

    3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,481 and 924 died in non-combat, 97,172 – 106,047 Iraqi civilians killed,

    4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

    5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

    6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

    7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

    8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

    9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

    10) Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops
    1,116 killed in action, 902 killed in non-combat situations as of 08/10/2010. 11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror.

    12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

    13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,
    14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations

    August 22, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
    • Kate

      12 million exterminated by Nazi's in World War 2 (athiest/protestant/pagan)
      20 million Russians killed during Stalin's reign (athiest)
      22,000 killed in mexico in the last 3 years (catholics)
      1.5 million killed in the Armenian Genocide (secular)
      800,000 killed in the Rwandan Genocide (catholics)
      100,000+ killed in the Bosnian Genocide (orthodox christians)
      3,500 dead in Northern Ireland (christians)

      Seems like athiests are one bloodthirsty bunch. Just how deep is their hatred of religion anyways?

      August 22, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
    • Bodhi2b

      Jim Jones started in a Christian church...so did Timothy McVeigh and perverted child molesting priests, so what's your point?

      August 22, 2010 at 10:53 pm |
  14. Luke

    SIgh. I see we've learned nothing after nearly 7,000 years of human civilization and 250,000 years of homosapian existence.

    August 22, 2010 at 3:48 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.