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August 25th, 2010
11:07 AM ET

New York's Bloomberg: We are all Muslims

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

In a smart commentary on the shrill Republican silence in the face of the "Obama is a Muslim" nonsense, Slate’s John Dickerson wrote that "with so much traffic on the low road in American politics, you'd imagine a politician or two might take the high road simply to beat the congestion."

Well, New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg continues to take the road less traveled.

We are now in the Islamic holy month of fasting called Ramadan, and Bloomberg hosted last night an annual iftar, or fast-breaking dinner, at Gracie Mansion.

In his his remarks, Bloomberg, who has previously supported the Park51 project in the name of both property rights and religious freedom, once again spoke truth to fear and hatred. He admitted that “there are people of good will on both sides of the debate." He acknowledged that the World Trade Center site is "hallowed ground." And he observed that “there are people of every faith–including, perhaps, some in this room–who are hoping that a compromise will end the debate.”

“But it won’t,” he said.

The community center can and must be built at the Park51 site, he said. Anything less would “compromise our commitment to fighting terror with freedom."

During his remarks, Bloomberg welcomed Talat Hamdani, whose son, Salman Hamdani, a paramedic and Ne York City Police Department cadet, died on 9/11. He also welcomed Sakibeh and Asaad Mustafa, whose children, he said, “have served our country overseas.”

Bloomberg brought home the point that the propaganda war now being waged on Islam in America threatens to undercut our counterinsurgency battle for "hearts and minds" in Iraq and Afghanistan.  “If we do not practice here at home what we preach abroad–if we do not lead by example–we undermine our soldiers,” he said. “We undermine our foreign policy objectives. And we undermine our national security."

Bloomberg ended his talk by quoting some words from the embattled Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf:

At an interfaith memorial service for the martyred journalist Daniel Pearl, Imam Rauf said, ‘If to be a Jew means to say with all one's heart, mind, and soul: Shma` Yisrael, Adonai Elohenu Adonai Ehad; Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One, not only today I am a Jew, I have always been one. If to be a Christian is to love the Lord our God with all of my heart, mind and soul, and to love for my fellow human being what I love for myself, then not only am I a Christian, but I have always been one.'

“In that spirit," Bloomberg concluded, in words that echoed John F. Kennedy's "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech, "let me declare that we in New York are Jews and Christians and Muslims, and we always have been. And above all of that, we are Americans, each with an equal right to worship and pray where we choose. There is nowhere in the five boroughs that is off limits to any religion."

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Church and state • Culture wars • Islam • Muslim • New York • Ramadan • Religious liberty

soundoff (1,202 Responses)
  1. dave

    no doubt the Islamic community center with mosque is a deliberate provocation (otherwise why the location) - the best reaction is to refuse to be provoked. Let the Iman have the Burlington Coat Factory. the supporters of the center should not be surprised when there is a "holy man" in there preaching death to America.

    After all, does Germany plan to build a beer garden two blocks from Auschwitz - the Naszis were at fault for Auschwitz, not the Germans, certainly there are fewer Naszis left than al quaeda - No, the Germans would never think of doing something so offensive

    August 25, 2010 at 11:51 am |
    • Linda Richman

      Check out how many Japanese restaurants are near Pearl Harbor.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:47 pm |
  2. Mark Elder

    What a bunch of BS.
    The site of Park 51 is a commercial district with almost no residential housing in the area and the stuff that is there are affluent types. There is no logical reason to build the mosque & center there. If it was for the convenience of worshippers then you would build in or near a neighborhood with a large muslim community. It is being placed there deliberately to inflame people. And why would you call a project intended to improve understanding between muslims and other faiths Cordoba?
    That is named after an Islamic Caliphate that conquered a Christian region by force:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caliphate_of_C%C3%B3rdoba

    And then you have to question their finances: Where are they planning to get $100M to build this place in the middle of a nasty recession? – certainly not from US muslims and US donors. I smell the gulf arabs pulling the strings behind the scenes here.

    To me this was never about religion. It was about taste and sensitivity of placing a mosque two blocks from the site of an atrocity that killed 3,000 people in the name of the religion the mosque is being built under.

    August 25, 2010 at 11:51 am |
    • marine

      More that likely from us taxpayers.. i mean after all aren't we the one's funding the imam's hate trip thru the middle east

      August 25, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
    • JJ

      there is a mosque about 5 blocks away that is too small for there needs. This is why the proposed center is being built . The mosque has been there for about 20 years. A long time before 911.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:29 pm |
    • Cher

      There are many churches and synagogues in Manhattan that are not in highly residential areas. St. Patrick's Cathedral would be an example. There are actually a lot of people of all faith who worship or seek spiritual guidance more than an hour on the weekend. These religious centers are available and utilized by those who work or visit the area as well as live there. Additionally, many faiths do not require one to live within a certain radius of a place of worship. I know that it is very common for people in Manhattan to go several subway stops to get to a place of worship that meets their needs, often bypassing other religious centers of their same denomination.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
    • Jack Kegley

      Yes, they might get it from Arabic countries such as Saudi Arabia just as News Corporation (the parent company of Fox News) got the 3.5 BILLION dollars from the Saudi Prince who is the largest single private stock holder at New Corp. Are you telling me that because fox News was funded by a Muslim Saudi Prince that they are in league with the terrorists? I hope that is not what you are trying to say as I would state that that would be an unfair generalization

      August 25, 2010 at 1:36 pm |
  3. shilpy

    bloomberg hates governor patterson, and is not letting new york governor's effort bloom, is he? if bloomeberg admits there are people of goodwill on both sides of this highly emotional issue, then right course is a compromise that mr. patterson is trying. bloomberg's assumptions are fundamentally flawed too. usa does not need to prove anything to islamic world, but the islamic world has a lot to prove to usa and the rest of the world. where is the ham, mr. rauf?

    August 25, 2010 at 11:50 am |
    • SELENA MARLO

      GO ON YOU TUBE AND TYPE IN MUSLIM BEHEADINGS...ARE THESE PEACEFUL PEOPLE...LOL

      August 25, 2010 at 12:17 pm |
    • Chris R

      Selena, go on youtube and look up Eric Rudolph, the Hutterites, and Scott Roeder. Now try and tell me that these Christians are a peaceful people.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:50 pm |
    • My Shoe

      I HAVE NOTHING OF SUBSTANCE TO ADD TO THIS CONVERSATION! WAKE UP!

      August 25, 2010 at 2:33 pm |
  4. P Dirt

    It is a shame that we elect leaders to stand in our stead lest the enemy breach the gates of freedom, only to find that when the enemy comes with lies and deception the leaders open the gate and let them in in the name of freedom. Bloomberg is not qualified to lead NYC simply because he is ignorant of the lies and deception and thereby complicit in the deception and attack plan of the enemy. The terrorist will celebrate in the streets when and if they are allowed to build their victory mosque. Have we really learned nothing since 9/11?

    August 25, 2010 at 11:49 am |
    • EW

      I think Mayor Bloomberg has learned that the U.S. has to stand firmly against terrorism... International as well as Domestic!!!!

      I am a Christian first and foremost, after that I am an American. Two things that are not easy in this world, with that said, the right thing to do is to hold up our religious principles and American freedoms!!! Build the mosque, show the world that we are the greatest country ever created. Never bow down to any form of terrorism.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:03 pm |
    • Andy

      Apparently you haven't.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:11 pm |
    • SELENA MARLO

      YOU ARE SO RIGHT...
      ISLAM IS FAR FROM A PEACEFUL RELIGION...
      THEY KILL THERE OWN WIFES AND CHILDREN BESIDES AMERICANS...AMERICA SHOULD NOT GIVE INTO THE DOWNTOWN MOSQUE...AMERICANS CANNOT GO TO A MUSLIM COUNTRY AND BUILT A CHRISTIAN CHURCH OR TEMPLE...IT CANNOT BE ONE WAY.....

      August 25, 2010 at 12:14 pm |
    • Chris R

      Selena, the last time I was in Morocco I was in a christian church. I should also point out that Egypt has a lot of Christians in it as well.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:49 pm |
    • Jack Kegley

      Cannot get over the fact that so many people refer to this as a "Mega-Mosque" or a "Victory Mosque". This is a community center built to accommodate the needs of the community which includes a restaurant, a culinary school, a swimming pool, meeting rooms and yes, a space on the top floor for prayer. The people building this community center have been in the area since before the twin towers were built. Their current location is in a basement room, over crowded and hot. They have been using 51 Park address for nearly two years now as an alternative prayer location and merely want to improve the neighborhood. So many people are offended that a community center with a prayer facility might offend the "hallowed ground" of the 9/11 site near by. No one seems to have a problem with the strip club that is across the street from Ground Zero. That doesn't offend the "hallowed ground"? The Park 51 building, a former Burlington Coat Factory store is in such disrepair that it needs to be torn down and something else built in its place. A small (by New York standards) 13 story building that faces away from the Ground Zero site two blocks away in no way hinders or disrespects the memories of those who perished on that day. Remember, many of those who perished were Muslims too. Can we turn down the volume a few hundred clicks.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
    • free2comment

      @SELENA MARLO

      The only wife and child killed here were Muslims by non-Muslims. She left testimony at THE UFO Human Link...'Journal Entry for May 14, 1997 at 17:00 "

      August 25, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
    • Yelly McYerrerson

      I LIKE TO YELL ABOUT STUFF

      August 25, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
  5. Paul in Virginia

    Thanks, creepy marcia?!?

    August 25, 2010 at 11:49 am |
  6. Dan Rizzuto, PhD

    Hi Marcia, Did you stop to think about what Mr Bloomberg said or did you just react to the words?

    August 25, 2010 at 11:49 am |
  7. Clarkkent83

    Freedom is one thing, but to allow a corrupt religion to take residence is another.

    August 25, 2010 at 11:48 am |
    • David

      Right on! No more Catholic churches in our neighborhoods. Some priests are pedophiles.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:43 pm |
    • Clarkkent100

      Hey, I'll agree to that one too, but Catholicism has spread too much already and hard to stop. Atleast we can nip this one in the bud before it starts.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
    • Cher

      I think with over $1billion adherents it has already started. If what you meant is to outlaw the practice of the Muslim faith in this country then you don't understand or appreciate the basis on which this country was founded.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:13 pm |
    • free2comment

      The READ FASTER
      The UFO Human Link A Page In The Life Blogspot, every entry and the cartoons, too.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
  8. Acroyear

    He can speak for himself...I am none of the three, and proud to be so. NOTHING in all of human history, with perhaps exception the Bubonic plague has caused more death than organized religion. The SECOND we all stop seeing religion and the religious as somehow something better to be than just an ordinary ethical and loving human being is the second we will make a massive stride forward.

    August 25, 2010 at 11:48 am |
    • dave

      atheists have caused more deaths than organized religion

      The German Nazi party in the 1930's and 40's was not an organized relgion.
      Lenin and Stalin's Socialist party was not an organized religion, in fact they were atheists
      Mao's Communist party was not an organized relgion, in fact he was an atheist
      Ethic cleansing in Armenia, the Balkins, and Africa was not lead by an organized religion

      August 25, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
    • Acroyear

      Dave: in the incidents you mentioned, approximate 100 million people were murdered. Though you made one mistake, the Rowandan genocide was a fight between two different groups of Christian ethnic groups. Still, that is a lot of people.

      The Conquest and the Spanish Inquisition killed about 100 million just on their own. The 30 years war killed 1/3 of every living person in central Europe...that was about 35 million in those days. The Crusades butchers millions of innocent women and children all in the name of god.

      How about a small number? The 10's of thousands of young men in Japan who died in Kamakazie attacks because they were dying for their god emperor? Or the thousands of American seamen they killed?

      The Ottoman Turks (Muslims) murdered 5 million Armenian's (Christians).

      And lets not forget the something like 5 million women BURNED ALIVE for being witches for 900 or so years by the Roman Catholic chruch.

      That's not even including the millions upon millions of individual victims of ethnic cleansing, religious intolerance and the centuries of human sacrifice practiced by cults around the planet.

      Secular violence holds a dim candle to religious violence....and the world tried to bring to justice the people who did the secular violence you so condemn above. Religion applauds itself for murdering the heathen or the infidel or the apostate.

      Religion is a plague on humanity....and YOUR comfort is not worth my or ANYONE else's life!

      August 25, 2010 at 12:25 pm |
    • JamersonDel

      That's not really a fair argument since there are no "religious" texts for atheism. We are not demanded by a "higher authority" do impose our will on others. We simply make fun of them.
      And Dave, Hitler used the Jewish people (conveniently organized in the form of Judaism) as a scapegoat for Germany's loss in WWI, at least that was the initial delusion before people just started generalizing Jewish people as being sub-human. And Socialists and Communists killed people they perceive as capitalistic, imperialistic bigots who wanted to steal money from "regular people". Also, Ethnic cleansing is exactly that, ethnic. Killing people of other races whom they also see as sub-human, not because of religions. Have a nice day.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
    • Reason

      Um, Dave, maybe you should actually read Acroyear's post. He (she?) specifically said, "ordinary ethical and loving human being". I'm pretty sure nobody (not even you) would consider Hitler, Stalin or Mao to have been ordinary, ethical or loving. And I'm also pretty sure that Acroyear's comment about organized religion being the cause of more human deaths than any other reason is absolutely correct (Bubonic plague included).

      August 25, 2010 at 12:49 pm |
    • tk

      All the people on here spewing hatred do it out of fear. The very nature of an open society (country) creates the risk that attacks will occur. We can not live in fear of others based on past actions. Tolerance is a higher ethical threshold than being religious. I was born and raised Christian, however, I no longer practice that faith for my own personal reasons. I still consider myself a Cnristian, which to me means following in the belief of what Christ would do. In the teachings, Christ reached out to all, not just those who were of a specific faith.

      Religion is a notion that has caused debate, hatred and killing of one another for centuries. The Christian Crusdes killed in the name of Christianity. Hitler killed Jews in the name of purity feeling Jews were the cause of all the problems. As for Muslims, if you are so aggravated and upset at the intolerance, I ask you to look inward as well as to your fellow Muslim hate mongers and ask why the Jewish intolerance. Of all the people in the world this group has suffered the most intolerance.

      I say if you want to be treated with tolerance and respect, you first must portray it. As for those that say the Quran requires Muslims to kill, you are as guilty as the Islamic radicals for basterdizing the teachings of Allah. The Quran commands Muslims to strike down infidels. What is an infidel? A non-believer in God. Only the Islamic radicals consider other religions, Jew, Chrisitan as infidels. TRUE Muslims would never consider killing in the name of religion to be honorable.

      People hate because it is easy. There is not easy answer to this debate, but hatred can not win or we all lose.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
    • Some Guy

      Reader, Dave isn’t the one having reading-comprehension problems. Acroyear wrote that “NOTHING in all of human history, with perhaps exception the Bubonic plague[,] has caused more death than organized religion.” Dave directly contradicted that statement, and provided several examples to back it up. While the Nazi party and the various ethnic cleansings in Armenia, the Balkans, and Africa were not really based upon atheism (thus making his argument that atheism has killed more folks than organized religion a bit shaky), ALL of the instances he mentions are bona-fide examples of almost incomprehensibly large numbers of deaths, NONE of which can be blamed, even remotely, on “organized religion.”

      Slow down, read closely, take a breath, and THEN react, so you don’t criticize somebody else for the very same thing you’re doing.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:13 pm |
    • free2comment

      @Acroyear
      You mean the misapplication of 'organized' religion. Catch up at the UFO Human Link start with Area 51, Frieze Groups and Fish and anything else that might grab your fancy.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:32 pm |
    • Howard Markowitz

      Agree completely, Acroyear. The examples given against your statement are laughable. Even if they made any kind of sense, in the history of civilization more people have been killed in the name of god than for any other reason.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:33 pm |
    • WMesser58

      @ Dave since you chose to have selective memory. Who ran the Crusades I'm just curious some type of bible thumper comes to mind. Catholics perhaps and who ran holy rollers out of England and sent them to America to start a colony. How many explorers were sent to reform savages or as muslim like to say infidels.

      Atheist do not try and shove any view down anyone's throat we don't care what fairy tale you believe just don't force it on others.

      There has been more murders in the name any religion you want because they demand everyone agree with their views or die. I'll waste no more time explaining this to you because you've selectively blocked out the truth for your own views.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
    • WMesser58

      @Acroyear I was with you until you called christians "ordinary ethical and loving human being" they are the most intolerant, narrow-minded, self-righteous people on the planet. The world is divided by their blind faith instead of rational and reasoning.

      August 25, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
    • Frogist

      How about we stop pointing fingers. That might be the first step in reaching some sort of tolerance. Atheists killed more people. No, the christians did. No, it was the muslims! Who cares?! No one here is without sin. Recognize that first so we can get past all the playground fighting and petty name-calling.

      August 25, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
    • Acroyear

      @free2comment: "You mean the misapplication of 'organized' religion."

      Un, no... I do not. Organized religion has but one purpose, control of others minds to do the will of the Priest, Profit, Pope, Imam, whatever. The horrors it has perpetrated were NOT accidents...they were deliberate acts by "holy" men in the name of their god.

      BTW, for the record, if we add it all up, The Roman Catholic church is responsible for more deaths than any other organized religion, especially when you include the Inquisition and the Conquest of the New World.

      And for the record? I'm agnostic. I have no problem with FAITH...with the belief in something greater than yourself and the search for it. But organized religion says "here are all your answers in a neat easy bundle" and also says you must obey and do as the "holy book" or "holy man" says. That is a system, literally, custom designed to be abused for the purposes of the "church" or "mosque" or "temple" or whatever. It's every bit as evil as Nazism... period!

      August 25, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
    • Acroyear

      @WMesser58 "@Acroyear I was with you until you called christians "ordinary ethical and loving human being" ....

      Excuse me, but where did I say Christians? I said humans... NON religious humans. Christians are not as bad as they once were (though still for the most part, as you say, intolerant) but in their past they were just about the single most evil group in human history!

      August 25, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  9. krashundburn

    Prothero says that Bloomberg "once again spoke truth to fear and hatred."

    Prothero, I am not opposing this mosque from a position of fear and hatred. Just FYI. I just think it's a very bad idea considering the circumstances.

    Even Bloomberg admits that “there are people of good will on both sides of the debate."

    Stop brushing opponents of this mosque as fear-mongering bigots, and I'll stop considering you a religious ignoramus. Fair?

    August 25, 2010 at 11:48 am |
  10. Edgar Friendly

    He's got more balls than all you people who are scared of Muslims.

    August 25, 2010 at 11:48 am |
    • JUST BEING REALISTIC

      I AM NOT SCARED. I JUST REALIZED HOW BAD ISLAM IS. IT'S AN IDEOLOGY THAT WANTS TO ESTABLISH A GLOBAL CALIPHATE. ONE OF THE FIRST STEPS IS TO BUILD MOSQUES ON ENEMY TERRITORY. DON'T BELIEVE ME? READ THE KORAN AND THE HADDITHS. NEXT STEP WOULD BE IMPLEMENTATION OF SHARIA LAW. DON'T BELIEVE ME? IT'S ALREADY HAPPENING IN EUROPE.

      August 25, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
      • joego

        Yep, Just do the homework on Islam and the truth will come to you naturally. I recommend going to this site;

        citizenwarrior dot commercial

        Or just take bloomberg and a representative from each religion to Mecca and see if we can all kiss and make a community center there! I'm sure that we will all feel real fluffy and tingly inside after the King kicks our asses out of the country.

        August 25, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
    • SJtR

      no edgar friendly... we have the balls, it is just your as much of a spineless allopheist coward as he is.

      August 25, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
    • TrueAmerican

      That's funny coming from someone who has never had Muslims trying to kill them. That man has NO balls. Just like you. I would suggest that you both grow a pair and stop tip-toeing through the tulips with people that want America destroyed. Make no mistake, they do want to crush America and Capitalism in general. I'm telling you this as someone who has exchanged fire with more Muslims than you've even laid eyes on.

      August 25, 2010 at 3:16 pm |
      • KeplerPoinsot

        TrueAmerican, first off thank you for your service to our country. Whatever our little argument here brings, let all remember that you got off your ass and went out to do something. Mostly killing and trying to avoid being killed I'm sure. I'm sorry that war has turned you into my grandfather, who after fighting in WW2 automatically assumed that all Japanese were evil spies out to destroy us. People just saluted and shook their heads as he passed. War messed with his mind and he could no longer distinguish good from bad. Anything he said just made him sound scared and paranoid.

        Are you able to distinguish foreign Muslims from a 3rd generation white American Muslims? Are they the same to you because they share a religion?

        August 25, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
    • GodIsForImbeciles

      Useful idiot.

      August 25, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
  11. Tom V

    Glenn Beck spoke out against the "Obama is a Muslim crowd". It's on Fox News's website right now

    But I guess that ruins your theory of "Republican silence", so you don't mention it.

    And as for the GZM, I guess the rules of zoning and debate matter, unless its a mosque. Then it "can and MUST" be built?????? Why the rush? Are thousands of muslims without a place of worship? Who is denying any Muslim a chance to practice their religion???

    Reason #23489275425892712 why I am proud to be a conservative

    August 25, 2010 at 11:46 am |
    • Joe G

      Yes, there are thousands. Their lease ran out two years ago and their current facility is way too small.

      August 25, 2010 at 11:54 am |
    • John

      800,000 Muslims in NYC
      200 Mosques.

      You do the math. Unless that's too hard for a proud conservative. Comes out to 4,000 Muslims per mosque. How many churches do you know that can support 4,000 parishioners? Just because a town has a church doesn't make it big enough to support all the Christians there.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:32 pm |
  12. Patty

    If it is about religion then it has always been about religion. It is the Muslim religion that created 911. It is the Muslim religion that is disregarding the feelings of people who lost loved ones in the 911 catastrophe. It is the Muslim religion which is clearly showing how selfish it really is. Who cares about 911? We will build a mosque at ground zero anyway. How selfish. If it isn't about religion then it has always not been about religion. Humans are selfish by nature. It doesn't matter which religion we believe. Whether we are Christians, Jews or Muslims by nature humans are self centered and very selfish. Of the three religions mentioned, the Muslims are the most selfish. Muslims are so selfish they want to come to another country and impose their own laws in that country and will fight and kill those who do not believe in Islam. The Quran demands it. It hasn't started yet but it will because the Quran demands it. they say Islam is a peaceful religion but it is a murderous religion utilized by selfish people. For now Muslims will take control and build a mosque but as time goes by and Muslims reproduce 8 to 1, they will take control of the country and make it a Muslim country. After all this is the Muslim way.

    August 25, 2010 at 11:46 am |
    • Dan Rizzuto

      The Christians in this country seem to do the exact same things you are describing by attempting to subvert the constitutional separation between church and state. They want to make biblical law the law of the land.

      August 25, 2010 at 11:54 am |
    • SC

      Patty,

      Your extreme ignorance of Islam is showing. Btw, what about those Christian fundies that are always trying to get prayer in schools, the Ten Commandments on the walls in schools and public buildings, etc? What about the ones that bomb abortion clinics and post the names and addresses of doctors online? What about the American churches providing backing for a law in one of the African countries to make homosexuality an offense punishable by death? If we look at Christianity solely through the lens of how people like that view the Bible and Christianity, do we get an accurate picture of Christianity worldwide? Of course not.

      Don't condemn a world religion based on your misunderstanding of it, or on the actions of a handful of fanatics.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:01 pm |
    • alex

      patty,

      anyone with a double digit IQ would know that its the people who commit the crimes and try to hide behind religion to justify their actions.... and we have precedence for that in every religion....
      its the people – not the religion.
      to me, blaming any religion entirely for the actions of a few people is simple stupidity.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:10 pm |
    • ms. white

      @Patty et all,
      How do you live your lives in such fear everyday...you have been so brainwashed about other people, cultures and religions, I'm surprised no reports of increased from fear craving people have not committed suicide or have had heart attaches or stocks. So afraid of others when it is the people you identify with are the one huting you the most.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:28 pm |
    • Chris R

      And it's Christians that are molesting little children. And it's Christians that are bombing health clinic and killing doctors. And it's Christians that bombed the federal building in Oklahoma. And it's Christians that bombed the Atlanta Olympics. And it's Christians who are repressing women and homosexuals. And it's Christians who are trying to impose their anti-scientific world view on the rest of us. Isn't it obvious that all Christians are dangerous people? Why can't they just be more sensitive to other people and build their churches somewhere else?

      August 25, 2010 at 12:41 pm |
    • ATMoore

      I'm sorry, I couldnt hear you over all your hate speech.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:51 pm |
    • Tia

      The Mosque has been there for the last 40 years, they are just expanding. Before the NY Mosque incident, there were MANY incidents where people were protesting the erections of new Mosques throughout the United States, even expansions as is the case in NY. Its called Islamophobia, and hey thats fine. You dont have to like or love us. What you cannot do is categorize us as terrorists because some idiots did something so heinous in the name of Islam. What you also cannot do if forbade us our rights. Our existence and way of life had nothing to do with 9/11, Terrorism did, our fight together should be against terrorism, not Islam!

      August 25, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
    • Guerrina

      Yes, Patty. I agree with you. I've seen the statistics.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:01 pm |
    • Cher

      When Europeans came to this country it was not Christian. Native Americans had their own spirituality and religious practices. So to state that Muslims have ""come to this country" like everyone else of every other faith and non-faith practice had been here forever is just plain ignorant!

      August 25, 2010 at 1:09 pm |
    • John

      If all Muslims are responsible for the worst excesses of those claiming to be Muslim, then all Christians are responsible for the worst excesses of those claiming to be Christian. You can't, then, look at something like the Spanish Inquisition or the holy wars of the Reformation period, and say "Well, they weren't really Christian", because they were as Christian as Al Qaeda is Muslim. Oh, but you say the Koran specifically condones violence? So does the Bible, along with condoning genocide and slavery, so long as God says its okay and your enemy is a heathen who worships false gods.

      You don't get to pick and choose.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
    • clarityseeker

      Interesting point. The converse is that it is really about politics. Islam is an all-encompassing way of life: religious, political, social. Sadly, many of the posters here have been fed information instead of seeking the truth.
      The truth is: Total Muslim countries are oppressive and dangerous–the opposite of the Western world. Sadly, we see many Muslims escaping the restrictions of their theocracies, only to try to instill the same type of restrictions upon themselves in free societies. Some are more comfortable in their prison–decisions are made for them and they prefer it that way.

      Most religions have now been reformed to peaceful, humane institutions . Why can't Islam? Kick the violent, sadistic ones out and into a corner so we know who they are, edit the Koran to eliminate eternal jihad, and join the civilized world.

      And to all of you who despise religion, don't replace it with partisan politics. Conduct yourself as a moral human being-and stop trying to see the worst in others and taking offense at everything–by willfully misinterpreting what people are saying. I think 90% of you secretly know that all Americans, (Republicans, Democrats and everyone in between) aren't really a bunch of crazy racists-that is only what the conflict hungry media wants you to think. Don't fall for it. Don't be their pawn. It is like the young man who beat the cab-driver–it turns out he supports the Mosque and the cabbie doesn't. It turns out this was a stunt to "create" a hate crime, to make the anti-Mosque people look bad. Let's be careful!

      August 27, 2010 at 8:00 pm |
  13. Chris Rogers

    CNN,
    Is is asking too much to use appropriate Headlines?
    "New York's Bloomberg: We are all Muslims" makes this story sound like something that it's not.
    Getting people's attention doesn't have to come at the sacrifice of integrity.

    August 25, 2010 at 11:46 am |
    • TimT

      Agreed – the title is misquoting Bloomberg. Should have been: Bloomberg says "There is nowhere in the five boroughs that is off limits to any religion." That would have conveyed the point, and still generated interest.

      August 25, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
    • Phil

      Actually, according to Islamic scholars to whom I've once discussed our comparative beliefs, everyone IS a Muslim. You, me, them, everyone. Muslims view your deeds as your merit for whether you have followed the faith that they understand: following the Five Pillars, etc. Though this is not in direct corrolation to Mayor Bloomberg's statement, it does present accuracy to the sensationalistic article; sorry to your chagrin.

      August 25, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
  14. STR

    These quotes are all out of context for political reasons.
    Any knowlegeable Muslim knows that their God is a far different God than the God the Jews or Christians serve and love.
    Any knowlegeable Christian and Jew know this as well.

    August 25, 2010 at 11:45 am |
    • Joe G

      And any atheist knows that all of the religions are equally delusional and harmful.

      August 25, 2010 at 11:53 am |
    • Gary

      And STR apparently has never done any research to know that all 3 of the mentioned religions have the same origin.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:13 pm |
    • Chris R

      I'm not sure how you came to that conclusion being that all of the religion you mention explicitly say they worship the same divinity. The Torah (aka, the old testament) is a holy book of Christianity after all. Likewise, the old and new testament are holy books of Islam.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
    • revolting peasant

      And you? What knowledge could you possibly possess? Try reading the Koran. I've read it. It acknowledges that Jesus was a prophet of the same God as the Muslims.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:38 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Lemme get this straight, the God of Abraham is NOT the God of Abraham.
      As ALL three faiths pray to the God of Abraham, your remark makes less than no sense.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
    • Guerrina

      Agreed, STR.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:59 pm |
    • John

      Abrahamic religions are Abrahamic religions.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:28 pm |
    • rivirivi

      Any human with flourished common sense in his/hers brain knows that if there is a God, a limitless being, then definitely everything and everyone from the smallest molecule to the biggest clump of multi-universes exist WITHIN not OUTSIDE. But, also, any human with common sense knows that at this time, all religions and creeds known to men- are full of crap and instill separatism among groups of humans as if one is more valuable to God- they guy who supposedly made everyone and everything- separatistic ideas as "my book" my god" "my people" are the most beloved by God are wrong, will be always wrong and all religions are wrong and will always be wrong. Down with all religions and creeds!

      August 25, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  15. Clyde Ricks

    Mr Prothero, I would venture to say that you have never been fired upon by an enemy combatant; never been in fear for your life in a foreign land; and obviously never been dependent on the man next to you for the protection he affords. You speak from the point of nothing more than, colloquially put, "book-knowledge" that has never been proven in your real life. You and Mr Bloomberg are two of a kind – and both are shining examples of the biggest decay of honor and pride in this country. You are one small, sad, pathetic soul as are those who find common ground against the US. If you sincerely know of a better country than America in which to live and raise a family that would suit you – please let us all know.

    August 25, 2010 at 11:44 am |
    • dave

      Perfect Clyde - lets hope we never have peace in the world b/c only people who have been shot at are any good

      painting all Muslims with the same brush is just wrong
      Bush said God told him to go to war in Iraq - that means Bush was lying or insane b/c God did not tell Bush to kill hundreds of thousands of Iraqies just to get one man.

      Bin Laden killed 3000 Americans for no good reason. Bush started a war in Iraq for no good reason and killed 4ooo Anmericans - who is worse Clyde

      August 25, 2010 at 11:59 am |
    • Matt

      You have one brand of macho, but don't pretend that your tough guy rhetoric is the only way to be proud or have honor. What is more honorable than giving dignity and respect to those being denied it by the majority? And if you think his remarks are anti-American, then you don't live in the America that I believe in. But don't call it anti-American, and I won't call you anti-American for believing in a different America. I will say you're extremely insecure about your vision of America. Why should the author have to leave for describing his vision of America? You criticize Americans too, apparently. You leave, if that's the standard.

      August 25, 2010 at 11:59 am |
    • Jalloh

      Clyde, to answer your last question – An America without people like you in it would be a great start.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:14 pm |
    • AKEEM JABIL

      SWEDEN, SWITZERLAND, AUSTRIA. YOU WANT MORE DUMB?

      August 25, 2010 at 12:24 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Clyde, *I HAVE* been in combat. I've buried buddies in this conflict too. I've been deployed for nearly 5 years supporting our war effort. I am now retired after 27+ years of service in our military.
      Why is it YOU have problems with our first amendment? Why is it that I don't?
      Why are you so frightened by the Muslim citizens of our great nation?
      I certainly am not. I wasn't frightened in the Persian Gulf either, I received more civilized treatment by Arabs than I ever did from my fellow countrymen and I lived off post!
      I dealt with Arabs daily. I had Arab neighbors. I even have one friend I still keep in contact with who is a Saudi.
      Let's review tolerance. The State of Qatar sponsored a number of Christian churches and one Roman Catholic church.
      Apparently the last wahhabi club meeting didn't remind them to be intolerant, so they forgot.
      During the Christmas season, I was wished Merry Christmas by more Arabs walking by than I did in 10 years at home.
      Nope, YOU are intolerant and you are betraying our nation and constitution.
      Because, at the end of the day, the terrorist is simply trying to make you change. YOU would help them win by espousing the denial of constitutional rights of others out of fear.
      Well *I* swore an oath to protect the constitution of this great nation. While my term of service has been completed, hence protecting the nation is "expired", my oath for the constitution is one that I consider to NEVER have an expiration date.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:24 pm |
    • Howard Markowitz

      Who says 'the man next to you for the protection he affords' isn't an American who happens to be Muslim.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
    • Guest

      @Dave
      We have it on Good Authority that God did not Speak to Bush. However, those UFOs over his ranch were Ours. The UFO Human Link Apageinthelife and Mom is still a little p-o-ed some kid took over the controller.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
    • John

      I have been fired upon by enemy combatants.

      I support Park51. They aren't the ones who were shooting at me, and moderate Muslims like them catch a lot more lead from the extremists then we do.

      I fought for the constitutional rights of all Americans, popular or not.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
    • Bryant

      Clyde – Have you been in combat? Have you been shot at? If so, what were you fighting for, since it obviously wasn't in defense of "our" constitution, "our" way of life, and "our" freedoms. Just because those words in parentheses aren't "you", doesn't mean they should be ignored.
      If you fought for this country, you fought for what we believe in. Which is personal freedoms, so far as they don't infringe on others freedoms. Though I understand where some are coming from, when they oppose this mosque. It isn't impeding on ANY of "our" freedoms.
      And for the rest that want it built elsewhere.........how far away is far enough? They own the land, they can do what they want. And I also would like to congratulate Mayor Bloomberg for taking the high road on this issue.

      August 25, 2010 at 2:16 pm |
    • Abudu Mukarram

      Hey Ricks, there are many counties whose people feel the same as you do. They would leave country for anywhere else for anything. Mayor Bloomberg has more supporters than you can count. So your opinion is just that, your small minded, no body cares about opinion.

      August 25, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
  16. jeff t

    when i drive by a mosque all i see is terrorism. Why? Because they're the only one's killing people in the name of religion right now. It's happening every day it seems. I know there are good people who are Muslim. But where are they? I think we're just tired. Tired of having to bend all the time. Tired of being afraid. Tired of being told we're stupid, racist or intolerant. Right now I'd just prefer all Muslims leave. 65 years ago men with slide rules built atomic weapons to level two cities. How many Muslim students are here now learning engineering more advanced than our scientists did decades before? I want my children and grandchildren to have a good life. I'm not betting on moderate muslims who are always silent.

    August 25, 2010 at 11:43 am |
    • SC

      Jeff t,

      When you used to drive by Catholic and Protestant Churches, did you see terrorists too? After all, in Northern Ireland they were killing each other right up until just a relatively few years ago.

      And moderate Muslims aren't silent. They just don't get the prime-time news spots.

      August 25, 2010 at 11:51 am |
    • Joe G

      I think the same thing when I go by a church. They are the religion of hatred and intolerance. A thorn in America's side. Their efforts to ruin the education system, and to impose their religion ont he government is ludicrous at best. Seems like they are waging a terror war on the minds of real Americans (those who understand the constitution, religious freedom, separation of church and state, logic, rational reasoning)

      August 25, 2010 at 11:52 am |
    • Dexter

      What about doctors performing abortions – didn't they kill them???

      August 25, 2010 at 11:52 am |
    • Edgar Friendly

      When I drive by churches all I see are pedophiles.

      August 25, 2010 at 11:54 am |
    • Historybuff

      TODAY Muslims are the terrorists. But what defines a terrorist? What about the CHRISTIAN Crusades? The Childrens' Crusade? Gengis Khan and the mongol take over of a lot of the world? The Pilgrims moving into New England and attacking Indian tribes? The Soviet Union when they invaded Afghanistan? China when they invaded Vietnam? My point is that at some point in history, every religious (or Communist state) can be considered a terrorist. To judge an entire religion by the acts of a very small minority is preposterous.

      August 25, 2010 at 11:54 am |
      • Jeff A.

        good points historybuff, but to have turned a blind eye on those events, would that not be the same as turning a blind eye on the Islamification of America. Look a t the other Muslim countries, with their radical youth, terrorist training camps, mass murders, bombing. Like what you see, get used to it, for every bleeding heart American , you are one step closer to the runaway Muslim train, and all it's consequences. I can't believe I am hearing intelligent, well spirited American individuals who do not see the dangers of Islam becoming a force in our Country. Do you expect that the radicals, the youth, the terrorists that we see all over the world will stop at the Vermont border, what is wrong with you people ?? Let them have thir Islam, and all it's inherent problems, in their backyards. It is not my problem.........I have other more pressing ones, like I am sure Bloomberg has also, if he only wakes up and smells the coffee.

        August 25, 2010 at 1:32 pm |
        • noBama

          The people praising Bloomberg (and Bloomberg himself) got hold of some koolaid that only Jim Jones could be proud of.

          August 25, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
        • Tom

          Nope. Just a case of objectivity and not getting sucked into the emotional response that would undermine our Constitution!

          August 25, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
      • Christie

        History buff, the Original Crusades were a call to go and help Christians in the East who were being massacred by Muslims. If you read any of BAT YE'OR's books, which include many original documents, it is quite eye opening.
        The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam is particularly interesting. I am not saying that no atrocities were committed wrongly in the Name of Christ, that would be blind and foolish. But I am saying the Crusades actually did start with a true purpose, and it was way different than what modern Day Islam is trying to accomplish.

        August 25, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
      • Jeff A.

        historybuff, we don't judge an entire religion by the acts of a few, we judge the whole religion by the "reactions" of this religion to the actions of a few !! If being a muslim is believing in Mohammed fervently, then a radical believer in the same with a bomb in his belt is not as bad to the muslim as it is to you, even though he will tell you differently. They believe in the same thing, one is just moving faster than the other, but they will arrive at the same place eventually, that is your backyard, and it aint for a bbq.............

        August 25, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
    • adc555

      let me get this straight, in one sentence you say you are tired of being perceived as racist and or intolerent, and the very next sentence you think all Muslims should leave! I think you need to review your thinking, because you come off as a very confused person

      August 25, 2010 at 11:59 am |
    • bandit109

      Where are they? There are 1.3-7 million muslims in the U.S. and ~1.5 billion in the world. Yeah, 1.5 billion muslims worldwide. So you're saying that all muslims are terrorists and you do not know where non-violent muslims are? Well, the world would be completely in flames right now if there were 1.5 billion terrorists, so I'm guessing that there are quite a few muslims that are not terrorists.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:00 pm |
    • Michael

      I see...so what do you see when you drive by a Catholic church...thousands of children be sexually abused and their lives ruined or is that OK with you? This is a pure wave of hate sweeping over our country by a bunch of ignorant people who don't fully understand why we left England in the first place. Contrary to popular belief we are only a Christian country to those who are Christians...the rest of us don't care about your religion, but we do care about how it affects our country and it's politics. This has to stop...if not, then we are letting the terrorists win and the people who died in 9/11 died for nothing.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:01 pm |
    • JJ

      instead of driving by try going inside .... don't read a book by its cover...try talking to the people inside. You will find, lawyers , doctors, university professors, and the average Joe. Guess what you won't find a nuke in the basement...

      Lose the stereotype and actually start to talk the people you will be impressed how "normal" everyone is

      August 25, 2010 at 12:10 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Let's see. You say Christians are not killing?
      Northern Ireland, just within the past two weeks. Bomb at a school.
      Africa, where missionaries are still killing in the mercy of Jesus. Read the REST of the news, instead of the popular stories.
      Abortion clinics bombed by Christians in this country. Olympic Park bombing, Christian again. Abortion clinic clients and Planned Parenthood office clients harassed by picketers that are from Christian church groups.
      Christian church groups harassing and protesting US servicemen and women funerals.
      Yep, the pot is calling the kettle black.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:16 pm |
    • DM

      I am a Muslim Engineer and also an American. What I learn is to improve OUR society. It is so pathetic and sad that you think all Muslims are terrorists. We have the same liberties that you have. This is like me saying...when I see a white person I assume that they are part of the KKK, if I see an Irish person I assume they are terrorists, when I see an african american person I assume that they'll shoot me. WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM. you live in a melting pot. a country that provides opportunity to ALL. a country that is built on immigration.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:16 pm |
      • JTNinNYC

        Apparently everyone treats the constitution as Christians do the bible, or Muslims do the Quran, as though it were some sort of divine document.
        It's not a divine document. It was written by men, over 200 years ago. They had no idea what the future would hold or what kind of problems this country would face. Oh well, just like the bible or quran, people use it to suit their own personal needs.

        August 25, 2010 at 1:34 pm |
      • das0522

        No, the country was built on the principles laid out in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Has the country benefitted overall from immigration? Yes, but the immigrants assimilated into the larger American society by adopting our founding principles - life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness - not by insisting society adapt to the cultures they came from.
        And you're missing the point of the opposition - not all Muslims are jihadists but the perpetrators of 9/11 were and their motivation was the religion of Islam. Were Carmelite nuns responsible for the Holocaust. No, but when Pope John Paul II agreed to re-locate a Carmlite convent away from the site of Auschwitz, he did so out of respect for the feelings of the Jews. Why can't the Muslims do the same?

        August 25, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
      • stephen douglas

        I happen to believe the majority of Muslims are good decent people. Unfortunately, your religion totally sucks. Islam has undertones of violence. Everything is an afront to Islam. If you are in America, you put America first. You don't try to change our laws to your laws. You want to drive, you have a license with your photograph on it without a veil or a burka. You want to work at Walmart as a checker, you handle packages of pork. You want to work at Disneyland, you wear the costumes they have designed and used for many years. I personally am sick of Islam and it's demands. If you don't like the way of the west, go back to the east. It is simple. But do I believe you are all terrorists? No. just members of a screwed up religion.

        August 25, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
        • Reality

          Stephen,

          A great comment direct to the gut of Islam!!!!!

          August 25, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
        • Brian

          Thank you. This small faction of Islamic facists/psychopaths has ruined Islam the same way that peverted, sick, child-preying priests in the Catholic Church brought that institution to its knees. You an't sweep either under the rug like it is insignificant and not representative of your global presence as a whole. just like Pope and his followers tried to keep their pedophiles under wraps for decades, Muslim leaders the world around have done nothing to reign in Muslim jihadists/terrorists. They terrorize and kill their own to advance a sadistic, distorted, illiterate view of the world.

          August 25, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
        • Tony L

          Stephen,

          Does all that apply to the Jews? and other religions? It's a free country and you do not have to work where you don't want to. Walmart is not obligated to hire them if they are not able to do the work. If your boss asks to do something that you wish not to so you can quit. That's protected by our constitutional rights.

          August 25, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
        • O.

          Islam is not a religion, it's a political order. Religions suggest to all. Islam enforces all. It should be banned like slavery or communism or fascism.

          August 25, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
        • hey_there

          yeah you can say that to all the 1.57 Billion, 23% of Earths population...go back to your cave.

          August 25, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
        • hey_there

          Hey there Pastor Terry Jones

          August 25, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
        • KeplerPoinsot

          stephen douglas, your comments sound just like George Wallace's speech to black kids trying to get into school. Americans have a long history of changing the laws we make and as long as Muslims use only the American judicial system to effect change, isn't that an example of their assimilation? Your"go back to the east" comment exposes the ignorant assumption that all Muslims are foreign. Many Muslims are 2nd and 3rd generation Americans and fully integrated into our society (we can tell because they are fat and obsessed with sports and making money ). Further, some Muslims (like me) are white, Republican, capitalist and and don't fit any of the ignorant stereotypes perpetrated here and elsewhere. If Muslims were your enemy, it would be too late. Look around: we are your doctors, your engineers, your employers, your cabdrivers, your servers, the person you chat with in line, and your neighbors. We just want the same thing you want: to be left alone and allowed to live the American dream as best as we can. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and all that jazz.

          August 25, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
        • KEPLERPOINSOT

          KEPLERPOINSOT, DON'T PRETEND THERE ARE MUSLIMS EVERYWHERE. IT'S NOT EVEN 1%. THERE ARE MORE AMERICAN INDIANS AND ESKIMOS HERE IN THE US THAN MUSLIMS. EXCEPT THAT THEY ARE LESS ANNOYING AND MORE PEACEFULTHAN MUSLIMS. AND STOP BRAGGING WITH "MUSLIM DOCTORS". MUSLIMS ARE LESS THAN 1% OF DOCTORS AND MUSLIMS ARE MOSTLY UNEDUCATED LABORERS. THAT'S THE FACTS. SORRY.

          August 25, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
        • Kate

          Oh, and another thing to the one replying to Kepler ... if there aren't "Muslims everywhere", what's the big deal? I thought the whole hysteria these days were they were everywhere?

          Make your mind up.

          August 25, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
        • Gil T

          Good observation on Simon the zealot, Kate. A potential terrorist chosen by Jesus. Now, that's more than people caught up in the current fervor involving an Islamic center are wiling to handle.

          August 26, 2010 at 12:50 am |
        • secular

          Petro $$$ have created Ayotullah, 911 and countles such acts, incl. Abdul Rauf of ground zero fame. Stop this madness, stop import of middle east oil..

          August 26, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
        • Jeff A.

          Stephen Douglas for mayor of New York !! That is what I have been trying to say. Islam unfortunately includes the radicals, and the youth movement, and the terrorists, who are sons and daughters of some Muslim somewhere. They can not control that aspect of Islam, as all is fair according to sharia. If you are a practising muslim, would you not love the radical muslim who dies for your religion, that does make him bad to you, or their innocnt vicitms, but that makes him good to Muslims. Don't expect them to tell you that, nor Bloomberg the blooming idiot either. He fails to join the dots.

          August 25, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
      • rivirivi

        Then help me build a catholic church right next to Mecca, and right next to it a Buddhist praying center. LET"S DO IT!, once those buildings are done, let's continue with a HInduism center, right there in Mecca. It will be SO WONDERFUL!

        August 25, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
    • Mbss

      Leave? And go where? What about the muslims born and bred in New York? Are they supposed to just leave the only home they've ever known? Perhaps you'd like to round them up and put them all in the same spot...say, a camp? Maybe a concentration camp? While we're at it, why don't we just gas them all?

      The comments and ideas reflected in some of the responses to this article scare me. I always wondered how the holocaust could have occurred, but now I'm starting to see how it may have started.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
      • ROUND THEM UP?

        ROUND THEM UP? SOUNDS GOOD TO ME. AND THEN DEPORT THEM ALL TO SOME MUSLIM COUNTRY WHERE THEY CAN BUILD ALL THE MOSQUES THEY WANT.

        August 25, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
    • really?

      Jeff, seriously??? How many muslim people do you know? I guess everytime we have a conflict we should round up everyone of that religion or race and keep them in prison camps. I remember something called the crusades where Christians slaughtered non-christians and created war all in the name of religion. Lets remember some other country that decided to persucate people because of their religion, NAZIS. I guess our country is heading that way, so sad lets hope we don't go to war with your ancestoral country Jeff, cause then we can say the same thing to you

      August 25, 2010 at 12:33 pm |
      • scott

        If this Mosque is allowed to be built, I'll have to listen to Osama sending out more videos about how it is proof of the power of Islam and how America will be turned into a muslim nation. Screw this mosque & quite frankly, the author, and the editors that give him a platform to spread his delusional message of anti-american hatred.

        Bloomberg is nothing more than a man that wants to cash in on the money. Not only that, the only place Bloomberg belongs is Prison.

        August 25, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
        • Amanda

          To Scott,

          I've said it a hundred times, and I'm gonna say it one more just for you. You are placing blame in the wrong place. There is no one person or group of people allowing this to be built. The constitution is allowing it to be built. You have every right to oppose the mosque being built (just as they have a right to build it), but place the blame where it belongs. You can say that all these people are "siding with the Muslims" all you want, but it doesn't change the fact that your problem is atually with the constitution and not Bloomberg (or any other politician). Sorry......they didn't write the constitution.......they were simply elected to uphold it.......get over it.

          August 25, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
    • JP

      it's amazing how many intolerant idiots are on this website

      August 25, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
    • Tia

      With all due respect Jeff your reasoning behind bing tired would be understandbale if I wasnt harrassed long before 9/11. As a Muslim convert in 1993 I was harrassed then. Told to go home, told I was oppressed for dressing modest, told I was a terrorist....to bad I was born in Seattle to a Native American Mother and African American father! I would protest movies , my first in 93 because it seemed so many movies portrayed us as inhumane acting people?? I guess all the propaganda worked. There's even a burn a Quran day, boy have we turned back to the dark ages. Where are all the good Muslims, living amongst you SO not being heard. When we came out to support those that dies in 9/11 they sure didnt show us speaking out against the horrendous incident, instead they showed Muslims dancing around the world???? Really?

      August 25, 2010 at 12:47 pm |
    • Abby

      Wow you are a bigot. Maybe you should go back to high school social studies class and learn about our first amendment? Do you even know what it is? Ignorance is what causes terrorism, not religion.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:48 pm |
      • ABBY, YOU ARE THE BIGOT, NOT THE OTHERS

        Abby, calling people who oppose an intolerant and hateful ideology intolerant is rather sick. The only bigot and hypocrite is you, Abby.

        August 25, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
    • Deborah/KansasCity

      One of the "good ones" is trying t build a community center in NYC. All faiths welcome in an outreach to improve relationships. No one wants to hear that as they vilify this good man.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
      • fairness-for-all

        ...then why call it a mosque? Its a statement!

        August 25, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
        • M

          It's not a mosque, it's a COMMUNITY CENTER designed to serve the needs of that particular neighborhood/community.

          August 25, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
        • LIAR

          YOU SHOULD SERIOUSLY STOP MAKING UP LIES. IT IS A MOSQUE WITH AN ATTACHED COMMUNITY CENTER. THEY SAID THEMSELVES THEY NEED MORE SPACE FOR PRAYING IN MAHATTAN. DON'T MAKE IT MORE HARMLESS THAN IT IS. I DON'T EXPECT GAYS, JEWS AND OTHERS WILL BE WELCOME THERE, AT THE "COMMUNITY CENTER".

          August 25, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
        • Shadtree

          or a Christian church

          August 25, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
        • Amanda

          He doesn't call it a mosque, he calls is a community center. The media started calling it a mosque because it will include a prayer area (and probably to make people like you angry because it's good for ratings). If he's ever called it mosque, it was probably because that's how people were already referring to it anyway.

          August 25, 2010 at 8:18 pm |
      • Mike

        So you think people of all faiths (Jewish, Christian) as well as all men, women and children will be allowed to swim in their pool, walk their halls and pray in their mosque? I don't think so.

        August 25, 2010 at 2:22 pm |
  17. Dan

    here here as an un decided american. and i am not talking politics. this discussion is even tainting people away from their own choices regarding freedom of religion. if the elders of this country can not act the way we the younger generation has been taught... than it is time for a youth revolution. i dont want to be led around by the nose ANY MORE!!!!!!!!

    August 25, 2010 at 11:41 am |
    • TammyB

      Perhaps your "youth revolution" should be first to VOTE. It is known that younger people don't exercise their RIGHT to vote, as much as the over 40 group, or even the over 50 group. Exercise some responsibility for your country, and that can be your "youth revolution".

      August 25, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
  18. Joshua

    It's nice to see someone take a stand for everyone's liberties. Well said, Mayor Bloombeg.

    August 25, 2010 at 11:41 am |
    • Rob in NYC

      Here, here!

      August 25, 2010 at 11:48 am |
    • Dexter

      Agreed!

      August 25, 2010 at 11:51 am |
    • James L.

      What about my rights???????

      August 25, 2010 at 11:54 am |
    • Al

      This is called leadership and guts. Well done, Mayor.

      August 25, 2010 at 11:59 am |
    • usmc1

      James your rights dont matter, only those of the muslims do.

      August 25, 2010 at 11:59 am |
    • somerandomguy

      usmc1, I think you have it the wrong way. Everyone else's rights matter, just muslims' rights don't. After all, who's being harassed about building their place of worship?

      August 25, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
    • Gary

      James L and USMC: Could you please explain how exactly your rights are being trampled?

      August 25, 2010 at 12:08 pm |
    • Joe

      I'm tired of hearing they have rights or their liberties are being crushed. If they are not a citizen of the US they don't have the same rights as citizens plain and simple. They have basic human rights, which we respect as a country. Which most of the Muslim world does not. Why can't we build a christian place in Iran, Iraq, or any other Muslim country? People get with the program. Muslims are at war with everyone, they want control like they had in the past. If people would look past your public school text books that told you nothing about them you would see what type of people they can be. I don't care if your democrat, republican or independant we need to be concerned about these people.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:28 pm |
    • AKS

      Wow, well said Mayor Bloomberg. I also saw another article that talked about some 9/11 families supporting the cultural center. Glad to see there are still people representing American rights and TRULY fighting terrorists the right way.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
    • Truman

      Joe, why do you think they are not citizens? Because they wear scarfs and look different?

      August 25, 2010 at 12:42 pm |
    • Chris R

      Joe, they are citizens. All the people involved in building this mosque are US Citizens. Either born here or naturalized.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:42 pm |
    • Abby

      To say that an religious center shouldn't be built anywhere, regardless of the location, is bigotry and discrimination and against the 1st amendment of our country!

      August 25, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
    • free2comment

      @James
      What rights are you being deprived of James, we'll come right over and rectify the situation.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
    • Guest

      @usmc1
      Ok, your rights as a hate monger matter, too, including your right to get better.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:57 pm |
    • Nathanael

      Standing up for your liberties, Have you been in a cave for the last few years. Maybe you should use your computer to find out some information about your "Great Mayor Bloomberg" . I think you'll find that he is more interested in taking away your liberties than helping you retain them.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:02 pm |
    • TammyB

      @ James L.....What do you mean what happened to your rights? You have the right, if you own a piece of land, and it is zoned as such, to build a community center or mosque or temple or church or strip joint as you see fit. You may not agree with the mosque, but they DO have a right to build there, and it's not infringing on your rights, as you never have to go to the mosque/community center.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
    • dj

      It's good to see that Major Bloomberg and Imam Rauf are united in opposition to the terrorists. Al Quaeda kills many more moderate Muslims than they do Americans. The best way to combat terrorism is to promote freedom, and what better place to do it than NYC?

      August 25, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
    • archie bunker

      @Adolf...maybe you are. You sound like one.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:09 pm |
    • archie bunker

      well done mayor.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
    • Jeff

      I guess the rights of those of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church who have been trying rebuild after their church was destroyed in 9/11 be damned over the poor little "hated" Muslims who want to build their Victory Mosque. PFFT.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:12 pm |
    • Torg14

      Joe:

      Muslims are peaceful people. Have you ever actually met or spoken to one? I have many friends that are true Muslims and I've gone to their Iftar dinners. The extremists are the ones we need to worry about. What amazes me, is that most people that call themselves Christians are the ones showing and displaying all the hatred towards people of Muslim descent...the true Muslim people would never do that. The extremists, they do and don't care. There is a big difference. WAKE up people!

      August 25, 2010 at 1:21 pm |
    • John

      The parishioners of that poor oppressed Greek Orthodox church have refused to rebuild at the original location, and are instead holding out for the Port Authority to give them $60 million dollars and a better location. It's true, look up the FOX story on it.

      The people trying to build Park51 already own most of the land there, and they aren't looking for a dime from the NY Port Authority.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
    • leciat

      oh yeah right i get it...why should we listen to hamas they are terrorist but we MUST consider what osama bin laden is thinking about all this because...well i can’t think of why but i am sure the supporters of this mosque can spin something around to make it sound intellectual and important .

      and you know if we don't build this mosque it may radicalize the muslim youth and they will want to kill us but then of course if we draw pictures of their prophet it may radicalize the muslim youth and they will want to kill us and if we don’t allow muslim women to cover their face it may radicalize the muslim youth and they will want to kill us and if we don’t do this and that it may radicalize the muslim youth and they will want to kill us. islam is a religion of fear and intimidation

      August 25, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
    • Melora

      This isn't about religious liberty, as there are already two mosques in that location serving the community! The developer said the mosque center is to attract muslims from all over the world...thousands of Muslims to that center. This is about the spread of Islam, nothing more. The only people supporting the mosque center are those who are Muslim or those who apparently are lost to the entire meaning of the mosque. We have more than enough mosques in the US. Check a map. There are plenty for the population.

      August 25, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
    • massimo i

      i don't understand how your rights are being denied? why is it that in this potentially fantastic country, that every time social justice happens for a group that is not the majority,we forget what we stand for. gay marriage, freedom of worship, all things that will not effect you but will make a large difference for those already living next door. yes, extremist will use this as propaganda, like those in this country making a religion a terrorist group...but our Muslim neighbors will stay on the right side because we lead by example. the extremist would love proof of the western worlds hypocrisy. i just think there are too many people using mis information and hate as justification to be stupid. yes, stupid. ( registered republican, before you call me an elitist liberal, and if elitist means informed and level headed, then yes, elitist republican i am)

      August 25, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
  19. Paulie

    Two days after President Obama came out in support of a plan to build an Islamic cultural center and mosque near Ground Zero, the controversial project has received yet another high-profile endorsement – this one from the chief of the terror group Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

    "We have to build the mosque, as you are allowed to build the church and Israelis are building their holy places," stated Mahmoud al-Zahar, a co-founder of Hamas who is regarded as the chief of the group in Gaza.

    Zahar said that as Muslims, "We have to build everywhere."

    "In every area we have, [as Muslims] we have to pray, and this mosque is the only site of prayer, especially for the people when they are looking [to be] in the group, not an individual," he said.

    Zahar was speaking in a radio interview today with Aaron Klein, WND's Jerusalem bureau chief and host of investigative show on New York's WABC Radio.

    Zahar told Klein he was speaking on the mosque issue with authority, claiming Hamas "is representing the vast majority of the Arabic and Islamic world, especially the Islamic side."

    Zahar said that Muslims around the world, including those in the U.S., are united in a common cause.

    Stated the Hamas chieftain: "First of all, we have to address that we are different as people, as a nation totally different. We already are living under the tradition of Islam. ... Islam is controlling every source of our life as regard to marriage, divorce, our commercial relationships. ... Even the Islamic people or the Muslims in your country, they are living now in the tradition of Islam. They are fasting, they are praying."

    August 25, 2010 at 11:37 am |
    • SC

      Paulie,

      So you believe everything Hamas says?

      August 25, 2010 at 11:48 am |
    • Fariba

      Paulie,

      Your fearmongering is so worn out and ten minutes ago. Enough already.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:09 pm |
    • t

      Cannot put any faith in what any leader of Hamas says...they are a terrorist organization and would soon kill any US citizens than listen to them in a debate. Build as many mosques as you like, as long as the funds are not coming from groups that want to kill us, but never at ground zero.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:09 pm |
    • Jackson

      Obama didn't come out in support of building a mosque at that location. He said they "have the right to build" at that location. There is a difference.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:18 pm |
    • paul

      Its amazing how many people just can't stand to hear the truth. I could tell you as a non-muslim all the same things this leader of Islam. But, I will be dismissed as a "fear mongerer". But, when some people actually hear it from the lips of a leader in the Islamic community, well that just makes them angry. " How dare anyone publicize such divisive words!" Wake-up my fellow Americans. Muslims do not assimilate into other cultures. They conquer and change them. If you don't believe me, then listen to them. They'll tell you straight up.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:25 pm |
    • Panther7

      Who cares what Hamas has to say. They are terrorists. Stop being a scaredy cat!

      August 25, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
    • free2comment

      the majority of Muslims in the World are not Arabic but Indo-Asian.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
    • Waqas Ahmad

      So what if Hamas said that the mosque should be built? What they are saying is right. We should encourage it when people say the right thing. Just because this dude is a member of Hamas doesn't mean he's a bad guy. The same way we're in a propaganda war against Islam, as Bloomberg put it, we have been fed propaganda about Hamas, the group which was almost unheard of until they won parliamentary elections in 2006. All of a sudden, they were terrorists. This was because they opposed Israel's settlements and were willing to fight for their land and freedom – not because they are an actual "terror group". Half the world (including Russia and China) does not call them a "terror group", because they are only terrorists to those who are politically opposed to them. They are not out to get us Americans just because we're Americans. People need to get over the garbage we are fed in the media and only then will we be able to sit down and talk like civilized people (and not as scared little finger-pointers who yell "terrorist" at everyone they disagree with).

      August 25, 2010 at 1:03 pm |
    • susie

      probably all 'real' muslims are annoyed by Zahar's statement. he says hamas is representing islam, that's what he wants to think and world to think, but not true at all.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
    • archie bunker

      yawwwwn!!!

      August 25, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
    • James

      @Marie

      WAS THE LOWER CASE 'B' FOR DRAMATIC EFFECT OR DID YOUR FINGER GET TIRED HOLDING DOWN SHIFT?

      August 25, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
    • MikeofLA

      First off, as others are saying, he/Hamas does NOT represent all of Islam, they are a fanatical faction. Secondly, are you not familiar with the Missionaries of Ever Christ based religion? The one and only goal for the Mormon/JW/Catholic/Christian Church is to win souls, they do this by building churches everywhere they can. Even in places that don't want them. I am against all forms of organized religion, but I am all for freedom to practice peacefully.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:14 pm |
    • David

      Paulie, it is interesting that fear monglers like yourself always quote the terrorists organization. In that there is no debate. They are the enemy not only to us but to the vast majority of Moderate Muslims. To try to tie all Muslims to these terrorists organization is not only a tremendous leap it also shows your ignorance. Al Qaeda.and Islamic terrorist groups biggest enemy is not the US (as much as we would like to think of ourselves as that important) or even the Western World. In reality the biggest enemy of the Al Al Qaeda is the moderate Muslims that you are so eager to classify as terrorists. It is that group that takes casualties and risks their lives on a daily basis to keep the extremists from hijacking their religion. Yes Americans died at the hands of these extremists but it is only a fraction of the deaths that moderate Muslims face on a daily basis.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:14 pm |
    • frd

      Paulie,

      If a KKK leader was in favor of constructing a christian church, would that then make you opposed to building the church and opposed to Christianity?

      August 25, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
    • Max Vanguard

      Well, by Mr. Bloomberg's logic, we should build a Pastafarian church on the other side of the wall from the shrine in Mecca. It's only fair. That way, Pastafarians can worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster freely in the lovely, tolerant Saudi Arabian culture and sing kum-bay-yah with all of those tolerent, peaceful Muslims next door. The world is such a lovely place, isn't it?

      As soon as Bloomberg and his supporters come back down from la-la land, let me know. I cannot wait for the reality to set in for them regarding what this "cultural center" is going to promote from within its walls. It won't be a message of peace and understanding, I can assure you of that.

      And for the record, for all of you pansie apologist lefties that keep calling my side of the debate "fear mongering", please be advised that I don't fear Islam. I simply loathe it and refuse to capitulate to its demands like you cowards do. There's a big difference.

      The question is not whether they CAN build the mosque at this location. Nobody is arguing the Constitutionality of this matter. The question is whether they SHOULD. The liberal left keeps waving the Constitution in everyone's faces and equating the opposition's arguments with arguments against the Constitution. This is not the case. If Muslims are so peace-loving and tolerant, then perhaps they should show a little bit of this supposed tolerance and understanding and choose a location elsewhere to construct their mosque. Clearly, they have no interest in doing so. Once again, it's Islam's way or the highway. I'm sick of catering to every whim of Islam. You should be too. The establishment of the Cordoba House flies in the face of freedom of religion because Islam does not allow freedom of religion. In their minds, it is THE religion and can accept no other.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
    • Skip

      Are you kidding me..... give me my AMERICA BACK..... why do WE (TRUE AMERICANS) have to put up with this kind of crap. They are in OUR COUNTRY, YES I SAID IT, OUR COUNTRY, DO AS WE DO.... or go back where you came from.... WE HAVE MADE IT TOO EASY FOR PEOPLE TO COME AND LIVE IN AMERICA AND NOW THEY WANT TO CHANGE OUR AMERICA!!!

      August 25, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
    • Sam

      @skip,

      So I assume you're fluent in the various Native American languages? After all, your ancestors took this land from them, so act like them, or leave, stop trying to change their America.

      By the way, what makes it YOUR America? This country was built by people of all races and religion. I know this may shock you, but Muslims fought and died for America in the Revolutionary War. They've been just as much a part of America as Christians and Jews. Even Thomas Jefferson recognized that.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:46 pm |
    • Rob

      This is not "YOUR AMERICA" chief. In case you missed it, you lost the election, you know...that democracy thing you keep talking about. Statements like that are basically advocating the overthrow of democratically elected leaders and replacing them with your own, which is uh..not freedom and democracy. For someone who hates socialism so much that is kind of ironic as the only places you find that sort of behavior are socialist dictatorships.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
    • Guest

      So we're supposed to believe that all Muslims are terrorists like Hamas? Well, ok... but according to this logic, all Christians rape children.

      August 25, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
    • Melora

      The mosque center isn't about religious freedom, as the developer of the mosque said there are already TWO MOSQUES IN THAT LOCATION, so there isn't a need for one. The center is something entirely different. The developer said the center is to be HUGE and to attract muslims from all over the world. In other words, the mosque center is about advancing Islam and nothing more. Bloomberg is entirely lost to the real purpose of the mosque. He needs to re-read what the developer actually said.

      August 25, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
    • NYer

      @skip

      You may want to sit down for this: American is not owned by you. Or anyone.

      America, at its very core, is made of diverse cultures and beliefs. If you're looking for the type of country that oppresses speech and religion, you may want to consider one of the fine communist options available to you.

      August 25, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
    • Bangu

      STILL I DONOT UNDERSTAND – WHY ANY MUSLIM HAS COME OUT TO CONDEMN 9/11 OR 26/11 IN INDIA? WHY ANY FATWA HAS BEEN ISSUED AGAINST TERORRISTS, IF THIS RELIGION IS FOR "TOLERANCE"? WHY AT ALL ANY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD WHERE MUSLIMS HAVE MOSQUES IS NOT AT PEACE? WHY IS THIS RELIGION FULL OF RADICALS AS COMPARED TO ANY OTHER RELIGION? WHY IS NONE IS OFFERING PAKISTAN FLOOD RELIEF HELP FROM USLIM COUNTRIES WHEREAS ALL THE HELP HAS COME FROM US/UK AND INDIA..FOR YR INFO – ALL ARE "INFIDELS" IN MUSLIM WORLD !!!

      August 25, 2010 at 3:02 pm |
    • smcgov

      if that's fear-mongering, why don't you fly over to Baghdad and walk around the neighborhood for an hour and see what happens. That's the diff between us and them that you libs don't seem to get. We're human and all similarities end there. These people have been indoctrinated into Islam since age 4, it's the largest part of who they are. You'll never understand

      August 25, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
  20. g

    Well, I guesss there aren't enough meds in the world.

    August 25, 2010 at 11:36 am |
    • Joe G

      Bloomberg really impresses me. He should make a run at the presidency.

      To stand up for what's good and right in the face of overwhelming political backlash shows his true character.

      August 25, 2010 at 11:50 am |
    • somerandomguy

      Bloomberg has shown a lot of leadership on this, he should run for President. Sadly, there are a lot of bigots who fail to see his literary talent, and think he literally means that you all are muslims. Just goes to show your idiocy.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
    • ab

      idiots like usmc1 gives true marines a bad name

      August 25, 2010 at 12:23 pm |
    • Kevin Banks

      If anyone things building a mosque at Ground Zero will make Muslims like and respect us I have a bridge I would like to sell.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
    • steve

      Is Bloomberg trying to gain favor with the Muslim world in an effort to expand his business empire?

      August 25, 2010 at 12:38 pm |
    • Guest

      @steve
      and so what if he is, money makes the world go 'round

      August 25, 2010 at 12:48 pm |
    • Corey

      We all can learn a lesson from what Bloomberg said. We are tearing ourselves apart discriminating against Muslims. Don't forget that our ancestors who came to this land in colonial time were fleeing religious persecution in Europe. Now we are turning our backs on the very principles that founded our nation by saying that because they are different from us they cannot build a house of worship. Be like Bloomberg, take the road less traveled, be above the fray.

      August 25, 2010 at 12:48 pm |
    • free2comment

      @Kevin Banks
      You are sooo behind the times and I am sooo late for dinner.
      Apageinthelifeblogspotcom 'The Secret of Min' try to understand it and then figure out where you been

      August 25, 2010 at 12:50 pm |
    • Dan

      timeout T... here is the $100,000,000.00 question WHY TWO BLOCKS AWAY... WHY SO CLOSE TO GROUND ZERO.. What is the signifance of that location.. forget about the baseless remarks and political BS. JUST ANSWER THE DARN QUESTION. CAN SOMEBODY ANSWER THAT QUESTION.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:04 pm |
    • Jesse

      To Kevin Banks it is not a matter of getting anyone to like or respect us. It is a matter of us walking the talk. We say our way is better, if we don't stand by it even when it seems painfull then we have lied to ourselves and the whole world. We have said that our way is best, because we include everyone and respect their rights and ideas as well. We deserve nothing if we back down now.
      There were times during the dark ages, when our ancestors didn't respect rights, ideas, and ideals. The muslims did then. Now we claim to and alot of the muslim countries out there don't. We have to stand by freedom and not just pay it lip service. At the same time we should hold this group to their word and demand that they use this building to promote peace and freedom to their community and the world. Because in the end they are in America and that's how we do things here. We make you walk the walk. We expect you to live up to your promises because we'll go a thousand miles for peace, but if you don't like peace, we can oblige you with that too.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
    • KAD

      This "Community Center" that they want to build at ground zero is a disgrace to this nation. Personally, I am appalled at the audacity and sheer lack of compassion that these pro community center people have on those that lost their lives and their families. You all should be terribly ashamed of yourselves for even considering this idea. I can say that this is one idea that people in this nation have come up with that brings shame on our entire nation. Disgraceful!!!!!!!!!

      August 25, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
    • Joe

      Conservatives think their rights to hate are being violated and their rights to spread fear are being compromised.
      My bet is the first thing they would do when in power would be to put all that in our Constitution.

      Make note of their hatred falks, before is too late!

      August 25, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
    • David

      Just heard a New York taxi cap driver was stabbed after a passenger asked if he was a Muslim. Welcome to the real threat. It isn't the Islamic community center but the hate filled pyscopaths we already have in this country. I can't believe that a country that leads the world in Murders and violent crimes has the audacity to even try to scapegoat a religion and accuse it of being violent. Americans we should be ashamed.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
    • David

      @Kad.. What you seem to not be able to grasp is that people can support a principle but not agree with the cause. You obviously are a person that is ruled by emotion. I am sure you would have thrived in the era of Witch Hunts. But this is the era of law and reason. While I am sympathetic to the people that died in the World Trade center, I value more the Constitution and specifically the first amendment. It is easy for a society to spout the first amendment and being the land of the free but it is a whole other thing to practice it. More often than not this means listening and accepting things that you may not agree with.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
    • Rise above

      To Dan:
      Because they already have a center there. They are rebuilding it on the same spot.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
    • Bing/NY

      It is disgusting that the politicians doe'nt listen and are sensitive to the peoples feelings that put them in power. Muslims are trying to take over world dominations. They topple down the Worldtrade Center so they could build there mosque is a sign of their victory . It will be a grim reminder to those people who lost their love ones, every time they go there, the proud building of worship of people is smiling at them. Bloomberg is thinking of the muslimds feelings but not of the victims families. He should be in the muslims country not here.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
    • Spence

      The important thing is, while condemning bigotry and intolerance, that we are not being hyrpocrites in weighing the issue here. Bloomberg seemed to have been sincere in what was said, and I applaud him for it.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
    • cyuno

      America should be the light of tolerance and compassion in the world, and not give in to bigotry xenophobia and hatred.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:32 pm |
    • Bret H

      The only place in New york city that is off limits to any religion is the place our children are suppose to learn, our SCHOOLS!!!!!!! That is the shame!!

      August 25, 2010 at 1:43 pm |
    • Caleb

      When Catholics are able to build a huge cathedral next to Mecca than the Muslim center can be built next to 9/11

      August 25, 2010 at 1:44 pm |
    • Laura C

      NOWHERE in the article does Bloomburg say, to quote your headline, "We are all Muslims." What he says is "we in New York are Jews and Christians and Muslims, and we always have been." OF course CNN would extract and spin a part of the quote to grab readers and put Bloomburg in a bad light. Nice going "journalists."

      August 25, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
    • Mike

      While the spirit of Bloomberg's presentation exemplified admirable leadership,it was completely irresponsible and inciteful for the author Stephen Prothero at CNN.com to produce the headline "NYC Bloomberg: We are all Muslims", knowing full well that the headlines would be controversial. Bloomberg's comments weren't controversial, they were simple and inclusive. Moreover, they were pretty much not his – either. While attemping to break down barriers by highlighting the story, the author has attempted to stir debate where none existed.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
    • Melora

      I understand what Bloomberg is trying to say, though he is WRONG. The mosque center isn't going to be an interfaith center. The developer himself said it is to attract THOUSANDS OF MUSLIMS FROM AROUND THE WORLD to the center. In other words, its goal is to spread Islam and celebrate Islam. This isn't about religious freedom, as the developer also admitted that there are already TWO mosques in that location that serve the community. No, this is about a lack of respect to all who died on 9-11. Bloomberg has his eyes closed to the real reason a mosque center is going there.

      August 25, 2010 at 2:16 pm |
    • Jewbuoy

      were 1 to support the supposition that there might be a god... may we not suppose different people "see" god "differently??? Did the 13 colonies leave mother England because of... taxation... & RELIGIOUS FREEDOM??? Then...
      here's to religious freedom... FOR ALL!!!

      August 25, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
    • iowajoe

      This is for Bret H,

      Public schools are precisely where religion should not be taught, unless in a comparative religions class. Separation of church and state is one of the most reasoned components of our countries founding documents. We may need to strengthen it against potential creeping Sharia law and of course against all of the other ideologies that think a theocracy might work. It never has and never will, except maybe in heaven. You'll have to ask god and satan how well that worked last time.

      August 25, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
    • jonathan

      @ Dan two blocks away is two blocks...now it would be different if it were on the very site itself..but two blocks aways is where a lot of other public places are no complaints about them?? please be decent and reasonable..

      August 25, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
    • Responder

      To Caleb and other compalining about the lack of mosques in Mecca. The Vatican does not allow any mosques in Vatican City as well.

      Other than this ignorance what amazes me is the message that we should all behave like the Saudi's? Maybe you are all Saudi's in your heart...I don't know (not that there's anything wrong with being a Saudi).

      August 25, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
    • jgriff

      Speak for yourself, Bloomberg! I'm no Muslim, and I'm smart enough to know when my country has had war declared against it!

      August 25, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
    • Richard Anderson

      You liberal morons SO love being lead around by the nose by your leaders. You are kowtowing weaklings who don't seem to realize there is a World-wide Jihad going on, and no amount of your CRAVEN appeasement will end it. Grow up, as Churchill said to liberals.

      August 25, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
    • NYer

      @Dan : how many blocks is sufficent, if not 2? 4 maybe? 8? 16? None? Who gets to decide what is a "comfortable" distance? (hint: if you don't live in NYC, you're not the answer).

      August 25, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
    • Nacho1

      A Jewish Muslim? Am going to vomit!

      August 25, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
    • frogman

      Bloomberg might be a muslim but not me. Bloomberg is ignorant of the reality of Islam. There were three stories just this morning on this website about muslim atrocities. Everyday, somewhere in the world muslims are killing someone. Fear and hate are not always bad things. Savagery, brutality and ignorance and oppression should be hated and feared and they are the corner stones of Islam.

      August 25, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
    • ScottK

      The Monsters are coming to Maples St (or Ground Zero)...

      "The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices, to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill, and suspicion can destroy, and the thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own: for the children, and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is that these things cannot be confined to the Twilight Zone." Rod Serling – 1960

      It was true then, its still true today. I hope someday the ignorant fearmongering masses grow up or evolve past this shameful period in American history.

      August 25, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
    • aubrie

      Speak for yourself Bloomberg!!! You're in the minority on this issue.....

      August 25, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
    • Nacho1

      Oh no! Someone stuck a dagger in my matza ball!

      August 25, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
    • Lisa

      Um, what Bloomberg actually said was "let me declare that we in New York are Jews and Christians and Muslims, and we always have been. He did NOT say "we are all muslims."
      How extremely misleading.

      August 25, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
    • Mike

      Great! If we're all Muslums, then there are no Infidels. So that nulifies the policy of Death to all Infidels.

      August 25, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
    • JDemolay

      Not all muslins are bad, but the extrememists and provocationists will be met with resistance and fire. We respect all others a long as they respect us. With NYC and 9/11 you shown lack of respect and willingness to preach by the sword. So with swords we will meet you.
      Build your mosque there and you will unify the hatred and reignite the fears in the heart of many and escalate the zealotry on all sides.

      August 25, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
    • chic

      "we are all muslims."

      No, we're not!

      August 25, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
    • Guest

      To everyone who states, that once a Catholic Church can be built in Mecca than they can build a mosque in New York City, I dont understand how you do not see the problems with this argument. We are in America, where other countries decisions do not matter. There was a time when the USA by people like yourself who left England to practice whatever faith they wanted since they were being persecuted.

      It is ok to disagree with the mosque, but to say the following comment of only if a church is built next to Mecca is stupid. I never would want to base our decisions on other countries for I truly feel we are most morally accepting.

      August 25, 2010 at 9:18 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.