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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. Marie

    Chris R,

    The BIG difference is that Christians believe that Jesus is God (not another prophet) and part of the Trinity. Also, the spreading of salvation beyond the Jews began when Jesus was still very much on earth, by Jesus who sent out his disciples. Check out the New Testament, not just what others have written about it. Here are also some words of Jesus from Luke 13:29 "and they will come from east and from north and south, and will recline at the table of the kingdom of God." (i.e., not just Jews) Dig deeper to find what this really means.

    P.S. CNN headlines are ridiculous. Doesn't the Publications Editor write the headlines??

    August 25, 2010 at 12:24 pm |
    • Chris R

      I understand what this means but in no way do I believe that any serious theologian could argue that Jews, Christians, and Msulims worship different gods. As secure as you are in your faith that Christ is the Word made flesh there are tens of millions of Jews that are convinced that you are mistaken. Along with 1.5 billion Muslims that respect Jesus deeply as a prophet but reject the idea of him being God. Along with these people you'd also have to include all of the Jehovah's Witnesses, Latter Day Saints, and Unitarians who also reject in whole or part the idea of the Trinity.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
    • Say What?????

      When did Jesus become God??? I am a christian, I follow the teachings of Christ, but you will not catch me comitting blasphomy!!! Jesus is Jesus. God is God. 2 separate entities. One is the father. One is the son. I pray in Jesus' name, but I do not pray to Jesus. Praying to someone other than God would be blasphomy. Jesus praid to God. Jesus did not pray to Jesus.

      "Thou shalt have no other God before me" – God wrote that... Not Jesus.

      If you believe in the "holy trinity", then you're not really a christian. Just a blind and fake christian who bought into worldy creations. I do understand the concept of the trinity, but let's be realistic... who made that up??? There is a lot of ignorance in this world, but if you can read the ten commandments – and they are very simple and straightforward – and know what they mean and convey then 1) the concept of the trinity goes out the window and 2) this entire debate about the building of the mosque goes oput the window as well because God instructed us "Love thy neighbor".

      August 25, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
  2. RearViewMirror

    Hey Jeff E,

    Stay out of the Kitchen (America) if you cannot stand the heat.

    August 25, 2010 at 12:24 pm |
  3. name doesn't matter

    Would Bloomberg be welcomed to Mecca as a newest peacemaker? I don't think so.

    August 25, 2010 at 12:23 pm |
    • rivirivi

      Only if he starts a movement and gets approved and is there for the inauguration party of the following "community centers" to be built in Mecca: for the Catholic Church, for the Christians, for the Buddhists and for the Hindus. Let's DO IT, HOW WONDERFUL!

      August 25, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
  4. Justin

    In Rauf's quote, he fails to mention Christ when talking about what it means to be a Christian. No gospel, no Christianity. Believe me when I say all these faiths are not the same and if you are not in Christ, you are not saved.

    August 25, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
  5. Larry B

    Political suicide, what were you thinking Mr Bloomberg.

    August 25, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
  6. RearViewMirror

    Hey BossMan114,

    Please help stop another Inquisition. Beside, you sound very UnAmerican since you contradict our Founding Fathers.

    August 25, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
  7. AKEEM JABIL

    YOU DON'T NEED ALL THESE CRAMPS. ISLAM IS HERE TO STAY. IF YOU ARE TIRED OF MUSLIM, TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.

    August 25, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
    • irememberseptII

      I want to ask you a question; since you are a muslim man, maybe you can answer this, why do you discriminate against women? Why do you hate women so much that you are willing to mutilate their God given bodies? What gives you the right to do that? Just because you are a man? Isn't that intolerant of you?

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

        You have it all wrong, let's start with this but there are much more arguments that will enlighten you on the subject matter. We muslims don't call our women : Bitches, hores...and the majority of muslim women actually have the choice to choose to wear the veil ( if you go to a Catholic church women are asked to wear the veil....nuns are fully covered...even Marry the mother of Jesus used to cover and that is because these women know they are diamonds and you have to really deserve her to be able to see more and that is only gonna be her husband, and parents...If you have a precious and very expensive diamond in your possession don't tell me you would leave it outside of your house but you would leave your trash outside of your house...same thing with women especially and by the way this apply to men as well in Islam....A woman actually is the queen of her household, and when they are so aware of their status within her community, as more like a mother, she is committed to her husband , kids and parents exclusively ...she is busy taking care of her loved ones and enjoys it and happy so why you ask her to show you her cleavage if she doesn't think you deserve her....Muslim women are not any different than all women, they only like to wear the veil and not show their beauty to you...what? are you married to her to ask for seduction ???
        It's today's society that made women as toys for men, they are called bitches, they are asked to show more and more, and the more they show they called the coolest but they are never happy because of all the cheating, the non trusting issues etc...Women in Islam are happy because they are committed to their families and their husband the same....THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS...JUST LIKE THERE IS SNOOP DOG WHO TALK CRAP ABOUT WOMEN THERE ARE EXTREMISTS WHO HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH ISLAM WHO ABUSE WOMEN....but just check out your local newspaper and count how many rapes happen in your town you will get an idea ...or go to BET or MTV and was for yourself how women are treated.....
        Women in Islam have it all...they don't even have to work if they don't want to....and the child support laws for example are ....man...in Islam....those are the good laws....cuz women are covered no matter what ...because they are the jewelry and gold a man can have if he keeps himself straight and persevere for the sake of his family....Imagine all women find their princes that won't cheat and will do whatever to please them...that's the picture....

        you get your info from hate websites and FOX NEWS, it's like saying you are sick and consult a mechanic and not a doctor that could advise you better on how to get better. Same thing here, if you wanna know , then READ the KORAN and seek knowledge about something and not just assume nonsense...

        August 25, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
      • KeplerPoinsot

        hi irememberseptII. I'm a Muslim man, so I'd thought I'd answer your question. I'm a 3rd generation American Muslim. My wife is a doctor. I met her in high school when I was in a band and she was a nerd. Arthritis in my hands means I cannot play bass anymore, but she is still a nerd. I work from home and take care of our son while she goes and and earns the real $.

        I've never raised my voice to her, let alone touch her in violence, mostly because I fear that with her medical knowledge she knows how to kill me in my sleep and to make it appear natural. I think you may have been talking about how some African Muslims have a practice involving removing the clitoris? This is a cultural practice that predates Islam in the area (Much like how Christmas is actually a pagan winter festival predating Christ (pbuh)). My point is that many people seem to be simplifying/confusing what a Muslim is and is not. You only come across as sadly ignorant and scared when you talk this way.

        August 25, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
    • Michael, Chapel Hill

      It is the same sentiment that majority is against!

      August 25, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  8. Pastor Evans

    It's absolutely crazy and full of arrogance and pride for some Politician to speak on the behalf of the people. We are not all Muslims. I'm a Kingdom man who knows his GOD personally! For him to say this just goes to show the ignorance of so many American so-called leaders!!!

    August 25, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
    • SC

      Try reading the article, the title does not state what Bloomberg actually said.

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

      Ironic. Your statement that polititians are arrogant for presuming to speak for the people...yet you presume to know the mind of god and speak about what is the true faith/religion

      August 25, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
    • Guest

      @Pastor Evan;

      If I ever made your acquaintence I Don't Recall.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:47 pm |
    • Say What?????

      Personally, huh? You and God go out for drinks every now and then? Does Jesus come along to? How do you decide who the designated driver is? I'm just saying...

      And FYI... a muslim is a person that submits himself to God... that makes all those who believe in God (Jews and Christians alike) MUSLIMS!!!

      August 25, 2010 at 2:07 pm |
    • Abudu Mukarram

      Pastor Evans, Muslim is an Arabic word that means one who submits his or herself to Allah (SWT), God or submits to do the Will of Allah. So by definition if you are in the English language defined as a believer who has submitted to do the Will of God; in the Arabic you in one short word would be called a Muslim. I can't make it anymore simpler than that. Then again you might be a Southern Baptist and I don't have any pictures.

      August 25, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
    • HotCoffee

      And your reply just shows your generally inability to read.

      August 25, 2010 at 3:09 pm |
  9. Billy

    "Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the world pray to the same God..."
    Yes, this is true if you look at the holy writings and traditions of these faiths – but in 2010 it's "My God can beat up your god"
    Catholics, Baptists, Hasidim Jews, Reform Jews, Sunni and Shia Muslims all have their own "personal" gods now – I know there have always been religious splits, but in our Instant Communication world it's easier than ever to divide people by stirring up emotions.

    August 25, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
  10. Ce Williamson

    What he said is Politically Correct,-if you like to feel good, but this man is very confused. Muslims, Jews, and Christians believe in different gods. That is why they are different religions.

    August 25, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
    • Chris R

      You do know that Jesus was a Jew right? Do you also understand that the Old Testament was written by and for Jews? You also know that Jesus was only preaching to the Jews right? So when Jesus refers to god he is referring to the Jewish God. Muslims also revere the Bible as a holy book. They also see Moses and Jesus as two of the greatest prophets. What you are saying makes no sense whatsoever and must come from a lack of education about Christianity. Try reading the Bible and thinking about what it means. It will open your eyes.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
    • marciah

      Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are all Abrahamic religions – meaning they ALL trace their roots back to Abraham. These three monotheistic religions have more in common than any other faiths in the world. The idea that they each worship a different God is ridiculous.

      August 25, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
  11. Scott G

    Bloomberg is a bloomin idiot

    August 25, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
  12. Zephram

    "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."

    Maybe there should be. Funny to see talk about freedom intermixed with freedom-limiting religion!

    August 25, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
  13. Jeff E

    They are all just trying to appease the money bags in the world (at the cost of their souls). There is absolutely no way "we can all get along"

    August 25, 2010 at 12:19 pm |
    • Victory Gin

      "Jeff E
      There is absolutely no way "we can all get along"

      Only because of people like you, nimrod.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
  14. Patty

    KORAN commands to kill infidels:

    Allah is an enemy to unbelievers. – Sura 2:98

    On unbelievers is the curse of Allah. – Sura 2:161

    Slay them wherever ye find them and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. – 2:191

    Fight against them until idolatry is no more and Allah's religion reigns supreme. (different translation: ) Fight them until there is no persecution and the religion is God's entirely. – Sura 2:193 and 8:39

    Fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it. – 2:216
    (different translation: ) Prescribed for you is fighting, though it is hateful to you.

    ..... martyrs.... Enter heaven – Surah 3:140-43

    If you should die or be killed in the cause of Allah, His mercy and forgiveness would surely be better than all they riches they amass. If you should die or be killed, before Him you shall all be gathered. – 3:157-8

    You must not think that those who were slain in the cause of Allah are dead. They are alive, and well-provided for by their Lord. – Surah 3:169-71

    Let those fight in the cause of God who sell the life of this world for the hereafter. To him who fights in the cause of God, whether he is slain or victorious, soon we shall give him a great reward. – Surah 4:74

    Those who believe fight in the cause of God, and those who reject faith fight in the cause of evil. – 4:76

    But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever you find them. – 4:89

    Therefore, we stirred among them enmity and hatred, which shall endure till the Day of Resurrection, when Allah will declare to them all that they have done. – 5:14

    O believers, take not Jews and Christians as friends; they are friends of each other. Those of you who make them his friends is one of them. God does not guide an unjust people. – 5:54

    Make war on them until idolatry is no more and Allah's religion reigns supreme – 8:39

    O Prophet! Exhort the believers to fight. If there are 20 steadfast men among you, they shall vanquish 200; and if there are a hundred, they shall rout a thousand unbelievers, for they are devoid of understanding. – 8:65

    It is not for any Prophet to have captives until he has made slaughter in the land. – 8:67

    Allah will humble the unbelievers. Allah and His apostle are free from obligations to idol-worshipers. Proclaim a woeful punishment to the unbelievers. – 9:2-3

    When the sacred months are over, slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. – 9:5

    Believers! Know that idolators are unclean. – 9:28

    Fight those who believe neither in God nor the Last Day, nor what has been forbidden by God and his messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, even if they are People of the Book, until they pay the tribute and have been humbled. – 9:29 (another source: ) The unbelievers are impure and their abode is hell. (another source: ) Humiliate the non-Muslims to such an extent that they surrender and pay tribute.

    Whether unarmed or well-equipped, march on and fight for the cause of Allah, with your wealth and your persons. – 9:41

    O Prophet! Make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites. Be harsh with them. Their ultimate abode is hell, a hapless journey's end. – 9:73

    Allah has purchased of their faithful lives and worldly goods, and in return has promised them the Garden. They will fight for His cause, kill and be killed. – 9:111

    Fight unbelievers who are near to you. 9:123 (different translation:
    Believers! Make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Let them find harshness in you. (another source: ) Ye who believe! Murder those of the disbelievers....

    As for those who are slain in the cause of Allah, He will not allow their works to perish. He will vouchsafe them guidance and ennoble their state; He will admit them to the Paradise He has made known to them. – 10:4-15

    Allah has cursed the unbelievers and proposed for them a blazing hell. – 33:60

    Unbelievers are enemies of Allah and they will roast in hell. – 41:14

    When you meet the unbelievers, smite their necks, then when you have made wide slaughter among them, tie fast the bonds, then set them free, either by grace or ransom, until the war lays down its burdens. – 47:4
    (different translation: ) When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield, strike off their heads, and when you have laid them low, bind your captives firmly.

    Those who are slain in the way of Allah – he will never let their deeds be lost. Soon will he guide them and improve their condition, and admit them to the Garden, which he has announced for them. – 47:5

    Muslims are harsh against the unbelievers, merciful to one another. – 48:25

    Muhammad is Allah's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another. Through them, Allah seeks to enrage the unbelievers. – 48:29

    Prophet! Make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal sternly with them. Hell shall be their home, evil their fate. – 66:9

    The unbelievers among the People of the Book and the pagans shall burn forever in the fire of hell. They are the vilest of all creatures. – 98:51

    Fight them so that Allah may punish them at your hands, and put them to shame. (verse cited in Newsweek 2/11/02)

    ---

    KORAN promises of houris in heaven:

    Single-minded slaves of Allah... will be honored in the Gardens of delight, on couches facing one another; A cup from a gushing spring is brought round for them, white, delicious to the drinkers, wherein there is no headache nor are they made mad thereby. And with them are those of modest gaze, with lovely eyes, pure as they were hidden eggs. – Surah 37:40-49

    Lo, for those who ward off evil is a happy journey's end, Gardens of Eden, whereof the gates are opened for the, wherein, reclining, they call for plenteous fruit and cool drink therein. And with them are those of modest gaze, companions. This it is that ye are promised for the Day of Reckoning. – 38:50-54

    Lo! Those who kept their duty will be in a place secure, amid gardens and water-springs, attired in silk and silk embroidery, facing one another.... And we shall wed them unto fair ones with wide, lovely eyes. They call therein for every fruit in safety. They taste not death therein, save the first death. And He hath saved them from the doom of hell, a bounty from thy Lord. That is the supreme triumph. – 44:51-57

    Lo! Those who kept their duty dwell in gardens and delight... reclining on ranged couches. And we wed them unto fair ones with wide, lovely eyes... and we provide them with fruit and meat such as they desire.... – 52:17-22

    ...Reclining upon couches lined with silk brocade, the fruit of both the gardens near to hand.... Therein are those of modest gaze, whom neither man nor jinni will have touched before them.... – 55:54-56

    Those are they who will be brought nigh, in gardens of delight... reclining therein face to face. There wait on them immortal youths... and fair ones with wide, lovely eyes, like unto hidden pearls, reward for what they used to do.... Lo! We have created them a creation, and made them virgins, lovers, friends. – 56:11-37
    (Different translation) Companions with beautiful, big and lustrous eyes... virgin-pure and undefiled.

    --–

    August 25, 2010 at 12:19 pm |
    • Chaiah

      When's the last time your read the Christian Bible or the "Old Testament?" If I recall correctly, and I am absolutely certain I do, G-d not only condoned but ordered the killings of many, many innocent people. When's the last time you used that against Judaism or Christianity? Oh, yeah, you haven't. I guess it's different when it's "your" G-d, right?

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

      Parry

      read the phrases in the context they were written you are taking lines out without reading the lines before them and after them

      For example chapter 2:190 to 2-193 talks about defending yourself against someone who oppresses you persecutes your people..... Its not about arbitrarily fighting unbeliveres..... Read the whole koran so you can get your facts straight

      [2.190] And fight in the way of Allah with those who fight with you, and do not exceed the limits, surely Allah does not love those who exceed the limits.
      [2.191] And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers.
      [2.192] But if they desist, then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
      [2.193] And fight with them until there is no persecution, and religion should be only for Allah, but if they desist, then there should be no hostility except against the oppressors

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

      If you kids cannot play nice with your toy super-heroes, someone is going to have to step in and take them away from ALL of you.

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

      JJ expressed my thoughts at least in part. Since I don't have a Koran and have never read one, I couldn't tell about your "quoted statements", but my first thought was that they may have been taken out of context. We see people do this frequently with the Holy Bible. When quotes are taken OUT OF CONTEXT often the original idea is twisted so it can no longer be recognized and may speak an opposite. I do think your post was extremely lengthy and as a professional transcriptionist, I wondered if you had actually typed all of that (trying to do it without error) or did you just copy and paste from another source?

      I am so sorry that America is becoming a country where many of the leaders preach the Gospel of FEAR. As President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, THE ONLY THING WE HAVE TO FEAR IS FEAR ITSELF. We need to stand up in the face of FEAR and tell them that WE REFUSE TO ALLOW FEAR TO DEFEAT US! Stand strong in your faith, mine happens to be Christian and it is the right one for me, but I can't force it on any other, it is by our own free will that we choose which (if any) faith to embrace as our own.

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

      Patti, I FOUND YOUR COPY AND PASTE – for anyone interested, it can be found at http://www.wvinter.net/~haught/Koran.html. Interesting that no source of this text is referenced.

      August 25, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
    • mak

      ahaaahahahaaa... Grandma, thank you so much for finding the source, and for finding that there is no source there...lmao ... I really wonder what Patty is thinking? Was she thinking? Does she really know what she is talking about? Is there a lot of people like Patty? And how many ignorant people are affected by what Patty said!!!

      August 25, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
  15. Richard

    I am NOT a muslim. The current attitude of appeasement will not satisfy Muslim radicals/terrorists. It didn't work with Hitler and it won't work with them.

    "To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last – but eat you he will."
    Ronald Reagan

    August 25, 2010 at 12:19 pm |
  16. DM

    bloomberg zindabad~!

    August 25, 2010 at 12:19 pm |
  17. rabb

    Another poiticiian thinking about the almighty dollar....If this mosque is built there is gonna be hell to pay...trust me...just don't build the thing.

    August 25, 2010 at 12:19 pm |
  18. common sense

    Actually, Chris R, Jesus preached to any who were willing to hear – "he that hath ears to hear, let him hear" (Matthew 11:15). For example, He healed the Greek woman's young daughter in Mark 7. Couple that with Jesus commanding the disciples to go out and teach all nations in Matthew 28, you're off-base. And to address your next point, Jehovah and Allah god are not the same – either talk to a Muslim person yourself to prove it from their perspective, or simply look at John 14:6 (where Jesus said "I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me") for evidence from the Christian perspective.

    August 25, 2010 at 12:19 pm |
    • Chris R

      Common Sense,

      Form the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia: "The notion of Allah in Arabic theology is substantially the same as that of God among the Jews, and also among the Christians, with the exception of the Trinity, which is positively excluded in the Koran, cxii: "Say God, is one God, the eternal God, he begetteth not, neither is he begotten and there is not any one like unto him."

      The Jews also reject Jesus as a divine being and reject the idea of the Trinity. Are you going to argue that Jews don't worship the same god we do?

      August 25, 2010 at 1:04 pm |
  19. alex

    Everyone is whining about Ground zero mosque....its predates the towers...its been there all this time
    No one said a word since 9/11. Why now i wonder?

    August 25, 2010 at 12:18 pm |
  20. Juliana

    Did Bloomberg fall on his head or what? Is that supposed to be a JFK moment with the "Ich bin ein Berliner" statement which translates to I am a jelly donut. Maybe Bloomberg is saying he is a jelly donut. Anyway, I'm not a Muslim now or ever will be. Bloomberg must not be a Jew. But he sure is a fraud. I hope NYC cleans house. Does he not understand that site IS ground zero. The muslims are using this as a tribute to that murderer Atta.

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

      "Ich bin ein Berliner" does not translate into "I am a jelly donut."
      "Ein" is the equivalent of English's "a". The German language does not use "a" to describe nationality. The phrase "Ich bin ein Berliner" was not a gaffe because it translates to "I am a jelly donut" (which it doesn't), but because the phrase was grammatically incorrect. It should have been "Ich bin Berliner," which means, "I am a Berliner." A "Berliner" is a person who is from Berlin. Same as if I were to say "I am an Evansvillian" for my city of Evansville.
      So yes, Mr. Prothero was accurate in saying Bloomberg's statements were an echo of JFK's "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech.

      But really, if you had ever heard or read JFK's "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech, you would have known this from the context.

      August 25, 2010 at 8:14 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.