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September 7th, 2010
09:41 PM ET

What would you ask the imam behind the Islamic center near ground zero?

CNN has secured an exclusive interview with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf , the man behind the proposed Islamic center near New York's ground zero. We want you to help generate the questions we ask.

The live interview happens Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET on a special edition of "Larry King Live."

Before his editorial in the New York Times was published online Tuesday night, Rauf had said virtually nothing to the news media since the controversy over his project erupted this summer - even after President Obama himself weighed in. The imam has been out of the country for the last month or so.

Now that he's finally talking, what would you ask him?

Let us know by uploading a video question via CNN iReport. At least one of the questions we receive will make it into the interview. [Note: We are only looking for VIDEO questions; feel free to comment below as always, but any questions entered in the comments section will NOT be used on air.]

Here are a couple of questions that I hope get asked:

Leaders of the proposed Islamic center in Lower Manhattan say the project is intended to improve relations between Muslims and the rest of the country. So far though, it has had the opposite effect. Has the project already failed in that regard?

You've been touring the Middle East on behalf of the State Department these last few weeks... What did you tell those Muslims abroad who say that opposition to your proposed Islamic Center is proof that the United States is at war with Islam?

OK, your turn.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

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

soundoff (602 Responses)
  1. tati

    Why do you insist on building your mosque there? Even if you have a legal right to do that, you know that it is offensive to a lot of people. Why insist? Don't you understand that you just spreading hate for your religion – unless this is what you really want?

    September 7, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
    • # 1 American Ignorant

      In the remembrance of 60 or so Muslims that died for the their country while working in WTC.

      September 7, 2010 at 8:11 pm |
  2. J

    How do you feel about Fox News, a news station which is owned by a company you have the second largest stake in, paints you as a terrorist funder?

    September 7, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  3. Stephen Pierson

    Would you publicly declare, at for example a press conference, Islamic terrorism in general, the 9/11 attacks in particular, and sharia?

    September 7, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  4. George

    We hear that Muslims are taught to lie to the infidel to gain entry to his lands until you are strong enough to overcome him, and then you kill him if he does not convert to Islam; what are your thoughts on this?

    September 7, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
    • Mobius007

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQQCFGPRsqw&fs=1&hl=en_US]

      September 7, 2010 at 7:41 pm |
    • ru

      George, it is sad to see the misconception so widespread throughout and media flaring it further. What you have mentioned is baseless allegation

      September 7, 2010 at 8:12 pm |
    • AJ

      Where did you hear this? Who told you this? Who is spreading the misinformation that "The Qur'an instructs Muslims to lie about their beliefs to non-Muslims"?

      September 7, 2010 at 8:14 pm |
    • JS

      Oh I see .. Is that the reason , why Prophet Muhammad PBUH granted amnesty to all Meccans when Mecca fell . These were the very same people who had tortured the prophet and killed many of his relatives including his beloved uncle Hamzah RA ??

      Alphonse de LaMartaine in 'Historie de la Turquie,' Paris, 1854.

      "Never has a man set for himself, voluntarily or involuntarily, a more sublime aim, since this aim was superhuman; to subvert superstitions which had been imposed between man and his Creator, to render God unto man and man unto God; to restore the rational and sacred idea of divinity amidst the chaos of the material and disfigured gods of idolatry, then existing. Never has a man undertaken a work so far beyond human power with so feeble means, for he (Muhammad) had in the conception as well as in the execution of such a great design, no other instrument than himself and no other aid except a handful of men living in a corner of the desert. Finally, never has a man accomplished such a huge and lasting revolution in the world, because in less than two centuries after its appearance, Islam, in faith and in arms, reigned over the whole of Arabia, and conquered, in God's name, Persia Khorasan, Transoxania, Western India, Syria, Egypt, Abyssinia, all the known continent of Northern Africa, numerous islands of the Mediterranean Sea, Spain, and part of Gaul.
      "If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astonishing results are the three criteria of a human genius, who could dare compare any great man in history with Muhammad? The most famous men created arms, laws, and empires only. They founded, if anything at all, no more than material powers which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man moved not only armies, legislations, empires, peoples, dynasties, but millions of men in one-third of the then inhabited world; and more than that, he moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and the souls.

      September 8, 2010 at 12:56 am |
  5. Nate

    READ THE ARTICLE:

    [Note: We are only looking for VIDEO questions; feel free to comment below as always, but any questions entered in the comments section will NOT be used on air.]

    September 7, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
    • Mike

      Good. Very few of these keyboard warriors would have to stones to put their questions into video.

      September 7, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      THAT is certain. Personally, I'll not waste my time sending video to CNN, I'll probably take a day trip up to NYC and meet him in person after Eid.
      At least THEN we could have tea together.

      September 7, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
  6. readthink1

    can you please explain how peaceful Islam is

    September 7, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  7. Sean

    Why do you refuse to condem hamas?!

    September 7, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
    • # 1 American Ignorant

      And why America refuse to condemn Israel?!

      September 7, 2010 at 8:09 pm |
    • Samuel Dijk

      When did Israel send suicide bombers to blow civilians up on buses?

      September 8, 2010 at 12:25 am |
  8. Dane

    Why dont you give this money to Pakistan for the affected people instead of building a mosque in NY? Why are you spending this much of money?

    September 7, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
    • William

      Very good question.

      September 7, 2010 at 7:45 pm |
    • A Different John

      There's 800,000 Muslims in NYC and 200 mosques. Do the math. They need more places to worship.

      September 8, 2010 at 11:05 am |
  9. Chris M

    Would you consider making it an interfaith community center instead of specifically a Muslim community center?

    September 7, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  10. George

    Am I an infidel because I am not a Muslim?

    September 7, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
    • captain planet

      no – islam does not say that either –

      September 7, 2010 at 8:29 pm |
    • Elizabeth

      of course you are – you are not a Muslim, therefore you do not follow the teachings of the Koran so you are an infidel. Christians, Jews, Hindus, Atheists ALL NON followers of Muhammad, therefore infidels. Convert or die

      September 7, 2010 at 8:46 pm |
    • A Different John

      Elizabeth, you have no idea what you're talking about. Islam is fine with Jews, Christians, and any other monotheist. It's in the Quran:
      “Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve.”[2:62]
      "Many of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) wish that if they could turn you away as disbelievers after you have believed, out of envy from their ownselves, even after the truth (that Muhammed محمّد is Allâh's Messenger) has become manifest unto them. But forgive and overlook, till Allâh brings His Command. Verily Allâh is Able to do all things." [2:109]

      Christians and Jews are considered "ahl-i-ketahb", people of the book (the bible).

      Now, as a pagan, I am a genuine infidel polytheist. I fall under Dar al-Harb, the people Islam is supposed to make war against. But Christianity and Judaism also teach "suffer not a witch to live", so I figure I've got no allies on any side, and preserving religious freedom for *everyone* in the US, regardless of whether or not I agree with them, is in my best interests.

      September 8, 2010 at 11:04 am |
  11. Sean

    Why do you refuse to condemn hamas?!!

    September 7, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
    • readthink1

      The Iman is an Iman not a politician question him about his religion not about his politics

      September 7, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
    • Samuel Dijk

      But Hamas is not just a political party. They blow people up.

      September 8, 2010 at 12:23 am |
  12. Ramon F. Herrera

    "For the last month or so, the imam has been out of the country."

    I thought CNN was "The World News Leader" with journalists all over the map...

    September 7, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
    • George

      Bravo to you my man. Very astute perception. We need more people like you.

      September 7, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
  13. Rob

    Why, when Paterson and Bloomberg offered to look for alternative locations, was that option not explored?

    September 7, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  14. Peter F

    Why?

    September 7, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  15. Jeff B.

    The Muslim community has been very vocal about their right to place Park51 where it wants. Can you tell us why moderate Muslims have not been nearly as vocal against Islamic fundamentalists ?

    September 7, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
    • Mike

      Funny, I don't see too many Christians speaking out against Westboro Baptist Church or that psycho in Florida.

      September 7, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
    • Rumi

      We *have* been and long before most other Americans became aware of the threat from abroad. I work my ass off as a scientist, trying to ensure America's technological and scientific superiority and am too busy to make lame youtube videos, or run around in the streets. I write essays. I talk to my friends and my neighbors but above all: I realize that Americans must continue to work hard and work honestly to ensure a safe, successful future for ourselves and those to follow. I am a born-and-raised American. I am a Muslim. Do you really want me to make useless youtube videos or keep trying to cure a form of breast cancer?

      September 7, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
    • Xugos

      Most American muslims have not been vocal about this at all.

      September 7, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Funny, I was deployed in the Persian Gulf region for nearly 5 years. *I* heard moderate Muslims speak out against militant Islam quite often, even on CNN.
      HOW is it that YOU couldn't hear the same broadcast that I heard?
      WHY is it that the intolerant Wahabi Muslims of Qatar had the State of Qatar sponsor and build a number of Christian churches, to include a Roman Catholic church? Domestic violence was forbidden in Qatar. Women NOT required to wear hijab if they didn't wish to. AND women were allowed to drive in Qatar. That is so CRAZY intolerant!

      September 7, 2010 at 7:37 pm |
    • #1 American Ignorant

      Isn't enough evidence for you that many Muslim countries agreed to fight terror along side America. Many Muslims are dying in Pakistan because of drone attacks. Many have died in Iraq.

      September 7, 2010 at 8:00 pm |
    • Pierre Alexes, Westmount, Qc - Canada

      You have used the term "moderate muslims". Can you describe to me what is a "moderate muslim"? I see and hear that term so often but without any explanation. FYI, "mohamedan", islam, islamist, muslim, moderate muslim, muslim extremist, radical muslim, muslim fundamentalist, etc., are all synonymous; they follow the precepts of their so-called "holy" koran. Read it. I warn you it has to be one of the most boring, yawning experience, not to mention the violence, the hatred, the doom promised to all unbelievers. Incidentally, the koran as it appears today is a "put together" by the third Caliph, Otman, years after muhammed's death. Consequently, the schisms that followed. Do your own research.

      September 7, 2010 at 8:12 pm |
    • John

      That "psycho" in Florida isn't slitting throats or hanging homosexuals!

      September 7, 2010 at 8:54 pm |
    • Sid

      You haven't noticed probably because people don't identify themselves by religion while speaking out against terrorists...

      September 8, 2010 at 12:01 am |
  16. Ramon F. Herrera

    The New York Times wrote that you have promised that the center will have a board with representatives from all faiths. Please do not forget that promise!

    -Ramon F. Herrera
    Houston, TX

    September 7, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
    • William

      The Qur'an tells the believer to lie to the non-believer.

      September 7, 2010 at 7:40 pm |
    • M&M

      Wonder if they will include the atheist and the agnostic, the homosexuals and all the other people they deem unworthy?

      September 7, 2010 at 8:45 pm |
  17. the_dbs

    Isn't he on the FBI's 10 most wanted list?

    September 7, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Yep, he is. He's Sooooo wanted, he was asked by the State Department to represent them AND he flew in and out of the country without the systems raising an alert.
      Dude, aren't you on the least likely to breed list?

      September 7, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
    • Xugos

      Are you kidding? How can CNN know where he is and the FBI? Use logic.

      September 7, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  18. Mike

    Should Isral be wiped off the the map.

    September 7, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
    • Steve

      learn to spell

      September 7, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      You're right. It SHOULD be wiped off of the map. The word Israel should be there.

      September 7, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
    • Shariq

      Mike and Wzrd1: I am just curious, do you guys think that all Palestinians, or for that matter all Muslims, should be wiped off the face of the earth?

      September 7, 2010 at 7:37 pm |
    • MH

      is that a rhetorical question, Mike? Obviously, the state of Israel was created illegally by displacing 100,000s of the land's natives, and, obviously, the whole state should be abolished...

      There should just be a middle eastern state neither Jewish nor Arab.

      September 7, 2010 at 8:13 pm |
    • dlb

      MH so where the native americans you dont see them killing people.Get over it whats done is done

      September 7, 2010 at 9:14 pm |
    • Brian Macker

      MH,

      The Israelis didn't displace the Palestinians. That's a myth. Both populations grew and Jews were there 2000 years before Mohammad invented his violent religion. It's the Palestinians who are like the racists settlers and the Jews were the displaced natives, who are now returning because of racism in Europe, and in all the other Islamic countries. The tiny populations of Jews that survived into the 18th and 19th centuries in Islamic countries has be ejected en mass. The much larger populations of Jews that were in Europe were in murdered in large quantities by a socialist ideology, Nazis. Jews who escaped Islamic intolerance over the millenia only found death at the hands of the Nazis.

      Now they don't trust non-Jews to govern them and I don't blame them. Especially with people like you to invent lies.

      The Jews purchased all the land that they got before the Arabs tried to exterminate them. Both Jewish and Muslim populations were rising with the influx of Jews, Jewish capital, and Jewish know-how.

      But Islamic bigotry got the best of many of the Palestinians and they left when the ARAB countries told them to clear out so that genocide would be easier. Now Israel will not let them back in. The Arabs that stayed got to keep all their property and have more citizenship rights in Israel than Muslims have in their own countries. Plus they set up a fund to compensate any Arab who had evacuated to allow the attempted genocide. All they need do is prove that they had title to the land and they will get compensated.

      On the other hand Islamic countries forcibly ejected most of their Jews via persecution and stole all their stuff. They had no where to go but Israel. Israel took them in no matter what their nationality or ethnicity. Black jews were as welcome as white.

      Meanwhile NONE of the Islamic countries with VAST territories would take any of the Palestinians. They locked them up in refugee camps.

      Now Israel has made peace concession after peace concession and yet the Palestinians still publicly hold as a stated goal the extermination of Israel and therefore the Jews. Why exactly should Israel let a bunch of Islamo-Nazis into their country. The majority of Palestinians have voted for terrorist parties again and again, and publicly genocidal ones. Why exactly should they be trusted?

      Yet you think the Jews are the problem. Why? Because you are likely an anti-semite too.

      September 8, 2010 at 9:17 am |
    • Abdullah

      yes.

      September 8, 2010 at 10:45 am |
    • MJ

      Only in your dreams, it is the chosen land. Try harder now

      September 8, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  19. Umar

    Can you tell us a bit about where the money for this project is coming from? Also, can you state unequivocally that none of it is coming from individuals or groups associated with the Wahhabi regime in Saudi Arabia?

    September 7, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
    • JBwebtv.com

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/23/stewart-fox-prince-alwaleed_n_692234.html

      also go to jbwebtv.com

      September 7, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
    • Mike

      Even if he told you, would you believe him?

      September 7, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
    • #1 American Ignorant

      And all the petroleum to the United State and Europe comes from wife beater Wahhabis and terrorist middle east. Bush is the among one of the lead business partner with them.

      September 7, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
    • captain planet

      even fox news has some of its money and ownership coming from saudi arabia – that alone doesn't mean much

      September 7, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
    • M&M

      This trip was paid for by the U.S. State Department aka American Tax Dollars. Americans paid for his trip!

      September 7, 2010 at 8:41 pm |
    • rs1201

      I'm sure he won't answer that question. Anyway, we know what the answer is...he's intent on building a center of terrorism in the center of America's most important city and actually the most important city in the world...too bad he's going to be allowed to do so...

      September 7, 2010 at 9:09 pm |
    • mike

      I don't understand why people are scared from donation's from saudi arabia when the US keep borrowing money from saudi arabia, president bush danced with their king while holding hands with him, President Obama bowed to him, so much of the money in our us banks come from saudi investors, loans, mortgages being sold to saudi investors, and yet if they give some money for a mosque it is not acceptable.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:17 pm |
    • Blessed Geek

      Are you getting money from the same people as former President Bush did for his political campaigns, from those who sponsored the radicalization of Islam world-wide?

      Will you be diverting funds to sponsor the Taliban as Reagan did? Will be laundering Iranian money by covertly selling them American restricted goods and divert those funds to sponsor terrorism in South America? Will you sponsor Iraqi politicians like Chalabi who betray the safety of American soldiers.

      Will rent out your parsonage to rich Chinese and Middle-eastern tourists and selling your access to American politicians to them to finance your building campaign? Will you be helping Chinese and Middle-eastern agents to influence American politics
      in exchange for funds for your campaign?

      September 7, 2010 at 9:45 pm |
    • muchogroucho

      Watch this about the wolf in sheeps clothing Imam feisel the Rat:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1fq6TsUUDU



      September 8, 2010 at 9:29 am |
  20. Sal

    Do you fear for your safety?

    September 7, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
    • markglicken

      Call me a bigot or a racist if you will, but I see the look of hatred in that mans eyes.

      September 7, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
    • Mark B

      Mark g, I don't see that at all. Using your interpretation of 'hatred in someone's eyes' is not only damaging, but it subjects the country to the whims of individuals.

      September 7, 2010 at 7:57 pm |
    • Johnny

      Don't fall for this fraud. Just do a background check on these guys. They are building a shrine for their "great" religion. If America lets this happen we are doomed. This is a total smack in the face of this nation and if we had a real President, he would do everything in his power to stop this travesty. It is time for this nation to rise up against such insolence. And any of you mamby pambies out there think this mosque is for good, enjoy being a sheep before they slaughter you. There are 3k people within 2 blocks of this site that were killed in the name of Islam! If these so called "moderates" don't see this as being insenstive, then they are not moderates. Honor the dead and do whatever it takes to prevent this from happenning!!!!!!!!!

      September 7, 2010 at 8:06 pm |
    • Martin Korvak

      Mark g – you're not rascist or a bigot, you're ignorant. If you knew any Muslims or people from the Middle East, you would get over your fear.

      September 7, 2010 at 8:08 pm |
    • markglicken

      Martin: I am from the Middle East.

      September 7, 2010 at 8:19 pm |
    • markglicken

      So, Mark B, I am not entitled to consider looks in sizing up a potential adversary? Is that no longer politically correct?

      September 7, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
    • Liberal

      I'm a liberal and I don't trust them. We need to keep both eyes open at all times. We have way too many examples from history. They have historically faked people out to get a foot in the door and then eventually took over wherever they could. I really believe they have an underlying plan to outnumber and take over eventually. And no, I don't watch Fox News! I just call 'em like I see 'em.

      September 7, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
    • Charlie

      When your cultural center is built, how long do you think it will stay standing?

      September 7, 2010 at 8:44 pm |
    • JDY007

      This man looks like he wants to eat children for lunch....Look at his eyes..,EVIL.

      September 7, 2010 at 8:45 pm |
    • Shariq

      Mark G: Thanks for allowing me to call you a bigot and a racist. You sir are one indeed.

      Liberal: History covers a very long time. You could write many volumes about evil and cruel things done by any major religion over the last thousand years. Heck, I have only been married for about a dozen years, but if my wife decided to write about all the wrong things I've ever done (which I'm sure she could), she could write a volume just as big. However, I would like to think I have done at least as much good as I have done bad. In the case of religion, I wouldn't trust the history books you read too much. History of conflicts has always been written by the victors of such conflicts, and then both sides their own sides of the story anyway. I have studied history in both the Muslim world and in America. The facts in the books depend on where they came from. I believe that the truth is mostly lost, and what remains is usually an average of cases being presented from both sides. You say you call it as you see it. I request you to look again. I live in Georgia and work in a very right-winged conservative office. I have been a close friend with most of the people here and they talk to me openly about these matters. Half of the people claim to have changed their minds and views about Muslims after years of knowing me. Others claim to be my friends too and believe I am good, but consider me to have abnormal views for a Muslim. To them I keep saying I am one of big centrist majority whose voice always gets drowned by the endless chatter and screams of the left and right extremes in the Muslims world. Sound familiar?

      September 7, 2010 at 8:57 pm |
    • susan

      okay, markglicken - You are clearly a bigot and racist.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:00 pm |
    • markglicken

      Shariq: You have done a volume worth of wrong things in ten years and you believe that it is offset by an equal amount of good? The world does not work one way. A million good deeds cannot make up for the 9-11 attacks or the Oklahoma City bombing.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:00 pm |
    • markglicken

      Susan, you have never made an initial impression based on the look on ones face? You are a liar.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:02 pm |
    • Cedar rapids

      'and if we had a real President, he would do everything in his power to stop this travesty.'
      Oh and what do you expect the president to do or even be able to do?

      September 7, 2010 at 9:04 pm |
    • Obelisk

      Educate yourselves before you spout off. The following is not my own writing and the writer deserves all credit, it is used here merely to help educate those who are very misinformed: "By opposing the mosque they are helping the terrorists that is the irony I have to point to. The cultural center is Hamas's, Al Qaeda's and Hezbollahs biggest enemy since the spread of moderate Islam and spreading knowledge of the truth about Islam would injure these terrorists. The very fact that there is a controversy is ridiculous. The people who suffered that terrible day in 9/11 should hope that something like this never happens to any else ever again. It is by supporting moderate Islam that you would be able to do this not by opposing moderate Islam. Al Qaeda has shown its hatred towards moderate Islam by bombing a Sufi mosque during prayer. Fareed Zakara points this out perfectly on CNN." Taken from theyoungturks dot com political blog. Do a google search for the site, find the article, also find the corresponding article here on CNN which was mentioned and READ and maybe you won't come off like a complete arrogant and selfish fool in your next postings. Before you point the finger and say I am supporting it, no I do not support the location but I DO support their rights, and no I am not a muslim. I'm just disgusted by all of the blind hatred and ignorance.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:14 pm |
    • markglicken

      In the name of diversity, I see the same look in the eyes of Rahm Emanuel, who is of a different religion than the good Imam.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:18 pm |
    • Naor

      I enjoyed your first two questions listed at the end of the article. An additional question I would like asked would be this:

      If Islam is the religion of peace it so claims itself to be, than why couldn't Muslims have protested 9/11 like they did the Danish Cartoonist's depiction of Mohammad? After the cartoons were published, there were mass riots across Europe and the Middle East. Tens of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands the world over) of Muslims took to the streets to protest what they claimed was "a defamation of Islam" by the Danish Cartoonist's drawing of Mohammad. They claimed it was "Against the teachings of Islam". Yet people still claim that what happened on 9/11, where Radical Islamic terrorists ran planes into the Twin Towers, were also against the teachings of Islam. They too, said that Muslims committing terrorism in the name of Islam was also "Against the teachings of Islam." So my question to the imam would be this. If both the Danish cartoons and 9/11 were considered "defamation of Islam", where were the Muslims protesting across the globe after 9/11? If they mustered tens of thousands to protest a cartoon's defamation of Islam, why could they not muster the same numbers globally to protest what happened on 9/11? Surly if Islam is a religion of peace, than Islamic terrorists murdering in the name of Islam is a much graver offense or "defamation" of Islam than a cartoon? While condemnations were there by Muslim organizations, where were the numbers in the streets? Why can Muslims so easily protest against a cartoon, yet they can not match said enthusiasm in protesting 9/11?

      I know the wording is a little bit weird, but I will leave the semantics down to you (since you ARE the journalist here!). How you word it is not important, however I would very much like to see how this imam answers the basic concept of this question.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:22 pm |
    • Shariq

      Mark G:

      1. I forgot to make the bed this morning like she asked me to before she left for work (she leaves before I do).
      2. I was late for a meeting and was driving fast to work. If I would have gotten another ticket, she wouldn't have been a happy camper.
      3. I called my sister and I think I have sort of committed to us going to visit her in NC without asking my wife first.
      4. I am sitting in my office at 9:15 arguing with people who I know have their minds set and nothing I can say or do can change that. She has cooked supper and is probably waiting for me.

      My wife could add these four items just from today into that journal if she wanted. She wouldn't because she see the good in me (or she wouldn't still be with me after 12 years of such mistakes). I am the one who looks at myself in a more critical way, feels guilty about these things and hopes that I would do better tomorrow. I think if we all looked at our own faults a little more than other's, this world would be a better place.

      Now, I know that my list above does not include any major sins but I was just trying to make a point. Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, or people who claimed themselves to be from one of these religions have committed all kinds of attrocities and evil-doing. I could make lists of names from any one of these religions from a not so distant past, but that is not my point. Let me just say that I can hate Christians because Hitler was a Christian, or I can love Christians because Mother Terresa was a Christian.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:28 pm |
    • Rumm

      Am I wrong to describe this Islamic Center as another step in the anihilation of non-believer's?

      – The problem is I can't believe your answer because its ok to lie to the infidels when it serves the greater purpose of Koran.
      – The Koran is clear in its more radical later passages taking precedence over earlier passages.
      – So in the end the jokes on America and the countries that allow freedom because we are the targets if this death march and our laws desgined to protect the minorities are the back door by which we will be ultimately chained to the insanity of Sharia.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:30 pm |
    • Shariq

      Naor: I think you have made some good points, but let me ask you a couple if you don't mind.

      You seem to have the passion that you say Muslims were lacking after 9/11. More than half a million innocent civilians have died in this US invasion of Iraq, that had nothing to do with 9/11, accomplished nothing but create sectarian violence that will cost just as many if not more lives over there of many civilian, women and children, before the country would either end up splitting up, or in the hands of Iran supported Shiites. Why don't I see even a fraction of rage against that as I do against the 3000 who died on 9/11? Where is your rage against the way prisoners were treated in Iraq, or how some were tortured in Cuba?

      Where is the passion about the countless dead in Darfur?

      I saw so much passion amongst fellow Americans to help the victims of Katrina, or even Haiti for that matter. Pakistan has been your biggest ally in this war against terror, more Pakistanis have died in the fight against Al-Qaeda/Taleban than anyone else. Taleban and Al-Qaeda are blowing up bombs every day that are killing many Pakistanis. A good part of Pakistan is under water right now, with millions homeless and many dead due to massive flooding. The magnitude of this calamity is bigger than Katrina and Haiti combined. Where is your passion to do something for those people?

      Isn't it true that you tend to care more when it's one of yours who is suffering?

      September 7, 2010 at 9:46 pm |
    • Naor

      Naor: I think you have made some good points, but let me ask you a couple if you don't mind.

      You seem to have the passion that you say Muslims were lacking after 9/11. More than half a million innocent civilians have died in this US invasion of Iraq, that had nothing to do with 9/11, accomplished nothing but create sectarian violence that will cost just as many if not more lives over there of many civilian, women and children, before the country would either end up splitting up, or in the hands of Iran supported Shiites. Why don't I see even a fraction of rage against that as I do against the 3000 who died on 9/11? Where is your rage against the way prisoners were treated in Iraq, or how some were tortured in Cuba?

      Where is the passion about the countless dead in Darfur?

      I saw so much passion amongst fellow Americans to help the victims of Katrina, or even Haiti for that matter. Pakistan has been your biggest ally in this war against terror, more Pakistanis have died in the fight against Al-Qaeda/Taleban than anyone else. Taleban and Al-Qaeda are blowing up bombs every day that are killing many Pakistanis. A good part of Pakistan is under water right now, with millions homeless and many dead due to massive flooding. The magnitude of this calamity is bigger than Katrina and Haiti combined. Where is your passion to do something for those people?

      Isn't it true that you tend to care more when it's one of yours who is suffering?

      I would be glad to respond to your questions. For the first one, as to my rage about the innocent civilians who have died in Iraq, believe me it is there. I of course regret every single one of their deaths. They were innocent souls who did not deserve such an end. However, with that said; I do believe we need to make the distinctions between them and the victims of 9/11. The victims who died in Iraq were not purposefully attacked, they were not purposefully murdered in the name of the United States. I respect the job our men and women in uniform did in doing their up most to minimize civilian casualties. Again, if I could change the past I myself would not have supported the war. It was a botched military campaign from the beginning, with bumbling mistakes of misjudgment and a casus belli that was never truly defined. However it is much easier to discuss in terms of retrospect than it is to have talked about this in the early 2000's. As for your other points of the war, I might agree with you on most. The idea of trying to force Democracy on a people who are so evidently against the idea, who's backwards mentality completely rejects it is a foolish idea. However there is a difference between anger here. The people in the Twin Towers were purposefully attacked by those radical fanatics, they had no military objective and they were not hunting down any US politician or general; with the civilian deaths being a undesired consequence. These people were PURPOSEFULLY murdered, and as such there is no room for discussion on this act of barbarism's illegitimacy. While the innocent deaths in Iraq were horrific, their deaths in and of themselves does not equate our armed forces with terrorists. For example, the German civilians who were killed when the Allies stormed Berlin; where they not innocent as well? However you will find many few people indeed who will argue that the allies were in the wrong during WWII. Point is, in war people die. That is the reality of this gruesome machine. Not only the guilty ones, but the innocent and neutral alike. These people were killed yes, for sure. But they were not intentionally murdered in the name of some radical ideology.

      As for the rest of your questions: I have done what little good I can for Pakistan. Like I did with Haiti, I have made a small contribution the UN relief effort in Pakistan as I did with Haiti. It may not be much, but it is something. Regardless of what you may believe, I do feel for these people. However, because I do not have the capacity as of the moment to help these people (i am still a minor) in a way that truly matters (i.e getting on the ground and lending a much need set of feet, I have done what little I can for them. And I will ask a few questions to you in return. Do you recognize that Americans have been some of the most generous of people in times of crisis to help not only victims of Katrina, but those of Haiti and to assist in other efforts across the globe? Very few countries on earth have provided the aid that the US has to other countries. And where are the Arab governments in all this? Doubtless with their almost infinite amount of money they receive from the gold that flows under their ground they could contribute to help their fellow Arabs? Just today I read an article about another group of people preparing an armada of flotillas to send to Gaza because they believe the Palestinians in Gaza are suffering. I simply ask when are the countless aid flotillas leaving Islamic countries to arrive at the shores of Pakistan? If these people are truly interested in aiding the suffering, surly they can see that the Pakistanis are suffering from infinitely worse conditions than the Palestinians? Is it possible that these people aren't interested in helping others? Can there primary motive be political and not humanitarian? And like you pointed out, why do Muslims riot in the streets when they are angered over the innocent deaths of Muslims at the hands of Americans or Israelis? Why have I not seen any protests in Muslim countries denouncing the genocides and massacres by Muslims on Muslims in Africa? Muslims are slaughtered everyday in Africa, yet I see no flag burnings in Islamic countries? Maybe the issue doesn't lie in caring more about our own people's suffering, maybe the issue lies in the fact that people don't truly care about the actual deaths themselves. Maybe they just care about who is doing the killing?

      September 7, 2010 at 11:28 pm |
    • Bob

      Look, I read a lot of the entries. There was some academic give and take on each side of the issue. I offer another opinion shared by the majority of americans on this issue. It requires no justification, it only requires the power to implement it.
      1. No Community Center/Mosque at this location. Period.
      2. To all muslims, we are not afraid of you, we just don't like you or your religion. Period.
      3. The history of our nation is based on fight wars, either to take from others or the liberate others if we have a common purpose. Fighting is in our DNA. We lose thousand of warriors but the people of perpetrator nations, lose millions.
      4. We did not ask 19 you highly educated muslim, 15 from Saudi Arabia, to go on a suicide mission and bring down the twin towers. We did not ask Japan to conduct a sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. We did not ask Hitler to exterminate 6 million Jews and 20-25 million Poles, Russians, etc. What we did do after these mosquito bites was wreak havoc on the peoples of the perpetrators. I sure would not like to have lived in Hiroshima or Nagasaki. I would not like to have been a citizen of Dresden or Tokyo during the fire bombings. I would not have liked being a normal citizen of Iraq and Afghanistan after we invaded. So you kill a few thousand of our you brave warriors, we kill 100-1000 times more.
      5. Did you see CNN's Fareed Zakaria interview the british born (arabic background) Jihadi Iman leader. Fareed is a great interviewer, but he became so frustrated with this idiot (I mean everything coming out of his mouth were either lies or non-factual even regarding general basic historical facts. He had to end the interview because the guy's brain was so screwed.
      5. No Sharia Law ever in the US. – Islam is incompatible with Christianity and is incompatible with Judaism.
      6. Yes, the people against this Center are average americans from all walks of life and from non-educated to the highest levels of education. Call us intolerant, you are right. Call us Islamophobic, you are right.
      7. See you on the battle grounds. By the way, our President's choice of the US represenative to the muslim world, does look evil and he appears to be embolden by the response he got during his US tax payer visit to the middle east recently.
      8. You really have a mistaken idea of the power of the US President. He is a representative of the people and right now the majority of the people don't like him very much, especially after the Iftar dinner.

      September 7, 2010 at 11:40 pm |
    • Jemes

      Pisslamic principle of Taqiya: Fool or hoodwink or lie to the infidels if the infidels are large in number. Smile at them, but curse them in your heart. Infidels can't be friends, but pretend to be their friends for security. – bomb-making manual

      September 8, 2010 at 12:13 am |
    • imamuslim

      I can brand american christian as of same faith of hitler and hes their idol..but no when its hitler hes a german not a christian but when its osama hes a muslim not a saudi arabian..all these ppl had never even had talked or been a friend to a muslim person..they full with media brainwashed..and driven by emotions..modern day crusade...i think every american who dont like muslims shud just go out n pull the trigger in thei head..so you would be proud of that and tell your future childrens of ya connection to hitler and common faith with him.

      September 8, 2010 at 12:54 am |
    • Joy

      Who in the is hell Imam?

      September 8, 2010 at 8:45 am |
    • Billy Cottone

      Maybe it's me...but what about the rights of Americans? Why are we always made to look like the bad guys? Wake-up World the times have changed.

      September 8, 2010 at 9:10 am |
    • Stephen

      Good morning all,

      I got to work just like a normal wednesday opened up my browser and loaded cnn.com for news only to find people bickering over religion. To start off I am not opposed to muslims or islam at all, I have bunch of friends who are middle easterners and I enjoy their company. That being said I can understand why a majority of people oppose the idea of the Imam.

      1. 9/11 happened because Osama used Islam as his tool of violence.
      2. It did not have anything to do with peaceful muslims in america.
      3. Since it was jehadi action in nature, it was pretty darn obvious every normal human being would develop a great deal of negativity towards islam. People who say that they did not are ignorant. Although this negativity has gone down over years.
      4. Because the attack was jehadi in nature..building a mosque or a community center does not make sense to most people. To some it may seem like okay.. so they attacked us and now we are building something for the religion that was used in the attack...instead of building something majestic like the twin towers back.
      5. Think for a second about the thousands of relatives of people that died in the incident, put yourself in their shoes and think for once if building a mosque or community center would help atall.
      6. The humongous outcry is logical for people. No one is gonna oppose a mosque or any islamic community center elsewhere but on ground zero...its a whole different story because it is directly linked to the emotions of thousands.
      7. Some people were talking about Pakistan being US's biggest ally in war against terror and stuff. I beg to differ, in reality pakistan only is still in a working state because of us and how much US gives to that country. I am sure US and Nato could have done just fine without the support of its so called biggest ally pakistan. They cant even control the terrorists in their own land..how are they gonna help a foreign country. Not to mention our tax money is going to building pakistan... Sorry I totally disagree with everyone there. India and Pakistan got independence around the same time if I am not mistaken and just take a look where India is and where Pakistan is. It says a lot.
      8. Islam is 700 years younger than christianity and I can see its going through the same phase and christianity and crusades etc, but you have to agree that rest of the world has already moved beyond dark ages and middle east needs to do so too.

      Anyways I gotta get back to work so peace.

      September 8, 2010 at 9:18 am |
    • Ron

      If it is ok to put an islamic center up, then it must be ok for me to open a Pork Store next door or a Victoria's Secret across the street. No harm intented just but the meaning is the same.

      September 8, 2010 at 9:22 am |
    • Ron

      If it is ok to put an islamic center up, then it must be ok for me to open a Pork Store next door or a Victoria's Secret across the street. No harm intented but the meaning is the same.

      September 8, 2010 at 9:24 am |
    • muchogroucho

      Imam: why do you lie so much?

      You tell us its all about multicuturalism you tell an islamic website in arabic you don;t believe in multiculturalism.

      You say its not a mosque and then remove any reference from the word mosque from your website. Will non muslims be allowed in your "prayer room?"

      you say its going to be like the 92nd st Y – will women and men be able to swim together?

      why did you say to your own congregates: "why are they so hostile, anyway their grandchildren will all be muslims?"

      does the koran say you can lie if it helps further islam? yes, its called tekiya.

      Watch friendly jihad on youtube for more info about this liar. come to the rally on sept 11 in lower manhattan.

      September 8, 2010 at 9:27 am |
    • Peter

      They should play this video and then ask Iman what he thinks?

      A video you should watch – NEW YORK CITY 2020??

      http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=RxFzFIDbKpg

      September 8, 2010 at 9:32 am |
    • John C

      Guys............let them build it and let's see what happens. But it's just a little too much to be talking about rights and the American way – when these people treat people like animals........women are not allowed to go to school, vote, drive.....go outside without being escorted or totally covered. I'm sorry – but why are so many Muslims now moving to the the good ole USA? If they hate us so much and consider us to be Satan and the great evil of the world – why put yourselves in the US? Just think about that point for a while. I am personally fed up with there fanatical and out of date view of the world......stoning people......punishing woman when they are raped......the elements of Sharia law......stay in your own part of the world – as this has no purpose in our society. I have Muslim friends and of course I am generalizing my points – but let's face the facts.......in every major Muslim area in the world – there is hatred and useless killing of innocent people......Indonesia, S. Thailand, Philippines, etc. Go ahead and bash the USA for their wars – but you won't see us televising the beheading of a person. Of course people will say this is only the work of extremists.......ok......well there seem to be a lot of them everywhere. I personally support the "Wildfire" initiative.....read the book by James Burke. The recent and increasing surge of Muslims in the US is quite unsettling for me and I am convinced that no good will come from it whatsoever.

      September 8, 2010 at 10:02 am |
    • Daisy Santiago

      I can NOT agree that building a mosque has no underlaying meaning. I'm sorry but the way I see it, If it wasn't there Pre-9/11 or damaged due to 9/11 then there is no need to build it now. No religious building e.g. Roman Catholic or Christian Churches, Synagogue, Buddhist temple absolutely nothing that signifies any denomination of faith or religion should NOW be built within that area. People of all walks of life and all kinds of religious backgrounds lost their lives on that day. In order to honor them we must avoid using this site and this day to bring up hated amongst one another. This is not in anyway a form of discrimination toward Muslims this is called common sense for ALL. I believe that just as we are coming upon the 9th anniversary of this tragedy we see it fit to continue to honor those lost by proposing the city of New York to pass a law that will NOT allow any construction of religious buildings within that area.

      September 8, 2010 at 10:05 am |
    • MC

      OK... as a non-racist New Yorker, Liberty Street resident (2 blocks from the WTC site) and American citizen, I would like to ask this imam why, if his purpose is to join us rather than fight us and bring us together and help to build religious tolerance, why then... is he fighting us? New Yorkers are not racists and we are very cultured and accepting. The reason we don't want a mosque next to the WTC site is pretty obvious to most. His stance has me, a friend to Muslims, wondering who he really is and why he is apparently trying to go against the wishes of a majority of Americans. Of course he can do what he wants, this is America, not some Muslim country... but show some class. I am the last person to have a problem with Muslims and I don't trust this guy at all. He is NOT joining us, he is FIGHTING us. We are NOT a city of intolerance.. their religion is.

      September 8, 2010 at 11:13 am |
    • Katherine

      Islam, like both Judaism and Christianity, springs from the same source: a single God, a chosen people. I would suggest that actually READING the Koran or the Bible rather than burning them might offer enlightenment. Blind hatred is based in ignorance.

      September 8, 2010 at 11:41 am |
    • Scott

      I would ask him, what would be the outcome if a group of Christians decided to build a christian church in Bagdad or Karachi right now?

      September 8, 2010 at 11:54 am |
    • cristian

      The building of this mosque is obviously a political statement rather tha anything else. Any reasonable group would look at this and reconsider given the protests coming from most of the families and many many other people. Any 'reasonable' group would say , ok, let's try a different location but Islam followers, as expected, would not budge....that says a lot. What about that small ortodox church that was distroyed at that location and still has to be rebuilt??? I gues that was not important enough cause it's christian.

      September 8, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
    • Victor

      I have a serious question here. Im not religious, so not trying to push one side or the other. However, the Iman says he is aware of all the people offended by this but he feels an obligation to do this as "the right thing" to promote freedom of worship among other things. Do you think he feels that the Florida church that wants to burn copies of the Koran on the 11th is under the same obligation to "do the right thing" and go through with it, even though it will offend so many people? Once again it seems like we impose double standards. But above and beyond that. its just a building, and its just a book with in on the pages that was printed in a factory. The existence or treatment of any of these physical objects is not worth exacting violence upon people.

      September 8, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
    • Edward Kanyon

      Wake up America! Islam is a religion of hatred. Do you all not read and watch the news? The pastor in Florida shouldn't burn Korans but it is okay to kidnap three contractors in Iraq torture and kill them, burn their bodies and hang them from a bridge? I guess so from what I read here. Oh, and let's not forget the beheadings. Pull one up on the internet and watch the whole thing and then tell me what you think. I support the pastor. Good for you. It is about time that messages were sent to this "religious" community. Do you know what muslims understand? Force that's what. Anything else to them is weakness. Imagine what we look like to these people. I would like to do something more to those korans before they are burned – can you guess? How about a few allah cartoons too? How about some allah urinal screens? Allah toilet paper? Allah tampons? Wake up America – the new crusade is here.

      September 8, 2010 at 12:39 pm |
    • Carolina

      If the message of Islam is supposedly "peace," why are you building a mosque in a location where you are deliberately upsetting and hurting so many New Yorkers in general, and also, so many of the 9/11 victims' family members? What kind of "peace" is it this?

      September 8, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
    • Lorrie

      I feel Imam Feisal is skirting around the conflict of just reconsidering the venue of this location. I firmly beleive there is a hidden agenda much more serious to all who are not Muslim and who are the radicals outside the U/S he refers too and who cares what they think.

      September 8, 2010 at 9:44 pm |
    • Michael

      I don't think the Imam can swing a hammer or poor concrete, who does he think he's going to hire to do the building? I don't think any construction worker in New York would build a victory shrine for him.

      September 13, 2010 at 10:24 am |
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About this blog

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.