September 8th, 2010
11:20 PM ET

5 surprises from Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf’s CNN interview

Five big surprises from Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf’s interview with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien on Wednesday night:

1. Rauf regrets locating the Islamic center near ground zero. “If I knew that this would happen, cause this kind of pain,” he said Wednesday night, “I wouldn’t have done it.”

2. Rauf says the reason he can’t move the Islamic center now is because of national security concerns, saying parts of the Muslim world would be violently inflamed at the news of the center’s relocation.

“The headlines in the Muslim world will be that Islam is under attack… (there’s) the danger of the radicals in the Muslim world to our national security, to the national security of our troops,” he said.

“If we do move,” Rauf continued, “it will strengthen the argument of the radicals to recruit, their ability to recruit, and their increasing aggression and violence against our country.”

"If this is not handled correctly, this crisis could become much bigger than the Danish cartoon crisis, which resulted in attacks on Danish embassies in various parts of the Muslim world,” Rauf said later. “…. If we don't handle this crisis correctly it could become something which could really become very, very, very dangerous indeed.”

It's a novel argument and was Rauf's central point tonight. Will most Americans buy it?

3. When news first broke about the proposed Islamic center near ground zero last December, there was no controversy around it.

“It was a front-page article in New York Times," Rauf told CNN, “and no one objected. This controversy only began in May, and it began as a result of some politicians who decided to use this for certain political purposes.”

I didn't know that.

4. The New York Islamic Center will include a memorial for those killed in the 9/11 attacks.

The Islamic center had announced this earlier, but I doubt most Americans knew about it.

5. Despite the raging controversy, Rauf sees the current moment as a historic opportunity for Muslims to think about their place in the United States and for the country to think about religious freedom.

There’s “a silver lining here,” he said. “It gives us an opportunity to speak about this subject in a manner that is sober, in a manner that is coherent. To look at what we are all about as Americans, to look at what it means to be Muslim in America. To look at how we are going to put back this genie of clash between the West and the Muslim world back into the bottle.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

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

soundoff (583 Responses)
  1. Aknico Charles Heidengren

    What are the American people so afraid of? National Security? C'mon! This is a center of peace not a center for terrorist to plot there schemes. just because BP messed up in the Gulf doesn't you will not let them build gas stations on that specific coast? Some one also said that it would be sensitive to the victims families. So are you saying when they walk by and see Muslims coming in and out of the center they are going to be scared and run and hide because in 2001 a group of people who look the same and worshiped the same god did something wrong? To me its just another way for people to be racist and its the same kind of naivety that I see every day when i go to the store or ride public transportation and a Caucasian woman grabs her purse because of the color of my skin and the way I wear my clothes. I would also feel very offended if i were Muslim and I would also feel that many extremist will take this and run with it as fuel for more terror. My name is Aknico Heidengren I am a 19 year old African American Man and I am outraged by the reaction of the families of the victims and the politicians for being so intolerant and harshly rude towards the Muslim community and this wonderful man in there bold act to bring many religions together as one in memorial for a tragic event. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

    September 9, 2010 at 12:01 am |
    • Ahmad Hosein

      what they mean is that this center will be insensitive to the IGNORANT family members of the 9/11 victims, who after all this have still no knowledge of Islam and the vast number of different Muslims that live across this planet.

      September 9, 2010 at 12:33 am |
  2. sim

    "[P]arts of the Muslim world would be violently inflamed? 1. Should that be in the future tense? 2. Why should we care about that? 3. Why is everything here numbered? I think we should build both towers exactly as they were before the attack; also we should double up on the mosque plan: put one on top of each tower.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:57 pm |
    • Laurie

      I'll get my hammer and nails and meet you in New York.

      September 9, 2010 at 3:27 am |
  3. islassoc

    What a joke. CNN has done everything in its power to play up to the Imman and encourage the location of this mosk at the heart of the WT Center disaster. They are part of the problem. Why did the interviewer not ask who was funding this deal and why now? CNN is in the bag again.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:56 pm |
    • Ash

      Soledad, did actually ask who was funding, and the project is not being funded yet

      September 9, 2010 at 1:03 am |
  4. Youth Voice

    I cannot believe how RACIST our country has become. What happened to our constitution? These people on CNN, they are right to grief for fallen family members, but revenge (yes, REVENGE! Don't deny it, this is how they are fighting against it, their excuses are based solely out of the event on 9/11) is turning us ALL into the Neo Nazis. Burning the Qu'ran? The Nazis burned the Torah! We wont be ANY different! world peace is more important than the revenge of the family members of the victims on 9/11 and the EXTREMISTS and NARCICISTS! They believe that the world should spin to their accord, and if we listen to them, not only will it strike outrage in the middle east, but muslims in the US would protest too! And when THat protest comes, you cant say that they are overrecting, because you ALSO protested!
    Not all Islams are terrorists (thats an OVER statement, almost NO Islams are terrorists). They will NOT take ovver the city. They will NOT use the mosk as a "base of operations" for terrorist attacks.Our Media is FILLED with EXTREMISTS!
    I believe that if this RELIGEOUS CENTER is built, our community will become more closely knit, our international relationships WILL improve, and we do not become what our founding fathers have written the constitution to protect us from.
    All men are created equal. That means YOU. ME. JEWS. CRISTIANS. ATHEISTS. ISLAMS. heck, you could add in UNITARIANS! PLEASE RETHINK YOUR ACTIONS.


    September 8, 2010 at 11:55 pm |
    • Youth Voice

      By the way everyone, I'm only 14..... If I have more sense than some of you RACIST NARCICIST FREAKS here, you might want to look at changing yyour life a bit.... maybe get a BRAIN IMPLANT or something along those lines..... RACISM IS NOT GONNA HELP YOU

      September 9, 2010 at 12:39 am |
      • General Dr Bad

        from the mouth of babe's,

        September 9, 2010 at 12:45 am |
        • The Raven

          Or dinosaurs (aka the unenlightened)

          September 9, 2010 at 1:22 am |
        • Guest

          Nevermore Nevermore, so where exactly DO these old dinosaurs keep coming from?

          September 9, 2010 at 1:25 am |
        • nomoregbldgk

          I could o' sworn I took care of that when I pushed the 'Dyno Stop' button AND I distictly remember having Ralph go down into the pit and engage the mamual Dyno Brake. So, where do these dynos keep coming at us from?

          September 9, 2010 at 3:27 am |
      • GI JOE

        I'm sorry we have failed you in a rounded education – liberal or conservative. Please as an American, strive to live your life with eyes open in al respects.

        September 9, 2010 at 12:55 am |
        • GI JOE


          September 9, 2010 at 1:04 am |
        • 2+2=5

          I love it!!! Just to really piss people off about their own stupidity, I tend to use the GI Joe quote, imagine? from a cartoon!!! more insightful than anything I've heard in the past 10 years. Simply that...."Learning, is half the battle" right? something along those lines? unfortunately, these kids idea of common sense is the terror alert. Ughh. Anyway have a good one.

          September 9, 2010 at 3:32 am |
      • Guest

        luv luv luv and that's why you get to inherit the Earth and the rest of'em get to die out as old geezers

        September 9, 2010 at 1:23 am |
        • Laurie

          You're certainly aware BOTH of you will die out as old geezers as well - assuming, of course, that complications from a less than hygienic body piercing or tattooing or text message sent at the wrong moment don't kill you prematurely.

          September 9, 2010 at 4:01 am |
        • foryouropinion


          September 9, 2010 at 8:44 am |
        • Reality

          Into the realm of free speech and some solutions: For the eyes of only new members:

          What drove the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon? The koran, Mohammed's book of death for all infidels and Muslim domination of the world by any means. Muslims must clean up this book removing said passages admitting that they are based on the Gabriel myth and therefore obviously the hallucinations and/or lies of Mohammed. Then we can talk about the safety and location of mosques and what is taught therein. Until then, no male Muslim can be trusted anytime or anywhere.

          The best solution:

          Recognizing the flaws, follies and frauds in the foundations of Islam, Judaism and Christianity by the "bowers", kneelers" and "pew peasants" will quickly converge these religions into some simple rules of life. No koran, bible, clerics, nuns, monks, imams, evangelicals, ayatollahs, rabbis, professors of religion or priests needed or desired. Ditto for houses and classes of "worthless worship" aka mosques, churches, basilicas, cathedrals, temples and synagogues.

          September 9, 2010 at 10:35 am |
        • Dave

          Pathetic interviewing by Soledad, most unprofessional one I have seen. Read this: http://leosigh.blogspot.com/2010/09/soledad-obrien-produces-most-biased.html

          September 9, 2010 at 10:52 am |
      • LV_nonanaon

        When you get about 30 years older, you will know that what you just said is not only wrong, but helps nobody but you feel better. Now, you seem smart, so go read the history of Lebanon and read about the current problems in France and England. Along the way, find out what Islam teaches about political systems and the life goals of a good Muslim. After all of that, consider this: you know nothing about the world, and from your chair today it looks like everyone is nice, kind and deserving of trust and tolerance, and you are very wrong when it comes to the Middle East. They want infidels like you and me to die.

        September 9, 2010 at 1:31 am |
        • matt

          I am a little older and have studied a little bit of history... Can we also please look at how the U.S. has tried to push democracy and western values? I don't think our track record is too great... Vietnam, N. Korea, Cuba and other south and central American countries, Iraq, Afghanistan... Success Russia and Germany.

          "you are very wrong when it comes to the Middle East. They want infidels like you and me to die." Yes there government and social system is different from ours that's why ours continues not to work... And how do you know did you have a nice conversation with them or were you told that????

          September 9, 2010 at 3:08 am |
        • nomoregbldgk

          matt, matt! it's ok, you woke up from mid dream when those pesky bed bugs bit u, go back to REM sleep now.

          September 9, 2010 at 3:29 am |
        • MS

          You need fact check:

          September 9, 2010 at 8:56 am |
        • Sam

          Racist and bigot slurs can be thrown around, but fact is there is a limit to tolerance, intolerance of hateful idelogy is a good thing. You happen to live in a free country, but you want open its gates to something that can harm the country and its future. But as long as it is not harming you right here right now, you could care less. It is such irresponsible people that compromise the safety and security of the rest of the citizens.

          September 9, 2010 at 3:57 am |
        • foryouropinion

          right on.

          September 9, 2010 at 8:43 am |
        • MS


          September 9, 2010 at 8:58 am |
      • DounSouthAmericanBoy

        Racist huh... that is getting old... you ate dirt until you were 10, so you really only have been alive for 4 years... you must be a man of the world... Visit a couple muslim countries & study American history, maybe evern serve your country, you little brat, then you can call people names... go hug a friggin tree!

        September 9, 2010 at 8:38 am |
    • Roo

      Little boy likes big words. And he uses them as an exercise for his growing frontal lobes. I liked his "No Muslims are terrorists" , not even those going to the mosk (which has become a rather delighful word, very close to musk and mosquitoes), but "Our media is full of terrorists". What a skewed vision of the world in these little frontal lobes. He still deserves an A for effort, and an F for naivety.

      January 14, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  5. Paul

    In the AC 360 episode after the interview, the construction worker and the woman who lost her brother in the 9/11 attack kept saying that it is insensitive to build a mosque near ground zero. I think this sentiment should be examined further, because, at least to me, it wasn't Islam that attacked America on that day, it was a small number of extremist Muslims. Similarly, when the abortion clinics were bombed, it wasn't Christianity that attacked abortion, it was a small number of extremist Christians.

    The fact that so many people have associated the attacks with Islam is a shame, because this only plays into the extremists' mindset that they are representing Islam. They do not represent Islam, and the disassociation between Islam and 9/11 must be hammered home at every possible turn. I am, frankly, quite shocked that AC doesn't push harder to question these people over their belief that Islam attacked us, and doesn't point out that this type of thinking is exactly what the extremists want.

    Furthermore, to the woman who lost her brother: You kept asking why it is that they *have* to build at this particular site. They don't *have* to build right there, but they want to build in the area because there are muslims that live in the area that want a place of worship. To turn the question, given how dearly you care for your brother, how would you feel about the mosque if you were Muslim? Wouldn't you want a place to go near ground zero to pray?

    I think the people against the mosque do a great disservice to America when the equate 9/11 with Islam. And, I'm going to add, that the moderate Muslims also do a great disservice to both America and Islam when they don't stand up and *pound* the table saying that what was done is pure evil, and that the US did nothing to desvere this attack.

    Muslims and non Muslims alike need to isolate extremism and unite in peace, which includes having a place to pray and blaming the extremists for the unjust violence that occurred on 9/11.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:55 pm |
    • Meg


      Thank you for your post. I have almost lost my hope in general public opinion of rationalizing the issue in a right way. You brought my hope back! I hope there are much more people that think the same way you do

      September 9, 2010 at 12:25 am |
    • Ahmad Hosein

      as a moderate muslim, i m sorry to point out to you that the US did A LOT to deserve this attack! ge out of your bubble and read some of the hedious behavior of the United States in the Muslim World over the past 30 years.

      September 9, 2010 at 12:30 am |
    • mike4ever

      Paul, I agree with what you are saying and I think we of all faith need to be very careful. What is happening now is setting the scene for all religious. We are trying to tell one group of religious who had nothing to do with 9/11 where to build and how they should built.

      If we keep on the path that we are going what is the next religious that will be told that they cannot build or worship where they want to. We are also setting ourself up to have all faith fighting each other to become number one. We may not agree with their faith or their belief but everyone has the right to worship their faith anywhere. This building is not on the ground where everything happen but keep trying denied this group is giving the muslins who hate american the reason to attack again.

      You overcome your enemy by showing them that they cannot rule you or scare you. Some think that they are laughing at us, but no matter what we do they will laugh at us. We cannot preach freedom of religious in american if we start telling people that because of their religious, what is going to happen when those whose believe in the holy bible that you are not allow to have a bible and to burn them all( which is going to happen according to the bible). We are opening the door to everything that is in the last book of the bible.

      If the polictican didn't make a fuss about this to win points with the american people and tokeep people afraid of the unkown, this would not be going on. We have serviceman and women fighting wars for freedom for our country and in another country to give them freedom, should we risk their lives even more than what it is. This preacher talk as if it is okay to lose some american just to prove a point.

      We have had religious for years that did not want people of color in their church and they talk bad about them, even when slaves was allowed in the loft. We talk to about rev wright but the message that he preached had been preached for years by the white race. It only stop when they realize that the blacks knew more about the bible and knew that what they were hearing was wrong.

      I can understand the feeling about the lose of lives during the 9/11, but I also understand the lives of four little black girls who go blowed up in their church and all the other people who lost lives during violent. We cannot make one place a shrine and not others. We have had people killed children at schools which were awful but we do not make them shrine. Va tech had a terrible lost at their school but they did not make it a shrine.

      People do not listen to what this group has said that there would be a place for everyone. The more we be against this the worst it will be for the american people, we are already sitting on a time bomb with everything else in this country. The one thing this man said that if it is not handle correctly may be dangerous to all and I think he is right.

      Telling them now not build there and if they decide to build somewhere else, will only lead to telling them again that they can not build at a new site. We say it would be okay if they built somewhere else but we really wouldn't like it because now everywhere in the united states that are trying to build is being told no. I am just afraid that if we don't stop now, what religious will be next.

      September 9, 2010 at 12:30 am |
    • Ross

      Thanks Paul.

      I believe in freedom of religion. The fact that this mosque can be built is what make the United States a great example for other nations. Apparently the lesson is lost on the majority of Americans, and even Soledad, if they are attacking the mosque so harshly.

      Soledad O'Brian did a horrible job with this interview.

      September 9, 2010 at 12:54 am |
    • Guest

      ahem; moderate Muslims would be pounding the table however every time any of them emerged to do so they were quickly (and quite mysteriously) dispatched leaving everyone else wondering 'where is the moderate Muslim voice' ;the one dead one that saw it comming kept a blog but our good fellas at the electronic signal intelligence effectively kept the caboche on it: if you can find the page start at 'apageinthelife' 'the secret of min'–how much more moderate can anybody get?

      September 9, 2010 at 1:40 am |
    • Guest

      The sister rubbed me the wrong way. While I have great sympathy for her loss, her position stuck me as being emotional and selfish. Her sole purpose in the discussion seemed to be to tug the heartstrings of the viewers. She suffered a great personal tragedy, but that does not mean she is an expert on loss, politics, religion or law. Something I think they glossed over is that there are tens of thousands of survivors and people who lost loved ones, and as a group they do not all agree on the cultural center, and they have a huge variety of opinions on the matter.

      September 9, 2010 at 7:20 am |
    • Frogist

      @Paul: Good god man! This is very well said. Exactly what I want to say but find it hard to sometimes. Keep on saying with you are saying. We need more people like you.

      @Guest: I agree with you. The people who oppose the center did not put their cause in a positive light at all. The construction worker seemed to have an agenda all his own. He talked about the middle class seeing this as the last straw. Well what does that have to do with the center? The woman was angry and fearful. It was obvious she was in mourning. But her irrational outbursts just made them look crazy. They only convinced me more that people like her should not be part of this discussion. They are not making rational decisions. They are not thinking clearly. And there is no way to talk sense to them. If I was her, I would probably feel the same way. But I would hope, someone, anyone would stand up and say, "You are too close to this issue! You need to step back and deal with your grief." I think if they had Mrs Hamdani, the muslim woman who lost her EMT son that day because he was a first responder, the stage would have been more balanced. And we as the audience would probably better understand both sides of the issue.

      September 9, 2010 at 10:57 am |
  6. Hui

    If you don't like a mosque there, you don't like it anywhere. I hope the opponents to building the Islamic center close to Ground Zero can be at least truthful and honest.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:53 pm |
    • Youth Voice

      which of course, they will never be.... the world spins around them remember?

      September 9, 2010 at 12:24 am |
  7. Bob

    Hooray for Rosaleen and Andy. Finally real Americans speaking the truth.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:51 pm |
    • Youth Voice

      real americans are narcicists?

      September 9, 2010 at 12:17 am |
  8. john Peeler

    Muslims have long been traders, where is the deal, what do we get? How about a Jewish Synagog built 2 blocks from the black stone in Mecca? That is a trade, would Muslims accept that on their scared ground? And Mr. Rouf, the comment on "strip joints", I did not see any strippers flying airplanes into buildings, I did see Muslims do it.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:51 pm |
  9. Vaughn

    The plans were announced earlier yet not one "news" source reported anything to the contrary. What ever happened to actual journalism, investigation and reporting the facts. CNN, one of the main rabble-rousers, who reported the news of the so-called controversy never once bothered to report any facts about the front page news in NYC that no one allegedly complained about. Soledad O’Brien's "I didn't know that." sums it up pretty nicely. Great job.....

    Also, I agree that national security is a very weak assertion as to why the mosque cannot be relocated. Again, great job....

    September 8, 2010 at 11:50 pm |
  10. Cali Listener

    As an American / "Vietnamese-American" – It is an absurd, ridiculous and really a stupid decision even to have the thought of developing an Islamic Center at ground zero where 9/11 took place. It's not common sense and it is a mockery to the American public due to the permanent sensitivity of 9/11 in the U.S. If this Mr. Rauf intent to use this Islamic Center to build a bridge of understanding between the Islam (or Arab World) – this is the wrong way to do it. His interview with CNN was insincere and really outright arrogant with lack of understanding of the American public view and to said there is a national security issue if we dont have this Islamic Center at this Ground Zero location just go to show he is trying to scare American – American is not that naive or be scare away. I am against it and any American with some common sense should be against it. It sent the wrong message to the world and/or to the Middle East – "We burned their house down and we build our Temple or in this case Islamic Center at that very spot and they going to have to accept it" – Mr. Rauf insincerity and his interview really shed some light to his ill intention to have the Islamic Center at Ground Zero.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:46 pm |
    • Truth to Power

      Are you serious. I am Asian American. I used to work at the VA hospital where many of the vets I cared for had some very negative views of Vietnamese people at one time. In the 80s they wanted nothing to do with them and blamed all Vietnamese and Asians for the suffering they went through. Now many are going back for visits and finding that Vietnam's story is much more complex. It is interesting that you are now reflecting the same bigotry the Vietnamese faced upon the American Muslim Community. I guess bigotry has no shade of skin color

      September 9, 2010 at 1:01 am |
  11. Jeff

    Now this imam is blackmailing the United States. He's saying that if he doesn't build this victory mosque on ground zero then the radical muslims around the world will be very mad and attack the USA and its troops and US embassies around the world.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:43 pm |
    • Looking At Both Sides

      Someone has mixed up the facts, and is misleading the nation. The quote your referring too was his answer to the Burn a Quran Day. That the Muslim world will look at this as an attack on the Islamic religion, and give fuel to the fire for the Radicals to act.

      And for all those who keep saying that Islam preaches Jihad, by grabbing a sentence out of context, I could do the same for the Bible Luke 19:27

      But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.’”

      Wow is the Bible preaching Jihad?

      September 9, 2010 at 12:35 am |
    • Joe

      yeah...that's right. Imam Rauf is a wolf in a sheep skin. He is using threat to propagate his agenda.

      September 9, 2010 at 3:35 am |
    • Scova Notian

      What I don't get is the poll that suggests 70% of Americans are shut out because they don't agree with the mosque at ground zero. 70% seems to me to be more than enough to stop this. So he says he is more worried about a few extremist muslim than 70% of the US.
      For the Iman to come out and say that the ground cannot be sacred if there is a strip joint there is wrong. America does not follow MUSLIM values, they follow American values which seems to include to allowance of strip joints. Because strippers would be beat and tortured In muslim countries does not mean Muslims have the right to come here and degrade these women more than they do to themselves. He used a sharp tongue when speaking about not being able to have it both ways. Either you have sacred ground or strippers. Well I say we make the strippers sacred and protest everytime a muslim tries to push Islam down the throats of Americans.( The strippers were their before the great peaceful Islam slammed planes into those buildings).

      September 9, 2010 at 8:09 am |
    • Frogist

      @Jeff: Actually I think you might be quoting the wrong person. You are quoting Gen Petraeus.

      September 9, 2010 at 9:43 am |
  12. alli

    Why does this sound like a threat by the Imam to Americans? “Rauf says the reason he can’t move the Islamic center now is because of national security concerns, saying parts of the Muslim world would be violently inflamed at the news of the center’s relocation. If we do move, it will strengthen the argument of the radicals to recruit, their ability to recruit, and their increasing aggression and violence against our country.” It absolutely is a threat by the Imam, not a concern.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:42 pm |
    • sigh

      you are an idiot

      September 9, 2010 at 12:47 am |
    • tolerantandchristian

      very good point alli. it's a threat disguised as concern for America's safety.

      The Imam's tactic mirrors that of the insurgency: He feigns support for America, but is planning her demise (and stalls progress) simultaneously. He can't be figured out. Just as soldiers want to trust the locals, Americans want to trust and tolerate this Imam. But, like those soldiers, we all know they are smiling by day and fighting by night. Trust your instincts America.

      September 9, 2010 at 1:00 am |
    • you'reretardedlychristian

      “The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion”- George Washington

      "Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity." – Thomas Jefferson

      "Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear."- Thomas Jefferson

      September 9, 2010 at 3:17 am |
    • lockedandloaded

      its a threat,,,and we already answered it in tenn...ur turn NY...show the mooslims what real America (the majority IS how it works here ) thinks of the crap they spread...by the way Ralph....I have burned and will burn every koooooran I get my hands on

      September 9, 2010 at 4:47 am |
    • susan

      Thanks for the threat! Enlightning

      September 9, 2010 at 8:16 am |
    • Frogist

      Why is this a threat? It is the same thing Gen Patreus said. Do you think Patreus is threatening you too? Is it so out of bounds for you to consider he might genuinely be concerned?

      @lockedandloaded: "its a threat,,,and we already answered it in tenn...ur turn NY" So you are inciting violence? And THEY are the terrorists? Here's a question: How many of you stand with lockedandloaded? Maybe we can start there and find out what we are really dealing with?

      September 9, 2010 at 9:40 am |
    • Sue

      I hope the Americans don't fall for this trick again. The extremists took advantage and used Western values against Americans in 2001. This imam is doing the same thing. He's not dumb. He knew before hand what would happen if he said he was going to build a mosque. Also, just him planning to build a mosque 2 blocks away from ground 0 is very insensitive. in addition, the sister of one of the victims in 2001 was right. The Imam could have come back from his trip and announced to the world that he has thought about it and he understands why Americans would be upset and has decided, out of compassion for the victims and their families, to move the mosque elsewhere.

      September 9, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
    • Roo

      We had the "blasphemy", then we had "offense," now we have another word "inflame". Do anything to preserve our way of life and defend our values by opposing some Muslim action, and we risk "inflaming" the whole Muslim world against our embassies, against our soldiers, who are going to pay a "very, very, very" (as the dear iman puts it) high price for our stand and defense of our culture and values. This is the use of general blackmail, the threat of untold horrors against our troops and people if we dare to support our way of life. And this blackmail is very effective, and is going to be used for decades,even centuries against us. Of course, they should build their mosque wherever they like, one in every district of every city, why not? Certainly ours is an open society, and we welcome the building of mosques everywhere, until all we see on the land is minarets everywhere. Because America is the country of freedom, freedom to have mosques all over the place. And this will come to pass, make no mistake about it.

      January 14, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  13. Todd

    If burning this stuff is un-american isn't building the center by ground zero also un american.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:37 pm |
    • kazz

      making a petty issue of it is unamerican

      September 9, 2010 at 12:06 am |
    • Lynn DeLuca

      Todd, no one says burning or building is unameican. In fact both are protected by the Constitution. Burning a Koran, a Bible, a flag or a Cross while wearing a sheet is protected by the First Amendment. Building a mosque is protected by the same Amendment. Most moslem citizens are as American as apple pie. They too were victims a ground zero and they too are soldiers.
      I dot know what America you live in, but the one I know is racially and religiously diverse. And if you think America was founded on Christian principles then why don't you start practicing them now. Start with Love thy Neighbor.

      September 9, 2010 at 8:37 am |
  14. Alan Klein

    In America we cherish private property rights. This issue is essentially a local zoning matter. If the Islam Center is an allowed use, the center should proceed. We should also support a First Baptist Center or a Jewish Synagogue if the zoning allows this use. The opponents can easily stop the project, by buying the land and buildings and rezoning the ground as a public park and then demolishing the building to develop the public park since they claim this area is sacred ground. If land in our area is considered sacred it is not privately own- it is own by the public sector like Arllngton National Cementary. Now this is a truly sacred ground.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:37 pm |
    • samuel boatwright

      You mean like imminent domain? So if our Govt felt it would improve the NYC economy it could grant this land unto, NYC?

      Yes, I think we've found the answer...away with this Imam, back to his hidden beheadings...

      September 8, 2010 at 11:50 pm |
    • Tim

      A very dispassionate take. How about this: Let's take up a collection to procure a less controversial site (not sure where that would be and how many of the 70% would ever feel comfortable with a mosque in the vicinity of those Muslim worshippers). All the folks in America that feel strongly about this mosque being moved could donate a couple of bucks to purchase another site. Those who have a strong penchant for pluralism might also find it in their hearts to reach out with their means as well, in a spirit of live and let live. This would show the Muslim world that non-Muslim Americans are willing to meet their Muslim compatriots half-way and maybe extremists won't strap their sons up with explosives to take out the nearest US citizen (one of the Imam's fears, one General Petreius shares). The headlines overseas could potentially read "American Christians, Jews, Atheists, etc help finance building of Islamic center". It would not be a "defeat". The radicals' "control of the discourse" would be neutralized in the mind of the world Muslim mainstream mind, right?

      September 9, 2010 at 12:54 am |
    • Frogist

      @Tim: That is an interesting proposal. But much like the mosque in Tn and the one in Ca, I doubt the 71% would be able to agree on a site that they would feel comfortable with, much less put forward any cash for relocating this project. I also think the 71% figure is inflated by people who know only half the facts and if the shoe was on the other foot, their opinions would sway dramatically. I myself would be uncomfortable moving the project from lower Manhattan. I have always thought this was a good place for a peaceful muslim presence to be felt. I think we as a country need to have those wounds start knitting themselves over. And the best way is to have a direct contrast to the extremists and a place where people from around the country can come together and have a discussion about Islam and religion as a whole. If you only have a hole in the ground, only one aspect of Islam is available for discourse. If you have a hole in the ground and a place where non-muslims get to see the peaceful side of Islam, you can start to ask yourselves the tough questions about religion. And as we can clearly see on boards like this, we desperately need that discussion.

      September 9, 2010 at 9:39 am |
  15. Jason

    Tonight's interview was a shameful display of softball journalism whose only result was to provide a one sided argument which utilized the Spanish inquisition and the crusades as referrence material. The very current and real world questions that we should be asking of ANY faith or organization is... What do you think a woman's role is? Is a woman's role as a subordinate and unequal servant? Should a woman be allowed outside her home at night? Without a male relative? What is the correct punishment for adultary? These questions should be easy enough to answer for most Americans but the answers we get back from the followers of the religeon of "peace" may not be so easy to hear. Right now there are women in Muslim countries around the world waiting to be stoned to death for the "crimes" I mention above.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:34 pm |
    • Meg

      Jason, you have raised a huge issue of women and their rights in Islam. I assume you have read a lot about it. However coming from a muslim society I have to mention that all these awful crimes against women are being excused by religion. No religion says stone a woman to death. In a true Islam woman is respected. However, in many societies we can observe some control over women. In the case of Middle East and other muslim societies, the religion is being used as a tool to hold the power for certain interested group. Even here in the states women still face discrimination, after 200 and something years of democracy and civilized society, what can we expect from a developing world, where literacy and education is low and critical thinking ability is limited?!

      September 9, 2010 at 12:18 am |
    • Ahmad Hosein

      brave words from a society which features only 13 female Fortune 500 CEOs!

      September 9, 2010 at 12:27 am |
    • Looking At Both Sides

      Hmm.. this is what the Bible says about adultery, and it too is a religion of peace.

      The following Verses are from the NIV Bible:

      Exodus 20:14 "You shall not commit adultery."

      Deuteronomy 22:22 "If a man is found sleeping with another man's wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die."

      Leviticus 20:10 "If a man commits adultery with another man's wife–with the wife of his neighbor–both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death."

      September 9, 2010 at 12:29 am |
    • Peter F

      The wages of sin is death. But you're right that the Christian religion is one of peace and love, because God sent his son to redeem fallen humanity stuck in the mire of sin. By grace we have been saved, through faith in our Lord. GOD IS MERCIFUL

      September 9, 2010 at 12:35 am |
    • Shafat

      I'll tell tell you the role of women in your (Western) society. She is just a pleasure doll. A **sex** slave. NOthing more nothing less. Before commenting on these topics just do some research and understand the concept rather than throwing ur words around. Tell me how many rapes happen in Islamic countries? Do you need the count in US????

      September 9, 2010 at 12:44 am |
    • harman

      its not about gender...if u can understand

      September 9, 2010 at 12:52 am |
    • jeff

      Did you know that the only country in the world with both leaders WOMEN is a muslim country? Mind you I said BOTH leaders women. Its funny that not a single western country has had BOTH major political parties women at the same time. The country depsite being extremely poor called Bangladesh has been having BOTH god damn leaders of major polical party Women. Its been like that for 20 years. Ironic isnt it.

      September 9, 2010 at 1:02 am |
    • Liar you are

      Please read the bible and tell me what the status of women is in the bible?
      You ignorant fool. The only religion that gave women all and equal civil rights to man is Islam!!!
      Go and learn Islam before you say nonsense lies.

      September 9, 2010 at 1:10 am |
    • Guest

      whereas here we simply just beat the xrp out of them or take them to vacations in Mexico which they do not return from

      September 9, 2010 at 1:33 am |
    • David

      And you thought that America has been given the right to 'LIBERATE' the world and bring peace and stability. You think that you really got to know what America is doing in the so called 'women oppressing' Middle east..HA ! Another show of 'intelligence' and 'AWARENESS' by another "Liberating' American....

      September 9, 2010 at 2:32 am |
    • Frogist

      @Jason: Yes, the issue of women's equality is important but not just in foreign countries. We are still struggling with a woman's right to choose, pay equality, and just the portrayal of women in the media. While the issues associated with Sakineh Mohammed Ashtiani and those like her are troubling and in need of world focus, equating Islam with a lack of women's rights is oversimplifying a complex issue. And that does not help the plight of women anywhere in the world.

      September 9, 2010 at 9:11 am |
    • Corsair624

      Hey Jason,

      Yes, there is a woman waiting to be stoned to death in Iran, but not all countries have that "woman-to-be-stoned" :)) Read more or if not, try to see beyond the borders of the US, not from TV but by visiting. There were (and still may be) women in Saudi Arabia too. If you are so sensitive to women rights, then why don't you stop using Saudi oil. If the oil prices increase by a cent in this country, everybody jumps. I think you do not realize that fact while you comfortably drive your SUV using cheap Saudi oil. Why not invade Saudi Arabia too and free those who wait to be beheaded by sword? If you're seeking justice for one, seek it for all and STOP the selective manipulation of the issue!

      September 11, 2010 at 5:17 am |
  16. Billy

    It'd be nice if this Imam waged a large campaign against the mis-translation of the Quran's teachings.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:29 pm |
    • Guest

      that would entail buring every single copy of the Koran on bookstore/library shelves

      September 9, 2010 at 1:34 am |
  17. General Dr Bad

    Keep hiding you sunni pimp . along withobama every day your rope gets shorter.
    lets see how long these drunk,drugged up hillbillys stay stupid.
    keepborrowing and sending YOU money as THEY Fight YOUR enemies.
    and thier leaders and you rob them at the gas pumps.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:29 pm |
    • Guest

      who is your tirade directed at and I didn't know Obama was in hiding; did he do something to Michelle?

      September 9, 2010 at 1:43 am |
    • Davena

      General Bad...obviously you take this title out of context. A General is one who leads with distinction and honor, a person of dignity and distinction, a person of vision. There is nothing in your comments that suggest you bring these qualities to this discussion. As a non-Muslim I would a appreciate if you comment somewhere your retoric is appreciated. Here on this CNN blog we are having a informed discussion on a interview that is relative to our country and the values that we live by. Thank you for your comments.

      September 9, 2010 at 2:55 am |
  18. General Dr Bad

    you going to borrow money from china ot giv these arabs to build this mosque?

    September 8, 2010 at 11:27 pm |
    • harman

      u need to relax not every muslim is ur enemy.....keeping in mind each muslim is still a human....just like u.

      September 9, 2010 at 12:56 am |
    • Guest

      The majority of Muslims continue to be Asian, not Arab; If you're gonna discriminate try to be a bit more discriminating

      September 9, 2010 at 1:31 am |
  19. General Dr Bad

    now you use "National Security" as an excuse for this as well?

    September 8, 2010 at 11:26 pm |
    • kazz

      they don't need an "excuse"

      September 9, 2010 at 12:04 am |
    • paulm5545

      He speaks like a politician. National Security, now? Sounds like we "better build it or else" we will really upset the radical sect. None of this sounds right. I watched CNN tonight, Anderson Cooper, and the sister of a 9/11 firefighter had a legitimate question that was never answered while I watched – Why build so close to the 911 site? Why not build it in the Middle East where they really need to work on tolerance? I refuse to believe this educated man had no idea this would upset so many people. He is well traveled, well versed and articulate. To me, this appears to be an "in your face" type of project, but I'm just an every day American. What do I know...

      September 9, 2010 at 1:05 am |
    • LI

      General Petraeus said the same thing that some radicals would like to use these sorts of incidents to initiate propaganda to recruit radicals and unnecessary put the troops in danger. General Paterus wants to win a war we should help him anyway we can.

      September 9, 2010 at 4:59 am |
  20. Kate

    Hey Dan?

    You forgot number 6: A remarkable number of people think Soledad's interview technique sucked rocks.

    Just sayin'

    September 8, 2010 at 11:24 pm |
    • Self

      I have an idea. Let's propose that Israel build a temple on or near the grounds of the Dome of the Rock. After all, that is sacred ground to the Jews. Let's propose that project and see what the Imam and the rest of the Muslim world have to say about it.

      September 9, 2010 at 1:00 am |
    • SimpkinsTheFirst

      Absolutely right, Soledad was unable to enlarge this debate or this interview with her confrontational, one-note questioning.

      Luckily Rauf did it anyway, and he is right that this issue is too big to back down from now. At stake is nothing less than our soul, our values and our decency. There is no place where a Muslim church should be unwelcome in America, if it is within local building codes. Period.

      Anything less is a lie and a betrayal of our country. Sensitivity is nothing but a cover for anti-Muslim hatred. Even by large numbers of Americans. When they really think about it, all Americans should support this mosque.

      September 9, 2010 at 1:06 am |
    • Don J.

      I don't post on blogs or generally comment online like this, but after tonight's interview, I was compelled to fire up my computer, visit CNN's website and share my viewpoint, specifically on Soledad O'Brian's UNprofessional, DISrespectful, biased, completely UNjournalistic and extremely heavy handed interview technique with the Imam. At points, it was CLEAR what her personal views were (are) and she was openly hostile. I found myself squirming in my seat in discomfort, not about the conversation, but about HER approach to it. It was only exacerbated by the Imam's calm, even, respectful responses and demeanor in the face of it. At one point, I had to check to make sure my tv hadn't accidently turned itself to Fox. This is uncharacteristic of Ms. O'Brian from my experience and I found it disturbing.

      While I am sharing... I am a Christian, very strong in my spiritual beliefs and have no question that it's right FOR ME. That said, I am so saddened by and disappointed in the 71% of Americans that are against the Muslim Community Center (mosque) near the World Trade Centers site. Do they (you) realized that in this modern age, in 2010, we are STILL doing what America has done since it was "founded" with the displacement of Native Americans. The justification/claim was that they were "Other" and therefore not worthy to stay, have, build, live (with their own customs and culture intact). Same with the enslavement of Africans by, again, calling them "Other", not fully human even. There are countless other examples. Fast forward to today... it's now the Muslims. When are we going to, as a country, stop being so schizophrenic, so hypocritical about what we so boldly SAY we stand for? If this truly is the land of liberty and justice for ALL, why is that satement consistently amended or set aside with a convenient, transparent "Liberty and justice for all... except ". As I said, I am so saddened about the way this is going and I truly fear that, if this country doesn't handle this well/right, this very matter is going to escalate beyond anything we can see or imagine today. If that should happen, it will not be at the hands, behest or even action of the peaceful Muslims building in Lower Manhattan, but by the intolerant national reaction to it. It will inflame this issue of religion and religious freedom around the world and cause much more harm than we can imagine today. This is NOT America's finest hour...

      September 9, 2010 at 1:31 am |
    • saba

      Agree with Kate...Soledad was terrible and extremely biased...I'm not sure where she learned her journalism/interview skills but she needs to reexamine her technique and expound more deeply on the issue on hand rather than sticking to a biased shallow talking points. Obrein asked "what about the families of 9/11 victims?" Every american would surely feel compassion for the victims of 9/11 but I would counter her argument by asking the question "what about muslims that were victims of 9/11 or the muslim troops in Iraq and Afghanistan protecting this counrty...dont they deserve a voiice in this?"

      September 9, 2010 at 2:44 am |
    • Fed

      This Imam sounds like a liar.

      September 9, 2010 at 3:24 am |
    • Debbie James

      I totally agree, I was surprised of how she conducted that interview, very harsh and so all over the place. A mess she was.

      September 9, 2010 at 3:44 am |
    • Z

      America is for Americans.
      I am 1st generation American. I share with most Americans the privalege of being born in this great country. Unlike most of my American brethren, my being born here was a result of my family's CHOICE to make this great nation their home. When they America, they chose America for but one reason; Freedom. I am American because they (my parents) chose to be Americans. and They chose to be Americans because this nation was founded on a steadfast belief that, amongst all else, people deserve to be free. I am not Muslim. But to tell these people that they don't have the right, the freedom, to practice their religion in whatever corner of our nation they may choose is absolutely Un-American. It is their right as American citizens to build that mosque. It is our duty as Americans to acknowlege that right. These are the rights that drew my family to this great nation. And whether you support them or not, it is your duty as an American to support their freedom. P.S. build those bridges you...

      September 9, 2010 at 3:55 am |
    • Nick

      This is

      September 9, 2010 at 4:03 am |
    • ELI

      I think Imam had no idea that this matter can be politicized this much. He chooses a place based on his vision and convenience. However, this place has already lost what he means to do there in terms of multi-faith religious activities. This place will always be a difficult spot to achieve his vision, as it is a controversial place and will always be targeted. He should consider moving this community center to a different location and trying to diffuse the tension between two faiths. The movement of this place to another location will be a good impression from his side and not a defeat to Islam. Remember this is not about locations or bigger or better places to worship. Religion is about loving to God and shows love and care to people

      September 9, 2010 at 4:03 am |
    • Sam

      I agree. Soledad did not act like a professional journalist. As a journalist myself, I don't think she lived up to the ethics of using an interview as a means to arrive at the truth. She seemed to have an agenda and she was trying everything in her power to arrive there. The Imam did an amazing job remaining calm and collected and getting his message across. To be a journalist means to keep one's opinions out of the equation. As a seasoned journalist, I wish Soledad would remember that.

      September 9, 2010 at 4:27 am |
    • Sam

      Soledad almost seemed MAD at the Imam. SO unprofessional, it almost looked like she was taking every answer very personally and was INTERROGATING THE IMAM. She is too used to interview criminals and I don't know why CNN chose her to interview this very well respected Imam. I loved how the Imam said that America is a great country and it was not fair for Soledad to say that a place where there are strip clubs could be regarded as too sacred for a mosque.

      September 9, 2010 at 4:36 am |
    • Nick

      Soledad O'Brien did a great job. The Iman cam across as a liar!

      September 9, 2010 at 4:41 am |
    • Greg

      This is the equivalent of Muslims spitting on the graves of 9/11 victims and their families. Worse, it is an attempt to reopen a deep wound in order to exacerbate (and revel in) the original pain and suffering caused by their attacks on innocent civilians . The idea of having what amounts to a Muslim grave stone over ground zero sickens anyone with even the slightest modicum of decency.

      September 9, 2010 at 5:14 am |
    • Joeann

      I think it is easy for this man to talk out of both sides of his mouth. Everyone is talking about "fear" this "fear that"...well, in every mosque around the world, they need to teach tolerance for all. Folks, read what this man has said in the past – it is o.k. to incite the U.S. Public but it is not o.k. to incite radical Muslims. For you folks who just don't get it, I bet you were the little kids being kicked by the school yard bully because you were "afraid" of them. Get a grip! Build this mosque somewhere else in the United States...not at such a sensitive location!

      September 9, 2010 at 5:54 am |
    • ridingbike

      Jeff– I totally agree.

      September 9, 2010 at 6:19 am |
    • PureLogic

      I watched the interview last night and thought I will never ever watch an interview from her and the general media again..Its really a shame at what "journalism" has become in this country and intelligent people should reject it. I am from NYC city and I always thought NY ers we tough people willing to look a person straight in the face. Now people are seeming like paranoid primitive wimps who are scared of everything. Listen I am not Muslim, I am a Christian but people who object to this READ YOUR OWN CONSTITUTION. Bloomberg was a hero and Bless this president for taking this stance. I will not fall into this fear mongering like many others, I will go out into the world and learn about Islam myself.. intellectualism in this society is gone and intellectuals realize how intellectually weak the populace is becoming. Geesh now in FL people are resorting to burning books how can be so illiterate. remember people there is good and bad in every religion..Some in the Muslim faith have peverted it to justify terrorism some in Christianity have used it so justify slavery. So why some families in the earlier days were opening presents for Christmas upstairs, the slave masters were whipping and torturing others and they justified feeling perhaps God had given them as a white race to have power over others.

      September 9, 2010 at 6:29 am |
    • Regularguy

      After hearing all the talk and media-hype about how peace-loving Muslims are; I am confused as to why the Imam is worried about violence if the center is moved. Thisis the typical doudle talk I have gotten so sick of.

      September 9, 2010 at 6:41 am |
    • Guest

      I agree with everyone's sentiments about Soledad's interview technique. I cringed several times during the interview. She came off as aggressive, angry, biased, confrontational and everything else that makes for a poor interviewer. I was very impressed by the Imam's patience and his ability to stay calm and not raise to her bait.

      September 9, 2010 at 7:28 am |
    • eka

      Before I was giving this guy-Rauf a benefit of the doubt that he was just over his head on the issue, now I believe he just exploits our open value to get his Muslim agenda done. After see his demander, Not only I do not believe that he has been sincere in his vision of bring an understanding, but his use of national security concern is so fake and exploiting our weakness. It clearly shows that he think his Muslim Community’s sensitivity trump our, and common sense and decency.
      What a self-absorption Muslims and taking no responsibility of their own Muslim community bad and evil conducts, they should not be crying like a spoil baby, when a ripple affect from their own conduct come back toward them (The Burning of Koran and fire attempt toward Muslim community were coming from his fake and insincere agenda on this building issue). Here their Muslim brothers committed evil acts that have changed our way of life, I did not see that outrage from Muslim community as the burning Koran or on this issue. So should we be sensitive to Islam or Muslim? When they have not spoken up against their own brothers who were committed the acts of evil under the name of their religious faith. So give me a break on sensitivity toward Muslim and his agenda to close the gap of understanding each other.

      I also found the Muslim community tense to forget that their own Muslims brothers’ evil act & indecency. For examples: the irreplaceable Buddha figure stood in the cave in the Afghanistan for over 1000 years was blown up by their Muslim brothers, I didn’t see Muslim community speak up against that as they have on this book burning and on the building issue. Another example, when Muslim brother committed evil acts, that have change our way of life for example in traveling. Bottom line, the book of Quran can be reprinted, but the Buddha stature that was a gift giving to world is irreplaceable and forever loss by indecency and purely evil act of Muslim bothers. So give me a break, when Muslim Community asks for respect and decency of other, when they lack of understanding a basic common sense and have none of decency toward other.

      In sum, the Muslim community surely does not respect and be sensitive to other groups’ belief/faith, yet they demand other to respect them by the mean of threatening in an evil act of violate, when they don’t get their way. Muslims need to grow up, get a thicker skin, and get with the world social progress.

      September 9, 2010 at 8:05 am |
    • pat

      To the Imam;It is sacred gound. We did not choose that location for it to become sacred,that is truth,that is fair. Lives were destroyed in that area,in that city,not only is that ground sacred but so is that whole city. HOW DARE YOU?

      September 9, 2010 at 8:06 am |
    • pat

      She did a great job speaking to a person who was not answering questions honestly and who is not willing to recognize the wrongness of building the mosque there,I would have been much more aggressive,I don't know how she kept it together long enough to listen to his b.s.

      September 9, 2010 at 8:13 am |
    • JR

      Err, Jeff, having a Vietnam flashback? Carpet bombing and naplam? Are you even living in this decade?

      September 9, 2010 at 8:13 am |
    • Linda

      The Imam is using fear to sell his idea of the mosque. He is a pretty good salesperson.
      How many wives does the Imam have? How old are they 6 or 7????

      As Christians, we know that fear is the opposite of faith. Mr. Imam, you are spreading fear, or trying too. Remember the people who came over here, settled and built this country did not do it on fear. They were filled with faith.
      Mr. Imam, build your building someplace else, and please start teaching your religion to be kind to women, they are not there for breeding, they are there to be companions to one husband and one husband to one wife. Mr Imam, will you ever learn.?

      September 9, 2010 at 8:23 am |
    • Ferd

      This entire thing is nonsense. I live in NY and I can tell you that nobody has asked me or anyone I know about what they think. Nobody I know has a problem with the mosque being near ground zero. Furthermore, although I and the poeple I associate with understand all to well what happened on 9/11, and don't discount it one iota, we do not see it as hallowed ground. It is simply another location, of another tragedy. That's it. And as long as we allow ourselves to be held hostage by some warped sense of oversignificance, Al Quaeda will continue to victimize us every single day.

      Let them build a mosque, church, synagouge or whatever else they want there. I mean lets be serious. The Imam is right. These loudmouths have their nerve to complain about a mosque but the strip club is A OK? The whole opposition to this is politically motivated, pathetic, and shameful. IN MY OPINION.

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

      The interview avoided the real question. It is not a question of is it leagal to build it there, it is a question of SHOULD it be built there. The answere is absolutely NOT! It is building a shrine to the enemy who killed americans and destroyed our economy. Americans need to stop viewing islam as another religion that deserves freedom in America. A main tennant of islam is that is is ok and encouraged to kill infidels. That is YOU and ME and anyone else that is not a muslim. Its in the koran, look it up! They admittedly want to take over the world, and establish muslim law. Yes, they will be pissed off if they have to move thier new shrine to victory, SO WHAT! We WILL be fighting the muslims in an all our holy war,(not by our chosing) They have declaired it on us. We need to stand up for America before they gain too much momentum. Wake up America, we are giving the country away without a fight!

      September 9, 2010 at 8:43 am |
    • Frogist

      Unfortunately I didn't see the interview with Soledad last night. I did see clips of it on Anderson Cooper's show. From what I gather from these comments it seems she was playing the devil's advocate to some degree. And because of that, the Imam came out looking respectful, calm, well-versed, intelligant and compassionate. That's a plus in my book. If she didn't mention the 9/11 victims who were muslim. I find that unnerving. People need to hear about them. But I suppose the Imam could have brought that up himself. Unfortunately, I think people hear what they want to hear. And out of his whole interview, people will see the devil if they are looking for one.
      I hope he doesn't move the center. If this is the kind of person he is, we need him as an example of how we should behave.

      September 9, 2010 at 8:59 am |
    • eka

      Soledad asked question based on 70% of us want to ask him. She did a good job, but if bloggers are Muslims, their skin is to thin to take it. Moreover, they might blame her because she is woman.

      September 9, 2010 at 9:04 am |
    • eka

      In sum, the Muslim community surely does not respect and be sensitive to other groups’ belief/faith, yet they demand other to respect them by the mean of threatening in an evil act of violate, when they do not get their way. Muslims need to grow up, get a thicker skin, and get with the world social progress. Moreover, His vision of understanding and tolerant needs to start at the Muslim’s world, of whom still insist of living in a social stone age, not in the West. We have made social progress and have access to information, and a choice, if we like the Islam or not. No need to throw in our face.

      September 9, 2010 at 9:08 am |
    • Garland

      Here is what you do; You get the crazy preacher in Florida to tell the Crazy imam "If you guarantee that you won't build your mosque, I won't burn you Quran." That would end both problems!

      September 9, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
    • lee dastur

      Soledad was uninformed, unprofessional, and very aggressive in touting her own point of view. This was embarrassing to watch. With so many good people looking for work, isn't is possible to hire a real journalist?

      Anderson Cooper, by the way, has adopted the same bullying and unprofessional techniques of late. Who is in charge of setting standards up there?

      September 9, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
    • Corsair624

      Hey Self,

      You seem to have quite an idea [Quote: I have an idea. Let's propose that Israel build a temple on or near the grounds of the Dome of the Rock]. The Dome of the Rock is already being controlled by Israel 🙂 Israelis do not need to build a temple there. It is already theirs practically 🙂

      September 11, 2010 at 5:11 am |
    • polknole

      CNN needs to rebuke O'Brien. She was horridly unprofessional.

      September 11, 2010 at 11:02 am |
    • max

      She was very rude to the guy and anytime she was loosing the argument she had to take a break. Lot of things guy was saying she didn't even understand. I also felt like she was extremely intimidated by guy's superior intellect.

      September 13, 2010 at 7:22 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.