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September 8th, 2010
10:17 PM ET

Imam says religion, Islamic center should not be 'politicized'

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the religious leader behind plans to erect an Islamic center and mosque a few blocks from New York's ground zero, said Wednesday night that moving it to another location would embolden Islamic radicals and help them incite violence against Americans.

"If we move from that location, the story will be the radicals have taken over the discourse," Rauf told CNN's Soledad O'Brien on "Larry King Live."

Rauf said he was speaking about "radicals" on both sides of the debate on the Islamic center. "Our national security now hinges on how we negotiate this, how we speak about it."

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

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

soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. jeff

    Soledad was extremely biased. If I was Imam Rauf I would have pwned her really hard. For example why is there US embassy in Iraq the size of Vatican where the US has killed millions of innocent muslim Iraqis? I would tell her where is the moderate westerner speaking out against these wars? I would go on and say why should I apologize for other people's action when you dont apologize for what your government did to millions of muslims in iraq, afghanistan with carpet bombing, cluster bombing, napalm and you dare to talk to me like that. And much more

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

      An update (or how we are spending or how we have spent the USA taxpayers’ money to eliminate global terror and aggression)

      The terror and aggression via a Partial and Recent Body Count

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

      1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      10) Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops killed in action 1,116 killed in action, 902killed in non-combat situations as of 08/10/2010. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed by the koranic-driven Taliban.

      11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

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

      13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

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

      15) Followed by the daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings every day in the terror world of Islam.

      Other elements of our War on Terror and Aggression:

      -Operation Iraqi Freedom- The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,481 and 924 died in non-combat, 97,172 – 106,047 Iraqi civilians killed as of 8/10/2010 mostly due the Shiite and Sunni suicide bombers.

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

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

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

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

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

      – Northern Ireland is finally at peace.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      September 9, 2010 at 11:04 am |
  2. Reality

    For new members:

    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 12:47 am |
  3. Peace and Justice for all

    LOOK EVERYONE ! I want to say we need the Islamic center/Mosque because it seems the nation is un-educated about Islam. Islam never supports terrorist, Osama bin ladan and extremist are evil terrorist they do not represent a nation or religion of 1.8 billion muslims, they do not speak for us either. Islam means: submission and obediance, Muslim means: to surrender, and Salam means: Peace. We must try to educate this nation because non-muslims are being feed the wrong messeges, and by not building this center it will be like saying we were the people involved for those terrorist acts, we were victims just as much as anyone in those buildings on 9/11, remember every culture or religion is going to have "rotten apple" like one small example the Oklahoma city bomber he killed those people for his God and his religion, but still we see churches in that town, we are not to punish the whole religion for a very some group of people that don't represent that religion. we want to clear everyones mind Islam doesn't want to kill,we want PEACE read it yourself or ask a local mosque they will be happy to tell you all you need to know. this nation is Islamophobics because they are un-educated and they think they understand Islam, there are even people claming we have verses in the Quran about killing non-muslims, these words are NOT in the Quran but the opposite, JIHAD doesn't mean holy war, it means struggle and strive for anything we do, the only time a muslim can kill or fight any religion muslim or non-muslim is during combat war for self-defence and there are a list of rules for that like, no to ever harm women, childern, elderly or people working minding there own buisness {like the twin towers victims} we can only fight for self-defence combat zone and surrender if the opposing team surrenders, it is some what of an eye for an eye theory. Muslims respect ALL religions, so if you choose to burn the Quran read it you'll find what we believe is very similar,and it will show you how much we respect all the prophets and praise Jesus and even a chapter about the virigin Mary, before preforming nazi teachings, innocent civilians Muslims are being attacked all over the world for being a muslim so this proves the nazi theory. I understand there are evil muslims and they are trying to terrorize and erase Islam's true messege a messege of peace and equality, they are trying to kill muslims and change the words of our God sent to our prophet. Islam is stronger then Osama and the terrorist groups these men are murders NOT muslims no one will follow these idiots and God will send them straight to hell in this life and the after. we are a nation of freedom and we clam not to be racist but the non-muslim never even heard the other side with an open mind, we need to treat people like we want to be treated so we can stand together to defeat and distroy Osama and these evil groups, but how can we do that, we treat all muslim like terrorist that is unfair because muslims are not raised to be evil, we were all created from dirt/clay no one has the right to be more supperior to any other group no matter what we are equal, we give Muslims labels they have no assoication with that, Just like child molesting priest who are the teachers of Chirstainty, not all Chirstians are Molestors we are not to assoiate all Chirstians with evil people form their religion. I never mean to offened anyone I want people to educate themselves towards the people they claim them to be their enimies. PEACE TO ALL I hope this nation keep the consitution of America such as freedom of speech, religion and Peace thank you !

    September 9, 2010 at 12:47 am |
    • 100% American

      Articulated nicely and on point. Extremists = Fringe. Most people anywhere in the world, at the end of the day, just want to live a happy life, be with their families, put food on the table, and a roof over their head. This would be universal regardless of religion I would think. Most folks just want to have a decent day. You Can't fix "Crazy", and Extremists of any ilk are just plain Crazy and do not represent the overwhelming majority of peace loving people within any demographic.

      September 9, 2010 at 1:59 am |
    • Carl

      Really? So answer me this one question, when the buildings fell and thousands died. Why where there Muslims dancing in the streets ALL over the world. You say fringe but the celebration was not fringe so how do you explain that celebration?

      September 9, 2010 at 7:56 am |
  4. Terry

    There is even a much larger issue facing our country within our own boarders. We need to focus on the unhealthy discord and turmoil inside our own country which is more pressing than radical Islam from abroad. We need to address a growing sentiment to reshape & redefine the underlying principles upon which this country was founded. There is an element in this country which is cleverly manipulating public opinion to reshape and redefine the very fabric of our constitution and the laws of the land. Historically, this country has always had an enemy, foreign or domestic. Initially, the Indians, the African American, the Jews, the Japanese, the Germans, gays, women, the Communist and now Islam. History tells us in retrospect that these were not our enemies but ghost serving the agenda of opportunist, bigots, sexist, racists and the homophobic. Why don't we attack the sentiment of hate, distrust, ignorance and misunderstanding like we attack these invisible enemies. You cannot have as your enemy a race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or natural origin of a people. That not only smacks the laws of the land but it's based in ignorance. Freedom is at the core of this entire issue and all of the aforementioned groups fought and died for those freedoms. We must re-educate ourselves to remember what those freedoms represent and what price was paid to get them. What we must realize is that the real enemy is those who would paint these broad strokes and condemn the entire group and influence others to join them. It is that enemy the "domestic" enemy which is most dangerous. The people that I am speaking of are in all walks of life from politicians to clergy to plain opportunists. They utilize the acts of the "fringe radicals" to promote their agenda. There is no doubt that given their way several existing laws governing our freedoms and equalities would be eradicated. This is the real terrorist of America, the one that lies within.

    It is interesting that politics plays an important role in this discussion. It may be stated that the gains of Civil Rights, the Women's Movement, Gay Rights, etc. were largely supported and endorsed by some of the "liberal", democratic party. There is a dominant right winged surge in this country to challenge and strip these gains, and while the evidence is not overt the intent is non the less buried in their disguised message. Be clear that there are opportunist on both sides who would welcome setbacks in this country to further their agenda. We need the media to address these issues and look at things from an historical perspective in this country and stop shying away from our own faults and truths. We should address the truths now while we can effect change not years later after the damage is done. There are so many things that could have been avoided if we were more willing to ask the difficulty questions rather that pass, remember Iraq/Iran WMD'S and the countless lives lost for reasons we've not fully explored.

    September 9, 2010 at 12:46 am |
  5. Jeffrey

    Let Muslims build islamic center, have We forgot that muslims also died in 9/11. Have we forgot the the constitution Amendment 1. Alot of Christian are refusal to tolerate or respect Muslims by letting them build islamic center at ground zero. We need to learn how to open hearts to all Muslim and other religions. How can we Respect other religions if we unwilling or/and intolerance to get to know people of other religions?

    Woodbridge, Virginia

    September 8, 2010 at 11:55 pm |
  6. kavya

    Let's face it. Much as religions were invented to unify communities, the very mention of them divides it. Therefore it is naive of the imam to think it is peace process. He seems like a well educated intelligent man and i respect his attempts at showing us the more moderate face of islam. I am reminded of a excerpt from Gandhi's life: when he was on a hunger strike to try to get fellow muslims and hindus to stop rioting, he was approached by a Hindu rioter who told him that muslims had killed his child and what he should do for revenge. Gandhi replied that true revenge would be to adopt a muslim orphan, the same age as his own dead child, and raise him a muslim. Gandhi, a Hindu himself, mostly chose to stay at Muslim homes during such riots to encourage interfaith friendships. That to me is a real peace process.
    I dont buy the imam's argument of national security. The radicals will be incensed no matter what happens, they are always looking for a reason. If he is sensitive to the american feelings, it goes a long way to strengthen interfaith ties rather than buliding an interfaith mosque.
    On a last note, if only we could keep God, who is higher than any one religion, in our hearts, we would not need to build so many places of worship. I commend the Dalai Lama for having said that we do not need more Budhdhists in the world, nor more Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus. What we need are more good, honest, kind, courageous, peaceful , hard working people.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:55 pm |
  7. john

    Personally, I can't wait for the Moslem Centre to go up. It will be that more f=glorious to see it come down.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:54 pm |
  8. Liz Salgado

    One can feel the impact of the absences of an intelligent journalist like Christiane Amanpour, during these types of interviews with an International leader. Who at CNN made the executive decision to have Soledad do this important interview in such critical times in which we are all facing from many different crosses of life, and in which we all need to understand the issues, the impact and the ramifications of the things and the choices that we make. However, if we do or don’t choose to understand the important issue at hand we will never be able to find solutions.

    I strongly believe that the US fundamentals have always guided us to come together collectively to find middle grounds and find solutions….

    This idiot Soledad, all she wanted to say was that she lives downtown and she knows the area. She knows what? Soledad stay with the issue. “Freedom of religion” possible “threat to national security” and the likethood to increase the gap among all the different beliefs and cultures in America.

    Where was Fareed Zakaria? Instead of being at the AC360 slot, he should have done the interview with the Imam. A real journalist who understands the issues, I’m positive that Zakaria would have asked strong related questions as to how the Imam would go about implementing the bridge that can help us all understand the seriousness and the importance to build this mosque downtown NYC. For New Yorker’s we need to find a place to heal and to understand that not all Muslims are criminals, just like not all Americans are peaceful and squeaky clean.

    It is clear that our ideologies are different and the more reason for us to create an alliance to fight the radicals from both sides.

    I was completely frustrated with Soledad constantly interrupting repeatedly throughout the interview. Funny, she was not able to answer the Imam’s question “as to how do you think we should do this?” after she asked a stupid question. I believe that the Imam was frustrated at this point in the interview.

    Soledad, you do not understand the basic point, much less the bigger picture of this issue. Put those 71% of that poll up you know where… they mean nothing in the scope of the global impact, but more importantly the issue we are facing. Soledad, the issue goes beyond a few tears from people that are still holding on to nothing because they can’t find peace and closure within.

    Perhaps, the Imam, could have provided more insightful information, but look at who was doing the interview and interrupting with the “I live downtown rhetoric.”

    People need to heal and get to the next level. Soledad, Ground Zero is not sacred ground. It’s a place in which a very dramatic and tragic thing occurred. Would you call the beach of Normandy sacred ground? “There are no bodies buried at ground zero.”

    I was looking forward to this interview, hoping to have a better understanding about the issues, it was frustrating and disappointing. I could careless if they build a mosque right in the middle of ground zero, as long as we all heal and become better human beings.

    The bigger issue at hand “Freedom of Religion” is a better way to understand a new ideology.

    As a member of the human race and a citizen of the world, it is our responsibility to make a better world for all of us not just for the very few “White Wealthy Americans”.

    With all do respect to the families of the victims of 9/11, please move on. Get over it. Heal and move on.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:50 pm |
  9. mary walsh

    Soledad, I was disappointed in your insistant questioning and attitude implying the mosque should be moved because "71% of americans are against it there". .I, as an American, am not against the construction of Any religious building in that neighborhood. A majority of sotherners were uncomfortable and offended by the loss of slavery and segregation. So what. The majority of men felt the same about women voting. So what! ! If 2 blocks are off limits, what about 3? or 4 or 5? Where does "ground zero" end? Do people hurt by 9/11 control all of lower Manhatten? Most importantly, you failed to mention that it was POLITICAL EXTREMISTS WHO HAPPENED TO BE MUSLIM who attacked on 9/11. A religion, a people did not attack us. YOU ARE CONFUSING A RELIGION WITH A GROUP OF INDIVIDUAL EXTREMISTS. If a jewish temple or a catholic church were going up there, would there be any controversy? course not. oOf Why a mosque? Muslims died in the towers–how are they being honored or respected? Freedom of religion is freedoom from pressure, from anyone telling us how or WHERE to pray. Sadly this whole controversy is proving to the whole world, and the muslim world, that in America freedom on religion only exists when it is convenient, comfortable, and doesn't offend anyone.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:48 pm |
  10. 100% American

    I am not sure what this debate is all about. This is America, and our founding fathers laid down certain principles that don't seem to apply anymore. Our Puritanical forefathers came here because of religious persecution. Religious freedom, or the freedom not to be religious, is the very fabric that makes America a tolerant society that is the envy of the world. Although I have the deepest sympathy for those who lost loved ones in 911, moderate Muslims were not to blame. The more we persecute peaceful, American Muslims, the more Osama Bin Laden sits back and laughs as it plays right into his hands. Let's heal and come together...it's the only way to defeat the radical terrorists that seek to divide us. 911 is not sacred ground,it's a battleground..where better to promote peace and unity and Americanism?

    September 8, 2010 at 11:45 pm |
    • s nelson

      Well said, 100% American, Liz Salgado, and kavya! and Peace & Justice for all...! I have never thought Soledad was very bright or very effective as a reporter, let alone as an interviewer. I am totally convinced she is NONE of those things! She "didn't get" what the Imam was plainly communicating, but it's obvious that neither do the majority of people writing here tonight. It's the politicizing of religion, fear, and hatred that are fueling all of this. If we can't "hear" the message the Imam tried to help us hear, and if we continue these POLARIZATION and HATE & FEAR smear campaigns, this will be one of the last chapters in what we know today as "our" civilization, "our nation," and "Peace on Earth." Want to be part of better world? Then search out the FACTS by doing your own research, using websites that tell you whether what you've heard or read is True, False, or Partly True. You will have less fear and far greater understanding.

      September 9, 2010 at 1:44 am |
  11. General Dr Bad

    Hammas-Hezbollah-iran = democraticly elected.
    arabia -Jordon= Monarchies.
    eygyt =dictator.
    you = idiot.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:38 pm |
  12. Robert Morrison

    I feel that we are not addressing this Muslim situation in the right perspective. Two words about the Muslim faith can sum up what we have to deal with. Al-taqiyya and Kithman. These words are used by the devout Muslims to bring their agenda forward.
    KITHMAN, is the command for Shi'a Muslims to conceal their religious beliefs from non-Shia's. Al-taqiyya and dissimulation are words used for a practice of Muslims blatantly lying to non-Muslims. How can any non-Muslim believe anything these devout clerics say when the practice of Al-taqiyya and Kithman a major part of their faith?
    Moderate Islam may be a useful political artifact to be used tactically, but a reality-based counterterrorist policy must be based on recognition of certain facts: that in Islam politics and religion are one, that no Islamic religious leader of stature has unambiguously denounced the 911 attacks, that religious figures are key organizational identities in Islamic terrorism, who have encouraged terrorism. It is a matter of record that the two mosques in Hamburg were meeting places and inspirational sources for Mohammad Atta's Hamburg cell.
    "Let not the believers Take for friends or helpers Unbelievers rather than believers: if any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah: except by way of precaution, that ye may Guard yourselves from them. But Allah cautions you (To remember) Himself; for the final goal is to Allah." (Surah 3:2

    September 8, 2010 at 11:38 pm |
  13. General Dr Bad

    i also agree im tire of talking about muslims and islam,
    let talk about your child molesting vatican. lest talk about your mromons bleeding the beasta nd marrying thier relatives.
    so if i say im moron , i can have as many wives as i like and bleed welfare?
    i can marry my own relatives?

    September 8, 2010 at 11:34 pm |
  14. General Dr Bad

    such experts you all are on islam and Al Quraan. you and this soapbox sunni waannbe scholar.
    rupert murdoch and his arab pimp prince are paying for this thing you know. oh wiat YOU dont no.
    YOU stay stupid.
    now YOU go borrow more money from china and give to this arab pimp and YOU go fight Al qaida and Iran for Them.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:33 pm |
  15. Zeke

    Ahhh, religion. Will someone try to explain to me why religion is a boon – and not a bane – to humanity?

    September 8, 2010 at 11:31 pm |
    • General Dr Bad

      Go Look up the word in the "Dictionary",

      September 8, 2010 at 11:39 pm |
    • Zeke

      I did. It says "an antiquated belief system where people give up their freedom and money to other people, who claim that an invisible man – who only they can hear – told them that they are in charge."

      What am I missing?

      September 8, 2010 at 11:47 pm |
  16. Ariel

    Have you noticed that 'compromise' is never really a part of any religion?

    As far as an 'us' or 'them' goes, every religion by virtue of its existence creates an 'other'. There always has to be a group cast as nonbelivers or 'infidels' who cant understand the so-called 'truth' in order to establish the identity of who the 'belivers' are.

    A real problem comes when basic human rights are ignored or trampled due to certain religious groups viewing the 'nonbelivers' or 'infidels' as being inherently 'wrong' and in need of 'correction' through conversion.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:27 pm |
  17. elias

    Islam does not distinguish between "politics" and "religion." It encompasses both. For the imam to speak favorably of secularism (separation of church and state) betrays his doublespeak and two-facedness. The site near the Twin Towers was selected with deliberate purpose. It is reminiscent of the building of the Dome of the Rock atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, which demonstrates the superiority of Islam over Christianity and Judaism. In this case, it should be called the Jihad Victory Mosque or the Martyrdom Memorial Mosque. To suggest, as the imam did, that Muslim and American values are identical is to feed food to useful idiots who cannot be bothered to research the menace in our front yard.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:22 pm |
    • General Dr Bad

      wrong.

      September 8, 2010 at 11:36 pm |
  18. Ariel

    Why not use this opportunity to create a center for peace? That means diverse religious/ideological groups share the space and no one group has sole ownership.

    A pure Islamic approach to 'peace' wont work. If there is to be a center for peace, it must involve the coorperation of equal partenrs of diverse ideologies-some of which dont directly agree with Muslim point of view.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:21 pm |
    • jeff

      have you heard the interview? the Cultural center will have interfaith prayer service.

      September 9, 2010 at 12:45 am |
  19. Vic

    I agree that the issue has been over-politicized. This nations core equality values dictates that we will allow a mosque to be built if we'd allow a chuch at ground zero. Any politician that formerly opposes that, or even uses it as a political bone, opposes the US constitution's 1st Amendment (Freedom of Religion). They have the right to comment as private citizens but when operating in their official capacity, the topic should be off limits. Every American should fear politicians that use religious arguments to gain political votes because their religion could be on the chopping block if it falls out of popular favor.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:17 pm |
  20. C. Murphy

    The Imam came on very strong about the center construction site not being "sacred ground" because it has strip joints and so forth. Well, those establishments represent FREEDOM. People who are so inclined can go to those places without fear of being persecuted. FREEDOM IS SACRED. Obrien should have picked up on that.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:17 pm |
    • Kate

      @C.Murphy

      If freedom is so sacred, why are you objecting to someone exercising freedom?

      You can't have your cake and eat it too.

      Just hungerin'

      September 8, 2010 at 11:19 pm |
    • General Dr Bad

      your kidding, right? you seen todays news?

      September 8, 2010 at 11:41 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.