September 20th, 2010
03:54 PM ET

Imam behind NYC Islamic center avoiding New York, getting protection over security concerns

The imam behind the proposed Islamic center and mosque near ground zero is largely avoiding New York City because of security concerns and is receiving protection from the New York Police Department, according to those close to the imam.

Video: Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf explains why his organization has chosen to build an Islamic Center so close to ground zero.

"There's just a lot of crazies and that's why he has police protection from the NYPD," the Rev. James Parks Morton said Monday of his friend Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.

"I know that he's being guarded, that he's not been staying in the usual places, that he's not working from his office and that he's concerned for his safety," said another friend of the imam's, Rabbi J. Rolando Matalon, in an interview Sunday night.

"He's staying in an undisclosed location, as they call it," said Matalon, a rabbi at B'nai Jeshurun on New York's Upper West Side.

The New York City Police Department did not respond to requests for comment.

Asked whether the FBI was investigating threats against Rauf, New York field office spokesman Bob Margolin declined to comment.

A media representative for Rauf, Seth Faison, would not comment on any security concerns.

Morton, former dean of New York's Cathedral of St. John the Divine, said the imam was mostly avoiding New York, where he typically works, since returning from a State Department trip to the Middle East two weeks ago.

Morton has known Rauf and his family since the 1960s and works in the same office building as Rauf on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

Rauf did not attend a Monday morning press conference at Park51, the site of the proposed Islamic center. Zaheer Uddin, Executive Director of the Islamic Leadership Council of New York, said security concerns kept the imam away.

Another Rauf associate, the Rev. Chloe Breyer, said the imam skipped a New York board meeting of her group, the Interfaith Center of New York, on Thursday. Rauf is a vice chair on center's board.

"He is laying low," Breyer, an Episcopal priest, said of Rauf Monday. "He isn't coming into New York."

Rauf was traveling in the Middle East on a U.S. State Department sponsored trip for much of August, returning to the U.S. on September 5.

Video: Former President Jimmy Carter says the controversial Islamic center should be built

He appeared at the Council of Foreign Relations in New York last Monday for a speech and question-and-answer session about the controversy over his proposed Islamic center.

Saying America has let extremists "hijack the agenda," the imam said at the forum that he wants to create a platform where the voice of moderate Muslims can be amplified.

"We come together at a time of great crisis and danger," he said. "What began as a dispute over a community center in lower Manhattan has spawned and grown into a much larger controversy about the relationship between my beloved religion and my beloved country, between Islam and America."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Houses of worship • Islam • Mosque • New York • United States

soundoff (784 Responses)
  1. J

    Same Islamic story different day...Blame America. "Saying America has let extremists "hijack the agenda," the imam said." Well "WE Americans" have not let extrimists "hijack the agenda". Moderate Islam has let extremists hijack their entire religion by not speaking out publically and in force against the violent (and religiously motivated) acts of Jihad and Sharia law.

    September 20, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
    • objectiveguy

      YESSSSS!!!!!! Well said!

      September 20, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
    • roots

      maybe google muslims speaking out against terrorism and see what you find. It's not the "moderates" fault that their speaking out isn't covered by the media. the idea that moderates don't speak out is one of the biggest pieces of propaganda out there right now.

      September 20, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
    • insulted66

      DON'T INSULT OUR INTELLIGENCE!!! IF the imam was truly interested in peace he would not insult US AMERICANS by spitting in our faces with his ridiculous monument to the terrorists that murdered so many people on 9/11 AND the surviving families that have struggled and continue to mourn their loved ones. He would understand and quit spewing his lies and trying to turn everything around to make it OUR fault not his... PUKE! I'm sick and tired of those who are "offended" by the US and our country and OUR traditions... If you are offended LEAVE ! HOW DARE YOU EXPECT TO COME HERE AND BE "OFFENDED" I AM INSULTED NOT THAT IT MATTERS. Things that have been here for decades are all of a sudden cause for offense??? YOU GO AWAY AND LEAVE US ALONG... BUILD YOUR STUPID MOSQUE IN YOUR OWN COUNTRY... oh that's right you don't like your country because it's better and easier to live here and steal from us.

      September 20, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
    • GT

      Hey, Insulted66, the guy is GD American. Where do you want him to go back to? Honestly son, you really shouldn't have dropped out of high school.

      September 20, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
    • John Doe

      Roots – I have no doubt some muslims are condemning terrorist acts. And I have even read at least 2 letters to the editor in WA post advising the center be moved. But what I, and many other Americans, are waiting for, is a more frequent or more general cry of outrage by "average" muslims against mioderate (destroying material things like holy books, churches) and especially against extreme muslim behavior (death threats against the draw mohamed gal, killing Christian school girls, killings/beatings of those who convert out of islam). I/WE HAVE NOT SEEN THEM. THEY ARE NOT TO BE FOUND IN THIS OR OTHER FORUMS, but I hope I am wrong, or that I will be wrong tomorrow when muslim conscience finally awakens!

      September 20, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
    • insulted66

      Where do I want him to go????? How about a cave with Bin Laden?

      September 20, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  2. joey navy

    Third world countries are last door on the left, can't miss it imam. Walk one-way to your location, and don't come back. Islam may be a peaceful religion, however, practice it in your country – your rules simply take away freedoms of most folks, god forbid you say something about Mohammad...oh you drew a funny cartoon, that's great son! Oh wait, Islam...you can't do that....and many other things – take that shi% back to your land, slumdog.

    September 20, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
    • TimInNC

      Apparently you missed the part about how this is his country. typical.

      September 20, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  3. Superchicken

    That's just sad. As for people calling for billing him, there is a big difference between the two situations as was evidenced when Rackspace pulled the page of the Koran burning "church"/hate group. Why? Due to hate speech on the site, which was very clear to anyone who visited it as I did.

    This country was built on tolerance, and it is with great sorrow that I concede that those who cannot see this fact and believe they are justified in spewing hate so readily apparent in the above posts have the right to live here.

    September 20, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
    • joey navy

      Ummmm, Freedom of Speech allows US, as Americans, to form an opinion and post it as we like. Could care less how you feel about others' opinions. Bill him and bill him big time. He can get his crap and get out of this country. The only reason they want to build there, is to claim a victory...take that trash to your own world...no wait, we'll let them build there but we must FIRST build a church or two (or many since they have many Mosques here) in Iran/Iraq, ect...then we'll build the Mosque, that's fair........

      September 20, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
    • Bmac

      Well the problem that you dont understand is that you make americans look like hypocrites. You want them to let a christian church be built in their country but yet you are complianing about a "mosque" being built here. They have every right to build that just as you have the right to freedom of speech and your opinion. Maybe all the hateful people like yourself should pay for it since it is people that are against their rights that have created this situation

      September 20, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
    • Nonimus

      joey navy,
      Sorry, but that's just silly. Since when do we demand actions in another country, before we allow our own citizens to exercise their consti.tutional rights?

      September 20, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
    • GT

      Hey, Joey Navy! What was it like being with all those Big Guns on that ship full of men? Ooooo, yeahhhh. Little bigot.

      September 20, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
    • darren

      joey navy, you might want to do a little research on both Iran and Iraq before you blurt out statements – BOTH countries have churches and synagogues. In fact, Jews officiallly became the protected minority in Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution; in Iraq, Christians were the protected minority under Saddam Hussein.

      September 20, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
    • Mike Speakman

      Superchicken – Freedom of speech includes so called hate speech. So yes, this Imam should pay and pay big just like they want that pastor to pay.

      The liberal loons are out in force tonight.

      American liberal, the anti America American.

      September 21, 2010 at 2:30 am |
  4. Nikki

    You should all be ashamed of yourselves. Haven't you heard of a world called "PEACE." If you don't give peace, you won't get peace. It will just be war after war...and all for what???? Possibly fear of being accepting of other people. Not all Islams are terrorists and not all American's are as closed minded as you!!

    September 20, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
    • jacob

      nikki you are a absolutely incorrect.

      September 20, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
    • TimInNC

      How is she incorrect jacob?

      September 20, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
    • Neal Kelley

      Jacob is incorrect. He just wants to hear is own ignorance and hate.

      September 20, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
    • Ausmadmaxx

      Every one against are trying so that you or your child wouldn't have to put on the BURKA and be treated as a thing.

      September 20, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
    • ya right!

      there is no such thing as peace. this is some stupid made up fantasy world that people like you think can happen.
      throughout all of human history, there has never been "Peace" anywhere, and there never will be.

      you dont have to like it, nor accept it, doesnt change the fact it isnt true.
      you can research it all you want, but it doesnt change the fact that there will always be war, with only cease fires filling the gaps between each war.

      have fun in your fantasy world.

      September 20, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
    • William

      Nikki, find another tree to hug, and keep dreaming of butterflies and daffodils.

      September 20, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
    • WhtieguyfromtheSouth

      I want my baby to be seen as a piece of meat in those shorttss...no burka or full clothesss allowedd in the US!!!
      Shake ur assss ...shake it ..shake it

      September 20, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
    • AScargo

      You make good points but your also missing a major point. Catholics make fun of Jews and Lutherns make fun Catholics and everyother faith makes fun of others. Do these faith go out and sue and demand legal action for jokes they find offensive? NO they don't. Muslims.. another story. They waste our money and court time demanding things change. They demand they are given time off at work to pray or do whatever? WHY? the other faiths have rituals also and they don't ask for time off or make the employer pay for this time. They apply rules that were usable 100s and 100s of years ago and bring them to a advanced open culture like America and expect us to take 100 steps backwards to make them feel good? I don't think so. They adapt to US not US to them. Any country that is ruled or controlled by a Muslim faith is jacked up in a major way. For the US to make changes and rules to fit the Muslim faith is wrong.

      Also for Muslim facility to be built near grand zero is inconsiderate and rude, even though their intent might be of peace. The connection between extremest Muslim faith and the norm is far but the norm Muslim faith should respect the wishes of THE MAJORITY of NYC and move away from ground zero and somewhere else in the city. America is about freedom of religion... its all about respecting others. The building of such location is an act of disrespct to the majority. If we allow this to be built then we are bending the wims of the USA to a faith that was not here when America was founded.

      September 20, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
    • Frogist

      Could you be more specific with your statistics for muslims taking more legal action over jews anc atholics and lutherans? I think I'd like to see some sources for that.
      As for time off work... there are jewish and christian holidays that people take time off from work for. And these are paid holidays in many instances. So I don't understand why you think taking time out for religion is unusual.
      What rules are you referencing that were usable only hundreds of years ago? And what rules are we changing for muslims? You talk about freedom of religion but don't seem to realise that those freedoms apply to muslims as well.
      I guess what I'm asking is could you provide specifics for your allegations?

      September 20, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
    • Robert

      @frogist, well there is the Muslim woman who has rejected every attempt by her employer, Disney, to accommodate her desire to be veiled while working. Then there are the Muslim taxi drivers in Minneapolis who refused to let people carrying alcohol or a blind person with their dog into their cabs. There is the Muslim woman, also in Minneapolis, who is a checkout person at Target and refused to checkout someone who was buying something that contained pork. There are also the Muslims at the Swift plant in Amarillo who are demanding they be allowed to pray during work. And there are many examples all over the world of Muslims demanding they be allowed to be covered whenever they want, for example while having their ID or driver license photo taken.

      September 21, 2010 at 9:57 am |
    • Robert

      @frogist, also, taking a day off every now and then is much easier for an employer to plan for than having to accommodate a group of employees who have to pray 5 times a day every day.

      September 21, 2010 at 10:03 am |
    • Enigmatic1

      Nikki.... let me guess.... Female aged 18 to 25, possible college student, born, raised and possible owkrs in the same 20 square miles all your life..... and BTW, it's not Islams, its Muslims. Muslims are the people who make up the religion Islam. It would really be good for you to be better traveled and educated before haveing such a strong opinion.

      September 21, 2010 at 12:44 pm |
    • BJH

      No, I have never heard of a world called "Peace" please point it out on the globe for me. I am familiar with the word "Peace" however its an idealistic nothing reserved for college philosophy classes. It has no place in the real world where human nature is a factor.

      September 21, 2010 at 2:38 pm |
  5. slozomby

    "said the imam was mostly avoiding New York, where he typically works, since returning from a State Department trip to the Middle East two weeks ago."

    what the heck was he doing on a state department trip?

    September 20, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
    • nt2050nt2050

      Perhaps, he is an informant for the US Gov. and actively providing intelligence on Islamic terrorists ?! my 2 cents...

      September 20, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
    • AD

      He was trying to convince them that America is not against Muslims (not a very sucessful trip).

      September 20, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
    • Neal Kelley

      My God you guys are really Idiots. The guy works for the state department on interfaith relations. Do you even read?!?!?! Oh.. I know.. you just face book facts and run with that!

      September 20, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
    • Realkman

      If you had half-a-brain, you would know that it is one of his official jobs for years.. to improve the ties broken by the Republican policies of the last decade on behalf of the U.S. Goverment..

      How do you guys manage to remain so ignorant, yet have the nerve to express opinions.. Ignorance MUST be bliss..

      September 20, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
    • GT

      He is over there trying to correct the enormous holes that you and your idiot leader GW Bush ripped in our reputation.

      September 20, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
    • Mike Speakman

      Would you liberal idiots get off bashing Bush, it was not our actions that punched holes into our relationships with Muslims. It was 9/11 then the widespread celebrations in Muslims cities of those attacks that punched holes into those relationships. We have nothing to apologize for to the Muslim world. In fact the Muslim world owes the free world several major changes to their faith to make it acceptable to the rest of the world. It would be best if you liberal loons just shut the heck up.

      American liberal, the anti-America American.

      September 21, 2010 at 2:23 am |
    • 2+2=5

      Mike your comment just proved everyone right. I love it. Way to go meathead. The only Anti-Americans are the ones who are constantly undermining everything we've been since the beginning. People like hmm....YOU!! Not even a Liberal, hows that taste? have a fine morning bud.

      September 21, 2010 at 7:51 am |
  6. nt2050nt2050

    Taxpayers of State of New York, New York City, and US taxpayers are paying for this guy's safety? As an American, I am concern that Islamic terrorists will attempt to kill us again, can I request protection from NYPD too? 🙂

    September 20, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
    • MC

      I was just thinking the same thing.

      September 20, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
    • Neal Kelley

      ignorant.. so you think this guy made up these threats against his life. I guess the Muslim taxi driver that got his throat cut because he was a Muslim made that up also. I guess you also stand with the idiots that says the Holocaust never happened. You sound a lot like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad president of Iran. You might be a terrorist or support terrorism because you want to deny this guy is right under the law to build a place of worship and now you want to deny him protection under the law. You sound like a card carrying member of the KKK.

      September 20, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
    • GT

      This man is and AMERICAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! His life is being threatened in the city where he lives and works. The police are protecting him. Would you not expect the same for your self? Use your brain, Suzy!

      September 20, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
    • Frogist

      @GT: Thank you for your common sense approach to this.

      September 20, 2010 at 8:05 pm |
  7. JP

    Gee , the country he loves? Funny, but if he loved this coutnry so much, why is it hard for him to come out and condemn the extremists? His love of country is not genuine , it is a ploy to garner the public's support and nothing more. If you love America, then just condemn the extremists and call upon all peaceful muslims to help rid the world of those who are perverting islam..

    September 20, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
    • Neal Kelley

      HE HAS!!... PEOPLE ON THIS BLOG MUST WANT THE MAN TO KNOCK ON EVERY AMERICANS DOOR AND DENOUNCE IT PERSONALLY. I see it does not matter what he says or do. Hate and racism is all that matters now. Google him and watch the dozens of interviews he has done condemning terrorism.

      September 20, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
    • m.24.m

      He did condemn the terrorist attack. It's the sad thing about america he went on larry king live and said he condemn the terrorist attack. When did Strip Club become a holy place...there is one right down the street? I bet all of you never met a real 'muslim' person all you do is feed of the media. It's a multi-faith centre where every1 is welcomed just because its 'muslim's' who are building this, thats why dumb american's are going crazy.....just llike the ymca the catholics built it because the protestants wouldn't let them build a place to pray.....IF america wants to be different that some idiots in the middle-east, build the multi faith centre.

      September 20, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
    • AD

      It does not matter how many times 'normal' Muslims condemn the extremists (which they do, all the time), people like you will never listen. You hear what you want to hear and if it does not conform to your worldview, you ignore.

      September 20, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
    • John Doe

      AD – look at these stats:
      Number of western/Christian participants who condemned the a**holes who threatened the imam – 10 or more.
      Number of muslim participants who condemned the a**holes who threatened the draw mohamed gal – ZERO.

      We can do the math. And it's part of how we Americans are evaluating (not judging) you "average" muslims. Where and when and how will you clean the crud from your own leg? At least we try.

      September 20, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
    • GT

      Uh, yeah. He's already done that Sparky. Any other ideas in that big pretty head of yours?

      September 20, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
    • Roger

      Neal – It is more important for the Muslims to confront OTHER muslims, not merely confront the non-muslims – which is made easy because of people like you. Sermonizing the non-muslims on "how good Islam is" is inadequate and almost fraudulent, because it helps people like you get sucked into a debate that you are ill-equipped to participate in.

      September 20, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
    • GT

      The real question is why aren't more intelligent and powerful Americans standing up to the hateful Republicans and Tea Baggers who are spewing hate and misinformation and tearing our country appart. And they call themselves Patriots!

      September 20, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
    • jean2009

      JP You are another case of someone spouting off without knowing the facts.

      September 20, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
    • Murf

      Can one of the Muslims posting comments to this story please provide some links to media coverage of your religious leaders and that have joined together to condemn acts of terror perpetrated by Islamic fundamentalists? I suppose western media just isn't covering it, and it isn't clear to me that your religion is trying to ferret out these murderers and speaking to prevent other young muslims from becoming terrorists.

      September 20, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
    • Robert

      @Neal Kelley, what race are Muslims?

      September 20, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
    • Frogist

      @John Doe: Yes, there are muslims who have spoken out against cartoonist Molly Norris' death threats. If you do a bit of research you will find muslims speaking for freedom of speech and against violence. To get you started try huffington post for stories by shahed amanullah or asma uddin. And altmuslim has the words of fellow cartoonist G WIllow Wilson.
      @Roger: I'm assuming you do not understand that the hatred aimed at muslims is racist in nature. If the interpretation of "muslim" is limited to a middle eastern man strapping on a bomb or a middle eastern woman wearing a hijab, then we are looking at muslims as negative stereotypes of brown people which is, in effect, racist. That article by Shahed Amanullah will illustrate more.

      September 20, 2010 at 8:04 pm |
    • Robert

      @Frogist, You are free to define muslims as brown middle eastern men who strap bombs to themselves or hijab wearing women, I consider a muslim someone, including people of all colors, who believes in Allah of the Qur'an. So it is now racist, oh excuse me, racist in nature, for someone to mistrust muslims? I guess the actions of muslims in 9/11, Madrid, London, Bali, Beslan or in response to cartoons, or suggested qur'an burning could in no way be responsible for how non-muslims feel about muslims?

      September 21, 2010 at 1:50 am |
  8. ray gibbs

    A courageous American, New Yorker, man of faith. Now, more than ever, an Islamic center (as proposed) which will bring us closer together. Remember, not too long ago, "Give Peace chance".

    September 20, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
    • mike

      The problem as I see it is I have no desire to be brought closer to him or frankly any other Muslims. They can do what they like with their faith but I see nothing there for me. To me the very concept of Islam is ridiculous.
      Worship as you please but I don't need or want any kind of connection.
      I had a video forwarded to me the other day of a young girl being stoned to death for refusing an arranged marriage to a much older man(decades). When the stones didn't kill her they dropped concrete cinder blocks on her head.
      So no, thank you. I would rather catch the plague than be friends with people like that.

      September 20, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
    • GT

      That's right, Mike! We American's are SO civilized. Let's see, what do we do? Hang people. Electrocute people. Poisen people. Oh! Don't forget, invade people's countries, set up fake leaders that we control, torcher people, kill people with robotic planes. Our high schoolers shoot their classmates. We are a beautiful model for the rest of the world to follow.

      September 20, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
    • Frogist

      @mike: I don't doubt there are vicious cold-hearted people who do things like you witnessed in that video. But not all muslims are that way or condone that. I know quite a few. Maybe if you knew a few of them you wouldn't feel the way you do. I suggest trying to meet some muslim people in a social situation and you will see they are not all monsters like in that video. You have to try to learn more before you condemn an entire group of people.

      September 20, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
  9. MC

    This guy is either sympathetic to terrorists, or he is an idiot. If the idea was to bring people together, IT IS NOT WORKING! He can see that but he continues. Why? I happen to live 2 blocks away, in a neighborhood that has been attacked twice by Muslim extremists. He is really putting us in the cross hairs again. LEAVE US ALONE!

    September 20, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  10. Ralph T

    Geez, I hope Americans don't act as crazy as their radical Islamic counterparts. It's so stupid that a religious leader like this has to worry for his life in America!!! He didn't kill anyone. I agree that the Islamic center should be built somewhere else, but in this country one shouldn't have to fear for one's life because of one's religion.

    September 20, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
    • Gingerpeach

      It's not fair for a person to have to go into hidding and fear for her life because of a cartoon either, but she had to!

      September 20, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
    • Neal Kelley

      I agree.. this guy has to live in terror in fear of his life and yet "They are the terrorist". Hypocrites!

      September 20, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
    • doughnuts

      He's not worried about his life. He's worried about getting hauled into court in New Jersey to face charges of being a slum-lord.
      Imam Rauf could walk down Broadway carrying a sign identifying himself, and no-one would harm him.

      That ass in Florida, on the other hand, would last about 5 seconds in Kabul or Islamabad.

      September 20, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  11. Fahim Lodhi

    This is not the America I have grown to love and respect! I came to America 14 years ago as a young child because I knew America was a diverse place full of many different beliefs and cultures. America is a place where anyone, and can practice their faith peacefully, whether they are Christian, Jewish, or Muslim! Our Founding Fathers are probably turning over in their graves right now. They would probably so DISGUSTED with the amount of hatred spreading against Muslims! The only radicals I see here are all the people that are against the construction of the Islamic Cultural Center. The location of Park 51 is a place where there is night clubs and strip clubs...So wait its okay to have strip clubs so close to Ground Zero? But when people want to build a cultural center open to people of all faiths its wrong? Republicans and other right winged extremists say that they are "worried" about the feelings of the victims families...but are they? Republicans are the ones who voted against extending the benefits for 9/11 victims and their families?

    September 20, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
    • Ausmadmaxx

      Why don't we build a Christian center and welcome you to pray. Would you Join? Read on some history. This so called center is for nothing but propaganda or conversion.

      September 20, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
    • Neal Kelley

      Talk to the Native Americans or to African Americans to get a clearer view of what it means to be American. Not all white people are racist. But in a country that has majority of whites it seems like it is everywhere. With African Americans.. it is a love hate relationship.

      September 20, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
    • JM

      Cultural center? What a joke. How many non-muslims will enter this 'Cultural Center'. I'll tell you. NONE. No non-muslim enters a mosque, cz they are infidels and are not welcome there.

      September 20, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
    • StevenS

      You know? I do not think you are american enough! Don't even mention "founding fathers"! I also came here from Russia 17 years ago, and for some reason I am with most of americans regarding the Mosque! And yes, I am offended by Muslim Imam and others who support him! No one is saying that all muslims are terrorists, but I am (as most of americans) 100% sure that
      whoever gives him money to build the mosque is not just regular peaceful mulsims and they do have an agenda to build not just a mosque for regular mulsims to pray, but to build a simbol, a monument to terrorists!!! Otherwise it would be built anywhere else!

      September 20, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
    • Neal Kelley

      @JIM so what cultural center do you attend? the doors are open for anyone to attend. Not just Muslims.

      September 20, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
    • m.24.m

      ur correct, its sad to see how these 'civilized' citizen are acting like NAZIs........
      JM: Have you ever tried to enter a mosque? I dont think so because every1 is welcome there....because none of my imams in north america ever told me to not be friends with Non-muslim. It's getting to a point where you guys are making childish arguments.

      September 20, 2010 at 4:49 pm |

      Strip clubs are more synonymous with America than mosque are.

      September 20, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
    • GT

      As a white America, I am deeply embarrassed that you have to deal with the ignorance of the so-called Americans posting on this site. You are welcome in our country, as we all were welcomed. Don't listen to the nut job extremist republicans. They are loud, but they are small.

      It is an excellent point about the strip clubs.

      September 20, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
    • John Doe

      m.24.m – anyone who equates some of the nasty comments here with Nazism is not very rational. This is one of the healthy things about America. Freedom of speech. Something quite common in muslim lands ... not. At least we are allowed to call names and give opinions about our fellow forum folks without being censored (too heavily, but some), beheaded, threatened with death, noses cut off, stoned to death, or gassed. That's Nazism, and curiously, Hitler had some curious relationships with muslim lands during WWII. Hatred of Jews, or some such thing. We are not Nazis or racists, most of us, but average Americans watching what is coming at us as more and more muslims come into this land of freedom of religion, speech, and rule of law.

      September 20, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
    • alex

      @stevenS :
      so what about the mosque they have been praying at for the past decade...or two decades since it predates the towers

      September 20, 2010 at 7:10 pm |
    • darren

      jazz, maybe you need to at least be able to spell the names of the countries that you are accusing of barbarism – you might want to go back to high school. You remind me of the 63% of the Americans who cannot even find Iraq on a map, even if it's a map of the Middle East. I seriously doubt you've ever left the confines of your mother's basement. Oh, and just in case you haven't noticed – none of the terrorists have come from Bangladesh or Malaysia. And I've been to Malaysia – one of the most beautiful and tolerant countries in the world. Mentally more advanced than the U.S., that's for sure.

      September 20, 2010 at 8:16 pm |
    • msaprilr

      Don't attach your emotions to the founding fathers. You have no idea what they would feel or think about this situation. And you know what? I've lived here FORTY years and I can tell you that this country was never accepting of the evil nonsense in the muslim religion. But when I was a kid, there weren't any muslims here. I've lived in 16 states from Idaho to Florida and I never heard of a Muslim until I was 19 years old. If someone had asked me whether we should accept muslims into our country, I'd have said yes because I didn't know what a muslim was. Now that I know, I'd definitely deport the whole lot of you. Your religion is an evil infection that makes everyone around you miserable. Islam will always be at odds with American values.

      September 21, 2010 at 9:52 am |
    • Phil

      Jazz: Malezia? Really? Your commentary is too simplistic and utterly vitriolic to point out your numerous grammatical errors which make your point even more absurd and silly..

      Steven: One could make the same argument about Russian Orthodoxy based on historical context. Be very careful..

      My parents, who are devout Christians (Protestant to boot, for those who believe Protestantism is the "true faith", that was for you), entered a mosque while visiting St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Non-Muslims are permitted inside certain sections of a mosque, of course, rules withstanding, however, you can enter.. and if I recall correctly, this will be an interfaith center, meaning that all religious expressions will be allowed entrance for dialogue, otherwise, calling it an "interfaith center" would be meaningless..

      Our country was founded on religious freedom and allowances for religious expression to be manifested as long as it showed no interference with the secular law of the land. Otherwise, Dan and his faith of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (my friends who worship Cthulhu will battle your paltry group to the end! hehe) couldn't even express their opinions, much less Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Shintoists, Taoists, Shamanists, Satanists, etc..

      September 21, 2010 at 11:03 am |
    • BJH

      If you used to love this country, some 14 years ago, but you don't any longer, why do you stay? Go, trust me, we won't miss you. I suppose it must still be better than wherever third world you came from. Not so bad after all is it?

      September 21, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
    • Bangu


      September 21, 2010 at 2:51 pm |
  12. John Doe

    The fact that the imam says Extremists have hijacked the agenda shows how he STILL does not get it! Jews who were offended by (German) Catholic nuns establishing a chapel at Auschwitz were NOT extremists either. Thankfully, the Pope was able to see the lack of respect having the chapel at that location, and he had the brains and the humanity to remove it. The imam (and many other muslims) needs to learn about emotional sensitivity, and respect. I hate the KKK, but I'm white. I hate Nazis, but I am ethnically German. And I hate muslim terrorists, and we are hopefully both human. I am not a racist because I hate the KKK, but many Southerner were and still are. I am not a racist because I hate Nazis, though many Germans supported the party, and I am not an extremist because I hate muslim terrorists, though many muslims support what they do. Prove you don't by moving the mosque/center site. We are not judging you; we are evaluating your humanity.

    September 20, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
    • Nonimus

      I would suggest that the analogy would work better if it were:
      KKK (not all white people)
      Nazis (not all Germans)
      Al-Qaeda (not all Muslims)

      September 20, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
    • TimInNC

      Perhaps Americans should grow up instead, learn to tell the difference, and stop blaming/persecuting an entire people based on the actions of fringe extremists.

      September 20, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
    • John Doe

      I guess I have to explain the (apt) analogy. German Catholic nuns, who had NOTHING to do with killing the hundreds of thousands of Jews at Auschwitz put up a Christian chapel where some of their fellow Germans (Nazis – whose actions the nuns had NOTHING to do with) killed those Jews. It was INSENSITIVE! A Christian site where nominally Christian extremists had killed Jews. The analogy is that current "naive" muslims are the equivalent of those "naive" nuns. They got corrected by the pope. You all need to get corrected by .... who is your equivalent conscience?

      September 20, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
    • mohawk067

      Did you even proof your comment your telling one person not to lump everyone together yet you did it like all camel jockeys do

      September 20, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
    • GT

      Actually, you can draw some parallels between Israel, and an extremist state like Iran. KEY PROBLEM for both countries is that they have blurred the lines between religion and state. That is why they are both irrational countries who can not find peace, because religion and government have no place together. THAT is why this mosque should and must be built, otherwise America will fall into the chaos that those other countires are drowning in.

      September 20, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
    • GT

      Wait, the jews were killed by "extremist Chrisitans?!?" No they were not! Nazi's were not any more Christian than Tim McVeigh was a Christian. Clearly, in your story, the Jews WAY overreacted. They think of a concentration camp sacred ground, the way the nut jobs call ground zero hallowed ground. It aint. It's a place where some really bad stuff happened. How does that make it holy? Calling it sacred is just another way for people to hold onto hate and pain. Everyone in these two stories, including the Jews, would be better off letting go of the hate.

      September 20, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
    • Roger

      Nonimus – However ...

      Suicide Bombers (all Muslims) (i.e. at least 99.9% and outside of Srilanki)

      September 20, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
    • ugghh

      "Did you even proof (proofread) your comment your (you're) telling "...Yes, proofreading is a wonderful thing!...How come the most ignorant are the most uneducated?

      September 20, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
    • John Doe

      GT – "nominally Christian extremists": nominally means in name only! As HOPEFULLY muslims extremists are, nominally muslims.

      September 20, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
    • Medardus


      "Wait, the jews were killed by "extremist Chrisitans?!?" No they were not! Nazi's were not any more Christian than Tim McVeigh was a Christian."

      Hitler was a Roman Catholic. The standard issue belt buckle for the German Army was adorned with the phrase "Gott Mit Uns (God is with us)."

      September 20, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
    • Jamie

      The sensitivity argument is bullsh!t. You want people to be sensitive to your bigotry. Replace Muslims and mosque with Christians and church and there is no longer an issue. This is the essence of prejudice and bigotry.

      September 20, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
    • Jamie

      Hey John – all of the 9/11 Hijackers had beards. Would it also be insensitive to erect a building for The Beard Club of America near ground zero?

      September 20, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
    • Frogist

      Jamie is making a lot of sense here.

      September 20, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
    • brooklyn moe

      jamie is making no sense. those bearded men weren't praising their beards as they piloted those hijacked planes into the wtc. if they were, jamie might be making sense.

      September 20, 2010 at 7:55 pm |
    • JLS639

      This comparison is not a good one. The reason the Jews were offended by the convent included the fact that Christian nuns were going to be praying for the souls of the Jews who were killed. A truly analagous situation would be if Muslim clerics were declaring some group of murdered Christians were going to be admitted to the Islamic afterlife. If the convent were being built there because the nuns lived in the area and needed more prayer space, then do you think that the Jewish community would have objected? I doubt it.

      Furthermore, it is important to note the history of monks and nuns praying for the souls of people in Europe. There is a long historical tradition of people presumed to be spending a lot of time in purgatory or going to hell hiring monks and nuns to pray for their souls which would get them into heaven. Therefore, having nuns praying for Jewish souls could be interpreted (from a European historical perspective) as saying the Jews were sinners destined for Hell.

      So, to extend the analogy above, it would only be similar if the Muslim group was saying they were getting Christian souls who would otherwise be doomed to Hell into the Islamic afterlife. This is NOT the purpose of Cordoba House/Park51.

      In conclusion: the situations are not at all similar.

      September 20, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
    • pat

      sorry buddy we will never give in to personal feeling if it tramples out freedoms!!! cry as much as you won't, or spread hate like a terrorist would but nothing will change!!! The mosque will be built and the only threat from that is a white radical nut with a match, not a Muslim terrorist, oh ya opposing this build gives power to your enemies it doesn't help you in a lose lose situation!!!

      September 20, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
  13. Jeff A.

    maybe he is hiding all with the cartoonist who depicted muhammed....

    September 20, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
    • Aria

      Some of you typed "jesus is not a profit" ha! Well yes he is in Christianity, everyone on Christmas is profiting in his name. He was not even born on December 25th. So yes the idea of his birth *sigh*.

      Jesus and his mother are honored in the Quran. A surah (chapter) is named Maryam (Mary). Jesus as a baby speaks to save his mother from being accused of being an unwed mother. It's not mentioned in the Bible. if you read your own Bible, Jesus is not admitting he is devine. Jesus says I can't do anything on my own. Jesus prays. Jesus is human. God can make us all pregnant right now if he wants, he doesn't have to go inside us and reincarnate. Any way that is a different argument, but the point is Muslims believe in all Biblical prophets not profits as some of you typed, maybe it was a fraudian slip.

      September 20, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  14. Tsshhhh

    The slumlord has bigger problems in Jersy. This dude's the devil (I'm agnostic, calm down, just a figure of speech)!

    September 20, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
    • Kraznodar

      Which "dude" are you saying is the devil? You are not very clear.

      September 20, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
    • zaman

      i wonder who among the christian crazies issued a christian Fatwa against this good muslim man ... or is it that the message of those crazy christianity can't compete with the message of this man's islam ...

      September 20, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
    • MrsFizzy

      Zaman, let's say, crazies who think they are Christian.

      September 20, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
    • TinCanOnAString

      Mrs. Fizzy... I agree, but fair is fair. Until we stop calling terrorists who use Islam as an excuse by the term muslims, it's only right that we ascribe the label christians to those lunatics who blow-up abortion clinics and kill abortion doctors, burn qurans, and protest soldiers' funerals because "God hates f@gs," all in the name of Jesus.

      September 20, 2010 at 7:44 pm |
  15. Tim

    America went into Iraq to give freedom to a group of people who were enslaved by a dictator. Do American simpletons realize that roughly 35% of iraqi's are sunni and 65% are shiate? 100% of the people they're trying to install "Freedom and democracy and show how great the USA is" are muslims? Then they scream such hate filled crap about muslims back in America. Make up your mind USA, you're losing a lot of face value with the rest of the world.

    September 20, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
    • TimInNC

      You forget, these are also the Americans who forget we put Saddam in power, adn that it is our fault that the Immams are now running Iran. The ones who have the memory of a fruit fly.

      September 20, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
    • Ausmadmaxx

      USA will never put-up with the crap.

      September 20, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
    • Roger

      TimInNC – Better the memory of a fruit fly, than the brains of a fruit fly.

      Can you please grow up into a real fly, now please?

      September 20, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
    • MrsFizzy

      I don't recall "America" holding a referendum on that, whatever our memories were we had no say. And "restoring freedom" was just one of the lines that got spun to stop opposition. But it's easier to blame an entire country...like blaming entire religions, hmm.

      September 20, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
    • gary

      Correction of what you said: america went to iraq for supposed WMDs.

      September 20, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  16. Christi


    September 20, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
  17. Scurred

    He sure has a calm friendly looking face, doesn't he? hahah, yeah right!

    September 20, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
    • Gotcha

      What do you mean...He is not white?...he has thick eye brows?...He does not have colored eyes?....When was the next convention of KKK again?

      September 20, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
    • GT


      September 20, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
    • Roger

      GT & Gotcha – Er..... do you mind stepping out of your Burqa please? Would like to see who you guys are. I call Boris Karloff worse than I call this "Imam".

      September 20, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
    • MrsFizzy

      I'm with Gotcha. So he's an old man with some lines in his face & prominent eyebrows... I think he's not even angry in that photo. But some people see what they want to see..no wonder people can't get along!

      September 20, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
    • Frogist

      And Benedict 16 is so cute... come on. He's not hot? That's the best you can do?

      September 20, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
    • tom

      I think the poster meant he looked scared, retards

      September 21, 2010 at 9:58 am |
  18. Jim P

    +1 for a bill from the city. No sense playing favorites here. If they expect a 50 member congregation to cough up $180,000 for "security" they can sure expect a religion with 50 million followers to do the same.

    September 20, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
    • WER

      You better get the numbers right and know what Islam is about. Learn before you react. Read before you burn. Muslims are 1.5 billion not 50 million.

      September 20, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
    • Tyler Durden the Narrator

      50 million? you mean 1.5 billion.

      There are more muslims in the world than christians...

      September 20, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
    • Timothy

      Hell yes! Make him pay just like anyone else!! No special treatment!

      September 20, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
    • WER

      Do you guys know how to read? Read and learn before you speak.. Simple

      September 20, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
    • GT

      Yo, Jim P. Why is it you idiot Republican/white supremists lump a hate-stirring book burner in with an enlightened American who is trying to build a center for peace and community? In what world are those two the same? Perhaps in your sad little racist world? I'm glad I never have to visit there. What a hell you live in.

      September 20, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
    • rcasteel

      Not hardly ...Muslim population = 1.6 billion Christian population = 2.4 billion

      September 20, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
    • Ann

      True.. I love the way how muslim population just explodes with in year. The other day some body was saying they are close to 2 billion and in 20 years they will be dominant... give me a break.

      September 20, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
    • Lily

      Tyler, there are over 2 billion Christians in the world & about 1.5 billion Muslims.

      September 20, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
    • Matt

      There are not more Muslims in the world than Christians. There are over 2 billion Christians and 1.5 billion Muslims.

      September 21, 2010 at 12:35 am |
    • HEMANT P.


      September 21, 2010 at 9:49 am |
    • Fleur

      The Islamic extremists use their own people as suicide bombers – they are killing their own population!

      September 21, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
  19. TimInNC

    It is most unfortuante that this is necessary, however if you look at the reactions they have been getting it is obvious that it is...necessary.

    September 20, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
    • Roger

      TimInNC – who will pay for the security needed for keeping the Islamists out of the country?

      September 20, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
    • Kraznodar

      roger- It is payed for by honest American citizens that pay their taxes like the Imam in the article.

      September 20, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
    • alex

      I think eventually he will realize that the biggest bridge Muslims can buid right now is to not build mosque there since its causing so much ....
      but my question is how far is far enough... this is not about community center or a Mosque. its about how the religions being viewed as a whole... and for that im all for him.

      September 20, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
    • Sunnyvale

      like the crazy priest in Florida, the imam should pay the bill. He caused all of this!

      September 20, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
    • Fleur

      Sunnyvale, I agree with you! He's digging his own grave and HE SHOULD PAY FOR THE PROTECTION AS A CONSEQUENCE!

      September 20, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
    • J.A. Messenger

      In kind, who is paying for protection against the nut case in Florida? I'm sure, probably more so than the imam, he has a big target on his back.

      September 21, 2010 at 11:03 am |
  20. skywizard

    Hay as long as he doesn't draw a cartoon Jesus, he will be fine.

    September 20, 2010 at 4:09 pm |
    • Anu

      Dan, and let you be blessed by his noodly appendage(borrowed from someone)

      September 20, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
    • Dan Rizzuto

      Greetings Anu,

      May you be blessed by His noodly appendage as well. You seem like a smart young man. Go forth and preach the Good Word!

      September 20, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
    • Fleur

      As the saying goes "it goes around and comes around".

      September 20, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
    • moses

      Cyrus.....that may be true BUT Mary gets more credit than Jesus....whom they believe was NOT crucified and raised...As far as I'm concerned draw anything you want,,,IF they don't know what he looks like(Mohamed) how can they get upset...If this is the case a drawing of an apple is offensive if called Mohamed??? In the words of Spock....."Highly illogical!"

      September 20, 2010 at 7:07 pm |
    • Lamar H

      Pat, let me speak for myself and other Roman Catholics –

      Roman Catholics believe (if you've been to church you'd know this) that Jesus is God. We recite this at every Mass and several other prayers (Jesus Christ... God from God, begotten not made, one in being with the Father, through him all things were made....)

      September 20, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
    • moses

      Pat ...Roman Catholics believe in the Trinity .....God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost(spirit)

      September 20, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
    • moses

      Zaheer Babar - Islam is not the faith for those know as Muslims it is for mankind just like Judaism and Christianity when they were revealed through Moses and Jesus

      Sorry old top...your Koran came about around 600 years after Christ........I believe Islam was an off shoot for a purpose other than religion......IT certainly WAS not The book that Moses followed or for that matter anything remotely close..

      September 20, 2010 at 7:32 pm |

      To those who bemoan a lack of democracy or freedom in America because there are opponents to a mosque, do you even realize the fact we're even having an open dialogue about theology, culture and history (and all the individual interpretations of it) is evidence that democracy and freedom are alive and well. In many other countries, there would be NO public debate about an issue with parallel importance.

      PS – No one is violating anyone else's freedom of speech. Just because someone disagrees with your opinion and challenges you, does not mean you are being silenced. It's called America. As Americans, we should all know this.

      September 20, 2010 at 7:51 pm |
    • TomAmerican

      How very interesting that he is saying that this mosque is to promote peace and understanding, but he is staying away from it because of possible violence. With this kind of reaction before it is even built, what does he expect when it opens?

      If he feels that he is doing the right thing, he should fearlessly stand in front of the masses promoting his cause.

      But, he isn't.........

      September 20, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
    • FreedomForAll

      that is perhaps the most close-minded, racist, intolerable statement I have heard in quite some time. Did you know Jesus said to love thy neighbor as thy self: The Golden rule. Also, the Imam is not from "his country" off in the middle East. America is NOT a christian nation. It may have a firm Christian majority and yes, many of its cultural and social background comes from Christianity. However it has separation of church and state. All Muslim Americans have just as much right to pray, worship, or build a mosque wherever the law permits, as Christians, Jews and people off all faiths do. Any less is religious persecution, the very thing that the puritans were escaping when they came to this great land. Think before you speak... or type, you may seem a little less bigoted next time.

      September 20, 2010 at 10:03 pm |
    • moses

      Pat says - you sponsor terrorism if you oppose the build get it???

      Surely to God you cannot be that daft??????? Can you??? Tell it to the survivors of about 300d dead..amazing! Truly!

      September 20, 2010 at 10:04 pm |
    • Sea

      Sometimes a crackhead and an alcoholic like Axl Rose seems smarter than many Christians... "When everybody fighting for the promised land"... honestly, as a Catholic myself, I rarely believe what my priests tell me.... it's very bigot to say that you know God especially when you're Christian.

      September 20, 2010 at 10:15 pm |
    • allen

      Maybe we should just let him pay for the security out of the funds he will undoubtedly raise from overseas Muslim connections. And aren't these the people who no one reeeaaally understands-they are so sensitive? We must treat them with kit gloves, rememeber? No political cartoons, no books, no Western influence. But it's OK to build in the shadows of Ground Zero? Let the people of sensitivity be sensitive enough to pay for his security.

      September 20, 2010 at 10:46 pm |
    • livinonhigh

      Pat-You're Roman catholic and you know Jesus is not God? Perhaps you've heard of a little something called the Nicene Creed? It's the statement of faith of all Catholics; if you've ever gone to mass it's recited right after the homily typically. An excerpt for your information: "...We believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only son of God. Eternally begotten of the Father, Light from Light, True God from True God, Begotten not Made, ONE IN BEING WITH THE FATHER, through Him all things were made"... I have been saying on all my post, please educate yourself before you open you uneducated mouth. Whether for or against the mosque, also get educated. Like we know with the koran burning, just because you can doesn't mean you should. Read (I have) "111 Questions about Islam and the West" by Samir Khalil SAMIR S.J. An arabic priest, born in Egypt, living in Beirut . Maybe read the "Son of Hamas" by Mosab Hassan Yousef. The son of an Hamas founder. You can u-tube him if you prefer, short and to the point. Listen to or read about Zuhdi Jasser, the founder and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. He is the one we as taxpayers should be sending across the country to share about America. Then there is a new report out this week by 19 national security advisors about the threat of sharia in the US. They are calling themselves "Team B II" . The original "Team B " was focused on the threat of soviet communism. This imam should be under 24/7 surveillance not protection. He is a bully! As parents we tell are kids to stand up to bullies or they will give you hell more and more. He said we must build or there will be hell to pay. I guess there will be whether we build or not. If I might also add, that he said that it was very important for separation of church and state and politicizing religion was very dangerous. Then out of the other side of his mouth he said that the US should be sharia compliant. Sharia is the political, governmental, court system attached to islam. Yeah, like we need another court system!. One is enough, I don't think we need one for every religion, not even the ideology of islam. We need to get educated and wake up, so are our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren won't have to live under sharia.

      September 20, 2010 at 11:47 pm |
    • livinonhigh

      Ahmed-I should have also added to my post, to read about how the koran cam into existence and who Mohammed is! ....Two decades after Mohammed's death, the revelations were collected into a book. He never wanted this collection to be assembled during his lifetime. Therefore, the suras were memorized and sometimes copied onto pottery fragments, inscribed on palm leaves or parchment and even marked onto camel bones. The khalif 'Uthman ordered that all these various fragments be collected with the purpose of creating a mus-haf, a book. In fact, Uthman wished to confront definitively the problem caused by the diffusion of many different versions of the Qur'an, He gathered the seven most famous huffaz (memorizers), who had learned by heart some passages of the Qur'an and created an official version called 'uthmana. The author of this writing "Samir Khalil SAMIR, S.J. 111 Question about Islam and the West". He goes on about who Mohammed is as well, and I could too. About his life and all his wife's and his favorite wife that he married at 6 and how everyone converted to islam, not by a heart change but by military supremacy, but I will stop for now.

      September 21, 2010 at 12:16 am |
    • Popeye

      May the Flying Spaghetti Monster bless you with his noodley appendage.

      September 21, 2010 at 12:38 am |
    • Mosqeey


      September 21, 2010 at 1:16 am |
    • djmerle

      We are several generations displaced from our late 1700's kin.........yet religious freedom is what it is; just because we don't like it does not mean we should cancel it's protection. Build the Mosque.

      September 21, 2010 at 1:43 am |
    • WorldIsRound

      There are court cases pending against him for corruption and irregularities that he got involved in as a slum lord.

      September 21, 2010 at 6:09 am |
    • Mike L

      So has anyone missed the fact that there's been no discussion of how SHARIA LAW
      fits Islam's plan? Beating women and so on? you must be killed if you leave islam?
      this is the core issue with the religion and it's own law. its incompatible with our American Laws.

      September 21, 2010 at 7:01 am |
    • 2+2=5

      Whip out the crack pipe Marie. Uneducated just a little? I love freedoms response, about time I see someone on here that hasn't burnt up every last brain cell.

      September 21, 2010 at 7:33 am |
    • sameeker

      Are they going to bill him for security like they did the preacher in Florida?

      September 21, 2010 at 8:13 am |
    • ARMYofONE

      I wonder if he gets charged like the Pastor did for his protection. He was charged 180,00 dollars. The Imam need to pay for NYPD protection as well.

      September 21, 2010 at 9:15 am |
    • Julie

      If he's so sure this is the right thing to do, why does he think he's in danger? There are a million other places in the US he can build his mosque which is only to make him feel powerful and build his ego. I really hope either our government or our people convince him to go build it elsewhere. To put in 2 blocks from the WTC site is an insult to our country.

      September 21, 2010 at 9:36 am |
    • Faraz

      Freedom of religion.. What's going on is unfair.. people come to the USA because of our rights.. talk about ridiculous.

      September 21, 2010 at 9:38 am |
    • Jane

      HaH1! I like that one! Exactly to the point. Pretty ironic that they use the US as a cover and diversion for Muslim intolerance of other Muslims and non-Muslims.

      September 21, 2010 at 9:42 am |
    • Sam

      I agree with this perspective:

      I'm a liberal, but this guy is not to be trusted. I have no problems with Mosques anywhere, but naming it Cordoba and saying that if he can't build it people out of his control will kill......... But he'll probably get what he wants, since we are now so PC that we can't even spot a deception.

      September 21, 2010 at 9:43 am |
    • John

      A couple of things come to mind, ranging from If a Church or Synagogue can be built near Ground Zero so can a Mosque, to Its a sad day when an american citizen can't travel freely in a major US city because of his religious beliefs, to don't you know that Christians, Jews and Muslims are all worshiping the god of Abraham? This is so sad for our country.

      September 21, 2010 at 9:45 am |
    • BB

      Sounds like there is a Fatwa on Imam. Now he knows what its like to live as a non-Muslim in a Muslim country

      September 21, 2010 at 9:54 am |
    • Rafe

      All of these comments make a very valid point. "Who's to say?"

      Belief in one's religion is good for that particular person.

      Assume Dan writes a book about the, "Great Noodle Monster," or I write one about the, "Great God Snickers," and then stick in a cave to let it sit for a thousand years. Some future archaeologist stumbles across it. It WILL inspire followers, as humans want to believe in a greater power whether one exists or not.

      September 21, 2010 at 10:02 am |
    • Halion

      To those who believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster: May he guide you with his wisdom.

      September 21, 2010 at 10:07 am |
    • Seth

      Why Cnn is still trying to keep this subject alive? its already a done deal, He has the right to build whatever he wants to on his private property and He will and thats the end of the story. There already is a mosque on the proposed project. They will going to bring it down and build a new one.

      September 21, 2010 at 10:44 am |
    • sockeyerama

      To me, the debate between the two religions is like agueing which is more real, "True Blood" or "The Hobbit". Hard to take any of these fantasies seriously. When you Jesus and Mohamed trekies start to get serious about your differences, then we end up having to intercede. Recently the Chinese, French and for a long time the Russians have tried to keep the peace, but sure don't want to go down that path either. Why can't you all just chant quietly to yourselves. Heck..you've got the holy light of_________just a shining in your hearts. Why not just leave it at that and go about your day with that s$#t-eating grin?

      September 21, 2010 at 10:44 am |
    • Jeff Kelly

      The only reason Imam is staying out of N.Y. is that it is full of "infidels" that they need to rid.

      September 21, 2010 at 10:46 am |
    • Danish

      This is what in the BIble FYI:
      Deuteronomy 18:15-16
      The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. For this is what you asked of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, "Let us not hear the voice of the LORD our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die."

      Then in John 15:26 Jesus Christ says:
      “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.

      Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is the prophet like Moses (Peace be upon him), as he has a Holy Book. While Jesus Chris himself said in John that there will be a holy spirit that would come and testify me. So even though things are getting complicated in understanding Bible with the passage of time, Holy Quran has testified Jesus Christ.

      September 21, 2010 at 10:51 am |
    • Russ

      Could it be possible that Christians are upset and can intimidate as well as Muslims.

      September 21, 2010 at 11:00 am |
    • bobby wire

      There's just a lot of crazies and that's why he has police protection from the NYPD," ha what a joke....a religion that represents and supports terrorism is crazy....not the p[eople of new york

      September 21, 2010 at 11:06 am |
    • aubrie

      Both are wrong. No one religion gets anything 100% right...... Naive if you think so.

      September 21, 2010 at 11:06 am |
    • Jeff

      This guy is amazing, claiming New York isn't safe, but he wants to build a mosque that will be a part of a movement that incites violence in the Middle East and else where? He's a puke!

      September 21, 2010 at 11:11 am |
    • Jolly Green Giant

      If the greatest honor a Muslim can recieve is to die in Jihad, why is Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf hiding? Is he afraid of death? I thought death defending your faith was the greatest honor a Muslim couuld achive. So why is he hiding has he no faith in Ahalla? Why is he afraid of death with 77 virgins awaiting him?
      Everyone wnats to go to heaven but no one wants to die to get there.

      September 21, 2010 at 11:23 am |
    • DLR

      @ Thirsty: Your statement is probably heartfelt, and makes a lot of sense............if you still need bronze age voodoo as filtered through dozens of centuries of selfish political manipulation to explain the world. I have no qualms with anyone using these religions as mediums to tie communities together over time, or to make sense of the world through METAPHOR. However, if you take ANY of these religions literally you are – sadly – being taken for a chump and creating further divisions in a world already rife with them.

      September 21, 2010 at 11:36 am |
    • dr92

      im sorry but this whole thing is stupid, im catholic and ive never shoved my beliefs down anyones throat. I have no problems with other religions its whatever floats the boat, but by building this so close to ground zero is just stirring up stuff, ground zero is a sacred site, its where 3,000 give or take people(from every religion) lost there lives. i dont think any one religion should build there that site belongs to ALL AMERICANS!

      September 21, 2010 at 11:38 am |
    • bailoutsos

      He is just playing the media to his advantage.

      September 21, 2010 at 11:41 am |
    • Chris Locke

      This statement is not just humorous, it’s brilliantly simple and shows just how ridiculous piety is. Jesus was real and so was Mohammed. Real enough that they walked on the same earth as you and me … but that’s about it. They are no different than the prophets you see on tv today, the only exception is they don’t have the benefit of a few eons to admirers to make them more than what they really were, men like you and me.

      Just because you are called a prophet, it does not make you one, and even still, what does that really mean. The whole idea revolves around admiration of something surreal and overly romanticized.

      You can’t draw an image of a man because ‘it is written’. What is wrong with this picture. If Jesus made his first appearance tonight walking down Broadway on his donkey, do you honestly think 2000 years from now he would be revered as he is.

      Time to grown up and think for yourselves. Maybe that should be the new global religion.

      September 21, 2010 at 11:53 am |
    • Geez

      Thirsty, thats not the question. The question is should a Mosque be built on Ground Zero...

      September 21, 2010 at 11:54 am |
    • HotAirAce


      Re: courts cases against the imam...

      Has anyone noticed that the new darling of the tea baggers Christine O'Donnell has alledgedly misused funds and dabbled in withcraft? What happened to "innocent until proven guilty" – does it only apply to white christians?

      The mosque should be built because it is legal, it is not at ground zero, there was a mosque in the WTC and muslims died there too! But it would be much much better if people would wake up and realize THERE ARE NO GODS – NONE!

      September 21, 2010 at 12:02 pm |
    • ChicoMan

      There isn't any archealogical or historical evidence to support the stories about the miracles. Certainly if he fed 1000 people on a mountain using just a few loaves and fishes, for example, you would expect to have heard about that somewhere in the written record of the day, but there is no mention of Jesus at all during his lifetime (except for his birth record and his crucifiction record). At the time, it was common to attribute "miracles" to fictional characters in the writings of the period. ("He could wave his arm and calm the seas!"). It is easier for me to believe that's how the "miracle" stories got started.

      September 21, 2010 at 12:32 pm |
    • ImamObama


      September 21, 2010 at 12:56 pm |
    • tothink

      Islam does not assimilate into cultures; they dominate them & eventually conquer them, rendering their traditions and social values extinct. It's the same tactics & methods Islam has used in their 1400 yr. history of infiltration, threats, violence & submission, to their never ending social demands, as they continue in their quest for world dominance. Pay less attention to what they say & more to their irrefutable actions. Islam already has a foothold here & we have terrorists living amongst us, planning their next attacks, right here on our soil, just as the hijackers did before 9/11, using our freedoms & liberties to achieve their evil agenda. There's no such thing as a "moderate" Muslim, anymore than a moderate piranha, once the feeding frenzy begins, moderates will be nowhere to be found. Just as it is now, Muslims will never stand up for America, against Islam. To do so would mean an eternity in hell, for disagreeing with or doubting Islam. Don't expect American Muslims to stand for America, above Islam, but you can be sure, if cartoons or anything considered bias against Islam is perceived, rest assured, they will come out en mass. A snake may shed its skin, but it's still a snake beneath & the nature of the beast is to strike & kill. American Muslims will betray us to Islam, when the time is right & that time is coming, as America comes to terms with who the enemy really is. Moderate or radical, Islam is the enemy of the world, themselves & any non-Muslim.

      September 21, 2010 at 1:00 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      This is a little like "He wants to have his cake and eat it too".
      He's willing to cause a huge turmoil over the Islamic Center, angst to the people who live there, wants his followers to pray there and calls it the American way.
      Yet he won't stand up and represent his followers, or Islamic teachings for that matter, and calls the people of Manhattan "Crazies".
      I don't know what his congregation would call that but generally here in the US we call that a hypocrite 🙂

      September 21, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
    • Jeff

      He is completely safe, he is just so used to his people killing everyone or anything that he fears that the rest of us are like the muslims.

      September 21, 2010 at 3:02 pm |
    • Steven

      In February, a Georgia Man was Jailed For Death Threats Against Elton John Over his Jesus comment.The Artist who made an offensive Chocolate Jesus got death threats. Filmmaker Jean-Claude LaMarre got death threats because of his film "Color of the Cross." If Christianity was a religion of peace, why would there be threats against the Imam ?

      September 21, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
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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.