November 4th, 2010
05:09 PM ET

Retired Justice Stevens defends plans for Islamic center

John Paul Stevens, shown last month with Justice Elena Kagan, is calling for religious and ethnic tolerance.

Retired Justice John Paul Stevens expressed support Thursday for a planned Islamic community center near the site of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York, urging religious and ethnic tolerance.

"American Muslims should enjoy the freedom to build their places of worship wherever permitted by local zoning laws," the retired Supreme Court jurist said at a luncheon where he was honored by the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation.

The 90-year-old said his experiences as a veteran of World War II, when the United States was fighting Japan, have given him insight over the years into the need to combat "invidious prejudice."

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- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque'

soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Muneef

    Importance of First Ten Days of Zul-Hijjah
    The first ten days of Zul Hijjah are among the most magnificent days in Islamic calendar. the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allaah than these ten days."(Bukhari)
    Almighty Allaah says, (By the dawn; by the ten nights) (Qur'aan-Al-Fajr 89: 1-2). Ibn `Abbas, ibn az-Zubayr, Mujahid and others of the earlier and later generations are of the opinion that this refers to the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. Ibn Kathir said: "This is the correct opinion." (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, 8/413)
     The Holy Prophet, Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam, has said, "One fast during these days is equal to the fasting of one complete year, and the worship of one night during this period is equal to the worship of "Lailatul-Qadr". (Tirmizi)
    Every Muslim should avail oneself of this wonderful opportunity by performing as much Ibadah (acts of worship) as he or she can during this period.
    The 9th day of Zul Hijjah is called Yowmul-Arafah (The Day of Arafah). This is the date when the Hujjaj (Haji pilgrims, plural of Haji) assemble on the plain of Arafat, six miles away from Makkah al-Mukkarramah, where they perform the most essential part of the prescribed duties of hajj, namely, making Tawbah (repenting) at the Wuqoof of Arafat.
    For those not performing hajj, it is Mustahab (desirable) to fast on this day according to their calendar. It sometimes occurs that 9th Zul Hijjah falls on different days in different countries according to the sighting of the moon. In such cases, Muslims of each country should observe Yowmul Arafah according to the lunar dates of their own country.
    The fast of Yowmul Arafah has been emphasized by the Holy Prophet, Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, as a Mustahab (desirable) act. According to a Hadith, the fast of this day becomes a cause of forgiveness for sins committed in the past and future year. (Hadith-Muslim)
    Beginning from the Fajr of the 9th Zul Hijjah up to the 'Asr prayer of the 13th, it is obligatory on every Muslim male to recite the Takbir-e-Tashreeq after every Fard Salaah (in congregation or alone) in the following words: Allaahu Akbar, Allaahu Akbar, La IlahaIllallahu, Wallahu Akbar, Allaahu Akbar wa lillahilhamd. (There is no god but Allaah and Allaah is the greatest, Allaah is the greatest and to Allaah belongs all praise.)Male Muslims should recite it in a loud voice, while females should recite it in a low voice.
    May Allaah Ta’aala enable us to use these blessed days in attaining His pleasure.

    November 7, 2010 at 9:44 pm |
  2. Iqbal khan

    Watch this and part 2 a must...

    November 6, 2010 at 11:57 pm |
    • Reality


      the Five Step Method to Deprogram/"Deflaw" 1400 years of Islamic mumbo jumbo.

      Are you ready?

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone."

      Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave attended to by his wives before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

      Accept these five steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

      November 7, 2010 at 12:16 am |
  3. Iqbal khan


    November 6, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
    • Muneef

      Perfect chic to show that there are people who still use their minds and hearts in finding the truth.

      November 6, 2010 at 7:40 pm |
    • Keith

      I'm glad the moron is retired. He can't do so much damage. I hope. Hell, why doesn't he just go to work for CAIR and sue the Oklahoman voters because they are obviously just intolerant bigots. Or maybe, just maybe they don't want your stinking sharia law in our country. Good for Oklahoma!

      November 6, 2010 at 8:58 pm |
    • Muneef

      Sharia law is not supposed to be for other than Muslims in outer of Islamic countries since it has different approach than ordinary civil laws and it is a must to Muslims mainly in limited cases that the civil laws might not resolve as should such as to dividing of inheritance as per Islamic laws and as well to cases of disputes between married couples and divorce.
      Other things civil laws are enough for as per the countries laws. After all a program about same in England for resolving these issues among Islamic communities only and only if approached and asked to intravine resolving issues among those complaining otherwise it was not enforced as compulsory and heard that those parties if were not convinced by the verdict they can leave and proceed to civil law courts of the hosting country..
      So do not understand why those fears and bad language when it got nothing to do with non Muslims as well as Muslims that are not approaching them for a verdict as per Islamic sharia law that is not bounding except to those accepted the verdict..?!

      November 7, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
  4. Iqbal khan

    A very informative book, "What Jesus Really Say" many lectures and articles download for free...

    November 5, 2010 at 7:47 pm |
    • Reality

      Ahh, the con man khan still trying to deflect us away from the terror and horror of Islam!!!

      November 6, 2010 at 9:13 am |
  5. Frogist

    BTW Happy Divali everyone!

    November 5, 2010 at 9:24 am |
    • Peace2All


      Hey CK..!!!

      Did you mean.... "Di(w)ali" Instead of Di(v)ali...?


      November 5, 2010 at 7:42 pm |
  6. Muneef

    Words of wisdom:
    Be careful though; when we become stuck in 'negative grieving' it is as if we are ‘choosing’ to keep our heart broken. If you find yourself stuck in the grieving process and not moving forward through it, look for how you can find happiness in everyday things. Focus on doing things that make you laugh or feel good about yourself.
    As the Dalai Lama likes to tell us, happiness is a state of mind. Forgiveness, compassion and acceptance can help heal a wounded heart and then the light of love and joy can come into your life once more.!
    Please check out:  "God in One for All and All for One".

    November 4, 2010 at 8:40 pm |
    • Reality

      Words of wisdom:

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

      November 5, 2010 at 7:53 am |
    • Muneef

      The Auto Pilot did it remotely controlled?

      November 6, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
    • Reality

      More Words of Wisdom:

      Muslims should burn their copies of the koran for the 1400 year old con job that is pulled on them daily by the imams and ayatollahs. Christians should burn their copies of the NT for the 2000 year old con job that has been perpetuated on them by popes, bishops, priests, ministers and evangelicals. And Jews should burn their copies of the OT/Torah for the 6000 year old con job pulled on them by their past and current rabbis.

      November 7, 2010 at 7:22 am |
    • Charlotte

      yet again, @Reality parades his ignorance. The Koran did not instigate the attacks. Politics and vaulting ambition and delusions of self-grandeur instigated the attacks, easily fueled by imbalance of wealth and perceived injustices. Reality, you really need to educate yourself. These terrorists are not muslims, they are just using Islam as their excuse just like the Branch Dividians used Christianity as theirs, the Crusaders used Christianity as theirs, and you use Christianity and a fake eloquence as yours. In the end it's all driven by money.

      November 8, 2010 at 12:50 pm |
  7. Frogist

    Thank you Justice Stevens for your unique perspective. I wish more people were as broad-minded and tolerant. You will be missed.

    November 4, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  8. Reality

    Mr. Stevens apparently is suffering from memory loss. To refresh his neurons:

    Islamic terror that can be traced back to some imam in some mosque instigating hate for all persons non-Muslim!!

    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, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and

    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) – 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

    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.

    16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

    17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

    November 4, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
    • Gary

      Reality, as always you hit nail on the head. I really enjoy and learn from your posts..

      November 4, 2010 at 9:13 pm |
    • Den

      Pound in those nails, reality!

      November 5, 2010 at 10:36 am |
    • Iqbal khan

      You are so ignorent,study this....


      November 6, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
    • Iqbal khan


      November 6, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
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.