Islamic center near ground zero touts first big event as center’s grand opening
The site of the proposed Islamic center near ground zero in Lower Manhattan.
September 19th, 2011
10:28 AM ET

Islamic center near ground zero touts first big event as center’s grand opening

By Heather M. Higgins,CNN

New York (CNN) - Earlier this month, signs of life returned to what was once a gaping pit, frozen in sadness and rife with emotion, as part of the memorial at the World Trade Center opened on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

This week, another grand opening – this one steeped in controversy – is scheduled for just a few blocks away from the site where the Twin Towers once stood.

The first part of Park51, the planned Lower Manhattan Islamic community center that sparked an international controversy last year, is set to open Wednesday with an art exhibit that features photographs of children.

“It is a huge step forward,” said Katerina Lucas, Park51’s chief of staff. “I hope it shows we are about inclusion, not exclusion.”

The photography exhibit, Park51’s first big public event, comprises portraits of children from 169 countries who now live in New York City. The opening coincides with the United Nations’ International Day of Peace.

When plans to construct the high-rise Islamic institution were unveiled last year, a heated debate erupted over whether it was insensitive to build it so close to the site attacked by Islamic extremists.

Though the interfaith center’s leaders said the project was rooted in a spirit of cooperation and coexistence, it provoked vocal opposition from some families of 9/11 victims, politicians and others.

The driving force behind much of this opposition was Pamela Geller, editor and publisher of a blog called Atlas Shrugs.

Geller organized a protest of Park51 on the tenth anniversary of Sept. 11 and says she is appalled at the organization’s decision to highlight the photographs of children.

“It is an obvious and cynical attempt to manipulate public opinion and divert attention away from the Islamic supremacist ties, shady financial dealings, and contradictory statements of the mosque organizers,” Geller said in an e-mail.

But Park 51’s photography exhibit is a reminder that the project is quietly moving forward, despite rumors that it had been put on hold.

With $70,000 raised in under two months via KickStarter.com, a funding platform for creative projects, the remodeled space at 51 Park Place will serve as a temporary community center until groundbreaking for the rest of the building.

The project’s developers, led by Park51 Chairman Sharif El-Gamal, have hired a staff of six and continue to hold Muslim prayers at the space, just north of ground zero. But they are not speculating about a timeline for construction.

In June, El-Gamal parted ways with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the cleric who had been the public face of Park51, over a difference in vision.

At a recent interfaith event honoring 9/11 families, Rauf said his vision to build an American-Muslim identity and enhance multi-faith dialogue hasn’t changed in 20 years.

Even though Rauf isn’t associated with Park51 any longer, he continues to focus his energy on establishing a Muslim center in Chautauqua, New York, with the hope it can be replicated in the United States and around the world.

Park51’s planners say they are committed to their original Lower Manhattan location. They are now seeking to raise $7 to $10 million in financing.

“We have broken some ground, but there are still many hurdles,” Lucas said, pointing to fundraising as the biggest one.

Lucas, who graduated from Harvard Divinity School in 2009, said the upcoming photography exhibition is about showcasing the diversity of New York City, which includes Muslims.

“Islam is not about extremism,” she said. “We can have a meaningful dialogue across religions.”

It’s a message shared by Danny Goldfield, the Brooklyn artist behind the exhibit. He got the idea for his children-focused series while driving from Los Angeles to New York in 2003, right after the war in Iraq started.

“I met Danny Goldfield when Park51 was still a new idea. Danny told me about NYChildren and I said his photographs should be the first event at Park51," El-Gamal said in a statement. "I am proud to say the idea has been realized. Opening this incarnation of the community center is a fantastic accomplishment."

Goldfield photographed children living in New York City’s five boroughs from countries as different as Japan and Zimbabwe and as far apart as Afghanistan and Argentina.

While his pictures have been on display before, this is the first time he has shown them all at once.

The exhibit will be open for approximately three months. Over 700 people have been invited to the opening and Lucas said that others are welcome, too.

“I bring photos together on a wall the same way a space brings people together,” Goldfield said.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Art • Islam • New York

soundoff (1,287 Responses)
  1. Muneef


    Quran Sura 49;

    The believers are but brothers, so make settlement between your brothers. And fear Allah that you may receive mercy.(10)

    O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name of disobedience after [one's] faith. And whoever does not repent – then it is those who are the wrongdoers.(11)

    O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful.(12)

    O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.(13).

    September 19, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
    • hawaiiduude

      it's only fair... equal time for jewish talmud...


      Abhodah Zarah 26b Tosephoth: "A Jew who kills a Christian commits no sin, but offers an acceptable sacrifice to God."

      September 19, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
    • Muneef


      Thanks for the link and I find the "Torah's words here in Blue are closer to the contents of the Quran than the other Red words which obviously shows being manmade and not of GOD"..
      As for sacrificing for GOD, GOD has made an example of what a believer should sacrifice with through the Prophet Abraham "A Great Sheep other than Cattles and Camels"... Never did GOD in all Heavenly Books did ask to sacrifice for him human beings what ever their faith is of...!? If the "Talmud" was already there when Jesus was tobe crucified then I would understand that he was crucified as the "Telmud" instructed as a sacrifice that GOD has never told of...!!

      September 19, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
  2. hodgepodge4thesoul

    I think that's awesome! Not all Muslims have the mentality of the hijackers on 9/11, i just hope that there are no HATE CRIMES against it.

    September 19, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
    • Fr33th1nk3r

      But you can bet all the tea in China that if you build that mosque, the people who DO have the same mentality as the 9/11 hijackers will soon congregate there. It happened in the UK, it happend in France, it is happening in Greece, and it will soon happen here. Congrats, left-wingers, you achieved true religious freedom, at the cost of selling your country to Muslim terrorists. How can you have any question in your mind about their intentions for this place– "CORDOVA CENTER"? Read up on Cordova, Spain, and what significance that name has to Islam. Do so, and you will not be so in favor of allowing this terrorist embassy to be built just blocks from where they injured us the worst. They are laughing at us right now....

      September 19, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
    • Steve

      Not all muslims are terrorists agreed, but all those that flew into buildings on 911 were muslims.

      September 19, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
    • Spongebob

      If as you claim muslims are not like the hijackers of 9/11, why didn't you show basic respect by not building this mosque?
      This makes you as look callous and disrespectful.

      September 19, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
    • Muneef


      Shall we consider Islam as a Nationaliry or As A Practice? Those born in a Muslim Secular lands or are from Muslim parents are referred to as "Muslims" although they might be more secular than seculars them selves!! Islam is a Practice and Belief that that takes peace as a path of worship and totally neglects violence... Those whom might ever did that unacceptable act might not know an egg shell of the Quran and the Religion but were used for political acts of games disguised in the name of the Islam religion...!!

      September 19, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
    • hawaiiduude

      and he who killed hundreds in waco texas and in Norwat were christians... so...

      September 19, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
    • Muneef


      What proves that those hijackers were Practicing Muslims and not just MidEastern Brainwashed Terrorists abused by those whom had been created and utilized by your end politicians ...?

      September 19, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
    • Geoffrey

      An absolutely tiny, completely apostate minority of Muslims, violating the most important ideas of their religion were responsible for 9/11. They have nothing at all to do with 99.999% of muslims.

      The bigoted Chrisitans who believe lies, distortions and hate, many posting here are the ones who scare me.

      September 19, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
    • Geoffrey

      As a muslim bigot , I hate infidels.

      September 19, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
  3. Brian

    Islam is not wanted in this country. If this proposed building of the mosque moves fwd. its only a matter of time until someone destroys it. mess with the USA and we'll light up your world like the 4th of July!

    September 19, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
    • Geoffrey

      I want it. The intercollegiate churches of NYC want it. Rabbis want it. The Archdiocese wants it. I want anybody who comes here to live in peace and that includes Muslims.

      Tragically we cannot kick thoughtless opinionated bigots like you out of this country. You are a bigot and you need to grow up and educate yourself and not from liars such as Robert Spencer or Pam Geller who earn their living spreading hate and lies. I don't want YOU!

      September 19, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
    • Geoffrey

      I am Muslim and I hate you!

      September 19, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
    • M in Oz

      Sure sounds right to use terrorism to prove a non-existent point. Maybe then someone will blow you up as revenge (BTW you sound like a 5yr old in a sandpit).

      September 19, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
  4. rod

    screw up the middle east and then come here and try to do the same. What? No land in the desert?

    September 19, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
  5. Greek Government caves in to pressure to build a mega-mosque in Athens

    Greek Government caves in to pressure to build a mega-mosque in Athens
    Barry Duke on September 15th, 2011

    A CONTROVERSIAL plan to build a mega-mosque in Athens – at taxpayers’ expense – was given approval last week

    The move, according to this report, was driven by the fear of an uprising by thousands of Muslim residents of the city. Rather than face a violent situation, the Greek Parliament voted on September 7 to meet Muslim demands for the mosque. The vote as supported by 198 out of 300 deputies from the left, right and centre.

    The plan commits the Greek government (by way of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs) to pay for the construction of a temporary mosque which will be built within the next six months. A larger 1,000 square meter (3,300 square feet) mosque with enough space for 500 worshipers at a time will be built in the same area by the end of 2012, at an estimated cost of around €16 million ($21 million).

    Analysts say the Papandreou government is pushing the mosque project out of fear that Muslim demands will become violent sooner rather than later.

    Like many other European cities, Athens has experienced Muslim-related violence in recent years. In May 2009, for example, more than 1,000 Muslims clashed with police in downtown Athens after Muslims accused a police officer stepping on a Koran at a coffee shop during a police check.

    Nearly 50 protesters were arrested during the uprising, while seven Muslim immigrants and seven policemen were hospitalized. More than 70 cars were torched and around a dozen businesses were destroyed in the clashes. A day earlier, an even larger crowd of around 1,500 Muslim immigrants rallied before the march degenerated into violence. Police used tear gas to disperse the crowds.

    Muslims say the violence proves they need an official mosque. But recent polls show that more than half of Greeks are opposed to the mosque plan and say their government should not be financing religious institutions.

    The announcement comes as massively indebted Greece battles a growing recession that has left nearly one million Greeks out of work. Greece recently needed a €110 billion ($146 billion) three-year bail-out package to rescue the embattled economy from bankruptcy.

    Officially, Greece has a Muslim population of around 500,000, mostly of Turkish origin. But in recent years, tens of thousands of Muslims have migrated to Greece from Africa, the Maghreb [North Africa], the Middle East and Central and Southeast Asia.

    Many of the estimated 200,000 Muslims living in Athens are illegal immigrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Nigeria and Pakistan.

    September 19, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
    • infidelwithaquran

      Terrorism works.

      September 19, 2011 at 9:02 pm |
    • Really???

      Domination by fear begins.

      September 20, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  6. larry5

    It's about time the Muslims got their victory mosque going. They need to put something up to celebrate their victory over America. Americans can mark this as the beginning of he end because of our brain dead politicians, especially their leader Barack Hussein.

    September 19, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
    • rod

      agreed................sell out you own people. Go figure.................

      September 19, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
    • larry5

      Notice I said "their leader". I do not consider Obama my leader.

      September 19, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
    • Fr33th1nk3r

      Well, sorry to rain on your parade, but "Barrack Hussein" did more to stop and kill terrorists than Dubya did (or Ronald Reagan for that matter– who financed, armed and trained the Taliban to fight the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan by proxy). A lot more. Unfortunately though, Obama has failed epically when it comes to domestic policy and economy rebuilding....

      September 19, 2011 at 9:20 pm |
    • Geoffrey

      You obviously have no clue what it is for or about. There are no "Victory Mosques" anywhere.

      The project is supported by the interfaith community of New York City. You are a bigot, ignorant and someone who follows a path of hate and ignorance. You embarass me as an American and as a New Yorker. Stay the heck away from my city.

      September 19, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
    • larry5

      In the Arab world this mosque is referred to the "Victory of Satan Mosque". Only in the American spin by people like you is it considered anything else. You can turn a plague away with pc words.

      September 20, 2011 at 2:00 am |
  7. Matthew

    New Yorkers are stupid if they let an Islamic center in New York City after what happened in 9/11

    September 19, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
    • Brian

      we won't!

      September 19, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
    • OK

      Of course we could've rebuilt the towers as is, not a single "Freedom Tower," and has them looking down on this mosque a few years ago, but welcome to America. Hopefully the WTC will be finished in time for the 20th anniversary.

      September 19, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
    • Geoffrey

      New Yorkers are stupid eh? and you are brilliant? The Collegiate churches of New York, the oldest Christian Organization in the USA is for it, so are numerous Rabbis, the Catholic Archdiocese, the Mayor. There has been a Mosque in that neighborhood for twenty years.

      And you think you are smarter than all of us? Trust me, you are just an ignorant, thoughtless, opinionated bigot. The likes of you scares me more than the good, kind, decent hard working muslims who simply want to build a center there. You are grotesque to me.

      September 19, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
    • Geoffrey

      I not only will build my mosque, and yes I am a bigot!

      September 19, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
  8. Alan

    If they were truly sympathetic about what happened they would have moved it...

    September 19, 2011 at 8:46 pm |
    • Geoffrey

      Why? It's a major transportation hub. It is a 10 minute walk from the Ground zero site to the islamic center, you cannot see one from the other. Mulsims died that day too. The fire marshall for the city of NY who organized the response is a Muslim and well respected by the cities fire department.

      You are a thoughtless bigoted idiot. It is you who lack intelligence and respect. I grew up in that neighborhood and I welcome the Islamic Center. It will be wonderful and I hope the Bigots such as yourself get over it and grow the heck up.

      September 19, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
    • Geoffrey

      As a muslim myself, i don't care about what you think, I will build my mosque where it please me. I came here with Columbus.

      September 19, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
  9. gluez

    It's time for the world to learn, the "secret code" can achieve a 90% accuracy rate within the oil market. What I'm trying to do is wake you up so that you can see that you can make as much money as you want within the oil market by using the "secret code". So here is the proof, shown live with NO POSSIBLE WAY to fake!! Google Oil Trading Academy to learn more.

    September 19, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
  10. deenero

    its not a mosque, nor is it at ground zero. calm down people. if it was a mosque, i as a practicing muslim, would oppose it too. but its not. its not insensitive, the opposition is too sensitive . they are overthinking it. and pamela geller needs better resources and a college degree.

    September 19, 2011 at 8:29 pm |
    • Fr33th1nk3r

      Actually, the Cordova Center IS a mosque and a multicultural learning center (Muslim propaganda), and if there was a piece of similar property available actually on ground zero, you can bet they would be trying to build it there, DEENERO. It is also VERY INSENSITIVE. Why? All the polls taken show that anywhere from 60 – 79% of the American populace is strongly opposed to buidling that place, yet, we are going to get it anyways whether we want it or not.

      September 19, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
    • M in Oz

      You don't know that they'd build anything on ground zero, you're making assumptions. You sound like the insensitive creature.

      September 19, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
  11. KAR

    Shame on NY.....There is little hope for the sheeple of the USA. Open your eyes America. Look at France and other EU's.

    September 19, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
    • Fr33th1nk3r

      EXACTLY. France and Britian have each had similar wranglings over controversial mosques, and in both cases, the mosques were built, and are now a haven for terrorists and radical Muslim clerics like Abu Al-Qatadar. Now, France is having to vote and pass legislation involving the wearing of burkas. How long after allowing all this Muslim infiltration will it be before our kids have to start wearing burkas? How long before Shariah Law gets voted into place here in pockets of our American society? It is already happening in Europe– read up on the Umma, Dawa, and Jihad aspects of Islam– this is how they have infiltrated and conquered nations for CENTURIES. They start by infiltrating societies slowly, until they establish a foothold, then, they vote in Shariah Law and begin leveraging for more political power, until they can start making major policy changes. Again, this is NOT fearmongering, this is now history. Right now, as we speak, the UK just passed legislation that allows Shariah Law to be enforced within individual households (in the interest of religious freedom of course) that desire it. What is the next step for the UK? Fortunately, we are farther behind the EU right now, but folks should go read their history books, instead of quoting and re-quoting the same polictally correct mumbo-jumbo– Muslim extremists are using our very freedoms to shackle us and prevent us from stopping their takeover of our country. They always come under the guise of "racial unity" and "peace" (like the folks that want to build this Cordova Center in lower Manhattan), but they are actualy doing what Muslims have done ALL throughout history.

      September 19, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
    • Geoffrey

      Yeah, people like you and Brevik.

      As for people who are educated and really understand Islam ... such as the Collegiate Churches of NYC, the oldest Christian organization in the USA, rabbis, ministers, the Catholic Archdiocese ... all are for it. Yet you insult people of faith by calling them sheep. You are far more frightening than all the law abiding Muslims in this country.

      September 19, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
    • Geoffrey

      As a Muslim I just hate you.

      September 19, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
  12. SconnieGuz

    Islam continues to infest our society everyday....we are being forced to accept them. Not gonna happen you freaks.

    September 19, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
    • Geoffrey

      Nobody is forcing you to accept "them". It is a beautiful and honorable religion and you are shaming my country with your ignorant bigotry. Disgusting is what you are. PS: I'm Jewish and grew up in that neighborhood. You and your bigoted kind are the ones doing all the "Forcing".

      September 19, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
    • Geoffrey

      As a Muslim I don't accept you the Infidel.

      September 19, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
  13. Matthew

    At least parts of Downtown Manhattan will be safe now, because Muslims don't bomb areas near mosques

    September 19, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
    • Fr33th1nk3r

      Are you kidding? Read the world news– Muslims are blowing each other up by the thousands over in the middle east everyday– mosques are easy, vulnerable targets because most of the people gather there to worship, and not be on their toes looking for suicide bombers at their entrance gates.

      September 19, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
  14. Fr33th1nk3r

    The original proposed name for this Muslim Center should be all the evidence anyone needs to know, THIS IS A TERRIBLE IDEA. They were originally calling it the "CORDOBA CENTER", and later changed it to Center51 or whatever it is (because too many Americans called their bluff and recognized the historical reference). Those of you fluent in the history of Islam should know that Cordova, Spain, was the location during the middle ages, where Muslims started the practice of building mosques on top of the destroyed religious sites of conquered nations (there was once a grand Christian church in Cordova, Spain). Their message to the rest of the Muslim world is clear by building this thing– JIHAD IS ALIVE AND WELL here in the U.S., and we are powerless to stop them. By building this center, and even naming it the Cordova Center (they couldn't have been more obvious than if they named it the "Soon to be Muslim terrorist base of operations center"), and placing it in such a symbolic location so close to the site of the WTC, they are basically doing the Islamic equivolent of giving us the middle finger, right on our own soil. And the stupid left-wing extremists in this country cannot see it– we have to be more worried about not hurting Muslims' feelings.... Get a clue, some of you lefties, Britian had a similar debate over a controversial mosque a few years back, and like in our country, the left-wingers got their way, and what happened? Abu Al-Qatadar moved in, a bunch of radical Muslim followers of his moved in, and now, 5 of the last 6 terrorist attacks against London were planned from that very mosque. Anybody want to take wagers what will happen if they build this abomination in lower Manhattan? How many months will it take before a similar bunch of unsavory characters move in a make the Cordova Center into the Terrorist Embassy here in the U.S., just blocks from where they just hit us the worst? I sound paranoid, lefties? Fear mongering? Read history, there is no excuse for ignorance– Muslims are NOT to be trusted, any farther than you can hit them with a missile or smart-bomb. 99% of the folks who want to build the Cordova Center probably have the best of intentions, as they state, but it is the other 1% that should concern us. The only good thing about this mosque, is that it will bring all the Muslim crazies together in one place, where the FBI, CIA, and Homeland Security can monitor their activities very closely.

    September 19, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
    • Fr33th1nk3r

      Again, none of this is to say that ALL Muslims are evil or bad. That is NOT true. I work with quite a few Muslims at work– the Americanized ones are just like you or I– they drink beer, watch sports, and go out on Friday nights like anybody else. But again, it is the smallest minority that causes the problems for everyone else, as is usually the case. But unfortunately, that few DOES ruin it for everybody else– we cannot afford to ignore them just because they are a small minority– that is exactly what makes them dangerous– they carried out 9/11 with about 6 people, 3 boxcutters, and a little bit of training. Most of the folks who want to build this Muslim center, do so with the best of intentions, I have no doubt about that. But it isn't a matter of "if", rather "when", the baddies decide to move in and begin to use this place for a base of operations to plan, conduct, and coverup future terrorist operations on our soil. There are already a number of them on the streets of NYC, openly preaching terrorism and denouncing our country, and they are wringing thei hands together for this Muslim center to be built because they want a home, and a place with syympathetic ears to preach to. This isn't fear-mongering, this is REALISM and seeing the world through a "results-based filter".

      September 19, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
    • Mohammed

      No Church buildings would ever be allowed to be built in Saudi Arabia, in fact the mention of that would result in a islamic backlash. America has allowed unrestricted building of mosques all over the country, but islam now wants to push the envelope. To add insult to injury, islam wants to build a mosque where saudi arabian muslim terrorists blew up the trade towers. Saudi dollars fund these kinds of projects. America and the world is fed up of islamic terrorism, and also fed up with politicians who have no spine and claim islam is the religion of peace, a lie from the very pit of hell

      September 19, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
    • rcs

      You said so yourself, "there is no excuse for ignorance"....sooo what is your excuse?????

      September 19, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
    • Geoffrey

      Actually, you should read what Cordoba really was, not the bigoted distortion. Read the Catholic Encyclopedia if you don't believe me. There was no "Victory Mosque" ... however when the Catholics tortured and forced the conversion of Muslims they did build a victory Cathedral. You are ignorant and bigoted and nobody "called their bluff", they just inundated thoughful people with ignorant slime. The Islamic Center, is supported by the oldest Christian Church organization in the US, the Catholic Archdiocese and numerous Rabbis. Fortunately none of them are as ignorant and ill informed of religions as you are. You are an embarrassment.

      September 19, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
    • BG

      @ Geoffrey

      Excerpted from the Thomas Moore Law Center, August 13, 2010

      "The al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem is built on top of one of the holiest sites in Judaism, the Temple Mount. The former St. Sophia’s Basilica, once the world’s largest cathedral and orthodox patriarchal basilica, was torn down and replaced with the principal mosque of Istanbul. The Cordoba mosque in Spain was a former Christian cathedral. Muslims have engaged in this practice for centuries, symbolizing their victories over the infidels."

      Stow the propaganda, Geoffrey. The cat's out of the bag. Dog's off the leash. Barn doors are open and the horses have run off. Pssst.. Since 9/11 America has been busy studying up on Islamic history. We passed the test. We've figured you out for the megalomaniacal fascist pedos that you really are.

      Ever hear the expression "you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear?"

      Regarding the Catholics.. they welcome immigrants from anywhere; they view them only as potential converts. The more the merrier.

      September 20, 2011 at 1:27 am |
  15. noemi

    So I get why we don't want a mosque put there.what I don't get is if we hate muslims why r we allowing 2 mormons run for the prez? They r no better than a muslim they like a mormon r a cult not a religion.they (mormons) belive they well set at the right of god along with all there wifes.they r allowed to vote all though it took awhile before they were able to.the each r babtized more than once so there cult has more people.they also wear garb they call holy.they spend hours in there building worshiping brigham young and joe smith as there one and only then ly about it.they lie,steal,cheat take the neighbors wife all in the name of there cult.with all that said why not let them build a building were they worship in deciet.after all how r they different than a mormon they r just a cult with leaders that tell them how to pray and screw people.

    September 19, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • Fr33th1nk3r

      Major difference? Mormons don't fly planes into buildings or engage in daily suicide bombings.... Mormons can have their cult, just as Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and Buddhists are allowed to have their cults. As long as they aren't trying to harm others, I couldn't care less what they preach. Multiple wives?– that is their business (until we start considering tax exemption status).

      September 19, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
    • infidelwithaquran

      What a stupid observation, noemi.

      Mormons are not blowing up people they do not like.
      Mormons do not have a history of cutting off people's heads.
      Mormons do not kill those who decide to leave their religion.
      Mormons do not riot and kill those who might draw a cartoon of Mormon founder Joseph Smith.
      Mormons do not treat their wives as property.
      Mormons do not demand special laws for themselves in main stream society.
      Mormons do not fly jets into buildings of innocent civillians.
      Mormons do not kill other Mormons because they are of a differnt sect.
      Mormons do not advocate the obliteration of Israel.

      Do you possibly need more reasons that Mormons are different from Muslims?

      September 19, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
    • Geoffrey

      I don't get how you can be such a thoughtless bigot. I grew up 1.5 miles from Ground Zero. I'm just fine with building a Mosque in downtown NYC. So is the Collegiate Churches, the oldest Christian organization in the USA, so are most of the Rabbis of NYC, the Catholic Archdiocese... then there is your hideous bigotry. I don't get anything about you at all and you don't get a single thing about what makes this country great. It's not your hateful heart.

      September 19, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
  16. programmergirl

    I hope somebody blows up their precious mosque. That would be poetic justice!

    September 19, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • mickey1313

      that would be justice, expecally since muslems had nothing to do with 9/11

      September 19, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • IKanThink

      That would take a Christian, obviously. They fight their god's fights for him, and violence is totally cool with them.

      September 19, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
    • rcs

      Ummm... no intelligent conversation necessary to waste on you.....

      September 19, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
    • J.W

      I dare you to go and blow it up. Or do you want someone else to do it for you.

      September 19, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
    • Geoffrey

      It would be a murderous act of bigoted rage with no justification whatsoever. "There Mosque" has nothing whatsoever to do with the 9/11 attack. American Muslims have no more to do with that than American Christians have to do with Oklahoma City. I am offended by your hateful ignorant and malignant comments. I fear murderous bigots like yourself far more than any Muslim in this country. Absolutely serious here. What kind of animal are you to hope someone blows something up? THERE IS NO JUSTIFICATION FOR YOUR idiot thoughtless comment.

      September 19, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
  17. pastafaria

    Since those who were opposed the mosque were motivated solely by the fact that a terrorist act was committed by individuals who, do to pure coincidence, practiced the same religion that is observed at a mosque, and not by any type of racial or religious prejudice, you'll be happy to know that you can use the same logic to try and ban all protestant churches located within the vicinity of the Oklahoma City bombing site. Any takers? C'mon, aren't any of you going to even pretend not to be racists? Not even you Texans?

    September 19, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • Steve

      Spreading lies does not help ur pathetic case to build the mosque does it?. Timothy McVeigh was Agnostic.

      September 19, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • JTO

      How about the abortion clinic bombings? We have plenty of homegrown terrorism.

      September 19, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • pastafaria

      McVeigh professed a belief in God during a 1996 interview (the bombing took place in 1995) and had a priest preform a religious sacrament before his execution in 2001. So, in your words, "ur"(sic) the one spreading lies. Why don't you learn to spell first, then, when you are ready to move on to history, turn to a more reliable source than the Michele Bachmann abridged guide to U.S. History with all of the big words and inconvenient facts blacked out.

      September 19, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
    • Fr33th1nk3r

      Leave it to an extreme left-winger to find all the circular logic and convoluted rational for aiding terrorists....

      September 19, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
    • infidelwithaquran

      Wow, bringing up the McVeigh comparison again.

      That was one nutjob. Uno. Yes, he had some support. But overall, an isolated murdering bass terd.

      As for 9/11, there were 19 onboard murdering bass terds, and there were many more supporting them who got away clean. It was not an isolated case. How many murdering Mz lims do you think have detonated their homicide bombs in Israel? Do you want to live with their level of fear?

      You and anyone with your logic is an idiot. This cult is not a religion of peace and to

      September 19, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
    • infidelwithaquran

      Wow, bringing up the McVeigh comparison again.

      That was one nutjob. Uno. Singular. Yes, he had some support. But overall, one isolated murdering bass terd.

      As for 9/11, there were 19 onboard murdering bass terds, and there were many more supporting them who got away clean. It was not an isolated case. How many murdering Mz lims do you think have detonated their homicide bombs in Israel? Do you want to live with the level of fear the Israelis live with?

      Mz lims have a 4th century mindset with 21st century weapons. It only takes one. Would you actually put your children, grandchildren, parents, etc., at risk in the name of political correctness?

      You and anyone else with your logic is an idiot. This cult is not a religion of peace and tolerance.

      September 19, 2011 at 9:25 pm |
  18. AllahforPresident

    "It will be an interfaith center for healing"... The Muslims said the same thing to the Jews when they put up the Dome of the Rock and the Al Asqa Mosque on Israel's holiest site. It is typical Muslim tactics...

    September 19, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
    • ralph

      the Dome of the Rock... really... when they built there the temple was long gone... people didn't even know the temple ever was there until after the Dome of the Rock

      September 19, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • JTO

      Don't like it? Don't go ... wow that's easy

      September 19, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • mickey1313

      what theocrats do in THERE own theocratic nations is not our concern. We are talking about here, in the US.

      September 19, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • Geoffrey

      Actually there as nothing but wreckage there when the Muslims built the dome of the rock. Read your history Bigot. The Islamic center is supported by most of the Religious organizations in NYC. It cannot be seen nor has it any view of "Ground Zero". It would take 10-15 minutes to walk from one to the other. You have no concept of what things are like in Downtown Manhattan. That is also a transportation hub. Take your bigotry and utter ignorance away, you are a disgusting embarrassment. I grew up in that neighborhood, I have a right to be offended by you.

      September 19, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
    • Geoffrey

      I am muslim bigot, just read my posts.

      September 19, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
  19. Pink Unicorn

    When Mohammed Atta went to heaven George Washington met him at the Pearly Gates. He slapped him across the face and yelled, "How dare you try to destroy the nation I helped conceive!"
    Patrick Henry approached, punched him straight in the face and shouted, "You wanted to end our liberties but you failed!"
    James Madison followed with a back-hand, kicked him and said, "This is why I allowed our government to provide for the common defense!"
    Thomas Jefferson was next, and he proceeded to beat Atta with a long cane and snarled, "It was evil like you who inspired me to write the Dec lar a tion of Inde pen.dence, dam mit!"
    The beatings and thrashings continued and other early Americans unleashed their anger on Atta.
    An Angel appeared. Mohammed atta wept and said, "This is not what you promised me, Allah! I was promised bliss in Heaven with 72 virgins!"
    The Angel replied, "When I told you guys about 'Allah', I said specifically that there would be 72 Virgin.ians waiting for you in Heaven. What did you think I said?"

    September 19, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • AllahforPresident

      Just Awesome!

      September 19, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
    • Shannon

      Love that joke!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      September 19, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • AmazingSteve

      Yes yes yes, terrorists are very bad, etc.

      Can we get back on topic, now?

      September 19, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • Devin Gray

      OK, that's just funny

      September 19, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • Geoffrey

      Disgusting ... you should also know that the business about 72 virgins is not true. You are just a grotesque bigot.

      September 19, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
  20. Randy

    I'd like to build a rib joint right across the street, and a big country western bar right next door. That would be awesome.

    September 19, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
    • Shannon

      That would probably get you in trouble!!

      September 19, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • JTO

      A restaurant and a bar in NY?... you are a revolutionary thinker.

      September 19, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • mickey1313

      I think you should, then vent your exaust into the muslems hate-box.

      September 19, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • Fr33th1nk3r

      Sadly enough, if you tried to build your rib and country-music joint across the street from the CORDOVA CENTER, all the lefties in the country would probably show up to protest your "racist venue", but they will fight tooth and nail to allow Muslims to build a mosque in our country....highlighting the non-conformist mindset's desire to support anything out of the ordinary– even global terrorism so long as it delivers a new thrill.

      September 19, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
    • Geoffrey

      It's New York City you bigoted idiot. There is a strip club on the same block.

      September 19, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
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.