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Breaking: Halal food carts spotted ON Ground Zero!

A reader writes in to sound the alarm about another sacrilege that we've all somehow overlooked:

One thing I haven't seen anyone write about is the presence of Muslim food carts MUCH closer to Ground Zero. There are at least two, depending on the time of day, along West Broadway between Vesey and Park Place. One is practically on top of the Ground Zero construction site, outside the Path station. Aren't they an "affront," a "provocation"? Muslims engaging in in-your-face commerce on sacred ground, with the word HALAL prominently displayed on their carts! Where's Palin when we need her??

Obviously there's an enormous difference between a food cart and a huge cultural center and mosque. And by quoting this email I don't mean to be flip. But nonetheless, this reader is getting at an important point.

Much of the debate over the Islamic center quite properly focuses on Constitutional rights, religious freedom and so on. But what's less remarked on, as this reader points out, is that Muslims are already part of the fabric of New York City, particularly in lower Manhattan. Their activities are interwoven with the city's economy. Non-Muslims of all religions and nationalities rely on the services they provide, whether they are running Halal carts or driving taxis.

The planned Islamic center, presumably, would serve those Muslims, too. I don't think many New Yorkers, if asked, would object to the center if it were understood to serve people they rely on each day to make their work lives more tolerable. This is, I think, a different way to understand the project: It would be another strand of a thread whose color already is deeply interwoven into the fabric of Lower Manhattan. Many of the Muslims who would use the center are Muslim New Yorkers. The center would serve New Yorkers, which is to say it would serve Americans.

By Greg Sargent  |  August 16, 2010; 1:28 PM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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Next: More GOPers bash state aid as Dem "money laundering" scheme

Comments

Republicans never cared about New York City.

They intended to use NYC in their post-9/11 propaganda and that is exactly what they did.

Case in point being holding the 2004 Republican convention in NYC, a city that votes over 80% Democratic.

They use NYC for their underhanded partisan purposes, but they hate NYC for its diversity and the fact that so many Democrats live here.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 16, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Here are some photos from the two-block radius of Ground Zero.

http://daryllang.com/blog/4421

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 16, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

"Muslims engaging in in-your-face commerce on sacred ground, with the word HALAL prominently displayed on their carts!"

How dare they eat lunch!

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 16, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

The Daily Show (and Wyatt Cynak) covered the halal food carts last week.

Posted by: breakingball | August 16, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

"Obviously there's an enormous difference between a food cart and a huge cultural center and mosque."

Yeah, one of them is not explicitly protected by the US Constitution.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 16, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

God you are a moron, Sargent. Democrats never did understand the difference between religion and food.

Posted by: drjohn3 | August 16, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

How much does Obama pay Greg Sargent to run cover for him? This guy has been pumping out pro-mosque stories like a madman ever since Obama made his stupid commments. Of course if Greg actually traveled to a muslim country he would probably be kidnapped and beheaded on the internet, but hey, we're the intolerant ones.

Posted by: peterg73 | August 16, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

peterg73 is only the latest to invoke intolerance abroad as a justification for intolerance right here at home. Interesting argument, isn't it?

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 16, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Kevin_Willis is not to be taken seriously.

He just said that he thinks THIS is a fair statement:

"""[The Obama Administration thinks that] the American people are useful idiots... cannon-fodder for his plans to transform society... in other words, they're "Nothing.""""

Kevin_Willis is a Republican extremist just like all the rest. He cannot be taken seriously and he will knowingly lie just to defend the indefensible.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 16, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Didn't the Daily Show do this one like two weeks ago? Life truly does imitate art.

Posted by: CalD | August 16, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

"Interesting argument, isn't it?"

Typical Republican false argument.

These people, as I said about Kevin, will KNOWINGLY LIE just to defend their indefensible -- and anti-American -- beliefs.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 16, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

peterg73, I've been to Egypt 3 times. Still have a head. I'd think you'd like the Mosque near (not at) ground zero. It'd give you and the other loons a chance to blow it up in the name of your god.

Posted by: cao091402 | August 16, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Gregg -

"peterg73 is only the latest to invoke intolerance abroad as a justification for intolerance right here at home. Interesting argument, isn't it?"

This is a right wing talking point. Newt Gingrich gave it, Fox News gave it, of course you are going to see many people use it. Because why should we be any "Shining City on a hil..." presenting any type of example to the rest of the world. We should be as intolerant as anybody else and set no examples. Only some leftist moron would want this or something.

If they "hate us for our freedom" we need to take that freedom away so the world will stop hating us. Isn't that obvious.
If we oppress Muslims then Al Queda will just leave us alone and they won't tell anyone in the Muslim world that America is at war with all Mulsims.

Posted by: zattarra | August 16, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Greg, This is an OLD talking point. The latest left-wing line to cover for Obama is that there is a mosque inside the pentagon. You're slipping.

Posted by: daveredhat | August 16, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget the adult stores and strip clubs either. This issue gets more absurd by the day.

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/08/16/2010-08-16_a_sea_of_filth_near_ground_zer0_mosque_gets_all_the_press_but_porns_around_corne.html

Posted by: MerrillFrank | August 16, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

The people opposing this so vehemently, with the exception of a few people, are outside NYC, don't go to Lower Manhattan and are just using this for political gain. The actual families' organizatiosn have beren almost silent. Time to move on, Greg.

Posted by: Mimikatz | August 16, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Amazing. I just did a quick tally going back to August 3 -- the day that Michael Bloomberg got up and gave the speech that actually put paid to this whole affair in every *practical* sense -- The Plum Line has been averaging right at one post flogging this topic for every two posts about all other subjects combined (excluding Morning and Happy Hour round-ups and open threads).

Obviously, this is the most important issue facing the country today. (Yes, I'm kidding about that last part.)

Posted by: CalD | August 16, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

It's hard for me to believe that anybody is still arguing with any vigor that we Americans should prevent a mosque from being built 2 blocks away from Ground Zero.

Were all the naysayers this concerned about Hawaii and the Japanese? May I assume that there are no sushi restaurants or Toyotas anywhere near Pearl Harbor?

Posted by: jayef | August 16, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan2010: "Kevin_Willis is a Republican extremist just like all the rest. He cannot be taken seriously and he will knowingly lie just to defend the indefensible."

Somebody is sweet on me. ;)

I'm sorry, could you explain to me why my assertion that the Cordoba House project is protected by the first amendment, and should be a matter for the state and the local municipalities involved, and not out-of-state politicians and special interest groups . . . what, exactly, about that is unserious? Or defending the indefensible?

BTW, Ethan: "He just said that he thinks THIS is a fair statement:"

Given caveats, as I explained in my original post.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 16, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Someone should ask Newt if he supports the Christian fundementalist megachurchs that were built in his hometown and former district of Marietta, GA where Leo Frank was lynched by a Anti-Semitic Klan mob in 1913.

Posted by: MerrillFrank | August 16, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Hey Greg,


"Many of the Muslims who would use the center are Muslim New Yorkers."


I suggest changing this sentence to:

Many of the Muslims who would use the center are New Yorkers.

Posted by: gyolland | August 16, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

"peterg73 is only the latest to invoke intolerance abroad as a justification for intolerance right here at home. Interesting argument, isn't it?"

No, it's an irrelevant argument. It flies in the face of American exceptionalism. We do not set our laws or our standards by dictatorships and theocracies elsewhere in the world, and shouldn't start because some people think a particular community center is too close to Ground Zero.

How are American Muslims responsible for the Saudi Arabian monarchy? Or the rule of the Taliban in Afghanistan? They aren't. So, even if it wasn't already unconstitutional, why should their freedoms be abridged because of what people they do not know, in countries they do not live in and may never have visited, conduct their own oppressive regimes? And that's the standard we wish to hold ourselves to? Oppressive middle-eastern theocracies?

I'd like to think we could do just a tiny bit better, myself.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 16, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Kevin, you've proven that -- like any Republican -- you'll say pretty much anything to distract from the fact that you support the Republican Party's glaringly obvious use of bigotry and xenophobia in their fear-mongering campaigns.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 16, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, I just want to say that your impression of Kevin and mine are pretty divergent.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 16, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

I hope this doesn't get lost among the usual...

You should point out to your readers that it was a mulsim vendor who got police on to the would-be Times Square bomber. Muslims are very much a part of the fabric of our country and have been for a very long time.

I'm not muslim, but I've had a muslim lady look after my son when he was very little. He got a taste for Pakistani style cooking and to this day takes his shoes off upon entering the house. It was a positive thing.

America is a place that welcomes all sorts of people. I personally wouldn't have it any other way.

Posted by: Alex3 | August 16, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

All, first non mosque post of the day! More GOPers push meme that $26 billion in state aid passed by Dems is all a "money laundering scheme":

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/08/more_gopers_bash_state_aid_as.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 16, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I, for one, am encouraged to see a thoughtful conservative, like Kevin_Willis, articulate what once were two fundamental principles of conservatism: constitutional liberties must be respected, and local government units are best-equipped to make decisions which are correct and beneficial for the communities that they serve.

If the Republicans trying to make an issue of Cordoba House were truly "conservative" (like Kevin_Willis), they would be defending the approval of the project instead of trying to nationalize the debate.

Posted by: Patrick_M | August 16, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Yes MerrillFrank, and to the people worried about Sharia taking over our country I say your worries are actually aimed at the wrong religion. Christianity represents a far greater danger to our government than the Muslims simply because of numbers. There are far far more Christians in our nation than Muslims. I've yet to hear a Muslim suggest this is a Muslim or Islamic nation but I've lost count of the number of politicians and pols who suggest this is a Christian nation even though the founding fathers and plenty of evidence proves otherwise.

I've never heard a U.S. Muslim politician (how many are there...1 or 2) ever suggest that sharia would be a good thing for our nation.

However look what a leading R candidate for President Mike Huckabee says...

"I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution,” Huckabee told a Michigan audience on Monday. “But I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that’s what we need to do — to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than try to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view."

Bite me Mike!!! I'm not a Christian and do not intend to be governed by the Bible!! The Quran! Or any other religious document. It's America for God's sake..."land of the free"

And while you bemoan sharia (which is never going to happen and obviously doesn't work in our society) watch out for the Conservative Christians...here is what they believe according to Wikipedia...

" But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. (KJV)
But I permit not a woman to teach, nor to have dominion over a man, but to be in quietness. (ASV)
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. (TNIV)"

Does anybody really want the U.S. to start governing under these principles? Yeah let's take back women's suffrage and get the ladies back where they belong! SNARK

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 16, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I just want to puke. Republicans only pretend to care about 9/11 victims when it can help them start a war or win an election. When it came to actually supporting them with health care and other benefits, they'd rather just sh¡t on them.

They don't care at all about any of these families. Some including Coulter and Beck have said this outright. I haven't been this disgusted with republicans or the media in a very very long time.

Posted by: SDJeff | August 16, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

i asked this of another islamophobe on another thread:

there are *already* moseques in the area and at the pentagon. if this community center is an affront, then certainly the others are as well.

what makes this one different and worthy of your outsized fear and bedwetting?

do any of the present nativists want to give me an answer to this question?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 16, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I don't wish to be placed in the position of defending Kevin...mainly because Kevin can do a far better job than me of defending himself...but perhaps because I share his conundrum I empathize somewhat.

I personally like and admire Obama. I will vote for the Dems this year even though I am as disappointed as Kevin for totally different reasons...at least some of those reasons differ...

Kevin brother correct me if I'm wrong but if I understand you correctly you're saying you're really not happy with either party and you fear the Dem policies enough to hold your nose at the ballot box and vote R. which in your view is not a tacit support for Palin/Bachmann/Gingrich et al.

Ironically Kevin...if Dwight D. Eisenhower were running against Obama...not on personality..Ike was really bland..Obama is entertaining...but on policy...I might consider Ike. If the tax schedule returned to where it was under Ike...if he continued to rail against the MIC...Ike may have been an R but he was at least pragmatic not dogmatic and he did realize the middle class needed to be strong..hence his wonderful letter to his brother on Social Security....

"Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."

President Dwight D. Eisenhower, l952-----

Alas their number USED to be negligible although they are STILL stupid." Blame Ike for that insult Kevin. :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 16, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

peterg73 is only the latest to invoke intolerance abroad as a justification for intolerance right here at home. Interesting argument, isn't it?

Posted by: Greg Sargent
=========================================
I'm not justifying anything. I'm just pointing out the absurdity of peope in this country being blasted as intolerant. Americans bend over backwards to be tolerant and are slammed as bigots regardless when they make the slightest wince of discomfort.

Posted by: peterg73 | August 16, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

@Patrick_M:

"I, for one, am encouraged to see a thoughtful conservative, like Kevin_Willis"

Thanks for that, Patrick. And Suekzoo. I'm glad we can agree to disagree on some thing disagreeably, while agreeing on other things.

"articulate what once were two fundamental principles of conservatism: constitutional liberties must be respected, and local government units are best-equipped to make decisions which are correct and beneficial for the communities that they serve."

Agreed! Exactly. It's seems the opposite of the small 'c' conservative viewpoint. The constitution is clear, and the local community has made it's decision, and it's decision is entirely consistent with both federal law and the US Constitution. I don't even see the whole "being offended" thing. It's a willful decision to look at what appears to be a Muslim community center as a "Victory Mosque", and that's a distortion. Rather made intentionally, or as a sincere misunderstanding.

"If the Republicans trying to make an issue of Cordoba House were truly "conservative" (like Kevin_Willis), they would be defending the approval of the project instead of trying to nationalize the debate."

I tend to agree. There are conservative arguments to be made on a variety of contentious issues, but arguing against religious freedom and community self-determination strikes me as entirely non-conservative.

Frankly, conservatives should be congratulating Obama on his foreign policy--he hasn't gone in to immediately trying to make a mess out of every the previous Bush administration did (a true, blind, destroy-America partisan would have immediately pulled all troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq without any concern as to what would happen afterwards). By all reports, they've been making frequent use of drone strikes to decapitate and discombobulate Al Qaeda, and it seems to be working. Which may set a stage for defeating global terrorism while reducing the number of troops in harms way. Complaints about Obama "bowing" aside, there seems to be a serious realpolitik going on that would make Kissinger proud, while a real effort to put the hurt on Al Qaeda with a more surgical precision. But he clearly hasn't been afraid to make the call to take out Al Qaeda leaders.

I mean, he may not be out pimping administration successes in the War on Al Qaeda, but he's got some accomplishment, well into his administration, than any conservative should be proud of.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 16, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

"Republicans only pretend to care about 9/11 victims when it can help them start a war or win an election. When it came to actually supporting them with health care and other benefits, they'd rather just sh¡t on them."

Totally agree.

Posted by: theorajones1 | August 16, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

ruk, thanks for posting that. Yes Ike set a standard for the White House which will probably never be matched by a republican. He clearly would not be welcomed in the party today.

Posted by: SDJeff | August 16, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

still no response to my question: if this community center is bad, why not tear down the existing mosques in the area and the one in the pentagon?

what's the difference between those mosques and this building?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 16, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

@rukidding: "I understand you correctly you're saying you're really not happy with either party and you fear the Dem policies enough to hold your nose at the ballot box and vote R. which in your view is not a tacit support for Palin/Bachmann/Gingrich et al."

Not happy with either party. I love America, so I really love that sweet spot when Republicans and conservatives are all apple pie and waving the flag and pledging allegiance and singing "God Bless the USA"--right before too many of them spill into nativism. But I love that sweet spot. I like the GOP--and conservatives--generally on a strong national defense. And, for the most part, on taxes, and their skepticism on new regulations on certain things. But, yeah, there are plenty of things I take issue with, though more in this campaign cycle than since I was a high school, starry-eyed liberal. ;)

BTW, I don't think folks looking to turn SS into something with partially private accounts (that have a cash value that can be inherited by children) is synonymous with abolishing Social Security. I was, and remain, a big booster of Bush's Social Security Reform (when what is known of it is accurately represented, not as "privatization", something it was often mischaracterized as being . . . sort of a "death panels" of Social Security).

Those who would support abolishing SS or Medicare remain negligible. And it would be political suicide.

And I don't blame Ike. In the fundamentals, he was right--and he was writing before certain baseline budgeting and COLAs were authored into Medicare and Social Security that kept the budgets ballooning, so it's good to keep that in mind.

Ike also gave us Richard Nixon, who gave us OSHA, the EPA, put punitive teeth into affirmative action mandates, and did numerous other things not popular with conservatives. But, Ike and Nixon didn't exactly like each other, so perhaps he can't be blamed for that.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 16, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

@blagh: "still no response to my question: if this community center is bad, why not tear down the existing mosques in the area and the one in the pentagon? what's the difference between those mosques and this building?"

Who are you waiting to respond? This community center is not bad, existing mosques should (of course) not be torn down, the one in the Pentagon should go (as should any prayer chapels, or anything else with any religious affiliation) as it violates the separation of church and state (as currently interpreted).

The difference between the mosques and that building is that it's a community center that will include a prayer room, and isn't really a mosque, and certainly not only a mosque. Certainly not, as some have said, a "Mega Mosque".

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 16, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

kevin,

thanks for responding. you have written in the past that you don't trust the motives of people building the mosque. why not? do you trust the motives of the people at the other mosques?

btw, i agree that no religious facilities or personnel should be in the military.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 16, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

@blahg: "you have written in the past that you don't trust the motives of people building the mosque. why not?"

I am dubious, because of their insistence on building there initially, despite the (irrational) public backlash--it's not an "outreach" behavior. YMMV, but that's just my opinion. Feisal Abdul Rauf is the ostensible spokesperson, who said that Osama Bin Ladin was made in America and that America was complicit in 9/11, about which he may or may not have a point, but belies his "bridge building" rhetoric. Funding for the mosque may come from questionable sources--if so, that also makes me dubious. But, that may turn out to be false rumor and speculation.

There are no other specific mosques where I would question the motives of anybody involved, because I know nothing of them, specifically. Also, the Community Center proposed for the former Burlington Coat Factory site is not primarily a mosque, but a community center.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 16, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

kevin,

he said us policy was 'accessory' to what happened -- hardly the same as saying we were 'complicit' in it. as for the osama made in the us comment, if he was referring to the 1980s funding of the muhajadeen, then he's right. but i don't know the context.

the fact is that i'm sure he has said and believes much that i'd find objectionable.

but that is true of any religious figure and i don't support forcing them, legally or socially, to be second class citizens. why are you so willing to buy into what you acknowledge are, or at least may be, just rumors?


Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 16, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

It's clear that terrorists are not simply motivated by hatred of JudeoChristian freedom that we have in the US, as much as republicans tried to tell us that after 9/11.

That angle might help in their recruiting and fundraising, but ultimately, they have objected to our foreign policy, specifically in the Middle East. So the imam has a point there.

It's not blaming the victims, or the country, just the policy. It still doesn't mean it's justified, but it helps explain the motivation of these terrorists.

I don't know how long this has been in the works, but it's been almost a decade since 9/11, and it's entirely possible they just didn't give a whole lot of thought to how close they were to the attack site, after all, it's a bustling area, and there are other mosques in the area, as has been pointed out.

Adding one more, in close proximity to food carts, etc., they probably didn't really see it as an "in your face" kind of proposition. And apparently the city council or planning commission didn't either, since they approved it. It was only when Sarah Palin decided to tweet her new made up word that everyone decided to make a really big deal about it.

This is utter nonsense.

Posted by: SDJeff | August 16, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

@blagh: "he said us policy was 'accessory' to what happened -- hardly the same as saying we were 'complicit' in it"

Thanks for the clarification. I misremembered, but I still don't care for it.

"but that is true of any religious figure and i don't support forcing them, legally or socially, to be second class citizens"

Again, you extrapolate a disbelief in the public assertions of a few people into a belief in the idea they should be second class citizens. Let me emphasize, my personal disbelief that Cordoba House is sincerely about outreach to infidel faiths in no way suggests or should be inferred to imply that law-abding Muslims of any kind (or anybody else) should be second class citizens.

Regarding the funding rumors, when there is smoke, there may be fire. I reserve judgement on that until there is more clarification. I'm just not going to immediately dismiss it as impossible, at this point.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 16, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: rukidding7 I don't know why you lumped me in with the Mosque opponents: "Yes MerrillFrank, and to the people worried about Sharia taking over our country I say your worries are actually aimed at the wrong religion."

I was pointing out the absurdity of the mosque opponents refering to the area as sacred ground when I cited the NY Daily News piece about the strip clubs and adult stores on the same block.

Yes, I live in NYC and work there.

Posted by: MerrillFrank | August 16, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

This is alarming!

If nothing is done, then tomorrow the Jews will selling Kosher food from the carts!

Then come the Hindus with vegetarian food.

Oh yeah, the Mexicans with beans this and beans that! Now that could be bad!

Posted by: kishorgala | August 16, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if this food is Halal or not, but I love hummus, pita bread, tabouli, and a Swarma on the run....It is getting ridiculous and a clear display of the narrow minds, short shights, and ignorance of much of America, which is supposed to be such a progressive and "free" country, with justice and liberty for all, the land of the great, built and continuing to be built, by people from somewhere else.

No one has spoken to the implication and the message a mosque so close to 9/ll sends as a testament to the living; to those who carry on with strength, courage, and in defiance of the terrorists of all colors and creeds, including politicos native born. To take a horrific tragedy and build a monument "in the face of" those who would tear us down over and over again, built and sponsored by their own brethren, is a huge statement of unity of purpose and resolve that we cannot be divided; we cannot be torn assunder; we will prevail.

Incidentally, it is not just a mosque. It will include a multifaith chapel, a cultural center, a dialogue center, and a rec center for the youth of the area---a swimming pool in the concrete of Manhattan, a place for hoops....a place to find common ground, to live together in peace and harmony.

As always, Republicans look to the shallow, the short term, the benefit of a wedge issue, with no substance, no long term goal or higher purpose other than the next election and some Democrats run scared.

As to the wisdom of the President weighing in: firstly, he is the President and he can comment anytime and anyway he chooses; he emphasized religious freedom and leaves the wisdom of location to those intimately affected, ie, the local community.

Posted by: nana4 | August 16, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

"Obviously there's an enormous difference between a food cart and a huge cultural center and mosque."

False: not with respect to 9/11 there isn't a difference. Not one iota of difference.

Both are completely, wholly, and identically unrelated to 9/11, save for religious bigots who can't tell one Muslim from another.

If a family were robbed by a man who happened to be black, would we support that family blocking all African Americans from moving into their neighborhood? I would hope not.

Posted by: trippin | August 16, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

I am ashamed of my country. This is totally out of hand and downright stupid. It has become a feeding frenzy. I blame the media for a large part of this because they love to throw chum in the water. Makes for more eyeballs and higher ratings. And the worst part is we have just told the world's 1.7 billion Moslems that the jihadis are right.... the Americans are on a crusade against all Moslems. Talk about self defeating.

Posted by: tarryh | August 16, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Walked through the Garment/Fashion District recently. Noted the Millinery Center Synagogue. Here's what placematters.net had to say: "When it was founded in 1935, the Millinery Center Synagogue's congregation worshipped in a loft building. By 1948, when the current synagogue building was completed, the congregation numbered 1,200. Built by and for milliners, the synagogue was both a symbolic expression of Jewish culture within the industry and a social center. Along with the millinery union, regular supporters included the Millinery Bowling League, the Millinery Textile Cub, the Millinery Salesman Union and retailers throughout the city." I wonder if they faced opposition to situating their house of worship and community near their work?

Posted by: SNOWBIRD4 | August 16, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Two questions for Mr. Sargent occur to me:

1. Have you considered the possibility that who ever sent you the bit about the Halal carts was making fun of you? Seriously dude, the fact that it came from a Daily Show routine might be a tip-off.

2. When are you gonna finally break down and just change the name of your blog to MosqueBlog?

Posted by: CalD | August 16, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

And no American should eat pork until the Saudis build a Smithfield's BBQ in Mecca.

Posted by: nvizhon | August 16, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Since when does the USA conform our standards to those of, say, Saudi Arabia, or other countries who do not embrace the same principles of freedom of worship and other Constitutional rights as we have? I thought we were different.

Posted by: nana4 | August 17, 2010 6:38 AM | Report abuse

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