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The absurdity of the "mosque exclusion zone"

In the wake of the controversy over whether to build an Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero, Matthew Yglesias aptly mocked those calling for the center to be moved by coining the term "mosque exclusion zone."

The "mosque exclusion zone," of course, refers to efforts by critics of the plan to arbitrarily designate what distance from Ground Zero would make for an appropriate site for a mosque.

What's funny, however, is that critics of the mosque differ on the appropriate size of the mosque exclusion zone.

The other day, Newt Gingrich suggested that an apt location for the Islamic center might be "near Central Park" or perhaps "near Columbia University." Central Park, whose southernmost edge is on 59th Street, is around five miles from Ground Zero. Columbia, on 116th Street, is roughly another three miles further away.

But the Anti-Defamation League, which opposes the Islamic center, has laid out his own criteria for the mosque exclusion zone:

The issue was wrenching for the Anti-Defamation League, which in the past has spoken out against anti-Islamic sentiment. But its national director, Abraham H. Foxman, said in an interview on Friday that the organization came to the conclusion that the location was offensive to families of victims of Sept. 11, and he suggested that the center's backers should look for a site "a mile away."

"It's the wrong place," Mr. Foxman said. "Find another place."

So by the ADL's lights, the acceptable location for the Islamic center is somewhere around SoHo or perhaps Greenwich Village -- far closer to Ground Zero than Newt's suggestion of Central Park. But come on, ADL: These neighborhoods are within walking distance of Ground Zero. Such an appalling lack of sensitivity towards 9/11 victims! At least Newt had the decency to suggest a site that's a subway ride away!

So absurd.

UPDATE, 5:53 p.m.: Much more news on the mosque in our daily Happy Hour Roundup.

By Greg Sargent  |  August 2, 2010; 3:46 PM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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Next: Happy Hour Roundup

Comments

Absurd is right. How far is "far enough"?

I wonder if this is how the Trail of Tears started? Just go 1 mile away and we'll be fine. No, 3 miles away. No, make it hundreds upon hundreds of miles away. Actually, why don't you just stay on these "reservations" and never leave.

The Republican Party doesn't understand or doesn't care about the religious freedom established in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 2, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

What do the other JournoListers say?

Posted by: luca_20009 | August 2, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Reminds me of the old George Carlin bit, where the colonists come to America and just keep asking the natives to "move over a little" until they're out of country.

Classic.

There's a word for all this: Islamophobia.

It's no coincidence that the right is both more violent AND more afraid.

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 2, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if any of you read fivethirtyeight.com, but Silver has great information on the details of the project.

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2010/07/polls-reporting-on-ground-zero-mosque.html

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2010/08/street-level-view-of-ground-zero-mosque.html

It is not on any natural route to Ground Zero. People visiting the site will likely not pass it.
It is not visible from Ground Zero
It basically looks like a fancy office building, no minaretes or anything.
It is not simply a Mosque. It will contain an arena, book stores, a pool, and other stuff. It is really meant more as an outreach from the Muslim world to the western world and a Mosque in the building is just a part of what is in this structure.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 2, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

How large an exclusion zone has been created to prevent Christian Churches being erected too near to Tim McVeigh's Oklahoma Center Bombing site, which killed many American Men, Woman, and Children?

Weren't McVeigh and his helpers, Christians who perpetrated a large scale Terrorist Atrocity?

Posted by: Liam-still | August 2, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

BG -- that's pretty hilarious. Thanks.

And, humor aside, as Ethan says, there's a long and sordid history here.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 2, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD, right, but it would be a Muslim pool, Muslim book store, and, you know, Muslim table tennis. So, um, they are real sorry, but no.

Liam, OK as a state is a "Christian Inclusion Zone." Sorry, no exceptions.

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 2, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Liam, that's an awfully good question. Thanks.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 2, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

BG, I KNEW I was channeling Carlin on that one.

And Greg, you are definitely right that at the end of the day it's just plain old not funny. Not just what we did to the indigenous people on this continent, but restrictions on religious freedom in general.

Remember, they did this same type of thing to Jews in Germany. First it was anti-Semitism, then Kristallnacht, then it was the yellow Star of David badge, then it was The Holocaust.

Religious persecution is simply disgusting, and it is totally antithetical to the founding principles of the USA (again, it's in the First Amendment).

I put hyper-Islamophobia in the same basket as religious persecution.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 2, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

I still think there is something to be said for creating a zone around Ground Zero that is "sacred space" and open to all faith groups.

Posted by: benintn | August 2, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

"Liam, that's an awfully good question. Thanks."

No it isn't. Perhaps if McVeigh's religious beliefs were the reasoning behind his actions, but they were not. He was agnostic.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2001/jun/11/mcveigh.usa4

FWIW, I think the objections to the mosque are misplaced.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | August 2, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I've always been in favor of laws that prohibit the construction of places of worship. Especially since 9/11 -- read Exodus 10 and 11 and you will see why: talk about funding of terrorists!

Posted by: johnnormansp | August 2, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse


@NoVAHockey : A sliver of sanity. Welcome to a glimpse at the reality based community.

Posted by: srw3 | August 2, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

These sound really close by normal standards, but remember that in NYC, there maybe a million people or more within 4 blocks of anywhere on the island.

However such exclusion is a good idea, there are several Christian Churches with serious offenses in the pass, which will need their own exclusion zones if this principle is allowed.

No Catholic churches within xx of the Holocaust Museum (in light of pre WWII offenses at least) or within xx of the Native American Museum.

No Southern Baptist Churches within xx blocks of African American Museum.

I sure we can tag most other churches that are very old with some crime which will exclude them from many areas of the countries. Remember that 1000 feet rule for child molesters has effectively banned them from living in whole cities.

All the above are unfair to the vast majority of members of both churches, but in both cases far more of the followers helped commit the offenses than took part in 9/11.

Muslim table Tennis is that great threat however:)

Posted by: Muddy_Buddy_2000 | August 2, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

This I Know For Certain:

Deciding To Restrict The Rights Of any Group, based on their Race, or Creed, is one of the most sure ways to create Domestic Terrorists.

Look at what happened in Northern Ireland.

The British had laws on the books that allowed complete discrimination against the Catholic community; even though they were descended from the first people to inhabit Ireland after the last Ice age. For cripes sake; St. Patrick's burial site is in Northern Ireland.

If you were a Catholic, you were not allowed to join the police of fire depts., hold no civil service posts, and were excluded from managerial positions in any business, and on and on. The voting rules were rigged so that Catholics could not elect their own reps.

So the Catholic community organized a non violent civil rights march, and the got attacked and shot up by the ruling Protestant forces.

That caused the community to turn to the extremists to fight on their side, and brought on decades of violence.

It finally ended, when the Stupid English Leadership reluctantly granted Catholics the same rights as the rest of the population, which was all that Catholics were asking for in the first place.

You can not treat the Muslim community like they are all dangerous, and deny them equal treatment, and still expect that some of them will not resort to extremism.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 2, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

When a church or a synagogue can be built in saudi arabia, and after islam has submitted to norms of civil behavior.......then let the mosque get built......

Posted by: georgedixon1 | August 2, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

@NVA:No it isn't. Perhaps if McVeigh's religious beliefs were the reasoning behind his actions, but they were not. He was agnostic.

Actually American legion halls should be banned in Ok City because McVeigh said that he was a patriot avenging the overreach of a bloated and oppressive state.

Posted by: srw3 | August 2, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Abraham Foxman and William Donohue, twins separated at birth?

They are two of the most sanctimonious hate mongers in today's America.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 2, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

There was a similar controversy over a Catholic convent that was built just outside Auschwitz. It was denounced as insensitive, and the Church eventually forced them to move.

Posted by: tomtildrum | August 2, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

When a church or a synagogue can be built in saudi arabia, and after islam has submitted to norms of civil behavior.......then let the mosque get built......

Posted by: georgedixon1 | August 2, 2010 4:59 PM

.......................

I see that you are such a big admirer of Saudi Arabia, that you want to make the USA just like it.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 2, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

georgedixon1, I hope they don't let you around any young people. Because your reasoning is really stupid.

So, if they won't act like we do, we should violate our principles and imitate them?

Grow up.

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 2, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

How gracious of Newt to consider allowing an Islamic facility as close to Ground Zero as Central Park. Does Newt know that the Islamic Cultural Center of New York (a beautiful facility) has been on the Upper East Side near Central Park for over 20 years?

Posted by: bearclaw1 | August 2, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

BG,

GeorgeDixon can use his same argument against equal rights for Women. He can say that he will treat Women just the way Saudi Arabia does.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 2, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

bearclaw, what Newt doesn't know is a lot. A whole lot.

Seriously, can you imagine thinking of Newt as an "intellectual"?

We really need to divert defense money to education soon: the stupid is getting bad.

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 2, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

@GD1: I agree that we should have the same standards of religious freedom as one of the most repressive regimes in the world. Maybe we should ban woman drivers and require male relatives to accompany unmarried women too because...hey...that's how they do it in Wahabiland....that's the ticket!

Posted by: srw3 | August 2, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Liam, it's good to see that the American Taliban, like georgedixon1, is alive and well.

I wish I knew why they hated our freedoms.

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 2, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

@bearclaw Newt doesn't know and Newt doesn't care. That's not what this is about.

This is just terrific. The loons on the right are now locked in this incredible race where they're literally forcing each other to say more and more outrageous things! They are desperate to grab the latest news cycle and the only way to do that is to out and out lie like Andrew Breitbart or simply say outrageous stuff like Sister Sarah, McCain, Newt and the rest.

Really Newt..thanks so much for protecting us from Sharia law taking over!!! OMG Newt what would we do with the hordes of Sharia law proponents invading our statehouses...outregistering the rest of us at the polls...or is this going to be done militarily Newt?

With this kind of Islamophobic baiting Gingrich has surpassed even Joe McCarthy as a scummy smirch on America's history.
What makes this despicable is that Newt is an educated man WHO KNOWS BETTER!!!

OK Movie nuts tell me once more...was it Bette Davis who uttered the famous words.."Hang on boys it's going to be a rough ride". I'm obviously no movie buff and so have paraphrased..but the R's are in for a rough and a WILD ride. They are on a continuum of trying to top one another with outrageous statements and positions...where do we think this will lead?

"They that sow the wind, shall reap the whirlwind"

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 2, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

@Liam: "How large an exclusion zone has been created to prevent Christian Churches being erected too near to Tim McVeigh's Oklahoma Center Bombing site, which killed many American Men, Woman, and Children?"

McVeigh was a professed agnostic, who also said "Science is my religion." He also rationalized his bombing as a natural out growth of his anti-war sentiments that were caused by his participation in the Gulf War, but people can rationalized their own bad behavior in all sorts of interesting ways.

@DDAWD: "It is really meant more as an outreach from the Muslim world to the western world and a Mosque in the building is just a part of what is in this structure."

If that were really the case, I'm not sure they'd have thought it was a good idea to build it where they are building it. To people who are suspicious of moderate Muslim outreach efforts as they are, such an effort would look more like flipping suspicious Islamophobes the bird, then dancing on George Washington's grave for good measure.

It does seem that in a secular nation that enjoys religious freedom, there is no grounds for preventing the development of a community center because of the religious affiliation (unless it was on public grounds, or taking advantage of public funding) in any given area. However, I'm sure there smart enough to understand that it would not be seen as reaching out--in fact, would like be perceived at a little bit of a 9/11 victory dance--to Islamophobes everywhere.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 2, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

OT:

* Fossil Fuels Receive 10x the Government Subsidies of Renewable Sources of Energy *

...a new survey by Bloomberg New Energy Finance comparing subsidies for fossil fuels with those for renewable energy sources finds a glaring gulf — with the fuels of convenience getting around 10 times the advantages around the world as non-polluting energy sources.

The financial consultancy, based in London, estimated that around $45 billion or so was doled out in subsidies for renewable energy sources like wind and solar power in 2009, noting how this compares to the most recent International Energy Agency estimate of global subsidies propping up fossil fuels. For 2008, the agency reported last month, such supports totaled around $557 billion — which was a big jump from the $342 billion in 2007.

http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/02/alls-not-fair-when-it-comes-to-energy-subsidies/

Oil: The cheap fuel that costs an arm and a leg. And an Iraq War. And a Gulf of Mexico. And a Lake Michigan. And...

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 2, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

McVeigh was raised in a Christian Family, as were the Nichols brothers.

They can be tied to the Christian ethos just as much as the 19 brain washed young terrorists can be tied to the Islamic ethos.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 2, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

What I find interesting is that no one of either side of the issue even sees what the other side objects to. I mean, remove the issue of Islam or 9/11--what's the difference between finding an excuse to chase out a Muslim Community Center and preventing a Jewish Community Center from being built?

At the same time, it seems hard to believe that nobody who supports the proposed Muslim Community Center can fathom why there might be some objection to it. The objections, if short-sighted, are not without a basis.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 2, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

@KW:However, I'm sure there smart enough to understand that it would not be seen as reaching out--in fact, would like be perceived at a little bit of a 9/11 victory dance--to Islamophobes everywhere.

Well if we listened to the Islamophobes, we would use the secret FEMA camps to house all Muslims until we find their leaders, kill them, and convert the rest to Christianity a the point of a sword...

How else can they prove the Islamophobes wrong than by building the community center and making it an open, accepting, place where everyone is welcome?

If we used your argument, we shouldn't create integrated universities in the south because the racists would perceive the act as dancing on the graves of the confederate war heroes of yore and the legacies of those Icons, Lester Maddox, Bull Conner, etc.

Posted by: srw3 | August 2, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

The guy who bombed the Atlanta Olympics and an abortion clinic, was acting out of his extreme Christian beliefs. How far away from the Atlanta Olympics sites, must Christian centers stay?

Posted by: Liam-still | August 2, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Jesus said:

"To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic."

Because we know the results of the ENDING!

Posted by: theaz | August 2, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

theaz, your point? I'm not following....

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 2, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

@Liam-still: "You can not treat the Muslim community like they are all dangerous, and deny them equal treatment, and still expect that some of them will not resort to extremism."

So, I just want to understand this: if there is ever religious discrimination in zoning practices, we should just expect those thus discriminated against to make repeated attempts at mass murdering people only peripherally related to said discrimination?

While wanting to exclude a Muslim Community Center from building where it pleases may be wrong, if the response is flying plains into buildings or other terrorists acts, there is a larger problem than discriminatory zoning practices.

I'm certainly willing to entertain any argument about how we can all be better people, but when we start dancing around a tacit acceptance of terrorism and attempted mass murder until such time as we all reached a point of multiculturally tolerant perfection, I have to dissent.

Otherwise, the same logic applies to murderers who bomb abortion clinics. Is that really a reasonable line of argument?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 2, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Since Israel bombed the USS Liberty in 1967, killing 34 American sailors and injuring 170, can we also be sensitive and not allow synagogues anywhere on or within a few miles of military bases?

I mean, now that we're being sensitive...

Posted by: Buddydog | August 2, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Does no one recall that huge ecumencial service that was held in a stadium right after 9/11. It was televised on all the networks, and their were several Muslim Religious Leaders who spoke at the services.

If they could be included then, while the wound was still so raw; right after the 9/11 attacks, why are so many people now trying to ostracize a peaceful Muslim community?

Posted by: Liam-still | August 2, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

All, Happy Hour Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/08/happy_hour_roundup_62.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 2, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Expanding on Liam's point, after all of the TERRORIST!!! bombings and shootings of abortion clinics and workers that were explicitly perpetrated and driven by the TERRORISTS' "Christian" religious beliefs, how far should churches have to be from abortion clinics so that the workers don't have to relive the pain of the previous terrorist attacks?

Posted by: srw3 | August 2, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Is it a full-fledged mosque, or only a community center a la YMCA?

Doesn't matter, but need to be precise.

Posted by: Garak | August 2, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

srw3: "Well if we listened to the Islamophobes, we would use the secret FEMA camps to house all Muslims until we find their leaders, kill them, and convert the rest to Christianity a the point of a sword..."

I'm not sure that's true but, even if it is, I wasn't suggesting that you listen to the Islamophobes. In case you missed that--are, in this case, you seem to have added--that part.

"How else can they prove the Islamophobes wrong than by building the community center and making it an open, accepting, place where everyone is welcome?"

Prove the Islamophobes wrong to whom? Not you, you don't need to be convinced. Not the Islamophobes, who clearly won't change their minds, and certainly aren't going to be courted to, at any rate. In any case, I don't think that's the intent and, if it is, it is surely misguided.

"If we used your argument, we shouldn't create integrated universities in the south because the racists would perceive the act as dancing on the graves of the confederate war heroes of yore and the legacies of those Icons, Lester Maddox, Bull Conner, etc."

Non-sequitur upon non-sequitur. First, how you can extrapolate my argument--that the intent of the Muslim Community Center is not to win over skeptics, as was (in the comment I was responding to) implied, into an argument against integrated universities . . . seriously. What? Did I suggest that they shouldn't build a Muslim Community Center at Ground Zero? Or that their goal should be to appease Islamophobes, or skeptics, or whoever?

I just suggest that the idea that their mission seriously involves "outreach" is mistaken. It either does not, or is seriously misguided, as you don't intentionally offend people you're trying to win over. If you're really trying to win them over.

I'm not saying that you should try to win them over, or that there is any obligation to, or anything more elaborate than that.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 2, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Kevin,

I am not justifying any acts of terrorism, and I do not appreciate you trying to put words in my mouth. If you are going to keep doing that, then I will not bother engaging in dialog with you, henceforth.

All I am pointing out is; if you treat people like they are different than the rest of society, and set up exclusion zones for them only, you are far more likely to incite some to violence, than you would have if you had treated them fairly. Go back and read the example I gave of how Northern Ireland spiraled out of control, just because Protestants would not let Catholics have equal civil rights in their ancient homeland.

Better to treat people fairly from the start, than to try to put out the inferno after you have tossed a match on the bigotry bonfire.

Unfair treatment begot the violent American Revolution, and the Violent American Civil War.

According to you. Those who fought the British and the Slave States, were wrong for having done so. See what can be done, when I want to turn your own words against you.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 2, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

If I thought it would make a difference, I'd suggest that the Muslim community take the high road by choosing to build elsewhere and dedicating the Ground Zero site to some high-minded "can't we all get along" project. But, of course, the xenophobes would undoubtedly attack that idea too, claiming that it was an admission of guilt on the part of the Muslims.

Posted by: eomcmars | August 2, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

It is a community center. It had nothing to do with the 9/11 site. If they were to give in and not open their center now, then they would be doing so just because of how they were being picked on. They would be surrendering to the Right Wing Collective Guilt Smears.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 2, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

The convent at Auschwitz was on the grounds of the camp; I believe the site was used to store the poison gas during the war. A very different case.

Perhaps when the Arab nations are more like America this won't be an issue; I, for one, don't want to live in Saudi Arabia, because of the lack of religious freedoms. There's an old story by a priest written during WW2: when they came for the Jews, I didn't speak up, as I wasn't Jewish. When they came for the Gypsies, the Hungarians, the Gays, I never spoke up, as I wasn't any of those. Finally, the Nazi's came for me, and there was no one left to speak up for me.

Posted by: elkodsi | August 2, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

"No Catholic churches within xx of the Holocaust Museum (in light of pre WWII offenses at least) or within xx of the Native American Museum."

Not to mention playgrounds or schools.

Posted by: zimbar | August 2, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

There is a simple solution. No one will question that Islam is Peace, Islam is love, Islam is tolerance. I'm certain that the Saudi's will be happy to erect a 13 story synagogue in downtown Rihad. That will show the world the tolerance of Islam. I cannot wait to see it.

Posted by: dtraffas | August 2, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Greg-
There is nothing funny about a Mosque that near to GROUND ZERO.
Islamic violence and intolerance has no place at that site.
Sensitivity goes both ways.
You wouldn't put a Nazi center in Boro Park??
They can't agree on "how close" because they are trying to be sensitive.
A Mega Mosque does not belong in N.Y.C.
Let another City deal with it. N.Y. already lost enough. It is still too raw.Enough.

Posted by: sfgingy51 | August 2, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Well, there goes the Republicans argument about Original Intent, and what did the Founding Fathers have in mind;

Now The Right Wing Nut Jobs are telling us that we must follow the Original Intent of The Saudi Royal Family.

So tell me this; All You Uber-Patriotic Teabaggers; Who is it that you want to: "take back your country from", since you admit you want to let Saudia Arabia control how it is run?!

Posted by: Liam-still | August 2, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

I don't get it.My comment was refused because it said I had already made a comment on this issue. When I had made none.????

Posted by: sfgingy51 | August 2, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7 wrote:

"OK Movie nuts tell me once more...was it Bette Davis who uttered the famous words.."Hang on boys it's going to be a rough ride". I'm obviously no movie buff and so have paraphrased."

The exact quote is "Fasten your seat belts. It's going to be a bumpy night!", from "All About Eve."

I have to wonder at what's nearly a first for a Washington Post comments section: A discussion that hasn't for once been hijacked by the wingnuts. Will miracles never cease!

And DDAWD, thanks for those two Nate Silver links. They're terrific, and I've been passing them around to a few friends of mine who are long on opinions and short on facts.

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2010/07/polls-reporting-on-ground-zero-mosque.html

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2010/08/street-level-view-of-ground-zero-mosque.html

Posted by: andym108 | August 2, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

@KW: Prove the Islamophobes wrong to whom? Not you, you don't need to be convinced. Not the Islamophobes, who clearly won't change their minds, and certainly aren't going to be courted to, at any rate. In any case, I don't think that's the intent and, if it is, it is surely misguided.

In fact, one of the community center's goals is to reach out to people of other faiths.

"The fact that this building is within earsplitting distance of the jackhammers and cranes at the scene of America's worst terror attack is exactly why she wanted it.

Ms. KAHN: We feel that we really can communicate a different ideology of Islam than the one that the extremists have been communicating over the years. So for us, it's taking back the agenda, away from the extremists who have defined it for the global Muslim community....Imam FEISAL ABDUL RAUF: What I have always aspired to do for a long time now, for the last 15 years, was to establish an Islamic version of a YMCA. [Imam FEISAL ABDUL RAUF's] vision for the building is a true community center: a place with language and cooking classes, a gym and a pool for anyone, Muslim or non-Muslim, who lives or works in the area.

Imam RAUF: By people engaging together, by having sports together, this is how people bond across the religious divide.TARABAY: That's also the hope of Katherine McVeigh Hughes, vice chair for the Community Board in lower Manhattan. She wants the center to make this area a destination.

Ms. KATHERINE MCVEIGH HUGHES (Vice Chair, Community Board): There is no place for children to learn how to swim in this area. There is no performing space like they planned to have, including the library and the museum space."--NPR

You are right that the hard core Islamophobes won't be swayed, but there are lots (I would agrue a large majority) of people that like Islamophobes have little knowledge or distorted notions of what Islam but are not necessarily rabidly anti Muslim, like L. Cheney, Palin, Gingrich, Guilliani, and the other kooks out there. The community center is the best way to exemplify the goodness there is in Islam (I am sure that it has as least as much goodness as any other sky wizard worshiping religion, and probably more, what with the strong encouragement to give to the poor, etc.) to those who are curious, indifferent, or only a little hostile to Islam.

"To people who are suspicious of moderate Muslim outreach efforts as they are, such an effort would look more like flipping suspicious Islamophobes the bird, then dancing on George Washington's grave for good measure."

It doesn't matter what moderate muslims do, the people living in Hatemislamistan are going to accuse Muslims of wanting to wrap all women in Burkas, cut off the hands of thieves, convert Christians at the point of the sword, etc. There is no reaching them. But, the large majority of people are reachable, IMHO, and a community center that serves all the community seems like a good way to show the positive side of Islam.

Posted by: srw3 | August 2, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

I forgot that the vast majority of terrorist acts in the USA are done by the Religious Right, all Christian to my knowledge. Check out any abortion clinic, and the security they require for a completely legal business. There are hundreds of attacks of various degrees every year, and some are very violent and deadly.
So no churches anywhere within 4 blocks of
Abortion Clinics or anything else which supports reproductive rights
Olympic sites,
and Since there are hundreds of attacks per year, I sure the list goes on.

Note since we are apparently excluding no religious groups, Earth First gets to be anywhere they want, but this could also be because they haven't killed anyone yet, or intentionally hurt them.

Posted by: Muddy_Buddy_2000 | August 2, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

@sfgingy51:Islamic violence and intolerance has no place at that site.

First, it is not at the site it is 2 blocks away.

The proposed community center does not condone intolerance, it is the antithesis of violence and intolerance, a place where all are welcome to come and use the facility, engage in sports, take cooking classes, etc.

"You wouldn't put a Nazi center in Boro Park??"

Really??? A community center open to all, dedicated to religious outreach and tolerance is akin to Nazi Center (whatever that is)? Really???

The false logic of your post is breathtaking in its stupidity.

Terrorists who are Muslims, CLAIMING TO BE MOTIVATED BY THEIR RELIGION, kill a bunch of people, therefore all Muslims are terrorists or terrorist sympathizers.

???????????????REALLY??????????????

Terrorists who are Christians, CLAIMING TO BE MOTIVATED BY THEIR RELIGION, kill doctors and bomb clinics, therefore all Christians are terrorists.

???????????????REALLY??????????????

Posted by: srw3 | August 2, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

There is no separation between Mosque and state in Islam. So when they build a mosque they are attempting to establish Sharia Law in the local government. STOP THE MOSQUE if you want to keep your freedom in the Constitution. This isn't about religious freedom people!!!

Posted by: dcompton77 | August 2, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Palin wants to save that spot for the Mama Grizzly Church.

Posted by: ledirigible | August 2, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Go to www.shoebat.com for the truth on Islam.

Posted by: dcompton77 | August 2, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

dcompton: "There is no separation between Mosque and state in Islam. So when they build a mosque they are attempting to establish Sharia Law in the local government. STOP THE MOSQUE if you want to keep your freedom in the Constitution. This isn't about religious freedom people!!!"

You know Beck agrees that there should be no separation between church and state, right??

You know you morons are the Christian Taliban, right?

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 2, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Do have a look, "Presenting Islam to Non-Muslims - The Role of the Masjid"

http://www.islamicsolutions.com/presenting-islam-to-non-muslims-the-role-of-the-masjid/

Posted by: ffa7 | August 2, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Do have a look, "Presenting Islam to Non-Muslims - The Role of the Masjid"

http://www.islamicsolutions.com/presenting-islam-to-non-muslims-the-role-of-the-masjid/

Posted by: ffa7 | August 2, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

If the backers of this project were really interested in "inter-religious outreach" and "building understanding" with their community center, they could defuse the criticism by simply including a synagogue and Christian chapel in their plan. Alternatively, they could just make the center entirely secular, and not include any prayer spaces.

Will they agree to this? I think not.

And, really, is there a sufficient Muslim population below Canal St. to really justify the need for a mosque in this neighborhood? Assata Islamic Center at 172 Allen St. is fairly close, and an expansion of this facility might cause less controversy.

Posted by: EddietheInfidel | August 2, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

@Liam: "I am not justifying any acts of terrorism, and I do not appreciate you trying to put words in my mouth. If you are going to keep doing that, then I will not bother engaging in dialog with you, henceforth."

I asked what you were saying, I did not tell you what you were saying. I asked for clarification because I thought I was reading you wrong. Thanks for the clarification. However, I wasn't putting words in your mouth.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 2, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

The ADLs sttatement on this controversial topic is absurd - it's like the American Dental Association saying dentists are not necessary for a healthy society.

Posted by: Kingofkings1 | August 2, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the people here who state that Christian churches that minister to terrorist acts against the United States should not have their church buildings built over the buildings they were involved in destroying.

It only follows that I must be consistent with the Islamic mosques and Ground Zero. Maybe they could create a museum about Islam's need to turn away from terrorism and the subjugation of women.

Posted by: scott3 | August 2, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

The site of the 911 tragedy needs niether a mosque, a church, a temple, a synagogue, or any other kind of religious symbol. There are alternatives to fundamentalist religions of all types. I want peace, enlightenment, LOVE, and HEALING at ground zero. At the site of 911 I want a monument with the words and music to this song.

"Heal the World":
In this place you'll feel
There's no hurt or sorrow.
There are ways to get there
If you care enough for the living
Make a little space, make a better place.

Chorus:
Heal the world
Make it a better place
For you and for me and the entire human race
There are people dying
If you care enough for the living
Make a better place for
You and for me.

Michael Jackson sings it better than I can write it.
Please click on the video link below (or copy and paste in into your address bar)
and read, listen, and be at Peace:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WJrtms8EoQ&f eature=related

Thank you, Michael Jackson.

Posted by: Cherubim | August 2, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Looks like ground zero has become a religious shrine, the 9/11 victimes have been elevated to the status of Saints, and their bereaved have been elevated to the status of anointed ones. We can have no disrespect to our religion! Mosques have to go!

Can't wait until Sarah shows us her High Priestess outfit.

Posted by: fzdybel | August 2, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Reminds me of the old George Carlin bit, where the colonists come to America and just keep asking the natives to "move over a little" until they're out of country.

Classic.

There's a word for all this: Islamophobia.

It's no coincidence that the right is both more violent AND more afraid.

Posted by: BGinCHI
==============================
Then the Republican allowed them to migrate back when they think they can make a buck on them as undocumented slaves.

Then they back stabbed them to make a Political Issue. Having them all arrested and sent back

Then blame anyone that thinks otherwise as Liberals and invents the word Amnesty.
and
Then blame the Undocumented Immigrants for the high unemloyment.
despite the fact
that many have been deported
and
that unemployed Americans are still not taking their jobs.

ISA

Posted by: vettessman | August 2, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

kevin_willis wrote: "What I find interesting is that no one of either side of the issue even sees what the other side objects to."
I know what opponents object to: It's an Islamic center, and the 9/11 terrorists were Muslims intent on waging a holy war against the U.S. It's not that complicated. What interests me, on the other hand, is how close some establishment conservatives have moved toward openly portraying the War on Terror as a fight against Islam, not just Islamic extremists. Probably because Bush wasn't interested in declaring war on the world's vast Muslim population -- including the Muslim citizens of this country (many of whom even live in New York City and experienced the horror of that day just like the rest of us) -- he addressed the war efforts in terms of fighting extremism. That seemed to have kept in line those in his party who would want to turn this into a U.S./Christianity v. Islam battle. But not anymore.
What's really alarming is what this tells us about the mood among Republicans. After all, Gingrich and Palin, two of the Islamic center's most vocal conservative opponents, both seem to be gearing up for presidential runs. And that pair could never be accused of not knowing what their audience wants.

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

Mosque/Islams/Muslim/Obama/Osama/Terrorist/Jihad.........NO WAY should we the AMERICAN people put up with this or any other plans by the above groups to place a horrid reminder of what these evil, non-American, killers/terrorists, invaders of our free country--especially where the 9/11 firefighers, workers, paramedics, nurses, law enforcement, and innocent US citizens lost their lives because of them! They need to all just get out of our wonderful USA where we still are the brave, the free, the proud, and the majority who have been silent too long! Do they really think that we will tolerate this---NO WAY!! There should be a hugh monument with a wall of names of all who died because those cowards were allowed into our lands in the first place! We can not afford to be silent/stand back while these anti-americans continue to get rich off of our country, slip in here like snakes in the night....I want our military men and women in Afganistan home, deport all of the non-American invaders, close/seal our borders, secure it by our homeland security/military, and depend on each other to rebuild our country as it once was and can be again. I am sick of it and sick that our leader/government has resorted to such as this!! We are real close to having enough of this sort of rederick--losing our balance and reacting/acting ourselves...all who join my hand/make a grand stand/ fly old glory/let the eagle take flight/say "Hell Yeah!!" United we stand!!

Posted by: sweetpea10 | August 2, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

I think Tehran would be an appropriate location and exactly the right distance.

Posted by: johntu | August 2, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

There's been a mosque on Warren Street- four blocks from the WTC site- since 1970.

Posted by: squier13 | August 3, 2010 12:41 AM | Report abuse

Liam, that's an awfully good question. Thanks.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 2, 2010 4:29 PM

=========================================

Gee, I didn't know McVeigh's motive for committing mass murder was in the name of Jesus Christ. Thanks for clearing that up, because I thought his reasons were political.

Posted by: bbface21 | August 3, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

When a church or a synagogue can be built in saudi arabia, and after islam has submitted to norms of civil behavior.......then let the mosque get built......

Posted by: georgedixon1

Exactly! America should adapt Saudi effing Arabia's standards for religious freedom. Adhering to American standards--that quaint document, whatsitcalled--is just too dangerous in a post 9/11 world.

Posted by: redlineblue | August 3, 2010 1:10 AM | Report abuse

Liam and Greg Sargent probably do not even live in Manhattan as I do. Only two million people actually live in Manhattan, a tiny town by Chinese standards. For us who live in Manhattan a mosque here seems bizarre. The Muslims do not live in Manhattan you have to be really rich to live here and first time migrants from the Third World are not rich. Those Muslims that are in New York City are in the Bronx Borough. So they should have their mosque there so they can walk to prayer five times a day there. About 100% of the people in Manhattan are either atheists, Jews or Christians.

Why keep it out of Manhattan? Its a very dense and built up area and poses huge risks for security and firefighters as we have seen in 9/11.

Also there is a real risk of counter terrorism. Many people are thinking it may be just a matter of time until someone unhinged deals out the sort of medicine that the 19 Saudi Arabian Jihad Terrorists handed out to us on 9/11. Their own medicine.

Then there is the irony of this mosque being funded by Saudi Arabia. The very country that was home for most of the murderers of 9/11. There is no onus on the people of Manhattan to accept this sort of 'gift.' We have some pride! It is equivalent to a man raping your daughter and then giving you $20 in reparation. For trust me, the cost of this mosque is NOTHING to the huge coffers of Saudi Arabia, an illegal regime that was installed by force about 150 years ago and where youth male unemployment despite education, runs around the 60% level. Hence they are frustrated and too scared to vent at home so USA is seen as a soft target.

Liam and Greg Sargent are classic liberal types, full of self righteousness, found mostly in Europe working at the EU, elitist and intellectually arrogant, determined that political correctness and multculturalism is the only way to go.

They should read what ex Muslim woman Ayaan Hirsi Ali (author if Infidel and Nomad) has to say about Islam and forced marriage, honour killings and sharia law coming to your neighbourhood soon Liam. Read too what Professor Niall Ferguson of Harvard is writing about the dangers of not drawing a line against the demands of Islam within the Western mode. Read Professsor Bernard Lewis, Princeton, and the USA's foremost academic on Islam, on the dangers of allowing Wahibism (the form of Islam practiced by the people paying for this mosque, in Saudi Arabia).

Saudi Arablia is building mosques in North Canada and in Hobart, Tasmania which is close to Antartica. There are no Muslims in Hobart!

Why? It uses up excess surplus funds from America's oil purchases and prepares the way for a future caliphate (Islamic state). Well meaning westerners like Sargent and Liam who are determined to impose some souped up version of failed multiculturalism on the West, facilitate the process of Islamization of the West. As a woman I regard them as the enemy of the female gender.

Posted by: pjc104 | August 3, 2010 1:31 AM | Report abuse

Half of US congressmen don't even have a passport. How do we expect these men to understand other cultures? By reading books? They are like the pilots that dropped the bombs on Japan. They were so high up they did not have or care to see the people they killed. But again their agenda has nothing to do with understanding or diplomacy. Mr Gingrich keeps saying the he wants a church in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is the vatican of the moslem world. If he wants to build a church there, then let the moslems build a couple of mosques inside the vatican.
Churches and synagoques exist in every moslem country. Why doesn't Mr Gingrich mention the big churches in Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, and so on. In these countries, christians, and jews, are treated better that the local population. UAE and Saudi Arabia offer better salaries and better living to christians than they do their own people. Many moslems love the U.S.A because it does not matter if you are a moslem, a jew, a christian, or an atheist; Everyone is treated with the same respect and dignity. That is what makes this U.S.A of ours so unique, so great, so "free".

Posted by: Zghouda | August 3, 2010 1:36 AM | Report abuse

If Ground Zero is made bigotry central the terrorists have won.

Posted by: politbureau | August 3, 2010 2:02 AM | Report abuse

Why does the Anti-Defamation League even have an opinion of this, and why does anyone care?

Posted by: comeonpeople | August 3, 2010 2:03 AM | Report abuse

And Greg, why don't you at least be intellectually honest about this and question why they would want to call this the Cordoba? The fact that that was the site where the original mosque in Europe was built over a Christian church should tell you something about the message being sent here? But you apparently chose to be intellectually dishonest, or maybe just lazy. Either way, I'm surprised you get paid to write this dribble.

Posted by: termiteavenger | August 3, 2010 2:22 AM | Report abuse

When the peace loving islamics get the needed materials for their first atomic bomb, their chosen site will be the perfect place for assembly and detonation -- near the financial district in lower Manhattan.

Why does history have to repeat itself? Is the attention span of Americans really all that short?

Posted by: inoue | August 3, 2010 2:34 AM | Report abuse

All religious buildings should be built way out in the country where they can do the least amount of harm to us citizens. Why did the very thought of religion come anywhere near the WTC site? Who thought that one up?

That being said, I believe it is time that we built a statue of Newt Gingrich as the biggest adulterer turned Catholic and put it on the site of the Congress. This would serve to insure that we don't want any more adulterers anywhere near our seat of government. Maybe if Gingrich had some degree of morality in him, he'd get himself a real job, stop stashing away millions promising to enrich his buddies, and maybe.... stop preying on Washington groupies for sex. But knowing Newt, he has no shame. Newt - Shut the heck up because no decent people want anything to do with you.

Posted by: papafritz571 | August 3, 2010 3:13 AM | Report abuse

Gingrich is right on this one (only this issue). Islam can not and should not be called a religion. Its human rights records and violence are worse than Nazis. Here is a sample from newspapers in past 8 hours: civilians targeted and blown up in Afghanistan and Iraq; 20 killed in ethnic violence in Pakistan; 2 Muslim men from Guyana (of all places) convicted of a terror plot bigger than 9/11; Muslims in Kashmir, India involved in terror and violence....

Also read the latest TIME and yesterday's NY Times to know how Muslims treat women. All justified in the name of Islam.

Posted by: AskgharZa | August 3, 2010 5:01 AM | Report abuse

What does your style guide say about the difference between further and farther?

Posted by: jim4postnatl | August 3, 2010 5:05 AM | Report abuse

It is not about location. It is not about anti-Muslim bias. We need to know that not a single dollar comes from Wahabbist sources, i.e. Saudi Arabia. There was a time when Islam meant knowledge, science, tolerance, enlightenment. The Cordoba House could bring that back. If it were up to me, I would build such a place at the base of the fallen North Tower on 90 Church Street. Why not? It was in that building where decisions were made to end WWII. It was at 90 Church Street where a humble secretary coined the term "Manhattan Project." Fascism was the target then. Radical Islam can only be defeated by common sense. I vote for the Cordoba House. Thank you.

Posted by: aleklawyer | August 3, 2010 5:54 AM | Report abuse

I love the comments that suggest that America's policies should depend, say, on those of such enlightened allies as Saudi Arabia. Or maybe we should go further: when North Korea starts providing basic freedoms and services for its citizens, then we can start looking after ours.

Posted by: dane1 | August 3, 2010 5:55 AM | Report abuse

Sarg... there are already exclusion zones in the US.. Its called zoning... let's put a grocery packing plant in your neighborhood....

Posted by: robinhood2 | August 3, 2010 6:06 AM | Report abuse

How far is enough?

Ask the people who lost someone on 9/11.

They're the ones most qualified to decide.

Posted by: drjcarlucci | August 3, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

The entire western hemisphere should be a "mosque exclusion zone". It's insanity to welcome the importation and establishment of the virus that is Islam. Unless of course you want your descendents living under shariah law.

Posted by: hit4cycle | August 3, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Why does anyone in NYC care what Gingrich, Palin, etc. think about a local zoning issue? Would the citizens of Wasilla or Atlanta seriously consider the zoning opinions of Mike Bloomberg?

This is a ginned up controversy to fire up the racist, sectarian, nativist base, few of whom live anywhere near Manhattan.

Posted by: paul10 | August 3, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Liberals claim that the Muslim Center will be a place of understanding and tolerance. Will there be tolerance of Homosexuals? I looked atht elocal DC JCC's webpage, and they have lots of events for Homosexuals. Will the muslim equivalent, by ground zero, be tolerant of this? Or will liberals turn a blind eye?

Posted by: scoran | August 3, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Despite the moral implications, how does this not violate the consitution. Banning a religion from building anything would be in conflict with freedom of religion. And wouldn't determining where a religious facility should be built be in conflict with the establishment clause? I suppose if it was dealt with by private developers there wouldn't be a problem; but the second they get sued for discrimination for not selling/leasing the property for it to be built there will be a big one.

Posted by: booerns14 | August 3, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

"It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet." --Hasan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood

this is the central tenet of the Muslim Brotherhood. Now I suggest that Liam and his sympathizers get a copy of this document, read it, and then investigate the political philosophy of those directly involved in the establishment of this mosque near the ground zero site.

If they were true students of islam, they would understand that mosques are commonly erected at sites of islamic victories over the infidels.

many americans think this "war against terror" can be waged on some remote battle field without any repercussions to those of us safe at home. think again, our adversaries know no boundaries to their quest for world domination.

no one is denying anyone's religious freedoms. there are plenty of mosques already in NYC. The construction of this mosque is a provacative, political move that will enable our enemies to essay our fortitude and sense of self.

Posted by: whimsicalpig | August 3, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Let's be clear:

Republicans DO NOT BELIEVE in freedom of religion when it comes to Islam.

Posted by: vigor | August 3, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Absurd is right. How far is "far enough"?

I wonder if this is how the Trail of Tears started? Just go 1 mile away and we'll be fine. No, 3 miles away. No, make it hundreds upon hundreds of miles away. Actually, why don't you just stay on these "reservations" and never leave.

The Republican Party doesn't understand or doesn't care about the religious freedom established in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Posted by: Ethan2010
===========================================

Where's the respect for the victims of 9-11, and their families? The author mocks it, but come on. I guess it is ok then for child molesters to live across the street from a school after they do their time in jail, isn't? Oh wait, that is against the law too!

And you miss the entire point. Republicans aren't against freedom of religion. They aren't saying you can't worship your god. They are saying you just cant do it in this spot, so go find another one.

I see nothing wrong with the Mosque Exclusion zone from Ground Zero. To some it would just be a constant reminder of what religious group was responsible for the attack. And personally, I think it is in very poor taste for the Mosque leaders to choose such a site, given the sensitivities of the location and the events that happened there.

But go ahead liberals, bash the Republicans for standing up for the victims, while you bend over and take another one! Stupid liberals!

Posted by: sanmateo1850 | August 3, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Let's be clear:

Republicans DO NOT BELIEVE in freedom of religion when it comes to Islam.

Posted by: vigor

===========================================

Let's be clear, Democrats DO NOT CARE about Americans. They will say whatever they need to say to win votes. They stand for nothing, and are driving our country into ruins! Democrats are the worst evil doers in the world. They lie to your face with a smile! And what's worse, stupid liberals believe every word!

Posted by: sanmateo1850 | August 3, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

No Islamic Terrorist Mosque in lower Manhattan! Its akin to putting a Nazi memorial at the gates of Auschwitz. Send the Cordoba project back to Saudi Arabia.

Posted by: bb67chev | August 3, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

>>How far is enough?

Ask the people who lost someone on 9/11.

They're the ones most qualified to decide.

Posted by: drjcarlucci

Outstanding point. Sure, the Lakota might withdraw 150 years' worth of building permits in the great plains and Coretta Scott King should chair the zoning board in Memphis, but that's cool.

Posted by: redlineblue | August 3, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

What we SHOULD have done was rebuild the twin towers exactly as they were as soon as possible afer 911 so that the world could see that any attacks like that on America are to no avail. Osama would be livid. But, sadly, we didn't. But this is America and if you have the money and the building permit you should be able to build waht you want - an islamist center is better than a McDonald's.

Posted by: sux123 | August 3, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I don't care what any liberal ayhole says. Putting a mosque that close to Ground Zero, shows a complete lack of sensitivity for the relatives of those lost in 9-11. That being said, let them build it. The goombahs in NY will take care of the situation. Mark my words.

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | August 3, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

The terrorists have already won: we have allowed them to sow fear - yes, "allowed." And the result is that out of that corrosive fear, we are changing our vaunted institutions, slowly but surely. We are curtailing our civil liberties, the very civil liberties that gave us the American Exceptionalism we once treasured. We are letting xenophobia and other wacky strains of nativism rob us of our ideals as a country, first permitting the barbarity of torture and extrajudicial killing, denial of habeas corpus, warrant-free wiretapping of our citizenry, etc, and now talk of repealing the 14th amendment of the Constitution, horrendous institutionalized hatred in the "Muslim problem" which has led to a religious (!) group in Florida planning on burning the Quran and protests against a Mulim interfaith center near Ground Zero. Where, people, does this end? Is this the America of our ideals? We should all be ashamed and we should all vow to stop living and reacting out of fear. Sowing fear is job one of terrorism, and to give in to this fear is to allow victory to those whose goal is dissent and division.

Posted by: embilem | August 3, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

embilem - well said - you are dead on!

Posted by: sux123 | August 3, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Sargent, YOU are absurd! No mention of Waters or Rangel? Why is that? Not allowed to step out of line with the party? Go ahead, blame Bush, attack Palin, etc...

Posted by: trjn30 | August 3, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

THis is why I canceled my WP subscrip...two (LEFT) articles for the mosque..at least throw in a middle of the road article against it...jeez. I'd bet 60% of Americans and NYers are against this thing being built!

Posted by: mjandrews8 | August 3, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Please understand that a mosque very close to Ground Zero would be seen as a vast victory by millions of Muslims around the world, and also a sign of American "weakness" - not American common sense and liberalism.

The criminals responsible for 9/11 tragedy were not just a few loners, they had heavy support in the Islam world. Not every Muslim is a violent person, of course, and many, many Muslims were horrified by those terrorist attacks. But it says a lot about Islam that most of them are afraid to speak out about it.

A very large and strong part of Islam is today violent and unreasonable, alas. Hopefully it will not be like that in the future, but right now there is no talking to islamists, they have no sense of freedom of speech, democracy or human rights. So a mosque close to Ground Zero would indeed be hurtful to victims.

Posted by: asoders22 | August 3, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

The ultimate irony here of Reverend Newt and all these others is that by denying the congregation the right--the CONSTITUTIONAL right-- to build this center, the terrorists win ! When we start abandoning our own Constitution and deny religious freedom, then we have lost our standing, we have caved on our principles and shredded our own Bill of Rights. All under the guise of "getting even".Shameful ! Show the world that we don't believe that every person of the Islamic faith is a terrorist or that Islam is a violent religion. What does freedom mean if we deny relgious freedom to one group because we think that because SOME people of that faith are dangerous, that ALL are dangerous? That is the same kind of thinking that led to the Crusades, and the "holy wars" and the Holocaust.

Posted by: jmsbh | August 3, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

it's good to see the haters come out of hiding.

Posted by: johannesrolf | August 3, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

it's good to see the haters come out of hiding.

Posted by: johannesrolf | August 3, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I see al queda laughing already. Blow up our people in the name of islam and get a mosque in memory of it.

Posted by: r_leever | August 3, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

The fact is that Islam as practiced today in many countries, is correctly identified as intolerant of other beliefs and cultures and responds with violence to real and perceived slights and offenses.

Until (if ever) Islam actually becomes what many claim they are (peaceful), they deserve no consideration from either governments or people.

Muslims worship Muhammed, why else would displaying his image be consider blasphemey?

Posted by: dmt3 | August 3, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

How large an exclusion zone has been created to prevent Christian Churches being erected too near to Tim McVeigh's Oklahoma Center Bombing site, which killed many American Men, Woman, and Children?

Weren't McVeigh and his helpers, Christians who perpetrated a large scale Terrorist Atrocity?


Posted by: Liam-still | August 2, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

------------------
Bringing out the McVeigh rationalization again? Notice how you can only find one in recent history but there are thousands of atrocities committed daily by Muslims that you do not mention.

Posted by: shewholives | August 3, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

"How large an exclusion zone has been created to prevent Christian Churches being erected too near to Tim McVeigh's Oklahoma Center Bombing site"

Liam, I live in Oklahoma, and I've been making that exact point since this ridiculous "controversy" started.

Posted by: lizgwiz | August 3, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I see a lot of comments attacking those who oppose the mosque at ground zero, but where is the argument for putting a mosque at ground zero. Why is this the best location? Isn't putting a mosque here creating anti Muslim feelings? Is that the aim; to provoke anti-Muslim feelings? If Islam were the religion of peace, why are they taking this "in your face" stance? C'mon, moonbats, let's hear it. Why do Muslims want this mosque at ground zero.

Posted by: amazd | August 3, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

This should be obvious but clearly to some isn't. Respect for the victims of 9/11 cannot be found in the stereotyping of an entire religion to the actions of a miniscule group of practicioners who are psychopaths. Your definition of respect is wrong because your reasoning is wrong.

As an aside; To claim some of the victims relatives will be offended is to pander to the lowest element in the group of survivors. Why not pander to the highest element? Why not the mean? There is no particular reason to pander to any of these. The choice of the lowest is arbitrary but why is obvious. You get more emotional reaction your base political base group by such actions. Childish.

Posted by: kchses1 | August 3, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I still think there is something to be said for creating a zone around Ground Zero that is "sacred space" and open to all faith groups.

~~~~~~~~~

We already have that. It's called the United States.

Posted by: truly1 | August 3, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

C'mon, moonbats, let's hear it. Why do Muslims want this mosque at ground zero.

~~~~~~~~

Maybe because they already own the land there and it's pretty hard to find a big-enough piece of land with the right location in NYC. Whatever happened to private property rights that the right is always so eager to defend?

Posted by: truly1 | August 3, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

"How large an exclusion zone has been created to prevent Christian Churches being erected too near to Tim McVeigh's Oklahoma Center Bombing site"
__________________________
Interesting comment, but McVeigh didn't shout pro Christian slogans when he bombed the Federal Building, and, in fact, was an agnostic. Other than claims from such noted "authorities" as Mike Tysona nd Louis Farrakhan, there is no evidence that religion was even remotely involved in McVeigh's actions.

And, how many new churches have been built at the site of the Oklahoma City bombing. I suspect zero. I suspect that your comparison is really silly.

Posted by: amazd | August 3, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

its called poor taste, something sargent, as a democrat, would know all about. the issue, call it a "mosque-exclusion zone" if you wish, is no or less absrud than setting tax rates at 39% rahter than 35%, or declaring that people have a fundamental human right to a certain level of health a socialized system can deliver them before rationing kicks in, and then zero right whatsoever to any additional health care.

Posted by: dummypants | August 3, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

its called poor taste, something sargent, as a democrat, would know all about. the issue, call it a "mosque-exclusion zone" if you wish, is no or less absrud than setting tax rates at 39% rahter than 35%, or declaring that people have a fundamental human right to a certain level of health a socialized system can deliver them before rationing kicks in, and then zero right whatsoever to any additional health care.

Posted by: dummypants | August 3, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I still think there is something to be said for creating a zone around Ground Zero that is "sacred space" and open to all faith groups.

~~~~~~~~~

We already have that. It's called the United States.

********

exactly, so why piss in a church when you can piss in the woods? there's a big wide country out there to build your cultural degeneracy center.

Posted by: dummypants | August 3, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Contrary to what the author of the article contends, the debate over the distance of a mosque from ground zero is not absurd. The problem comes with those who categorize opponents to the mosque as Islamophobes. The logic used is the following: Letting a community practice its religion is ensconced in the U.S. constitution and values. Sounds good on the surface. However, a closer look reveals that supporting the construction of a mosque, Coranic school, etc. anywhere in the U.S. would be, well, un-American. Why? Because the Muslim community makes a mockery of two of the country’s important founding principles: the equality of all individuals and the freedom to practice religion (including the religion of one’s choice). Regarding equality: Women are not considered equal to men and suffer greatly because of this. Their manner of dress is not a question of religion or personal choice. It is an outward sign of submission imposed by the Imams and hence the community. Daughters of Muslim parents living in the West who do not conform to the dress code are punished or killed, as seen recently in Canada with supposed honor killings by parents of their own children. Muslim countries are not comfortable with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights precisely because of the status it recognizes for women. They consequently came up with their own watered down version (The Cairo Declaration oh Human Rights in Islam). Concerning freedom of religion: Muslims are not free to choose their religion. Depending on the country where they are located, the punishment for apostasy ranges from bullying and violence to imprisonment and death. If you naively believe that either lack of equality or violent punishment for apostasy are not inherent to the Muslim culture (because perhaps a Muslim or two told you so), then you need to learn about taqiyya. Supporting the building of mosques (and by extension the spread of this totalitarian ideology) contributes to the undermining of American values and Western values in general. An excellent read in relation to this growing problem is the 2006 piece by Paul Marek at http://cjunk.blogspot.com/2006/02/why-peaceful-majority-is-irrelevant.html

Posted by: vincent27 | August 3, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Who's next, Catholics or Jews?

Posted by: knjincvc | August 3, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

What ever happened to the conservative values of the rule of law and the private right to the use one's own property? The fact is that the organization building the Islamic Center owns the property and has the right to use it in any legal fashion that does not violate zoning restrictions. And if a zoning variance is required for the purpose, they are entitled to it unless there is a VALID reason for denying it, such as public safety, traffic issues, or preserving historic buildings. The City of New York has held the required hearings and determined that there is no reason to deny the required permits. End of story. You don't like it? You think it is insulting you or 9/11? Even if it is (which it's not), too bad. That is not a valid reason to prevent the owners of the building from using it for their COMPLETELY LEGAL purpose.

Posted by: WK437 | August 3, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

And let's not forget they want to open the center on 9/11/2011. Special date for them.
Cool huh.

Posted by: secjet1 | August 3, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

And let's not forget they want to open the center on 9/11/2011. Special date for them.
Cool huh.

Posted by: secjet1 | August 3, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

vincent 27 has hit the nail right on the head. and to solidify this arguement and quell the liberals who are so concerned about religious liberty et.

read the manifesto "Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan) Infiltration and Influence in America" and come to grips about what this islamic terrorism is all about.

Posted by: whimsicalpig | August 3, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

As usual, we have it all backwards. We should be getting to know more about Islam and not shun it or hate it. With such a large base worldwide, to pretend it does not matter is simply insane.

Again, we have the same cast of characters against... always against but never positive and for a solution. One thing is certain, we cannot kill our way out of this one without killing ourselves.

Posted by: tlucier | August 3, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

C'mon, moonbats, let's hear it. Why do Muslims want this mosque at ground zero.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

First, because they own the land. Second, they went through the proper legal channels and got the ok to build the mosque. Third, thanks to the First Amendment, people are allowed to follow their faith as they see fit.

Posted by: roscoemann71 | August 3, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Most of the responses that are in favor of this construction are from the perspective of American culture and norms and show little awareness of the culture of the people who perpetrated 9/11. One of the ways they have historically demonstrated their victory has been to erect mosques in the area that they conquered..two examples in the holy land (one old one new)are the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem after Saladin's conquest and the mosque being built next to the church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. For all of it's voiced good intentions this edifice is a intended to be a monument to the "victory" that took down the twin towers and killed thousands. If this is really about religious freedom, build it elsewhere if it is just intended to be another mosque and educational center, not in the vicinity (use a reasonable definition) of ground zero.

Posted by: 911citizen | August 3, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

The original name of the Mosque was to be the Cordoba House. The name is for a Town in Spain where the Muslims threw the Christians out! Nice touch!

Take a look at this video from the UK explaining how crazy it is to build the mosque at Ground Zero:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjS0Novt3X4


Posted by: federal1862 | August 3, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Instead of bashing Muslims, Gingrinch should be pointing out to Saudi Arabia that Americans are so free that we allow Muslims and every other sect to build religious structures in the US.

The First Amendment is what makes America great, not any particular religious tradition.

Posted by: AxelDC | August 3, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

>When a church or a synagogue can be built >in saudi arabia, and after islam has >submitted to norms of civil >behavior.......then let the mosque get >built......

Posted by: georgedixon1 | August 2, 2010 4:59 PM

Saudi Arabia executes adulterers, so Gingrinch should be careful applying Saudi morals to the US.

Posted by: AxelDC | August 3, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Why crucify an entire religion based on one extremist sect? As far as not having the awareness of the Islamic faith, that maybe true to some. But remember, the Christian faith has blood on its hands too.

Posted by: roscoemann71 | August 3, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

This discussion started off on a good foot - then the wackos kicked in.... I know that, among those killed on 9/11, there were also a number of Muslims. I doubt that anyone would suggest that it was improper for a Christian site to be built near ground zero, or a Jewish one. The fact that these were crazies from a fundamentalist strain of Islam is really immaterial - the Muslim community also lost, not only the lives of members of their community, but also understanding - having their faith equated with a group of fanatics. It is right that they get the opportunity to right that, and to proclaim a faith that is accepting of others. For many centuries, this was the face of Islam - as one blogger noted, they were the intellectuals, the founders of universities, etc., especially when the western world was in its "dark ages." Even today, the keeper of the keys to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem are held by a Muslim family - because the Christians would otherwise be fighting over it. And many of the "Christian" sites in the Holy Lands we watched over for hundreds of years and kept safe by Muslims, then returned ultimately to Christian orders. Without their care, these sites would have been lost. There certainly is a radical element in Islam - as there are rdical Christians and Jews. But this does not represent, by any means, the whole of Islam. The right wing is always calling for moderate Muslims to condemn the radicals - this group is doing that, declaring a message of acceptance and love. Now the right wants to condemn them. "Damned if they do and damned if they don't." It is more revealing of the racism and xenophobia of the right, than it is of Islam.

Posted by: garoth | August 3, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: whimsicalpig- "It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet." --Hasan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood

Isn't this also the nature of Christianity? After all Jesus commands his followers to go and make "disciples" of all nations. Didn't the early church sometimes use the point of a sword to accomplish the "Lord's work"? Didn't the church later condemn such actions as wrongheaded?
It seems that Osama has won. We have become just like him, hateful, fearful, and paranoid.

Posted by: mlx10dp | August 3, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

In the end, we are either a country of tolerance and freedom or we are not. If we are, then the way forward is clear. If we are not, then we need to stand firm and let the world see our hypocrisy for what it is: fear

Posted by: JenAZ | August 3, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

"perceived at [sic] a little bit of a 9/11 victory dance--to Islamophobes everywhere."


For Islamophobes, Muslims doing anything less than mass suicide or conversion to Christianity would be perceived as a little bit of a 9/11 victory dance. It is generally a good prescription for society to make sure every -ophobe gets his preferred fear crammed so far down his throat he chokes on it.

Posted by: hayesap8 | August 3, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

@911c: For all of it's voiced good intentions this edifice is a intended to be a monument to the "victory" that took down the twin towers and killed thousands

Where do you come up with this tripe? Where do you get your secret knowledge of the builders' intentions? ESP? Certainly not from the statements of the people building the community center.

What I really don't understand is the elevation of one sky wizard revering religion over others. They are all equally stupid. All the "Christians" on this thread criticizing Islam for the writings of some extremist Islamic rhetoric better be ready to defend the Hagee's, Robertson's, etc. when they spout their own totally bizarre sky wizard interpretations. And in terms of violent religions, have a look at N. Ireland for examples of how Christianity in its different incarnations is the epitome of peace.../snark. Do you know who believed that Christianity taught that white people were more advanced than other races? Slave owners for over 200 years. I believe there was another group that believed that whites were genetically superior to other races and almost conquered Europe... Who was that??????????

Posted by: srw3 | August 3, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Ok....you think its absurd for people to not want a mosque built on 9/11 Ground Zero - then tell ya what we can do - don't allow any churches near that site. That would make it equal. I do not want a mosque built there, as it was extremists Muslims who blew up the towers, as an attack on the USA, and I don't want anything there that reminds us that over 2000 people died there for a violent religion.

Posted by: LyndaLBD | August 3, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

to all you loonie lefties whose new best friend is the religion of peace I suggest you go talk to some Iranian Americans who were there when the left teamed up with the Islamists to oust the Shah. Ask them what happened to the lefties after. In case you don't know they murdered by the thousands. But that's probably ok for you in your twisted world view.

Posted by: restonhoops | August 3, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

@whimsicalpig : read the manifesto "Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan) Infiltration and Influence in America"

Read the Christian Identity movement manefesto...

WE BELIEVE the White, Anglo-Saxon, Germanic and kindred people to be God's true, literal Children of Israel. Only this race fulfills every detail of Biblical Prophecy and World History concerning Israel and continues in these latter days to be heirs and possessors of the Covenants, Prophecies, Promises and Blessings YHVH God made to Israel. This chosen seedline making up the "Christian Nations" (Gen. 35:11; Isa. 62:2; Acts 11:26) of the earth stands far superior to all other peoples in their call as God's servant race (Isa. 41:8, 44:21; Luke 1:54). Only these descendants of the 12 tribes of Israel scattered abroad (James 1:1; Deut. 4:27; Jer. 31:10; John 11:52) have carried God's Word, the Bible, throughout the world (Gen. 28:14; Isa. 43:10-12, 59:21), have used His Laws in the establishment of their civil governments and are the "Christians" opposed by the Satanic Anti-Christ forces of this world who do not recognize the true and living God (John 5:23, 8:19, 16:2-3).

"Other current organizations which follow Christian Identity beliefs are: American Nazi Party; Aryan Nations; Church of Jesus Christ Christian, Aryan Nations; Confederate Hammerskins; Jubilee, National Association for the Advancement of White People; The Order; radical modern offshoots of the original Posse Comitatus; Scriptures for America, White Aryan Resistance (WAR) and White Separatist Banner. Many small groups fade in and out of existence frequently.

There's your "Christian" radical, white supremacist, violent overthrow of the govt, kill the mud people, screed creators. All the sky wizard cults have their crazies.

Posted by: srw3 | August 3, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

@ restonhoops : the Islamists to oust the Shah. But that's probably ok for you in your twisted world view.

Talk about twisted worldview....

Lets hear it for the Shah's government! Why wouldn't those silly Iranians just accept the government the CIA and US and British oil companies imposed on them? Is it any wonder that the Shah was toppled with the overwhelming support of the Iranian people.

Now the Shah did believe in and institute many things that I agree with like the equality of women, etc. so I guess you could say he was an enlightened despot but a despot none the less. He was only able to hang onto power because of the backing of the US and Britain. His brutal secret police was ruthless in killing and torturing dissidents. Even here in the US the Iranian students I knew in college were afraid that Savak would snatch them if they expressed views that disagreed with the government.

"The Shah's brutal secret police force, Savak, formed under the guidance of CIA (the United States Central Intelligence Agency) in 1957 and personnel trained by Mossad (Israel's secret service), to directly control all facets of political life in Iran. Its main task was to suppress opposition to the Shah's government and keep the people's political and social knowledge as minimal as possible. Savak was notorious throughout Iran for its brutal methods.

The interrogation office was established with no limit of using horrific torture tools and techniques to break the arrested dissenters to talk in a matter of hours.

The censorship office was established to monitor journalists, literary figures and academics throughout the country. It took appropriate measures against those who fell out of the regime's line.

Universities, labor unions and peasant organizations, amongst others, were all subjected to intense surveillance by the Savak agents and paid informants. The agency was also active abroad, especially in monitoring Iranian students who publicly opposed the Shah's government.

Interrogation, torture and long term imprisonment by Savak for reading or possessing any forbidden books. The prohibited books were removed from the book-stores and libraries; even the Tozih-ol-Masael written by Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini was forbidden.--http://www.angelfire.com/home/iran/savak.html

Is it any wonder that Iran rejected westernism and became a theocratic state?

Posted by: srw3 | August 3, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Newt translated for us non-Beltway types:
"Hey everybody, look over here. It's me Newtie. Look at ME, I'm still relevant. Stop talking about Sarah and Beck. I can out-crazy, out-demogogue the best of 'em. I am relevant because I am outrageous. Relevant! RELEVANT! You got that?"

Where are the serious, ethical conservative lawyers and scholars on this craziness? Why aren't they standing up to counter this foolishness? Has the whole GOP gone wobbly on fundamental American values?

Posted by: outragex | August 3, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

The original name for the mosque was DeCordova House. This was to me named after the town in Spain where the Muslims killed all the Christians. Very nice touch don't you think?

To the person who said Timothy McVeigh was Christian, that may or may not be true but he did not bomb the Federal Building to further Christianity.

Here is a good explanation why it is a bad idea to build the mosque;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjS0Novt3X4

Posted by: federal1862 | August 3, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

@ LyndaLBD :.you think its absurd for people to not want a mosque built on 9/11 Ground Zero -

I think its absurd to say that the community center is being built on Ground zero when it is in fact 2 blocks away.

It is a private property issue. I thought that you conservatives were all about property rights...

I personally think that all sky wizard cults are absurd, but so what. I think it is offensive to allow sky wizard followers' property not pay property taxes because of their allegiance to the sky wizard.

Just because you call yourself a Christian, that doesn't make Christianity special or above other sky wizard worshipping cults...

Posted by: srw3 | August 3, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

@federal1862 : This was to me named after the town in Spain where the Muslims killed all the Christians. :

Well the Christians weren't any more gentle to the Muslims and Jews there when they recaptured Cordoba, Grenada, etc. I believe that those peace loving Christians tortured thousands of people until they "converted" to the one true religion [/snark] or died. I think it is offensive to celebrate 1492 because it represents the completion of the ethnic and religious cleansing of Spain.

The name of the community center is no more offensive than naming streets for and erecting statues of slaveholding southerners and confederate generals or the naming of cities in the west after army officers who led the genocidal attacks of native americans. One of the iconic mountains in Colorado is named for the Governor who oversaw the Sand Creek Massacre, John Evans. But he was a Christian so its all good with you.

Isn't there something in the dominant sky wizard cult here about he who is without sin shall cast the first stone?

Posted by: srw3 | August 3, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Why build any religious sites anywhere? If we read a sample of the atrocities listed below, churches should not be built anywhere:

1) Timothy McVeigh, A white anlgo-saxon christan man, killed 168 in the Oklahoma bombing.
2) Church Sadomization of children. Boys enter the chuch alter boys, they come out altered boys. FOR LIFE.
3) 200 years of slavery. Many christians still can't stomach having a black man in the white house.
4) Prosecution of jews in the Crusade of 1096, the expulsion from England in 1290, the Spanish Inquisition, the expulsion from Spain in 1492, the expulsion from Portugal in 1497, various pogroms, the Dreyfus Affair, and perhaps the most infamous, the Holocaust under Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany are many atrocitities of christians against jews. Prior to WWII, Priests, in the U.S.A, filled stadiums and preached against jews. Hatred is still here today. The future will tell whether christians will turn against jews once more.
5) Some nine million women were burned at the stake as witches for being pagans or healers or merely wise or powerful women.
Burning at the stake was popular in Catholic and Protestant lands.
6) The Rev. Ted Haggard resigned in 2006 as leader of the megachurch he started in his basement more than 20 years ago after its independent investigative board said he was guilty of "sexually immoral conduct."
Haggard admitted he had received a massage from a Denver man who claimed the prominent pastor had paid him for sex over three years. Haggard also admitted he had bought methamphetamine.
After the allegations were made public, Haggard resigned as president of the influential National Association of Evangelicals, an umbrella group representing more than 45,000 churches with 30 million members.
He also temporarily stepped aside as pastor of the 14,000-member New Life Church.
Haggars preached against homosexuality for years. Lies and Deceit.
7) Invading Iraq illegaly. 600k+ people dead and 8 millions iraqis still displaced.
8) Abu Ghraib torture, rape, and prisoner abuse.
9) The U.S.A armed Saddam with mustard gas and created the Taliban to stop the Iranian influence, only to turn back against them. Can't trust the christian leaders.
10) Andrea Yates (born Andrea Pia Kennedy July 2, 1964) is a former Houston, Texas resident who killed her five young children on June 20, 2001 by drowning them in the hottub. This week, a french woman was arrested for killing eight of her new born babies. Both christian women.

We killed thousands and displaced millions in Iraq and Afghanistan. When is this revenge going to end and when is the healing going to start? Evil thrives when good men do nothing. At least these moslems are trying to reach out to us. What are we doing to reach out to them?

Posted by: Zghouda | August 3, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

@Lyndab-
You and at least on other poster have stated you don't want anything built to remind you of what happened on 9/11.

So you're against a monument honoring the victims? Because that would pretty clearly remind us of what happened.

The tenor of many of the posts here make explicitly or implicitly make it clear that Muslims simply are no longer welcome in this country. It's sad.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | August 3, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Lynda. I am for building the mosque. I am for a new beginning. I don't believe that few moslems fanatics can speak for 1.5 billions of moslems out there. I wanted to stress the fact that christianity has its own lunatics.

Thank you for your setting me straight. :)

Posted by: Zghouda | August 3, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

SOON ALL OF USA WILL BE A MUSLIM EXCLUSION ZONE UNTIL SAUDI ARABIA ALLOWS CHRISTIAN CHURCHES. SAUDI ARABIA PROVIDED MOST OF THE 911 ATTACKERS, FINANCES CONSTRUCTION OF MOST MOSQUES IN THE WORLD AND MUSLIM GROUPS ATTACKING WEST. SAUDI ARABIA DOES NOT ALLOW CHRISTIANS TO WORSHIP OR HAVE BIBLES.

Posted by: mascmen7 | August 3, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Saudia Arabia is moslems holiest place. When moslems are allowed to build mosques in the vatican, then you can build mosques in Saudi Arabia.

Posted by: Zghouda | August 3, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

I think the best place for the Mosque would be in Texas, adjacent to the Bush family estate. After all, we positively know the entire Bush family is tightly bound to the Saudi tyrants. Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia has two guest houses on his Colorado estate, naming them for both George Bushes. You don't get that kind of friendship by being an enemy of Islam.
We all vividly remember the television scenes of the Saudi Arabian leader coming to visit lil' George and watching lil' George kiss him ON THE LIPS and cheeks and holding his hand as he lead the Saudi into his house. Quite a touching scene and yet not one Republican scorched-earth conservative and "patriot" said a word. No op-ed letters to the editor and no comments in the Congress. Never mentioned by Faux News or drugged-out Beck, ego-crazed O'Reilly or Toady Hannity.
He/she Coulter and ugly Malkin, not a word. Rusty Limpballs was home sick that day, obviously or I am sure he would have said something. They all watched lil' George kiss the tyrant and were too ignorant to even care.

Obama did what Bush 41 did and bowed to the leader of Japan and Faux news and their fraudulent staff went berserk. But lil' George kissing the representative of one of the top ten tyrannical countries obviously went unchallenged by anyone in the Republican political realm. Not even the AEI, those staunch Jewish policy makers said a word. I wonder what the Bush family did to so endear them to Prince Bandar??? Stick the mosque and every church far far away from the citizens who actually keep this country going. We don't need no stinking churches further corrupting us.

Posted by: papafritz571 | August 3, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

I think the best place for the Mosque would be in Texas, adjacent to the Bush family estate. After all, we positively know the entire Bush family is tightly bound to the Saudi tyrants. Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia has two guest houses on his Colorado estate, naming them for both George Bushes. You don't get that kind of friendship by being an enemy of Islam.
We all vividly remember the television scenes of the Saudi Arabian leader coming to visit lil' George and watching lil' George kiss him ON THE LIPS and cheeks and holding his hand as he lead the Saudi into his house. Quite a touching scene and yet not one Republican scorched-earth conservative and "patriot" said a word. No op-ed letters to the editor and no comments in the Congress. Never mentioned by Faux News or drugged-out Beck, ego-crazed O'Reilly or Toady Hannity.
He/she Coulter and ugly Malkin, not a word. Rusty Limpballs was home sick that day, obviously or I am sure he would have said something. They all watched lil' George kiss the tyrant and were too ignorant to even care.

Obama did what Bush 41 did and bowed to the leader of Japan and Faux news and their fraudulent staff went berserk. But lil' George kissing the representative of one of the top ten tyrannical countries obviously went unchallenged by anyone in the Republican political realm. Not even the AEI, those staunch Jewish policy makers said a word. I wonder what the Bush family did to so endear them to Prince Bandar??? Stick the mosque and every church far far away from the citizens who actually keep this country going. We don't need no stinking churches further corrupting us.

Posted by: papafritz571 | August 3, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Yeeesh. Why don't you go ahead and read "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" while you're at it. It's just as full of BS as what so many people here are linking.

Posted by: linhasxoc | August 4, 2010 12:48 AM | Report abuse

More proof that liberalism is a mental disorder. Liberals think they are building some sort of friendship bridge with the muslim community but in reality to the muslim community they look weak and stupid.

Posted by: peterg73 | August 4, 2010 7:43 AM | Report abuse

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