General Question

Austinlad's avatar

Who made Pat Robertson God?

Asked by Austinlad (16298points) August 4th, 2010

Robertson’s “American Center for Law & Justice” group is suing to block construction of the Muslim community center near Ground Zero. Newt supports him and says, “There should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia.” I have decidedly mixed feelings about this issue – I feel for the families of the 9–11 attacks and consider it insensitive of those wishing to build there – but I side with those who say it’s their right (including the NYC Mayor). How can we Americans preach equality and freedom of religion, how can we accuse Muslims of racial intolerance, if we ourselves don’t practice what we preach. I know this subject has been debated a lot on Fluther, but I think it’s worth continued discussion.

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98 Answers

MeinTeil's avatar


gailcalled's avatar

By a vote of 1 to 0, Pat Robertson did.

CMaz's avatar

I have a big Fire Ant Hill in my back yard. If I don’t do something about it. There will be more and eventually they will be in my house.

There is more to it then the right to build where they want to. And, they know it.
We are submissive enough to allow it. It will eventually be a big problem, too late to correct.

Who made Pat Robertson God? Who made the Muslims God?

SuperMouse's avatar

By giving Mr. Robertson and his rantings about this air time, or any credence, we are proving that the US is no better or more tolerant than the Middle Eastern countries he is deriding. I agree with your point about the grieving families impacted by the September 11th attacks, but to hold the belief that every Mosque is a symbol of hatred is a huge generalization that does no one any good, hurts many and merely creates more intolerance. .

kevbo's avatar

My favorite item to add to this discussion is the fact that the original WTC plaza was modeled on the Grand Mosque of Mecca and that “The Sphere” sculpture, which sat in the center of the plaza and represented the Qaaba, is sitting in Battery Park City and waiting to return to the WTC site.

Why is this never mentioned in the media, I wonder.

ragingloli's avatar

“There should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia.”

This is the kind of argument that automatically throws them off their moral high horse.

“We should not allow it because they do not allow it either.”
“We should torture them because they would torture us.”
“We should kill them because they would kill us.”
By saying things like that, you automatically lower yourself to the same level as the ones you oppose and it contradicts the very basis of the opposition, which is that we are supposed to be better than them.

And worrying about Muslims installing Sharia law in the US or Muslims taking over and imposing their laws and morals on Americans is just pure paranoia. Less than 1 percent of the population in the US is muslim and they have virtually no representation in the government, plus there is already a system in place that would prevent any attempt to install Sharia law anyway, so claiming that the country will be destroyed if you allow them to exert their rights is pure xenophobic fear mongering.
What you should be concerned about are the groups that already have infiltrated the government and impose their morals on the people: fundamentalist Christianity. That is a much greater threat to your liberties and rights than Islam.

Nullo's avatar

Robertson, like many people, has an opinion. Unlike many people, though, he also has the resources to put some force behind his opinion.

UScitizen's avatar

God made you, and I, and Pat Roberston in his own image.

Nullo's avatar

Addendum: Robertson not wanting a mosque near Ground Zero is rather like Bill Gates not wanting an Apple store in Redmond, WA, or a diabetic not wanting his roommate to keep buying boxes of Sees.

tedd's avatar

Funny newt should use Saudi Arabia as an example, and not Iraq, Turkey, Pakistan, or Indonesia (the last two being the two most populous muslim nations on the planet), which all have Christian and even JEWISH populations, freely allowed to build churches and even cathedrals (see Turkey especially). In fact in the latter 3 countries those populations are flourishing and a higher percentage of the total populace than muslims are of the US.

Besides its just more Republican nonsense to take attention away from how terrible they were as leaders, and how the current leaders are actually accomplishing things. The “mosque” would be much better equated to a chapel that you might find at a hospital (it will be a small part of a much larger building). And most importantly its a full TWO BLOCKS away from the WTC site. Plus, how quickly Robertson and Newt forget that hundreds of AMERICAN MUSLIMS died during the attacks, and risked their lives to save the lives of others on that fateful day.

phaedryx's avatar

Timothy McVeigh was Catholic; I say we don’t allow Catholic churches, cathedrals, etc. to be built in Oklahoma City.~

missingbite's avatar

@phaedryx Timothy McVeigh didn’t commit his crime under a veil of the Catholic Religion.

If less than 9 years the Japanese had wanted to build a “memorial” two blocks from the site of Pearl Harbor, would our government have let them?

Austinlad's avatar

Thanks for your feedback on this highly controversial topic. I can understand every different viewpoint (it’s the Libra in me) but I just don’t see how “There should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia” is a valid argument. Doesn’t someone have to take the higher road?

Blackberry's avatar

With his mental condition, he made himself the god of asshattery.

NormanL's avatar

The politicians made Pat Robinson God. But he should have no say in this matter. Read what Time has to say about the Mosque :” Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and his wife Daisy Khan, are actually the kind of Muslim leaders right-wing commentators fantasize about: modernists and moderates who openly condemn the death cult of al-Qaeda and its adherents – ironically, just the kind of “peaceful Muslims” whom Sarah Palin, in her now infamous tweet, asked to “refudiate” the mosque. Rauf is a Sufi, which is Islam’s most mystical and accommodating denomination.”
The Kuwaiti-born Rauf, 52, is the imam of a mosque in New York City’s Tribeca district, has written extensively on Islam and its place in modern society and often argues that American democracy is the embodiment of Islam’s ideal society. (One of his books is titled What’s Right with Islam Is What’s Right with America.) He is a contributor to the Washington Post’s On Faith blog, and the stated aim of his organization, the Cordoba Initiative, is “to achieve a tipping point in Muslim-West relations within the next decade, steering the world back to the course of mutual recognition and respect and away from heightened tensions.” His Indian-born wife is an architect and a recipient of the Interfaith Center Award for Promoting Peace and Interfaith Understanding. (Can Sufism defuse terrorism?)

missingbite's avatar

@Austinlad Many people, myself included, believe that this is a case of “rubbing it in our noses” by building a Mosque two blocks away from Ground Zero in a building where the landing gear of one of my airlines planes landed. It is insensitive. I don’t care if they build a Mosque a few miles away. Just not where they are planning it. Call me stupid or whatever. I walk that “area” and know I lost coworkers in an airplane hijacked by Muslim extremists. Hot topic that is sure to stir up controversy. Other than, because they can, is there a “good” reason for it being in that building and not farther away?

syz's avatar

Ah, man, I used to have such a rosy view of America. Corny, I guess, but I really thought that we were a “shining example”. The older and more informed I get, the more I realize that we probably never really were, but now? I’m so ashamed sometimes, to be a part of a nation of such small minded bigots.

missingbite's avatar

@syz The real beauty of this country is you can always leave.

ragingloli's avatar

a right way however is to change the country for the better and educate the bigots.

Austinlad's avatar

@missingbite, I respectfully disagree, but hey, thank goodness we can do that on Fluther without fear of getting shot.

missingbite's avatar

@ragingloli Calling someone bigots for disagreeing is not the right way to do anything. You and others may think so, but it isn’t. Not to mention, my post directly said I don’t care if they build a Mosque. I just don’t want it at it currently planned location. If that makes me a bigot, so be it. I’ll just stay small minded. BTW, why is allowing this Mosque the only right way?

@Austinlad Thank you for being respectful. I appreciate that you and I can have a disagreement without fear of being labeled a racist or bigot for having an opposing view. But I guess that makes us small minded.

DominicX's avatar

There are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia because Saudi Arabia is a theocracy. Despite what the religious right likes to think, the United States is not a theocracy, never has been, and it never will be.

syz's avatar

@missingbite I called no one here a bigot, but was referring to our “culture” at large. (In all honesty, after skimming a few responses, I didn’t even read most of them.) Turning on the television, the radio, reading articles, and overhearing conversations in public leave me no doubt at all that a distressing segment of our society consists of bigots. Whether there are more of them, or if they are merely “louder”, I don’t know. But we should never be proud of being inflexible, close minded, and undereducated.

missingbite's avatar

@syz In that case I apologize. Your post came right after I posted opposing the building of a Mosque in the current planned location. I should not have read that much into your post. It is a very sensitive issue for me as I work for an airline that lost planes and friends. Again, I apologize.

syz's avatar

@missingbite Thank you. As soon as you posted your response, I guessed that it had to do with the proximity of my answer to yours. Accidental, I assure you.

ragingloli's avatar

If you feel personally addressed by my general comment about bigots, then sorry.
I still think it is a load of crap to tell someone to leave the country if he does not like how it is run, as if he has no right to try to change it.

missingbite's avatar

@ragingloli Apparently you either didn’t read my post or just interpreted it incorrectly. It said they have the “right” to leave. I never said they should. They also have the right to try and change it. What I don’t like is when people want to change the fundamentals of a country that I love. If I felt this was so bad of a country that I wanted to change the very fundamentals that it was founded on, I would leave. One of the greatest things about this country is you have the right to disagree and voice your opinion. Being called a bigot for that is wrong. Try voicing an opposing view of the government in China. See how far that gets you. Labeling someone as a bigot for disagreeing is just plane wrong wether you like it or not.

I read into @syz‘s post and have apologized. I stand by the fact that I shouldn’t have to change the way I live because someone else doesn’t like it. Same as state rights. If I don’t like the way state X has the laws set up, I can move.

CMaz's avatar

I say they should.

ragingloli's avatar

“_I stand by the fact that I shouldn’t have to change the way I live because someone else doesn’t like it. _”
Neither have the Muslims who want to build that mosque. They should not have to give up the right to build that mosque just because someone else does not like it.

missingbite's avatar

@ragingloli Again, you are not reading. Build the Mosque. Build 10 of them. Build 100 of them. Just not in what I and many others consider a sacred location.

ragingloli's avatar

Just not in what I and many others consider a sacred location.
Again, it is their right to build it in that place, and this right has just recently been confirmed, and again, they should not have to give up that right just because someone else does not like it.
Again, you are not reading.
Oh yes, I am.

syz's avatar

Um, it’s two blocks away from the site.

Why not have a mosque as a monument to the ability of thinking, peaceful people to coexist? As a testament that just because a small, radical component of a particular religion acts egregiously doesn’t mean that we have to hate the religion itself? Why not have a mosque as a symbol that the terrorists did not succeed in creating fear and hate, that America can still think for itself and welcome people of all colors, creeds, and faiths?

It seems to me that having a mosque in the area is a giant, perfect, symbolic “fuck you” to the terrorists, a message that they failed and we’re still here, that we still stand for freedom.

Ron_C's avatar

I am a former citizen from the Virginia Beach area. Robertson probably has the biggest ego, is the most self-important, and certainly one of the most devious televangelists.

His CBN network first came to my attention when he tried to have all of the corporations profits considered for religious exemption. At the time, he had paid advertisers, and even preachers paid for time slots on his networks. Robertson is a lawyer and probably is genetically programmed for larceny. He also knows a lot of big words so he can puff up his resume to his audience.

When I was still a Republican, a friend of mine was circulating a petition to get Robertson on the ballot in the Republican primaries. I told my friend that I don’t want a preacher as president. My friend countered that Robertson is also a lawyer. I told my friend, “now there are two reasons to keep him away from the Presidency”

Pat Robertson is god in his eyes only. Some people mellow with age, Robertson had become more radical, he’s way past his “sell by” date.

kevbo's avatar

@missingbite, re: What I don’t like is when people want to change the fundamentals of a country that I love… and …just not in what I and many others consider a sacred location.

While I respect and understand your feeling of loss, I have to wonder how well served Native Americans feel by these real American sentiments.

NormanL's avatar

How far away would be good enough?

Ron_C's avatar

@missingbite I heard a commentator talk about ‘sacred sites’ last nights.

Most of the fighting in the middle-east involves ‘sacred sites”, who has access, who desecrates them, etc…..

Basically, she asked, do we want to import problems from the middle-east? I don’t believe that we do and also don’t believe in sacred sites. I am sure that Mr. Robertson is all for it because he believes the damage was cause by our country going away from god and allowing freedoms to homosexuals. Do you really want to be in that camp?

missingbite's avatar

@ragingloli I don’t think I ever said they don’t have the right to build. I said I didn’t want it in that location. You are correct. They have the right. That doesn’t mean they should. I have the right to stand on the corner and yell hate speech. Doesn’t mean I should. I have the right to do a lot of things that I shouldn’t do. If the Imam really wants to do this for healing, why insist on building where it inflames animosity?

@Ron_C While I may not agree with Pat Robertson’s reasons for not wanting the Mosque where it is planned, I can agree with not wanting it there. As far as sacred sites, I’m very sure that the military goes to great lengths to avoid Mosques and places of worship while fighting. Does it sometimes happen, probably so. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

@kevbo I would bet that the Native Americans feel very strongly against what happened to their land. America hasn’t done enough for them. That still doesn’t change the fact that the Mosque should be built somewhere else. Again, two wrongs don’t…...well you get the point.

phaedryx's avatar

The point I was trying to make was that the 9/11 attackers weren’t representative of all muslims and I think it is unfair to lump all muslims together. The term “muslim” is like “christian”, in that it represents a number of separate religious groups with some common beliefs.

The Pearl Harbor bombing was December 7, 1941. Nine years late would be 1950, which was the end of the US occupation of Japan. At that time, the US was trying to build positive relations with Japan and fight communism. Maybe our government would have let them build a memorial, depending on what it was supposed to symbolize. It’s hard to speculate.

The Pearl Harbor bombing resulted in internment camps in the United States. They rounded up all the Japanese Americans and Japanese in the United States. Were they involved in the bombings? No. Were they lumped together with the people who had done the bombings and punished unfairly? Yup.

Is al qaeda building the mosqe? No. Do I think that it is unfair to punish all muslims for the actions of an extreme few? Absolutely.

missingbite's avatar

@phaedryx I have no doubt that not all Muslims are like the September 11th attackers. I am not saying they shouldn’t build a Mosque. I simply don’t like the location. I am not the only person who believes this and I have doubts about the Imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf, who is pushing for this to be built.

Not to mention, no one is calling for the round up of all Muslims. That is taking this way farther than it needs to. Has America made mistakes in the past, sure. We will continue to make them. That doesn’t change the fact of all the good this country has done. Some want to forget that. I don’t.

syz's avatar

@missingbite But why do you not like the location? What possible reason could you espouse for not wanting a mosque within two blocks of ground zero except intolerance of the Muslim faith?

And how far does “scared ground” extend? All of Manhattan? New York? The east coast?

SuperMouse's avatar

@missingbite I would propose that sacred ground is not only an appropriate, but wonderful place to build a house of worship. Many, many, Muslims died in the September 11th terrorist attacks. Why is it no less sacred to them than it is to Christians who died in the attacks?

@NormanL puts it very succinctly when he asked “how far is good enough?” In addition we need to ask who decides that number? What is it based on? Then we begin on the slippery slope of asking and deciding which houses of worship are appropriate and which aren’t. Could the Baha’is build a center there? How about Scientologists? Like it or not, in the United States we hold the principle of freedom of religion as sacred, keeping that in mind we cannot pick and chose which ones are and which are not ok. When we forget this point, regardless of the faith of those who perpetrated the attacks, we are beginning to sink to the attacker’s level.

missingbite's avatar

@syz Multiple reasons. I feel like it is disrespectful to build it so close to the site of the attack. The landing gear of one of our airplanes hit that building. I feel that the Imam in charge of it doesn’t have the best intentions for the Mosque. If he did he would realize the animosity of the location and move it.

@SuperMouse I know that many Muslims where killed that day. Are we going to build new churches for every religion who lost a person in the attacks? No. And I don’t think we should. If I were on here trying to bring all Muslims to Christ in the same location, I would be floored by people telling me to shut up. This is no sight for one religion. No sight for any religion. If they want to build a totally non denominational place. Go for it. It isn’t. It is a Mosque for Muslims to prey and for the Imam to “bring Sharia to America.” His words, not mine.

SuperMouse's avatar

@missingbite I see no reason to build a house of worship for every faith in that location any more than I see a reason to ban the building of a mosque. BTW, was spelling pray as prey purposeful or just a Freudian slip?

syz's avatar

I see no disrespect at all. Why would you not be able to look at the mosque as a symbol representing the Muslim world’s repudiation of what the terrorists did? As an opportunity to improve communication and understanding in an effort to reduce future incidences of terrorism? As a symbol of America’s freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of expression? Isn’t that part of what’s supposed to make our country great?

missingbite's avatar

@syz Like I said, I don’t have a problem with the building of a Mosque. Just the location. Can you tell me why they insist on this location? If this is truly a symbol representing their repudiation, why does it have to be a Mosque to bring Sharia to America? Why not a memorial with no religious reference? I simply don’t think it is that simple.

syz's avatar

@missingbite Are you sure? Are you being honest with yourself? You don’t seem to be able to articulate what about it is lacking in respect, and you’ve never answered the question of “how far away is far enough?”. Can you truly say that you don’t have a grudge against Muslims in general?

NormanL's avatar

@syz I think a lot of non Muslim Americans have a dislike if not hate of Muslim people because of the acts of a few.

SuperMouse's avatar

@missingbite is your issue with the Imam or with the Mosque itself? Would you be ok with a Mosque with an Imam who did not make a comment about bringing Sharia to America?

missingbite's avatar

@syz I’m quite positive that I do not have a grudge against Muslims. I do have a problem with this Imam and the location of the proposed Mosque. I’m not sure why you think I can’t articulate what about it is lacking respect. The simple fact that the Mosque is on the site where parts of my airlines landing gear hit is what I have stated. I consider that part of Ground Zero. Period. If that is not disrespect to you, fine, it is to me. I have said many times the location itself. I also guess you are still not reading as I stated in an earlier post “I don’t care if they build a Mosque a few miles away” It’s there, just read it. What you are doing is trying to turn this around on me and make me look like the bigot. I refuse to allow that to happen. I have no problem with Muslims in general. Why have you not answered my questions?

missingbite's avatar

@Austinlad I agree with Arianna in the Huffington Post clip. I have no problem with bringing the moderate Muslims and Westerners together. Why can’t this be done a few miles away? To me this is no different than the Carmelite nuns of the 1980’s moving next to Auschwitz to pray for the lost soles. I don’t think they belonged there either. I may be wrong but I believe the Pope recognized this and ordered them to move. It took the Catholic Church a long time to make that decision, but it was made.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@missingbite It is perfectly understandable how you feel about this topic, and there are probably many people who can empathize with your stance.

The site chosen for this mosque is not at Ground Zero. If it were at GZ, then a few of us, at least I, would have a different opinion about its proposed location. And from what has been written so far, allowing the mosque to be built would be a good will effort on the part of the country’s citizens, albeit a very small proportion, to those that do not support the actions of a handful of terrorists from their country.

A few months ago, I read a couple of articles about how some of the 9/11 friends and family group leaders made public statements that they were, as a collective group, supportive of the request to build the mosque at the proposed location. My apologies for not being able to relocate the articles and sharing them…but they are out there somewhere. If they are willing to give their nod of approval for the new structure, then why should any of us?

One of the advantages of living in the U.S. is that we can freely speak our minds. And if all goes well, decisions made are led by the majority of those that have a vote. Your viewpoint has been well made here on Fluther. If I may be so bold to make a suggestion, take your passion up on the subject with your state representatives. You’ll have better luck making an impact using that venue. And I mean that with all sincerity.

missingbite's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Thank you for your post. I have done just what you suggest with my Reps. While some believe it is not Ground Zero, I feel it is. I agree with most of that article. Full discloser, as stated before, I lost co workers and two beautiful flying machines that day. I agree I am a little more involved. I also agree some of the families have no problem with the Mosque being built. I respect their and anyone’s view. I just disagree. Again, thanks for the thoughtful post.

Edit: I linked an article that didn’t work. Here is the article reprinted.

The 9/11 Mosque

You have probably heard that a mosque is planned to be built two blocks from the site of the World Trade Center. This has created a huge controversy. The planned mosque will be 13 stories high and cost $100 million.

Opponents of the mosque complain that it is sacrilege to build a ,osque so close to the site where 3,000 people will killed in the name of Islamic superiority.

Supporters of the mosque see nothing wrong with this. One poster on Huffington points out that the mosque site is two blocks away from the WTC site and rhetorically asks how far is far enough? My own answer for that is outside the debris field from 9/11. The current building was struck by the landing gear from one of the 9/11 planes which clearly makes the site part of the attack.

More rational supporters point to the First Amendment. I have long held that you don’t count as a supporter of the First Amendment unless you uphold its use by people you disagree with. My initial opinion is that the mosque is distasteful and disrespectful but should not be blocked.

There are other issues.

Years ago the KKK sued and got the right to place a cross on the Ohio statehouse grounds on the basis that other religious symbols were allowed so theirs should also be included. If they had simply put up a cross I would have agreed but they had various slogans painted on their cross. That should have transformed it from a religious issue to a political one. The same is true for the mosque.

Why is does it have to be so close to Ground Zero? Its supporters say that it is in the spirit of reconciliation. There are reasons to doubt this. The very existence of the mosque so close to an act of Muslim extremism seems designed to stir division rather than healing.

The backers of the mosque have refused to identify themselves. Two other mosques in Manhattan have links with groups that provide financial support to terrorists. I see no problem with refusing to allow anyone associated with terrorists to build a mosque (or anything else).

The name of the building will be the Cordoba House. This is supposed to be in honor of the period in Spanish history when Cordoba was under Islamic rule but welcomed Christians and Jews in peace and brotherhood. A different reading of history shows that this was a period when Muslims had seized parts of Christian Europe through jihad and only allowed Christians and Jews as dhimmis. This period is as offensive to Christians as the Crusades are to Muslims. Further, the ultimate goal of al Qeada and the 9/11 terrorists was to establish exactly this sort of government in the US. Again, if this is meant as a $100 million incitement for the overthrow of the United States then I have no problem with having it moved.

Another factor is that the First Amendment requires equal treatment under the law. A Greek Orthodox church that was damaged on 9/11 has faced a number of obstacles to rebuilding including a restriction on the sight of the dome. In contrast, the mosque is getting a fast track. A proper application of the First Amendment would require the mosque to follow the same standards that the church has to follow.

Which brings me full circle back to the First Amendment. The mosque seems to be getting preferential treatment over a church which invalidates most First Amendment arguments.

phaedryx's avatar

I found this blog post interesting:

Can anyone find the blueprints for the Cordoba House? I googled a bit, but only found references, not the blueprints themselves. I’d like to see what they actually plan to build there.

filmfann's avatar

Pat Robertson isn’t God, and doesn’t believe he is God. He does, however, believe that he speaks for God.
And he is wrong.

That said, I also oppose the building of the Mosque so near Ground Zero. Fuck those assholes.

missingbite's avatar

@phaedryx I can’t find blueprints but I an very cautious of not calling this a Mosque. Here is a good article on the Imam in charge of the “community center” for Muslims akin to the YMCA for Christians.

SuperMouse's avatar

Here is an interesting article I found earlier on Slate.

missingbite's avatar

I have no doubt that this will be built. I don’t believe it should and there are currently other actions that are being taken to make this very difficult.

Buttonstc's avatar

Ugh. I so wish Robertson were not inserting himself into this. All of his pontificating just infames unnecessarily and detracts from the real issues.

He really needs to be put out to pasture and the sooner the better. The last two flaps he created totally destroyed whatever tiny shred of credibility he might have ever had.

I’m referring to his statements about assassinating Chavez and subsequently trying to weasel his way out of it by saying that “taking him out could refer to different things”.
Yeah, I’m sure he meant he wanted take him out to dinner :D. The context of his remarks made his intent quite clear.

And blaming Rabin’s stroke on God being ticked off at him. He really stepped in it that time.

He really just needs to close his mouth already.

I am disgusted beyond words to see him involving himself with this now.

That being said:
I’m glad someone posted a fairly clear description of the meaning of Cordoba. Symbolism is quite important to many radical Jihadist groups. So there was no other name they could have chosen if their intentions were all that benign?

The secrecy regarding the financial backing is also significant. Someone upthread said that’s it’s not like Al Quaeda is building it. Do you know that for a fact? If they were I can’t imagine they would be foolish enough to do it openly. I’m certainly not saying that I have any basis to say they are involved at all. But there are other miliant jihadist groups as well. And with the financing so shrouded in secrecy, no one can accurately say one way or another. You have no basis to eliminate AQ as being involved anymore than someone else could definitively state they were.

Just to be clear, I’m not advocating denying their right to build there. I’m saying that they should voluntarily be considerate enough of grieving families to withdraw.

And speaking of symbolism, has anyone happened to check the date for the groundbreaking?

Yep. You guessed it right. Ten years to the day. Sept. 11.

Unless they’ve backed off from it, that was factually accurate as of the last Q posted on this subject. I didn’t just pull it out of my ass.

We as Americans are expected to bend over backwards not to offend their sensibilities by depicting Mohammad by something as benign as a teacup or a spool of thread. (Enforced by threat of death btw).

But apparently it’s a one way street. They can feel perfectly free to ignore the feelings of families still grieving their loved ones who have stated clearly how hurtful this would be for them.

Forget about Robertsons blathering. It just distracts from the genuine feelings of families with dead loved ones. For me that’s the issue.

If they really want to convince me that there aren’t hidden cynical agendas at play here, they wouldn’t be so willing to ignore that.

If they truly had peaceful intent, they would negotiate a non offensive location.

tedd's avatar

@Buttonstc Hundreds of muslim americans died on 9–11, many of them fire fighters/policemen/rescue workers and just every day people who tried to help their fellow Americans and save them from the falling/burning buildings and debris.

You are forgetting their sacrifice and letting your blanket hatred of an entire religion based on a TINY minority of it having done something so terrible, cloud your vision. Maybe we should ban all churches near every black church that the KKK burned. They’re a VERY adamant christian group, and EVERY bit as bad as AQ.

Besides, all this is is a far right talking point to try and make the public not pay attention to the fact that the Dems are actually ACCOMPLISHING things, something they couldn’t do with 8 years of control.

Buttonstc's avatar

How does my skepticism translate to blanket hatred?

And, for the record, I voted for Obama. I’m definitely not a Republican so I have little use for their talking points.

I just happened to do a considerable amount of my own independent research. I’m well aware that many Muslims were also killed in those attacks as were people of EVERY race color and creed.

And also for the record. I don’t hate any and all Muslims. My contempt is reserved for militant Jihadists who will go to any extreme to kill infidels, and that also includes any fellow Muslims whom they perceive as not being as holy as they themselves are, thus relegated to the status of “infidel” as well.

And I specified that in my response.

Speed reading (without comprehension) ain’t all it’s cracked up to be :) try slowing it down a bit.

tedd's avatar

@Buttonstc The point is there’s no reason they should have to renegotiate a new “less-offensive” location. The actions of a tiny minority of muslims should not brand the entire religion to the point that them setting up a “mosque” (which will actually be a room in a much larger building, akin to a chapel at a hospital) offends people. The mere fact we’re arguing about it in this day and age is sickening. How does this make us any better than Al Queda terrorists that want the “infidels” out of their “holy land.”

missingbite's avatar

@tedd There is also no NEED for it to be in the location they chose. Since you brought up Muslims killed on September 11th you may want to also note that some Muslims are against this Mosque as well.

Buttonstc's avatar

You really don’t pay attention too well to what people have ACTUALLY stated, do you?

I never said they HAD TO do anything and I made it clear that forbidding them to build there was also a bad idea.

What I DID SAY was that if they truly had peaceful intent they would have some compassion for the grieving survivors who are disturbed by this location. Not because I say so but because it would be in their heart to work out some type of compromise in CONSIDERATION for the FEELINGS of those who lost loved ones.

Stop twisting my words around. Please pay attention.

This type of callousness on their part is not the stance of peacefulness.

This is what has me questioning a hidden agenda on the part of those far more inclined to militant Jihad rather than peace operating behind the scenes. If not, why so secretive about the funding.

Simply put. The actions don’t match the words. If the peaceful Muslims were truly in charge, rather than being used as a figurehead, they would exhibit the compassion and consideration that characterizes peaceful intent.

That is not hatred on my part. It’s called critical thinking.

Try it sometime to replace some of your usual ranting againt the Republicans and Fox news. I already told you I’m not at all impressed by their views and have little use for them.

You really should try less watching Fox and tune in to Rachel Maddow over on MSNBC. She’s so much smarter and better informed than their loudmouths.

tedd's avatar

Please pay attention to how the location of a mosque has nothing to do with the 9–11 attacks, or the terrorists who carried them out.

The last time the KKK bombed a black church, or better yet, a synagogue (since they’re not very fond of Jews either)... would you have been alright with those Jews saying you can’t build a church within two blocks of the site of the bombing, because we find it disrespectful? No you wouldn’t, because the greater whole of Christianity would have had nothing to do with the insane ideology carried out by a few.

And its not called critical thinking, its called falling for Republican talking points.

missingbite's avatar

@tedd You are so backwards it is crazy. I would have a huge problem if a sect of the KKK wanted to set up a community center where a church they blew up had once stood. Get off your Republican hatred

tedd's avatar

I didn’t say anything about a sect of the KKK trying to set up a church, I meant regular christians. Not sure how you pulled that out of the explanation….

And everyone is so backwards on this. I can’t believe in this day and age, in AMERICA, we’re talking about restricting the freedom of a religion to build a church in a perfectly reasonable location. At what point did we become no better in at least one regard, than the very terrorists we’re trying to scour from the planet?

missingbite's avatar

@tedd You are comparing a church being REbuilt after a bombing by the victims. That is in no way the same as what is going on here. We have no idea where the funding of the Mosque is coming from. The Imam in charge has written books saying he intends to “bring Sharia to America.” (not my idea of a good thing) No one can answer my questions about this Mosque. Why press the location if this is about building relations? Why insist on the ground breaking being on the anniversary of September 11th?

You and others have said we need to be compassionate. Is there any compassion from the organizers of the new Mosque toward us? Or is it just one sided?

Since this is so about healing between moderate Muslims and Westerners, will gay people be able to openly use this Mosque? Or will it just be for people who follow the views of those that want to bring Sharia to America?

tedd's avatar

My example was that of a Synagogue being blown up by the KKK, and then a church being built two blocks away. My apologies that wasn’t written so clearly.

Give me the context of “Bring sharia to america.” That incomplete sentence is not enough to go off of.

Where the funding comes from is none of our business honestly. You can’t demand to know the source of funding for a private building, let alone the fact you look like an idiot for assuming something as benevolent as a religious structure is being funded by some nefarious source.

And frankly I don’t care if you don’t have compassion towards them, but you don’t have a right to tell them where they can and can’t build a mosque, given they’ve paid the money and purchased the land for it.

And whens the last time you found a real hard core Baptist church, or catholic church, or any of the super serious southern protestant churches, or etc…. who will gladly and willingly accept gay men? (and i’m not talking about churches trying to “cure” them).

(and for the record I know a few homosexual muslims, and they practice their faith without any trouble)

tedd's avatar

Heres an example for you. Native Americans. Both in meso-america and the current continental United States. European settlers wiped out most native americans. In central america entire civilizations were brought down by Spanish massacres, SPECIFICALLY “In the name of god.”

Whens the last time you heard of a native american going up in arms when someone tried to build a church near the site of an indian massacre or grave site?

missingbite's avatar

@tedd Well as a member of a Baptist Church I can tell you we have gay members who we are not trying to “cure”. As far as “bring Sharia to America” do a little research an you will know. It is in a link above. Sharia is not tolerant, that is a start for you. Again, you are twisting words like a good liberal. I NEVER said they didn’t have a “right”. I said they shouldn’t. In fact, if you had read the posts, you would see that I said it will probably be built and they did have the “right” to build it. Doesn’t mean they SHOULD.

You say it is none of my business where the money comes from. If it is coming from Al Qaeda, it is most certainly my business. We are fast tracking this thing because we are afraid to be called bigots or racist. Just like we have been called in this post. Meanwhile, the Greek Church that was damaged in the attacks is having a hard time getting permits. Did you read any of the above thread with links?

I’m glad you know some gay Muslims. Doesn’t change the fact that this should be moved. You and others still can’t or won’t answer my questions. Instead, you tell me they have the right. Which we have all already agreed about.

Just because someone has the right to do something doesn’t mean they should. I guess that is too hard for you to understand.

missingbite's avatar

@tedd BTW, since you mentioned “a real hard core Baptist church, or catholic church, or any of the super serious southern protestant churches, or etc” does that mean you want to call this Mosque “hard core or super serious” compared to the “moderate Muslims” they are claiming to be?

tedd's avatar

My point was you can find members of every faith who refuse to accept homosexuals, and trying to act like this mosque (assuming it wouldn’t allow them) is somehow outlandish for doing so or setting precedent, is bogus.

And why don’t you answer my question, what reason do we have for denying them the right to build their mosque? And don’t give me any of this, its an insult to the victims nonsense. What if the terrorists had been insane christians advocating for a return to biblical times, would you deny regular sane christians the right to build a church two blocks away?

And as far as the funding, I wouldn’t ask to see the funding for any other church, or private business of any kind… because its none of my business. Trust me, if they’re being funded by AQ, the government agencies (such as the FBI and the NSA) know already. Be it legally or “legally”, if they wanted to check that info or found it at all suspicious, they would have already.

missingbite's avatar

@tedd Are you reading any of this? Please show me where I said they didn’t have the right. Again and again, I have said they have the right. They just SHOULD’T! Since I have answered that over and over, I can only assume you either don’t get it, or just want to argue. I have answered your question. THEY HAVE THE RIGHT. THEY HAVE THE RIGHT. THEY HAVE THE RIGHT. Now tell me why they insist on an insensitive location to so many when this is supposed to be about building relations.

I do like the way you just coasted right on over your comparison of right wing radical churches to this Mosque. Your point didn’t quite work out.

tedd's avatar

Why SHOULDN’T they?

If the terrorists had been radical christians, should they not build a church two blocks away?

And I would assume the location has something to do with New York being about the size of my back yard and containing 8 million people. Sooner or later you’re going to have one type of building being built next to another. Two blocks in New York City…. is not two blocks in suburbia.

missingbite's avatar

@tedd They shouldn’t because so many have asked that it not be built. You may not like the victims nonsense but in many peoples mind it is valid. Just because you see it as nonsense doesn’t make it so. The building of this Mosque is stirring up controversy and animosity which is supposedly what the Mosque is against. That in of itself is enough reason for many.

Your back yard must be huge! There are PLENTY of buildings available in New York. If you don’t have a legitimate reason for them to choose that spot, (where the landing gear of one of the planes hit) just say so. Ignorance I can believe.

To answer your question, no. I stated before in this thread, the one you must not have read, that when the Pope ordered the Carmelite nuns out of Auschwitz who were praying for soles, he was correct in doing so. They weren’t wanted their, even though it was their right.

Feelings matter. Maybe not for you and others, but they should.

phaedryx's avatar

@missingbite “souls” not “soles”

missingbite's avatar

@phaedryx Thanks. I knew that and didn’t proofread. I caught myself doing the same thing in an earlier post and did it again. Again, thanks for correcting.

Austinlad's avatar

Whether you’re for building the mosque (as I am) or against it like many others, I urge you to read this article. It contains literate comments and an admirable stand by a man I respect and agree with, Newsweek writer and CNN host Fareed Zakaria.

missingbite's avatar

@Austinlad I read the article and was fine that Zakaria wanted to take his stance and oppose the ADL. Until almost the end of the article where Zakaria asks, “Does Foxman believe that bigotry is OK if people think they’re victims?” I am tired of people labeling me or anyone else that disagrees about the Mosque, bigots. Just because we don’t agree does not make us bigots. I don’t agree with Obama, that does not make me a racist.

Zakaria lost all credibility with me as soon as he labeled the ADL as bigots.

The ADL’s stance for those that don’t want to read @Austinlad‘s link is this…“Proponents of the Islamic Center may have every right to build at this site, and may even have chosen the site to send a positive message about Islam. The bigotry some have expressed in attacking them is unfair, and wrong. But ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right. In our judgment, building an Islamic Center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain – unnecessarily – and that is not right.” That hardly makes them bigots.

Why does Zakaria insist on labeling Foxman and the ADL bigots when they themselves reject others who have attacked the proponents of the Mosque?

SuperMouse's avatar

@missingbite but how can one deny that the ADL engaged in bigotry when they came out against the mosque solely because it is a mosque? I find it fascinating that they argue that this is an issue of “sensitivity” and “location”. It sounds as though they are attempting to use those words to cloak their bigotry. I understand that most people do not like to think of themselves as bigoted, but the fact of the matter is that most of us are guilty on some level or another, at one time or another, of engaging in behavior or holding beliefs that smack of bigotry. I am afraid that is the case here.

Full disclosure: I am a huge fan of Fareed Zakaria.

Ron_C's avatar

The more I hear about this building, the more I favor it because it is meant to be a community center similar to the YMCA. There may be a mosque in it but there are also plans for a swimming pool, gym, meeting rooms, etc.. I don’t know how the Muslims intend to handle a swimming pool open to males and females but it will be interesting to see if they are capable of entering the 21st century and accept women’s rights and equality. If they can, more power to them, if they can’t, I suspect that local protests will close them down.

Until then, they have as much right to build there as anyone else. The site adjacent to the twin towers is not sacred. There is no such thing as sacred ground. I would, however be more inclined to support a building that paid its fair share of the real estate taxes.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Ron_C I used to work at a conference center that booked a group of Apostolics for a week each year. They set up certain times for the males and females to use the pool separately.

Ron_C's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer yes, I figure that’w what the Muslims would do also. I think that it’s pretty backward and a shame. Keeping sexes seperate is one of the best ways to prepetuate narrow minded thinking. It is the same “seperate but equal” theory that kept the blacks in subjugation in the Southern U.S. and in South Africa. There is no such thing as seperate and equal.

NormanL's avatar

Bloomberg sees mosque as symbol of freedom
By BETH FOUHY, Associated Press
Saturday, August 7, 2010
After spending weeks answering questions about the mosque, Bloomberg decided to give a speech outlining his views on the matter. “He wanted to speak proactively, forcefully and at some length,” said Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson, who helped craft the address.

Bloomberg delivered it Tuesday surrounded by a multicultural array of religious leaders, with the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop.

“I believe that this is as important a test of the separation of church and state as we may see in our lifetime, and it is critically important that we get it right,” he said.

Ron_C's avatar

@NormanL Bloomberg got it exactly right.

missingbite's avatar

@SuperMouse Here is a letter to the editor of the NY Times from the ADL. Please read it and tell me if you still think the ADL’s stance is related to Bigotry as Fareed Zakaria has suggested. I think not. Letter

In my opinion, what Mr. Zakaria has done is pander to the idea that the ADL is bigoted because he knows it will get more attention than if he simply disagreed with them on the issue. In my mind, that makes him all the less respectable.

Buttonstc's avatar


I also don’t think that the ADL was being bigoted, but neither is Zakaria “pandering”. That’s a very cynical thing to do.

I think he is taking a very principled stance. If he were merely pandering he could have just issued his statement without returning both the award as well as the ten thousand dollars connected to it.

Or he could have returned the award but kept the money.
After all, it was from back in 2005 so that would be understandable.

Pandering is the opposite of ethical. I believe he was taking an ethical stand based upon deep emotion connected to his heritage.

There are strong emotions on both sides of this issue so I’m willing to cut him the same type of slack as I’m hoping others will do the same for the feelings of those who lost their loved ones there (rather than lumping them in with Robertson, Palin, Gingrich, et al.)

Just because Republicans are using this to further their careers, DOES NOT IMVALIDATE the pain of the 9/11 survivors.

I am also a big fan of Fareed Zakaria and will continue to be even tho I disagree with him on this issue.

I think that a contributing factor to his stance (aside from emotion) is that he is willing to accept that the situation is as the builders describe it with all their nice PC sounding BS. He accepts that at face value while I do not.

He can’t allow himself to believe that there are other more sinister entities “behind the curtain” who are really the controlling force.

I think that’s pretty obvious from their continued callous attitude toward those who are hurting.

I’m sure he’s aware of them. He’s too well educated and informed to not be. He just doesn’t think they are involved in this project. I do. He is looking through rose colored glasses. I’m not.

But I’m not willing to look at his decision cynically and accuse of pandering. I have too much respect for him to assume that. I do wish that he had spent some time talking to Abe Foxman ahead of time as I’m reasonably sure he would not have accused bigotry but that didn’t happen.

Altho I don’t agree with his viewpoint, I understand why he sees it that way. I wish he would have expressed it differently. But emotion usually clouds rationality.

If anyone is interested in a rational explanation as to precisely what I’m referencing in regards to more hidden cynical entities, head on over to the link posted by JLeslie in the other thread.

This is an interview regarding “the narrative” as explained by a former radical Muslim who decided to think for himself. It’s on the CBS website from the newsmagazine 60 Mins.

It’s only a 15 min. segment and it’s NOT FOX News :)

I’m assuming that most people interested in this thread can spare a few mins. to hear it “straight from the horse’s mouth.”

missingbite's avatar

@Buttonstc Pander may have been a poor choice of words. Thank you.

What does get to me about this is that Zakaria, as you said, is a very well educated person and I feel he should have known better than to word his response the way he did.

He also knows how to get ratings.

Full discloser, I don’t watch Zakaria regularly so I don’t know his personality.

Buttonstc's avatar

If all he wanted was ratings, he could have simply made the statement without returning both the award and the money.

It would have gotten the same attention because he is one of the “go to” public figures when they are looking to discuss issues of this type (not just because of his heritage, but more because of his intelligent well reasoned approach)

His regular program is fairly recent and airs on Sunday mornings on CNN with repeats at other odd times. The full title is Fareed Zakaria GPS.

Give it a try. You’ll see what I mean. You don’t have to take my word for it :)

Have you had a chance to check out the CBS clip on the other thread? Very thought provoking.

missingbite's avatar

I’ll give him a chance and watch his show. I’m not quite willing to think he is fully upfront with this. I still think he could have given back the award and cash knowing someone would call his bluff if he didn’t. I could be wrong.

I did watch the clip from 60 minutes. Great interview. I totally believe we need to get a hand on immigration in this country so truly moderate Muslims can have a chance.

Buttonstc's avatar

Ive read it several times now and I honestly have no idea what you are trying to get across with “someone calling his bluff”. Could you draw that out in crayon for me :)

…...still scratching my head…...

missingbite's avatar

Sorry. What I mean by that is someone on the right would have pointed out that he took an award and money from the ADL and then later called them bigots. Which would sort of make him (Zakaria) a hypocrite.

I feel he could have given back the award and money, just to make his opinion seem more valuable. Which it has done because you used that to reason his sincerity.

I know that you watch his show and have respect for him. I don’t watch his show and have less respect for him because of his wording in this matter. There was no need for him to label the ADL as bigots. He could have simply stated that his opinions differ and he wishes to break all ties with the ADL.

Hope that clears up my point.

Buttonstc's avatar

That does clarify it.

I also disagree with accusing the ADL of bigotry and stated that.

Neither of us can truly know what is in someone else’s mind since no one has that ability.

There are easier ways to get ratings.

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