General Question

tedd's avatar

If the 9/11 attackers had been radical christians, would you oppose a church built near ground zero?

Asked by tedd (14053points) August 6th, 2010

Exactly what the question says. There was a “lively” debate going in an unrelated thread, so I thought I’d pose it to the whole community. Basically it was a debate about how they’re putting up a mosque near ground zero (two blocks away). Its become a Republican talking point and hot point issue lately, many people finding it insensitive and demanding/wanting/requesting that the mosque not be built so close to ground zero. The idea is, I guess, that its an insult to the victims and their families to build a monument of the Islamic religion, so close to a site where a group of terrorists killed so many people in the name of Islam.

So I ask you this. Lets imagine for a second that Al Queda didn’t carry out the attacks on 9/11. Lets imagine that instead of Islamic militants, it was Christian militants. This isn’t an entirely crazy idea either, considering the existence of groups like the KKK or that militia group that was arrested in Michigan earlier this year (Curatee?) So it was instead of Al Queda, 19 Christian militants who destroyed the World Trade towers killing thousands of people in the name of the Christian god (which btw is the same god as Islam and even Judaism, something most people don’t seem to know).

Would you find it insensitive and be opposed to someone deciding 10 years later to build a church two blocks from ground zero?

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284 Answers

cockswain's avatar

@nullo That’s so god damned ignorant I can’t stand it.

OpryLeigh's avatar

Actually, although I am Christian myself, I really don’t think any religious building should go there.

Edit Please could some give me an idea of how far away “two blocks” would be from where the world trade centre once stood? I’m British and if “two blocks” is similar distance to what we would call streets then my answer above would change. I don’t like the idea of a religious building going up very close to ground zero but if it is the equivalent to our two streets away distance then I would say that it shouldn’t matter what goes up there.

jfos's avatar

Other Christians, who neither endorse nor support the ones you’re hypothetically blaming, should have just as much of a right to build their something I deemed unnecessarily insulting house of worship as the Muslims who neither endorse or support, or were even remotely associated with the ones blamed for 9/11.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Only of that particular sect of Christianity and only if that group endorsed the terrorism. Al-Qaeda is a radical splinter group of a fundamentalist sect (Wahabbi) of Sunni Islam. The vast majority of Wahabbi imams condemned the 9/11 attacks. As I understand it, the proposed mosque’s imam is mainstream Sunni. They are also planning a memorial to the 9/11 victims as part of the building.

This is a symbol of what the US is all about. Could a cathedral be built in Riyadh, Baghdad or Teheran?

Incinerator's avatar

YES, I think it would be an insult. Nulo is right. IMO, the extremists are cult-ists, and the moderate religon (reguardless) should seperate itself from them. No “God” would command the killing of non-belivers. And NO, the middle east would not accept a cathedral in those cities. Maybe if they would there would be a better chance for peace in this world.

jfos's avatar

@Incinerator The Middle East doesn’t have the authority to accept or deny construction in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran.

tedd's avatar

@Incinerator Actually there are cathedrals all over the middle east, and in various muslim nations. Turkey for example, houses some of the oldest cathedrals there are.

Also, the three most populous muslim nations on the planet (Indonesia—> Pakistan—> Turkey) all have flourishing Christian and even JEWISH populations, with hundreds (or thousands) of churches and yes even cathedrals.

@stranger_in_a_strange_land There are churches in Baghdad and Tehran.

Qingu's avatar

@Incinerator, and @Nullo, you don’t think there are Christian cultists?

Or Christian terrorists?

I’ll grant that the religion of Christianity is in a better place today than the religion of Islam is. But Islam’s 600 years younger. 600 years ago, Christians were busy with Inquisitions and genociding native Americans. As recently as the 1800’s in America, Manifest Destiny was a Nazi-like policy advocating world domination by the white Christian culture (again, by genocide; Christians paid lots of money for Indian scalps).

Your religion can also be, and often is, disgusting. (It is worth noting that elsewhere @Nullo has said he is morally okay with genocide because the Bible commands it.)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Radical christians are as fucked up as radical muslims. Crazy is crazy, no getting around it.

plethora's avatar

To answer the question, and being a Christian myself, YES, unequivocally, I would oppose a Christian church there. Moreover, unlike the “trojan horse” peaceful Muslims, I would be vocally demanding that those calling themselves Christians be brought to justice.

As for the “ignorance” of the clip shown by @Nullo, it’s a caricature, with a very good message. The actors are doing exactly what radical Islamist do. If it were Christians, liberals would be demanding the annihilation all reiigion. Funny, the same acts by Islam only bring out pleas for toleration.

Oh….speaking of ignorance, the OP’s question is rifled with ignorant statements which I will address on my next post.

Qingu's avatar

@plethora, moderate Muslims in America aren’t demanding that al-Qaeda be brought to justice?

Also, what do you mean by “trojan horse” peaceful Muslims?

Facade's avatar

No, I wouldn’t. I also don’t oppose an Islamic place of worship being built there.

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

If Christians world wide stood and cheered publicly at the tragic 911 event and refused to stand in unison against the radicals, then absolutely YES, I would not want a Christian church anywhere near ground zero.

But if they disowned the radicals, and did whatever necessary to help uncover them, then no, I wouldn’t have any problem with it whatsoever.

CMaz's avatar

“unlike the “Trojan horse” peaceful Muslims”

That pretty much says it. Simple and to the point.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Incinerator There are no churches in Riyadh or Tehran; any that are active in Baghdad are inside the Green Zone, protected by western troops. The Christian Iraqis have mostly fled the country. As for Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Pakistan, etc; Christians in those nations do have protected status (Dhimmis), but their right to build new churches or expand existing ones is severely restricted.

tedd's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Agreed, but while there were muslims/people who hate america anyways worldwide cheering… the vast majority of Muslims decried the attacks. ESPECIALLY here in the US.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

There are also “Trojan horse” so called peaceful Muslims” as has been pointed out. Until Muslims stand in unison to oust all radicals, I cannot put the trust of my friends and family to their charge.

Qingu's avatar

@jfos, white man’s burden is different from Manifest Destiny, and I suppose much more benign.

I don’t understand why people are even bringing up how Islamic countries don’t allow non-Muslim places of worship. Because the insane Salafi cult government of Saudi Arabia does something, we should too?

LuckyGuy's avatar

That real estate is worth a fortune. I want tax-paying tenants who will contribute tax dollars to pay for the services and security of the area.

tedd's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land here’s a church in Tehran http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Sarkis_Cathedral,_Tehran

and heres one in baghdad that was built in 1932 and is part of the nearly TWO THOUSAND year old Iraqi christian heritage… http://www.frrme.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=88&Itemid=115

I suggest you actually read about/educate yourself about the topic before commenting. Google or wikipedia and about 5 seconds of your time would probably do the trick.

Qingu's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies, there are 1.8 billion Muslims in the world. You expect them to stand in unison?

Almost all American Muslims decried the attacks. I think you’re confusing Palestinians with American Muslims.

jfos's avatar

@Qingu Not completely unrelated. And while it may be more physically benign, I wouldn’t say that it is psychologically so. Good points though.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Let’s allow an open multicultural center that embraces and teaches all schools of spirituality. Mandate that each one be allowed to sit in as observers to the most secret details of the others. Defeat the secrecy and deception. Shed light upon darkness and watch the rats run for cover.

Alas, I must leave you and return to my Alan Watts podcast. Good day to all.

jfos's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I’m pretty sure that the majority of the major faiths in the world are based off of literature or a book. Anyone who reads that would be an observer to, not only the most “secret details,” but of all details.

In my opinion, not building any type of religious institution would be better than building a multi-faith institution.

sleepdoc's avatar

I have seen this story pop up a few times. I think that the real question here is, should a place of worship be built around ground zero. If you are ok with that, then I don’t think you can argue that it is ok for one place of worship to be there are not another. Although those who were involved in the attacks can be broadly classified as muslims, you cannot say that all who are muslim are at fault.

Unless my understanding is incorrect the proposal is not to build a mosque on ground zero, which might be a diffferent question entirely.

tedd's avatar

@sleepdoc Correct, the “mosque” will be built two blocks from ground zero… and will actually be just part of a larger building, akin to a chapel in a hospital.

SuperMouse's avatar

I would have no problem whatsoever with a Christian church going up near ground zero, just like I have no problem with the proposed Mosque. regardless of who perpetrated the act. I do not associate an entire group of people with the radical actions of a vocal minority.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@jfos Reading each others Holy Writ does not open up the book keeping to determine where the money is coming from and going to. And it certainly does nothing to address back door scheming. Not just the Muslims mind you. I think everyone should be capable of sitting in on all meetings… For instance, the Homosexual community should be allowed to get the meeting notes of the Christian Fundamentalists… and likewise share their own.

Crack it all open and let Truth do the talking. Too many secrets in this world.

cockswain's avatar

I have as much problem with a mosque, church, or temple being built there as in the middle of Nebraska—zero. As long as no tax dollars pay for it, I consider it completely a non-issue, and completely irrelevant to the 9/11 attacks. If tax dollars are helping fund it, that’s annoying as hell to me, but I’m kind of used to such things happening.

FutureMemory's avatar

I loved the part in Nullo’s vid when the 2 priests forced their way into the cockpit, bashed up the pilot and crew with a crucifix then yelled “Praise Jesus!”.

LuckyGuy's avatar

By the way I don’t often agree with @Nullo often but I did find that video clip hilarious.
When my Utologist snapped on the rubber gloves and made me bend over I thought I was getting a prostate exam. Now I know he was actually looking for explosives.
Damn those radical Christians.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

I would have thought two blocks was sufficient distance for its location to be irrelevant. That said though, I would not support the construction of any religious structure; I would be apathetic at best.

@Nullo Perhaps you have forgotten about Ireland. The radical Christians there are ridiculously violent. It is awfully ignorant to suppose any religion is free of lunatics behaving as if their religion dictates their lunacy.

Austinlad's avatar

I might well feel differently if I lost loved ones in an attack or was living in the city where it happened—but since I can’t put myself in those shoes, I have to say I would be as much in favor of building a church as I am a mosque. America preaches religious freedom; we have to practice what we preach.

JLeslie's avatar

I am torn. Legally I thnk they have a right, but I certainly empathasize with the people who lost family and friends, or even just were in NYC on the day of that attack. If you make me choose, I say we have to allow it to be built. If there could have been a different compromise of some sort that would have been great. My hope is Muslims and Arabs around the world will perceive this as more evidence that we are not anti-arab or anti-muslim, we just have to hope the load mouth hateful people in our country will shut up. I saw a show where a former radical Muslim goes to speak to Arab college students in Arab countries, and when he tells them how many mosques and Muslims there are in America, and that they practice their religion freely, they are always shocked. They have a false view of the reality in America.

I did hear that they did not want to turn over where the money came from to build the Mosque. That I don’t like. If NYC does not require it from other developers, then I was say they cannot legally require it here. But, it would be better if the owner/developer came forward with the information, I find that a little suspicious.

@Leanne1986 Generally there are 20 New York City blocks in a mile (tipically it takes one minute to walk a block), sometimes the blocks are a little longer. I am not sure of the exact location of the mosque, but that shoud give you an estimate.

@worriedguy I wondered about the taxes. Do they get out of all taxation? Or, just the portion of the building that is used for prayer and religius services?

@Incinerator If a Muslim country would not allow Cathedrals according to you, why should we behave like them? If you think peace can come from allowing churches of the groups we might be wary of, then why would you be against building the mosque in NYC?

kevbo's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh, we’d be remiss not to mention the Protestant Ku Klux Klan

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@tedd The buildings exist, the congregations are tiny and constantly threatened by violence or political harassment. The church in Teheran was built under the Shah’s secular regime, the vast majority of the congregation left following the revolution. It’s now barely tolerated and considered for “foreigners”. The pastor of St. George’s in Baghdad has to live under military protection in the Green Zone and, for a time, the church was run by a US military chaplain. The Christian population of Iraq has mostly fled, radical Muslim groups targeted them after the fall of the Ba’ath government, conveniently associating them with Saddam Hussien’s regime. The Jewish population of Iraq was forced to flee in the 1950s. Christianity and Judaism had tolerated or “dhimmis” status under the Ottoman Turks and Persians. The existing buildings are a monument to that toleration, they would not be allowed to be constructed today, which is what my comment stated. My comment regarding Saudi Arabia stands without further explanation.

I suggest that you check current facts on the ground, actual scholarship, rather than 5 second Google or Wiki searches.

Buttonstc's avatar

Firstly, neither scenario would affect me personally since I don’t live in that area, I would be taking my cues from the feelings of the grieving who lost loved ones, regardless of which group perpetrated the attacks.

But let’s carry out the scenario proposed to it’s logical conclusion.

I have no difficulty envisioning that one of these white power radical groups claiming Christianity could be capable of that. (OK City was two guys rather than a group and not doing it under a Christian banner, but it serves to illustrate that it COULD have been that)

So for the sake of consistency in analogy, let’s give this group the imaginary name of KKK Christians. And let’s say they were the ones who carried out 9/11.

Shift to present day and a group called United Christians wants to build in the exact same location.

SOME OF (not necessary for all) of those still grieving for their slaughtered loved ones were saying how hurtful it was for them. THAT would get my attention.

If there were any ties at all with KKKC (the group which carried out the attacks) you bet I would find that hugely offensive.

But here’s where the analogy takes a turn. I would be expecting the UC group looking to build there to be sensitive and willing to work with these protesting grievers out of respect and compassion.

In order to allay their concerns about any possible financial ties to the radical Christian group regarding the financing, I would fully expect complete transparency on the issue with full disclosure of funding sources. VOLUNTARILY.

Demanding it wouldn’t be necessary. If their INTENTIONS were peaceful, then I would expect their ACTIONS to be consistent. I would expect them to be voluntarily be offering transparency about the funding of their own volition without coercion.

Out of respect for the deceased, I would expect them to bend over backwards to be compassionate toward those who lost loved ones. Isn’t that what their religion proclaims?Love and compassion. They go hand in hand.

If the grieving group still were still uncomfortable, even after financial VOLUNTARY disclosure, I would expect UC to be sensitive to that. Isn’t that what their religion teaches? Love and compassion.

I would expect them to be willing to sit down with this group in willingness to discuss whatever type of compromises could possibly be ok for all parties concerned. Even if it MIGHT POSSIBLY mean a different location.

If they did not do that and insisted upon their legal right to build regardless of the feelings of grieving survivors, I would be very skeptical of their peaceful Christian proclamations. ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS.

And if these Christians had not volunteered financial disclosure and proceeded with their plans in spite of protests and then had the SHEER AUDACITY to set the date of the groundbreaking ceremony to coincide with the EXACT ANNOVERSARY DAY, my skepticism would be on full alert. That’s putting it mildly.

I wouldn’t be willing to accept their protestations about their peaceful intent. I’d likely regard it as BS quite frankly and consider them hypocrites. The actions would belie the words.

So there you have the complete analogy of what your questions presupposes.

I’m even willing to grant the possibility of a Christian militant group doing it. But you’d better believe that years later if another Christian group came along stating their peaceful intentions and acted the way the Mualslims involved with this project are acting, I would be as skeptical of that Christian group as I am of these.

ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS.

THOSE WHO HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE…..HIDE NOTHING.

It matters little to me what the group calls itself. I go by their actions.

@tedd

Does that sufficiently answer your question ?

misstrikcy's avatar

@cockswain couldn’t agree with you more

Buttonstc's avatar

For those unfamiliar with NYC and definitions of “city blocks” let me add this.

There is both a length and a width to a city block, the ratio being approx. 3 to 1. So when speaking of blocks, it helps to specify whether it’s two short blocks or two long blocks from the point in question. It does make a difference. Two long blocks (the length) is significantly more than two short blocks (the width)

One of the newspapers posted an enlarged map of the immediate area. The distance is only TWO SHORT BLOCKS.

If you looked at that map it would be immediately obvious to anyone why the survivors find this upsetting.

I can’t do llinks from iPhone but i’m sure someone could find that pic if they really wanted to. It was in a major NY newspaper.

Or perhaps someone currently living in NY can post the specific dimensions of short blocks and long blocks. I used to live there but not currently. But I have walked plenty of city blocks both short and long.

Buttonstc's avatar

Everything else aside, I found that first video hilarious.

If you can disassociate it from this issue, you have to admit that (however ridiculous) it is well done satire. Come on. Get in touch with your funnybone.

Hilarious.

missingbite's avatar

Keep in mind that debris from the planes hitting the towers was found in the exact building that the planned “Mosque” is going to be built. To me and others, that is ground zero.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Buttonstc You raise a point that has me a bit concerned also. The organization proposing to build this center could be more transparent about their funding. They claim that the funds for the building haven’t been raised yet, but they must have considerable funding already to have purchased the existing building and lot. If they have nothing to hide, publish the list of contributors to date, it might help calm things down.

Buttonstc's avatar

It would definitely calm things down AS LONG AS there are no ties to more cynical interests. This has me skeptical as to who is really in charge of the agenda.

Does anyone honestly believe that if the peaceful Muslims were TRULY in charge that there would be this type of callous insensitivity. The peaceful members of the Muslim community would not be tone deaf to the hurting of the grieving loved ones.

All Muslims aren’t alike is certainly true. And I’m certainly not against Muslims nor hateful towards them regardless of what someone wants to call me. But are these the attitudes of peaceful Muslims is the question at hand. Are there hidden agendas at work?

The anniversary groundbreaking day is what tipped me over the edge on this whole thing.

They can’t possibly be so dense that they fail to realize how hurtful that is.

I was born at night but it wasn’t last night.

jfos's avatar

@Buttonstc
@missingbite
Why does it matter if the proposed mosque is two short blocks away, two long blocks away, two long states away, three mountain ranges away, fifteen football throws away, or close enough to whisper?

An attack by extremists shouldn’t be enough to justify discrimination against a greater group for having the same religion. That’s the moral here. It doesn’t matter if the mosque is in NYC or not. It’s not “insulting” the victims, it’s not minimizing the “suffering” of those who were living/working/being related to someone affected by the attack.

Buttonstc's avatar

@Ifos

Well a significant number of those who lost loved ones happen to sharply disagree with you.

If you do a little basic reading from NY papers you can find
specific names and direct quotes if you care to find out what those who are directly impacted think.

You can declare that it’s not offensive or insensitive to them but that doesn’t carry too much weight compared to their own words.

Or do you think they should just take your word for it and stop feeling hurt?

josie's avatar

No. Radical Christians have not made it clear that they intend to use any nefarious means at their disposal to cleanse the Earth of Western Satanists and/or other infidels and non-believers of the Prophet.
I said it in another thread, but I will repeat it here. I can almost write a guarantee that a mosque near ground zero will be ground zero for a nuke in the future. Lower Manhattan is prime hunting ground for Islamists. This is a golden opportunity for them. They may not build the mosque, but they will move in after it is finished. I know it is tough to accept it. And I know it is unrealistic to suggest to Flutherites to consider visiting the outlands in the Middle East to experience some of these lunatics personally. And I really don’t expect you to believe me. So…someday remember you read this.

missingbite's avatar

@jfos I look at intentions. I have stated in the other thread that a couple of miles away is far enough. There are numorous Mosques in NYC. Why build another one where the debris fell? Like I have said, I and others consider this Ground Zero. If someone flew a private plane into a building that you lived two blocks from and part of the plane hit your home, would you say you were in part of the impact zone? Or would you blow it off and say, well, I just live close.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@josie “prophet”, not “profit”.

josie's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land Freudian slip. Corrected. Thanks

missingbite's avatar

To stay on topic, yes as a Christian, I would oppose my fellow Christians building a Church so close to a site where radicals in the name of Christianity killed thousands. Especially if it was supposed to be built on the anniversary of said killings. Especially if many people were protesting the building.

Michell's avatar

I don’t know WHY the Muslim people would want a Mosque there anyway. Aren’t they afraid it will get destroied, or someone might throw eggs at it? I heard that there is already a Mosque in the area, anyway.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@josie Mind reader! I had originally added “Freudian slip?” after my comment but removed it so as not to be offensive.

jfos's avatar

@missingbite I would say that I lived close enough to the incident that my residence was hit by debris. I wouldn’t be opposed to people that shared a religion with the pilot building their place of worship nearby the attack, though.

missingbite's avatar

@jfos Fair enough. You and I disagree. We all have the right to do just that.

tedd's avatar

@missingbite One of the points I’m getting at, which has been shied away from because in the last 20 or so posts most people are talking about the real world situation rather than they hypothetical, is that if it had been christian terrorists I would wager damn near no one would be offended at all…. And those that were would probably be told not whine because you can’t blame a religion with a few billion followers for the actions of 19 zealot idiots.

@stranger_in_a_strange_land Turkey, 236 churches with about 1–2% of the population http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_in_Turkey

Pakistan 2,800,000 christians (1.6% of the population) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_in_pakistan

Indonesia 8.85% of the population ( total pop. 230 million, largest muslim nation on the planet) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indonesia

Christianity in Iraq, 3% of pop. (around 636k), with the outflow of members as you mentioned, but the same could be said for ANY group in Iraq over the last 10 years http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_in_iraq

Christianity in Iran, 600+ churches, at least 300,000 members (1.5% of the population is the expected amount). They do face persecution as you suggested, but I hardly think Iran is a role model we should be following… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_in_iraq

Saudi Arabia is the only country you listed where you have a strong argument. Ironic they should be our strongest muslim ally isn’t it?

missingbite's avatar

@tedd You and I will have to disagree, again. We are constantly taking the word “God” out of almost everything because it may offend someone. We have changed the history of our country in recent years because of the name “God”. Some people even want us to take the “under God” out of our pledge. I assure you, some would not want a Church to be built.

Please stop referring to these people as “19 zealot idiots”. If it were only them, they would all be gone and we would not be having this discussion. There are many many more than 19.

tedd's avatar

@missingbite You’re aware that the “under God” was added to the original pledge right?

And you’re right, there are more than just those 19 maniacs. But the number of muslims that want to kill americans or have is less than 0.0000001 percent of the total 1.8 billion on the planet.

jfos's avatar

[ Removed by me due to serving by @Qingu. ]

Qingu's avatar

I’d wager that the proportion of Muslims who want Americans to die is roughly equal to the proportion of Americans who want Muslims to die.

Buttonstc's avatar

@tedd

You proposed a situation comparing a hypothetical scenario to the one which actually did happen.

I didn’t even bother to argue the unlikelihood of the hypothetical as some did.

I followed your scenario point for point and you’re complaining that those of us who answered were involving the current series of events.

Well how else to answer a hypothetical comparison than to compare like to like? There is no way to answer accurately otherwise.

People are not just upset because they are Muslims. Or more accurately, I am not judging it on Christian or Muslim ALONE. That’s ridiculous. That just leads to blanket statements with no validity whatsoever.

Your hypothetical question is impossible to answer WITHOUT comparing to the current situation and yet that’s what you’re bitching about?

I made a direct comparison of action to action and even went along with your wacky hypothetical. But apparently you didn’t like the fact that I and several others answered honestly but it left you without the opportunity to call us hateful because we would be just as torqued off if Christians had acted the same.

To then cavil about involving the current situation is so laughably illogical I barely know what to say. The ENTIRE premise of your question relates to the current situation but you complain because we speak about it ? Hello!

Are you in the twilight zone?

Qingu's avatar

@jfos, I don’t think it makes sense to compare religious groups to races or sex. Religion isn’t something trivial like skin color, and it isn’t something you’re born with. Religion is an ideology, just like a political belief.

I have no problem with judging people based on their religion. My opposition to Islam (and other religions) on Fluther is a matter of record.

I do think, however, that religious beliefs need to be tolerated in a modern society. Note that tolerance is not the same as respect (I don’t respect the Quran or the Bible). But people should have the right to believe things you think are stupid, or even immoral, so long as they don’t break the law.

Buttonstc's avatar

@Qingu

I so agree with what you said I can’t even begin to describe how much.

Ideology is not necessarily the problem. Actions are. Those actions which break the law should not be tolerated regardless of the ideology professed nor the name of the group.

Christians don’t get any special exemptions and neither should any other group.

plethora's avatar

@kevbo I know you’re smarter than this, so I will only comment gently that there is no “protestant” or “christian” KKK. The KKK promotes white racial terror against anyone of a darker color. They are vile and I, as a human being and as a Christian, deplore them. If they mutter or make signs with Biblical quotes, you should not be deceived as to their true nature.

Lightlyseared's avatar

In answer to the original question – Yes.

jfos's avatar

@plethora That’s perfect of you to say. The terrorists who were blamed for 9/11 were Muslims. The members of KKK were Protestant Christians. It doesn’t mean all Muslims are terrorists or all Protestants are violent racists.

Buttonstc's avatar

@plethora

Kevbo didn’t create that nonexistent name. KKKChristians was an imaginary name created by me to answer a hypothetical situation involving a 9/11 attack as if it were perpetrated by Christians. You do understand the word hypothetical, don’t you.

That was an imaginary name I pulled off the top of my head. There is no real group by that name.

But there are plenty of racist white power groups claiming the name of Christianity who are probably more militant and lawless than the KKK. They would be perfectly capable of a similar type of attack. So it’s not that outlandish an association regardless of how fictional the name.

plethora's avatar

@Buttonstc Yes I understand “hypothetical” as well as “condescension” . Pardon me for not reading the entire thread. And my apology to @kevbo

“claiming the name” is vastly different from “actually being a part of”. It would be good to understand the actual basic beliefs of Christians before you start tagging every group you dislike with the Christian tag.

SuperMouse's avatar

@missingbite you say a couple of miles is far enough. What if the grieving families you consistently refer to as part of your reason for not wanting this disagree? What if they don’t want it anywhere on the island of Manhattan? Does that make them racist and intolerant and make you begin to feel they are being unreasonable? I believe that if we are going to base the zoning of this area on the feelings of those who lost family members in the attacks we need to base it on the feelings of all of them. I’d be willing to bet that the Muslims who lost loved ones would like having a Mosque nearby.

To all of those opposed to the Mosque, what type of building/business would be the proper fit for this spot? An office building? A Duane Reade? Maybe apartments?

@missingbite, also, I may be a rare breed, but I have no opposition to a house of worship being built on or near Ground Zero, but I do not think that “under God” has any place in The Pledge of Allegiance. ...and even though I have said this before I will say it again, though I am not Christian I am a theist.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I am unalterably opposed to anyone building a mosque near or on “ground zero.” If some group CALLING itself “christian” had comitted the same or similar terroist acts as Mohammadans committed on 9/11, I would be unalterably opposed to them as well. Construction of a religious building on the site where atrocities were committed by others acting under the same religious banner is insensitive in the extreme, something even all the PC Pea Brains should be able to understand.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I could care less.

missingbite's avatar

@SuperMouse I can’t speak for anyone but myself. I have stated a couple of miles is enough. Let’s cross that bridge when and if we get to it. You are correct some will never be happy. Since you are willing to bet that the Muslims would like a Mosque near Ground Zero, fine. There already are several in the “area”.

Buttonstc's avatar

@plethora

What gives you the impression that I’m the one who is “tagging” a group as Christian?

This is how they self identify. This is a label they willingly and obnoxiously claim for themselves. I Can disagree with the accuracy of that label all I want to (and I do) but that won’t change popular misconception that they are Christian because THEY THEMSELVES publicize that way. And that’s how the general public perceives them. It’s all over their websites and literature. Doesn’t matter a bit if I deny their accuracy. Doesn’t make a dent.

I’m quite well aware of what Christians believe as well as what several specific denominations believe. Why would you assume I don’t ?

If anyone jumps head first into the middle of a thread on a complex controversial issue without bothering themselves to take the time to read and comprehend the positions and statements of the various participants, they shouldn’t be surprised if they get things Bass-Ackwards.

And when that results in a condescending attitude toward a person for something they didn’t even say, [ @kevbo. I know you’re smarter than this so I will comment gently ] perhaps they shouldn’t feel quite so wounded and defensive when they are corrected about it.

Had they taken a few extra moments to read accurately, the entire situation could have been avoided. Just a handy little tip.

I can understand people not necessarily reading the rest of a thread if they just make their own comment involving themselves only, but I can’t understand dragging others into it because they choose to read carelessly.

Why not either read the thread or skip if you don’t want to read that much and find one with fewer responses?

SuperMouse's avatar

@missingbite a couple miles is ok based on what? Also, if there are already several in the area, why take issue with this one?

missingbite's avatar

@SuperMouse I just pulled it out of thin air. Manhattan is only what 8 Miles long. Two miles away seems reasonable to me. As I have said, it may not be reasonable to some. I guess we will never know because the Imam in charge doesn’t care what the protesters say. He has a right to build good will with this Mosque and he doesn’t care if we don’t like it. Seems contradictory to me but that is the way it goes.

I can say for sure, I don’t want it in the building where debris from the planes were found.

Buttonstc's avatar

@SuperMouse

The entire issue of “how far away would be far enough?”
is basically a red-herring which unfortunately detracts from the real issue.

That issue is the insensitivity being displayed by those erecting this building. They are determined to build there regardless of whom it affects. And I’m not saying that they don’t have the legal right to do so.

What I am saying is that if the intent were peaceful as representing a religion of peace and love, (regardless of whether Christian or Muslim) they would automatically have compassion and offer some type of olive branch to those being hurt and work out a compromise which works all around. I have no idea what that would look like as far as distance or whatever.

But do you honestly think that if they approached this issue in the spirit of peace and compromise that some solution could not have been reached.

Whether the group were Christian or Muslim matters little. Their attitude does. And I’m not impressed by the intransigence being displayed. That’s hardly typical of a religion of peace and compassion, is it?

The distance question pales in comparison to the attitude question.

missingbite's avatar

@SuperMouse My point is this. Look at the website for the Cordoba and read the mission statement. Then explain to me how this is going to be “steering the world back to the course of mutual recognition and respect and away from heightened tensions.”

This Imam and group are either the most insensitive group of people or as I suspect, truly don’t care. Did they even offer to talk about moving or delaying the ground breaking from the anniversary of September 11th?

SuperMouse's avatar

@Buttonstc when we are considering the lack of sensitivity are we including the insensitivity displayed by those who shouted down the mosque’s backers at a community board hearing on the topic? FYI, I did a quick google search and as far as I saw there are no reports of anyone approaching these folks in the “spirit of peace and compromise.” If you have found anything to the contrary I would appreciate a link. I see a lot of hatred and bigotry projected toward the planners, no desire for peace a compromise, merely a desire to get their way.

@missingbite we are certainly doing nothing to build mutual respect by flat out insisting that their faith is too radical, or too whatever, or by association too guilty of the WTC attacks to allow them to build a house of worship.

missingbite's avatar

@SuperMouse I think we have all stated REPEATEDLY they can build a house of worship. We simply don’t like the LOCATION.

Look at it this way. I decide to build a fence in my backyard that stands 45 feet high and I have the legal right to do it. Now, my neighbor doesn’t want it because it blocks his view of the lake. I want to live in this house and have a good relationship with my neighbor. In fact, I am building this fence to keep criminals out of our neighborhood. I honestly think I am doing the right thing. Regardless of how my neighbor goes about disagreeing with me, the neighborly thing to do is talk to him and see if we can come up with a solution. After all it is me who is building.

That is not what is happening here. Some have disagreed with the building and we are called bigots. And the building continues.

Buttonstc's avatar

@SuperMouse

In the article itself it states:

“Some audience members preached tolerance for the Muslim leaders”

But this entire thing has gotten way out of hand all the way around. And now with Pat Robertson inserting himself everything will be more inflamed Ugh

This whole uproar has been going on for years.

The scenario of which I spoke could have yielded results in the beginning. Was it the responsibility for the victims to offer an olive branch then? I mean years ago when plans were first announced. It’s their sensitivities which were being trampled upon and ignored so I’m trying to figure out how that would work.

OK Lets blame the victims. It’s their fault they can’t get over their grief. It’s way past time to move on. Their feelings are standing in the way of progress. How does that work?

Do you think that if they had been listened to——-truly listened to years ago that tempers would be at the boiling point now?

I’m not saying their actions are fine and dandy. But they realize that this building is likely going to happen (beginning on the anniversary) and they are totally frustrated at having no power to change it.

My basic outlook on this is the same skepticism of motive on the part of whoever is financing this.

The plain fact remains that if the peaceful Muslims were truly in charge, they would have reacted with compassion for the sensitivities of the grieving when they were first voiced years ago. If they were truly acting in peace they would have bent over backwards to be transparent in the financing and willing to compromise from the beginning out of respect for the deceased and their loved ones. Not because they had to. Because they WANTED TO. The fact that they didn’t want to leads me to question everything about this deal.

Their CONTINUOUS blatant insensivity and secrecy regarding the financial connections leads me to think that there’s much more to this than meets the eye. There are likely hidden agendas on the parts of those operating in secrecy, most likely the radical element.

If peaceful Muslims were really at the helm these issues would have been peacefully settled years ago. Not because someone was forcing them but because peace and compassion compelled them. That’s just the plain truth.

Those would be the attitudes and actions of a religion of peace regardless of what name they go by.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

“If the 9/11 attackers had been radical christians…”, it would have been televised, from inside the airplane with a 1–800 number at the bottom of the screen telling us where to send our money.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Buttonstc wow, interesting idea about blaming the victims. Incredibly off base, but interesting still.

@missingbite and @Buttonstc I believe it is wrong headed and narrow minded to prohibit the building of a mosque a couple of blocks from Ground Zero. You believe it is wrong to allow the building of a mosque a couple of blocks from Ground Zero. Let’s agree to disagree and be done with it.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@plethora Any Muslim could say the same about Al Qaeda – they are just a group of radical haters, and people should not be deceived by their quoting the Qur’an. Every religious group has a radical element that perverts the teachings of that group, but that is not grounds to say your interpretation is the true one and they are not part of the group at all.

saraaaaaa's avatar

I have not had time to read every response so this may already have been mentioned, but I personally believe that the people commisioning this building and wanting it for use should have an awareness of the situation. Although not everyone of every religion may take the same extremist measures to carry out such actions, (I don’t know if anyone is aware of Irish history with regards to religion or not but I feel it is relevant here) these people should still out of respect to everyone else chose not to build it so closely.
Christian, Islamic, Buddhist…whatever religion you are, respect is still important and these people shouldn’t chose to build a temple to the very thing that inspired the attack due to the sensitivity and out of thoughtfulness to their fellow man.

Buttonstc's avatar

@SuperMouse

Obviously our viewpoints are different. I just want to clarify one thing.

I have never stated that I want to prohibit the building there.

I have made it chrystal clear that I feel that prohibiting them sets a bad precedent. Obviously they have the legal right to build there. Prohibiting them from doing it is never what I have advocated.

I feel that they should have had enough consideration for the sensitivities of the grieving survivors to have been willing to work out some type of compromise EVEN IF it might mean a different location. Closer but not that close.

That is not prohibition. That’s peaceful compromise.

They have consistently been totally insensitive to the feelings of those who lost loved ones there.

THAT is what has me questioning the motives and wondering who is really in charge.

Scheduling the groundbreaking ceremony for the anniversay was the icing on the cake.

That’s just a giant Eff-You to the US. (as if there were no other available date and they are clueless as to how hurtful this would be) yeah right.

Obviously your viewpoint is different which is your right.

I find the idea of outright prohibition as distasteful as do you do. On that we are agreed.

plethora's avatar

This is why a mosque should not be built at ground zero or anywhere else, including the sudden demand for FOUR mosques in a well known southern city of 1.5 million.

Remarks by Geert Wilders

The Europe you know is changing. You have probably seen the landmarks. The Eiffel Tower and Trafalgar Square and Rome’s ancient buildings and maybe the canals of Amsterdam. They are still there. And they still look very much the same as they did a hundred years ago

But in all of these cities, sometimes a few blocks away from your tourist destination, there is another world, a world very few visitors see – and one that does not appear in your tourist guidebook. It is the world of the parallel society created by Muslim mass-migration. All throughout Europe a new reality is rising: entire Muslim neighbourhoods where very few indigenous people reside or are even seen. And if they are, they might regret it. This goes for the police as well. It’s the world of head scarves, where women walk around in figureless tents, with baby strollers and a group of children. Their husbands, or slaveholders if you prefer, walk three steps ahead. With mosques on many street corner. The shops have signs you and I cannot read. You will be hard-pressed to find any economic activity. These are Muslim ghettos controlled by religious fanatics. These are Muslim neighbourhoods, and they are mushrooming in every city across Europe. These are the building-blocks for territorial control of increasingly larger portions of Europe, street by street, neighbourhood by neighbourhood, city by city

Winters's avatar

Near? No. On ground zero however would be a different story.

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.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@plethora
Geert Wilders is a extreme right wing jingoist Dutch Parliamentarian of the minority party PVV who is also divisive and racist. These facts are well accepted in the Netherlands and he has been marginalized after attempting to incite riots in major Dutch cities through a propaganda campaign of speeches and films proceeding the murder of van Gough by a lone Arab that has since been deemed insane. The Dutch find him abhorrent, except for the few neo-Nazis, feeble minded and ill informed constituents that make up his following, and he is considered an embarrassment and a joke by the government of the Netherlands and the majority of it’s people.

The African and Middle Eastern communities he describes are a direct product of colonialism. The fact is, if western corporations, with the full backing of their governments, had not stolen the natural resources of the countries from which these people originate by force and duress through militarism and the installation of despotism, guaranteeing poverty for the citizens for generations to come, these people would have no desire to leave their homelands and their culture for European ghettos.

This legacy is a lesson to all empires: Just deal straight, or not at all, because it’s cheaper that way.

And now, today, these countries have a problem. But the problem lies less in the incursion into these neighborhoods of radical Islamic groups such as Al Qaeda, but rather the disparity of representation, income, education and opportunity common to all ghettos that, out of desparation, creates an attraction to these radical groups.

Once again, the Right purposely misdiagnoses the problem, appeals to the baseness of society rather than the better angels and, at least in among the intelligent citizens of the Netherlands, once again embarrasses itself.

Plethora, please don’t import Widers’ bullshit here. We already have Glenn Beck.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus _“the problem lies less in the incursion into these neighborhoods of radical Islamic groups such as Al Qaeda, but rather the disparity of representation, income, education and opportunity common to all ghettos…”

I get your point. I also get @plethora‘s point. You are both right to a degree. I also appreciate your attempt to debase Geert Wilders. It’s a common debating tactic to divert the attention away from the comments, and instead place the attention onto the man who makes them. You never denied his comments. In fact, you practically agreed with him by offering your reasoning as to why things are as Wilders says they are.

May we then use that as common ground for the two points of view? Doing less would be leapfrogging over one issue just to make a point about another. Let’s try and find some degree of common ground and take this discussion further still.

I completely agree with you that the Western mindset has been one of aggressive and oppressive imperialism. It is seeded not only in our government policies of exploitation, but right down into the hearts and minds of every American child currently in nursery school who is taught to sing the “I am special, Look at me” song. It’s vulgar what we teach our children from the very earliest ages. Our American sense of self entitlement will be our undoing, and I propose it is the source of most of our biggest cultural problems today.

However, “the disparity of representation, income, education and opportunity” that you speak of is NOT so “common to all ghettos”. There is a vast difference in the communities of Muslim fundamentalists. They don’t want the education that is offered by the communities that they’ve migrated to. They want to foist their education and their values UPON the communities they’ve migrated to. Big difference, because upon that education, the “representation, income, and opportunity” rests.

Buttonstc's avatar

@Austinlad

I listen to Fareed Zakaria’s program frequently because, like you, I find him to be an iltelligent and thoughtful person.

I not only read the brief article linked but also the full text of his letter as well as Abe Foxman’s letter to him. There were also links to others’ takes on his decision.

The letter from ADL made a clear statement that they strongly opposed the racist sentiments against Muslims being trumpeted by some.

Interestingly, their position was rather similar to much of what I stated.

I can understand Zakaria feeling it necessary to take the stand which he has. I’m sure that he gave it careful thought and went with his heritage. No surprise there. (Im a little surprised at no previous dialogue with Foxman, however, as it’s obvious they aren’t strangers to one another)

He is willing to accept their noble intentions as stated without questioning any possible hidden agendas as others have.

He is apparently untroubled by the secrecy surrounding funding in the same way the ADL is.

The one statement of his that gives me pause is when he states that if this center was being built in another country the US govt. would be solidly behind it and most likely funding it.

That might very well be true but has absolutely nothing to do with this situation two short blocks from the worst attack on our country. Kinda misses the point completely. Sounds good but totally beside the point.

Would the US be willing to fund a similar building two short blocks away from the US. Embassy in Mogadishu, another terrorist target. It is another country but somehow, i seriously doubt it.

Or how about across the street from the Marine barracks attacked by a truck bearing explosives killing them in their sleep. Would the US fund a Muslim building there? It is another country, after all.

It’s the painful memories attached to this location which are the issue and projecting what the US would or wouldnt do in a foreign nation has no bearing on this issue.

I have no idea what he was attempting to do with his statement other than distract from the issue at hand.

In similar articles from that link, they kept lumping in anyone not vividly enthused about this project with the likes of Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin and other conservatives. Good grief.

I am certainly not a conservative. I choose my issues one at a time. And just because those two dimwit haters and Robertson are opposed to this project doesn’t automatically make me one of them. As if liberally minded people can’t have qualms about the hidden agendas on this project. Give me a break.

missingbite's avatar

@Austinlad I stated in the other link this:

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?

Buttonstc's avatar

@RealEyes

Excellent points and logically stated. Ad hominem attacks do notthing but try to obscure the issue(s) at hand.

That link from Plethora was disturbing but basically correct.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus “This legacy is a lesson to all empires: Just deal straight, or not at all, because it’s cheaper that way.”

I’m trying very very hard to not let that comment enrage me. It verges upon approving of the 911 attacks. With respect to your point of view, and all radical Muslims who wanted to teach us a lesson, may I respond accordingly that the US Military presence in the Middle East is likewise a lesson to be learned… That being, if you kill thousands of non combatant citizens and shut down our economy and air traffic on our own soil, that we will come to your home and FUCK YOU UP for decades to come.

Any questions?

Now, perhaps if both societies stopped trying to teach each other lessons, and actually expressed care and concern for the well being of the other, perhaps then we could actually learn something from these so called lessons. But as long as the American people feel self entitled to the world resources, and as long as there are violent religious fundamentalists who deny even the equal rights of their own peoples, and expand those ideologies to justify passing self righteous morality judgments upon other cultures, then no lessons will ever be learned by anyone ever.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

This is why I earlier suggested an open multi-cultural center. One that embraces all world views and promotes the reasoning behind becoming familiar with all of them in an environment that is specifically established to encourage that very goal.

Get rid of all secrets and private agendas. Create an open market where foods and fashion can be shared and appreciated. Have open forums where people can state their positions with no fear of reprisal. Free the voice for all, open ears, and respect one another.

If the plights of the Muslim nations were truly understood by the American peoples, we would be the first to respond as the largest charity and equal rights supporters in the world. Unfortunate that we are so consumed with the image of extremists. That’s our own fault for buying into adhoc media frenzy, and also the fault of the Muslim peoples themselves for not setting upon a campaign to educate us properly about their plight.

Free the voices to speak their minds in an environment specifically created to encourage such activities. The voices will be heard. With our ability to self publish the events on the web, we wouldn’t even need the common media to muck it up. Encourage real deep seated dissertations from the most reasoned members of each community. Break the Americans from their hunger for clever rhyming sound bites that feed frenzy and individual agendas.

Austinlad's avatar

@missingbite and @Buttonstc, thank you for the excellent feedback. I’ll chew on it.

plethora's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus So I have read about Wilders. A pity he is treated that way in his own country. He is treated much better in the USA. But then we do not yet have the excessive Muslim population that can influence opinion against him….YET!!.

I think he makes a helluva lot of sense. In fact, when reading his address, and other comments about the Muslim situation throughout the world and especially Europe and the US, I could only think of Patrick Henry’s The War Inevitable

Kraigmo's avatar

I could understand the debate if this mosque was actually going to be built on ground zero. Because then you could arguably make the case that you are rewarding retarded Islamic fundies by giving a mosque on ground they destroyed.

But… it’s being built near ground zero. So who the hell should care?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I the hell should care. And I the hell do care.

plethora's avatar

@Kraigmo The point of impact was ground zero. The entire city of NY was attacked, many still suffer from physical infirmities that will kill them long before their time. Further, the entire city felt the emotional attack and still live with. THEREFORE, any place within a thousand miles of NYC is too close. The fact that it is on American soil at all is offensive. There should be a law prohibiting the construction of ANY mosque anywhere in America. The Jihadist lost that privilege for themselves and for all who call themselves muslims. That’s my position.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@plethora “There should be a law prohibiting the construction of ANY mosque anywhere in America.”
I thought the United States was founded on ideals of religious freedom.

plethora's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh That it is, but those ideals should not be available to those who use our freedoms to subvert them. We are dealing with an enemy. See my post above re address by Geert Wilder.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

If the Extremists hold all American citizens accountable for Governmental policies which are propped by Corporate interests, then why not hold all Muslims accountable for the aggressions of their Extremists?

If they want fairness, then let’s be completely fair. There is no other Extremist group on the planet claiming to be doing the work of God that has changed so much industry and way of life through violence and oppression. Oust the Radicals! Why aren’t Muslims protesting in the streets of every nation on earth against their own Extremists?

Why?

Because they are either afraid, or they are subconsciously in favor of the message. Neither reason is tolerable in any way. But we let them have their way nonetheless.

Was it C.J. Chesterton who spoke of “Men without Chests”? I fear we are a People without Will. There is nothing to concern ourselves with as long as cable television hypnotizes the masses with Family Guy fart jokes. Carry on… Carry on…

BarnacleBill's avatar

Here’s a link to the Cordobia Initiative that is spearheading the project. They appear to be focused on stabilization of the religion.

To say all muslims should be treated as extremists is to say that all Catholics would fire-bomb abortion clinics if given half the chance.

missingbite's avatar

@BarnacleBill You must have missed my previous post where I linked that website so I’ll ask you here. If the “project” is focused on stabilization of the region as you put it, how is that going to happen when the whole “project” is being started under horrible duress of most of the victims and millions of Americans? Please read the entire thread and you will see my explanation of this in further detail.

@Kraigmo There are many who feel it is Ground Zero. I have said it before but it is worth repeating. The landing gear of one of the planes that hit the towers fell into this exact building. Not next door, this building. To me this building is being chosen for a reason and it doesn’t have a lot to do with building stabilization.

BarnacleBill's avatar

@missingbite, I did miss your previous post, and apologize. I am part of the 20% of the US population that has a link to the victims, although I’m not in NYC. I think there is a correlation between the “normalization” of US relationship with Germany and Japan after WWII. Perhaps that’s different because we “won” something concrete, and as a country, the US is all about good sportmanship and being a gracious “winner.” In this case, we are not a winner, because the contest is not one clearly defined or one in which the old rules apply.

Prior to September 11, no one would have given a second thought to a mosque going in at that location. Prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, no one would have given a second thought to their next door neighbor

I perceive the mosque as an attempt at initiating normalization. Like the first date after your spouse dies, it’s awkward, your kids hate the idea and hate you. But eventually, you do move on, date, perhaps even remarry. That doesn’t change the fact that you loved your first spouse and think about them every day. Eventually, you do have to restore a certain level of balance if you do have to survive. The United States existence came about because of freedom from religious persecution. Is that not still valid characteristic of US national identity? Because if it’s not true, then that’s a radical realignment of national values, moving towards a state of religious totalitarianism.

plethora's avatar

@BarnacleBill You do not understand Islam. It is not a religion. It is a political ideology, a totalitarian ideology. And you are suggesting cozying up to it. Excuse the long quote, but it is necessary to explain the above.

Address by Geert Wilders
Allow me to give you a brief Islam 101. The first thing you need to know about Islam is the importance of the book of the Quran. The Quran is Allah’s personal word, revealed by an angel to Mohammed, the prophet. This is where the trouble starts. Every word in the Quran is Allah’s word and therefore not open to discussion or interpretation. It is valid for every Muslim and for all times. Therefore, there is no such a thing as moderate Islam. Sure, there are a lot of moderate Muslims. But a moderate Islam is non-existent

The Quran calls for hatred, violence, submission, murder, and terrorism. The Quran calls for Muslims to kill non-Muslims, to terrorize non-Muslims and to fulfil their duty to wage war: violent jihad. Jihad is a duty for every Muslim, Islam is to rule the world – by the sword. The Quran is clearly anti-Semitic, describing Jews as monkeys and pigs.

The second thing you need to know is the importance of Mohammed the prophet. His behaviour is an example to all Muslims and cannot be criticized. Now, if Mohammed had been a man of peace, let us say like Ghandi and Mother Theresa wrapped in one, there would be no problem. But Mohammed was a warlord, a mass murderer, a pedophile, and had several marriages – at the same time. Islamic tradition tells us how he fought in battles, how he had his enemies murdered and even had prisoners of war executed. Mohammed himself slaughtered the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza. He advised on matters of slavery, but never advised to liberate slaves. Islam has no other morality than the advancement of Islam. If it is good for Islam, it is good. If it is bad for Islam, it is bad. There is no gray area or other side

Quran as Allah’s own word and Mohammed as the perfect man are the two most important facets of Islam. Let no one fool you about Islam being a religion. Sure, it has a god, and a here-after, and 72 virgins. But in its essence Islam is a political ideology. It is a system that lays down detailed rules for society and the life of every person. Islam wants to dictate every aspect of life. Islam means ‘submission’. Islam is not compatible with freedom and democracy, because what it strives for is sharia. If you want to compare Islam to anything, compare it to communism or national-socialism, these are all totalitarian ideologies

This is what you need to know about Islam, in order to understand what is going on in Europe. For millions of Muslims the Quran and the live of Mohammed are not 14 centuries old, but are an everyday reality, an ideal, that guide every aspect of their lives. Now you know why Winston Churchill called Islam “the most retrograde force in the world”, and why he compared Mein Kampf to the Quran

@missingbite this building is being chosen for a reason and it doesn’t have a lot to do with building stabilization

Agreed. And the sudden push in a major southern city of 1.5 million for the construction of FOUR mosques.

cockswain's avatar

@plethora It is absurd you are so anti-Islam yet pro-Christian when many of the intolerances are just reversed. Look at this:

“The Quran calls for hatred, violence, submission, murder, and terrorism. The Quran calls for Muslims to kill non-Muslims, to terrorize non-Muslims and to fulfil their duty to wage war: violent jihad. Jihad is a duty for every Muslim, Islam is to rule the world – by the sword. The Quran is clearly anti-Semitic, describing Jews as monkeys and pigs.”

Are you not aware of all the historical Christian parallels? Anti-semitism in Christianity is off the charts. Read Constantine’s Sword, or watch the documentary. I live near Colorado Springs and it is very difficult for a Jew to get through the Air Force academy.

Plus for you to state mosques shouldn’t be allowed to be built in the US exposes you to be the same sort of freedom suppressing dog you condemn the Islamists for being. Why should a church or temple be allowed but not a mosque? This is flagrant hypocrisy, or just selfish hatred.

JLeslie's avatar

I, like @Buttonstc, am not happy they are not willingly showing where all the funds are coming from, as I stated in my first post near the very top of this thread.

But, something occured to me as I read through the latests posts here. Many people think of Al Qaeda as a radical Muslim group. @FireMadeFlesh made a great point that Muslims could say the same thing about Al Qaeda as Christians say about the KKK (and just as a side comment to try to dissasociate that the KKK are not proud to be Christians is simply not accurate and they do not just hate people based on race; I am white, can’t get much paler, with medium brown hair and blue eyes, and since I am Jewish I am pretty sure they would prefer me to leave the country). Anyway, I was thinking, good, honest, peaceful Muslims may feel absolutely no relation to these radical Muslims. If a group of Jews started bombim Christians churches, I would not feel related to those crazy people at all. I would have feeling of, “shit, now other people are going to related Jews with that murderous criminal activity.” But my synagogue would have nothing to do with that nutty extreme group. I would however want Jews to speak out in condemnation of the radical group. I wish more Muslims would do that.

I had heard that there is 500,000 Muslims in NYC, I tried to do a google search and this http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/demographics/20080212/5/2431 in 2008 says the city is 3.7% see table at the middle of the page, which if the city has aroun 8 million would be more like 300,000, either way a significant number. I don’t see how @plethora can even try to suggest NYC should not have any mosques’ let alone all of America. And for that matter we do let the KKK have their little clubs and demonstrate if we use the analogy on this thread. Should we make that illegal too? And, all of Chistianity take down all of the churches since the KKK claims to be Christian.

@plethora You are, from what I can tell, the type of Christian who takes their religion very seriously, nothing wrong with that, and maybe as extreme as thinking the bible is the literal word of God, and look to the bible for spefic guidance, you can correct me if I am wrong. There are many many people who identify with a religion, but are not so literal. You probably know a bunch of Jews on fluther who are athiests, I know Catholics who use birth control, and I know Christians who do not prosylitize, and on and on. There are also Muslims who do not take one crazy sentence from their religious book and think they have to act on it.

missingbite's avatar

@BarnacleBill I am also part of that 20%. What I believe you and others fail to see is that as the builders of the Mosque, they are the ones that are creating the non stabilization. Sure we have religious freedom in this country. I have said over and over that they have the right to build. I think it is a bad idea. IF they were really wanting to build stabilization, why not build somewhere else and work on mending relationships with the victims. Show them that they truly want to be moderate and accept all New Yorkers and all people of the US. We don’t see that. What we see is….we CAN build in this spot and we ARE GOING to build in this spot. We don’t care if it is hurtful…..it is our right and you better get over it.

On top of that, let’s have the ground breaking on the 10th anniversary of September 11th. How is that going to work for those of us that want to reflect on that day, with a major ribbon cutting ceremony for a Mosque that is shrouded in secrecy two blocks away from a memorial? Who gets the press coverage? Both? If that is not insensitive, I don’t know what it is. Whatever it is, it is not, “steering the world back to the course of mutual recognition and respect and away from heightened tensions.”

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@BarnacleBill The world changed for everyone on that day of 9/11. Americans can no longer go about business as usual. Fine, but I do not suppose to allow Muslims to go about business as usual either. Everything changed that day, for all of us, not just US.

BTW… Catholics are amongst the first to speak out against abortion clinic violence, as are all Christians. And correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m unaware of any abortion clinic bomber training facilities that are run and funded by any US group or on any US land.

Open up the the books… Where is the funding coming from? Why so secretive? Americans feel the heat from the fallout of 9/11 every single day on our own soil. Is it so inconceivable that American Muslims share that same burden of inconvenience with us?

A multi-cultural facility is the only answer. The Muslims should be pleased to be a part of such an all inclusive undertaking. If their message is so pure and their plight so dire, then what better opportunity to express it clearly, sans extremism, than to have a platform on an open forum where every voice is heard, and ever shadow swept away.

Can I get a “Praise Allah!” Brothah…

plethora's avatar

@cockswain Perhaps you missed it. Islam is a political ideaology, not a religion But don’t bother yourself with niceties. You are a true liberal and would be welcome in Europe which is in the process of coming under that ideology to a much greater extent than we. Give it time, and the ideas you profess, and we should move more quickly down that totalitarian path.

As for me, I feel a close kinship with the Jewish faith and with the people of that faith, and also strong support for the nation of Israel. How about you?

@JLeslie There are also Muslims who do not take one crazy sentence from their religious book and think they have to act on it

You are right. But they do immigrate by the millions and once they reach a dominant number (which is nowhere close to a majority) they do not assimilate. Take a look at Europe, UK, etc. They take over the real estate, block by block, and provide (I doubt they have any choice in this) safe haven for the crazy fringe. And a crazy fringe is all they need. The objective of the jihadists is sharia law. They already have it over their own. They want the whole world in subjection or dead. Parents, under sharia law in the US and Canada, have killed their children (honor killings) for infractions as small as wearing western clothes. (Would provide the link, but cannot get to the site right now…later)

JLeslie's avatar

@plethora Well, I have a serious problem with people who do not assimilate into their new countries. I also feel the law of the land is the final word, people cannot hide behind relgiious freedom to commit crimes. I wonder how many Muslims you know? My Muslim friends were and are as American as I am.

cockswain's avatar

@plethora “Perhaps you missed it. Islam is a political ideaology, not a religion”

I noticed after posting I didn’t say Muslim (you know, the mosque builders) but thought, “nah, he’ll get the point and ignore the mistake.” Guess I was wrong!

“Give it time, and the ideas you profess, and we should move more quickly down that totalitarian path.”

Possibly a slippery slope logical fallacy here, not to mention your lack of a crystal ball. What ideas of mine will take us down the totalitarian path? Allowing construction of places of worship? Don’t really see the connection there to totalitarianism, particularly looking at the Nazi model.

I’m glad you found it in your heart to accept some Jews. Good for you for being reasonable in that regard. So why so anti-Muslim to not allow them equal freedom in the US relative to your religion? Of course I have no problem with Jewish people, it’s part of my totalitarian, Europe-loving world view. Do you feel you’ve vindicated yourself of your Muslim bias by having some Jewish friends?

Hating Muslims is as ignorant as hating Christians, Americans, or Jews, and it is pretty obvious where it has led and will continue to lead. You hate Muslims spreading their ideology, they hate yours. Hating each other further does not lessen the problem. All of that sort of thinking on both sides is stupid and short-sighted, and makes me despise any religious extremism.

JLeslie's avatar

@plethora I realized I should have expanded a little bit. My Muslim friends are not very religious either. Which goes back to my point that not all Muslims are following the letter of the relgiious text.

I have seen more Muslims with hijabs on in the southern cities I have lived in than when I lived in FL, NY, and MD. It’s almost like the religious are around the religious whatever religion they are. Myusband is from Mexico, a very Catholic generally religious country, and the Jews down there seem to be all orthodox, well not all perfectly observant, but it is nothing like America where 80% of us are probably reformed (not sure of the actual stat). I blame it on the idea that in Mexico they are reacting to the Catholicism, and in America our diversity and strong ideas of tolerance and religious freedom. If the Christians want to get all upset about Muslims in America, I think it is just heating up the religious war.

JLeslie's avatar

@cockswain @plethora Christians seem to be all excited about Jewish people lately. It in no way shows tolerance in my opinion. It seems to be wrapped up in church leaders saying we are the chosen ones and building the temple to fulfill a prophecy. I have many Christian friends, and we are friends because we like each other, feel a bond, that has nothing to do with our relgiions, but having a kinship with a whole group is a different type of statement. I do make statements myself like I seem to get along with Catholics well, but it is a statement about how they generally live life, and their attitudes, not in some sort of biblical kinship or tolerance.

missingbite's avatar

I’m not going to turn this into an anti Muslim thread but I will say that in my view, Muslims that follow their religion to the fullest seem to be less respectful of Westernized Muslims. In fact, respectful isn’t even the word, it is tolerant. I know that is a broad stroke of a brush and doesn’t fit everyone. But it does seem to fit quite a few more than less.

cockswain's avatar

@JLeslie I do make statements myself like I seem to get along with Catholics well, but it is a statement about how they generally live life, and their attitudes, not in some sort of biblical kinship or tolerance.

Well said, completely agree.

cockswain's avatar

@missingbite I agree with what you’re saying in that all that sort of thinking is totally dumb, limited, and does nothing to further our species. That ignorance isn’t limited to Muslims.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Buttonstc to clarify, if the folks who are proposing this mosque sat down with those opposed to discuss other potential locations you would have to no issue. Correct? Would you still feel that way if no compromise was reached and the mosque was built on the site originally proposed? I am understanding from your comments that you are not as opposed to the location as you are to the insensitivity of the choice to put it there and the date of the groundbreaking. Is this a fair assessment of your stance?

BarnacleBill's avatar

@plethora, by the same token, perhaps “Christian” is not a religion, but an ideology. I have been told that I’m not Christian because I’m Catholic, and have not been “saved” because baptism as an infant doesn’t count.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@BarnacleBill

Consider the source. : )

Buttonstc's avatar

@SuperMouse

The Q you asked is clearly a hypothetical as the attitude has consistently been what @missingbite had succinctly described. “It’s our right to build here and we are going to. Better get used to it.”

And I’m opposed to the location BECAUSE OF THE INSENSITIVITY it displays.

Let’s face it, that specific location is so much more significant to the grieving family members by far. What possible significance could it have to the builders IF their intentions are for peace and reconciliation?

But that’s a huge IF isn’t it now? The fact that they have steadfastly resisted even considering the possibility of another location indicates to me that the “wizard behind the curtain” in this whole deal is most likely a more cynical entity than peace-loving Muslims.

I definitely don’t take the attitude that all Muslims are alike. There are significant differences.

The fact of the intransigent attitude about that location is indicative to me of who is really pulling the puppet strings.

As a matter of fact, let’s take Muslims out of it altogether and return to the original hypothesis of this Q.

If this building were being proposed on this very spot by the fictional UC (United Christians) group claiming no ties whatsoever to the KKKC group responsible for the attacks, could they possibly have any rational reason to insist upon ONLY that location?

If they were offered another facility perhaps 6–10 blocks further away with adequate compensation for any financial differential resulting from the change, is there any scenario where their continued intransigence would be acceptable?

Wouldn’t that cause you to question their assertion of no ties to the KKKC?

With all of the available space and financing available in NYC is moving a few blocks really such an impossible scenario to imagine?

Let’s not get hung up on the exact number of blocks please. That’s not the point.

But even my hypothetical example goes a step farther than the actual one since there never was the slightest bit of opennes to compromise.

Suppose that had been the exact stance of the hypothetical Christian group. They would be termed hypocrites from the get-go. Let’s be realistic here. They would be seen as callous and uncaring about the sensitivities of the survivors. Their Christian compassion would be called into question. Do you doubt that for a moment?

Don’t you think there would be outrage and accusations of ties to the KKKC if they did not offer transparency about the funding ?

Christian groups are routinely criticized in this country for all manner of issues. If this hypothetical Christian group were being this stubborn about building on that specific location, do you honestly believe they could skate by on that?

My point with this is to point out the fact that this location should be of symbolic emotional significance ONLY to a small group of grieving survivors.

No one else has it affecting their emotional lives. Not CNN, not Fox news, not Pat Robertson and not those building there. They could just as easily be in another location. But the ones to whom that location means the most, don’t get a vote.

I’m sure an alternate location could be found IF THEY WERE WILLING.

But they are not. They never have been. A reasonable person has to wonder how this squares with religion of peace. Regardless of what name it goes by.

That location is significant SOLELY for it’s symbolic value. We know why it’s so symbolically valuable to the grieving loved ones.

Why is it symbolically valuable for the group building there?

Think about that. And if you want to answer that it’s not symbollically valuable to them (or LOGICALLY speaking shouldn’t be) then why not consider negotiating for a better deal elsewhere?

Then the only barrier would be money. That’s not too difficult to overcome, realistically speaking.

But we’ll never know if it would have been possible will we? For some cynical reason, the sensitivities of the survivors never factored into the equation. Yes, there were some verbal crumbs thrown out about community center, multicultural bla bla bla…....

But the fact remains that space is controlled by them and they’re going to hold their groundbreaking any damn day they please and Eff-You to anybody who whines about it being hurtful and/or disrespectful. Tough luck.
(of course it’s disguised behind polite PC terminology, but that is the end result)

And if you think there is no symbolic significance of that location for this group, then I have a bridge in Bklyn. that I can sell you at a bargain rate.

cockswain's avatar

@Buttonstc So I didn’t know the bit about the groundbreaking on the anniversary of 9/11, nor did I know they’ve been secretive about their funding, so thanks for pointing that out as those are a couple important details (another valuable thing about Fluther). It occurs to me that what if they had positive intentions at the outset of the location and groundbreaking date, but were then attacked and it changed their attitude? Like maybe they thought, “hey, this will be a symbol of our peaceful resolve and condemnation of the 9/11 attacks” but then they clammed up when everyone was so outraged. Now they don’t feel like being so open.

I have no idea if what I’m suggesting is true, and someone else alluded to it on this thread somewhere. Just food for thought. Regardless, without actually knowing their intentions it is difficult to condemn them. But I agree those are significant details. If they do have good intentions, they should highly publicize them.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@plethora “That it is, but those ideals should not be available to those who use our freedoms to subvert them.”
I totally agree. However that means you should be looking to silence or deport all the fanatical Christians trying to ban gay marriage and influence political parties. That is denying the freedoms of people with alternate religious points of view on purely religious grounds.

plethora's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh Let’s talk sense, ok? Influencing political parties is the way democracy is conducted. Endorsing gay marriage or not endorsing gay marriage does not subvert our government or our basic freedoms. Gay marriage is a preference and those in favor of it have every right to do whatever they want to promote it. Would you prefer sharia? Islam would not only outlaw gay marriage, it would kill (painfully) anyone who claimed to be gay. Gimme a break.

plethora's avatar

This is long but very apropos to the subject of permitting a mosque at ground zero, or anywhere else, for that matter. The Islam I Left Behind by an Iranian who left Islam, or, more accurately, an Iranian who never bought into Islamic crap in the first place.

It is distressing to witness Islam making headway in the traditionally non-Islamic lands. Masses of brainwashed faithful semi-literate Muslims, badly underserved in their own native lands, are moving to countries where the “infidels” welcome them with material offers denied to them in their own homeland as well as the liberty to subvert the very societies that give them refuge

Even more distressing are those good-hearted simpleton non-Muslims who are up in arms defending the rights of Muslims to practice their religion in free societies such as the United States of America. These well-meaning, badly misguided folks don’t realize that practicing Islam requires subverting and destroying any and all non-Islamic beliefs and practices. All one needs to see this deadly aspect of Islam is to examine how Islam is practiced in places such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia, and even the so-called more moderate Islamic states such as Egypt

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@plethora “Endorsing gay marriage or not endorsing gay marriage does not subvert our government or our basic freedoms.”
I beg to differ. It is a basic freedom of every individual to express their love for whomever they wish. For the government to deny them the same status as heterosexual couples on religious grounds is imposing a religious standard on those without the same standards.

Don’t get me wrong here, I do not support Islam in any way, and I too am somewhat worried by its progress into our relatively free culture. My point is that restricting Islam but not radical Christians is hypocritical, and the same standards should be applied to every religion because any other method is discriminatory. I think if we allow immigration from Islamic societies, but only at a trickle and do not allow enclaves to form, then we have a good chance of letting Muslim families adapt to our way of life and see the archaic nature of their ethical codes. Blatant opposition will get us nowhere, but slow immigration and education will improve our relationship with the Islamic world.

Qingu's avatar

@plethora do you feel the same way about, for example, Dominionist Christians, who also live in walled-off cultural bubbles and whose stated goal is to replace the US constitution with Biblical law?

Perhaps you think the US government should outlaw any religious belief that is sufficiently based on the Bible or the Quran?

JLeslie's avatar

@plethora those good-hearted simpleton non-Muslims who are up in arms defending the rights of Muslims to practice their religion in free societies such as the United States of America. As one of those good-hearted non-Muslims I have a line, as I stated above, they don’t get to break our laws or create new ones in the name of their religion, or however they define morality. For me the same is true for the Christians, they don’t get to create new laws based on their moral judgments according to their religion. I don’t like when the Christians in my country want to do it, and don’t worry I won’t like when Muslims want to do it either. We will fight back, not sit docile. It seems in some European countries they have been rather naive possibly (since I am not in those countries I can only go by reports) and I think they have made a mistake. But, there are European countries no figting back, even France, a country I think of as being very Arab/Muslim friendly is fighting back with some laws demonstarting they require more assimilation and conformity.

cockswain's avatar

Holy crap, I totally agree with @plethora! Or at least his pasting of someone else’s writing.

“those good-hearted simpleton non-Muslims who are up in arms defending the rights of Muslims to practice their religion in free societies such as the United States of America.”—this made me think of Fox News viewers.

@FireMadeFlesh Completely agree with you.

JLeslie's avatar

@cockswain What do you mean Fox new Viewers? I Can’t believe you and I are actually quoting the same line from @plethora and disagreeing, or maybe I am just ot understanding your point? I am very tired this morning, No tengo pilas (no batteries).

plethora's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh @Qingu @JLeslie Let’s get religion out of this discussion. We are talking Islam as a political ideology. The “religion” of Islam serves as a cloak for its political idealogy.

As those masses of brainwashed faithful semi-literate Muslims, badly underserved in their own native lands, are moving to countries where the “infidels” welcome them they create a base of operations for Islamic political ideology.

I have no problem with Muslims and their religion (other than it is a violent and abusive religion even to its own people). I do have a problem with the immigration of large numbers of (otherwise good) Muslims, who settle in the US in such numbers that they become an effective power base for Islamic ideology….which is preached by the Imams and carried out by the jihadists (not by the friendly Muslims you may know as friends).

plethora's avatar

@cockswain Why does that quote remind you of Fox News viewers (unless you are talking about the 39% of their viewers who are Democrats)? You will find me and others like me among Fox News viewers.

JLeslie's avatar

@plethora One of the pitfalls of democracy, everyone gets to vote. ~

plethora's avatar

@JLeslie It has been called the Achilles Heel of democracy.

JLeslie's avatar

@plethora And so I guess explains why some are so freaked out about immigration right now, and talk about the country being a Christian White Country. The best way for us to maintain what America is and was meant to be is to be as fair as possible to everyone, so they will embrace our ideals and appreciate them also. So if “they” gain power, they will feel a part of the very fabric of our nation and want to maintain all that is wonderful about our country.

cockswain's avatar

Eh. I was alluding to the fact that Fox News viewers make decisions based on the spread of mis-information, but that was before I’d had much coffee and the tongue-in-cheek comment I made doesn’t seem very clever or even appropriate anymore.

@plethora Off topic, but I’m firmly of the belief that Fox News viewers that stop watching it for a year and switch to outlets like BBC, NPR, PBS, and others will realize they have been duped by a heavily biased media giant. I say this because I myself was similarly duped around 2000–2003 until it was clear to me. Just the fact they still say “Obamacare” is an obvious fact of this. But this has nothing to do with the discussion at hand.

So it looks clear most of us agree that extremist Christians and Muslims are both terrible things. If we call Islam a radical, oppressive political ideology (some may debate that), then we do not want that ideology furthered, and some mosques further that cause. So it remains to be seen if the mosque built near ground zero is one of extremism or peaceful Muslim worship. Not all mosques are places of extremism.

JLeslie's avatar

I am not clear still, is it just a Mosque for prayer and religious services? Or, will it be a place for the community with athletics like a YMCA?

plethora's avatar

@JLeslie GA!!! My thought on immigration is pretty much in agreement with yours, the key being to limit legal immigration to a flow that can be assimilated into the the ever changing fabric of our society. Unfortunately, Congress, in the 60s fell completely off the wagon on immigration and increased legal immigration by 400% (links available, but I have posted this several times), thus totally derailing our assimilation process. What we are seeing now is not “the immigration problem”. What we are seeing now is the results of the “the immigration problem” Congress created and has continued to expand since the 60s.

plethora's avatar

@JLeslie Any mosque can be used by jihadists or jihadist sympathizers. It is not a democratic political ideology that is ruled by the people. It will definitely be ruled by whatever Imam that is in charge of it.

Putting a mosque within a couple of blocks of the most outrageous islamic jihadist attack ever made on American soil is like erecting a shrine to Japan at Pearl Harbor in 1945 and it is an incredible IN YOUR FACE move by the “peaceful” Muslim community of NYC.

Those good-hearted simpleton non-Muslims who are up in arms defending the rights of Muslims to practice their religion in free societies such as the United States of America. These well-meaning, badly misguided folks don’t realize that practicing Islam requires subverting and destroying any and all non-Islamic beliefs and practices

CaptainHarley's avatar

“The best way for us to maintain what America is and was meant to be is to be as fair as possible to everyone, so they will embrace our ideals and appreciate them also. So if “they” gain power, they will feel a part of the very fabric of our nation and want to maintain all that is wonderful about our country.”

This works for most people, but many of those coming here now do not want to be “integrated” into American society, but rather want to remake America into their own image.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@plethora Do you really think no other political ideologies hide behind the cloak of religion? The Catholic Church exerted a huge political influence in the past, and conservative Christians are still controlling your Republican party. The US has repeatedly installed leaders they think are friendly in the Middle East, so how is it any different for Islamic countries to try to do the same in the US? Somehow you seem to think that Islam is unique, and I’m not sure why.

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
JLeslie's avatar

@plethora jihadists can meet anywhere, they don’t need a mosque.

I’m not so sure we are in complete agreement. I am not very worried about immigration, I am more worried about the loud mouth white hateful people.

@CaptainHarley I personally don’t know any immigrants who want to change America. They may want to perserve some of their culture and traditions, but the people I know are grateful to be here. Certainly buy the second generation they are pretty much Americanized. I guess there must be some who don’t want to assimlate, but I think that is the minority.

plethora's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh I have just been out to dinner and have rushed back to my computer to apologize for my above post insulting you. i’m very sorry and do not wish to be contentious. If you do believe what you wrote in your last post re Islam, please do one of two things. Read in their entirety the two links I have posted on this thread. OR, if you don’t care to do that, I will just ignore any further posts from you on this subject.

It really sounds terribly foolish to compare Islam to conservative Christians (or left wing liberals). I’m a conservative Christian, but I do not want to kill you. And I doubt liberals want to kill anybody. Islam as a political ideology would like you and me dead, preferably by painful methods. You and I, my friend, are infidels, and the jihadists want us and all like us dead. Are all Muslims like that? No. But all Muslims are willing slaves of jihadists and its the jihadists that get their way.

JLeslie's avatar

@plethora I’m not sure you ever answered my question, do you know anyone who is Muslim? I know you are trying to separate the religion from Islamic ideology (not sure that is how you worded it?) but I still get this feeling you have a very us and them mentality about Muslims.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

For chrissakes, if its not a horde of Lazy, Violent, Drug Dealing Mexicans invading our land to bankrupt our public services, change our language, enslave our children with their narcotics, make us all papists, and rape our women, then it’s a sinister jihadist fifth-column hiding among us disguised as moderate, god-fearing Muslims ready to rise up at a given signal to bomb our buildings, change our religion, change our national dish to sheep eyeballs, bring down our government and convert it into an insane Islamic theocracy, murder our children and, of course, rape our women.

Don’t any of you see a pattern here? Let me help: WMDs, death panels, teabaggers, “Keep the Government out of My Medicare,” Marauding Mexicans taking over the land, and now our very own Jihad. How many outright lies, how many half-truths, how much hyperbole, how many times do you have to be duped before you realize that these are bloody sideshows to keep you alternatively wringing your hands in fear or wishing to strike out in anger on an emotional roller coaster designed to keep you from bringing the real issues to the polls?

We can afford to be tolerant, we can afford to give the benefit of the doubt, we can even afford to extend the same rights and privileges to all Americans, because we have a BIG STICK.

We have a Constitution that, despite the best efforts of the Christian Right over the last 30 years, guarantees separation of church and state—and guess what? We have a National Guard backed by the most effective military force in the world that are sworn to defend that Constitution on the field—so you don’t have to.

These people bought the land and they can use it for whatever they wish within the guidelines of that specific neighborhood’s codes. That’s the law. And none of you can do a damned thing about it without damaging your own constitutional rights.

JLeslie's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus Of course we see the pattern.

plethora's avatar

@JLeslie Sorry, I did not answer your question. I know two Muslims (casually) and two Buddhists, with whom I do business. That’s it among exotics religions for me. I probably should know a lot more Muslims since we suddenly have four Muslim groups trying to build mosques in my city.

I’m sure I have come across with an us or them mentality on this thread. Both Muslims I know are nice guys. I have no issue with the Muslim people. In fact, I think they, among all people, are the most victimized by their religious and poliiitcal leaders. I give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they are good people and try to follow their religion and lead a good life.

I am no expert on the subject of Islam, so I am willing to change my thinking as I get new information. One thing of which I am convinced, at this point, is that there is a vast difference between the nice Muslims I know (not including the Muslims in NYC who are, I believe, playing our sympathies and good will like a banjo and taking advantage of us) and the leaders of Islam. Without going into more detail, because it is all in the links I posted, Islam wants all infidels dead. I take that threat seriously, but I do not lay any blame at the feet of the average Muslim.

cockswain's avatar

@plethora Sounds like you’ve had a beer and chilled out or something. So you know Muslims who aren’t terrorists. Why do you think a mosque is automatically a haven/meeting place for Islamic extremists?

plethora's avatar

@cockswain Actually, I had a meal and hadn’t eaten much today. Was pretty hungry. But yes, I chilled out. My comments to @FireMadeFlesh were out of order. I appreciate our forum. He did frustrate the Hell out of me, but that’s my fault.

I don’t think a mosque is automatically a haven for Islamic extremists. I think any mosque is a haven if an Islamic extremist wants it to be. This would exclude virtually all mosques on any given day. It also includes thousands of havens all over the world if an extremist wants just one on any given day.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus

You need to study history a bit more. Mass movement of people has been a tactic for overthrowing governments since time immemorial.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@plethora I think you’re misunderstanding me here. I am one of the few people who remain sympathetic to the Cronulla riots, because I think there is a point where tolerance can do more harm than good. I too am worried about the progress of Islam into our society, and find nothing new or surprising in Geert Wilders’ address.

However, I think strong parallels can be drawn between current trends and those of the Colonial era. Although it is a more surreptitious process than, for example, the imposition of Catholicism on the Incas, it bears the same hallmarks of using religion as an excuse to conquer, perform immoral acts, and impose a new society on an old culture.

I have not had the time to explicitly state my thoughts on my previous posts, and have only hinted at what I would like to see, so I will do that now.
1. The same law should apply to everyone, regardless of religion. Murder is murder, whether it was random, targeting an abortion doctor, an honour killing, or specifically killing an ‘infidel’. Rape is rape, whether the victim was wearing a bag or not. Sharia Law has no relevance in legal matters, and religious leaders have no right to pass a judgement of their own.
2. People should pay attention to the rise of Islam, but not naively assume it is an aberration in the world of religion. In Ireland, Catholics and Protestants kill each other. In northern India, Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs kill each other. Islam is just big enough to have made the whole western world their battlefield.
3. Governments should make immigration a carefully managed affair, designed in such a way as to preserve the rights of existing citizens. Immigrants should be systematically dispersed throughout the country so they cannot easily form enclaves and resist assimilation.

60 minutes Australia ran a story last night on anti-abortionists, and the violence they have often resorted to in their campaign. Fundamentalist Muslims may be scary, and there may be a better general feeling towards them amongst the average Muslim than the average Christian feels for their respective radical elements, but I think it is naive to say Islam is the only religion that poses a threat to our culture. 60 years ago it was Nazism, 40 years ago it was Communism, today it is Islam, and who knows what it will be in the next century.
Islam is exactly where Christianity was 600 years ago. In time I am sure Islam will evolve into an amicable docile religion like Christianity is in many parts of the world today, and from there may even evolve into healthy secularism, but that will be many centuries from now. By resisting the spread of Islam into our culture, we have the amazing opportunity to free some people from this oppressive belief system – and I think we should take advantage of that opportunity, rather than declaring a crusade on Islam.

plethora's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh

I realize you are impaled on your historic religiosity model and apparently can see no other view. I, for one, see no parallels whatsoever.

The War Inevitable

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@plethora Of course I can see other views, but when dealing with the problems posed by a religion, is it not best to consider it in the light of what we know about religion? If we were talking about the rise in popularity of female body building, I would talk about history in terms of sport and feminism. But since we are talking about a religion, I choose to talk about it in a religious context.

plethora's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh I’m not talking about a religion. If I have said one thing clearly and expressly, it is that I am not talking about a religion. Therefore, no parallels to religion.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@plethora Okay, lets leave that detail to the side for a moment. I’ve noticed that my comments have frustrated you, but I am yet to figure out why. What do you propose we do about this problem, and what issues do you have with my proposal above? You seem to be concentrating on my religion-oriented phrases, and not responding to those on the actions we should take.

plethora's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh #3 I would certainly agree with. Not that I think there is a snowballs chance in Hell of it actually happening. I believe that Islamism is a clear and present danger and we should focus on all actions which will destroy it. Not destroy Muslims, but destroy Islam as a force in this world.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@plethora No argument there. How do you propose to do that though? I think maybe I jumped to conclusions – too many people who recognise the danger of Islam think we should just start a war, and when we win the problem will be gone.

plethora's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh No war. We would lose. These guys would just as soon nuke us. I’m no authority or expert. I’m just spouting what I have read. UK is neck deep with Islam, having welcomed them with open arms for decades. They now have homegrown UK Islamic citizens who have never left the country, who are doing suicide bombings.

This goes against the grain of our entire PC culture, but drastically limiting Muslim immigration would be a start. Cease acquiesing to their demands (re mosque at ground zero.) I need to think some more about it.

JLeslie's avatar

@plethora I wonder how many Muslims we let in a year? First of all I doubt we ask their religion when they want to immigrate to the US, we probably only evaluate what country they are coming from. I think it is estimated there are 7 million Muslims in the US, if I remember correctly, but that would include American born Muslims, which I think a percentage of them are actually black Americans, not sure if you have a concern about them? Or, just Arab and Persian Muslims?

plethora's avatar

@JLeslie I have no idea how to implement. Immigration policy (or lack thereof) in the US is such a cauldron of insanity. We now have a president who is trying to bend the rules and bypass Congress to get his version of amnesty passed because he knows Congress won’t do it. Even his Democrat controlled Congress. But I digress. I have a CNN Lou Dobbs clip on amnesty. Will post if you want to see it.

JLeslie's avatar

@plethora I am in favor of amnesty generally speaking for the people who have been here for years and years.

cockswain's avatar

Just a brief note because I’m pretty busy:

Because of this whole “Islam is not a religion” topic, I looked up definitions of Islam because that was news to me. Anyways, Islam is generally considered a religion and not simply a political ideology. The most accurate statement I can make after reading several web pages and reading definitions is “Islam is the religion that Muslims practice.” Like Christians practice Christianity, etc… Hope this clarifies a few things because it has caused me some problems since it came up.

JLeslie's avatar

@cockswain Yeah, I don’t see how you can separate the two. The only difference to me is if someone is Muslims/Islamic by identity only, practices only the holidays, very religious, a fanatic, or uses their religions as a reason to kill people. All the religions can fit into that I think? Because in my mind it is more about the person then the religion anyway. Can they be swept away and filled with fear and brainwashing to a point that they will act out against others or not?

Buttonstc's avatar

@cockswain

If you want a littlt more clarity on precisely what he meant by that (altho I’m guessing on this) do a little research on “the narrative”.

There’s an excellent interview by Leslie Stahl of 60 Mins. regarding this with a former radical who woke up and decided to think for himself.

BTW a while back there was a big flap about the fact that CBS refused to air advertising which OPPOSED the GZ mosque. Just to be clear for those skimming. Those who are protesting the mosque (who are often characterized as right wing nuts) wanted to pay money to CBS to air an ad AGAINST the mosque. CBS turned them down.

I’m sure that if Stahl had done the exact same interview except that it was on Fox News, most people would reject it out of hand (even tho this guy obviously knows what he’s talking about).

But the interview was on CBS which refused cold hard cash to air an ad from those against
the mosque.

If you really want to know what I meant about cynical interests operating behind the scenes go to the CBS site and find out about “the narrative” or just pop the phrase into Google.

Hopefully someone can post a link. The entire interview is only 15 mins. Im sure that most people who care about this subject can spare that little bit of time :)

Or perhaps not ~

JLeslie's avatar

@Buttonstc I saw that piece done by Leslie Stahl, it was great. I’ll look for it online. 60 minutes has their episodes on their website.

JLeslie's avatar

For anyone who is interested here is the 60 minutes report http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6712259n&tag=cbsnewsMainColumnArea.5

Buttonstc's avatar

@JL

Thanks :)

Once I upgrade to iPhone 4 with the updated OS (containing copy/paste) I won’t have to go beggin’ anymore or be limited to links short enough to be remembered and manually typed out.

:D

But seriously. That short 15 mins. explains precisely what I meant when I said that I’m fully aware that all Muslims are not alike.

I get so sick and tired of the knee-jerk reaction to anybody
with a negative view of this project as being a racist, jingoist, hater of Muslims.

Obviously you understand nuance, but others just automatically assume that anyone not willing to climb on the PC train has to be an ignoramus hater.

That may apply to people like Robertson or Palin, but I care for neither of them nor Republican or Fox “talking points”. I choose my issues one at a time after doing my own research.

When I first saw a reference to the groundbreaking ceremony coinciding with the anniversary of 9/11, that just didn’t sound right. I thought it was an exaggeration intended to be inflammatory. I just couldn’t imagine that could possibly be accurate. They couldn’t PURPOSELY be THAT callous and insensitive.

Imagine my surprise when I found that factual according to reputable newspapers.

As I said, THAT was the tipping point for me on this issue. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, sadly.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@JLeslie Great video, thanks.

cockswain's avatar

If anyone at any point finds some explanation by those building the mosque why they are choosing that date for the groundbreaking, I’d love to read it. Whether they have peaceful intentions or intend to do something volatile and inflammatory may hinge on their rationale. I am giving them the benefit of the doubt at the moment.

Whitsoxdude's avatar

No, it doesn’t offend me that Muslims want to build a mosque near the site. That’s almost like saying you can’t build a Catholic Church near the site of something bad the KKK did.
Although the KKK aren’t quiet as scary as those terrorist groups, that’s the way I look at it.

JLeslie's avatar

I have a question for people on this thread who are ok with the mosque being built. Let’s say It is a group of Muslims building something as a symbol of the destruction of the towers. Kind of like sticking their flag in the ground, having conquered. Then are you still ok with building the mosque on the principle of religious freedom, or that you would not stop a Christian church from being built at a place the KKK had killed people?

tedd's avatar

@JLeslie I don’t think anyone here would be ok with them building a monument to “victory.” But this is a mosque, not a statue commemorating the suicide terrorists. And the idea that these muslims are building it as a symbol of victory, is pretty much summed up as Republican talking point to divert attention from an improving economy.

Whitsoxdude's avatar

@JLeslie I wouldn’t be ok with that, but they aren’t so how does that effect anything? I think you might be a little paranoid.

JLeslie's avatar

@tedd @Whitsoxdude I have Democrat Liberal relatives who never listen to Fox news who think it is very on purpose the site they picked. I supported building the mosque if you read above, don’t suppose my opinion from the question I just asked.

Whitsoxdude's avatar

@JLeslie I apologize, I saw that afterwards.

cockswain's avatar

It would then be a monument to murder in that case, and I’d protest it regardless of any attempt to justify. That has yet to be proven to me to be the case.

plethora's avatar

@JLeslie I agree with your relatives. But how does anyone here know why they are building it. Assuming it is all for peaceful purposes and no ill intent, it is still exceedingly insensitive. I always like to put questionable behavior on someone else to see how it looks. Put mentioning that you like little pigs in front of a Muslim. No ill intent, but highly insensitive because of their perceptions. Same deal here. Talk about pigs in front of a Muslim and you are just an insensitive dumbass. What’s different here?

mattbrowne's avatar

Not when the church is run by moderate Christians. The same applies to a mosque run by moderate Muslims.

cockswain's avatar

On the news on PBS a couple days ago there was a panel of four people discussing this mosque. I learned a bit more: This property was owned by Muslims since before 9/11, and has been vacant for a long time. It is a cultural center, which also contains a mosque. It is a 13 story building, but that is small in comparison to local buildings, so those referring to it as “towering over ground zero” are mistaken. It is a couple blocks away, but we already knew that. They are stating it is a peaceful gesture to the west, which I’ve stated I hoped it would be.

They did not discuss the 9/11/2011 groundbreaking date, which I wish they would have. One of the panel members, who was Muslim, stated he strongly objects to the comparisons of his religion to the terrorist attacks, and he and the group he represents have strongly condemned those attacks as well as all terrorism for years now.

My wife pointed out “no one ever complained when churches were built near the sites where Native Americans were slaughtered.” I thought that was a good point.

plethora's avatar

@mattbrowne moderate Muslims do as they are told to do when the person giving the orders is an Islamist extremist. It amazes me that you (and others) look at this in isolation.

@cockswain You thought that was a good point, huh? How about the fact that happened hundreds of years ago? How about the fact that none of us were living then? How about the fact that Native Americans do extremely well now with casinos all over the country making big bucks and paying no taxes? How about the fact that no one is threatening Native American lives (except Islamic extremists, of course). You and your wife need to have another little talk.

Do liberals connect the dots on anything? World War III started in 1979. Would you like the dots on that?

tedd's avatar

@plethora The point that you completely missed, is that invading Europeans (namely the spanish) slaughtered entire civilizations IN THE NAME OF GOD. Have you heard of the inquisition?

Yet no one raises a hand to complain when a church is put up in Mexico City (the site of the massacre of pretty much the entire Aztec civilization), despite the fact practically the entire populace can draw heritage to those slaughtered there….. The reason being they know it was just greedy Spanish conquistadors, vying for gold and conquest, and NOT the Catholic religion.

We could find more modern examples. How about the last time the KKK bombed some african american based building. They’re a very christian organization. I’ll bet no one complained when they built a church nearby either.

And furthermore, your “knowledge” of muslim people is laughable. Moderate muslims bowing to the orders of the extremists? Maybe in Afghanistan where disobeying could mean losing your head, but here in the US or in other more mainstream nations (even muslim ones like Turkey or Indonesia) that is delusional. Do you even know any muslims? I have worked with and do work with many of them, and they are amazing people who are just like you and I. NONE of them hold any ill will towards us, and despite what you ignorantly believe, the vast majority of them hold no ill will towards us (ask returning soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan, I know a few of them and have heard their stories about how much the general public loves us).

plethora's avatar

@tedd Same answer, just fill in Aztecs and note the fact that none of them are around thousands of years later to be offended.

“How about the fact that happened hundreds of years ago? How about the fact that none of us were living then? How about the fact that Native Americans do extremely well now with casinos all over the country making big bucks and paying no taxes? How about the fact that no one is threatening Native American lives (except Islamic extremists, of course)?

Your last paragraph, I agree with completely. But we are talking about two different things. You are talking about some of the Muslim people. Agreed. I am talking about Islam as a political ideology and the violent objectives it promotes (and they use peaceful Muslims whenever it suits their needs)...and what a great idea to first destroy the towers and kill thousands of people of many nationalities, and THEN build a monument to that act nearby, starting exactly on the tenth anniversary of the attack. But pardon me. Maybe you were only 9 then, and it didnt really mean that much to you, and now you are an enlightened liberal @tedd

JLeslie's avatar

@cockswain Thanks for that info. My mom was wondering who had owned the building previously, so now I can tell her. I wish they had discussed the date also.

cockswain's avatar

@plethora All I can really conclude at this point is you are either not very intelligent or prefer arguing to discussion. I’m going with the latter. Generally (not always) your style appears to be selecting the bit of information with which you do not agree from a post, then ignoring the other points. Sure, you can choose to disagree about the Native American reference, but as @tedd it indicates you’re missing the point about the bias. Then you imply my wife may not be very thoughtful, but I guarantee she is smarter than both of us. And for your coup de grace you say “you liberals” and lump everyone together as being of like mind, which I find insulting, and further indicative of how you like to stereotype people. As you have the Muslims throughout this entire thread.

You never once acknowledged you were off base (and kind of a dick) in not allowing parallel comparisons to Islam and Christianity because they weren’t both religions. No apology, no, “hey, I guess I made a mistake.” You just move on to the next point to attack someone on.

When I have discussions with less or non-argumentative people like @tedd , @JLeslie , or @mattbrowne , I learn things, concede points, and become more knowledgeable about a subject than before. You don’t appear to want to do that, so I’m going to ignore any argumentative posts from you on this website.

You’ve disappointed me in that we can’t have a reasonable discussion. I’d had higher hopes.

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
cockswain's avatar

@tedd in an act of ignorance, for which I blame Fox News, I also voted for Bush. I didn’t know the news was biased at the time. The revelation changed my life.

plethora's avatar

Oh calm down you two. I address the point that seems most egregious, and hopefully the one on which your argument rests. I am in the conservative minority here and I will dismiss out of hand any appeal to all the poor people to whom injustices have been done in previous centuries. Not my problem or anybody elses for that matter. I am responsible for my behavior alone and no one else’s. My own personal opinion about that kind of flawed thinking it that it is, at best, Alice in Wonderland thinking, and at worst, idiocy.

NO, I will not allow parallel comparisons to Islam and Christianity. (or any other religion, for that matter) FYI….Christianity BEGAN doing good for its own and for others. Islam enslaves its own and abuses them (especially women) horribly. Christianity set women free when it came upon the scene. I won’t allow comparison between any religions on here. One very big reason for that. Lot smart people on Fluther, but very very few of them, have any concept of any religion, and especiallhy in is their ignorance abysmal on Christiianity

C’est L’vi

tedd's avatar

@plethora, you apparently have no knowledge of early christians…. And christians up until about a hundred years ago. We may be better than the back water crazy muslims of the world, but we are no saints. We burned people at the stake based on the belief they were witches. Women were not allowed to hold jobs, and that was enforced by the church. Women can’t be priests, women couldn’t rule a country by royal bloodline for thousands of years. Women have been second class citizens in christianity (as in most religions) for most of the existence of man kind.

And for a religion that BEGAN doing good things, they sure have done a lot of awful things. The Inquisition and three Crusades alone would probably account for a few hundred million deaths in the name of god.

And as far as it opening on 9–11, its not a slap in the face, turns out they’re opening it then because it coincides with a Muslim holiday thats based on a lunar calendar rather than our calendar. See link, and stop listening to propaganda from the far right….

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100813/ap_on_re/us_rel_ramadan_sept11

missingbite's avatar

Yea @plethora you should be listening to propaganda from the left instead. Whatever you do, just don’t think for yourself.

tedd's avatar

@missingbite I never said that. But to blindly obey fear tactics by the far right is no better than to blindly believe everything on the far left. The far right = just as bad as the far left = the complete downfall of our country by believing that an entire group of people with different opinions are wrong/evil/idiots/wastes.

plethora's avatar

@tedd I really don’t want to get into a discussion of this on here, and it is off topic. And if you want to skip it, that’s fine. But I’m just wondering where you got your comprehensive knowledge of the history of Christianity? No debate. Wherever you got it is fine. I’m just curious.

missingbite's avatar

@tedd I agree with that and did not mean to say that you do blindly follow the left. I realize now that it could have sounded that way. I apologize. I know you and I see differently on many topics but I can tell from your posts that you are very informed. Not just left. I hope you can see that I am also and not just “right.” Sorry, I couldn’t resist putting the quotes!

Nullo's avatar

To answer the original question which I didn’t the first time around I would not be pleased with adherents to the same denomination – if it were, in fact, that denomination’s doctrine that catalyzed the behavior – building a church near the WTC site.

cockswain's avatar

Well that’s the problem. The Muslim I mentioned on PBS the other day really hates the fact people wrongfully associate his entire religion with terrorism, even though it is a very small percentage of Muslims that do engage in terrorist acts in the name of Islam. It has tricked people in the west into believing that is the typical behavior of Muslims, and they get stereotyped. The guy on PBS is no anomaly.

mattbrowne's avatar

@plethora – I agree that some moderate Muslims lack to courage to speak out against radicals openly. There are very few anti-extremist demonstrations in the Muslim world. Then comes one Danish cartoon and hundreds of millions both moderate and radicals take to the streets. It’s a problem. The silent majority is a problem. They are silent because of fear. They don’t want to get into trouble with the extremists.

missingbite's avatar

@mattbrowne I believe that is part of the problem with the building of this Mosque, “community center.” What is to keep the extremists from yelling at the top of their lungs that they got a Mosque built at the site of Ground Zero?

plethora's avatar

They are silent because of fear. They don’t want to get into trouble with the extremists.
@mattbrowne I agree with you entirely. Thank you for stating the issue so succinctly. And for reminding me of the Danish cartoon.

What is to keep the extremists from yelling at the top of their lungs that they got a Mosque built at the site of Ground Zero?
@missingbite Exactly.

mattbrowne's avatar

@missingbite – In Germany they would get arrested if the yelling included hate speech. We got free speech, but there are some restrictions. I know that many Americans don’t agree with this approach, but over here it’s the law and the majority of our voters want to keep it that way. See

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volksverhetzung

Volksverhetzung (German: “incitement of hatred by the people”) is a concept in German criminal law that bans the incitement of hatred against a segment of the population. It often applies in, though it is not limited to, trials relating to Holocaust denial in Germany.

Although freedom of speech is mentioned by Article 5 of the Grundgesetz (Germany’s constitution), said article basically protects any non-outlawed speech. Restrictions exist, e.g. against personal insults, use of symbols of unconstitutional organizations, or Volksverhetzung. It is a common misconception that Volksverhetzung includes any spreading of nazism, racist, or other discriminatory ideas. For any hate speech to be punishable as Volksverhetzung, the law requires that said speech be “qualified for disturbing public peace” either by inciting “hatred against parts of the populace” or calling for “acts of violence or despotism against them”, or by attacking “the human dignity of others by reviling, maliciously making contemptible or slandering parts of the populace”.

@plethora – All mosques in Germany are being observed by the so-called Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution. Very often police informers are being used. It turns out that more than 99% of all mosques and related community centers are peaceful and law abiding. No hate speeches. Some of the remaining 1% are borderline and they are being watched with extra care. There are cases of foreign imams who got arrested and had to leave our country for breaking our laws. There are cases where entire community centers were closed down and everything in it got confiscated. Sometimes this is extremely useful. This information is shared with the CIA and other secret services and sometimes this leads to arrests of terrorists in other countries.

Why not give the Ground Zero Mosque a chance? Very likely it will be belong to the 99% peaceful ones.

missingbite's avatar

@mattbrowne I didn’t say they were going to yell hate speech, however, they can claim victory in the fact that the Mosque is built so close to if not on Ground Zero. I might want to mention that the Imam in charge of this Mosque has stated that be believes the United States is partly to blame for September 11th and he refuses to call Hamas a terrorist organization. I don’t care what he wants to say about the US, but don’t blame the victims.

He may be part of the so called 99%, but he isn’t acting like that right now. Even if he is, I for one still feel it is very insensitive to the families and victims of September 11th for this to be built. No one has convinced me that ALL New Yorkers will be welcome in this “community” center. I just don’t believe it when I am told that this is to build the gap between Muslims and Westerners.

mattbrowne's avatar

@missingbite – Who are “they” claiming victory?

And an imam who states that the United States is partly to blame for September 11th and he refuses to call Hamas a terrorist organization is totally unacceptable. He is not part of the 99% I was referring to. Is this imam a US citizen? If not, what is his business in the US?

Why can’t this mosque being run by a honorable imam? I would put extreme pressure on this community about who they select.

missingbite's avatar

@mattbrowne The “they” are the extremists. The Imam who stated that the US was partly to blame is Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. The Imam in charge of the Ground Zero Mosque. Below is just a quip of info, you can find more about him if you like. My point is, he needs to take a stance against Hamas and stop saying the US was “an accessory to the crime.”

At National Review, Dan Foster wrote: “When you say that the United States was “an accessory to the crime” of 9/11, as he did, it tends to blunt my ability to pick up the subtleties of what comes after. That interview was equivocal at every turn, and when moral equivalences are trotted out re: 9/11, the tie goes to “your either with us, or with the terrorists.” In other words, we are perfectly entitled to suspect that the “accessories to the crime” bit represents the investment, while the “condemning terrorism” bit is merely the hedge. The editors of the magazine wrote “While he cannot quite bring himself to blame the terrorists for being terrorists, he finds it easy to blame the United States for being a victim of terrorism.”

During an interview on New York WABC radio in June 2010, Abdul Rauf declined to say whether he agreed with the U.S. State Department’s designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization. Responding to the question, Rauf said, “I’m not a politician. I try to avoid the issues. The issue of terrorism is a very complex question… I am a peace builder. I will not allow anybody to put me in a position where I am seen by any party in the world as an adversary or as an enemy.”

New York’s Mayor Bloomberg was asked to comment on whether Abdul Rauf is a man of peace, given his background “where he’s supposedly supported Hamas, [and] blamed the U.S. for 9/11 attacks”.

Bloomberg responded:
My job is not to vet clergy in this city…. Everybody has a right to their opinions. You don’t have to worship there…. this country is not built around… only those… clergy people that we agree with. It’s built around freedom. That’s the wonderful thing about the First Amendment—you can say anything you want.

JLeslie's avatar

A friend of mine just posted this link http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/38731398#38731398 on Facebook, I thought the people on this thread might find it interesting. Shows photos of how far away the mosque actually is and the commentary is interesting whether you are for it or against it. Of course Obermann tends to be very far to the left, but even if you very far to the right you will find it informative I think.

missingbite's avatar

@JLeslie I couldn’t get the MSNBC video to show on my computer. Others may have had better luck. I was going to watch just out of curiosity. I have seen a map though so I know where it is reported to be. There is already a Mosque four blocks from Ground Zero and another one 12 blocks away. Makes me wonder why another is needed two blocks closer in a building that was closed due to damage from the landing gear of one of the hijacked airplanes.

JLeslie's avatar

@missingbite the mosque 4 blocks away is very small, has been there since the seventies if we are talking about the same one. It is not adequate for the population. The proposed mosque is thirteen stories high, top two floors will be for worship, other floors like a community center with basketball courts and other stuff.

plethora's avatar

@JLeslie For every action (and for every piece of legislation, for that matter), there is unintended collateral damage, or results, as the case may be. It appears to me that the muslim terrorists who flew the airplanes into high profile buildings in NYC have, for a very very long time, tainted the actions of their fellow Muslims in that city, whether the fellow Muslims are at fault or not. Tough break for the Muslims who live in NYC. That’s life!!!!

missingbite's avatar

@JLeslie If they have over 100 million dollars to build a new Mosque, can they not find a less sensitive location? Not to mention, does it have to be spearheaded by an Imam who claims the US is an accessory to the crime of September 11th? One who also refuses to call Hamas a terrorist organization? Do these things not bother you at all?

plethora's avatar

@missingbite They bother me!! One might think that the “collateral damage” caused by fellow Muslims would be enough. But apparently not. They have an Imam spearheading it who also likes to insult the US. Gotta love these guys. They get what they earn.

missingbite's avatar

@plethora Me too! So many are hung up on the “right” for them to build that they have forgotten to question “why” they are going to build.

The fact that part of the planes that hit the towers ruined this exact building makes it Ground Zero to me.

plethora's avatar

Here are a few Muslims with a lot more common sense than POTUS.

(Posted on Yahoo News in the event the link fails to work after this date)

Whitsoxdude's avatar

It seems to me that you guys are starting to debate the practicality of this mosque, rather then whether it should be allowed to be built.

plethora's avatar

@Whitsoxdude I would vote for it not to built. However, since the question has been posed, there has been massive news coverage and many views, including the practicality of it given the political statement it makes, per the Yahoo News article in the above post.

JLeslie's avatar

@missingbite I have not heard of these things you state the Iman has said. I am not saying I don’t believe you, I just have no idea the context they were said if indeed they were said. I heard he was helpful after 9/11. If he has made statements that the US is an accessory, I would want to know what he means by that. I wish the mosque was farther away. I saw on Morning Joe this morning that supposedly many New Yorkers are not ok with the mosque being built, and their opinion counts to me, I feel strongly this is a local issue, it does not really matter to me what people in Memphis, TN think (I only pick that city because it is where I live) except for the point of discussion. But, when I see 70% of the country is against it, which I have seen thrown around on tv a lot, I don’t really care. The majority of the country has no idea what NY is like; that from one neighborhood to the next can be a few blocks.

@plethora How long? How long do we hate the Muslims for? Was it ok to hate the Japanese in our country during WWII? There were German-Americans who faught with us against the Germans. There are Muslims in our Army today fighting, who are patriotic Americans. And, is it just Arab and Persian Muslims? Are you ok with Black and Asian Muslims? It seems to me it is not just about location of a Mosque in your statement, it is saying the Muslims are just going to have to accept that we don’t like or trust them right now. Look, I am actually ok with being more suspicious because of the events that have happened. I am ok with racial profiling, all sorts of stuff that might surprise you, but I am not ok with thinking the majority of Muslims are bad people. I think of it as bad people who identify themselves as Muslims. Like when some horrible person says they are Christian, but never acts in a Christian way, he can say whatever he wants.

plethora's avatar

@JLeslie No, not at all, I dont think that the majority of Muslims are bad. On the contrary, I think most Muslims are good people. My point is that when someone who claims to be a part of your religion does a deed like 9/11, the collateral damage is going to extend to every Muslim in NYC and beyond. If you get your name smeared, the wise course is to take action to get it unsmeared. The Muslims aching to build this building seem to want respect and honor without even realizing that their names were smeared by 9/11.

Muslims now are distrusted by all, all across the country. Rather than claiming their religious rights, they should be cleaning the shit off themselves that their Muslim terrorists put their.

A beginning is pointed out in the Yahoo News article on my link.

How long it takes to clear their name is up to them, But building “in your face” mosques is not going to be the way to accomplish it.

JLeslie's avatar

@plethora I did not think you think all Muslims are bad, I must have written my statement poorly. I do understand that Muslims need to realize that people might be a little skeptical or wary. Although, when 9/11 happened I certainly did not feel wary of the Muslims I knew. I understand that this Iman had worked with the city in the past, oficials seem to know him.

I wonder if Chirstians had committed these acts, going with the theme of the original question, if you would feel compelled to do anything yourself to help clear the name of Christians?

plethora's avatar

@JLeslie Without a doubt. I would have looked at it practically as to whether we were rubbing salt into the wounds of those we considered our friends.

For an example, when the OK City bombing of the federal bldg by a so-called Christian Right Activist, I in no way associated myself with him, spoke out and reached out to the needs of the dying and suffering and totally agreed with the search and the capture of the bomber.

It would have been grossly insensitive of me, no matter my rights, to propose to build, even in the victinticity, Memorial to the group that took half the building down with great loss of life.

augustlan's avatar

@plethora But it’s not a memorial. Would you think it insensitive to build a church in the vicinity? Let’s compare apples to apples.

plethora's avatar

@augustlan No I wouldn’t have felt it insensitive to build a church in the vicinity. But (and here I am giving myself much credit which may not be deserved) had the reaction been as vociferous as this incident, I would have rethought it. It’s a matter of perception by the offended party. As bad as the bombing of the federal bldg was, 9/11 was more horrific, by any measure, and had a more widespread effect. Nor did it represent a clash of religious cultures to the public, and the perpetrator was fairly quickly brought to justice, which defused the reaction.This was on Yahoo News last night. Here

JLeslie's avatar

@plethora Muslims have done that. On 9/12 my Palestinian friend and her husband went to donate blood. An Iranian friend of mine at work said it was pure evil to commit such an act. A pakestani friend of mine who I have known since jr high is one of the smartest people I know, I think of her as a person of the world having grown up in America and lived in several European countries. All of these people are as American and good as you and me.

Plus, Muslims were killed that day in the towers.

I still hold it is because Islam is a minority religion in our country that they are so misunderstood and not trusted. When a radical Christian does something horrible we all know many many Christians who are wonderful people, and know not to worry that all Christians are suspect. That is why I always ask people who go on about how Islam is a hateful religion that supports and encourages jihad and murder, do they know any Muslims personally?

tedd's avatar

Its funny because it turns out muslims have been praying on a daily basis in the chapel at the Pentagon… Built in 2002, about 144 feet from where the plane hit the building…. Strangely enough no one has complained yet?

And for a radical Imam the Bush administration sure seemed to like the guy in charge of the mosque in NYC. They sent him numerous times on good will missions to other countries, and Bush’s FBI and CIA used him as an adviser to help fight domestic terrorism.

JLeslie's avatar

Along with what @tedd wrote I understand Bush was the only president to mention mosques in his inaugural speech http://www.nationalcenter.org/BushGeorgeWInaugural.html. I saw a former Bush speech writer say Bush as president never would have spoke out against the mosque in NY no president would.

missingbite's avatar

@JLeslie The Imam in charge made the remarks on 60 minutes to Ed Bradley just after the attacks. It is widely published and you can find the remarks easily. You and I must differ on this being a New York situation. The affects of September 11th affected people all over the world. It was not contained to New York. While the legality of the “right” to build is a New York issue, the concern of the intent to build is everyones. Please explain how this is being built to mend relations between Muslims and westerners if as you state, 70% of westerners don’t want it?

missingbite's avatar

@tedd There is a HUGE difference between a Chapel for all faiths and a Mosque. If you can’t see that, then I’m sorry. We can show this difference easily by finding out if gay Catholics are going to be able to openly use the new Mosque at Park 51 for prayer. I kind of doubt it.

And again with Bush? He was wrong on multiple issues. So what. It doesn’t make what is going on now right. Just because Bush liked this Imam doesn’t mean he should have.

JLeslie's avatar

@missingbite Now it is 70% of westerners? I have not seen that stat. If it was not for the politics and the media coverage people in Alabama would have no idea a mosque might be built, and if they are only listinening to the right wing and there evangelical churches they don’t have a complete picture. Too many people say things like there should not be any mosques in NYC at all. So, it is not that I think all 70% of Americans against it are ignorant or misinformed, but I think there are enough people in that percentage who are, that the stat means little to me. However, I will state again that I am torn on the issue, and I understand many NYers do feel uncomfortable with the idea, which does matter to me. There are many reasons it should be allowed to be built, and reasons why the owners should consider relocating. The governor of NY has stated that there is no legal reason to prohibit the mosque, but he wants everyone to come together and maybe a more acceptable agreement or understanding can be reached. I think his statement goes to why we cannot be angry at those in government for allowing it to be built.

I’ll look for the 60 minutes link.

tedd's avatar

@missingbite Actually the Cordoba house as it will be called will be open to people of all faiths, regardless of their sexuality. The Imam and many of the groups he is part of and has helped found and lead all preach religious tolerance. In fact they’re billing the Cordoba house as a cultural building and a way to show the REAL culture of Islam to the general public here in America… the idea being they can show you that muslims aren’t all evil terrorists and are actually peace loving people with a rich heritage.

missingbite's avatar

@JLeslie I apologize. I used the term westerners and you used Americans. I misspoke. I should have said Americans. Thank you.

missingbite's avatar

@tedd I will believe that when I see it. I can’t imagine in a million years that happening in the Mosque they plan to build. Especially since the Imam in charge refuses to call Hamas a terrorist organization and other statements he has made.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the organizers of the “community center” stated we could put a gay bar next to the Mosque with the following statement. “You’re free to open whatever you like. If you won’t consider the sensibilities of Muslims, you’re not going to build dialog.”

Which sensibilities of the families of September 11th are they trying to build dialog with? Or is it just a one way street in NYC?

Does that sound like gays will be welcome to worship in this Mosque?

tedd's avatar

@missingbite The mosque will encompass a small fraction of the total buiding, less than 1/10 of it. And your quote sounds like its taken out of context. Those two sentences don’t begin to describe what they’re talking about. Maybe someone brought up the point of the gay bar next to the mosque, and asked how people couldn’t be expected to not be upset and protest a mosque being put up near ground zero… and someone responded with that?

You’re letting yourself be jinned up by people who are lying to you. They’ve giving you some anger inducing thing to take your eyes of real issues, and sadly its working.

And yes, having read quotes by the Imam, who has worked with gay community organizers in the past, and supported religious tolerance well before 9/11, and who issued comments ON 9/11 decrying the attacks… I’m pretty sure gays will be welcomed into the cultural center…. Besides its not like they’re going to be polygraphing people to find out their sexuality upon entrance.

plethora's avatar

@tedd @JLeslie Might you share your thoughts about the comments by Muslims on this matter, as noted in the Yahoo News post I have posted twice? They seem to understand that, as in all other things, perception is reality.

tedd's avatar

@plethora I’m going to lunch so quick summary…. I think a lot of them understand the hate some people have, and just wish it would go away. They probably don’t like being clumped together with murders like Al-Queda just because Al-Queda is using their religion as an excuse to murder people (just as I wouldn’t like to be clumped together with the KKK for example). What they seem to understand to me, is that it will just be easier to let it go and give up their rights for the sake of not being put into the spotlight (by people just trying to stir up the pot for their own political gain).

JLeslie's avatar

I Agree too many things taken out of context. If the imam had been asked if it is ok if a gay church, or gay youth center opens nearby it might be a very different question and answer. Christians don’t want bars of any sort next to their churches even in 100% Christian neighborhoods wherbe everyone in the bar is Christian.

Funny, when I first heard about this mosque/community center one of my questions was if they are going to have restrictions on clothing that can be worn. Just this morning on my local news they were reporting on a new christian health center with a wellness center for working out and one thing the representative said who was being interviewed was they have a dress code and tight fitting clothes would not be allowed. What the heck does that even mean in a place you work out in? The gym I go to here I am fascinated that I have never seen someones stomach. In FL we wear bike shorts and bra tops to the gym, and for that matter on the street and in the grocery store if we want to run an errand afterwards real quick.

JLeslie's avatar

@plethora I feel that article sounds a lot like what I have said, I am torn. I remember the article said it might be better not to make such a large center, that I disagree I think it is better that it is a community center, I hope they employ nonmuslims along with Muslims. I agree that I believe moderate Muslims should condemn barbaric acts like stoning, and terrorism.

About commenting on Hamas, I am not so upset that Muslim leaders do not call them a terrorist organization, although personally i think they are and every Palestinian person I am persoannly friends with thinks they are fanatics who hamper the palestinians quest for their own country and a good relationship with Israel. I think it might be more complex then we acknowledge or understand. No matter what they can still speak out when hamas does something they do not agree with, same as americans speaking out against the wars. Like the speech writer for Bush said on The O’Reilly factor that Bush would not have spoken out against the mosque.

Austinlad's avatar

No! Period! For the same reason I oppose not allowing a mosque to be built there. America has no right to preach democratic and moral superiority to the rest of the world if we don’t follow our own founding principles.

JLeslie's avatar

@plethora I meant to add earlier I don’t know how much I would do or go out of my way if a group of Jews did some horrible homicidal act. I would have a moment of crap I hate when my people do anything so heinous but I would also feel it has nothing to do with me or my beliefs and almost feel disassociated from it. It would only be others in society that would put me in the same category as them because we are all the same religion, but in my head they are nothing like me and how I feel and practice or don’t practice Judaism.

plethora's avatar

@tedd @JLeslie Just for purposes of this discussion could we stop comparing every stripe of Muslim to a liberal’s Christian stereotype? (I, for one, would not set foot in the new christian health center just because of the dress code) There is no avowed group of Christians of any stripe anywhere in the world who has declared jihad on Muslims. The opposite is not true. Most Muslims do not support jihad (or so I believe), but they have to live with the fact that a very vocal tangent of their religion does fanatically pursue it.

Here is my own quote from an earlier post. I stand by it.
It appears to me that the muslim terrorists who flew the airplanes into high profile buildings in NYC have, for a very very long time, tainted the actions of their fellow Muslims in that city, whether the fellow Muslims are at fault or not

The Muslims just have to live with that. It’s a tough break, but their own jihadists created the problem and their own jihadists are making life tougher for Muslims all over the world. They do have a problem to work on and it’s not our issue to solve it for them.

JLeslie's avatar

@plethora I tried to use an example of Jews in my last post. I think we talk about the Christians a lot because one, they are the most predominant religion in our country so we have more examples available to us that involve Christians; and two, we feel like very loud Christians in communities and in the media are trying to take away civil rights and inject their religion and so the examples are to show that if we are willing to accept that not all Christians are like that, then Christians should realize not all Muslims are the same. I know you are not one of those Christians who think all Muslims are the same. And, I certainly know people who are Jewish and other faiths who do not want the mosque built there.

plethora's avatar

@JLeslie Both Christians and Jews are going to leave their religious fingerprints all over our society and that’s fine with me.

If there were Christian jihadists flying airplanes into buildings in the US (or any other country), I think I would be smart enough not to petition NYC to let me build a Christian church, community center, swimming pool, bowling alley, exercise center….or anything else Christian within a few hundred yards (or even in the same city, possibly in the same country) as the exact place where the attack took place.

How friggin stupid (or diabolical) could one be? Now that I put the shoe on my own foot, I feel even more strongly about it. I know that if Christians had done EXACTLY the same thing, jihadist attacks and then petitioning to build ANYTHING, absolutely ANYTHING with the name Christian on it, we would be absolutely savaged by the poltical left, by the press, by the religious left, by Obama…..and rightfully so. I really couldn’t blame them, even though I had done nothing wrong.

Tell me I’m wrong on this. Tell me how gently and compassionately every liberal and every atheist and every agnostic would come to our aid, wailing about how wonderful and how helpless and how deserving the poor poor Christians are. Those peaceful people who would do no harm to anyone, who just want to worship in peace and love everyone, and never ever ever treat a woman badly, etc, etc, etc.

They wouldn’t do it, and they shouldn’t do it. If there were Christian jihadists, every Christian would have to pay the cost of being associated even in name with that group. And it would be the job of the Christian community to clean up the mess the jihadists had made. Forget building Christian buildings of any kind almost on the same soil…or in the same city or country.

JLeslie's avatar

@plethora I think they would fight for your right to build a church. They might think it is bad taste as many think about this mosque, but they would fight for your right, and just as many would come forward to say it is not in bad taste as they are for the Muslims in this situation. The liberals, as you are labeling us/them, really get what it is like to be discriminated against, stereotyped, and oppressed, so they rail against it. You don’t like the stereotyping and example made of Evangelical Christians, but I wonder how many, what percent, are pro-life and against gay marriage? I bet the percentage is very high, and so grouping them into that basket is not that unjust. There are other generalizations I can make about the Evangelical far right that would be less true in terms of trying to stereotype people in the group, but would probably still hold true or many in the group, like being against universal healthcare, welfare, gun ownership, not wanting to pay taxes to support public schools, etc. I will vote against them almost every time, not because they are Christian, but because of their ideology which is wrapped up in their religion seemingly, that is where they get it from. And, I would not assume anything about a particular individual, I would always ask their opinion on a topic. I know Christians, some in our collective, who are very religious, but who seem to keep their religion for themselves, and don’t try to control or vote to impose their religious beliefs onto others. I would not label them Evangelical or far right though.

Now, I do see your point. I don’t want you to think I don’t, that maybe the Muslims have to accept or now that the country is still easily moved, saddened, and angry by the event of 911. Maybe more time does need to pass? Maybe the same way Jews didn’t by Mercedes, Porsche, and Ford for many years, and then eventually they did, maybe it is the same idea, that time heals, but it needs to be enough time.

The thing is I have to admit that I like to think the community center would be postive in the community, people using it like any other YMCA or JCC, it would be a great thing. The more Muslims assimilate and become American with each generation the better. The collective has had discussions on Muslims not assimlating in Europe well, and all I can say is all of the Muslims I know are very American. There are other Muslims I have seen that do seem to be kept separate, are withdrawn, but I find that to be a minority in America, and I want them to be encouraged to be part of the many. Sports can be a pathway to this for young people, and school, organized activities. The best idea would be to make a multicultural center there, where all people feel equal and welcome, but hey, I would like that everywhere. My way would be to take religion out of it altogether, others would be to try to include all religions. No reason the prayer space can’t be interfaith. Except that it is Muslims who own the property, and they want it to be a Muslim prayer space.

JLeslie's avatar

@plethora I wanted to add one more thing to my last post. I compared to Jews not buying German products after the holocaust, but the BIG difference is that the Muslims in NY are citizens of our country, or probably the majority are, some might be residents, have green cards. American is first in my mind. Ford was an asshole, nazi sympathizing antisemite; he himself, so boycotting his business made sense too, but I don’t think anyone actively tried to prevent him from doing business by asking the government to prevent him from selling his cars.

missingbite's avatar

@tedd My quote was not taken out of context at all. The entire transcript is available if you care to search for it. The Park 51 tweet was a conversation back and forth and that is the quote. You may not like it but I am not being “jinned up” by anyone. I have done a lot of research on this topic and read both sides statements. The supporters of the Mosque, “community center” just don’t pass the smell test for me an millions of others.

Why can’t supporters of the Mosque, “community center” come out and call Hamas a terrorist organization and why does the Imam feel like the US was a accessory to the crime of September 11th? Nobody wants to answer these two simple questions.

Related to the original question, if a Christen Church was being built very close to where KKK members had blown up a building, and the leader of the Church refused to call the KKK a hate group, people would be outraged! But not in this case.

I am off for a trip and won’t check fluther for a couple of days but I look forward to the continued debate.

Qingu's avatar

“Labeling Hamas a terrorist organization” is a stupid litmus test for someone to be considered a real American.

Hamas is an extremely complicated entity. Also, the word “terrorist” is thrown about by America and Israel in an extremely haphazard and unhelpful fashion, and often applies to their actions. Not wanting to call Hamas “terrorists” is something that millions of non-Muslim Americans do, including myself.

As for the “accessory to 9/11” quote, let’s look at what the man said:

I wouldn’t say that the United States deserved what happened, but the United States policies were an accessory to the crime that happened.

BRADLEY: OK. You say that we’re an accessory?

Imam ABDUL RAUF: Yes.

BRADLEY: How?

Imam ABDUL RAUF: Because we have been an accessory to a lot of—of innocent lives dying in the world. In fact, it—in the most direct sense, Osama bin Laden is made in the USA.

The man is absolutely right. Our foreign policy was an accessory to 9/11, because it directly helped create the animosity that gave rise to al-Qaeda, as well as directly funding the insane Salafi ideology that permeats al-Qaeda because we wanted an ally in the Cold War. If you disagree with his views, you are simply ignorant of the history of U.S. foreign policy in places like Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq.

America is not a fantasyland that can do no wrong. People who criticize America, and rightfully note how our foreign policy has made us less safe, are not un-American or terrorist sympathizers.

plethora's avatar

@Qingu You’re given to believing fantasies aren’t you? Easily miss tricky phrases too, don’tcha?

Qingu's avatar

What fantasy am I believing in?

The guy in charge of Cordoba is a Sufi. Our government is actively using him as propaganda in the Islamic world to show that America is not the enemy of Islam. In what fantasy universe is this guy even remotely comparable to al-Qaeda or terrorists?

Do you even know anything about Islam or Sufism, plethora? I mean, it’s pretty well-known around these here parts that I hate religion (including Islam) with all the burning hatred of my cold black heart, but Sufis?

plethora's avatar

@Qingu Try running that past a few NYC firefighters. See if they can grasp your intricate reasoning.

Qingu's avatar

If NYC firefighters are too ignorant or stupid to understand basic facts about the Cordoba Islamic center, why on earth should anyone care what they think?

By the way, I don’t recall any NYC firefighters caring about the Cordoba institute before conservative blogs and Fox News decided to dishonestly sensationalize the issue.

JLeslie's avatar

I saw the Imam’s wife on This Week this past Sunday, and the conversation basically talked about The Muslim religion becoming Americanized, and following what Christians and Jews have done like YMCA and JCC. There was a Rabbi on as well, who is helping give advice for the new Muslim center. I’ll see if I can find a link.

missingbite's avatar

@Qingu We have never said that America has not made mistakes. Being human we will. The difference is that we recognize the amount of good that America has done in its short history as a country and not the mistakes. For the Imam to attack our policies, to me and millions of other Americans, is not going to mend relations but will empower our enemies to fuel their hatred. I’m sorry if you can’t see that, but it is true. While America has made mistakes in the past, it was never done with malice. We were always trying to do the right thing. If you don’t believe that, maybe you are led to much by the far left? Like it or not, this country is center right.

Also, you are very quick to label NYC firefighters as stupid or ignorant when most are not. They simply have strong feelings in the matter that you and I could not imagine. Unless you were there. I was not.

missingbite's avatar

@JLeslie I would like to see the link. I hope you can post it and I will look as well. I may be missing something but religions don’t change. As a Christen, I won’t morph my beliefs to be politically correct, and I doubt that the Muslims would do that either. I may have mistaken what you meant, if so I apologize.

JLeslie's avatar

I found this website for Park 51 if you are interested http://www.park51.org/vision.htm still looking for the other link.

JLeslie's avatar

It looks like the newest episode of This Week is not posted yet. I’ll check back for it later or tomorrow. It’s This Week on ABC this past Sunday if you are inclined to check yourself before I get to it again.

Qingu's avatar

@missingbite let me try to understand your position. You’re saying that it’s okay for non-Muslim Americans (like me) to attack America’s policies… but Muslim Americans should keep their mouths shut?

Also, you do realize that the imam has said many gracious and praising things about America, yes? And that he is currently on a speaking tour in the Middle East praising America to a hostile audience?

I don’t care about “far left” or “center right.” I care about basing my beliefs on truth. Fancy that.

As for your religion of Christianity not changing, I think that’s clearly nonsense. Or do you still support slavery and believe that women should submit to men and thus not have the right to vote? Should I judge your religious belief entirely on the basis of what the Bible says—a book that condones slavery, rape, and genocide, and has been used to justify Crusades, inquisitions, witch-hunts and torture throughout the ages?

Sufis (like the imam and the planned Cordoba institute) are the most progressive, least hateful sect of Islam. When you conflate Sufism with the religion of the 9/11 hijackers, you look like a fool.

missingbite's avatar

@Qingu You are correct that some, even many, Christians related slavery to the Bible. Interpretation is the key and that is what I follow. The Bible uses the Hebrew term ebed to refer to slavery; however, ebed has a much wider meaning than the English term slavery, and in several circumstances it is more accurately translated into English as servant or hired worker.

As far as women not having the right to vote, you do realize that women had the right to vote when we first became a country, right? They just had to be land owners. Some were. The argument could me made today, that a non land owner voting on the taxation of a land owner is immoral. Not really my view, but it could be argued.

As for rape, I am assuming you are referring to this:
“If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.” Deuteronomy 22:28–29 NIV

At first glance this passage does seem to condone rape. That is, until one takes a careful look at the context as well as the original languages. We must remember that the Holy Bible was not written in English. The OT was written in Hebrew, with parts of it written in Aramaic. The NT was written in Koine or common Greek. This means that if we want to know whether an English translation has faithfully and accurately translated the inspired author’s intended meaning we must turn to the original language of the sacred text. Once this is done, it will become quite apparent that the Holy Bible does not sanction rape at all.

I have no intention of getting into a more involved debate about the bible with you as that is for another thread. I replied to your few specific items and will leave it at that.

I am well aware that the Imam is on a tour, paid for with my tax dollars if I am not mistaken. I have said many times that I do not trust the Imam. In my opinion he has a lot of explaining to do. I have read many things from both sides including him. To me and many others he doesn’t pass the smell test.

Qingu's avatar

@missingbite, you can purchase your slaves from foreigners and hand them down to your kids (Lev 25:45) and you can legally beat them as much as the Romans beat Jesus before they crucified him (Exodus 21:22). They weren’t English butlers.

Women were briefly allowed to vote in New Jersey, according to Wikipedia. I don’t really see the point. Certainly the Bible says that women should obey men, and characterizes women as essentially the property of men.

And you are absolutely correct that we should look at the context of Deuteronomy 22. The context is clear: women are considered property, and rape is never the thing that is punished. The two laws proceeding Dt. 22:28 do not punish rape, they punish adultery. The only purpose in establishing whether the woman was raped is to determine if she was a party to her own adultery, in which case she must be stoned to death along with the man.

In ancient Mesopotamia, women were the property of their fathers, until their future husbands purchased them for a brideprice. The cultural context of the passage you quoted is “You break it, you buy it.” You claimed that the Bible doesn’t “sanction” rape—actually, the Bible doesn’t even understand rape as a crime. It doesn’t understand the idea that women should be able to consent to sex in the first place.

Note that in our country, marital rape was never punishable by law until the 1970’s.

What would it take for you to “trust” the imam? What would it take for him to pass your smell test? Do you trust me? I have the same views as he does regarding American foreign policy.

Frankly, I think [removed by Fluther]. You’re scared of the imam because he’s a Muslim. Nevermind that his beliefs are even more liberal and progressive than your own, apparently.

missingbite's avatar

@Qingu Again, I won’t get into a Biblical debate with you here.

In fact, now that I see you just want to insult me and others with your debate, I won’t debate you at all. Good day.

JLeslie's avatar

@missingbite I hope this link works, it doesn’t play on my new computer, but should be the right one http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/t/video/debating-ground-islamic-center-11455250

JLeslie's avatar

@missingbite you had commented on the imam said the US is an accessory to 9/11. Ron paul has said similar from what I understand, I found this quote regarding him finding the US complacent in ignoring warnings and being inept, if the imam had said these same words people would freak. “I do think there were cover-ups, and I think it was mainly to cover up who was blamed, who’s inept. See, they had the information. The FBI had an agent who was very much aware of the terrorists getting flight lessons but obviously not training to be pilots. He reported it 70 times or whatever and it was totally ignored. We were spending $40 billion a year on intelligence. It wasn’t a lack of money or a lack of intelligence, it was a lack of the ability to put the intelligence together. Even the administration had been forewarned that something was coming, the CIA had been forewarned. So it was a cover up of who to blame. I see it more that way.”

That kind of says to me the US was asleep at the switch and not to blame like they chartered the jets, but part of the reason it happened in a sense is our government not taking warnings seriously. If a terrorist attack happened like that today certainly we would blame our president and CIA at least a little about not protecting us.

missingbite's avatar

@JLeslie I believe you are confusing what was meant by accessory. He stated our policies created the terrorist. Not that we were inept at catching them. BIG difference. I agree with you that our country was not paying attention. All the way back past the first World Trade Center bombing during Clinton. Even before then. We needed a wake up call and got it in the form of September 11th. I don’t believe our policies created terrorists as the Imam has stated.

Qingu's avatar

@missingbite, you don’t believe the US funded Salafi terrorists in Afghanistan during the Cold War?

Or that we allied ourselves with Saudi Arabia, a Salafi theocracy where 15 of the 19 hijackers were from?

Or that our policies from Iraqi sanctions to our support of dictatorships to our unconditional support of Israel is routinely used as extremely effective propaganda by jihadist recruiters?

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Personal attack removed via internal edit.

mattbrowne's avatar

A form related to Sufism is

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alevi

“The Alevi are a religious, sub-ethnic and cultural community, primarily in Turkey, numbering in the tens of millions. Alevis are classified as a branch of Shi’a Islam; however there are significant differences in Alevi beliefs, traditions and rituals when compared to other orthodox sects. Alevi worship takes place in assembly houses (cemevi) rather than mosques. The ceremony (âyîn-i cem, or simply cem), features music and dance (semah) where both women and men participate. Instead of Arabic, the respective native language is predominate during rituals and praying.

Key Alevi characteristics include:

* Love and respect for all people (“The important thing is not religion, but being a human being”)
* Tolerance towards other religions and ethnic groups (“If you hurt another person, the ritual prayers you have done are counted as worthless”)
* Respect for working people (“The greatest act of worship is to work”)
* Equality of men and women, who pray side by side. Monogamy is practiced.

Alevism is closely related to the Bektashi Sufi lineage.”

Alevites are very active in Germany. You are probably aware that the largest group of immigrants in Germany come from Turkey. There are no problems with Alevism and many view them as one of the most progressive groups of Islam.

The most violent form of Islam seems to be Wahhabism, prevalent in Saudi Arabia. The German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution is aware that Wahhabists are trying to infiltrate moderate Muslim communities in Germany. A lot of money from Saudi Arabia reaches German mosques and communities, usually via middlemen. The goal is to radicalize German imams and communities while promising help and money. Often social projects get sponsored.

Maybe something similar is happening in the US. Moderate imams unable to resist the promise of money creating dependencies.

Here’s the irony: American Republicans loving and promoting gas guzzlers and absurdly oversized SUVs and pickup trucks create money streams that end up in Saudi Arabia to be invested in the promotion of radical Islam. Maybe it’s time for the Republicans to support green technology and fuel-efficient cars.

The issues of radical Islam and oil dependency are related.

JLeslie's avatar

@mattbrowne Thanks for all of tbat info about that sect of the Muslim religion and wharpt is going on in Germany. As a liberal I see what you wrote as more evidence that we should embrace this very moderate group of Islam, and hope their way proliferates. But I think a right winger, scared to death, fanatic Christian in my country might perceive your words as proof that building mosques provides a place for the radicals to move in and start turning people. Also, many of the right wing republicans here want to get off of Arab oil, that is why Palin’s “drill baby drill,” was so popular. They see the solution as drilling our own oil. It’s all very frustrating.

mattbrowne's avatar

@JLeslie – Moderate mosques can do the exact opposite, help young Muslims to grow and become immune to hate mongers who will meet anywhere.

Drilling for local oil to cover American demand is a fantasy. It’s too difficult to get to, requires too much energy to refine and there isn’t enough of it. Large intact ecosystems would be destroyed.

The future is energy efficiency and renewable energy. Moderate conservatives know this.

Germans enjoy the same standard of living using only half the energy per capita of the US. Just replacing inferior US windows with state of the art ones would result in huge savings, both for heating and air conditioning. Same for other building insulation approaches.

I’ve said this before: Resisting green technology will hurt the US big time. Same for climate change denial. Drill baby drill is a foolish approach. Here are some of the key messages

1) There is no 100% correct prediction about the climate in 2050 – climate is too complex
2) Human greenhouse gas emissions most likely contribute to global warming
3) It’s quite possible that natural cycles contribute as well
4) A few cold winters or cool summers are no proof against the continuing overall trend
5) The vast majority of reputable climatologists think that the potential harm is enormous
6) Humanity would be very stupid not to apply the precautionary principle
7) The growing middle class in Asia will significantly affect supply and demand equation for fossil fuels
8) To create welfare for all world citizens we simply have no other choice than to invest in green technology
9) The unfortunate climate change denial movement is most active in the US. This is bad news for the US, but good news for the rest of the world because innovation will happen elsewhere and the US will eventually have to import new green technology products. A nation of consumers instead of producers. Unless reason prevails. And there’s hope. Above all, there’s Barack Obama’s audacity of hope.

JLeslie's avatar

@mattbrowne I agree with all you wrote. Now we have to hope the people put into power in America think that way to. Like I said, the right wing twists around the information to suit them.

Nullo's avatar

@JLeslie It would be more accurate to say that people only pay attention to the parts that confirm their own opinions. It’s a people problem, not a left-vs-right problem. I’ve seen the Left do the same, see.

JLeslie's avatar

@Nullo Absolutely. But on this particular issue, since I disagree with how the republicans generally seem to be looking at this issue, I am holding them as the example. When I don’t agree with the Dems, I would do the same regarding their stance. Of course it happens less often, because generally I agree with the Democrats, but not always.

cockswain's avatar

@Nullo That’s probably my favorite thing I’ve ever seen you write. I agree with it and would like to add that people by default only pay attention to the parts that confirm their own opinions. Once one becomes aware of that problem, they need to really work on not doing that as often as possible to become more rational and open-minded. The goal should always be to eliminate that kind of thinking. That doesn’t mean you need to be in the middle on all issues, but you can’t understand the other side with a bunch of bias in your mind.

Ron_C's avatar

I would answer the same way as I answered the Mosque question, I object to any tax exempt institution build on valuable property in Manhattan. In fact, I object to the religious tax exemption. I agree that charitable exemptions benefit society, religious portions of that donation is just a tax on the non-religious.

Nullo's avatar

@Ron_C Churches don’t have to incorporate, you know. They just do it to shift liability from an individual to an organization.

Ron_C's avatar

@Nullo churches form for several reasons, consolidate power with the clergy, maintain their particular dogma, and avoid taxes. I suspect there are other reasons.

Donnatee's avatar

I think ground zero speaks for itself. I would not support any group that uses terror and murder to get their point across!I would not support the situation you propose.
Speaking of the muslim question of a mosque. It historically has been a practice of the Muslim people after conquering a people to erect a mosque in the place of victory. For one I do NOT want to give them that satisfaction. Every one preaches diversity these days but most only mean for someone to accept their postition and are not concerned with the other party. It is so lop sided. Our freedoms are being eroded a little more each day. The people who lost their loved ones do NOT want the mosque. End of subject!! This is a very touchy topic even now after all his time!

tedd's avatar

@Donnatee I find incredible irony in you saying Our freedoms are being eroded a little more each day. Right after saying you don’t support their right to build a mosque in a place of their choosing.

Hypocrisy at it’s finest.

Ron_C's avatar

Religion and narrow-minded vengeance was the root of the 9–11 disaster. The absolute last thing that belongs in that space is a church, synagogue, mosque, or temple. I would ban religion form all of Manhattan if I could.

cockswain's avatar

@Donnatee Let me guess: you hate Obama.

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