Neither mosque nor at Ground Zero

The New York City community board endorsed the Cordoba House, a community center and mosque planned for construction near Ground … Continued

The New York City community board endorsed the Cordoba House, a community center and mosque planned for construction near Ground Zero.
Significant opposition has emerged against the project. Sarah Palin even weighed in this weekend, tweeting, “Peace-seeking Muslims, pls understand, Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts. Pls reject it in interest of healing.”
Should there be a mosque near Ground Zero?

Let’s get this straight.

The “mosque at Ground Zero” is neither a mosque nor is it at ground zero. It is a 13-story Islamic cultural center modeled along the lines of the Jewish Cultural Centers that dot the American landscape (the JCC is assisting in the early stages of the project) that is about three blocks from Ground Zero.

So the question for Sarah Palin is this: How many blocks away is enough for you? Would you be OK with the center being built five blocks away? Seven blocks away? Or do you agree with Congressman Peter King who has stated that there are already “too many mosques in America”? Do you agree with the opening statement of the GOP Trust commercial that explicitly connects the Islamic Center, and indeed Muslims in the US, with al-Qaeda? This entire bogus controversy is part of a widespread and dangerous anti-Islamic sentiment that is gripping America. Let’s stop pretending that there is actually debate here. American Muslims can build whatever they want wherever they want in this country. Period.

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  • abrahamhab1

    Arslan asserts:This has been true up to now but we need to become more discriminating in what we allow to be built and where. Those so-called Islamic centers are nothing but places that propagate intolerance and outright hate towards non-Muslims and even Muslims who do not subscribe to their particular brand of Islam. Each one of those Jihadists responsible for the 9-11 massacres was identified with one or more of those local dens.

  • Athena4

    Freedom of Religion means EVERY religion – including those that Fundamentalist Christians don’t like. From the pictures of the proposed site, I see that it’s an abandoned, boarded-up building. Would New Yorkers rather see a vibrant community center full of people two blocks from Ground Zero, or a boarded up shell of a building? Which better represents America?

  • faith-on-space-ship-earth

    WHAT is the Average “PROFiT” Margin For a MOSQUE (As A Biz) “Prophet” or No Profit?

  • adnan420

    this is the first peice of good journalism.. ihave seen.. the inflamatory things palin has said…i cant belivve a rascist like her almost became vice president.. thank you for you honest opionion

  • digitalcntrl

    Wrong there Reza. The Islamic center includes a mosque among other things. That still makes it a mosque.And no you can’t build a mosque wherever you want.

  • MinnyMa

    NYAdrian, get a grip! Your post shows exactly why an Islamic cultural center is needed — you are extremely misinformed about the nature of Islam. The U.S. is a pluralistic society, with freedom of religion. All religions are tolerated, whether they are fringe groups like the Hutarees or several members of Congress marauding as a religious group (C Street), whether they are Seventh Day Adventists, Orthodox Jews, Missouri Synod Lutherans, Roman Catholics, Armenian Orthodox….the list goes on. How do you know what Islam’s attitude to America is? What is the attitude of your religion toward Senegal?

  • RobBob12

    I think it is too tightly related to harbored feelings of sorrow and misery for many to put such a building so close to ground zero. They can easily build it furthur away from a hallowed ground like ground zero where islamic extremists were directly to blame. Thats like building a neo-nazi club near auschwitz, or a sushi bar near pearl harbor…I understand that it is a deemed “community center” however, many American souls are very (expectedly) sensitive with the goings on of that area and to construct a building with a mosque in it that close is just not needed.

  • nyadrian

    I should also note that questions of the mosque’s funding are legitmate, relevant, and pertinent. Where is the money coming from? Might it come from the same sources (primarily Saudi), who are financing the Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan, which pays large cash bounties to those who kill American soldiers?Money from Middle Eastern donors has financed al qaeda, the taliban, jamaat al-islami, the muslim brotherhood, hamas, hizbollah, and abu sayyaf, to name just a few. Who is forking out $100 million here, and what are their motivations? Forgive me for being skeptical that its purpose is to encourage “tolerance”.

  • 1FLWB2

    Stop giving Sarah Palin press. It’s that simple.She is a moron who drums up nonsense and causes a furor over her moronic comments then reaps the reward through speaking engagement fees from other morons willing to pay to see her. Yes I said see her they really don’t care what she has to say and well her looks are already fading so her star is starting to burn out.Time for the GOP to find another one.As to Palin’s comments themselves it’s just one backwards religion fighting another.Religion is inherently wrong and good for nothing except in the words of Napoleon, “Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”

  • bethanyanndavidson

    “Córdoba… is a city in Andalusia, southern Spain… in the Middle Ages it was capital of the Islamic caliphate which conquered and occupied Spain for nearly 800 years. During this time Cordoba was one of the largest cities in the world WHOSE NAME CONTINUES TO REPRESENT A SYMBOL OF ISLAMIC CONQUEST TO MANY FAITHFUL MUSLIMS AROUND THE WORLD.”- (Emphasis mine)

  • nyadrian

    minnyma, I couldn’t disagree more. To learn about the nature of a religion, one should simplly look at how it acts when it has power. The Islamic world is – irrefutably – characterized by an abysmal record of human rights, endless sectarian violence, gender apartheid, religious intolerance, and deeply entrenched poverty. Are you telling me that this is coincidental?I am an atheist; I have no religious axe to grind. But the sheer arrogance and insensibility of this mosque angers me deeply. It will be seen in the Islamic world as a symbol of triumph, and it will be visited by those who celebrated and celebrate the atrocities of 9/11.As for the question of religious tolerance, the simple question here is how far one should tolerate intolerance. Let’s remember Islam’s record here: 9/11; Bali bombings; London 7/7; Madrid; Mumbai attacks; The Shoe Bomber; the recent bombings in Uganda; the Christmas Day Bomber; the danish cartoon violence; Theo Van Gough; Daniel Pearl. To name just a few. Now, you may want a shrine to a mass murder in downtown New York. I do not.

  • audreyy

    It’s not Muslims that are intolerant nyadrian, it’s people like YOU! Your discriminatory and judgmental behavior is the highest form of barbarism. Judging a whole religion? Make sure your hands are clean first. Don’t forget the barbaric behaviors of Philip and Mary for Catholisism. And don’t even bring Saudi Arabia’s actions into this. Most of it is based on culture, not religion. THIS IS AMERICA. Do you really want to sink down to their level and completely disregard the first amendment? The Muslims here live in America for a reason.

  • audreyy

    I meant ‘your hands’ as a collective whole, and that example is just one of many. Saying people who CELEBRATED 9/11 are attending the mosque shows your huge ignorance. Don’t speak if you have NO idea about the religion and are just judging it by what the media portrays- it’s going to exaggerate it, that’s what media does. And by the fact that you believe so blindly, I am surprised you do not follow a religion, If you really think all of that, get some firsthand experience for goodness sakes! Go visit a mosque near you. Go befriend a Muslim. Oh wait, you wouldn’t want to do that, who knows what they’ll do to you.

  • nyadrian

    Your comments, Audreyy, deploy the usual liberal charges of “intolerance” against those who have the nerve to challenge your dogma.I certainly don’t forget the degredations of Catholicism. However, it’s not currently Catholics who are deliberatly targeting innocents around the world in terror attacks. As for your plea “to not bring Saudi Arabia into this,” why not? That is the home of Islam, as well as the likely source of funding for this mosque. Furthermore, your claim that “this is based on culture and not reigion” is – of course – entirely unsupported, for the simple reason that it is unsupportable. The acts of Islamic terror I named were carried out by muslims as a religious duty. That is why we see a photo from last week of a suicide bomber about to kill 30 people at a shiite mosque, smiling at the camera with his explosives on. In his mind, he is minutes away from paradise.This is an important point, so let me reiterate it: the cause and motivation of these numerous atrocities is a religious one. That’s why you don’t find Catholics or Ba’hais or Quakers slaughtering civilians. This is done in Islam, TO GET TO PARADISE. So please stop pretending religion has nothing to do with it. You’re not fooling anyone.I object to the ground zero mosque because I reject the tenets and practices of this violent, intolerant and misogynist faith. The sneering lack of compassion for the feelings of those affected by the act of religious terrorism that this mosque seeks to commemorate, to me, speaks volumes.

  • Athena4

    It’s not anybody’s business but those who live in NYC. If you weren’t in NYC when the Towers fell, you saw an event on TV. The New York Board of Supervisors approved the mosque by a vote of 29-1. However, 52% of New Yorkers oppose it. I suggest that New Yorkers deal with it however they see fit. If you don’t live in NYC, you don’t have a dog in this fight.Including me.

  • Secular

    I guess if the city administration of NYC has allowed it despite the protest during the period of consideration, then there is nothing much to do to stop it now, legally speaking. If the protesters did not make their case during that period then it is just too bad. However, if the authorities are letting this happen despite the protest then we have the option to throw the bums out next time.As for the muslims who are going about demanding this as some kind of birth right, you just pause and wonder how many of their 47 paradises allow other religions to build place of worship or cultural centers over there. I always encounter this arrogant defiance from the Muslims where they want to take every advantage and privilege provided by the host country and never reflect on if their own native lands provide even a small fraction of courtesies to the foreigner in their lands. That is the biggest rub. For all those apologists who are up in arms on behalf of muslims, frankly you are too credulous. They don’t need your help, muslims feel it their birth right for all these things.

  • AKafir

    @Athena4:That is a really myopic statement I have read in a long long time. So 9/11 is only a matter for New Yorkers as well? The mosque is going to cost $100 million dollars. Where is that money coming from? Just New York? Do you have a clue on how much money the Saudi Arabs pump into building Mosques in USA and spreading the propaganda of Islam?

  • yasseryousufi

    “As for the muslims who are going about demanding this as some kind of birth right, you just pause and wonder how many of their 47 paradises allow other religions to build place of worship or cultural centers over there.”—————————————Secular,It would really help if ignorant islamophobes like you could learn to use google before posting their uninformed missives. There are Churches, Synagogues and Temples in EVERY muslim country where adherents of these religions live except just one country. The New Year and Christmas is a public holiday (for both muslims and christian) in more than half of these 47 Islamic countries. We aren’t half as bigoted as some of the self righteous “Secular” bloggers on this post. Again… a bit of research before putting on your ignorant post because there are people who actually know what you’re talking about and will call you out for your lies.

  • AKafir

    Posted by: yasseryousufi | July 21, 2010 5:04 AM The point was that the christians were wiped out from Turkey, and even for such a small minority the Sharia of Islam requires that they are prohibited from even repairing their churches and the state is and has been confisicating the church property without compensation. There were close to 25% non-muslims in the early years of Pakistan, and the minorities have been wiped out to less then couple of percent. The minorities have been wiped out. Random killings, you say? Pakistanis kill their minorities on a regular and systemic basis. Fortunately in this information age, lies from people like yourself are easy for the readers to see through. There are only 8% sunnis in Iran, and they are treated as non-muslims. Bahais of Iran are not even recogonized as a religious group. Americans in general do need to know of the absolutely evil and inhumane treatment of non-muslims across the muslim world. Let Reza Aslan defend the laws of Islam in his ancestral country which outright denies any rights to Buddhists, hindus, sikhs, jains, Bahais, etc. It is not the place of the US Government to question Islam, but every American has the right to ask and wonder why the “American” muslims pledge allegiance to such a horrifically discriminatory and supremacist ideology as Islam, and what that implies for them and their country in the long run.

  • yasseryousufi

    AKAFIR,So random acts of violence is proof for you reactionary muslim haters. These acts of violence happen everywhere even in US and Europe. Whats your gripe with Christians being less than half percent in Turkey? Whats the percentage of Muslims in Italy? or Brazil? or US? There are around 80,000 Christians in turkey with more than 200 Churches. They dont have to pray in empty warehouses and abandoned buildings like muslims do in US and Europe. Ahmedis have mosques in all major cities of pakistan. They are a small minority and are considered non-muslim. Your information is as always half cooked.My response to your fellow hindu, Secular was with regards to his ignorant comments where he said none of the 47 muslim countries allow places of worship to exist. I called him out for his lies and will continue to do so with actual proofs not some fake youtube videos.

  • dangeroustalk

    It has been close to a decade ago that religious terrorists flew planes into the twin towers and still there is a gaping hole at Ground Zero. Even though America is incapable or rebuilding anything on that spot, the Muslim community is planning on building a Mosque a few blocks away. Yet it wasn’t until Sarah Palin weighed in on this topic that the Washington Post’s “On Faith” section decided to discuss it.First let me point out that this wasn’t Sarah Palin’s first tweet on this topic. Her first two tweets contained misused words and are a little embarrassing. However, Sarah Palin isn’t the issue here. She holds no elected office and no one really cares what she has to say because she is an idiot and everyone knows it (including her fans). You can read the rest of my response to this topic:I will be responding to every issue posted in the ‘On Faith’ section. If you would like to be notified when my new response is up, please subscribe.

  • abrahamhab1

    “Whats your gripe with Christians being less than half percent in Turkey? What’s the percentage of Muslims in Italy? or Brazil? or US’” The difference is that Turkey was 100% Christian before it was overran by the Turks and furthermore was the seat of the Eastern Orthodox patriarchate with Constantinople being the Eastern equivalent to Rome.

  • Arif2

    lets face it, the facts are that Islam sucks. Muslims get dummer the more they immerse themselves in Islam. To build a Mosque at ground zero is a victory for Islam. First they claim victory by bringing down the towers, then double victory by erecting a mosque. Muslims will do everything to build a mosque at ground zero. Only fools will believe that this is a peaceful religion. Islam is the curse that has to be dealt with. This is an islamic assault on everything that is free. Muslim American my arse. You are either an American or an Alien. There is no such thing as a Muslim American.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    YasseryousufiWhy don’t you take care of your own business in Pakistan, a dilapidated, ramshackle country, coming apart at the seams, which is really just an illegitiate break-away province from India, that doesn’t have any right to exist in the first place … … before someone drops a house on you too.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Yasseryousufi I am not a Muslim hater. It is like, if someone has the flu, I don’t want them standing next to me, coughing on me, but I don’t hate them. It is the same thing with Muslims. I don’t want to be standing near one when the suicide belt goes off. Oh, I know it probalby won’t happen. But then, you know, it is hard to control my fearful thoughts, when so many Muslims are working so hard to make me feel afraid.

  • probably-no-deity

    ………. .

  • svengerald

    I guess when you have oil money backing you , you can build whatever you want wherever you want when you deal with sedititious leaders. Does it make it right? Prove that islam is a religion of peace, you can’t, not in words or deeds. islams history speaks for itself. That sorry pile of hatred should not be allowed within a mile of ground zero.

  • Secular

    YasserYousufi, your response to my post is a total non-sequitur. I did not say all the muslims are the same. It is the vocal minority which sees offense under every rock, is with whom I have a quarrel. To them I tell “look at yourself in a mirror”. My complaint is that while you heap blame on west look at your countries and see how accommodating they are to non-muslims amongst them. For those who take offense to the danish cartoons, to every little thing, cannot countenance that the American may be offended b y this center, and you cannot accommodate that?

  • Athena4

    Keep the mosque there, but name it after Tariq Amandullah, an Islamic community organizer who worked on the 96th floor and died on 9/11. Or Salman Hamdani, an ambulance driver who was killed by falling debris while trying to help the injured.

  • Robert2008

    Too many mosques in America

  • Athena4

    “Too many mosques in America”I feel that way about Christian churches.

  • ThishowIseeit

    Nothing wrong with a widespread anti-Islamic sentiment, because Islam only means to follow the Qur’an, 100%. There is only one Islam, we are not so gullible to believe that there is new form of Islam.

  • cadam72

    NYADRIAN, “Mosques are a symbol of the domination of an intolerant, violent, and deeply misogynistic religion, and should be opposed by all Americans.”

  • yasseryousufi

    Secular,I have no idea what you mean by 47 paradises! The Islamic countries are a part of this imperfect world. They have both good things and bad things to offer just like any other country. You and your fellow Hinu India, Kafir want to convince everyone with that random acts of indiscrimination by muslims are a proof that all muslims act the same way! I haven’t heard a more idiotic argument than the ones put forward by you two. USA is not KSA, but if any Arab looking man takes out the Quran from his bag and starts reciting it before boarding the plane, his Quran might also be confiscated and he’ll probably be subjected to some serious questioning.A third of americans are African Americans plus there is a sizable number of converts as well (Islam is the fastest growing religion in US and Europe) so your analogy does not work for them. They are as American as anyone.

  • yasseryousufi

    A lot of ignorant fuss is being made about my comment regarding Turkey by the usual suspects. Byzantine Empire might have been 100% Christian 1500 years ago but that was before Islam came. It was the Turks who decided to switch to a new religion. How did the Byzantines manage to make their empire 100% Christian in the first place. Didn’t the people used to follow some sort of animist religion before Christianity came. How come Italy is almost 100% Christian? What was the religion of that place before Christianity came? I cant believe we are dicussing such silly points. But then again you expect most racists to be pigheaded~!

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Yasseryousufi Welcome to this thread. I am sure that Reza Aslan, a liberal Muslim, just loves having someone like you, defending him.At least it is not a total loss for him; he is getting paid for his effort here.

  • mr9376

    No, I can’t agree- there is a debate. There is a debate between people like myself who’d lost loved ones on 9/11 and don’t want people swimming and enjoying themselves only TWO blocks from what to us is a cemetery. It’s the only cemetery that we’ve got because there are still plenty of victims just missing. My friend is one of them. When we’d had a memorial service for her, there was no casket- only a photograph of her in her wedding dress. I’d lost another close friend who was a Catholic priest. If they wanted to build a JCC there, I would be against it. That space is NOT APPROPRIATE for a cultural community center. I’m much more comfortable with the idea of a mosque proper. So until our pain is seriously considered, there will be a debate. I agree that the issue has been hijacked though. Well, the people who’re building the center didn’t want to consider our feelings. Fine. Now let them deal with Palin and other ” nuclear scientists “. I say they deserve it. P.S. In case you think I’m anti-Muslim, this poet and filmmaker is proudly half-Turkish.

  • mr9376

    Doctor Aslan, I have a question for you. Say you build the mosque…sorry, the cultural center. Who’s gonna protect all those peaceful Muslims who are gonna want to come there? If you’re modelling the center after the San Francisco JCC, let me tell you it’s one lousy model. I’m taking classes there this summer and I’ve seen with my own two eyes what pathetic things pass for security there. Do you realize anyone can blow up the underground parking garage anytime they want to? Those so-called security people don’t even bother to check the back seat of our cars! They just check the trunk and let us be on our merry way. One time I got my mail and there was a parcel there. I didn’t feel like going back upstairs, so I took the parcel with me. I put it in the back seat, covered it with my bag and… smuggled it into the JCC garage! Nobody even bothered to look! It could have easily been a bomb! If that’s what’s gonna pass for security at the new Muslim cultural center, I want no part of it. Nobody seems to care about those potential members, it’s like they’re expendable. Is total disregard for human life part of ” moderate Islam ” ? Is that what certain circles WANT- for the center to be blown up, so that there will be a scandal? Is that why you and Imam Rauf are pushing so hard to build where we’re obviously NOT WANTED? Those people who come to the center DESERVE to live, just like my friends who died on 9/11 deserved to live. Modelling it after JCCs! You have got to bloody kidding me !