Forums > Personal > A Mosque at Ground Zero?

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Posted: 14 Jul 10, 06:13 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

There has been a highly emotional debate going on in New York as of late. The Cordoba Initiative, whose tag-line reads, 'improving Muslim-West Relations', and the American Society for Muslim Advancement, have collaborated on a project. This project is the building of a $100 million, 13-story, community center that would have a pool, various secular and interfaith activities, and a mosque at Ground Zero.

The Community Board decided there was no reason this community center could not be built despite the thousands of people who voiced their anger, displeasure and grief over the possibility of it. Those for it claim those against it are simply "Islamaphobic". Those against it feel the very idea of putting a mosque so close to Ground Zero – and demolishing a 154-year-old building to do so – is an insult to the memory of those who died on 9/11. Others have taken it further and said building an Islamic center at Ground Zero would be a symbolic victory to the terrorists.

At this moment, New York's Landmarks Preservation Commission is deciding whether to give the building landmark status. If they do, the building will be preserved as is and its demolition will not be permitted. The Cordoba Initiative will be forced to find a new location for its center.

The joint statement is that they hoped to build this community center as a way to give Muslims living in New York an opportunity to 'give back' to their community. The opposition says, "It would be more appropriate maybe to build a center dedicated to expunging the Quranic texts of the violent ideology that inspired jihad, or perhaps a center to the victims of hundreds of millions of years of jihadi wars, land enslavements, cultural annihilations and mass slaughter."

Your opinions?


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Posted: 14 Jul 10, 09:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think US should bomb it and there would be a draw Muslim terrorists 1-USA 1.


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Posted: 14 Jul 10, 11:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

magicalfreddiemercury wrote:

The opposition says, "It would be more appropriate maybe to build a center dedicated to expunging the Quranic texts of the violent ideology that inspired jihad, or perhaps a center to the victims of hundreds of millions of years of jihadi wars, land enslavements, cultural annihilations and mass slaughter."

Sure!  But to even out the playing field, they should include all the bible verses that encourage death as well.  If they get it right, it'll outnumber the Quran about 5:1.  Then, have a full exhibit chronicling the crusades, inquisition, catholic pedophilia, and Israel's current apartheid regime.

Wishful thinking..


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Posted: 14 Jul 10, 13:21 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

A mosque at Ground Zero? That sounds ridiculous.

However, I have submitted plans (drawn them on the wall of a public restroom once...) of a 13-storey high family planning center, with fake abortion clinics targeting young pregnant teens. The ground floor will become a massive gay bar, I'm thinking of a place that would be styled after various public restrooms. It's about time Ground Zero was put into good use.


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Posted: 14 Jul 10, 14:58 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

magicalfreddiemercury wrote: "Those against it feel the very idea of putting a mosque so close to Ground Zero – and demolishing a 154-year-old building to do so – is an insult to the memory of those who died on 9/11. Others have taken it further and said building an Islamic center at Ground Zero would be a symbolic victory to the terrorists."


They can do what they want but to claim that building a mosque in an 'insult to the memory of those who died on 9/11' IS Islamophobic and to claim that it would be 'a symbolic victory to the terrorists' is even more Islamophobic. All this proposal has done is reveal how much Islamophobia there is in the US (and no, there is no justification for it.)

If it does mean that they don't attempt to build the world's tallest building, that's a good thing. Surely 9/11 taught us that we shouldn't attempt to break all records.

'"It would be more appropriate maybe to build a center dedicated to expunging the Quranic texts of the violent ideology that inspired jihad, or perhaps a center to the victims of hundreds of millions of years of jihadi wars, land enslavements, cultural annihilations and mass slaughter."'

'hundreds of millions of years'? These people do realise that Islam was only created (or revealed) in the 7th century? Do they also realise that Christianity has much more blood on its hands than that of Islam? But, hey, let's not let facts get in the way of bigotry.

I also agree with Sir GH. If they want to be consistent, they should have an exhibit 'chronicling the crusades, inquisition, catholic pedophilia.' They can target the Koran, but they shouldn't forget the Bible.

L-R-TIGER1994 wrote: "I think US should bomb it and there would be a draw Muslim terrorists 1-USA 1."

You do realise that not all Muslims are terrorists? The 'Muslim terrorists' are actually perverting their faith, one that is shared by by millions of peace-loving and law-abiding Americans.

You also realise that if the US were to bomb it, it would be mass murder? If you condone it, then how can you condemn a terrorist attack? Furthemore, do you realise that the victims would also be American? Yes, that's right. Muslims can be American too.

This is such a slly and nasty post. You've been watching a Fox 'news'/teaparty version of the World Cup for too long. Do us a favour; get over the World Cup (soccer is not real life), read up on Islam, and develop a conscience and some morality!

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Posted: 14 Jul 10, 15:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

"100s of millions of years" !!!

That's what happens when idiots are given a medium to express their uninformed views.


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Posted: 14 Jul 10, 20:21 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Holly2003 wrote: "100s of millions of years" !!!

That's what happens when idiots are given a medium to express their uninformed views. 

=====

I saw that in the quote and was going to change it but... it was a quote. :-/

Despite that, I think the sentiment was fair and heartfelt.

I don't think it's 'Islamaphobic' to oppose a mosque at Ground Zero. I think it's a logical response. The terrorists attacked in the name of islam so it makes sense there would be sensitivity to islamic temples being built at the site. To say otherwise is, in my opinion, insensitive and dismissive. Hardly a way to earn brownie points. I also think the organizations are hypocritical for saying their purpose is to improve muslim-western relations and then ignore/disregard the wishes of the very people with whom they say they want to improve relations.

It's in the hands of the historical committee now, since the community board found no reason beyond the emotional to deny the building of this center. All I can say is there will be a lot more unhappy New Yorkers than those who are accepting of this project.


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Posted: 14 Jul 10, 22:07 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

magicalfreddiemercury wrote:

I don't think it's 'Islamaphobic' to oppose a mosque at Ground Zero. I think it's a logical response. The terrorists attacked in the name of islam so it makes sense there would be sensitivity to islamic temples being built at the site. To say otherwise is, in my opinion, insensitive and dismissive. Hardly a way to earn brownie points. I also think the organizations are hypocritical for saying their purpose is to improve muslim-western relations and then ignore/disregard the wishes of the very people with whom they say they want to improve relations.

It's in the hands of the historical committee now, since the community board found no reason beyond the emotional to deny the building of this center. All I can say is there will be a lot more unhappy New Yorkers than those who are accepting of this project.


You have expressed the sentiments very well and I totally agree with you.

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Posted: 15 Jul 10, 01:47 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I do not know anything about the "Cordoba Initiative" but the name does not sound like "improving relationships" to me at all. No Muslim organisation that is really interested in improving the relationship of Muslims and Non-Muslims would think about building a Mosque near the premises of the World Trade center. It is true that Muslims are not responsible for the attack of 9/11 but it is insensitive to pick this place. There must be numerous other places in NYC where such centers can be built without creating a controversy. It's like Germany would build a Goethe institute near a Holocaust memorial: you just do not do that - even though no living German who is capable of building anything is responsible for the Holocaust. You can claim your constitutional rights and ignore the feelings of your neighbours but it certainly won't improve any relationships.


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Posted: 15 Jul 10, 03:37 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It is like saying to the Fundamentalists, "knock more buildings over, we'll put mosques there".  I know they're not real muslims, and you know they're not real muslims - they're just assholes who use religion as an excuse to be pricks - but to them, they're muslims, and I think building a mosque is just an absurd form of rewarding them (the fundamentalists).

Ask any ordinary muslim, they won't care where you put the new mosque.   There is no logical reason to put the mosque near Ground Zero, just as much as there is no reason to not put it there.  It could go anywhere - the difference is, putting it closer ot the other side of town won't upset an appreciable number of people.

I am in favour, however, of the NRA throwing functions outside Yoko's window.


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Posted: 15 Jul 10, 14:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

If they are planning to build a center for secular and inter-faith activities, what's the need for a a mosque, or any other exclusive religious place?

In any case a mosque at ground zero is a very bad idea anyway. But the idea fits in well with the ways of the islamic "authorities" all over the world. The reason anyone would think of building a mosque at ground zero is the same as why they want to buid the tallest, largest, mosques every where in the world they are allowed to- to prove supremacy of islam over other religions/communities.

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Posted: 15 Jul 10, 14:05 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

" hundreds of millions of years of jihadi wars"
LOL!! reminded me of what i had read some years ago in an american magazine - india and pakistan have been at war for hundreds of years. fact is british india split into india and pak only around 60 years ago.

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Posted: 15 Jul 10, 14:47 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

ParisNair wrote: "But the idea fits in well with the ways of the islamic "authorities" all over the world. The reason anyone would think of building a mosque at ground zero is the same as why they want to buid the tallest, largest, mosques every where in the world they are allowed to- to prove supremacy of islam over other religions/communities."


As opposed to Christians who set out to build large churches? Not to mention statures of Christian saints.

I think you will find that Christians are just as guilty as Muslims of wanting to 'prove supremacy of ... over other religions/communities.' Although, to be fair to both faiths, generally speaking neither build tall and large mosques/churches for that reason. The reason why so many Christians and Muslims want to build large and tall mosques/churches is because of pride. It's as simple as that.

Plus concerning Muslims; contrary to what people like Angela Merkel thinks, Muslims have every right to showcase their religiosity by building large and tall mosques. The Christians do it with their churches, and the Muslims are not obligated to keep out of sight. They have as much right as Christians to showcase their faith and their religious pride.



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Posted: 15 Jul 10, 16:00 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Amazon wrote: They have as much right as Christians to showcase their faith and their religious pride.

==

I'm not disagreeing with you but this comment struck me. If "they" - meaning those 'of faith' - have the right to showcase their faith and religious pride, then the same right should apply to those who do not adhere to any faith or religious sect. However, the people against the building of this mosque are called 'islamaphobic'. People who do not believe in 'the prophet' are called infidels and, therefore, are deemed disposable. There's no hint that this particular situation is for showcasing faith and religious pride but rather of forcing islam into the faces of those who suffered because of the 9/11 attacks - attacks made in the name of islam. It's been made clear - in multiple town-hall meetings about this issue - that the mosque would cause pain rather than 'improve relations between muslims and the west' and yet they insist on pushing the project through. That's not about faith or religious pride. It's about arrogance and control.


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Posted: 15 Jul 10, 20:32 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Imam Faisel Abdul Rauf is the leader of the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Cordoba Initiative, and while he talks a good game about peace, he does appear to have some radical fundamentalist views about Shariah law and seems to sympathize with the radical elements of Islam.

Quotes:

In a 60 Minutes interview shortly after the September 11 attacks Imam Rauf 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."

During an interview on New York WABC radio in June 2010, Imam 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."

April 29,2009 - "It is important that we understand what is meant by Shariah law. Islamic law is God's law, and it is not that far from what we read in the Declaration of Independence about the Laws of Nature and Nature's God...
What Muslims want is to ensure that their secular laws are not in conflict with the Quran or the Hadith, the sayings of Muhammad. Where there is conflict, it is not with Shariah law itself but more often with the way the penal code is sometimes applied. Some aspects of this penal code and its laws pertaining to women flow out of the cultural context. The religious imperative is about justice and fairness. If you strive for justice and fairness in the penal code, then you are in keeping with the moral imperative of the Shariah.
What Muslims want is a judiciary that ensures that the laws are not in conflict with the Quran and the Hadith. Just as the Constitution has gone through interpretations, so does Shariah law. The two pieces of unfinished business in Muslim countries are to revise the penal code so that it is responsive to modern realities and to ensure that the balance between the three branches of government is not out of kilter. Rather than fear Shariah law, we should understand what it actually is. Then we can encourage Muslim countries to make the changes that achieve the essence of fairness and justice that are at the root of Islam."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/m-zuhdi-jasser/getting-real-on-ishariahi_b_200171.html

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


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Posted: 15 Jul 10, 21:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

magicalfreddiemercury wrote: "I'm not disagreeing with you but this comment struck me. If "they" - meaning those 'of faith' - have the right to showcase their faith and religious pride, then the same right should apply to those who do not adhere to any faith or religious sect."


Absolutely. However I contrasted it with Christians because Christians are the dominant religion in the West (which does not make the West Christian BTW).

"However, the people against the building of this mosque are called 'islamaphobic'."

It depends on why they are against the building of this mosque and what comments they make. L-R-TIGER1994 on this thread, and others who talk about bombing it are Islamophobic. Similarly those who claim that it is a victory for the terrorists even when it is pointed out that the terrorists perverted Islam are either Islamophobic or needlessly ignorant. Similarly those who claim that it would be an 'insult to the memory of those who died on 9/11' even though some of the 9/11 victims were Muslim are also Islamophobic. Additionally 'It would be more appropriate maybe to build a center dedicated to expunging the Quranic texts of the violent ideology that inspired jihad, or perhaps a center to the victims of hundreds of millions of years of jihadi wars, land enslavements, cultural annihilations and mass slaughter' is horribly Islamophobic.

People may be concerned, and personally it doesn't concern me either way, but we do need to acknowledge that in the US there is a high level of Islamophobia (Obama was even 'accused', god forbid, of being Muslim!) as well as anti-Muslim acts and quite frankly I am sick of people trying to rationalise it (I am not saying that you are.)

"People who do not believe in 'the prophet' are called infidels"

No, that's not true. While extremist Muslims do use the term infidel, it was actually originally used by Christians and often against Muslims; and people who do not believe in The Prophet are not referred to as infidels at all in traditional Islam. In fact, no traditional Islamic text features to the word, which as I mentioned wsa used originally by Christians.

"and, therefore, are deemed disposable."

By extremist Muslims, yes, but not moderates. Please, if we are going to debate this, can we draw a distinction between moderates (those that want to build the mosque) and extremists? Let us not forget that afterall that the majority of terrorist attack victims have been Muslim. I would hope as well that this does not turn into an anti-Islam discussion.

"There's no hint that this particular situation is for showcasing faith and religious pride but rather of forcing islam into the faces of those who suffered because of the 9/11 attacks"

I very much doubt that. I am aware of the work of the Cordoba Initiative and I know of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, and I can honestly tell you that this is not about 'forcing Islam into the faces' of anyone. If anything it's about tolerance and building bridges.

BTW, I don't like the phrase 'forcing islam into the faces.' It is a religion, and Muslims shouldn't have to hide themsleves simply because bigots and Islamophobes (again, I'm not referring to you) don't want it forced in their faces.

As Michael Bloomberg says, "If somebody wants to build a religious house of worship, they should do it and we shouldn’t be in the business of picking which religions can and which religions can’t. I think it’s fair to say if somebody was going to try to on that piece of property build a church or a synagogue, nobody would be yelling and screaming. And the fact of the matter is that Muslims have a right to do it too. What is great about America and particularly New York is we welcome everybody and I just- you know, if we are so afraid of something like this, what does it say about us? Democracy is stronger than this. You know, the ability to practice your religion is the- was one of the real reasons America was founded. And for us to say no is just, I think, not appropriate is a nice way to phrase it."

"attacks made in the name of islam."

Attacks which perverted Islam. You know what, I would be more sensitive to the opposition if I knew that they would have no problem if the reverse occured; that is, if in Iraq, plans to build a church were rejected because of Bush's evangelical christianity. Would they accept it?

"It's been made clear - in multiple town-hall meetings about this issue - that the mosque would cause pain rather than 'improve relations between muslims and the west' and yet they insist on pushing the project through."

They aren't insisting on pushing the project through. They are exercising their democratic rights. If America is the liberal democracy it claims to be, then it should not fear this.

"That's not about faith or religious pride. It's about arrogance."

Knowing what I do about the Cordoba Initiative, arrogance is not a word I would use.

It's interesting though, you would think that Americans would want to showcase their religious freedom and tolerance to the world. Or does it apply to all religions save for Islam?


Bill Keller, a Florida televangelist, wants to build a Christian evangelical center there. Personally I find him more confronting than any plan for a mosque (“My whole thing is to get into the marketplace and not battle Islam for souls but battle Satan for souls,” “Rather than a [protest] event we’re going to have an ongoing work of God right there because the Bible says you combat the darkness with the light.”) but I don't think he should be denied his religious freedom.

http://theundergroundsite.com/index.php/2010/07/christian-center-to-be-built-near-ground-zero-12984


America is either a liberal democracy or not. If it is, then IMO the mosque should be allowed. That's not arrogance, that's the exercising of a right to live as equal members of society.

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Posted: 15 Jul 10, 21:16 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Panchgani wrote: "Imam Faisel Abdul Rauf is the leader of the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Cordoba Initiative, and while he talks a good game about peace, he does appear to have some radical fundamentalist views about Shariah law and seems to sympathize with the radical elements of Islam."


I will be happy to go into further detail, but he actually doesn't have 'radical fundamentalist views about Shariah law and seems to sympathize with the radical elements of Islam.' Those quotes you posted don't actually indicate that. They are actually quite reasonable. It may not appear that way, but as an example, with the first one, he's not saying that the US deserved 9/11, but that it was blowback; something which many American political/terror experts would agree with.

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Posted: 15 Jul 10, 21:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Amazon wrote: ...I am aware of the work of the Cordoba Initiative and I know of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, and I can honestly tell you that this is not about 'forcing Islam into the faces' of anyone. If anything it's about tolerance and building bridges.

BTW, I don't like the phrase 'forcing islam into the faces.' It is a religion, and Muslims shouldn't have to hide themsleves simply because bigots and Islamophobes (again, I'm not referring to you) don't want it forced in their faces.

As Michael Bloomberg says, "If somebody wants to build a religious house of worship, they should do it and we shouldn’t be in the business of picking which religions can and which religions can’t. I think it’s fair to say if somebody was going to try to on that piece of property build a church or a synagogue, nobody would be yelling and screaming. And the fact of the matter is that Muslims have a right to do it too. What is great about America and particularly New York is we welcome everybody and I just- you know, if we are so afraid of something like this, what does it say about us? Democracy is stronger than this. You know, the ability to practice your religion is the- was one of the real reasons America was founded. And for us to say no is just, I think, not appropriate is a nice way to phrase it."

"attacks made in the name of islam."

Attacks which perverted Islam. You know what, I would be more sensitive to the opposition if I knew that they would have no problem if the reverse occured; that is, if in Iraq, plans to build a church were rejected because of Bush's evangelical christianity. Would they accept it?

"It's been made clear - in multiple town-hall meetings about this issue - that the mosque would cause pain rather than 'improve relations between muslims and the west' and yet they insist on pushing the project through."

They aren't insisting on pushing the project through. They are exercising their democratic rights. If America is the liberal democracy it claims to be, then it should not fear this.

"That's not about faith or religious pride. It's about arrogance."

Knowing what I do about the Cordoba Initiative, arrogance is not a word I would use.

It's interesting though, you would think that Americans would want to showcase their religious freedom and tolerance to the world. Or does it apply to all religions save for Islam?

Bill Keller, a Florida televangelist, wants to build a Christian evangelical center there. Personally I find him more confronting than any plan for a mosque (“My whole thing is to get into the marketplace and not battle Islam for souls but battle Satan for souls,” “Rather than a [protest] event we’re going to have an ongoing work of God right there because the Bible says you combat the darkness with the light.”) but I don't think he should be denied his religious freedom.

http://theundergroundsite.com/index.php/2010/07/christian-center-to-be-built-near-ground-zero-12984

America is either a liberal democracy or not. If it is, then IMO the mosque should be allowed. That's not arrogance, that's the exercising of a right to live as equal members of society.

======

I think I failed to make my point clear. What I referred to in my entire post is the Cordoba Initiative's desire to build this community center - which will house a mosque - as a way for New York muslims to 'give back' to the community. The Cordoba Initiative's goal, supposedly, is to improve relations between the west and islam. You mention in your post how you disagree with my saying they're trying to force islam into the faces of those who endured the attacks of 9/11 and instead expressed it as ‘tolerance and building bridges’.

How can any of this be viewed as tolerance and building bridges when the community they say they're trying to do this in is still suffering the effects of an attack in the name of the very religion backing this project? Yes. The attacks were perpetrated by extremists in that religion, but the average muslim is not out there denouncing those attacks - then or now. Instead, there seems to be an eerie silence from the community.

And yes, as you say, they are exercising their democratic right to continue with this project. But so are those opposed to it.

You mentioning knowing something about the Cordoba Initiative and that you wouldn't use the word 'arrogance' to describe it. I will be very honest - I know nothing about the Cordoba Initiative except this project and from it I can only see arrogance since the desires of this community are being ignored and plans for building are intended to move forward. If that is not arrogance, I do not know what it is.

America is not always tolerant - of various religious beliefs, personal choices and marriage, for example - however this is not about intolerance. This is about pain. YourValentine said it beautifully in her post - "It's like Germany would build a Goethe institute near a Holocaust memorial: you just do not do that - even though no living German who is capable of building anything is responsible for the Holocaust. You can claim your constitutional rights and ignore the feelings of your neighbours but it certainly won't improve any relationships."

Pushing this project through despite the desires of the community certainly won't improve the relationship between muslims and the west. Can they do it? Sure. Is it their democratic right to do so? Yes. Should they? No. Not if a majority of people are opposed to it. Pulling the project would be the neighborly, bridge-building thing to do. Not this.

"America is either a liberal democracy or not. If it is, then IMO the mosque should be allowed. That's not arrogance, that's the exercising of a right to live as equal members of society."

And a responsibility of being an equal member of society is considering the wants and needs of that society, not simply those of a select group without regard for the effect on others.


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Posted: 15 Jul 10, 22:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Amazon... I should say... I respect your opinions and I do appreciate hearing the 'other side'. I simply disagree with it. :-)


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Posted: 15 Jul 10, 23:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I honestly think people are missing a rather crucial point, here - a mosque does not need to be there.  There's no racial prejudice in that statement, it's just (for want of a better word ...) a fact.  Why does it have to go there, specifically?

Anyone with a brain knows that Islam had virtually nothing to do with 9/11.  If they weren't claiming to be muslims, then they would've just had some other doctrine to back up their actions.  But all the same, there's a mental association for some people between 9/11 and that religion, and if you can spare people heartache by just putting the mosque somewhere else, then why the fuck not? 

Building a mosque there will upset people, whether they have a reason to be upset or not.  Sometimes the decent thing to do is take it easy on people and compromise, even if you happen to think their reasons for being upset are not very well thought out.  There are perfectly rational, non-prejudiced reasons for not wanting a mosque there.  Admittedly, I'm one of those people who feels that there are enough churches, temples and mosques on the planet to last us until (heh) Judgement Day, but I don't have anything against more of them being built if it makes people happy.  

This one is not making people happy.


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