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Opposition to the Mosque “At” Ground Zero Desecrates American Values

| August 1, 2010

ground zero mosque, trinity church and islamic cultural center of new york

Trinity Church is no more entitled to be 'near' ground zero than a mosque. The Islamic Cultural Center is at 96th Street in Manhattan.

Trinity Church at Broadway and Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, within shrapnel’s distance of ground zero—the former Twin Towers—is one of New York City’s oldest and most beautiful buildings. Its 281-foot Gothic revival spire once towered over surroundings not yet darkened by Wall Street’s more dividend-worshiping cathedrals. The first service was held, in a previous incarnation of the church, in 1698. George Washington’s inauguration was followed by a service there in 1789. Alexander Hamilton and John Jay are buried in its graveyard, which doubles up as part of the tourist attraction Trinity has almost always been, though the place still caters to diehard Episcopalians and nostalgic Anglicans (the church was strictly Anglican in its first editions).

Episcopalians and Anglicans have a rich, revolting history of enslaving blacks, massacring Indians and terrorizing both in North America, even as Trinity’s own members scratched their names onto state and federal constitutions laminated by the language of liberty. That doesn’t lessen Trinity Church’s beauty and necessity at the heart of New York City’s history: the wealthy Trinity Church parish played an important role in the Anglican movement to abolish slavery. It established schools for slaves, freed blacks and Indians, and helped finance the operations of 1,700 churches worldwide.   The denomination wasn’t the problem. Some of its adherents’ arrested morals were.

And are: the same arrested morals are playing out again by Christians, Jews and non-denominational bigots, politicians pandering for votes especially, in the attempt to keep a $100 million, 15-story Islamic center and mosque from going up two blocks away from ground zero. Last week even the Jewish Anti-Defamation League, usually a staunch and admirable crusader organization against intolerance of any kind, switched sides on this one and joined the anti-mosque sham. Republican politicians across the country have added the proposed mosque to their list of foaming non-issues they know they can exploit for votes from those who confuse patriotism with chauvinism.

The Live Column

And the likes of Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin have inflamed the national movement against the mosque by declaring the project not only a desecration of ground zero, but by lying about its location. In their geography of hate, where precision never matters as much as expedience, the mosque would be at ground zero, not near it. There are no plans for the thing to have its own spires, its own minarets, its own muezzins calling the faithful to prayers, but that’s how the building is being portrayed in the national imagination, as if minarets were missiles pointed at the “hallowed” grounds of ground zero, where 19 Muslim terrorists killed 2,750 people, many of them Muslims, in 2001. Yet to Gingrich, the mosque is “a political statement. It’s not about religion, and is clearly an aggressive act that is offensive.” So much for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the local community board and the city’s landmarks commission all giving their overwhelming support for the project.

One of the reactionary voices against the project is that of Bernard Kerik, the convicted felon and former New York City police commissioner. He managed to tweet his opposition from federal prison by linking the people behind the project to terrorists. This is the same Kerik who thought nothing of taking his book publisher to an apartment overlooking ground zero—an apartment reserved for rescue workers—to have his trysts there. Talk about desecration. Other opponents of the project are no less lurid for their desecration of American values. It’s as if tolerance, freedom of religion and building bridges among religions were inapplicable values the moment Muslims are in the picture. As if a mosque two blocks from ground zero has any less right or need to be there than Trinity Church.

But even some of the mosque’s defenders in the media have adopted the distasteful compromises of the less explicitly bigoted. Like Clyde Haberman, who wrote an otherwise powerful column on the subject in The New York Times, they point to that two-block distance as if it were a redeeming buffer. They note that absence of spires of minarets as if it were a notable concession, though the Islamic Center at East 96th Street in Manhattan, some five miles north of Ground Zero, has a dome and a tall minaret. (In the mid-1990s, the Muslim population of New York City was estimated to be between 400,000 and 600,000 and growing faster than any other religion.) They never note the symbolism of Trinity’s equidistant presence to the south–Trinity is actually closer to ground zero: you can see the site from Trinity’s cemetery–though Christianity’s murderous and dehumanizing blight on the North American continent by far exceeds anything Islam has ever managed here, and likely ever will.

History’s convenient demarcations aside, what if the proposed Islamic center was at ground zero? Given the center’s aims—to educate, to preach precisely the gospel of moderate Islam reactionary commentators have been badgering the Muslim world (inaccurately, for the most part) for not preaching and practicing, to foster understanding and enlightenment about Islam and between religions—given those aims, the center shouldn’t be near ground zero. It should be at ground zero. More than that: it should tower over it. It should occupy several floors of the so-called Liberty Tower that has finally, barely begun to rise after nearly 10 years of delays.

The mosque and Islamic center should be an integral part of the rebirth of ground zero because that’s what America stands, or ought to stand, for: not liberty as a pretentious slogan on a skyscraper or in pledges of allegiance cheapened by rote, but liberty as living proof of its meaning; liberty embodied and realized where it matters—in the way we live and relate to each other.

There is an offense here, to borrow Gingrich’s characterization. There is aggression. It is opposition to the mosque by politicians trolling for votes, whose standing on the issue is corrupted by their motive. It is opposition to the mosque by families of the dead, who have no greater claim to sanctity on the issue than anyone else. It is the veiling of an American value with something threaded out of Saudi or Taliban playbooks against other religions. The desecration in the making is to still call that building rising out of ground zero the “Liberty” tower.

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73 Responses for “Opposition to the Mosque “At” Ground Zero Desecrates American Values”

  1. Bob K says:

    Hmmmm, is this a news story or an editorial? You seem to have left out many facts, including the background of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. He is an advocate of the establishment of shariah law in the United States, among other things. He has made anti-American statements. He blames America for terrorism. Now, I realize not all Muslims are terrorists, but that mosque will provide cover for the few who wish to do us harm. The whole basis for freedom in the U.S. is that you are free to do as you like as long as it doesn’t interfere with others’ freedom. Perhaps this quote from the phrophet Mohammed is what gives people the jitters:

    When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them. . . . If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them. (Sahih Muslim, book 019, Number 4294)

    That certainly lends credence to the idea of Islam being a “peaceful” religion; join us, pay us, or we kill you. Now, I certainly realize not all Muslims subscribe to these ideas, but how many have to to make it a threat? There are still extremists out there who are plotting against us, and you want to give them a headquarters to plot the next attack on the new WTC right across the street? Sorry, I may look stupid, but….

  2. NortonSmitty says:

    Pierre, I think you are way off base here and missing the Big Picture. In your brief history of the Trinity church, you attributed the atrocities committed by members of the church to the church itself, a debating trick I”m sure you’ve been on the other end of many times. The good you outlined that had been done by he same church couldn’t have been done without the same parishioners you just vilified. Same with any organization from Muslims to Moose.

    However, we give much more leeway to all religions than we ever would grant any other organization, because we have been taught from childhood that religion is a force for good. Even though we know more evil and killing has been done in the name of most religions than anything else with the possible exception of greed. Muslim, Christian, Jewish, hell probably even Buddhists have been goaded into killing to defend their religion. And always because some Mortal convinced them that’s what their God (or Gods) wanted them to do. Same as it ever was, forever and ever, Amen.

    So unasked, here are my Two Simple Rules on religion:

    1.-Never let a man get between you and your God. If God has something to say to you, by definition he sure is able to do it without a mans help.

    2.. Think really, really hard before you give money, time or blood to a belief that was formed thousands of years ago by people that were superstitious and uneducated no matter how passionate it’s being sold.

    Those are just my beliefs.

    Except of course for the all-powerful Flying Spaghetti Monster.

  3. dlf says:

    Bob K: get used to the press leaving out facts that shed a dim light on thier view. Pierre has been good at this for many years and does a good job at it. As his front page states “your news source” not his feelings or editorial view, but it is his baby and he can raise it anyway he wants. Don’t confuse the story with facts, number one rule with our liberal press and current crew of crooks in Washington.

  4. Rick G says:

    Notwithstanding the previous comments I want to thank you Pierre for the cogent, inciteful and informative piece. As an atheist I can observe all religous beliefs and those who adhere to those beliefs with a critical eye. I don’t care which religion you select to believe, I think they all can be beneficial or harmful depending upon the people who make up its membership. Humans need to get past the trivialities of organized religion and understand that people think and act differently. There are those who act less than human in all religions and no one religion holds an advantage on good or bad.
    Desecration of the 9/11 site is the fact that ground zero still remains vacant almost 9 years after the attack, while we have built a multi-billion dollar embassy in Baghdad and spent untold hundreds of billions on two useless wars. The previous administration did nothing to ensure a proper monument or edifice would be built and the current one isn’t doing much better.
    Therein lies the issue. The failure to properly honor the site and those who died there with something appropriate is a shame. An Islamic community center with a mosque is just another building amongst many buildings. It should be of no significance at all.

  5. Anita N. says:

    “When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action.”

    If I were Hindu, and a worshiper of a pantheon of gods and goddesses, I would surely live in terror, since “polytheists” refer to the worship of multiple gods.

    “That certainly lends credence to the idea of Islam being a “peaceful” religion; join us, pay us, or we kill you. Now, I certainly realize not all Muslims subscribe to these ideas, but how many have to to make it a threat?”

    I would submit that Islam is as “peaceful” as Christianity and Judaism in their more bloodthirsty periods. The point being any religion is only as peaceful as its leaders and followers allow. How many radicals in any religion pose a threat to those of another creed if harm is their intent? There seems to be developing a general distrust, bordering on hatred, of all things Muslim in this country and that doesn’t bode well for America.

    Yes, the reason Ground Zero remains vacant is the inability of the site’s owners to agree on what structure would be grand or appropriate enough to commemorate the tragedy. I’d love to see them commission Maya Lin who did an amazing job on the Viet Nam war memorial in Washington to create something moving, tasteful and reflective of the commonality of mankind so that the healing can begin.

  6. H Peter Stolz says:

    The headline of this article has me shaking my head in disbelief. Get real Pierre.

  7. Lin says:

    Oh please, Pierre — again, you look back for awful history to prove your point & find it. You wouldn’t have to look that far back to find history (9/11/01 and 3,000 dead Americans) to support NOT having a Mosque at ground zero. How about some sensitivity to those families and the country that was attacked?

  8. Bob K says:

    In response to Anita N: I guess then it would be just a matter of interpretation as to whether “The Father, The Son, And the Holy Ghost” would be considered multiple Gods. One extremist believing that to be so would put a lot of people in his/her cross hairs. And yes, we could go back centuries and find examples of how other religions murdered and plundered, but I wasn’t there and neither were you. We’re not responsible for those actions or any others we haven’t perpetrated, but the current day extremists do hold us just as responsible. It’s not exactly as if some Muslims don’t bring on this distrust themselves; I won’t go through the list of examples of violence committed by terrorists in the name of Islam, but they do include 9/11, the Cole, and let’s not forget the “Chechnyan rebels, who shot school children in the back as they tried to flee a schoolhouse massacre in the former Soviet Union. You can call me what you will for my view of reality, but don’t count me amongst the diversity at any cost crowd that will say, “Just to show you how tolerant I am, I will let you kill me and my children.”

  9. Rupert says:

    Perhaps you turds didn’t notice it’s an opinion piece. You reactionaries make me laugh and just because it’s an op-ed doesn’t mean it’s devoid of facts.

  10. Anita N. says:

    “In response to Anita N: I guess then it would be just a matter of interpretation as to whether “The Father, The Son, And the Holy Ghost” would be considered multiple Gods”

    Not to a Roman Catholic. That particular trio is referred to as the Holy Trinity and represents the three aspects of ONE God.

    Neither of us was present when Jesus was said to have walked on water, or Moses received the ten commandments direct from God, yet the belief the inerrancy of those tales lives on. I don’t expect anyone to atone for prior religious excesses, but I doubt whether the Sahih Muslim you quote is any more representative of the average Muslim than Torquemada is representative of me.

    To claim that Islam, or more to the point, religion is the only gripe the people you call “terrorists” harbor against us is to be willfully and deliberately ignorant and I don’t believe for a minute that you are naive. Nor will I call you names for having a different view, even though I don’t agree with much of what you’ve written. I will not , however, allow the implication of cowardice and appeasement to stand. I love my country every bit as much as you do but rather than a matter of diversity or mindless tolerance, I want my country to live up to its promise and not be crippled by the true cowards among us who only see fear when they encounter someone who is different.

  11. NortonSmitty says:

    People, people, please I gave you the key to your salvation! Pearls before swine indeed! This is your last chance to convert (or at least comment) before the righteousness and supreme power of the almighty!!
    Please, it may be your last chance not to piss him off!

    Consider please for all our sakes and the sake of our children.

  12. Kevin says:

    Except for Rupert’s ignorant comment, all the others were very interesting to read.

  13. dlf says:

    Rupert: according to this site it is and I quote ” no bull,no fluff,no smudges your news source for Flagler Florida and beyond”. The key word being “new source” If one is to report the news I would expect facts except for, CBS, CNN, ABC and FOX.; which in most cases are goverment run. If I want someones feelings I will ask for it , knowing it may not be based on facts, such as the crap we get from the crew of crooks in Washington.

  14. Pierre Tristam says:

  15. Rupert says:

    I still stand by my statement, if you take a closer look you windbags it’s under Pierre’s commentary section and it even says “The Live Column” which indicates it’s an op-ed piece. And just because it’s a news site doesn’t mean it can’t have an editorial page like newspapers do or pundits like CNN, FOX and MSNBC, you know those talking heads on that picture box like Glenn Beck and Rachael Maddow.

  16. Anita N. says:

    People, people, please I gave you the key to your salvation! Pearls before swine indeed! ”

    Norton Smitty, If I ever decide to convert, I will give serious consideration and tithe buckets of dough (pasta, of course) to the church of FSM, but we have always been members of the Cargo Cult because nobody cares enough to mess with us while we sit around scanning the skies and awaiting the return of our savior. Thanks for your thoughtyness.

  17. Rob F says:

    Can’t understand why the Jewish Anti-defamation League would be opposed to this. Maybe it’s because Msulims have an intense hatred for them. Started way back between Issac and Ishmael. Issac was the son of promise. Ishmael was not.

  18. Bob K says:

    Anita, the quote I mentioned, which you say you don’t believe is representative of all Muslims, is from Muhammad, you know, the J.C. of Islam. Here is another quote from the Koran:

    “fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war) . . . ” (Qur’an 9:5).

    “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued” (Qur’an 9:29).

    I mean, how can anyone read this and not wonder why we would welcome this into our country?

  19. Bob K says:

    Sorry, couldn’t resist just one more:

    9:111 Lo! Allah hath bought from the believers their lives and their wealth because the Garden will be theirs: they shall fight in the way of Allah and shall slay and be slain. It is a promise which is binding on Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur’an. Who fulfilleth His covenant better than Allah ? Rejoice then in your bargain that ye have made, for that is the supreme triumph.

    Fight; slay; be slain; it’s all part of the deal.

  20. starfyre says:

    no mosque–no mosque

    who cares about the muslims there anyway

  21. Anne-Marie says:

    What you’re essentially saying is that since others committed alleged atrocities & still built a beautiful church that precedent has been set & so it would be politically incorrect to prevent a terrorist-supporting Imam from setting up his base camp near the area where those he supported murdered 3000+ people. Well, keep playing nice with you’re Islamic friends. Maybe when they do take over, they’ll allow you to convert and pay them an infidel tax instead of killing you outright.

    Also, I just love how the media makes assumptions about what Islam is or is not or what the Koran says or does not say, but just like Janet Napiltano et all who failed to read the AZ bill they were vehemently opposed to, the media has failed to read and understand the Koran. Islam breeds hatred, but you’re still ignorantly defending it.

  22. J.J. Graham says:

    This article challenged me. Find the guy in the room who doesn’t like to be challenged and he’s usually dead wrong. What we need to do is pray really hard that extraterestials exist and wil come out of hiding long enough to make some less evolved people quit fighting over who gets the biggest hunk of heaven. heh! Pierre I thought I was a dander raiser. You’ve got brass. This is great. I think you outta have some White Stripes playing in th background when the article loads up.

  23. K J 2001 says:

    I want to ask a simple question. If you replaced ‘ground zero’ with ‘Pearl Harbor’ and ‘Mosque’ with ‘Shinto Shrine’, ‘Muslim’ with ‘Jappanese’ so that you could demand Americans accept the people, religion and a shrine to them atop the sunken hulk of the Battleship USS Arizona, would this article still have the same meaning and impact? I think it would still have the same meaning, a call for the acceptance of a people and religion at a place where Americans were murdered by members of that people and religion. Impact I am not so sure of. There are a fair number of Pearl Harbor survivors, as well as sons, daughters, and grandchildren of those slain there, along with millions of patriotic Americans, that would raise holy hell if Pierre Tristam called for a shrine to the attackers to be built over, or near, the very graves of those killed by them. And make no mistake, ground zero is still considered a graveyard by those who’s family or loved ones bodies were never recovered. So think twice before blindly following the call to accept a Mosque and meeting place for those who preach hatred, right at the heart of the result of what that hatred wrought upon American soil.

  24. Bob K says:

    Good answer, KJ!

  25. Lin says:

    Good point KJ

  26. some guy says:

    Once again you show how far off base you are. How does opposition ie voicing your opinion = a desecration of Americas values?? The government has not stoped the building of this muslim thing and i would not want the Government to stop it but it would be nice if the muslims did understand why it is not a place for it.
    Wory not i am sure the Government would stop it if it was a TEA PARTY that wanted to build a place their.

  27. Long Ben says:

    When the outhouse crazy and evil acting Mohammedans conquered the south of Spain , thus speading their ersatz religion at the edge of the sword , they celebrated by erecting a mosque in the place where there was once a chuch . This they did in the city of Cordoba Spain .
    When modern Mohammedans threaten to erect a mosque in a place ruined by the progeny of the outhouse crazy and then plan to name it the ” Cordoba House “, they are gleefully wissing down all Americans
    shirt collars and calling it rain. Sadly there are those who would turn themselves inside out in the attempt to turn urine into water. Go on mister Tristam , all you have to do is close your eyes , click your heels together three times and say ; I think it is water , I think it is water , I think it is water.

  28. Pierre Tristam says:

    If Samuel Johnson told us that patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels, bigotry is now its first. I like what New York Mayor Bloomberg said yesterday, when the mosque cleared another hurdle in spite of the hysteria: “To cave to popular sentiment would be to hand a victory to the terrorists — and we should not stand for that,” he said, noting as well why the families of 9/11 should welcome the mosque, not reject it (he must’ve been reading FlaglerLive): “The attack was an act of war — and our first responders defended not only our city but also our country and our Constitution,” he said. “We do not honor their lives by denying the very constitutional rights they died protecting. We honor their lives by defending those rights — and the freedoms the terrorists attacked.”

  29. vg says:

    To say Mr. tristam is one of the ones who will close his eyes is unfair!! I think he one of the ones “WISSING”

  30. Joe Shine says:

    The name of this mosque is Cordoba House. they can have their mosque, just not at that location. As far as the old church you speak of, i have never seen a Christian strap explosives to themself and go blow up innocent men, women, and children. Our course our religion of love does not allow us to condone such monstrous violence. This mosque is an insult to all Americans especially to those who lost their lives that fateful day along with the solders that have given their lives defending this country from that particular attack.

  31. Maveth says:

    I firmly believe that they should let the mosque be built.

    I am hopeful that then, some enterprising individual or individuals will take the opportunity to make a political statement by blowing it up when it is full of Islamofascist worshipers.

    Goes around, comes around.

  32. Long Ben says:

    Not to see Mohammedism for the evil it is , is to prepare ones self for dimmitude.

  33. Anita says:

    “The name of this mosque is Cordoba House. they can have their mosque, just not at that location. As far as the old church you speak of, i have never seen a Christian strap explosives to themself and go blow up innocent men, women, and children. Our course our religion of love does not allow us to condone such monstrous violence”

    It is my understanding that:
    1) the mosque is PART OF a building being erected to welcome any and all Americans and to promote peace and understanding between us.

    2) It will be built TWO BLOCKS from Ground Zero, not on top of it. Ground Zero will be rightly reserved for a memorial to those who died on 9-11. ALL of them.

    3) A young Christian man by the name of Timothy McVeigh did deliberately blow up a building in Oklahoma City killing innocent American men, women and CHILDREN. He knew they were there but he did it anyway, and you’re right, he didn’t strap the explosives to his own body. He parked a truck and ran.

    4)Anyone who thinks there’s a major religion free of the whiff of evil, either in its history or current practices is either blind, a fool or a liar.

  34. Bob K says:

    It is my understanding that:
    1) the mosque is PART OF a building being erected to welcome any and all Americans and to promote peace and understanding between us.

    Well, then you are at odds with Muhammad, Anita:

    9:28 O ye who believe! The idolaters only are unclean. So let them not come near the Inviolable Place of Worship after this their year. If ye fear poverty (from the loss of their merchandise) Allah shall preserve you of His bounty if He will. Lo! Allah is Knower, Wise

    3) A young Christian man by the name of Timothy McVeigh did deliberately blow up a building in Oklahoma City killing innocent American men, women and CHILDREN. He knew they were there but he did it anyway, and you’re right, he didn’t strap the explosives to his own body. He parked a truck and ran

    Yes, but he did not do it in the name of Christianity; he did it in retaliation for the government’s actions in Waco and Ruby Ridge. Yes, he was a domestic terrorist who happened to be a Christian, but that doesn’t mean that Christianity, or Judaism, or any other religion has violence at it’s root. I know YOU are not that naive.

    4)Anyone who thinks there’s a major religion free of the whiff of evil, either in its history or current practices is either blind, a fool or a liar.

    I am so disappointed in you Anita; everybody knows that when one is losing the argument, they can only resort to name calling. READ the Koran! That is the foundation of Islam. It is rife with violence and hatred for non-Muslims. It advocates killing and fighting, humiliation, and punishment. That is the problem, and Imam Rauf is a DEVOUT Muslim, meaning he adheres tenaciously to the tenets of Islam spelled out in the Koran. I can’t make it any clearer than that. These are the facts. If you can’t understand why some would have a problem with that, then I can’t change your mind.

  35. Bob K says:

    Pierre, I find it very ironic you refer to me as a “bigot.” Bigotry: stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own. I am not intolerant of ANY of the above that differ from mine; I simply am intolerant of any people who are so intolerant of anyone else different from themselves that they advocate physical harm or murder. I have a tougher time accepting a religion that promotes the same.

  36. Long Ben says:

    Don’t think McVeigh was a practicing Christian much less one in name only.

  37. Anita says:

    Bob K, I hope you realize that we could dance with this issue until the light leaves our eyes, and breath, our lungs and probably never convince one another of the futility of our respective arguments. Nevertheless, let the games continue. Repeat: the mosque will be a PART of the building open to the public. I did not indicate whether everyone would be able to go into the mosque, since I don’t know that. However, I do know that visitors to other mosques throughout the world are welcome as long as they observe the proper protocols, as you would do upon entering a synagogue or church. And as for my being at odds with Islam, as a woman that should be perfectly understandable. The Burka is not my style. (Nor was it mandated by Mohammed)

    The people at WACO belonged to an armed religious cult and McVeigh blew a building up as revenge for their deaths. But what matter? Doesn’t every terrorist think his reason justification for a big body count? Go big or go home!

    Sorry if I struck a nerve, but I stand by that last sentence. If you can tell me the difference between a war god who tells wandering Israelites to go down into Canaan and slay everybody and take the land; a god whose “Holy” representative dispatches Crusaders to Jerusalem to free it from the Infidel who just happens to call it home (yes, there’s that lust for land, again), and a god whose cranky old representatives issue fatwahs and orders for jihad and slaughter against everything little thing that annoys them.

    The point is, we have freedom of and from religion in this country. It is a founding principle based on both myth and reality, and telling a people they cannot erect a building two blocks away from Ground Zero which includes a mosque, when the venerable Trinity Church stands only a block away, will change the nature of this country indelibly. I’m so proud of New York for not buying into it.

  38. Bob K says:

    And that brings us right back to my original point opposing the premise of this article; just as you say we have freedom of/from religion, we also have freedom of speech. I was trying to point out those who oppose the mosque have some very valid reasons to do so. In voicing these concerns they are actually preserving American values, and not simply being bigots, as Pierre has proclaimed. Peace,and good night. ;)

  39. Anita says:


  40. NortonSmitty says:

    Peace my ass, it was just getting good.

    I’ve been staying out of this thing since I first helped stir this pot. And it isn’t an easy thing for me to do. I tried to laugh the whole subject off with the FSM thing (all hail

    But as much as I detest organized religion, and the unorganized too in spite of the underdog thing (Sorry Rasta’s) the fact is Religious beliefs, no matter how we would like to ignore their fucking stupidity, are going to affect our lives in a big way for the foreseeable future.

    That said, after browsing through all of the common ones, uncommon ones, extinct and obscure ones, well known and downright silly ones in my life looking for some answer without a concrete question, (you had to be there, after almost getting killed for nothing in the ’70s it didn’t seem as weird as it does here and now) it is my opinion that Islam is the most aggressive and violent religions on the planet. at this time. Since the Vikings at least in Western history. A lot of it was passed down to them after they were conquered by Ghengis Khan and the Mongols, who never took their armies or their beliefs home.

    Good thing that they live in the poorest countries on the planet or we’d be in trouble for their plight. However, the fact that they live on almost all the oil is making them question why, and starting to piss them off. The fact these facts coincide with their religious burden, their “Cross to Bear” is turning out to be a problem for our Western Civilization, even though we pretty much own everything. for now.

    But as far as them naming their Mosque, cultural center or whatever you want to call it after the history of their conquering and occupation of what became known as Cordoba in Spain, no doubt it’s an In Your Face challenge. Maybe it’s payback for us being blatant enough to try to make the new Iraqi flag an identical blue and white copy of the Israeli flag,(remember?) just to show who was really running this show, but that’s just my speculation. Or maybe the Wahabbi’s in Saudi Arabia still think the US owes it to them for all the times they bailed the Bush family out of their bad business deals, who knows?

    But as Sultan Omar ben Petrolio said, “When religion, politics, and oil ride in the same cart, it isWritten we’re all Bozsos on this bus”

    Hey, It’s almost as good as Leviticus and not as stale. But not as good as this:

    And still the Weaver plies his loom,
    who’s Warp and Woof is wretched Man.
    And weaves his Mysterious Dark Design,
    So dark we doubt it owns a plan.

    That was some Hindu mystic from who knows when, when I was looking.

  41. Rob F says:

    So If we let them build a Mosque, does that mean we get to build churches in Iran and Pakistan? says it all.

    • Pierre Tristam says:

      Is that really the standard you want your freedoms to be measured against Rob? Pakistan’s and Iran’s? And it’s not about “letting” them built a mosque. It’s about following the law. There is no us and them anymore than there are “acceptable” Americans and “unacceptable” ones, though our history is sadly soiled in just those kinds of despicable demarcations.

  42. Rob F says:

    Yes, they may build because we have freedom, which allows a deadly enemy to live next door. Whether it be a sexual predictor or a religion bent on destroying all infidels (non-believers) at the request of their moon god.. Yes there were and still are fanatical christians bent on destroying our government just as there were zealots during Christ’s day that wanted to overthrow the Roman government, but Christ and the Apostle Paul made it quite clear that that was not God’s way, and we do all within our power to keep that from happening. With freedom comes the responsibility to also limit freedom of those who sole purpose on earth is to destroy you. If you knew that someone lived on your street only to kill you or bring you down, you would certainly be concerned, but they have the freedom to live there. The drawback to freedom is that everyone has it, even the zealots.

  43. Kevin says:

    Here is one of many speeches and such as to why this mosque should not be withheld. I would argue because this religion demonstrates such intolerance towards others not enacting “allah’s” commands is a good place to start.

  44. Kevin says:

    Correction to the above…should not be allowed to be built. WTF:o)

  45. Scott says:

    PT – Non-denominational bigots, sounds like personal bigoted view of those who are non-denominational.

    I hope not.

  46. Pierre Tristam says:

    Not meant that way at all Scott, and the use of the words in the sentence’s context makes that clear: “The same arrested morals are playing out again by Christians, Jews and non-denominational bigots, politicians pandering for votes especially….” This is an equal-opportunity sentence.

  47. Kevin says:

    Since I lack the abiulity to articulate compelling comments I simply respond with this well stated piece~Kevin:

    “New York currently boasts at least 30 mosques so it’s not as if there is pressing need to find space for worshippers. The fact we Muslims know the idea behind the Ground Zero mosque is meant to be a deliberate provocation to thumb our noses at the infidel. The proposal has been made in bad faith and in Islamic parlance, such an act is referred to as “Fitna,” meaning “mischief-making” that is clearly forbidden in the Koran.

    The Koran commands Muslims to, “Be considerate when you debate with the People of the Book” — i.e., Jews and Christians. Building an exclusive place of worship for Muslims at the place where Muslims killed thousands of New Yorkers is not being considerate or sensitive, it is undoubtedly an act of “fitna”

    So what gives Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf of the “Cordoba Initiative” and his cohorts the misplaced idea that they will increase tolerance for Muslims by brazenly displaying their own intolerance in this case?

    Do they not understand that building a mosque at Ground Zero is equivalent to permitting a Serbian Orthodox church near the killing fields of Srebrenica where 8,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered?

    There are many questions that we would like to ask. Questions about where the funding is coming from? If this mosque is being funded by Saudi sources, then it is an even bigger slap in the face of Americans, as nine of the jihadis in the Twin Tower calamity were Saudis.

    If Rauf is serious about building bridges, then he could have dedicated space in this so-called community centre to a church and synagogue, but he did not. We passed on this message to him through a mutual Saudi friend, but received no answer. He could have proposed a memorial to the 9/11 dead with a denouncement of the doctrine of armed jihad, but he chose not to.

    It’s a repugnant thought that $100 million would be brought into the United States rather than be directed at dying and needy Muslims in Darfur or Pakistan.

    Let’s not forget that a mosque is an exclusive place of worship for Muslims and not an inviting community centre. Most Americans are wary of mosques due to the hard core rhetoric that is used in pulpits. And rightly so. As Muslims we are dismayed that our co-religionists have such little consideration for their fellow citizens and wish to rub salt in their wounds and pretend they are applying a balm to sooth the pain.

    The Koran implores Muslims to speak the truth, even if it hurts the one who utters the truth. Today we speak the truth, knowing very well Muslims have forgotten this crucial injunction from Allah.

    If this mosque does get built, it will forever be a lightning rod for those who have little room for Muslims or Islam in the U.S. We simply cannot understand why on Earth the traditional leadership of America’s Muslims would not realize their folly and back out in an act of goodwill.

    As for those teary-eyed, bleeding-heart liberals such as New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and much of the media, who are blind to the Islamist agenda in North America, we understand their goodwill.

    Unfortunately for us, their stand is based on ignorance and guilt, and they will never in their lives have to face the tyranny of Islamism that targets, kills and maims Muslims worldwide, and is using liberalism itself to destroy liberal secular democratic societies from within. ”


  48. Bob K says:

    Another note regarding the esteemed Imam Rauf: in 2004 he published a book titled “What’s Right With Islam Is What’s Right With America.”

    [Comment edited pending verification.]

  49. Kevin says:

    Good point Mr. Bob!

  50. Pierre Tristam says:

    Bob K, I’m not sure what your point is or your beef with Imam Rauf, but I question the claim you made about his book title in the Arab world. Unless you can verify it directly, which I doubt–cite me the source where you saw the actual title, in Arabic: I read Arabic, so I could verify it personally–the comment will remain edited. I won’t accept secondary sources. I’m not going to lend my site to the further dissemination of unverified inflammations of what’s turned into a national issue. To cite the Imam himself from Karen Armstrong’s foreword to that book you refer to, “If we are indeed fighting a ‘war against terror,’ we need accurate information.” So please do your part.

  51. Anita says:

    Would it be acceptable to all those who feel uncomfortable with the presence of a mosque in such proximity to Ground Zero if the building were to incorporate space for all three religions of the “Book” and a smaller non-denominational chapel set aside for meditation for those believing in other, or no creeds? What I had in mind was a large welcoming area leading to a separate church, mosque and synagogue, (I’m not looking for a miracle, just a building and an end to this interminable argument) with the meditating chapel (or garden, if you prefer) attached to the structure. The building would be interfaith, under one roof, inclusive and symbolic of the desire for harmony. Why not? It’s a start.

  52. Kevin says:

    Dear Pierre,

    It was once my understanding that it was reported there was indeed a book that had two titles that were produced for the different societies- Muslim and Western. One title was interpreted as glorifying the acts of 9/11, the other was one suitable to be accepted by Western audiences. I am researching it as time permits.

    The person he mentioned rang my bell as being the party involved but with a memory like mine…

  53. Kevin says:

    Really if they are so concerned with helping people through building the mosque, why not start by reinvesting the 100mm in their people or for free, eliminate the persecution of gays, women, Jews, Christians, etc., in their own countries where the follow Islam? Why is it that Muslims can force commuties to withdraw Christmas and hannuka displays because they are offensive but citizens hurt by acts of Islamic extremism must endure and bear witness to the construction of a mosque, shoved audaciously in their faces, like a dog whose nose is stuck in its pooh by its master in order to teach it a lesson for shitting on the carpet?

  54. Bob K says:

    Pierre, I have not seen the title in Arabic, I don’t read Arabic, so I can’t refer you to where I saw it in Arabic. I’ve seen it in a couple of different sources. Time permitting, I will attempt to find a copy of the Arabic version; do you think they will have one in Barnes and Noble? My point is, and has been supported by every post I’ve made in this thread, is that the people who are opposed to the mosque have good reason to at least express doubts. The background of the Imam behind the mosque must also be examined. Those opposed to the mosque are not simply bigots and xenophiles. In fact, the more research I’ve done on the subject, the more opposed I become. Sorry if it goes against your ideas on the subject, but I find it very difficult to ignore facts.

  55. Pierre Tristam says:

    Bob, I respectfully disagree that “the people who are opposed to the mosque have good reason to at least express doubts,” the questionable word here being good. The Imam and his wife are Sufis, who are Islam’s equivalent of Quakers. To associate them with anything remotely related to violence is ridiculous and offensive on its face; to connect the Imam himself, whose background, paper trail, books and public comments dating back to the attacks at the heart of this hysteria, with anything like the slanders he’s been exposed to is not just irresponsible (since it’s baseless) but, yes, bigoted in the strictest sense of the term’s definition: he’s being slandered and denigrated because of his faith. Nothing else. The irony in all this is that you don’t get more peace-loving than Sufis (who are themselves persecuted in parts of the Islamic world for their abhorrence of dogmas and fanaticism). Bob, you’ve been relying on WorldNet Daily-type sources that have about as much connection to decency and reality, let alone fact, as the Inquisition did. The accumulation of garbage doesn’t make a monument. It’s just a bigger pile of garbage.

  56. Bob K says:

    I am relying MOSTLY on the words of the Koran, and I don’t believe I misquoted it. Nonetheless, it is a poor choice of location for a mosque, and taken as an affront by many New Yorkers in particular. For that reason alone they should reconsider.

  57. Bob K says:

    Pierre, I was just a little wrong; according to Wikipedia, the book WAS published under that title, but only in Malaysia. They retrieved it on I went to the site but can’t read it. However, wikipedia confirmed my contention. The book is titled “Seruan Azan Dari Puing WTC,’ by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.

  58. Bob K says:

    Here is a link to the cover of the book:

  59. George says:

    Bob quoting the Koran? Do you have a doctorate in Islamic studies? Are you an Imam? I could quote scripture from the christian bible too, but that doesn’t make me an expert. Some verses in the bible describe what appear to be unjust instructions or actions by God to commit genocide. Others involve the murder of innocent, defenseless individuals, including the elderly, children, infants and newborns. So to invoke the Koran and use it to demonize an entire culture is foolish.

  60. Kevin says:


    You must have something very wrong with your optic chiasm in order to see such a twisted view of current day Christians and Muslims as you do evidenced by the ignorant equation you attempt to make. The biggest fallicy with your comment, LARGE NUMBERS OF PEOPLE OF WESTERN CHRISTIAN SOCIETIES DON’T MAKE THE NEWS DAILY FOR COMMITTING BARBARIOUS ACTS MUTILATION, STONINGS, CUTTING OF LIMBS, BEATINGS, BOMBINGS OF INNOCENT AND UNEXPECTING PEOPLE,, TERRORISM, HONOR KILLINGS, REFUSAL OF HUMAN RIGHTS TO WOMEN, ETC. as do many followers of Islam, specifically RADICAL ISLAM, you dope! I want you to take a Roman Catholic Bible, or King James, and tell me the verses you can count where it EXPRESSLY DICTATES THE KILLING, MAKING SLAVES OF, OR TAKING OF ANOTHER HUMAN BEING NOT believing in Jesus or God. Also, show where it states these acts in repetition as it is reported like the Quoran does? For God sakes just look how afraid leaders of Government or the media are to make any comments about Muhhammed or the Quran for fear of violent retribution against them. Really what the F goes through the liberal, pacifist mind that it gets so polluted with poisonous thoughts that you see things as you and others like you do?

    Second, you don’t have to have a Doctorate to find credible interpretations from trustworthy, scholaraly individuals with expertise in the Quran. They are widely available with research and a little time. You make me sick realizing people like you think as you do!

  61. Kevin says:

    One big the problem, which is all that is needed in this example to know this “Quaker” equivalent Imam is the worst of all eggs in the bunch is he does not condemn Hamas for the terrorist actions except when it benefits him while presenting his façade of making polite and smiling to Western reporters.
    Again where is this money coming from is where the stench of evil creeps up on senses. And again, why is it where most Western societies and other countries build mosques, crime and poverty flourishes??? It is nothing more than the recycle of what Islam is famous for thousands of years. The problem they WILL eventually encounter will also be the same: freedom loving humans with the spine to defend their lives against what is known to be a virus plaguing many areas around the globe.

  62. Kevin says:

    And why don’t Muslims of good faith and character speak out against the MODERN DAY atrocities of radical Islam? All one has to do is look to the Saudi Arabia to see bold examples of a perverted religion meant to maintain superiority of the male and his power over all others.

  63. George says:

    I can qoute bible verses all day long Kevin, but each religion has it’s own radicals, and don’t rely to heavily on TV media you’re letting the news be spoonfed to you, but you asked for verses here’s a few. Some examples:
    Deut. 32:42
    Deut. 20: 16-18
    Joshua 8
    Joshua 10
    Numbers 25: 1-15

    Not only do the Israelites in the Bible commit repeated acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing, but they do so under direct divine command. According to the first book of Samuel, God orders King Saul to strike at the Amalekite people, killing every man, woman, and child, and even wiping out their livestock (1 Samuel 15:2-3)

    An interesting article highlighting the violence in the bible and the koran.

  64. Bob K says:

    Oh, George, how typical of your type. Now, I’m not smart enough to interpret what I read. I mean, yes, I’ve needed help to interpret some classic literature; I had no idea of what most of Hamlet was saying in the first reading, but the Koran is not that obscure, at least the English interpretations I’ve read. Regardless of what any book says, I look at the actions taken by the followers, particularly those of the present day. We cannot change history, and cannot be held accountable for the actions of our ancestors. Based on current world events, one cannot help but conclude that fundamental Islam is at the root of numerous wars and insurgencies: the Phillippines has an ongoing Muslim insurgency; areas of the former Soviet Union have Muslim insurgencies; Ethiopia is fighting a Muslim insurgency; Sunnis are attacking Shi’ites in Iraq, and vice-versa. The recent rioting in France was attributed to Muslims. Bombs exploded in the subway in Spain, and on buses in Britain. Radical Islamists are engaged in a power struggle in Lebanon. This is off the top of my head. Now, let me make it clear: I’m NOT saying all Muslims are like this; I know that’s not true, but there’s certainly a significant segment of Islam that is taking the portions of the Koran to heart that compel Muslims to convert or kill infidels. Now, Imam Rauf may or may not be part of this crowd, but he certainly has stated that he wants Sharia law instituted in the U.S. He wants to use the WTC as a recruitment point for Islam. His values are fundamentally anti-American, and his goals are not in alignment with American values. This, Anita, is why your idea will not come to fruition. A multi-cultural center at Ground Zero will not happen under Imam Rauf, because his stated goal of bridging the gap is not his real goal. His real goal, I believe, is to make WTC a symbol of Islam’s triumph over the West. (Note to George: “Bible” and “Christianity” are capitalized, as you capitalized “Islam” and “Koran.”)

  65. Kevin says:

    George show me the widespread implementation of the what you hope to prove. While these trivial and antiquated verses might exist, as I haven’t read them and the context in which they are written, I cannot see anywhere globally where Christians are doing in mass what I challenged you to refuting and the not so subtle display of naive thinking you have shown regarding Islamic etremism.

  66. Kevin says:

    Bob K: True, true, true, and true!

  67. Kevin says:

    “Not only do the Israelites in the Bible commit repeated acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing, but they do so under direct divine command. According to the first book of Samuel, God orders King Saul to strike at the Amalekite people, killing every man, woman, and child, and even wiping out their livestock (1 Samuel 15:2-3)” WTF is worng with your brain? Where do they do this in todays modern times?

    If anything liberal Jews are seeing first hand to their own destruction due to some of their self-loathing beliefs, something not noted it he bible.

  68. Dorothea says:

    Kevin, WTF is wrong with YOUR brain? I think you’ve lost it. Cool down. In Northern Ireland (in modern times) there was terrorism among Christians, Catholics vs. Protestants. Northern Ireland’s fanatical Catholics extended their terrorism to London and bombed and killed innocent civilians, including woman and children. And what exactly are the liberal Jews doing that you refer to? I can’t make any sense of that sentence.

  69. Kevin says:


    You think I’ve lost it? “Cool down.” Why, because I am passionate and not a slug who pretends to be sophisticated by showing acceptance of invalid arguments and frankly, naive ignorance about a very serious and provocative issue as you do. Sorry you “can’t seem to make sense of that sentence.” I don’t think it requires too much worldly experience and knowledge to understand. Apparently, the comment is over your head.

    At the same time while you try to take a jab at me, embarrassingly you prove your lack of knowledge by providing the examples you mentioned. The groups and terrorism you referred to is wholly dissimilar in many ways than that which I wrote about. In Ireland, it was between two groups: Catholics and Protestants. It was also more than just that based on religious idiologies. Your examples involve conflicts that were localized to a specific regions as well. Your examples didn’t involve a spawning, infectious ideology that increasingly spreads across the globe, as I mentioned, delineating and going after everyone not committed to Jihad. They didn’t seek the violent overthrow of national laws inherent to those countries it takes root, like a cancer, metastasizing with what is known as Sharia Law.

    Let England be my best and most alarming example to those not hypnotized by scotch or their own ignorant liberal sensibilities.

  70. Dorothea says:

    Kevin, whether enebriated by scotch or not, your remark about liberal Jews went completely over my head. Please explain it in a way that, in my unwordly experience, I can understand.

    The conflict in Northern Ireland today is, in fact, largely based on religious ideology. Protestants in Northern Ireland want to remain under British rule because they do not want to become part of Ireland and its Roman Catholic dominated government. Remember that King Henry VIII broke from the Catholic church and formed the Church of England in order to divorce his wives in preference to beheading them. Birth control and divorce were forbidden in Ireland because Catholic ideology dominated the Irish government. I don’t want to get into a long discourse on the miserable and parasitic way that the British Empire ruled over its subjects in Ireland and other countries, but that went away long before the Northern Irish Catholic terrorists were blowing up people in Northern Ireland, England and elsewhere in the United Kingdom.

    You can also study the history of the Roman Catholic church and its bloody wars waged in order to expand and maintain the church’s power. True, the Catholic church did not have bombs at its disposal, but that’s only because they hadn’t been invented yet. Even the Vietnam war had its roots in maintaining the Catholic Church’s domination in Vietnam. So don’t dismiss the power to incite people to war and violence over any particular religious ideology, whether they be Christian, Muslim, Jewish or as in the case of the former Soviet Union, no religion.

    In the aftermath of World War I, the victorious Allies took revenge on Germany, destroying its economy and making the German people suffer for their aggressions. This only led to Hitler’s rise to power and ultimately World War II. You can conquer a people by force, and sometimes it is necessary, but you can really only win the war when you have captured their minds and hearts, not just their bodies.

    ‘He who forgets history will live to repeat it’

  71. devrie says:

    I’m not sure why we feel the need to divide each other where it seems comfortable. There are radicals in every religion. Innocent Muslims died in the WTC (I don’t mean the terrorists). I think about over 60 died.

    I’m not entirely sure which national or religious group can perfectly claim rights to the United States, when our founding fathers seemed to want to peel Americans away from the grip of “Kings,” and religious bonds while many modern Americans skew those early intentions into a Christian-only foundation of our country.

    Our constitution is established in giving us all the freedom to practice our religions. To suggest that this Mosque, which is less on “ground zero,” then it is in the midst of Capital America, should be forbidden somehow by the Government is counter-American.

    We don’t have to like the fact that there will be a Muslim Mosque near ground zero, but to assert that the WTC collapse has nothing to do with Muslim-Americans is just as ignorant as assuming all Christians believe in bombing abortion clinics. We have Muslims in American, and they have the right to practice their religion, just as any of us has the right to practice one or not to practice one.

    Let us NOT set some sort of precedent where the government can intervene with ANY of our religious rights.

  72. Ellen Stanford says:

    All i need to know about islam, i learned on 9/11. I pray that this project never occurs.

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