Using a mosque to prey on U.S. fears

People like to hear they’re right to worry. There will always be politicians willing to tell them that.

Mark Peterson/Redux

There are, by one count, 23 mosques in Manhattan. Four are south of Canal Street, in Lower Manhattan. According to the New York Times, the two closest to the site of the former World Trade Center have become snug fits for their worshippers in recent years as Manhattan’s Muslim community grows. People who want to pray are routinely turned away.

So if we were talking about, say, sporting-goods stores, the case for a new one would be pretty clear. Such things are not unheard of in the neighbourhood. There is a demand for more of them. So make some more.

But of course we’re not talking about a retail outlet. We’re talking about a proposed community centre, which would contain a mosque, two blocks north of the World Trade Center site.

Sarah Palin, who will run for president the next time she gets a chance, made a few false starts on Twitter before she came up with a minimally coherent case against the centre, which would be called Park51. “Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn’t it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate,” she wrote, and then “Peaceful New Yorkers, pls refute the Ground Zero mosque plan if you believe catastrophic pain caused @ Twin Towers site is too raw, too real.”

However high Palin set the bar with those sorties, other opponents of the project have not managed to live up to her standards. Newt Gingrich, who may run for president the next time he gets a chance, had this to say: “Nazis don’t have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust Museum in Washington. We would never accept the Japanese putting up a site next to Pearl Harbor.”

Criticizing the chain of logic that brought Gingrich to that comment would just give logic a bad name. Sept. 11 was like the Holocaust? All Muslims are like the 9/11 murderers? Really?

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg stepped up with a plainspoken defence of Muslim New Yorkers’ right to do what New Yorkers of any faith can do. “Should government attempt to deny private citizens the right to build a house of worship on private property based on their particular religion? That may happen in other countries, but we should never allow it to happen here.”

Barack Obama did the same, nearly two weeks later. Then he stomped on his message the next day, claiming that defending the right to a mosque did not mean endorsing the mosque. He might as well have saved his breath: within days Rick Scott, a Republican candidate for governor of Florida, was running ads calling the project “Obama’s Mosque.” Because he prays there. Because he’s Muslim.

Because he hates America. Get it?

Anyway, there’s not much point debating the details of the Park51 proposal. Part of the complex would be called “Cordoba House.” Is the reference to Cordoba a bloodthirsty vow to take Spain back from the Christian crusaders? Or an evocation of a golden era of relative concord among Muslims, Christians and Jews that lasted for centuries? The latter, I say. But I doubt I’ll change Newt Gingrich’s mind.

What’s worth saying is that the project stirs deep fears, including among people who are hard to write off as bigots. People have questions about the project, and simple answers aren’t always persuasive. (Why now? “Now” is nearly a decade after 9/11; just because the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation can’t get on with the rest of its life doesn’t mean the rest of the neighbourhood shouldn’t. Why there? Because these people live there. Not persuaded? Oh well. I tried.)

Deep fear that resists easy answers is, of course, catnip for politicians. People like to hear they’re right to worry. There will always be politicians willing to tell them that. But if any of them feel like showing a little responsibility, they should spare some thoughts about consequences.

That mosque is going to get built. The others that dot Manhattan and the rest of America are not going away. The people in them will continue to meet and worship. There may be some among them who wish their neighbours harm, but most don’t. No good can come from blanket assertions that the whole lot of them are a threat to the community.

As for Muslims, so for others. The Harper government had a genuine problem thrown in its lap when the MV Sun Sea landed on the B.C. coast earlier this week with 490 Tamil passengers. Their claims to refugee status can’t be taken at face value. They will have to be investigated. And queue-jumping shouldn’t be rewarded. Throughout the drama, the Harper government has made an effort to be responsible. This reflects, in part, the difference between the burden of government and the fabulous gravity-free romp that is Republicanism in the Obama era.

But the Harper government’s fondness for looking tough persists. Here too, they’d do well to consider consequences. There are already a quarter of a million Tamils in Canada. The situation for Tamils in Sri Lanka is so hellish that Harper’s own government accepts 85 per cent of proper Tamil refugee claimants. A few addled editorialists may have the right to pretend all Tamils are terrorists. The Harper government doesn’t. Once the crisis of the moment passes, we will all still need to get along.




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Using a mosque to prey on U.S. fears

  1. Great article! I don't know if anybody could write the argument better.

    I do have another proposal, though. Make it illegal to build any religious institutions or pray to any entity within two-blocks of ground zero. Let's see how the Tea Party likes that.

    • It shouldn't be illegal to build religious institutions ANYWHERE.

      Two wrongs don't make a right.

    • Jason, the problem is there are already two churches already within vicinity of Ground Zero….both of them are Catholic Churches.

      • That were there before the 'allah ackbar' boys attacked.

    • Lousy article! You are too generous and naïve to think it's a good idea to build the mosque.
      Basically, the Muslims hatred for America…and the mosque being built near 9/11.
      Not a good symbolic gesture. Ironic, mocking.

  2. Great article. I do understand the genuine apprehension that some have regarding the mosque, but the fear- and hate-mongering is despicable. I'd like to believe we're capable of better political discourse in Canada, but I'm not sure.

  3. Hahaha. You used that catnip quip twice. Aren't you just a bit embarrassed? Like Scott Feschuk and the Kristie Allie jokes.

  4. I think that what Paul fails to mention is that building a mosque at ground zero is exactly like building a memorial to Hitler at Auschwitz. Also, he didn't even consider the possibility that mulsims can build a mosque at ground zero just as soon as we're able to build a synagogue in Mecca. It's called being reasonable, Paul. Look it up.

    • Fortunately others are on the case. See below.

    • I've always been bemused by the argument that we should calibrate our levels of human rights to the lowest common denominator, rather than aspiring to a loftier goal. We rightly pride ourselves on our society's protection of human rights, the rule of law, and tolerance and respect, yet there are those who believe it somehow advances our cause in the world to withold rights, to withold legal protection and to withold basic human decency as a punitive measure. Those who do so fail to see how it plays right into the hands of those who would then correctly point to our hypocrisy and ridicule any claim we make to higher ideals.

      • It's hard to aspire to a loftier goal when those goals are spat upon by the ones you are trying to aspire. If you have not noticed, the West's loftier goals (which I do not refute as being the better choice in most circumstances) have been greatly taken advantage of by Muslims. If you do not know yet, the Imam of the mosque is a supporter of Hamas, and is on record for saying that America is basically responsible for 9/11 (aka they had it coming).

        • Where as the West's baser goals of developing very destructive weaponry has not worked out so much in favour of several nations with a high muslim population.

          It all evens out, no?

        • It isn't hard to aspire, it is hard to achieve. We actively promote, for good reason, global adherence to minimum standards. Standards of rights, freedoms, laws, standards, conventions, etc… What moral authority do we have to promote those higher ideals if we arbitrarily withold them when it doesn't feel good?

          When you say it's hard when others despise us and abuse us and take advantage of those very rights, you are right. But if we manage to find ways to overcome those challenges, we then hold the moral advantage to point to ourselves as examples, not hypocritical "do as we say not as we do" types.

        • “If you do not know yet, the Imam of the mosque is a supporter of Hamas, and is on record for saying that America is basically responsible for 9/11 (aka they had it coming).”

          No, in an interview he said that Hamas is not just a terrorist group – seeing as how they were (a) initially funded by Israel as a counterpoint to the PLO and (b) now the currently democratically elected government of palestine – his view shouldn’t be all that controversial.

          As for “they had it coming” what he actually said was that america did NOT deserve what happened on 9/11 but that US policies were an accessory to the crime. You know who else said that? Glen Beck, just a few months ago on his very own v show. You know who else said that? The chairman and the vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission. Are they also spitting on America too?

      • The best is Lorne Gunter. He spends seven whole paragraphs on how illiberal the Muslim world is, before ultimately admitting that the point is entirely irrelevant.

        • Your best stuff is lost on these boards… not that I am saying it is any good, just that it is lost.

    • Actually, it's more like building a German museum in Auchewitz and allowing a German church to be built within two-blocks of a former concentration camp. Note that most Jews are eager to visit German Holocaust memorials when they go to the country.

      • Well that's not nearly alarming enough to supply suitable fodder for a posterboard, and as such, I remain unconvinced.

      • Eager?
        Strange word to use. Are concentrations camps elsewhere less 'eagerly' visited by Jews or is it only in Germany that this happens?
        So all those WWII vets were only being "eager" when visiting the sites where so many of their fellow men died trying to free those from concentration camps? Is it eagerness by them, for them now to visit their graves?

        When I go to family gave plots for quite moments of reflection, would you rush in saying I'm "eager" to do this?

        Deliberate word usage – meant to demean; whereas anyone else would have used: Respect. Or to pay their respects.

    • How is it exactly like building a memorial to Hitler at Auschwitz? And using the argument that because a totalitarian, theocratic state won't allow religious liberty, the west should respond in kind is insulting, and a complete disregard forthe religious freedom (and freedom from religion) that has heloed the west progress to the point it is at today.

      But ya, totally, all muslims are terrorists and mosques, no matter where they are, are the same thing as memorials to Hitler. Because being overly emotional is way easier than being rational.

      • Excuse the typos, I broke two fingers last week and haven't quite mastered the keyboard yet.

        • Not a problem. When I read about this issue, I usually end up typing with my forehead.

      • You forget to add that Obama is a Muslim and probably not American by birth. Apparently this is an important part of the argument against building anything Muslim anywhere near Ground Zero.

        • So apparently the guys screaming out "allah akbar" as they suicided passenger planes into business high rise towers in downtown Manhattan on sunny morning, causing your average working stiff there to either have died instantly, suffered then died, jump to their deaths or burn to death – just at work on an average work day – and this is only a "minor detail" in all of this?

          Thousands died all around that area they're still finding remains. So to put up a gigantic ugly building ( it's just plane ugly to me ) – an islamic mosque, demanding and expecting it actually, to be built practically on top of what was done in their gods' name goes beyond my ability to be tolerant.

          Sure they have the 'legal' right but they just showed me their true intentions of where their hearts are and they don't match mine. Shari'a compliant??

          Speaking plainly here so as not to misconstrue.
          To me it shows THEY have no consideration, no sensitivity, or tolerance nor intention to assimilate, what-so-ever. This like salt in the wounds.

          It is a poke in the eye to the Americans and liberals up here enjoying their angst is pretty pathetic actually. Demeaning and minimizing the very event of that day, at that location to take a proven enemy's side, is very chilling to me.

          Sends out the wrong message – but they don't care, seem to thrive in the conflict -why-is this how they like things to be?
          Someone's really pushing the wrong way there and as usual the Canadian Liberals are blaming the American victim. Least I can count on their consistency with the snide 'apparently this is important to them… " blather.
          Sickening actually.

          • To go back to an earlier point: are all Germans Nazis? Are all Russians Stalinists? Are all Christians Crusaders? Are all whites Supremacist? No? So then, gee, all Muslims aren't terrorists. Americans are poking themselves in the bloody eye by being so willing to rip up their own Constitution because it's easier to tar everyone of a religion with the same brush.

          • What earlier point are you talking about exactly?

            Where did I say that ALL muslims are terrorists? Or even imply that? Why are you addressing me instead of to whom you claim took this stance? Go ask them!
            You talked about nothing of my comment what so ever.
            Minimize and obfuscate much or what?

          • Are all Americans so willing to rip up their constitution?

          • You must be one of the thicker one 'round here.

    • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dilara-hafiz/yes-i-

      Makkah is an exception, not the rule. And Makkah is the most sacred place in Islam, period. No other place comes close. It's like the Vatican City. Even if you do cite Saudi Arabia, it is again an exception. It has a tradition of religious intolerance and is a closed, conservative society. That has a huge cultural factor as well, which most people ignore.

      • Well, there is allowing Churches, and then there's allowing Churches.

        The rule in the Muslim world is generally is to not allow people to build churches in the number that they require, or to fix the ancient churches that are falling down. Also, there certainly are problems for you if you convert from Islam to Christianity, as a rule, not an exception.

    • So you think the Americans should abandon their constitution. That should show the terrorists.

      • So you think the Americans should abandon their constitution.

        That's the only way to show these Islamofascists they're serious this time.

      • No. Protest is an American tradition. If they build the mosque in spite of the protest, so be it.

      • "So you think the Americans should abandon their constitution". You make it sound as if America(ns) have never done such a thing.

        • Is there a Notwithstanding clause in the American constitution?

          • I believe theirs is the creation of Amendments. See Prohibition (the 18th amendment).

    • "…I think that what Paul fails to mention is that building a mosque at ground zero is exactly like building a memorial to Hitler at Auschwitz…"

      Only true if you believe all Muslims to be terrorists. That's quite the statement.

      • Certainly not all, but definately the ones pushing for this oversized mosque in a business district, overlooking ground zero.

        Miss America – a muslim, says they shoudn't do this, likely will cost her the miss universe crown – not that actually I care abaout beauty pagents, but it's interesting that the liberals idols are being ignored if they don't say the right thing or say the wrong thing, according to the social progressive party line.

        Our OWN Canadain mulims say: Shouldn't do this….but heh obviously some here don't want to hear from that source, just a moderate muslim woman right?
        Best ignore her and get back to bashing and hating those G-damn Americans, Christans, Jews and whomever else doesn't measure up our way of thinking, right?

    • Prolly shoulda included a winky face there somewhere eh? :)

      • Indeed. In this case it's helpful to be familiar with Olaf's "work" on these boards.

        • Olaf is hilarious

          • Feel free to nominate someone else, but I dare say that Olaf is my favourite rightie on macleans.ca; he does a fabulous job of advancing a right leaning perspective in a clear / logical manner, and at least as impressive is the style that he uses to do that, rarely if ever sinking into the muck of insults, useless generalizations, hyperbole and oversimplifications.

          • "rarely if ever sinking …"
            except with Wherry ;-)

          • At the same time that I note your ;-), I'd never noticed a particular common link between the occasions that Olaf seems to hit the ditch. Perhaps Wherry is Olaf's Achilles heel!!

          • How progressive of you.

          • Pardon?

            In general terms you don't like Olaf's posts?

            Others aren't allowed to like Olaf's posts?

            I shouldn't appreciate Olaf's posts for some reason?

            I don't understand your point…..

          • Truth be told, have none here from what I just reviewed;
            Did make that comment elsewhere, must have popped in here by accident.
            My apologies sent.
            Do not know Olar's postings enough to comment on them either.

          • Ahhhhh…..!@#$% interweb thingy, going around making mischief. Whats up with that, anyways ;-)

          • ROFL @ the !@#$% interweb thingy – love it.
            Have just noticed that the fist line of my last posted comment shows if I open a new comment box – even on a different site – it appears…I'll have to pay more attention to my happy clicking finger.
            Cheers.

    • How exactly is it "just like" it?
      How does the twin towers and building 7 have equivalence with Auschwitz or the other camps?
      The destruction of the twin towers and a building 7 was a holocost?
      Were the twin towers Mecca for you? Were the twin towers and building 7 a concentration camp for you?
      Are you suggesting that we need to bomb Mecca to get a synagogue built there?
      Is there some pressing need to build a synagogue in Mecca?
      Why would you choose a synagogue as your example when a church would have been more germaine?
      Do you consider the attack on new york an afront to the West or to Zionism?

      • Lots of ways, it just does, yes, yes, not me but others, sure why not, yes, just because, and yes.

        Phewf. Those were toughies.

        • I… No.. but….

          Damn it!

    • Amen brother Olaf !

    • "Building a mosque at ground zero is exactly like building a memorial to Hitler at Auschwitz" ?
      A more logical analogy:
      "Building a memorial to Osama Bin Laden at ground zero is exactly like building a memorial to Hitler at Auschwitz"
      or perhaps: "Building a mosque at ground zero is exactly like building christian church at Auschwitz"
      (And Paul didn't fail to mention it, it's in the photo!)

    • IYou should try and build that same synagogue in The Vatican…and we will see how that goes.

      For you information it is illegal to build any non-muslim place of worship in Saudi Arabia, let alone Mecca. How can the U.S. people compare the religious freedoms they have to the non-existent ones in Saudi Arabia?
      Building a mosque in New York and building a synagogue in Meccah are 2 completly different things! Mecca is a compltly Islamis city at the heart of a country that is 100% muslim, New York on the other hand claims to be multi-cultural and relgiously tolerant.

      I hope that clarifies some of the problems you are wrestling aboutwhat is reasonable and what isn't.

  5. Jason, you are aware that the folks behind the financing of this mosque; should it come about, would not let you in their country, let alone build a synagogue within its borders. In fact, if you ever visited New York after this mosque was built, you would not really be shown a warm welcome.

    Every place in the world you find mosques, this equation is true.

    Mosque + curious Jew = dead or beaten Jew.

    I recommend you stay away.

    As for the Tea Party folks….sorry, most of those in the street protesting are native New Yorkers. Not exactly a hotbed of Republican support.

    • be quiet you idiot, and stop making stupid racist comments.

      • Mike T.

        Umm…Mike, you do know that religion has little if anything to do with race….right?

        When one begins by calling someone an idiot….the prudent thing….would be to ensure that the accusation actually fits. In this case…..I think it is obvious who the idiot may be.

      • Ah, here we go with the racist cards again.

        • Yeah, it's getting very old.

          • You know, if conservatives want to claim they're unfairly being called bigots, it might look good on 'em when they condemn examples of bigotry when they actually do it.

            Just sayin.

          • They do. I've seen plenty of bigotry and I condemn it every time. Liberals tend to condemn it only when it's specific groups (for instance, liberals ignore black bigotry against whites and muslim bigotry against jews and other groups). Liberals also invent bigotry whenever it suits them.

          • and yet…..

          • Like I said, Liberals invent bigotry whenever it suits them. Which happens to be quite often. Especially the dumb ones.

          • Dude, I'm not the one who said he always challenges racism in a thread where a guy said:

            Every place in the world you find mosques, this equation is true.

            Mosque + curious Jew = dead or beaten Jew.

            Way to go big guy. We're all so proud.

          • That's an exaggeration. But at the same time, in some places it's true.

            Way to go dude, like, yur so cool, y'know! Gnarly dude! Like, do you surf?

    • I've been to the Dome of the Rock and have pictures. I wasn't even looked at funny once I covered my legs.

      • Jason wrote:
        "I've been to the Dome of the Rock and have pictures. I wasn't even looked at funny once I covered my legs. "

        That's great Jason…………a Jew in Jerusalem. Still a little dangerous, but I hope the picutres are of good quality.

        Now……go to Saudi Arabia and try it. Or better yet….Britain, France, or Germany.

        As for your legs…ummm………TMI

        • You don't sound like you've done a whole lot of travelling yourself.
          I'm curious? Do you even know any muslims? Have you ever been a mosque?

          • Oliver,

            I've been to the following Muslim countries.

            -Abu Dhabi
            -Bharain
            -Yemen
            -Qatar
            -Jordan
            -Egypt
            -Morrocco
            -United Arab Emirates
            -Indonesia
            -Saudi Arabia (great execution's on every other Thursday – they still use a sword / Scmitar)
            -Britain
            -France

            Granted, I never lived there, but I did spend quite a bit of time mingling.

            Without fault, one of the first lines of questioning concerns Israel, and Jews………

            All told, I've been to just about every country you could name, with the exception of Russian or Australia…..I tend to travel a lot in my line of work. (strictly legal of course…..)

          • I laughed out loud when I read "Britain." Londanistan indeed.

          • Lastly….sorry, no mosques allowed for the Kaffir's….

            Unless it's for a photo op for Liberals…which again leaves me out.

    • If you walk into a place full of extremists, extremism is what you'll get. I've been to mosques in four different countries, and am yet to find a mosque where someone would kill a non Muslim.

      "In fact, if you ever visited New York after this mosque was built, you would not really be shown a warm welcome."
      Did you know there are two mosques near Ground Zero, one of which has been in the area since BEFORE the World Trade Center was built?

      Check this out, and have a nice day: http://30mosques.com/press/

      • Nabeel noted:
        "I've been to mosques in four different countries, and am yet to find a mosque where someone would kill a non Muslim"

        Let me guess. America, France, Canada, and Germany.

        And please note…..I pointed our a certain kind of non-muslim.

        If young Jason were to visit a mosque in his yarmulke….I'm sure he'd be as welcomed as a roast of pork wrapped in bacon…carried on the back of a dog.

        • Is the same true for Jews living in a predominately Muslim nation? Would they receive the same treatment?

          • Congratulations.

            Now tell me how many Jewish monuments remain in Algeria, where the Jewish population went from 140,000 to 0 in 60 years. Or in Tunisia, where the Jewish population went from 50,000 to a few hundred in 60 years. Or in Libya, where it is now 0 instead of 35,000 60 years ago. Or in Afghanistan, where it went from 5,000 to 1.

            At least these hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees can point to a shul in Beirut. Hooray!

            BTW, Lebanon is barely a Muslim majority country in the first place – 40% of the population is Christian.

  6. I agree that Palin seems to have struck about the right tone albeit the wrong audience. I can certainly understand someone being upset at the location of the mosque. Being suspicious of Muslims is not the same as being racist. (Actually, it certainly is racist, but it is a milder sort that a well-meaning aunt might have)

    I don't understand how the libertarians who seem to be the most outraged, fail to note the obvious underlying issue of individual & property rights. It is absolutely clear that the owners of the property have the right to build the mosque. Given that, any legitimate attempt to stop the mosque has to be done through consultation & negotiation with the property owners, not screaming to political leaders or the press.

    • As an opponent of the mosque, I'm in agreement with you. They have the legal right, and they should not be stopped on that basis. But the screaming to the press and politicians is the only way to generate the kind of pressure on the organizers that would be needed to cause them to take action (again, assuming their motives are pure).

      By the way Paul, they've dropped the "Cordoba House" name. It's just called Park51 now.

      Ultimately I'd like to see the organizers, if they are really building this thing in good faith, take a step back, see the damage this initiative is causing, realize that building it where they are building it will never be viewed as anything but a provocation that rubs salt into an open wound, and which is incompatible with their stated goal of "bridge building", and take the NY governor up on his offer to move to an alternate location.

      • Why is it a provocation? Because a group of fanatics who call themselves Muslims bombed the World Trade Center? Exactly how is it a provocation?

        • Because they are building it on a site that was destroyed in the name of Islam, and naming it after an 8th century victory mosque. Yes, it's 2 blocks away from the WTC site but the building that was there was damaged by landing gear and parts of the fuselage of one of the planes, and that fact is important to the builders of the mosque. Even other Muslims are calling it a provocation; is that so hard to understand?

          • It is also a bulding that nobody else seems to want. That entire neighbourhood is quite depressed, apparently.

          • Maybe because they are still finding remains there.

          • It's between a pub and grocery store.

      • Indulging craven petty fears is rarely the best way forward.

      • take a step back, see the damage this initiative is causing

        Wouldn't that kind of be allowing the terrorists to win?

        I think it's kinda funny how people have switched sides in this debate. Normally, it's the left wing that has excessive regard for the fragile emotions and sensitivities of certain groups, all of a sudden it's the right wing that deeply cares about how people feel, and desire to restrict fundamental rights on that basis.

        • Me too! Only last year, Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn were proclaiming to the four winds that "there is no right not to be offended".

      • Best reponse so far. I will fight to the death for the right of Muslims to build mosques anywhere here or in the U.S. despite my disdain for everything Islam, but the CHOICES that were made (location, groundbreaking date, Al-Andulus reference) are what I take issue with. And Americans have every right to protest their discomfort, disdain, or rage in each and every nonviolent way they can. It's sad to see so many "progressives" openly stating Americans shouldn't be allowed to do voice their opinions because it might make Muslims feel bad. This is what democracy is about.

    • Even if we make the ridiculous assumption that it's a direct attempt to undermine American spirit and declare Taliban victory, aren't we playing directly into their hands by crying that it's undermining American spirit and is a declaration of Taliban victory? Isn't the best response "Go ahead with your silly mosque. It doesn't bother or threaten us in the slightest."

      "Too raw, too real"? Grow up.

  7. "And queue-jumping shouldn't be rewarded."

    What on earth is this queue jumping claim?

    Citizenship and Immigration Canada says "Canada offers refugee protection to people in Canada who fear persecution or whose removal from Canada would subject them to a danger of torture, a risk to their life or a risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment. Groups and individuals can sponsor refugees from abroad who qualify to come to Canada."

    That's the way refugee status has ALWAYS work. For immigration you apply from your home country. For refugee status you have to get to Canada first, then claim refugee status. You can in some cases be sponsored prior to arrival, but that's not the norm.

    • Yeah, frankly, RayK's closer to the truth on this than I am. I'd take that line out of my column if I had do-overs.

      • I see Coyne covers this and other lost details in his column that you linked above. In addition to his awesome "bottom of the boat test" he really clears up a number of the misconceptions in these two paragraphs:

        "…The Tigers themselves are a despicable bunch, but helping hundreds of desperate people to reach freedom would seem the least of their crimes. Sometimes this is called 'human smuggling' or 'trafficking,' to give it an unseemly taint. But smuggling implies an attempt to evade detection: this ship, by contrast, went about its business openly. And while trafficking in human beings is obviously horrific when the 'cargo' is destined for slavery, in this case the destination is Canada…"

        "Is that the problem, then: are the Tamils, as it is said, 'jumping the queue'? But there is no queue for refugee claimants. Of the 40,000-odd refugee claims Canada receives every year, about a quarter are made from Canada (as opposed to being made at embassies or refugee camps overseas). You show up with a valid claim, you're in…"

  8. Mike T again:
    "be quiet you idiot, and stop making stupid racist comments"

    One other point Mikey………

    Everything I wrote is true. You not wanting to acknowledge that truth….is not my concern. That is your failing….not mine.

  9. …and I like…your writing style, it's…totally coherent…especially consideirng your…logic.

    • I'm glad…you approve…….Kap…lan.

  10. Yea, just what I want to focus on just before an important election a NYC Mosque and one baseball players steroid use. It's not like our elected officials and news media has NOTHING ELSE TO TALK ABOUT! Let's all play along with the degenerate conservative wackos with their hate speech, racist attitudes, severe superiority complexes, odd paranoia and religious delusions… See cyberbitchslap2.blogspot.com for more.

  11. "And queue-jumping shouldn't be rewarded."

    I really wish this nonsense would just die. There is no bloody queue for those who flee their country in fear of their life.

    • 1. There are de facto quotas for refugees. The number of claimants exceeds the number of spots Canada generally admits.
      2. There is a limited ability to process refugee claims.
      3. Once people reach Canadian soil they are treated differently from people in refugee camps.

      In other words there are multiple mechanisms by which people arriving by boat or plane take away from those in refugee camps and diminish our ability to focus on the neediest of refugees.

  12. YEAH! What HE said!

  13. Excuse me? In what world do you think that inserting that into the above username is a good idea?

    • That's what he said, and then when people called him on it, he doubled down and said it was the right thing to say.

    • Hmm….I see actually "QUOTING" Robert Mclelland's own posted admission is deemed unworth on this site.

      Strange when you consder Robert McLelland posted the words himself on his own site.

      Interesting.

  14. tl;dr

  15. I think I'm split on this issue. Both sides have an argument. I think I would defer to the people that have lost family in 9/11. Islam was the motivation for that attacks, therefore Islam should take a back seat in the vicinity of the place where the victims are buried.

    Where to draw the line, I don't know, whether it's two blocks or ten.

    • Hyperbole has drowned out that there are two reasonable sides to this debate. And while I think articulated rights have to prevail over emotion, both have their own merits and both need to be discussed.

      I just really despise how this debate has turned into millions of American's believing followers of Islam are akin to Nazi's and the such.

      • Yes, it's unfortunate. Liberals tend to turn every discussion into a discussion about racism and discrimination. If there is a group that can be identified, then it must be racism, etc, etc.

        I particularly despise Nancy Pelosi, who attempts to delegitimize opposing arguments by making the claim the argument against the mosque is "funded". She dismissed tea-parties as astroturf rather than grass-roots, and now she's claiming those opposed to the mosque should be investigated. This type of argument is extremely poisonous, in my opinion. It's one thing to disagree, it's another to claim that you are dishonest, and your motives are hidden and surreptitious.

        • Some of the arguments are racist, some are mindbogglingly stuipid, the rest are just weak.

      • Calling the anti-mosque/community centre/OMG THEY'RE GOING TO KILL EVERY JEW WHO WALKS IN THE BUILDING!!!!-side "reasonable" goes too far.

        I think the worst part of this entire affair is how nonsense arguments and anti-muslim sentiment is getting played up into something remotely legitimate.

        • That's the type of poisonous remark I'm talking about, accusing others of ill motives. Nobody has said such a ridiculous thing.

          "THEY'RE GOING TO KILL EVERY JEW WHO WALKS IN THE BUILDING"

          Provide a name or reference for that remark. Otherwise we can assume it's baloney.

          It would be like me making the claim that you're an anti-Christian bigot because most of the dead on 9/11 were Christian. Or that you're a black man who has a hatred for whites and you'd prefer to see more mass-murder through the complete destruction of NYC. So, is it true? Are you in favour of killing white New-Yorkers and do you hate Christians?

          • read above, you contemptous, lying little idiot.

          • Don't let emotions and rhetoric run too high. Don't confuse the debate with what some of the radicals on both sides are saying… it isn't worth the stress and leads to people tearing down straw men and calling each other names.

            Nazi's, racists… the discussion isn't (or shouldn't be) about which side of the debate is more evil.

            It is about tolerance as a fundamental value in a post 9/11 America.

          • Yeah, I hear ya.

          • You just did it LOL!
            Pulled the name calling instead of backing up you false accusation.
            No backing up what you stated at all.
            And no apology.
            Perfect example of why discussing this with liberals is considered useless.
            Not all liberals, as I certainly don't know ALL liberals, but certainly the ones dominating this site.

          • Although the tone on this site has deteriorated considerably in the last couple of months, I don't think it's fair for you to lump all the lefties (not "liberals") on this site with Mike T. There are several with whom one can have a perfectly civil and rational discussion.

          • Understood Gaunilon, your points are well taken and I agree, I do need to be more specific as well. Don't always realize it, but it is important to differientate.
            I look forward to engaging with the more rational ones here in the future.

          • Up your game and we can talk.

          • I know, I was acknowledging you were right.

            While people pretending that they're being high-minded by trying justify vile racist remarks does get under my skin, I should have remembered this is just the internet. While i certainly don't think an apology is in order (I was right, after all), I shouldn't have said it.

          • You did not answer: Are you in favour of killing white New-Yorkers and do you hate Christians?

          • Given the utter abject stupidity of the comment above, removing the assertion that some Jews are merely beaten when they go near mosques is justifable hyperbole. Any attempt to argue the contrary would be an obfuscationist attempt at deflection.

            Jeez, I feel like I have to explain things to a six year old sometimes.

          • That''s because your sandbox friends are all 6 year olds.

            Halifax is not a bigot. He said something that is true in some places. Jews are not welcome in mosques in most Muslim regions of the world. The exception is in western countries. In fact, Jews (and other non-Muslims) are forbidden from entering Mecca. In Egypt, citizens who marry Israeli Jews are stripped of their citizenship. As for being beaten, it all depends on where you are. In most of the Arab world, the statement is true. In Sweden and Germany, it's true.

          • He really really is and you look pretty bad trying to defend him.

            Sadly this "we're not really racist" crap goes on all too often on the right, and too many even seem to believe it.

          • Well, since you hate whites and Christians I guess you're familiar with the territory.

          • Continuing "fail" from the "we're not really racist" crowd.

          • and in Israel Arab citizens who marry Palestinians also lose their Israeli citizenship, and if some zealots get their way the same might soon apply to Israeli Jews who marry Palestinians but so far the loss of citizenship is only for Israeli Arabs. In Canada up until very recently a native could lose their status if they married a non-native too, bigotry and stupid things happen all over the world, its hardly something unique to Muslims like you're trying to pretend.

            I seriously doubt any Jew has ever been beaten for entering a mosque anywhere, assuming they did so in the usual respectful way, if they just barged in, interrupting prayer service or otherwise treating them with disrespect I can see a beating happening just like I could see it if a Muslim entered a synagogue in disrespectful way or either of those doing the same in a Christian church. But a Jew entering a mosque while showing the appropriate respect getting beaten, I just don't see it happening. If you have proof provide it, otherwise its just more anti-Muslim BS

    • Well, if it's somewhere between two blocks and ten, this centre might be in the clear. People opposing it like to quote the two blocks measurement, but note that that is two blocks from the "site". WTC Plaza is a pretty big chunk of land. In point of fact, the proposed mosque site is almost 6 blocks north of the former site of the north tower.

      • but for most of those opposing the mosque anywhere in the US is too close for their comfort, mind you some might be okay with it being built somewhere other than lower Manhattan despite all the Muslims living in that area, hence the demand for another mosque to be built there. For very many though it seems that distance has nothing to do with it, they just see an opportunity to bash Muslims and are taking it.

        • 70% oppose.

          Here are some reasons I think it shouldn't be built at ground zero.

          It's the close proximity,
          The persons specifically behind it – who is this imam?
          The money behind it and why such a huge expense when other accommodations would do very well.
          Places to rent there are abundant as many places sit empty, why not occupy them.

          The insistence of this specific location as by design it towers over the site – this raises the concerns of the real agenda behind it or not.
          There may be one there may actually be not one. But insisting that it be 'there' is suspicious to me.

          But they can more easily build it just a little further away as it's obvious the grieving is not over nor done with.
          They can't even let the Americans grieve and put their memorial up first?
          To push it to minimize the memory and desire of the living affected by it.

          Yes I completely understand that they have the legal right to.

          In Canada it's legal to have sex or marry a 14 yr. old BUT is it the right thing to do?

    • " I think I would defer to the people that have lost family in 9/11."

      How about just deferring to the law of the land?

      • It seems for certain people the law is irrelevant. The only thing that matters are the feelings of the victims. There ain't nothing like vindication!

        • Vindication? As long as we all understand that this is about vengeance and bigotry, not justice.

      • Perhaps some should be just be more considerate here and let them find the rest of the remains first ?
        Americans = bad and evil but heh, stand up tall and be the tolerant sucker once again right?

        • There are no human remains from 9/11 to be found 2 blocks away at the site of the proposed mosque/cultural centre, I guess its possible there might have been at one point but they would have landed on the building's roof and therefore would have been very easy to find long ago. Considering the entire WTC site has already been cleaned up its extremely unlikely there are any more human remains to be found there either especially considering they just found a boat from hundreds of years ago showing that their excavations have gone well beyond any modern deposits.

          • So you say, 'at one point but they would have landed on the building's roof and therefore would have been very easy to find long ago.'

            Can't think of any other point can you?

            Based on that premise, therefore any remains on building roofs would have been on "SURROUNDING" buildings roof tops!

            Thick and insensitive, both camps quite well matched here.

            So since the remains are "gone" – out of sight out of mind for callous liberals – it's all good with giving it away to an islamic based building in the very immediate vicinity.

            The wealthy imam/owners, sharia creep agenda pushers, blood money providers and liberals all happily dancing on the graves of innocents, but hey theyr'e just the hated evil Americans to Canadian liberals easily for them to look smugly and safely down their noses at Americans…as per usual.

            It is MOST insensitive and disrespectful for the these muslims to push for this. Sure they have the legal right but not morally. Their agenda of being the "victims" in all this is almost complete for them.
            Have we not heard non-stop since 9/11 about how insensitive WE are to and about MUSLIMS FEELINGS?

            Hello, are we even on the same planet anymore.

      • BTW:
        Law of the land in Canada allows you to have sex or marry a 14 yr. old.

        Does that make it 'right' to do morally?

        • Evidence?

          • In fact it is not legal in Canada to marry a 14 year old. Peopple who are 16 or 17 must have the consent of both their parents to be able to marry. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage_in_Canada#M

            You are ignorant.

          • And you're a sucker.
            LOL I knew it had been changed by the Tory's as the lieberals were too busy stealing money to focus on running Canada properly for decades they were asked to change this, they did nothing about it.
            Took a minority Tory Government to get 'er done!
            http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/05/01/crime-b

    • I'm not split on this issue. Either muslims and their instututions are legal in the United States of America, or they are not. Either muslims are enemies of America, or they are not. Republicans should make a determination as to whether they believe the practice of Isalm in America is legal, or if it should be banned.

      The geographic location for this mosque is a mere proxy for the real policy that Republicans hold dear, and use to great political leverage, but are afraid to espouse publicly.

      • Paranoia.

        • Aardvark!

          Whose turn now?

  16. While I completely understand why people might be uncomfortable with the building of a mosque near the Twin Towers site, claiming that this mosque is meant as a tribute to the terrorist of 9/11 is so assanine that it boggles the mind and beggars all credibility.

    As an argument of respect and empathy for the victums and families and the over all community of New York that is still very sensitive to reminders of 9/11, being against the building of this mosque near ground zero makes total sense. If forwarded in this manner I can understand the resistance.

    Beyond that people are seriously reaching and over reacting, and its too bad that the extremists are hijacking what is otherwise an understandable reaction.

    • "While I completely understand why people might be uncomfortable with the building of a mosque near the Twin Towers site, claiming that this mosque is meant as a tribute to the terrorist of 9/11 is so assanine that it boggles the mind and beggars all credibility."

      We are talking about people who, according to a recent Pew survey, also believe Obama to be muslim. I think credibility has left the building a long time ago.

    • Understandable isn't the same thing as "justified", however.

      • Perhaps not, and let's face it, the mosque will be built regardless of the outcry, but that said, had those in opposition to it chosen the high ground and sincerely stated their views in an open non-confrontational manner, perhaps a greater understanding could've been reached and/or a compromise considered.

        However, having gone full tilt at this thing from the most prejudiced position possible, the result is increased division and hatred rather than mutual understanding.

        It's a sad commentary on the state of community discourse these days.

    • "While I completely understand why people might be uncomfortable with the building of a mosque near the Twin Towers site…"

      I don't get that "near Ground Zero" thing. Two blocks. How far away would be considered appropriate for these people? What is the acceptable radius for a Muslim?

      • Nowhere near my backyard, appears to be answer….

      • Well of course you're right, but ultimately it's a perception thing eh? The extreme rightwing in this case are trying to capitalize on the sensitivities of people, and this wording is the best way to do that.

        However, it's an invitation to disagree meant as a trap to attack those who would disagree in an attempt to paint them as insensitive to the feelings of those who live there and suffered the attack.

        So its important to recognize that this is a sensitive issue, while still affirming the rights of Muslims in the community to have a center in their neighborhood.

        At least that's my take.

        • Sorry but I don't buy this sensitivity thing. It is just plain dumb to suggest that a location that is two blocks away (LKO makes a good case for it being 6 blocks away, actually) from Ground Zero is to be considered hallowed ground. If the Cordoba site was going to be built directly on Ground Zero, sensitivity would indeed be an issue.

          But two blocks away?

          It's one thing for the GOP and Tea Partiers to make hay of this. What is truly ridiculous is that Americans are actually buying into this.

          • While I certainly am more aligned with your view than not, part of being sensitive to the concerns of others is understanding that very often you will in fact consider their concerns to be misplaced, or "dumb" as you put it.

            Personally I think it's understandable that this would be a sore spot for some people, even if I think it should have no bearing on whether the centre gets built.

            What bothers me really is the "hay" being made off this by the rightwing. Seems to me they're actually stealing the legitimate concerns of some and abusing it for their own purposes, which is a really disturbed and twisted thing to do.

          • Wouldn't it be better to say "I see that you are upset, but it is important to realize that not every muslim flew planes into the world trade centre, and even if they did putting this mosque a few blocks away won't change anything" rather than "i see that you are upset, and your concerns are justified?"

          • That is in essence what I've said isn't it?

            It's understandable that this touches a sore spot for some people, but it should have no bearing on whether the Mosque is built. Pretty straight forward I think.

            BTW, if every Muslim DID fly planes into buildings, I'm guessing this would be a seriously bigger deal. LOL

          • "While I certainly am more aligned with your view than not, part of being sensitive to the concerns of others is understanding that very often you will in fact consider their concerns to be misplaced, or "dumb" as you put it."

            Phil, I had family working in the North Tower when the plane hit. Though I was lucky that none of them were harmed (physically at least), 9/11 will always be more than just a political discussion for me. I think that this is why I find this whole discussion so offensive. To use this tragedy as a political football trivializes and ridicules the memory of those who died. I don't expect any less from folks like Palin and Gingritch. I do, however, expect better from those who lost loved ones in the tragedy.

          • (cont')
            A muslim community centre built a few blocks away from Ground Zero is irrelevant. If anything, this bigotted debate is playing right into the hands of those who killed our family and friends.

            I'm sorry but words like dumb, insulting and irritating are what I will use to describe the people I see in the picture above along with those who agree with them. I'll make no apologies for it either. Get a grip, people.

          • Fair enough. I certainly share your disgust concerning the rightwing activist's behaviour on this issue.

            In terms of those directly affected who simply dislike it, I give them a little slack except where their commentary turns to hate.

            But again, it still should have no bearing on whether the mosque is built.

            In fact, it could've been parlayed into a healing experience for all if people had been of that mind set.

            A shame really.

    • The local New Yorkers, the neighbours of the mosque, have no problem with the mosque being built there according to several opinion polls, resistance to the mosque seems to increase the further one gets from it.

  17. Funny how until September 11th, 2001, American Muslims lived among us unnoticed and untouched. Not only did 20 men (who represented a radical fringe of a mainstream religion) successfully hijack airplanes, they have been even more successful at dividing the United States politically along a left-right split and creating fear where quite frankly, none should exist.

    It's rather sad that 19 dead men are still having such a profound impact.

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.com/

    • Hey, do you by chance have a blog? If so, is there some way I can get there? You say lots of useful things that I want to hear more about.

      • Like your humor!

  18. I wonder whether placing other establishments so close to such 'hallowed ground' as the so-called 9-11 'ground zero' would excite such comment and interest. I can't imagine that the Tea Party Republicans would be using this as a means to separate the hard right from the right in their primary races if it were, say, a strip club that were being proposed for this particular building.

  19. I thought this was a great article, but I find some of the comments truly disturbing.____Firstly, just like among Christians, Jews, Buddhists,etc., there are people of varying beliefs within the Islamic faith. It is as unfair to blanket the term "Muslim" as it is to lump all Christians or Jews together.____Secondly, the argument about "these people" not allowing "us" to build a synagogue in Mecca is a logical fallacy. Which "people" are you referring to? Are you suggesting that all Muslims are from Mecca? Are "they" the leaders of their country and some way get to decide? (By the by, why don't you ask the same question to the Vatican?)____Finally, the reality is this: this mosque will be built and it should be built. American laws and basic values about property rights and the right to worship are such that it has to happen. These protests do nothing but demonstrate the protesters are using their ignorance and fear of others to justify ignoring the basic principles of the country. If you want to make reference to Hitler in this argument, why not remember that Hitler convinced the German people to follow him by using fear tactics and scapegoating the Jewish community?

    • hear hear!

  20. We're talking about a proposed community centre, which would contain a mosque, two blocks north of the World Trade Center site

    Just for accuracy's sake, it's two blocks North of the entire World Trade Centre Plaza, which is pretty big. It's actually more like6 blocks north of the former location of the north tower.

    As for Gingrich's "We would never accept the Japanese putting up a site next to Pearl Harbor", in point of fact there actually IS a Shinto shrine right next to Pearl Harbor. George W. Bush visited it once when he was President.

  21. Aug 20, 1:22 PM EDT
    Methodist Church Complex To Be Built Near Fallujah Mosque
    By PETER
    Fake Associated Press Writer
    FALLUJAH (AP) —
    The "Balian of Ibellin" church complex is set to begin construction 300 feet away from Fallujah's 1000 year old mosque, destroyed during the fighting there between American forces and Sunni insurgents.
    Locals are protesting the move, saying this is like throwing sand in their eyes, given the defeat of the Sunni insurgency and the American-assisted Shia takeover of Iraq. Naming it after a crusading knight is considered a particular insult, as is the symbolic fact that the community hasn't been able to reconstruct the mosque's dome yet.

    • Nonsense, say the organizers of the church complex. "We're here to build bridges (and ugly po-mo churches) with the Muslims," they say. "Besides, it's not like we're George W. Bush type baptist extremists here. We're gay-and-contraception-friendly methodists, for Christ's sake!"
      The church builders say opposition here in Iraq to this church is simply based in ignorance and intolerance, after all, "we named the church after the cheese eating French surrender monkey who surrendered Jerusalem!"

  22. I just finished reading Marci McDonald's book "The Armageddon Factor". This confirms for me that the radical right wing Christian fundamentalists in Canada are a lot more scary than the Muslims I know. And I know a lot of Muslims, having lived and worked in Muslim countries for roughly 15 years. Of course there are the radical fundametalist Muslims and there are despicable Muslim leaders who use them to gain power and influence for themselves. They look about the same as the despicable radical fundamentalist Christian leaders who use and abuse other Christians to gain power and influence; like the poitical tag team of Manning, Day and Harper and close to half the conservative caucus in Ottawa.

    The problem is not in a Mosque in New York folks, it is in a fundamentalist Church around the corner from your home and all sorts of associated organizations that use your tax dollars to create a theocracy right here in Canada.

    • "The Armageddon Factor" is a continuus series of lies.

    • Yes, conservatives often Change the topic. Lie. Conceal. Fabricate. The Conservative Way!

      So much so that there is a new term for it: DefCon6 as in –

      DefendConservatives1 – If an issue arises, say it's a non story

      DefCon2 – If the issue won't go away, then blame the media

      DefCon3 – If the issue still won't go away, then blame the Liberals

      DefCon4 – If the issue still won't go away, then blame a bureaucrat or provincial premier

      DefCon5 – If the issue still won't go away, then blame a staffer

      DefCon6 – If the issue still won't go away, then start talking about Adscam, coalitions, broken GST promises and the NEP

      You seem stuck on DefCon 2

    • SunshineCoaster wrote:
      "I just finished reading Marci McDonald's book "The Armageddon Factor". "

      To which I reply:
      Yes, Sunshine, and that book has more errors in it than a film by Al Gore or Michael Moore. Not exactly the reference you should be looking for to build your case.

      • Sunshine Coaster goes on:
        "This confirms for me that the radical right wing Christian fundamentalists in Canada are a lot more scary than the Muslims I know"

        To which I reply:
        Which shows conclusively you are an idiot. Sunshine, while trying to show your "progressive" bona fides, you choose to ignore the events that cause some people to have concerns.

        Such as:
        Sharia Law – head hacking, stoning, chopping off hands, public beheadings, honour killings.
        Terrorism – I don't recall hearing of Christians hijacking planes and flying them into buildings housing thousands of innocent people.

        Frankly, Sunshine….given that post, I would recommend you stay holed up in your subsidized housing and finish off your baggy of B.C bud. Because frankly, it sounds like the first two baggies you've smoke so far……..were pretty darn good.

      • You are using DefCon 2: balme the media. Please provide ONE quote from the book that you believe to be in error or untrue.

      • You are using DefCon 2: balme the media. Please provide ONE quote from the book that you believe to be in error or untrue.

    • Right, all those Christians are scary because they can legally stone adulterers to death as long as the stones are not too big (Iran), cut off female genitalia because sexuality is a sin (Somalia), keep women locked in black burqas as well as locked within their houses from the outside in (Saudi Arabia), and give no choice to those born within their borders about which religion to choose as being Christian is iron-clad legislation (Indonesia). Did I get that right?

      • These proscriptions come directly from the Old Testament which Stephen Harper, Stockwell Day, Vic Toews, Preston Manning and a whole troupe of the CPC causcus believe should be the basis for laws in Canada, which is why they frighten me. They are working to create laws in Canada the same as the ones in other theocracies that you find so horrific.

        • Do try to stay on topic. Harper, et al, are not even mentioned in this article. I won't even address the substance of your post; it is neither a reply to anything I've mentioned nor grounded in reality.

  23. Islam and the beliefs it fosters is the problem and a proximate, primary cause of 9/11. It is obviously inappropriate to a have building dedicated to those very beliefs erected on the site where a great crime was committed in their honour. This is not about the rights of Muslims, it is about taking a clear view of Islam and the duty to kill infidels it imposes on its believers. Most Muslims ignore those exhortations, to their credit, just as Christians ignore the violent and barbaric parts of the Bible. But a mosque is specifically dedicated to those beliefs, and therefore can't be treated like other buildings. I think an important question is, how will Muslims around the world react to the erection of this building, if it happens? Will they break into tears of ecumenical joy and embrace the first Christian they see? Or will there be joy of another sort: the triumphant revelry we saw in the streets of Palestine on the day of 9/11?

    • How exactly do you know that "Islam and the beliefs it fosters is the problem and a proximate, primary cause of 9/11"? There never was any explanation from the 9/11 terrorists as to their motivation, where you connected to them, did you know them personally? I don't know how else you could know their motivation was Islam. McVeigh was Christian, according to your logic its safe to assume the Christian faith drove him to do his act of terrorism.

      If a mosque is dedicated to the violent beliefs contained within the Koran why isn't a church or synagogue dedicated to the violent beliefs in the bible? The bible after all calls for people to executed for all sorts of minor trivial reasons, the old testament also includes a command from god for the Israelis to commit genocide upon entering the land their god gave them, the bible also instructs us to kill women who are found to not be virgins on their wedding day and all sorts of other violent nasty stuff, so if a mosque is a building dedicated to killing non-believers as you claim then surely synagogues and churches are also buildings dedicated to crimes against humanity like genocide and the violent suppression of female sexuality. Just like you say a mosque shouldn't be allowed then no synagogues or churches should be allowed any where in a society that is opposed to crimes against humanity and equal rights for women. If its good for the goose then its good for the gander.

      Yes I imagine Muslims around the world who have heard of the controversy over this particular mosque/cultural centre being built will be joyful when it gets built but not for the reasons who assume, they'd be joyful a mosque got built in spite of the anti-Muslim bigotry trying to stop its construction, I'll be joyful too when its built since it'll "refudiate" the right wing bigots opposed to it.

      • I'll be joyful too when its built since it'll "refudiate" the right wing bigots opposed to it.

        Kettle met Pot.
        AND why?

        I get no joy out of other people angst.
        I find that sad some need to do that.

        Hate, dispise me, be disgusted by me if you will for what I say or believe, that's your choice.
        You're responsible for your own feelings.

        I am not a racist or a bigot and or BUT you loudly proclaim I am by the majority I stand with.
        McViegh was not a 'Christian' why do you say that? Because he was white? Born in a family from a Christian background? A Christian nation? He never called out the name of any god when he killed as a far as I know, he just hated, lots of people, govt. in particular. Makes him a nut ball and ancarchist at best. BUT you've got him as a Christian…telling about your motives.

        He was a criminal more than he was a Christan for his whole life…putting things into perspective helps stop bigotry I find.

      • BTW:

        All those things in the 'old bible' you go on about, more like a rant…but,
        this was all – pay close attention to this –
        WAS ALL
        BEFORE christianity was reformed something islam needs to do; so thanks for pointing that out as today, islam is doing far worse in its 'god's' and/or it's 'cultures' name than was done in early christian days.

      • RIch opined:
        "How exactly do you know that "Islam and the beliefs it fosters is the problem and a proximate, primary cause of 9/11"? There never was any explanation from the 9/11 terrorists as to their motivation"

        Geez, Rich………..you must be one of those folks who thinks it was the work of Israel or the CIA.

        Tell you what….get a copy of the Koran and read it. That should enlighten you to any motivation you are looking for.
        Next….try and get a copy of any number of video tapes by the Islamists claiming exactly what you fail to see…and maybe check out the Bin Laden tape while you're at it. That should help you with the last part of your question.

        As for the bible being violent in some spots. True. The difference is critical however. The people who read the bible haven't stoned anyone to death or burned anyone at the stake for quite some time. Those who read the Koran and take it literally, do so quite regularly.

  24. Obama's backpedalling and filling the air with enough words to deny that what he first said means he is in favour and then immediately saying that neither does such denial mean he is against (this was the eloquent candidate, right?) are turning out to be not that far from bolstering many right-winger's comments: Of course they have a right to build that mosque if they really want to; this is America after all. But boy this is a bad idea and it stokes bad vibes and I hope the outcry will help them see that this is a bad idea.

    Government suppressing the mosque is illegal. Government suppressing opposition to it is also illegal. Both the mosque there and the opposition to it are stupid ideas, the first being stupid (not illegal, just stupid) because it had to be anticipated that the second would follow from the first.

    But what of some reports that they don't even have the money they need to build it anyways? Is that true, nonsense, or unknown?

  25. It would be interesting to do a poll to see how many people would rise up in anger over a McDonald's near ground zero. I'd bet a fair number of people still would, especially if it was unclear to a lot of people just how close the McDonald's would be. Anti-Muslim sentiments are surely part of the fears people have, but a misunderstanding of proximity and a belief in the idea of hallowed ground is another.

    • Take a walk around my friend – it's New York – on the block directly across from WTC site there are fast food joints, banks, discount retailers, the Millenium Hilton — there has been no anger. The site iteself has very clear borders — anything outside the site is not sacred ground to New Yorkers.

  26. It's a community centre with a prayer room Not a mosque. There is a difference.

    Rauf, the Imam, is a Sufi. Sufis are the most open minded sect. The shame of all this bigotry is Rauf did a lot to help the American government with their fight on 'terrorism'. There are some muslims who believe the war on terror is really a war against muslims. The bigotry will allow those muslims to say, 'I told you so'.

    It must also be noted that during the 1800's and 1900's when a large population of RCs were landing in NY some priests probably made provocative statements.

    • Taqiyya baby!

  27. Some seem to forget that its American Muslims who'd be using this mosque, actual American citizens, not foreigners at all, though I'm sure visiting Muslims would be welcome. Besides the whole idea that one should react to terrorism by attacking everyone from the same religion as the terrorists defies logic. Treating Muslims as second class citizens, marginalizing them from the rest of US society, accussing them all of supporting terrorism, and discriminating against them because of their religion seems just like what Islamic radicals would want since disenfranchised youth are exactly what the radicals and terrorists need to carry out their beliefs. The US should have taken an example from Britain and continued on the same as ever in spite of terrorism, letting terrorists change your society to a more intolerant one only serves the interest of the terrorists. The British have faced more than their share of terrorism over the years yet they don't let terrorists change their society like the US did. If terrorists attack you in an effort to change your ways its very logical and sensible to not let them succeed by not changing your ways yet the exact opposite happened in the US after 9/11.

    • RIch noted:
      "The British have faced more than their share of terrorism over the years yet they don't let terrorists change their society like the US did"

      Yes, Rich…there are a LOT of Muslim's in Britain. The regularly protest and riot. They attack the police, they burn cars (not as many as in France though) and they hold up signs stating that Islam will dominate Britain. In fact, Rich….in some areas of Britain, you would not be safe to walk the streets as you are not a Muslim.

      So in fact, you are again wrong with your assertions. Muslim's HAVE changed Britain…and not for the better.

  28. For those who claim 2 blocks away from ground zero is too close for a mosque to be built I would like to know just how far away would you consider it acceptable for a mosque to be built? Also please explain why that distance is acceptable to you but 2 blocks away isn't, I'm genuinely curious to know.

  29. Your article is confusing and gets lost in the wrongs and the rights of this controversy.

    Simply, the Muslims hatred for America…and the mosque being built near 9/11. Not a good symbolic gesture. Ironic, mocking.

  30. No concerns.

    Jihadist indoctrination in Nairobi's Somali enclave: "They tell us that al-Shabab hates Western countries like America … and that it is all right to cut the throats of every citizen of these countries."
    How many in Somalia, and in this Somali neighborhood, never thought it would get this bad? How many more deluded themselves that Sharia, once implemented, wouldn't include any of the nastier practices?

    Those who dismiss concerns about Islamization in the West are also those who would insist it could never really get so bad. The problem is, it does, and we have witnessed locales like Bosnia, Chechnya, and even Britain in the era of Sharia courts suddenly surprised at the number and power of the "extremists."

    • Ayaan Hiris Ali said this quite clearly in her book, "Nomad," in explanation to homegrown terrorism. The seeds of extremism are sown at a young age and need only be awakened by a man of influence. The fact of the matter is the bases Muslims need to turn their peaceful religion into a horror are already in place, and absent disentanglement of religion from state in their homelands and reformation from the bottom up, ignorance and hatred persists. I've seen from a lot of comments here people just cannot extricate themselves from their own ethnocentric viewpoints and even ENTERTAIN the notion that the hideous acts perpetrated in the name of Islam could be real. They can't even envision it.

  31. If I were an American and if I had some relative killed at the twin towers,. I would have no concerns about a group of other fellow Americans building a place of worship near the site. There are already Catholic and Protestant churches and maybe a synagogue in the vicinity.
    So if Americans, who happen to be of Muslim religion, wish to build there I would have no objection.
    This is not a Mosque. It is a community centre open to all faiths with a prayer centre on top and it's some distant from ground zero.
    One should not believe what the media and the Republicans and their supporters are saying.
    I hate to say this but I believe that judging from the preceding comments that there are a few racists here.

    • bepele wrote:
      "If I were an American and if I had some relative killed at the twin towers,. I would have no concerns about a group of other fellow Americans building a place of worship near the site. There are already Catholic and Protestant churches and maybe a synagogue in the vicinity"

      Which, goes to show clearly you DID NOT lose anyone to terrorism. As for the other places of worship you mention…you forget the most salient point.

      It was not the CATHOLICS who carried out mass murder in the name of their religion. It was the Muslim's. There were no Catholics dancing in the streets of the world after the attack.

      • It was not CHRISTIANS who carried out mass murder in the name of their religion. It was the Muslim's. There were no Christians dancing in the streets of the world after the attack.

        It was not JEWS who carried out the mass murder in the name of their religion. It was the Muslim's. There were no Jews dancing in the streets of the world after the attack.

        It was the Muslim's who carried out mass murder in the name of their religion. They were dancing in the streets in Gaza, the West Bank, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Algeria, Indonesia, and sadly, in some areas of the United States, mainly Michigan.

        So you see, Bepele, it is understandable how the other places of worship are not a concern, whereas the place of worship for the culture that created these attacks…..is.

      • Actually several family members are supportive, several are opposed. They are a diverse group.

  32. 70% oppose.

    Here are some reasons I think it shouldn't be built at ground zero.

    It's the close proximity.

    The persons specifically behind it – who is this wealthy media loving imam who puts down Americans to one audience and says something different to another audience? Why all the name changes first it's a Mosque, Then Cordoba(SP) HOUSE, and now a commuinity center…in a business district that has hardly any residents.

    The money behind it and why such a huge expense when other accommodations would do very well.
    Plenty of places to rent there – many places sit empty, why not occupy them?

    The insistence of this specific location as by design it towers over the site – this raises the concerns of the real agenda behind it or not. There may be one there may actually be not one. But insisting that it be 'there' is suspicious to me.

    But they can more easily build it just a little further away as it's obvious the grieving is not over nor done with.
    They can't even let the Americans grieve and put their own memorial up first?
    The push it to minimize the memory and desire of the living affected by it by this awfully designed building, might be the tipping point of an all out divide.

    Yes I completely understand that they have the legal right to.

    In Canada it's legal to have sex or marry a 16 yr. old BUT is it the right thing to do? AND yes I understand that it may not seem wrong to another 16 yr. old, but we're not all 16 yr olds.

    THEY originally called it a mosque and wanted to have an unveiling on Sept. 11.
    How insensitive, disrespectful and warped can 'ya be?

  33. How about using a mosque as a symbol of victory over infidels, at the site of the greatest murder in the name of Islam in modern history?

    Nah, let's keep this "progressive" and only question those who "correctly" should be questioned.

    Glad to see Mr. Wells continuing with his lifting the centrist veil.

  34. As for today's "progressive left's" continuing tacit (and far too often explicit) support for radical islamists?

    Well chapters have been written on that one. Not that such literature would ever get a fair reference on this blog.

  35. In Canda it's legal to lie and cheat on my wife.

    It's legal to tell a person with a severe disability that their life is useless.

    It's legal for a Japanese militaristic group (one who favours expansionist Japan reasserting itself in the world) to build a center at or near Pearl Harbour.

    Yet, no would would claim these are things are right to do.

    Yet, here we are, with the fine, nuanced "it's legal" technicalities, ignoring substance and context, and plain old fashioned common sense.

    Oh, motives should be questioned alright. A good place to start is with those who'd put away the above exampled moral case when it comes to radical Islam against the West.

  36. Myth.

  37. Why not build a Mosque and attach a Christian Church and a Synogogue on it as well – they could all have separate entrances but be part of one building – problem solved.

  38. re: No good can come from blanket assertions that the whole lot of them are a threat to the community.

    Sure only a few Muslims will take up the command in the Quran to fight, subdue, and kill the unbelievers but they are all taught these things and they all claim to believe the Quran if they are Muslims.

    Isn't it wise of us to be wary of them all ?

    Islam is a doctrine, not a race or ethnicity.. People can decide to not believe in a doctrine. They can decide to leave the organization that supports and pursues a doctrine.

    • Talk to a few Muslims. They will tell you this so called "doctrine" of Islam is as important to them as any race or ethnicity.

  39. In Europe there are calls to ban the Quran as hate literature and sedition.

    Should the writings be protected because they are 'religious" ?

  40. We don't need a mosque to prey on U.S. fears. The mosque is only a symbol. Just listen to Geert Wilders, speech to understand what is going on in Europe and what will eventually happen here. This is not fear mongering. It's a wake up call.
    You may think this guy is nuts but I am willing to bet in about 10 years from now you'll will wish you had paid heed.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQOCcx5V9RI&fe

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