The mosque at Ground Zero -

The mosque at Ground Zero


Living in New York City provides a variety of experiences ranging from the cultural to the culinary to some of the great landmarks of the world. To say that there is never a dull moment in “the city that never sleeps” is an understatement. Politics, however, is not a sideshow; it very often goes to the heart of the character of the city and by extension, the country as a whole. The public debate on the building of a mosque two blocks away from Ground Zero is just one illustration of a local issue with national and international implications.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has endorsed the project to be built on private property. His statement, considering the emotional impact of such a development, was a leadership moment. Whether you agree with him or not, he justified in very unequivocal terms the decision as being based on the US constitution and American values such as religious tolerance and openness to diversity. He framed the issue as such, arguing that on 9-11, American Muslims were also victims and many of the first responders were of the Islamic faith. Bloomberg was firm and decisive; he clearly won the day.

Opponents readily concede that the Mayor is correct on the Constitution and the First Amendment. They disagree, however, on the feasibility of such a project. Emotions from 9-11 remain rightly raw in the Big Apple. They have a point. Prominent Republican Newt Gingrich says it is insensitive and provocative. Others argue that many Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran show no respect for religious tolerance and diversity.

While this issue has not broken totally along party lines, it does create discomfort. Republican strategist and former George W. Bush advisor, Dan Senor, offered a third way—asking the project owner to reconsider another site in NY, but further away from Ground Zero. This kind of compromise is not out of the question, but the common thread to all those weighing in is that the right to build this Mosque is covered by the precepts of the US constitution—private property, First Amendment.

For American democracy, this debate goes to the heart of what America stands for and why American troops are sent to wars to defend. With 9-11 still an unhealed wound, the discussion becomes even more complicated. But living in New York and observing first hand the polemics around this issue makes one realize the American democracy is alive and well. And this is comforting.


The mosque at Ground Zero

  1. Well, Americans either believe in what they preach, or they don't.

    The constitution is there precisely to uphold overriding principles against 'emotions of the moment'.

    • Well said.

      I'm surprised we haven't seen a Steyn spiel on Macleans yet about this.

        • "Know nothing" applies to those who discuss Islam as purely a religion (without mentioning that the religion is supremacist) or including its dual nature as a political totalitarian ideology with no separation of mosque and state and a system of law sharia at odds with western law.

          • Christianity is exactly the same thing. A total way of life, involving belief, the law…and politics.

            You have secularists to thank for separating church and state.

          • It was actually Christ who said "render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's” but you wouldn't know that as your general education is sorely lacking.

          • Christianity is an entire way of life…it has nothing to do with rendering unto Caesar.

            Don't debate the Bible with me, as i've actually read it.

          • You can't know many if any Christians and I doubt very much that your reading skills are equal to the Bible. Certainly you've comprehended nothing. But why am I arguing with a babbling brook?

          • I have no idea. Why don't you go 'debate' with someone else? Someone at your level, say.

          • Thank you Emily,, as a registered secularist , my solution would be to do away with all religions, but I guess they haye have a foothold. Seriously, the secular approach has included the exploration of several religions only to reject the whole thing as nonsense, whether irs cosmology or apparent community. I intensely dislike those who want to remake the world according to their plan. You can fill in the blanks.

            I particularly do so when they want to enhance their hold by getting rid of others with stupid medieval beliefs.

          • I hope Steyn comes back soon so you folks can have a more congenial place to hang out.

  2. I'm still waiting for this mosque debate to examine the issue of the taxation of religious buildings. Now that some religious complexes have swimming pools and other amenities that compete against private enterprise, should they not be paying property tax?

    • All religioous buildings should be taxed. Period.

  3. The column is a tepid resort to legalisms in the face of overwhelmingly visceral opposition to the mosque project.
    Obviously the mosque can be legally built but the affront to the dead is profound and this was clear to those who planned this fiasco.

      • I wonder why that is…

        • Because people are silly.

          Even Bush stressed there was no problem with Islam.

    • As former New Yorker, I suspect the vast majority of the opposition to the mosque is outside the 212 – your assumption about 'overwhelmingly visceral opposition to the mosque' is almost certainly wrong and is definitely irrelevant.

      • Agreed, YYZ. And the whole issue is yet another example of the right pretending to believe in states' rights and local autonomy, and then rushing in to try to micro-manage whatever more liberal jurisdictions want to do.

        • I hate it when freedom is curtailed in the name of freedom. It is the great irony of America today.

  4. I think we American's need to grow up and get over it. It was nine years ago for heaven's sake. By no means forget but move on already. Islam has a far less bloody past than Christianity does and even modern Christians have their violent extremists. Though that is something that is rarely if ever discussed.

    • Islam isn't over being upset about the Crusades and Reconquest of Spain yet. Nine years is nothing.

      • When did they say that?

        • Google project for Emily: "Osama Bin Laden Andalucia"

          Let us know how it turns out.

    • The Koran demands violence from its followers, Islam has a far bloodier history than Christianity and that continues to this day. If Christians are strapping bombs to their children in order to kill crowds of people then the media must have missed that story, if Christians are flying airplanes into buildings in order to kill thousands then the media must have missed that story too…. perhaps your hatred for Christianity is the only basis for your ridiculous claims….

      • The Bible demands violence from it's followers, and they get it.

        Islam never had an Inquisition, nor did it burn scientists at the stake.

        They don't kill doctors either, and it was a Christian McVeigh who blew up a building in the US.

        Look at yourself before you criticize others.

        • I believe Emily, Afghanistan and Pakistan would be happy to have your presence and help.

          • No you believe in rightwing twaddle.

        • They don't kill doctors either


          • Oh…abortion doctors are a foreign invading army are they?

          • Huh? You said that, unlike Christians, who apparently kill doctors routinely, Islamic extremists "don't kill doctors". I found that particularly ignorant, even for you, given the very recent news of the Taliban killing volunteer doctors. That's all. It's possible that both groups have radical elements that kill doctors.

          • Don't bat your eyes at ME, and pretend innocence.

            Yours is a grade 3 argument and nobody is buying it.

          • It is also untrue that Islamic regimes and individual Muslims wouldn't kill abortion doctors.

        • Keep your comparisons in the same century at least! But FYI the Inquisition killed fewer people total than Muslims did on a single day 9/11. Burning scientists at the stake? Same problem of comparing ancient behavior to contemporary Muslims who saw through Christian schoolgirls' and a Jewish reporter's neck NOW. Finally, Timothy McVeigh, one man who didn't claim to be killing for the Christian God vs Muslim militias at the behest of a Muslim government killing 500,000 blacks mostly Christian and animist in Sudan alone in the past 5 years and displacing millions more into risk of starvation. In addition there have been thousands of attacks by Muslims killing thousands of people of all religions in dozens of countries. Do you understand anything of scale? Can you comprehend that one is an aberration but thousands killing hundreds of thousands is not?

          • The point is, comparisons can't be kept in the same century, because everyone is on a different time-line.

            I know you really want to hate Muslims, but I'm afraid there's no basis for it.

          • That comment on timelines is just bizarro. Apparently that and the threadworn hate charge is the Hail Mary pass when you can't refute a single thing I said.

          • I'm not going to discuss history with someone who doesn't know any, nor am I going to bother answering your attempts to insult. They're just silly.

            You've said nothing to refute…as you have yet to address the actual topic.

        • The statement by Emily that Islamic countries in the past didn't root out heretics or infidels amongst their midst isn't true. Nor is it true that they didn't suppress intellectuals and scientists. One of the reasons that the Christian west leapt ahead of the Islamic world in the late middle ages was its ability to incorporate empiricism alongside of their other belief systems, whereas the Islamic world repudiated the idea that reason and empiricism were compatible with their religious belief systems.

          Also untrue is the idea that Islam had a less bloody past than Christianity did. It is also untrue however that Islam had a bloodier past than Christianity did.

  5. You're all morons… This showing "tolerance" crap is bogus. Going back in history (mainly the crusades) when the Muslims had a great battle victory they would build a mosque on the same battlefield to commemorate the victory.

    The opening of this mosque near ground zero is doing the exact same thing. It is commemorating the death of nearly 3,000 infidels. It's a battleground victory for Islamic Extremists. Don't you find interesting that the mosque will be opening on September 11th?

    Get it through your thick skulls. They're doing this to rub it in your face and they are getting away with it…

    • I would suggest you learn something about history before you post. The west attacked the ME…that's what a crusade was…and the 'christians' in a crusade butchered muslims and jews.

      The cultural center in NY has a swimming pool and a variety of other things as well as a place to pray. Like a hospital has a chapel.

      • You are correct. But I am simply stating that is what the muslims did during those times and they are doing it now. I am not stating what was done nearly a thousand years ago was justified or not. I have nothing to do what took place then.

        • People tend to forget that we were attacked first. Innocent lives were lost and the Islamic Extremists consider it a islamic triumph over a nation that represents freedom.

          This country shows so much tolerance, be thankful that here in the US homosexuals aren't hung from their necks unlike the homosexuals in iran (true story). Two boys (in their teens) were caught in a sexual act. They were taken to the middle of the street and hung infront of the entire village. That's some tolerance right there for you.

          • You seem very confused on this issue. You both dismiss and invoke 'a thousand years ago' in the same paragraph.

            Then you state that 'we' were attacked 'first'. The US has been meddling in the ME for years, imposing dictators, supporting one side or the other with money and arms….and finally 'they' got fed up and hit back.

            None of which has anything to do with cultural tolerances….we have our share of intolerance as well, so we're no shining example to anyone….but that has nothing to do with the larger topic here.

          • Since America is so tolerant whats wrong with building a islamic cultural center near ground zero, its not on ground zero but near, you can't see through the smokescreen because you are blinded by your own hate, this is a non issue in a world where the economy is essentially dying, and rather than working to repair it, this is what everyone finds to be a huge topic and talking point, what next pull down our pants to see who's is bigger or who's the bigger patriot grow up.

      • The Crusades were a counter-attack against Islam. The holy lands never saw a Muslim for seven centuries after Christ.

        • No, they were an outright attack for no reason.

          • Is your understanding of history really so counter-factual that you actually believe a people fought a war for over 200 years for "no reason"? Or do you just believe that if you state something as fact, it becomes true?

          • Like I said, you folks have no understanding of history whatever.

            You get it all from whack-job sites on the web.

          • The Crusades were a sort of counter-attack. The Byzantine Empire was losing territory to the Ummayads, and had been for centuries. However, Philanthropist is conveniently forgetting the years from about 700 AD till the First Crusade (around 1100). The Holy Lands were thoroughly Muslim by the time of the First Crusade – largely the result of voluntary conversions. Moreover, it is not clear that the stated purpose of the crusades is always a good indicator of what happened. In the fourth crusade, the crusaders went to Venice, racked up some debts, and attacked the Byzantines in order to pay off their debts.

          • True, but Nicea and other lands in Anatolian Peninsula (now Turkey) weren't. That's what got the ball rolling. The Crusaders split with the Byzantine armies after they weren't allowed to sack the reconquered territories (which they needed to do to recoup the expense of warfare) and marched on the Holy Land.

            Also, people tend to forget that the Crusader kingdoms were around for over a century as well, far longer than Israel has been there so far. The composition of the Holy Land was also predominantly Christian before the Crusades, and the native Christians generally preferred Crusader rule to Muslim rule (for obvious reasons). So it is hard to say (without being a hypocrite) that the reconquista of Spain or the reconquest of the Holy Land was a vile crime, and the reconquest of the Holy Land by the Muslims was a noble and justified restoration.

            Of course, the whole notion of who is to blame for the Crusades is silly. Ambitious men have ambitious plans, and there is little point in blaming Christianity for the Crusades if you aren't going to blame the Muslims for initial conquests, or the further conquest of Eastern Europe after Crusading activity ceased.

          • Also, I personally ascribe to the theory that the sack of Constantinople was motivated a lot by personal grudge of the Doge of Venice. It is said in contemporary accounts that the Byzantines blinded him when he was a younger man serving as a diplomat for Venice in Constantinople.

          • I also don't think it makes sense to blame either religion for the conflict. You had different polities fighting over the spoils of war, as they have for centuries. It is telling that you see more Christian-Christian violence in the Middle Ages than Christian-Muslim violence.

            As for the sack of Constantinople, I chalk that up to Venetian commercial rivalry with Byzantium. The doge wanted Venice to become the dominant naval power in the Mediterranean – which is just what happened.

          • The Doge was an 90 year old man with one foot in the grave. If he wanted to out-compete Byzantium there are easier ways (and ones with more surety of success) than the audacious scheme of hi-jacking a floundering Crusade and setting it on Constantinople. Plus, the way he unleashed it on the city was excessive as well, with the place so thoroughly sacked that it never recovered.

            To me that speaks of a very personal hatred, a hatred deep enough to not only conquer Constantinople, but destroy it, rather than a calculating commercial decision. Since the contemporary accounts speak of this personal grudge and hatred because he was blinded, I'm inclined to believe them.

            As for violence, there was plenty of Christian/Muslim violence depending on the area (Spain, the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily, Eastern Europe) and the time period (what exactly do you mean by the middle ages?). I suppose you could say there was more Christian/Christian violence in that people tended to fight who they were neighbours to, but I'm not sure I would classify that as "Christian" violence. Nor would I say that overtly religious conflicts (like the Crusade against the Cathars) were bloodier than wars with the encroaching Ottoman Turks on the Eastern Frontier of Europe.

          • If oyu were confronted by a horde of dedicated Muslims with swords wouldn't you be "voluntray"" too. The alternative then was usually death.

          • The crusades where a counter attack, because those lands where under the jurisdiction of the holy roman empire (Catholic Church) at the time they were taken over by Muslims, both side in terms of religion have huge bloody pasts, that are mostly perpetuated by greed, I blame the leaders of the religions rather than the religions themselves, most wars are people got greedy and religion was just a way for them to secure more power

          • Says a history illiterate.

          • Historical illiteracy is big on here I've noticed.

          • To avoid confusion, the history illiterate is Emily who flings cringe worthy pronouncements around like a toddler flinging the contents of his diaper.

          • No, Emily has all of history behind her. It is not her problem you are unaware of it.

          • Oh, so we're talking in the 3rd person now, are we? And I can't possibly be aware of history from a parallel universe that only Emily can access.

          • Does it matter? You don't understand any degree of person.

          • Whatch what's in that diaper, Minaka!, and beware!

      • No, they were to unite Europe under the papacy, and undermine any kingly authority.

        • But lots of kings avoided participation in the crusades with minimal consequences.

      • Well, the whole thing that got the Crusades going was a plea by the Emperor of Constantinople for aid and men to combat Islamic invaders. It isn't as if the Islamic world had taken over the Christian Middle East and North Africa by offering a superior dental plan.

    • Even if every word you've blathered in that post were correct – so what?

    • Source the "opening on September 11th" reference please. I'm almost certain it's inaccurate as I've read multiple stories in reputable publications on this topic and haven't read that.

  6. In fact Newt and his ilk have gone much further into wingnut, tea-party, the-constitution-applies-to-only people-like-us land:

    From his website: "There should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia. "

    So, logically it's either: (a) if a church was build in Saudi, then a mosque at ground zero would be just fine with Newt and company; or (b) to those other than Christians and Jews, America should only offer the rights and freedoms that are offered by Saudi Arabia.

    Saudi: now the gold standard for treatment of minorities. Who knew?

    By all means let's encourage sensitivity and tolerance, but the positions of and statements from broad sections of American politics and media on this issue are just plain hateful and ignorant of the values they claim to hold high.

    • Yep, the hypocrisy is staggering.

      Largely, it is a question of whether someone's religion is the state's business or not. Both the left and the right could do more work on being consistent about that.

    • I don't know for sure but correct me if I'm wrong but aren't there little to no Christians or Jews in Saudi Arabia while in New York there is a large number of Muslims who need a central place of prayer.

      Yes, there is that scare of another terrorist attack but what if Jews launched a terrorist attack or Christains did one somewhere else in the world would countries not allow the building of that religions' prayer place?

  7. Plus one billion.

  8. If this is a big "debate" in politics than it's prety sad. I certainly hope the better nature of Americans wins against the voices of pettiness and fearmongering.

  9. This is a freedom of religion matter and has been decided correctly.
    The real issue is fundamentalism and the kind of thinking and actions it encourages. It inflames all religions. It can only be stopped by reason and debate.

    • Not to mention it's also an issue of private property.

    • Wrong, everyone knows you can stop fundamentalism by banning burkas. Just ask France.

  10. You want hateful? Try the Middle East. Despite apologists like Emily, as they say, ÿou ain't seen nothing yet." There is no point in contrasting one religion with another, because in the religious contaxt none are really acceptable to the other. There are tepiid peace-loving Islamics whom North America give a haven because our constitutions and laws tend to keep out the fanatical teachers who run their show in Iraq, Pakistan, Talabania, Iran, Saudi and so on. Our constitutions weren't designed to counter hate like that. Perhaps it would be instructive to read the later documents.subordinate to the Kuran. If there is a difference between moderates and extremeists it is in the degree that they see political and military action as intrinsic to their faith. .. People who believe that Islam must inform every dimension of human existence including politica and law are now generally called not "fundamentalists" or "extremeists" but rather "Islamists". (Paraphrase of Sam Harris)

    • Our constitutions were exactly and precisely meant to counter religious hate. Try to follow them.

      • It is not a question of hate on our part but just the recognition that all the people in the far parts of the world don't play by those rules. Some want to bring their rules here and that is what I oppose. Some people want to bring the very people who have those rules and would would undermine our constitution and way of life – they are not refugees, they are invited here. The Air India incident is a perfect example that the protectors of our constitution turned a blind eye at, at one time. Unfortunately, the victims of "constitutional"mistakes are long dead. I doubt that the US will turn a blind eye to 9/11 – ever

        • No, people in other cultures play by their own rules…the problem arises when we insist they follow our culture and not their own.

          Canada and the US are countries with mixed cultures, and always have been. Our earliest settlers brought rules and their old wars with them. Over time everyone integrates. You'd think we'd be used to that idea by now.

          The US will get over 9/11 the same as they did Pearl Harbor. Time moves on, and everyone does you know.

          • I obviously don't have the same take. We're talking about a people whose religion is not a peaceable one. Their religion has literally been dormant for hundreds of years due to their technical impotence against the West. While majority is still dormant, the fundamental aim is still the same. I am sure that those Muslims in Canada figure they have it good – in a safe country, away from the worst of the imams – and are able to relax, But this isn't a culture, it's a dynamic, varied religion with many sects, the two main branches haven't agreed with each other since the start but fight. I don't want that stuff imported to Canada. The Air india tragedy (although a different religion) is similarly convinced they are right and everybody else is wrong. It might have been avoided if our immigration rules weren't so wet and CSIS and immigartion staff were on the job investigating the backgrounds of potential immigrants to weed out the hotheads

            The US may have got over the "Japanese" aspect of Pearl Harbour but never the perceived disaster of not being ready or of the idea of potential betrayal and caught with their pants down.

            Mixed cultures are not the same as a potentially violent religion whose masters have al;ways see their task to spread across the world, no matter how long it takes .

            Thre is very little about religion that is rational.

          • Islam is no different than Christianity. In fact much of the belief is identical. The old testament, Jesus….Muslims just believe Mohamed came later. Same as Bahai.

            You are using a computer because of an Islamic invention, dude. Much of your 'western' tech comes from there. The rest is from China. Without those two civilizations, which have been around a lot longer than we have, you'd still be living in a bearskin in a cave.

            North America is a mixed culture….an early version of globalization….and you're going to have to deal with it, so put away the arrogance and learn something.

          • Emily can't be real. She's got to be committee satirizing leftist ignorance and smugness.

          • Emily is quite real, as is her knowledge of history and religions.

            And Emily has never been 'leftiest' in this, or any other life.

          • Well tell Emily in case she's presently in one of her other lives with the alternate history and all, that she's certainly the "leftiest" I've seen here.

          • No answer, eh?

          • If you are implying numbers by computer, I believe they came from India.

            I can deal with mixed cultures, but I certtainly don't want apologists like you telling me what Islam is all about. If you care to notice, my references have largely to "Islamists" who are recognized as fomenting hate, bombings, as well as other types of murder and spreading it around the world, and they are gradually recruiting others who would be Islamists – in London as well as in Toronto. The fact that the latter didn't seem to know where to find their bums only reduced the threat slightly.

            And people like you don't seem to understand that the freedoms we cherish and have been there to protect don't just happen. They are earned.

          • "Islam is no different than Christianity." Really? What nut tree do you shelter under.? As to arrogance I have never seen one person insult so many on this thread . Twitter iseems to be about the amount of information you can handle at one time.

            And much of the bible you refer to in respect to killing is the old testament. The message in the new testament (which Islam does not use except to ciite Jesus as a prophet – hardly the same as "Messiah" ) is a considerably different direction despite some loony toons. At lest the potential chrfistians now probably have to wiait for eternity if they don't accept while those facing Islamists.And in the deat0h count did anybody roll in thenumber of deaths on both sides when India and pakistan separated? That was religious with a few other insanities mixed in.

            As to the constitution, the Americans believe in defending theirs because it originated in hard times when being a particular religion would have you burned at the stake in Salem. They put their actions where their mouth is – and they are still doing it. I hate to say how ours originated.

            And to compare the computer today, The early counters used the base of ten because they had ten fingers. If they had thought they would have used the base 20.
            As for Bahai. that is a stick-everything-in-a- pot-and- stir proposition and does not have a militant following such as the Islamists and some Texas christians.

          • correction

            "while those facing Islamists stand to die shortly.

            And in the death count did anybody roll in the number of deaths on both sides when India and Pakistan separated? That was religion at wok with a few other insanities rolled in.

            Apologies for typing(?)

        • Can you point to a single politician in Canada who has proposed legislation that would impose the kind of rules you are talking about on others? I mean when McGuinty simply mused about Shariah law arbitration (which A. would have been a voluntary system and B. we already had the option of Catholic and Jewish arbitration).

          • That, and the massive backlash over the idea that religious schools of Jews and Muslims shouldn't have equal footing with Catholic schools (or it will end society in a sea of ignorance!) shows that Canadians shouldn't crow too loudly over the illogical opposition to the Ground Zero mosque.

  11. The building in question already holds prayer services for Muslims – it already is, in all ways but appearance, a mosque. Should it exist?

    It's also interesting to note for how many people One Muslim = All Muslims, yet One Christian =/= All Christians.

    Personally, I am more interested in hearing what New Yorkers have to say about the construction of this building than I am some politico from Nebraska or Texas or California.

    • I suspect the planning commssion (or whoever) that voted 9-0 in favour more closely resembles the perceptions of New Yorkers than the "fair and balanced" version.

  12. The Imam who is going to preside over this mosque said that 9-11 was the fault of the Americans and is an apologist for terrorism.

    • Source please.

      • Not ever going to arrive, methinks.

  13. "Others argue that many Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran show no respect for religious tolerance and diversity."


    "…how would the radical Islamic group Hezbollah, and Israel's sworn enemy, feel about it all? For some time now, no political decisions have been made in Lebanon without the approval of the influential Shiite militia. In September 2008, a spokesman of the organization said: "We respect Judaism, just as we respect Christianity. Our only problem is with Israel." And so, in July 2009, the renovations began."

    Maybe it's just me, but when Hezbollah comes across as the more reasonable and tolerant group, it might be time to re-examine your ideas.

    • "Several dozen Jews still living in Lebanon"
      Richard, its easy to seem tolerant when you're only building a monument to a dead community. As with Iraq, Iran, Morocco, places that once held thriving communities in the thousands (in some cases tens or hundreds of thousands) are now down to a few dozen. There are good reasons for them having left- being subject to state confinement and torture and the constant harassment of the general society around them. But no one ever reports on the Jewish exodus from such places.
      So I don't think Hezbolla will be up for any ADL awards for this.

  14. Gotta whip up the hate…there's mid-term elections to be won, consarnit!

  15. I'll agree with you on everything you said save for the last paragraph.

    I do not believe that western cultures will automatically prevail over other ideas, particularly in individuals. Look at me for instance. I'm outside the main cultural thrust of our western civilization in many ways, and I was born and raised here in a mainstream and traditional denomination of Christianity. I'm not violent about it mind you, but there are people who are violent that have a lot less in common with current western culture than I do (such as Black Bloc anarchists).

    In the end, there are going to be things people find as excuses to commit violent terrorist acts, whether it be religion, political ideology, class warfare, or nationalistic aspirations. There is also very little you can do to curb this. The secret to combating terrorism is nothing more than effective policing, and not being such cowards about the fact that they succeed in their attacks once and awhile. That extra 20 lbs people carry around from being sedentary bloggers (blogging about how something or someone is going to ruin the world) are far, far, far more likely to die from that than any violent extremist.

    • Black bloc anarchists?? You are comparing throwing rocks through a window and setting fires with blowing up people and suicide bombers? Not to mention its now known that many rioters in Toronto were homeless people. And given the amount of arson and vandalism in the country I'd suggest the black bloc was right in line with 'current western culture'. Very well thought out comment.

  16. "…he justified in very unequivocal terms the decision as being based on the US constitution and American values such as religious tolerance and openness to diversity."

    Although I agree with Parisella's main point, I think there is a more important one to be made here; it's not a question of "American values", which are changeable and subject to the will of the majority. It's a question of the recognition of rights that extend above and beyond the reach of the American state: the right to freedom of religion, and the right to build whatever church one pleases on one's own land. Rights that supersede the state because they come from an authority beyond the state, not "values" which are simply the whim of the majority.

    That Parisella phrased it the way he did is no accident: the foundational premise in the Left's worldview is that there is no objective standard by which rights are measurable.

    But on a happy note, it's good to see the Left suddenly advocating for religious freedom and private property. We wouldn't want the state telling people what they can say and preach to others on private property now, would we?

    "But living in New York and observing first hand the polemics around this issue makes one realize the American democracy is alive and well. And this is comforting."

    That is an excellent summation, and my impression as well. The fact that this became a widespread matter for discussion is a very good sign. The fact that the supporters of private property rights and freedom of religion are winning the day is an even better sign.

    If only we could have such encouraging signs here in Canada.

    • What "beyond" authority? The UN? Since when did they have any real authority outside of what the security council decides to do?

      • "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…"

        The Creator. Without that recognition, there are no "rights" but rather privileges granted at the pleasure of whoever holds power, and no one has the "right" to demand better – they can only seek power themselves. Might makes right, in other words.

        • Unless that Creator actually drops by to enforce those rights, I believe you will still find your last two sentences to be properly descriptive of them.

          • Not so, and for two reasons:
            (1) If there are fundamental, inalienable rights then those who are being trampled are being subjected to something unpleasant, but also to an injustice. They are being robbed, whereas if there are no objective "rights" than there's no injustice, it's just the strong dominating the weak and there is no reason why they shouldn't.

            People are much more likely to fight back against an injustice than against discomfort – people will often sacrifice their lives for justice, whereas people will generally not die for greater comfort.

            (2) If there are fundamental rights, objectively speaking, then one can make others recognize this intellectually regardless of whether they happen to like the conclusion benefits them personally. Intellectually honest people, therefore, will fight for the weak even if this costs them some of their power/wealth/dominance. Whereas if there are no fundamental rights, then it's every man for himself and there is no reason (intellectually speaking) for anyone who holds power to use it in defense of the weak.

            Our whole society is based on this concept. Take it away and you have societies like Imperial Rome.

          • All you say is true but it is also besides the crux of your original point, which is the need for a Creator from whom these rights flow.

            Secondly, in your original point you point out that "Without that recognition, there are no "rights" but rather privileges granted at the pleasure of whoever holds power, and no one has the "right" to demand better – they can only seek power themselves. Might makes right, in other words."
            But here your second point actually reaffirms that in ALL cases, might makes right- you just hope that you can convince those with power to side with Justice- it is still their choice, not the Creators.
            Any way you cut it, putting on paper that rights come from a Creator does not change the fact that it is people (in power) who put those words on paper, and people in power who chose how to enforce those rights. In a democracy it happens to be that the voters have that power. Of course one may appeal to the sense of justice of an atheist as well. Either way, it is up to that individual to decide how they act.

            Finally, you have chosen a quote not from the Constitution at all but from the Declaration. This is because the Constitution is Godless, and nowhere invokes a creator before delineating the rights of citizens. And this is so because the main framers of the constitution, chiefly Jefferson were Enlightenment men, who believed in the idea of Natural Rights, that is universal ideas of right and wrong that were recognizable by all despite sectarian differences.

          • "All you say is true but it is also besides the crux of your original point, which is the need for a Creator from whom these rights flow."

            If there is no authority higher than man, then how can there be rights that supersede the state?

            "Of course one may appeal to the sense of justice of an atheist as well. Either way, it is up to that individual to decide how they act. "

            Yes, but I am not talking about a "sense of justice" or any other sort of whim, caprice, or gut feeling. I am talking about something that can be reasoned to so that regardless of how someone "feels" about it or about you they can still see that you have rights which they should not trample. One can reason from the concept that man is made in the image of the Divine to the concept that man can't be used as a chattel or as cannon fodder. I don't think one can reason (remember: "reason", not "sense" or "feeling") to these conclusions without that premise.

          • But might is right.

            Only an indiscernible sliver of humanity has had the rights your beneficent creator is supposed to have endowed them with. One might be tempted to ask why your creator's creations so easily and naturally abrogate his designs. An honest observer would have to conclude that your creator is either inept, incompetent, insincere, sadistic, callous, capricious, or counter-productive.

            If there is an authority higher than man, then how can there be states that supersede man's rights?

            Man: 1, God: 0.

            One would think that the course of human history would be enough to lead even the truest believer in an almighty to mutiny.

          • I think we are discussing two different concepts here. By "right" I mean "something which I am owed", not "something which is protected". If the Creator makes people with "rights" then there are things each man owns no matter what the state or the majority say, but it doesn't follow that he can't be robbed of those things.

            Now, I assume your next question is "in what sense do I own something if it can be taken away without repercussions?"

            The difference is that you can make a rational argument for why it shouldn't be taken from you. Some people (i.e. dishonest people) won't care, but anyone with a functioning intellect and enough honesty to recognize conclusions and act accordingly will be swayed. This makes it possible for you (a) to dissuade people from victimizing others even if it seems to be to their benefit, and (b) to persuade people to help you even at their own cost. Whole societies can be (and are) built on the notion that these rights precede the state and are merely recognized and protected by it, as opposed to the alternate notion that no one really owns anything but what they can take and keep, thus reducing society from a team of people looking out for each other to a group of hostile individuals nervously eying each other.

            As an aside, I think there are repercussions albeit not ones we witness.

            As to your final point, again, to say that a Creator made us with a specific nature that guarantees us ownership of a few things is not the same as saying that He will stop others from taking them. Actually if the Creator granted us "freedom" as one of those things, including the freedom to do evil, then we must necessarily have the ability to harm others.

          • If the Creator granted us "freedom"… we must necessarily have the ability to harm others.

            Only if you suppose that the Creator created us in an existence that already existed. For example, if the Creator created us in a reality that already contained gravity and fire, then by giving us freedom, he would be giving us the freedom to drop bombs. However, if he designed the world (existence), the Creator could have written the rules of reality to be any way he desired. He could have written a reality in which one could not harm so many so easily. This is not even to mention that some of the harm caused in this world by one to another (or others) is not even an abuse of freedom (malevolence), but simply accidental.

            The world looks exactly as it would if it were not designed with the good, the just, or the productive in mind — indeed, as if it were not designed at all. This is for you to explain.

            I disagree that the only rational argument to be made for individual rights is that a man in the sky said so to illiterate desert people.

          • As to the first: perhaps, but this is the world that was made.

            As to the second, "The world looks exactly as it would if it were not designed with the good, the just, or the productive in mind — indeed, as if it were not designed at all."

            One of the things I've discovered, the more I study, is that the universe is remarkably simple, elegant, and marked by symmetry and beauty. The more we understand about it, the more it looks like the product of design, not less. I don't think this thread is the place for that discussion, but if you're interested there is an excellent book on the topic called "Modern Physics and Ancient Faith" by Barr.

            "I disagree that the only rational argument to be made for individual rights is that a man in the sky said so to illiterate desert people."

            Yes, I would disagree with that statement too. Luckily, no one here is making it. The argument for fundamental rights is based on the notion of a Creator without reference to Scripture or any other alleged statement from said Creator.

          • So, if I may interpret your argument, the reason might should not equal right is because a Creator created the world in which might equals right?

          • I think that interpretation, while a noble effort, lacks a certain je ne sais quoi.

            Perhaps this would be better: a Creator created a world in which one might trample a right but that would never be sufficient to make it right.

            And the reason is that the inhabitants, having been purposely created with reason, are ends in themselves, and therefore it is an illusion and a distortion of reality to treat them as mere means to one's own ends. The reason that I mean is the end, you see.

            The weak point in the argument, incidentally, isn't the fact that free people can do bad things to other people. Rather, it's the bit about humans being "created with reason". I often find myself wondering about the solidity of that premise.

          • Reality cannot be distorted, even with magic mushrooms. Reality is whatever happens in it, even if it is one person treating others as mere means to his own ends — which in reality is all too common and all too easy.

            An evaluation of anything as "right" or "wrong" presupposes that there are such things as right and wrong.

            If you think that there are such things as right and wrong and that they come from a Creator, then you are going to have to do some work to prove, first, that there is such a Creator, and, second, that his ideas of right and wrong are what you say they are.

            The fact that free people can do bad things to other people is relevant to the hypothesis of a Creator, and his motives.

            As to the solidity of the premise that humans are created with reason, I suspect it would melt if subjected to even the dimmest light.

          • "An evaluation of anything as "right" or "wrong" presupposes that there are such things as right and wrong."

            I trust that you mean "morally right/wrong", not right/wrong in general (e.g. 2+2=5 is wrong). By right/wrong I only mean "not in accordance with reality", but yes, to get to "morally right/wrong" one needs to show the logical connection between the way things are and the way we ought to treat them.

            "you are going to have to do some work to prove, first, that there is such a Creator, and, second, that his ideas of right and wrong are what you say they are. "

            Well, not me personally, since that was done long ago. But yes, logically that case has to be made before one can take the conclusions for granted. Sure.

            "The fact that free people can do bad things to other people is relevant to the hypothesis of a Creator, and his motives"

            Relevant, yes. Contradictory, no.

            "As to the solidity of the premise that humans are created with reason, I suspect it would melt if subjected to even the dimmest light."

            I was joking. While there are certainly unreasonable people, the phrase "with reason" is a term of art meaning "the type of being that has the capacity to reason". Thus whether one is actually using one's reason (or whether it has even matured yet, or whether it is damaged, etc.), for the purpose of the ends/means argument, is immaterial.

          • As to the last point, by "created with reason", I thought the meaning was "purposely created". I do not dispute that people have the capacity for rationality.

            I'm becoming a bit lost as to what we are debating. I feel as though the conversation has got knotted in several places by intertwining proofs and premises.

            In an effort to clarify, for myself if no one else, my position in relation to this thread, I shall try to explain what I'm doing here.

            I thought it was being stated that the only basis for individual rights can be that individuals are created (have a Creator). It was to disagree with this statement that prompted me to enter this discussion originally.

          • It's been a bit of a scattered thread.

            Is it your position that there are no such things as individual rights, or that there are but that they don't logically depend on a higher authority?

          • What makes them fundamental is someone like you and me saying they are fundamental and being prepared to back them up with whatever we have, even if it means going to war.

            Your No. 1 is the position that philosophers and religionists used because, in there minds there must have been a first cause, a creator, a big daddy who gave us these rights. First cause not a big deal. I don't know what the other side of the Big bang holds but I am not going tko bend my life worrying about it because noobody knows. Ifoyou want to think it is Mr. Creator, be my guest.

            Recent items in Scientific American (Aug 2010) indicate that a form of morality developed in primates very early in the game – before reason in humans, and over a sufficiently long time when mankind was isolated and down to a few hundred in the south of Africa between 163,000 years and about 123,000 years -m isolotaed so that DNA changes were confined to a very small and confined population We are ALL descended from that very small population. It is mankind in the process of evolution that created these human values and they developed in a sense of a close community probably if that SCIAM items are true.
            I understand the United Nations declaration of human rights was drafted by a left-wing civil servant in Ottawa. Is he Big Daddy?


            And might may not MAKE right but it has certainly made a lot of people think so, unfortuanately. And occasionally, we have to do things that make those who think their right should prevail to think otherwise. Unfortunately "Right" is a point of view. Right this minute we have Islamics poitive they are right, the RC church positive it is right, Texas christians positive they are right – – – and so on.

  17. I can't help but believe there is a fair bit of hypocrisy in defence of having this mosque built at Ground Zero.

    Remember the Danish cartoon depicting Mohammad as s terrorist?

    While everyone agreed that a person has a right to create that cartoon, and that news outlets have a right to publish it, most of the usual suspects, including Muslims, said that it shouldn't be done because it would offend too many people and even incite violence.

    Now let's turn the tables, so to speak. While most people would agree that people have the right to build a mosque wherever they want, what about the sensibilities involved, and the symbolism? Isn't it in bad taste? Doesn't it offend the victims? Shouldn't the organization find a different place to have their mosque?

    And this isn't even taking into consideration the mosque owner's possible ties to radical interests.

    When I see the left so eager to have this mosque built, but so reluctant to have a cartoon published, I question the extent to which they apply rights and freedoms equally across the spectrum.

    Note: technical distinctions and legalese to come in defence of the obvious double standard. Muslims can do whatever they want, others can't.

    • Was "the left" against the publication of the cartoons? I seem to recall that no less than Stephen Harper said that while he thought people had the right to publish the cartoons it was an unfortunate decision. Also, there is a difference between these two controversies. The fact that people find the ground zero mosque offensive is itself offensive to Muslims because it implies that Islam is responsible for terrorism. Either decision in the ground zero mosque issue will offend somebody (and the relatives of 9/11 victims are hardly unanimous on the issue – many support the mosque). By contrast, not publishing the Danish cartoons would have offended nobody.

      • By contrast, not publishing the Danish cartoons would have offended nobody.

        How about those who believe in freedom of speech?

        • To be fair, I don't believe anyone was banned from printing the cartoons in North America. People may have disagreed with printing them, but it wasn't outlawed.

          Same outcome in New York – lots of people may disagree, but fortunately, freedom laws enshrined in the constitution protected the right to build a mosque.

          As an aside, your statement about "the mosque owner's possible ties to radical interests" has been discredited extensively. Will find the link if I can.

          • Who's talking about outlawing the building of the mosque? How about applying the same pressure about a potentially offensive decision, in the same way it was done with the cartoons?

            The same people championing rights now were nowhere to be seen when Ezra Levant published those cartoons, were they? Or when a "human rights" commission forced him to pay $10,000 out of his own pocket to defend his decision to publish those ads in what's supposed to be a free society.

            That's why I'm skeptical about the current invocation of rights and liberties. The left seems to be very selective about when it does so.

          • I think the HRC is a farce – I agree with you on that point. Ultimately though, freedom prevailed. But I completely agree the HRC process is unduly punative on the accused and represents a form of justice that is not sufficiently accountable to individual rights.

          • Oh, and I'm also eagerly awaiting you links that "extensively discredit" the mosque owner's ties to radicalism. I'm pretty sure he's made some offensive comments in the past, and can find those links too if need be.

          • To be fair, I don't believe anyone was banned from printing the cartoons in North America. People may have disagreed with printing them, but it wasn't outlawed.

            I think Ezra Levant would disagree with you after having spent 3 years being dragged through the HRC for being the only publisher in Canada to do exactly that. He may have won his case in the end, but at what personal cost?

    • It's a good thing no one is actually building a mosque at Ground Zero, then.

      • Ah, parsing words is always a good sign of a strong argument.

    • If I understand your post, you are seeking consistency. And consistency between the two examples could come in the form of either a) hold back on publishing the cartoons AND don't build that new mosque quite that close to Ground Zero, or b) publish those cartoons as much as you want AND go ahead and build that mosque wherever you want.

      Of those two methods of achieving consistency, do you have a preference?

      • I don't think you are understanding my post. I am seeking consistency in the way people are wrapping themselves up in the values of freedom and liberty. Indeed, in this current example of the mosque, liberals are quite quick to pat themselves on the back for supporting high principles in the face of difficult issues. In the case of the cartoons, they were nowhere to be seen. So, I question the extent to which it is currently about rights and freedoms, or just about an agenda.

        However, having gotten that distinction out of the way, let me try to address your question. I was in support of publishing the cartoons. I am not in support of the building of this mosque, for various reasons, even though I believe they have the right to do so.

        The primary focus here shouldn't be about rights, as liberals claim it is. (btw, ever notice how liberals always feel compelled to support issues based on things out of their control) It should be about whether or not this mosque should be built, based in part on the motivations behind building it, as well as the symbolism involved.

        If liberals had the same attitude towards this mosque as they did towards the cartoon, I don't think this mosque would be built, nor would any rights have been violated. As is, there still might be enough public pressure to stop this from happening, despite the claims made by some here about public sentiment.

        • You're right – I didn't understand your post, so thanks for the clarifications.

          From those clarifications I gather that you acknowledge that the legal right to build the mosque (where proposed) does exist, but you argue that that right should be tempered or balanced against the motivations of the folks proposing the building and the symbolism. And in this case suspect motivations and awkward/uncomfortable/offensive symbolism should take precedence.

          Assuming I have that correct, I'm not quite sure why you would then contend that the motivations of the cartoon publishers and the symbolism involved with publishing the cartoons should not take precedence over the legal right to publish.

          If I've misunderstood you (again), I welcome your clarifications. Thanks.

          • Well, first, let me turn the tables, since I raised the issue first. Why do liberals support rights in the case of the mosque, but not in the case of the cartoon?

            Now, regarding my position, in essence, I believe in the right to criticize Islam any way you want, and that the reaction by Muslims and their supporters further exposes how in conflict their values are with Western values, especially regarding free speech.

            If someone thinks Mohamed is a terrorist, even though I don't completely agree, they should have the right to do so. And, in the face of violence as a response, such a person should be supported even more vocally. Instead, there was silence from the world's liberals.

            In the case of the mosque, I don't think any higher principle is being pursued in its building. This is meant to create conflict, and not the understanding and tolerance that its builders claim.

            Additionally, with the cartoon, someone's opinion is voiced as speech, then it's gone. With the mosque, it's a permanent shrine within throwing distance of the worst attack in the name of Islam ever.

            So, for example, I would not support the erecting of a statue incorporating the Danish cartoon beside a prominent mosque. It, too, would be a permanent shrine meant to permanently inflame its neighbours.

            Are you abilities to understand the argument getting better, or should I perhaps be going slower?

          • Thank you for that Dennis.. I agree for whatever that is worth and I think I understand how the New Yorkers might feel, particularly those who tried to save lives – the ones who made it anyway and I think we too owe a debt of gratitude to them. I'm told there were some Canadians in there. What I was think is that there were humans in there who had done nothing against the Islamists.

            Mohammed was not a terrorist but some of his latter day followers (they believe, but that belief is distorted) claim they are. It's along way in space and time from Mecca.

            I thought the cartoon might have been an in the face way of the cartoonist not liking them immigrating to Europe?

          • I can't say why people would support rights in the case of the mosque, but not in the case of the cartoons. I would not be at all surprised to find out that those people have done what any person does when they are faced with the task of holding two [seemingly] contradictory viewpoints – they have come up with a method of rationalizing the apparent discrepancy, at least to themselves. Suffice it to say that hair-splitting might be involved.

            I agree that we all have the right to criticize Islam, and I agree that the reaction of some Muslims to the cartoons was excessive. Those reactions only strengthen perceptions that Islam contains a not insignificant extremist element.

            Wrt motivations, you agree that motivations should be considered in both cases, but conclude that in the case of the cartoon the motivations were worthy whereas in the case of the mosque they are unworthy (only to create conflict), correct? Same for the symbolisms?

            Oddly enough, my ability to understand your argument is increasing at exactly the same rate as your ability to clarify your earlier statements, so feel free to go as slow as you need to in order to be clear.

          • I suggest you read my comments again, as slowly as you like, since I've already provided the answers you're seeking. But I thank you for acknowledging the double standards of people currently supporting the mosque on the basis of rights.

          • If your answers were as clear as you seem to think they are, I wouldn't be asking for clarification.

          • Really, then why did you essentially repeat them? In the case of the cartoons, I support the right to free speech and stand up to Muslim threats of violence. In the case of the mosque, I don't think any good comes from the building of the mosque. I stated these justifications clearly in my posts. I suggest you spend less time asking for clarifications, and more time reading what's already posted. Thanks.

          • Really, then why did you essentially repeat them?

            It's called paraphrasing, and it's how I check to make sure that I have successfully separated the wheat from the chaff.

            Btw, you seem angry. Am I misreading that?

          • No, maybe just a little frustrated with your posting style, constantly asking me to clarify things already stated, or suggesting that I'm not being clear in the first place. I suggest you try to stick to the topics as much as possible. That way, nobody has to take things personally, or suspect that there's some kind of ulterior motive at play.

          • Wrt posting style, it is definitely true that we each have our own posting style.

            Wrt topic, I thought we were pretty much on topic.

          • @ Dennis:

            – Publishing and support of cartoons guarantees freedom of speech and I agree with you that the lack of defense in that situation was alarming. It was a great comment and I am surprised at the lack of association between the two situations in mainstream media.
            – I disagree with you when you think that the mosque achieves no good. I think it serves as a way of the American public to acknowledge that it is not Islam, rather people who cause terror. People who used an ideology. It is human nature to generalize, but I would rather support the 1 billion muslims living normal lives rather than disregard them rights out of fear and bigotry.
            – Muslims found the cartoons insensitive and their violent response looked bad on them, but the cartoons were published as we cited our rights. Should we not also do the same when it comes to the mosque? It is insensitive, but according to rights, it will be built.
            – So, while I find it insensitive, I cannot deny them the right, because that is what I believe in.
            – I just hope that this center for faith with one floor mosque would also welcome Hindus :) —
            – @ Phil… your clarification requests were irksome.

          • Muslims found the cartoons insensitive and their violent response looked bad on them, but the cartoons were published as we cited our rights. Should we not also do the same when it comes to the mosque? It is insensitive, but according to rights, it will be built.

            Exactly. That would be consistent. Dennis wants consistency, so do I and I'll wager that you also value it.

            My apologies for not being able to make that clear.

  18. When this mosque is built, I want to see a "Pork Schnitzel" restaurant open right beside them……or a pork dog vendor….or a pet shop specializing in dogs.

    Do you think the muslim's would accept that?

    Or do you think they would accuse New Yorkers of being "insensitive" to Islam?

    Make your bets.

    • I think they won't be able to control what sort of business opens in any private space next to them, so, yeah, go ahead and buy the property and open a pork schnitzel restaurant.

      • You don't think there would be outrage and pressure to stop it?

    • @ James and Dennis – you apparently know nothing about New York in general and this site in particular. 45 Park Place is between the Amish Market (53 Park Place) and the Dakota Roadhouse (43 Park Place) both of which sell pork. This won't change and nobody will care.

      Around the corner from my former office on Park Avenue was a big mosque. With 100 yards of any corner on Park Avenue you can buy any kind of meat from any kind of Street vendor imaginable. This is true for New York in general. Folks have learned to get along.

      The proposed mosque site is 2 blocks from the WTC. 2 blocks in Manhattan is like two miles anywhere else. You guys who often claim to be proponents of freedom and against government intervention need to start being a little more consistent. You are both dead wrong on this issue and are completely hypocritical. A real Conservative would see no issue with this mosque.

    • I hear Greg Gutfield is looking for investors for a project you might be interested in

      • I wouldn't invest in that. Not because my liberal sensibilities are offended, but because his business model is crap.

        A whole floor with no liquor licence, and open 24 hours a day? Hope the halal kitchen is good.

        Three months, and he'll be bleeding cash the whole time. After opening night, the journalists will be gone and there won't be but a handful of the local crowd taking advantage of an open dance floor and no cover.

  19. If the debate isn't about the mosque's vicinity to Ground Zero, then what is it about? That it might not be right at Ground Zero is parsing, isn't it? Geez.

  20. "Yes, why let facts get in the way of a good argument. "

    Call me when this turns into a good argument…

    • In other words, anyone not supporting your position cannot possibly come up with a good argument? I don't know what it is with some people on here who feel a need to crap on others instead of replying with substance. It's as though they consider themselves smarter than others without having to demonstrate it one bit. I made numerous points. You obviously can't muster a response. Thanks for showing up. Next.

  21. This is the start of America's downfall. The Muslims will take over eventually if the mosque is built. Americans are too generous and naïve not to think so.

    • Im pretty sure thats what the canadian and american governments are doing. There telling us to just bend over and TAKE IT LIKE A MAN while our borders are being harder to travel by citizens of both sides, the government lets them in the back door with a smile on there face and lets them do whatever and then there surprised when 9/11 happens. So to ensure that they stay happy we let them built on the very grounds that 3000 men, women and children were killed, never mind making the American widows and orphans happy. Hey why doesnt your gov. start looking for some ancient burial grounds from the indians and start building MOSQUES there to. The American Government is just being there bitch to (MUSLIMS) and you along with your sons and daughters will pay the price.

      • Leave Canada out of it.

  22. It seems that there is a lot of anger in some of these posts, but what you fail to realize is that although 3000 Americans did die in this unfortunate event, have you ever thought about how many Muslims die worldwide as a result of political interference from America? This imposition of culture works both ways, and this is main source of this animosity and fear. Our global society must be one of tolerance and understanding. There are many people who I speak to about these issues that do not necessarily understand Islam and Christianity are fundamentally based on a similar moral and ethical code. Yes, there are some people that interpret this in a certain extremist way, but that goes for Islam and Christianity. This has never been brought to my attention more so than hearing about Terry Jones' book titled 'Islam is of the Devil' and reading very publicly about his idea of 'International Burn a Qu'ran' Day'. This is very disappointing to hear as the idea of trying to understanding what Islam stands for is completely lost.
    The Imam who wants to build the Mosque is named Faisal Rauf. He is an incredibly moderate Imam who sees this as an opportunity to build brides between people and faiths. It is not about taking over or imposing yourself on others, but rather allowing people to learn about each other and to slowly chip away at this anger and fear that seems to exist. How else can people move forward in a way that embodies the American constitution?

  23. As Justin Timberlake put it…

    Cry me a river.


    Do your research.
    We're Canadians, not ignorant.

  24. I agree EastBay. The science (laws of physics) prove that the two towers could only have been brought down using explosives. That is the only way those two giants could have pulverized and come crashing down with no resistance in 8 seconds. Free fall. Pick up a textbook.

  25. I agree with Eastbay cause the Americans don't have anyone to blame for going to Iraq or Afghanistan when all they wanted was the oil, but they can't admiot that

    Also, what right do the Americans have to go to someone else's country and force them to believe in what they believe, their values and thoughts. If any country tried to invade the US im sure that the US population would form militias and do what the Taliban are doing, (BTW, there are actually 2 types of Taliban, the good and the protectors)