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Monday, May 17, 2010

Mosque Near World Trade Center (WTC)

Is it wrong to build a major mosque in the shadow of the World Trade Center?

Mosque near World Trade CenterWatch this video on two very opposed views regarding the planned construction of a Muslim mosque in the shadow of the World Trade Center. Is it wrong to locate a mosque on this sacred land? Is it disrespectful to the families of those lost on 9/11, murdered by men who did so in the name of their religion, crashing the hijacked aircraft into civilian towers while screaming "Allah Akbar?" How does it make you feel to hear that a mosque could be built within a stone's throw of those horrible ruins?

It seems that from a non-religious perspective, it is wrong to allow a mosque to be constructed near the WTC grounds. It would seem perfectly inappropriate from that perspective. However, from a religious perspective, is it right for us to penalize a faith for the actions of the misguided? That raises the broader question of whether Islam preaches extremism or not, whether jihad is a part of it or not. Who are the "infidels" after all, and what is to be done with them? Is this a God of love or of war? What fruit does he bear, or were those 21 men no different than the witch-hunters of Salem?

The video above discusses an agenda that has supposedly been strategically planned by the Muslim Brotherhood. Is this just another crazy conspiracy theory, or does it make sense? What about the Islamification of Europe, Canada and the US? Is that coincidence of economic opportunity or something more important? Can we look to France's class and ethnic unrest and point to the future of Europe and of the US? Is Europe being invaded from within, or is the ugly racism of Europe being exposed? Is this paranoia, the sort of which fed WWII? Or is there substance to it all?

Can we coexist or not? Are our ideologies beyond breach? Will there eventually be a broad war because of our differences, or will there be a broad peace because of our similarities? Or both? You may discuss all of these topics via the banner link below, but for starters I'm asking:

Is it okay for a mosque to be constructed in the shadow of the World Trade Center (WTC)?

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Anonymous Kathy said...

Of course it's ok. It's a testament to all the majority Muslims in this world that also fear extremism in their own countries and are just trying to lead normal lives and have zero interest in jihad and that like Americans, are just trying to lead happy, healthy lives.

America and Canada have well-integrated Muslim populations (don't judge them by a few radicals) and European entrenched racism and classism is the problem in places like France.

And re: jihad and other concepts in the Koran that you might not be comfortable with...look at it this way...even if jihad IS prescribed by the Koran - most Muslims aren't doing it. Just like, though LOVE is prescribed by the Bible...most Christians aren't doing that either.

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Greek said...


Re: "even if jihad IS prescribed by the Koran most Muslims aren't doing it..."

If Jihad is prescribed by the Koran, then I have a real problem with it. It does not make it okay that the majority of Muslims are not engaged in it if it is indeed prescribed. I think that the argument for the faith and against radicalism has been that Jihad is NOT prescribed by the Koran. Are you telling me that it in fact is? I have not read the Koran.

Why not just build it elsewhere? Why at the foot of this horrible site, where an attack was waged in the name of Allah? Isn't that like a rub in the face? While I may get kicked in the rear, the likelihood of then being punched in the face drops significantly. I do not think Americans are going to accept this, because it is like a punch in the face after a kick in the rear.

And there's a Greek Orthodox Church that still needs to be rebuilt. Shouldn't that happen first? St. Nicholas Church was destroyed on 9/11.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Kathy said...

If Greeks want to rebuild St. Nicholas, they are free to do so.

The Old Testament encourages the Jews to wage war against various Gentiles too. These texts are context-specific. To hold Muslims accountable for the actions of extremists only reveals a narrow and immature understanding of the interplay of history, religion, and politics.

Hmm...did you spend time in the sun recently, Greek? Bc I see something red around your collar and I'm not talking about lipstick.

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Greek said...


I simply asked a question that I believe I know the answer to. I do not hope nor expect Islam is militant by nature.

So you want to justify religious inspired aggression in Muslims by showing me the same among the Jewish faith? I know folks who would say the most blood has been shed by Christians in the name of God. Let's face it that this is not God's will, but man's perversion.

Let's get back to the issue at hand. Don't you think it's a little disrespectful to build a mosque next to Ground Zero? Especially given that the Imam of the mosque supposedly believes in some conspiracy theory that takes blame away from the hijackers...

Yeah, that zoning will be reviewed now that this is public. That's a given. It's the wrong place, and it's not going to happen.

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good that the majority of Muslims don't embrace the radical jihad of the Koran, killing infidels.

Yet, here's the problem. There are an estimated 1.6 - 1.8 billion Muslims on the globe. Let's say that just 1% embrace jihad. How about 1/10 of 1%? How about 10%?

Bottom line - the problem with Islam is Islam. Islam needs to denounce the radical teachings of the Koran.

9:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is disrespectful, cold hearted and an affront to the lost and their families. I am quite sure for $100 million, another location can be purchased in Manhattan.

Nearly 3,000 people burned, crushed, aspphyxiated and slaughtered and we will have to be burdened with this reminder on top of an extermination sight?

The very idea is brazen and cold.
It is in extremely bad taste.

Someone who witnessed September 11th, 2001.

12:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enough of the greedy profiteering and the P.C. stuff. Rebuild St. Nicholas Church first. It was there before the WTC. The masjid can be built somewhere else in Manhattan.


12:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that non-radical Muslims should realize that their radical counterparts would view the building of a mosque near the WTC site as a sign of victory or weakening of America, and for this reason they should be ashamed of even suggesting that it be built near a place where 3,000 innocent people were killed by Islamic radicals.

Many of those Muslim civil rights groups should also stop claiming this as a sign of oppression/denial of civil rights. America remains one of the most tolerant societies in the world, where Muslims are treated with the equal rights. Compare this to how Christians are treated in Iran, Egypt or any other Muslim country.

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Gray, Germany said...

I'm torn on this one. On the one hand, it's my conviction that the administration should neither promote nor discourage a religion. On the other hand, a Mosque so close to a site where fanatic muslims killed thousands will be met with hostility by the majority of citizen, I'm sure. Simply wishing it wouldn't be so won't make that problem go away. So, I have to ask, why this location, why not another one, a bit farther away from the WTC? The leaders of that muslim community would do themselves and their community a huge favor if they opted for another lot to build on instead.

2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOVE analogies; here's my take on this: Germany has a lot to be proud of, but concentration camps are not one of those things. How would people (especially Jewish people) feel if Germany built a "Pride of Germany" Museum on the site of the old concentration camp at Auschwitz? It would be in VERY Poor Taste, and that's exactly what's happening in NYC. Too bad people don't have a bit more respect. Feel free to share this view.

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although I'm posting this a week after you asked the question, and nobody will ever read this, I still feel the need to chime in.

In my view, it is an affront to build a mosque so near the WTC site. As a witness to 9/11 (as is one of the other commenters here), it surprises me that someone would think of building a mosque so near ground zero. And, it reminds me that St. Nicholas has not been rebuilt.

On the other hand, this is America. We let the KKK march in Skokie. We allow porn and unspeakable violence on our TVs. We freed our former slaves and, a hundred years later, we still battle to defend their decendants' rights as citizens. We allow Jerry Falwell to proclaim that 9/11 was America's punishment for tolerating homosexuality. We even (gasp) allow women to drive! In other words, we permit and even defend the right of all sorts of people to do things that someone else deems offensive.

Why do we do this? Because freedom is the bedrock of this nation. In fact, "bedrock" is almost too benign a description. Without freedom, we are not American.

So, as a patriot and true believer in our freedoms, I don't believe there's anything to discuss on this topic. Americans protect freedom -- especially freedom of religion. The very first words of our Bill of Rights are: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...."

Under our Constitution, Muslims have the same right as every other religious group to build whatever house of worship they want, wherever they want (whithin the bounds of the law). As long as NYC does not pass a law banning all religious institutions near ground zero, then I hope to see a minaret there soon. For me, that minaret will be a symbol of the victory of freedom over terrorism.

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Greek said...

The law is beautiful and representative of our great nation. However, where is the sense of human consideration, of what is appropriate vs. offensive?

If I wanted to build a church in Saudi Arabia, would I be allowed? If I even preached Christ in Mecca, what would happen to me? My colleagues and nearly myself died in the attack in the name of Allah.

Let me build a church in Riyhad, before Islam cries fault.

9:18 AM  

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