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Religion > The so-called "Ground Zero Mosque"

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message 1: by Dan (new)

Dan There's been a dearth of good debate lately, so I thought I'd introduce a new topic.

I'm sure by now people have heard about the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque." For those who haven't, stories about it are easy enough to find on Google. To summarize: a group of American Muslims are planning to build an Islamic cultural center -- akin to the YMCA without the C -- two blocks north of the former World Trade Center in lower Manhattan. The building would include -- in addition to a mosque -- a performing arts center, swimming pool, basketball court, bookstore, food court, etc. According to the people behind the project, the point of the facility is to improve relations between the Muslim world and the West, and to promote moderate Islam and counter extremism. But it has also become a hot-button political issue, with lots of politicians chiming in (often in opposition), including Sarah Palin's infamous tweets.

So, what do people think? Good idea, bad idea, don't care? And, more importantly, why do you think that?

message 2: by Nathan (last edited Aug 16, 2010 12:56PM) (new)

Nathan I think that the relation of the location of the mosque to any building anywhere in the United States is irrelevant. Why would it matter if it were two blocks away from "Ground Zero" or two miles? I think that the people trying to block it are simply bigots who don't truly believe in religious freedom for anyone but themselves. The fact that it is an issue is disgraceful.

message 3: by Dan (new)

Dan I agree. I was listening to a segment on this on NPR this morning, about how Republicans are using the issue to paint Democrats as "out of touch" with "mainstream Americans," 60% of whom are opposed to the mosque. Essentially, Republicans are arguing that regular Americans are bigots, and we need elected leaders who reflect that bigotry.

The comment has been made that the mosque shouldn't be built until there are churches in Saudi Arabia. I don't know whether or not there are any Christian churches in Saudi Arabia, but it seems odd that people are advocating for the U.S. to take civil rights cues from Saudi Arabia.

message 4: by Nathan (new)

Nathan Yes, Saudi Arabia is a great place to model ourselves after. As you know, i listen to religious radio all the time. This is a huge issue on these stations. there is a ton of Obama bashing for his support of the mosque, which really is simply support for freedom of religious worship.

message 5: by Nathan (last edited Aug 16, 2010 01:21PM) (new)

Nathan Why is it so important to them to build it there? How can one not question their motives?

Well, there is one of the problems. People assume that their intentions are negative. There could be any number of reasons why they chose that location. Perhaps one reason was to show that all Muslims don't blow up buildings. Some build cultural centers.

message 6: by Nathan (last edited Aug 16, 2010 01:41PM) (new)

Nathan And why would people assume that their intentions are negative? Gee, that's a tough one, huh?:)

Yeah, it actually is a tough one. Why? Because you are simply assuming that when there could be any host of reasons. You are being a bigot when you assume that their intentions are negative because you are assuming that the Muslims involved support terrorist activities. "Muslims want to build a Mosque two blocks from 'Ground Zero'? Clearly they support the 9/11 attacks." You have no basis for drawing that conclusion, outside of bigotry.

message 7: by Dan (new)

Dan Why is it so important to them to build it there? How can one not question their motives?

Maybe because 300 of the 9/11 victims -- 10% of the total -- were Muslim. Maybe as a symbol of the capacity for moderate Islam to coexist with other religions and cultures in the West. Maybe because the parcel of land was the only or best option, financially, for the developers. Maybe because the Muslim community in that part of Manhattan was underserved and in need of facilities.

I could probably go on all day speculating, inventing hypothetically possible reasons. But who cares? What calamity will ensue when/if the mosque is built? What difference does it make if it's two blocks or twenty blocks from the World Trade Center? What difference does it make if it's in the new World Trade Center? It's almost amusing that people are insisting we find some way to prevent people from exercising their first amendment right because they would be doing so in too close proximity to the Freedom Tower.

People who expect the builders to be sensitive and deferrential to those in opposition to this mosque are essentially asking them to say, "We know that our religion is inherently wrong, that the U.S. is a Christian nation and that we, as non-Christians, are therefore not real Americans, and so, in order to not offend real Americans with our aberrent lifestyle, we will make ourselves less visible." If people are offended by the free, peaceful exercise of religion, it is not the problem of those exercising the religion; it is the problem of the offended.

message 8: by Nathan (new)

Nathan I was directing it towards you. Normally I would say "one" or "people," although I am not immune to making that grammatical error. By automatically assuming there is a negative purpose behind the mosque, you are being a bigot. Wouldn't you agree?

message 9: by Nathan (new)

Nathan j deleted her posts. Why? I am unsure, but now it appears Dan and I are speaking to a ghost. I truly hate when people delete their posts in order to make it look like they never said what they said. If you realize you are wrong, just apologize and admit your fault.

message 10: by Dan (new)

Dan Man that's annoying.

message 11: by Dan (new)

Dan And if you knew anything about me, and didn't have a reading comprehension problem, you would know that.

Its hard to exercise any degree of reading comprehension with an invisible post. To argue that the meaning of your post is self-evident and yet delete the post so that no one can assess whether or not that's actually true is quite a shallow defense.

I replied to the post without realizing who posted it. I intentionally avoid any contact with you I've already experienced what an asshole you are, which is something many on these forums agree.

Well, I don't know who this is directed to, but this thread was started in an attempt to get some actual substantive debate going, so let's please not let this thread degrade into sniping about who's an asshole. Please contribute something substantive or nothing at all.

message 12: by Nathan (last edited Aug 16, 2010 02:50PM) (new)

Nathan I intentionally avoid any contact with you I've already experienced what an asshole you are, which is something many on these forums agree.

I don't really want to get into it, but one can see from my posts, as I have not deleted them, that I said nothing that could label me as an asshole. And it is rather hard to avoid contact with someone when you already engaged in it. I think, rather, that you were ashamed of your posts and decided to delete them. At any rate, you were being silly. Perhaps we should continue with the topic of the thread.

Rachel (aka. Kaiserin Sisi) (looney-lovegood) | 222 comments They should be allowed to build it, just as people should have the right to protest it being built. It is rather terrible public relations to build it there.

message 14: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (djinni) | 7365 comments Mod
I believe I read somewhere that the name of the new center is a historic name, used to name places where Christians, Jews and Muslims have previously co-existed, but I can't seem to find that article.

message 15: by jessi (new)

jessi (infinitevantage) | 437 comments I hear so many arguments on the news from bigots claiming that this, as well as the plans to build Islamic centers around the country, is all part of a conspiracy to eventually impose Sharia law on the United States... somehow.

I would like to point out 1. how incredibly ignorant one must be both in regards to American government and Islam in order to even consider that to be a reasonable suggestion and 2. how ironic it is that Americans, fearing for the Constitution, would take actions that... guess what? violate the Constitution! Yup. Makes perfect sense. God bless America.

message 16: by Dan (new)

Dan There's also apparently a Facebook group declaring 9/11 Burn a Quran Day.

message 17: by Nathan (new)

Nathan There's also apparently a Facebook group declaring 9/11 Burn a Quran Day.

Good. And while they are at it, they can burn all the other useless religious texts as well. Ha!

message 18: by Fiona (new)

Fiona McGier | 13 comments IMHO, the main issue is that of a slippery slope. If religious freedom is to apply to one group, it needs to apply equally to allow for even those we don't agree with, to practice their faith. If we somehow allow for it to be legal to tell one group of people that they can't build there, then that becomes a precedent. What will be the next issue, the next place, or the next group that will be discriminated against, using this one time as a precedent? I say we have no legal standard to forbid the building of any kind of religious or non-religious institutions there. The dissenters will have a legal right to put on their white robes with their pointy hats, to picket the place once it's built. But the law doesn't allow anyone to forbid it.

message 19: by Amy (new)

Amy (runawaymarbles) | 2 comments I think the whole thing is completly ridiculous. I mean... first of all, the ground zero mosque is

a) not at ground Zero. I believe it is about three blocks away

and b) not a mosque. It's a cultural center.

The fact that it's even an issue disgusts me. it's been nine years since 9/11. And we're still acting all immature, blaming a certain group of people... why? Becuase we can? When a Christian extremest bombed... I honestly don't remember where it was... they didn't argue about putting up a church near the memorial.

You can't even see the site of Ground Zero is what I've heard.

message 20: by Girl4beluga (new)

Girl4beluga I think the whole thing is stupid...I don't see no fundies getting mad if they built a church close to where an abortion bombing happened.

message 21: by Amy (new)

Amy (runawaymarbles) | 2 comments they never protested building churches near the Oaklahoma CIty Bombing memorial.

9/11 should be a time to remember and miss people, not hate and be divided.

message 22: by Girl4beluga (new)

Girl4beluga yep

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