Journalism in the Public Interest

For Mosques, ‘Anywhere But There’ Echoes Far Beyond Ground Zero

Opponents of the Islamic center planned near ground zero argue that it would be appropriate elsewhere. But proposed mosques have run into stiff opposition across the country, not just Lower Manhattan.

« Return to Story

Sort by: Oldest Newest  <  1 2


Aug. 27, 2010, 9:01 p.m.


I feel like I’ve probably taken too belligerent a tone with you, so I will try another tack.  Basically, you are taking fragments of the Koran that are pretty offensive to western ears, and then making the assumption that 1 Billion+ muslims take those fragments completely literally and ignore all of the parts of the Koran that talk about loving your neighbour etc.  You can do the same thing with the bible and the torah.  They are filled with offensive passages too, except you don’t assume those are the parts that all christians and jews take to heart.

Am I saying that there are no fundamentalist muslims that wish the US harm?  Obviously not.  They clearly exist, but of 1 Billion+ the percentage with violent aims is miniscule, and of that group I expect that the percentage that is motivated purely because the Koran commands them to kill infidels is dwarfed by those who are violent because they are watching Americans occupy their countries, and drop bombs on wedding parties, and torture, and stick people in cages for years without trial, or disappear them into secret prisons etc.

The thing is, if you rightwingers can’t tell the difference between friend and enemy (and obviously you can’t since you are vilifying someone with a very public history of opposing extremism)  then you are going to make enemies of 1/6th of the world’s population, which by coincidence is what Al Qaeda is trying to achieve.

ps.  You need a better defence than I’m not a racist, because muslims aren’t a race.


Aug. 28, 2010, 2:34 a.m.

Interesting debate going on. I do think that fundamental points are missing. First, it is not necessary to read the Koran or other guiding principles of Islam to understand that while there are Muslims who practice one version or the other are in spirit good Muslims. However we can not dismiss the despotic radical Muslim who practices those ideals of hate in the name of a God. Second, there is no way one could deny that the conversion to and practice of Islamic tenets are on the move around the world. Radical Muslims are living amongst us. I am not sure what it will take, a nuke or biological weapon, for the overly tolerant to come to the conclusion that perhaps America needs to take a break from allowing the Muslims to immigrate until the good Muslims rid themselves of the worst among them. The fight against Muslim terrorist is not the U.S. responsibility alone. It is however the Muslim countries and the individual Muslim no matter where they reside.

It is a very dangerous world. The way I see it that danger at this juncture is as a result of those practicing the literal Islamic teachings (as varied and complicated as those teachings may be).

In my opinion it is not useful to talk about the nasty’s of the Bible or Torah when that does nothing to alter the fact of radical believers of Islamic teachings. They are thugs of the highest order.

I have never been able to understand the phenomenon of the Liberal who seems to internalize the “acting out’s” of the Muslim thugs as somehow their fault. The thought that if we are more tolerant and embrace the Muslim masses then that would somehow change their minds about us and they will cease their desire to do us harm. That is folly and will lead to more war and yes war on American soil.

What my I ask will happen when we are at war with Iran? It will make the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan appear as mere street fights. Will the Muslim’s living and practicing Islamic teachings in America rise up against us? Certainly many will.

I don’t think we have the luxury to be so naive.


Aug. 28, 2010, 3:22 p.m.

“I have never been able to understand the phenomenon of the Liberal who seems to internalize the “acting out’s” of the Muslim thugs as somehow their fault.”

I’ve never been able to understand the conservative ability to simply dismiss and ignore anything that contradicts their views.

Imagine China decided that they don’t like Obama and successfully invaded the US to depose him.  Would everyone who voted against Obama welcome the foreign occupiers or would they resist them?  If you support them, would you change their minds when you realize that the Chinese can’t tell a ‘good American’ from a ‘bad American’ and kill equal numbers of each, or would you say, ‘we are hard to tell apart’ and be understanding about the apparently indiscriminate killing.  How about when the Chinese start dropping bombs on wedding parties because they can’t tell them apart from guerrilla armies?  How about when they start torturing and disappearing your neighbours and family?  Would you feel that they were justified in all they did because they were feeling threatened.  Would you accept that their concerns and worries should take precedence over your security? 

If any of the above would cause you to get violent and strike back at the Chinese then I don’t see how you can claim that US actions don’t contribute to terrorist recruitment.

None of this excuses people who would blow innocent civilians to pieces to make a political statement.  It is an utterly repugnant, and monstrous act, but being unwilling to acknowledge the roots of that monstrocity is to be willfully ignorant.


Aug. 28, 2010, 3:25 p.m.

“What my I ask will happen when we are at war with Iran? It will make the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan appear as mere street fights.”

You are right about this, so why are conservatives so eager for that war?

Edward Campbell

Aug. 29, 2010, 10:48 a.m.

It $100 million dollar monument to someones personal wealth and a huge security risk.  And homeless people won’t even be allowed into it.

Therefore, more offensive to a serious Muslim than it is to the non-Muslims who oppose it.


Aug. 29, 2010, 5:03 p.m.

If, and it could happen, that we (U.S) became intangled in a war with China or any other country then yes we and they would see bad nationals on each side. That is precisely the point. We are at war with radical Islam. Building Mosque’s in the U.S. will not alter that fact nor will it alter the feelings of Americans be they moderate democrats, moderate republicans or the fringe. It is not the time for Muslims to control the agenda but instead for America to take the lead.


Aug. 29, 2010, 10:54 p.m.

So, Edward Campbell, are you a “serious Muslim” or do you just presume to speak for them? 

And now conservatives are concerned about homeless people?  What next, are you going to oppose the community centre on the grounds that gay people can’t get married there?


Aug. 30, 2010, 12:27 p.m.

Yes, “We are at war with RADICAL Islam” we are not at war with Islam.  Again, conservatives can’t tell the difference and it plays into Al Qaeda’s hands.


Aug. 30, 2010, 5 p.m.

To joego and pgillenw,

The onion has an article about you.,17990/

Edward Campbell

Aug. 30, 2010, 7:06 p.m.

I don’t need to be a serious Muslim to know what the social praxis is at the Mosque and I’ve spent a serious amount of time prying in them and covering Muslim politics as a journalist.

But the word “serious” could be understood in different ways.  But basically, just because someone goes around wearing their Islam on their sleeve pretending to know much about Islam doesn’t mean they really do know a lot about Islam or are truly a good practitioner of it.

To get to the point, what is proposed here is ostentation by the developers to the point of insult.  Its a proposed monument to wealth.  Although monuments to wealth appear all over the Muslim world, its forbidden in Islam to aggrandize oneself through public displays of wealth particularly when the needy “al-masakin” are right there at your feet.

To emphasize this point, the Grand Mosque at Mecca is in the same way Haram.  The fact of the matter is, someone who does not give to the poor can be ex-communicated from Islam, obviously in no place in the Muslim world is this being practiced.

But indeed I oppose it on the grounds that the types of people who cook-up these types of projects are notoriously abusive to the homeless.  Observe the fact that slavery is still legal in Saudi Arabia, that the Emirs drink alcohol yet flog anyone else who does, that very many of the wealthy on the Saudi peninsula are openly gay.  Now, I realize that you probably take them to be serious about Islam, but they’re really not as it applies to them, only when they want to punish someone they regard as a low-life.

Let them sell the property and give the proceeds to the poor of New York.  Now that’s serious Islam.


Aug. 31, 2010, 9:08 a.m.

joe, have you been in Murfreesboro lately?


Aug. 31, 2010, 9:46 a.m.

I do not Hate Muslims or have any I’ll will towards them. I have a problem with some of the Ideas of Islam which are at odds with freedom and democracy. I will fight these ideas by educating my fellow freedom loving Americans and not by any hateful acts towards anyone. Watch this video if you have anymore questions about why I believe strongly about this;

Calling me a hate monger or bigot doses not work. Find a new tactic which revolves around the truth about Islam.


Aug. 31, 2010, 1:02 p.m.

Edward, If there were a law against hypocrisy in America the GOP would cease to exist.  What makes the hypocrisy you claim to be disturbed about with this community centre so special?


Aug. 31, 2010, 10:48 p.m.

There are some differences and similarities between SALINA, KS—Local man Scott Gentries and myself. Personally my ignorance of Islam has fueled my interest in on one of the great religions of the planet. The more I learn the more it guides me to the truth. So in that respect I’m different. In another respect I agree with Scott that I’m fed up with dealing with another culture of which there will always be major conflicts. At this point I wish that America would do a giant reset and reconsider this whole war against “_____” terrorists. I’m sure that the more we as Americans learn about Islam the better we will be able to overcome our differences.

Here is a proposal to the Muslim world (from me)->

I propose that America withdraws from the middle East and Islam quits trying to project Jihad and Sharia law outside Muslim countries for say hmmmm “10 years or so” I’m not sure what to do about the problems in Israel but maybe we could replace the real weapons with chess boards or tennis rackets for a while and just talk politely.


Is it a deal?,17990/


Sep. 1, 2010, 1:39 p.m.


Here read this link and you will understand that there are peaceful versus in the Koran directed at Muslims and peaceful versus in the Koran directed at non-Muslims. You have to make this distinction if you are a non-Muslim. Things that are written earlier in the Koran are abrogated by things that have been written later in the Koran. All of the peaceful versus directed at non-Muslims have been abrogated by the later violent versus. Don’t believe it? Then do the research yourself;


Sep. 1, 2010, 8:06 p.m.


Sadly my endorsement carries no weight, but I would happily get behind your proposal.

Commenting is not available in this section entry.

Get Updates

Our Hottest Stories