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Opinion

Opinion

Ground Zero wrong place for mosque

August 13, 2010

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— A place is made sacred by a widespread belief that it was visited by the miraculous or the transcendent (Lourdes, the Temple Mount), by the presence there once of great nobility and sacrifice (Gettysburg), or by the blood of martyrs and the indescribable suffering of the innocent (Auschwitz).

When we speak of Ground Zero as hallowed ground, what we mean is that it belongs to those who suffered and died there — and that such ownership obliges us, the living, to preserve the dignity and memory of the place, never allowing it to be forgotten, trivialized or misappropriated.

That’s why Disney’s early ‘90s proposal to build an American history theme park near Manassas Battlefield was defeated by a broad coalition fearing vulgarization of the Civil War (and wiser than me; at the time I obtusely saw little harm in the venture). It’s why the commercial viewing tower built right on the border of Gettysburg was taken down by the Park Service. It’s why, while no one objects to Japanese cultural centers, the idea of putting one up at Pearl Harbor would be offensive.

And why Pope John Paul II ordered the Carmelite nuns to leave the convent they had established at Auschwitz. He was in no way devaluing their heartfelt mission to pray for the souls of the dead. He was teaching them a lesson in respect: This is not your place, it belongs to others. However pure your voice, better to let silence reign.

Even New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who denounced opponents of the proposed 15-story mosque and Islamic center near Ground Zero as tramplers on religious freedom, asked the mosque organizers “to show some special sensitivity to the situation.” Yet, as columnist Rich Lowry pointedly noted, the government has no business telling churches how to conduct their business, shape their message, or show “special sensitivity” to anyone about anything. Bloomberg was thereby inadvertently conceding the claim of those he excoriates for opposing the mosque, namely, that Ground Zero is indeed unlike any other place, and, therefore, unique criteria govern what can be done there.

Bloomberg’s implication is clear: If the proposed mosque were controlled by “insensitive” Islamist radicals either excusing or celebrating 9/11, he would not support its construction.

But then, why not? By the mayor’s own expansive view of religious freedom, by what right do we dictate the message of any mosque? Moreover, as a practical matter, there’s no guarantee this couldn’t happen in the future. Religious institutions in this country are autonomous. Who is to say that the mosque won’t one day hire an Anwar al-Aulaqi — spiritual mentor to the Fort Hood shooter and the Christmas Day bomber, and one-time imam at the Virginia mosque attended by two of the 9/11 terrorists?

An Aulaqi preaching in Virginia is a security problem. An Aulaqi preaching at Ground Zero is a sacrilege.

Location matters. Especially this location. Ground Zero is the site of the greatest mass murder in American history — perpetrated by Muslims of a particular Islamist orthodoxy in whose cause they died and in whose name they killed.

Of course that strain represents only a minority of Muslims. Islam is no more intrinsically Islamist than present-day Germany is Nazi — yet despite contemporary Germany’s innocence, no German of good will would even think of proposing a German cultural center at, say, Treblinka.

Which makes you wonder about the good will behind Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf’s proposal. This is a man who has called U.S. policy “an accessory to the crime” of 9/11 and, when recently asked whether Hamas is a terrorist organization, replied, “I’m not a politician. ... The issue of terrorism is a very complex question.”

America is a free country where you can build whatever you want — but not anywhere. That’s why we have zoning laws. No liquor store near a school, no strip malls where they offend local sensibilities, and, if your house doesn’t meet community architectural codes, you cannot build at all.

These restrictions are for reasons of aesthetics. Others are for more profound reasons of common decency and respect for the sacred. No commercial tower over Gettysburg, no convent at Auschwitz — and no mosque at Ground Zero.

Build it anywhere but there.

The governor of New York offered to help find land to build the mosque elsewhere. A mosque really seeking to build bridges, Rauf’s ostensible hope for the structure, would accept the offer. It was refused.

— Charles Krauthammer is a columnist for Washington Post Writers Group. letters@charleskrauthammer.com

Comments

Turbin_Cowboy 4 years, 4 months ago

Oh, I think a statue of Hirohito in Pearl City Hawaii would be the best way to alleviate the pain Japanese feel. The United States needs to show the Japanese that there is no hard feelings for being blind sided by them in Pearl Harbor.

pantheon 4 years, 4 months ago

I think you mean Hideki Tojo (or the other way around, I can never figure out japanese names), Hirohito was actually going to be "deposed" for considering surrender to the Allies. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ky%C5%AB...

Also, your analogy sucks. I don't think they're going to have a statue of bin laden or something. They're not even ALLOWED to have a statue of muhammed or whatever his name is. Maybe they'll put up a statue of regan or something.

seriouscat 4 years, 4 months ago

"Do they not understand that building a mosque at Ground Zero is equivalent to permitting a Serbian Orthodox church near the killing fields of Srebrenica where 8,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered?"

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Mischief+Manhattan/3370303/story.html#ixzz0wVPZc7xI

Is the statement made above, by moderate Muslims, a less sucky analogy for you?

pantheon 4 years, 4 months ago

It's closer than "[statue of dictator]" comparison. So yes, I am willing to accept that comparison as "Not pants-on-head retarded"

grammaddy 4 years, 4 months ago

Oh Geez, here we go again. Let them build their mosque. Muslims died that day,too.It's not AT Ground Zero, it's a few blocks away. Get over yourself, Krauthammer. Religious freedom is alive and well and still living in the USA!!

geekyhost 4 years, 4 months ago

And we should prove that we're principaled and morally superior by being bigots and denying US citizens freedom of religion. That'll show 'em!

Grundoon Luna 4 years, 4 months ago

There's a mosque 4 blocks from Ground Zero that's been there since before the World Trade Center was erected. Perhaps they should demolish it.

But go ahead and leave the dozens of adults shops that are within blocks of GZ.

geekyhost 4 years, 4 months ago

We should also ban all churches anywhere near Oklahoma City's Murrah building, since a couple of Christians were responsible for blowing it up. Same for Centennial Olympic Park. Weee! Sweeping generalizations against religions are fun!

jafs 4 years, 4 months ago

The building that's being discussed is currently a mosque, as far as I know, and has been one for some time.

flicker 4 years, 4 months ago

gram - people like you scare the tar out of me.

MyName 4 years, 4 months ago

You must frighten easily. Hope you don't have a dodgy heart or something, that would make life very precarious for you.

geekyhost 4 years, 4 months ago

Americans that believe in freedom of religion? I suggest you not read anything by our founding fathers. It might also scare the tar out of you.

skinny 4 years, 4 months ago

Ya, sure, let the Muslims build their mosque. Let them show it off as their trophy. Let them feel like they have won the war with North America! NOT!

Stuart Evans 4 years, 4 months ago

..until they slap that giant crescent & star on the side of it. then it stands out like a beacon.

I don't care if they put a mosque down there any more than if they built a giant cathedral or synagogue. They're all ridiculous and filled with delusional people.

Stuart Evans 4 years, 4 months ago

I just don't have any interest in tip-toeing around the truth. those are buildings which are built for people to pay homage to an invisible man. If you ran into a homeless guy or even your grandma rambling about invisible men, you'd call them delusional.

jaywalker 4 years, 4 months ago

Uh huh, sure. You're just telling it like it is, is that it? 95% of the world, then, "are all ridiculous" and all their houses of worship are "filled with delusional people". Well, doesn't that just make you the one in the know. I couldn't care less if you believe or not, but I certainly wouldn't be pig-headed enough to ridicule you or smear you for your disbelief. You, unfortunately, are incapable or unwilling to reciprocate such respect.
And BTW, christianity sprung from a man that walked this earth; he wasn't invisible, he lived.

But you keep on bein' 'classy.' Wears well.

jafs 4 years, 4 months ago

Do you require that Christians also open all faiths centers?

ivalueamerica 4 years, 4 months ago

A non story.

There is no legal reason to keep them building something a few blocks away from ground zero, NOT on ground zero itself. The same people arguing against this would throw a fit if the government told them what they could and could not build on their own land. It has been a Muslim place of worship for quite some time so in effect, it is a new building, but for the same use.

There is no connection to this group and terrorism except by lunatic consipirocy therorists (How ya doin Hydra?) Should we prohibit Churches built next to where the Olympic Bombing took place in Atlanta because that was done by a Christian? It is the exact same principle.

NO, there is no excuse of bigotry other than ignorance and irrational fear.

Kirk Larson 4 years, 4 months ago

Stupid argument along with "try to build a church in (some Muslim country)". We're supposed to be better than that,but with un-American people like you who just don't get having constitutional principles I guess we have to settle for being like them.

ivalueamerica 4 years, 4 months ago

so you would be ok with it if it were 1 block further?

ivalueamerica 4 years, 4 months ago

???? wow, you have lost your mind and are now just babbling.

that has to be the most out of touch comment I have ever read on this topic. You need help

seriouscat 4 years, 4 months ago

You are right. There is no excuse of bigotry other than ignorance and fear.

But there is more to this 'non story' than 'those who don't want a huge mosque built six hundred feet away from ground zero are ignorant and irrational and those who do, or who don't care are enlightened and tolerant".

Firstly, even if it's true that there is no connection between Rauf and terrorists at all, which is far from being established fact, it is indisputable that for marketing purposes this mosque will be a great tool. It is not irrational to make the perfectly reasonable assumption that terrorists will exploit the building of the mosque, especially its location, as a sign of victory on 911. Neither is it irrational to assume that this particular mosque will be something of a tourist attraction for radical Islamists traveling or living in the U.S.

Secondly, the more I learn about this mosque, it is glaringly obvious to me that it is not truly intended as an expression of good will or as a monument to tolerance and acceptance of the secular, inter-religious society that we enjoy in the US. Some prominent moderate Muslims in Canada have said as much (and both have received death threats many times because they support separation of church and state).

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Mischief+Manhattan/3370303/story.html#ixzz0wLKOKrby

seriouscat 4 years, 4 months ago

obviously some people care or we wouldn't be talking about this. Everything is subjective isn't it? Any other earth shattering epiphanies you care to share?

seriouscat 4 years, 4 months ago

There are plenty of reasons why people care about the mosque which have been clearly communicated here and elsewhere.

You don't give a sh*t. Congratulations. Ridicule, antagonize, patronize, and do whatever you want.

Your douchebag smugness doesn't do much to further any real dialogue about it, but that's your prerogative so have at it!

seriouscat 4 years, 4 months ago

Yeah he does like talking in circles doesn't he?

verity 4 years, 4 months ago

I hardly ever agree with you, but on this I do exactly.

What does it matter? We're better than that. We don't give up our freedoms because of what someone else might think. We certainly don't become like the enemy.

seriouscat 4 years, 4 months ago

continued...

Thirdly, the memory of 911 is still fresh in many Americans minds. The pain and confusion and sadness permeated this entire nation that day. Ground Zero is not just real estate. It does not belong exclusively to New Yorkers any more than the Statue of Liberty, and what happens there is a national, not a local issue.

Let's not let ideology blind us to the fact that radical Islamic thought is a real danger and threat to everyone who holds secular democracy to be the best model for governance. The ultimate irony to me in this debate is that the secularists have the most to lose...I mean if Islam achieves its aim and takes over the Earth it wins! and if Jesus is right, then the meek (Christians who turn the other cheek) shall inherit it after the rapture and they win! The only people who don't get to have their cake and eat it too shall be the liberal religion hating secularists who have everything to lose in an Islamic state.

Anyyywayyyy

There are some changes that we as Americans could and should make in our own foreign and economic policies to address the fact that radicalism breeds in poverty and marginalization, and as long as the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, radical Islam and other scary ideologies will be springing up like daisies. However knee-jerk fear of being labeled a bigot and tolerance without limits didn't get Europe there, and it's not going to get us there either.

ivalueamerica 4 years, 4 months ago

So, in your opinion, to honor America, we should deny liberty and promote religious intolerance and freedom?

wow.

seriouscat 4 years, 4 months ago

What do you mean by denying liberty?

And plenty of people already promote religious intolerance in this country, which I don't have a problem with at all. It fosters dialogue and makes people re-think and examine their beliefs. Sometimes if they can't find an answer they demand explanation from their leaders, as they should. So religious intolerance in the intellectual sphere serves an important function.

It's when the dialogue gets shut down and everyone goes running in to their respective corners that the insidious seeds of radicalism continue to sprout.

I have a friend who lives in Vancouver (who shared the article I posted). He was walking home from work the other day and there was a big protest about "gender apartheid" with pictures of women in burqas getting stoned and beaten to death. He mentioned how surreal it is to see people trying to dialogue and bring awareness about the problem but having to go out of their way to never, ever mention the words Islam or Muslim. Is that liberty?

Kirk Larson 4 years, 4 months ago

You won't be able to see it from Ground Zero. This is just an excuse for bigots to vent their racism and anti-muslim-ism.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 4 months ago

Prejudice and discrimination in this country have historically been based primarily on race and ethnicity. That's not to say it hasn't also had a strong basis in religion, as well (the KKK are notoriously equal-opportunity bigots) but we don't have a broadly popular term for that, so racism is often used instead.

It's a little sloppy, semantically, but what term would you suggest be used instead?

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 4 months ago

This imaginary "Muslim nation" did not attack the US on 9/11, so comparing to Pearl Harbor is a canard.

There is no atteffort empt to systematically wipe out a group of people based upon their race or religion, so comparing to the Holocaust is a canard.

All that is happening here is a bunch of people are exposing their ignorance and bigotry.

The Muslim faith did not attack America on 9/11, a bunch of misguided terrorists did. When they attempt to build a memorial near Ground Zero, then all these hand wringers will have something to complain about.

Until then, they are making me sad for my country. I thought we were better than this, but instead you would think it was 50 years ago and there was some debate as to whether a Catholic President would be beholden to the Pope.

Get real.

seriouscat 4 years, 4 months ago

"There is no atteffort empt to systematically wipe out a group of people based upon their race or religion, so comparing to the Holocaust is a canard."

Actually you couldn't me more wrong. If you knew anything about radial Islamic ideology you would know that the ulitimate goal of Islam is for Sharia law to rule the whole world and for every non-Muslim to converted or enslaved. I'm not making this stuff up, look it up yourself.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 4 months ago

The same is true of a lot of wacko Christian groups in this country. Does that mean we should bulldoze all Christian churches in this country?

seriouscat 4 years, 4 months ago

Good god Bozo. A couple of years ago when I first dipped my toes into this forum, you posted like you actually thought about stuff. These days you do all the same annoying stuff that's typical here

you said blah blah blah....doesn't that mean you *putting a bunch of works and irrelevant analogies into your mouth' blah blah blah.

If you can't do any better than that then just leave me alone please.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 4 months ago

It was a simple question, seriouscat. And all you can say is blah blah blah?

whats_going_on 4 years, 4 months ago

for the record, after I read seriouscats post, I was thinking the exact same thing. I think this pretty much holds true for any religion. Look at the history of Christianity as an example.

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 4 months ago

There are radical elements to every religion. You clearly are unwilling to lump all Christians in with their most radical brethren, the Phelps Family and Westboro Baptist Church for example, yet you are quick to do so with Islam.

That is the real issue here. The reaction is the issue.

seriouscat 4 years, 4 months ago

There are some important fundamental differences to the central tenets of dominant Muslim ideology as opposed to other faiths and how it nurtures violence and hatred against all who do not adhere. Notice all the different sects of Christianity and how they veer all over the place in the political spectrum? Jesus said "render unto the Cesar that which is Cesars". There is no corollary in Muslim thought. Notice that lack of different types of Muslim sects.

That doesn't mean that there's no chance that moderate Muslim scholars may be able to find ways to fit the Muslim religion into a secular society, but they aren't going to be very successful if their radical coreligionists keep killing them.

Do I have a deep seated angst about Islamic ideology? You betcha. Is it based upon irrational bigotry and hatred? Quite the opposite.

seriouscat 4 years, 4 months ago

From the article I posted and evidently is not being read:

"As for those teary-eyed, bleeding-heart liberals such as New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and much of the media, who are blind to the Islamist agenda in North America, we understand their goodwill.

Unfortunately for us, their stand is based on ignorance and guilt, and they will never in their lives have to face the tyranny of Islamism that targets, kills and maims Muslims worldwide, and is using liberalism itself to destroy liberal secular democratic societies from within."

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Mischief+Manhattan/3370303/story.html#ixzz0wVBVcD32

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 4 months ago

"As for those teary-eyed, bleeding-heart liberals such as New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and much of the media,"

I think I'll continue not to read this drivel.

seriouscat 4 years, 4 months ago

You do realize that statement was made not by me, but by liberal Canadian Muslims who are mystified at the mosque dealings? But since you don't agree it 'drivel'.

Grow up.

jafs 4 years, 4 months ago

The fundamental tenets of Islam are strikingly similar to the fundamental tenets of Judaism and Christianity.

There are a variety of interpretations of the Koran, as there are of the Bible.

There are liberal, moderate and conservative Muslims and Christians.

There are religious believers of various kinds who hold differing opinions on the relationship between church and state - there are many in this country who think we are/should be a "Christian nation", and others who believe in the separation of church and state.

Is radical extremist Islam a threat? Absolutely, but to conclude that Islam itself is the threat is to misstate the case.

whats_going_on 4 years, 4 months ago

I have a friend who is Muslim, and he believes that his religion should not be pushed on others. He does what he does for his faith, and thats it. He doesn't argue it, push it on people, believe that others are wrong for not believing, etc.

So...we can't lump all Muslims into this theory of their religion taking over the world, just as we can't lump all Catholics into babyrapists.

seriouscat 4 years, 4 months ago

Lumping Catholics with babyrapists has been going on a lot. We can do it and we do do it (we in the sense of American society).

I have a lot of respect for people of faith who take societal criticisms and use them to explore and either bolster or reject that faith. Many Catholics have been doing that lately in the face of gender issues, birth control, whatever.

Muslims who are doing that right now in the face of the mosque controversy have an opportunity to explore and create further dialogue, and no one is trying to stop that.

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 4 months ago

Right. Just don't let them be anywhere near ground zero because they're the ones who caused it.

You're either an apologist or a fool.

seriouscat 4 years, 4 months ago

I am probably both. But we're not talking about me...we're talking about ideas. Is there really any doubt that this mosque is going to be built and everyone will move on to the next hot button?

I would never advocate giving an inch in the separation in church and state. I agree with wounded soldiers statement below

"the Constitution of the USA guarantees that this country will not establish a religion. PERIOD"

and if conservative groups use the legal system to stop its fruition it will come back and bite them (and all of us) in the tail.

I'm just not buyin the whole 'good will' bit. It's a provocative move and is politically ingenious if you ask me. Label me whatever you want to.

jaywalker 4 years, 4 months ago

"Bloomberg’s implication is clear: If the proposed mosque were controlled by “insensitive” Islamist radicals either excusing or celebrating 9/11, he would not support its construction.

But then, why not? By the mayor’s own expansive view of religious freedom, by what right do we dictate the message of any mosque?"

There was very little chance I was going to agree with Krauthammer on this, just seeing the headline made me roll my eyes and think 'her we go again.' But the above is really ignorant and not a little juvenile. It's impossible to take someone seriously when they on one hand admit that " that strain represents only a minority of Muslims", and then rip off the childish query above.
We are America the Melting Pot, and the prime example of our ragout is NYC. We can either recognize the hypocrisy of marginalizing a religion for the actions of a few #$@!bird nuts extremists, or we can be the tolerant, empathetic nation we supposedly strive to be. The mosque isn't planned for Ground Zero, it's not even across the street. 'Course, now that I think about it, let there be mosques atop the new tower; I'm bettin' blowin' up their own shrines would be verbotten.

whats_going_on 4 years, 4 months ago

just because 99% of this forum disagrees with your "foaming-at-the-mouth" far rightness, doesn't make them radical "lefties."

Just saying.

deec 4 years, 4 months ago

Sure was nice those few days when certain folks ungraciously withdrew from the forum. Why can't we have an ignore button?

whats_going_on 4 years, 4 months ago

ironic to say that, considering the story here.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 4 months ago

What a surprise!! Krauthammer engages in hysterical, xenophobic fear-mongering based on guilt by fabricated association.

jaywalker 4 years, 4 months ago

Don't agree with his column nor his stance on the issue, but it certainly wasn't "hysterical", "xenophobic", or "fear-mongering." Get some word-of-the-day toilet paper and didn't bother to study the definitions?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 4 months ago

"Who is to say that the mosque won’t one day hire an Anwar al-Aulaqi — spiritual mentor to the Fort Hood shooter and the Christmas Day bomber, and one-time imam at the Virginia mosque attended by two of the 9/11 terrorists?

An Aulaqi preaching in Virginia is a security problem. An Aulaqi preaching at Ground Zero is a sacrilege."

What would you call this straw man, if not fear-mongering?

jaywalker 4 years, 4 months ago

Touche'. That's one outta three for ya. You still lose on hyperbole.

50YearResident 4 years, 4 months ago

I would think all the women in United States that cherish Womens Rights would be against any Mosque being built in Ameica, not just New York. Where is the outrage about "Woman's Rights"? When you are eventually forced to become a Muslin everything changes for a woman. Remember Islam's goal it for the whole world to become Muslim.

verity 4 years, 4 months ago

So---people building mosques means that I will be forced to become a Muslim?

Quite frankly, here in the United States of America, I'm much more afraid of the fundamentalist Christians gaining more and more power and taking away my civil and human rights. So I should object to each church being built?

It's also the goal of some Christians for the whole world to become Christian.

verity 4 years, 4 months ago

Good grief, Mr. Shewman. Normally I just skip right over your comments, but since you were answering mine, I read it.

Did you actually read my comment? Where did I say I didn't have freedom? Where did I say I didn't like this country? I think the freedom we have in this country and whether it extends to everybody is what this discussion is about.

You obviously couldn't argue with what I said, so you spewed this absolute grade school nonsense.

I will now go back to not wasting my time reading your comments.

voevoda 4 years, 4 months ago

According to many Christians, Christianity's goal is to convert the world, too. According to some versions of Christianity, women's roles are restricted, too. Should we prohibit the building of Christian churches anywhere in America because some Christian groups don't ordain women and call on women to be submissive to men? Or even because some Christian groups (e.g. the KKK or the Aryan Nation) carry out violent attacks against American citizens? So it's important to look more closely, at the particular group within the larger religious movement. The Muslim group in New York promotes women's rights. It promotes tolerance and religious plurality. It regards Sharia law as a source of moral inspiration, just as many Christians read the Bible and the Church Fathers and Jews read the Talmud--without wanting the US to enact it as law.

whats_going_on 4 years, 4 months ago

a mosque being built doesn't mean that they are suddenly taking over america...

geekyhost 4 years, 4 months ago

And I'm absolutely against building any Christian church that doesn't allow women in the priesthood, make women cover their heads, think men are heads of the household or ... No, wait, I'm not. I'm FOR freedom of religion. You know, one of those defining principals of our country that makes it so great? The thing the terrorists supposedly hate us for? Freedom?

It's called being consistent in my ethical values rather than hypocritically thinking I should only have freedom of religion if it's MY religion. You should try it sometime.

pantheon 4 years, 4 months ago

So, what you're saying here is the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence?

Brilliant.

verity 4 years, 4 months ago

We don't and never will. Don't think that is what he said.

lgreen17 4 years, 4 months ago

It's not a mosque and it's not at ground zero. wow how people love to get all excited about nothing.

1029 4 years, 4 months ago

No way. This is a Christian nation. They need to be like us, or they should find some other place to go.

Abdu Omar 4 years, 4 months ago

Some Muslims are born in the USA or have converted to Islam by their own choice. Some were Christians but found Islam to be the truth they wanted to follow. This notion of sending them back to somewhere is foolish and this is NOT a Christian Nation. It has Christians and they may be the majority, but the Constitution of the USA guarantees that this country will not establish a religion. PERIOD

voevoda 4 years, 4 months ago

Freedom of religion is guaranteed in the Constitution. People who adhere to that principle are "like us." People who think that this country is only for Christians are not "like us."

jimmyjms 4 years, 4 months ago

Offensive and stupid. You don't even have a basic grasp of what this country stands for if you believe the crap you just posted.

jaywalker 4 years, 4 months ago

I'm guessing, jimmy, that you're comment is meant for 1029 and if so then you haven't run across him before. His posts are almost always completely the opposite of what he means, total satire, tongue in cheek, snarky sarcasm. That wasn't his actual opinion, count on it.

Abdu Omar 4 years, 4 months ago

Although is has no effect on anything, Muslims lost their lives in the Towers, too and Muslims don't believe that those who did this terrible act were Muslims - You can't be a Muslim and kill 3000 innocent people intentionally. It is against the religion and most Muslims are horrified that the hijackers used that religion. We made no big deal that Timmothy McVeigh was a Christian or that Adolf Hitler was, too. The mosque is there to worship God, not praise anyone else. The way this article reads is that California is too close to ground zero to put a mosque. Stop beating up Muslims for what some few did in its name.These demented men were not part of the Islamic world and if they were, they would never have flown airplanes into buildings.

Abdu Omar 4 years, 4 months ago

Because I read. Why don't you?

Go to the Mosque in your area and talk to the director there and ask him about this. Read the Qur'an and see what it says about killing innocents, women and children and non-combatants. Killing ones' self is not a way to get 70 virgins in the afterlife, because they will be too busy drinking the hot boiling liquid in hell. Non-Muslims have so many misconceptions of Islam and Muslims and because the Palestinians are at war with the Israelis, the Jewlish lobbies in America try to discredit Islam where they can in order for Americans to hate Muslims. But remember a great number of Palestinians are Christian and were once the Children of Israel who converted to Islam or Christianity.

50YearResident 4 years, 4 months ago

"These demented men were not part of the Islamic world and if they were, they would never have flown airplanes into buildings". I did read that the men that flew the airplanes into the World Trade Centers were Muslins. Is this incorrect? What religion were they if not Muslem?

whats_going_on 4 years, 4 months ago

Sectarianism?Fundamentalism? There can be sometimes violent sects that spin of from religions but still use the name.

KKK FLDS Al-Queda etc

whats_going_on 4 years, 4 months ago

well, by what this person said, I assume they are Muslim or very close to those who are...so thats probably how they know that.

Abdu Omar 4 years, 4 months ago

You assume they were true believers, but that is the point,. they were not because a true Muslim wouldn't go against his religion to commit a heinous act. Islam FORBIDS this. So saying he was a Muslim was as much a lie as getting on the airplane as a passenger wanting to go to a destination other than to hell.

geekyhost 4 years, 4 months ago

If it makes you more comfortable to rationalize way their religious upbringing, go ahead. So, how was it that Rudolph didn't believe he was a Christian? The IRA and Ulster Unionists - did they think they were Christians when they bombed innocents and mowed down school children?

Randall Uhrich 4 years, 4 months ago

A favorite argument of republicans: we need to prevent people from doing things because of something they might do in the future: (Who is to say that the mosque won’t one day hire an Anwar al-Aulaqi — spiritual mentor to the Fort Hood shooter and the Christmas Day bomber, and one-time imam at the Virginia mosque attended by two of the 9/11 terrorists?). By that argument, I could argue that Charles Krauthammer's parents should have been preventing from having children, judging by the insane crap that he supports. More right-wing hypocrisy.

grammaddy 4 years, 4 months ago

It's a shame birth-control isn't retroactive.

Richard Payton 4 years, 4 months ago

Check the funding out Journal World on the mosque. The Journal World is good at getting the athletic department to give their information up on salaries. I would quess this mosque is using a paypal account so funds are not tracked easily. Is the FBI trying to track funding for the Park 51 group? Questions not yet answered and questions I may never know.

funkdog1 4 years, 4 months ago

We'd better not allow any churches to be built near the Edward R. Murrah building in Oklahoma City!

geekyhost 4 years, 4 months ago

Time: Are you religious?

McVeigh: I was raised Catholic. I was confirmed Catholic (received the sacrament of confirmation). Through my military years, I sort of lost touch with the religion. I never really picked it up, however I do maintain core beliefs.

Time: Do you believe in God?

McVeigh: I do believe in a God, yes. But that's as far as I want to discuss. If I get too detailed on some things that are personal like that, it gives people an easier way [to] alienate themselves from me and that's all they are looking for now.

voevoda 4 years, 4 months ago

Krauthammer tries to make his case agains the Muslim cultural center in lower Manhattan on the basis of spurious analogy and guilt by association. Spurious analogies: The problem with the theme park near Gettysburg was one of historic preservation, not sentiment. The planned tower--the primary purpose for the park--would have intruded upon the landscape of the battlefield, which is governed by historic preservation zoning ordinances. There cannot be a zoning ordinance that targets a specific religious group.
The convent at Auschwitz was moved from the grounds of the camp to a site just down the road. Visitors report seeing the nuns on their way to the camp site. Christian centers in Oswiecim have promoted reconciliation. So this analogy actually argues in favor of the placement of the Muslim cultural center. There are several Japanese-related sites near Pearl Harbor. Nobody seems to have objected to them. The Muslim group that is putting up the center is composed of Americans who were appalled at the 9/11 attacks and condemned them. They are promoting a form of Islam that is compatible with American values of tolerance and diversity, and serves as an attractive alternative to Islamist radicalism. People who fear Islamist terrorism should be doing everything they can to help moderate Muslims promote their version of Islam. We can sympathize with the raw emotions of people who lost loved ones in the attacks on the Twin Towers. We ought not sympathize with bigotry against Muslims in general.

seriouscat 4 years, 4 months ago

"People who fear Islamist terrorism should be doing everything they can to help moderate Muslims promote their version of Islam".

-If Rauf is serious about building bridges, then he could have dedicated space in this so-called community centre to a church and synagogue, but he did not. We passed on this message to him through a mutual Saudi friend, but received no answer. He could have proposed a memorial to the 9/11 dead with a denouncement of the doctrine of armed jihad, but he chose not to.

It's a repugnant thought that $100 million would be brought into the United States rather than be directed at dying and needy Muslims in Darfur or Pakistan.

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Mischief+Manhattan/3370303/story.html#ixzz0wVSmg73S

Is this Muslim against Muslim bigotry? Or valid points which continue to go unaddressed?

Why did Rauf refuse the good will offer of a different location? Is that going to help quell bigotry?

voevoda 4 years, 4 months ago

Because no "offer" of a different location is really made in "good will." It's either made out of prejudice or out of a misguided desire to placate bigots.

seriouscat 4 years, 4 months ago

You sure say misguided a lot. We know you think I'm misguided at best and a downright mean person also probably...so are you now saying that the people who wrote the article for the Ottowa citizen are misguided too? And the governor of New York? And all 911 families who object?

voevoda 4 years, 4 months ago

In a word, yes, they are misguided. Majorities can be misguided, especially when they fall under the influence of demogogues.

seriouscat 4 years, 4 months ago

Was Voltaire a demagogue?

Ecrasez l'infame! Ecrasez l'infame! Ecrasez l'infame!

jimmyjms 4 years, 4 months ago

"When we speak of Ground Zero as hallowed ground, what we mean is that it belongs to those who suffered and died there"

So we should build an American Apparel, a McDonalds, and a strip club there?

If you're against this project based on the fact that it's a Muslim place of warship, you don't understand anything about this country and what it stands for. More to the point, the position advocated by Chuck and the rest of the Jebus is just alright crowd is one of fear, weakness, and more than anything a gift to Osama Bin Laden.

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 4 months ago

Indeed, what are this hack's thoughts on that?

beaujackson 4 years, 4 months ago

How about demolition of all mosques in the US & deporting all muslims.

voevoda 4 years, 4 months ago

Because it's illegal, beaujackson. And unAmerican. And unChristian. And inhumane.

Abdu Omar 4 years, 4 months ago

Where would you send them back to? America? I know a few foreign Muslims, but most of them I know were born and raised in the USA. And I know a guy, from Iowa, who won the Medal of Honor while fighting in the Pacific for the USA in WW II. His parents were from the Middle East and both his brothers died in Germany in WW II.

Does that make them American enough for you?

puddleglum 4 years, 4 months ago

I just heard it on the radio that they were planning on building an atomic 'device' inside the mosque, so that no one would know about it, then they are gonna blow up the whole city.

As most of you know, i am very pretty, and New York is dirty and ugly-and full of dirty, ugly, unfriendly 'americans'-so I hardly care what happens. New Yorkers and the rest of their east-coast scum have been taking advantage of the mid west for years....I enjoy their demise.

Graczyk 4 years, 4 months ago

Ground Zero is the wrong place for a mosque. There's a big hole there and you can't build anything in it. I hear there's a nice site for a mosque two blocks away though.

seriouscat 4 years, 4 months ago

Hi there Jesse. You are very fond of the straw man dealio there too aren't you?

You know, Europe has been learning some very important lessons that it would behoove us to take heed and examine. 20 years ago when the Muslim population was at like .06 percent like it currently is here, Switzerland would have blushed at the thought of banning minarets, and France was not having to grapple with criticisms for banning full body swimsuits and full face coverings.

Germany shut down a mosque yesterday that has become a hot bed for terrorists. A mosque in California that was linked to a terrorist is now looking to expand. It's ridiculous that upon pointing out such facts, someone automatically gets labeled a bigot.

Okay fine I'm a terrible human being, a bigot, and I want to wipe my butt with the constitution. Can we move on and talk about reality now?

seriouscat 4 years, 4 months ago

The reality I live in is one where anyone who says they don't support the mosque gets labeled an ignorant bigot who wants to subvert the constitution. You did it yourself.

The reality I live in is one where any person who mentions Islam and terrorism together in the same sentence is automatically assumed to be afraid of and prejudice of all Muslims.

The backlash in Europe is due to the pussyfooting around the issue and now it's starting to blow up in their faces isn't it? I don't want my politicians to be making decisions in that environment.

What I do want is to hear a lot more from Muslim scholars and leaders around the world, who are free to criticize the radicals without receiving deaths threats. I also want Western journalists to be able to publish issues on Islam without fear of being killed. That is certainly not the current reality.

Abdu Omar 4 years, 4 months ago

Some idiots think that is the goal of Muslims to live under Sharia Law. First, it isn't. It is the goal of some terrorists. That is why most Muslims are against terrorism. Sharia Law is not the goal. What is the goal of Muslims is to live harmoniously with others, not conquer them.

mr_right_wing 4 years, 4 months ago

I'd prefer the thing not be built that close either...

BUT...

...if it is; let us rise above the actions of muslim terrorists. No graffiti or vandalism to their building. Please. How about this, if they insist on building it ... ignore it! When someone wants to rub something in your face, that's the worst thing you can do to them!

Mr. Right Wings 996th Piece of Wisdom from the right!

MyName 4 years, 4 months ago

Way to bring the weak sauce this week Kruthammer:

Strawman arguments based on painting American citizens as "outsiders" because they don't share your religious beliefs... Check.

Complete lack of understand that the First Amendment is more important than petty political stunts... Check

Invoking World War II as a support for an argument against allowing Americans the freedoms that our military is supposed to be fighting for... Check

Yet another pointless piece of partisan hackery, move along there's nothing to see here.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 4 months ago

So we need to check the Krauthammer "sensitometer-o-matic" for zoning decisions on private property now?

Jesus, this is the biggest piece of politically-correct nonsense I have read in a long time.

tunahelper 4 years, 4 months ago

Until there are churches built in Mecca, then no mosque should be built at ground zero in NYC.

Amy Heeter 4 years, 4 months ago

Again; It-- isn't-- on-- ground-- zero.

JohnBrown 4 years, 4 months ago

It's amazing to see so many people who claim to love our country be so very willing to dismantle, or ignore, our Constitution, and replace it with a choice based on anger and emotion.

Welcome to Citizenship 101.

The American Ideals set forth in our Constitution aren't easy; if they were, everyone would be emulating them.

BTW, my family was in the first tower when it was hit. All those who died that day were there exercising their rights and freedoms permitted by this great country. If we want to honor them, we should do so by ensuring those rights and freedoms are not infringed upon, ever.

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