Letters to the Editor

Strong message

August 22, 2010


To the editor:

Ever since 9/11, America has been trying to engage in a battle of ideas against radical Islam. America can’t really get involved in a debate within Islam, so that has meant trying to find and support moderate Muslims around the world. This strategy has been supported by liberals and conservatives alike. Both the Bush and Obama administrations have supported worldwide efforts to support moderate Muslims who were trying to rescue their religion from extremists. This has meant funding mosques, Islamic centers and community leaders that share a peaceful and pluralistic vision of Islam.

However, with the opportunity to continue to promote these ideas in our own back yard, we hesitate. This is why I am glad to see that Obama supports efforts to build an Islamic community center two blocks from Ground Zero in New York City.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the man who is leading the effort to build the Islamic community center known as Park 51, is a moderate Muslim clergyman. The Times reported that he wants the center to help “bridge and heal a divide” among Muslims and other religious groups. He speaks of the need for Muslims to live peacefully with all other religions. He emphasizes the commonalities among all faiths and advocates equal rights for women.

When we tell the world, “Yes, we are a country that will even tolerate a mosque near the site of 9/11,” we send a powerful message of inclusion and openness. You never know who is hearing that message.

Chris Orlando,



Roland Gunslinger 7 years, 8 months ago

Cue Applejack, Seriouscat, Hydra, Lawreceguy40, et al in 3... 2... 1...

Hydra 7 years, 8 months ago

Youm left out the other 69% of americans who agree with us. To get to that percentage it has to include left, right and moderates. :O)

KSManimal 7 years, 8 months ago

It makes no difference how many others agree with you. The constitution is specifically intended to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority in such matters.

For what your argument is worth, how many German citizens agreed with Hitler? How many U.S. citizens supported slavery? Or denying women the right to vote?

A whole lotta ignorant is still just that - ignorant.

dontcallmedan 7 years, 8 months ago

Hyda's list of approved religions would be what?

funkdog1 7 years, 8 months ago

What government does Islam control in this country?

Abdu Omar 7 years, 8 months ago

I think we have had enough bigotry, misinformation and lies about this issue. The truth is never accepted by those who wish to stir the pot up so much that the real issues are forgottern. Thanks for this letter. Although I am not directly involved in the building of that mosque, I feel its importance is more than just a community center. It does say to the world that we Americans understand that terrorists who stole the good Islamic name have commited the horrible crimes, not modern Muslims who want peace.

skinny 7 years, 8 months ago

Where is the money coming from to build this so called Mosque?

I am taking bets that it will not be built at ground zero and rightly so!!

No trophies at ground zero for the Muslims this time.

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 8 months ago

Not important???? You guys sure talk out of both sides of your mouths.

cato_the_elder 7 years, 8 months ago

Another candidate for Letter to the Editor Gullibility Award of the Week.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 8 months ago

You should write a LTE, cato, and let people know that unbridled, fact-free hate is the only way to go.

cato_the_elder 7 years, 8 months ago

Were I to do so, Bozo, I would use your posts as my model.

barlowtl 7 years, 8 months ago

You do realize don't you, Bin Laden fully agrees with you. On the other hand Gen. Petraeus will find his job harder & more dangerous, as you just turned off moderate Muslims who have been helping us. Congratulations!

Jimo 7 years, 8 months ago

I think we've had enough of the lies and misinformation about this "controversy."

This abandoned building will house a Islamic cultural center in Manhattan amid the betting shops, topless bars, and moneychanger's temples. Americas values will triumph in the end. Bigots will self-identify themselves. Surprise.

Into the scrapbook of silly manufactured controversies like Terri Shiavo, ACORN, Ebonics, Vince Foster's murder, the North American superhighway, Travelgate and Dubai Ports World. Make room for the next piece of wingnut propaganda. Anything to avoid discussion of serious issues.

Plurilingual 7 years, 8 months ago

One small correction, President Obama has not stated that he supported the building of the center, only that he supported the right of the backers to build it. A fine distinction, but an important one politically. I wish he would say that he supports it. I've taken a vow not to vote for ANYONE for ANY OFFICE EVER who has taken a position against building this center.

mr_right_wing 7 years, 8 months ago

I would think a "moderate muslim" would think a little more about "gee, maybe this is a little too 'in your face', maybe we ought to show a little more sensitivity in order to receive more sensitivity"

A more 'radical muslim' (in my opinion) would probably think "they don't like it? So what! Get over it already America! We're building, like it or not, and there's not one thing you can do about it! Go stick it infidels!!"

But I could be wrong.....

voevoda 7 years, 8 months ago

Yes, mr_right_wing, you could be wrong. You're assuming that the plans for the "mosque" were made recently. But in fact, the mosque has been at that location for decades. Even the plans to convert the site to a community center were developed and posted publicly quite a while before the right-wing pundits decided to make an issue of it--primarily in search of a "wedge" issue to use against the Obama administration. Who's insensitive here? The fear-mongers who riled less thoughtful Americans with outrageously false allegations against an American Muslim community that hadn't offended anyone. If the community doesn't want to change their plans now (other than the sheer inconvenience of leaving a site that was chosen decades ago because it was convenient), it could well be because they don't want the bigots to crow about "sticking it" to them. Placating bigots just empowers them. Continuing with plans that are legitimate and just ultimately changes public attitudes. That was the lesson of the Civil Rights movement.

Paul R Getto 7 years, 8 months ago

voevoda: "Placating bigots just empowers them. Continuing with plans that are legitimate and just ultimately changes public attitudes. That was the lesson of the Civil Rights movement." ====V.V. BINGO! You win the prize today for rational politics and knowledge of the Constitution. Keep it up and you'll be on "Dancing with the LJW Blogging Stars." If we are what we say we are, this wouldn't be much of an issue. Bribing moderate Muslims seemed to work in Iraq for a bit. Maybe we can continue similar efforts in Afghanistan for a bit longer. Better still......get the heck out of the area and take away the radical's issues.

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