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Anti-Muslim Bigotry

“Civil Rights” Group ADL Backs Bigots & Islamophobes Against Cordoba House “Ground Zero Mosque”

Abu Reem

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MM’s Coverage of Park51 (Mislabeled “Ground Zero Mosque”)

In what has startled many in the mainstream media, not exactly known for being kind to Muslim causes, ADL (Anti-Defamation League), the premier Jewish civil rights organization in America* has joined the ranks of bigots, Islamophobes, and opportunistic politicians in coming out against the Cordoba House, or what is being referred to as the “Ground Zero Mosque”. ADL is in the proud company of some racist tea-party members, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Rick Lazio, FOX News and a host of other haters.

The ADL statement can be found here, with the following widely mocked para (talk about bad logic):

Proponents of the Islamic Center may have every right to build at this site, and may even have chosen the site to send a positive message about Islam. The bigotry some have expressed in attacking them is unfair, and wrong. But ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right. In our judgment, building an Islamic Center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain —unnecessarily — and that is not right.

As in the article that I co-authored with Mohamed Elibiary, leading the Cordoba House initiative are people who are well known in the New York community, so this cannot be anything except pure bigotry that is fueling the anti-initiative “haterade”.

Of course, the fact that the mosque is nowhere near being AT Ground Zero has been completely lost on the bigots, though it still begs the question, “EVEN if it were on Ground Zero, so what??” In fact, there was a prayer space right WITHIN the World Trade Center Building and that “on any given Friday upwards to 1,500 Muslims pray[ed] Jumu’ah [Friday prayers] at the World Trade Center”.

Back to ADL: Even recognizing the fact that its director, Abraham Foxman has become a firm peg in the Israeli Lobby (making ADL far more political than it was ever intended to be), even considering Foxman’s desire to label everyone who is against Israel’s occupation as being anti-Semite (former President Jimmy Carter’s book on Israel was anti-Semitic), it is still surprising that an organization that prides itself in its history of civil rights defense, can have an official declaration that sides so openly with bigotry. One can only assume that Foxman has dug the pro-Israeli dagger so deep into the psyche of this famous civil rights organization, that  ADL now sees all Muslims as simply “more Palestinian supporters”, making any initiative that gives Muslim more say in American life as being a potential danger for Israel’s Lobby, and hence an effort that must be killed.

What is also interesting about the story is the number of voices that have come out strongly against ADL, which must have surely surprised the organization which is probably used to seeing unquestioned support from the mainstream media. Even the famous Paul Krugman broke from his “usual beat” to call the ADL statement, “Shameful — and stupid”. Krugman reminds the Jewish organization that it is “Bad for Jews“,

So let’s try some comparable cases, OK? It causes some people pain to see Jews operating small businesses in non-Jewish neighborhoods; it causes some people pain to see Jews writing for national publications (as I learn from my mailbox most weeks); it causes some people pain to see Jews on the Supreme Court. So would ADL agree that we should ban Jews from these activities, so as to spare these people pain? No? What’s the difference?

Gawker calls the statement “pathetic”, summing it up like this” ‘Some’ opponents may be bigoted enough to believe that a Muslim community center two blocks from Ground Zero is offensive, because Muslims = 9/11. Well, the bigots should win anyway! Productive day at the office, ADL.”

Adam Serwer reminds ADL that such a statement, which he believes would never have been issued if “the building in question happened to be a synagogue, and the builders happened to be Jews”, is “increasingly eroding its already weakened credibility as a nonpartisan organization”. Joshua Holland at AlterNet agrees saying that the group is on a “journey to irrelevance.” Greg Sargent at Washington Post’s Plum Line doesn’t mince any words either when he says that ADL has effectively sided with bigotry, “On this one, you’re either with the bigots or you’re against them. And ADL has in effect sided with them.”

Lest we negatively paint all Jews with this wacky ADL statement, let’s remember that Krugman, Holland and possibly Serwer (quoted above) are all Jewish, and so is the political Jewish organization, J Street, whose President issued a statement in support of the Cordoba Initiative. Quite ironic, isn’t it, considering that J Street is not the “civil rights organization with nearly a 100 year history”?!

We would hope the American Jewish community would be at the forefront of standing up for the freedom and equality of a religious minority looking to exercise its legal rights in the United States, rather than casting aspersions on its funders and giving in to the fear-mongerers and pandering politicians urging it to relocate.

CAIR has asked ADL to retract the statement, but I am not holding my breath for that to happen!

ADL History

*Some history on ADL below and how far it has fallen off its charter to protect civil rights for “all” [Source]

Founded in 1913 by the B’nai Brith, the ADL was created in response to the conviction of Jewish businessman Leo Frank, who was found guilty in the murder of a 13-year-old girl in a case many said was a racially-motivated miscarriage of justice. Frank was kidnapped from prison and lynched by a mob in 1915.

The group today describes itself as “the nation’s premier civil rights/human relations agency.” The group “fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all.”

Abu Reem is one of the founders of MuslimMatters, Inc. His identity is shaped by his religion (Islam), place of birth (Pakistan), and nationality (American). By education, he is a ChemE, topped off with an MBA from Wharton. He has been involved with Texas Dawah, Clear Lake Islamic Center and MSA. His interests include politics, cricket, and media interactions. Career-wise, Abu Reem is in management in the oil & gas industry (but one who still appreciates the "green revolution").

187 Comments

187 Comments

  1. Amad

    Amad

    July 31, 2010 at 10:15 AM

    I remember adl being one of the organizations that we used to consider one who u could go to in cases of religious discrimination against Muslims! I also seem to remember local adl joining local cair! Really unfortunate and I mean it very sincerely.

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    Greg Davidson

    July 31, 2010 at 10:47 AM

    As a Jewish American, I completely disavow the ADL statement. I believe that there would be more justice in establishing a restraining order that prevented Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Rick Lazio, FOX News, and the ADL from coming within 2 blocks of ground zero, as they are the ones who reek of the extremism of the 9/11 terrorists. Those who engage in angry, irrational demonization of others are a threat to all Americans, not just those they choose to bully at a given moment in time. I wish you well in your Cordoba House project.

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      amad

      July 31, 2010 at 12:30 PM

      Thanks Greg, really appreciate your comment.

      I’d like to add that we, as muslimmatters, are not direct party to the Cordoba House and even while we may not agree with some of the initiative’s viewpoints, the issue is about being upon the “just” and “fair” position. I would say and hope that we would have the same position even if the Cordoba House was a Jewish seminary.

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        Jean Murphy

        August 12, 2010 at 10:21 PM

        Amad, I live in Calif., but I remember 9/11 like it was just yesterday. Terrorists killing thousands by crashing into the two towers. Terrorists = Muslims = hate. This is how millions of Americans see it. I’m not a bigot. I don’t care what race or religion anyone is if they are peace loving people.
        I feel the pain of all those who lost loved ones. I see the anguish of American Muslims who love Allah & only want to practice their religion without persecution. I know how the Jews suffered at the hand of Hitler & his Nazis & many people know that millions of Muslims supported Hitler during the war. When you look at all this, it’s hard to blame Americans for their outlook on this situation with the Cordoba House. We don’t want Sharia Laws/ Islamic laws in this country. We expect Muslim Americans to adhere to our laws, not try to put their laws on the books. If we went to Iran, Iraq, or any other Muslim country to become a citizen, we would have to obey Islamic laws. Why is it that those who want or are determined to build the Cordoba House so close to ground zero where thousands of Americans, Jews alike, were murdered by Muslim terrorists ,can’t understand the deep rooted pain of those who lost loved ones so close to the site?
        Fair play doesn’t compute in broken hearts. Compassion does. If these who want the Cordoba House (not Mosque) built at this site, can they not adjust this center to be a place for Muslims, Jews & all other Americans? Not just someplace specifically for Muslims where any one else can visit? Even building the Cordoba House elsewhere & use the site close to ground zero for a children’s learning site— all children, all cultures. Why is there no grounds for compromise?

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          Sayf

          August 12, 2010 at 11:14 PM

          Jean, I mean this in the least hostile way possible, but there were so many things wrong in your post that I couldn’t wait for someone else to reply.

          I know how the Jews suffered at the hand of Hitler & his Nazis & many people know that millions of Muslims supported Hitler during the war

          I don’t know what this is supposed to imply, two wrongs don’t make a right. A spade is a spade.

          We don’t want Sharia Laws/ Islamic laws in this country. We expect Muslim Americans to adhere to our laws, not try to put their laws on the books.

          What does this have to do with a building? You realize Muslims agree and believe that we should adhere by the law of the land?

          Why is it that those who want or are determined to build the Cordoba House so close to ground zero

          Thank you for calling it the Cordoba house and not the “Ground Zero Mosque”. It’s six-blocks away from ground zero.

          where thousands of Americans, Jews alike, were murdered by Muslim terrorists ,can’t understand the deep rooted pain of those who lost loved ones so close to the site?

          This should read, where thousands of American Jews, Christians and Muslims were murdered.

          If these who want the Cordoba House (not Mosque) built at this site, can they not adjust this center to be a place for Muslims, Jews & all other Americans?

          According to my info, that’s exactly what it is. It’s the Islamic equivalent of the YMCA. The Y is awesome by the way.

          I agree with you Jean, compromise is an important thing. I hope you realize that this is really just the symptom of a much bigger problem.
          http://muslimmatters.org/2010/08/09/across-nation-mosque-projects-meet-opposition/

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            Sayf

            August 12, 2010 at 11:34 PM

            Sorry I’ve made a mistake. It’s actually two blocks away. Regardless, there is a thriving Muslim community within that area and they need the space.

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            Jean Murphy

            August 13, 2010 at 2:33 AM

            Sayf,
            People have very long memories. It’s hard to overcome. I was not aware that Muslims also died in the 9/11 attacks. I wasn’t aware that the Cordoba House is to similar to a YMCA. This is not what I’d read or seen. I apologize for the misunderstanding.
            I don’t know how to get people to “think” rationally concerning this matter. So much is going on in Muslim countries effecting The U.S. And when I made a comment concerning Hitler, it is relevant because of the relationship between Hitler, Muslims & the destruction of so many Jews.
            I’d read that Muslim leaders were trying to broker a peace treaty via the Turkey government with Israel. Not believing Obama to keep his word. That’s a wise decision in itself. But when Muslims in surrounding countries were asked about the peace between Palestine & Israel, their comments went right to “hate”. The Jews got what they deserved, etc.. This was a recent article. The Peace Treaty would not even be discussed unless Israel agreed to return occupied territories.
            I’ve also read articles concerning a county in the U.S., primarily Muslim where the Muslim community is demanding Sharia Laws be implemented or passed. This is not accepting the U.S. laws. So, no, I don’t see that all Muslims in America are willing to accept American laws as theirs. Understand the confusion in this matter?
            Many subjects here & over seas are related. All having to do with the destruction of the U.S by radical Muslims. You say two wrongs don’t make a right. I agree, but I see the wrongs continuing with radical Muslims. They helped exterminate Jews & now they want to exterminate Americans. How is this not relevant to any & all situations concerning Americans & Muslims right here in our country?
            I have no answers here. I see the hate, destruction, lost lives of Americans & Muslims in Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan & there’s no end to it. I didn’t see a lot of coverage here about the continuos monsoons in Pakistan & the millions who have lost their homes, many dead, many lost yet, & little help due to the continual rain & flooding. I read a lot of articles concerning these countries & articles concerning all the problems here. I only pray to God that somehow it will end peacefully.
            Speaking of God. I didn’t understand the Muslim religion, so I looked up the meaning of “Allah”. To my surprise, that definition is one that would describe my “God”. Which made me wonder why so many Muslims do not follow the teachings of Allah. The word “Allah” in your language is the same as my word “God” in my language. Very little difference in the teachings.
            Anyway, I hope people in NY can find it in their hearts to not blame the peaceful Muslims living there because of what radical Muslims did so many years ago. May “Allah / God” Bless & keep you safe.

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            Samima

            August 29, 2010 at 8:29 AM

            If someone could help me out on this, I’d really appreciate it.
            I don’t understand what the issue is with the distance from Park51 to the Ground Zero site.
            1) We know that we certainly can’t and wouldn’t be able to see any of the building’s stories directly from the Ground Zero site. You would have to walk the 2.5 blocks or climb above another building that already blocks it.
            2) Would loved ones deliberately choose a route that passes Park51 on their way to the site?

            Otherwise, how will people constantly be “towered” by the building (btw 13 stories is towering in Manhattan?) to remind them of what went on during September 11?

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          Chris Richards

          August 12, 2010 at 11:38 PM

          In light of this recent post I would like to post a few ideas for contemplation.

          1.) Those who are justifying spreading terror by twisting a phrase here and a verse here from the Qua’ran are rubbing their hands with glee as people who used to be neighbours now fight with one another over how much discrimination is ok. Believe me, I do understand that many people were emotionally and spiritually savaged by events of the WTC and Pentagon Terrorist Attacks. I think we should even feel a kinship with our Muslim brothers and sisters because of this. While the Americans claim 3,000 victims (even though many of those were foreign nationals, as well as Americans of different faiths including Islam) I would venture to guess that so many more Muslims have been victimized by those perverting their faith to commit terrorist atrocities in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, which the Taliban and their ilk primarily kill other Muslims.

          2.) The degree to which some in the US wish to hang on to this tragedy is to an extent counterproductive. After any destructive and painful event those attacked must choose how they respond. The events of September 11th, 2001 had some real effects here in Canada as we assisted our American cousins. You might remember that we took in many of your planes. I myself watched plains fly overhead, not knowing if they were carrying other hijackers, and while we hardly have many prime targets in Canada, it gave us a certain amount of pause. We didn’t ask why you were being attacked, we didn’t think compassionately only of our own citizens which might be affected, we reached out. Newfoundland alone took in something like 50% of the planes, and boarded the passengers in their homes too.

          A little bit of intolerance is not alright, no matter how it’s couched, and I do feel for you and your nation, but America needs to stand and be the great nation where freedom rings from every rooftop, not just the ones that are convenient.

          Blessings,
          Chris

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            Jean Murphy

            August 13, 2010 at 3:16 AM

            Chris,
            Until Jan. 10, I did not know how much help Canada gave after the attacks on 9/11. When I saw the news coverage of this, I was so proud of Canada. Everyone in Newfoundland were so wonderful & so giving. This was an amazing wonderful blessing. Obviously, you are a Muslim living in Canada. I would like to thank you personally for your help & all those in Canada.
            Believe me, Americans would love to stand again as once we did as a great nation, but in light of everything happening here, it won’t be easy & I think it’s going to be sometime before that will happen.
            Do you know who George Soros is? Google him. Then look up all that Obama has done while being a Senator & now president. Soros donated millions to Obama’s campaign. He wants the destruction of the United States & thru Obama, he is succeeding. Don’t take my word for it. You can find these facts yourself.
            Sorry, didn’t mean to go so far off the subject. I’m extremely worried about our country & its’ safety. Not just from radical Muslims either. From within our own borders. It’s very difficult to be tolerant when you’re not sure when your home will be bombed or a passerby might stab you.
            I pray that Canada never has to deal with these type of problems we now have in the U.S.
            May Allah/ God Bless & keep you.

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    Joshua Holland

    July 31, 2010 at 10:56 AM

    Lest we negatively paint all Jews with this wacky ADL statement, let’s remember that Krugman (quoted above) is Jewish …

    So am I. I think Serwer is too, but I’m not sure.

    You don’t need to belong to any given group to see this kind of ugly, naked bigotry when it’s right there in front of your eyes.

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      amad

      July 31, 2010 at 12:38 PM

      Thanks Joshua, and thanks for your original post. I’ll update the post to reflect what you have now confirmed since I didn’t want to misrepresent your or Serwer’s identity.

      I agree that the issue is quite clear, but I think you would agree that when other Jews (like J-street, Krugman, you, etc.) come out against ADL, it reminds everyone that this isn’t and shouldn’t be a Jew vs. Muslim issue. And the purpose of my reminder in the post was also to preempt any commentators (Muslims or others) who may use the situation to resort to anti-Semitic comments! Bigotry cannot refute bigotry.

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        Joshua Holland

        July 31, 2010 at 3:23 PM

        Oh, I totally understand. It’s important to make that point, and also to note that the Judeofascist Right doesn’t speak for American Jews. Abe Foxman doesn’t represent my vies, nor anyone I know.

        Also, again, just to make it clear: I’m not sure about Serwer’s background.

        • Amad

          Amad

          July 31, 2010 at 4:59 PM

          Interesting choice of words “Judeofascist right”… Personally I would find Islamofascist problematic even if there are some Muslims with a fascist agenda. Whats your thought on that?

          thanks.

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            Joshua Holland

            August 2, 2010 at 8:59 PM

            I just use occasionally to throw the ridiculous “Islamofascist” back at my opponents. I mean it entirely tongue-in-cheek.

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    Farhan

    July 31, 2010 at 2:38 PM

    Does this Cordoba Institute have the money for construction? I heard it doesn’t, but it was from a 3rd-hand source. If not, it’ll look like a ‘victory’ for for the radical anti-Islamists when they can’t even purchase the land.

    And yes, the ADL is not exactly a reputable organization anymore.

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      Jean Murphy

      August 14, 2010 at 6:03 PM

      I didn’t write this, but I thought everyone here might want to read it.

      Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, executive director of the Cordoba Initiative, addresses a gathering as groups planning a proposed mosque and cultural center near Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan to be named Cordoba House showed and spoke about their plans for the center at a community board meeting in New York Tuesday, May 25, 2010. Community members both for and against the plan spoke during the meeting. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

      The State Department is sending Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf – the mastermind of the Ground Zero Mosque – on a trip through the Middle East to foster “greater understanding” about Islam and Muslim communities in the United States. However, important questions are being raised about whether this is simply a taxpayer-funded fundraising jaunt to underwrite his reviled project, which is moving ahead in Lower Manhattan.

      Mr. Rauf is scheduled to go to Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Qatar, the usual stops for Gulf-based fundraising. The State Department defends the five-country tour saying that Mr. Rauf is “a distinguished Muslim cleric,” but surely the government could find another such figure in the United States who is not seeking millions of dollars to fund a construction project that has so strongly divided America.

      By funding the trip so soon after New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission gave the go-ahead to demolish the building on the proposed mosque site, the State Department is creating the appearance that the U.S. government is facilitating the construction of this shameful structure. It gives Mr. Rauf not only access but imprimatur to gather up foreign cash. And because Mr. Rauf has refused to reveal how he plans to finance his costly venture, the American public is left with the impression it will be a wholly foreign enterprise. This contradicts the argument that a mosque is needed in that part of New York City to provide services for a burgeoning Muslim population. If so many people need the mosque so badly, presumably they could figure out a way to pay for it themselves.

      Americans also may be surprised to learn that the United States has been an active participant in mosque construction projects overseas. In April, U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania Alfonso E. Lenhardt helped cut the ribbon at the 12th-century Kizimkazi Mosque, which was refurbished with assistance from the United States under a program to preserve culturally significant buildings. The U.S. government also helped save the Amr Ebn El Aas Mosque in Cairo, which dates back to 642. The mosque’s namesake was the Muslim conqueror of Christian Egypt, who built the structure on the site where he had pitched his tent before doing battle with the country’s Byzantine rulers. For those who think the Ground Zero Mosque is an example of “Muslim triumphalism” glorifying conquest, the Amr Ebn El Aas Mosque is an example of such a monument – and one paid for with U.S. taxpayer funds.

      The mosques being rebuilt by the United States are used for religious worship, which raises important First Amendment questions. U.S. taxpayer money should not be used to preserve and promote Islam, even abroad. In July 2009, the Office of the Inspector General published an audit of U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) faith-based and community initiatives that examined whether government funds were being used for religious activities. The auditors found that while USAID was funding some religious activities, officials were “uncertain of whether such uses of Agency funding violate Agency regulations or the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution” when balanced against foreign-policy objectives.

      For example, our government rebuilt the Al Shuhada Mosque in Fallujah, Iraq, expecting such benefits as “stimulating the economy, enhancing a sense of pride in the community, reducing opposition to international relief organizations operating in Fallujah, and reducing incentives among young men to participate in violence or insurgent groups.” But Section 205.1(d) of title 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations prohibits USAID funds from being used for the rehabilitation of structures to the extent that those structures are used for “inherently religious activities.” It is impossible to separate religion from a mosque; any such projects will necessarily support Islam.

      The State Department is either wittingly or unwittingly using tax money to support Mr. Rauf’s efforts to realize his dream of a supersized mosque blocks away from the sacred ground of the former World Trade Center, which was destroyed by Islamic fanaticism. This ill-considered decision will raise the ire of millions of Americans and illustrates the limits of what the denizens of Foggy Bottom know about diplomacy.

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        Chris Richards

        August 14, 2010 at 6:28 PM

        It astonishes me the resourcefulness that folks display when they wish to continue to press a position that gets closed down piece by piece. These is a reiteration of the same arguments put forward before, coming at them through the back gate if you will. A few points for consideration.

        I have heard the person who is taking charge of the building of the Cordoba House, when asked if he will refute extremism in all its forms, say “Absolutely” and I believe him. He is one of the leading figures in Progressive Islam, as I understand it, and if he wants to solicit funds from overseas donors then that’s his right within the law. I actually felt he was quite gracious and indulged the interviewer because that question wouldn’t have been asked of a Christian priest, or a Jewish rabbi.

        Regarding the mosque in Iraq, I can’t honestly believe you brought that up. The United States bombed the hell out of a country whose only crime was having a cruel dictator in charge. Not that I object to getting those folks the hell out of office, but I can’t help but notice that there are a number of countries in Africa and North Asia where there are rulers that are much worse where America’s passion for righting wrongs seems to have failed to reach. The US was building a lot of things in Iraq, many times because it was the Americans who blew them the heck up.

        Regarding this separation of Church and State issue. Does this mean that the Baptist Church in New Orleans that was destroyed by hurricane is on it’s own? Somehow Government funds seem to find their way in there.

        You know, Christians, Muslims, and Jews believe in feeding the hungry, housing the poor, caring for the widow and the orphan. We all believe in Social Justice, the Integrity of God’s creation, the justice and peace that we are all called to treat each other with. And yet over and over again, I see people from what they would call “Christian Nations” ignore *every single one of these* and instead try and drive a wedge in the crack of the 0.1% of the things that we disagree with. The energy and ingenuity you are displaying combing the news magazines for articles, sound bytes and talking points that would bolster the argument you wish to espouse is unfortunate, because it is effort poured into a way of saying “because we’re scared” in a different way so that it doesn’t sound like ‘because we’re scared’ It would be far better to be exemplifying the virtues we wish others to embody, be they secular or religious.

        I would advise you to comb the articles and magazines looking for talking points on how to save the dying in the Pakistan flooding, educate and house the people in the US and Canada who are poor and homeless, bring Justice and Peace to the middle east that is lasting and sustainable. These are all things that Jesus, Muhammad, and Abraham would all wish to see, as would all the great secular humanist leaders, and yet we continue to pour our energy into seeing how finely we can divide the human race, yet making sure we are included as the insiders

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          Jean Murphy

          August 14, 2010 at 8:37 PM

          Chris,
          As I stated at the beginning of the above post, I didn’t write this, nor did I go looking for it. This was sent to me in an email. Some people on this site made comments about the financial support of building the Cordoba House, etc. The Muslim cleric trying to get funding for this project was in the news just recently on tv. Forget what channel.

          I only posted it for those who questioned how or where the money would come from to build the CH.

          Meant no disrespect to anyone.

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        Hena

        August 16, 2010 at 10:42 PM

        Your debating style has been so gracious Thank you

        Just wanted to share photos of stuff that’s the same distance from the World Trade Center as the Cordoba House

        http://daryllang.com/blog/4421

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    abez

    July 31, 2010 at 3:14 PM

    So let’s try some comparable cases, OK? It causes some people pain to see Jews operating small businesses in non-Jewish neighborhoods; it causes some people pain to see Jews writing for national publications (as I learn from my mailbox most weeks); it causes some people pain to see Jews on the Supreme Court. So would ADL agree that we should ban Jews from these activities, so as to spare these people pain? No? What’s the difference?

    I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry at this one- since when did painful = wrong?

    life-saving surgery= painful = wrong?
    vaccination = painful = wrong?
    standing up to bullies= painful = wrong?
    having cavity filled at dentist = painful = wrong?

    I think the PR people at ADL could stand to take a course in Logic 101.

  6. Avatar

    MR M

    July 31, 2010 at 3:32 PM

    It is pretty late to find out about ADL’s bigotry. Jewish groups have narrow racial interests which sadly gravitate towards hatred as in the song “Where is the love”:

    “But if you only have love for your own race
    Then you only leave space to discriminate
    And to discriminate only generates hate”

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      Jean Murphy

      August 14, 2010 at 6:30 PM

      I don’t know all of you that are making negative comments concerning Jews. It not painful to anyone that many Jews own all kinds of business’ & make tons of money thru each. Jews have never attacked the U.S. Jews were the victims of one of the most horrendous racial crimes ever known to man.

      If you check out History, many of the greatest minds ever, came from Israel & were Jews, like Einstein. Jews are very intelligent people who know how to save money, invest well & make that money work for them. I wish I knew how to do that. I’m not stupid, but I’m not that intelligent either.

      So it’s not a matter of being painful to anyone. These type of people are ticked off because they never thought to do the same & it’s pure jealousy. Jews have their own way of Religion. So be it. They aren’t wandering around airports trying to shove their religion down anyone’s throat or going door to door with bibles & printed info. Jewish immigrants had a hard time when they first came to America as did millions of other immigrants.

      It doesn’t matter what nationality you are if you have strong feelings against having the Cordoba House built close to the WTC site. Everyone is allowed their own feelings concerning the matter. I’m Irish with a mix of many, but I’m not going to throw stones at Jews just because. Muslims & Jews have history. Not good history either. What happened to forgiveness & compassion? Does not Allah preach this?

      I don’t harbor hate for people of German nationality. Germans of today, the majority, did not help Hitler commit all those war crimes. I don’t hate the people of Vietnam nor any other country in the past that the U.S. has had conflicts with. Live & let live. It’s better to forgive then to hate in hell.

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        Chris Richards

        August 14, 2010 at 6:53 PM

        Oh my goodness, Jean. You are, perhaps unknowingly, perpetuating the thinking that gets us into this trouble.

        Jews are a people, just like ethnic Arabs. Nothing more, nothing less. Yes, some Jews have reached the heights of achievement, but others have not. Rabin, perhaps one of the best chances of peace between Jews & Palestinians, was a Jew of tremendous courage. However the man that shot and killed him, precisely because of his peace initiatives was also a Jew.

        Judaism and Islam are both religions, not conferring any inoculation against evil, but rather providing a tool to use against evil should one choose to use it. I would like to use a quote of yours to illustrate how we get into trouble:

        I don’t know all of you that are making negative comments concerning Jews. It not painful to anyone that many Jews own all kinds of business’ & make tons of money thru each. Jews have never attacked the U.S. Jews were the victims of one of the most horrendous racial crimes ever known to man.

        First of all, I am going to assume that the perpetuation of the rich, powerful, and well connected Jewish stereotype was accidental.

        Second of all, as whenever the Holocaust is invoked, it is a double edged sword. Yes, the holocaust was unimaginable evil, and we all pledged, along with Israel when it was formed, “Never Again.” And look at what happened. Did it happen again? You bet it did. It happened lots. Somalia, Bosnia, et al As a Christian who also embraces my Judean heritage I would have loved nothing more than for Israel to have become the worlds champion for social justice. But it didn’t. It became just another nation, with some strengths and some problems, no better than the rest of us. The invocation of the Holocaust is not a free pass. It doesn’t allow Israel to do whatever it wishes, no matter the consequences.

        The same is true of the US when it comes to the September 11th terrorist attacks which were traumatic to be sure, but I have some real problems with the way the US drags it out whenever it’s convenient. No one’s used it to saw, “My God…look at what we’re driven some of the poorer nations to. They think we are some evil, corporate entity that must be struck down.” No, they drag it out as a tragedy to beat their breast about when they want to tell people where people can pray and who they can pray to if they want to enjoy the same freedoms they enjoy.

        September 11th was a horrendous act of cruelty performed by a handful of psychopaths from a nation the US managed to maintain excellent diplomatic relations with, despite it being one of the most extreme, cruel regime’s on the planet (Saudi Arabia). It is not a carte blanche to whip out whenever people feel a group needs to be put in their place.

        • Avatar

          Jean Murphy

          August 14, 2010 at 8:45 PM

          Boy, do you read into things. I was just tired of reading the “slams” aimed at the Jews in America. Wasn’t stereotyping. I know Jews are an ethnic group as are many.

          Not trying to start a hate fest or war of any kind of any respect.

          I simply applaud how well many “Jews” in America, that could & did build their fortunes here. So have many other ethnic groups. The other ethnic groups weren’t being slammed in this forum.

          It sure is difficult to try and make a point about any issue without someone taking it the wrong way.

          If I offended anyone, my apologies.

  7. Avatar

    abu Rumay-s.a.

    July 31, 2010 at 4:15 PM

    i would lend some credence to the notion that this is not really a question of rights in as much as sensitivities of some common folks which is human nature and naturally understandable (as opposed to the politicized agendas of the bigots).

    In Islam, sensitivity towards others is highly encouraged and at times an obligation. So with this initiative, I would think about the golden principle of “benefits gained verses harms resulting” should be warranted. I would personally not disagree with a Muslim who took such a position and engaged ADL and Sarah Palin and the gang to show them that indeed Islam does show concern towards others and solely because of that reason, we would support their claim of emotional sensitivities, not because we feel we do not have a right, but because we care.

    I believe there are more productive avenues that Muslims can initiate to steer the way back to mutual recognition and respect.

    I’d also be interested in reading brother Isa Gallaway’s take on the issue.

    God, The Exalted knows best.

    Tamim

  8. Avatar

    Umm Bilqis

    July 31, 2010 at 4:20 PM

    Justin Raimondo has an interesting article regarding the mosque.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/raimondo/raimondo90.html
    Here is an excerpt:
    “Nothing illustrates the utter craziness of our society in the post-9/11 era than the controversy over the “Ground Zero mosque.” To begin with, the proposed Islamic center – not a mosque, but the Muslim equivalent of the YMCA – a nonprofit foundation wants to build in New York City isn’t at “ground zero,” it is four blocks from the site of the World Trade Center. But that doesn’t deter demagogues like Newt Gingrich and various other unsavory opportunists from making it into a political issue. ”

    Also, an encouraging message posted by Lew Rockwell.

    Entitled,” Tolerance and That Mosque.”

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/62598.html

    Here is an excerpt:
    “But it is time to put aside the disputes of the past, and seek mutual understanding. If we want a civilized world, we must have liberty, property, social tolerance, and peace. It’s no coincidence that the “mosque” opponents reject all four, no matter what vocabulary they use.”

    • Avatar

      sebkha

      August 2, 2010 at 8:09 AM

      Salam. Thanks for posting this! I like some of Justin Raimondo’s writing, especially concerning US foreign policy.
      Some of the contributors on LewRockwell.com write some interesting things as well-Charles Featherstone has some good articles there.

      Justin Raimondo’s Monday column was about this very subject again. An excerpt-

      I’m shocked – shocked, I tell you! – that the Anti-Defamation League has joined the alliance of militant Christians, militantly atheistic “Objectivists,” and other assorted militant nut-jobs in calling for a ban on the so-called “Ground Zero mosque, “ otherwise known as Cordoba House. After all, why would an organization ostensibly devoted to “civil rights” and “tolerance” get in bed with Pamela “Shrieking Harpy” Geller, the Religious Right, and Leonard Peikoff, the Peripatetic Pipsqueak?
      http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2010/08/01/anti-defamers-defame-muslims/

      Another excerpt-

      Building while Muslim – it’s the new driving-while-black.

      ^^This line is great.

      • Avatar

        Umm Bilqis

        August 2, 2010 at 10:42 AM

        You are welcome and Jazak’Allah khairan, Sebka for the link to the new article.

        I especially enjoyed the fact that he proposes that the Adl should change their name to Pro Defamation League to reflect their new ideological orientation of inflaming, enabling and endorsing defamation.

  9. Avatar

    Wael - IslamicAnswers.com

    July 31, 2010 at 5:36 PM

    Paul Krugman said it perfectly, and I think that, and the fact that some Jews have added supportive comments here, should remind us not to cast all Jews as the bad guys in this matter, or to imagine that all Jews have it in for us, or are against us. Not that anyone here has suggested such a thing – to my pleasant surprise. But many Muslims do have such viewpoints, and they are contrary to the honored position granted to the Jewish people as People of the Book.

  10. Avatar

    Jamal Haddad

    July 31, 2010 at 5:58 PM

    -removed. Off topic and trollish. -editor

  11. Avatar

    Gurabah

    July 31, 2010 at 7:23 PM

    Salamu Alaykum,

    Brother Jamal i don’t know where to start…..!!!!

    What you are saying here is personal and i think irelevant to the article discussed here. I mean we are talking about the masjid muslims wants to build close to Ground Zero and how they are being treated Unfairly by the bigots, intolerant, islamaphobes, haters , JAHILs and so on…. DOUBLE STANDARD!!!

    What you are talking about here is your struggle WITH YOUR EMAN and that maybe you are going through a trial or you simply don’t understand the verses of the Quran you mentioned. I am not a scholar but i can find one that can explain these verses so they are not taken out of context. When you read a verses like that, you have to read and mention the whole surah or what comes before this verse and after so you have a better picture and understanding of what Allah is comanding us. If you are gonna beleive in Muhammand Slal Lahu Alayhee Wa Salam in one aspect like in MECCA and not in MEDINA then you HAVE NOT beleived in Our Rasoul or in Islam, thus your friends are right. To be muslim you have to beleive in the Quran and in Muhammad Salal Lahu Alayhee Wa Salam in MECCA and in MEDINA and after that!!!
    Even if we don’t understand aspects of the religion or in your case some verses of the Quran, you still HAVE TO BELIEVE IN ALL. Wisdom lies with the WISE, ALLLAH. Remember us humans we have limited comprehension.
    My advise as your sister in Islam is…..to make a lot of Dua for Allah to guide you to have a better understanding of the QURAN.

  12. Avatar

    Brother

    July 31, 2010 at 10:13 PM

    Being Muslim, I have yet to figure out why someone who is not anti-Muslim would be against allowing the building of this center. But I can certainly understand why someone who is very anti-Muslim would be against this. I would think they would have been against the center even if it was being built anywhere in Manhattan, anywhere in New York, or anywhere in the US. The 2 blocks thing is just an excuse and the fact that the center has recieved quite a bit of media coverage from the media. I’m just afraid that some crazy might try to burn the place down if it was constructed. Even worse, if the media tries to portray those crazies as heroes.

    • Avatar

      Rick

      August 12, 2010 at 11:27 AM

      I would submit, that you are not completely correct in your assessment that everyone who is against this center, is anti-Muslim. Certainly, given the circumstances and recent local history of the area there will be some who at least in this particular circumstance would be anti-Muslim and would appose it on ideological grounds, which I suppose could be discussed in a separate thread.

      But surely, and again taking into account the recent tragic history of the area, can you truly not allow that for some, the pain of 9-11 is still fresh, persistent and all too real on a daily basis and that placing the center there is like picking the scab off anew to cause more bleeding..?? Could not such a state of mind exist even in a person who is not anti-Muslim..??

      Or, in your opinion, is anyone who opposes or disagrees with anything to do with Islam, automatically anti-Muslim..??

      • Amad

        Amad

        August 12, 2010 at 2:29 PM

        Rick, check out this video clip of Jon Stewart on the Daily Show:
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/11/stewart-takes-on-ground-z_n_678224.html?ref=fb&src=sp

        He really does hit the nail on the head.

        The community center is not on Ground Zero first of all, though I think it shouldn’t have matter even if it was.

        Secondly, the organizers are well-known to be on the way left of the Muslim spectrum, opposite the Al-Qaeda types. And if anything the Cordoba House’s message would be a message that the hijackers would have hated with passion.

        Thirdly, your comment, although I can sense that are you sincere and honest in it, implies that there should be some sort of collective guilt. What if a black church got burnt down by a bunch of KKK types. Should there be no majority-white church near that site? Does KKK represent all Christians?

        The KKK analogy is important to understand. That’s what the majority of Muslims think of terrorists. And we hate to be made responsible for what the “Muslim KKK” elements have done.

        Finally, if you watch the Stewart video, you can see that this anti-mosque sentiment is not relegated to the Cordoba House. The bigots only got extra attention on this mosque because they were able to tie it to the terrorists, a completely unfair link.

        • Avatar

          Rick

          August 12, 2010 at 3:15 PM

          In terms of your example…if white extremists burnt down an all black church, and then subsequently a non-related group tried to open an all white church nearby, I would find that equally insensitive.

          • Amad

            Amad

            August 12, 2010 at 3:25 PM

            Not if the white church opens its arms to the black church, and together they build harmony.
            There is no stronger message that will go out to white extremists than to see that happen.

            And I bet you no one would make noise about it or remotely suggest that they can’t.

            What is actually insensitive is to tell all Muslims that they are responsible for 9/11 and if you really, really get down to the bottom of it, the question of insensitivity of Muslims is related to this underlying thought, whether it is articulated this way or not.

      • Avatar

        AsimG

        August 12, 2010 at 3:10 PM

        Hi Rick,

        Thank you for expressing this argument.

        The tragedy of 9/11 is not just a sad event for non-Muslim Americans. Not only were innocent Muslim Americans killed on 9/11, but innocent Muslims around the world have been killed by the hundreds by these same terrorist groups while at the same time they are ‘accidentally’ being killed in the thousands by International troops whose stated goal was to eradicate terrorism.

        And so it is like a stab at the heart to claim that building a Muslim community center (2 massive city blocks away from the site) would be painful for New Yorkers when it is Muslims who have suffered the most from terrorism.

        As one Pakistani journalist said to Secretary Clinton ‘You had one 9/11, we have a 9/11 almost every day’.

        So yes, we see this line of argument to be entirely anti-Muslim because it falsely equates 9/11 with all Muslims. Muslims who are American, New Yorkers and even victims of 9/11.

        And it ignores the reality that Muslims have been in that area for decades. You will find Muslims all around that area wearing ‘Muslim clothes’. Should they leave because some erroneously equate Islam with terrorism and therefore feel the pain of 9/11 when they see a Muslim?

        Or how about all the Muslim businesses? Should they close too?

        Or what about the mosque 4 blocks away that has been there even before the WTC? According to many Republican leaders in the media even 5 blocks is too close!

        We have to draw a line somewhere against this politically motivated bigotry hoping to score some points in the upcoming election. This is McCarthyism at it’s prime.
        Think about it, the President of the US is still being accused as being a Muslim!

        I hope this makes sense Rick.

        • Avatar

          Rick

          August 14, 2010 at 8:30 AM

          @ Amad

          After some thought, I have, I believe, a better analogy.

          Instead of using two churches as examples…imagine if Japan wanted to erect some sort of whatever in close proximity to Pearl Harbor soon after that event. Or even if the US wanted to erect some thing close to ground zero in Hiroshima or Nagasaki… there would certainly be a lot of anguish there, more so closer in time to the events, lessening somewhat, perhaps, over time.

          • Amad

            Amad

            August 14, 2010 at 9:11 AM

            I have read this tired analogy over and over again… talking points from Geller perhaps!

            But the analogy is fatally flawed. Muslims are not foreign entities, like Japan and US are to each other. If for instance, Al-Qaeda-Afghanistan wanted to set up the mosque, then the analogy would be appropriate. But in the case of Muslim Americans, full and equal citizens of this country, not a foreign entity, the analogy is as foolish as the “we’ll build a mosque when you build a church in Saudi”.

            Obviously seems you are at a loss to explain away the more appropriate analogy I presented.

          • Avatar

            Chris Richards

            August 14, 2010 at 11:53 AM

            I’ve heard this same tired rhetoric so many times, and it’s always to justify treating another group of human beings as ‘others’, dividing them from what we see as us, and placing them in a group we see as outsiders.

            Are you a Jew or like me, a Christian? If so, then we share the same God, and some of the same scriptures. Do you like your computer, and your cell phone? It is predominately thanks to Muslims that we enjoy the technology and level of scientific sophistication that we do, because while Western Europe was imploding in the self flagellation of the Dark Ages, the Islamic world was preserving and advancing the knowledge contained in the books we, the self righteous west, were so busy burning and declaiming as evil.

            There will always be no shortage of analogies why someone else is to blame for our problems. No one ever seems to be responsible for their own exclusionary thinking…it`s always because `they started it`. We site September 11th, as if this started only 9 years ago. For every evil we site, Bin Laden and his ilk site others, from the wars in the Middle East right back to the crusades and before, and over 1 billion peaceful, just Muslims are caught in the middle The fact is that there is plenty of evil, and responsibility for that evil to go around.

            There will always be a reason to be found why someone else isn`t entitled to the same rights we are, to exclude, to ostracize, and while we keep doing that, Bin Laden and killers like him are rubbing their hands together in glee. When we`re at each others throats, trying to keep peaceful, just people as outsiders, that is when they win. I refuse to support Bin Laden by spreading his hatred and intolerance against a people who believe in justice, peace and submission to that which is sacred. I would encourage you to do the same.

          • Avatar

            Rick

            August 14, 2010 at 3:02 PM

            @ Amad
            Re: reply of August 14, 2010 • 9:11 am

            As to whether Muslims are a foreign entity depends on the definition of foreign, but they absolutely are an entity, so no such fatal flaw exists. And surely the events of 9-11 can be construed as an act of war, albeit a non-conventional type.

            And I most certainly did answer your example, although I do not accept that it is more appropriate at all.

            [note: could not see any other reply button, which is why this reply may seem out of order]

          • Avatar

            Chris Richards

            August 14, 2010 at 5:49 PM

            @Rick

            If you are talking of a ‘declaration of war’ then you must have a central authority (i.e. government) that is declaring the war. You don’t have that in the WTC attacks. In fact, and I welcome correction here by my more knowledgeable Muslim friends, I don’t believe there is an Islamic equivalent of ‘Pope’ which is as far as I know the only religious head that also operates as a quasi-state (i.e. Vatican City), so there isn’t even a central authority that *could* declare war, if they were even disposed to do so, which as far as I can tell, isn’t going to happen because the entirety of mainstream Islam has rejected the notion of a ‘culture war’ to be contrary to the basic tenets of Islam.

            While I am not insensitive to the anguish suffered by some regarding the many issues raised in the September 11th attacks, I would direct you to your own Oliver Wendel Holmes of the US Supreme Court, who said in his typically earthy way, “The right of me to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins” In other words you have the right to think the way you do, and feel the way you do, and to speak about those thoughts and feelings, but when you restrict someone else’s rights, such as the freedom to practice their religion unobstructed and the freedom to peacefully assemble for a lawful purpose, that is when you start chipping away at your Constitution and it’s ammendments, something I really believed Americans to be fairly strongly against.

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  14. Avatar

    abu Abdullah

    August 3, 2010 at 8:47 PM

    surprisingly, Bloomberg supports The Cordoba initiative..http://www.nyc.gov/html/om/html/2010b/media/pc080310_govisland512k.asx

    • Avatar

      amad

      August 4, 2010 at 11:54 PM

      ^Respect (Bloomberg)

  15. Avatar

    JAM 4 Philly

    August 4, 2010 at 10:43 PM

    Jews and Muslims for Philadelphia, a student group at the University of Pennsylvania committed to cooperation and social justice, would like to share its disappointment in the recent statement made by the Anti-Defamation League opposing the construction of an Islamic Community Center near Ground Zero. We are sensitive to the visceral reactions of families of 9/11 victims, but are committed to a world vision of tolerance that reflects a complexity of understanding and transcends unjust bigotry. We believe that building this Center could be an important step forward in tolerance – an initiative which could provide the perfect opportunity for the American Jewish and Muslim communities to work together. We hope to see more collaboration in the future.

    Sincerely,

    Jews and Muslims for Philadelphia

    Jews and Muslims for Philadelphia is a student group at the University of Pennsylvania committed to dialogue about the Arab-Israeli conflict, understanding of other perspectives, and cooperation in local social justice projects.

    • Avatar

      Jean Murphy

      August 14, 2010 at 7:09 PM

      You’ve made some viable comments. I personally don’t see a peaceful end to all this. So, for all the different cultural groups on this site, why don’t you contact the Muslim leaders who want to build this center, leaders of the Jewish community in NY, & some prominent non-Muslim or Jewish people in NY & ask them to hold a peaceful constructive meeting to make this a COMMUNITY effort?

      Suggest they ALL work together to make this center for everyone. Call it THE AMERICAN-MUSLIM-JEWISH CORDOBA HOUSE. Give a little, get a lot.

      If this is indeed a cultural center, then why not include more than one culture. The Muslim community would not be backing down from building it, the Jewish community could show their support of peaceful American Muslims, & the rest of the community can see that this is for all the people who suffered in the 9/11 attacks. As more than one of you have stated, there was a place of prayer for Muslims in the center. No one objected then, so why now if this new center is a collective of many?

  16. Avatar

    Rick

    August 12, 2010 at 10:12 AM

    Hello,

    I heard about this webpage on cnn international and thought I’d check it out, in large part to see if it really lived up to the billing it got on cnn. As I only heard about it today, I’ll offer no such personal opinion today, nor for some time.

    I will point out that I am Canadian, and not at all religious. (I believe in God, or some higher power, but not in religions, although I was born RC).

    As this topic has been in the news, I thus has what little info there is in the news to go on. I do have some questions etc.

    First, why is it so important that this center be built on that particular spot..?? Could not another spot be found that could be just as good, or perhaps even better..?? I’ve never even been to NYC, but I understand that it is a pretty big place. Can you really tell me that there no other appropriate spot for your “Y”…?? Don’t you agree that finding another spot would go a long way to showing compassion, understanding and sensitivity toward those who have deep feelings toward this particular site..?? Given the recent history of the area, wouldn’t it be appropriate for the ‘gesture’ to come from your community..?? Is it not possible to take into account these peoples’ concerns without labeling them anti-Muslim..?? Do you really believe that people cannot have legitimate concerns about this center without being anti-Muslim..??

    • Avatar

      Rifai

      August 12, 2010 at 12:04 PM

      Could u tell us why the people who are objecting to this are doing so?
      Its quite clear why actually. They associate a Mosque with Islam. And they associate Islam with terrorism and the acts of Sept. 11. Hence a Mosque so close to the former WTC site is “condoning” , even “cajoling” the deaths of the innocents of that day.

      This is not an association that we( as Muslims) can accept. And backing down would likely bring relief to those opposing it , but for the wrong reasons…

      Just because we have a group of ppl so ignorant / biased that they cant understand that there is no link between a Mosque and insulting innocent victims of terrorism , should we accomodate them and move out of the country as well?I mean, that is one of the logical next steps. Im sure they want this too, but they cant say it in the current political climate.

      • Avatar

        Jean Murphy

        August 13, 2010 at 5:19 PM

        Hello Rifai,

        I understand that this structure is not a Mosque which you keep referring to as one. You are correct, other Americans associate any Muslim structure so close to the WTC area in their minds this is insensitive on the part of the Muslim community. And if all Muslims in the U.S. suddenly moved elsewhere, there would be a big sigh of relief. Sad, but true.

        I don’t believe Sarah Palin & a few others mentioned are bigots. The U.S. is constantly under threat of more radical Muslim attacks. It’s in the news, on the net, everywhere. Fear is a great motivator. How does anyone know which Muslims here in the states are peaceful loving Muslims who also denounce radical Muslim terrorists? This is most definitely a part of the equation.

        There seems to be a difference of opinion on how far this site is from ground zero. One says 2 blocks, others 4 or 6 blocks. Plus there were comments concerning the money needed to build the Cordoba House. From my knowledge, the land is paid for, but more funds are needed to build it. Hence, a well known Muslim cleric is traveling to Muslim countries trying to get more funding, on the U.S. dime I might add.

        Rick makes a valid point. Why is it so vital that the Cordoba House be built right there? Why do Muslims look at this as “backing down” instead of being compassionate & caring of the hearts & minds of those affected by the terrorist attacks on NY? And yes, I know many Muslims also lost their lives on that day.

        Bigotry is a very strong word & I don’t think it’s totally appropriate. I think “Fear” is a far larger contributor to the problem.

        I’m not Jewish, nor am I Muslim & I’m definitely not a bigot. I’m trying to see this from all points of view. The fear of more terrorist attacks on the U.S weighs heavily on the minds of all Americans.

        So when a Muslim community insists they have the right to build the Cordoba House on this particular site, they are right. But are they morally right? Are they humanly right?

        Chris is correct. The Muslim religion is beautiful & very loving. It’s sad & heart-wrenching that so many radical Muslims has strayed from the teachings of Allah.

        Blessings to each of you
        Jean

        • Amad

          Amad

          August 13, 2010 at 5:38 PM

          The threat posed by “radical Muslims” may be real but practically speaking, it is very minuscule. The average Pakistan has more to fear of dying at the hand of extremists than the average American. That is the reality. Unfortunately the level of hateful rhetoric has been ramped up so high that I can fully appreciate why people may fear. Creating fear of the other is part of the strategy book for the Islamophobes, most of it driven by local and foreign (say Israel) politics.

          Let’s learn from history. Hitler created distrust and hatred of Jews systematically, so much so, that when he started putting millions to death, the Germans didn’t see their friends, neighbors and co-workers dying. They saw the “others”, the “ones who are responsible for all things bad” dying, and hence there was nothing to feel bad about. I am not saying we are there, or even close to it. But what I am saying is that we can learn lessons from history. The train of Islamophobia has left the station and if we don’t pull back, there will indeed be a time where the Germany analogy starts becoming much more akin to the American situation.

          There are already praying places near Ground Zero, and remember that there was also a prayer place WITHIN the Trade Center where it is said hundreds prayed the Friday prayer! Some of those Muslims were among the dead. And it make sense to establish a place of understanding and tolerance near it so people can separate terrorists from everyday Muslims.

          You have to be a Muslim to really appreciate what is happening today and why a mosque near Ground Zero could be helpful indeed.

          • Avatar

            Jean Murphy

            August 15, 2010 at 8:03 PM

            Amad,

            I meant to comment the other day & didn’t get to it. If Americans act like another terrorist threat is minuscule, then 9/11 could happen all over again somewhere in the U.S. If we do not stay alert. More than one country is paying the price for being less diligent.

            It would be nice if all cultures within the U.S would ban together to weed out terrorists cells right here. Like a neighborhood watch, but instead “a state & city watch” by all.

            I don’t know if there are plans to construct something right at ground zero, but what I would love to see is a huge beautiful structure combining several faiths with individual areas for prayer to include Muslims, Jews, & Christians. The outside of the structure having symbols of each faith. Having the prayers areas on the first floor. On the second floor a tribute to each & every person who died in the 9/11 attacks with a symbol of their religion.

            In this site people have labeled the Cordoba House as a Mosque & a cultural center. Is it both or just a Mosque or just a cultural center? Could someone please clarify this??

      • Avatar

        Rick

        August 14, 2010 at 3:15 PM

        @Rifai

        Uh, yes, people do associate a Mosque with Islam, as I understand it is the Muslim place of worship, or am I missing something. As to whether people associate Islam with terrorism, again, given current events worldwide, the association is just. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that that means people think all Muslims are terrorists, support terrorism or have any connection to terrorism whatsoever. The vast majority of non-Muslims are quite capable of realizing that just a very small % have any connection to terrorism, and that the vast majority of Muslims are decent folk little different than themselves.

        That said, your response troubles me. Excuse me if I misread you, but appear to believe the only peoples whose sensitivities matter are the Muslims. You appear to be saying that your way, is the only way and that it has to be this way because Muslims say so. And given that in a recent poll, a large majority on New Yorkers(which I am not) do not want your Muslim center to be built there. Please explain to me why the wishes of the New York Muslims should take precedent over a majority of their co-citizens…??

        • Amad

          Amad

          August 14, 2010 at 3:32 PM

          It wasn’t very long ago when a large percent of Americans didn’t want African-Americans to vote, and before that a large percent of Americans didn’t want women to vote.

          I guess America should have been sensitive to the majority and kept up with status quo?

          Polls mean nothing when they directly contradict the constitutionally protected rights. The positions of minorities are not always popular, but if the will of the majority was to be established upon the minority, then America would never have been the nation of free people.

          • Avatar

            Rick

            August 14, 2010 at 4:52 PM

            I think here, you do actually touch on some valid concepts. I do agree that minority rights absolutely must be protected. Hey, I’m an anglophone in Quebec…
            Furthermore, in case I didn’t quite say it, I fully agree that these rights extend to Muslims as well as to any other minority. Rights are rights, period.

            On the other hand, there are times when “rights” are not the sole criteria in deciding what is “right”.

            Simply put, given the events of 9-11, and the amount of sorrow that exists to this day, you cannot tell me that this is the issue that you want to draw your line in the sand over. Indeed, if the goal is rapprochement, finding another location to build the very same center would show sincerity, which is not what is being displayed at this time.

          • Avatar

            Jean Murphy

            August 15, 2010 at 8:25 PM

            FYI Amad,

            It was 90 years ago that women won the right to vote on Aug. 26, 1920.

            In 1865 following the Civil War, African-Americans were given the right to vote. The clause relevant is the 15th Amendment Article 1. That was 145 years ago.

            I don’t know what you perceive as “not long ago” but I consider the above to be a long time ago.

            Neither was quite the same as what is going on now. Women never declared war or committed terrorist attacks on the U.S & neither did African-Americans.

            This is a whole new minority subject & as such can’t be classified with the other two minorities. I’m not saying the Muslims do not have or should not have the same rights as any other Americans. So don’t jump down my throat. I just think the voting rights of women & African-Americans is a bad example

          • Amad

            Amad

            August 15, 2010 at 8:38 PM

            picking on a few words to go around the main point is a nice tactic, but the point is clear. America was discriminatory towards these two sections of society for more time than not, in its history since independence. African Americans did not have equal rights in America only 40 odd years ago. Panthers wasn’t exactly your pacifist group. If you polled the South, they would have it that way. And that is my point. Polls mean nothing when they refer to constitutional protections.

            You keep shoving 911 down our throats as if all Muslims are responsible for it. That is the point you don’t seem to get. Minority rights are always the same, whether it be the usurpation of it for Jews in pre-holocaust Germany, or for women in America or for African-Americans. The reason you wish to separate the Islamophobia issue from the other minority rights is something that you should think about deeply. It is motivated by bias and prejudice, by the stereotyping of masses based on the action of a few.

            “Women never declared war”, neither did Muslims declare war. In fact, the way you put it, it is exactly what the extremist say about America, that America has declared war over Islam. And by your flawed methodology, we would have to agree with extremists. American armies are all over the world, attacking Iraq without the legal right to do so. So, should all Americans be judged by Bush’s actions? What about other foreign interventions that were complete screw-ups? Should all Americans be responsible for it. Stereotyping is a dangerous game, two can play it.

            If you are not saying that Muslim-Americans should have all the rights of Americans, then by golly they have a right to build a house of worship, where they wish and when they wish, just like any other religious group.

          • Amad

            Amad

            August 15, 2010 at 8:42 PM

            Rick, this isn’t about location. It never was. Tell that to the Tennessee mosque folks, or the California mosque folks…

            there are ALREADY praying centers near ground zero. So, the location issue is a red herring and it has allowed islamophobes to come out in full force, by playing on a sensitive issue, and playing on some PR screwups on the part of Cordoba admittedly. They are playing a dangerous game, a game that could definitely hurt Muslims, but also hurt America’s image as the “home of the free”.

  17. Avatar

    Chris Richards

    August 12, 2010 at 12:41 PM

    As a Christian I see both Muslims and Jews as my cousins and I value both faiths. I am deeply saddened by the ADL’s statement. I believe that Islam is a beautiful religion, full of truth, peace and one that has much to say to our current age. I am amazed, frankly, that the ADL sided with such persons as Sarah Palin, Fox News, and others for whom bigotry is a daily endeavour. This smacks of a purely political, opportunistic stance, unworthy of a organization with such an illustrious history.

    It would appear that the ADL has forgotten that, in about 1936 or so, a bunch of people who considered themselves victims, and found several groups they could blame it on, and a holocaust was born. What’s worse, anti-semetic seems to have morphed from someone who doesn’t like Jews to someone that someone who is Jewish doesn’t like.

    • Amad

      Amad

      August 12, 2010 at 1:59 PM

      Thank you very much Chris. Your statements greatly appreciated.

      • Avatar

        Chris Richards

        August 14, 2010 at 7:12 PM

        You’re most welcome, Amad. I have, over the last few days, realized I’ve been posting lots. I hope my intention to provide a voice of support from a spiritual cousin has not created too much OT noise.

        Blessings,
        Chris

        • Amad

          Amad

          August 14, 2010 at 7:30 PM

          It’s a breath of fresh air, not only for folks who’d don’t share the Muslim faith but also more proof against any Muslim extremists who want to paint a black and white world of us vs them.

          Thanks!

          • Avatar

            Jean Murphy

            August 15, 2010 at 8:37 PM

            Amad,

            IF more people understood the definition of “Allah” vs. the definition of the Christian “God”, they might be more sympathetic to American Muslims. And maybe even more tolerant & accepting.

            I actually searched for this definition. I don’t claim any religion, only “God”. When I read the definition of “Allah”, I would swear on my life that this was a definition of who I believe in a adore, “God”.

            It’s not exactly the same, but close enough for me. People of different religions should seek out answers before “going to a bad place”. None of us look like another. We are all different in looks. But we are, every one of us, children of “Allah / God”.

          • Amad

            Amad

            August 15, 2010 at 8:43 PM

            Good thought. We should explore that further… simple things as ‘who is allah”

  18. Avatar

    Brooke

    August 12, 2010 at 5:03 PM

    Most Americans are fully aware of the Islamic tradition of building mosques on the lands Muslims have conquered and destroyed. If the Muslim community wants acceptance, if they want to show us that this is not their way, then a little sensitivity could go a long way in improving relations between them and the non-Muslim community.

    To build an Islamic center wo blocks away from Ground Zero, on a site that suffered damage due to 9/11, is a symbolism cannot, should not, and will not, be ignored.

  19. Avatar

    Brooke

    August 12, 2010 at 5:30 PM

    Oh yes, and it would also help if you did not accept advertising from the “Islamic Relief USA” organization, who are well known to direct monies to Hamas and have proven links to Bin Laden and other terrorist organizations.

    • Amad

      Amad

      August 12, 2010 at 5:51 PM

      What utter nonsense. Islamic Relief (IRW) is a 4-star charity that has worked with worldwide recognized charities. They were on the ground in Haiti and every disaster one can imagine, including Katrina in USA!

      For some, the only good charities are those that don’t send a penny to Palestine. While the joke about Hamas support and Bin Laden links (cry wolf enough times and the message is immediately laughable) is one thing, there are US charities that DIRECTLY fund extremist settler movements in Israel. This is not alleged, it’s documented even in mainstream media and on youtube! Yet, you have the gall to call out Islamic Relief.

      It is no surprise that a lot of the Islamophobia is linked to Israeli hasbara. It’s part of the movement to dehumanize Muslims so that Americans will never see the occupation of Palestine as a wretched and torturous occupation it is. But alhamdulillah, Americans are on longer reliant on the lies fed to the American MSM by the hasbara, and they are seeing the reality of both the Islamophobia and the Israeli hasbara that spawns much of it. Even the progressive Jewish organizations like J-Street and progressives newspapers like Haaretz are becoming more mainstream and becoming champions of truth.

      • Avatar

        Rick

        August 14, 2010 at 3:29 PM

        After reading this reply, Amad, it is quite clear that you are anything but a so called “Moderate Muslim”, and are just another hater trying to come across as moderate. Hardly what this site advertised itself as.(though I do note that you do not speak for the entire site)

        If there are so moderate Muslims on here, I would like to hear from you. I’d like to hear from someone who doesn’t believe every little thing Muslims do, is above reproach. I’d like to hear from someone who thinks there are things could do differently….

        • Amad

          Amad

          August 14, 2010 at 3:34 PM

          Rick, sorry that we don’t fit YOUR definition of moderates. We’ll email you when we are looking for your approval.

          Before teaching us sensitivities, you should learn some yourself. And pls realize that many, many Americans are seeing through the Israeli hasbara, and no longer can the anti-Israel = anti-semitism shtick survive!

          • Avatar

            Rick

            August 14, 2010 at 4:41 PM

            Ok, please do. I’m glad to see that you do, in fact, believe you speak for the entire site. Kudos on that..!!

            As for your anti-semitism shtick, do yourself a favor and realize that Muslims are not the only ones with valid opinions. And note, damn near every time some Muslim starts prattling on about the rest of the world (ie: any one who doesn’t agree with them) being deceived by the Jewish controlled media you immediately discredit yourself and any subsequent point of you you may wish to convey.

          • Avatar

            AsimG

            August 14, 2010 at 5:01 PM

            Rick,
            while there is a boogie-man approach into building the Jewish conspiracy in some Muslim circles, (just as there with Americans of today with concepts of triumphal mosque and bringing Shari’ah here, Obama being Muslim etc lol) I don’t think that is what Amad is talking about.

            Rather, it’s addressing that any Muslim charity that sends money to Palestine is automatically associated with Hamas which is automatically associated with terrorism.

            That’s unfair and you should be able to see that.

            Also, are you really wanting to talk to Muslims or do you want to just have online battles?
            Cause conversations in commentaries are difficult.

            If you look at any article even remotely mentioning Muslims or Islam you will find thousands of hate speech comments against us.
            Look at what is being said about the flooding victims in Pakistan. It’s absolutely disgusting.
            We are not so keen to see that garbage here so we are extra-sensitive to anything that approaches it.

            I’d be willing to give you my email if you are wanting to have an actual discussion though.

          • Avatar

            Rick

            August 14, 2010 at 5:32 PM

            @AsimG

            Yea, I hear what you are saying about “boogie-men”. However, I don’t think I mentioned anything about Muslim charities in any of my posts. I agree that, especially with hamas being in control of gaza it is hard to send money or aide there without involving hamas, and I don’t believe that it automatically indicates that a given charity is a supporter of terrorism, and you are correct in that labeling it as such is unfair. Frankly, I don’t know much of anything about these charities though, which is why I made no comments about them.

            As for the flooding in Pakistan, I am not aware of what’s being said there, as this is the only subject I have followed so far at this site. But, I can imagine.

            As for online battles…if that was what I was looking for, I would have sought out a more radical site.( I assume they exist)

            I have no need for private conversations online, and I am fine with my words being read by many.

          • Avatar

            AsimG

            August 14, 2010 at 5:44 PM

            Look back at the original post that Amad replied to:

            A random hater attacked one of the most beloved and well-respected Islamic charities in the US and tried to associate it with Hamas.

            That is why his post was so defensive and I think you unfairly attacked him for it.

            It is common knowledge that Israel is putting Gaza on, in their words, a “diet” and allowing very little aid to reach the people. It is in their interest to continue to discredit any organization/charity that tries to send aid to Gaza as seen with the Gaza Flotilla massacre.

            Finally, you can be against Israel’s inhumane policies without being anti-semitic.
            Or can holocaust survivors now be anti-semitic?

      • Avatar

        Rick

        August 14, 2010 at 6:06 PM

        @AsimG

        Ok, my bad…I guess I should have specified that my response to that post was mostly based on the final paragraph.

        As I said, having no knowledge about these charities, I did not comment on them, either directly or indirectly.

        Hope that clears up your confusion.

        • Avatar

          AsimG

          August 14, 2010 at 6:21 PM

          Even his last paragraph isn’t bad
          . I think you are unaware of some of the PR tactics Israel has been using lately and so Amad’s last paragraph sounds more like a rant on Jewish Conspiracy rather than a response to these PR tactics.

          • Avatar

            Jean Murphy

            August 15, 2010 at 9:06 PM

            AsimG,

            I think more information concerning the Gaza attacks will soon be discovered.

            Week of Aug. 15 10
            ” – A witness to the May 31 attack on a Gaza aid flotilla by Israeli forces will speak at two events on Maui this week.

            Retired U.S. Army Col. Ann Wright was aboard one of the ships carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza when it was attacked. She will speak about her experience during meetings of the Maui Democratic Century Club and Maui Peace Action.”

            More people should check out the results. Maybe there will be viable information on who started what.

    • Avatar

      sebkha

      August 12, 2010 at 5:54 PM

      This is a positively false allegation. Islamic Relief USA was recently awarded 4 stars, for the seventh year in a row by Charity Navigator. Charity Navigator’s the largest independent charity evaluator in the United States. If those allegations held any water, they would have uncovered it a long, long time ago. Random slander, by a random internet bigot, nothing more.

  20. Avatar

    Chris Richards

    August 12, 2010 at 5:53 PM

    It’s not accurate to claim it’s an Islamic tradition to put a mosque on a site conquered any more than a Christian puts a cross on a scene of destruction caused by people claiming to be Christian. As an American you must be quite aware of a fine tradition of putting the old stars and stripes in some pretty horrifically inappropriate places. For goodness sakes, the US put one out to claim the moon.

    Islamic tradition in this respect is, as far as I know, very similar to both Christian and Jewish traditions. To console the grief stricken (many Muslims were killed on September 11th, and many more have been killed since because of it), to support the orphans and the widows, and to promote knowledge, love of, and submission to the will of a just and loving God. As a Christian theologian I am curious to know where exactly this ‘full awareness’ of this tradition comes from, and would like you to cite your source. It sounds very much like it comes from the same place you claim it is ‘well known’ that Islamic Relief USA is tied to terrorists, again, I would love to know where all this knowledge comes from.

    I speak because it is high time that moderate and progressive members of all faiths, especially the ‘peoples of the Book’, stand together against radical extremism, and that includes Islaamaphobia and bigotry, which is exactly the same as the evil that brought down the world trade center, and has contributed to so many deaths in so many places in the world. Evil that no faith condones.

    • Amad

      Amad

      August 12, 2010 at 6:03 PM

      Thanks Chris
      Brooke and her ilk belong in the same camp of the Bin Ladens… both want to “bring it on” and both would love nothing more than a “war of civilizations”. As Congressman Keith Ellison said in his appearance on Olbermann show:
      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677/#38667990

      The Islamophobes are actively engaged in exactly what the hijackers wanted to achieve.

    • Avatar

      Jean Murphy

      August 13, 2010 at 5:41 PM

      Beautifully said Chris. I agree. And Amad, I think you anger very quickly. Brooke may be uninformed but she loves her country. Instead of saying or calling names, why not try to give her sites to read so she would be better informed?

      Did you know that if certain organizations had heeded the “cry Wolf” info prior to 9/11 that most likely that terrorist attack could have been stopped dead in its’ tracks? Yes, my friend. This is true. Please don’t be so hard on those who may not understand a complete truth.

      Saying that Brooke & her kind belong in the same camp of Bin Laden & his type is very harsh. Honestly, I’d love to know where his camp is, wouldn’t you? We could stop a whole lot of attacks, wouldn’t you say?

  21. Avatar

    Brooke

    August 12, 2010 at 5:54 PM

    Amad…Your hatred of the Jews is so apparent. Just goes to show there is no such thing as a Moderate Muslim.

    • Amad

      Amad

      August 12, 2010 at 5:57 PM

      My hatred of Jews? That’s why I was preemptively defending stereotyping all Jews in my post?

      Perhaps you should ask my college bud, E. Schwartz, how much I hate Jews.

    • Avatar

      Jean Murphy

      August 13, 2010 at 5:53 PM

      Hello Brooke,

      Out of curiosity, are you Jewish? There has been conflict for many years between Israel & Palestine.
      This conflict seems to never end. I honestly don’t believe that Israel should have to relinquish their hold on territories they took over. I back Israel. Sorry, that’s just the way I feel. My opinion. I’m allowed my own opinion Amad, so please don’t get hateful on me.

      I have close Jewish friends. I can’t honestly say that I have any Palestine friends or Muslims. The reason is because I don’t ask every person I meet who looks to be from a Muslim country, “Where are you from?”
      So, I may be friends with more than one from either country. I don’t know.

      Brooke, before you make comments as you did above, would you please research it first? Amad is correct about the relief fund organizations.

      • Avatar

        Sayf

        August 13, 2010 at 6:13 PM

        He knows you support him, and he finds it “absurd”.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6KLFrye9Xk

        • Avatar

          Jean Murphy

          August 14, 2010 at 4:47 AM

          Sayr,

          Could you make your comment clear? “He knows you support him, & he finds
          it ‘absurd”.. He who? What are you talking about??

          • Avatar

            Sayf

            August 14, 2010 at 2:43 PM

            Sorry, I sent you a link Jean.

            It’s a tape of Netanyahu discussing some things in a house whilst he didn’t know he was being videotaped. He says a lot of terrible things including bragging at manipulating certain peace accords. He also talks about a broad attack on the Palestinian authority so they pay a “heavy price” and to “instill fear“. When a woman asks “won’t the world say why are you conquering again” he responds with a “so what” attitude. He also says something similar to the effect that “he knows America, it’s something easy to move, move in the right direction, we have an 80% approval rating – it’s absurd!“.

            Don’t you find it odd this super-terrorism isn’t on every single news channel being thoroughly discussed?

        • Avatar

          Jean Murphy

          August 14, 2010 at 7:42 PM

          Sayf,

          Thank you for clearing that up. But I can’t watch videos or utube. I have dial up. It takes hours just to hear two words. Is there a site where there is “text” concerning what was said by Netanyahu?

          We, meaning all of us, only know what is reported in news coverage, on the internet, in newspapers, etc.. We don’t always get the whole story.

          We, meaning all Americans, have some distance to go to make issues of equality right for everyone concerned.

          Good things always take time. Peace be with you & yours.

  22. Avatar

    Umm Bilqis

    August 12, 2010 at 7:10 PM

    This Uproar by the haters is taking the debate away from more important issues such as Gaza.

    http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/london-says-no-to-israhell.html#entry8542315

    • Avatar

      Rick

      August 13, 2010 at 8:47 AM

      Dude…you rant about ‘haters’, and at the same time, post a link to a page where the first thing one sees, is the word “Israhell”. Pretty sad.

      • Amad

        Amad

        August 13, 2010 at 10:49 AM

        That was kind of funny (and ironic) :)

        • Avatar

          Jean Murphy

          August 13, 2010 at 5:54 PM

          Amad,

          Sometimes you are very funny. Ha Ha back at ya.

      • Avatar

        Umm Bilqis

        August 13, 2010 at 6:51 PM

        Dude I am a dudette.
        If you dislike a country it does not mean you dislike all the people of that country.
        We disliked South Africa when it had policies of Apartheid. For blacks in South Africa it was hell.
        Likewise we dislike the policies of Israel towards Palestinians. Therefore that country is Hell on earth especially for the people of Gaza strip.
        There are groups of people in Israel (and around the world) who have integrity and are fair minded. Who bear witness to the wrong doings of their state.
        They are our brothers in Humanity and we honor them as the followers of the book (the Torah).
        People like Neturei Karta.

        http://www.nkusa.org/

    • Avatar

      Jean Murphy

      August 15, 2010 at 9:12 PM

      Miss Umm,

      ” – A witness to the May 31 attack on a Gaza aid flotilla by Israeli forces will speak at two events on Maui this week.

      Retired U.S. Army Col. Ann Wright was aboard one of the ships carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza when it was attacked. She will speak about her experience during meetings of the Maui Democratic Century Club and Maui Peace Action.”

      Hopefully Ann Wrights’ testimony will clear up some confusion on the subject. This is happening during the week of Aug. 15th.

      Please post what you find if you check it out.

  23. Avatar

    Hena

    August 13, 2010 at 6:44 PM

    Fareed Zakaria manned up and gave back the 2005 Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize he received from ADL.


    http://www.newsweek.com/2010/08/06/the-real-ground-zero.html

    http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/08/zakaria-returns-adl-prize/

    How far will this issue go? How much does this have to do with primaries in November?

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/08/its-all-about-who-hates-the-ground-zero-mosque-more-in-republicans-ny-gov-race-video.php

  24. Avatar

    Hena

    August 13, 2010 at 8:26 PM

    MPAC at it best: Stop promoting hate stop promoting hysteria

    We all collectively suffered on 9/11. I lost my dear friend Rahma Salie on 9/11, her husband and her unborn child with her. It is egregious to suggest that her death is less heartbreaking, horrific or less American because she was Muslim.

    Ask one sincere Muslim who fears his/her Lord whether they wanted 9/11 to happen. The human loss first and foremost, then it changed how we are perceived, crushed the good work done by Muslims in US, smeared our religion to where now we see Quran burning events being planned in the country we call home. This year our religious celebration Eid may occur on 9/11- something out of our control as we rely on the lunar calender- is that going to hurt the sensitivities of people as well?

    I pray if there is khair (good) in the building of Cordoba House then it should be built but if there is no khair in it then Allah swt replace it something better. If it is the will of God then nothing can stop it.

    • Avatar

      Jean Murphy

      August 15, 2010 at 9:30 PM

      Hena,

      My sympathies by the loss of your friend, her baby & husband during the 9/11 attacks. I know it’s many years since then, but your loss is still valid. I don’t think anyone on this site meant or said that a Muslim death was any more heartbreaking than the deaths of others. If they did, shame on them.

      I’m not Muslim, nor Jewish, just American. I’ve posted many comments on this site because I want a better understanding of the Muslim culture & would like to see a peaceful outcome concerning the Cordoba House.

      I know about the Quran burning event in Florida. I don’t condone their actions. Literally millions of people have found sites on Sharia Laws, Islamic laws, & I think this is what they are reacting to. I, for one, would never want Sharia Laws in this country. This is only one aspect. One the other hand, if more people read the definition of Muslims’ “Allah”, they would realize just how close this is to the definition of the Christian “God”.

      As it’s been said before, condemning all for the actions of few, is wrong. Not everyone thinks this way.
      No one in America condones the KKK, or the White Supremacist, skin-heads or the black panthers.

      I’m not comparing Muslims to any of these groups either. We all need a better understanding of the Muslim religion & culture & separate it from the actions of radical Muslims who seem to thrive on terrorism.

      Peace & Blessings to you, your loved ones, & those you’ve lost.

  25. Avatar

    Hena

    August 14, 2010 at 2:50 AM

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/08/13/obama.islamic.center.support/index.html?hpt=T1&iref=BN1

    President Obama threw his support behind a controversial proposal to build an Islamic center and mosque near New York’s ground zero, saying Friday that “Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country.”

    “That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances,” Obama said at a White House Iftar dinner celebrating the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

    • Avatar

      Chris Richards

      August 14, 2010 at 2:43 PM

      I have a tremendous amount of admiration for your President. The quality of his leadership while swimming upstream in some really strong (and in some cases completely rediculous) opposition.

      I wish we in Canada had some of the leadership you are currently enjoying in the US. While our ruling Conservative Party isn’t what you would picture looking at the US definition, the direction and courage are sadly lacking on most issues.

      Happily, Canadian Muslim’s are neither short on leadership or commitment as they recently issued a very strong statement on extremism. Posted is the link from the CBC on the story. I know many Muslims share this sentiment, however these formal statements can only re-assure others in the community, and I think further identify Islam as a path of peace, justice, and devotion to God.

      http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/08/13/canadian-imams-denouce-radicalism.html

      Let me be clear, these statements are not necessary, but I think they help re-assure people who just plain don’t know what Islam is or what Muslims believe. Nothing can be done about those who refuse to learn or be enlightened.

      • Avatar

        Jean Murphy

        August 14, 2010 at 8:09 PM

        Chris,

        Before you wish a person such as Obama on your country, please google George Soros & his agenda to destroy America. Then google everything Obama has done while being a Senator & now president. Do you see how Obama is following Soros’ agenda to implode America?

        America is on the verge of bankruptcy. Previously Obama basically condoned all the illegal aliens in this country. Now, just recently, prior to the Nov. elections, he’s signed a bill to throw America into even deeper debt with a $600 million bill for Border Control.

        He hides who he really is & where he was truly born. He never has the American flag behind him during press conferences, nor does he hold his hand over his heart during our National Anthem, he has stated that he feels our Military who die for this country, pay for their own medical. The millions of stimulus money thrown out everywhere helped big business’ & special interest groups not the millions of Americans who have lost homes & jobs. He apologizes to other countries for the American attitude. Do you think this man loves America??

        Please do some research first. Not all things you wish for are good. Seriously.

        Another topic. You said people just don’t know what Islam is or what Muslims believe. I have looked up the meaning of Muslims “Allah”. The definition I found would define at least 98% of my definition of “God”. My God. I was surprised at that. I still have no comprehension of “Islam”. What baffles me the most is, if the majority of Muslims believe in the teachings of Allah, than why have millions of Muslims in Iran, Iraq, etc. strayed so far from those teachings?

        Maybe you could explain more of this to me so that I’d have a better understanding.

        Peace & Blessings to you

        • Avatar

          Greg Davidson

          August 14, 2010 at 8:41 PM

          Jean,

          I appreciate your participation on this forum. I hope that if I show you some information that is contrary to your beliefs, you might consider the implications.

          I am sorry that you appear to have been reading some harsh propaganda directed at President Obama. If he had actually done the things that you mention, then your views might be justified. Instead, he has been subjected to a continuous campaign of false vilification. The problem with googling is that if there is a lot of false information out there, you just collect hits reciting falsehoods.

          One the multiple charges you make against Obama, here is one of the clearest to disprove:

          http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/o/Obama-East-Room-Flag-Flap.htm

          With this clear evidence that you have been subjected to false information, I hope you will view other accusations with similar skepticism

          • Avatar

            Jean Murphy

            August 14, 2010 at 8:59 PM

            Ok, dispute this all you want.
            Multi-billionaire funder of leftwing causes and groups
            Founder of the Open Society Institute
            Stated that defeating President Bush in the 2004 election “is the central focus of my life”
            Sherrod Brown.

            -Edited. Pls provide link, not cut and paste entire article. Thanks.

          • Avatar

            Jean Murphy

            August 15, 2010 at 3:37 AM

            Greg,
            Went to the site you gave me. This “one” many be fiction, but how do you explain the many times I’ve seen his press conferences & speeches to America on national TV & the AMERICAN FLAG is still missing?

            I’ve seen him on TV at Military funerals. He does not put his hand over his heart during the anthem & does not salute our fallen heroes.

            Are you telling me it’s a figment of my imagination??
            Don’t think I’m that blind yet.

          • Avatar

            Jean Murphy

            August 15, 2010 at 4:39 AM

            http://www.lvrj.com/…/obama-s-agenda–overwhelm-the-system-95716764.html

            http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/…/wayne-allyn-root-why-i-decided-not -to-testify-at-the-“obama-trial”/

            http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid

            this last site is on George Soros with many articles concerning him by many
            reputable people.

            Please read for yourself, Greg

            I thought I had already posted these sites for you but now I can’t find them.

          • Avatar

            Jean Murphy

            August 16, 2010 at 2:54 AM

            http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/09/barack_obama_and_the_strategy.html

            GregD,

            Please read the info on this site as well. I had to find it so I could get the site add.

            Would be interested in what you think if you read the sites I gave you.

          • Avatar

            Jean Murphy

            August 18, 2010 at 7:56 PM

            Hi Greg,

            Since I haven’t seen a reply concerning the sites I posted for you to check out, I seem to think you haven’t done so.

            People who wrote these articles are respected knowledgeable people.

            Are you going to read them or just act like you know who Obama is?

        • Avatar

          Sayf

          August 15, 2010 at 3:19 PM

          Jean, this should help you understand Islam better:
          http://www.whyislam.org

          • Avatar

            Jean Murphy

            August 15, 2010 at 9:40 PM

            Thank you.

            I bookmarked the site so that I can read it later when I can devote the time & not be distracted by other things.

            Again, Thank you for taking the time.

    • Amad

      Amad

      August 14, 2010 at 3:29 PM

      Kudos Mr. President

  26. Avatar

    Umm Bilqis

    August 14, 2010 at 2:05 PM

    As a child I used to watch WW2 movies, and for my GCE’s I studied WW2 and the Weimar Republic era in particular.
    I always wondered why the German Jews didn’t leave when the population turned against them. Now I realize that they were Germans and that was their country and they most probably did not think it would get to that level of persecution.
    In Bosnia in the 90’s Milosevic distorted and played up old historical events and that along with a few nationalistic songs led to the wholesale slaughter of Bosnian Muslims by their neighbors.
    People they worked with, married and played with. Many Bosnians were Muslim by name only.
    The mentality of the herd is strange and thoughtless.
    No one in their right mind would blame Christianity for the acts of terror that took place in Ireland. The people who did those acts are solely responsible for them, whatever their excuse.
    It is Morally wrong to associate a Religion with the actions of a few.
    Sully its good name and rage when those who wish for peace advance with a place of worship which is a gesture of peace.
    Go figure. Ultimately Allaah’s earth is spacious and this is something Good to remember when the going gets tough.

  27. Avatar

    Umm Bilqis

    August 15, 2010 at 3:17 AM

    After much deliberation based on how it is perceived on the ground by decent people forget about those with agendas.
    I think the center should not be built.
    The Cordoba house initiative inadvertently advances the agenda of those who want to bring about the clash of civilizations.
    Pull the rug from under their feet and send the money to the victims of the flood or Gaza aid.
    Sometimes it is good to back down from an idea that will cause heartache.

    This Center will not promote the well being of Muslims.
    Rather it will increase Islamophobia.

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      Rick

      August 15, 2010 at 11:51 AM

      Kudos to you, for “getting it”. I do say that they should build it, but another location would serve everyone’s interests much better while showing Muslims’ abilities to consider the feelings of others, even putting others’ feelings first, in this case.

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        Chris Richards

        August 15, 2010 at 12:14 PM

        But Rick, why is this the ‘right’ decision? The point that is frustratingly hard to make here is why is it an issue? If, as many claim, the old WTC site and surrounding area is ‘hallowed ground” (something I would take theological issue with) then why not place as many houses of prayer and worship around the site as possible?

        The whole concept of ‘getting it’, rests on the fundamental premise that a Muslim presence near the site would be a bad thing, thus causing harm. The basis for this premise is indulgent and in many ways bigoted, placing a religion in the position of having to justify where they place a center for informing the general population of their faith based on peace and justice, as well as a house of prayer…something that wouldn’t be tolerated for a second if it were a Christian center near where Tim McVeigh blew up the Oklahoma City federal building.

        I struggle to understand why otherwise tolerant, intelligent, progressive people think this kind of restriction is ok. If the developers wish to move their site to another place, that is their decision, but to tell any group of people what they can do in the lawful development of private property is about 5 different kinds of wrong.

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