“Civil Rights” Group ADL Backs Bigots & Islamophobes Against Cordoba House “Ground Zero Mosque”
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.
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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!
*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.”
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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.
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.
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.
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?
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 don’t know what this is supposed to imply, two wrongs don’t make a right. A spade is a spade.
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?
Thank you for calling it the Cordoba house and not the “Ground Zero Mosque”. It’s six-blocks away from ground zero.
This should read, where thousands of American Jews, Christians and Muslims were murdered.
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.
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.
August 13, 2010 at 2:33 AM
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.
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?
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.
August 13, 2010 at 3:16 AM
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.
July 31, 2010 at 10:56 AM
Lest we negatively paint all Jews with this wacky ADL statement, letâ€™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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
August 14, 2010 at 8:37 PM
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.
August 16, 2010 at 10:42 PM
Your debating style has been so gracious Thank you
Just wanted to share photos of stuff thatâ€™s the same distance from the World Trade Center as the Cordoba House
July 31, 2010 at 3:14 PM
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.
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”
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.
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 donâ€™t know all of you that are making negative comments concerning Jews. It not painful to anyone that many Jews own all kinds of businessâ€™ & 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.
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.
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.
July 31, 2010 at 4:20 PM
Justin Raimondo has an interesting article regarding the mosque.
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 â€“ not a mosque, but the Muslim equivalent of the YMCA â€“ 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.”
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. Itâ€™s no coincidence that the â€œmosqueâ€ opponents reject all four, no matter what vocabulary they use.”
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-
Iâ€™m shocked â€“ shocked, I tell you! â€“ that the Anti-Defamation League has joined the alliance of militant Christians, militantly atheistic â€œObjectivists,â€ and other assorted militant nut-jobs in calling for a ban on the so-called â€œGround Zero mosque, â€œ otherwise known as Cordoba House. After all, why would an organization ostensibly devoted to â€œcivil rightsâ€ and â€œtoleranceâ€ get in bed with Pamela â€œShrieking Harpyâ€ Geller, the Religious Right, and Leonard Peikoff, the Peripatetic Pipsqueak?
Building while Muslim â€“ itâ€™s the new driving-while-black.
^^This line is great.
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.
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.
July 31, 2010 at 5:58 PM
-removed. Off topic and trollish. -editor
July 31, 2010 at 7:23 PM
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.
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.
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..??
August 12, 2010 at 2:29 PM
Rick, check out this video clip of Jon Stewart on the Daily Show:
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.
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.
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.
August 12, 2010 at 3:10 PM
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.
August 14, 2010 at 8:30 AM
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.
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.
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.
August 14, 2010 at 3:02 PM
Re: reply of August 14, 2010 â€¢ 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]
August 14, 2010 at 5:49 PM
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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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
August 4, 2010 at 11:54 PM
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 â€“ 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.
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.
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?
August 12, 2010 at 10:12 AM
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..??
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.
August 13, 2010 at 5:19 PM
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
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.
August 15, 2010 at 8:03 PM
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??
August 14, 2010 at 3:15 PM
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…??
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.
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.
August 15, 2010 at 8:25 PM
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
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.
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”.
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.
August 12, 2010 at 1:59 PM
Thank you very much Chris. Your statements greatly appreciated.
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.
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.
August 15, 2010 at 8:37 PM
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”.
August 15, 2010 at 8:43 PM
Good thought. We should explore that further… simple things as ‘who is allah”
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.
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.
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.
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….
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!
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.
August 14, 2010 at 5:01 PM
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.
August 14, 2010 at 5:32 PM
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.
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?
August 14, 2010 at 6:06 PM
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.
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.
August 15, 2010 at 9:06 PM
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.
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.
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.
August 12, 2010 at 6:03 PM
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:
The Islamophobes are actively engaged in exactly what the hijackers wanted to achieve.
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?
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.
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.
August 13, 2010 at 5:53 PM
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.
August 13, 2010 at 6:13 PM
He knows you support him, and he finds it “absurd”.
August 14, 2010 at 4:47 AM
Could you make your comment clear? “He knows you support him, & he finds
it ‘absurd”.. He who? What are you talking about??
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?
August 14, 2010 at 7:42 PM
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.
August 14, 2010 at 8:44 PM
I thank you for your kind words and I hope we’ve done a good job of making you feel welcome (even through disagreement), and I also hope to see your insight on other articles as well!
August 12, 2010 at 7:10 PM
This Uproar by the haters is taking the debate away from more important issues such as Gaza.
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.
August 13, 2010 at 10:49 AM
That was kind of funny (and ironic) :)
August 13, 2010 at 5:54 PM
Sometimes you are very funny. Ha Ha back at ya.
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.
August 15, 2010 at 9:12 PM
” – 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.
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.
How far will this issue go? How much does this have to do with primaries in November?
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.
August 15, 2010 at 9:30 PM
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.
August 14, 2010 at 2:50 AM
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.
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.
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.
August 14, 2010 at 8:09 PM
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
August 14, 2010 at 8:41 PM
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:
With this clear evidence that you have been subjected to false information, I hope you will view other accusations with similar skepticism
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”
-Edited. Pls provide link, not cut and paste entire article. Thanks.
August 15, 2010 at 3:37 AM
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.
August 15, 2010 at 4:39 AM
this last site is on George Soros with many articles concerning him by many
Please read for yourself, Greg
I thought I had already posted these sites for you but now I can’t find them.
August 16, 2010 at 2:54 AM
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.
August 18, 2010 at 7:56 PM
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?
August 15, 2010 at 3:19 PM
Jean, this should help you understand Islam better:
August 15, 2010 at 9:40 PM
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.
August 14, 2010 at 3:29 PM
Kudos Mr. President
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.
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.
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.
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.
August 15, 2010 at 12:39 PM
Oft times it can be hard to truly articulate why one thing is right or wrong, and this time is one of those. My gut tells me it is wrong. Like it or not, the memory of 9-11 will cause many people of all denominations grief for a long time to come. I think a good question to ask one’s self, is why one would want to add to these peoples’ grief…?? Nobody has a right to do that, not for any reason, regardless of how well meaning the intentions might be. It may not even be rational…but when dealing with human beings, and especially with human feelings an emotions, things rarely are.
And lets keep in mind that buildings are opposed in many many locations for a large variety of reasons, so in and of itself this is not rare event.
My own personal thoughts are that I would rather see those who want to create such a center voluntarily choose to find another location for it, for the good feelings it would create. Maybe, in one sense it’s wrong…but I feel that in another sense, it’s right, and it’s more right than wrong. Remember, nobody is saying don’t build it…they’re just saying not there. In fairness though, I do not know about the New York real estate market or if that’s even viable.
August 15, 2010 at 1:05 PM
I agree with your premise in the sense that what is really needed here is for cooler heads to prevail on both sides. I think we need to elimate the breast beaters with the 9-11 “look what they did to us” bus ads. So far I haven’t run into an equivalent idea expressed from the other side, but I’m sure they’re out there.
What makes me nervous about the site being moved, is the damage that it might do in the sense of emboldening those who think 9-11 was endorsed by all Muslims.
I wish I could make all those who are on the extreme end of the ‘No Muslim buldings anywhere near the site’ understand that everything they’re saying, especially about the site being hallowed ground, is that it sounds terrifyingly like the ‘hallowed with the blood of our martyrs” that is touted by so many on the militant extremist side. I guess it just shows that it’s all circular, and the further you go to the extreme, the more likely you will meet your opposite number on the other extreme.
By the way, as an aside, I re-read my post, and hoped I didn’t sound like I was saying that your view was bigoted or indulgent, I was talking about the extremist end of the anti-islam argument, and I apologize if it seemed that I was referring to your view point.
One of my guiding rules is that disagreeing with me doesn’t make you wrong all the time, only Sarah Palin is wrong all the time ;-)
August 15, 2010 at 9:52 PM
It’s to my understanding that if a person owns a piece of property & wishes to build anything there, the law stipulates that letters be sent to at least 20 business’/ residents within a one mile radius of said site.
These 20 have a form to fill out to stipulate whether they agree or disagree on the subject at hand. They have a time period to do so. If it is not replied to, then that is considered as a “yes” vote.
This is, from my understanding, how Code Enforcement works. I have no idea if this has been done yet. Considering the ill will of many concerning the Cordoba House, this could, by itself, stop construction.
I’ve stated my position on this subject. I don’t live in NY, I understand what the majority have been saying, & I understand the Muslim communities view as well. This is like a tug of war. Who can pull or push the hardest to achieve their goals.
I’d like to see more people trying to come up with viable ideas to “fix” the problem.
August 15, 2010 at 4:32 PM
America will be strengthened by the building of Cordoba House. We most honor our American values by practicing them. We also prove to the Islamic world that the anti-American propaganda our enemies produce is false.
August 15, 2010 at 6:50 PM
Why do you think that it is up to America to prove anything. Also, I would submit that American values are not tarnished by asking that this center be built in another location. The operative point is that no one is saying don’t build it…just find another location…
August 15, 2010 at 7:01 PM
While that isn’t “Don’t Build it” it is “Build it where I tell you to” which is a tad patronizing.
August 15, 2010 at 7:16 PM
It is up to America to demonstrate our values every day as a nation as well as as individuals – that’s what it means to be ethical. As an American and I Jew, I do not believe that we ever come to a day when we are not called upon to live up to our principles.
The only role American Muslims had in the 9/11 attacks was as victims. It is immoral to transpose legitimate horror at a terrorist action into an obligation placed upon innocent Muslim Americans. The only American involved in a major terrorist attack in my lifetime was Timothy McVeigh, and just as we do not hold American Roman Catholics responsible for the actions of that terrorist, we should not hold American Moslems responsible for the actions of Saudi terrorists who happened to have similar religious beliefs.
You ask the builders to move Cordoba House to another location, but this is already not at Ground Zero, this is not in sight of Ground Zero. There are already Mosques in the neighborhood – do they have to move also? What is the distance that removes the imaginary taint that affects some American right-wing extremists? And why should law-abiding Americans change their plans based on an arbitrary measure of distance made up by those who do not even take the time to distinguish between our terrorist enemies and our fellow citizens?
August 15, 2010 at 2:12 PM
-Edited. Sorry, but no 911 conspiracy theories on MM. Appreciate your cooperation in the future.
August 15, 2010 at 3:35 PM
Oh no you di’int…. :D
August 15, 2010 at 3:57 PM
Ultimately, those who have something to hide can censor till their hearts are content.
That link was to a veterans group not a conspiracy site.
In the Day of Judgment:
Everyone will be responsible for their actions, deeds and words.
Perhaps if certain questions where asked many innocents would not die.
Your poll asked why young people get radicalized.
The number 1 answer should have been because of U.S foreign policy.
I Hope we All fall on the right side of things in the final Day.
August 15, 2010 at 4:38 PM
Damn, you were doing so well too…
August 15, 2010 at 7:08 PM
FYI, the link indeed was to a veterans site, but still conspiratorial. We do not move forward with conspiracies, neither with your snide remarks, Rick. You have been warned.
Dr Dennis Walker
August 16, 2010 at 2:42 AM
From _The Journal of Religious History_, Sydney
DENNIS WALKER, Islam and the Search for African-American Nationhood: Elijah Muhammad, Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam. Atlanta, GA: Clarity Press, 2005; 597 pp.
This enormous study clinches the importance of Islam for African-Americans. But it is an â€˜Americanizedâ€™ Islam, even in its more radicalized forms. The book covers in depth many of the main features of the Black Muslim movement from its stridently millenarian phase under Elijah Muhammad, its attempt to reach rapprochement with transnational Islam under his son Warith(uddin) Muhammad, and the return of the millenarian â€˜biteâ€™ with Louis Farrakhanâ€™s noisy â€˜sectletâ€™ running alongside the settling of an â€˜acceptably Americanâ€™ Muslim â€˜Establishmentâ€™ under Warith (now recently deceased).
Walker goes much further than his prior published articles in this book. Indeed it is a huge and daring exposure of the issues and postures involved in this extraordinary American new religious movement called The Nation of Islam. He explores more deeply than anyone before him the background to the movement in African religious life, with Islam [as one religion of Africans enslaved in America] a forgotten shadow in the history of the Western slave trade, and thus he argues how Islam can be said to have been â€˜rebornâ€™ on American soil among oppressed blacks [in 20th century Muslim movements]. And he further goes on to explain the huge rise in influence and popularity of Louis Farrakhan, who was side-lined by Warith after Muhammadâ€™s death, but who becomes the leader of the astounding Million Man March to Washington of 1995.
Farrakhan, notorious for revitalizing Elijah Muhammadâ€™s strident millenarian rhetoric and for his anti-Zionist vitriol, has actually integrated the Nation of Islam into the black bourgeoisie business world through his active media endorsement of private entrepreneurship. Despite keeping up an anti-Christian (and anti-Israeli) tones, he nonetheless keeps up dialogue with the black Christians, and also the marginalized Latin American communities within the United States, with a vision of a â€œMillions Moreâ€ march and movement in view. Walker concludes by asking what chances the Nation has of uniting the oppressed â€œblack classesâ€ of North America.
The volume is carefully documented, and reflects Walkerâ€™s known attention to detail and the intricacies of influences and causal factors, nowhere better illustrated than in his attention to the Druzes in the whole story and to Malcolm X, the Black Panthers and black Marxism.
August 16, 2010 at 3:08 AM
I don’t know what this book is about or why you’ve advertised it on this site. The African-Americans in the U.S. now are not a minority, by far. They aren’t suppressed unless they choose that path. There are colleges specifically for the African-American & much more.
Does this book of your stipulate the fact that the slaves brought here so many years ago was done so by other Africans as well as whites? Betrayed by their own.
I’ve never been a racist even as a child in Iowa. In grade school there were only a few black children & I was friends with each. My neighbor was also black & I was the babysitter for two young children. I applaud any African-American that does well or even better in this country.
What does your posting have to do with the Cordoba House?
August 16, 2010 at 6:47 AM
Pity. Seems they only want people who either agree with all their points, or the far right loonys(who make them look sane), but not anyone who can articulate viable alternatives to their narrowminded viewpoints.
August 18, 2010 at 8:47 PM
We’ve actually had a fair amount of really great discussion on this site, although there are a variety of viewpoints represented here. The admins are fair and knowledgable, and welcome diversity.
They’ve even put up with me, a Christian minister from Canada who strongly believes in the kinship of the Islamic, Christian and Jewish traditions, and I am really learning an awful lot. I’m actually looking locally for a background course on Islam to bring to my congregation for background and understanding, which is so desperately needed in this age of religious pluralism.
August 16, 2010 at 6:54 AM
Just an FYI to all those opposed to the mosque construction and Islamophobes
August 18, 2010 at 10:53 AM
This is a very interesting site. I find it odd that you question the “tolerance” of Americans (and yes, most American’s are against this being built). Is it not America that setup the system where all men/women are created equal, and that everyone is free to practice their faith the way they see fit? This is by no means an easy undertaking, and it has its wrinkles, but wouldn’t you agree that America has done an awesome job in merging so many beliefs, religions, views, etc in a place where everyone can live side by side? I would like to point out that if it wasn’t for the tolerance that America is built upon, you wouldn’t even be able to have this debate. Can I point out that in most Muslim areas in the world no such freedom exists? Just take a look at how Christians are treated in many a Muslim Country across this world. In most locations your women do not even have the freedoms to decide for themselves, to educate, to voice their opinions, etc. In America everyone has this right, and an abundance of it. What you find as bigotry is nothing more then Americans expressing their views based on what they have seen of Islam. A woman’s nose being cut off, a couple being stoned in public for Adultery, video taped beheadings of civilians all while those committing the acts praise God in the background.
We have had a crash course in Islam these past ten years, and yes, maybe some of it has been inaccurate, but some of it is simply out there for the world to see and make up their own minds. If Muslims truly are a moderate, peace loving people who are not bent on converting or killing anyone who doesn’t believe their way, then it is you as well that are under attack. Every moderate, peace loving muslim that cares for how Islam is perceived should not spend so much time attacking Americans for reacting to what they are seeing with their own eyes, but you should be attacking radical Muslims within your own ranks for promoting the things the rest of us see as proof to the opposite. Do more to promote peace. Do more to be tolerant to people who do not like what they have seen of Islam. Oddly, of all the radical mosques out there, the radical clerics in London and even in America, I do not see one bit of proof that the peace loving people of Islam are standing against people of these views. There are no picket lines or demonstrations outside of these radical houses for Islam. Where are all of the Muslim Women’s rights groups coming to the aid of a woman who might be stoned in Iran? The list goes on and on, but it seems like all the energy of Islam has gone into protesting the views of Americans. Tons of time has been spent calling us intolerent instead of trying to walk a mile in our shoes. Evidence mounts that most outspoken Muslims are outspoken against America, not outspoken against their own religions violent ways and abuses of human rights. If it were not for America’s basis in tolerance and its fertile ground for people of different views, none of this would be happening at all. If American’s built a Catholic Church in most Muslim Cities, how long before it would be fire bombed or become a victim of extreme intolerance that seems to be abundant in most Muslim lands.
Maybe spend some time to see this the way most Americans see this. If you want to be part of our Country, then try to understand this great experiment that has become the USA. How do you think we have all learned to live together? It has been through the practice of tolerance and understanding, and offering flexibility when we realize that we are encroaching on something of deep meaning to another religion or belief. With nearly 70% of America against this mosque being built at this one location, why not gain huge respect and build massive inroads to Americans hearts by offering to move to another site? The landing gear fell through the very roof of this building. Rauf’s own book (outside of the USA) is titled Spreading Islam from the rubble of ground zero. Again, this is a paraphrase, but a very close translation. So when people call this the “ground zero mosque”, realize we are not the first to do so..it was Rauf himself. Again, why change the name of the book in America to “What is right with Islam is Right with America”? Why show such inflexibility and a lack of desire to understand the sensative nature of the American people?
I am a Libertarian, and I fully support the legal right to build this mosque anywhere you may want to, but I do not support the building of this mosque on a site so sensative to Americans. It would be like the Japanese building a memorial to their lost pilots right next to the wreck of the Arizona, or even in the same harbor where the remains of so many American’s rest.
August 18, 2010 at 11:22 AM
Thanks for stopping by. A few points:
1) “If you want to be part of our Country”… I am sorry, but who are you referring to? Muslims are already part of this country, many have been here for generations. As American as any other American. Conditions on who can or who can’t be part of this country are already established in the constitutional right of every American. As a Libertarian, I am sure you’d agree.
2) What happens in other countries, Muslim or non-Muslim, doesn’t set the tone or the standards by which America should operate. We have our constitution, other land have their own. I keep hearing the “we’ll build a mosque when Saudi builds a church”… from the same people who keep reminding everyone how horrible place Saudi is, yet they want to take their cue from Saudi on houses of worship?
3) “Every moderate, peace loving muslim that cares for how Islam is perceived should not spend so much time attacking Americans”. I am sorry, but I can’t quite digest the “Americans vs. Muslims” paradigm. See #1
4) “Evidence mounts that most outspoken Muslims are outspoken against America, not outspoken against their own religions violent ways”. Can you please provide proof for this “evidence”? Have you tried googling “Muslims condemn terrorism”? Try it, you may be surprised. In fact, our blog is routinely accused of condemning terrorism too much, and not enough of American-made injustice abroad. Also google up info related to the death toll of America’s foreign (unjust) wars against the death toll of the “religions violent ways”, and you’ll see our own America wins out in that not-to-be-proud comparison.
5) Accusations about Rauf. Pls see this post:
6) Tired “Japanese Pearl Harbor” talking point. See this comment and this one.
Pls take some time to digest the information in the comments. See the videos of Olbermann and Jon Stewart before jumping to conclusions.
In closing, I do agree that Muslims have to continue to sell Islamic truths better, especially in the face of a persistent and brutal campaign by the Islamophobes who are spreading disinformation like forest fire. With the blazing flames all around, it is indeed difficult for an average American to look at the situation objectively and conscientiously. That’s why I salute those who have stood up for the truth about Muslims, despite its unpopularity. I hope you’ll continue to discuss and learn what we stand for, not what others say we stand for.
August 18, 2010 at 11:53 AM
You can be “in” this country, and even a citizen of this country, and not be part of our country. This is my view, not any particular group. I am a self thinker and I don’t align myself with any group as most group do a poor job of speaking for me. I do however support Liberty and Freedom. However as a study of such, I have found that there is no perfect society, no perfect setup that will always protects the rights of everyone. Just as one rule might protect you today, tomorrow it is working against you. When this happens it calls for people from both sides to sit down and remedy the situation and let calmer heads prevail. I am not anti-Islam, nor am I pro-christian, as I do not go to Church due to the problem I stated above of having any group speak for me and my views. I am a rational person, and using that manner I have been very let down by what I have seen of some of the Muslim faith trying to fit into our society and into America. To that point, you can live here, you can gain citizenship here, heck you can even be born here, and not be “American”, in my views. I would say that is true of many on the Christian side as well. I recently had an argument with a local “Right to Life Group” about their support of a candidate for Governor in my State and how they were using gray areas and slimy tactics to win votes knowing full well that many people in America do not educate themselves well, and only listen to sound bites. I would accuse this particular woman of not trying to be part of this country.
In my view, although of a Christian God, I believe that the very first gift God gave us was Liberty. He gave us freedom of choice. He could have given us no choice, and created us as merely blindly serving little balls of flesh, but instead he gave us first and foremost the freedom to choose. We can choose to follow him, or not. I believe this is the foremost gift, so I am against any person who does not show tolerance and understanding. I speak out against Christians both in this country and abroad as well. I expect Muslim Americans to do the same. Where you might say that you believe Muslims do this, I personally do not see this. I will spend some time on your site and see if I can find articles that support what you are saying. If you can help point me to articles that show how Muslims are standing out against the interpretation of Sharia Law, or how they have spoken out against radical clerics in a meaningful way, that would be helpful. Simply put, actions speak louder then words, and as a society we can’t always have what we want if we are to respect the views and feelings of others. Unless we setup ghetto’s where one type of person lives and another does not, we all must coexist and be tolerant. To me if something I am legally free to do puts another person in an uncomfortable place then I need to be a good neighbor and try to ammend my plans to take their feelings into account. It does not mean that I should give up my freedoms, but without taking others feelings into account, American will cease to be the place it once was. I do not believe that this Islamic Center is in the best interest of Islam or of Americans. It is clear that this is something that is not wanted by most Americans, but instead of flexibility all I read on your site and on other pro-center sites are intolerant claims of bigotry, and other ugly terms used to bracket those against this mosque as simple minded people who hate Islam and Muslims. This in fact only makes us less understanding of this mosque, and more unwilling to bend because of the fact that such a huge percentage of Americans are being called names and we are not being listened to. If anyone were to try to place themselves in our shoes for one second, they might hear what we are trying to say, and for a minute take pause and try to come up with a better solution. The majority of us are not against a mosque, but we are against this specific location. Many of us feel that our voices are not being heard. This only promotes the fringe of our group to say hate-charged statements, and I do not support those in any way shape or form.
August 18, 2010 at 12:05 PM
Interesting, a libertarian until your sensibilities are offended.
9 months ago, no one had heard of this project outside of New York.
CNN did an interesting story last evening (http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2010/08/18/video-timeline-of-the-mosque-controversy/) , where it was explained that prior to a few zealots who had read Atlas Shrugs just a few too many times, this cultural centre was not only a non-issue, but talked about on Fox News as “a pretty good idea”
A few ideas for the US government and the folks who live on the right:
1.) If you say “Because of 9-11” in response to a question directed at something you are doing, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.
2.) The US does not hold the monopoly on tragedy, or wrongs suffered in the name of religion. Actually, because of North America’s location, we’ve been pretty isolated from things the rest of the world deals with all the time. And by the way, the US has done and continues to do some pretty awful things in the name of religion and/or nationalism. When you post “if you want to be part of our country” you seem to fail to realize that these actually are Americans, and that being or becoming a Muslim does not mean you now need a passport, no matter how appealing that maybe to far right.
3.) Just because 50%+1, or 70%, or even 90% of your population wants to take away someones right to do something, doesn’t make it ok. The purpose of a representative democracy with effective checks on Judicial, Legislative and Executive branches is to protect the minority from the majority, who are capable of doing some pretty uncivilized things.
In short, the US completely blew it on 9-11 and if there is a lesson to be drawn by the many moral failures from those terrorist attacks it’s that the US held a unique opportunity in the world to advance the cause of peace and tolerance by acting with restraint and compassionate leadership. Instead, it gave in to petty savagery and vengance, using a terrible tragedy to justify the worst of human nature. This, if nothing else, should show the US that evil is in the heart of humans everywhere.
August 18, 2010 at 12:53 PM
If you read my comment, you will notice that I do not like to affiliate myself with any one group because it seems like every group does a fairly poor job of representing itself these days. I’m not perfect, so I don’t want any of my mistakes being attributed to a specific group either. That being said, I am much closer to libertarian then I am a Republican. I was once Republicans, then a conservative, then I realized that Liberty shouldn’t have a side, Liberal or Conservative, so I started to think a lot more like a Libertarian. I have strong personal views, but that’s exactly the point, they are “personal” views, not views that I wish to have legislated on everyone else. With that said, I also do not want extreme groups of any type deciding what I should or should not be allowed to do as long as it doesn’t effect another person or take rights away from them. That being said, I am still having problems with the libertarian views on wars. I am for a strong defense. I was not against the war, although I am starting to wonder what it really accomplished. I am a person that likes to admit where I am not certain, and I like to debate issues that are important to me. Debate is not a four letter word, and I believe that two people can disagree passionately without resorting to name calling or back biting. Unfortunately I find myself in the minority most the time.
Enough about me. To your comments. My feelings about this Mosque does have some to do with 9/11 but I don’t think that is a sign that my view is flawed. You can’t extract human emotion from any equation. What I do know is that 3,000 people were wiped out, taken out of this world in the midst of a breath, all because somebody felt that Americans must be punished, and that by doing so they would call support for their cause. I do not think they succeeded. We as Americans mix emotion with our logic, and there is no way to escape that being the case. I will admit that I enjoyed knowing that many militants at the terrorist training camps were wiped out by our response. I would love to personally take to task any human who believes that they can kill, molest, violate or deform another human in the pursuit of their own beliefs. I would love to find the man who had his wife’s nose cut off all the while claiming Islam to support his action. Such people do not deserve the breath they breathe. See…there is that pesky emotion coming out in me! Back to the point, how can you wipe out several buildings in America, kill thousands, all the while screaming, “Alah is great” and expect people to respond without a tinge of that experience in their future feelings and decisions. We all can agree that you should judge a person as an individual, but do you practice that when approached in a dark, bad area at night? Of course not, there is something inside you that tells you to be cautious. When the two towers were hit, there were many casualties, some human, some emotional. There are scars caused by that action that are difficult for us to get over. We must get over them, otherwise these Islamic Terrorists will have the pleasure of their attack every day that their memory changes the way we treat each other. This however will take time, and those who are Muslim must try to understand how some might be sensative, and not use words like “Islamaphobes” as their arguments. Of course some of us are Islamaphobes! Why wouldn’t we be? Rational minds prevail though, as many of us are surrounded by Muslims every day, and they are our friends, our doctors, and even sometimes our husbands/wifes.
In terms of your statement about when I said, “if you want to be part of our country”, you should read my comments later down in term of what I meant. I will say it shorter here. There is something in this Country that we call “The American Way”. For generations we have not only asked those who would come to this country, but also those who are born here to practice this “American Way”. The American way isn’t a religion, or a race, or a people, it is the very fabric of what made our country. If you are born here, move here, etc then we expect you to practice these tenants, anything less is “un-American”. Unfortunately there are many, many people who are not very American these days, and this includes the religious right as well as some of the republican party, and pretty much any large organized group in America. We must find a way to remind everyone what America really is, otherwise we will lose this great country, and the very foundation that all of us stand on and preach our own personal views. More specific to this conversation it is Un-American to not show tolerance and patience to a bunch of people who are concerned about a mosque being built on what they feel is sacred ground. You can state what you see as folly in that, call them names like Islamaphobes, or Biggots, but you are only making the wound deeper. We can’t want something so bad that we don’t take the time to listen. This is a hard rule to live by, even for me :-)
Your next comment is actually very good since most people do not realize we are not a true democracy. I agree with what you are saying, and I don’t think that we should use the rule of law to stop this Mosque. I do believe that every effort except the force of law should be made to not let this mosque be built as planned. So do most Americans. That should stand for something, even if it doesn’t mean that legally the Mosque should be challenged.
I am scared of the world we live in today. Nobody has patience, nobody seems to want what is good for everyone. Everyone seems to be “group driven” and intolerant of someone. The older I get, the more I realize that power corrupts, even good people. So many of the Christians and groups that I once respected, I now see have it all wrong. Again, the God that I believe in gave us all Liberty, all of us a choice. Why would he want his people to now force everyone to do his bidding?
Lastly, in terms of Islam, I think that most Americans want to know if Muslims in America are Americans, or if they want to bring Sharia Law to America. Try as I might, I can’t find any such proclamation out there, so I am left to wonder if Islam in America will respect our law, or if they are obliged by their religion to import their brand of justice, and change the laws of this country to resemble those of a Muslim Country. I can’t support that any more then I can support a Christian trying to force their religious views on all Americans. I will fight against it, and if the time ever came, put my own life on the line to protect America from it.
I actually like this site. As compared to comments on other news sites, at least you all seem to remain calm.
August 18, 2010 at 1:51 PM
An example of what I mean, is if Karzai does his job, and tracks down the people who stoned this couple, then I believe that there are Muslims who will speak out against such violence and actually bring evil people in their faith to justice for committing such a horrible act. If not one “stoner” is captured or tracked down, then I have a hard time believing that Islam wants to be a peaceful religion.
Any yes, I realize that Christians have committed great crimes such as this too. I also realize this was in another country. I guess that I am just looking for some great leader to stand out amongst the Muslim people and start using his breath to fight against things like this, not fight against those who have a hard time understanding Islam. It seems like you could kill two birds with one stone (forgive the reference) in that by speaking out against extremist Islam views you would also win over the hearts and minds of most Americans. We have our wacky fringe in America too, and I am no more supportive of a group that bombs an abortion clinic then a group that stones a couple.
August 18, 2010 at 2:30 PM
Todd, while I agree with you that many Americans hold an illogical emotional cue towards the construction of Park 51 for understandable reasons, and it would not be fair to characterize all of them as “Islamophobes”, it is more than accurate to state that the overwhelming majority of dialogue in the media against this center is represented by anti-Muslim and anti-Arab bigotry and racism, respectively.
Much of the discussion on why the project shouldn’t happen comes right out of your first post – look overseas, look how other Muslim countries are, etc. It’s interesting, there’s really not much to be said about Muslims in the West except that they disagree with their government’s policies, particularly as they relate to the Muslim world, but there’s nothing strange about disagreeing with the government – America was founded upon it.
More interesting is your personal journey to represent the “real” America – I’m puzzled when I deal with Americans who lay claim to being the standard bearers of true American values, and denounce “the other” as “un-American”. Or, as a former Republican, that religion shouldn’t be injected into politics. I believe that there exist certain set of core values a majority of Americans will agree on in principle, but will disagree on its application in a particular time and context. All men are created equal is an American value since it’s founding, but it has only recently caught up with this ideal legally, and still struggles with it socially.
I believe that in order for you to live your values appropriately, you have to be willing to apply them to their final, logical conclusion, past your emotional and socially conditioned boundaries, otherwise its simply a notion you take advantage of when it suits your causes, and not when it challenges you, and it is when you meet that challenge and overcome it that you demonstrate maturity, and not otherwise. The founding fathers of this country exemplified this problem – which African American would you like to tell that he should understand the underlying “emotional” issues with setting all slaves free (as well as financial), and would you be understanding of his “emotional” reaction, and expect him to be understanding of founding fathers “emotional” issues?
Yes, we can argue that African Americans didn’t crash a plane into the World Trade Towers, and as my brother Malcolm X has said, Plymouth Rock crashed into them (my paraphrasing), but you can never logically argue that what those 19 did represented the will of all Muslims, let alone those in America, and so it stands to reason that if you’re arguing from an emotional standpoint, and not a logical one, well, you’re not really arguing so much as being argumentative, and there’s a difference.
Muslims are not facing obstacles with Park 51 only – you can do a google search and you will find numerous NIMBY (not-in-my-backyard, citing George Carlin) protests around the country, so this isn’t an isolated issue, it’s just the one dominating the headlines. We can talk all day about “hallowed ground”, but that doesn’t explain what’s happening everywhere else.
The greatest battle many Americans face even today is dealing with the conditioning that has been placed in them about other Americans, be they black, hispanic, arab, and yes, not a race, but nonetheless, Muslims. Depending on the individual, some of those battles are easier than others, and I wish you the best on that journey. The ones leading the charge espousing your views have long ago lost that battle.
August 18, 2010 at 2:41 PM
Good comment Todd. The world indeed is becoming quite scary. Muslims would have hoped that America would a place that defies (to the extent possible) fault-lines along race, ethnicity, and religion. It is scary indeed when someone “respectable” like Gingrich compares Muslims to Nazi and there is hardly any fall-out for him.
For the discussion on what Muslims want in “secular democracies”, pls see this post by Shaykh Yasir Qadhi, a Saudi AND Yale trained theologian, one of the founders of this site and also a very popular speaker.
August 18, 2010 at 4:04 PM
I’ve got to be honest and admit that I am digging this site. So far you have all been very tolerant of me, and my disagreement with some of what has been said here and also about the NY Mosque. I have also really enjoyed the logic that you’ve used to support your views. I have to admit that I feel slightly budged from my original view. I guess my main concern is still why more effort isn’t being made to help others understand that there is potentially a big difference from Islam that we see in other countries and the Islam that is in America.
Most of what America knows of Islam is what we see on TV, or what we see in other countries. OK, so neither are a good source for information on Islam in America, but it is all we have because some Americans are not around Muslim’s or Muslim culture daily. We see the gathering of Muslim’s in certain areas in France, we see lack of integration into society, we see riots, unrest, and radical clerics, and we get scared for what that means in America. Yes, it also causes us to act out of fear, and to propose things that are un-american. In that sense I can see how some American Muslims may feel that their not provided with the same freedoms that other Americans are, and how possibly they are not given the chance to be judged for who they are personally, not for their religion or race.
Most of what is being said here I have no problem with on the surface. Religious freedom is the core of what America is about, and that should be given to all. I guess that possibly I am starting to see the light on this Mosque and that maybe this is a huge media fiasco that caused views that are based on lack of information. I would support the Mosque, and really whipe away all of my prejudices and fears towards Islam if I just knew for certain that America wasn’t being tricked, and that the goal isn’t to convert everyone, and to take over the United States from within. As unrealistic as it sounds to some, that fear is very real, that Muslims would use our very laws and commitment to freedoms against us. I do not want to live in another country, nor do I want my wife or daughter to live in a country where seperate laws exist for men and women. I do not want Sharia law to permeate our country any more then I want some of the Christian views to do the same. Most American’s fears are based on that one idea that Muslims want to change America. We are unable to trust what we hear about Islam being a Peaceful religion because of what we see.
Amad, in regards to your comment above, I would say that Muslims should not give up hope, but realize that we are living in a less then perfect world. People are emotional, and fear is a powerful force. We can’t let that rule the day, but it is good to understand why there has been a lack of tolerance, and what force is driving it because it is easier to address something when your not attacking the person, but instead attacking the problem. I guess that I do feel that I have more in common with you to know that you too are scared and think that America is become a scary place. Maybe there is hope that we can all work together. I do not want to believe that Islam is a religion that must take over or destroy everything it encounters. My heart just can’t have me believe that, but I need more proof, and I think that most Americans do.
August 18, 2010 at 10:48 PM
An example in Canada is with our Aboriginal First Nations Peoples. They have the right, freedom and to a certain extent the obligation to deal with social, finanical and other matters that would normally go before arbitration rather than to a Criminal or Civil court of law, and it seems to really work well, particulary when disconnection from the culture seems to be part of the reason for the antisocial behaviour of the parties involved. Healing Circles, Councils of Arbitration and other incarnations of a similar type are actually fairly common.
I know sometimes our Canadian politics gets labeled as boring, but we matter to putter along quite well. I think Muslim’s in Canada are doing ok. I am sure there are some problems, but maybe the US could look to how were doing the Canadian Cultural Mosaic up here?
Just an thought.
August 18, 2010 at 4:34 PM
Amad, I read the article that you suggested regarding Sharia in secular society. Where I enjoyed the article, the comments were troubling. For example:
March 1, 2010 â€¢ 6:46 am
In my opinion, I think the the Internal Retreat Model would be the best, and that in long-term strategy, we should work towards building a community that is self-reliant. If the Muslims could have their own academic, social, medical, legal, and commercial services, then the economy of the Muslims would flow within themselves and could be invested in sustaining and generating further Muslim institutions and businesses.”
This is exactly what Americans fear…a society within a society that works to govern itself. We are one America, and it was never intended that we have seperate societies that worked to govern themselves, provide services for themselves, etc. How would it even be possible to do such a thing without violating the basic freedoms that exist in America? For instance, what would stop a society from establishing itself that viewed blacks as second class citizens, and that believed in slavery?
This stuff is very scary, that there even exists a conversation on the possibility of self governing within America. Where I agree with the person who wrote the article, that no person, Christian or Muslim is going to go against what they feel is God’s law, the thought that people would gather together in a land within our country and try to subvert what has existed forever is scary. There are laws in America that is part of what America is, and if a specific race or religion begins to believe they could do better by starting their own land within our country then that is reason enough for me to show them the door. I don’t want to come across wrong, but if a person isn’t ready to live under American law without trying to change it then they should probably go to a country that allows such practice. It is a slippery slope. Part of what makes America a place where people want to live is its tolerance and its unity. To change that or to set up seperate courts for Sharia to me is trying to make America another country.
August 18, 2010 at 5:35 PM
You don’t think there are societies within societies as we speak in America?
The Mormon society, the Amish society, the Orthodox Jewish society, the nudist society and so on with less crazy examples.
As long as one is working within the framework of the Constitution there should be nothing scary about sub-societies.
August 18, 2010 at 6:04 PM
Yes there are many examples of a society within a society here in America! My point was a self governing society, where society rule outweighed United States Law. The comment at the begging of that article about Sharia law was to the effect of what would happen if the United States Government breached its “contract” with a certain group by not allowing certain freedoms. Would that group then be allowed to break with the United States and setup their own rule. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of Ultra Conservatives suggesting the same thing, of breaking off from the US Govt. I don’t support that either, at least not at this stage!
As you said as long as the constitution is the guide, then a society within a society is fine. I still like to think more of America as a melting pot, not as a place where people gather in burrows or urban ghetto’s so they can be in “Little Pakistan”, or “Little China”, although as a foodie I am thankful to some degree these places exist because I love to go there for unique culture and food!
Again, I am really glad that I came here and posted. I am finding more in common with most of you then I thought. You have significantly effected my view on this proposed mosque. It is an odd irony that the people who seem to have the best case for adhering to American rights/freedoms happens to be a Muslim group wanting to build a mosque. I’m actually starting to see why in some ways the Muslim community feels that those against this mosque are practicing two standards.
August 18, 2010 at 6:59 PM
Hi Todd, I must say I really respect your style of discussion. I hope we’ve done a good job of making you feel welcome and that you would share your insight with us on other articles as well. =D}
Firstly, I encourage you to read more about Islam and Shariah law itself for the sake of perspective:
That website also has a lot of information on other subjects I encourage you to read.
So you see, you would like Shariah law, so just sit back and let the pieces fall in place! LOL just kidding, I couldn’t resist that one. Maybe you don’t agree with certain aspects, like capital punishment – that’s fine, it’s not an issue for Muslims in a non-Muslim country and it’s not something they are working towards or expect to be implemented.
The degree of accommodation Muslims expect is small, reasonable, and a part of their constitutional rights. It’s not about bringing in something like a new criminal justice system, it’s more along the lines of issues like car insurance/banking/marriage/inheritance etc, really little things that make life easier for people who are just a tad bit different. Western laws are constantly being amended to better suit the needs of minorities anyway. Would you say that the legalization of gay-marriage has changed America into another country?
When you look at the goals of Muslims in the West, you’ll see it’s about sharing a piece of the pie, and not about feeding the whole pie to the dog and getting some samosas (fasting is causing food-metaphors). All Muslims really want is to be treated with respect as fellow human beings, and be able to practice their religion freely, which teaches them to be neighborly with their non-Muslim co-citizens and to be positive contributors to society.
August 18, 2010 at 8:09 PM
I think there’s a lot that we could learn from Sharia law, particularly when it comes to civil matters.
Also, a blessed Ramadan for you and yours. I don’t know if I’d have the spiritual strength for all that fasting! (and yes, I know it’s only daylight and not a month of not eating ;-)
August 18, 2010 at 8:45 PM
Certain laws, say auto insurance & health insurance, are both laws that apply to every single American. Why should Muslims be exceptions? Because you make it a religious thing? Oh, it’s against my religion….. Well, it’s against my religion to have to pay so much money for either insurance for so little received in return, but I still have to have both. Insurance in not gambling. Insurance is to help pay for accidents one may have, or doctors & everything medical. So giving Muslims a free pass on either of these laws is not acceptable to me & millions of other Americans. These are our laws (the U.S) & if you’re an American, then you must comply. Do you think that all Americans like every law put in place for us to follow is fair? We most certainly do not. Most of us comply anyway until we can find a way to change it.
Then there’s your sharia laws pertaining to marriage & inheritance. More ways to oppress women of Muslim faith. These types of laws should never be allowed in this country. Every American in this country, other than Muslims, do not & will not accept Sharia laws being passed here in the U.S.
I’ve read a great deal on Sharia Law, Islamic laws, & the majority benefit Muslim men. There is no equality for women. Many of these laws are barbaric, inhumane, & basically spit on human rights. Why would I ever want any laws such as these in my country??
To say I feel strongly concerning this issue is putting it mildly. I have millions of people backing me up on this one.
August 18, 2010 at 9:26 PM
Thanks for the kind words Chris, and fasting is a lot easier than you’d think =D}.
Jean, what’s with the strong hostility all of a sudden? You used to be cool, there are more academic ways of saying what you have. Your strong emotions are causing you to read your own ideas into my comment. Nobody was asking for a get-out-of-laws free card.
Yeah, exactly. Take a breather and realize you just argued my own point back at me.
Man you really love interest, or really hate people giving out inheritance differently, or hate people figuring out their own marital disputes? It’s called freedom of contract, Did you even read this link I posted?
August 18, 2010 at 10:19 PM
My attitude towards Muslims getting our of certain laws due to their religion came due to Obama stipulating that Muslims do not have to pay for Health Insurance because their religion forbids it. It’s gambling. Which in effect means that Muslims will not be fined by the IRS because they did not get Health Insurance.
This alone has angered millions of Americans…….
So basically I’m so angry first at Omana for allowing this & second for Muslims using their religion to side step laws the rest of us are stuck with & we didn’t want this sticking Healthcare bill anyway.
Not directed at any one person…. Other than Obama. You notice I don’t call him by his so-called title.
August 18, 2010 at 10:28 PM
About that exemption, you and the millions with you need better information:
August 18, 2010 at 7:59 PM
Hi, Todd. I too am glad you came. I’m actually in Canada, and a Christian minister who feels a tremendous kinship with my Muslim cousins as Jews, Christians and Muslims are all ‘people of the Book’
I think what we’re all dealing with is a struggle to define ourselves with the best of our natures while confronting the worst of what the human race has to offer. One of the challenges I think for Americans to see that the men who attacked them on September 11th, 2001 were not Muslims, they were men filled with rage and hatred. They had so little to do with Islam that the very things they claimed (i.e. jihad to wage a war against US civillians) are not even in accordance with basic Islamic theology as I understand it, although I will leave any explorations of Muslim theology to those here with much more knowledge than I. Suffice to say that what happened on that day was something Abraham, Jesus and Mohammad (peace be with him) would have all condemned.
What we do next is what defines us as humans. We can lash out, or we can include. Terrorists of all stripes and masks never wish to defeat those they claim as enemy. What they want to do is to turn you against yourselves. They don’t fight to advance the cause of Islam, and I am sure there is just as much in the Qua’ran as there are in Jewish and Christian Scriptures about those who profess faith with lies and evil in their hearts. Their worst nightmare is to have Muslim, Christian, Jew and every other faith standing together in equality and Justice. What they want to create is intolerance, mistrust, and discontent. What the far right extreme in US politics can’t or won’t understand is that people like Pam Gellar, and some of Fox News’ more extreme cadre are actually driving us all closer to the goal those 18 mass murderers had when they drove those planes into all those people.
I wish I had an answer, because I know at least the large majority of the people involved aren’t opposing the Cordoba House community centre out of bigotry or evil intent, but that’s the perniciousness of the evil of those acts of those terrorists, true evil spreads to well meaning people. The only way we can defeat that is to err on the side of inclusion every time, and the mistakes we will make if we do that will be minor and correctable, but the consequences of exclusion are disastrous.
One last item. Everyone talks about Sharia Law as if it were a terrible and archaic system. The fact is that no one talks about Jewish or Christian Law, but if you look at the 10 commandments they are very closely mirrored in just about every major western criminal and civil codes. That’s not because of a particular religious affiliation so much as early on people’s lives were governed more by faith than by rule of law, and every faith community had to work out what the bare minimum was for a community to live together in relative harmony.
Sharia law is widely varied. In many secular Muslim countries, like Turkey, it’s limited to family matters and no-one stones anyone. I point out frequently that i know very little about Islam when compared to any practising Muslim, but when you are talking about people being stoned to death I think it has nothing to do with what faith they are practising and much more to do with the level of education and social development of that particular village or town.
August 19, 2010 at 4:38 AM
Siraaj & Sayf,
I went to Snopes concerning the Obama care exempts. I apologize for my outburst concerning Muslims being exempt. I was wrong about that. When I know that I am wrong, I will say so.
In this case I should have dug deeper.
Thank you Siraaj for posting that site.
I’m not wrong about Obama care in one sense. Americans objected to this & it’s been shoved down our throats. This will only benefit a few among millions. Many will fight this until we get rid of it.
August 18, 2010 at 8:21 PM
Todd have many valid points concerning Muslims & Sharia Laws in the U.S. Yes, we have many different types of societies within our borders, but each one adheres to the laws within this country. Nudist don’t parade around naked everywhere they go. They don’t try to change laws to advocate nudity everywhere. The Amish choose to lead a more simple life & their children are given a choice at a certain age to go to the “big city” & find out for themselves what it’s like & how others live. They then choose which way they want to live. Again, the Amish don’t try to change American laws. If someone murders another where many Amish live, that person goes to trial. Just like any other criminal. So forth & so on.
The reason different people keep suggesting that the Cordoba House be built elsewhere is not just because of how so many feel towards it, it’s exactly why they suggest it. Why? How do you think this is going to end? Peacefully? Do you want to see more death, more fear, more unrest in this country because Muslims refuse to understand? Or does the Muslim community just want to push “our laws” down our throats? Be right, do what you want, no matter the cost? Is that how it is?? I sure don’t want to see this happen.
Would your Mosque sign the declaration below?
by Tawfik Hamid
Failure to publically post and support these principles should be interpreted as clear evidence that a leader’s mosque or Islamic organization must be considered radical.
August 19, 2010 at 12:25 AM
Tawfik is a loon, who for instance, who is part of the neocon “Muslim clowns for rent” enterprise. As usual, his hatred for any practice of Islam correlates with his “love for Israel“. Too many coincidences of the two, huh?
Muslims can be 100% orthodox and 100% American.
And we don’t need discredited mercenarise such as Tawfik to tell us what we are and what we are not. Information from his is as reliable as the snopes nonsense you posted. Slowly but surely, Jean, it seems you have started throwing out rubbish. Instead of believing what Muslims are telling you that they believe in, you are going to the worst sites online to pass on propaganda as facts. If you wish to engage in fruitful conversation, the first step is to wean yourself off hate sites.
August 19, 2010 at 2:40 AM
Are you talking about the snopes article I posted?
August 19, 2010 at 2:43 AM
I meant the article that was exposed as a hoax on Snopes, as you pointed out… sorry
August 19, 2010 at 4:09 AM
Why is it that if someone states something about a subject or person you object to that you start calling names?? And excuse me, but I don’t troll for articles. I was sent an email with different subjects & read Dr. Tawfiks’ about Moderate Muslims & Radical Muslims.
I found it interesting & more to the point, this man isn’t telling anyone what they must be. He’s suggesting something that would help the rest of the American public to accept American Muslims more readily. This is not a crime, nor does it make him a loon. Do you hate hims so because he a Muslim Jew? I don’t get your attitude towards him or me concerning his suggestions concerning Sharia Laws.
Asking someone what they think or if they would agree to something is not “rubbish”. My questions & or inquiries are as legit as anyone else. I could tell you that I’m Orthodox Jew & say all kinds of hateful things against the Muslim people, but that would most definitely be a lie.
Can you tell me with all honesty that what Tawfik said concerning Sharia Laws is wrong or incorrect? I’ve gone to many sites about Sharia Laws, Islamic laws & Sunni. Most of what I read from every site was not the type of laws I’d ever want to see in my country. Are you telling me that every site I went to are all lies??
I’m not spreading propaganda as facts. Not all sites that quote the exact same thing about the same subject could be propaganda. Do you deny that Muslim women in Muslim countries are oppressed? Do you deny that Muslim men beat women whenever they feel like it? Do you deny that Muslim men are allowed 4 wives & are allowed to have temporary wives, which actually keeps them from being accused of adultery? Do you deny that women can be charged with adultery & condemned to being stoned to death? Do you deny that women who have been raped must have 4 male witnesses to prove her allegations? Do you deny “honor killings” perpetrated due to rape?
How much of this is propaganda? If you believe that the above laws should be followed, does this not make you more of a radical than a moderate??
The sites I go to are not “hate sites”. Some of what I read when emails are sent to me sound ridiculous or made up. Others ring true. The site I actually looked for because I wanted greater understanding was the meaning of “Allah” by Muslims. I do believe that Muslims who follow the teachings of Allah are good, peaceful loving people. Was that site also propaganda??
Just because you disagree with what a person reads, says, etc. does not make them bigots or loons. Am I only to read sites you recommend or do I have the option to look elsewhere for further information? The only Muslim sites I’ve checked out is on Sharia laws/ Sunni/ Islamic laws, Allah & this one. Oh, sorry, Sayf gave me a site to go to but I haven’t read it all yet.
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August 18, 2010 at 11:02 PM
As you recognize that much of the information that you have been sharing that was presented to you as true but is actually false, consider the credibility of those who are providing the fraudulent information.
August 19, 2010 at 4:30 AM
To which information are you referring to? The president, Sharia law, what?
Did you actually go to the sites I posted about Obama? The people posting this information are very reputable people. Everything about George Soros is true. All the facts about Obama can be found even from interviews he’s had with different legit people.
August 19, 2010 at 10:10 AM
I go to bed and wake up today to find all heck has broken loose here! Just kidding! Seriously, let me lend a suggestion if I might. I am new here obviously, so take my idea with a grain of salt unless it strikes home with you.
In order to get the most from these posts, I think it is important to consider all of the details as a whole, to pull back and use the wide angle lense (so to speak) to see the big picture here.
First, with the majority of American people who are against this Mosque. I do not doubt there is some misinformation out there, and that the media is stirring the pot to speed up the unrest of Americans to creat a better news story. Media should be a source of information, not a one sided portrayal of an issue. This is true of the left and the right. I know that for a fact about this issue that I have only encountered some information by doing my own research and coming to sites like this to get opposing views. To me there is not enough voice being given to American Muslims and how they feel, so American Muslims are frustrated with their lack of voice, and have become very unwilling to discuss rationally the issue or to understand what most Americans are feeling. This is the unfortunate consequence of not having a voice, frustration creates the end of all useful dialogue and arguments and insult hurling begins. If I have struck a cord and your saying, “Yeah Todd…your hitting the nail on the head”, then take that emotion and flip it around to see how non-muslim Americans feel right now. We are at a time in our history where many of us have been robbed of our voice. We have had multiple issues shoved down our throats by a government that has misused its power to get laws passed even though they could not do so using regular process. Every sneak tactic, every vote buying tool was used while many Americans sat by and said, “what about what we want”. We awoke one day to realize that the America we have known for some time was changing faster then we could adjust, and in many ways for the worse. We did what any group would do, we mobilized, we formed groups to shout out our concerns, only to find out that those in Washington started calling us names, started claiming our groups were racist, and that our concerns were not for America, but instead a way to hide our racist ideals. Once again we bit down hard on the bitter pill that no matter how hard we tried to be heard, our voice was being misrepresented and twisted.
Now comes the Mosque issue. Keep in mind what the last two year rollercoaster ride has dealt most Americans, and the state of mind most are in. We have seen America weakened, other countries laughing in our face now that they know we will not do anything to them except use strong words. Right or wrong most Americans are not really listening at this point, they are yelling at the top of their lungs..”ENOUGH”.
This does not make it right, in fact as Americans we should be better then this. However we are looking all around us and wondering where the next attack might come and we are all looking for a way to be heard. An issue like this comes up and the flood gates burst open. I wish there were more time for non-muslim Americans to really take the time to understand. To me if we are not willing to do the right thing here, regardless of how we feel about it emotionally, we will be dealt another devastating blow as a Country. It would be far better if we all could just agree to let this center be built. The reason being is that if non-muslim americans could come to peace about it, the return would be immense. I liken this to the feeling each of us have when we do the right thing, not the emotionally expedient thing. That feeling fills everything within us and empowers us as a nation. For this and this reason alone I have changed my mind about the Mosque, and now feel that i am in support of it, not just for Muslim Americans but for all Americans because we need to heal.
Ground Zero has become a “golden idol” of sorts, and we have started to worship our wound more then the basis of America. We want to build a picture frame around the wound so we can hang it and hold onto it for as long as possible. I don’t know when “enough” time has passed, but I do know that our wounds do not define us, how we move past our wounds is what defines us. The people who died on 9/11 are no more served by a monument that brings about the feeling of pain and loss then they are leaving the location a patch of barren mud and earth. America cannot survive if we continue to relate more to our wounds then to our victory. As a country we have always rebuilt, moved on and made the best of what we have learned. To me the Terrorists of 9/11 are sitting in whatever purgatory or grave they find themselves and smiling with a wide grin that we have used this wound to draw a line between one American and another.
With that said, I also agree with Jean on some of what she has said. Muslims cannot seperate themselves from what is being done in other nations under the name of Islam. We are talking about what is being done today, not 100 years ago. One only need to look to the Taliban to realize that this is not just one person, or a group of misled zealots. In America we believe that we should seperate God from Man when it comes to government, but from what have been reading, no such seperation exists in Islam. In Christianity we are taught that no man is perfect, and that we should search our hearts to learn what is of God and what is not. We are taught to question authority, and not to let leaders mislead us just because they invoke Gods name. Unfortunately many politicians still use God to gain votes, and many Christians do not use their powers of discernment to figure this out for themselves. What scares me about Islam is that there is no seperation between governement and God (or so it seems to me), so there is no process of discernment and determining if a man is good or evil just because he uses the words of a profit to support his own will. People will always use our beliefs against us, to force us to do their bidding and to give them more power. I need to see the nation of Islam doing more to speak out against its dictators, its radical groups and tyrants. I need to see a move towards individual freedom, not the stoning pit every time a woman chooses not to marry a man she was engaged to. In our world every man, woman and child were given the very same degree of worth, so that no man should be called a supreme leader, or no person should have more rights then another. If a religious belief is allowed to undo this in America then the very fragile foundation of freedom we have built will begin to unravel with it.
I am Native American. My father’s father was born on a reservation. I hold deep feelings about my heritage, but at heart I am an American. In many ways I thing that Native Americans would be better off to blend into society, but I respect whey they don’t. I also believe that they deserve the right to be their own government in this land. The reason is because they were here before America was here, and we should not force a native people to live by what we feel is freedom. On the other hand, all Chinese, Japanese, German, Middle Eastern, Muslim, Hindu, etc all came to this country and should not form a new society within the society, at least not to the point that they self govern and create a seperate sect of American. We should all be American’s, and fight for the same rights for all if we choose to live in this country.
August 19, 2010 at 12:45 PM
Jean, kind of OT with Obama and Soros? Just a thought, the call is the moderators.
Find out what Sharia law is, and how it has nothing to do with violent acts, but of justice and of a subgrouping of the set of American that wishes to conduct some of their business and interpersonal affairs in entirely legal, ethical and yet culturally familiar ways. You need to talk to actual practising Muslims. Learn what Sharia law actually is, what it’s premise and aim is.
You will find that what is being asked is as much outside the legal system as Halal food is outside food regulation.
Please do as much research as possible when people start with conspiracy theories and you hear the black helicopters circling.
Speaking only for myself, but I see this instant acceptance of statements that appear on the Internet with no fact checking, education or research that leads to a feeling of being under siege that many Muslim Americans must be feeling. I know I would feel were I on the receiving end of a great deal of this really intense vitreol and mis-information.
I pray to our mutual God that not only will people stop the kind of “Say first, check later” that leads 1 in 5 Americans to say they think that President Obama is a Muslim (which he isn’t) but that even if he was, it would not be a story.
Look to Canada, we do pretty well, although we also have a long way to go. Also watch a CBC show called “Little Mosque on the Prairie” which is absolutely hilarious and thoroughly enjoyed by many of us in simple shared good-humour.
Peace and Blessings,
August 19, 2010 at 1:23 PM
I’m really just here to gain information, so please don’t think that I am prodding you or trying to stir the pot. I’ve been trying to do some digging and understand Sharia law, but to be honest I am not coming back with the same understanding that you have outlined above. I am completely confused, and I will admit that. What is confusing to me is that because Sharia law is religious law and government law all rolled into one, it seems to change from place to place. It is hard to say “Find out what Sharia is” when it is so different in its implementation from one country to the next, or even one tribe to the next. Afghanistan for instance obviously views Sharia very different then what you are saying here because the Taliban still cuts off hands, feet, stones, beats, etc in direct response to their understanding of Sharia law. There were about 2,300 suicides amongst women in Afghanistan last year, and several of them set themselves on fire. I don’t understand what you mean when you say,
“Find out what Sharia law is, and how it has nothing to do with violent acts, but of justice and of a subgrouping of the set of American that wishes to conduct some of their business and interpersonal affairs in entirely legal, ethical and yet culturally familiar ways. You need to talk to actual practising Muslims. Learn what Sharia law actually is, what itâ€™s premise and aim is”
I assume that you are referring to American Muslims, but how can you say that by talking to “practicing muslims” I can find out what Sharia actually is when I can see with my own two eyes what the results of Sharia have been in other countries.
I understand that some forms of Judiasm are similar and equally as violent to Sharia law, but even in Orthodox Jewish communities you don’t see stonings, amputations, stonings, etc. To me it is very simple, if you beat a woman in America you should go to jail. If you teach your American children that it is OK to beat a woman then you should be put in jail for child abuse. There are no gray areas here, it is very black and white. This to me will never change. If what I am hearing is that Muslim Americans are willing to go against the Quran and the Sunna on the violent and discrimitory aspects of Sharia, then great! In addition Muslim Americans must also be willing to take a stand against their own in the Muslim Faith that do not share such understanding and that want to practice a more rigid understanding of Sharia. It is like what is going on in other countries, like how Karzai says he condems the recent stoning, but in the end he can’t come down too hard on sharia so nothing will really happen.
August 19, 2010 at 5:16 PM
First let me say I defer wholly to my Muslim cousins here who know far more of Sharia law than I, and have a deeper understanding than I do. But here is what I know from what I have studied and gleaned in my conversations with Muslims.
Sharia law is a code founded by Muslims as a way to conduct themselves criminally and civilly founded on the basic code of the Qua’ran, the revelations given by God to their Prophet and other sources. Islam is a diverse religion and there is no one universally accepted code. Shi’a differ from Sunni in their interpretation, as do various other sub groupings within the large and diverse Muslim community.
First things first. The Taliban is a political organization that uses a perverse system it calls Islam to perpetuate fear and obedience through that fear so that it may have and hold political power. We have to stop thinking Taliban=Muslim, because they are Muslim the way the KKK is Christian, or the Mexican drug cartels are Roman Catholic.
As reluctant as I am to speak for any aspect of Islam, I can tell you with confidence that there is not a single Muslim in the United States, Canada or anywhere else, who has communion with Allah and the teachings of the Prophet in his/her heart that would condone child abuse, or the beating of someone you are supposed to love and cherish. Islam teaches peace through justice and submission to the will of God, and no God wishes someone stoned, beaten, beheaded or tortured.
It is not incumbent upon American or Canadian Muslims to denounce the extreme fringes of their faith any more than I as a Christian have to preface everything with how wrong the Residential Schools scandal is or the abuse of children is. Anyone with even a basic knowledge of spirituality knows this to be the case, and the fact that Muslims are starting to have to preface anything they do with “We don’t believe in violent extremism” and “None of our money comes from organizations that support violent extremism” should be a *big red flag* that tells us we are running dangerously close to marginalizing over 1 billion peace loving people on the basis of the actions of a few thousand.
As far as the violence in Sharia law in other countries, that also is the expediency of power and fear using faith as a weapon and there is nothing new about that, nor is it unique to Islam. The Hebrew Scriptures that some refer to as ‘The Old Testament”, a term I don’t choose to use because it sounds like the Christian Scriptures are New and therefore better, has a tremendous amount of blood and violence in it. Children are stoned to death. In one Psalm their heads are dashed against a wall. These are part of both Jewish and Christian traditions and yet we don’t have to explain them every time we speak about our faith. These were barbaric customs of primitive and ancient civilizations doing the same thing we are doing to this very day: Having the arrogance to know that we know the mind of God, that we know what God wants, and what do you know…it just so happens that’s what is politically or socially expedient for us.
It’s the same evil that sent Hagar and Ishmael into the desert wastes, it’s the same evil that sent the Crusades into the middle east, an act which haunts us to this day, and it’s the same evil we commit whenever we see the ‘other’, find that other fearful, and so demand that they be like us.
Finally (and I really hope you’re still with me here, as I know I can go on…hazard of the job) but when you ask me what Sharia law is, I would love to refer you to a group of moderate and progressive Muslims with the resources to teach you more about their community, religion and customs.
It kind of brings this whole, huge topic full circle, when you find out that it is exactly the reason Cordoba House must be built, so that people can see that Islam is not a group of a few ancient men in the desert practicing tribal violence and calling it a religion, nor is it a man with a rocket launcher or a woman with a suicide vest.
It’s people like Amed here, who cares so passionately about his religion he maintains a forum so that people can debate, sometimes argue and eventually understand. It’s people that you might not even be able to guess they were Muslim if you saw them. It’s not monolithic; Muslims struggle with what their faith means just like all the rest of us do. It’s not founded on violence. Muslim means “slave”. Muslims see themselves as slaves to Gods will, and that God is a just, loving and honourable God. Mohammad, peace be with him, taught this, and Muslims are doing the best they can to follow his teachings in peace, honour, and truth.
August 20, 2010 at 10:29 AM
Greast explanation. I am a very cautious person, and do not trust a lot of what people say, but I must admit you did a good job framing your points, even for not being Muslim yourself.
I am a physician recruiter/Healthcare consultant. I’ve been doing this for over 12 years, and I end up helping physicians from all over the country find new places to call home. Many times I end up helping Muslim American Physicians find a community that is condusive to their beliefs. Most commonly their request is to find an area where they will not be looked at as an outsider. They often fear their children will be treated differently, etc. Access to Mosque’s, other Muslim’s and certain foods/spices/shops always top their list of things that are important. Where I have learned these details very well, in my professional role it is usually not good to start discussing religion or beliefs, no matter how tempted I am. Information like you have provided means a great deal to me.
Honestly I had never really thought about the comparison between Christians standing up against the KKK. I guess that I realize your point, because to me everyone understands the difference between modern christianity and the KKK, but I can see how a Muslim might feel the same way. I agree with what you have said, but part of me still feels that it is a believers responsibility to speak out against those who claim to be of the same religion but practice very different ways and views. As a Christian this is a slippery slope though, because we are taught not to judge, not to focus on others mistakes, but upon our own. To me this is like the Republican party not allowing Homosexual Republicans to be represented as a conservative. Should we also exclude liars, anyone with vanity or greed…wouldn’t that virtually eliminate all republicans?
I have been doing a lot of questioning. I find myself more and more seperate from the mass of conservatives. Oddly, those I seem to have the most in common with are those who are truly the grass roots tea party movement. As a Christian I never thought that I would truly see the reason for a fully secular government, but the conservative party has been so taken over by the religious conservative that no attention is paid to fiscal conservative.
In my heart I know that there is something horribly wrong in America, and only a small part of it we actually see. Many of us think we are going around fighting for the roots of America but we couldn’t be further from the truth.
August 30, 2010 at 2:12 AM
Thanks Todd. Appreciate your deep reflections and food for thought, as opposed to some of the nonsense I just finished responding to.
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August 29, 2010 at 12:24 PM
There are two main issues in this debate.
1. Symbolism : Does the mosque or Islamic centre represent an expression of Islamic supremacy? Much like churches converted into mosques in Turkey, Syria and other now Islamic dominant places, in the past, or temples being demolished and rebuilt as mosques in medieval India and Pakistan. The destruction of one site and the establishment of an Islamic site in its place, even if it is not at the very same spot could have the backing of the whole Islamic world especially the extremists, as a symbolic act of supremacy.
2. Religious Freedom: While most western countries would claim to respect religious freedom, they are actually Christian majority states that are uncomfortable with a religious freedom that could change the status quo. As a matter of fact there is no country in the world that truly respects religious freedom. Even India the land of many religions is actually a Hindu country that terms minority rights as minority appeasement. Letâ€™s not talk about Islamic countries, because minorities there live by the writ of the majority by law.
I think the mosque should be built as a sign of religious freedom and tolerance that the US claims to represent, especially if it is being built on private land. The mosque and Islamic centre should be respected and those who pray there should be treated in the same way as those who pray at any church, cathedral or synagogue. Bigotry should be overcome by respect for pluralism. There is much to learn from one another and that can happen in the US, and Europe more than in other countries of the world, because of their avowed liberties.
Iâ€™m not from the US, but Iâ€™ve visited the country a few times, and have been to NY both before and after 911. I am an Indian Christian and grew up with Muslim and Hindu friends, in a multi cultural neighborhood in Bangalore. As children we saw no differences between us, because in children there are no differences. Since this is a religious site, demanding space for minority muslims I wish to make a simple point to all bigots. We are one people, one world, and one God, though apparently of different color and a unique understanding of â€˜where we came fromâ€™ and â€˜where we are goingâ€™. Unfortunately despite this unique belief, we each came into the world the same way, and we will all leave it some day. Also if we do intermarry, alas we would have children the same way. We are equal in birth and in death. In other words we are all the same. None can claim supremacy over another based on beliefs that are just a matter of faith. It would probably be good to respect each ones faith because at some point we would realize that at each moment of time on the scale of eternity, each of us alive, even the poorest of the poor, the minorities and the marginalized, carries the continuity of life from its original spring. And if we believe that life is Godâ€™s creation, then we must all be contemporaries seeing the world through till we pass on life to the next generation, passing on the baton, as it were in a relay from God Himself or Herself.
Yes the Islamic centre must be built and even if Muslims think it is an act of supremacyâ€¦.God alone that created everyone is supreme. Maybe God would truly be in New York, with a Mosque, Church, Synagogue, and Temple or Prayer hall all within walking distance of each other. Didnâ€™t most of you mention about the prayer hall in the WTC? It was for all faiths, wasnâ€™t it.
August 30, 2010 at 1:31 AM
There have been many tragedies thru the years that stay with people for many many years. It doesn’t go away in their minds or hearts. There are several other Mosques in New York City, so many question the reasons why there must be one 2 blocks from ground zero.
I went to 6-7 sites reading about the meaning of “Cordoba”. Basically it boils down to the largest Mosque ever built in Spain. The Muslims who controlled the area strived to destroy Christians in every area around or near them. Muslims rule, Muslims conquer, Muslims have no room in their lives for Christians. This is by their laws. Following their prophet. This seems to be the same rule of thumb in the Asian Muslim countries. One or more of you may call this propaganda, so tell that to whoever wrote all the information on those sites.
In America we do tolerate each others religion. We have nothing against the Muslim religion. What we do disagree with is Islamic law, Sharia law. No matter what other religions are in the United States or how we choose to believe in God, we all still go by the rules & regulations of the laws set in the United States for all Americans. What many people object to is that the Muslim Community wants to enact Sharia & or Islamic laws here in America. Why is that?? Our laws for all other religions aren’t good enough for you?? What? You have to have your own set of laws to live here??
If you love Sharia / Islamic laws so much than why did you come to America at all? If you love Muslim traditions, laws, religion so much, than why aren’t you in your own country?? Why aren’t you there trying to make life better for all Muslims?
If you came to America to live a free life to practice your religion, fine. But not if you came to enact your laws here. Sharia/ Islamic laws have no place in America. That’s not being intolerant, that’s a fact.
As far as the Koran, is it not true that any writings concerning previous statements now has to be adhered to? The later always supersedes what is written first. Is this not correct? Well, to me, the later is more diverse & violent than the first part. What I’ve read of the Koran sounds like one man writing his teachings for men. Much of it doesn’t read like “God” himself would even consider it let alone state it.
The different sites I’ve gone to trying to understand your laws can’t all be propaganda. I found the same violence & abuse in each. If someone of Muslim faith does not believe exactly as your told, then that Muslim is taxed, or dead. Is this incorrect? Or is this only in certain Muslim countries?
Thousands of years ago when my religion was young, there was a lot of violence & wrong-doings to people of all walks of life. The difference is, we grew in thought & mind, changed the violent actions as much as possible but still adhere to God’s teachings. It seems the Muslims in Asian countries are still clinging to the ways of the people thousands of years ago. Only wanting to become stronger & dominate the world. Kill the infidel. Are you an infidel because you now live in America??
I’ve heard many sides to what should or should not be done concerning the Cordoba House in NY. I haven’t heard or seen any suggestions on how to remedy the situation for everyone. I made a couple suggestions & no one bothered to comment.
To millions of Americans, this Mosque/Cordoba House is a victory for Muslims. A 13 story Mosque only
2 blocks from ground zero. It was Muslim terrorists that destroyed the twin towers & now Muslims want to build the Mosque as close to their destruction as possible. Hey, look what we did? Got them good this time. Used their own laws against them & built our own sign of authority right where all can see it so we can remind them every day what we can do to this infidel country. This is how millions of Americans see it. There seems to be no understanding in your world (Muslims) as to how this makes our (the rest of America) world feel.
How many wars have any of you fought to keep your country free from dictators or those who would oppress all people for their own benefit? Any of you??
For those of you who want to defend Obama, go right ahead. He proves every day that he cares nothing for America. You tell me to do research on Sharia, Islam, etc. How many of you actually looked up George Soros? His interviews with different well known journalist, his ideals, how he truly thinks of America, what he’s done to other countries. None of it is propaganda. It’s all true. He funded Obama’s campaign & he’s bought off a lot of democrats. All you have to do is follow the money.
If I’ve offended anyone, I haven’t meant to. I’m only trying to make a point or two.
August 30, 2010 at 2:10 AM
What you have read “of” the Quran? Why not try reading THE Quran that you can obtain from a Muslim source?
It’s funny but what all your 6-7 sites seem to be “exposing” are more lies and propaganda.
To be honest, this shtick is getting old. I almost can tell exactly where you are getting your info from. The Israeli-created video (that claims not to be Israeli) talking about 3 things you must know about Islam? Baloney. If you really think all Muslims are programmed to tell lies and hide information, and we all comply like robots, then you are truly living in a fantasy world. Maybe scientology has answers for you since you seem to fit that mold?
It’s easy for me to go to a hundred sites that are rotten fruits from the same tree, and then pretend that “all of them cannot be wrong”, and that somehow the target of their mischief needs to “fix them”. If you were TRULY interested in what WE Muslims really believe, you would go to Islamic sites that tell you what WE do, not others telling you what WE are “really” doing.
Your thought process is no different from those who believe 911 was an inside job. You don’t want to believe anyone with credibility and you keep reinforcing your false beliefs with the same information from other sites.
It’s tough to offend us Muslims with recycled garbage, you have just bored us with more lies, and to be honest, we are all plain sick of it.
So, if you want to tell us more about what WE really believe or really intend to do, I would suggest you stop right there, get your fingers off that keyboard and go back to the hate-mongering sites where you get your falsehoods from.
Your welcome here has officially run out (unless you can stop spewing lies and making offensive statements about Islam).
August 30, 2010 at 4:15 AM
The sites I read had nothing to do with Israeli sites. They were all Islamic sites. ALL.
I noticed that you only preferred to slam me but not answer any questions I put in my last post.
Clearly you only want people posting here that believe what you say but not what anyone else may say.
My statements were with QUESTIONS. None answered. And what legit authorities on Islam are you talking about??
By the way, I don’t watch videos, nor do I do Utube. Can’t, I have dial up. duh. Guess you were wrong about that as well.
What you’ve shown me now as in the past is that you slam or condemn anyone else who questions Muslim beliefs. No answers. Just hate. Showing your true self, are you?
August 30, 2010 at 6:44 AM
List the “Islamic” sites with the appropriate links please. We’ll go from there. KKK also has “Christian” sites btw.
September 1, 2010 at 9:41 PM
Only recently knew you made a comment after slamming everything I posted above. It seems for some reason I get emails both in my inbox & junk mail. I don’t check my junk mail much. This is where your recent comment was.
I’m not ignoring your request. I didn’t bookmark them. Will have to search to find the sites I was reading. Once I compile the site addresses, I will post them for you.
You still didn’t answer any of the questions I asked in my comments. Why is that??
September 1, 2010 at 4:11 AM
From Dennis Walker, Australia [firstname.lastname@example.org]
I would like to respond in a constructive way to Jean Murphy’s post of August 16, 2010 â€¢ 3:08 am to my book
ISLAM AND THE SEARCH FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN NATIONHOOD: Elijah Muhammad, Louis Farrakhan, and the Nation of Islam_ (Atlanta City: Clarity Press 2005). Murphy asks “what this book is about or why youâ€™ve advertised it on this site”. “What does your posting have to do with the Cordoba House?”
Jean, my book has everthing to do with the deep hope of Muslim-Americans who post on “Muslimmatters”
that America will realize its liberal, humanist potential — the pluralism that has made America great because it brings diverse people people together . For that, America must let Arab-Americans and Muslim Americans build institutions as strong as those that Anglo-Americans, Irish-Americans, Catholic-Americans, and above all Jewish-Americans have been allowed to build. The institutions don’t just transmit specificities as groups, they equip the groups to understand each other and thus come together. For a long time, bigots among the Anglo-Americans, violating the tolerance of English culture, tried very hard to stop Irish, Hispanic and Jewish-Americans from building the institutions they had to have to transmit their identity to new generations in America. Indeed, some Anglos refused to recognize that the Irish in America were white, or should have the American rights that their group had.
The efforts of a Muslim group to build a Muslim equivalent of the YMCA two blocks from Ground Zero is a
crucial contest in the drive of Muslim-Americans to make themselves the equal of other American groups by institutionalization that those other groups achieved decades ago. Noone in America who wants to integrate America can try to block the proposed site designed to service the many New York young Muslims who don’t have proper institutions that most other U.S. groups have.
In my book my book _ISLAM AND THE SEARCH FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN NATIONHOOD: Elijah Muhammad, Louis Farrakhan, and the Nation of Islam_ (Atlanta City: Clarity Press 2005) I traced how the so-called “Black Muslims” pioneered what Muslim Americans are striving to build today. They built the independent nationalist Islamic schools that taught Arabic to successive generations of African-American kids, but blocked Arab governments and Third World Muslims from coming in to take over.
Jean Murphy writes: “The African-Americans in the U.S. now are not a minority, by far. They arenâ€™t suppressed unless they choose that path. There are colleges specifically for the African-American & much more”. You underrate the struggles they had to pass through to build either things of their own or to get into a country where “we were treated as though we were strangers” as the Imam Malcolm X (al-Hajj Malik al-Shabbaz) so truly put it. Some Irish people in America and Australia have been treated as though we were strangers also.
Jean Murphy also questions if “this book of yours stipulates the fact that the slaves brought here so many years ago was done so by other Africans as well as whites? Betrayed by their own”. You underestimate the nuanced, complex intelligence of African-Americans who embraced Islam. Most Black Muslim leaders and thinkers — including Imam Farrakhan —- have specifically mentioned involvement by African “chiefs” in the transportation of enslaved Africans to America. Muslim Matters readers: check this from Dennis Walker, _ISLAM AND THE SEARCH FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN NATIONHOOD: Elijah Muhammad, Louis Farrakhan, and the Nation of Islam_ (Atlanta City: Clarity Press 2005) .
“Iâ€™ve never been a racist even as a child in Iowa. In grade school there were only a few black children & I was friends with each. My neighbor was also black & I was the babysitter for two young children. I applaud any African-American that does well or even better in this country”. But President Barrack Hussein Obama is not among them. I note with alarm that in a separate post you refuse to concede the title of Obama to be called President, although elected. Yet America passed a crucial test when most voters appointed an African-American fellow-American to the highest political office in their country. That is hope for the whole world.
In my book, my book _ISLAM AND THE SEARCH FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN NATIONHOOD: Elijah Muhammad, Louis Farrakhan, and the Nation of Islam_ (Atlanta City: Clarity Press 2005), I deal with the resolve of the hard-right micro-nationalist minority among Jewish-Americans to block the progress not just of Muslim African-Americans but African-Americans in general. That ideological minority does that to seize leadership over that American “Jewish people” by terrorizing ordinary Jews in New York and elsewhereout of their wits.
Were Obama to change just some things about American policy in the Middle East we are thus likely to hear a lot of crying of wolves from Jewish American activists on the internet — and thus to some extent from mainstream Jewish organizations in central American life as well who must be seen to be maintaining the interests of Jews like their hard-right micronationalist rivals. They could not let themselves get outflanked.
If Jewish nationalist denunciations of Obama and the growing role of African Americans in the U.S. central political system continue, this in turn may create a counter-dynamic among the black professional classes who do read the nationalist websites of the Jewish micro-nationalists and to some extent are shaped by them in their development of their own “black nationalist” counter-discourse. In tandem with past destruction of black American congressional representatives by Zionoid Jewish micro-nationalist forces, often involving the expenditure of millions of dollars in U.S. elections, even a spurious continuing fire against Obama from that Jewish micro-nationalist counter-elite is likely to make blacks in politics think quite seriously about contracting the resources for Israel from the system, to make it better serve the needs of black welfare. But the continuing massively violent events in the Middle East are going to force Obama, whether he’d prefer to deal with other issues or not, and fudge this issue or not, to take stands about the policies and actions of Israel and the Islamo-Palestinian nationalists.
My dear brother and sisters in the English language inAmerica: read about it all in my book my book
_ISLAM AND THE SEARCH FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN NATIONHOOD: Elijah Muhammad, Louis Farrakhan, and the Nation of Islam_ (Atlanta City: Clarity Press 2005)
Salaam and Slan Agat
From Dennis Walker, Australia.
September 1, 2010 at 10:03 AM
Dennis….who comes up with labels like “Zionoid Jewish micro-nationalist”. I can’t tell if you are really being serious or not.
In case you are being serious, I think you should look into the definition of the words Bigot and Prejudice. Your colorful response above is full of generalisms and assumed truths. There are also several non-truths and completely false representations of America.
In terms of our current “President”….I’ll stick with the saying of our military…”You salute the rank not the man”. I respect the office of President, and the history of such, even though our country has become a place where 50% of American’s effectively pay no taxes. This obliged class votes with their social program filled wallet. The top 20% of Americans pay the overwhelming share of the taxes in this country, and under this administration we get no voice, only more and more social programs being shoved down our throats, regardless of how history and economic reason speaks against such moves. The very reason why America is in the current economic mess is because Republicans wanted to create a home ownership society. Yes, Republicans created the mechanism to allow more home ownership, and the banks gave loans, sometimes at 110% of value to people who didn’t even have a down payment, or had never shown a propensity to save. Although well intentioned (what could be better then enabling middle class and lower middle class to own a home right?), this system set home prices on a upward climb they could not sustain. The first party to realize this of course was the Republicans, and when G. Bush tried to reform Fannie Mae, Democrats stopped them (2nd Term Bush..Democrat controlled House), mostly because people like Barney Frank and other Dem’s had too many friends making too much money that would be hurt by reform.
So you see…sometimes in America catering to the poor, and to the lower middle class has actually caused more trouble then good. Now we have an administration that sees fit to seize money from those he considers to have enough money, and give it to those who he thinks will vote for him. Don’t think it is out of love that he gives it to them, it is out of lust for power because if he really cared, he would “teach a man to fish”, or keep the money where it would do the best good and create the most jobs. He would follow all of the economic reason and laws out there instead of following a socialist path that has NEVER been shown to support a society successfully. One of the cruelist things ever to be inflicted on the poor of any society is Socialism.
September 1, 2010 at 9:45 PM
You put that very well. I couldn’t agree with you more. Thanks.
September 12, 2010 at 5:37 AM
-removed. This has been posted a couple of times before. Thanks.
September 12, 2010 at 6:07 AM
From Dennis Walker, Australia
Sorry you guys. ADAM Clayton Powell, not “Gordon”.
And for some other mistypes also.
Peace to you all,
September 1, 2010 at 10:15 PM
To All Muslims on this site, (and everyone else too)
-Snipped. Here you go again, bringing us info from worldnetdaily and wanting “all Muslims” to read nonsense! Just proves again that your sources are not “Muslim sites” but Islamophobic sites. -amad
September 2, 2010 at 10:43 PM
Why is it that you don’t want anyone to read anything that you don’t like or agree with?
I didn’t tell anyone they had to read anything on this site I posted. I asked people to go
there & read some of the articles. This is not a “nonsense” site. And I never said it was
a Muslim site, at all. It was a suggestion. Period. You made sure no one had a choice,
It seems you want to control everything on this site, who reads what, & who says what.
Very diplomatic of you.
I suppose you won’t “allow” anyone to check out this site either, will you??
Things are going so well in France…
-edited. Seem my response.
September 3, 2010 at 5:23 AM
The Problem Jean is that I don’t like pathological deceivers. You stated that all your “information” was from Muslim sites when I called you out on your constant lies. You were given every opportunity to engage in a useful discussion but you kept throwing in inneundo and straight out lies about Islam and Muslims.
This site is a sanctuary for Muslims and non-Muslims to learn and observe what orthodox Muslims ACTUALLY believe, not what others tell us what we believe. Links to the “son of Hamas” or to the Christian Broadcasting Network, which further exacerbate Islamophobia may be welcome on the sites that you spend your day and night on, but not on our sanctuary.
If you are here to tell Muslims how bad Muslims and Islam are, then I am sure you’ll have plenty of hate-sites that you can participate in. Not here. Not now. Not ever. (heard that before?)
September 4, 2010 at 5:41 AM
I have not lied about one thing I’ve commented on. You however don’t read what is written. You say I make hate statements, lie, etc. I’ve made statements & asked questions. That’s what (?) means. A question. How can anyone learn anything without questions????? You DON’T answer. You control. I’ll bet when someone is actually speaking directly to you, you also take things out of context.
I don’t go to hate sites. Never intentionally. I have tried finding “Muslim”, “Islam”, & “Holy Quran” sites. Tell me this, how am I supposed to know if in fact these sites are actually what they say they are??????
Some people have made comments on how well other countries are getting along with the Muslims that live there. That article on France is not a lie. And it definitely does not state everyone is getting along.
Does the truth bother you so much that you don’t want anyone else to see it?? I’m not trying to spread hate & discontent. I wanted answers. You refuse to give answers.
I hate no one. I do hate lies. I will always try to give an honest answer to a question put to me. You, on the other hand, don’t answer questions.
I never told anyone “what they believe” nor “what to do”. I have made request & asked questions. I haven’t called anyone names. YOU Have.
I have been reading “The Holy Quran” on a site & it takes a lot of time to actually decifer some of it, whereas other writings are easy to understand. I haven’t found the other sites I had been reading. I did find the sites on the “Cordoba House”. I have not posted them because I had not found all the other sites as of yet.
I don’t really think it makes a difference because you will probably tell me every site is a lie. Is this site a lie? http://www.islamicity.com/mosque/surai.htm
How about this one? http://www.whyislam.org/
Am I supposed to post every site I go to having to do with Muslims, Islam or the Quran first so you can tell me if they are lies?
You most definitely have a problem with people looking for answers.
September 5, 2010 at 1:38 AM
Follow the logic here:
-We don’t appreciate getting material from clear hate and islamophobic sites thrown at us to “refute”. We don’t have time to deal with haters.
-You keep doing that.
-When confronted on source of info., you say it is from “islamic sites”.
-When asked to share quotes and proofs with links to those “islamic sites”, you throw more islamophobic sites at us.
-Finally, you just mention two Islamic sites as if we are to somehow corroborate your previous misinformation with these Islamic sites. Islamicity and whyislam are Muslim sites, so what? You haven’t shared anything specific from them.
And to be honest, we are done with “refute this site or that site”. If you have a question, you can ask it on the APPROPRIATE post. No links.
This is my last reply. Pls read it carefully.
September 12, 2010 at 8:48 AM
“Minister Louis Farrakhan” …now THERE is a fine example of a kook and a Black Muslim Racist if I ever heard one. Sorry…this man hates whites…and he is a goofball. Half of his followers think that there is some sort of spaceship that is going to beam them up and destroy white people!
Please keep proving my point by bringing up extremist Muslims like Minister Louis Farrakhan!
September 13, 2010 at 2:20 AM
From Dennis Walker,
I am puzzled at Todd M’s denunciation of Minister Louis Farrakhan as “a kook [who] hates whitesâ€¦a goofball. Half of his followers think that there is some sort of spaceship that is going to beam them up and destroy white people!” Todd here alludes to Farrakhan’s millenarianism, which is not “oddball” by American standards: about one in five Americans believes and prays that God must destroy other religions or races who don’t think them or have different noses, by next week. The idea that Irish people are in the possession of the Devil and that by blocking them from getting jobs one foils Satan, and that God will burn Catholics for eternity has shown considerable capacity to resist the advance of Reason in all Anglomorph countries. It lingers on. Divine violence, Millenarianism, is as American as apple pie, although at variance with America’s admirable liberal tradition. Muslims in America are currently facing quite a few such WASP fundamentalists in trying to get into corporate America.
Much U.S. public discourse about the Nation of Islam, Elijah Muhammad and Farrakhan is racist demonization, and sometimes calculated Goebels-like collages that lie by omission (eg. the ADL). It was to focus the positive constructive aspects of the “Black Muslims” that I wrote my book _ISLAM AND THE SEARCH FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN NATIONHOOD: Elijah Muhammad, Louis Farrakhan, and the Nation of Islam_ (Atlanta City: Clarity Press 2005). In many ways the followers of Elijah and Farrakhan have used smokescreen attacks on whites as a psychological cover behind which they galvanise atomized, down-and-out African Americans to switch to the entrepreneurial, private enterprise drive of the rightist WASPs who have always been their covert model. Elijah Muhammad and Farrakhan were as wary of big government and welfare aid from it to the poor as Todd M and the right wing of the Republican Party. (It was, though, the moral injunctions of the Qur’an that enabled them to break the grip of drugs, alcohol and other vices had on the converts).
Farrakhan is as short of scruple and as skilled a manipulative politican as any other micro-nationalist leader in America, gentile or Jew (think hate-merchant Daniel Pipes). But his media did give African-Americans in general elaborate techniques to build wealth for themselves through private enterpise and self-reliance, as all good Anglo-Saxons worth their salt have to do in America. And these are good values for anyone to follow.
It was with the hope that it might ease blind ethnic hatreds among Americans, help at least a few Americans realize how like each other they are, and actually like each other, that I wrote my book _ISLAM AND THE SEARCH FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN NATIONHOOD: Elijah Muhammad, Louis Farrakhan, and the Nation of Islam_ (Atlanta City: Clarity Press 2005).
Whites are welcome to join today’s Nation of Islam!