Monday, June 7, 2010

Debate of the Week: A 'Mosque' Near Ground Zero?

Please comment below. Remember to keep it civil. Don't assume anything about the people you disagree with. I will delete any comments that are offensive or veer too far off topic. Thank you in advance.

About 1,000 people on Sunday protested plans for a 15-story Muslim community center two blocks away from Ground Zero in lower Manhattan. Critics of the plan say the center would be an insult to the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center by Muslim terrorists. Several family members of 9-11 victims have come out against the center, with some saying it would remind them too much of the pain of losing a loved one. Others, like Tea Party Express leader Mark Williams, who called Allah a "monkey god" and Muslims the "animals of Allah," have been less civil in their opposition. Here's an argument against the center from conservative newspaper The Washington Times.

The facility, called the Cordoba House, would be more than just a space for prayer, however. It would also house classrooms, a fitness center and a swimming pool. The project also has the support of a community board and local politicians. Its leading proponent, a local imam named Feisal Abdul Rauf, says it's intended to help "bridge and heal a divide" and combat radicalism. Rauf's rebuttal to critics of the proposed center can be found here.

So, what do you think?  Are the protesters right, or should the community center proceed as planned? Where do you stand, and why?

Let the debate begin!


  1. whew! this is a touchy one! First off, it wasn't "Muslims" that attacked us, it was terrorists who claim to follow Islam. They are extremists who are no different than the radical "Christians" who shoot up and bomb abortion clinics. That being said, I personally think the Muslim community center TWO BLOCKS from Ground Zero is a little much. Indirectly, it is a bit of an insult. I just find it all to be very nervy and inappropriate. I know these aren't the people who attacked us, but it just sits a little too close for comfort. I can see the Muslim extremists reading about this and laughing away. It's just not right.

  2. It's less insulting then painting up government buildings with Christian symbolism.

  3. Yeah, Islam didn't cut people with boxcutters that morning, but rather, Egyptian, Yemeni, and Saudi fuckheads. Wouldn't another Coldstone Creamery be more offensive?

  4. I just think it's not a wise idea. I'm not against it, but I think if they do it, we'll see it bombed by some idiots in the next few years. Do us all a favor, put up a Starbucks. NY needs another of those.

  5. Mike, great timing on this debate as we are less than a week from Flag Day -- a day when we should show our patriotism and reflect on what our flag means. As much as I think all religion is evil, I respect the right we have in this country to practice whatever we believe.

    I don't see any issue at all with this. I read the 9/11 Commission Report and didn't see anything in there about Allah attacking us. It was the work of a few crazy individuals.

    Even in the comments of this debate, people seem to realize that, yet remain hypocritical in their lack of understanding. Tell me, how is this center being two blocks away "a little much"? What is the appropriate distance from the WTC site for Muslims to practice their faith? Three blocks? Five? Ten?

    Personally, I find it more disrespectful that Catholic Churches are allowed to be built near schools, or that those churches can run their own schools, or as they call them -- little boy factories.

    You're not going to tell me what I should believe in or where I can practice my faith. Not in this country.

    America. Get some.

  6. I am so proud of you Ed that, I'm breaking my rule to post here and say so.

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