Would the construction of a mosque near ground zero dishonor those who died there?

A proposed mosque near the World Trade Center site has sparked a bitter dispute over religious freedom and the memory of 9/11. Today’s Question: Would the construction of a mosque near ground zero dishonor those who died there?

  • Gary F

    Legal, probably, a good idea, no.

    From what I’ve read, it is custom to build a mosque on conquered territory.

    If Islam is the peaceful and compassionate religion they say it is I hope the members that have some common sense would convince the radical fringe not to build this mosque there.

    If a mosque was built were they want it to be, there will be little chance of mainstream Islam ever being truly accepted in the United States.

    I hope they have some common sense and build it elsewhere.

  • Certainly not! If anything, the fear-mongering and bigotry around the community center in Manhattan is the dishonor. America is about pluralism and freedom, not fear and prejudice.

  • Elaine Wierman

    No. How do you honor someone by denegrading another? Plus, how do you honor American citizens by going against the constitution of the United States? This is one of those embarrassing moments in history where we will look back and wonder why we even gave credence and coverage to this concern. Look into yourselves, Americans, and find your better selves!

  • Beth

    This is such a tough question. While my heart tells me resoundingly that we must be tolerant of all faiths, and my head tells me that we can’t judge an entire group by the actions of its misguided followers, there is still something inside of me that won’t fully support the construction. What would be ideal is if we could ring the site with places of worship from all faiths and once a year on Sept 11 have all of the worshipers from all the faiths come together for a combined memorial service.

  • ryan

    Absolutely not. In fact I think it would be a dishonor to the victims to prevent the building of the mosque, as it would show that we have given in to the fear of terrorism and are willing to curtail our essential American freedoms. We need to defeat our fear and revel in our freedoms if we truly wish to honor those that have fallen to protect those freedoms, regardless of the battlefield on which they fell.

  • Peter

    Americans should strongly support it to show the world that we still cherish the values that this country was founded upon. Building it demonstrates our commitment religious freedom, supports moderate Islam and puts the lie to the claims of radical Islam. We should only move it closer to the site, if we move it at all.

  • JM Bergman

    Relgious freedom is one of the principals for which many men and women in this country have fought and died in wars that have been fought before and after the terrorist attacks on 9/11. It is our freedoms of speech, of religion, of thought, to be different that came under attack that day. If we prevent the construction of a mosque near the site of the attacks then we will violate our cherished freedoms and hand a victory to those who attacked us.

  • Andy N

    I was disappointed to hear MPR describe this as a “Mosque” when it is a cultural center in the same vein of a YMCA. It is even described correctly in conservative media, sometimes. As far as honoring or dishonoring people, the site is currently an empty Burlington Coat Factory, does this bulding currently show respect to anyone in particular. There is an actual Mosque located 4 blocks away from the site, of course this Mosque is at least 40 years old, predating the Twin Towers themselves, should we tear this down?

  • Paul R

    Absolutely not. I find it ironic that the people opposed to this are the same ones that insist on strict interpretation of the Constitution, which clearly states the need for religious freedom. It would be the same as refusing to build a Baptist church because you don’t agree with Fred Phelps and his hatred towards gays.

  • David Bailey

    Would it dishonor those who died at Ground Zero? No.

    But to say it is ‘a proposed mosque’ is misleading. It is a 13-story Islamic cultural center which will house a restaurant, theater, gym and other facilities, along with a prayer space. It is not a ‘mosque’.

    But even if it were, it is not ON the Ground Zero site, it is two blocks away, which in Manhattan might as well be two miles. And it is not being built by those who attacked us on September 11; it is being built by members of New York’s Islamic community who, like the overwhelming majority of the world’s Muslims, are peaceful, hardworking people. They are also American citizens, just like most of the people who are getting worked up over this.

    America embodies certain principles, among them freedom of religion. If the best argument one can make AGAINST the cultural center is that it makes you uncomfortable, that’s too bad. If the American principle of ‘freedom of religion’ can be discarded when it makes enough people uncomfortable, then it was never really an American principle to begin with. But I’d like to think that it was and is an essential part of what makes us American.

  • Cindy Harwell

    Yes, I think it woud dishonor their memory. It could be built any where else. The government/authorities seems to be forcing the the issue down the people’s throats. This has nothing to do with religious freedoms- it is the location, location, location.

  • Cyndi Englund

    Choose your ending to this chapter in American history.

    • Declare the area near Ground Zero as off limits to any development and so forever leave a scar on the landscape, a continuous reminder to live in fear of the Taliban and in distrust of all Muslims.

    • Let the land revert to its original use as a place of commerce and so lend credence to the Taliban claim that America is a nation of infidels who worship the almighty dollar more than our declaration that “all are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.”

    • Erect a synagogue or church in preference to a Mosque, because we fail to associate a Mosque with a place of worship and presume it is always and can only be a training ground for dissidents.

    • Embrace the construction of a Mosque as a symbol that we do value freedom of religion and we are yet capable of sustaining a nation of immigrants as our forefathers have before us.

  • Jennie Brabec

    I thank God that Mayor Bloomberg and President Obama know that we have religious freedom in this country. For Christians who are not able to be a forgiving community I remind us that we make a bargain each time we pray the Our Father, “Forgive us as we forgive.” I am ashamed of us.

  • Sue

    It would not be disrespectful, especially as some of the victims were Muslims. A cultural center seems just the thing that is needed to help people of other faiths (or “non-faiths”) to learn more about the rich history and many contributions of the followers of this religion. It is core to our values as Americans to not only allow this project but to support it with open hearts and minds.

  • Chuck T

    Yes. The victims and their extended families would overwhelmingly agree that it would.

    This is not the real question, the real question is; Do you think a mosque should be built

    in the shadow of ‘Ground Zero’? The answer to that question is: No! The propaganda value gained

    by our enemy would far overshadow the social values all Americans hold dear! Build it somewhere else!

  • Ken

    In response to if a Muslim mosque should be constructed within close proximity to the former World Trade Center twin towers site I would request all individuals involve in this issue ask themselves the following;

    Is it appropriate to construct a memorial for Japanese war dead next the sunken Arizona Battleship in Pear Harbor? Should an honorary plaque (or memorial for that matter) to the German S.S. be located in the center of every German concentration camp?

    Propaganda tactics will superimpose multiple issues (in this case “religious freedom”) atop the true issue in an attempt to gain an advantage, or a political stage/spotlight, at the expense of taking the appropriate action or acknowledging the feelings of others. In this case a Muslim mosque next to the former World Trade Center twin towers site is not acceptable, or wise, because of the religious affiliations of those who killed thousands of people in a murderous act.

    So, return to the answer the two questions above and answer your own question………..

  • Sue de Nim

    If we respond to terrorism with hatred, we’re no better than the terrorists. By accepting the construction of an Islamic center near the WTC site, we show the world the contrast between tolerant America and those Muslim countries that persecute Christians.

  • Dana

    No more than building a Christian cultural center near the site of the Oklahoma City bombing.

    Muslims did not commit the September 11th atrocities. A radical fringe group claiming to be Muslim did. They are no more Muslim than Timothy McVeigh is Christian. This issue is ridiculous.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Would it dishonor the memory of the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing if a Christian center were built near the site of the Murrah Federal Building, since McVeigh and Nichols were Christian terrorists?

  • Emma Onawa

    A mosque is too politically charged – there should be more neutral symbol in the location. Perhaps a peace garden with peace or similar expressions on benches or other objects in many languages. A mosque just doesn’t feel right.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Too late, Sue de Nim. We already showed the world we hate Muslims when we invaded Iraq.

  • Al Heebsh

    It would dishonor those who lost their lives to not allow the mosque to be built. The religious freedom enshrined in our Constitution was among the things that those who carried out the attacks on 9/11 hated about America. It is unfathomable to me why the politicians who claim to be the most patriotic should incite their supporters to disallow this place of worship. Allowing this mosque is the very essence of what it means to live in America. It saddens me that so many people have learned so little from the low points in our history, such as the Japanese interment camps, when Americans’ fear of others not like them overcame their commitment to the principles this nation was founded upon.

  • Chris

    This is a tough situation. Our hearts still hurt from 9/11 and to build this “cultural center” seems a bit like pouring salt on the still festering wound. That being said we are capable of reasoning beyond our base instincts and we should be able to see beyond our own hurt feelings.

    I also wonder if the proposers of this “cultural center” considered the full implications of their actions, at face value it seems like an invitation for heartache and problems.

    I think not building any new places of worship near the Twin Towers is the better choice.

  • steve

    i dont think it would dishonor the 9/11 victims,

    to spread religion if it is needed is welcome. i believe that there is memorials already at the 9/11 site and to deny the attempt to spread religion is denying freedom ot religion and our basic democratic freedom!

  • Matt

    No. End of Story.

  • F Shehadeh

    I don’t see how building a mosque near ground zero or any place for that matter is going to be disrespectful to the victims of the 911 disaster. To deny Muslim Americans the right to build a mosque would be a backward move that contradicts one of the basic freedoms that our country was built on: the freedom of religion.

    Opposing the construction of the mosque also implies that there is somewhat a connection between the Muslim American community and the 911 criminals, and as a Muslim American, I find that to be very appalling. We all stood out against the barbaric destructions of the WTC, and all the innocent lives that were lost there. But our moderate point view is of no interest to the main stream media, or politicians, whop prefer to focus only on hate speeches made by Al-Qaeda terrorists.

    Couple more questions to ponder:

    * It has been suggested that the mosque should be moved away couple blocks. What difference does that make? What is the acceptable distance? and who sets it up?

    * If there are hints or clues that the people who are constructing the mosque were related to or supported to the 911 terrorists, then this is a big allegation that requires evidence. If such evidence exists, then filing a law suit would be the way to go, and if we don’t have such an evidence, then that is another civil rights violation.

  • Donna

    Absolutely not a problem, the right wingers just want to make hay out of it, if you were ignorant and listened to them you would think it was being built right on the WTC site. I would bet big fat Rush Limbaugh couldn’t even walk that far without being winded. Disgusting that the one of the fundamental principal of this country is only for certain people. Isn’t it ironic that the party of the flag wavers what to take the rights away from people?

  • J

    OK, I thought I should write this in all caps so everyone, including MPR will listen … but that is bad internet manners right?

    The proposed construction near Ground Zero (Park 51) that has everyone in a tizzy IS NOT A MOSQUE! It is an Islamic Cultural Center with a gym and pool and other things.

    (insert public service voice here) for more information see: http://www.thenation.com/article/154008/ground-zero-free-speech

  • bsimon

    When we were attacked, we were told by our political leaders that we were attacked because of our freedoms. If we restrict those freedoms, maybe the terrorists have won.

  • Sara

    Prior to the 911 bombing, the worst attack on American soil was the Oklahoma City bombing, which was perpetrated by a US Army veteran in retaliation for the siege on a branch of the Protestant church.

    Should we ban gathering places for veterans and protestants anywhere near the site of the Oklahoma City bombing?

  • C.L.

    If this was sincerely about respecting the “hallowed ground” of Ground Zero, then the right-wing talking heads should be speaking out to close the porn shops, “gentlemen’s clubs” and strip joints all around GZ, as close or closer than the proposed mosque/community center.

  • Gary F

    There has been talk about someone putting up a “Gay bar for Muslims” next to this “cultural center”.

    Is that OK?

  • I can understand sensitivity to this issue, but realistically, I think what we need to focus on is whether or not it’s legal for the developers to perform the action they have chosen. Federal courts have determined that it is, in fact, legal. If we block them from building this mosque simply because the idea is unpopular, how is this different from refusing to allow desegregation even after the Supreme Court deemed separate but equal was unconstitutional?

  • David Bailey

    Gary F asks:

    ‘There has been talk about someone putting up a “Gay bar for Muslims” next to this “cultural center”. Is that OK?’

    Gosh, yes. Why wouldn’t it be? So long as, like the planners of Park51, the owners have clear legal title to the property and have obtained all of the necessary permits from the city, etc. After all, it’s my understanding that there are all kinds of bars and strip clubs and other businesses within a 2-block radius of Ground Zero already.

    Of course, I don’t *think* a traditional gay bar, targeted at Muslims, will do very well. For one thing, Islam prohibits alcohol consumption. And I’m going to guess that culturally speaking, there aren’t many openly gay Muslims. But what do I know? If someone thinks they can make money that way, and if they proceed in accordance with all city ordinances, etc., I say go for it!!

  • Terri

    The constitution does not apply only to white, heterosexual Christian (men). Some day I hope this will sink in so that we are no longer forced to endure the high-pitched shrieking of those who would argue otherwise.

    Obama simply stated the truth – every religious group has the same rights, including building a religious building or cultural center wherever it is legal to do so. Whether everyone agrees that it is a good idea isn’t – nor should it be – the point, or have any bearing on anything.

    It would be a bad idea for Al Queda to set up a souvenir stand next to the World Trade Center site, and the tenor of the so-called “debate” going on would lead one to believe that is indeed what is being proposed.

  • Pepper

    For my post I would like to repeat David Bailey’s post which says it so well:

    Would it dishonor those who died at Ground Zero? No.

    But to say it is ‘a proposed mosque’ is misleading. It is a 13-story Islamic cultural center which will house a restaurant, theater, gym and other facilities, along with a prayer space. It is not a ‘mosque’.

    But even if it were, it is not ON the Ground Zero site, it is two blocks away, which in Manhattan might as well be two miles. And it is not being built by those who attacked us on September 11; it is being built by members of New York’s Islamic community who, like the overwhelming majority of the world’s Muslims, are peaceful, hardworking people. They are also American citizens, just like most of the people who are getting worked up over this.

    America embodies certain principles, among them freedom of religion. If the best argument one can make AGAINST the cultural center is that it makes you uncomfortable, that’s too bad. If the American principle of ‘freedom of religion’ can be discarded when it makes enough people uncomfortable, then it was never really an American principle to begin with. But I’d like to think that it was and is an essential part of what makes us American.

    Posted by David Bailey

    Amen to David.

  • James

    Terrorists seek to blur the line between

    Islam and violent extremism. If we block a mosque in the name of intolerance, the terrorists have won, and that would be the greatest dishonor to those who perished.

  • jim e.

    doesn’t matter. we can’t let feelings get in the way of the constitution. we cannot react in the same manner that muslims did when a danish newspaper exercised freedom of speech. obviously the choice of location is meant to provoke a reaction. don’t fall into this cynical trap. these people claim to be peacebuilders but have intentionally chosen conflict. they should be ashamed of themselves. remember that history will always record that muslims commited mass murder on this site.

  • Mary Alice

    No, of course not. Giving in to intolerance is letting terrorist win. Why do we prefer not to recognize that some of the Americans who died on 9/11 were Muslims?

  • Pat Kelly

    Why do the “mainstream” networks beat this dead horse by continuely running news features that echo the “Rightwingbats” notion that President Obama’s recent comments about the mosque in New York might be insensitive to Americans’ feelings. I assume they know, and should have said, that the president of the the United States MUST support the First Amendment by supporting any religion’s right to build a church anywhere that local zoning allows. Shame on them for being so sloppy!…and sensational at the expense of good reporting!

    Three thousand Americans had an awful death on 9/11….how many may not have been Christians?

    These divisive stories are examples as to why the “major networks” are becoming “minor league”!

  • Paula Long

    Building the community center and mosque in lower Manhattan only strengthens the first amendment.

  • ann meany

    honestly, i am not sure, but isn’t the proposal for a cultural center and not a mosque? if so, shouldn’t your question be changed? the correct wording is important. thank you.

  • Diane Gerst

    I don’t believe that a mosque at Ground Zero would dishonor those who died. I think a mosque speaks about our country’s belief in freedom of religion. Why do we blame all muslums for the acts of a fringe group? We don’t blame all whites or all Protestants for the Oklahoma City Bombing because Terry Nichols and Tim McVeigh are white and possible Protentant.

  • Nicole

    I think that building a mosque at ground zero would dishonor those who died there. I understand the argument that it would strengthen the first amendment and that Islam is peaceful, but the fact remains that radical Islamists committed terrorism and the desire to build a mosque there is inappropriate and one that I am fervently opposed too.

  • Jordan

    Did no innocent Muslims die in the September 11th attacks?

    The idea that a mosque near the site is inappropriate, is what is insulting.

  • Larry
  • Patrick Nolan

    Absolutely, Mosque has right to build at this location – I think issue is the “wisdom” of building a Mosque at this location. I think public reaction (right or wrong) is such that Mosque should be built elsewhere in Manhattan – it is a big island.

  • Joyce

    I, too, am saddened that MPR asks the question in the way it did. I expect MPR to get it right–it is a cultural center like a YMCA or Jewish Community Center. And NO it does not dishonor those who died.

  • Joey

    Do we think flying airplanes over Manhattan dishonors the victims of 9/11? And how is that any different from building a mosque (or a cultural center), since both airplanes and Islam were perverted on 9/11?

    If we are uncomfortable with a mosque, we might ask ourselves why, and then just run with the dialogue that ensues.

  • Dale

    No.

  • Jo Ann Hendricks

    I find this dishonoring to good people in a religion that evidentally is commonly affiliated with terrorists by some non-Muslim Americans.

    Those victims of 9/11 were killed by a small group of extremists.

    I cannot believe that all Muslims are all extremists and planning terriorist events.

    I welcome the Muslims who join me as a Christian hoping for peace and who work for the common good–in non-violent fashion.

  • Joey

    Re: Ken

    An Islamic cultural center is not a political statement, unlike your proposals. Closer parallels are more illustrative: Should we allow Japanese to build YMCAs in Hawaii? Germans to build cultural centers near concentration camps?

  • No, do you think a Catholic church being placed by the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma would dishonor the victims?

    Timothy McVeigh was said to be raised Catholic.

  • Brendan

    Christians attacked France and England during WWII. Should Europe not allow churches to be built?

  • Helen from Minneapolis

    No. I agree with the mayor of New York City, 5th District Representative Keith Ellison, and most of the responders to this blog that to deny building a Muslim cultural center two blocks from Ground Zero goes against the First Amendment to the US Constitution and specifically denies those rights to the owners of the Cultural Center. A place where non-Muslims can get a better understanding of Islam is badly needed, especially near Ground Zero, given the knee-jerk objections that are still cropping up.

  • Carole

    Yesterday my 15 year old son told me that terrorists were trying to build a mosque at ground zero — I was so appalled by this sad misunderstanding of the issue! And it struck me that this same misunderstanding underlies the current controvery. I gently corrected him, explaining that the vast majory of Muslims are peaceful people, and that an evil person can come from any church, or no church. I told him about the IRA, and Timothy McVeigh and so many other monsters who were not Muslims. He thought about this, and noted that our country was built on the idea that everyone has the right to peacefully worship as he or she sees fit, and then asked if this was why I thought the mosque was just fine. I was very proud of him for coming full circle. And, if a 15 year old sports obsessed suburban kid can finally “get” it, maybe we all can.

  • Hank

    Would the construction of a mosque dishonor the victims of 9/11?

    No, not anymore than any other religious building being built.

    It would be ideal if we could just not build any sort of religious building anywhere near where so many died needlessly to satiate bronze-age father figures. But, because we live in the US, we have to abide by the bylaws (read: The Constitution) and such a request is just as ludicrous as requesting this mosque not be built.

  • WS

    It dishonors those who died if you do not allow a mosque to be built in the vicinity. Limiting U.S. freedoms guaranteed by the bill of rights would be an extreme dishonor to those who died.

  • Tim

    It would dishonor the victims if the mosque were prevented from being built by intimidation or legislation. We are a nation and society of laws. Building that mosque is not a violation of any laws. Our constitution is written to protect the minority from the passing passions of the majority. That is why it is such a difficult and lengthy process. we are free to practice ALL religions in the United States.

  • Denise E

    The building of a community center with a mosque in lower Manhattan would be a symbol of two things that we take pride in as Americans; freedom of religion and tolerance. The mosque and community center serving Muslim Americans should not be considered a symbol of terrorism, just as catholic churches are not held as symbols of pedophilia. We must remember that moderate Muslims are a peaceful, god loving people. We can not let ignorance and fear contribute to generalizations that associate everyday people with extremists in any religion.

  • bsimon

    “There has been talk about someone putting up a “Gay bar for Muslims” next to this “cultural center”.

    Is that OK?”

    Based on the reporting I’ve seen, such an establishment might fit the neighborhood better than a mosque would.

  • Theresa

    Yes, it would. It doesn’t matter how any of you interpret it, only how the families of the victims feel. It is our country’s tragedy, but the families of those who died are most affected, number in the thousands, and do not want this for the most part. We worry so much about being politically correct and not offending minority groups, as we should. However, we need to worry about all of the non-Muslim families who are still mourning every day. No, it wasn’t the entire Muslim religion that caused 911, but the terrorists committed the atrocity under the banner of their religion, and it’s very hard for Americans to separate the two. That’s the fact, whether we like it or not.

    I would like to know why the group building the Muslim center can’t show the rest of us some common courtesy and consideration. They know the pain it would cause to build there and do not care. They could have built elsewhere out of respect. Muslims demand respect from the rest of America, why can’t they show some as well?

  • Mark

    No, in no way does the building of a mosque near “Ground Zero” dishonor the memories of those who perished there. However, let’s hypothesize the impossible and ask if a Jewish community in a democratic (small d) Saudi Arabia should build a synagogue on the outskirts of Mecca?

    Putting aside all the impossibilities above, I believe a synagogue on the outskirts of Mecca would be completely insensitive and inappropriate, and therefore inadvisable. For many, “Ground Zero” has become a kind of Sacred Ground. Shouldn’t our citizens who are proponents of the Mosque consider and honor the feelings and welfare of their fellow citizens in their decision as to the location of a mosque?

  • Curt C.

    All religious houses of worship everywhere dishonor all who have been murdered in the name of religious extremisim. But this is America, so no one has to honor what I want them to honor just because I want them to.

  • SarahB

    I don’t think it is dishonoring anyone. Though the extremists claimed to do this in the name of religion I don’t think it had anything to do with religion but for the hatred of something they don’t understand.

    To not allow the Mosque would be violating the First Amendment Rights to Religious Freedom and therefore would be dishonoring everyone who has faught for that right throughout history. My brother will be serving his second tour in Iraq and he believes more in keeping the right of ALL Americans then letting a few crazy extremist squash what he has faught for.

  • Bright M. Dornblaser

    Absolutely not, for all the very good reasons provided by the thoughtful comments above.

  • Jessica Sundheim

    No, unless you are the kind of person that associates all Muslims with the attackers. What is dishonoring is that there are US politicians who have no problem using the Constitution to protect the KKK and homophobes who protest at our soldier’s funerals, but when it comes to civil, peaceful, religious people seeking to build a community center, the religious freedoms enshrined in the Constitution become irrelevent and the religious leaders are accused of being insensitive. Then, Fox news and others use this as a perfect distraction from the terrible disaster in Pakistan. I’m tired of the racism in this country and the irresponsible press that fuels it.

  • Brian

    Care needs to be taken to ensure the building of the mosque near the WTC site doesn’t become the mosque-equivalent of an Iwo Jima-like flag raising, a symbol of “Islam’s” victory.

  • Ben

    Blaming ALL Muslims for 9/11 is like blaming All Christians for the actions of Crusade, Hitler’s SS and the KKK.

    I think NOT building the mosque dishonors the founding fathers those Americans who died in 9/11.

    What’s next? Getting upset about a catholic church being built next to a playground?

    –Ben

  • steve

    First, it is not a mosque from what I have read. It is a prayer center, which is different. Secondly, it is not at ground zero but a few blocks from ground zero. Third, isn’t there religious freedom in our country anymore? Fourth, not all muslims are terrorists any more than all Christians agreed with or supported Nazi Germany’s death camps. We really need to grow up in this country and focus on the real issues of the day – not this issue or who will host American Idol or is Brett Farve coming back – this is an issue looking for a problem and unfortunately being fuled by poor reporting and a receptive audience fueled by hatred and encouraged by some politicians. It’s sad really.

  • Kendra

    I think the mosque would in fact honor those killed in the 9/11 attacks. Islam did not kill those people, terrorists did. How soon we forget that Christians tormented the Arab world for years during the Crusades and long afterword. How would we feel if Christians now days commited terrorists acts in our name? This mosque should not be viewed as a memorial to the conquered but a celebration of the freedom and value of tolerance, understanding and acceptance in this nation.

  • mary Kruser

    No,

    Building a mosque–or Islamic cultural center–a few blocks from Ground Zero should be seen as a healing event by reasonable people, and so it is by most MPR listeners who chose to comment above. So I feel I’m preaching to the converted. I don’t think we can change the minds of those who choose to use it as another political club with which .to hit Obaba over the head.

  • Lance

    While there certainly exists a constitutional right to practice religion in the USA in the way you see fit, building a mosque in the area where thousands were killed in the name of Islam is in extremely poor taste and the motives of those who wish to build it must be questioned. Under the same constitutional rights argument, someone could gather a group of skinheads and rally outside the holocaust museum in DC every day wearing swastikas. Do you suppose you’d be defending that action?

    Yes, there is a right to build it there, but yes it dishonors those who died there.

    Having a right to do something doesn’t necessarily make it the right thing to do.

  • Jen

    No, an Islamic group building a community center in what used to be a Burlington Coat Factory two blocks from where the World Trade Center used to be in no way dishonors those who died in and around the World Trade Center. Remember: the faith of Islam did not fly planes into buildings on September 11th. The fact that this is such a big deal is embarrassing to me as an American—particularly since the freedom of religion, speech, and expression are seen as (supposedly) fundamental to our common values.

  • Kyle

    A lot of the ”debate” around this issue is centered around whether or not the prayer center should be built near Ground Zero. It is always difficult to deal with abstractions like “should”, but people are free to approve of or disapprove of any action, whether it is rational to do so or not.

    But the operative question in this case is really whether or not formal pressure can be employed to stop the construction. Applying such pressure, in my opinion, would be the greatest dishonor possible to those who died on 9/11. They were Americans, living in the freedom and prosperity that this nation granted them. To deny those who would build their community center there would be to deny the very freedoms, held sacred to this country from the first, that produced that prosperity and opportunity.

    To stop the prayer center from being constructed is to state that the freedoms America claims to cherish no longer apply. That the American experiment, the idea that anyone can come and live their lives as they choose (while following all applicable laws and ordinances, no less), is over, and has failed. To stop the prayer center from being constructed there for such a reason is to turn our backs on the very soul of the United States of America, and I can’t imagine a worse desecration of their memories than invoking those victims to such an end. The question of whether or not it might be tasteful cannot compare.

  • Kyle

    A lot of the ”debate” around this issue is centered around whether or not the prayer center should be built near Ground Zero. It is always difficult to deal with abstractions like “should”, but people are free to approve of or disapprove of any action, whether it is rational to do so or not.

    But the operative question in this case is really whether or not formal pressure can be employed to stop the construction. Applying such pressure, in my opinion, would be the greatest dishonor possible to those who died on 9/11. They were Americans, living in the freedom and prosperity that this nation granted them. To deny those who would build their community center there would be to deny the very freedoms, held sacred to this country from the first, that produced that prosperity and opportunity.

    To stop the prayer center from being constructed is to state that the freedoms America claims to cherish no longer apply. That the American experiment, the idea that anyone can come and live their lives as they choose (while following all applicable laws and ordinances, no less), is over, and has failed. To stop the prayer center from being constructed there for such a reason is to turn our backs on the very soul of the United States of America, and I can’t imagine a worse desecration of their memories than invoking those victims to such an end. The question of whether or not it might be tasteful cannot compare.

  • It only makes sense to be offended by a mosque in this location if you believe we are at war with Islam – that all of Islam attacked us on 9/11. By objecting to this mosque you are essentially equating Muslims with terrorists.

    If instead you recognize that we were attacked by an extremist fringe group that is not at all representative of Islam, then there should be no problem welcoming peaceful Muslims to the neighborhood.

  • Al

    \\We worry so much about being politically correct…

    Theresa – This isn’t about being politcally correct. It is about rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

  • Steve

    On the contrary, it would only support what we stand for. We should be taking a very close look at what is happening here. Do you think had 9/11 happened at the hands of a radical Irish Catholic group, or Lutheran group and that church later proposed building a church or cathedral near ground zero there would be such opposition? HELL NO! But because it’s a mosque, it’s an abomination……What hypocrites we are! Spin it however you want, hatred breads hatred and we become what we’re fighting against. Come to think of it, isn’t that how it began in Germany so many years ago? Only then it was the Jewish people……We all know how that turned out!

  • Joe Danko

    If we had immediately got over being sorry for ourselves and ignored The Mayor we could have rebuilt WTC even bigger and thumbed our noses at those creeps. What better memorial than the biggest building on the planet. Then who would care what was built nearby. 100 people a day die in auto accidents. Americans, get over it! Let the dead rest and get on with it. All the war got us was more dead.

  • onder

    No, on the contrary, I know at least one victim (a Muslim) who would have been pleased with this center. He died in Tower 1 leaving behind his wife and then 2 year old son. Doesn’t his son (now 11) have the right to go and pray near where his father died while at work on the 103th floor?

  • RustyHooks

    Up until the 1990s this question would have been met with laughter. Sadly, we’ve lost our moral clearity, our intellectual honesty and our courage in this country and I blame the Universities, their culturally secluded professors, and a society that values intellect over wisdom.

    If this mosque is built, then by legality, a viking statue should stand beside Lombardi’s in Green Bay. We should fly the Mexican flag at the Alamo, a Japanees monument could be erected at Pearl Harbor. How about a Nazi flag on top of the cliff at Normandy. Burn a cross in your own front yard because it’s legal. Here you go- – – because it’s legal why not put up an American flag on top of the head of Crazy Horse in S. Dakota. . ?

    Because, you of mono-vision IT’s WRONG and it’s insulting.

    It’s legal to say the N word, but none of you will, because it’s wrong.

    This mosque is not being built to give area muslims a place to pray, it’s being built in conquest. That’s why they plan to dedicate it on SEPT, 11, 2010. Wake up you fools.

    Please read ‘clash of civilizations’. I don’t remember the author.

    I can’t get over how this country has lost it’s moral clarity. Your college professors taught you that morality was relative and you believed them.

    Cattle, all of you, just cattle.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Rusty, lots of Muslims feel the same way about church buildings in the Middle East. You know, the crusades and all……..