Islam

The Mosque Controversy and Religious Freedom

Symbolism and sensitivities do matter.

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While the "Ground Zero mosque"—an Islamic Center planned two blocks from the site of the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center attacks—has been cleared for construction by the authorities in New York, the controversy is far from over. The American Center for Law and Justice, a conservative group that defines itself as championing religious tolerance (the "no comment" paradox is obvious), has gone to court to block the Cordoba House project. The mosque's opponents are out in force making their case. They have some valid points, and the victory for Cordoba House is not quite the perfect occasion for three cheers for religious freedom. But at this point, the opposition is so tainted with intolerance and irrationality that to hand it a victory would be far worse.

Both supporters and proponents of Cordoba House see the issue in stark terms. To one side, this is a matter of religious freedom and equal treatment as this nation's bedrock principles, a fundamentally American project opposed only by bigots who demonize all Muslims for the acts of a few terrorists. To the other side, this is about the symbolic affront of erecting an Islamic structure near a place where fanatics claiming to fight for Islam murdered nearly 3,000 people, a politically correct folly opposed only by soft-headed wimps who care about the sensitivities of Muslims but not those of Americans affected by September 11.

Legally, constitutionally, and to a large extent philosophically, the pro-mosque side is clearly in the right. And yet it isn't quite so simple as to say that the opposition is driven solely by bigotry and fear-mongering. Symbolism and sensitivities do matter, culturally if not legally.

Let us consider a hypothetical, leaving aside for a moment the usual examples involving Germans and Auschwitz or the Japanese and Pearl Harbor. Suppose a group of Christian anti-abortion fanatics bombed the offices of Planned Parenthood in New York, killing hundreds. Suppose that, 10 years later, a conservative Christian group, strongly pro-life though repudiating violence, wanted to build a 13-story community center and church next to the site of this tragedy.

Most likely, the roles in this debate would be reversed. Quite a few liberals would denounce the planned construction of the center as a slap in the face to the victims and their families; the likes of Sean Hannity and Sarah Palin would decry anti-Christian bias and voice outrage that the actions of a handful of extremists would be used to denigrate all Christians or all abortion opponents.

In a real-life example, in the late 1980s many Jewish groups—including the Anti-Defamation League, which has caught plenty of flak for joining the Cordoba House opposition—protested when a group of Carmelite nuns set up a convent on the edge of the Auschwitz grounds to pray for the dead. To the convent's opponents, this was an attempt to erase the symbolism of Auschwitz as a death camp in which Jews were targeted for extermination. Back then, a New York Times editorial noted that "whether Auschwitz is the proper place for a convent is not easily answered" and praised efforts to have the nuns moved. A 1991 book on the dispute was titled, Memory Offended. That sums up a very real, and poignant, aspect of the objections to the Islamic Center.  

Unfortunately, the backlash is about much more than that. Anti-Muslim zealots have been in the forefront of the protests against the "Ground Zero mosque"—people such as writer and blogger Robert Spencer, who openly declares that the Islamic faith itself is a terrorist ideology and that "moderate Islam" is a deceptive myth, and often implies that every peaceful Muslim is a potential jihadist. There have been bizarre claims that the Islamic Center is intended as a "victory mosque" to celebrate the World Trade Center's destruction or honor the hijackers. Signs at anti-mosque protests have equated Islam with terrorism and the mosque with a toilet. At one rally in June, two Arabic-speaking Egyptian Coptic Christians who had come to oppose the mosque had to be whisked away by the police after being threatened and told to "Go home."

Worse, while opposition to the Cordoba House has focused on its controversial location, the proposed construction of mosques and Islamic community centers thousands of miles away has also sparked an ugly hysteria. In Temecula, California, a Baptist pastor has bluntly stated that "we really don't want to see their influence spread," while an activist named Diane Serafin has assailed the authorities for being too concerned about religious freedom: "I know it's there in the Constitution and everything, but everything I read says Islam is a political movement," she told a reporter, adding that "there's a movement going on in the United States to take over our country." In Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Republican Congressional candidate Lou Ann Zelenik has campaigned on her stance against "Muslim extremists"—namely, against a proposed Muslim community center. Zelenik has stated that "until the American Muslim community find it in their hearts to separate themselves from their evil, radical counterparts, to condemn those who want to destroy our civilization and will fight against them, we are not obligated to open our society to any of them." Just how American Muslims can live up to her demands—one-by-one loyalty oaths?—is unclear.

This is bigotry, pure and simple. And none of the leading foes of the "Ground Zero mosque" have denounced it.

There are, of course, well-grounded concerns about Islamic radicalism. While every religion has its fringe elements, it is unfortunately true that, for whatever reason, militant and violent fundamentalism in Islam today occupies a much more prominent place, and is much closer to the mainstream, than in other major religions. But surely the answer to that is to promote modernization and moderation in Islam, not to demonize the entire faith.

Defenders of the Cordoba House, including The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg—a strong supporter of Israel whom no one would accuse of being soft on Islamic extremism—argue that the man behind this project, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, is precisely the sort of modernizing, tolerant, pro-Western Muslim that should be encouraged in order to counteract the extremist strands. Others, including Muslim convert and proponent of "Islamic pluralism" Stephen Schwartz, caution that Rauf "has maintained links with Muslim radicals, including enablers of terror, whom he declines to disavow."   

Rauf has indeed made dubious statements, including one in which he refused to call Hamas a terrorist group—though his quoted comments sound more like the opinions of a man with a naïve belief in reaching out and building bridges than a closet extremist. The bottom line, however, is that Rauf's public career has been dedicated to promoting the idea that Islam is compatible with liberal American values. Given the spotlight on the Islamic Center in downtown Manhattan, it is doubtful that the center will be about anything else.

Some critics of Cordoba House have suggested a possible solution to the conflict: that, instead of an Islamic Center, an Interfaith Center containing houses of worship for different religions should be built on the site. This would indeed have been a powerful statement of tolerance and peaceful coexistence—and this proposal could have been the starting point for meaningful dialogue between the mosque's opponents and its backers. But before such a dialogue can happen, the critics should do what they advise the Muslims to do, and firmly repudiate hate.

Cathy Young writes a weekly column for RealClearPolitics and is a contributing editor at Reason magazine. She blogs at cathyyoung.wordpress.com. This article originally appeared at RealClearPolitics.

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  1. I support freedom of religion, but…

  2. Can’t we all be just a little more thoughtful?

    1. Yes, but not on this block. What’s wrong with Harlem, anyway?

      1. Maybe call it the City Hall mosque?

        It isn’t like these shady characters own the whole parcel either. ConEdison owns half.

        1. Didn’t you mean 12:12AM?

        2. In some circles it’s being referred to as the Victory mosque. I rather like that!

          1. Which circles are those? Show your work.

            1. 000000000000000000000

      2. Because the current mosque they occupy, which is full, is in TriBeCa. The new location is a half mile away, Harlem is a lot further away.

        1. How’s about they put it in Connecticut? Let the Muslim menace commute.

          1. Fuck off. You are not interesting or funny.

            1. No, you fuck off, Zeb. You the hell do you think you are? Asshole.

  3. The mosque is a slap in the face to all the victims of 911. Don’t be surprised if someone blows the head off the Imam, and I would vote to acquit if I was on that jury.

    1. Yay! Liberty and justice for all (people I like).

      1. Sir, I would like to pay to use that phrase as our party’s motto. Although I would like to add welfare to the list of options, and perhaps an asterisk noting all will mean mostly minorities.

    2. ^ asshole ^

      Let me explain this (using small words so you don’t get confused). The folks who wish to build this mosque had, pay attention now, this is important, not a goddam thing to do with 9/11.

      Fuck a bunch of assigning collective guilt.

      1. Can you say the same thing about the financiers?

        1. Yep.. They had absolutely zip point shit to do with 9/11.

          But you knew that, didn’t you?

          1. So who are they? Do tell…

        2. WHO THE FUCK CARES ABOUT THE GODDAMN FUCKING FINANCIERS????!!!!!!!!!!!!

          Ok, I feel better. The hypocritical stupidity streaming from supposed libertarians in these threads is damn near suffocating me?

          1. “WHO THE FUCK CARES ABOUT THE GODDAMN FUCKING FINANCIERS????!!!!!!!!!!!!”

            A shitload of people.

            1. There’s probably a lot of overlap with the people whose stomachs are tied up in knots wondering who’s going to be on the new panel for American Idol.

          2. The hypocritical stupidity streaming from supposed libertarians in these threads is damn near suffocating me?

            Any chance of making it more than “damn near”?

      2. This is going to be the staging ground for the next attack on America. Why can’t you see that?! It’s named the CORDOBA House for a reason.

        1. You need to go shoot the place up once it built. You’ll be a goddamned hero as some guy named Bubba rapes you in prison.

          1. it = it’s

        2. It’s named the CORDOBA House for a reason

          The fine Corinthian leather prayer mats?

        3. Perhaps I can’t see that because I don’t watch FOX News.

          Perhaps America would not be attacked if we didn’t assert ourselves as the Global Fucking Police Force.

          1. The world police thing is motivation for some, but the maniacs are winning the gullible masses in greater numbers by emphasizing the perversions of western culture and resisting its spread in the traditionalist realm. Nothing motivates like a call to “defend” the faith.

        4. I’m no naif, but Cordoba, if you read your history, was a tolerant place where thinkers like Maimonides and Avarroes are from. Just because it was under Moorish rule doesn’t mean it was “evil.”

          Nuttos like bin Laden speak of Andalusia to rile up the base but in reality Cordoba’s history doesn’t suppor bin Laden’s and his ilk’s fanatical and murderous view points.

          1. Then you are probably not aware that Maimonides and family were forced to leave Cordoba when the Almohades sect took Cordoba in 1148. They gave the Jewish community three alternatives: convert to Islam, exile or death. Maimonides, being the smart rabbi that he was, moved to Morocco and Egypt never to return to your beloved Cordoba.
            Tolerant indeed.

            1. Good point.

      3. That doesn’t matter.
        Public perception is what matters.

        Some perceive this to be a slap in the face, and the will react accordingly.

        I’m wondering if the people who want to build this center are oblivious of this, or counting on it.

        1. Yeah, sufis are all about doing it all for the lulz.

        2. Well, if I were working on a project like this and got the sort of reaction they are getting, I sure as hell would continue with the project just to slap the assholes in the face with it.

          1. And I would celebrate the news of your untimely demise.

      4. So you belong to the group of morons that claim Islam is a religion of peace? You’re a damn fool.

        1. I’m pretty fucking sure he said nothing of the sort, dickface.

    3. He is safe if he stays in the gun free zone. Unless you are talking that Rutger Hauer / Gene Simmons scene at the end of Wanted: Dead or Alive.

  4. Ms. Young’s article is almost Shakespearean in its prose, by the fact that it is “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

    1. You can copy and paste this for all of her articles’ comment threads. Along with Chapman and Harsanyi.

  5. But before such a dialogue can happen, the critics should do what they advise the Muslims to do, and firmly repudiate hate.

    Even if they did it wouldn’t change anything about the Mosque. And there is no way in hell the Saudi royalty who have financed this clusterfark will allow any interfaith representation at the community center.

    It’s nice to see someone write that maybe some of the folks who think this is a bad idea aren’t racist bigots after all. Sure, there are some racist bigots who are against it, but I don’t think this is anything but a small minority. There are liberal muslim New Yorkers who are against it.

    It’s just not in good taste, period.

    1. Cathy has a good point that Palin, Gingrich, et al should clearly repudiate the people who are trying to shut down mosques in other cities.

      1. Gingrich and Palin et. al are not responsible for each conservative group any more that every muslim was responsible for 9/11. I agree that a message of tolerance and peace would benefit this discussion and help to minimize any problems in other cities.

        That being said the fact is that even if this happened, the Islamic fundamentalists aren’t ever going to change their tune, and the NYC Mosque just gives them a louder pulpit from which to shout their hateful bigotry. And again, you’re insane if you think that the financiers of this project would tolerate any type of interfaith worship at the site itself.

        1. Gingrich and Palin et. al are not responsible for each conservative group any more that every muslim was responsible for 9/11.

          I agree, collective responsibility is nonsense. But you apparently don’t agree with yourself:

          the Islamic fundamentalists aren’t ever going to change their tune, and the NYC Mosque just gives them a louder pulpit from which to shout their hateful bigotry.

          1. What part doesn’t agree? Islamic fundamentalists don’t believe in “interfaith gatherings”. They believe non-Muslims are infidels. This is the same as stating that conservatives believe in smaller government. I don’t hold non-fundamentalist muslims responsible for 9/11, or the hate that is spewed by the Hamas and Hezbollahs of the world. But Saudi royalty are funding this construction, and they tend to lean toward the fundamentalist aspect of Islam.

            1. Good thing that sufis are the Unitarians of Islam, and thus pretty much diametrically opposed to fundamentalism.

              1. Feisal Abdul Rauf is a sufi, this much is true. But whether or not he’s an Islamic fundamentalist remains open to interpretation. Either way, other Sufi muslims completely disagree with him.

                http://www.boston.com/bostongl…..ound_zero/

                Other Sufi’s opposed is Stephen Suleyman Schwartz, a devout Muslim and director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism in Washington.

                Schwartz notes that the spiritual leader of the Cordoba Initiative, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, describes himself as a Sufi ? a Muslim focused on Islamic mysticism and spiritual wisdom. But “building a 15-story Islamic center at ground zero isn’t something a Sufi would do,” according to Schwartz, also a practitioner of Sufism. “Sufism is supposed to be based on sensitivity toward others,” yet Cordoba House comes across as “grossly insensitive.” He rejects Rauf’s stance that a highly visible Muslim presence at ground zero is the way to make a statement opposing what happened on 9/11. Better, in his view, is the approach of many Muslims “who hate terrorism and who have gone privately to the site and recited prayers for the dead silently and unperceived by others.”

                1. So sufis don’t agree with one another? Sufis may interpret things differently? NO!!

            2. Exactly. Contrary to what the dhimmis desperately want people to believe, Rauf is no Islamic Unitarian. He’s an examplar of what I call the “softer side” of Islamofascism; he’s a good cop playing the classic good cop/bad cop routine.

              1. He’s a fucking sufi, you dipshit.

                Also, I’m disappointed to my core that it took this long for “dhimmi” to appear.

                1. I beg you not to listen to the sniveling dhimmi cowards, folks. If you want to see the viewpoint of REAL moderate Muslims and not lying fakers like Rauf, here’s a must read link right here:

                  Mischief in Manhattan: We Muslims know the Ground Zero mosque is meant to be a deliberate provocation, by Raheel Raza and Tarek Fatah.

                  1. Well, the Muslims who you happen to agree with, anyway.

                    I could counterpost with links to Rabbis and Christians who think you’re a sniveling bunch of assfaces, but there wouldn’t be a point.

            3. What the fuck is your point? Muslims won’t allow interfaith ceremonies? And…??? Would you expect Christians to allow for people to come into their churches and say Islamic prayers? How about Buddhist chants? Who the fuck cares whether or not the mosque would allow interfaith gatherings? It’s absolutely not required of them!

              1. My point is that the Mosque location is unecessarily inflammatory. I defend the right of it to exist but it doesn’t make me a racist bigot to say it’s unecessarily inflammatory.

      2. Maybe they recognize that Islam is our enemy? Fool.

        1. Whose enemy? Bedwetting conservatives?

          1. Are you saying that Islam is not the primary ideological source of terrorist attacks on the west?

            Or just that I should not place any significance on that?

            1. So all 1.whatever billion adherents are part of that? 50%? 5%? 1%?

              1. If 10 million people are determined to destroy freedom and capitalism and remove western society from the world by bombing and killing and threatening their way to victory, those 10,000,000 people and the common ideological source of their compulsion and perceived command from on high to do so are my enemy. The other chunk of the remaining 990 million who promote the peaceful democratic pursuit of the same goal are less of an enemy but still an enemy. To the rest(guessing maybe 70%) who just want to peacefully practice their religion, I am indifferent just as I am to christians and other mystics who aren’t carrying out orders to rule me. I will have nothing nice to say about this remaining 70 or 80 or 90% until they use their great numbers to demand reform. And reform would not just be a moratorium on stoning women, as “moderates” like Tariq Ramadan would prefer, but an official ban on all primatively violent Shari’ah practices.

                So the 10,000,000(extremely conservative estimate, maybe even a bedwettingly conservative estimate since there are more like 1.5 billion Muslims in the world and 1% is probably pretty light) people who are determined to directly kill or rule Americans are my primary concern.

                1. Fantastic. Then focus on the 10,000,000 and quit pissing yourself over some Sufis who want some mosque with their gym.

                  1. This mosque will only increase that number. It will be broadcast as a sign to new recruits that America is on its knees, ready for the taking and that Allah grants victory to those who give their lives to the cause of defeating The Great Satan. Your darling Sufis can feel free to refuse to fight against but rather to help embolden this cause by insisting on building *this* mosque on *this* property but they will have earned all the hate they get.

                    By the way, with the efficiency of the 19 9-11 hijackers and their 3,000 victims as the standard, those hundred million could kill every American(Muslims-Americans included) 5 times. Pants-pissed.

                    1. This mosque will only increase that number.

                      Yes, of course. And the one in Murfreesboro, and the one in Sheboygan, and the one in Temecula…blah blah, pants pisser.

                      Allah doesn’t refer to the infidel as the Great Satan – that would be a particular set of Shi’ite assholes in the state of Iran who do that.

                      I have no idea why you think that 19 will always kill 3000. There have been many, many, many more spectacular failures on their part than successes. Your chance of dying in a terrorist attack even with 9/11 is less than the chance of you being struck by lightning, and way, way less than you dying in a highway accident.

                    2. Oh, look, a Muslim thinks it’s good that the mosque is being built. What a shock!

                      And he says that it not a ‘victory’ mosque. Well, I guess that settles everything.

                      Thanks, Timon.

                    3. Aren’t you looking for people to “refudiate” radical Islam?

                      Jesus fuck…

                    4. “Yes, of course. And the one in Murfreesboro, and the one in Sheboygan, and the one in Temecula…blah blah, pants pisser”

                      Nope just the ones erected within shrapnel distance of Allah’s great destruction of a major symbol of America’s freedom and success. Because regardless of Rauf’s intentions, it will be used by groups in Iran as well as on the internet as a recruitment message. That Allah has dealt a great blow to The Great Satan by flattening his shrines to greed and arrogance and putting a mosque in their place.

                      “Allah doesn’t refer to the infidel as the Great Satan – that would be a particular set of Shi’ite assholes in the state of Iran who do that.”

                      Allah doesn’t refer to anybody as anything, he is imaginary. I was talking about what those Shi’ites will be saying.

                    5. 1. Why, then, are there similar protest in these other places?

                      2. I admire your ability to predict the future, as well as divine intent.

                    6. 1. I wouldn’t know. I have no problem with them whatsoever and I doubt their protests are similar to mine. In fact I have no problem with a mosque two blocks from or anywhere near ground zero, even if it is offensive to some people who lost friends and family in the attacks, as soon as Al Qaeda, the Taliban and all these Jihadists groups have been pounded into dust, state funded terrorism against the U.S. is stopped and the wars are ended.

                      2. Thanks.
                      I don’t believe there is a divine consciousness. Intent is impossible without consciousness.

                    7. 1. So until all the bad guys are gone, the rest of American Muslims have to shut the fuck up and take it up the ass? Awesome.

                      2. di?vine
                      ? ?/d??va?n/ Show Spelled [dih-vahyn] ?verb (used with object)
                      13.
                      to discover or declare (something obscure or in the future) by divination; prophesy.
                      15.
                      to perceive by intuition or insight; conjecture.
                      16.
                      Archaic . to portend.

                    8. 1.No, American Muslims *shouldn’t* build mosques near the World Trade Center hole in the ground because of how it will be used by Islamic Totalitarian groups. American Muslims *should* want these orginizations devastated rather than encouraged. They don’t have to shut the fuck up nor should they be asked to, but they probably shouldn’t, according to their religion, choose to take anything up the ass though I have no moral objection to it.

                      2. The verb form also implies a supernatural consciousness as source of mystical revelation. I’m fine with “conjecture” though.

                    9. Then why didn’t anyone say anything about the current mosque in the Burlington Coat Factory building? I mean, isn’t that basically the same thing? What about the other two mosques nearby?

                    10. It is not the same because they were built before the towers were brought down and can’t be used by terror group leaders to convince young disenfranchised potential recruits that theirs is a realistic goal and that Allah’s forces are advancing on a wounded, backpedaling paper-tiger.

                    11. But wait…there is a mosque currently occupying the Burlington Coat Factory building, and it became a mosque AFTER the attacks. What of it?

                    12. “a plane’s landing-gear assembly the size of a World War II torpedo crashed through the roof and down through two empty selling floors of the Burlington Coat Factory. The store remained abandoned for the next eight years, one of the last undeveloped downtown properties damaged in the attack.
                      But for months now, out of the public eye, an iron gate rises every Friday afternoon, and with the outside rumblings of construction at ground zero as a backdrop, hundreds of Muslims crowd inside, facing Mecca in prayer and listening to their imam read in Arabic from the Koran.”

                      That’s not a mosque, that’s a damaged building. Nothing was built. I do find it disgusting that they feel closest to their god when they are standing in devastation caused by shrapnel from an attack that killed 3,000 innocents in the name of that same god, but it isn’t dangerous. I don’t think the worship makes a bit of difference. It’s the building itself that would be the convincing sign of victory which would inspire the young men to join the cause.

                    13. So the Hagia Sophia was never a mosque, despite having only been damaged in the taking of Constantinople? So it WASN’T a mosque for the 500 years since the Ottomans took the city because it wasn’t BUILT, but instead CONVERTED?

                      That is AWESOME logic.

                    14. Definition of “mosque”:

                      The word “mosque” in English refers to all types of buildings dedicated for Islamic worship

                    15. RE:Hagia Sophia”The bells, altar, iconostasis, and sacrificial vessels were removed and many of the mosaics were eventually plastered over. The Islamic features ? such as the mihrab, the minbar, and the four minarets outside ? were added…”
                      C’mon, you can still make out the words “Burlington Coat Factory” over the door. That’s kind of a lame “conversion”. But if you say it becomes a mosque when Allah is worshiped from it, I accept. Either way, it doesn’t worry me in the slightest because no angry disenfranchised young Afghani is gonna decide to trade peaceful Islam for the cause of Totalitarian Islam because he hears word of Muslims praying in a shut-down department store near ground zero. I only worry about a large spectacular structure that could and would be used by Bin Laden and others like him to inspire young men and indoctrinate young kids to join them on the path to defeating this great power which they’ve been brainwashed to hate in the name of the god in whom they’ve been brainwashed to believe and that their cause will be more rewarding and successful than anything else they could choose to do with their lives.

                    16. RE:Hagia Sophia”The bells, altar, iconostasis, and sacrificial vessels were removed and many of the mosaics were eventually plastered over. The Islamic features ? such as the mihrab, the minbar, and the four minarets outside ? were added…”

                      …and? The Hagia Sophia is a museum converted from a mosque converted from an orthodox cathedral. That is fact.

                      C’mon, you can still make out the words “Burlington Coat Factory” over the door. That’s kind of a lame “conversion”.

                      What? So? This doesn’t make it any less of a mosque.

                      Either way, it doesn’t worry me in the slightest because no angry disenfranchised young Afghani is gonna decide to trade peaceful Islam for the cause of Totalitarian Islam because he hears word of Muslims praying in a shut-down department store near ground zero. I only worry about a large spectacular structure that could and would be used by Bin Laden and others like him to inspire young men and indoctrinate young kids to join them on the path to defeating this great power which they’ve been brainwashed to hate in the name of the god in whom they’ve been brainwashed to believe and that their cause will be more rewarding and successful than anything else they could choose to do with their lives.

                      Please, elaborate on the mechanism by which this happens, considering that new mosques have been built since 9/11, and there have been new mosques established very near GZ IN THE LAND OF THE INFIDEL!!!1one!!

                    17. 1. I have said nothing to the contrary

                      2. If the repurposing of the abandoned store front makes it just as moquely as the Hagia Sophia(implying that any damage would have already been done by the mosque which is already there), then the hoop in a Bostonian’s driveway is the same as TD garden if he dribbles a basketball on it every morning. It is the building, not the definition, which will be that romantic propaganda device. I’m not interested in arguing concretes with Plato.

                      3. Since you said “please”, here goes

                      A Muslim boy’s indoctrination

                      Metaphysics: There is an omnipotent/omniscient god. Man will survive his own death and face God. He will be rewarded
                      or punished according to his obedience to God’s will.

                      Epistemology: His flesh disqualifies him from learning God’s will directly. He must choose to follow one from among those who claim to know God’s will. He chooses the most successful because God has blessed their endeavors.

                      Ethics: Do God’s Will!

                      Politics: Do God’s Will!

                      Esthetics: Do not portray Mohammed!

                    18. I failed to mention that young impoverished muslims in africa are taught that America and other wester societies, rather than their own dictators, are the great oppressors and the cause of their torment. Islamic conquest in America is viewed as a sign of Allah’s blessing. Al Qaeda et al regularly claim that 9-11 was a result and a sign of His blessing. A big mosque in the same location will be portrayed, and accepted, as further conquest and proof of Allah’s approval.

    2. Not from NYC and certainly understand the legal right to the Mosque, but as I said in a previous post, yes, it IS in poor taste. But poor taste is part of liberty.

    3. The Saudi’s will finance whatever is in their best interests. The only reason they finance some of those radical institutions is to appease the Wahabbists. But appeasing the West is high on their list of priorities too.

  6. If I were a democrat, I’d be on the line with Fred Phelps offering my firstborn if he’d take his merry band of bigots to protest alongside the Palinistas and Newt Gingbag.

    1. Ooo, I like the way you think. You could be the next Karl Rove/Rahm Emanuel/Nicolo Machiavelli.

      *two thumbs up*

      1. Holy shit, did you just call me Lucifer?

        I’m in need of some restraint.

    2. The Democrats probably have Phelps’ contact information, as he is or was a registered Democrat.

  7. Maybe the city should put its emergency command headquarters there.

    1. They can use the ConEdison half for that! Problem solved.

      1. They can’t. The group that’s building the mosque owns the lease to the ConEd side.

        1. Is this an approved use in that lease?

          1. They have to exercise a purchase option on the lease, which they started 6 months ago. So it’s not like this is a new random issue they’re just learning about now.

            The building at 45-47 Park Place was owned by the Pomerantz family until 2009, when they sold the structure to Soho Properties for $4.8 million. (The Post doesn’t spell it out, but it appears Soho Properties is affiliated with Park51’s organizers.) For an extra $700,000, Soho Properties also purchased from the family a long-term lease on the adjoining space owned by Con Edison.

            But to rebuild as an Islamic center, Soho Properties would need to exercise a purchase option in the lease. According to the Post, that process was put in motion with Con Edison back in February. So what comes next?

            The utility is now doing an appraisal to determine the property value, and it would be up to El-Gamal [the owner of Soho Properties] to decide whether to accept the price, the utility said. The price is estimated at $10 million to $20 million.

            “We are following our legal obligations under the lease. We will not allow other considerations to enter into this transaction,” Con Ed said.

            http://blogs.wsj.com/metropoli…..ound-zero/

  8. They don’t yet own the entire parcel of land. The neglected to mention that to the Community Board. So why would they go before the board before they had title to the property? And why didn’t they mention this to the Community Board?

    I work in business development and I can say from experience that until you hold title to a property, you don’t waste both your time and the time of a board that determines land use.

    http://www.nypost.com/f/print/…..a5xZ0rCmpJ

    1. The building at 45-47 Park Place was owned by the Pomerantz family until 2009, when they sold the structure to Soho Properties for $4.8 million. (The Post doesn’t spell it out, but it appears Soho Properties is affiliated with Park51’s organizers.) For an extra $700,000, Soho Properties also purchased from the family a long-term lease on the adjoining space owned by Con Edison.

      But to rebuild as an Islamic center, Soho Properties would need to exercise a purchase option in the lease. According to the Post, that process was put in motion with Con Edison back in February. So what comes next?

      1. A quiet wait until you actually hold title to the property — free, clear and unencumbered.

        That they wet before the Community Board without title to the ConEd land and FAILED TO MENTION THAT LITTLE FACT tells me that what these folks are really all about is stirring up controversy. Just like the Flying Imams.

        1. Fer fuck’s sake…

          1. Wow! Deep retort.

            1. Two weeks of watching desperate grasping at straws to try to fail this on a technicality may occasionally result in frustration.

              1. I’m just waiting for them to start planting spotted owls and endangered beetles on the property…if they haven’t already.

                1. I’m just waiting for them to start planting spotted owls and endangered beetles on the property…if they haven’t already.

                  You mean they haven’t brought up the endangered polka-dot cockroaches yet?! Environmentalism isn’t what it used to be.

  9. Should the city block it? No.

    Should it be built right on that spot? No.

    These two conclusions are 100% consistent.

    1. The second one is pretty stupid, though. As I’ve reminded others, refraining from advocating coercion does not render your opinion immune to criticism.

    2. “”Should it be built right on that spot? No.””

      According to who?

      It can, and will be.

  10. Say it with me folks: YOU DO NOT HAVE A RIGHT TO NOT BE OFFENDED.

    1. No one has a right not be offended. Everyone has a right to speak up if they object to the measure, the property owner has a right to listen or not and the government has an obligation under the first amendment not to block it.

      IMO the mosque should not be built there, but I do not want the government to shut it down.

      1. I concur. It’s probably in bad taste, but I don’t have time/money to quit my job and protest outside the place 24-7. I’ve got important shit to do like not starving and watching copious amounts of pornography.

        1. and watching copious amounts of pornography

          You have something in common with regulators at the SEC.

        2. Drax the Destroyer? What a silly name. What are you? Some skinny little 13 year old boy?

      2. And everyone else has a right to non-coercively tell the objectors to shut the fuck up because they’re acting stupid.

      3. Out of greater than 100 posts, this is the only one mentioning property rights. Thank you sir. I thought this was a libertarian blog?

        1. Dude, if you’re a newbie, that’s one thing and sorry for the following:

          The commentariat here has been fucking arguing over this for the better part of two weeks and one of the chief positions repeated is the property rights view.

    2. YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO SPLIT YOUR INFINITIVES.

      1. I do have a right not to give a flying fuck about meaningless bullshit. I’m assuming Shakespeare shouldn’t have had the right to make up words for the hell of it?

      2. James Kirk’s English Teacher:
        KIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRK! “…to boldly go where no man one has gone before…” is a split infinitive! Haven’t you learned anything!

        Young James T:
        You pedantic cunt – what does that have to do with the “controversial?” NYC mosque?
        **phasers English Teacher**

        Principle:
        We need to get that young man to Starfleet Academy – he’s Captain material…

  11. I figured out a solution to this problem. Everyone needs to chip in and buy the building next door and open up a strip joint that specializes in lap dances and fine southern pork barbecue.

    First, you can’t have too many barbecue places or strip joints. And second, if these people really are for tolerance and interfaith dialog, then they shouldn’t have a problem with my strip club. And if they do, we know they are full of shit and there to be assholes.

    1. And one or two of my girls would be out front every day in just enough clothes to be legal saying hi to our neighbors and passers by and trying to get business.

      1. Great, just great! Someplace for the next Major Hasan to hang out before the next shooting spree. Try thinking things through before suggesting one-stop-shops for jihad, okay?

        Maybe a pet store that sells nothing but dogs and pigs with a BBQ and hot dog stand out front?

          1. Maybe you didn’t hear about that terrorist at Fort Hood yet.

      2. You need to have them all wear Muslim themed lingerie.

    2. BARBECUED BABY BACK RIBS FOR CHARCOAL GRILL
      Serves 4

      For a potent spice flavor, brine and dry the ribs as directed, then coat them with the spice rub, wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate overnight before grilling. You will need two wood chunks, each about the size of a lemon, for this recipe.

      Brine
      1/2 cup table salt or 1 cup kosher salt
      1/2 cup sugar
      2 racks (about 2 pounds each) baby back or loin back ribs

      Spice rub
      1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
      1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
      1 3/4 teaspoons ground cumin
      1 1/2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
      3/4 teaspoon table salt or 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
      3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
      3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
      1 teaspoon ground white pepper
      1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

      1. To brine the ribs: Dissolve salt and sugar in 4 quarts cold water in stockpot or large plastic container. Submerge ribs in brine and refrigerate 1 hour until fully seasoned. Remove ribs from brine and thoroughly pat dry with paper towels.

      2. While ribs are brining, cover two 3-inch wood chunks with water in medium bowl; soak wood chunks for 1 hour, then drain and set aside. Combine spice rub ingredients in small bowl. When ribs are out of brine and dried, rub each side of racks with 1 tablespoon spice rub; refrigerate racks 30 minutes.

      3. To barbecue the ribs: Open bottom vents on grill. Ignite about 4 1/2 quarts charcoal briquettes (3/4 large chimney-full, or about 65 briquettes) and burn until covered with thin coating of light gray ash, about 20 minutes. Empty coals onto one half of grill bottom, piling them 2 to 3 briquettes high; place soaked wood chunks on top of coals. Position cooking grate over coals, cover grill, open lid vents two-thirds of the way; heat grate 5 minutes, then scrape clean with wire brush.

      4. Arrange ribs on cool side of grill parallel to fire; cover, positioning lid so that vents are opposite wood chunks to draw smoke through grill (grill temperature should register about 350 degrees on grill thermometer, but will soon start dropping). Cook for 2 hours, until grill temperature drops to about 250 degrees, flipping rib racks, switching their position so that rack that was nearest fire is on outside, and turning racks 180 degrees every 30 minutes; add 10 fresh briquettes to pile of coals. Continue to cook (grill temperature should register 275 to 300 degrees on grill thermometer), flipping, switching, and rotating ribs every 30 minutes, until meat easily pulls away from bone, 1 1/2 to 2 hours longer. Transfer ribs to cutting board, then cut between bones to separate ribs; serve.

      I find it helpful to wrap the ribs in foil and let them rest for an hour after you take them off the grill.

      1. Where did you get the recipe?

        1. Someone on some forum transcribed a recipe from Cook’s Illustrated. If you like meat, you really should have the book.

    3. That’s the idea John. Now all you need is $100 million to buy a 20′ by 20′ parcel of prime overpriced Manhattan Real Estate. On the realistic side of this, unfortunately, I think strip clubs have been zoned out of most of Manhattan thanks to Ghouliani.

      1. But we can have a Mosque that pisses off half the country? And yeah I know it would be expensive, that is why it has to be a nationwide drive. And yes, we would have to petition for a zoning exception. But that is half the fun. I want to see these assholes have to get up in public and talk about why my strip club offends their sensibilities and how they have a right to bitch when they just claimed the right to offend everyone in the country. It would be great.

        1. No one is stopping you man. Get the website up, drop the link on some hub website and watch your hits go through the roof. But I think you’ll find actual donations to be few and far between. However, I can chip in 30 cents I found in my couch stuck to a stale piece of gum.

        2. Most of New York pisses off half the country, John. Fuck, quit being such drama queen.

        3. I doubt most of the people who oppose the mosque are going to be the sort who support strip clubs, so your drive is in trouble from the getgo. But if you want to open a pork processing plant next to the mosque, I’ll stand right beside you at the zoning commission hearing and argue that they have no right to stop you.

          Yes, a lot of people would switch sides on the issue, and they’re hypocrites…but remember that hypocrites are right half the time.

        4. I believe NYC does not allow any adult business to be within a certain proximity to any school, church, etc., etc.

          Now, if you want to open up a Hooters, that’ll be a little easier. Plus I hear they have good Buffalo wings…

          1. Yes, a strip club there would be against NYC zoning laws. That is why we should try to open one and confront all the folks who are waxing divine about the right to build a mosque on Park 51.

    4. I like this idea.

      Btw, you’re the best commentator on here. Too many open borders supporters and Muslim appeasers on this site. Someone needs to talk sense to them.

      1. Btw, you’re the best commentator on here. Too many open borders supporters and Muslim appeasers on this site. Someone needs to talk sense to them.

        Wait, are you a simulacrum troll like “Mister Paleo,” or are you just retarded?

        1. I think it’s a troll. But a well done one, since you can’t tell for certain…

          1. Yeah, I am pretty sure Conservatarian is one of those agreement trolls, trying to make people look bad by agreeing with them.

    5. Re: John,

      Everyone needs to chip in and buy the building next door and open up a strip joint that specializes in lap dances and fine southern pork barbecue.

      Love the idea.

      I love ribs . . .

    6. There already is a strip club near the site. And a BBQ joint. And there’s a bar across the street.

      This is Manhattan, for goodness sakes.

    7. MMMMmmm titties and ribs.

    8. John|8.9.10 @ 12:22PM|#
      I figured out a solution to this problem. Everyone needs to chip in and buy the building next door and open up a strip joint that specializes in lap dances and fine southern pork barbecue.

      +10000

      As I suppose most NYC residents feel, I think this whole thing is incredibly stupid; you don’t like Islam? Never ride in a cab then, sweetheart. Or throw that Tabouli away. The people making a big deal about this are basically exploiting the circumstances to appeal to their own sense of self-righteousness and national dignity or something. Which is why I’m totally down with John here: Mosque? OK. Pork Pit? Can do! People need to deal with the idea of pluralism, or just STFU. Many fail to see how being indignant over the presence of a mosque on their ‘sacred ground’ (right.. these are the same people who shit all over NYC in the next breath) is no different than certain Saudi dissidents bemoaning the presence of the Crusader army in their holy land.

      Really, the fact the irony occurs no one amazes me.

      1. Jeebus! Stereotype much?

        All cabbies are Muslim?
        Jews don’t make Tabouli?

        1. Oh shut up. The point was we live in a pluralistic city; there’s nothing offensive about people having their little ‘community center’ anywhere in NY. Most of the ‘outrage’ is simply people pretending they bleed more red than others.

          And, while irrelevant: yes, tabouli is not particularly jewish. Pastrami, however…

          1. Tabouleh is dee-lish.

          2. Gilmore and Timon19,

            Are you aware of the hypocrisy in your espousal of multi-culturalism in the same sentence that your telling people to STFU?

            What a couple of ignorant fuckfaces you two are.

            Kindest regards,

            J Lee

            1. I believe I told John specifically to STFU because he’s a disingenuous prick who makes shit up from links he is given.

              It’s a personal request, since he’s not interested in arguing in good faith. After a while, it gets really, really tiresome.

              Have a good day!

              1. Timon, you say that foul language is the norm at the CNN site that you frequently visit. I would appreciate it if you clean up your act when you come over here.

      2. Gilmore, I support the right of the people who own the land to build the Islamic Center at Ground Zero. I just find the self-righteousness of many of the mosque’s defenders a bit rediculous considering their refusal to stand up for the land rights of others in New York City. John’s proposed strip club would have much trouble starting, because of legal restrictions on where strip clubs can be located. Hardly any of the people making bold statements in defense of the mosque spare any time to stand up for strip clubs. In Manhattan, Columbia University is abusing eminent domain to tear down a Harlem neighborhood for its expansion. When Reason writes about that violation of property rights, 6 people show up to comment. Too many people here believe that Muslims are more equal than everyone else.

        1. Hello, strawman factory! NYC’s land-use restrictions and zoning laws are very, very unlibertarian. If it were my decision, you could completely surround the place with strip clubs if you were the owner.

          Hardly any of the people making bold statements in defense of the mosque have been presented with the opportunity to stand up for strip clubs in NYC.

          I haven’t seen much of a to-do about them.

          I’m pretty sure you’ll find an awful lot of people here who deplore the Columbia University abuse. The difference is likely that there aren’t a bunch of retrograde bigots trying to argue about how much their feelings will be hurt on those threads.

    9. Hmmm… I think I’m going to open a mosque at my house then. Send over the strippers and BBQ.

  12. “we really don’t want to see their influence spread”

    If the spread of Islam brings about more hatred of gays, more intolerance of non-believers, and the idea that women are inferior to men, then I want to stop the spread of its influence too. Is it so bigoted of me?

    1. 18 U.S.C. ? 1961?1968

    2. That is the tough part about being consistently pro-freedom: you need to favor freedom even for people who are anti-freedom.

    3. I want to stop it with logic, reason, and the awesome taste of bacon.

      So long as your methods for stopping it don’t involve government coercion, then you’re fine with me. Unless you are just trying to convert them to a different religion that hates gays, is intolerant to non-believers, and thinks women are inferior.

  13. I find the connection with the convent rather different. Manhattan is after all still a place where people live, not a museum dedicated to remembering the terrorist attacks.

    And the mosque is not built on the site of the twin towers, it is built 2 blocks from them.

  14. Ms. Young,

    You have made a number of good observations. However, one of your comments is incorrect. Being a significant issue I want to draw it to your attention.

    One of the significant differences between Islam and other modern religions is that Islam is a religion incorporating law, government, and military leadership together. Mohammad was a military leader, political leader, government leader, and founder of Islam. Islam asserts that secular government and secular law are themselves an affront to Allah. They are blasphemy.

    In this manner, Islam IS a political movement as much, or perhaps more, than it is a personal religious one.

    Islam REQUIRES that the faithful work to apply Sharia law to all and eliminate democracy for a religious government.

    It is not racist to discuss these facts, nor is racist to suggest making decisions informed by them. Islam is not after all, a race based faith.

    It is as reasonable to consider an Islamic Center as a political office as a worship center. On that basis, do you think that an Islamic political office with recruiting is appropriate next to buildings destroyed in the name of that political movement?

    1. Careful. This dude is a PE.

      1. PE = Penis Envy?

        1. No. Penis eater.

          1. Is putting letters after your name pretentious?

      2. Perhaps he’s consulting on NYC building codes.

    2. Perhaps the same could be said of all religions.

      Especially Judaism.

      1. Perhaps the same could be said of all religions.

        But it’d be wrong.

        All religions do not have a state built in.

        1. Fucking Vatican…

      2. More to the point, a religion is all the different ways it is practiced, not just its holy writings. If Christians can turn a religion that distinguishes between Caesar and God into a state religion, then Muslims can adapt a religion that is explicitly theocratic into something that can operate under a liberal secular state.

        1. That is really Islam’s problem. They haven’t gone through their reformation yet. Probably 90+% of all Muslims just want to worship in peace without ruling over anybody. They just want to be left alone. But some of the rest are noisy and rich bastards who want to pound their religious views down everybody’s throat and even smaller number of these bastards want to kill anybody who gets in their way.

      3. Your words are as empty as your soul! Mankind ill needs a savior such as you!

        1. What is a man!? A miserable little pile of secrets! But enough talk… Have at you!

    3. I absolutely concur. Islam has never underwent a secularist movement like Christianity.

      1. And you would be patently wrong in saying that. Islam has had plenty of secularist movements, but they have often been followed by regress. Such secularism is now all but gone, and that is the tragedy of modern Islam.

        1. Ok. Enlighten me. Examples. Seriously. Thanks.

          1. http://flag.blackened.net/revo…..islam.html

            This is pretty much how I understood it. Aside from Turkey, where has Islam secularized liked Christianity and in what form?

  15. Further to the point about Auschwitz: I am pretty sure that there aren’t all that many buildings near the camp, making the convent stand out. The mosque in Manhattan would just be one of many. This mean that opposition can only be based on making all muslims responsible for the attack

  16. Those who own the land should be able to do with it what they want…within the zoning code.

    1. What is ConEdison doing with their half?

      1. Re: Suki,

        What is ConEdison doing with their half?

        Depends . . . do they have the upper half, or the lower half?

        [He he he]

      2. Answered by others above.

    2. Whoa, libertarians support zoning codes all of the sudden?

      1. I don’t think Wedgie is a libertarian. I’m not sure what he is…

  17. “…often implies that every peaceful Muslim is a potential jihadist.”

    In his defense, there HAVE been an uncomfortable number of jihadists who were educated, middle-class, every-day muslims where people who knew them ended up saying something like, “He was a nice guy, I never thought he could be a terrorist”.

    1. Exactly! Just like most of them who attacked or got caught preparing to attack America. Except for Hasan, who was only normal when he was sipping beer in a Texas strip club.

    2. So then, every gym teacher or priest is a potential pedophile, every Christian a potential abortion clinic bomber, every soldier a potential William Calley, etc. Because, after all, there have been an uncomfortable number of each of these outliers that blend in with the larger group.

      I don’t see any purpose for totally non-substantive statements like this, unless the goal is to subliminally reinforce the muslim = terrorist idea. Dude’s a bigot.

      1. So then, every gym teacher or priest is a potential pedophile.

        Well gym teachers for sure.

        1. Well, everybody is a potential pedophile.

  18. This is an invitation for violence.
    If this thing is built, some lone nut, or maybe a militia group, is going to get some 911 revenge.
    The people proposing this thing must know this.
    As I see it they are inciting and inviting violence.
    The question is: for what purpose?
    Is it to gain sympathy from the lefties who think anyone who flies an American flag at home is a terrorist?
    Is it to invite Muslim retaliation?

    Plans within plans within plans…

    1. Wow. This is, without a doubt, the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen posted on Reason. And that includes everything Dan T. has said.

      1. You are delirious with fever and should seek immediate medical attention.

      2. I don’t know man, it’s just not at that level yet. He’s missing a crazy allusion to a bunch of cranky ex-KGB members who actually have been manipulating this whole thing behind the scenes. AND the ones manipulating them are surviving members of the Third Reich. Bullshit within Bullshit within Bullshit. Frankly, life is not that interesting.

        1. Building this center is like someone poking you in the chest and then playing victim when you punch their lights out.

          It is purposefully disrespectful to the point where I think they want something violent to happen.

          1. You need to go shoot the place up once it’s built. You’ll be a goddamned hero as some guy named Bubba rapes you in prison.

            1. Obviously, you are a complete and total moron if you think that I am condoning violence.

              If someone goes up to you, gets in your face and starts yelling “boobidy boobidy boobidy boobidy boobidy..” and won’t get out of your way, don’t you think they are inviting you to deck them?

              Would you be right in initiating violence? No.

              Would they be wrong for inviting violence? Yes.

              I think the people proposing this building are inviting violence.

              1. So what’s your solution then? Violence lies at the end of this somewhere and that’s all that matters to the babies bleating about this pointless crap.

                1. What is my solution? What does it matter?

                  I think the builders of this building chose the location because it will tick people off so much so that some nut will do something stupid.

                  I need a solution to that?

                  Obviously, you are a moron.

                  1. What’s the point of bitching about something if you don’t think something can be done about it?

                    If it bothers you sooooooo muuuccccch than fucking go protest the fucking thing. If you can’t muster up the balls to be that crazy or admit you’d prefer an angry mob/police force/military to burn the place to the ground during its grand opening, than maybe it doesn’t matter that much. There are more important things to get your undies bunched over. Like the fact that this administration (and the one’s before it) have systematically destroyed our ability to save for the future.

                    1. “What’s the point of bitching about something if you don’t think something can be done about it?”

                      Wow dude, that’s heavy.

                      I introduced the idea that the people who want to build this thing may have chosen the location with the intent to piss people off, and you’re the one who gets all pissed off.

                      I am not emotionally invested in this. No bunched up panties.

                      But you’re having one hell of an emotional reaction.

                      I was hoping for a reasoned response, not an emotional reaction.

                      I guess my mistake was in thinking someone here was capable of reason.

                      I was wrong.

                    2. Hey man, I’m not emotionally invested in this bullshit( aka building of this mosque). I AM emotionally invested in people pretending to be Libertarians becoming complete hypocrites when it comes to the these types of whiny slow news day non-issues. You know why? Because then those fucking liberal douchebags think that’s what Libertarians are about and use it to denounce us every chance they get. They think we are all war-mongering, frat-boy, douchebag assholes who worship at the altar of Ronald Reagan on an hourly basis because of fuckers like you.

                      I thought I was “arguing” with someone with enough honesty to admit he actually cared about this even on a even a minor level since he typed up hundreds (thousands?) of words on a Libertarian website and desperately wanted to “win” by pointing my “obvious” capcity to be a moron.

                      I was wrong.

                    3. I need to proofread.

                    4. “They think we are all war-mongering, frat-boy, douchebag assholes who worship at the altar of Ronald Reagan on an hourly basis because of fuckers like you.”

                      I threw out the idea that the location was chosen with the intent of pissing people off.
                      I could be wrong.
                      Instead of a reasoned response I get “You need to go shoot the place up once it’s built.”
                      Then you say I’m the guy who gives libertarians a bad name?

                      I never once gave my own opinion on the matter, yet I am accused of being a Palin sympathizer who wants to kill everyone names Muhammad.
                      Do you want my opinion? If so ask.
                      Or do you want to tell me what my opinion is and then argue against it?

                      Fucking retard.

                    5. Your opinion was obvious from your first post. You don’t like it. You know what… I don’t like it either. But beyond that, I couldn’t give two shits about it. When it is built I will forget about its existence and move on with my life. Other people, unfortunately, will remember this for a long time.

                      The comment about shooting the place up was thrown out there as a provocative statement in order to elicit a response other than “I think those Muslims suck”. It’s called a feint and it is meant to draw out a real opinion and not some whitewashed bullshit. I’d like to actually see what you think about this, and if it is along the lines of “well we should have a bloated military industrial complex that wages war against all the nations but the ones who are really involved” then I will feel slightly vindicated. If not who cares. Apparently we agree. The mosque is in bad taste at the least.

                      Regarding the “fucking retard” statement, I suppose my various swears in your direction deserved a comparable response. In the end, you can blame the public schools (you know something that should be bitched about instead of this garbage) your tax dollars are wasted on. Also, a retarded friend of mine was hit by a bus last year. Not cool man, not cool. I’ll dare to say that it was “insensitive” of you, but I won’t because I don’t have sand in my vagina, unlike some people.

                    6. My opinion?
                      I think that if it is built, and if some right wing nutjobs decide to shoot up or bomb the place, that the fallout would be pretty intense.
                      It would be a perfect recruiting tool for the guys who want to kill us, it would be an excuse for more laws and restrictions on freedom, and it would be a rally cry for the loony left who wants to paint everyone who flies an American flag as a potential domestic terrorist.
                      Could that be the plan? I don’t know.
                      All I was doing was trying to pose the question and elicit some thought, not a bunch of kneejerk reactions.

                    7. “They think we are all war-mongering, frat-boy, douchebag assholes who worship at the altar of Ronald Reagan on an hourly basis because of fuckers like you”

                      In other words

                      “Shut up! Your views are tarnishing my political hipster status!”

                  2. Would it be ironic if I told “anal thermometer” to get his head out of his ass?

              2. Why? Because some people think sufis like to create jihadi armies?

                1. It’s probably wahhabi money that’s paying for this thing.

              3. Would they be wrong for inviting violence? Yes.

                Nope.

                I can walk up to you and tell you anal thermometers suck. If you tell me I’m wrong to do that, well, I don’t give a shit what you think, mercury boy.

                1. With a name like Reason you’d hope that some of the people here would possess it.
                  But instead of responses all I see are reactions.
                  Oh well.

                  1. This isn’t the first time an anal thermometer has made me drink.

      3. This is, without a doubt, the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen posted on Reason.

        Care to elaborate?

    2. Why do those Negroes want to move into this nice white neighborhood? They have to know we don’t want their kind around here. How insensitive!

      And you know some racists (not me of course!) are going to react violently. It’s unavoidable, and they know this, so they’re just asking for trouble. And it’s going to be their own fault for provoking our neighbors.

      Where are they getting the money from, anyway? Most Negroes can’t come close to affording a house in this neighborhood. Are they involved in marihuana? Gambling? Moonshine? Do we really want that element living here with our children walking down the street?

      1. A Dream Deferred
        by Langston Hughes

        What happens to a dream deferred?

        Does it dry up
        like a raisin in the sun?
        Or fester like a sore–
        And then run?
        Does it stink like rotten meat?
        Or crust and sugar over–
        like a syrupy sweet?

        Maybe it just sags
        like a heavy load.

        Or does it explode?

      2. I can’t remember the last time Negroes flew a couple hijacked planes into skyscrapers, killing thousands of innocent people, and then decided to build something that could be interpreted as a monument right next door to the wreckage.

        Other than that your attempt to paint those who are offended by the choice of the location of the building as racists was quite entertaining.

        1. I can’t remember the last time Sufi Muslims or any American Muslims flew some hijacked planes into skyscrapers.

          Are you all under the impression that denying this Sufi mosque will stop foreign jihadis from doing whatever it is they think they can get away with?

          1. I am under the impression that the choosing of this location was bound to piss people off.
            I think that it could have been deliberate.

            Instead I’m getting emotionally charged drivel that is arguing against me as a person, accusing me of being offended, of being racist, of wanting to take up arms against Muslims, and generally trying to evoke an emotional reaction.

            I had hoped for a reasoned response.

            I apologize for thinking you may have been capable of setting your emotion aside and using your mind.
            That’s my fault.
            Again, I’m very very sorry.

            1. You got that from my post, Victim?

              1. Do you still beat your wife?

                1. This question:
                  “Are you all under the impression that denying this Sufi mosque will stop foreign jihadis from doing whatever it is they think they can get away with?”

                  Is not of that nature.

                  1. Hey dipshit. Do you want my opinion? Here it is.

                    I can understand why some would get mad at the location of the building, but I am not one of them.
                    I can see how the location may have been chosen to incite violence, but it could have been a lack of forethought as well.

                    Do I think that it should not be built? No. They have every right to do so.
                    I do think that if it is built, and if some nut does violence there, that it will cause a lot of trouble.

                    What is my solution? Who cares? I have no power to change anything so it doesn’t much matter now does it?

                    1. And based on the complete lack of evidence of anything illegal or even nefarious, I’m in agreement with you.

                      It may have been chosen merely to start a debate, too, but we don’t know that, and likely CAN’T know that.

                      If you want to get into likelihoods, it’s far more likely that this was the most available building to serve the already existing and overflowing mosques nearby, and thus the rest of the community.

            2. Sometimes people need to be pissed off. I think that this is one of those cases. People who get pissed off for stupid reasons deserve to be so.

      3. By the way Islam is a religion, not a race.

        1. But apparently the only way they can have a role in the society you long for will be if they give up their religion. Pardon me for not liking your society very much.

          1. “the society you long for”

            Please tell me what that society is.
            Obviously you must already know, or you would have asked.

            I will not bother to correct you if you are wrong, because you obviously know me better than I know myself.

            fucking retard

          2. Why don’t they make a country that Christians/Jews want to move to? Exactly.

        2. All that gains you is religious bigot status rather than racist status.

          1. It is perfectly fine to be a religious bigot since all that means is that you hate a particular belief system. For instance I hate the kind of Kantian moral agnosticism which you display by regarding meaningless nonsense like “religious bigotry” as a powerful insult.

            In order to avoid being a belief system bigot, one would have to form no opinions at all where ideas are concerned.

          2. Tulpa, that moves the topic to religious equality, a topic that doesn’t have all the emotional baggage that people who falsely shout “racist” try to tap into.

        3. It’s not just a religion but an integrated way of life encompassing law, politics and religion.

      4. Again with this? Racism against a religion? No sutcha!

  19. These people should be protesting the lack of development at ground zero.

  20. 1) It isn’t a mosque.

    2) It isn’t at “Ground Zero”.

    3) Putting a false statement in quotation marks (the “Ground Zero mosque”) does not give a writer the right to make false statements.

    Other than that, the article was excellent. I’ll have to stop making so many lame Cathy Young jokes. Damn it!

    1. 1.) It’s a “Community Center” that will house a mosque inside. There is a “mosque-like” construction plan with a dome and everything.

      2.) It’s literally a block and a half from ground zero itself. Type in “45-47 park place new york” in Google maps and you’ll see where it is.

      3.) There is nothing “false” about calling it the “Ground Zero Mosque”.

      1. Ooh! Now we’ve shaved a half-a-block off this in another attempt to grasp a straw!

        1. It’s not a straw man. The “community center” will be next to ground zero. Look at the map.

          1. Please look up “strawman” and “grasping at straws” and learn the difference.

            1. They are similar for a reason. And I’m not “grasping at straws” either.

              1. “Two blocks” become “a block and a half” out of nowhere. Straws. Grasping.

                1. Fine, it’s two blocks. Feel better? My point is the same. Look at the map.

          2. They must have really short blocks in NYC for properties that are right next to each other to be a block and a half apart.

            1. People keep saying ‘you can’t even see it from Ground Zero….I don’t know that this is true.

              I do know that you could see the Burlington Coat Factory from the WTC–and you could see the WTC from the Burlington Coat Factory.

              Might be harder to do now that the WTC is a hole, but I’m not positive that it can’t be done.

              1. So is it now line-of-sight? Is that the latest straw? Who the fuck cares if you could at one time have seen the Coat Factory from WTC?

                1. Because the mooslims can shoot their evil mohammedan death ray at the Freedom Tower after it gets built. Duh!

                2. Oh, no, no straws. I just wanted to make it clear that the two places were within sight of each other, y’know?

                  And point out that the only reason they’re no longer in sight of each other is because Muslims reduced the WTC to rubble, and the people in it to greasy dust. That’s all.

                  Like I’ve said, the legality of putting in Park51 is beyond question. The rightness of putting in Park51, however, is perfectly questionable.

                  Like this one…

                  If one really wants Park51 to be built and used as a place of interfaith understanding, learning and dialogue, why is it so hard to hear those whose voices are raised against the simple placement of this effort in interfaith dialogue–never mind it’s mission?

                  What type of understanding is created as this is forced in over the protests?

                  See, you can ask all kinds of questions.

              2. That’s offensive too, as the hijackers were all wearing clothes. Having a clothes factory near the WTC site is a spit in the face to all the nudists who died or lost family members on 9/11.

            2. The blocks in downtown are very short, because the street layout south of Wall Street goes back to the 17th Century.

      2. So what you’re saying is that people should be wetting themselves about this?

        1. So what you’re saying is that people should be wetting shitting themselves in terror over this while sucking on their thumbs over this?

          That’s in line with how they act about it.

        2. What I’m saying is that if moderate muslims wanted to remove the stigma of Islamic fanatics and their connections to 9/11, they wouldn’t build a brand new farking mosque a block and a half from ground zero.

          1. One more time, with feeling: “They’re fucking sufis!”

            1. The unthinking reactionaries who would do violence to them don’t care!

              1. Then they can get prosecuted for violence committed.

                1. Like it would end with that.

                  The lefties would be up in arms saying how this proves that all conservatives are terrorists.
                  It would be a perfect recruiting tool for the real terrorists.
                  It would result in a host of new laws to “prevent this from happening again”.

                  I’d rather avoid the whole thing.

                  1. So it should be disallowed on the ANTICIPATION of crime?

                    Holy shit. I think there was a Tom Cruise movie based on this sort of thinking.

                    1. When did I say it should be disallowed?

                      I said I’d rather avoid the whole thing.

                      But what if it is they who are anticipating this?
                      What if they want some right wing nutjob to shoot up the place or set off a bomb?

                      That was my original question, before I was accused of everything from liking Reagan to wanting to use government force to stop these people from exercising their property rights.

                  2. Please! There are no conservatives in NY.

              2. You know, I read about this thing once. I think it was called murder, and people usually go to prison for it. What an insane concept.

            2. I hope you do realize that Sufis are not the Islamic hippies that many (ignorant) people portray them to be. The Deobandis are a Sufi movement for crying out loud. Now, if you actually knew anything about Islam other than what you gleaned from cocktail party conversation, you would know that since the Deobandi are Sufi, then that means the Taliban, by extension, are Sufi.

              Just sayin’.

              1. Deobandis are considered to be within the confines of Sunni Islam (Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jam?’ah).[3] They follow the Ash’ari and Maturidi schools of aqidah (creed). In fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) they primarily follow the Hanafi school of law while they accept the validity of the remaining three schools of Sunni Islam, namely the Shafi`i, Maliki and the Hanbali schools. In the spiritual science of Tasawwuf (Sufism) they follow the Chishti, Naqshbandi, Qadiri and Suhrawardi orders

                So they take SOME aspects of Sufism into their otherwise very Sunni belief system. Wowzers.

          2. Yup.

      3. “”There is nothing “false” about calling it the “Ground Zero Mosque”.””

        Except that’s not the title. If they put “Ground Zero Mosque” on their front door, I’ll agree with you.

  21. Most likely, the roles in this debate would be reversed.

    Who is this article written for, Young?

    The people defending the construction of the mosque who read Reason wouldn’t change their position.

    I bet a lot of the anti-mosque posters here would change their tune if we were talking about Christians, sure. But you’re making this statement fairly glibly if you’re applying it to both sides among your readership and not just among the public at large.

    1. She wrote it for RealClearPolitics

      1. Ah, OK. That makes more sense then.

        My bad.

        1. I wouldn’t recommend reading the comments at RCP. There is a high risk of sending your brain into an infinite rage loop.

    2. She’s making the fallacious reductio ad hypocrisium argument: that if hypocrites believe something it must be wrong.

  22. The issue here is not one of rights/legality, but decency and sensitivity. Would it be respectful to 9/11 victims who were slaughtered by Islamic extremists to build a 50 story mosque adjacent to ground zero? How about one with a gigantic “Allahu Akbar” down the front of it with the burning Twin Towers? Why do the mosque’s supporters get to determine where that boundary of decency is? It’s no wonder that most “progressives” are in full support of this mosque in that for them the question is always “why shouldn’t x be done?” rather than “why should it?”

    Again, they have every right to build there and I have every right to ask them not to, or ask why I should agree that this is a good thing. A few prominent opponents have been trying to get the government to step in. Ironically they are the same ones who have a problem with big government. But if that center were to be used for nefarious purposes, then we should expect the government to step in and shut it down. If it is truly used as an outreach center, let’s see them preach intereligious tolerance, sexual tolerance, etc. I don’t have to respect that faith until they respect American values.

    And for all the “racist” “bigot” “intolerant” flamethrowers, please do a little reading of the Quran before you respond to this:

    http://www.faithfreedom.org/Articles/quran_teaches.htm

    1. Why does Jyllands Posten get to determine where that boundary of decency is?

      1. a) Jyllands Posten isn’t asking to build an anti-Islamic center in Saudi Arabia or near an Islamic holy site. b) No one is asking him to set a boundary. c) Speech is not physical, i.e. it’s a lot less intrusive/permanent than a building near a sensitive landmark.

        1. Jyllands Posten is a newspaper.

          1. Oh, snap!

          2. The name of the newspaper is actually Jyllands-Posten. I just thought that was Toon’s buddy or something. But I like to anthropomorphize publications in the male form anyway.

    2. But if that center were to be used for nefarious purposes, then we should expect the government to step in and shut it down.

      Absolutely! And if there is ever compelling evidence that the mosque is involved in dangerous and illegal activity, I’ll support government action in shutting it down when that evidence comes to light. But that time is not now.

    3. I don’t have to respect that faith until they respect American values.

      You must not respect a lot of Christian denominations either if your idea of American values includes “interreligious tolerance and sexual tolerance”. And since you apparently condition your permission to build a place of worship on them gaining your respect, that’s not a good omen for them.

      1. Permission? What authority do I have to permit them to do anything? I don’t own that piece of land. I said “respect”!

        Christians don’t harm/kill their members if they are discovered to be gay. But I disrespect a lot of things about the Christian faith as well, even though our legal system has inherited its values. That’s why I respect it a lot more than Islam and Sharia.

    4. What, exactly, are “American Values?” Seems to me that the word “American” is just used in place of the words “My Personal.” As in, “American values” equal “My personal values.”

      I thought religious freedom was supposedly an “American value.” If we don’t follow our own values, how can we hold others to the standard of our own values? Or am I missing the point?

      1. Freedom is an American value. It doesn’t mean we allow anarchy in order to maximize it. So one’s religious freedom stops when it threatens another’s liberty. In this case they aren’t threatening, but they aren’t exactly honest brokers by preaching “religious freedom” when much of their scripture forebodes it.

        They are spreading their ideology much faster in the rest of the world. They have Sharia courts in London for crying out loud! It doesn’t mean that a tolerant American version of Islam can’t flourish. It just isn’t likely.

        1. In this case they aren’t threatening

          And this is where that sentence stops, and American Freedom stops caring.

          1. “American Freedom stops caring”

            By that logic, it shouldn’t care if Mexico or Canada became communist. It shouldn’t care if a devout communist was elected president. As long as nothing explicitly threatens freedom, it shouldn’t care!

        2. Freedom is an American value? Holy shit!

          So then, since the religious advocacy of some Christian sects threatens my freedom to drink alcohol, get a blow job, and gamble, lets shut ’em all down. Anti-american bastards!

          Some (certainly not all) Christian do-gooders have modified the legal system in this country at times to suit their Puritan sense of morality, and its fucking hilarious to see the really fundamentalist ones fret over Mohammedanism like its the greatest threat to free society that’s ever existed. Must be strange to look in the mirror and see yourself wearing a dishrag and bedsheets.

          1. (fingers in ears) Lalalalala 9/11 was not that big of a deal… lalalala Iran having nukes is not that big of a deal… lalalalala every despot in the Middle East wanting to annihilate Isreal in the name of Islam is not that big of a deal… lalalalala Europe becoming more Islamic and rioting over cartoons not that big of a deal lalalala la la!

            FTA: “There are, of course, well-grounded concerns about Islamic radicalism. While every religion has its fringe elements, it is unfortunately true that, for whatever reason, militant and violent fundamentalism in Islam today occupies a much more prominent place, and is much closer to the mainstream, than in other major religions. But surely the answer to that is to promote modernization and moderation in Islam, not to demonize the entire faith.”

            Pointing out the problems of Islam in the wake of RECENT events and asking them to embrace American ideals is NOT demonizing the entire faith!!!

            1. every despot in the Middle East wanting to annihilate Isreal in the name of Islam is not that big of a deal

              Every despot? You mean the fact that the despots in Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, UAE, Oman and Yemen don’t really give a flying fuck about Israel (and some who trade with them) and Egypt’s and Jordan’s being at peace with them doesn’t count or something?

              1. Oh, soooooo much love there! Think it’ll stay that way if Israel attacks Iran?

                1. Absolutely. The Gulf States especially would dearly love it if Iran got zinged. You have zero clue about the politics of the region. The Gulf States so deeply distrust Iran that they barely talk about Israel other than the standard “The Palestinians are our brothers” crap.

                  All of the Gulf States save Saudi have some form of trade with Israel, whether officially acknowledged or not.

                  Oh, by the way, about two weeks ago, Saudi gave a very public “we’ll look the other way” message to Israel, should they attack Iran, meaning that if Israel decides to traverse SAUDI FUCKING AIRSPACE, the Saudis will chill out. So even the Saudis would like Iran nailed.

                  Jordan has never cared about Iran in any meaningful way.

                  1. Um Timon, the Gulf State still refuse to let Israel build embassies in their countries. None of them have signed a peace treaty with Israel. I know you took a jet to the UAE often, but you are still rather ignorant of the situation there.

                    1. The fact that they don’t have embassies doesn’t mean much. The Gulf States trade with Israel, whether or not it is officially acknowledged.
                      http://www.usatoday.com/news/w…..rael_x.htm

                      Jordan and Egypt HAVE signed peace treaties:
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel?Jordan_peace_treaty

            2. (fingers in ears) Lalalalala 9/11 was not that big of a deal…

              Who said that? I surely don’t think you’re ascribing such a sentiment to me…

              lalalala Iran having nukes is not that big of a deal…

              Again, who said it?

              lalalalala every despot in the Middle East wanting to annihilate Isreal in the name of Islam is not that big of a deal…

              I’m sure it is to the Israelis.

              lalalalala Europe becoming more Islamic and rioting over cartoons not that big of a deal lalalala la la

              Why should I care what Europe does? My country has enough problems. Muslims and their stupid mosque in New York aren’t one of them.

              1. who said that?

                You, here: “the religious advocacy of some Christian sects threatens my freedom”

                and here: “…its fucking hilarious to see the really fundamentalist ones fret over Mohammedanism like its the greatest threat to free society that’s ever existed”

                Why should I care what Europe does?

                Why should I care about that suspicious bag in the airport with wires coming out of it making a ticking sound? I’m late for my damn flight!!!

                1. Sorry, you didn’t say any of those things, but I think you minimize the threat waaaaay too much by comparing it to obscure “Christian sects” who haven’t done anything like a 9/11 in the modern age, at least that I know of.

                2. As we have learned, things that people are likely to think look like bombs are almost certainly not bombs.

      2. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. ? That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, ? That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

        1. +1,000,000,000

      3. Individual rights.

  23. Protesting the mosque is OK, unless you’re brown.

    In fact, the two men ? Joseph Nassralla and Karam El Masry ? were not Muslims at all. They turned out to be Egyptian Coptic Christians who work for a California-based Christian satellite TV station called “The Way.” Both said they had come to protest the mosque.

    “I’m a Christian,” Nassralla shouted to the crowd, his eyes bulging and beads of sweat rolling down his face.

    But it was no use. The protesters had become so angry at what they thought were Muslims that New York City police officers had to rush in and pull Nassralla and El Masry to safety.

    This is just fucking sad. Say whatever you want about the people who protest this community center. The fucks who treated these Christians this way deserve to be shot.

    1. http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad…..from-.html
      Joseph Nassralla:
      “My partner, Mr. El Masry, was even able to freely speak to the crowd after our identity was clarified.”

      “The reason I am writing to you, is because I am very disappointed in the mainstream media who used this minor incident to make a blanket generalization about all the attendees of the rally as Muslim haters. This kind of generalization was unfair to the good American people who legitimately stand against the building of a mosque next to ground zero and who are against Islamist agenda in the US. I am very well aware of such an agenda which has destroyed the Christian and Jewish existence in the Middle East.”

      1. LOL

        From the same website, a few comments lower

        Don’t be fooled by the Christian Egyptian because in canada we have a two faced liar from Egypt that loves to do the debate shows and defend the Muslims in Egypt as being nice to Christians. The weasel no longer appears on a local TV show because while the Host was a Catholic the Egyptian Christian never once exalted jesus or agreed him to be the Messiah for all Christians. Canada has a porous Refugee system where any Muslim Jihadist can lie and pretend to be a fleeing Christian.

        http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad…..from-.html

  24. I think the time has come to issue Tulpa’s Thread Commandments:

    I. An opinion that does not advocate coercion is still subject to criticism.

    II. Hypocrites are right half the time.

    …I reserve the right to add more as need dictates.

    1. Who made you Moses?

    2. You suck real good.

  25. “Suppose a group of Christian anti-abortion fanatics bombed the offices of Planned Parenthood in New York, killing hundreds. Suppose that, 10 years later, a conservative Christian group, strongly pro-life though repudiating violence, wanted to build a 13-story community center and church next to the site of this tragedy.”

    This is a somewhat decent analogy, but not quite accurate. To be more accurate, the conservative Christian group would ALSO have had to: (1) refuse to openly repudiate other Christian groups known to have been previously involved with bombing abortion clinics (2) have said something to the effect of “While we don’t believe those hundreds of Planned Parenthood workers deserved to die, their policies inspired the bombing.” (3) refuse to be transparent about their sources of funding and (4) name their new 13-story building after a city that, symbolically speaking, is strongly associated with the conquest and subjugation of pro-choicers.

    1. Why is it still such a radical idea to believe that US foreign policy was a factor in the reasons for 9/11?

    2. I guarantee that 99 out of 100 mosque opponents had no idea what the historical significance of Cordoba was before this controversy erupted.

      But in any case, even with your modified analogy, I would still support the group’s right to build what they want on their own property. As for the mosque supporters who would switch sides?

      Tulpa’s Thread Commandment II:
      Hypocrites are right half the time.

      1. Yeah, baby. That’s reeeeeeal good. Uh huh. Yeah. Right there.

        1. Uh oh, deformed scrotum man disapproves.

    3. You’re forgetting the major difference.

      The people who are offended by this are, for the most part, Christian right wingers.

      According to the doctrine of Political Correctness, all religions deserve tolerance except Christianity. That’s the religion of the oppressor. Well, that’s not true, the Unitarians are OK because they cater to homosexuals. But the rest of the Christians are bad people deserving no tolerance or respect.

      That and while it is very very bad to offend a lefty, it’s perfectly acceptable to offend someone on the right.
      Especially if they’re Christian.

      They’re barely human.

      1. I didn’t think strawmen had anuses.

        1. I keep up with the MSNBC commentary.
          That is no straw man.

          Though you do appear to have a fever.

          1. And the only prescription is — more church bell!

        2. OH YES! YES!! YESSSSSS!

          1. *snap*

            That was the sound of me breaking in your asshole.

    4. This bullshit about Cordoba being a symbol of Muslim conquest of the world is ridiculous. It could equally well be a symbol of Islamic tolerance and learning. Cordoba was one of the great cities of the world at its peak. And it had significant and thriving Christian and Jewish quarters. Yes, the Moors had to conquer Spain first, but who wasn’t conquering someone back then? It seems pretty clear to me that the use of the name Cordoba here is meant to hearken to a time when Islamic civilization was a bright spot in the western world. It is not as if Europe was full of tolerance and peace at the time.

      1. Of course, for being relatively tolerant for the time, Muslim Cordoba was still fairly oppressive if you were not a Muslim.

        People coming from a culture that still claims to be offended by the Crusades, recalling a time when Muslims had conquered Christian territory seems a bit provacative.

        1. And medieval Europe was a festering shithole with serfs pledging their fealty to asshole lords, who were usually fighting amongst themselves for the favor of the asshole monarch.

          No one said that dhimmitude was a full-on party, or even slightly cool. But at for the most part, people of the book were protected from outside forces as if they were Muslims.

          1. But at for the most part, people of the book were protected from outside forces as if they were Muslims.

            Actually, that’s just the excuse Midevil Muslims used to place an extra tax on non-Muslims. It supposidly compensated the army, because non-Muslims were forbidden to own swords, join the arm, or defend themselves.

            1. The tax was not really extra, given that all Muslims were compelled to pay zakat. Jizya was essentially the equivalent.

    5. I am by no means a “muslim sympathizer” (whatever the fuck that means) but you do realize that part of their beef with us is the building of military bases on what they consider holy ground? Kinda like those crazy Native’s who got all uppity when we were just fulfilling our Manifest Destiny by bulldozing their sacred land.

      1. What the crazy Muslims who are offended by the US having military bases on “holy ground” are claiming the entire Arabian Pennisula as holy ground. Pardon me if I refuse to indulge their fanaticism with respect.

        1. 1. Who cares why they think the peninsula is holy ground?
          2. What claim do we have to land there so that we can build and maintain bases.

          (disclosure: I’ve been to one of them, but not in Saudi. The locals appear to either not care or actively love that it’s there, but they’re not Saudi and they have different priorities for the most part)

          1. Disclosure, while I haven’t jetted to the UAE like Timon has, I’ve got a Hindu friend there, a Catholic friend there, and a Muslim friend there. Their accounts of the UAE contradict previous statements that Timon has made.

            1. I’ve got friends and colleagues of all of the above.

  26. C’mon guys, what kind of conspiracy theorist freaks are you? Do you really think a militant religious sect would intentionally build a blatant symbol of their beliefs in an area that may surely lead to a violent reaction from an angry American or act as a staging place for a greater future attack?

    Really?

    That’d be as crazy as thinking you could actually hi-jack multiple American planes and fly them into…oops, forget it.

    Don’t over-think it. They hate us and want us gone. You can hide behind your uber-intellectual arguments all day, but at the most basic point, they want the US destroyed. And while you are busy basking in your “I’m so enlightened” aura, they are busy figuring out the best way to eliminate your life.

    1. 1. Build mosque
      2. ???
      3. Destroy the US

      1. South Park is my religion.

      2. Oooooooooooh. Almost there…

        1. This is the one your dad like’s up his bum

      3. 1. Hi-jack planes
        2. Destroy two symbols of American financial power/attack Pentagon (military symbol)
        3. Patriot Act, etc.

        Clearly I don’t mean physcially destroy the US like we did to Iraq, but perhaps they are looking to destroy the idea of America. The 9/11 attacks allowed our own government to impose on how many restrictions or violations on our freedom? One day, two hours, has lead to what?

        Every time we give an inch in an effort to not be seen as non-progressive, they will take that inch until before too long, our ass is up against it and it’s too late.

        Yeah it’s just a mosque, but you have to admit there is more to it or you are just being ignorant of real life.

        1. STFU, Lonewacko.

          1. Sorry fella, I don’t get the Lonewacko comment.

            1. Being that many here understand the notion that the feds will use any emergency to expand their power and reduce freedom, I’m surprised to the reaction of your post.

        2. So we have to pre-emptively scuttle the idea of America, specifically religious freedom, by creating a mosque exception to the first amendment. Is that what you’re saying?

    2. STFU, Lonewacko.

      1. Very enlightening and reasoned response.

        1. Fuck off, newb.

          1. Such insight and wisdom!

    3. You can hide behind your uber-intellectual arguments all day, but at the most basic point, they want the US destroyed.

      We’ll, I’m certainly offended. If the US is to be destroyed we don’t need any help from incompetents!

  27. Robert Spencer offers a response to this article, complete with Coptic Christians’ side of the story, here:
    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2010…..remac.html

    I don’t think the writer is being fair to Spencer; however, I agree with this article’s premise — yes, this Islamic center is in poor taste and will offend many, and no, neither the city or any other government body should make any attempt to block it.

    1. Good summary, and it has the advantage of being much shorter.

  28. Saw this piece this morning, it was posted in response to an article by a Muslim who felt the Park51 center to be a bad idea.

    The piece kinda speaks to the problem.

    This is the problem in a nutshell: only a relative handful of intelligent, educated, sophisticated and enlightened Western intellectuals, few if any of whom are themselves Muslim, know the difference between true Islam and the false faith practiced by, inter alia, the 9/11 conspirators.

    Strange as it sounds, even the Prophet himself seems to have gotten it wrong. And those of his followers who invaded and conquered most of the world in less than a century after his death also seem to have misunderstood the true nature of Islam.

    Even the celebrated Al-Andalus commemorated by the proposed Cordoba mosque in the heart of NYC was the result of a gross misunderstanding of the true nature of Islam.

    Arab conquests were all actually a big mistake. Had the Arabs understood Islam correctly they would have stayed at home, not invaded, attacked, and subjugated their neighbors and fought their way all the way to the Straits of Gibraltar and across into Europe, halting only when halted in 737 C.E. by the Franks under Charles Martel. To say that the armies of Islam were on a roll up till then would be to understate the case.

    The mistake continued long after the Battle of Tours, of course. Muslims, under the mistaken impression that Islam was a religion of violence and conquest against infidels, continued their attacks upon the West for another millennium, conquering Constantinople, last bastion of the Eastern Roman Empire in error, and even besieging the city of Vienna by mistake in the 17th century.

    Mistake after mistake, misunderstanding after misunderstanding, almost 1,500 years of trouble, pain, suffering and death, all the result of a minority of radicals and extremists, beginning with the Prophet, who did not properly understand Islam, who did not know what our contemporary politically correct bien pensant know about Islam, that it is a religion of peace, brotherhood, toleration, mutual respect and good will.

    But there is hope. For the building of a mosque in the heart of NYC, not far from the site of the WTC attack, proves that true Islam is, and always has been, a religion of peace, with no designs or ambitions to conquer the world and subjugate everyone to the will of Allah.

    1. I KILL YOU!

  29. Always the final word on everything, I bring you The Economist’s view of the matter:

    “Build That Mosque”
    http://www.economist.com/node/16743239

    Excerpts:

    “”Every single argument put forward for blocking this project leans in some way on the misconceived notion that all Muslims, and Islam itself, share the responsibility for, or are tainted by, the atrocities of 9/11.””

    “Gingrich: “there should be no mosque near ground zero so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia”. Come again? Why hold the rights of Americans who happen to be Muslim hostage to the policy of a foreign country that happens also to be Muslim? To Mr Gingrich, it seems, an American Muslim is a Muslim first and an American second. Al-Qaeda would doubtless concur.””

    I also think people outside NYC who pretend to care so much about ‘ground zero’ are total hypocrites; if this is some sacred property of the whole country, why the @#($*@ is it still a gaping hole? It reveals the actual level of people’s depth of concern. All this hoo-haa about a muslim community center is nothing but a symbolic punching bag for xenophobes and those of vicious virtues.

    And btw, I would also have no problem with Osama’s head on a stick mounted at ground zero; if only the people in power could actually get around to it.

    1. I would also have no problem with Osama’s head on a stick mounted at ground zero

      Racist.

    2. “if this is some sacred property of the whole country, why the @#($*@ is it still a gaping hole?”

      Because New York is run by retarded liberals who don’t want anything built near anyone for any reason. If the idiots in New York would rebuild the place, perhaps the mosque wouldn’t be such a big deal.

      1. I blame lawyers.

      2. Actually, it was a rhetorical question. The real answer is “Port Authority” and/or the whole public authority system.

        This city could be as red as Kansas, and those guys would still take 10yrs to do anything.

        Didn’t you ever see that Bullsh*t episode on Ground Zero? Worth a watch.

        1. I love “Bullshit” with Penn & Teller. And the Ground Zero episode was great.

        2. Gilmore, I’m in the suburbs of New York City, and we after 10 years of debate about a street light in my town, we still haven’t broken ground to build it. John is correct. Any construction project in the NYC area is full of argument.

  30. Thanks for a objective analysis, as always. I am of the belief that absence any ties to terrorist organizations there is no reason to limit the right of religion and the right to use their property. This is the type of rights that Rand Paul was defending on MSNBC. There is no right of the government to take property via zoning (see Const. Amend 5.; see also anything by Richard Epstein).

  31. Um, if building a place of worship near the site of an atrocity perpetrated by a religion should be blocked, it will be damned hard to build Christian churches anywhere in the U.S., since most of the country was the site of atrocities against Indians perpetrated in the name of Christ.

    1. You have the wrong continent. The Americans didn’t slaughter the Indians in the name of Christ. They slaughtered them in the name of taking their land. We didn’t move the Cherokees out of Georgia because they were not Christian. And we didn’t slaughter the buffalo to convert the heathen. Religion had virtually nothing to do with the conflict between the whites and the North American Indian.

      Do you have to be ignorant of history to be an atheist? Is that a requirement to get the card?

      1. The measures provided at your last session for the removal of certain Indian tribes have been carried into effect. . . . They contain stipulations for extinguishing the possessory rights of the Indians to large and valuable tracts of lands. . . .Sound policy and our imperative duty to these wards of the Government demand our anxious and constant attention to their material well-being, to their progress in the arts of civilization, and, above all, to that moral training which under the blessing of Divine Providence will confer upon them the elevated and sanctifying influences, the hopes and consolations, of the Christian faith.

        Abraham Lincoln, 1863 State of Union Address

        http://www.infoplease.com/t/hi…..z0wCGhFGiN

    2. Manifest Destiny was borne more out of a belief in racial superiority than religion.

      1. Better idea. The lands were taken under the auspices of the federal government. Out of sensitivity to the Native Americans, I would suggest that the United States federal government not be allowed to build anything on lands taken from Native Americans.

        1. They still need to nationalize the casinos.

  32. Manhattan property: $999,000,000,000
    Mosque building materials: $500,000
    PR machine: $19.95
    Republican thoughts: $0.01 (change given)

    Seeing all the whackjob bigot morons come out of the woodwork and prove themselves to be unprincipled idiots: Priceless.

    For everything else, there’s Mosquer-Card. 🙂

    1. It is also priceless to watch all the Liberal wax divine about the right to build in this one specific case and then remain silent about all the other gross violations of land rights in the very same city. Like I said, too many poster believe that Muslims are more equal than everyone else.

  33. Great piece on this issue. One addition: the ACLJ is firmly committed to the Christian nation view of the US. IMHO, that position puts it fundamentally at odds with the First Amendment.

    1. Since when did a little thing like the Constitution ever stop Republicans? Remember the motto of our “2 party system” parties: “We support the Constitution…except for the parts we don’t like.”

  34. Both sides of this clusterfuck are overstating their cases, and this is one of the stupid goddamn comment threads in the history of H&R. Glad I could add to the shitpile.

    1. And someone’s law (joez? RC’s?) bites me in the ass again.

      1. There is no law other than Tulpa’s Commandments. Cross your legs and obey!

        1. Sorry, not enough room (ahem) to cross. Spreadeagle Commando, they call me.

    2. I will add to the stupidity. Why not put up a statue of Crusader Rabbit across the street.

  35. I have one, stike that, two questions. What in the hell does “symbolism and sensitivity” have to do with “reason,” and what the fuck happend to this supposedly “libertarian” website called “Reason.com”? This should be about constitutional and property rights only. “Feelings” be damned.

    1. The Republidrones are still actively trying to co-opt the Libertarian party, have been for years out of force of habit. We’re supposed to automatically support them on this because we’re all comrades-in-arms against those evil big-government liberal communists (the OTHER ones, not the ones that created a giant unfunded Medicare prescription drug mandate).

  36. Did anyone at reason advocate against cartoonists depicting the prophet Mohammad out of respect for Muslims’ feelings?

    1. Excellent point.

    2. Actually, I did, and was attacked to no end by the usual suspects in the overwhelming majority who liked the idea.

      And before I get accused of hypocrisy, that was different, as people were intending to draw Mohammed for the specific purpose of tweaking Muslims. It is highly unlikely the mosque is being built specifically for the purpose of tweaking 911ers.

      1. The other nearby mosques are not close to being filled to capacity. Logistically, there is no reason for this mosque to go up. It’s actually quite certain that that is the EXACT purpose of this mosque.

        1. Where can I get in on this cool data that tracks how close to capacity a mosque is?

          1. Just stand under my ass.

        2. Because one mosque is as good as another. Why can’t those picky Catholics just go to the Unitarian church down the street? Same thing, right?

          1. Wait–are you saying that there’s a sufi(we have to say sufi now, instead of muslim because Timon’s masters demand it) population living in the financial district large enough to merit a 13-story mosque?

            1. Sufi Muslim.

              Happy?

            2. If the mosque was 13 stories, I would agree, but it’s not just a mosque.

  37. I would like to open a church next to The Boys and Girls Club of Lower Manhattan.

  38. I don’t think there’s any reason the mosque should not be allowed to be constructed. However, I think it important that we all see that mosque as exactly what it really is. It is a message to the Western world that Islam can attack with impunity, that it has conquered and will further conquer America. There is no numerical need for a new mosque to support the Muslim population in the area – they simply want to send a message because they can.
    The author’s example of Planned Parenthood and a pro-life group building nearby makes one mistake. It specifies that the pro-life group about to build nearby repudiates violence. Muslims do not do so. Where was the Muslim outrage when (insert any of thousands of acts of terrorism in the last thousand years here) happened? Islam is fundamentally a religion that has survived, like most large religions, by the sword.

    1. Dude, you must have like, ESP or something, cuz you can like totally read their mindz.

    2. Chris Hitchens had an interesting point in that maybe people are subconsciouly offended because while this thing is going forward, nobody has been able to do jack shit on the actual “ground zero” site. It’s a giant dirt hole. Still.

  39. Intolerance against religion, even if it’s hypocritical and bigoted, is perfectly justified. Religious freedom should not exist outside of a closed bedroom closet. There shouldn’t be a mosque there, but there shouldn’t be a church or synagogue there either. Though at the current time Islam is public enemy number one.

  40. We believe in state sovereinty right? so how about this one.

    If you don’t live in New York, it’s none of your business.

    1. If New York State is violating the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States (such as the freedom of religion), why yes it is our business.

      And if you’re not talking about the legal question, then state sovereignty is irrelevant.

      1. “”If New York State is violating the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States (such as the freedom of religion), why yes it is our business.””

        Which they are not. so it’s not your business.

        My point is that it doesn’t really matter what other people think. Sure everyone is allowed their opinion, but at the end of the day, it’s a NY thing.

        I often spout my opinion about activities in other states, but I full recognize that I’m out of bounds if you will.

  41. If this *is* some kind of ‘victory’ mosque, I have to wonder at the incredibly low bar Islamists set for victory. I guess you take what you can get.

    1. Who knew that their endgame was to get a place to play basketball vs the local JCC?

      Seems that the whole terrorism thing was unnecessary to the plan.

  42. If the name chosen (Cordoba) doesn’t raise a red flag then you are an ignoramous.

    1. Enlighten us since you’re so fucking smart

      1. It’s that damn Corinthian leather!

    2. It’s very likely that 95 out of 100 current mosque opponents had not the faintest idea of the historical significance of Cordoba before this bruhaha began. Red flag my ass.

  43. #### There have been bizarre claims that the Islamic Center is intended as a “victory mosque” to celebrate the World Trade Center’s destruction or honor the hijackers.

    Bizarre? It is trivially obvious the the mosque will be seen and paraded as a victory of Islam over the West by jihadists around the world – we tore down symbols of your civilization, and built a mosque in its place.

    I’m willing to believe that the people building the mosque don’t intend it in that way, but it is hardly bizarre to claim that they might.

    An example I’ve used before is if a militia purchased the property of the Oklahoma City Bombing and built a museum there memorializing armed struggle against abusive government. We can’t have too many of those museums – but the symbolism of putting it there is just as intolerable as putting a mosque at ground zero.

    1. I would see nothing wrong with the OKC example you give. Of course, the analogy would be buying a site two blocks away from the old federal building, but either way.

    2. “” we tore down symbols of your civilization, and built a mosque in its place.””

      It takes a special kind of hackery to replace the truth with that statement.

      A mosque is not being built in place of the WTC.

      1. It is being built as close to ‘in place’ as they can get.

        1. Assuming they wanted to get as close as they could, it still makes that statement false.

          1. You really aint so tricky.

            The building chosen was damaged and rendered uninhabited by landing gear and fuselage debris from the attack. It is the only building to receive substantial damage in the attack that is still standing.

            Feel free to feign obliviousness to the symbolism of purchasing that building, tearing it down, and putting a mosque in its place.

            But don’t expect other people to be impressed.

            And note that your literalist reading of what the jihadists will be saying about the mosque really doesn’t reply to the issue at all. Yes, they will be literally wrong, as they are about a great many things.

            As for Tulpa, perhaps you were just ignorant that the building is not some random building two blocks away, but is the only building to receive major damage in the attack that is still standing. And it is actually only a block away (100 yards) from the site of the former WTC7 building, demolished because of the attacks.

  44. #### The critics should do what they advise the Muslims to do, and firmly repudiate hate.

    I’m a little disturbed that opposition to a religion is considered hate that must be repudiated. Religions oppose other religions, and unbelievers uniformly, generally stating that those without the True Faith deserve to be tortured eternally.

    Is it hate to oppose that? Maybe so, but I don’t think it is a hate that needs to be repudiated.

  45. Building a mosque at Ground Zero doesn’t seem a little antagonistic to anybody?

    1. It might, were there a mosque being built at ground zero.

      On the other hand, there has been a mosque in the Pentagon since shortly after 9/11.

  46. There is no better, only the best ,your vision is the
    best answer
    All men and women fashion. You don’t feel the same.

  47. Ultimately, if it is private property, then they can sell/trade/buy it and build anything they want there, as long as they own the property and aren’t contravening any city ordinances.

    I’m not a terribly big fan of any kind of organized religion; but I do understand that people have feelings of identity and value that they create. It may be philosophical, but it’s true of most people— Try getting Ravens fans to drink at the Salty Dog… it’s a pub that serves delicious beer but nobody with any Baltimore Pride is going to drink at a Steelers bar.

  48. Just because you have the freedom to do something doesn’t mean you should do it. This makes the argument well.

    Pork Plant Opens Next to Mosque Next to Ground Zero (great satire)
    http://rancornews.com/nymosque.html

  49. Yes, Yes, this is all wonderful and we all need to get along. Where is the money to fund this coming from?

    1. Do we ask this question of any other venture?

  50. symbolism and sensitivity are what everyone in the world is allowed to have except us in the west. we need those things too. liberal tolerance is a poor substitute for culture and identity and that is becoming more obvious every day.

    1. Absolutely. I’ve always wondered that myself. I guess it’s easier to say, “We’re the melting pot”, and let ourselves be grifted.

      Another word for Political Correctness is naivety.

      How did America go from “Don’t Tread on Me!” to “Please be gentle while fucking me in my ass, if that’s okay with you”?

  51. Since I am not a New Yorker and felt that I would be intruding, I have not commented on this calamity. But as an American, I feel I can no longer hold my tongue.
    Having studied Islam, its cultures, its beliefs, its theology, its goals, and its history I believe I have an introspection that most of you “tolerant” don’t have. You see I do understand this religion and here are just a few points that cannot be denied:
    1. Islam means “submit” it does not mean peace as many of you have been lead to believe. You are to submit to the will of Allah and become his servant. Everything you do in life, all thoughts, actions, intents, works, etc… are for the glorification of Allah and not for yourself. You submit to the will of Allah and give up your own!
    2. Islam is a religion that is based on 8th century Bedouin Arab culture. After all, that is what Mohamed was. Therefore the culture that is associated with the religion, and is confirmed in the Koran, is based on 8th century middle eastern values. There has not been a “reformation” in Islam like there has been in Judaism or Christianity as is evident in honor killings, stonings, cutting off of limbs, and the abhorrent way that women are treated in Islamic society.
    3. Islam is, and always has been, more than just a religion; it is also a system of governance. The term “Caliphate” refers to the ultimate head of the Islamic empire (note I said empire). Islam was spread by the sword no matter what you have been told about how “peaceful” they are. As they spread from the Arabian peninsula, to the middle east, into Persia and eventually going as far east as southern China, and continuing west throughout the mid east and across northern Africa into southern Spain’ the Caliphate became stronger and moved from Medina, to Mecca, to Baghdad, to Tehran. Eventually most of the middle east was conquered by the Ottoman Turks, but still was largely an Islamic state until their downfall at the end of WWI.
    4. As the Muslim’s conquered territories they imposed their religion/governance upon the vanquished people and gave them a choice. Either join the party, or keep your own religion but you will be “dimmis,” a second class citizen in your own country. Therefore as they conquered lands they would humiliate and demean the people into submission (remember: Islam means submit) by destroying their religious symbols, buildings, icons, and constructing symbols of Islam to take their place.

    So regardless of what Muslims in the US believe and think, for the majority of Muslims around the world they will see this Mosque going up near the twin towers as a sign of submission by the “Great Satan.” This structure would become the biggest recruiting tool the Islamofacists could ever hope for in the history of their movement. To them it will show, similar to when Israel left Lebanon and ceded the Gaza strip, that we in the west are week and if they continue the struggle that eventually their goal of a worldwide Caliphate can be achieved.
    True, according to our laws they have the right to build this Mosque at the site that they choose. But let me ask those of you in favor of this one question. Do you really think that this will bring about some kind of brotherhood or understanding between Islam and the American people? Have you ever looked into the religious section of your local newspaper and read some of the articles? You will read things about churches and synagogues telling of upcoming events and programs; saying to the community, “come have fellowship with us. Break bread with us, let us show you what we are about and who we are.” Have you ever seen that type of offer from a Mosque? I have looked through countless religious newspaper sections and have yet to have one Mosque offer fellowship with us.
    You see whether we want to admit this or not, Islam is arrogant, self righteous, self serving, and elitist to all non Muslims. To put it simply; they are snobs! Like I said, this is a religion that is stuck in the 8th century and has become stagnate in this mindset for centuries (with the exception of oil, Arab countries have almost no exports). One only need to look at what has, and is, happening in Europe to realize that by accommodating Islamic culture and not requiring them to integrate into our society, they will never escape the bonds of the 8th century and join the rest of civilization in the 21st.

    1. Congratulations! You managed to read Wikipedia and some stuff that fit your biases. In fact, this looks suspiciously like copypasta.

      1. Snarky dismissal is a pretty weak substitute for dealing with information with intellectual honesty. Copypasta or not, this is the ideological source of most terrorist attacks/attempts on the west. If you are certain this isn’t so or is unimprotant, you should be able to explain why.

        We bedwetters await your explanation.

        1. I’m not sure why it’s the non anti- folks’ responsibility to respond point-by-point to shit culled from some clearly biased source. In other words, the post is intellectually dishonest, so why should it be treated as if it weren’t?

          This sort of copypasta has been spewed forth plenty of times. Should there always be a response to it if the paster made no effort to use thoughts of his own?

          1. That’s fine for the opinion parts but points 2,3 and 4 are completely consistent with Islamic teaching and history. 1 might be true too but I’m not sure about the etymology of the word “Islam”.

            1. All the parts are fundamentally true. There can be some semantic quibbling, but, as can be seen by Timon’s terror, they are basic points that are part and parcel of Islam.

              Am I lying Timon? Find me a source that shows that Islam does not refer to the peace of submission to the will of Allah. Find me a source that denies the Bedouin cultural roots of Muhammed. Show me that Islamic conquest did not reach at least the extent stated in 3.

              And we know you cannot deny the existence of dhimmi.

      2. Timon, I’m glad that you agree with me about wikipedia being a horrible source of information. This is a marked improvement over the post you made a couple of articles ago where you cited wikipedia to support your case.

    2. Jesus is known as the Islamic Prohpet Isa. Some of the testament figures are considered Islamic prophets.

      Look at any religion and war, death, crime, outrageous punishments, are all present.

      Not all muslims live one way, just as not all christians, jews, or any other religion live one way.

      Living in NYC, I pass Muslims all the time, when I was in college, some of my professors where Muslim. I’ve never been personally attacked. There have been few attacks in the us caused by muslims. There is no war of them against us in a physical sense, save a few zealot assholes.

      But more interstingly, if Muslims are so bad, why do we spend much money and life trying to give them a better life in their homelands?

      1. Because, according to “Just War” Theory, we have to serve the interests of the citizens of the country with which we are at war. That’s why so much emphasis is placed on the building of schools and hospitals while winning the war and forcing nations to defund terrorist orginizations, since it is in the interest of U.S. citizens, must take a back seat.

      2. Were Japanese-americans commiting wanton attacks against Americans before Pearl Harbor?

        No?

        And after Pearl Harbor did we namby pamby aroud?

        No.

        We didn’t take the chance. It was awful, at the time, and we had to pay for what we’d done and heal from the wound we inflicted on ourselves–but we won.

        You do what it takes to win and fix all the crap you might’ve had to do after the threat is eliminated.

    3. It doesn’t really matter if it brings “peace and brotherhood” (I’m reasonably sure it won’t). At the end of the day, the government doesn’t have the right to block construction because of a little thing called the 1st amendment and another little thing called property rights.

      Now, if you wish to get a permit to sell all pork sausages from a vending cart on the sidewalk in front of the community center, you have every right to do that and the government shouldn’t bar you from doing said business.

      That is the best way to say “Fuck You!” to the Islamofascist, not getting the government involved. Plus it has the added benefit of telling the world that our government is fair and just, but we as a people think it’s bullshit.

  52. Jesus is not just “a” prophet, either. He’s one of the big ones, though they don’t believe he’s the Messiah or that he died for anyone’s sins. They give him the PBUH treatment and also prohibit depictions of him.

  53. I had this same conversation when they had a rally to protest the slot machines coming into Maryland. They wanted to build a casino at Arundal Mills Mall.

    One of the women asked me if I really agreed that a Casino would be good for the economy and for Arundal Mills.

    I said, “No, I don’t think it would be. I think the casino should be build next to the elementary school. It would take a pretty desperate gambler to rip off a 2nd grader”.

    She laughed.

    I said, “Seriously though, there’s a place for gambling, drugs and debauchery. It might not be at a school and it might not be at the mall, but somewhere there is a place for it”

  54. People SHOULD be able to do whatever they want with their own property. When they legally secure title to the second half of this land (which appears to be in process), then these Muslims should be allowed to build whatever they want on it. That’s not what irks me. The double standard does. The thing is, that people, though they should be, are not in fact free to do what they want with their own property. We have all these zoning laws. If we can’t get rid of the laws, I’d at least like to see them equitably applied. But they aren’t. This group seems to have been sped through zoning obstructions with ease, in a situation that a church of Jewish Community Center would have found much more difficult.

    If you’ve ever been a part of any group trying to expand a church or a Christian school, you know how incredibly hard it is – you know there is preferential treatment being given here – you know it’s an act of bend-over appeasement speed up the greenlight because we wouldn’t want to upset the Muslims. And this isn’t the only time it’s happened. Near me, a Saudi-funded Islamic school recently got the green light to undergo a mega expansion on the same land that, when it was previously occupied by a Christian school, attempted to expand and could not get zoning permission to do so. Yet the Muslims got permission right away – same scenario, same area, everything. The truth is that no zoning pencil-pusher is in the least bit afraid a Christian is (at worse)going to blow their head-off or (at best) succeed in painting them as a “racist” if they don’t issue a zoning permit.

    I don’t think the government should do anything to stop this. I don’t think they should do anything to expedite it either.

    1. “The truth is that no zoning pencil-pusher is in the least bit afraid a Christian is (at worse)going to blow their head-off or (at best) succeed in painting them as a “racist” if they don’t issue a zoning permit.”

      Well said. There is an unchecked irony happening in this debate. Either way you spin this top, it’s going to come up in favor of the Imam.

      If you bitch and complain about Islam, hang onto conspiracy theories, and prevent them from building this mosque– they win.

      If you salute them and praise their efforts and the construction is completed- they also win.

  55. I don’t have a problem with a “Ground Zero” mosque, but not if the imam is even slightly sympathetic to terrorist organizations.

    We should recognize that there’s at least a modicum of subjectivity or morality involved in decisions like this. Would you build a skate board park, brothel (um, massage parlors) or a nudist destination so close to Ground zero? Or how about a gay social site, right next to this mosque?

    We already dicate how certain establishments and structures must be built or spaced in some way, for the sake of decorum and safety. My city forbids green colored houses, and Toy R Us has must use a proper ‘R’ in the sign (not a flipped one).

    1. Your city sounds like a regressive shithole.

      It has already been confirmed that there are strip joints within blocks of both this proposed community center and the WTC site. One would presume that there are gay bars, too. It’s fucking New York City.

      1. New York City is a shithole, I’ve been there several times. Ugly shithole.. not those nice shitholes that you wanna stick yer tongue in once in a while.

        They’ve banned fatty foods and the use of the term, “bitch” for christ sake. Anything to appease the scholars of academia and the crusade of liberalism. The “nice”, and “fair” kind of totalitarianism.

        I am willing to wager that most of the liberal population that believes this installation of a mosque at ground zero should happen are, in reality, hardcore atheists… but they’re willing to ignore the terror of organized religion as long as it cripples the rich, suit-n-tie, white, dogmatic republicans.

        The same way the anti-racist-action praises groups like the New Black Panther Party that commit unashamed acts of hatred on other races, just so long as it is against white republican christians.

        Most of these fringe leftist groups are comprised of middle-class college kids who are actually pretty intelligent people other than the unquestioned ideology that lures them into absurdity.

        You can read hundreds of political philosophy books and take all the classes you want… you lose all credit when you refuse to think on your own.

        1. Didn’t say NYC wasn’t a shithole, just that your town sounded like one. NYC is mostly a nightmare for libertarians. That’s not the point here. The point is that a bunch of jacknut goons are pretending to be concerned about provocation (but not THEM, no!), trying every little thing they can to get this thing to stop. Meanwhile, other protests of mosques thousands of miles from the Sacred Ground of 9/11 Land (Wisconsin, Tennessee, California, and who knows where else) go on. What’s the excuse there?

          1. I see that you weren’t the one I was originally replying to. My point still stands; NYC is largely a wasteland for libertarian thought, but that’s not the point – passive-aggressive religious bigotry is.

            1. Passive-aggressive religious bigotry? Do you prefer confrontational, unrestrained violent religious bigotry? Either way you have to take a side.

              I’m a free-thinker that believes organized religion is beneath the thinking mind, but I will side with the Jews, Catholics, and Protestants against Muslims any day.

              The whole “not all of them are radicals” crybaby bullshit only goes so far in the real world.

              I’ve heard it a million times in the punk scene with the crusty hippie punks that say, “Not all black people are bad”… Very true, but that doesn’t stop 3 of them from walkin’ into yer house, hitting yer girl with a gun, and stealing 600 dollars worth of yer shit after you were being cool with them and sharing yer beer and being “racially equal”.

              In the real world people take advantage of ignorance, naivety, and delusion any chance they can.

              You may think you can get away with being a commentator on the side-lines; just someone offering opinions and staying out of the calamity– but eventually you’ll have to fight in some way or other.

              I wish I could make it all go away too bro, but it ain’t gonna happen.

              1. Passive-aggressive religious bigotry? Do you prefer confrontational, unrestrained violent religious bigotry? Either way you have to take a side.

                False choice, anyone?

                I’m a free-thinker that believes organized religion is beneath the thinking mind, but I will side with the Jews, Catholics, and Protestants against Muslims any day.

                You’re a free-thinker who thinks religion is beneath you, but one in particular deserves further contempt? Yeah, that’s free-thinking all right…

                I’ve heard it a million times in the punk scene with the crusty hippie punks that say, “Not all black people are bad”… Very true, but that doesn’t stop 3 of them from walkin’ into yer house, hitting yer girl with a gun, and stealing 600 dollars worth of yer shit after you were being cool with them and sharing yer beer and being “racially equal”.

                Interesting, as far as it goes (is it an anecdote? Oh, please tell me it’s an anecdote!), but what does that have to do with the price of tea in China, or the fact that even with disproportional representation, whites still commit a shitload more violent crime than anyone else in this country?

                Shouldn’t you be walking around with at least as skeptical an eye toward white people based on this lovely departure of a story?

                In the real world people take advantage of ignorance, naivety, and delusion any chance they can.

                No, shit? Wow, I hadn’t realized that. Did it ever occur to you that even WITH that knowledge, I find it absolutely fucking retarded to condemn all (or even a lot of) Muslims? Fucking hell, I’ve been to the supposed Belly of the Beast more times than you’ve probably thought about Islam. Conclusion: lots of cultural problems, just like any civilization; mainly dominated by people who want the same basic things as we do, and who don’t care a whit for us one way or the other.

                You may think you can get away with being a commentator on the side-lines; just someone offering opinions and staying out of the calamity– but eventually you’ll have to fight in some way or other.

                What the fuck are you talking about?

                1. Interesting, as far as it goes (is it an anecdote? Oh, please tell me it’s an anecdote!), but what does that have to do with the price of tea in China, or the fact that even with disproportional representation, whites still commit a shitload more violent crime than anyone else in this country?

                  Shouldn’t you be walking around with at least as skeptical an eye toward white people based on this lovely departure of a story?

                  Surely, but I don’t make it a point to reach out to white people and prove they are equal to me so they can understand my weaknesses.

                  I’m not talking about white vs black in crime rates. I’m talkin’ about pussy-footed liberals who let down their guard to predators and people who want to take advantage of them because they think they’re being cultured and elevated above common dolts and philistines.

                  I’ve seen the type of behavior before where “revolutionary” kids feel they are more revolutionary because they are cool with blacks, or with muslims or with any marginalized group.

                  I live in the city and I let homeless people in my house! I’m so cool!

                  Next thing you know you’re being fucked over because of your shallow knowledge of the real world. .. because somebody knew you were a middle-class college kid that had money. They don’t care about the “revolution” like you do. They don’t care about your equality and open-mindedness.

                  Same with Muslims. They are openly anti-capitalist, and anti-christian, and anti-America. They win every time some liberal thinks they’re striking another blow against the christian-right by “all of us coming together”. .. but in reality, the very people who they want “solidarity” with are more than capable of turning on them too, and waging war against the liberals who defended them vehemently.

                  1. I’ve seen the type of behavior before where “revolutionary” kids feel they are more revolutionary because they are cool with blacks, or with muslims or with any marginalized group.

                    I live in the city and I let homeless people in my house! I’m so cool!

                    Next thing you know you’re being fucked over because of your shallow knowledge of the real world. .. because somebody knew you were a middle-class college kid that had money. They don’t care about the “revolution” like you do. They don’t care about your equality and open-mindedness.

                    If this is what you think motivates me (or Fluffy, or many of the others in this thread), well, then fuck you, because you’re never going to accept differently anyway. You’ve made up your mind.

                    Same with Muslims. They are openly anti-capitalist, and anti-christian, and anti-America.

                    Some are, some aren’t; some are, some aren’t; and some are, some aren’t. I’d venture to say that MOST don’t care either way about any of those three to have strong emotions because they only give a fuck about themselves and their families.

                    They win every time some liberal thinks they’re striking another blow against the christian-right by “all of us coming together”. .. but in reality, the very people who they want “solidarity” with are more than capable of turning on them too, and waging war against the liberals who defended them vehemently.

                    You’re all about the monolithic hive mind in your arguments tonight. What gives? Anyway, your rhetoric in this bit only applies if you foolishly buy into the “Battle of Civilizations” bullshit that AQ and company would dearly love for you to buy into.

                    1. For the record, I live in a city, but nowhere near the downtown, and 400 miles from NYC.

                      However, I’m about 10 miles from the nearest Islamic community center (probably closer to the nearest mosque). No one has blowed up anything yet since the new building went up in 1995, and nothing since the community established in 1979. Hell, I never knew they were even here until about 5 years ago! Imagine!

                    2. If this is what you think motivates me (or Fluffy, or many of the others in this thread), well, then fuck you, because you’re never going to accept differently anyway. You’ve made up your mind.

                      I’m not closed-minded, I’m skeptical. I demand to be convinced with evidence. I don’t know who you and your buddies are, but I have known many of people in the left-wing communities because I was a show organizer in Baltimore City.

                      I’ve seen some very intelligent people corrupted by ideology. Likewise, I have reason to accept that anti-americanism in the youth today, (particularly stemming from academic institutions) is something that is real, and putting our society in danger in many ways.

                      Some of the people that I actually knew at one point belonged to organizations that would deliberately do harm to anything that was “American”. It’s petty teenage rebellion, getting a rise out of the republican assholes perhaps, but it opens a gateway for entities beyond their comprehension that do kill and throw bombs. They exist, and you cannot deny that.

                      America has many enemies because of its capitalist, imperialist nature, and some confused college kid who thinks it’s cool to be a communist is lending support to violent groups that would harm our society, and to them as well.

                      I’ve also known “activists” who grew up and now speak out against this type of mysticism that I’m talking about… because they realize that the free-market and being in charge of their own lives ain’t that bad after all… and living in a multi-cultural commune in the woods was only something they talked about to get artsy chicks to fuck them.

                    3. You’re all about the monolithic hive mind in your arguments tonight. What gives? Anyway, your rhetoric in this bit only applies if you foolishly buy into the “Battle of Civilizations” bullshit that AQ and company would dearly love for you to buy into.

                      I don’t buy into anything. I think for myself. This means that I am not afraid to have sentiments that are clearly in opposition with classical “logic”.

                      I drink, party, and I’m very welcoming to people if I get a good feeling from them and my judge of character has seldom failed me.

                      I don’t like many of the people that agree with what I say, and I would rather be around art-fags than most of the people that go to tea-parties.

                      But I’m also a racist in a lot of regards. If you were a true free-thinker you would realize that you are too. I don’t try to ignore it, and I’m not saying it’s right, but what else can you do with philosophy and values and other imaginary things but to think, and try to comprehend why you think the way that you do?

                      Tell me in your own words why you think racism, xenophobia, jingoism, etc are inherently wrong and should be avoided.

                      Do you eat meat? Why do you think you’re better than animals? Why do you not want certain animals around you?

                      I understand if you pussy out of thinking freely and stick with your “enlightened higher-education”. You won’t be the first.

                    4. Since you’re now into rambling semi-coherently and picking and choosing which points of mine you’ll address (an ever-decreasing list), I’m just gonna leave this here watch as you find yet another way to sidestep the point.

                      http://www.thenational.ae/apps…..09939/1080

                    5. That’s twice you’ve posted this, Timon, do you know the author?

                      ‘Oh, please, don’t let Islamic fanaticism, intolerance, homophobia, anti-semitism, violence, racism, and sexism stop this monument to Islamic fanaticism, intolerance, homophobia, anti-semitism, violence, racism, and sexism from being built. If Islamic fanaticism, intolerance, homophobia, anti-semitism, violence, racism, and sexism stop this mosque it will prove to Islam that Americans are intolerant and ignore their supposedly cherished principles’

                      There, have I distilled that down enough?

                    6. Dickhead, I do not know the author.

                      You have distilled it beyond recognition. Not that it’s surprising or anything. You seem to specialize in disingenuousness.

                    7. I’m just gonna leave this here watch as you find yet another way to sidestep the point.

                      I think Sidestepping the Point should be introduced as a new-age dance that will most assuredly replace Country Line Dancing. Dodging the Issue has hopes of replacing The Charleston.

                    8. You appear to be well-suited to teach both.

                    9. If you like the way I dance in the streets… wait ’til you see the way I dance in the sheets baby 😉

  56. “Zelenik has stated that “until the American Muslim community find it in their hearts to separate themselves from their evil, radical counterparts, to condemn those who want to destroy our civilization and will fight against them, we are not obligated to open our society to any of them.” Just how American Muslims can live up to her demands?one-by-one loyalty oaths??is unclear.”

    The first statement Kathy is perfectly reasonable; “we” do not have to open our society to anyone not willing to denounce MOST of the Koran (read it sometime).
    You comment was way more shrill.
    Why don’t we find the leading clerics or imams from the 2 largest mosques in all 50 states, put a microphone in their face and ask their opinions to say 3 or 4 probing questions about where their loyalties lie, I think the MSM is actually afraid to know because in their heart and yours, you already know the answer.
    If the truth is told it means our country will have to do something about it-THAT is the heart of the matter. Americans are not stupid! They are telling us all, ENOUGH!! already.

  57. Why does anybody have to read the Koran to reject Islam? Why would an atheist have to read the bible to before he can decide he rejects the notion of intelligent design? Do you need to read every word of Obama’s healthcare bill to know that universal health care is something to be eschewed?

    Surely your dialect and your arguments may have a more structured format if you knew everything about everything, but most of us can get along just fine with two simple things when it comes to making a decision: The gist of it, and intuition.

    If the mere sight of a mosque being built at ground zero really bothers that many people, then it’s a real argument to me. Apologize later if you were wrong.

    You don’t need to wait for yer chick to get raped by some creepy asshole before you throw his ass out of yer party for being a creepy asshole.

    Go with yer instincts if that’s all you have.

    Most people in the intellectual community develop their hatred for something long before they rationalize it.

  58. “Most likely, the roles in this debate would be reversed. Quite a few liberals would denounce the planned construction of the center as a slap in the face to the victims and their families; the likes of Sean Hannity and Sarah Palin would decry anti-Christian bias and voice outrage that the actions of a handful of extremists would be used to denigrate all Christians or all abortion opponents.”

    Bad analogy in my opinion. And I don’t think there would be much liberal opposition actually. Maybe a few true-blue statists or abortion-rights die-hards would protest, but I doubt it.

  59. Bad analogy in my opinion. And I don’t think there would be much liberal opposition actually. Maybe a few true-blue statists or abortion-rights die-hards would protest, but I doubt it.

    Legislators are constantly fighting against private developers from building whatever they want anywhere they want it. Look at the Casino debates from state to state. Some cities have even got together to ban fast food chains from being built. Don’t forget about the huge backlash against Wal-Mart constructions.

    Left-wing advocates particularly in the anti-capitalist, anti-big business movement have gained a lot of favor in preventing developments. Some have even stopped salvage logging from happening.

    Point is, there are many of moral and political reasons people have against the location of certain constructions being erected… left and right. It’s frivolous for either side of the political spectrum to suddenly say, “We have the right and freedom to build here”. It’s an unexamined inconsistency that I find laughable at best.

    When all is said and done, there’s so many better things we could put there that isn’t going to cater to one side or the other.

    I’d like to see a dime museum of oddities put there. Once people start looking at Lincoln’s Last Shit Petrified…. we’ll all forget about religious stupidity.

  60. Well, it’s nice to see so many people stand up for land rights. It’s a shame that most of them are only doing it because the land rights in question belong to a class of people who happen to be popular in the mainstream media this decade. Think I’m wrong? Let’s see how many people show up to comment when the next eminant domain aricle appears on Reason.

  61. Here is a Jerusalem Post article about the controversy over Jews moving into a neighborhood. The author mentions “concerns or grievances about the Jewish presence”. So, who among the mosque’s defenders will stand up here for the right of Jews to move into the neighborhood in question?

  62. Look at what is happening in FRANCE AND INDIA full of no-go zones where riots and burning of cars is very common! Do you want it in your community? How the af-paks betray us at every turn:-
    “..we cannot tolerate in any sense the idea that this country is allowed to look both ways, and is able in any way to promote the export of terror, whether to India or whether to Afghanistan, or anywhere else in the world.”

    “..the US and its allies have already given billions of dollars to Pakistan. Some would say that means they have the right to tell Pakistan what to do. Pakistan has a financial incentive to remain unstable.. insecurity is more lucrative for Pakistan than security.
    ………..
    It doesn’t excuse the Pakistani government allowing rogue intelligence agents to conduct their own foreign policy. But she says it explains why the country might be reluctant to crack down on those who could prove useful if the US reduces support for Pakistan, as it has in the past.”

    BE READY TO BORROW MORE FROM CHINA TO GIVE AWAY TO AF-PAK JIHADIS WHO CAN NEVER BE TRUSTED!!

  63. Whoever pays maximal INFIDEL TAX, the islamic extremists will be nice! Gradually, they will over-run our country and dictate terms and order us around like what they are doing to FRANCE, DENMARK, NEPAL, HOLLAND, AND INDIA, etc. India had riots for events outside its borders:-
    a) for SADDAM’S hanging; b) for REV FALWELL’S remarks; c) for DANISH cartoons; etc. Is this what you want in your neighborhood?!!

  64. What a great article. Thank you for articulating the very complex sides of all of this so well.

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