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A mosque near Ground-Zero, New York?


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BBC reports a scheme to build a mosque a few hundred feet away from Ground-Zero. The attempt to squash it failed, failing to give the site landmark status. It is intended to be a 13-story Islamic cultural center, to show good inter-faith relations.

I'm all for religious freedom, but they're going to be vandalized to the ground if it becomes realized. To expect a city of people to separate extremists from the core religion is negligent, especially with such a sensitive issue as 09/11. What do you guys think? Too soon? Too close?

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Should it be allowed?  We have a longstanding tradition in this nation of the separation of church and state, which isn't always followed to the best of either side's abilities, yet, it remains nonetheless. 

If it is built, I agree that the people who build it should know that it will be vandalized, because a lot of individuals will not want to think of a difference between a Mainstream Muslim, and what the media has taken to calling "Islamofascists" and "Islamic Extremists".  Furthermore, those who worship there and visit, should know that there will most likely be some group harassing them or taking photos of them to distribute elsewhere for some reason.  This is not the fault of the average American citizen, nor the American government, because people are entitled to their opinions for good or for bad and are given the ability to protest and make those opinions known peacefully through the same Amendment that allows for this freedom of religious assembly.  That is not to say violence and threats against those who would use this mosque would be justifiable under the First Amendment, just that people will always hold their own views.

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I fail to see how this is an issue. Of course it should be allowed. It's not even right next to Ground Zero - it is in fact a couple of blocks away.

If we start banning the construction of religious buildings in the general vicinity of places where a religiously-motivated crime was committed, there are a lot of cities in Europe that will have to go without new churches.

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The difference Edric is the time between the attack and the construction. Then again I'm not entirely unhappy if a lot of churches went unbuilt ;)

How this could not be an issue is somewhat ignorant of the amount Islam is affecting and being affected by the US in this past decade. We're occupying two dominantly Muslim countries following a terrorism plot conducted by Muslim extremists (Saudi or otherwise). We're in a war against established Muslim fighters. It would at least merit critical thinking on how the community surrounding this new Muslim establishment will react so close to the attack site.

If it leads to religious tolerance then so be it. But it will most likely lead to more violence, which is a depressing view on my country.

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The difference Edric is the time between the attack and the construction. Then again I'm not entirely unhappy if a lot of churches went unbuilt ;)

How this could not be an issue is somewhat ignorant of the amount Islam is affecting and being affected by the US in this past decade. We're occupying two dominantly Muslim countries following a terrorism plot conducted by Muslim extremists (Saudi or otherwise). We're in a war against established Muslim fighters. It would at least merit critical thinking on how the community surrounding this new Muslim establishment will react so close to the attack site.

If it leads to religious tolerance then so be it. But it will most likely lead to more violence, which is a depressing view on my country.

Before declaring that all Muslims are terrorists and enemies of America, which of the thousand Muslim communities wants to build the mosque? Is it financed by some foundation for Iranian dissent or by al-Qaeda? The difference has to be seen, and if not, it has to be learned.

In Slovakia, American Christian sects seem heretical to the most people here and they react with hostility, when they build churches. It's because they feel molested by Mormon and Jehovist missionaries. But do you consider it ok? Myself, I don't.

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Certainly those Muslim factions that incite to violence shouldn't be allowed to built mosques. As I may have already stated a friend of mine converted to Christian and they announced in their place of worship that he was a traitor deserving death. We had to seek police intervention. Do you think we will ever allow such a faction to ever built a mosque here in Athens? Never! But other factions that are peaceful not only are allowed but will be financed by the government. Of course I disagree totally with the state financing. Religion should stay separate from the state.

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From http://thinkprogress.org/2010/08/14/peter-king-gz-mosques/

...one of the least understood facts of the new project: there is already a mosque near Ground Zero.

Today, the New York Times reports on Masjid Manhattan (located four blocks from Ground Zero) and Masjid al-Farah (located 12 blocks from Ground Zero)...

...The Times goes on to note, “Both mosques — essentially one-room operations — routinely turn people away for lack of space.” And thus, the need for a new, larger location.

What I like about it is what it's going to comprise of:

“house a cultural centre, a 500-seat performing arts centre, culinary school, exhibition space, swimming pool, gym, basketball court, restaurant, library and art studios.” The vision of the project spearheaded by Imam Abdul Faisal Rauf is that it will function like the nearby Jewish-run cultural center, which had a role “in helping the Jewish community become part of mainstream America.” Rauf insists the facility “will serve as a YMCA-type community center for interfaith bridge-building.”

With a stern approval from President Obama prefacing the beginning of Ramadan, and some of

, this may actually bring inter-faith relations to marginalize radicalism.

Then of course, the name of the mosque does not assuage any nay-sayers from views of radicalism. House Cordoba is the intended name, which is a city in Spain that was earlier conquered by Islamic fighters and where a great mosque was constructed on the grounds of a Christian cathedral. The city later retaken, the mosque was converted back to a cathedral.

We must note that a hostile and provocative name [Cordoba] has been chosen for this mosque…Choosing the name ‘Cordoba House’ for the mosque to be constructed in New York was not coincidental or random and innocent. It bears within it significance and dreams of expansion and invasion [into the territory] of the other, [while] striving to change his religion and to subjugate him…

From "an article (original in Arabic) published by Iraqi-American Khudhayr Taher." Taken from a source even I feel dirty using.

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Freedom of worship is a good thing, so if the mosque is built in NYC, then  christians and jews should be allowed to worship on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in return.

It's not the same thing. New York City is not a holy site. A Christian church on the Temple Mount would be equivalent to a mosque in the Vatican, not in New York.

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The Muslim organization certainly has the same legal rights as any other religious group to build a place of worship in New York City. The only issue for me is that the act of building a mosque close to Ground Zero is not only obviously going to be the cause of great controversy, but also some level of danger to themselves and others--while I understand that the Muslim organization also has the right to make political statements, doing so at the price of putting itself and its congregants in danger is not the course of action that I would take. It's reckless, and I see more ill than good that can come of it. That doesn't mean they aren't allowed to do it, though.

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The Muslim organization certainly has the same legal rights as any other religious group to build a place of worship in New York City. The only issue for me is that the act of building a mosque close to Ground Zero is not only obviously going to be the cause of great controversy, but also some level of danger to themselves and others--while I understand that the Muslim organization also has the right to make political statements, doing so at the price of putting itself and its congregants in danger is not the course of action that I would take. It's reckless, and I see more ill than good that can come of it. That doesn't mean they aren't allowed to do it, though.

We agree that the Muslims are not causing the controversy. It is others who are causing controversy just because they don't want a mosque in lower Manhattan. But let them build it. If the Muslims have enough attendance, or donations to keep it open, who is the US Government to say it cannot be built?

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Well, other than a few words here or there, there's not really much the fed can do to stop it. I believe (and I may be mistaken on this) that the possible locations of religious buildings in a city is within the jurisdiction of said city. In other words, it's New York's place to interfere or not. Otherwise we would be looking at a breach of federal jurisdiction, which, according to the rightwing dingbats who have come out against this being built, should have a lot more to say about.

It seems to me that tea baggers want less government in everything except social/religious/political situations. More god, less taxes, I suppose ::)

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I doubt anyone would want the government to step in and stop a religious establishment. It would be a disastrous precedent.

But why call it House Cordoba? I'm still confused since that brings up only conquest and conversion in its history. It's not a good message for  "inter-faith relations."

edit: I just watched the Olbermann video (love the guy by the way) and he quotes the developer calling it "Park 51" instead of Cordoba. Good call.

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More nonsense from the peanut gallery, I see. As for the rational commenters:

Lord J.: I saw Olbermann's piece. He's got some good points. Nevertheless, operating under the factual assumption that the structure was going to serve as solely a place of worship, I stand by my position that any organization would have the right to build it. I also think that Olbermann is a little short-sighted: al Qaeda destroyed the World Trade Center not to get our society "to change," but to change our country's political positions on things like Israel. Far more generally, al Qaeda also has the goal of propagating a fundamentalist version of Islam, and anything that works in that direction ought to be regarded as a victory for them. This is not to say that the construction of a mosque or a "religious worship center" works toward either end, but it's a distinction to be aware of.

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Nope, it looks like Fox News is the demise of Western civilization. You know that Saudi prince that might be funding Park 51 and was accused of supporting terrorism? Well, he's also a friend of Rupert Murdoch, and part owner of Fox News.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-august-23-2010/the-parent-company-trap

Stop terrorism. Boycott Fox News! :P

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