Well, to tell you the truth i haven't been following it. Didn't the zoning have to be changed? Muslims are claiming it will be an education center, but they have been known to erect a mosque at the site of a battle. It doesn't look like anyone has the guts to stand up to them. That's just what it seems like from a casual observer.
I have had some interesting debates about this with some family and friends recently (interestingly, I was the only atheist in the debate and I was the only one it seemed on the side of allowing the mosque to be built, ironic, huh?)
Here is how I see it. First, the opponents to this have made it sound like the mosque is going to be built smack dab on the site of the former WTC towers. This is not true, it is about 3 or so blocks away. It would not even be visible to those visiting the Ground Zero site.
Second, I have problems with many of the people against this because I feel that many of them are being disingenuous about why they are against it. They state that it is because they don't feel that ANY religious center should be built on or near the site because it would be desecrating a grave site or dishonoring the dead. I call bull shit on that one...how many Christian churches are built right next to cemeteries or have cemeteries surrounding them? That's not done much anymore, but it has been done in the past and there are still many operating churches that have a cemetery right next to them. I think those that are bigots against Muslims as a people have just found a way to cloak their bigotry. It wouldn't be "American" and would be seen as clearly racist/bigoted to say "We hate Muslims so we don't want a Mosque built there" so they found another way to be against it while hiding the real reason.
Now I do not like religion, I think it is a dangerous thing and I think it is a waste of time and does more harm than good in the long run so obviously I'm not "for" any kind of religious center on principle. However, I refuse to tell someone or a group of people they can't have one or build one for a very simple reason. That reason is that here in America, we have a thing called Freedom of Religion (which also means we are free to NOT HAVE a religion as well). If I were to be against this Mosque and say that they have no right to build it, if these Muslims were told they can't have one, then my own right to be an agnostic atheist would be threatened. If we start telling religions that they can or can't do this or that because of the religion they have, then it is possible if not probable that eventually I would be told I can't be an atheist. Technically atheism/agnosticism is not a religion, but it is a view ON religion and falls under religious freedom.
One of my friends said that the reason he is against it is because Christians (he is one) are not allowed to build Churches in many muslim areas so why should they be allowed to build a mosque here? Two problems with his argument is that he is mistakenly viewing the U.S. as a "Christian" nation and though it is true that the majority of American citizens view themselves as Christian, that does not mean that we are or should be a "Christian" nation. The second problem I have with his argument is that I believe that not allowing it because they don't makes us no better than them. Wouldn't it be better to show them that we take the higher ground, that we are a freer nation that allows religious freedom even to those that are not the majority religion of the country, unlike them? His argument sounds childish to me and reminds me of the kinds of arguments I hear from little kids in the sandbox.
Now is it a good idea for them to build it where they plan to? Probably not. They'll probably have nothing but trouble if they go ahead with it, but that's their choice. The bottom line to me is that any danger to the religious freedom of these Muslims means that my right to my freedom from religion is equally threatened. I would defend any religion's right to practice or have a worship center anywhere, as silly as I think religion is, for this very reason.
I second this. But not only the freedom of and from religion is at steak. When people start doing to the constitution exactly what they do with the bible (pick which parts to follow or where they shouldn't apply), the whole thing is threatened. It's the only thing keeping tyrannical dictators from getting their way all the time. It's our only protection from people like George Bush and all the governing officials who want to use their beliefs and their bank accounts to dominate every proceeding.
It would seem reasonable to me that when people in government oppose something such as this, they really need to be brought into question. There has to be a line drawn where we can force them to resign from office because they are not governing through reason, but rather through personal prejudice.
The conservatives also seem to think Tennessee, Wisconsin, and California are to close to Ground Zero too..... I think Newt Gengrich, Sarah Palin, and other right-wingers who have publicly said bad things about the so called "Ground Zero Mosque" should be required to answer questions on their feelings towards the mosques in Tennessee, Wisconsin, and California that are stirring up a lot of camotion. The construction equipment at the nearby Murfreesboro Islamic Center construction sight was set a blaze the other night.
I really don't care to be honest. There are mosques all over NYC, like churches etc, at least they are doing something to give back to the community whil ethe rest of the people involved in the actual memorial can't pull together long enough to do SOMETHING with ground zero.
seems they've been eating their own. in Miami I hear on the radio that (I think) beck and colter are ok with gay conservative groups $ and were not allowed to the rubio-zombie march meetup in Miami, beach?