As an Atheist I don't want to see a mosque, church or temple built anywhere even if it's in the middle of the Nevada deserts. But like any wish fantasy – it ain't likely to happen. They will continue to be built anywhere the church/mosque/temple think they have a sufficient number of believers in the area to fill the coffers and, of course, it's entirely legal.

Which brings me to the issue of the proposed mosque to be built 2 blocks north of the former WTC site. The opinions from a majority of the American public is, predictable, negative. The Republicans, as well as a number of the Christian and Jewish leadership, have been particularly vocal on the issue.

My cognitive dissonance meter is entering the red zone. While I don't look favorably on the building of any monument to religious delusion, the issue of the WTC mosque brings me uncomfortable  close to loons like Gingrich , Palin, Guillani and King.

The entrance of the religiously inspired and the leading wingnuts of the right into the fray has raised the issue into a conspiracy theory of an Islamic terrorist takeover of the US ( I would imagine the prospect gives Bin Laden wet dreams). But, what is happening is we are lowering ourselves to the level of the irrational extremist of the Muslim persuasion. As the Newt stated, “They ignore the fact that more than 100 mosques already exist in New York City. Meanwhile, there are no churches or synagogues in all of Saudi Arabia. In fact no Christian or Jew can even enter Mecca.”

So? The Saudis are intolerant assholes and to counter that we should become intolerant assholes? That's just what is needed, that we start emulating the Islamic extremist – that would suit Bin Laden and his ilk just fine.

While in addition to my feelings about the building of any mosque, church or temple, I think the construction of a huge Islamic center and mosque 2 blocks from the WTC site is inappropriate and a bit offensive, certainly to the survivors and the families of those who died.

But the fact is, short of any zoning restrictions, they are free to build whatever they wish on the land they own. Civil laws and the Constitution apply to all citizens whether we find them objectionable or not. Treating them otherwise destroys our values not theirs.



Tags: Newt_Gingrich, Rudi_Guilliani, Sarah_Palin, WTC_Mosque

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A demographically proportional number of muslims died in the WTC attack. Unlike the jews who magically all didn't go to work that day (if you are in the habit of listening to maniacs). I don't think I saw any footage of the families of those dead muslims singing and dancing in the streets - but again, there is probably some maniac somewhere who knows different.

As much as I loathe islam and those stupid enough to be part of it, the folks that died were just people. They had families and jobs and payed taxes and bitched about things. They bleed and they shit. It takes more than just slight delusion to think that they approved of what happened that day, let alone were complicit. Building a mosque is no more offensive than building buddhist shrine or a christian church. I find the idea of any of them being there offensive. That they desire to do so shows the parasitic nature of religion - to feed of people's grief and misfortune and paint it all up as providing comfort and solace. To be offended specifically that it happens to be a mosque is just emotional knee-jerking and atheists who like to claim they are smart and rational should know better.
While I certainly agree that the building of the mosque is entirely legal, I also think it is in extremely poor taste. I am sure there are many Muslims out there who were just as horrified by 9/11 as any non-Muslims, I am sure such Muslims in the western world are in the vast majority.

Never the less, the twin towers were destroyed by people shouting "Allah hu Akbar" and the idea of building an edifice to the same faith, one which is unapologetically aggressive and expansionist in its very tenets on or around ground zero, is crass. Islamic values, those espoused constantly in the Quran are antithetical to the values of a free and secular society. To build a monument to the very faith that destroyed the twin towers anywhere near the site is just assholery in my opinion. The have the right to build it certainly, a right the faith they espouse would take from everyone else if it had the power, but it is perhaps a right which should not be availed of in this case.

I think where Islam is concerned we are guilty of religion privileging on a massive scale. Imagine a group who kept slaves everywhere the group was powerful enough to rule. They treated black people as property and regularly violated their human rights. Now imagine that organisation has a manifesto that explicitly states that it wants to make you live by their rules and that killing anyone who doesn't live by their rules is a praise-worthy act. Now imagine that group has a large extremist movement who destroy the U.N. headquarters because they are disgusted with how the U.N. tries to promote human rights. After the smoke clears, some moderate members of the same group (who read and praise the same manifesto) want to build a large building dedicated to the promotion and glorification of this manifesto and its ideals. Would it be reactionary or unreasonable to find that objectionable?
Substitute women for black people above and of course we have Islam.

If Islam were a political movement instead of a religion, it would have been outlawed in the west long ago.

It is a bit like the NRA holding a rally in Colombine shortly after the school shootings. It might be entirely legal but it was still in extremely poor taste.
No argument on the poor taste part. But as a nation of laws (allegedly ), when we ignore the law because someone is acting in poor taste we compromise our values. I protest the fact that the law has been ignored by politicians, Wall Street, banks and some industries so I can't propose ignoring the law in this case without being a hypocrite.
Can't argue with that. It goes without saying that the law must apply equally. I would never suggest contravening the law because I didn't agree with something.
America is one of the most tolerant countries in the entire world. There are about 2000 Mosques in the United States (Google search) and several million Muslim Americans live, prosper and practice their religion freely and without interference.

In an editorial published by the New York Times, the editorial board states that the attacks were "mass murder" and "not a religious event."

Question: Did the board suppose that "mass murder" is an action without motive – that these attackers were just doing this for the fun of it?

Did they forget that the attackers had their Korans with them – that they were praying to Allah for a successful mission?


However, these attacks were not a religious event. They were not even in the eyes of the radical Islamist attackers. These attacks were mass murder inspired by an ideology of intolerance “with the hope of bringing an opposing culture to its knees” as conservative journalist, Bobby Eberle said.

In its opposition to the construction of a mosque near "ground zero," the ADL wrote:

“The controversy which has emerged regarding the building of an Islamic Center at this location is counterproductive to the healing process. Therefore, under these unique circumstances, we believe the City of New York would be better served if an alternative location could be found.”

“In recommending that a different location be found for the Islamic Center, we are mindful that some legitimate questions have been raised about who is providing the funding to build it, and what connections, if any, its leaders might have with groups whose ideologies stand in contradiction to our shared values. These questions deserve a response, and we hope those backing the project will be transparent and forthcoming. But regardless of how they respond, the issue at stake is a broader one.”


The Times claims the ADL "eagerly piled on with the opponents of the mosque" and wrote that it was "distressing to see the rationalization of bigotry used by an organization that has been fighting discrimination of all kinds."

This is not an act of bigotry either. For no one is saying not to build a mosque. People are simply saying don't build this mosque near "ground zero." Just build it somewhere else.
I too will vote for any religious institution being in poor taste and the building of any religious institution, like Felch said above, underscores the parasitic nature of religion preying on people's grief.

That said, as I understand it, part of the idea of putting a mosque near ground zero is meant to underscore the very real fact that the overwhelming majority of Muslims do not side with the terrorists. I have little doubt that many a Christian church stands near sites where slaves were once sold, yet I don't see any uproar over that. Have there been any churches built near concentration camps? Near women's clinics that provide abortions?

What consistently nauseates me about the Islamaphobia in this country and in the West in general is that most of it comes from Christians whose religion is fundamentally no different and has just as bloody, intolerant, violent history of xenophobia and oppression. Just because Islam has the higher body count of the last decade or three does not excuse Christianity from practicing the same hypocrisy of it's-ok-when-it's-our-religion.

I fully support the building of the mosque in the sense that this country does have freedom of religion. They are as free to build a mosque as anyone else is free to build a church, a synagogue, or an Atheist education center.
Mosque near ground zero, a Christian church at a German concentration camp, a Japanese religious shrine at Pearl Harbor, Westboro Baptists church allowed to exist, Glenn Beck, Michelle Bachman, O'Really?, Hannity et al., spewing their nationalisitic fascist verbal diarehea, and George H.W. Bush saying that I'm not a citizen because I commit the "thought crime" of being an atheist. I don't like anyone of these things one damn bit.

Solution - repeal the first amendment.

The cure is worse than the illness.
A minor point; the proposed site is not "at" the Ground Zero site. It is two Manhattan blocks away, and around a corner. It is not visible from the GZ site. It is not on any major route TO the GZ site. So, for those who think it is just too near to be tasteful, I'd like to ask, how far away would it have to be, to satisfy you?
Another country preferably :)

I was under the impression that this is not just an average mosque either. More like a cathedral equivalent. Not that it is particularly relevant.
If it is not on and can't be seen from GZ then I would be far less opposed.
Regarding the Mosque Near Ground Zero

http://coyotesings.wordpress.com/

There are many who oppose the building of the Mosque near Ground Zero on absolute terms. They want to “prevent” it from being built and some even go so far as to say that they shouldn’t exist in the United States at all. I am not one of these . (I’ll reiterate: they have every legal and constitutional right to build the Mosque. I don’t want to prohibit the building of the Mosque. Got it?) My view is simply that it was a decision that lacked sensitivity and was in poor taste. Consequently, I’m now labeled a bigot by some of my fellow liberals. I have to wonder if those who immediately throw out the term bigot are doing so in order to flaunt their liberal credentials in the same way that conservatives use flag pins to flaunt their patriotism. In both cases, views are automatically reduced to a dumb dichotomy. You’re either a good Constitution-loving American or an Islamo-phobic bigot.

Leaving aside the subjective nature regarding the sensitivity of the Mosque’s construction, I was hoping that we, as a society, could open up the conversation a little more about some of the problems with religion in general, problems that we ignore at our peril. But how can we even ask questions or raise criticism when every attempt is met with an immediate claim of oppression or appeal to special respect?

For instance, the Catholic Church has a pedophile problem. This was a claim that was first met with much opposing anger, claims of oppression and bigotry, and excuses. Now, after a mountain of testimony and evidence, it has become a fact that makes those clinging to those excuses, look sad and irrational. Does it mean that every Catholic is a pedophile? No. Does it mean that most Catholics are pedophiles? No. I have little doubt that most are good people who despair over this issue. Nevertheless, the problem exists and for the sake of those who can’t defend themselves, we should figure out why and not shy away from the search in fear of being called a bigot.

Baptists have problems with homosexuality. It varies according to each person and denomination but, by in large, they oppose it. There are many who oppose it so much so that they want to deny basic rights to anyone who is gay. There are some who disown their own children upon learning that they are gay or even send them to psychological abuse camps to “cure” them of their “disease.” However, I would venture to say, although I don’t know, that most are less militant about it and take the “we’re all sinners” approach and accommodate somehow, rather than turn on their own children. I was raised Baptist and can attest that most are good, moral, hard-working people in most regards, despite their fear and loathing of homosexuality. But I think it’s safe to say that as the civil rights of homosexuals progress, Baptists are going to have to accommodate a little more in order to get along in our society.

Muslims have been known to commit incredibly violent acts in the name of Islam. Am I referring to all Muslims? No, of course not, but there have certainly been enough of these acts for one to sit-up and take notice. Beheadings, noses, ears, and limbs chopped off, stonings, female castration, beatings, and one notable incident in New York, have all been, and are being committed in the name of Islam, a specific religion. The majority of Muslims are indeed the good, peaceful people that they claim to be and regard such acts as deplorable misrepresentations of Islam. Nevertheless, some self-described Muslims commit brutal acts of violence. Some self-described Catholics rape children, and some self-described Baptists abhor the civil rights of gays. Some portion of their fellow-believers are either not on-message, or have gotten the message loud and clear. Maybe certain “bad apples” are attracted to certain religions. Maybe there’s a problem in the inherent structure of the religion. Maybe it happens for reasons we have yet to even consider. The point is that certain behaviors are clustering in certain religions and the results are too horrifying to not figure out and we can’t even begin to get answers if each question is met with the term “bigot.”

I’ve read some of the excuses given for separating Islam from some of the horrible acts of Muslims, such as the fact that Muslims were themselves killed in the attack on 911 or that Muslim terrorists kill other Muslim and are therefore more “terrorist” than they are Muslim. I’m not swayed. Can you imagine a Catholic parent defending her religion by appealing to the fact that even her own Catholic children were raped by priests, so the priests must not have been true Catholics? Believe it, it happens. It’s a nice little shift of category but offers little consolation to the victim or future victims who will suffer from our lack of curiosity, concern and open investigation into the problem.

So, build the Mosque (or multi-cultural center, if you prefer) but let’s make it one dedicated to the true study of Islam and other religions. Open the halls to the most open and honest debate about religion that we’ve ever seen. Conduct studies and inquiries into the nature of violence within Islam. Invite other faiths in to work on some of these problems together. Lead the way to solving these problems. What could be more American?
A very interesting editorial on this topic in the Ottawa Citizen by author Andrew Potter: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/monument+modernity/3420572/story..... Basically he blames opponents of the mosque to lack faith in liberal values.
The Nazi's were allowed to demonstrate in the predominately Jewish community of Skokie and were protected by the law. This is no different. It is their right as Americans and if people don't like it, they can walk the other way but they cannot deny them their rights. I think all religious institutions are offensive, and I have the right to think that, but not the right to stop them from existing. This crap Beck and his cronies are starting is not good for the country. Its causing division and hysteria.

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