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.
Proponents of the Islamic Center may have every right to build at this site, and may even have chosen the site to send a positive message about Islam. The bigotry some have expressed in attacking them is unfair, and wrong. But ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right. In our judgment, building an Islamic Center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain – unnecessarily – and that is not right. — The Anti-Defamation League
The owner is certainly not required to build a Muslim center and mosque on that site. Because it is a choice, it’s not wrong for the community to ask: Why are you making this choice? Why are you doing something that feels so painful to us? The community isn’t wrong to plead with the owner to choose to do something else with that property. It’s not enough of an answer to say we are doing it because we have a right to do it.
What troubles me about the way the NYT presents the problem is that it tries to make it seem as though the people who question the choice to build the mosque don’t understand or don’t support the principle of freedom of religion — that they just hate (or dislike) Muslims and, for that reason, would deny them the same freedom other religious persons enjoy. Rights don’t work like that. But we can completely understand and support a principle of freedom and still be critical of the way someone chooses to behave in this world. For example, I’m a big supporter of freedom of the press, and I don’t feel the slightest bit hypocritical condemning something stupid I read in the newspaper. — Althouse
Muslims came to America nine years ago, brutally murdered 3,000 men, women and children in the name of Allah, and yet the burden is on us, their families, their widows and children, to exhibit tolerance for Muslim insensitivity. Shame on the politicians, whose moral vanity knows no boundaries. We will fight this. — Debra Burlingame, co-founder of 9/11 Families for a Safe and Strong America and the sister of hijacked American Airlines flight 77 pilot Charles Burlingame
If you read no further, know this: RedState supports the Anti-Defamation League in its opposition to the so-called “Ground Zero mosque.” The ADL is right on all counts: in its rejection of bigotry, its affirmation of American religious freedom, and its declaration that common decency demands the end of this effort. As the ADL notes, this is “not a question of rights, but a question of what is right.”
…The fact is that the groups behind the “Ground Zero mosque” / Cordoba House / Park51 chose the site explicitly for its proximity to Ground Zero, and then spent months boasting about it in the press.
…A “Ground Zero mosque” — even if only near Ground Zero, even if a “community center” rather than a mosque — is the opposite of reasoned restraint. It tramples upon the principle of a public square marked by democratic consideration. It displays a grotesque lack of generosity, while demanding extraordinary generosity toward itself. It insists upon rights — which no one disputes — and ignores responsibilities. It is, in short, a bitter vindication of the critics of American democracy at our nation’s Founding. — The Directors, Redstate
In Jerusalem, triumphant Muslims built the Al-Aqsa mosque on top of the Jews’ revered Temple Mount. They transformed what had been for a thousand years the largest cathedral in Christendom, Constantinople’s magnificent St. Sophia basilica, into a sprawling mosque complex. And the Moorish Ummayad dynasty in Spain, made the city of Cordoba its capital, and installed an immense mosque on the site of an ancient Christian church there.
Now, an imam in New York, who has suddenly come into $100 million from undisclosed sources, wants to build a 13-story Islamic Cultural Center adjacent to the site of Shariah’s greatest triumph to date in America: Ground Zero, the place where the World Trade Center’s twin towers proudly stood until they were destroyed by Shariah-adherent jihadists on September 11, 2001. It is not a coincidence that the imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf, has called his project “the Cordoba House.”
Such a mosque on 9/11′s hallowed ground would not only constitute a durable, symbolic taunt by our enemies about their bloody victory. In accordance with Shariah, once ground has been taken for Islam, it can never revert to the non-Muslim Dar al-Harb, literally the House of War.
In other words, the Ground Zero mosque is designed to be a permanent, in-our-face beachhead for Shariah, a platform for inspiring the triumphalist ambitions of the faithful and eroding resistence to their demands for separate and (for the moment, at least) equal treatment in America. — Frank Gaffney
We feel that Ground Zero is a war memorial. It’s a burial ground, and it is an offensive idea of a mosque, to put it here, where thousands of people died, where their remains are here. It’s humiliating, it’s demeaning. — Pamela Geller
The proposed “Cordoba House” overlooking the World Trade Center site – where a group of jihadists killed over 3000 Americans and destroyed one of our most famous landmarks – is a test of the timidity, passivity and historic ignorance of American elites. For example, most of them don’t understand that “Cordoba House” is a deliberately insulting term. It refers to Cordoba, Spain – the capital of Muslim conquerors who symbolized their victory over the Christian Spaniards by transforming a church there into the world’s third-largest mosque complex.
Today, some of the Mosque’s backers insist this term is being used to “symbolize interfaith cooperation” when, in fact, every Islamist in the world recognizes Cordoba as a symbol of Islamic conquest. It is a sign of their contempt for Americans and their confidence in our historic ignorance that they would deliberately insult us this way.
…America is experiencing an Islamist cultural-political offensive designed to undermine and destroy our civilization. Sadly, too many of our elites are the willing apologists for those who would destroy them if they could.
No self deception.
The time to take a stand is now – at this site on this issue. — Newt Gingrich
(Building a mosque at Ground Zero) sends a particularly bad message, particularly (because) of the background of the Imam who is supporting this. This is an Imam who has supported radical causes, who has not been forthright in condemning Islamic (terrorism) and the worst instincts that that brings about. So it not only is exactly the wrong place, right at Ground Zero, but it’s a mosque supported by an Imam who has a record of support for causes that were sympathetic with terrorism. Come on! We’re gonna allow that at Ground Zero? This is a desecration. Nobody would allow something like that at Pearl Harbor. Let’s have some respect for who died there and why they died there. Let’s not put this off on some kind of politically correct theory. I mean, they died there because of Islamic extremist terrorism. They are our enemy, we can say that, the world will not end when we say that. And the reality is it will not and should not insult any decent Muslim because decent Muslims should be as opposed to Islamic extremism as you and I are. — Rudy Giuliani
When I look over there and see a mosque, it’s going to hurt. Build it someplace else. — C. Lee Hanson, whose son, Peter, was killed in the attacks
Equally opposed (to the Ground Zero mosque) 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.’’ — Jeff Jacoby
They are not using (the Ground Zero Mosque) to lead the war like Americans need to see us do and they are wasting our resources, not to mention that being close to the hallowed ground that is so sensitive in the souls of the families of 9/11. I think it is extremely poor judgment. — Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy
I’d say I’m troubled by it, but I don’t know enough to say that it ought to be prohibited. But frankly I’ve heard enough about it and read enough about it that I wish somebody in New York would just put the brakes on for a while and take a look at this.
I’ve also read some things about some of the people involved that make me wonder about their motivations. So I don’t know enough to reach a conclusion, but I know enough to say that this thing is only going to create more division in our society, and somebody ought to put the brakes on it. Give these people a chance to come out and explain who they are, where their money’s coming from.
If the people building this large Islamic center are just looking to build a large facility — a house of worship and center — in New York, why so close to 9/11, with all the sensitivity associated with that? — Joe Lieberman
The imam behind a proposed mosque near Ground Zero is a prominent member of a group that helped sponsor the pro-Palestinian activists who clashed violently with Israeli commandos at sea this week.
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is a key figure in Malaysian-based Perdana Global Peace Organization, according to its Website.
Perdana is the single biggest donor ($366,000) so far to the Free Gaza Movement, a key organizer of the six-ship flotilla that tried to break Israel’s blockade of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip Monday. — New York Post
No one is disputing that America stands for – and should stand for – religious tolerance. It is a foundation of our republic. This is not an issue of religious tolerance but of common moral sense. To build a mosque at Ground Zero is a stab in the heart of the families of the innocent victims of those horrific attacks. Just days after 9/11, the spiritual leader of the organization that wants to build the mosque, Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf, suggested that blame be placed on the innocents when he stated that the “United States’ policies were an accessory to the crime that happened” and that “in the most direct sense, Osama bin Laden is made in the USA.” Rauf refuses to recognize that Hamas is a terrorist organization dedicated to the destruction of our ally, Israel, and refuses to provide information about the sources of funding for the $100 million mosque. Rauf also plays a key role in a group behind the flotilla designed to provoke Israel in its justifiable blockade of Gaza. These are just a few of the points Americans are realizing as New York considers the proposed mosque just a stone’s throw away from 9/11’s sacred ground. — Sarah Palin
New York City voters oppose 52 – 31 percent a proposal by a Muslim group to build a mosque and cultural center two blocks from Ground Zero, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Another 17 percent are undecided.
Opinions about the proposed mosque range from 46 – 36 percent support among Manhattan voters to 73 – 14 percent opposition in Staten Island, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.
Opposition to the mosque is 56 – 31 percent among white voters, 45 – 34 percent among black voters and 60 – 19 percent among Hispanic voters. Opposition among religious groups is 66 – 22 percent among Jews, 66 – 24 percent among white Catholics and 46 – 36 percent among white Protestants. — Quinnipiac
Most voters in New York (58%) oppose the building of an Islamic mosque near Ground Zero in New York City.
A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in the state finds that just 20% favor the building of a mosque near the 9/11 Ground Zero site, while 21% are not sure. These findings are very similar to those found nationwide. — Rasmussen Reports
Such was the violence on 9-11 that my brother’s remains were never found. He was killed by Islamists and now they want to build a mosque on his grave. Their victory will be complete. — Christina Regenhard
That is a burial ground. I do have a problem with having a mosque on top of the site where [terrorists] can gloat about what they did. — Retired FDNY Deputy Chief Al Santora, who lost a son on 9/11
This is my only son. He was a firefighter and he went into rescue people that day. I’m upset about the building of the mosque, because Muslim terrorists murdered my son and 3,000 Americans at this site. — Eileen Tallon