Saudi Arabia: From the Frying Pan to the Fire

I’ve been purposely holding back from writing about the controversy surrounding the proposal to build an Islamic center in the vicinity of Ground Zero in New York.  I guess I’ve felt it’s been a no-win to write about whether for or against the project.  However a recent article is what has prompted me to post a few words on the topic.

I can’t see people ever coming to agreements when it comes to different religions.  Religious tolerance is difficult enough and as illustrated by the proposal of the Islamic center, there are differing degrees of tolerance too.  There is one set of tolerance for issues and projects in other countries and another scale of tolerance when a project is in one’s own back yard so to speak.

Then there are those who want to jump on a media bandwagon and instead of trying to calm down or diffuse an emotional issue, they’d rather fan the flames into a roaring burn.  Such is the case of Greg Gutfield and his new business proposal.  Is this America’s new version or interpretation of “an eye for an eye?”

Greg Gutfield To Open A Gay Bar Next To Ground Zero Mosque To Cater To “Islamic Gay Men”

by Jon Bershad | 8:23 pm, August 9th, 2010

http://www.dailygut.com/?i=4696

No, this is not a joke. In fact, it is instead one of the most brilliant pieces of provocation in recent years. Greg Gutfield from Fox News’ Red Eye announced today via his blog that he is actively speaking to investors and plans on opening a gay bar next to the controversial mosque being built near Ground Zero in New York. To make matters worse (better?) the bar will be specifically designed to cater to homosexuals of the Islamic faith. God, this is going to be an exciting block.

Here’s Gutfield’s entire post which he will expand upon during tonight’s Red Eye:

MONDAY’S GREGALOGUE: MY NEW GAY BAR

So, the Muslim investors championing the construction of the new mosque near Ground Zero claim it’s all about strengthening the relationship between the Muslim and non-Muslim world.

As an American, I believe they have every right to build the mosque – after all, if they buy the land and they follow the law – who can stop them?

Which is, why, in the spirit of outreach, I’ve decided to do the same thing.

I’m announcing tonight, that I am planning to build and open the first gay bar that caters not only to the west, but also Islamic gay men. To best express my sincere desire for dialogue, the bar will be situated next to the mosque Park51, in an available commercial space.

This is not a joke. I’ve already spoken to a number of investors, who have pledged their support in this bipartisan bid for understanding and tolerance.

As you know, the Muslim faith doesn’t look kindly upon homosexuality, which is why I’m building this bar. It is an effort to break down barriers and reduce deadly homophobia in the Islamic world.

The goal, however, is not simply to open a typical gay bar, but one friendly to men of Islamic faith. An entire floor, for example, will feature non-alcoholic drinks, since booze is forbidden by the faith. The bar will be open all day and night, to accommodate men who would rather keep their sexuality under wraps – but still want to dance.

Bottom line: I hope that the mosque owners will be as open to the bar, as I am to the new mosque. After all, the belief driving them to open up their center near Ground Zero, is no different than mine.

My place, however, will have better music.

For investment information, contact me at dailygut.com

In fairness, I challenge American Bedu readers to state both the pros and cons of having or not having an Islamic Center built near Ground Zero.

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277 Responses

  1. I want to come back and comment after digesting this but first, the poster used for the opening shot makes me a bit queasy… Not that I have any issues with you Carol…I am sure you got it elsewhere. But the sensationalism of it makes me uncomfortable…(but hey this is America…they have a right to print it and I have a right to be uncomfortable.) It feels a little too in your face and feels like it is saying that we are at war with all Muslims. Terrorists perhaps…but not all Muslims. and I don’t like to think of Ground Zero as a War Memorial. In fact, I never thought of it like that before. But I guess if you can call Pearl Harbor a war memorial you can call this one one too. Still, it sounds so….dramatic.

    OMG! A gay bar! What a hoot! But if we are going on legalities and letter of the law…Mr Gutfield has as much right to build it as park51 has a right to be built. Now THAT would be a real test of tolerance.I don’t think I would have ever thought of it but it is brilliant provocation.

  2. I forgot to add that the poster directly underneath it makes me equally queasy…both are so provacative…but then that the point, right? :-)

  3. Open a gay bar on the left side and a pork restaurant on the right side of the mosque since the left hand is considered to be unclean. Here is a nice business plan — Incorporate a company, have the above two beside each mosque, raise money through an initial public offer and list the shares on the New York Stock Exchange. Wow, someone will become a millionaire in the process. No offense intended. Hey, America is a free country.
    Frankly, having an Islamic Centre in the vicinity of Ground Zero is not only stupid, it is downright dumb considering the emotions involved. This is deliberate provocation. Who comes up with these kinds of silly ideas? Even if the intention is good, it is not practical.

  4. Forgive me but given the ludicrously (in my opinion) of the proposal, I felt it appropriate to have equally provocative images.

  5. Unfortunately, freedom of speech and religious expression mean we take the good with the bad, and fight to protect both. I can appreciate those who lost loved ones in 9/11 or suffer from aftereffects even now not wanting it built. I really do.

    At the same time, Muslims (I’m not counting the terrorists) died in 9/11 as well. We’re as much a part of the nation as any other religious group and enjoy the same rights.

    9/11 changed the world. What it shouldn’t change, mustn’t change, is our capacity to draw together as people. Insh’Allah, peaceful minds and hearts will prevail and the good intentions of the center’s founders will come to fruition.

  6. In an unrelated note, I hope your cats are enjoying and acclimating to the US, Carol. I hope they’re bringing you love and comfort. Ma’asalama.

  7. I just heard they have shelved plans to have the centre in the vicinity of Ground Zero. Is it true?

  8. Carol…

    I totally understand about the pictures. No Worries.

    But it is amazing how much a photograph can say and the feelings it can invoke.

  9. so I suppose they are also building gay bars next to Baptist Churches and Orthodox Shuls as well? Fair is fair. Idiots.

    You know, since ground zero is hallowed ground, they should start venting their rage by dismantling/protesting the STRIP CLUB that is right across the way from it. considering that the 9/11 hijackers, Atta in particular, spent his final hours and pennies on LAP DANCES, I feel a strip club is a far greater insult to the sanctity of the memories of those that died on 9/11. not a mosque….

  10. No, it’s not true. NY Gov offered them a plot at another place but they rejected the offer.

    Please also know that Feisal Rauf who is behind the project has never condemned the 9/11 attacks and has never declared the Hamas a terrorist organisation.

    He has never said he will not get part of his $100 millions for the project from the extremist Muslim organisations.

    These facts strongly suggest his image as an extremist-influenced Imam.

    It also casts serious doubts about what he is going to each there – it certainly is not going to be tolerance and inter-faith understanding.

    Most likely it is going to be extremist Islam he’s going to teach there.

    I wonder if it is within the legal bounds in the US to work on extremist, hateful projects possibly leading to violence on one’s personal property as part of democratic rights.

    Rauf’s project is not stupid, it’s downright a clandestine way to disguise a possible extremist project.

    It’s quite shrewd in fact.

    As for the gay bar idea, Gutfield has as much right to open it there and invite Muslim gays if he wants as Rauf has to develop his so-called “inter-faith” project.

    So I don’t see why it should be called provocative. It’s within the legal bounds of democracy, isn’t it?

    Well in typical Muslim style, Gutfield has excluded the Muslim lesbian women!

    Why not a floor for the Muslim lesbian women in his bar – following the norms of segregation?

    I think within his inter-faith Center Rauf and Co will do well to build a Hindu temple as well – complete with the numerous Hindu icons, arrangement for rituals, dance, music and singing as is customary in Hindu temples.

    How about doing the normal Islamic prayers in front of this Hindu shrine 5 times a day?

    Perhaps he can also decorate the prayer area with icons of Catholic saints all around and Muslims should bow to all these icons before beginning to pray.

    And how about praying to Jesus before and after every Islamic prayer, especially on Fridays when the community is gathered to offer prayers to Allah!

    Imam Rauf can begin and end all his prayers by praying to Jesus and lead his community in this prayer as well.

    And how about adding Jewish rituals to the normal Islamic prayer – following the prayer to Jesus that is?

    And perhaps all of this can be rounded off by a Buddhist prayer and some verses from the Guru Granth – the sacred text of the Sikhs in the name of Allah the Almighty.

    And every Friday after the Jewish rituals they should also add some Jain verses in their Islamic prayer.

    How exactly does Rauf expect to integrate all these religions in his Islamic environment – which forbids all this?

  11. Do they have the right to build it? Yes. Still it is a stupid decision. Given economics, they probably will never break ground. Do Muslims need a place to pray in downtown Manhattan? Perhaps, it will certainly be useful for those who want to go to Friday prayers. It is far less useful for those who need a convenient place for their daily prayers. The idea of picking this spot for a showplace mosque is something that I assume was done when the planners were drunk.

    The founder of this mosque is a piece of work. Just read Christopher Hitchens article and you will realize what a strange person this man is.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2264770/

  12. Of course since the mosque is neither a mosque or at ground zero, this has been a whole lot of right wing palaver because of elections. The New York community had already dealt with the coming of the community center.

    People build community centers in locations near where people work and/or live so that they can USE them. These American New Yorkers are perfectly within their rights to build this center where they like.

    As for the gay bar- if it meets community zoning laws etc. of course they can do that as well. Big deal! But I do think Daisy has an interesting point that the gay bar is only targeting the Muslim men- not women.

    And I’d love to see sources that show Feisal Rauf, a Sufi, as an extremist.

  13. Holy smokes Daisy! while he might be for interfaith tolerance and understanding but he isn’t God himself. I think only God could work out that kind of arrangement. I can’t imagine getting all those people of different faiths being THAT tolerant of each other. LOL!

    As for the gay bar thing. I think Saladin said it best.
    “Unfortunately, freedom of speech and religious expression mean we take the good with the bad, and fight to protect both.”

    That is where I think the crux lies in many ways… so if the mosque can be built so can the bar…There are some that would find the Mosque so close to Ground Zero to be obnoxious and then there are some Muslims and nonmuslims as well that would find the Gay bar to be obnoxious there. But here is the truth of the matter. If the Mosque can be built even though it offends some so can the gay bar. They both have the same right. Now Muslims might argue it offends their sensibilities to have a gay bar next to the mosque and should not be built…why should their feelings sensibilities be any more important than those of the people against Park 51? Both are equally right in feeling offended from their perspective. AND both are equally right in their legal right to build what they want on space they own. So for me the question becomes: Do we go by the strict letter of the law or do we have some humanity and take each other’s point of view into consideration? It looks a lot different from the other side of the fence.

    I am not fully sure of Feisal Rauf. I have heard both good and bad things. At the moment I am somewhat on the fence…

    I do want to share something I sent to someone about him though. Everyone can make up their own minds. I’m still deciding. I’ve seen evidence both ways.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/08/ground-zero-imam-i-am-a-jew-i-have-always-been-one/61761/

    http://www.bj.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/daniel_pearl_memorial.pdf

  14. Daisy , you are a very sad soul, every chance you get to bash islam, you do, we know you, and honestly we don’t care.People like you are the ones behind all the hatred and intolerance

  15. @Carol – ‘Forgive me but given the ludicrously (in my opinion) of the proposal..’

    Which proposal are you calling ludicrous?

    imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is a Sufi? I didn’t know that. I’m kind of surprised to hear that. What percentage of Muslims consider Sufis as true Muslims? The U.S State Department has sent him on a tour of the Middle East to show off American Islam? I’m so confused.

  16. See links about Rauf’s not so benign image and hi possible extreme ideology –

    http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=38687

    See below as well.

  17. I feel compelled to comment on this one! As usual, Carol, said it all quite eloquently in her comment above.

    Secondly, there is a part of me that feels this is provocation in every meaning of the word. They have a right to build a mosque, a Muslim center or what have you but do it somewhere else. Be a little empathetic to those who are against it. I am a Muslim and yes I am against it!

    Clearly from the protests shown, it is isn’t being built because they mean well or the intent wasn’t to cause a ruckus! For God’s sake, look at that sign that that guy is holding; “Islam will dominate the world”. What the heck is that about??

    Again, here is where I say people please understand that you can not judge a religion based on its followers or vice versa. Obviously, you will have idiots like these people doing the complete opposite of what Islam is all about!!! Who said that the main goal was to DOMINATE the world??? I think God could care less about dominating anyone or anything because first of all HE has the power over EVERYTHING and EVERYONE!!!

    Second of all, when I read that sign, it really pissed me off!!! The arrogance of these people goes WAY beyond the fundamental teachings of Islam. Arrogance is something that God loathes in mankind! To me, this sounds like complete arrogance!!!

    Last but not least, to this Gutfield dude and his statement:

    “As you know, the Muslim faith doesn’t look kindly upon homosexuality, which is why I’m building this bar. It is an effort to break down barriers and reduce deadly homophobia in the Islamic world.”

    All I have to say is that Judaism as well as Christianity DOESN’T look favorably or kindly upon homosexuality either. Just to be fair and square, it isn’t just an “Islamic” thing or belief as so many out there believe………..

  18. Wow! Jerry M.

    That was a bit scary…he wants the president to say he supports Vilayet-i-faquih in Iran. “It is the special term promulgated by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to describe the idea that all of Iranian society is under the permanent stewardship (sometimes rendered as guardianship) of the mullahs.” and ayatollah Sistani is NOT for it. Yikes!

    I guess I would have to say that is a bit unnerving…and he wants to run Park 51???

  19. Oby,
    I was pointing to the very simple fact that all these religions’ worship practices are irreconcilable to each other and anyone who talks about an inter-faith prayer-space is talking nonsense and is misleading the pubic.

    This comes from me, who has prayed in the shrines of all religions and in whose culture it’s normal to celebrate each other’s festivals together.

    Celebrating festivals is in order, as it doesn’t involve prayers. We celebrate festivals together, but we don’t expect anyone to join in each other’s worship practices.

    We know that these worship practices are not in consonance with each other and it will lead to conflicts between different religions, while celebrating festivals leads to religious harmony.

    If a person on his/her own wants to join in the worship session of another that’s a different matter. such a person should be welcomed.

    But it’s absolutely wrong to expect others to join in our worship sessions as part of an “educational training” for them because they are “ignorant people who don’t understand our religion” – the claim behind Park 51 project.

    I think this is one of the most bigoted and condescending things to say that others are ignorant and they should learn by worshipping through our religious system.

  20. Lynn,
    Rauf is not a Sufi. that’s the mask he wears. Sufis truly learn from other religions and they respect other religions.

    Sufis don’t go around telling others how glorious Islam is and how ignorant others are and they should get educational training at mosques. Rather, they try to show the positive aspects of other religions that Islam can imbibe.

    Rauf is an orthodox Muslim bordering on extremism. Please read the links above given by me and Jerry M.

  21. Oby,
    Are you still not very much opposed to Park 51?

    I can differentiate a democratic Muslim from an orthodox/extremist one from a mile’s distance.

    The moment I read about his project for the first time, I knew he was an orthodox Muslim, supporting some of the extremist ideas and hiding behind the mask of a “benign Sufi” to fool people.

  22. :) well well well, so is this about bringing peace or about provoking hate?
    wonder who will chose which!

  23. Oh, I forgot the Zoroastrians – readings from the Zoroastrian texts should follow the Jain verses on Fridays.

  24. Huh..looks like ppl here watch too much faux news…whoopsss I meant FOX news!

  25. The talk about building mosques, bars ..etc is meant to create the friction that we see here and it is working!

  26. I am a muslim. I might be not a good muslim but I have faith in my religion. Yet I oppose the building of Mosque near the vicinity of Ground Zero. Iman Abul Raouf Spend some time here in my country as a youth. He has a column in a engilsh daily news paper here which comes out once a week.
    His father was the former rector of the Islamic International University here.

    I do not know him or his inclination in terrorism if any as written by Daisy. But I am talking mostly about the wise thing to do as wise is one of the attributes of Muhammad as a person whom the Muslims must emulate. If it create discord among the population it is better to remove for Islam hates discord and abhor it. Iman Raof should know better.

    Obama says true when he gave the speech during iftar that Muslims have the rights to practice her religion freely. And he says later he did not talk about the wisdom of building the mosque but the right of the Muslims populace. He understand that building rights lies in the hand of the city council in this the ire should be also against Mayor Bloomberg for approving the Cordoba Mosque!

    But as Muslims we must shy away with controversies less it cast aspersion to our belief our religion. I have spoke in volume about it. I hate when my own brothers in faith use the so call rights to further their beliefs but sadly in their own country building a church take years to be approved? I speaking for my own country and I know that for a fact. If the Muslims are unwilling themselves to imbibe in themselves the attributes of Muhammad pbuh then don’t talk about rights for they themselves have sullied the image of their religion

  27. Wan Zaharizan,
    I appreciate your comment very much. I wish more Muslims thought like you. You are truly a reflection of how Islam should be.

  28. i was just quietly wondering about this issue… i think that no one has a doubt about their right to build this place but I’m just surprised that given the opposition to the plan of building community centre and a mosque they are still pressing hard for it.
    It shows very clearly that ground zero and its surrounding areas are dear to americans, and not only to them. In general it is a sensitive location, even though only two blocks away. Still they don’t back down on this plan and will go ahead with it despite people’s discontent. It doesn’t seem like a great start of inter-faith dialogue they want to initiate. I think they are doing a great disservice to the image of muslim community. But that’s just my subjective impression :)

  29. What about the image of non-muslims? What does it say about them?

  30. I think the reason they aren’t just switching location is that this has actually been in the works for many months- and locally, in the neighborhood where these New Yorkers live, the community had sorted this out. This only became a big issue when that Geller woman decided to get involved, and certain politicians. I think MANY would have a hard time suddenly switching plans on the basis of what amounts to bullying.

    Daisy, you have more than once expressed your views on me being some sort of extreme Muslim mascarading as benign- so I’ll have to take your claim to “know the difference” as pretty weak. You also “research” things, by finding someone who supports what you already believe, regardless of how accurate.

  31. Sandy,
    I really don’t get your comment.

    I don’t think I have more than once expressed about you being as an extreme Muslim masquerading as benign.

    So I don’t see why you suddenly want to start this argument with me, unless you want to deflect from the topic being discussed.

    I have said that about Imam Rauf here. I am not the one who started digging out his past record. It’s all over the Internet.

  32. I said that it is a sensitive area for a lot of people and there are emotions involved.
    What I think is that a centre like this could be received well in a less sensitive area and could actually serve its purpose of inter-faith dialogue. I don’t take sides cause I think I can see where both sides are coming from.
    all I’m saying is that such great opposition (regardless of the fact whether they are wrong or right) doesn’t seem like a good start. that’s all. they haven’t even started building and a lot of people hate their guts already. but as I said, it is only my impression.

    @Sandy
    I didn’t know what you said. thanks for your comment :) and i agree, it’s hard to pull back when you’ve been working on sth for many months.

  33. Carol,
    This makes me sick! I guess this is the main reason I stay away from Fox news and it’s trouble makers.
    People are so close minded about Muslims. They think of every Muslim as one of the ones who took over the 3 planes.
    I was in Saudi at the time of 9/11. My husband had called me at work two days before to let me know that he had to go to England for Aramco and asked me to take a couple of weeks off and go with him. I told him that I really wanted to but since it was the first of the school year – I was badly needed in the office.
    The a.m. after Pat left; I had come in from shopping and Pat called. (We were 3 or 4 hrs. ahead of English time zone). He had just arrived at his hotel and switched on the TV in time to see the first plane crash. He had me turn the TV on and I saw the 2nd plane crash and the rest of the story.
    It was certainly a scarey time for us both as by then I could not reach him and he could not get back to me. As it was; I was in very good hands. Most Arabs felt very sorry for what had happened and were ashamed of the ones who had committed the horrible scene. All of my friends and neighbors and the security guards etc. took very good care of me and we all worked through it.
    I have personal opinions of what’s going on in the mid-east now and I imagine you feel the same way as I do.
    By the way, I could not get on the eggplant pizza site but that’s a great idea. I have enjoyed reading and saving all of the recipes you’ve shared – I have many Saudi cookbooks and even took Saudi cooking lessons from an American friend of mine who was married to a Saudi. I had several American and British friends who were married to Saudi men.
    I also collected the Koal containers for the ladies, Dollahs, Bedouin carpets, some of the old jewelry, clay pots from Hoffuf, and my husband’s prize possession – a real Aran dagger. You can see the worn part where the owner’s hand rested on the silver handle.
    I used to tell my husband that I could live there the rest of my life but I’m afraid a certain President made that impossible for us and is the reason Pat decided to relocate me to the US in 2004 when we were in Milan for Aramco business.
    I very much miss the old Saudi and have often wished I could have been there back in the 70’s. Pat had worked there a couple of times in early years before we married and I went to join him there in 88.
    Hope you are well; take care and may God Bless you.
    Donna

  34. @Donna,

    I have spoken to many expats who were in the Kingdom during 9/11. Most of the Americans with whom I spoke expressed your views that the Saudis were very protective of them and as devastated by the tragic events of 9/11. Where I have been told of differing reactions was among friends who were in Saudi during 9/11 and either non-American or their ethnicity was of Arab origin. In their cases, some (a minority) of Saudis spoke in favor of 9/11. Qanta Ahmed covers her experience of working at National Guard hospital in Riyadh when 9/11 occurred.

    Once I can ever get settled where I have some of my things, I have so many more Saudi recipes and cookbooks I’d like to share. The eggplant recipe “disappeared” because I have written it for September but accidentally posted it on the wrong date! (my bad) So I changed the date which removed the post (temporarily).

    I’m going to be out of Internet contact for a short period so I’ve been busy these last few nights writing articles in advance so noone will miss the daily dose of Bedu!

  35. Well, Daisy Khan, the wife of Rauf has specifically said that they won’t change their location as it’s too important a monument to back down.

    It’s obvious it’s not because of logistic inconveniences, but because of their insensitive and irresponsible attitude towards their fellow Americans.

    It appears the plan from the beginning has been to incite conflicts in society.

    Rather than goodwill, it really hints at their hidden apathy and hatred towards non-Muslims.

    A person who never condemned the 9/11 attack, who has never held responsible the terrorist organisations for their actions, should be investigated closely by the US Govt and his proposed teachings at Park 51 should be closely scrutinised to see what actually he is planning there under cover of this apathetic “goodwill,” rather than being supported for his democratic rights – lest another 9/11 happens again.

    I wonder if the US can really afford the “luxury” of another 9/11, if it were to happen as a result of such dubious personalities’ so-called “goodwill” work, which seems like anything other than a goodwill work.

  36. I’d say build it, build themosque right opposite the site and I guarantee if no one tries anything stupid, it will be old news on 3 months.. after all it’s a building, inthe day to day gring i doubt anyone would care a bunch of muslims go ina nd out on fridays or anyday..
    why the fuss. If it were up to me i’d keep ground zero – as a park and be done with it. whomever wants to visit can do so. relatives /friends can sit there in peace and think about the poor souls lost there.

    I think these guys trying to build a misque are doing it for publicity and to create a conflict – all that stuff about interfaith dialogue is bull shit.. seriouosly you found the most provocative place on earth to talk interfaith!!! so i say let them build their mosque, pray it in do whatever they want inside it and end of story….

    Why is this such a big issue.. you cannot have interfaith prayers inside a mosque– it is a mosque people – place of prayer for muslims and as such should be sancrosent for the muslims.. call it as such and go on with your lives…

    As for a Gay bar, build it whereevr you want and let the gay people men and women) have funthere .. both will be soon forgotten.

  37. yes, that’s also true – a mosque as an inter-faith place is nonsense.

    that also casts doubts over what exactly they’re going to preach to their congregation there – why do they want to hide the fact that they are building a mosque, calling it this inter-faith crap?

    They could simply say they wanted to build a mosque. Why do things in this clandestine manner and why only at that place?

    This kind of under the table attitude makes people think their intentions are not honorable – especially with the kind of leanings Rauf has shown and with their dubious sources of funding.

  38. Daisy,
    Understand the situation before spouting off… wait, that’s not really your style is it? There is no plans for an interfaith prayer space. There is plans for an interfaith community center and the center will include a MUSLIM prayer space. You are a seriously paranoid person. I can’t count how many times I have read your hateful rhetoric, your paranoia and your every-muslim-is-an-extremist and Saudi Arabia sucks comments. Every chance you get to criticize and propagate your hate and vengeance you take it to a point I actually avoid Carol’s incredible blog at times just to avoid reading your idiocy. Unfortunately, it appears you do nothing during the course of a day except stalk this blog and rant and rant so in order to read the debate and comments from more enlightened individuals I have to subject myself to you.

    “You are truly a reflection of how Islam should be.”
    It’s not your place to deem what Muslims should and shouldn’t be or how they should act. Basically, according to your terms, only Muslims who agree with you and share your views are a true reflection of Islam. Deviants are continually branded as extremists and “typical Muslims” as you have called them.

    “It’s obvious it’s not because of logistic inconveniences, but because of their insensitive and irresponsible attitude towards their fellow Americans. It appears the plan from the beginning has been to incite conflicts in society. Rather than goodwill, it really hints at their hidden apathy and hatred towards non-Muslims.”
    Actually, as an actual American Muslim, you know, someone actually affected by what is happening here (unlike yourself), they are not insensitive to fellow Americans. They should stand up for their rights and liberties. They purchased private property and intend to build a COMMUNITY CENTER that happens to have a prayer space in it. By the way, there is already a mosque there. AND there is another about 4 blocks on the other side of ground zero (an inconvenient truth I know). You assume to be able to read everyone’s thoughts through their actions. It is inconceivable to you that Muslims maybe, just MAYBE, may have a good heart and JUST MAYBE may have good intentions. In your views, however, they are extremists trying to preach extremism though their evil community center of death. Do us all a favor and stop propagating your hate. Have an opinion, but for pete’s sake stop channeling your inner Fox news anchor and stop spewing ignorance.

  39. I am always amazed by the ignorance of Middle America when it comes to things like this. What religion was the Oklahoma bomber by the way???
    The Islamic Center certainly should be built. Keith Olbermann makes an excellent commentary on the subject here.

    As for the gay bar – of course legally it can be done but the Middle Americans who are protesting the Islamic Center are probably for the most part against a gay bar as well so I can really see the fireworks coming on. I got a chuckle in KSA as there was no shortage of gay men walking around as camp as camp can be but that’s another story. I’m sure that the gay bar beside the Islamic Center would be the last place a gay Muslim would frequent.

    My real thoughts about the gay bar proposal is that it is an ignorant and childish proposal done only to inflame. I have no issues about homosexuality or the bar – just the stupidness behind this one.

  40. @ Irritated
    Ditto and thank you.

  41. Daisy…I am not in favor of it…I am o the fence about the Imam and his beliefs/credentials. Sorry for the confusion…

    BTW, I got the point you were trying to make about all the mixes of faith being impossible. I was kidding with you. :-)

  42. @Wendy…

    “My real thoughts about the gay bar proposal is that it is an ignorant and childish proposal done only to inflame. I have no issues about homosexuality or the bar – just the stupidness behind this one.”

    Of course it is to inflame…I think that is the point he is trying to make. That everyone has sensitivities to certain things and whether or not they make sense to everyone they are certainly real to those who feel them. People who don’t want Park51 built IMO have a right to their feelings and I can understand how they feel. But I also can understand how someone would feel about a Gay bar next to Park51and they are also entitled to their feelings.

    It is forcing both sides to face each others “sensitivities”. Legally both have a strong leg to stand on. They own the property and no matter how divisive some group may find one or the other (or both) projects to be that is not a consideration legally. What makes Muslims feelings of sensitivity toward a gay bar any more important than the sensitivities of those who oppose Park 51? The irony is that BOTH sides have a point and a right to their feelings AND they have a right to build. And there is the conundrum.

    If one wants to cite freedom of speech and legalities and use that to build their case then that is well and good. But that applies to all entities…You can’t argue that you have freedom of speech and the right to build something and then turn around and try to deny someone else that same right just because you fight their project noxious…

    That is why I feel IN THIS PARTICULAR case due to extraordinary circumstances a little more than the letter of the law needs to be applied on both sides.

  43. And if we are going to talk about tolerance being shown to Muslims for Park51(and if it is built I certainly hope that people will show tolerance) then we need to show tolerance to those wanting the gay bar whether we agree with it or not.

  44. @Irritated:

    From me and Abu Sinan,

    We love you! Thank you! lol :)

  45. You guys need to watch this, seriously.

  46. Tiffany, I posted a link to this – didn’t know how to make it live. It’s a fabulous commentary!!!!

  47. I just don’t understand how people can be against it when American Muslims died there too, and are dying now in our military, to protect America. It reminds me of when people would spit and mistreat African American soldiers back in WWI, WWII, and even the Civil War, they had to be segrated even though they were DYING for America.

    It really sickens me to see people being mistreated. I can’t wait to finish law school.

  48. Irritated,
    It’s not YOUR place to tell me what I should think of another person.

    Wan showed excellent democratic sensibilities as a Muslim and I feel only democratic and rational Muslims have a place in a democracy, not the orthodox-extremist variety whose value system is not in consonance with the principles of democracy.

    Yes, it is true that Wan is a fine example of how Islam should be and I have every right to say it.

    You have no business coming here and telling me what I should think and what I shouldn’t think about Islam or any religion. I never gave you that right.

    As for the nonsensical crap called “inter-faith” centre, it seems it was always intended to be a mosque which could accommodate 1000 worshippers –

    http://www.islamicpluralism.org/1621/ground-zero-mosque-developer-mosque-could

    the term inter-faith seems to have been used only to delude non-Muslims and the government.

    Hence, it is legitimate to ask why he would build a mosque in this clandestine manner and why only there? Why this nonsense about inter-faith business?

    Especially going by his dubious record of not condemning 9/11 and not disclosing his sources of a $100 million funding?

    Well, I do feel the US Govt should investigate closely ino his activities and his proposed teaching programme there – lest another 9/11 happens.

    I have every right to express my opinions and you have no business coming here I shouldn’t say all this, which is all over the Internet.

    By the way, I think I can recognise who you are. your ruse doesn’t hide you. there is something called style of argument.

  49. Manal,
    Since you have insulted half the humanity who don’t follow Abrahamic religions by calling them non-human breathing machines and have expressively said you don’t want to engage with them only because they don’t follow an Abrahamic religion, I think you have no business coming here and interfering with something I – a non-Abrahamic person writes.

    Please get some education in civilisation and learn to respect all humanity – not only the Abrahamic part and apologise for your insulting post before thinking about interfering with something I write.

  50. Read in my comment to irritated above –
    “you have no business coming here and telling me I shouldn’t say all this, which is all over the Internet.

  51. Daisy
    Irritated has every business to tell you what he/she thinks of you just as you express your opinion freely.

    Or do you think you are the only one who has authority to speak as you wish.

    Your presence here is becoming very boring. Why don’t you go and get some proper education.

  52. @ Daisy,

    I think the only way we Americans can prevent another “Islamic” attack is by being kinder to Muslims. I think we completely destroyed Afghanistan during the Cold War and left them with nothing. When 9/11 happened (and I lost family in 9/11) the first thing I said was, of course America got attacked. You can’t treat people wrong without result.

    If the center is denied, it will stir up hate on both sides. As for people focusing on who is running it and his background, honestly, I’d like to meet a religious leader who wasn’t a least a tad bit corrupt. I also think if they are going to deny the center, then they should also take out childern wards in Catholic hospitals and deny Catholic churchs near schools, playgrounds, community centers like the YMCA, and Childerns hospitals…since a few religious leaders have abused childern and as a survivor of child abuse I find that insulting.

    But we live in America, so they do have rights to have their churchs, and since I’m not an emotional twit, I realize bad people are from everywhere, and that they have every right to be there, they are even there at Ground Zero.

    And so should the Islamic Center.

  53. This is how they make an Interfaith Prayer Space http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/08/19/politics/main6786911.shtml

    That ‘ground zero’ mosque has been in operation for a couple of years now with no problems at all. The only reason this came out is because they want to tear down that old, damaged building and build a new building and they had to get zoning approvals because if it was zoned as a ‘landmark building’ they couldnt tear it down.

    @Daisy, I have to say I thought of you when I first saw Daisy Khan on tv. I thought, that little stinker! LOL

    I’m with President Obama, they ABSOLUTELY have every right to build there or anywhere. But, is it wise? I don’t know. Time will tell, you have to know they they will be watched so very, very closely that they will feel the breath on their necks. lol.

    ‘ “You are truly a reflection of how Islam should be.”
    It’s not your place to deem what Muslims should and shouldn’t be or how they should act.’

    i don’t know about that. We are continually told that Islam means ‘peace’. So, if that is true then I would agree with Daisy that Wan Zaharizan reflected a ‘peaceful’ spirit. But then again, there are those Muslims that would believe that the injunction against creating discord in the community is only for Muslim communities and all is fair in dealing with the infidels and most especially if the propagation of the faith is involved. So here we go again with the different interpretations and no idea which one is the ‘real’ Islam.

  54. @Tiffany…

    I do think the center will be built and to answer Lynn’s question I don’t think it is wise due to it’s location.

    Your statement
    “I also think if they are going to deny the center, then they should also take out childern wards in Catholic hospitals and deny Catholic churchs near schools, playgrounds, community centers like the YMCA, and Childerns hospitals…since a few religious leaders have abused childern and as a survivor of child abuse I find that insulting.” I think is a bit sweeping. the reason I say that is we are talking about ONE mosque in ONE place in America which is a controversial place for many. Not in the whole country. If we were talking about denying Mosque rights for the whole country I would be right behind you with that thought. I am not clear on why people are not understanding, whether one agrees with it or not that it is controversial at best to build it there.

  55. I’ve no doubt that those with a need to know are fully cognizant of who is funding and where it is coming from.

  56. Lynn…

    “That ‘ground zero’ mosque has been in operation for a couple of years now with no problems at all. The only reason this came out is because they want to tear down that old, damaged building and build a new building and they had to get zoning approvals because if it was zoned as a ‘landmark building’ they couldnt tear it down.”

    I don’t actually think that is the reason. It is the reason it became known, true, but the reason there were no issues and it was quiet is that no one really knew about it. Once it came to light people from both sides came out in force. At least on these logs LOL! If the press knew 6 months ago why not tell everyone then. I think there is a hulabaloo because it is public record.

  57. Lynn,
    Good I referred to Daisy Khan in one of my comments! :-)

    Tiffany,

    I’m not against all Muslims.

    On the contrary, I have many Muslim friends and I’m all for showing kindness to them.

    But I’m against religious extremism in all religions – including the religion I’m born in and hardly practise.

    I do feel that only democratic Muslims have a place in a democracy, not the orthodox/extremist variety who don’t respect the principles of democracy.

    I would say the same about extremists in other religions.

    I don’t make an exception to any religion in this regard.

    The reason I’m opposing this is not because Rauf doesn’t have a democratic right to build it there.

    I’m talking about his responsibilities as a citizen towards his fellow Americans and I oppose this plan because his activities have been rather suspicous.

    Besides, he has a dubious record of aligning with extremist ideologies and extremist Muslims in the past.

    See this link below, which points to another of his possible links with the extremists –

    http://www.islamicpluralism.org/1620/more-facts-about-feisal-abdul-raud

    In such a case, it stands to reason that the US govt should investigate into his activities and proposed teaching plan.

    It is better to be cautious than sorry.

  58. @Daisy,
    The US government knows all about the Imam. He has worked for both the Bush and Obama administrations. You really think they haven’t checked him out?

    There is a lot of misleading stuff out there because there is an election going on and this is a good issue to rile everyone up. As for this community center being done in a “claudestine manner” – it’s been going through all the proper channels for years. Only now, at election time is there a tizzy.

  59. The “proper channels” involve papers, on which they are showing something else and heir project plan shows something else.

    Besides, there is the issue of funding.

    By the way things have emerged it does look as if the govt hasn’t scrutinised his past activities closely.

    They certainly don’t seem to have gone into the details of what kind of ideology he is going to preach there.

    Whether elections or not, it is better to be cautious than sorry.

  60. Right. And as an American I’d say cautious about trashing our constitution and about denying AMERICANS building a community center in THEIR community.

    But I realize you only/always and consistantly believe those “documents’ and ‘evidence’ etc. that support all your biasis that you pretend you don’t have that are pretty self-evident to those of us here.

    Whatever you believe, you find and twist evidence to support that. Sometimes it’s easy- as in this case where most of the work is done for you- sometimes you do amazing gymnastics, twisting things to suit what you want to believe. Whatever.

  61. Well Daisy, seeing how I’ve literally posted three total comments to any one of Carol’s posts in the past I highly doubt you know who I am, but I have no problem telling you anyhow. My name is Dania (nickname Dani ;). I am married to a Saudi. I am a Muslim. Terrible combination for you I know but do your best to swallow that.

    And yes I do have a right to come here and tell you how I feel about your tirades just as you have responded to mine. I never said so-and-so was not a good representative of Islam, but like I said before, and I can likely dig up at least 100 different instances from comments you’ve made in the past, when someone doesn’t fit into your idealistic world, you come right out and make accusations against them. Your google abilities are impressive I do give you credit for that, but you come up with extremism websites and attacks simply from the other side of the argument. One could logically conclude based on evidence in your comments that you harbor extremism against Islam. And don’t go on with “I work and everyday side by side with Muslims and blah blah” because we’ve all heard it before. Yeah, we know. Yet, you continue to spew hatred about Islam and Muslims and call everyone extremists.

    So, let me address another problem with your hateful argument against the evil devil of a community center: they have raised only around $18,000 or so so far. Google it. I know you will. the rest of the funds are non-existent. So they have nothing to disclose. So why insist they disclose money they don’t have?? Sounds counter-intuitive to me.

    And drop the interfaith prayer thing. Your argument holds no water since there will be no interfaith prayer space. There will be prayer space for Muslims. Done. The rest of the buildings plans call for a culinary school, gym, pool, etc. that all are free to use, but the prayer space is indeed for Muslims. Yes, it will be 2 floors of Muslims praying where they already pray and have been for quite some time now. [Insert gasp of horror here]. But WAIT!! It can accommodate 1000 people!!! In Manhattan!!! WHY!!!???? Maybe because there are thousands upon thousands of them who live but mostly work in the area. Here’s something to chew on: the mosque in my city can accommodate 5,100 Muslim worshipers at capacity, so the Manhattan cite seems like it would be a bit cramped to me. They never tried to disguise their intentions of placing a prayer space there Daisy. It has been vividly clear from the beginning.

    And I am sorry to say that I don’t wait for your permission for anything, so waiting for you to give me the right to say something to you is simply not going to happen. You didn’t give me that right…. my eyes are totally rolling right now. I know you can’t see it, but they totally are.

    And I’m pretty sure the US government has looked into the imam’s past since HE WORKS FOR THEM (another google game for ya). As an actual American (again that excludes you) I am familiar with the security clearances that the CIA requires for diplomats and individuals representing the US overseas. Seems kinda weird they would choose and send him, on taxpayer money no less, to represent them in the Middle East wouldn’t you think? [insert conspiracy theory here] He’s also been a New York City imam since 1983. Given this information, one would think if he was an actual terrorist, that SOMETHING would have happened by now, no? Rauf said, “Look, I’m not a politician. The issue of terrorism is a very complex question… I am a peace builder. I will not allow anybody to put me in a position where I am seen by any party in the world as an adversary or as an enemy.” This was his response to being questioned about Hamas. Because he answered in a peaceful manner he is criticized and branded an extremist by the likes of yourself??? Innnnnerestingggggg.

    I don’t even want to start on the reasons for having this built “there” because it isn’t “there”. Watch the video embedded above by one intelligent commenter. Since you obviously lack geographic reference, you will see that the damned building is not at ground zero. In America, we prize something called freedom. We do what we want as long as it is legal. Being barred from our rights is not something we take kindly to. So if they want to build the thing, let them do it. If someone wants to build a gay bar next door, all power to them. I see nothing wrong with either proposal. See, this is what makes America America and that’s what makes it beautiful.

  62. By the way Daisy, have you EVER stopped and asked yourself why people on this blog have continually called you out on your hate?? Just saying….

  63. @Sandy – ‘Only now, at election time is there a tizzy’

    I can’t shake the feeling that it has more to do with the organisation attempting to draw attention to themselves in order to drum up sympathy and financial support for the construction of the building.

  64. @Lynn…

    I didn’t say that but I wondered that too. If you have no form of funding what better way than to make international headlines and open a fund for the worldwide Ummah to contribute to. Who can contribute to a cause they don’t know about? Even better, everyone wants to contribute to a cause they feel passionate about and if Muslims feel that their rights are being impinged upon…though they aren’t really because they have a perfect right to build…why not donate to the cause? Cynical to think but really effective IMO.

  65. @ everyone who doesn’t think it’s wise to have the Islamic Center near ground Zero

    If you guys feel that way, then should we stop Saudis visiting Ground Zero as well???? I know many Saudis who vacation in NYC view the site and are extremely mournful and respectful over the topic.

    I mean, if people view the Islamic Center that is blocks away as disrespectful, then certainly Saudis, since most of the terrorist were Saudi, visiting the site is even worse?

    Do you guys see how crazy that is? Everyone has the right to view it peacefully, and any organization that is built near it, religious or even the bar, has a right to be there as long as they don’t harm others and deny the rights of others. Personally, gay bars are fun, and my mosque is built next to a liquor store and while some of the older people are upset by it, no one is openly mean to the owners, nor do they try to “run them out”.

    I don’t mean to sound like a hippie, but shouldn’t there be a little understanding and harmony? Isn’t 9/11 suppose to unify us and not divide us?

  66. I wouldn’t say that Saudis should be banned from visiting ‘ground zero’. But I don’t want to speak to the ‘wisdom’ of Saudis, dressed in Saudi cultural attire, taking to group prayer out in the center of ‘Ground Zero’

    I’m just sayin’…

  67. So it’s okay for Christians to hold hands, cry and pray at Ground Zero, but it’s wrong for Muslims to cry over their lost ones at Ground Zero and pray?

    that’s pretty racist.

    I guess we should have different drinking fountains too, as to not spread our Muslim Saudi coodies?

  68. And I guess we need a dress code too, cause they just dress too modest. Let’s throw them in mini skirts, so when they bend down to pray, we can all get a good look.

  69. I’m certainly not saying that they can’t or shouldn’t pray there.

    The Muslims would probably appreciate the separate drinking fountains though. You know, to avoid the infidel cooties! LOL

  70. “I think the only way we Americans can prevent another “Islamic” attack is by being kinder to Muslims”
    Tiffany
    YUP, It seems that Canadian are also unkind to Muslims. I mean police in Ottawa have just arrested couple of people (Muslim people) who are accused of preparing terrorist act (i.e. wanting to blow up something) so Canadians must be unkind too.
    ****
    OH, and the video. Here are some of my thoughts on his words:

    He said:
    “As the Jacksonville mosque bombing shows, since 9/11, Muslims have been at far greater risk of being victims of terrorism in the United States than have non-Muslims.”.
    but no Muslim died at Jacksonville, many non-Muslim already died from Muslim terrorists acts.

    “Those Muslim conquerors are a figment of Gingrich’s lurid imagination. In Spain, in Cordoba, though the Muslims established multicultural, nondenominational institutions of learning,”
    Really? Somewhat later he is saying:
    “When the historical implications of Cordoba were made clear to the backers of this project, the property developer, Sharif Gamal, changed the name. They’ve already compromised.
    then …”

    “We sacrificed 4,415 of our military personnel in Iraq to save Muslims, and there are thousands of us still here tonight to protect Muslims, but we don’t want Muslims to open a combination culinary school and prayer space in Manhattan?”….

    “And once again at 45 Park Place, we are being told to sell our birthright to feed the maw of xenophobia and vengeance and mob rule.”Do you think 45 Park Place is where it ends? The moment this monstrous betrayal of our America gained the slightest traction, the next goal was unveiled. No more building permits for any mosques in this country…….,”

    In my view it is demagogic speech with little or no facts.

    AS for scrutinizing Feisal Abdul Rauf by US government, personally, I do not think he was sufficiently scrutinized. After all there are many people who should have been scrutinized but were not (so many people resigned recently from government because they were not properly scrutinized) so why Feisal Abdul Rauf should get different treatment?

  71. ‘Isn’t 9/11 suppose to unify us and not divide us?’
    I do prefer not to be unified that way. However if some do like such unification that much .I have a proposal. Let us unify the same way elsewhere, say, in Saudi Arabia.
    Just saying……

  72. Ella, are you suggesting that Saudi Arabia be attacked? Not very cool of you. Not cool at all. I don’t think any country anywhere deserves that no matter what suffering a few sick individuals from that country caused. Do you think all Saudis should be punished for something a few of their countrymen did nearly a decade ago? You need to get a serious grip on yourself.

  73. Please read carefully what I wrote.

    Somebody suggested that 9/11 is supposing to unify us.
    Personally, I do not like this kind of unification. And I suggested the alternative proposal if and only if somebody really like that kind of unification.

  74. Do you think all Saudis should be punished for something a few of their countrymen did nearly a decade ago? You need to get a serious grip on yourself.
    Irritated
    Look, I’m not a politician. The issue of punishment is a very complex question… I am just a commentator on this blog. I will not allow anybody to put me in a position where I am seen by any party in the world as an adversary or as an enemy.

  75. Ella, I don’t think any of us Americans appreciated being unified in the way we were on 9/11 however that doesn’t mean it didn’t have a strangely positive effect on the American people. Look at the way people banded together to help each other. Look at the selfless acts of heroism and sacrifices people made. It really in a twisted way brought out the best in Americans and how we initially responded to horrifying events. Any travesty that befalls the US should unify us together. United we stand. Divided we fall. Sound familiar? Your suggestion is disturbing and made me a wee bit sick in the stomach.

  76. Ella. Ella. Ella. Glad to see that Rauf’s words touched you so much. You can clearly see how diplomatic they are. Thanks for reinforcing my point ;)

  77. Question for the ones who are saying the imam’s history is shady and so on and so forth…and why they need to build the center there and not move..

    As Jon Stewart eloquently put it..why it would be okay to have the “mosque” somewhere else if indeed this is going to be a center for terrorists (since funding is in questions?!) and god knows what else…..does that mean it’s okay to have elsewhere in Manhattan? According to all the logics put forward by the faux posseis…and the like….it seems like it’s okay to have that particular imam build the mosque in midtown…or uptown…but not downtown??? Really people??

    Here is the clip …just for the laugh and some good common sense:

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-august-19-2010/extremist-makeover—homeland-edition

  78. Irritated

    And before there was not heroic acts? No heroism? No banding together?It was no more and no less heroic as many times before. And it was, let me remind you, an answer to an act planned by an KSA citizen.
    However you are also right.
    The words United we stand. Divided we fall. are a travesty if you relate them to the building of Cordoba mosque. Because you see, it is not build specifically for all US citizens, only for some of them.. So there is no unification in the building of the mosque.

  79. More on Rauf’s dubious past –

    http://www.islamicpluralism.org/1620/more-facts-about-feisal-abdul-raud

    Irritated,
    “Your argument holds no water since there will be no interfaith prayer space. There will be prayer space for Muslims. Done.”

    It seems you are talking to me through your pre-formed ideas of me rather than reading what I wrote.

    I said in several comments above the inter-face talk is nonsense.

    I gave a link which suggests the plan has always been to build a mosque of a capacity of 1000.

    I talked about his clandestine way of building a mosque and calling it inter-faith which is a fake idea.

    It seems you have a comprehension disability.

    As for why people hate me, I am not bothered what people think of me.

    And yes, Wan showed excellent democratic sensibilities, I have every right to praise wan’s version of Islam and you have no business telling me what I should think and what I shouldn’t think.

    I feel that your entire intention has been to deflect the discussion from the topic, because I suggested investigation into Rauf’s activities.

  80. I think a lot of people here are racist, and that’s so damn sad.

    I got beat up three times and had to change my name because of 9/11 and my dad died there.

    And I’m Muslim, I would like to pray for my father there, and oh, I’m half Saudi btw.

  81. Oh and I was 15 when that happened, and when my mom called the school to ask why the boys beat up a 15 year old girl who had nothing to do with this crap she got a

    “That’s to be expected.”

    Sounds like some of the people here.

    Sickos.

  82. Layla,
    Is there a difference between a Muslim with no past record of extremist-ideology association and a Muslim with a past record of possible extremist-ideology association who is indulging in inciting social unrest deliberately?

    I hope you have the sagacity to know the difference between the two kinds of Muslims and I hope you have the wisdom to know whom to support out of the two – especially because your father died there.

    It is not a question of whether someone is a Muslim. It is a question of questionable past associations that have been raised about this person and it’s only in the interest of the US to investigate this matter closely.

  83. @ Daisy – By the way, I hope you do know that it was not the Muslim terrorists that attacked WTC. Muslims are just pawns. So stop blaming Muslim extremists. use your google abilities to find the truth.

    @Layla – sorry to hear about your father and your situation.

  84. @Daisy, As has been pointed out-repeatedly. The US HAS investigated him. And so he works for our government, starting with Bush.

    @Lynn,
    It was not the Imam looking for funding that blew this up. Heres a timeline-

    http://www.salon.com/news/ground_zero_mosque/index.html?story=%2Fpolitics%2Fwar_room%2F2010%2F08%2F16%2Fground_zero_mosque_origins

    This whole issue is ridiculous. We have other issues in this country. Real ones.

  85. If terrorists need a place to train new ones, they need not select Ground Zero. They have the whole world.

    And does it really matter if a mosque is built there or not. So what? And if anyone wants to build a bar, go ahead. What does it really matter.

  86. Sandy,
    It has been pointed out the US has not investigated him closely. The US has not looked into the details of what he plans to preach there.

    Anyway, if he is really innocent, why are you so much against the idea of investigation? Let him be investigated and if he is innocent, he will come out of it clean and unharmed. What’s the problem in closely scrutinising his activities if he is really not going to be a problem?

    How do you know he is innocent – despite the reports to the contrary? What’s your motive behind defending him despite the reports about him?

  87. @Daisy,

    I would guess you know very little about how much or little the US has investigated this man. I have no problem with an investigation at all. My issue is with your insistence that he has not been investigated, when he already has.

    However, since they apparently didn’t find anything extreme or radical- which is what would fit your preconcieved notions- you therefore conclude he either wasnt investigated-or not investigated enough.

    And I know very well that unless the US gov’t reaches the SAME conclusions that you started with- you’ll still consider it an incomplete investigation.

  88. I think this blog should be renamed Daisy’s.She always takes over ,it really is getting old, her bashing Islam and muslims who practice their religion as the Quran teaches.

    Anyway, will just be avoiding this site as many friends have recommended,not worth loosing my cool during Ramadan for an ignorant hateful woman.
    Sadly Bedu has been taken over.

  89. You are the one with preconceived notions.

    Rauf’s mosque may be funded by directly Al-Qaeda and people are asking for his investigation. See the following report –

    The Attorney General must examine and investigate the alleged ties and funding by Xenel Corporation and Imam Rauf and Daisy Khan. Who is Xenel? They fund the Imam and …..

    The website lists Xenel Industries Ltd. as a primary donor to the Al-Falah Program. Xenel, a Saudi owned conglomerate, “provides development, manufacturing, investment, trading and services throughout a wide range of areas of interest” ranging from healthcare and infrastructure to oil and real estate, according to the company’s website (www.xenel.com).

    On December 10, 2002, the Orlando Sentinel published an article describing the research of a local trade union regarding Xenel, who had just been awarded a $100 million contract to build the city of Orlando a new state-of the-art convention center. The article reveals that Xenel CEO Abdullah Alireza sits on the executive board of Dar al-Maal al-Islami (DMI), a bank based in Switzerland. Haydar Mohamed bin Laden, half brother of Osama bin Laden, also sits on the twelve member executive board.

    see link –

    http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2010/07/terror-finded-ground-zero-mosque-imam-raufs-bin-laden-link.html

  90. @Sandy, Sarah MD, LayLa, noorjahan, irritated, Tiffany… and the ones arguing with Daisy.
    I just wanted to say that you’re wasting your time arguing with a person who has proven to be biased, racist, prejudiced, intolerant, close-minded and very subjective. Even Lynn, who is well known for her strong stands on most issues that are raised in here, is very flexible on this one. It tells you how clear and simple this issue is… yet Daisy is just being herself (I.e. what I described above)
    I’m not going to argue about the investigation of the imam or any other issue she raised because her argument is so ridiculous and weak that I’d insult my own intelligence if I do so. Rather, I wanted to suggest something. My suggestion to you all is to not try to convince her, as she glows with hatred and prejudice, and people who are full of hatred and prejudice cannot be convinced. Rather, ignore her comments and respond to the more reasonable ones, if there are any!
    And last but certainly not least, I’m so sorry for your loss LayLa, may Allah have mercy on your father and gather you with him and all your family in paradise.
    N4C

    Psst: ever noticed how impolite, insensitive and so cold of Daisy to respond to LayLa’s comment the way she did? She didn’t even express her condolences, and she says she cares about the feelings of the families of those who died in 9/11! Did I say she’s full of hatred and prejudice? If LayLa didn’t say she was a muslim and half Saudi I bettya the flower man would be standing in front of LayLa’s place, sent with love and compassion from Daisy.

  91. OMG for the first time in a long time-against my better judgement I looked at one of your links. That’s that stupid woman Pamela Gellers blog- the one that started this mess- the one that once claimed Malcom X was the father of Obama. An idiot. I will never look again I knew you were not objective- but even this suprises me.

    There is nothing about Xenal co linking to alQaeda. Nothing. NOTHING. You are such an idiot. Even Geller coudn’t really say anything. So one of Usama’s half-brothers is on the board? Osama’s half-brothers are EVERYWHERE. They are not al Qaeda.

    Geller? Obvious tripe? Even I didn’t think you could be so blind to your own predjudice.

  92. Who is funding Al Qaeda while they are in the cave? Yes – the americans. Its get pretty interesting, doesn’t it?

  93. @Sandy,

    Once and for all Daisy is COMPLETELY outed for who she really is. Geller is an over the top, raving Islamophobe. Not to mention she works with extreme right wing parties and groups in Europe who have histories of neo nazi activity and are linked with neo Nazis.

    I wasnt going to post anymore to Daisy’s rubbish, but I had to on this.

    I suggest EVERYONE who has any questions about what Daisy believer or her agenda look at the link to “Atlas Shrugs” and read that site extensively. Along with Spencer, these two hate mongers lead the Islamophia movement today. Anyone who quotes either one of them cannot be looked as a credible source about Islam or Muslims.

    It would be like consulting the KKK to see how they fell about the NAACP or Al Sharpton.

    If there is a large scale outbreak of violence here in the US against Muslims these two, as well as people like Daisy who promote their hate, will bear a LARGE amount of the blame.

  94. Here is a good post that talks about Gellar and how she motivates violent racists:

    http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/37031_Alleged_Cabbie-Stabber_Hated_Muslims_Linked_to_Tea_Party_Politician

  95. Pam Geller’s and Robert Spencers association with right wing racist groups in Europe:

    http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/37019

  96. Let’s look at some of the things that Geller, whom Daisy obviously respects and gets her ideas from. The woman is a hateful lunatic and so is anyone that believes her:

    “Obama “is a third worlder and a coward” who’s “appeas[ing] his Islamic overlords.” In an April 13 blog post, Gellerwrote: “Obama is a third worlder and a coward. He will do nothing but beat up on our friends to appease his Islamic overlords. All this is going down while Obama plays footsie at his nuclear nonsense campfire — sucking up to Iran’s enablers while beating up our allies.”

    Geller on Obama’s Israel policy: “Jews Refuse to Get on Obama’s Trains.” In a post apparently responding to Obama’s opposition to settlement growth, Geller wrote, “Jews refuse to get on Obama’s Trains.” She added: “Obama is pressuring Jews to “evacuate” from parts of Israel? And what Warsaw ghetto does the muhammadan [sic] president have in mind? I think I am gonna hurl. The Jews will not go. The Jews will not submit to this century’s nazis [sic] and Mansourian poser. No way, bloodsuckers. Not again. Never again.”

    Geller: ” ‘Kick a Jew’ days … are part of this growing evil Evil unleashed with an anti-semite in the White House.” In a December 14, 2009, post, Geller wrote:

    It’s as if the floodgates of hell have been thrown open. The moratorium on the holocaust is officially over and all the savages are free to incite, hate and destroy. Clearly those “Kick a Jew” days discussed here and here in schools are part of this growing evil Evil [sic] unleashed with an anti-semite in the White House.

    “Geller: “It is well known that Obama allegedly was involved with a crack whore in his youth,” and he only visited Pakistan while in college because of “jihad or drugs.” In an August 1, 2009, post, Geller discussed rumors of a Palin divorce being spread by bloggers, including one supposedly tied to CNN and stated:”

    http://mediamatters.org/research/201007140035

  97. Daisy, you are delusional. I never tried to deflect an investigation about Rauf. I addressed a multitude of idiocy in your posts, that was simply one point. Which is (because you obviously missed it): he has been an imam in NYC preaching to thousands since 1983. So I’m pretty sure there are many out there (no doubt the CIA is one of them since they still appear even in the mosque I attend occasionally) who are familiar with his deliverance of information and his religious views. I have no doubt on earth that extremists like yourself will investigate the hell out of him. This is not bothersome to me because not all Muslims are terrorists and I’m sure that includes Rauf and his wife. As for the rest of your comment to me, it is obviously not I that has a comprehension disability. It is clear you read of peoples’ words only what you want to see. Hence, more idiocy.

    And Ella, the community center is open and built for all US citizens and tourists and whoever wants to walk through the doors. And I’m 10000% confident that if you really wanted to attend prayer up on the top 2 floors even just to observe, the Muslims would be happy to accommodate you and show you around. In my city, we have visitors to our mosque frequently. They observe. Some are curious. Others maybe just want to see what we do. Whatever the case, there is no locks on the doors preventing you from going up there. I’ve attended church with several of my friends just to see. Muslims extend the same courtesy. On another note, churches are built for a specific belief system no? Catholics build Catholic churches for Catholic worshipers. Hindus build worship space for Hindus. And Muslims build mosques for Muslims. I guess I’m confused with why you are complaining that it is not for use of all?

  98. @Lynn…

    “This is how they make an Interfaith Prayer Space http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/08/19/politics/main6786911.shtml

    I had missed that the first time around and just read it. How lovely…yes I do agree that it is Interfaith Prayer Space at it’s best. IMO, that is the way to go in this circumstance.

    The difference is that the Pentagon one is not built by Muslims for Muslims…it took everyone into consideration. Too bad in this particular building, Park51, the same sense of inclusion won’t be accommodated. If it had, given that sense of goodwill near Ground Zero, I think the whole uproar about this building would have been very much different and it would have been received in a much more positive way. Muslims could use it for Friday prayers and other faiths could take advantage of it as well…if not a formal service at least a place to pray and meditate for those who work downtown or are using the facilities.

    I also think a lot of non Muslims would view it in a really positive light and want to donate thereby helping somewhat relieve the cash crunch they have now.

  99. As an American Protestant and a DAR (Daughter of the Revolution that isof the American Revolution) I do believe in the right to build a mosque on that site. I find it Extremely insensitive to place it there. It is a in your face statement. I have a long history of family members in the military including father, husband and soon to be son who have and will fight for your right to do dumb things. How would muslins feel if we pushed to have a church in Mekka? Which I know is very unlikely since KSA is not a free country. Even the home fellowships are in danger.

    If Islam is a religion of peace as they claim, why would you want to cause so much pain and unrest? Wouldn’t it be wiser for them to help in funding the Ground Zero Memorial? In helping the surviving families? In helping with the health care of the first responders? Wouldn’t those things be more pleasing to your God Allah?

    I know that would be pleasing to My God ( the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob)

  100. So out of 13 stories of space, only 2 are to be made into prayer space. So having 11 stories of space for anyone to use is not a symbol of goodwill? I find it ludicrous that Muslims have been praying around ground zero before ground zero even came into existence. They are praying right now in the space in question. Do you think that the Christian churches in the vicinity would allow Muslims to use their church for prayer services on Fridays? I have a sneaking suspicion that the answer would be a resounding no and the Christians therein (maybe not all of them but I would venture to say most would be offended at using their space for such purposes (and I got nothing but love for the Christian sisters out there so please no one take my comment in a different direction from my intention here). Why are Muslims held to a different ideal and expectations as the other religions who practice in the area? You build churches. We build mosques. You pray. We pray. You have God. We have God. One would never expect Churches and Synagogues and temples and whatever else to be open to all faiths, so why should a mosque be any different? There are 11 floors below it that are a community outreach project. Granted this is only my personal opinion, but that to me is a pretty big olive branch being extended.

    American Muslims did not attack the World Trade Center. 9/11 was a politically motivated act of terrorism. Religion here is an issue because people insist on throwing up smokescreens but for some reason, people insist that it was religion that was behind the reason of the attacks and therefore punishing American Muslims as a whole is perfectly justified.

  101. Personally I think Americans need to get past 911 instead of holding onto it for dear life. It was bad, tragic and a slap in the face but now it’s time to let go. Worse things are happening around the world on a daily basis. Get over it and move on!

  102. @Blooming in the Sand,

    So you think people’s freedoms should be control by other’s sensitivities? How about the Buddhist shrine near Pearl Harbour? Should it be removed?

    How about the US military base outside of Hiroshima where American killed 100,000 Japanese? Not too sensitive I would think.

    When you start to have to point at a place like Saudi Arabia and compare American to it to make your point, you have already lost the argument.

    @Oby,

    At this point in time in this country there are going to be a large chunck of people who will protest a mosque anywhere, let alone near the WTC site.

    Your idea that the people putting this thing up could have done anything to get these people to be okay with it is wrong. There are protests and fights against mosques all over this country. The latest one being in Tennesse. Dont you think that is far enough from New York? Yet they dont want that to be built either.

    For many of these people they just hate Islam and hate Muslims, there is no accomodating them, no common ground that can be made.

  103. Wendy…if the Jews can keep the Holocaust alive and well, only to show how they suffered (completely ignoring the fact that they are doing the exact same thing to Palestinians…though on a much slower scale)…then I dare say Americans can keep 9/11 alive and well for decades to come.

    Im not say the pain and hurt isnt still there and shouldnt be there…Im saying…dont use that excuse everytime someone or some group wants to do something in America…

    You CANT cause of 9/11…dont you CARE how we feel cause of 9/11….9/11 gave us the right to be selective on what we approve of and what we dont…cause our FEELINGS are involved and those count for something in America.

    I personally fell emotions are far too involved at this point…and so the whole assumed purpose of this mosque has become moot. Even if they do go ahead and build it…chances are it will never know peace…so why do they continue with it? Who knows.

  104. Coolred –
    You simply can’t compare 911 to the Holocaust. That’s an insult to the Holocaust in my opinion and not even remotely in the same category as 911. Of course 911 should be remembered but on such a grand scale …. ? I don’t think it’s even healthy. It keeps the ‘fear’ alive in my opinion.

    What Israel is doing to Palestine is a whole other ball game and that also boggles my mind. Well, they do say that abuse perpetuates more abuse.

  105. This thread is turning into conspiracy theorist platform. In one comment someone is promoting the notion that the US is financing AQ. Others commenting that the NY Mosque is part of a Saudi conspiracy theory. Etc.

    This is straight forward issue. The US does not allow discrimination against freedom of religion. The mosque is in no way part of the new building complex. That area in the financial district is dense with tall buildings. a few blocks is equivalent to miles in other cities. It also has many places of worship for all faith.

    The fact that the laws of the country/state/city allowed the permits for the center to be built is a tribute to the US freedom of thought and religion. It is that simple. Making this into a negative, only serves the interests of those who aspire to limit freedoms.

  106. MoQ,
    Word brother. Cheers.

  107. Wendy…I wasnt comparing..just giving an example.

  108. THANK YOU MoQ. It really should be as simple as that.

  109. Abu Sinan…

    “At this point in time in this country there are going to be a large chunck of people who will protest a mosque anywhere, let alone near the WTC site.
    Your idea that the people putting this thing up could have done anything to get these people to be okay with it is wrong. There are protests and fights against mosques all over this country. The latest one being in Tennesse. Dont you think that is far enough from New York? Yet they dont want that to be built either.
    For many of these people they just hate Islam and hate Muslims, there is no accomodating them, no common ground that can be made.”

    I totally hear you and it is wrong wrong wrong….and not only that being constitutionally wrong it is morally wrong IMO. Muslims like everyone else, are equally entitled to houses of worship. I am actually appalled that is going on…I am aware of the Tennessee one (Murphresboro ). I can in no way support that.

    I have not argued the right to build it constitutionally…they certainly do have that right. What I was saying is, seeing so much hurt coming out of this, rational or irrational, what started as a place of Goodwill has turned into a place of nongoodwill and hes become a point of serious contention and is fostering the opposite feelings. That being the case, given the circumstances, I think it would be better not to build it. Do I think it will be built? I absolutely do and as I said I hope that people will be respectful of the building and not do anything silly. We are not talking about Main street where nothing happened. Whether people think the USA is crazy and should “get over it” clearly a lot haven’t and IMO I think WHERE it is being built should be taken into consideration.

    I would feel the same if the situation was reversed and Christian terrorists in the name of God had blown up some major building in say, Dubai and then tried to open a multistory “goodwill” building that just happened to have a church at the top two blocks away. If Muslims reacted as a lot of people have to Park 51( and I would be surprised if they didn’t )it would make me feel equally uncomfortable and I would be arguing the same point. Even if they have the right to build, given the circumstances, should they?

    Just because people have the freedom of speech and can and draw vile cartoons about Mohammed should they? Yes, legally they have every right, but having a right does not always mean one should exercise that right if it means poking your finger in your neighbors eye. I see it not only about legalities but about ethics/humanity.

    the interfaith prayer space at the Pentagon was a source of healing IMO, because it took into consideration that all faiths were affected by the events not just Christians. The fact that they have made it available for all faiths (in shifts I am presuming) gives everyone a sense that they are all part of the “community”.

    However, if one wants to avoid any kind of “fuzzy edges” to the process then it should be judged by the letter of the law which should make it cut and dry. But then you have to do the same with freedom of speech to the cartoons to be fair to all. As with the cartoons and not hurting your neighbor, I think the same consideration should be given here. But perhaps that is a slippery slope and we should all just stick to the letter of the law.

  110. @ Daisy

    Are you even American????? If you’re not, then this doesn’t even concern you.

    @ everyone else, here is a link to one of our American Founding Fathers’ paper on religious freedom and the important of making a country based on that freedom.

    http://religiousfreedom.lib.virginia.edu/sacred/vaact.html

    I think Jefferson is rolling in his grave that there are Amercians not willing to protect this right.

  111. Despite whatever feelings may get hurt or not, we AMericans must remember that 50 years ago, we had “hurt’ feelings over sharing our schools, buses, and lives with people who were not WASP.

    However, our government forced us out of our darken state of mind and we are a better nation for it.

    Just like we had brothers killing brothers in order for every man to be free, and end slavery. People’s feelings were hurt to allow their slave nigros go, and those people we now look at with shame. How could an American EVER want to own a slave?

    And our government forced us to end slavery.

    Women could not VOTE! And they starved in jail cells, demanding that they were just as smart as men and this was UNDER 100 years ago.

    Our government “Hurt” people’s feelings, and allowed women to vote.

    Do not forget your government. Do not forget you are American, and do not forget it is your American obligation to fight and protect other Americans in having basic human rights, like freedom of worship and religion in any area that is hold peaceful assembly.

    ANd if you don’t want that, then please get the hell out.

  112. I read earlier someone stating that Canadians were unkind to Muslims cause they arrested two muslims who were planning a terrorist attack. These people aren’t muslims. It’s like saying the people who drink the special Koolaid to get cooler to Jesus are true Christians.

    Insane wack jobs are everywhere.

    To say that over 1 billion muslims in the world are terrorist is a HUGE form of hate towards man kind and an insult.

    Sometimes I wish the people that spread hate towards a group of people they don’t even know, would have some sort of experince of it.

    And I don’t understand how people can sleep at night thinking it’s okay to hate Muslims. And only about 1/3 of muslims are from the middle east btw.

    Don’t they even realize Jesus is middle eastern too? And Moses?? They are all from the same area. People walked to these areas where Mose, Jesus, and Mohammad were born. And then there are Jews and Christians are just straight out racists towards middle easterns when they are down on their knees praying to them.

    Btw, Muslims don’t pray to humans, we just pray to God.

  113. Tiffany your point is well taken…but if someone draws cartoons and calls Mohamed a pedophile or some other awful thing are you willing to stand up and protect their right to say that?

  114. tiffany,
    You have no business telling me if it concerns me or not. You don’t have the right to decide that.

    Sandy,
    If you don’t read my links, please stop asking me for links in future.

  115. Moq,
    I think you need to read my arguments more carefully. I am not arguing on sentimentality grounds as many are.

    All I’m saying is that if he has been giving extremist-sounding remarks in the past around the world and if the mosques he’s been associated with in the past have indulged in extremist plots, if he refuses to say he will not take money from extremist organisations, why shouldn’t his activities be closely investigated?

    Does a US citizen have the right to engage in possible extremist activities leading to violence on his private property?

    Read this link, which give his Federal Tax Records, which show dubious activity related to funds Rauf and Co have got –

    http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.7177/pub_detail.asp

    Given so many kinds of negative reports surfacing about him, why shouldn’t he be investigated?

    What’s wrong in that? If he is innocent, he’ll come out clean. That will also set the people’s minds to rest.

    So why should he not be investigated?

  116. @Daisy,
    I”ll ask for whatever I like. And as it so happens this link was more enlightening than I could have ever imagined. Referencing Pamela Geller tells everyone where you’re coming from. If your other “references” are as reliable as Pamela Geller’s blog- well- i certainly need never read one again. Though I certainly think you should share references for all you outrageous claims- so anyone reading can see what you’re really about.

    @ Abu Sinan
    Amazing. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

  117. I enjoyed the link Daisy. Especially the home page of the site which reads “Does the Ground Zero Mosque reflect an attempt by Islamism to establish itself in the West, in a war of ideas between democracy and sharia, a war being played out globally?” complete with a Fox News ticker at the top. And then, from a headline in their news section, “The arguments surrounding the Ground Zero Mosque raise passions on both sides. Muslims have religious freedoms, but would full sharia law be acceptable under the Constitution?” WHO THE HELL IS ASKING FOR SHARIAH LAW IMPLEMENTATION AND WHAT THE HELL DOES IT HAVE TO DO WITH PARK51??? And a quote from another article on said website, “We already know that they are not exactly representative of Western values, this leads to the conclusion that ‘moderate’ Muslims could be extremely radical.” Come on now. Let’s at least attempt to site news sources or something, not opinion pages and Islamophobe group websites. It hurts the credibility of your argument.

  118. Hey sweet heart, called “Daisy”,

    First of all, I have MORE business coming to this blog than most who do. I am a Muslim and I am a Saudi and I do believe that THIS particular blog is about SAUDI ARABIA and MUSLIMS, is it NOT???

    So, in actuality deary, you, as you say, a non-Abrahamic individual really has no business coming here and insulting the Muslim faith and Saudi left and right!!

    But since you do anyway, I think you should have some decency, just a teeny weeny bit if you can and speak your mind without so many insults and hatred towards those opposite of your faith just because they don’t agree with you. And especially when you are on their turf!??

    Go ahead and spew your hatred and your opinions and what you think is “logic” on your own blog but to go on others and do so, I think is completely out of line!

    Its funny how what I said in the past is bugging you to this day. Sorry it hurt your feelings sweetie but it was MY blog, you came to it uninvited and you freely read it so tough luck!!! I am entitled to what ever I want to say on MY blog! And how ironic that you got upset over MY feelings about non-Abrahamic individuals yet you don’t see yourself and your constant detestation and disgust towards Islam and Saudis??? And never mind that you are running around to others throwing your hate. Perhaps, unlike you, I DO have tolerance to those who are different than me but from what you spew on here, it is clear you don’t.

    See, opposite of you, I don’t and never will go around and throw my opinions and feelings on others and then get upset when they don’t coincide with mine. I keep them to myself, something maybe you should consider learning!

  119. Hey look, discussions! O.o

  120. @Sandy, Sarah MD, LayLa, noorjahan, irritated, Tiffany, Manal, Abu Sinan… and the ones arguing with Daisy.

    I just wanted to say that you’re wasting your time arguing with a person who has proven to be biased, racist, prejudiced, intolerant, close-minded and very subjective. Even Lynn, who is well known for her strong stands on most issues that are raised in here, is very flexible on this one. It tells you how clear and simple this issue is… yet Daisy is just being herself (I.e. what I described above)
    I’m not going to argue about the investigation of the imam or any other issue she raised because her argument is so ridiculous and weak that I’d insult my own intelligence if I do so. Rather, I wanted to suggest something. My suggestion to you all is to not try to convince her, as she glows with hatred and prejudice, and people who are full of hatred and prejudice cannot be convinced. Rather, ignore her comments and respond to the more reasonable ones, if there are any!
    And last but certainly not least, I’m so sorry for your loss LayLa, may Allah have mercy on your father and gather you with him and all your family in paradise.

    N4C

    Psst: ever noticed how impolite, insensitive and so cold of Daisy to respond to LayLa’s comment the way she did? She didn’t even express her condolences, and she says she cares about the feelings of the families of those who died in 9/11! Did I say she’s full of hatred and prejudice? If LayLa didn’t say she was a muslim and half Saudi I bettya the flower man would be standing in front of LayLa’s place, sent with love and compassion from Daisy.

  121. Manal,
    As I said, get yourself some training in civilised discourse, learn to respect the humanity and apologise for your post then talk to me.

  122. Let’s get back on track and stop the personal comments. Stay on topic please.

    Thank you,

    Blog moderator

  123. I am tired of this discussion about a mosque at ”ground zero” The site is three blocks away in a very crowded city, the country is ne where people are relatively free to do what they like so there is absolutely no need for the discussion at all.

    I think the idea of a gay-bar is brilliant, but I think the majority of muslim gays going there will be zero due to the reaction they can expect from the adherents of the religion of peace when it comes to personal sexual preferences.
    I suggest there should be a gaybar next to every church as well, an excellent plan to further ”tolerance” and ”community cohesion”.
    And lets put up a dog-grooming salon on the other side.
    To to foster ”canine tolerance” and ”Canine cohesion”.

  124. Aafke,
    Please read my response to Moq above.

    As I said to him, this is not a question of either democratic rights or sentimentality anymore. The issue has evolved far beyond those subjects now and involves the Imam’s possible involvement in extremist ideologies and his dubious sources of funding for his project. As it is, his tax returns for the funding he has received so far don’t seem to be in order.

    There seems to be every reason to get him investigated for security reasons.

    Here is another news link which says – please note – A Canadian Muslim woman , who happens to be the Founder of the Canadian Muslim Congress, attended a meeting hosted by Daisy Khan the wife of Imam Rauf and she wanted to know their sources of funding.

    Not only was she not given a straight response, but the next day she got a threatening phone call from the developer of the Park51 Project.

    She saved the number on her cell and the number indeed is found to go to the office of the developers of the Park51 Project.

    See link – http://www.niagarafallsreview.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2717466

    In these circumstances, it does seem that there is much more to it than what they have shown on the documents.

    I do feel that Rauf and Co need to be investigated closely.

  125. Aafke,
    How about a pork-sandwich eating joint on top of the canine-grooming saloon, with best beer and wine to go with the pork-sandwiches?

    And perhaps the Danish cartoonist can often visit the eating joint to sample the sandwiches with beer and make some of his cartoons which the eating joint will display outside.

    he can get a concession on the beer and sandwich for the number of clients he will attract.

    That would be a nice joint adjoining the Mosque, catering to real inter-cultural understanding.

  126. Daisy, there should never have been a fuss about the whole project. There never was until the rightwing republican religious groups decided to make it one.
    This is a tactic generally used by this group, and so is their deformation of characters, spreading lies and rumors about people. It’s their time honored strategy, they do it to everybody, they tried to do it to Obama, but never managed to get real dirt on him. However, if they can’t find real dirt they will fabricate it; they have done so many times in the past as well.

    This Raouf person was an advisor to the Bush administration, and the Obama administration. He will have been vetted very carefully already.
    Look this Raouf has trained the FBI for Pete’s sake. He worked for the the United states department and the FBI on cultural programs. The FBI is the secret service of the United States you really think he has not been investigated very deeply?
    And he is able to have a secret agenda?
    No way.
    I think all the links you are showing come from one side only.
    To make an informed decision you need to look at all aspects of a case, and doing so I think this issue is instigated by some very scary politicians.

    Some people want to create a centre for Muslims. There are a lot of Muslims in Manhattan. they like everybody else, have a right to build a center. They need to apply for a building permit and some rightwing religious nutters realize they exist and see an opening for making trouble and stir up this nonsense. I refuse to cater to their imaginary paranoia and waste my time on this.

    I think they know very well that the American Constitution also grants Muslims the freedom to worship what they believe and build what they want, and they are using this to make problems for Obama, who, as president of the US is bound to uphold the constitution. And then they can claim is he is biased towards Islam and he is not a proper ”American” or some such crap.
    I refuse to go along with this.

  127. Oby

    I really wasn’t going to comment anymore cause I really love this blog and the discussions kinda are pointless cause the blog is so fair and honest if you ask me, but I know a lot of muslims got upset over cartoons.

    The cartoons aren’t from America. So it doesn’t imply here…and the cartoons never bugged me or any other muslim I know.

    @ Tiffany

    I’m sorry if I offend you from comments of mine.

    @ oby

    They are danish right? So it is different law from America. The Islamic Center is in America where the is freedom of religion and peaceful gathering to practice your religion or lack there of, so it holds no value other than they have the right to express their view. Personally I found the cartoons funny cause Family Guy and South Park both did a show about it with Jesus and stuff. So if they got mad, then that’s cause they took something too serious. Cartoons are silly, they are like those crazy papers saying UFOs implanted something in Obama’s brian. Things like that. this is fine. What is not fine is to hurt people in person… Like okay, people are mad at Muslims. Okay be mad. But do not block the right for us to practice our religion in a peaceful manner no matter the location, just like all religions.

    I cannot speak for others, but I personally would die for the right of this kind of freedom, this luxury of understanding that we can agree to disagree….

    Paper and people actions are differnt. If is against the law in paper to murder, but people do it, does not make it right…so…if you draw a cartoon of murder it is different then killiing somone.

    Is it not correct? Same thing, it is fine for the gay bar, I don’t agree with drinking or sexual life, but it is okay if people do this in safe manner. Like it is okay to drink, but not drink to drive.

    See? Same as cartoons…it is different from denying a place of peaceful worship.

    ….I really don’t want to make anyone upset…

  128. Oh I brought up the drinking and driving point cause a drunk person can kill innocent people without meaning too… But they can drink, to each their own…but it is not okay to hurt other people in this process….

    The cartoons are so fine. Yeah they mad Muslims mad, but same like jihad isn’t correct…Jihad isn’t good like, killing people, you can try to share the religion but you shouldn’t force it…just like drinking, you can drink safe at home and only hurt yourself, but it isn’t okay to go driving and hit someone and hurt them cause of your belief that drinking is fine…

    So like religion. And people forget the Cursades, where Christians found it okay to kill none Christians in the name of Christ. And the witch burnings where they would kill “witches”. like Joan of Arc. They burned her alive from the feet up, saying she would live cause she was a witch, but if she died then she was really a Christian so now they honor her…

    People do crazy things. But we should learn from our history.

  129. ‘People do crazy things. But we should learn from our history’

    So all that business about it ‘taking time’ for women to get their autonomy or ‘darkies’ to not be treated as slaves is all a crock of bull? All they have to do is learn from HISTORY? Great idea! Let’s try that.

  130. Daisy, they can do all the investigating in the world on this Imam and the centers funding but unless they put away all the ‘political correctness’ it doesn’t even matter. Brings to mind that Muslim Army psychiatrist who shot up his fellow soldiers in Fort Hood. All the signs were there but they didn’t want to seem ‘racist’ eh?

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/11/05/national/main5540862.shtml

  131. No it’s not, didn’t we learn from history it is not correct to own slaves or to not allow to to have a voice in voting in this country? i’m saying it is important. We know slavery is wrong because history has showed us this. We learned that women needed to vote in the US cause they are active members in our country.

    Look at the UK a 100 years ago, look at Jane Austin’s novels about how women were denied the right to their homes cause the land went soley and completely to the men. Even Islam doesn’t do that, they give some to the women, not completely equal like the USA does not, but to the point they thought was fair according to the time period they were in.

    Thing progress. We have progressed enough over 200 years ago to know the need of freedom of religion and its right to practice it in a peaceful way. To deny that would regress our country.

    Saudi Arabia is not the USA. We are not talking women and slaves in KSA but the USA cause the Islamic Center is in the USA and I don’t mean to brag, but I think the USA has had a lot more time to become a nation then KSA. People in their 20s in KSA, the norm is that their grandparents didn’t travel to the West, read or write or have a worldly education outside of Islam, which is fine, because that is their culture. 100% fine. But we are talking about the USA where there are more then one culture, race and religion. not like KSA where they are isolated and only became a major world player cause of the oil.

  132. ‘We know slavery is wrong because history has showed us this’

    You will pay them pennies (eventually) so they are not technically slaves but it will just ‘take time’ to stop treating the ‘darkies’ like you own them?

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/08/27/sri.lanka.maid.assault/index.html

  133. I didn’t know women were allowed to vote in KSA. When did that happen?

  134. We are talking about the USA, not KSA.

  135. I don’t think anyone can vote in KSA…But I’m American, so I don’t know. USA though women couldn’t vote till 1928. But now we can vote, almost time for the Senate votes people, don’t miss it, make your vote count ^_^

  136. Let’s leave it that many will agree to disagree with Daisy. I am among that mass but have chosen not to add to the comments and fuel the flames more. There is no need to launch personal attacks at an individual. Attack the information or the statement.

  137. Aafke,
    Of course you are right that this is because of the coming elections. That’s precisely why the US govt should handle this issue better than the way they have done so far.

    I mean, it doesn’t reflect very well on a mature democracy like the US to have its Speaker of the House coming out and telling people to shut up or they will be investigated for protests.

    In a single stroke, more than two-third of the population of the country is pronounced as rightist, bigoted and racist!

    I am sorry to say this, but this sounds like an autocracy, not like a democracy. It doesn’t send very good signals about the US across the world.

    Of course religious freedom is there in a democracy, but so also is the right to protest and ask for information.

    First they made the mistake of treating the project as a local zone issue. 9/11 was not a tragedy for the Lower Manhattan alone.

    It was a tragedy for the whole of the US – by extension, for the whole democratic world.

    If even the US could not be safe, how insecure do you think lesser and more vulnerable countries like India began to feel after 9/11? Why do you think Park51 matters to me?

    Because this is not a Lower Manhattan issue. This is a global issue if the Imam really turns out to have dubious credentials.

    Certainly it was obvious that there were going to be protests. So they should have treated this project differently than a local zonal case.

    Now that they have passed the project and majority of the people have asked for explanations, rather than telling them to keep quiet, I feel the government should handle it in a more people-friendly manner.

    you are right that the Govt must have investigated him before employing him in its service.

    And I’m not saying Imam Rauf is an extremist. I have only expressed my impressions formed from what I’ve read. I do hope that my impressions are wrong.

    So I feel the least the US govt should do to allay public concern is to release the reports of its earlier investigations and if some areas are found there which need more information about him, they should re-investigate those issues.

    Besides, they should ask Imam Rauf to be transparent about his sources of funding. Ideally, he should disclose himself how he is going to get funds in the face of this kind of uproar.

    If his income tax papers are not in order, he should explain that, or set them in order.

    I feel it is not very difficult to do all this and it will go a long way in allaying people’s apprehensions, rather than asking people to be quiet, Rauf and Co acting mysteriously and their developers making threatening phone calls etc.

    That’s not the way to treat a massive protest of the people in a strong democracy that is the US.

    Forget whether they are Republicans or Democrats. Imam Rauf uses public funds from American people’s tax money and the US Govt and Imam Rauf have a responsibility to answer the people the questions they are asking.

    In India, people have the legal route open to them, to file a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in court in similar circumstances and ask for reports of investigations, to get fresh investigations done if needed and to ask for sources of funding and income tax mishandligs, as also for details of the person’s activities abroad if he is on a Govt funded trip.

    If people file such a PIL in general interest of the country, it becomes the responsibility of the Indian Govt to attend to these demands. They can’t ask the people to keep quiet.

    A similar case in India would most likely invite a PIL from the people against the Govt and Imam Rauf and Co.

    Of course, in many cases Indians misuse the right to PIL, but I’m talking about the legal standing.

    I don’t know if the US has a parallel kind of law, or what other venue is open to the US citizens to ask for information in a case like this.

    But considering the US is a mature democracy, I feel they should handle this issue in a more people-friendly manner.

  138. get rid of religion, all religions from this planet.

  139. @Daisy,

    As you know I do not support any religion, but I do support people’s rights to freedom of thought and religion. These are liberties we should protect as a nation. I think in your effort to guard against radical Islam you have fallen in the trap of not evaluating information correctly. This have made you prey to all kinds of conspiracy theories and politically motivated campaigns. I am going to take a stab at making you understand the issues from a rational point of view.

    This will be long. I can only attempt to explain what I view as your error of judgment, it is up to you to reevaluate your position:

    – Your understanding of the concept of American democracy is erroneous. The idea that the majority rules in every issue is not in alignment with the constitution of the US. The first amendment guarantees freedom of speech and religion. Further, the 14th amendment prohibits state and local governments from depriving persons (individual and corporate) of life, liberty, or property without certain steps being taken. These amendments are written specifically for situations like this one, where a majority is calling for the infringement of the rights of a minority. The constitution of the US is what makes this country the best place on earth for liberties. What you have been calling for in many of your writings on this post and others is nothing short of the slippery slope, which leads to the implementation of fascist ideologies. I hope you read up on the topic of what fascism is so you understand my point.

    – You have a weak understanding of the separation of powers in this country. The issue of the center is local by its nature. Permits are handled at the municipal level. The group developing the center have passed all the requirements for getting the proper permits to acquire the license. This was done in an open forum with all sides getting a hearing. You can look it up on youtube if you like. The side against the center lost their appeal pure and simple.

    – In normal situations this issue should have remained local. However, we have an election year, where the right wing politicians and tea party affiliates are using this issue to provoke anger using the most irrational arguments to gain votes. This issue is no different than the William Ayers slandering of Obama in the previous election. It is a tactic used by the talking heads in dubious stations, right wing radio shows and blogs. Once you look under the covers, you expose this tactic as nothing more than a political ploy. I really think you should start looking at this from a rational point of view.

    – Calling for a special investigation is a right for any indivisual or group. However, should the Federal government react to it is a different matter. The man is a private citizen, he is a leader in his community, he has performed services for different branches of government under 2 administrations, etc. Meaning he has already been vetted Our government has to act in a responsible manner before investigating private citizens. The groups you are aligning your thoughts with are asking for an investigation for nothing more than his action to start a religious center. This is similar to the investigations of the McCarthy era, where all you had to do is throw a communist title on any member of society to start an investigation. It was one of the darkest times in the US where we came the closest to fascism in our history. All people that aspire to the liberal freedoms we enjoy in this country should stand against such insane concepts.

    – The idea that there are some wrong doings in fund raising or taxes assumes that these issues are not watched. The US has implemented one of the toughest regulations on monitoring fund raising after 911. An organization with this high visibility will not escape the scrutiny of the system. All you have here is assumptions not based on reality.

    – When you start reading with a preconceived notion that every Muslim is a potential terrorist or supporter of terrorism, you become less objective. Every idea thrown around no matter how weak it is becomes evidence that needs to be investigated. You need to reevaluate what you stand for. Do you stand for freedoms? Do you oppose Muslims or the ideologies of Shariia, which prohibits freedom of religion and expression? Lately you have been taking a similar stance as a Shariia believing Muslim who wants to limit freedoms of religion.

    I hope you reevaluate. Your insistence and constant links to sources with political affiliations and agendas is becoming an issue impacting your objectivity and credibility on this issue.

  140. Ok now for a little fun.

    I like the idea of the gay bar. Since the center is using the tolerance appeal for its existence, we should test that by seeing how accepting they are of gays.

    The test will be, if cross dressers who observe the rules of Hijab are accepted as members of the center!!!

  141. “If even the US could not be safe, how insecure do you think lesser and more vulnerable countries like India began to feel after 9/11? Why do you think Park51 matters to me?”

    Good one, Daisy. So you closely watch the politics of USA as it will reflect on India also.

  142. MoQ,

    May I first say your post was not only eloquent but seething with intelligence and knowledge. Snaps brother.

    Second, “The test will be, if cross dressers who observe the rules of Hijab are accepted as members of the center!!!”
    LOOOOOOOOOOOOOL I have no doubt they will have use of the facilities, but if they requested to be a part of the Islamic services upstairs would they pray with the men or the women?? hehehehe nice visual ;)

  143. @Daisy:
    Have you considered writing your concerns to US govt directly? May be that’s a good idea and you should do so, especially since you seem to have a VERY valid reason, which is you think India might bear the consequences of the happenings in US! So, US govt should have India in mind before they decide on their own matters…..gawds forbid India suffers somehow down the line!

  144. Abu Sinan

    “A law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Thursday that Michael Enright’s journals did not appear to contain anti-Muslim rants.”
    That was a quote from the link you gave us. In Updates .There is also no mention anywhere else the links to pro-tea party politician. And he was, at the time of his arrest, working for pro-mosque organization.
    “How about the US military base outside of Hiroshima where American killed 100,000 Japanese? Not too sensitive I would think.”
    USA attacked Japan first??? If not, why should US be sensitive to people who attacked USA?

    As for Geller. She described Obama in better words that the MSM described Bush. She has a blog, MSM are serious media. You call her a hate monger, but were you called MSM media hate monger when they were talking about Bush being equal to Nazi? If you didn’t then you have no leg to stand on with “raving Islamophobe”,”hate monger” and so on and so forth.

    Aafke-Art

    Abdul Faisal Rauf did not trained FBI – he was speaking to the FBI one morning in 2003 about “disrespecting the rights of Arab-Americans”. Of course one could say “he trained FBI”.
    The same, perhaps, will be said in future about one of these Canadian Muslims who recently spoke to Canadian Police about arrests of terrorists. In similar situation some people would say that one abu-X was “working for government” LOL

    Irritated
    “nd Ella, the community center is open and built for all US citizens and tourists and whoever wants to walk through the doors. And I’m 10000% confident that if you really wanted to attend prayer up on the top 2 floors even just to observe, the Muslims would be happy to accommodate you and show you around. ”

    No they wouldn’t. not in their “prayer space” and not if I were a Jew, a Hindu or a Buddhist.
    In your city you may have visitors, but is your country a majority Muslim country? Because, tell me, in which majority-Muslim country in the ME or outside it, unbeliever can go to any mosque and pray there? (I am not talking about former USSR -stanes) And yes, you are right, churches/shrines/temples are built for specific belief – so do mosques. So why there is talk about prayer space and not about a mosque? Why the people who are building the 13-story building are saying that they are building for understanding and “interfaith” ? It is one or another. Not both.
    BTW— 13 story building? 13??

  145. Ella,
    I am not from a majority Muslim country… proud American Muslim here. And majority Muslim countries are not what we are discussing here and is completely off topic, so I’m not sure about the motive of your reference to Islamic countries. The mosque in question is located in America and has nothing to do with other countries and the way they operate their mosques.

    Example for you: Last April, we had a group of about 75 students from a local university visit and observe in our mosque during our Friday prayers. There was then after Friday prayers, an interfaith educational hour where there were representatives from each religious group on campus sharing fact based information about their belief systems. We had a presentation from the pagan student association, the Jewish student association, the Indian cultural association (representing the Hindu religion) and several Christian presentations. So, you are wrong wrong wrong. These individuals were welcome in our prayer space and welcomed to our mosque. Again, I am 100000% confident you would be welcome to observe prayer time if you contacted your local mosque. Do not presume to know how American Muslims will respond to people of other faiths. Just make a simple request to join in one Friday instead of making claims that you are not allowed. And just to reiterate, these students sat directly in our prayer space, next to the rest of us Muslims, and listened to the khutbah (sermon) with the rest of us (and this is not the only example I can give of having visitors to our mosque). Some even followed along with our prayer when the khutbah was though of course they were not required to, they simply wanted to experience it. No one tried to stop them just because they were not Muslims. In fact, they put many smiles on many faces. I also hold a B.A. in Islamic Studies and have happily been welcome and made presentations myself in churches and synagogues as well, so the door has swung both ways in my experience. Again, a beautiful thing about America. So Ella, on what experience and basis do you site for your inaccurate claims? Have you yourself ever visited a mosque? And don’t go spouting off about mosques outside of the USA because they have nothing to do with this topic and neither you or I can speak for them.

    Oh, and just so you know a mosque is a place that is dedicated wholly to worship. Park51 has many other things going on, so technically doesn’t qualify to be fully called a mosque, hence the references to “prayer space”. It is what it is technicalities aside. But if you really want to pick it apart like that, then go ahead. No one during the course of this entire debacle has ever tried to deny the existence of Muslims praying to God in that building. And I think that the issue of why they call the building “interfaith” has been beat to death in this thread and your question has been answered several times by several people so it’s a dead issue to me. This entire thing is getting very tired. And being located in downtown Manhattan (have you ever been???) If you had, you would be unlikely asking this question. NYC is an incredible densely populated place with incredible tall buildings all over the city. Why not a 13 story building? They want to build a gym and an entire culinary school inside. Taking the width of the building into consideration, one can clearly see that there is nowhere to go but up…. just takes a bit of logic to put it all together but do your best.

  146. MoQ,
    I understand that the majority doesn’t rule in every case in any democracy – not even in my own country. That’s not the point I’m trying to make here.

    I’m not arguing to limit anyone’s freedom, nor do I see every Muslim as a terrorist. I know enough about the Muslim societies to know that only a handful of Muslims are extremists or terrorists – and these handful of people are enough for the whole world. We don’t need all the Muslims to become extremists. I don’t even want to imagine a world where all Muslims are terrorists!

    You have to understand first that the laws are made for the people, people are not made for the laws in a democracy – the latter is the approach of an autocracy.

    Another point you need to understand is that I’m not talking about Rauf’s right to religious freedom or sentimentality arguments here. I’m arguing along very different lines. I never said he doesn’t have the right to build a mosque. And I too am for religious freedom.

    You believe in the religious freedom, but do you believe in the right of the people to ask questions and to get access to information if they want it – for whatever absurd reasons?

    If you are against people asking questions and asking for access to information, then I think you are limiting people’s freedom in a democracy. I feel that your approach – this is how the US framed the laws and no one should ask any questions is not a very democratic approach, even if you are defending religious freedom.

    Laws can be interpreted in many different ways in a democracy and it is for the govt to respond to people’s questions if they feel laws have not been interpreted in the best way possible.

    Ultimately they may be proved wrong but they shouldn’t be stopped from asking questions and pronounced as rightists, bigoted etc. That’s not a very democratic approach.

    Freedom to ask questions and to gain access to information is what makes a democracy strong.

    In this case, as I argued, it should not be taken as a local zonal case. I’m sure the New York administration knew the significance of a plot 2 blocks away from Ground Zero.

    They should have designated a radius of several blocks around Ground Zero as a sensitive area from the angle of national security and seen this project in that light.

    They can still do it if they want.

    Here my argument is not that Rauf is a Muslim and he wants to build a mosque.

    Even if he was a Hindu building a temple/Christian building a church/atheist building a secular centre, I would have said the same thing – if reports point towards his negative and undemocratic image and if people are asking questions and want access to information, it is the responsibility of a democratic government to respond to questions and give access to information – especially because he is using public money of the American taxpayers.

    And it’s not the place for the people’s representatives to come out and tell them to keep quiet or they will be investigated. This is not the sign of a healthy environment.

    The representatives are elected by the people or they represent the govt elected by the people. they are supposed to respond to people’s questions and give them access to information, rather than telling them to keep quiet.

    Am I saying anything undemocratic in this?

    As for him working for the govt etc, I said that if he has a clean character and if the govt has investigated him, they should release the reports of investigation.

    Let people see the report, discuss it and if they feel some additional information is required, the govt should acquire it in a further investigation. Let him come out with his sources of funding and set his tax papers right.

    If he is a clean character, no harm will come to him. So what’s the anxiety about?

    All this has nothing to do with curbing his religious freedom in any way.

    There should be this kind of transparency in a healthy and mature democracy. The people should be treated as mature citizens and not as errant underage persons, whose questions need not be addressed.

    At least I imagine the US to be such a transparent, mature and healthy democracy. I have a lot of faith in the American democracy. That’s why I’ve been arguing along these lines.

    As for a parallel US law to the Indian PIL where the govt becomes responsible to respond to people’s demands, you have not said whether such a law exists in the US. If it doesn’t, I feel the US should have such a law.

    It should not be the discretion of the govt to decide whether it wants to address people’s demands in a PIL. A PIL is filed in the general interest of the country or society. That’s why the govt has a responsibility to attend to its demands.

    I feel that’s a very democratic law and most probably the US does have a parallel to it. Perhaps you are not aware of it.

  147. MoQ…

    I ask since you gave such a great explanation…

    From a legal perspective, I would think that his info would be public record..taxes, building permits and the like. If people did look into his “particulars” they would not be breaking any laws right? It is going to be a public building with public access so I imagine this info is available if one knows where to look.

    One thing that did bother me a lot is when Pelosi said something to the effect of ” we will investigate any one who investigates him” (Meaning Rauf). It didn’t bother me because it was Rauf…it bothered me because it sounded so Nazi like and sounded so anti American considering most of these documents are public record and available for perusal(I think). I thought didn’t do him any favors and that made it sound like he had something to hide…I am NOT saying he does…only that her response sounded kind of threatening and put him in a bad light IMO.

  148. @Daisy,

    “If you are against people asking questions and asking for access to information, then I think you are limiting people’s freedom in a democracy. ”

    Read what I wrote. People can ask what they want, but that does not necessarily evoke a government response if they are on teh wrong side of the law. I said it clear enough in my first comment.

    “They should have designated a radius of several blocks around Ground Zero as a sensitive area from the angle of national security and seen this project in that light.”

    You cannot designate an area which is owned by private owners as a sensitivity area. Again read the 14th amendment on the rights of property. A government cannot take people’s rights to property with no justification. I have been at ground zero recently and if you want to create a sensitivity area around it of a few blocks, you will have to evacuate a number of churches, some of which are historic landmarks build over 200 years ago. You may as well also kick out the bar owners. Let’s all just give up our rights as citizens, because we may hurt someone’s sensitive feelings.

    “Even if he was a Hindu building a temple/Christian building a church/atheist building a secular centre, I would have said the same thing”

    No you would not. This is just talk and I can see through it. You would not even have heard about this if it was a Church. This issue is about Muslims building a center pure and simple. The only reason you are even on this bandwagon is because you’re reading about this issue from right wing and far right Christian sources. I have been trying hard to be sensitive and guide you gently towards a good conclusion. This time I am going to be honest: “You are hopping on the Train with the most bigoted groups in this country”.

    “if reports point towards his negative and undemocratic image and if people are asking questions”

    What reports are you talking about here. Your sources are weak and this is at the heart of your bad argument. You really have to understand that the US is a free country and everyone can throw accusations. The difference is the source. Again, this man has been completely vetted. He has not violated any laws, either civil or criminal in his actions. Any government intervention and investigation in this case is pure harassment. This is what dictatorships do, we reject that in the US.

    “And it’s not the place for the people’s representatives to come out and tell them to keep quiet or they will be investigated. This is not the sign of a healthy environment.”

    You are completely off with this entire line. The congress of the US has full power to start an investigation in any area if there are wrong doings. The point is this case is built on rumors and accusations not facts. It is only a political talk issue. It does not have enough behind it for any committee in the Congress to stand behind a full investigation. You really need to distinguish between political hot air and real issues.

    “As for him working for the govt etc, I said that if he has a clean character and if the govt has investigated him, they should release the reports of investigation.”

    We also have rights of privacy in this country. You are asking for a police state where citizens could lose their privacy and liberty. I am sorry Daisy, but I do not find myself agreeing with you on much of this. If we follow everything you are asking for we will soon look no different than Stalinist Russia. The Government is responsible for applying Laws. No laws have been broken in this case. Your fears are getting the best of you and your judgment.

    Regarding disclosures of funds, transparency, etc. In one hand you are saying you are fair in your arguments and what religion this center is does not matter. Then you want special scrutiny only for this one religious organization, which happen to be a Muslim organization. They have followed the same laws that churches, Hindu temples, Synagogues, etc. follow. So why are you asking for a special treatment here. This is why no one buys into your argument of fairness towards all religions.

  149. @Oby,

    Permits are a matter of public record by default .In this case they had to apply for a permit and there was a hearing. Further, Municipalities maintain records which are accessible to the public.

    Regarding funding records, that is not a simple answer as there are many government agencies that govern activities here:

    – None profits are not required to report every donation to the IRS The amount of of teh donation matters here. Think of a collection plate at a church as an example. You do not have to report where every dollar in that collection came from. However, a non profit has to provide receipts for all donations over $75. Individuals filling their taxes can take an exemption of such donations, only if they can show such documentation.

    – Non profits have to be structured like a corporation. The non profit has to have a board of directors, a mission statement, and bylaws to govern its activities. By the way this organization was formed with bylaws requiring its board of directors not to have more than 50% of the same religion (i.e. 50% of the board members are non Muslims). They also have to file form 990 with the IRS to disclose their income and expenditures. These have to comply with the Charitable mission of the organization.

    – The Federal reserve also has many regulations relating to wire transfers of money. Any amount exceeding $3000 has to be reported by financial institutions.These laws were initially enacted to prevent criminal money laundering.

    – There are a host of amendments to the Money Laundering laws which are enacted as part of the Patriot Act. These new regulations were specifically enacted to prevent the support of terrorism including using foreign donations. Any foreign entity participating in supporting the Center through donations will be clearly visible to the authorities.

    The issue here is not sources of funding. It is purely an issue of people getting insulted by the fact it is a mosque near ground zero. The rest of this stuff is just noise thrown around to score political points.

    I am one of those that thought the project was not wise in its inception, specifically for the sensitivity of its location. However, now that the lines have been drawn, I cannot throw my support behind bigoted attacks aimed at a minority. We should uphold our constitutional values of freedom of religion and believes.

  150. MoQ,
    Your posts were all very well stated- and I’m sure lurkers and other readers got a lot out of them.

    I have some doubts myself about the wisdom of this center- however, we have the right to make fools of ourself in our country, as is evident by how many people are exercising this right with no restraint.

  151. *as is evident by how many people are exercising this right with no restraint.*
    ROTFL!

    I think MoQ is the voice of reason, and he is being kind and friendly too.

  152. Moq,
    You don’t know me enough to make a statement that I would not have said the same thing about other groups.

    I’m sorry you are hardly talking like a rational person.

    I said if citizens ask for information, it is not the discretion of the government to decide to refuse to give information of this nature. It is rather the responsibility of the government to provide the information in a democracy.

    Ok, instead of going back and forth like this, would you please respond directly to the following questions –

    What’s your objection to the government releasing the investigation report to the public?

    What’s you objection to the re-investigation in certain areas, if people feel these areas have not been investigated properly and more information is required?

    What’s your objection to the Imam Rauf being made to disclose his funding sources?

    What’s your objection to the Imam Rauf being made to respond about his tax papers?

    What’s your objection to Imam Rauf being made to give details about his trip activities abroad with evidence?

    Please be precise while responding.

  153. MoQ
    I’ll only state that I think you were extremely precise already and very rational, and as Aafke said, kind.

  154. MoQ…

    that was a very good explanation and I appreciate it. I was mildly familiar with some of the things you had said but you really made it clear. I didn’t realize that some of the records are not public info. In that light then trying to invade privacy makes sense I think.

    “The Federal reserve also has many regulations relating to wire transfers of money. Any amount exceeding $3000 has to be reported by financial institutions.These laws were initially enacted to prevent criminal money laundering.”

    I am wondering if this law has changed recently. We have received money via Western Union from India once or twice and the bank…not a teller…but the head of the branch told me if it was $7000.00 or more it is looked at. I went and asked specifically as I didn’t want any issues and to be on the wrong side of the law before receiving it. We were getting 4K and 5K respectively (different times) and no one said a word and I didn’t have to fill out any paper work other than the Western Union stuff.

  155. “I said if citizens ask for information, it is not the discretion of the government to decide to refuse to give information of this nature. It is rather the responsibility of the government to provide the information in a democracy.”

    MoQ is right in that depending on the project and it’s status…there are privacy laws that must be maintained. My husband worked for a non profit and the records of the medical facility had to be transparent. They got governmental support and had to be in JCAHO compliance. And as I recall they were terrified of the process that occurred every few years to maintain accreditation because they went over everything with a fine tooth comb and looked in every corner and under every rock so to speak

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joint_Commission

    But that did not give the government the right to investigate each person who worked for the place. So perhaps it is the same here…The project and source of funding etc has to be transparent but Rauf, as a private citizen, can’t be scrutinized…

    Another example of privacy…when one goes to a doctor they must sign a paper stating that they have been notified of their rights and that medical records will not be released to another entity without their permission. I am almost positive, even though my husband is an MD if he wants some records even he must have the patient sign a form saying that the records can be released to him.

    Perhaps MoQ can weigh in if I am off on some points.

  156. Daisy…

    I don’t mean to get off the subject but I wanted to give this link because the Wiki link might not be that clear…it will give an idea of the regulations that are in place. sorry I know it is a bit off topic…

    http://www.jointcommission.org/

  157. I’m a little confused as to why people are demanding the imam be investigated at all. I’ve never heard of a synagogue or church being built and people demanding the rabbi or preacher to be of said institution be investigated. Clearly some double standards despite the fact that certain people here insist otherwise

  158. I am with MoQ on this one. Daisy, I think until some one here can ascertain that a law like the one you mentioned (PIL?) exists in the USA, there is a fine line between protecting privacy and investigating someone. Till then your argument about investigating and demanding to know the details would be weak.
    Also, I too think that Rauf would have been fully vetted as in he satisfies the government’s criteria for not being anti national or extremist. But if he doesn’t satisfy your criteria, then it is not the Us government’s problem.

  159. Oby,
    I think it’s 10,000 now. That’s what you have to declare if you enter the US. Also, you can transfer more than that at a time- it isn’t illegal- but they note it, and possibly investigate just to make sure illegal business practices aren’t happening.

  160. @Moq – ‘I am one of those that thought the project was not wise in its inception, specifically for the sensitivity of its location. However, now that the lines have been drawn, I cannot throw my support behind bigoted attacks aimed at a minority. We should uphold our constitutional values of freedom of religion and believes’

    I agree. In my heart I believe that their intentions for this center are honorable but at the same time I’m having a really hard time trusting Muslims these days and I hope that what they all complain about (violations of their privacy) are true. My main concern is what plans/policies, if any, they have for teens at their center.

  161. @MoQ,

    We dont agree on issues pertaining to religion, but I have to say even with your issues with Islam and religion in general you are a very fair person to deal with.

    I appreciate how you have taken a stand for reason and rule of law here even though you do not agree with the people who will be setting up the place.

    You make many valid points. Our freedom here in this country is not as a “by your leave” based on other people’s feelings and sensitivities, rather we have the rule of law, constitution and bill of rights directly to PROTECT our rights from feelings, sensitivities and prevailing opinions of the day.

    It is interesting that many people against this community center because of “radical Islam” want to employ methods to stop it that look more like the Middle Eastern governments than they do our constitution and bill of rights.

    How much a person really values freedom is tested by how much of a stand they’ll take for these freedoms even when the people enjoying those freedoms at the moment are those with ideas and from groups to which they are opposed.

    This country needs more clear thinkers like yourself who are willing to put their own personal agendas and ideas aside and stand for the rule of law.

    Thanks.

  162. @Lynn,

    I am with you 100%. I never thought I’d say that. When push comes to shove we really see who are interested in personal and publiv freedoms and who are intested in furthering their own agenda despite these freedoms.

    As to “trusting Muslims these days” I’d have to say I agree with you on that one as well! lol

  163. @Irritated, Sandy, Oby, Aafke, Thanks..

    @Daisy,

    “What’s your objection to the government releasing the investigation report to the public?”
    Investigation reports of any citizen contain private information. Unless these investigation are used in criminal trials the person should have the rights to privacy. If a person is a law abiding citizen the government should not act as an agent to reveal their files. These are indivisual rights, we should not give them up just because of some people throwing accusations around. If government agencies are given such power, government workers can harass citizens. You should use your imagination a little to figure out what that can lead to.

    “What’s you objection to the re-investigation in certain areas, if people feel these areas have not been investigated properly and more information is required?”
    Because a group of citizens has the same rights as others. Asking the government to infringe on other citizens rights require that you provide a case. In this situation the the groups asking for the investigation do not have the evidence behind them. All they have is suspicions and rumors. That does not constitute evidence to investigate a private citizen. They also had their hearing in the place where the laws applied for this center. They were able to present their case and even were loud enough to interrupt the presentation of the Immam. So far they have only shown prejudices and smear tactics. There are senators and congress people supporting their case, but their case is so weak it cannot rise up to the level of an investigation. It is just political hot air. Do you really think for 1 minute that if there is a strong case for this investigation, there won’t be an army lobbyist and representatives all over it given how many politicians in this country have ties to the Israeli lobby and the tea party.

    “What’s your objection to the Imam Rauf being made to disclose his funding sources?”
    I do not have any objections to that, but I would not create a special law designated for him. If he reports in the same way as other non profit organizations I am satisfied. So far all indications are he followed teh laws of the country. You want an extra burden on one specific group verses others. I disagree with that position and feel our government should apply laws equally. You are the one that needs to answer the question, why do you support the idea of discriminating against one minority group?

    “What’s your objection to the Imam Rauf being made to respond about his tax papers?”
    The tax papers are a responsibility of the IRS. They are hawkish about reporting in these cases. The IRS does insure that forms are filed under the law and has the ability to take a group’s non profit status if they did not comply. I am not sure where do you get that this group is given special treatment by the IRS. Do you have prove of that, or just another unsubstantiated article from the internet?

    “What’s your objection to Imam Rauf being made to give details about his trip activities abroad with evidence?”
    Because that is his business. Why is it a requirement for you and others to know every detail of the man’s life? Did he break any laws? does he have a right to privacy? Does the government have laws which regulate foreign donations without invading the privacy of its citizens? You need to ask yourself such questions before taking positions.

    Daisy the issue I have with your posts on this topic is that you are careless with civil rights and liberties. You should read the bill of rights if the US to understand how important those are to us. You have been asking for violating many of them based on rumors. It is not an issue for this man only. Once our government starts violating his rights they can do it to all of us.

    Further, You have taken on a position with no examination of the groups behind it. You have not developed an understanding of the laws of this country nor the procedures required for investigations. You also asked many silly basic questions about civil rights and why we uphold them, but you have not asked simple questions about whether there are any criminal or wrong doings activities bringing this on. This is why no one buys into the concept that you apply this same scrutiny to every religious group. I know you will continue to be in denial, but this is driven by your suspicious nature of any Islamic group. You need to resolve that issue for yourself, we gave you all the tools to figure it out. I even took time to answer your very basic questions which have obvious answers.

  164. Whew! It took me a bit to get back up after I fell out of my chair after reading Abu Sinan’s comments! LOL!

  165. @Abu Sinan,

    Thank you. We were writing at the same time. I do not believe in religions and still maintain that they do not belong in Politics, Science or Law. However, the right to believe and practice religion is something I will always defend.

    @Oby, The rules governing bank transactions are very complex. Some apply to cash, others apply to wires. they also have aggregate daily activity requirements. In short we do have many safe guards to insure money can be traced if suspicious behavior is present.

  166. @Moq,

    I believe in religion and even I dont think they belong in politics, science or law. I am of a French mold in this way, but disapprove of the hijab ban there because it is politics getting in the way of freedom and religion at the same time.

  167. Good points in your response to Daisy. Once you allow “special treatment” for one minority group, where does it stop?

    Maybe we should investiagte all Hindus because of the BJP and government collusion in the riots and mass murder of Muslims in India, not to mention government collusion in the destruction of holy places?

    Maybe Daisy should warrant an investigation by the FBI because of her extremists views? She spends so much time on line one would have to worry about her funding. How does she support herself if she doesnt work and is online all day? Maybe she is getting money from anti Islam, Hindu radical groups?

    After all of this investigation is done then all of us should have access to the results, see Daisy’s finances, how she lives and supports herself, you connections to any and all groups.

    If we didnt get the results we wanted and expected, we can just call for more investigations against Diasy until we come up with something that wee can use to prosecute her. Maybe she jay walked ten years ago in Mubai. Then we can send her to Gitmo!

    The rule of law here in the US protects everyone, ESPECIALLY minorities. It is Muslims in the firing line now, it used to be Eastern Europeans and those with shadowy supposed connections to far left groups.

    I may not agree with what people say or think, but if it is protected by our Constitution of Bill or Rights I will defend them. I will also stand against any group that wants to remove these protections for any Americans, whether it is Islamic extremists, or Islamophobe fanatics like Pam Geller and Robert Spencer.

  168. @Lynn,

    I agree. I am always suspicious of religious agendas. In this case I think the Christian right is over reaching. I do believe some religions instill ideological believes, which are oppressive and intolerant. However, suspicions and disagreements on ideology are never enough to limit freedoms. So I am taking a position on this issue to support the rights of a minority group within our constitutional guidelines.

  169. I just think it’s really nice how many of us came together here- though we disagree on so much – to support our Constitution and our Democracy. As an American living in a non-democratic country, I appreciate so much what America has and is. And I”m glad so many others value it too.

  170. @Sandy

    I agree but it looks like even more tolerance and understanding is required elsewhere…this is awful.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2010-08-29-arson28_ST_N.htm?csp=34

  171. Trouble has really been brewing in Tennessee. I’m sadly not suprised. The Islamic community has been there for 30 years and outgrown their facility- but the opposition thinks there are Jihadist training camps accross the US and a bunch of Jihadists in Tenessee itself. It makes no sense at all.

  172. //Abu Sinan, on August 27, 2010 at 7:51 pm Said:
    @Blooming in the Sand,

    So you think people’s freedoms should be control by other’s sensitivities? How about the Buddhist shrine near Pearl Harbour? Should it be removed?

    How about the US military base outside of Hiroshima where American killed 100,000 Japanese? Not too sensitive I would think.

    When you start to have to point at a place like Saudi Arabia and compare American to it to make your point, you have already lost the argument.//

    Like I said My family will fight to the death for others to make Dumb descissions. If you want to bring up Japan remember Pearl Harbor. But American rebuilt Japan as it did with Germany and in helping Europe rebuild. I brought Saudi in to the argument since the majority of 9/11 attackers were from Saudi but Saudi has no freedom for religions other than Islam.

    Building the mosque at that spot is stupid and inflammitory. You don’t have to be of the religious right to know that. To say just get over it is in poor taste also. (but again if you live in America you have the right to speak your mind) Ground zero is still an open wound, look and see nothing has been built there yet and until a memorial is erected it will stay an open wound. That is what it is.

    For what it cost to build it the money could be used for much better purposes. Why not work to improve the view of muslins in the world instead of tarnishing the opinion the non muslin world has on islam.

  173. This tirade for and against Islam is what i want to avoid. There is no win if we built a mosque if it create disharmony. I am a Muslim and might not be a good Muslim but i have faith in my religion and i seek solace in it. They are many people like me in the world in fact i believe we are the majority. Most of us Muslim just want to practice our religion in peace.

    As I said again and again it is not about right but what is the wisest thing to do. I know it is 3 blocks away from ground zero but if our presence create disharmony then we should go. Even by right we did no wrong. I would like all Muslim to understand the fears and emphatise with these people who are not of your faith. We have to ask ourselves why do they fear us? Why do they hate us? Why do they look at us with suspicious?

    We look at the country where we came from, Saudi Arabia India Pakistan etc how many of us blend in with their culture of our adopted country? During the Marshall Plan after the war jobs were aplenty immigrants from Morocco Tunisia would flock to France, Indonesians would flock to Holland Turks to Germany etc but after years of transmigration these people never blend in now they become the source of displeasure of the natives. Notional Front of Britain, LePen in France and may other parties and leaders exploit the hatred. But were they wrong.

    When the Pakis and Indian Muslims first arrive the built mosque, people welcome them with open arms. Yes, they encounter some racism but you can find it any where even now in the States in Malaysia even in Saudi. But nevertheless they were welcome. But these mosque later on would teach the Muslim the idea of Jihad of hatred and that cannot be deny. All of you should remember the blind mullah from Egypt who was later deported from UK basically for the sermon that he gave. Will this occur in the so called Cordoba Mosque? I cannot say it won’t.

    In France where democracy was first establish, she welcome the scowling face Ayatollah Khomeini in her country. Was he grateful? His tirade against the west and western people is well known. Why can’t Muslim be grateful, I can’t answer that. But I remember when the first hijra occur it was not to Medina which the Muslim take refuge it was to the country now call Ethiopia. Amru ibn Al As one of the prophet good friend who lead this hijra was so grateful to the Christian King for his protection but now we are biting the hand that help us. Why oh why my Muslim brothers do we do that?

    Let’s look at Pakistan. Mohammad Ali Jinnah was a Syiah and Ismailiyah who would marry a Farsi or a Zoroaster lady to a Muslim they are fire worshipers. She converted true and she bore her a child , a girl who would later converted back to her mother religion!!! She is not staying in Pakistan. Her father is call Quid al Azeem, the founder of the nation but he like his wine and bacon. Pakistan suppose to be a modern Islamic Country but now embroil in civil war. Hmmmm….

    Let’s look at my country. Recently data receive from the world bank show that our FDI or foreign Direct Investment has shrunk to 81% Why? We were one of the Asian Tigers before but now our FDI has shrunk tremendously. If you go to Malaysia, my country the news will make you cringe in fear. They would not say it but one of the causes of the outflow is the rapid islamisation of the country. If you go to my blog you can find stories that would hurt you because it goes again justice and being fair. During the British time mosques were built in the vicinity of temples and Churches but now to get a Church approve to be built it take years. In the morning active proselytizing is made on tv and radio. At one breath which I happen to open the tv it took my breath away for the Ulamak or Muslim priest says Christians are our enemies and all kafir wish us ill we should not tolerate them and this is the talk given in private circles for Muslim only. Yet later they see no fault by saying that.

    We have IKEA here. It has a restaurant. The restaurant is halal but an organization of Muslim Consumers create doubt that it is halal. It has to close for a week to go to the Muslim cleansing ritual. When it was found this was false, the Muslim leader did not apologize perhaps it was beneath him to do so!

    As for interfaith Many Ulamak are against it. Ler’s look at history. Akbar the great the Moghul Emperor was famous for trying this dialogue. To this day the hindu fakir and the sufi look highly on him. He built Fathepur Sikri and there he a diwan or hall for Muslim and hindoos to converge and discuss religion. It must be understood he rule whose subject majority hindoos yet they all love him. He call this place Din Illahi. To the conservative it is a new religion but those who understand the meaning it means Religion of God. He was panned for it. Now my history book omit his name, they praise Jahinger as a great leader forgetting it was because of him the Moghul emperor would collapse.

    I pause and take stock why? But my faith is strong but my faith on Muslim is not. As long as they submit to be herded like a cattle where their minds is control by few I see no future except harm. Pluralism of thoughts and ideas must be accepted by them and they must understand they and they alone are responsible for their own action and not to put the blame on others. They must understand that to respect a teacher does not mean they are not infallible. Just because they dress like Arabs and wear a turban like one and speak Arabic does not mean they should be deified. You are answer to your God like the rest of us Muslim and non Muslim. You will be judge accordingly. If we abhor Nazism and Apartheid then don’t behave like one.

    So to your answer Should Cordoba be there? My answer is No because I cannot guarantee that some would use it to symbolize the wining of Islam against the infidel!

  174. Wan. I understand what you are saying. But they are now protesting Mosque building all over the US. And my country of origin? IS the US. I go back MANY generations- to Europe.

    Many of these people will have bad feelings towards Muslims until they completely suppress them. And no one made a fuss about THIS mosque until election time.

    I can’t say for certainty what will preached in that Mosque. I do beieve that Muslims have a responsibility to correct eeverything wrong in their mosques and their countries.

    But still, the definitive answer on supporting the Community Center in New York comes down to rule of law for me. It is legal. “Hurt feelings” are something people will have to deal with. Everyone has hurt feelings everywhere they are building a mosque now. Look at what happened in Tenesee!

    Also, no one can guarantee how the the radical Muslims will “interpret” things. And Frankly, as an American- what do I care?

  175. Wan,
    Once again I admire your comment. You appear as a sane voice within the Islamic community and as I said before, you are a shining example of how Islam should be.

    I wish every Muslim could think like you.

    In fact, there are quite a few Muslims who have the sanity to echo what Wan is saying. I think it is wrong to say this is a right-wing extreme Christian propaganda, simply because the people who oppose this project are of a diverse nature and it’s not rational to pronounce all of them racist and bigoted.

    Here is a report on the Muslims who are opposing this project and it is not from a “weak source” –

    http://www.investigativeproject.org/2131/the-ground-zero-mosques-muslim-opponents

  176. Moq,
    I think you will make an interesting subject of study for a political anthropologist.

    You have learnt the rules of democracy without actually imbibing the spirit of democracy but your mind keeps on sliding back into autocracy, the way you interpret those rules.

    you interpret the rules of democracy to support the project of a person who is increasingly being shown to be a religious extremist – while calling yourself an atheist and an opponent of religious extremism all the time! That’s why you are grouped with the orthodox Muslims who gloat over this kind of a project started by an extremist person. Your arguments are no different from those of an extremist Muslim’s.

    Well, at least I can understand the approach of orthodox Muslims.

    But you are not using your analytical skills to understand that the huge population of people who are opposing it are not all from the same shade – they can not be, considering their large number and widely dispersed nature. I think it is illogical and irrational on your part to push the agenda of this project by citing rules from the US laws which favour it, rather than trying to see if there is more to it than what meets the eye.

    You are not the only US citizen around. All those people who are protesting are also US citizens. And not all of them are right-wing Republican extremist Christians. There are Muslims, non-Christians, non-Whites, left-wingers and Democrats in that group as well.

    Well, I don’t want to say any more on this. Not because I can’t counter you, but because I don’t want to waste my energy anymore, since this matter is in good hands now.

    Wait and watch how things develop.

    You will realise how wrong you are.

  177. Daisy,
    I think it is you that doesn’t understand how the U.S works. I think I can understand that though since you were not born here. There may be many, many people against this proposed mosque (majority not knowing all the facts) but that doesn’t matter because we are limited by our Constitution which protects EVERYone’s rights no matter whether we ‘trust’ them or not. The KKK is allowed to have rallys and marches in this country. Do the ‘coloreds’ like it? Perhaps not but they cannot take away the KKK members liberties. Crazy innit?

  178. Sandy…

    “Also, no one can guarantee how the the radical Muslims will “interpret” things. And Frankly, as an American- what do I care?”

    I think we should all care about it, because either directly or indirectly it affects all of us. I am not only talking about Park51. I am talking about all over the world.

    I don’t know how old you are, but I DO remember a time when extremists for the most part were unheard of. No ONE thought of Islam as anything other than a normal religion with normal adherents living a normal life. They didn’t understand Islam but neither did they understand Hinduism. They knew it was there but I will bet my life if you asked someone about it they would have very little bad to say about it. Why? Because all the extremist nonsense had, for the most part, not come to the forefront yet. I think Wan has a point. Why have people gone wacko when it comes to Islam? Yes the flames have been fanned by the media no question about it, except the mainstream media from what I can see by and large seems to be in support of the Mosque…I’ve seen many more things written for it than against it. So to ask why is a good question. And I personally do care about extremists because I think they have done a massive disservice to the face of Islam…It has most definitely increased over the course of 30-35 years and to deny that is unrealistic.

  179. Sandy…

    I meant the post I said in a wider context not about Park51 per se.

  180. Wan…

    I think your statement is insightful. If what you say is correct just by looking at your own country you can see the effects of Islamization. I thought that was a very interesting point that you brought up. It is making the environment hostile toward outside investment and by leaving it is dragging down the country in terms of being part of the global economy.

    Having said that, we are still in the process of climbing out of one of the worst recessions in the world so I wonder how much that has to do with it.

    Your points are well taken and remind me of a book I read called “The Muslim Next Door”.

  181. @Daisy,

    “I think you will make an interesting subject of study for a political anthropologist.”

    As flattering as the idea of an anthropologist following me around with a note book sounds and its possible impact on boosting my ego :), I think it is unnecessary. All you have to do is read my interview with Bedu from a few months ago. I laid out the framework of my ideology. If you read every comment I wrote since then, you will also discover that I do not stray from those strongly held ideas.

    I appose religions for their dogmatic views,. which do not allow followers to understand the world and issues rationally. I never supported the position of oppressing people for their religious believes. This is exactly the difference between us.

    I would rather win through education and never sacrifice civil liberties in the process. You prefer to control religion and discriminate against individuals and minorities. Democracy cannot exist without liberty. If you do not understand that you will never get my point.

    Finally, do not tell us again that we just do not know you well enough to make judgments on your position. I do not claim to know most of the aspects of your life and personality, but you wrote hundreds of comments and posts on this specific topic. I and others here know exactly, where you stand on these issues.

  182. @MoQ,

    You are spot on. Take away the person beliefs on religion and we are of the same political stripe here.

    Daisy says you do not understand the spirit of democracy, I would beg to differ! You have got it down 100%.

    If left to people like Daisy we’d still have segregation and Jim Crow laws because the majority of Americans supported them.

    The Constitution and Bill of Rights was set up directly to guarantee the rule of law and our rights DESPITE the will of the majority. Of course we havent always been successful with that, ie McCarthyism and putting Japanese internment camps, but having these laws more or less set in stone means that if we dont always follow them exactly, soon or later we come back to them.

    People like Daisy think they have a right to proclaimn what Islam is or isnt, what American rights are or are not, who is a good Muslim, who is a good American, ect.

    The fact is she has NO right making any such judgement calls and would seem to want to use the will of the majority to oppress the minority.

    I wonder if since she is so big on majorities trumping human rights if she would be willing put up rights for Hindus in Saudi Arabia to a vote? I mean, in majorities and their rights are so important, why not let the people of Saudi decide these things?

    Why does she call for many human rights in Saudi, which sadly would probably not be supported by the majority of Saudis, and ignore than in Saudi, then demand that we here in the USA drop our time tested laws for mob rule?

    It is the mob in India that attacked and burned down a mosque. It is the mob in India, that on a regular basis, engages in communal blood letting with hundreds and thousands dying.

    No thanks. What we got here works just fine.

    I think building the Islamic Center so close to the WTC site was a dumb move. Their advisors need to be fired, but this is America and they have a right to build this center just as much as they have a right to be stupid. Fox News, Pam Geller and Robert Spencer make a good living off of it.

  183. BTW I just read today that:

    “the second-largest stockholder in News Corp.—which owns Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, and the New York Post—is Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. The prince, nephew of Saudi King Abdullah, owns $2.3 billion of News Corp. stock. In the past, he’s donated $300,000 to projects led by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who wants to build an Islamic community center near Ground Zero”.
    The New York Times

    I found that pretty ironic considering Fox is so anti Islamic…

    Just an interesting factoid…

  184. @Oby

    I understand you position. I guess what I mean about “who cares” about what radical Muslims think- I mean I’m not about to sacrifice civil liberties or a democratic way of life for them. I think the US should focus on doing what is best and just- security of course- BUT never change because some radicals may not like it. I don’t see how that equates with ignoring the increase in terrorism. And yes- I’m old enough to remember “when”.

    Not only is Prince Al Waleed bin Talal a major Fox stockholder- Fox kept dramatically refering to him (though not by name) as some supporter of extremism that might spend money on the mosque and how bad that would be. John Stewart did a wonderful job covering it on the Daily Show last week.

    @MoQ,
    That was an almost completely predictable response from Daisy- but absolutely wrong of course. You are not at all autocratic- and I have to say I genuinely “LOL” when I read that.

  185. Sandy…

    In that light I agree with you 100%. thanks for clarifying.

  186. Well, who cares? asked Oby.
    ******
    I do.
    Because when they are arrests of extremists some main-stream Muslim organizations in the West ask their fellow Muslims to not to talk to police, not to discuss the case even in private because “It is more than likely that some people are under surveillance and anything could be used against the defendants” And write that the last thing is “of critical (capitalized) importance” .
    Could I believe anyone when some “mainstream” organization asks their fellow members to do that?
    That is only one example why people should care what Muslims organizations think. .
    As for Prince al Waleed bin Talal. – he owns 7% of News Corporation which owns Fox but he is not the only one who is major stockholder in some MSM in the West. And if he is, he is also a stockholder in (via News Corporation) in many not so conservative media. Like the Sun in UK..
    There is globalization and some conservative media owners owns few MSM in some Islamic countries too, like in Turkey and Egypt for example.

  187. Abu SInan,

    Yes, people like Daisy do have a right to proclaimn what Islam is or isnt, what American rights are or are not, who is a good Muslim, who is a good American.

    Muslims have the same rights. In the end the actions speak for themselves and, in this case, they are on Daisy’s side.

    You discussion on Majorities vs minorities is silly, because right versus wrong has nothing to do with numbers. Right and wrong are moral values. Either we agree on certain moral concepts or we don’t, and if we agree then those concepts must apply to all equally.

    Do you follow me? The issue is then what are the fundamental values that define moraity. In western cultures these are liberty, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, equality, separation of religion and state and rule of law by duly elected representatives. Islamic societies fail in all of these concepts. From that point the only question is ‘why’? To argue that Islam has nothing to do with these failings is to ignore the obvious. The math says ‘yes’, that Islam is a reason that Islamic societies are major human rights abusers.

    The next question, then, is if Muslims in the West are different from those in Muslims countries. I say no. Muslims in the West have shown time and again that when the choice is between Islam and human rights, respect for others and euqlity, they submit to their religion. The fact is that what “we got here” is what Muslims want to change. Muslims have come to the US and they have bought Mohammed and his gospel in their hearts. This may be why two young men were arrested with week for planning murder, this may be why a woman converts to islam and immediately wants to kill a cartoonist. This is why a Canadian association, when faced with the fact that Muslims are planning terror, sends out a notice asking Muslims not to cooperate with authorities (as ella mentions). Time and time again Muslims have shown that their values are not those we cherish.

    This Park51 project is not and never was about building bridges or interfaith dialogue, it is about insulting non-Muslims.

  188. Well, I said I won’t come to this post again, but seeing Jay’s comment came to see what he’s posted.

    Thanks Jay.

    I find it rather strange that a self-proclaimed atheist should support an extremist Mosque, whose builders have shown the height of insensitivity and other mishandlings of the case.

    I don’t see why the rights of the Muslims in the West should be defined by the voice of extremist Muslims and not by the voice of the democratic ones who are opposing the Mosque.

    If a so-called atheist uses the democratic rights to give way to the extremist activities in a democratic country, then I need to rethink about his so-called atheism and his so-called commitment to democracy.

    It’s his sliding back into autocracy which makes him repeat the rhetoric of orthodox Muslims – the way it appears to me.

  189. @Daisy, I really thought you had some sanity. I was wrong.

    You went nutty in the tradition of the average conspiracy theory follower ala Sarah Md. You lost any respect I had for you as a thinking person!

    Cheers…

  190. I think Daisy is getting to see the picture of the conspiracy. Anyone who has worked with Bush????. All questions are answered right there!

    People are demanding answers to 911 too. Puzzle is slowly taking shape.

  191. Moq,
    I can say the same about you.

    Why do you insist it’s a conspiracy theory – in the face of all the extremist speeches that the Imam has given around the world, including the one in Arabic, where he clearly says he doesn’t believe in inter-faith dialogue?

    And his interview in Arabic, translated verbatim into English, in which he talks about how to establish a Sharia-Based Caliphate in the modern world – either through a kingdom or democracy?

    On what basis do you support an Imam who goes around talking like this and call yourself an atheist democrat?

    I don’t see the parallel with Sarah MD. I’m going with the reports I’m reading – and not all of them are “weak sources.”

    Many of them are posted by experts on terrorism, who advise the FBI and Homeland Security.

  192. @Daisy,

    Yeah, Robert Spencer is a real “expert on terrorism”. Can you tell me where he got his advanced degree in Middle Eastern studies? Can you tell me where he learned his Arabic? How many years did he live in the Middle East or a Muslim country?

    If you cannot answer any of these he is NOT an expert in ANYTHING in regards to the Middle East or Islam.

  193. Daisy has offical alienated EVERY side to the various positions on this blog.

    The fact that these people, all with different positions, are able to come together to condemn the racism and sectarianism of Daisy is actually an encouraging sign!

  194. “The fact that these people, all with different positions, are able to come together to condemn the racism and sectarianism of Daisy is actually an encouraging sign!”

    This made me laugh!

    Nader,,

  195. Abu Sinan,
    Rather than talking about me, please stick to the topic.

  196. Daisy,

    Your behavior has actually hijacked this thread. YOU are the subject now.

    Cant you see that when almost everyone on every side of the issues here thinks you are completely out of line that they might just have a point?

    MoQ, on this subject, has proved to be a voice of reason despite his issues with organised religion. He is able to put that aside because the rule of law, our constitution and our bill or rights demand it.

    It would seem you are unable to grasp this concept. The government here in the US has no more business getting involved in this issue that the government of Saudi should be able to ban freedom of religion there.

    You cannot call for freedom of religion in Saudi then advocate that the US government single out people for investigations because of their faith.

    People can, and should, be investigated on a case by case basis based on the facts, evidence and information. Not because of a vague suspicion, especially when that suspician is cast by bigots like Robert Spencer and Pamala Gellar.

    Your continued point to India and it’s oppressed Muslim minority as an example is also way outside of the bounds of reality. India and Pakistan are nations that were born with the bloodshed of hundreds of thousands of people. To this day large scale communal violence of Hindu and Muslims is common.

    Islamophobes are active in Indian politics and Muslims are at the bottom of what is already a very discriminatory caste system COMPLETELY devoid of any human rights or justice.

    That is where you come from. Me? I am an American, I will stick to our Constitution and Bill of Rights, thank you.

    You can blather all you want, but it is these very freedoms that makes this country a magnet to the world. We wont let you or anyone else tear them down no matter how much you want us to descend into a system of mob rule the likes of which often rule India.

  197. Daisy, seriously. I understand where you are coming from, really I do, but trust me, the guy is going to be watched very, very closely.

    There is NOTHING more distasteful than the KKK and their ideology but they have rights as well. People who disagree with them also have rights and they can peacefully protest against them 24/7 if they wish.

    Understand that we are not supporting this proposed Islamic Center or it’s imam we are supporting a cherished American value. And if we appreciate the same freedom we cannot take it away from someone else (as long as they are not inciting hatred – that is not allowed)

  198. Lynn,
    I understand your argument that people like you and some others here are defending his right to build a mosque, even if you don’t like the idea.

    In fact, I’m not so much against the idea of a grand mosque. A grand mosque having a capacity of thousands of Muslims’ prayer space is not a new thing for me and it doesn’t intimidate me. I’m quite used to such monuments.

    Besides, I too believe in people’s right to build a mosque or any other religious structure for that matter – as long as it’s not for extremist activities.

    I’m just worried about the kind of extremist remarks he has been making – and there seem to be too many of them. This, coupled with the fact that he has never denied he’ll accept money from extremist organisations, makes him the very wrong kind of a person to be building a mosque.

    As I said, I’m for religious freedom as long as it doesn’t lead to extremist activities – perhaps that’s where I differ from others here. I make it conditional, while perhaps you and others don’t.

    that’s why I’m opposed to this project behind which a person like Imam Rauf stands. If this mosque was being built by a genuinely democratic Muslim – and there are multitudes of them, I wouldn’t have opposed it.

    I feel in present day’s context, we need to redefine religious freedom in a democracy and allow it only as long as it doesn’t lead to extremism. Our present definition of democratic religious freedom doesn’t make allowance for this kind of interpretation and I feel it needs to be changed.

    I know people will take a long time to arrive at what I’m saying today – perhaps not in my lifetime. I just hope it’s not too late by then.

  199. Spot on Lynn.

    This guy is going to be investigated from top to bottom, although with his level of work with the US State Department, it has already been done with him.

    It will continue to happen with both state and private means. If he doesnt something wrong he will be pulled before a court of law and given the opportunity to defend himself.

    Any wrong doing on his part, or the part of any other Muslim, is NOT grounds to tear up our Constitution and Bill of rights.

    When that happens the terrorists really have won.

    Like Ben Franklin said, one of the men who signed the constitution and a founding father of this country:

    “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

  200. “I know people will take a long time to arrive at what I’m saying today – perhaps not in my lifetime. I just hope it’s not too late by then.”

    Wow, what you said in these rants are very simple a child can get it. For you to think we do not get your points is extremely arrogant. The simple fact is we think you are wrong in the idea that we should change our definition of freedoms and liberties, you are wrong in your sources, you are wrong in your conclusions out people, you are wrong on taking this to a personal level, etc.

    We disagree with you pure and simple. The question is do you have enough intellect to get my simple sentences above.

  201. Daisy writes:

    “I feel in present day’s context, we need to redefine religious freedom in a democracy and allow it only as long as it doesn’t lead to extremism.”

    That is antithetical to our freedoms here in the USA. As soon as we do what you are suggesting the terrorists win. THAT would be the biggest insult to the dead of 9/11.

    Ben Franklin was talking EXACTLY about people like you when he said the above. Because you would give essential liberty for a little bit of security you deserve to be neither free nor secure!

  202. Lynn,
    Incidentally, I was invited to an Iftar party tonight. As is usual here, guests included Hindus as well as Muslims – in almost equal numbers.

    My hostess said to me that they invite non-Muslims (which mostly means the Hindus in India) because they want to express love and closeness with them.

    Before the dinner started, an Imam from a mosque gave a short speech. I caught only the last part of it, which elaborated on how fast during Ramzan reduces the hostile feelings amongst Muslims and how it increases their spiritual strengths. He also talked about how this spirituality teaches the Muslims in the long run to love all humans – regardless of religions.

    It made me think – I hardly meet such Muslims online on blogs – except a few like Wan and Arif and some more. I meet such Muslims only in real life in my immediate surroundings.

    Believe me, if any of these Muslims was building a mosque anywhere in the world, I wouldn’t have objected.

  203. Yeah, as long as the Muslims out there meet your standards, then they are okay. Daisy is the final stop when it comes to who is or isnt a good Muslim and what is or isnt the proper view of Islam.

    Your Disneyland description of the affairs between Muslims and Hindus in India goes against the facts. Massive bloodshed, systemic discrimination against Muslims, pogroms against Muslims over the last few decades with thousands of dead, mosques torn down by Hindu mobs.

    If India was such a garden of religious harmony you wouldn’t be able to fill a small ocean with the blood that has been spilt between Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs in the last 60 years.

  204. Daisy writes:

    “Believe me, if any of these Muslims was building a mosque anywhere in the world, I wouldn’t have objected.”

    You are not an American, hence you have ZERO say in the matter. Object all you want. It is an American issue.

    Thank God, because with your beliefs on the matter there would be no such thing as religious freedom in the US anymore.

  205. @Daisy -‘Besides, I too believe in people’s right to build a mosque or any other religious structure for that matter – as long as it’s not for extremist activities’

    And that is EXACTLY how it works. No illegal activity or incitement to hate will be allowed even if he does believe in it he cannot incite others. Trust me, he WILL be shut down (whether by law or by man) if he ever does anything even REMOTELY sinister.

  206. We need to understand where Daisy is coming from to understand why she is in favour of cutting religious freedom.

    India, a land with a Hindu majority, has a major problem with it’s caste system, namely the tens of millions of Indians labeled as “Untouchables” or Dalits. These people, according to Hindu teaching, are at the lowest rung of society and because of systemic discrimination, have little chance to improve their lot in life. It is a part of their religious teaching.

    Because of that MANY low caste Hindus are converting to Christianity and Buddhism. Of course they wouldnt convert to Islam because they’d end even lower in the community.

    To combat the massive conversions of low caste Hindus fleeing the oppressive teachings of their religion other Hindus have passed laws making it illegal to convert. There are already laws operating in several states that ban conversion and proposals in several more to pass the same types of laws.

    Gujarat even passed laws deaming Buddhism and Jainism as “Hindu Sects”.

    This is where Daisy is coming from.

    Here in the US, we reject categorically these types of oppression of our religious freedoms.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6050408.stm?ls

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6050408.stm?ls

  207. Lynn,
    I do hope you are right and he’s shut down before anything destructive takes place. I don’t think this world is ready for another 9/11.

  208. ‘Daisy is the final stop when it comes to who is or isnt a good Muslim and what is or isnt the proper view of Islam’

    EXCUSE me!!?? I thought that was MY responsibility!

  209. Lynn,
    But we haven’t heard your words of wisdom in this matter of late! :-)

    Of course, only an outsider can tell whether a group – religious, political or any other – is “proper” or not, because it is the outsiders who have to face the hostile or friendly treatment from the group in question.

  210. Daisy if I am understanding you correctly it seems to me you want to take preventive action in Rauf’s case rather than clean up a mess afterwards…certainly I can understand the idea… it is easier to prevent a problem sometimes than to live with the consequences of one afterward.

    But as Lynn said I think he will be watched closely. Whether we find his comments laden with extremist views or not he has to have actually done something to be investigated or charged with a crime. That is how the law works in the USA. Until then he is just Joe Q Public who has the right to the presumption of innocence until someone can prove him guilty.

    Yes, I can understand it seems to make more sense to prevent the problem, but talking fiery or fancy or even against the USA is not a crime unless it is coup[led with other nefarious ILLEGAL issues or he calls for violence which is illegal. Until then it is wait and see.

  211. Oby,
    Yes, innocent until proven guilty is the rule here as well. Only we are getting a little bit more cautious in matters of terrorism.

    Perhaps because we have much less resources than the US to clean up the mess later and also because of the kind of neighbours we have. Still, terrorist acts take place.

    I do hope he will be caught before any serious damage is done.

    Lynn and Oby – thanks for understanding my argument.

  212. AS, When you mention “affairs between Muslims and Hindus in India” I think you should consider the other side of the coin – how Muslims have treated Hindus in the past. While there were times of peace and cooperation, overall it was not a nice picture. In fact, according to many historians, Muslims murdered Hindus by the tens of millions in their 800 year domination of India.

    There is also the small issue called “Pakistan”. For a proper perspective of Muslim-Hindu relations in the subcontinent, one must consider how Pakistan has treated non-Muslims in the last 60+ years and compare it to India and its treatment of non-Hindus. Not a pretty picture either, is it? Or better, consider the percentage of religious minorities in each country at partition, and then look at the numbers today. What happened to non-Muslims in Pakistan? Why? Could it be because of Islam?

    Ms. Irritated. What Muslims do in “majority Muslim countries” is very much a part of this discussion and the whole problem. It cannot be divorced from attitudes towards Muslims. The simple fact is that in every society where Islam dominates, discrimination and oppression of non-Muslims is pervasive and systematic. I see no reason to believe that this has nothing to do with their attitiudes and I see no reason to believe that Muslims in the US are any different from those in Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Maldives, Morrocco, Turkey, Algeria, SA, Yemen, Somalia, and you get the idea. I do not believe that Muslims can live in peace, in numbers, with non-Muslims. I would even accept the vile things in the Quran and ahadith about non-Muslims as irrelevant if Muslims treated others (infidels) as equals and ended this oppression, legal and otherwise.

    For any Muslim to say that this discrimination is not relevant, or that is it just some Muslims, or it is the evil government, or ignorance, or a product of (name evil idelogy here) flies in the face of reason. Based upon my experience, Muslims are less than honest about islam, or just ignorant and maybe in denial. It is that simple.

    So we have here an Imam, of questionable background (did you see the lastest about his rap sheet and slum dealings?), saying that this project is to “build bridges” and so many Muslims just eat it up. Well, perhaps somebody could tell me how offending millions of non-Muslims builds bridges? or is it that the PArk 51 was never about building bridges and interfaith relations? May, as a commenter above suggested, it was all BS from day one.

  213. As,
    There’s another factor at play in conversions going on in india- poverty, there was a maid a long time ago who worked at our neghbouring apt and every yr during christmas her husband becomes a christian nad during ramadan he converts to islam , come diwali or pongal he’s back to being a hindu :-) I’m serious, it’s because the church gives handouts + clothes+ money to convert especially during chrustmas time and so does the mosque during ramadan – good dinner + breakfast and eid gifts , come diwali he’s a hindu taking gifts and puja bonus from us :-)

    but the sad thing int his whole picture is – after trying to follow 3 diff religions there’s not a god from any of these who has shown him light and he remains in poverty. actually his son is now the head clerk at the AGS office ( accounts) so they did come up in life but thru education ( that too in a govt -nonreligious school).

  214. Jay,
    I don’t agree with everything you have written , but i do wonder why the minorities in pakistan keep dwindling while the minorities in india keep growing. that in itself is a profound statement. something politicians and citizens of both country adn their underlying religions need ot think about.

    As for muslim kings, there were good and bad ones, i doubt religion made them bad or good – bad examples perhaps or just genes .. in those days if you were unfortunate to land a bad king there’s not much you could do but pray he dies soon right :-) so i woudn’t tar a whole group of people by the same brush…

    but you do have a valid point regarding minorities..

  215. I am a newcomer here and I read all these comments from different people from various countries and seems people have spent lot of time arguing about the mosque building.

    Whatever is the view of Daisy, the mosque will be built as planned, so what is the point of arguing and debating this topic here.

  216. Radha, Thank you for your remarks.

    You may have noticed, I do not much like Islam. Even so, there is nothing I can do more to help Muslims than ask them to stand up for non-Muslims in Islamic societies. If they did this, and if Muslims in Islamic countries ended their discrimination and hostility towards infidels, this would be a HUGE step and help Muslims everywhere. This would make people like me look like an ass when I go off on the deep end.

    Unfortunately, this is not happening and Muslims in the West do not seem to care, so it reinforces my position that all Muslims are intolerant or potentially so.

  217. Jay…

    I too think that changing the way minorities are treated in Muslim majority countries would go a long way to changing the impression of Islam in the West. You are right about Pakistan…I had this conversation with a Pakistani on another blog. He said that Pakistan does actively discriminate against it’s minorities so much so that they leave. He chalked it up to xenophobia on the part of Pakistanis…I agree with you and think it has more to do with the environment Islam creates for them than plain xenophobia although that is part of the issue.

    I think part of what is happening, rationally or not, is that people in the West look at Muslim majority countries and see how women are treated, how minorities are treated and the vast difference in the way of life. I think that somewhere deep inside, maybe not even on a conscious level they extrapolate that back to their own societies and wonder if that could happen there and they are very uncomfortable with the big disparity.

    I very much agree that if Muslim majority countries “cleaned up their act” (for lack of a better phrase) people would look on Islam with a much different viewpoint and we would see that reflected in the West. If they saw equality for all (or an approximation of it to a high degree taking into consideration cultural differences), people of many different faiths able to worship openly even if they were the minority and the sort of things they can expect in the West I don’t think we would see the level of anxiety we are seeing in the west. I also think that would stem the tide of immigration…I mean, who wouldn’t rather experience a prosperous and well rounded life in their own country where family and cultural ties are strong rather than have to come to a strange place and start all over again? If it were me I would rather stay in my homeland if it could offer me good opportunities and my faith to boot!

  218. Oby, you said it better then I ever could. I take a look at what Muslims do where they are a majority, and I don’t trust him. All the virtue, cleaning living and peacefulness of Muslims, some Muslims that is, in the West will not make me change my opinion of them until they change the way the treat others.

    And you make another good point about how it wouild improve things for Muslims in their societies, too. It would be a win, win, win situation. I would be the only loser but I can live with that.

    But wait, we are talking about human beings doing something logical and right! nahhhh! AIn’t gonna happen.

  219. Jay,
    Well, since I wrote the above comments, I have revised my opinion about his inter-faith centre, though not about my stand that an extremist Imam should not be promoted in the name of religious freedom.

    I came across this interview which he gave in 2002, which really explains what he means by inter-faith understanding. We have made the mistake of interpreting his statement from a democratic perspective.

    He doesn’t mean “inter-faith” from a democratic perspective at all. He has been using a democratic English term to refer to an extremist Islamist concept.

    According to this extremist concept, all Abrahamic people from the 3 religions should understand that they are the same people and should unite under a common umbrella under the leadership of Islam (since the other 2 Abrahamic religions are “corrupt”) and should establish a global Caliphate following Sharia as the law of justice.

    He doesn’t say it in such black and white terms as I’m saying, but his opinions on various Islamic concepts in this interview lead towards this extremist Islamism.

    It’s also striking that in this interview he doesn’t refer to the non-Abrahamic and no-religious people at all.

    But then by now we have learnt that this other half of the world is not human.

    Perhaps he has not yet elaborated stage II of his inter-faith campaign – after the Abrahamic humans unite under the leadership of Islam and establish a Sharia-guided Caliphate in the world, they can easily force the non-human part of the world into following the Sharia and “become human” – or perhaps so he imagines that this is going to be all that easy.

    Thus, he is speaking the truth that this is going to be a centre for inter-faith dialogue – for convincing the other two Abrahamic religions to come under the Islamic umbrella and establish a Sharia-guided Caliphate that is.

    So you can see that despite all your erudite study of the Islamic texts and societies, you have completely missed the point.

    Treating the non-Abrahamic people as humans has never been on the extremist Islamist agenda.

    Establishing a Sharia-guided Caliphate is on the agenda and the non-humans can be simply coerced into following them.

    So, since you are an Abrahamic human, would you like to enrol for this inter-faith campaign?

    You can also see how naive it is to give extremist people like him the right of way under the ideals of civil liberties and religious freedom. He is not a person who respects other people’s civil liberties and religious freedom. He has no right to be the citizen or even the resident of a democracy.

    I don’t understand why this is so difficult to see. He has been transparent all the time and told us what his agenda is. If we don’t understand his language, it’s our fault.

    First time, 9/11 was a tragedy. Second time, it will be a naive blunder.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages//frontline/shows/muslims/interviews/feisal.html

    But then Lynn and Oby have assured me he’ll be caught before that. Let’s hope they are right.

  220. I read many of the comments, I am sad. It is nice to be opinionated like most Americans are. I am not an American, I am a Muslim who stay in the far east. Islam was spread here not by sword or conquest but by trade. Generally South Sea people are of the genial type. We have a perpetual fatalist attitude about life. Like Asians of these part we avoid conflicts. But time has change, the people now demonstrate, some like in Indonesia become professionals demonstrators. Capitalism and greed has change the racial landscape of the people here but if you ask any old Chinese Man and Indian they will tell you they miss the gentleness of my race. The openness, the smile that always in their face but now we see them wearing a beard with a continuous scowl in their face. That is sad. I too yearn for that and in VS Naipaul Book Among the Believers when he spoke of the far east he spoke of Malays who wish to capture the ‘image’ that they lost. The book is not without faults but get the book.

    Yes this is an American Issue but it is publish in my sister’s(in faith) blog so I comment not on rights but on the wiseness of the building the mosque. I told of what happen and what might happen base on the past history of Muslim countries. I am not surprise Iman Raof distaste of interfaith dialog many Muslims don’t. When they talk Interfaith they talk of Christian and Jews. All of them are Abrahamic religion they don’t think Hindoos Jainism Sikhism Zoroastrianism Bahia’s or Confucianism Buddhism etc as of equal status. To them this all man made. So if you are atheist you are scum. That is why Akbar the Great is regarded as an insult to Islam just because he was he built a diwan where hindoo sages and Muslims Sufi discuss Islam.

    Have you all wonder why the so call intellectual Muslims only survive in the west? Why can’t their country of their birth or their parents birth accept their interpretation of Islam? Why? Because many would be hounded and killed of blasphemy! That is why i have no respect for them so just like one of the commentators wrote, Jay kactuz what he say is piercing but valid. In Muslim Countries intellectual discourse is not valid. Anything that goes against the council of Ulamak believe will be suppressed. Thus this intellectual flees to first world country and now hide behind them. So guys like me who yearns for openness and frank discussion are left wanting. Some loose faith like in Iran most become lost in an apathetic situation.

    In my country Malaysia who pride himself as a modern Islamic country since the raising of the status of the Islamic court and the rapid Islamization of the country things started to unravel. We forget that Malaysians are 45% non Muslims. Now Bodies being snatch form wifes form families when death because these people were said to be Muslims before death occurs although the family or the wife do not know of it. Imagine the grief! Children below the age of 7 were yank from the Mom because the father converted thus has the right to convert the children but what about the Mom’s right? Is this Islamic or just plain arrogance. I am Muslim, I believe in my faith but these transgression on my faith make me upset and I do not believe on Muslim whether you wear a robe or not they do have a fatten ego.

    The tragedy of the mosque burning in Tennessee the killing of the cab driver in New York could be avoided if Imam Raouf has pull back from building a mosque in Cordoba House. He should just concetrate on building the interfaith that he want to do and perhaps do a small masala or a surau(it is like a chapel) for the Muslim to pray so not offend. His insistence put fire to things that can be aovided. Again it is not about rights but what is wise.

    Now he goes to Dubai and proclaim this issue has been politicized which is true but you could have prevented it can’t you? I don’t want John Cusack to tweet or Sandy to say it is the American right but if it cause aspersion to your religion what right are you talking about? What about the right of other Muslim to live in harmony. To work to earn a living your continuous insistence are disrupting their livelihood, is it right?

    A person wrote above whom I have forgotten about the FDI that Malaysia has lost. The 81% is compare to other countries in East Asia. Singapore, Cambodia Vietnam and Even Indonesia shows a positive growth vis a vis Malaysia which has continue to decline in FDI and that makes me worry. The Islamization is one of the source but is not mention in any report, but what is mention is the world crisis recently, the perceive political unstability etc. I hope this explain everything

  221. Wan,
    I have learnt a lot from you and truly appreciate your sentiments and your very wise and sane words. You have not indulged in false self-defenses but have spoken from the heart like a true humane person and that’s what matters above all religions.

    I don’t think Carol the blog owner would have any objection to your expressing your views here, so you should not be deterred by some others who may tell you to keep quiet because you are not American etc. It’s because some people deliberately want to silence any sane and wise voice like yours. You should not give in to them.

    Your example of Mughal Emperor Akbar is very apt – he truly engaged in building bridges – especially with the non-Abrahamic people. Rauf and Co and their supporters should learn from his life about what is meant by building inter-faith dialogue.

    Once again I say, you are a shining example of how Islam should be and certainly you are a better person for building bridges with others than Imam Rauf!

    I do wish that someone like you was building this centre in the New York City.

  222. I read the interview, I didn’t read anything that bad in that interview.
    Sure he’s a religious guy making his own religion look as good as he can and making some statements which are not really true, but everybody would do so when trying to explain why their religion is so nice.

    Yes they are only talking about the abrahamic faiths, but so is the interviewer. He doesn’t ask about the many other religions either.

  223. Wan, really good comment!

  224. Aafke,
    Yes, I said he hasn’t said it in black and white. On the surface the interview reads quite alright. But if one begins to think about what he means when he explains those concepts, it becomes clear.

    For example, he doesn’t seem to have a negative report on Sharia-guided rules of Iran and other Islamic countries. At one point he says they are driven by a sense of justice or something to that effect. One gets the impression he is for Sharia rule in Iran and elsewhere. He also mentions the lost Caliphate.

    He does talk about all Abrahamic religions being one and their necessity of going back to the fountainhead – without any regard to the many different belief systems in the world and that many people may not want to go back to Abraham’s faith – which doesn’t exist any more in its original form anyway. So then you have to think what he really means by it – of course the other two Abrahamic religions are “corrupted” and Islam is the true Abrahamic religion in Islamist thought.

    If you connect his chain of ideas, you get the picture. Of course he is smart enough to know that he should not say it in clear terms, otherwise he’ll get caught. But if one reflects over what he is saying, one can make out his message.

  225. He has been much more explicit about establishing the Sharia rule through either a kingdom or a democracy in his Arabic interviews, which have been translated verbatim into English.

  226. @Daisy,

    “I don’t understand why this is so difficult to see. He has been transparent all the time and told us what his agenda is.”

    Because it is all made up in your mind. What you wrote and what is in the article you linked are not a match. I am seriously getting concerned that you’ve lost your mind somewhere.

    There is nothing in that article that an average Muslim would not say. He is talking about core believes of the religion.

    I do not like all religious leaders, but to see more in his writings than what he wrote and extrapolate that he has a sinister plan from that is just pure insanity.

    The issue here is not that Islam is right or whether it is a good religion. The issue is that you want to suppress religious freedoms. You are no different in this position than the Saudi government not allowing Christians to build churches.

  227. I can’t read that in the interview.
    And what does his opinion on sharia courts matter? The American constitution will prevent any kind of religious courts being instituted.

    The way I see it he is just a religious leader, same as other religious leaders, trying to gild the bitter pill of religion and make his religion out to be really nice, democratic, feminist etc.
    Which it isn’t really, but neither are other religions once they get power.
    All religions have as their ultimate goal total control over any given population.

    I do wonder about him being chosen to educate the FBI about Ilsam though. And I really don’t understand why a body like the FBI would choose biased religious people to ”explain” their religion to them. I would appoint a few agents to study the books for themselves, and what certain religious regimes are practicing in reality and make up my own mind.
    That is why I studied Islam for myself, the sweet explanations of people like Rauf in his interview do not match with what we see happening ”in the name of Islam” in the real world.

    And I think that in Malaysia (unfortunately for the Malaysians) we can see what happens, history in the making, when an Islamic majority gets into power and how they treat people under their power.

  228. Aafke,
    You answer your own questions as you talk about the hardliner Islamic majority (or in influence) in Malaysia influencing the change in its fabric. That can happen anywhere – even in the US. If enough hardliners wanting to bring Sharia laws into constitution become influential, they can tamper with the US constitution.

    And if the US govt has Islamic advisors such as Imam Rauf, that’s not an absolute impossibility. That’s why his dream of a Sharia-guided Caliphate matters.

    On first reading this interview, I too thought he was just a religious leader. But then I also read the Arabic interviews and then it all connected. His references to these points I mentioned above do raise questions in one’s mind.

    Besides, we have so many of his other speeches that also point towards the same goal. This interview is definitely a mild one, though he does appear a sympathiser of the Sharia, but his other speeches are more explicit.

    Moq,
    This answers your comment as well.

  229. And I never said it’s a matter of whether Islam is a right religion or a wrong religion – all religions have some positive and some negative points.

    I have said several times it’s a matter of religious extremism being promoted by using the rules of religious freedom.

    For example if someone like Wan was building this mosque I would have supported the project.

  230. @Daisy,

    “If enough hardliners wanting to bring Sharia laws into constitution become influential, they can tamper with the US constitution”

    No they can’t. You really have to read on how the constitution of teh US can be changed. It requires 2/3 majority in both chambers of congress just to make a recommendation on an amendment. Then it requires 3/4 majority to ratify it. That is a tall order. The congress only has 1 black American Muslim in the house (among 435 members) and zero senators.

    This is as close to impossible as it gets. The US does have very strong guards on protecting the constitution. These hurdles are put in place specifically so we do not have changes based on the latest political climates.

    Lack of knowledge and the extreme obsession with the concept of Islamic domination of America is making your imagination run wild.

  231. “I have said several times it’s a matter of religious extremism being promoted by using the rules of religious freedom.

    For example if someone like Wan was building this mosque I would have supported the project.”

    So now our test of allowed religious freedoms will be based on your judgment of who is a good religious person and who is not. I think that is a great plan, we should just abandon our constitution, our laws, our traditions, etc. and just have you make those decisions. Better yet, we should abandon all the rules for ratifying constitutional amendment and just hand you a pen and have you write a new constitution for us.

  232. As per the comments about Pakistan, I agree that minorities are increasingly suffering but I disagree that it is because Pakistanis are xenophobic.

    Pakistan was founded on noble democratic principles -the speeches of Jinnah show that he believied politics had no place in religion and vice versa. He envisioned a place where all faihs were free to practice the own form of religion.

    However, the politicians and the mullahs joined hands under successive regiemes (especially Ali Bhutto and Zia ul Haq) where the religious clergy’s support was required to prop up undemocratic or fragile regiemes.

    When the law of a country legitimises the legal persecution and marginaloisation of a certain faith then the uneducated are likely to follow that doctrine too.

    This is why people are defending the right to have the Islamic centre because in many Western countries we chose NOT to follow this path. We chose to uphold the rights of all regardleess of our personal feelings.

    But it is not Islam that has created this in itself because people of different faiths lived in relative harmony in the same space for years. The Medinas of Tunsia are an example of this where Jews, Christains and Muslims lived in peace within their towns.

    Unfortunately, some modern Muslims and Muslim governments are leaving these principles behind and becomng more hardline. Banning the Islamic Centre would make NYC like them rather than reflecting the noble values we chose not to forgoe.

  233. I know about the rule of 3/4th majority etc. It’s the same in my country.

    But I also know how a minority group can influence the majority of both the houses to vote for its agenda. There are interest groups who lobby for the minority agenda. It’s not as if always the majority group’s personal opinion rules.

    If an Imam generates a sizeable following through his “inter-faith” Sharia plan, I don’t see why it can’t be done.

    From the way you cite the rules in a bureaucratic fashion, I don’t think you have much experience of the many varied results the political interests of the leaders can produce in a democracy. It’s not always as simple as 3/4th majority voting by their own religious identity.

    You said I was thinking like Saudi Arabia and you talked about Islam being right or wrong. That’s why I told you where you are wrong in reading my arguments.

    I have said above that I am for religious freedom as long as it doesn’t lead to extremist activity and I don’t support religious extremism by citing rules of democracy.

    You can take it or leave it. It doesn’t affect me in any way.

  234. The above comment is in response to Moq.

  235. @Daisy, you are not connected to the real world if you even think Muslims have a chance under any scenario to change teh constitution of the US. You are really clueless on this topic.

    At one point you were a rational person, but you have started losing your rational thinking little by little, I do think you need to take some time away from the topic of Islam and regain your mind. I am serious, you have slipped into very radical thoughts. Just my advice I hope you take it as such.

    Good luck to you. I really think talking to you about these topics is a waste of time. You are in denial about how far these fears impacted your judgment.

  236. @ MoQ,
    I agree with everything you have said- especially about the US Constitution. I only disagree with your view that Daisy has changed. She has always been this way- at least in the time I’ve known her on this and other blogs. Some of her views overlap with the rational- but this sort of “logic” has always been the basis of her views, even when her views appear sensible.

  237. I am with Sandy, Daisy hasnt changed. She is the same “gool ole Daisy” she always has been!

    She still doesnt get it, she talks about manipulation of politicians, as if politicians can change the constitution by themselves!

    Even if these politicians were brainwashed by Islamic extremists, they’d STILL have to get 3/4 of the states in the USA to agree to the change by popular vote.

    Let me see, who with a sane mind can see Alabama voting for Shari’a law? California anyone? How about Oklahoma?

    What are the chances of even ONE state voting for such a thing? Even a state like Michigan or Virginia, with large Muslim communities? This is making the assumption that even Muslims would all vote for it. I am a Muslim and I’d vote against any attempt to insert ANY religious changes to our government, Muslim or otherwise.

    Daisy says she is against freedom for religious extremists. I would wonder what she is doing to fight against the Hindu extremists in her country? She is really worried about possible actions by religious extremists in a country that isnt hers in the future.

    Religious extremists from the Hindu religion have already hijacked governments in her country. They have actually made laws that control the ability of people to convert religions.

    Some of these same lawmakers have been involved in incitment to murder, in one case, link below, the BJP radical was actually CONVICTED of murdering a Christian! This was in the Kandhamal district of Orissa in 2008. You know, in India that is supposed to be the land of perfect examples that Daisy always gives us of religious harmony. It isnt just Hindu on Muslim violence, Hindus have attacked, rioted and murdered people in the Christian and Sikh community in India as well.

    A BJP member of the Indian lawmaking body was recently refused bail for his part in the Gujarat riots where hundreds of people were killed.

    A Karnataka BJP minister is thought to be financing Hindu terrorist groups and is thought to have played a role in the Hyderabad riots.

    You have the anti Sikh riots in Kanpur in 1984, Bhagalpur riots of 1989, the Bombay riots after mobs of Hindus torn down a mosque, riots in Mau in 2005, Aligarh had riots in 2006, Rajkumar in 2006,

    The picture she paints of India as having good religious relations is nothing short of an outright lie! India, historically and currently, is a VERY dangerous place when it comes to religious violence. This isnt just about Muslims, Christians and Sikhs have been on the receiving end of fanatical Hindu violence as well.

    One wonders why Daisy is SO worried about Saudi, Muslims and the USA when her own country is completely beset by extreme religious violence and has religious extremists that hold office in governments around India.

    It would seem that the only religious tolerance in India is when the religious minorities dont annoy the Hindus. When that happens you can guarantee mobs will be attacking and killing India’s religious minorities in large numbers.

    If this is a model of what Daisy would export to the USA……NO THANKS!

    Thanks, but no thanks Daisy. We’ll keep our religious freedoms, you can keep your Hindu extremists, riots and mass murder.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/BJP-MLA-jailed-for-Kandhamal-riots/articleshow/6108337.cms

  238. Abu Sinan,
    I have said several times before and say it again that I oppose Hindu extremism as well. Only this blog is not for that purpose.

    YOU have to show yet that you oppose Islamic extremism.

    Since you have earlier said on this blog that you would like to band together with people of the 2 Abrahamic religions and you have endorsed the extremist ideology that the non-Abrahamic and non-religious people are not humans and all humans (ie Abrahamic people) are descended from the same source, I regard you as an extremism-oriented Muslim and won’t be surprised if you enrolled for this Imam’s “inter-faith” Mujahid army for his Sharia-guided Global Caliphate plan.

    Moq,
    yes I have said enough. I’m not coming back to this post.

  239. Daisy writes:

    “for this Imam’s “inter-faith” Mujahid army for his Sharia-guided Global Caliphate plan.”

    It is comments like this, as well as your sentiments above, that lead me and a number of other people here to think that you have lost your sanity somewhere.

    Global conspiracies? Wait……..RUN Daisy……..it is a black helicopter over your house! Put that aluminum foil back on your head or they are going to read your thoughts! It is the UN doing it all, run by a Saudi jihadist group with George W Bush as the ring leader.

    You are more than a few fries short of a happy meal.

  240. “this Imam’s “inter-faith” Mujahid army for his Sharia-guided Global Caliphate plan.” Whoa. Just fell off a bit on the psychotic side there. Seriously though, that is an extremely extremist view in itself. I kind of have to back MoQ here and agree that your thoughts Daisy are starting to sound quite irrational and radical. You may consider taking his advice to heart.

  241. Irritated,
    How about some Hindu extremist group building a temple next to Park51 and trying to convert the Muslim population in New york to Hinduism and teach them to follow the ancient Hindu customs rather than Muslim ones?

    Would you support them on grounds of minority rights, civil liberties and freedom of speech and religion?

    If you can support such a plan, you can call me whatever you like.

    At least I will oppose this Hindu group as much as I’m opposing Imam Rauf – on the same ground that I’m against religious extremism.

    You will take many lives to reach the stage of Wan above.

  242. Hmmm you don’t know me enough and cannot get enough out of the few comments I have made to judge me against another Muslim as being worthy or not. And if you are judging me against your personal standards, I would prefer NOT to qualify as a Muslim. I am accountable only to myself and God and someone who isn’t even of my religion and has an obvious hatred of it isn’t in any position to judge me on the standards of a religion to which he/she doesn’t belong. I for one do not jump on blogs and judge Buddhists or Catholics as “good or bad” because I have no right and wouldn’t claim to know enough about their religion to know the standards that they hold themselves accountable to. They are responsible in the end for their own decisions and actions. Muslims are not the same everywhere Daisy. Contrary to popular belief around the world we are individuals with separate personalities. You LOOK for and then spin information about Islam and spew it out in your comments to suit your own agenda. So be it. You also have your personality and your own set of ideals. But you are far from objective in this case. You are clearly biased, prejudice, and frankly becoming clueless about all of these issues and you are gullible and easily manipulated by the extremists who are pushing this issue. This is a really tired issue and you’ve basically taken it to a point that that your views and irrationality have become more of the topic than the topic itself. Trying to bring you back into the realm of the rational at this point is extremely unproductive and a waste of time. Even when individuals like MoQ speak to you with patience and respect and a genuine concern, you dive further into instability in your thoughts and I think you’ve reached the ultimate low point in your conclusions. So, please, do us all a favor and let it go. Walk away from the thread…. put the conspiracy theories behind you… and just walk away.

  243. Well, you haven’t responded to my straight question. You’ve chosen to dodge the issue when you are asked to follow the same standards which you demand from others and you follow a long diversion technique.

    So please don’t argue over this issue with me because your standards are not the same for all religions.

    And you should not have presumptions about how much or less I know about Islam or Muslims in different places because you don’t know me.

  244. I’m not answering your questions Daisy because they don’t warrant an answer. I can’t justify arguing with an individual like yourself. I am not trying to divert your from anything. I’m trying to make you see that you yourself have strayed too far from rationality to keep this going. We are now going in circles and it’s not something sane people do. I for one am tired of this. I advised you to drop this and now I am going to take my own advice. Let it go Daisy.

  245. I have found many comments on the Pending moderation queue. I just released them. I cannot find any specific reasons why they were pending, I am assuming there is a glitch with wordpress.

    Sorry, if your comments did not get released on time.

    Blog Moderator

  246. @Daisy,

    “this Imam’s “inter-faith” Mujahid army for his Sharia-guided Global Caliphate plan.”

    Carl Sagan said “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. The claim you made above is one that is extraordinary. The evidence you provided was an article which was nothing more than the standard words of a religious leader claiming his religion is the best and has the best morals and laws. You twisted that into your own concepts of his presumed extremism and conspiracy.

    You earn a living in a field which requires research and diligence in reviewing evidence. It is a shame that you do not apply similar methods of research when it comes to topics outside of science. If you do, you will find out that you have reached unsupported conclusions on this topic. Without such rational review of evidence, you will fall prey to conspiracy theories. We expect such behavior from uneducated people like our resident 911 truther who comments here regularly. However, when it comes to someone with your education level it is really concerning.

  247. Moq,
    It appears you have never even seriously understood what I’m trying to argue. You are picking out bits and pieces from my argument to show your rational and scientific temper. the result is that you are really paving the way for extremism – intentionally or unintentionally.

    Irritated,
    Why doesn’t my question deserve a response? Because it calls upon you to have an equal stand on all religions in a democracy? And you don’t believe that all religions should be treated equally in a democracy?

  248. @Daisy,

    No I defiantly understand your position but i disagree with it.I even read your entire comment about his article. Then I read the article in its entirety. What I found is that your entire comment before you linked the article was fiction you made up in your head.

    The reason I posted that specific sentence from one of your latest comments is because it highlights the conclusion you arrived at. Now these are your words. You stated that the man has an army of Jihadist that he wants to install the rule of Caliphas in the US. Where is your support for these arguments.

    Show us how you arrived at this? If you cannot then you are no different than any conspiracy theory believer. Who does not follow rules of evidence. In short you have lost your rationality.

    This is not an attack on you. This is my attempt at letting you realize that fear has really made you irrational and you have stopped looking at the world objectively.

  249. Against my better judgment I will respond to you one last time: What the hell does any of this have to do with anything anymore Daisy? At what point anywhere have I ever even come close to eluding that all religions do not deserve to be treated equally in a democracy? In fact, I think the heart of my argument was that Islam is held to a different standard and I disagreed with that because of this basic principal alone. So why do you feel the need to ask this question of me and what does it have to do with anything I’ve said to you? Go back and read through my comments and maybe (if you can see past your hate) you may get an idea for how I might answer your question. I live in America. I value the American set of democratic ideals. I’ve made that clear. I’ve never slandered or made derogatory comments toward believers of any other religion (unlike yourself) and have made it clear that the choices people make in life belong to them and them alone and it is everyone in the world’s God given right to choose whatever they believe when it comes to religion. I genuinely embrace the principal of interfaith understanding and dialogue and participate actively in my own community. I don’t judge, hence my support for the gay bar next door to Park51 should it come to fruition. I don’t get rattled by choices people make in life that don’t affect me (something like this might work for you to, just a thought). I live in America and I enjoy my life here because of the ideals that fellow Americans also cherish. So there you go. Now you stop attempting to pin the bad Muslim label on me and stop trying to paint me into a corner of accusing me of supporting extremism through basic silence and a resistance to engage with someone who I consider to be wildly out of touch with reality (talking about you here). Now, since I’ve answered your question, will you agree to disagree with everyone here and let it be what it is?

  250. Irritated,
    You say you are responding but this is just your way of drowning the question in a seemingly long response which doesn’t answer my question – will you support this Hindu extremist group’s plan in this situation I described above and speak for their right to persuade the Muslims of New York to follow Hinduism?

    I have clearly answered I’ll not support them.

    Is it so difficult for you to answer this, or isn’t your answer written all over the world across the hearts of all orthodox and extremist Muslims, who are making life difficult for normal, democratic, rational Muslims who have actually opposed structures like the Park51?

  251. Moq,
    Is it so difficult for you to understand that –

    The US govt is ignoring the demands of a large number of democratic and rational Muslims who have actually opposed the project?

    That by playing into the hands of a small group of extremism-oriented Muslims the US is actually trampling over the rights and demands of this population of democratic Muslims who don’t want Park51?

    That it is undemocratic to promote a small group of extremists in the face of this opposition from the democratic Muslims who have opposed the project?

    That the US govt should respect the demands of the majority population within the minority group (please note I’m NOT talking about non-Muslims here, but only the democratic Muslims) who are opposed to the project?

  252. Come on people, I think everything has been said now. There are no new arguments. The center is probably going to be build, it will be kept under scrutiny I have no doubt, and if anything untowards happens it will be closed down. If not, well America is a fairly free country and now everybody knows it.

    But I really think we have milked the subject to the bottom so please lets move on.

  253. @Daisy,

    “The US govt is ignoring the demands of a large number of democratic and rational Muslims who have actually opposed the project?”
    We explained to you like 20 times that the US government applies its laws. It is not the issue of ignoring people, it is the issue of fairness in governing with accordance of our constitution. We got your point on that 3 days ago, you are the one who seems not to understand the response. If the US government stops this mosque, it will be in violation of it’s own laws. If they investigate a citizen without proper justification then they will be discriminating.

    “That by playing into the hands of a small group of extremism-oriented Muslims the US is actually trampling over the rights and demands of this population of democratic Muslims who don’t want Park51?”
    1) you are avoiding the question I raised on providing evidence of extremism here. You keep repeating the words, but you seem to not present any evidence.
    2) They are not tampering with democracy. They are following the constitution, which is at the heart of our democracy.

    “That it is undemocratic to promote a small group of extremists in the face of this opposition from the democratic Muslims who have opposed the project?”
    No it is not. It will be undemocratic to refuse people their rights, because others do not agree with them. The rule of the majority does not apply to property rights. Your understanding of democracy seems to be based on ignorance of what democracy is.

    “That the US govt should respect the demands of the majority population within the minority group (please note I’m NOT talking about non-Muslims here, but only the democratic Muslims) who are opposed to the project?”
    First that assumption is wrong. All what the government has to respect here is the right of a land owner, because we are talking about property. Second, where is your statistic that majority of Muslims appose the mosque. This seems to be another item that you cannot support. Who did this survey? who published it? etc. Again you seem to be lacking in applying rules of evidence.

    By the way, I noticed you do not answer any questions, but rather come up with questions as responses. My experience in debates is that is a trait of someone does not have a case. They avoid
    tough questions about how they arrived at their conclusions.

    Again, My question was:

    What evdience you have to support your claim that this immam has a Jihadi army and has an intent to install Califah rule in the US?

  254. Daisy –

    Stop being stubborn. The situation in New York is pretty much black and white. As many have already tried to explain, a government body (at any level) CANNOT prohibit these people from building their religious building without attacking the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. I don’t care if they worship pumpkins – they have a right to build their center on their own land.

    In addition, the judicial system in America maintains that all persons are innocent of wrongdoing until proven guilty – unless that guy breaks a law and you can prove it to a judge, there is no way for him to be legally prosecuted.

    I may not like the center they are building or think it’s a wise decision, but I will defend their right to do so within these bounds. These are some of the liberties held most dear in this country – and there’s no way in hell I’ll be giving them up for anything so paltry as your distrust of Islam. To do so would open the door to rife persecution and injustice and the betrayal of what this country stands for. When and if this center or any other breaks the law, that is the only time I will support their prosecution – and that goes for any and all other religious groups as well, no matter who or how many may be against them.

    To all –

    I have finished my rant now – thank you very much for your patience.

  255. There are three things I have learned over time about the style with which some people debate.
    1. They begin with their personal opinion- and then search out whatever supports it. It looks good- as long as there is rational support out there. But when that support dries up- nothing is reevaluated based on evidence, because that was NEVER really how the person arrived at their opinion. It was all an illusion.

    2. At this point some people have no qualms making any sort of mischaractarization or claims about their opponent (or once in my case, my children). This deflects from needing to use rational thought (and in my case- you insult my children for no reason- well- I NEVER forget that).

    3. They will later forget what they said at stage two. And on another thread when the illusion of rational thought is restored and they once more agree with you- will be suprised that you think they ever thought ill of you. And will deny that they ever made any negative claims.

  256. Daisy…

    I’ll tell you a story that illustrates what everyone has been saying…if you see it in action perhaps you can better understand. Let me say I was absolutely appalled by the story but there was nothing the police could do.

    About a year ago, after the Fort Hood shooting, there was a program on that showed reactions to it by Muslims in America. Most were noncommittal perhaps for fear of being too honest on TV and those repercussions…I don’t know.

    They then showed two young men…they didn’t look Arab or M.E.; they had no accents and looked, other than the very prominent beards they wore, white and I assume American. Sorry, I am not trying to be racist to Arabs…trying to make a point.

    These men were standing on a street corner in one of the most heavily Muslim areas in New York handing out flyers extolling the virtues of Maj. Hassan who shot and killed 17 people. The whole deal…Allah is great, this man is a hero for killing kuffar, we need a new Islamic caliphate, more muslims ned to stand up to the oppressors and on and on. Some took the flyers…I am glad to say many walked by and didn’t take any flyers…but these men went on and on.

    The journalist standing there was as appalled as I was and asked the police officer who had been dispatched to the area to maintain order (if any disorder broke out) WHY he didn’t arrest these men. They were saying vile, hateful things against Non Muslims, America, they were celebrating the death of these shot by Hassan…
    The police officer said something to the effect of: “I can’t arrest them. As despicable as it is, they have the right to say this. They are very aware what is legal and illegal and they go up to the line of illegality but are very careful not to cross that line. So I have no right to arrest them.”

    The journalist followed them home and questioned them about what they did. They were quite proud of their stunt and smiled and bragged outright. He asked them if they felt bad about those people who die and they didn’t have any regrets and would continue to do the same thing tomorrow.

    The point is that their point of view as despicable as I found it was protected under the law and they knew it. The police knew it. They can say anything that they like as long as they weren’t inciting violence…and they stopped just short of it. I thought it and they were absolutely horrible and it was disgusting that they could say that but they could. Tomorrow if I want I could go out or take an ad in the local newspaper and say the most vile things about Muslims that I want…it is allowed. (I wouldn’t…it is only a point I am trying to make). These things under our laws are protected under free speech..it might be awful and hateful but it isn’t illegal.

  257. Your question Daisy: “Why doesn’t my question deserve a response? Because it calls upon you to have an equal stand on all religions in a democracy? And you don’t believe that all religions should be treated equally in a democracy?” I answered this THOROUGHLY. My stance on democracy is crystal clear. The reason I didn’t want to engage you any longer is because that even when your questions are answered, you refuse to accept their response. I believe you to be incapable of reason and rationality and any more communication with you is a complete waste of the precious minutes I have on earth. You are a bigot Daisy. Period. You look nothing more than a ranting and raving loon with no real leg to stand on which has been pointed out to you so many times the fact that you ignore this advice makes you sink deeper into questionable territory. Take their advice Daisy. Arguing with you is like willingly banging my head against a brick wall. Give it up and move on with your life.

  258. Moq,
    Either you genuinely don’t know how many Muslims have said they don’t want Park51 or you choose to ignore it. Either way there is no point in arguing this with you.

    I saw this from a US citizen on a public forum. I feel it explains my argument, apart from the issue of whether this is a way of protecting minority rights –

    Seeing this issue as a personal religious freedom of a minority individual on his private property is technically wrong. Because he is not talking about indulging in private religious activities on his private property all by himself. He is talking about community participation.

    Since a lot of democratic Muslims don’t want this kind of dialogue with him and a lot of others in the community don’t want this dialogue with him, his project is not valid and it should be stopped. He didn’t talk about freedom of speech or private religious activity – he talked about community involvement and the community doesn’t want it.

    Hence the govt shouldn’t allow it.

    So this is really not a matter of religious freedom of a private individual on his personal property. He is not building a private residence. He is building a centre for involving the community and the community doesn’t want it.

    As I said, a mature democracy should be able to distinguish between democratic Muslims and extremist ones who are few in number. In a democracy the opinion of the democratic Muslims should be protected, rather than the govt playing into the hands of extremists.

    This is going to be my last remark here.

  259. Irritated,
    You still have not directly responded to my very straight question.

    I wonder how many orthodox Muslims are like you who support Park51 on the basis of religious freedom and civil liberties in a democracy, but who will not respond to a straight question like this when it comes to them respecting other people’s civil liberties and democratic rights.

    See you all.

  260. Really? Now I’m branded an “orthodox” Muslim by Daisy (who has no credibility). What about anything I have said anywhere has made you come to this conclusion? And how do you feel justified in applying a label to me based on the very little interaction you’ve had with me and my opinions about American ideals? Because I value democratic ideals and freedom of religion (like the vast majority of Americans) I am now an orthodox Muslim?? I I am likely also an extremist now? If you didn’t notice, there are many non-Muslim Americans here standing up for hte same principals that I am and defending against the same principals that I am. Are they too now orthodox Muslims? And how is it that I haven’t answered your rather stupid question? I answered it quite clearly. looooooooooooooooooool oh Daisy, if you are good for anything, you are good for a laugh that’s for sure. Thanks for the branding. And thanks for the extensive documentation of your bigoted idiocy.

    MoQ – there is absolutely no reason left in this person. I appreciate your views and your attempts to bring her into the land of the sane, but I feel your wise words are wasted on her. But hats off to you brother. You are articulate and have a real grasp for American ideals. Much respect to you.

  261. @Daisy,

    You still have not answered the question. You even try to introduce new topics, like democratic Muslim. I guarantee you will not be able to define what that is. Should be we require a test to insure people democratic?

    You are weak on your evidence when it comes to how you think Muslims are apposing this. Your evidence is that you saw in a forum that some Muslims appose the mosque. Wow, is that how you deal with evidence in your world? You turned that into a majority of Muslims appose the Mosque.

    Property rights under our laws extend to organization, so your arguments about the social center are moot in that regard.

    Now back to my original question, which you you keep avoiding:

    What evdience you have to support your claim that this immam has a Jihadi army and has an intent to install Califah rule in the US?

    Again, Daisey the fact that you cannot answer such simple questions, should point to you, that you are becoming irrational on these issues. You should examine the impact fear of terrorism had on your ability to judge. You owe yourself that examination, to regain your sanity.

  262. Moq,
    I didn’t read your whole comment. I read the first couple of lines and didn’t want to read the rest of it.

    Sorry, I have no time and patience to argue with people who tell me there is no such thing as democratic Muslims. They are the only ones I have known all my life.

    The orthodox and extremist ones I have met online on these blogs. I don’t usually meet them in real life in my immediate surroundings. But Park51 issue has also brought the democratic Muslims online to protest against the mosque.

    I think it’s an insult to the entire part of Muslim population which believes in thinking rationally and along democratic lines. It’s certainly an insult to the large population of Muslims who have protested against Park51.

    I find it surprising that a person like you who claims to be a rational person refuses to acknowledge that there are actually many Muslims who are against Park51 in the face of their ongoing protests.

    With your kind of mindset I’m not arguing with you anymore.

    Irritated,
    I’m not even reading your comments, since you have demonstrated that you don’t have the same standard of civil liberties and religious freedom for other religions as what you demand for Islam in a democracy.

    So don’t waste your time and energy writing long comments to me.

    See you all.

  263. @ Daisy
    ROFLMAO! You are hilarious.

  264. looooool… incredible.

  265. LMAO

    What a shame. She is totally insane. I hope she finds her mind soon.

  266. Don’t speak too soon.

    We’ll see who is insane who is an atheist supporting extremism.

    Just wait and watch.

  267. Daisy has said more than once she was done with this thread yet she comes back time and time again.

    I dont think she can help herself. MoQ stated that Daisy is highly educated and her work revolves around peer reviewed studies. I find that incredible to believe. I work around highly educated people who use logic and reason to do their work. None of them would come up with the pure tripe that Daisy is spouting here.

    Me thinks that Daisy is not educated nor does she work in any field requiring logic or reason. Such people tend to apply these same skills to every part of their life, not just their work life.

    Someone here stated that some people have an opinion and they craft their “research” to cater to their opinion. This is NOT how an educated, logic and reseach based person conducts things.

    I think Daisy is just someone who spends incredibly large amounts of time online. If you look at the dozens of hours she spends a week on this blog alone it makes the mind boggle to think she has her own blog that she runs and she posts on other blogs as well. Daisy’s only job is the one she gave herself online.

    Her opinions and how she formulates them points to her being uneducated and lacking work experience. I think, rather, she owes all of her knowledge (for what it’s worth) to her time online and the dubious and dodgy websites she frequents.

    Her lack of understanding and regard for the rule of law and freedom has me thanking God that she is NOT an American and therefor cannot taint our political process with her fundamentally unjust views. No thanks, we have enough Glenn Becks, Robert Spencers and Pamela Gellars out there!

  268. I here would like to thank Daisy for giving us a great lesson and a real life example! No one ever can demonstrate ‘how to make a fool of yourself’ better than what Daisy did here. I’m going to refer to this post regularly.

    N4C

  269. @ Daisy,
    Even if Imam Rauf turns out to be a terrorist extraodinaire- that would not prove MoQ wrong. Because he is supporting democracy and due process, not extremism. One more thing that you don’t seem to get.

    I’ll state for the sake of clarity- not that clarity seems to matter here- that if Imram Rauf should ever do anything illegal- especially in terms of terrorism- I hope they prosecute him to the furthest extent of the law. And I imagine most people on this thread agree with me with that.

  270. I wonder if Daisy has read the op-ed piece by the Imam in the NY Times? I am sure she will say it is “taqiya” but it seems as if the Imam was almost reader her concerns letter by letter. Will she now support the community center?

    He has stated there will be prayer space at the community center for Jews, Christians and people of OTHER faiths. So he is catering to religions from non Abrahamic backgrounds.

    He has said they will clearly point out their funding and where it comes from.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/08/opinion/08mosque.html?_r=1&hp

    If Daisy cannot now support this center then it will just be MORE proof of her hatred of Islam and Muslims.

  271. *So he is catering to religions from non Abrahamic backgrounds.*

    Cool, So the Pastafarians can come there too and drink pirate rum and toast the mighty and all-powerful FSM?

  272. Hey guys, don’t miss Larry King tonight.

    http://larrykinglive.blogs.cnn.com/

    It’s going to be the Imam’s first offical interview reguarding this topic. Also last night on 360, the pastor was interviewed.

  273. @Daisy – ‘Since a lot of democratic Muslims don’t want this kind of dialogue with him and a lot of others in the community don’t want this dialogue with him, his project is not valid and it should be stopped’

    Daisy, you are still not getting it. If no one wants this ‘community center’ then it WILL be stopped by the Law of Supply and Demand rather than the Law of the Land. If no one uses it will cease to exist and no worries.

    But I have to say I am officially changing my viewpoint about the building of this place as well as about this Imam. He is saying that they have to go through with it now because of what the ‘radical muslims’ might think or do? If that is the case then he should be spending his efforts trying to educate those people before bowing to threats. He is a perfect example of the ‘peacful Muslim’ that I have been saying is the TRUE danger in this world. He is standing back and ALLOWING them to change his so called ‘Religion of Peace’ and we are supposed to do things or not do things in order to placate them??. Oh HELL NO!!*Insert vile words here. Today is another one of those days where we have to be thankful that I don’t have access to the ‘button’.

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