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OPINION LEFT: Why Are We So Afraid of a Ground Zero Mosque?

Gil Kaufman 2010/08/07 16:00:00
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Now that the furor over the not-racist Shirley Sherrod tape has died down to a murmur, the latest stalking horse for the Fox News brigade is the tempest over the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque.”

Opposition to the Islamic Center set to be built near the footprint of the fallen Twin Towers, has been steadily growing over the past week. On Tuesday the Landmarks Preservation Commission denied a 152-year-old coat factory landmark protection, thereby paving the way for an Islamic cultural center two blocks from where the World Trade Centers stood.

Those two blocks have opened up a mile-wide cultural divide, which pits the still-raw emotions of those whose families and loved ones were taken in the terrorist attacks and those who think the Center might help to heal emotional scars by fostering a deeper understanding between Americans and Muslims.

Sometimes lost in the discussion is the significant fact that America was not attacked by a religion (Islam) or a group of people who follow that religion (Muslims) on 9/11, but rather by terrorist ideology. The terrorists on those planes were radical madmen who were railing against what they perceived as American imperialism and disrespect for Arabic sovereignty.

In addition to a number of Jewish leaders who have come out in support of the potentially positive impact of the Center, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg attempted to quell the anger over the project, saying this week, “Whatever you may think of the proposed mosque and community center, lost in the heat of the debate has been a basic question: Should government attempt to deny private citizens the right to build a house of worship on private property based on their particular religion? That may happen in other countries, but we should never allow it to happen here.”

I can see why some New Yorkers feel that the Center is tantamount to a slap in the face to the victims of 9/11, a kind of taunting gesture that they claim could embolden other terrorists to try their hand at another attack. But as I tried to tune out the heated talk on both sides of the issue a single image kept popping into my mind.

In 1999 my wife and I joined my family on a trip to Israel to visit our extended clan. They’ve lived there since just after the country was founded and on my mother’s side runs a construction company that employs mostly Palestinian laborers, from the lowest brick layers to the job foreman. My uncle has very strong views on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and is not afraid to loudly proclaim them. Our family also knows a number of Israelis who have lost sons and brothers in the bloody decades-long turf battles in the Holy Land, losses that have hardened the views of many in our family.

During our trip, my uncle packed us all into a jeep one day for an outing to visit his longtime foreman, who lives in the West Bank. This was just before the Second Intifadah uprising in 2000 and while security was tight, we were still able to make the trip through a few checkpoints relatively easily. We spent an amazing afternoon enjoying the hospitality of the foreman’s clan, who brought us plate after plate of delicacies as the gaggle of children ran around the courtyard. There we sat at a long table, literally breaking bread with “the enemy,” laughing, telling stories and watching a new generation play a game of dirt-lot soccer without all the perceived prejudices we all kept hidden inside, if only for an afternoon.

We achieved that détente (briefly, since the crossing we came through was indefinitely shut down just a few weeks later due to violence) because we weren’t looking at each other over a fence or via a provocative web video.

“This nation was founded on the principle that the government must never choose between religions or favor one over another,” Bloomberg said. “We would betray our values and play into our enemies' hands if we were to treat Muslims differently than anyone else. In fact, to cave to popular sentiment would be to hand a victory to the terrorists, and we should not stand for that.”

I don’t claim to know what will go on at the 13-story mosque and Islamic center, but I do know that some of the hateful talk and actions it has stirred runs counter to the very idea of freedom that brought my (and many other) immigrants here more than 40 years ago.

Do You Support the Building of the Islamic Center Near Ground Zero?

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  • Allbiz - PWCM - JLA 2010/08/07 16:44:57
    No, building the center near Ground Zero is an insult to all 9/11 victims.
    Allbiz - PWCM - JLA
    +88
    I've never seen this Gil Kaufman guy before.



    He starts out by referring to Shirley Sherrod as the "not-racist". But he failed to mention that it has been established not only by FOX but also CNN and CBS that she most certainly is racist and may soon be investigated for her role in a $1.25BILLION boob-doggle she led where she entered a class action suit that the government settled for the 1.25BIL and which landed her and her husband a personal pay out of $13MILLION, not the the $300K as previously reported.



    He also failed to mention that the class action suit she entered was to represent 83,000 MINORITY farmers in America at a time when there were only 39,000.



    Then he starts his blog with the normal liberal fear tactic by asserting that people are "afraid" of a ground zero mosque when that is so far from the truth. No one fears a mosque at ground zero anymore than anyone fears a Buddhist temple next to the USS Arizona. (that's a sunken battleship in Pearl Harbor for you liberals who don't know. If you don't know what Pearl Harbor is, don't bother reading anymore.)



    Then he forgot to mention that the public spokesman for the Mosque is the director of C.A.I.R., a terrorist supporting mulsim organization and that director Nihad Awad is an admitted former member of Hamas and openly vo...


    I've never seen this Gil Kaufman guy before.



    He starts out by referring to Shirley Sherrod as the "not-racist". But he failed to mention that it has been established not only by FOX but also CNN and CBS that she most certainly is racist and may soon be investigated for her role in a $1.25BILLION boob-doggle she led where she entered a class action suit that the government settled for the 1.25BIL and which landed her and her husband a personal pay out of $13MILLION, not the the $300K as previously reported.



    He also failed to mention that the class action suit she entered was to represent 83,000 MINORITY farmers in America at a time when there were only 39,000.



    Then he starts his blog with the normal liberal fear tactic by asserting that people are "afraid" of a ground zero mosque when that is so far from the truth. No one fears a mosque at ground zero anymore than anyone fears a Buddhist temple next to the USS Arizona. (that's a sunken battleship in Pearl Harbor for you liberals who don't know. If you don't know what Pearl Harbor is, don't bother reading anymore.)



    Then he forgot to mention that the public spokesman for the Mosque is the director of C.A.I.R., a terrorist supporting mulsim organization and that director Nihad Awad is an admitted former member of Hamas and openly voices his support of their terrorist activities. http://www.investigativeproje...


    The families of 9-11 victims want to know that ground zero will be preserved as the memorial it is meant to be and not be made a laughing stock by the very people who caused the reason requiring that memorial.
    (more)

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  • libertyjoe 2010/08/31 03:09:20
    No, building the center near Ground Zero is an insult to all 9/11 victims.
    libertyjoe
    My tax dollars should not be paying for Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and his wife U.S. Government funded trips. Read this book and it will blow you mind and realize what is going on today specially with this Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf! I have readseveral pages all read and has made realize what si going on.

    Is the Qur'an the Word of God? by Aaron Goerner
    www.bible-quran.com

    Excerpt:

    EMAILS FROM MUSLIMS:3

    •We believe that Jesus was a great prophet and that his mother was a pure woman. We don’t believe in trinity, crucifixion, or the first sin or savior. Excluding these four things and practicing Christ’s teachings is more than enough for Christians to be good human beings. Why philosophizing and complicating things ??? !!!


    •I WANT TO ANSWER THE QUESTION “Did Jesus die on the cross? IM NOT SPEAK TO ANTAGONISE ANY RILIGIOU BUT TO SAY THE FACT. ACCOUNDING TO QURʼAN, IT LET US REALISE THAT JESUS DID NO DIE ON THE CROSS, GOD RAISED HIM UP UNTO HIMSELF (4:157-158) WHILE BIBLE SAY JESUE WAS CRUCIFIED (MATTHEW16:21) BUT IF YOU READ (MATTEW27:30-37),(MARKS15;19-... 23:26-27) SIMON OF CYRENE WAS THE ONE THEY CRUCIFIED


    MY CHRISTIAN RESPONSE:


    Please consider the facts behind the historical event of Jesus’ death on the cross:

    The Old Testament prophets testified to Jesus’ death an...

















































    My tax dollars should not be paying for Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and his wife U.S. Government funded trips. Read this book and it will blow you mind and realize what is going on today specially with this Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf! I have readseveral pages all read and has made realize what si going on.

    Is the Qur'an the Word of God? by Aaron Goerner
    www.bible-quran.com

    Excerpt:

    EMAILS FROM MUSLIMS:3

    •We believe that Jesus was a great prophet and that his mother was a pure woman. We don’t believe in trinity, crucifixion, or the first sin or savior. Excluding these four things and practicing Christ’s teachings is more than enough for Christians to be good human beings. Why philosophizing and complicating things ??? !!!


    •I WANT TO ANSWER THE QUESTION “Did Jesus die on the cross? IM NOT SPEAK TO ANTAGONISE ANY RILIGIOU BUT TO SAY THE FACT. ACCOUNDING TO QURʼAN, IT LET US REALISE THAT JESUS DID NO DIE ON THE CROSS, GOD RAISED HIM UP UNTO HIMSELF (4:157-158) WHILE BIBLE SAY JESUE WAS CRUCIFIED (MATTHEW16:21) BUT IF YOU READ (MATTEW27:30-37),(MARKS15;19-... 23:26-27) SIMON OF CYRENE WAS THE ONE THEY CRUCIFIED


    MY CHRISTIAN RESPONSE:


    Please consider the facts behind the historical event of Jesus’ death on the cross:

    The Old Testament prophets testified to Jesus’ death and burial. For example, Isaiah wrote almost 700 years before Jesus,

    Isaiah 53:7-9
    He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth.
    By oppression and judgment He was taken away; And as for His generation, who considered That He was cut off out of the land of the living For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?
    His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.

    Jesus testified to His death on multiple occasions. Here are a few examples:

    Matthew 16:21
    From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

    Matthew 20:17-19
    Now as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and said to them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!”

    Matthew 26:1-2
    When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples,
    “As you know, the Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”

    Matthew 26:6-12
    While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper,
    a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.
    When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked.
    “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”
    Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me.
    The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me.
    When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial.

    Here are some eyewitnesses to the death of Jesus on the cross:

    •Mary Magdalene
    •Mary the mother of James and Joseph
    •Mary the mother of Jesus
    •The disciple whom Jesus loved (John 19:26)
    Here is a list of names of people who participated in the burial of Jesus’ dead body:

    •Joseph of Arimathea
    •Nicodemus
    •Mary Magdalene
    •Mary the mother of James and Joseph
    Even non-Christian sources wrote that Jesus died:

    •Josephus (Jewish historian born around 37 AD and died 100 AD) refers to Jesus’ death (Antiquities 18.3.3).
    •Tacitus (AD 55-120), a renowned historian of ancient Rome wrote around 115 A.D. that Christ was “executed” by Pilate (Annals 15.44).
    The law/Torah requires that a matter be established by two or three witnesses (Deuteronomy 17:6-7). Therefore, the testimonies of Jesus, Old Testament prophets, Jesus’ followers, non-Christian historians, etc. is true, legal and believable compared to the testimony of Muhammad (or the Qur’an), which was written nearly six hundred years after the event. To put it simply, the Law of Moses makes it unlawful to believe the Qur’an.

    Here is another reason why it is unlawful to believe the Qur’an. Muhammad’s claim that the angel Gabriel spoke to him is an HISTORICAL CLAIM. What historical evidence is there that the angel Gabriel spoke to Muhammad? Is there eyewitness testimony, or is Muhammad the only witness to his claim that Gabriel spoke to him? The Bible says such claims as Muhammad made need to be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Unlike Moses and Jesus, Muhammad was the only witness to what he claimed concerning the angel Gabriel. This means that believing Muhammad’s claim is a violation of God’s Law and is especially sinful because he contradicted the previously validated and lawful testimony of Moses and Jesus.

    I have read that the Qur’an requires four witnesses when a woman is accused of adultery (Al-Maeda 4:15; Al-Noor 24:4; cf. 2:282). Of course, adultery is a serious charge and witnesses should be required. And yet, Muhammad’s claim that the Christian Scriptures are adulterated is an even more serious claim. What testimony/witnesses did Muhammad give to support his allegation that the Christian Scriptures are adulterated?

    Muhammad lacks witnesses that the angel Gabriel spoke to him. Muhammad lacks witnesses that the words he spoke are more authoritative than the Christian Scriptures. Muhammad did not and could not produce superior testimony to the historical fact of Jesus’ death on the cross and neither can you.
    (more)
  • oldguy 2010/08/23 05:26:47
    No, building the center near Ground Zero is an insult to all 9/11 victims.
    oldguy
    His little "feely good" detente is like comparing peanuts to a watermelon.(ridiculous)

    And,yes,the terrorist were religious Muslims.It amazes me that in America there are so many who are trying to erase rights of Christians in every way possible,but to be seen as such "sweet,tolerant,PC nice people" they will give in to anything.I guess they will go along with "honor killings",wife beatings,and all such acts just to make a point of how good they are,while the ones building this huge center that will be used to recruit and raise funds for terrorist,as well as brainwashing recruits are laughing at just how stupid we Americans are.Their rule of action in all cases of dealing with infidels is "any means to achieve an end",which includes lying,cheating,stealing,or killing if thats what it takes.

    And as for the potentially positive impact."Hogwash"!These people see it as weakness,and have no respect for weakness at all.Bloomberg,Obama,and all wimps associated with letting this happen are supplying the world with the image of America as the "paper tiger"!

    What do you think the Cordoba part is all about?

    Have Americans become this naive?

    oldguy
  • old man 2010/08/17 23:19:59
    No, building the center near Ground Zero is an insult to all 9/11 victims.
    old man
    I still say not all Muslims are terrorist, but all the terrorist on those planes were Muslims. I believe the reason there insisting on that site is they'll use the site to solicit the moneys needed from from Muslim countries to build it.
  • Cat 2010/08/13 21:18:17
    No, building the center near Ground Zero is an insult to all 9/11 victims.
    Cat
  • Superpepsiman20 2010/08/13 00:35:56
    No, building the center near Ground Zero is an insult to all 9/11 victims.
    Superpepsiman20
    This is the same religion that performed the attacks just blocks away. They don't want to help people if they did then they would build their mosque in a different spot.
  • tootien 2010/08/12 05:40:52
    No, building the center near Ground Zero is an insult to all 9/11 victims.
    tootien
    I don't have a problem who a person worships - or if they worship - but many American mosques - cultural centers are also hotbeds of radical jihad - of course all Muslims world wide aren't evil. To the radical Islamists this will be a forever reminder of the cold blooded murder of 3,000 Americans - a huge victory.
  • ggaitherii 2010/08/11 19:44:04
    Yes, the Ground Zero mosque will help educate people.
    ggaitherii
    +1
    The rampant and mostly willful ignorance of citizens should never cause the compromise of American principle.
  • Dan (Politicaly Incorrect) 2010/08/11 15:29:52
    No, building the center near Ground Zero is an insult to all 9/11 victims.
    Dan (Politicaly Incorrect)
    +1
    This Mosque will be nothing more than a Victory Mosque for Muslims. And silly Liberals, because they feel guilty support it, disgusting.
  • clock 2010/08/10 20:26:54 (edited)
    No, building the center near Ground Zero is an insult to all 9/11 victims.
    clock
    +2
    The people have spoken. I'm with Sarah Palin on this. The Muslim community is being highly insensitive to the pain and loss of the those who died at the hands of Islamic extremists not too long ago. They should voluntarily build the Mosque elsewhere.

    Otherwise, they are provoking further hostility which will insight and down right justify violence against them.
  • foxhoun... clock 2010/08/11 10:20:22
    foxhound BN0
    +2
    Who is provoking who?


  • clock foxhoun... 2010/08/11 16:29:53
    clock
    so you admit building a mosque at ground zero is for retribution vs anti-Islamic rhetoric and policies.
  • foxhoun... clock 2010/08/11 16:31:12
    foxhound BN0
    +2
    I have no idea what you just asked.
  • clock foxhoun... 2010/08/11 16:43:59
    clock
    I bet you do.
  • foxhoun... clock 2010/08/11 16:47:07
    foxhound BN0
    +2
    Will you rephrase the question?
  • clock foxhoun... 2010/08/12 02:38:13
    clock
    I stated that Muslims are provoking an attack on them if they build this mosque at ground zero. You countered that Muslims didn't start the war.

    I then asked, "so you agree building this mosque is an act of provocation."
  • foxhoun... clock 2010/08/12 09:42:15
    foxhound BN0
    +2
    I don't recall saying Muslims didn't start the war, at least not the most recent one. I did say that right wing nuts are provoking muslims.

    in answer to your question, I do not consider the building of a mosque to be an act of provocation.
  • Papillon foxhoun... 2010/08/12 20:17:37
  • foxhoun... Papillon 2010/08/12 20:33:38
    foxhound BN0
    +4
    How did you know I am a genius you sly fellow. Here's you answer.

  • Papillon foxhoun... 2010/08/13 13:21:26 (edited)
  • foxhoun... Papillon 2010/08/13 18:33:02
    foxhound BN0
    +2
    What is the muslim world guilty of, connie?
  • Bode foxhoun... 2010/08/27 06:38:37
    Bode
    +2
    That's a powerful statement on McCain!
  • foxhoun... Bode 2010/08/27 12:26:39
    foxhound BN0
    +1
    It sure is.
  • Bode foxhoun... 2010/08/26 09:20:54 (edited)
    Bode
    +2
    Things seem awfully heated here right now, so heated you could probably toast a marshmallow by jabbing it on a stick and holding it up in the air. Millions are hopping mad over the news that a bunch of triumphalist Muslim extremists are about to build a “victory mosque” slap bang in the middle of Ground Zero.
    The planned “ultra-mosque” will be a staggering 1,707m high— more than five times higher than the tallest building on Earth — and will be capped with an immense dome of highly-polished solid gold, carefully positioned to bounce sunlight directly toward the pavement, where it will blind pedestrians and fry small dogs. The main structure will be delimited by 600 minarets, each shaped like an upraised middle finger, and housing a powerful amplifier: When synchronized, their combined sonic might will be capable of relaying the muezzin’s call to prayer at such deafening volume, it will be clearly audible in the Afghan mountains, where thousands of terrorists are poised to celebrate by running around with scarves over their faces, firing AK-47s into the sky and yelling whatever the foreign word for “victory” is.
  • foxhoun... Bode 2010/08/26 11:05:53
    foxhound BN0
    +1
    And they are outlawing pork products within a mile of the ultra-terror mosque. Anyone caught eating pork or reading a bible will be brought to the UTM for punishment. The cops aren't even allowed inside. Unless they are caught too. And it will have an army of attack helicopters with machine guns, and missiles, and felafel cannons.
  • J Montana clock 2010/08/12 02:40:36
    J Montana
    +2
    I agree!
  • Zuggi clock 2010/08/12 16:23:22
    Zuggi
    +3
    So being a dick would be legitimate grounds for murder?
  • clock Zuggi 2010/08/13 01:25:57
    clock
    why not. It's been grounds for murder for several thousands of years now.
  • Zuggi clock 2010/08/13 11:57:18
    Zuggi
    +3
    The legal system and the church disagree.
  • clock Zuggi 2010/08/13 22:57:13
    clock
    both have less authority than natural law.
  • Zuggi clock 2010/08/14 20:00:36
    Zuggi
    +3
    Ok, so you go kill the next guy who cuts you off in traffic and we'll see how it works out for you.
  • MOM - L... Zuggi 2010/08/15 15:24:02
    MOM - LOL@Silly.St.Sarah.of.Wasilly
    +1
    I'd send him to jail, for a very very long time.
  • clock Zuggi 2010/08/16 04:33:55
    clock
    I'll decide who and when I kill, not you.
  • VICTORIA clock 2010/08/14 01:20:30
  • seadog6608PWCM 2010/08/10 15:39:40
  • holidayzbeauty 2010/08/10 03:26:19
    No, building the center near Ground Zero is an insult to all 9/11 victims.
    holidayzbeauty
    +1
    it is insulting to the common good people of "both" sides.

    sorry but,

    9.11 was an inside job.
  • Papillon holiday... 2010/08/10 15:51:25
  • ggaitherii Papillon 2010/08/11 19:45:57
    ggaitherii
    +2
    Do you know that the official story is the absolute truth? We know only what they tell us.
  • Papillon ggaitherii 2010/08/12 11:57:31
  • ggaitherii Papillon 2010/08/12 18:22:51
    ggaitherii
    +2
    The point is that we do know planes hit the towers. We don't know who was at the controls of those planes. You have to "trust" the government to tell the truth about it. Do you "trust" the government? Oh, I forgot. Conservatives only distrust the government in economic or Second Amendment issues.
  • Papillon ggaitherii 2010/08/12 20:11:17
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