Obama’s Manhattan mosque endorsement: “…our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable.”

Agree 70% 139 votes
Disagree 29% 58 votes
197 total votes


Independent Discussion Guidelines

The government shouldn't interfere, but us, the public should.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
August 14, 2010 at 3:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

In what way would you like to interfere with the constitutionally guaranteed right to religious freedom?

pk (anonymous profile)
August 14, 2010 at 3:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Protest, complain, get a movement of people that disagree with this move. This to me is the same as if a group of Christians bombed Mecca and then wanted to build a church nearby. It is not right. If they want to have a moderate Muslim voice heard, this would not be the place. Or maybe they should donate money to rebuilding something that remembers all the victims instead of something that reminds us that Muslims did this and now want to further the insult.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
August 14, 2010 at 11:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If a group of Christians bombed Mecca and the same group wanted to build a church nearby, you might begin to have a point. But this is not the group that attacked on 9/11. In fact, the leader of this group was asked by the Bush Administration to help show that the US was not engaged in a holy war against all Muslims. If the building of this center a couple of blocks away from the site reminds you that some radical Muslims were responsible for the attack, that's your problem, and even if you feel "insulted" by this proposal from a group whose only offense is to share a religion with people they condemn as much as you do, your tender feelings are not enough reason to deny them their constitutional right to build their community center where no other restriction would be applied to Americans of any other religion.

pk (anonymous profile)
August 15, 2010 at 12:05 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I have a different take on this. Last night, someone I was speaking to was saying that they supported a law regarding limited use of one's drivers license if they are only sixteen years old. The reasoning being that at that young age, kids are more likely to drive irresponsibly. While I respect the intent of the person who said this and can see the immediate logic of it, the law does not get to the root of the problem which is *why" kids are apparently behaving more irresponsibly today than back in the 70's when I got my drivers license.

Whether it's laws against guns, drugs, alcohol, pets, or whatever, our culture has fallen into the lazy habit of banning whatever seems to be a threat without digging to the root of the problem.

Taking that point onto topic: *why*, after so much time that they've been in this country, do people feel threatened by Muslims? It is not as though Muslims entered the country just prior to 9/11, but only in recent years has there been the tension between America/the Western World and Muslims. I will let others opine on this matter. In short, I am not a Muslim, and I did not vote for Obama, but forbidding the building of a mosque is not only unconstitutional, but will not make America safer.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
August 15, 2010 at 3:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It is true that a group of radical Muslims did attack the US, but it's also true that Republicans need scapegoats to whip up fear and hatred, especially when they have nothing else in their partisan program but sabotaging any economic recovery so they can shift the blame from themselves to Obama, lowering taxes for the wealthy, and blaming as much as possible on illegal immigrants and their babies.

pk (anonymous profile)
August 15, 2010 at 5:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Lets build a tribute to Nazi Germany's Consentration Camps on a Jews Cemetary!

dou4now (anonymous profile)
August 15, 2010 at 9:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

As adults we learn that just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you should. And we can't build a cathedral or temple in Islamic countries, why the h-e-double-toothpicks should they be allowed to build one at Ground Zero???

maximum (anonymous profile)
August 16, 2010 at 12:57 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"why the h-e-double-toothpicks should they be allowed to build one at Ground Zero???"

The First Amendment, which is why living in the U.S. is better than living in the Middle East. (From which half of my family escaped)

Also here's a thought not discussed: the hardline Muslims in the Middle East not only oppress non-Muslims, but Muslims who don't agree with their extreme views so perhaps the Muslims here in the states are more moderate.

The Constitution is guaranteed to bother lots of folks, but it is what sets us apart from much of the world.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
August 16, 2010 at 1:35 a.m. (Suggest removal)

dou4now: This proposed community center is not a tribute to the 9/11 attacks, the area 2 blocks from the attack is not a cemetery, and your comment is nonsensical.

maximum: First, this isn't being built at Ground Zero, but in an area where various commercial businesses typical of a major city already exist. Second, as Bill points out, what can or can't be done in other countries is completely beside the point. Finally, the Constitution doesn't say "these rights are void if excercising them offends someone."

pk (anonymous profile)
August 16, 2010 at 6:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)

There are already two mosques near the WTC "But what the two mosques have in common — besides the sense of celebration and camaraderie that comes at the beginning of Ramadan, the holiest month of the Islamic calendar, in which Muslims fast from sunup to sundown, give alms and focus on self-improvement — is that both have existed for decades, largely unnoticed, blocks from the World Trade Center site. "

Muslims (not a country) did not attack the US, but a bunch of crazy criminals did. Timothy McVeigh was a Christian. Does that mean that churches cannot be built near the Murrah Building?

tabatha (anonymous profile)
August 16, 2010 at 6:37 a.m. (Suggest removal)

:::"And we can't build a cathedral or temple in Islamic countries, why the h-e-double-toothpicks should they be allowed to build one at Ground Zero???" --maximum

There's a big world out there, young lady, with lots of wonderful things you don't know about (two of many Christian Churches in Iran, for example):

binky (anonymous profile)
August 16, 2010 at 7:04 a.m. (Suggest removal)

dou4now, maximum

Two Republicans discussing this topic:

tabatha (anonymous profile)
August 16, 2010 at 7:41 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Located many, many hundreds of yards away (two full city blocks), its really a stretch and disingenuous for anyone to claim the proposed building, which apparently will look nothing like a Mosque from the outside, is "near Ground Zero". As usual, the Dems are missing a strong counterpoint argument by not responding to the Republicans and their Fox News and talk radio propagandists by retorting, "So, how far isn't too close?" With that one simple question they lob the ball firmly back in the right wingers' court.

emptynewsroom (anonymous profile)
August 16, 2010 at 5:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Another point: in addition the the emotions behind this felt by those whose lives were impacted by 9/11, there is also the strong possibility that this goes beyond religious or social polemics. It could just be a case of Obama's political opponents trying to gain support for upcoming elections.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
August 16, 2010 at 6:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

What? Republicans and their media allies whipping up mindless fear and hatred in order to win votes and ratings points? But how could that be?

pk (anonymous profile)
August 16, 2010 at 7:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"What? Republicans and their media allies whipping up mindless fear and hatred in order to win votes and ratings points? But how could that be?"

It's good old partisan politics. Like their Democratic counterparts who bash Bush about trampling on our freedoms while voting in a president who voted for the re authorization of the Patriot Act.

How interesting it would be if the unwashed masses would stop bickering with each other and realize who the true enemy is.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
August 17, 2010 at 5:05 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Here's the sacred and hallowed neighborhood of the "Ground Zero" mosque:

pk (anonymous profile)
August 17, 2010 at 2:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

And there shouldn't be any Shinto Temples in Hawaii! Or any where else in the USA! Nonsense! Silly people, have we learned nothing from history! There are extremist in all religions. Who bombed the federal building in Oklahama City? A extremist Christians! So where do we start to draw the line? Bill well said "who is the real enemy".

pelon (anonymous profile)
August 17, 2010 at 3:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

pelon ponders: "who is the real enemy" via Bill.

Pogo answered this on Earth Day, 1970:

binky (anonymous profile)
August 17, 2010 at 5:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Although Binky is correct in saying the enemy is us, and I am not contradicting Binky in what I'm going to say, I meant that the "enemy" is those slick politicians who feed off of the divide between their constituents.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
August 17, 2010 at 6:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

First, the so-called "Ground Zero mosque" is actually located in an area within several blocks radius in the vicinity of the World Trade Center. It is densely populated, and incredibly diverse: it already includes a couple mosques, along with strip clubs and hundreds of other buildings. The proposed mosque is actually only one part of an entire community center,

Also, despite how 9-11 has been portrayed, the act of terrorism was not an act of war between "Muslims" and the U.S. It was the act of a group of people who do not in any way represent all Muslims. The would-be builders of the mosque and those who would worship there cannot and should not be held responsible for the actions of others, even if the terrorists acted in the name of Islam. Those behind the attack would like the world to think that the U.S. is at war with Islam. By opposing their religious freedom in building the Islamic community center, we are proving they are right.

KRichards (anonymous profile)
August 18, 2010 at 9:20 a.m. (Suggest removal)

This is NOT a religious issue. If it were, the Greek Orthodox Church would be treated with the same respect and given the same streamline right through the red tape in New York to be approved to build where they in fact had a church before...

The Greek Orthodox Church has the same rights and are not being given free reign to build - and they are being denied...

Oddly, the request to build a Muslim church goes right through the red tape, is endorsed by a President that I believe is a muslim sympathizer, and is slap in the face of EVERY American that knows we are at war with a regime of muslim extremists that HATE America, Americans and democracy.

PEOPLE DIED - Should we disgrace their memory with such an insult to reward the religion of the killers with a trophy on the spot that people were murdered at??

What is wrong with this Country?? Are people losing thier minds? This is wrong. Period. It's an issue of respect and honoring the lives of the people that were murdered on 9/11.

Build the muslim church elsewhere - and if this IS really a religious freedom issue then why isn't the Greek Orthodox Church being allowed to re-build? Greeks do not have a radical theology that requires you to believe their religion or die.

nelle2hot (anonymous profile)
August 18, 2010 at 11:01 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Its funny how we get all riled up over a place of worship, while our own nation builds places for war all over the world.

Consider the US military occupation near Hiroshima.

Tucker (anonymous profile)
August 18, 2010 at 11:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)

nelle2hot - are you losing your mind?

Bin Laden's goal was to demonstrate that the US was at war with Muslims. Preventing a community center two blocks away by moderate Islams will only prove Bin Laden's point.

Btw, the attorney who represented Bush in Bush v Gore, and who lost a wife in the 911 attacks, Barbara Olson, says that President Obama is correct. Yes, Ted Olson stated on TV that Obama's position with respect to the mosque issue is correct.

Also, the 'Ground Zero Mosque' Imam Was A Bush-Era Partner For Mideast Peace.

Seems as though Bush himself was a bigger person than the two year old's screaming in fear that possibly good relations between Muslims and other US citizens would result from the community center.

tabatha (anonymous profile)
August 18, 2010 at 1:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Whoa, nelle.
Maybe you're upset that the President isn't killing enough Muslims in Afghanistan, but he is sworn to uphold the Constitution, and it's moronic to condemn him for endorsing its application to all Americans, which is all he's said.
There's no such thing as a "regime" of Muslim extremists with whom we're at war, and even if there were, the people who want to build the community center are also at war with them. Yes, not all Muslims are radical terrorists, just as not all Americans who think they know what they're talking about actually do.
Allowing this group of Americans (yes, some Muslims are actually America-loving Americans!) to exercise their constitutional right isn't "awarding" their religion anything, any more than allowing someone to go to a church is "rewarding" its religion with anything but the American values that both you and the terrorists want to destroy.
This "trophy" isn't at "the spot" where the victims were murdered, it's here: How many more blocks away would you find appropriate?
Not all of the people in this country have lost their minds, but some of them clearly have.

pk (anonymous profile)
August 18, 2010 at 1:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Nelle, the United States is currently the most violent regime on the planet, killing millions and millions of innocent people. The idea that Muslims are some how a threat to us is the most backwards thing I've heard all day.

Look at what is going on in Bethlehem right now:

...and here we are in this country freaking out about a Mosque being built in NYC. The media's portrayal of Muslims is absolutely sickening, and it is teaching our country to be horribly racist against Arabs. I highly recommend the film "Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden" for anyone who isn't comprehending what I'm saying right now.

Our country is so freaking pathetic. We can't even get it through our heads that the reason the terrorists attacked on 9/11 was because of American imperialism in the Middle East that has been going on for 60 years. Clinton was bombing Iraq every year he was President, and the sanctions we instated there killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people. The US has been ousting Democratically elected leaders and installing puppet dictators all over the Middle East since the 50s. There are hundreds of military bases, and the new Embassy we built in Iraq is bigger than the Vatican!!

It doesn't seem to matter who we elect, Republicans and Democrats both continue to further our military empire. I knew Obama was going to be a war hawk from the beginning which is why I didn't vote for him. His reasonable stance on this issue doesn't take away from the fact that he is already responsible for the deaths hundreds of thousands of innocent people.

Ron Paul 2012.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
August 18, 2010 at 3:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

loonpt - Obama is on track for pulling troops out of Iraq. He campaigned on finishing the half-baked job that Bush started in Afghanistan.

While I agree that we should get out of Afghanistan as fast as possible, Obama's policies have been no different from what he stated during his campaign. Even Howard Dean said that Obama was faced with impossible options in Afghanistan, and that he chose the best option. He is determined to start pulling out of Afghanistan in 2011.

It takes a while to turn the huge, massive ship of state around.

tabatha (anonymous profile)
August 18, 2010 at 3:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

When I see the Arab Emirates selling oranges at a freeway off-ramp is when I will say they have gotten a raw deal from the U.S.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
August 18, 2010 at 5:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Hellooo?? Remember why Brits (us) moved to the New World? To escape religious prosecution, 'cause according to King George it was his church or none. We moved here so we could practice our religion(s). So what right do we have to deny the Muslims their right to religious freedom?

residentsb (anonymous profile)
August 18, 2010 at 7:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Not only should we deny Muslims putting their mosque near Ground Zero, but we should go after those Westboro Baptist b***ards! It isn't about denying religous freedom it is about manipulating people trying to manipulate and disrespect us (the People).

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
August 19, 2010 at 5:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If everyone who disrespects you were denied their rights, we'd all be in jail.

pk (anonymous profile)
August 19, 2010 at 9:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

As freedom of speech is to liberals, tolerance is to muslims. A one way street.

Bet that the above leftists won't support my Constitutional right to bear arms. All Constitutional rights are equal, just that some are more a leftist.

jukin (anonymous profile)
August 24, 2010 at 12:18 p.m. (Suggest removal)

As best as I can understand what you're trying to say, you seem to believe that to defend the constitutional protection of freedom of religion or to point out the irrationality of blaming every Muslim for 9/11 and treating them all as potential terrorists makes a person a "leftist" and that liberals don't think that the constitutional protection of freedom of speech applies to everyone. Your ideology so colors your comments as to make them as predictable as they are irrelevant .

pk (anonymous profile)
August 25, 2010 at 11:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Said it before, say it again. In Islam there are two houses,1 the House of Islam and 2 the House of War. This is the message of Mohammed (PBUH) go out and convert the world to the one faith. A non believer is in the House of War. If he converts then he still remains in the House of War as a slave. If he refuses to convert he is to be killed. Now what part of that war strategy is hard to understand. This is a religious, social and political movement to dominate the world. The building of the Prayer Center at Ground Zero is no casual accident. Moslems may lie to an Infidel in furtherance of Jihad. So yes we are tolerant but vigilant against fundamentalist movements of any faith that threaten our freedoms. No Mosque, move it!

contactjohn (anonymous profile)
September 3, 2010 at 2:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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