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July 20th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Good idea to build a mosque near Ground Zero?

ALT TEXT

Opponents of a proposed Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero attend a community board meeting to debate the issue in lower Manhattan. The site is so close to the location of the 9/11 terror attacks that debris from one of the hijacked planes smashed through the roof of the existing building there. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The debate over a proposed mosque near Ground Zero keeps heating up.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is now firing back at Sarah Palin, who called on New Yorkers to "refudiate" - her very own made-up word - the planned mosque only blocks away from the site of the 9/11 terror attacks.

Palin called it an "unnecessary provocation" that "stabs hearts."

Bloomberg says Palin has a right to her opinions, but that he couldn't disagree more, adding: "Everything the United States stands for and New York stands for is tolerance and openness."

But even before Palin decided to step into this one - the issue has stirred lots of controversy and passion here in New York. Some relatives of 9/11 victims say it would be like a monument for terrorists... or a "sacrilege on sacred ground."

And local Republican politicians are calling for an investigation on how the center would be financed... they're also raising questions about the views of its leader. Opponents are hoping to get the city's landmarks commission to protect the current structure thereby blocking the mosque project from going forward.

But supporters insist the mosque would represent the voice of moderate Muslims. They say it's meant to improve relations between Islam and the West, and add that the location - only steps away from Ground Zero - shows how important religious freedom is in the U.S.

Some 9/11 families also support the mosque, saying there's no better symbol of tolerance and inclusion.

Besides a mosque, the proposed $100 million community center would stand 13 stories tall and include a gym, swimming pool and performing space which would be open to anyone.

Here’s my question to you: Is it a good idea to build a mosque near Ground Zero?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Andy in Massachusetts writes:
Hell no. I'm kind of an Old Testament guy on this issue: eyes for an eye and teeth for a tooth. I haven't seen enough eyes or teeth yet. Radical Muslim eyes and teeth.

Darren in Minneapolis writes:
In a country that promotes and celebrates tolerance, freedom and diversity, I really don't understand what the problem is, Jack. I want to know how big a Muslim-free buffer around Ground Zero needs to be in order to make opponents of the mosque happy? How far away should the Mosque be? 20 blocks? 20 miles? Muslims didn't attack us on 9/11 - Terrorists did. Comparing all Muslims to terrorists is just like comparing all Christians to Timothy McVeigh. The prejudice being displayed here proves that the terrorists have won - we've abandoned our principles.

Bill writes:
Politically no, the wounds are still open and Americans are still hurting from the senseless attacks on our citizens. Ground Zero is sort of like the Alamo of the new age. It has almost, if not, achieved, the status of shrine. So this is no different than building a Christian Church near a Muslim holy site.

Jeff in Minnesota writes:
All this points out to the Muslim radicals is that the war on terror is just what they claim it is: a war on the Muslim religion. Pres. Bush made it very clear from the start that it was radical fundamentalist Muslims that were the problem. We seem to have forgotten that fact. All religions have done terrible things throughout history, yet we don't see protests against them or where they build their churches. Muslims are not the problem. Radical fundamentalism is the problem, Muslim, Catholic or any other religion.

Kim in Dodge City, Kansas writes:
Even though our country is in the death grip of "political correctness," this is probably one of the worst things to do. If the mosque is built, it will forever be an irritant and a flashpoint for violence and mayhem. A moderate Muslim is a totally fictional character. By choosing to follow their belief, they are sanctioning death to all those who embrace any other so-called religion.

T. in Flemington, New Jersey writes:
As a Jewish American, I'm disgusted with right-wingers who always equate "Muslim" with "terrorism." Islam didn't bring down the towers! Tell the Half Governor she doesn't know what she's talking about, yet again.


Filed under: Religion • September 11
soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. George Brushwood

    The ground is sacred. To build a mosque at that location is an affront to the American people. Next thing you know, the Muslim community will demand that a mosque be built near the Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier as a testament to their "soldiers".

    July 20, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  2. Stan

    Its a great idea ! It just might help break down stereo types.

    Didn't Christians and Christianity at one point in time say it was ok to have black people as slaves? Do all Jews love money and have big noses? Do all Mormons marry their cousins and have 10 wives that are 14 years old? and the list goes on.....

    Maybe we Americans should go to a credible source and ask questions and find out what people are about and what all the religions are about.

    We did drop the Atom bomb. Is that what Christianity is all about? I dont think so and I dont think Jesus killed a mass amount of people or ever would but yet a christian did it and should all Christians be judged that way? We need to communicate and understand others that are not like us and teach through peace because that's what Jesus would do.

    July 20, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  3. kathleen Bezy

    I think it's naive to think of inclusion symbolized by a Mosque at Ground 0 would heal anything. If moderate Muslims could demonstrate control the radicals...it might be a different story, How about inviting some Arab Nations to build Christian churches in important cities ...probably couldn't go so far as synagogues...but when that starts happening, consider a Mosque in NYC.
    La Paz, Baja Ca. Sur. Mexico (part time home town Arnold, CA).

    July 20, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  4. RONNIE

    JACK,
    How far has America dropped?...Have we got amnesia to allow the very religious group to spit in America's face to build a church in the very spot where hundreds died...I would rather see them build a monument to the people that died or a playground for kids than to build something so rediculous as a church representing the very people that brought it down in the first place...It sucks that this is even considered... and any American that agrees to this is in effect non-American...This is a disgrace to America and the TRUE American people...

    July 20, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  5. bob

    it's like putting a knife in the back of all americans... but our government only looks at the dollar. incredible!!!!!

    July 20, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  6. Jeff In Minnesota

    All this points out to the muslim radicals is that the war on terror is just what they claim it is, a war on the muslim religion. President Bush made it very clear from the start that it was radical fundimentalist muslims that were the problem. We seem to have forgotten that fact. All religions have done terrible things throughout history, yet we don't see protests against them or where they build their churches. Muslims are not the problem. Radical fundimentalism is the problem, muslim, catholic or any other religion.

    July 20, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  7. Karl from SF, CA

    It’s an excellent idea and only the hate mongers and fearful ignorant would think otherwise. Every religious group, fringe and mainstream, has its wing-nuts. Catholics, Protestants and Jews included. Need I name names? We got over the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor and their kamikaze “suicide bombers” and it’s time to start to get over this threshold and heal ourselves. This mosque facility is a good start.

    July 20, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  8. Elaine

    I think the mosque is an excellent idea. It allows American Muslims to show solidarity with the rest of America, their respect for a secular democracy and their participation in our culture.

    July 20, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  9. R

    Jack, you can't begin to know how bad this leaves a taste in my mouth. How much did Bloomberg get paid for this. He should be ashamed of himself. Talk about adding insult to injury to New Yorkers. I'm tired of people coming to our country and expecting us to conform to their culture when it should be them conforming to ours. THIS IS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Conform or you be cast out. This is our country. This has been the only time I agree with Sarah Palin..OMG

    July 20, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  10. Curtis in Philadelphia

    Is it a good idea Jack, no. With that said, having the freedom to have an idea like that and acting on it, isn't that the American brand of freedom we've been selling the rest of the world for years. Is it insensitive, yes, but so are "shock and awe" battle tactics. The first people to move here from Europe permanently, did so to enjoy religious freedom and isn't that what this is about, both religion and freedom? It's certainly an insensitive idea on the part of the Mosque, but its an idea born with the brand of freedom we hold so dearly here in the United States.

    July 20, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  11. simon from Florida

    Mr.Cafferty

    this issue is one of the most perplexing ever to many fair minded Americans. On the one hand, we want to remember the USA stands for Freedom and the right to express ourselves religiously as well as politically. On the other hand, the presence and even mere 'possibility' that at least 'some' members of this religious center might concur that the attack on the towers was "in response" to US policies is enough for me to call that an affront to the 3000 innocents slaughtered in the name of their religion. I'm sorry to say that after a lot of thought, the placement of this mosque is indeed offensive and will be used in some parts of the muslim world as a victory and a beacon to the segment of Islam that indeed wants to destroy our very way of life. There are plenty of sites in NY for this mosque and indeed, we should be closely following the money trail.

    thanks (i know its too long to consider airing but I just wanted to say my 'peace')

    simon

    July 20, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  12. pat d.

    are you kidding no no no no no a 9/11 mosque we know what ISLAM
    stans for by now it is not religion

    July 20, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  13. Joseph Leff

    On the one hand, I think anybody should be able to build a mosque, church or synagogue anywhere in the U. S. On the other hand, I think building a mosque close to Ground Zero is kin of an insult, and i don't think it's good idea to do that.

    Joe in Florida

    July 20, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  14. Steve

    The very fact she doesn't support a mosque there says to me the intelligent thing is to let them build one. It really is insulting that this woman will not educate herself. Dont get me started on "refudiate", this woman celebrates her stupidity in the hopes that Americans will look past it.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  15. Lee

    It's an ridiculous question to ask if a mosque should be built at ground zero. That would be a slap in the face to all those who died there by the ones wanting to build the mosque!

    As for unmeployment checks, if you want a job, contact the government. Who wants to though when you can stay home and draw a check.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  16. Darren from Minneapolis

    In a country that promotes and celebrates tolerance, freedom and diversity, I really don't understand what the problem is, Jack? I want to know how big a Muslim-free buffer around Ground Zero needs to be in order to make opponents of the Mosque happy? How far away should the Mosque be? Twenty blocks? Twenty miles? Would these folks also like to ban anyone wearing a Burqa or a Kufi from going to lower Manhattan? Muslims didn't attack us on 9/11 – Terrorists did. Comparing all Muslims to Terrorists is just like comparing all Christians to Timothy McVey. The prejudice being displayed here proves that the Terrorists have won – we've abandoned our principles.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  17. Michael

    It's a bit of a loaded question. To put it in context, would it have been a good idea to build a Christian church right in the Hiroshima blast zone while memories were still bloody?

    How about if the Christian church had been tied (in its more militant wing) to the A-bomb?

    July 20, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  18. Carl in Albany NY

    Religious tolerance is a wonderful and noble goal. Nevertheless, I doubt if Moslem adherents of the sacred literature of the Hadith would be willing to afford me the same respect and freedom. "Political correctness ", with all its good intentions, may one day do democratic societies in. I vote NO.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  19. Ruby Zimmerman

    Yes, in about 100 years, when we've had time to heal the wounds, and we might possibly see the Muslim religion as it was originally intended. Every religion has its fanatics, but I don't see any monuments erected at Smithfield, England, where so many of these executions took place in the days of Queen Bloody Mary. Christians were burned at the stake by other Christians, simply because they didn't agree with the Pope. How is this different from fanatical Muslims on 9/11? I sincerely hope that eventually we will not hold all Muslims responsible, anymore than we hold all Christians responsible for the acts of Bloody Mary. Hopefully, in time we will see the Muslims' goals in erecting a mosque at Ground Zero, that of understanding and forgiveness. Right now, however, it can only bring back the horror of all those who have lost their loved ones. If the Muslim religion is truly compassionate, they will certainly understand the pain of the thousands of innocent survivors.

    Ruby, Champaign

    July 20, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  20. samantha

    No it is not a good idea to build a mosque near where 9/11 accurred.
    It is insensitive, maybe we should go to the middle east and build a 32 story christian learning center, see how they like that. I myself do not trust anyone from the middle east, to fanatical and they hate America and Americans.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  21. Nikesh

    I fully support freedom of religion and the first amendment, but thankfully, neither of those arguments are pertinent to this debate. No one is saying that New Yorkers should not be able to practice Islam. The people who do not want this building to be built differ in no way, in my mind, to those who do not wish to have a strip club, casino or an electricity tower built in their back yards. Is is the right of every American to protest against, what they determine to be, an unwelcome addition to their city and it is the duty of politicians to listen to them and advocate on their behalf. It does not matter whether or not these people actually live in this area. This area has transcended normal land in the eyes and hearts of most Americans and for anyone to argue against that is simply myopic. Thus, it should be given special considerations and perhaps the most fair course of action would be to hold a public vote. If most people want this building to be permitted, then I withdraw my objections. However, if, as it is my belief, most citizens oppose the idea of constructing this building on this land, then I wholeheartedly believe that the will of the people be followed and the interested parties find another location suitable for it.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  22. Nancy, Tennessee

    I have to ask myself why do the muslims always want to build a mosque in a controversial place. Building a mosque on ground zero reminds me of the mosque that is built on the ground where Solomon's temple used to stand in Jerusalelm. That must cause some pain for the Jewish people when they see that mosque. We don't need to repeat this abomination here in the United States by placing a mosque on the ground where so many died at the hands of radical muslims. All of America should be in opposition to the insensitivity of building this mosque anywhere near ground zero.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  23. David

    It's blocks away from ground zero. Will all the tall buildings it won't even be visible from ground zero. All this does is show the level of intolerance that Americans have for the Muslim world. You can also bet it will be played over and over again in Muslim countries to prove their point that America is indeed at war with Islam.

    David
    Gainesville, VA

    July 20, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  24. Taj from Chattanooga

    If we keep criticizing Muslims for 9/11, we should also criticize Christians for Timothy McVeigh's bombing of the Oklahoma building. Either be tolerant and reasonable or be hypocritical. Let the mosque be built and many others.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  25. mary hague

    What do you suppose the protesters would be saying if it was a Christian Church instead of a mosque people were trying to prevent being built?

    July 20, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  26. Carl

    Jack,
    No way, let these jerks build it somewhere else. Like maybe in another country. Muslims can build this anywhere but here, if they get away with this, it's just get in our faces about this issue.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  27. Elbert Woodham

    If people really want to protest this building then I suggest that all contractors doing the work be boycotted and not be given any business by anyone, also the people selling the property should have their names be known to the public and asked why they are selling american soil for this. I also feel that everyone that is in public service supporting this should be elected out of office.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  28. KD

    Our constitution guarantees freedom of religion and in the spirit of it, we ought to allow the mosque to be built. To not allow building this mosque because of 09/11 is to hold all muslims responsible for an act that was committed by few Islamic zealots.

    Allowing the mosque would be in character of this nation and its founders and show that inspite of all its ills, United States is still the democracy that it promised to be. It would allow Muslims to show solidarity with rest of the nation as well as show our solidarity to fellow muslims.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  29. sharon

    It's not at ground zero - it's two blocks away! is there a distance that would make these opponents happy - is it three blocks? four blocks? I suspect no measurement would satisfy the opponents of this project. Clearly they want some sort of imaginary no-muslim zone, which is patently ridiculous.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  30. vegasgurl10

    Un-freaking-believable! What is our country coming to?? It is no longer for the people it is for those from other countries that our government will bend over backwards to please. WHY? This is a disgrace and makes us look like a joke to the entire planet.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  31. Dave H from NH

    Jack;
    Where has common sense gone?
    Muslim values and what we here in the USA consider the "norm"are just so far apart that there can never be a melting of Muslims into American society and I submit to you that they have realised that they can't beat us militarily and are now infiltrating the country to do it from within.
    On the Mosque in NYC:
    To me it's like building a skinheads Nazi convention center right outside the gates to Auschwitz concentration camp.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  32. Scott

    Sure, build the Mosque....then put a Buddhist temple right over the USS Iowa at Pearl Harbor, A gun shop inside Columbine High School etc.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  33. M.Larry

    The Nazis did the same thing to the Jews in Germany. Do Americans want to act like the Nazis?

    July 20, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  34. charlie

    Moderate Muslims should do more to infiltrate and dismantle these extremist groups than we can talk about building the mosque.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  35. william d

    Yes. If there is Christian symbolism, or catholic symbolism then there should be a mosque. Because that means, we the people, have spoken.
    Politics should be left out. Separation of church and state should be instituted within our entire system once again.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  36. tom

    I thought Obama's pastor of twenty years was already trying to build his monument at ground zero. maybe they could work on somthing togather.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  37. Keith

    Dear Sir:

    this person is a 60 year old European American.

    over the years, it appears, ethic groups of all kinds have lost their
    sense of sensitivy and respect for others. Everything today is based
    on people's own selfish interests! In this case, you would think
    the Muslims would move their center a bit further from the center
    of one of the worst harms to Americans–including all ethnic groups who died in this event. Instead we have all ethnic groups presenting
    their own interests and not "giving in" a bit to others in the world.

    a sad state of affairs!

    Keith Milwaukee, WI

    July 20, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  38. Jim Blevins

    This is really what it is all about. Is this a country of Christian bigots or is this country truly based on the Bill of Rights. How can you blame a Muslim for fighting to have everyone adopt Islam when you fight against others who are not Christian.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    July 20, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  39. Rob Wyatt

    This is not to be compared to the Japanese with Pearl Harbor. Radical Extremists attacked us, not the nation of Islam.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  40. Alfredo Rodriguez

    No way that mosque should be allowed to be built. That's a provocation and slap on our faces after the islamic destroyed the World Trade Center and attacked us at other sites , in the US and overseas. The only way it should be allowed is if Saudi Arabia and other islamic countries would reciprocate by allowing us to build a Baptist or other religious church in their countries. Also, where is the funding coming from to build such elaborate facility?

    July 20, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  41. Michael Armstrong Sr. Tx.

    It's a very bad idea to build a Mosque at ground zero this is a calculated attack on the American syke by the Muslim leaders to cause disorder in our country .

    July 20, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  42. Edinorlando

    Absolutely not until Muslims demonstrate that they really are a peaceful religion. So far most of the terrorism that we see seems to spawn from the Muslim world and it would simply be a slap in the face to build a mosque at ground zero.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  43. margaret stephani

    No mosque near ground zero. In fact no mosque anywhere in the US.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  44. Robert

    Can we have them also build one across from the Pentagon and one in Shanksville, PA.? This way they can mark all their victories. Their is tolerance and then there is stupid. Mosques at sites where 3,ooo Americans died is stupid.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  45. Charles W Mubarak, JD

    This proposed mosque has nothing to do with the 9/11 tragedy. The perpetrators were not Muslims. A Muslim, by definition of the word, means "one in submission to God." Anyone who can run two jets into a building full of innocent Christians, Jews, Hindus and Muslims, are not members of Islam or of any other decent religion. Its time real Muslims stood up and said so.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  46. scurds

    though it is perhaps a bit intolerant, this mosque should not be built. there is such a thing as being too tolerant. I, for one, cannot tolerate the thought of bin laden dancing with joy as his wildest dreams come true and this mosque is built. the vocal minority has succeeded in eliminating the word "christmas" because it offends them, maybe they can respect us for a change.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  47. Lekan

    I think we're still being terrorized as long as we allow the fear of Islam to change our way of life. We are known for religious freedom, and that should not be jeopardized. Simply put, let the mosque building stand.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  48. Alan

    It would be nice to see the religious affiliation of those opposed to the building of this mosque. Religious freedom is one of the basic tenets our nation was built on. Abandoning one's own principles is about the worst thing a person or a society can do.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  49. deb

    Jack, the only problem I have with the so-called moderate muslims is, where was their voice after 9/11? All I heard was a deafening silence from their community. That was the time to speak out, not this many years later. Find another place to build your mosque
    Deb from PA

    July 20, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  50. Moss, Miami Fl

    Everything America Stands for says we Must Support the Building of this Center! Why must we act like We are Cowards and a Weak Knee'd people. Just Because We Were Attacked Does NOT Mean We Need To Fear Every Mosque or Muslim!!!! Let's MOVE On!!!

    July 20, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  51. Mike

    The Muslim world has a habit of placing their religious centers in or near other faiths and over time restricting or eliminating access to the centers of other faiths. Example, their Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. In most Muslim countries you do not and will not see churches, synagogues or other faiths in any area near their mosque's. In fact you will not find them in their countries. In the extreme few that have christian churches the members are in constant fear and harassment by/of government and local people. Europe is already having to deal with allowing such actions that is being considered for Ground Zero and, so far, none of it has been good. The today's Muslim faith relies on the good will and tolerance of others to push their agenda and their intolerance of others. A Mosque any where near Ground Zero would be considered a great victory for the Muslim world against the infidels. I am not intolerant of them but I am aware of their motives and I believe anywhere near Ground Zero is wrong.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  52. Ruth

    I am a Canadian & as a Canadian we lost lives that day. I can't believe that building a mosque at Ground Zero would even be considered. Why don't you just tell the terrorists they won come on over & do it again. They can build their mosques anywhere else but this is just SO WRONG ! ! !

    July 20, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  53. andy in DC

    why does it have to be at ground zero? put it somewhere else...

    July 20, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  54. Kevin - NYC

    NO NO NO NO
    The Inam could have used the money spent on the property in lower Manhattan for another location in NYC. It would have been cheaper and I'm sure there wouldn't have been such a fuss about it. Their intent is something different here. I understand muslims want a place to worship but why should it be next to the place everyone hates them for?
    New Yorkers are tolerant of different nationalities and religions but this is going to far!

    July 20, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  55. Richard, (I)IN

    Sure, why not? It might dissuade the next Muslim from parking a few planes in our new building.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  56. Sean N

    The only argument against this mosque is related to the perception and passion that all of islam supports the terrorist act of 911, thus until this ignorance is weeded out (ergo never btw) that side of the argument will be in full force. Even though I understand that the freshness of 911 will never die down, this building is being proposed 9 years later, so it's not a slap in the face if that was its intent. Thus, with an understanding and respect of Islam, there is no logical reason to not allow the building of the Mosque. I say allow it, and to appease the concerns of the ignorant, the mosque should allow for some sort of Federal/State oversight.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  57. SONNY

    No....NO .... Noway.... and Hell NO. That is sacred ground jack... it will only cause more hard feelings. There is plenty of other places that they can build their Mosque. Could we get to build a church, temple or other place to worship near one of their sacred places? I trhink you know the answer.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  58. Chris

    I believe placing a mosque near ground zero is like building a testament to the terrorist who bombed the grounds two blocks away. All this freedom talk is bogus. You mean to tell me a Rebel Flag epi-center in DC would be ok? Build an mosque anywhere but where terrorist brought jihad to America.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  59. Collette, Oregon

    Jack, that would be a slap in the face! If you look at the other countries around the world; England for instance, the Muslim people have no interest in developing relations with the community. They want you to accept their religion and dietary laws and perhaps convert, other than that, they have no interest in working on relations and integrating with the community. The only way I would even consider a mosque on ground zero is if we could build an even bigger Jewish Temple at ground zero.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  60. meryl aydin

    It's an excellent idea. No need for controversy, freedom of worship is a backbone of US culture. People of islamic faith died in 911 attack as many of other faiths.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  61. William Jeffries

    Yes, it is a good idea. The people responsible for the 9/11 attacks have hatred for America's value of diversity. What better way to stick it to them then to display respect for the positive side of their religion by building a mosque in that location?

    July 20, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  62. Martin

    It would be an affront to sanity to build a Mosque at ground zero. Islam has vowed to take down the United States, and their so called religion is a hornets nest for killers. My birthday is on 9/11 and every year on my birthday it reminds me of the twin towers coming down on 9/11/01 in NYC.
    Martin – Alabama,Huntsville

    July 20, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  63. Lyn Jordan

    Is it a good idea to build a Japanese temple near Pearl Harbor?

    July 20, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  64. Frank Cape Coral FL

    Jack your contempt for Sarah Palin showing through, that aside the building of the Mosque at ground zero is a bit confusing to me, as a religious organization you would think they would have a little sympathy towards the families of the 3000 killed in the attack and build the Mosque elsewhere in the city, Mayor Blomberg should remember why he's in office and leave his comments to himself, and follow what the citizen's of New York City and what they want, maybe a referendum would be appropriate on the matter.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  65. Tarek Fatah

    As a Muslim, I am appalled at the callousness and arrogance demonstrated by Imam Abdul-Raouf and other backers of this project. Even if I gave him the benefit of doubt and accepted his argument that he is building this center in good faith, The Ground-Zero Mosque will end up as a permanent scar on the face of Muslim-American relations forever.

    What American Muslims need to do is to kick out the clerics from their leadership after reminding them, this is the 21st century, not the 12th.

    The worst enemies of Muslims in America is the Muslim Brotherhood and the twin cancers of Saudi and Iranian influence on our narrative. Muslim Americans must organize their own protest against the Ground-Zero Mosque and chase these imams back to Saudi Arabia or Iran.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  66. Loretta

    If the muslims NEED a place to worship their god, then fine. However, I think it is a slap in the face to the families who lost loved ones for this building to be built anywhere in the vacinity of ground zero. It is also a slap in the face to every american soldier who has fought and/or is currently fighting to maintain our freedom against terrorism on american soil. GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!

    July 20, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  67. Asif Dipon

    I was at ground zero when the towers were hit by the terrorist controlled planes. I think a mosque at ground zero would be very beneficial to uniting all americans, muslim and non-muslim, by educating people about moderate Islam and how everyone rejects the views and actions of terrorists. Also, how can America promote democracy and freedom if it won't even uphold its own constitutional laws on the right to freedom of religion? Every religion must be tolerated and protected, otherwise, all religions are under the threat of fascism.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  68. Charlie

    Great idea. While we're at it, let's make a Nazi museum outside of Auschwitz. We can also display Rebel flags around the Lincoln Memorial and Japanese flags at the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor.
    When I visit the 9/11 memorial and the new WTC after it is rebuilt, I do not want a greeting of who and what took us down on that day. I want to be proud how we picked ourselves up.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  69. Aysha from NY

    The thought of some not wanting a mosque at ground zero is completely understandable. But when America starts prohibiting our religious practices and buildings then it becomes an un-free country. I for one love the idea, and anyone who believes otherwise can just move out of New York, we don't need their hatred anyway.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  70. Mark

    I say yes as long as it supports the voice of moderation in the Muslim Faith.

    Therin lies the problem. The voice of extremism seems to be much louder and by all appearances has widespread support. This is the part that I find intolerable.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  71. Patricia Adams

    It is not a good idea to allow Muslims to build a mosque, especially in a place where muslim terrorist killed thousands of our people. It would be like a slap in the face of everyone who lost loved ones on that horrible day. They are not peace loving people. If you don,t believe the way they do, they consider you an infidel. If a muslim becomes a christian, they stand a very good chance of being killed , and they call that peaceful? They can believe whatever they want, just don,t allow them to try and push something down our throats or in our face. One day they will stand before Jesus, wheather they believe in Him or not. Please don,t allow them to fool this country with there lies, and build a mosque that will be like a thron in the American people,s side.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  72. Ron in Sequim, WA

    A mosque near ground zero is okay as long as it is also a cultural center meant to convey and teach religious and inter-faith tolerance. The timing is the only questionable thing; it was originally advertised to be dedicated on September 11th – a very insensitive gesture whether intended with the best of intentions or not. I think there is a way to do this which truly conveys tolerance and the pulling together of all people but it must be done with consideration for those who have suffered as a result of the attacks.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  73. Richard Sangesland

    The thought of we the people of the United States impeding the freedom of worship anywhere in the world let alone here in our own country is the absolute antithesis of what this country stands for and of the values that we have inherited from our fore-fathers and that thousands have given their final measure of devotion for!

    July 20, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  74. Zak H

    Jack,
    Building a mosque near Ground Zero would be an excellent idea because it is going to enhance our relationships with them.
    It's been nearly a decade since 9/11. Can we, as a nation, move on with our lives? I cannot believe that we are in 2010 and still dealing with Freedom of Religion! WOW! that's all I have to say.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  75. Bill Hoch

    First, Palin is an air-head. Now she's inventing her own language. I "repudiate" her comments. I have read, studied, and practiced all of the major religions and have come to the conclusion that that there are radicals in every one, Build the mosque. Remember that the Pilgrims came here for religious freedom. I'ts also part of our Constitution... I am now an atheist...where do I build?

    Bill, Pa.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  76. David P Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – This whole controversy is just baloney:
    1) The guy with the ad opposing this is totally wrong about Islam, martyrs, mosques, etc. 99% of mosques in the Middle East are former Byzantine churches, and do not celebrate any martyrs at all!
    2 Three blocks in Manhattan is as far away as three miles would be in most towns. Things just disappear in the concrete canyons unless they are 60 or more stories high – a 13 story building cannot be seen even from the next corner, much less three or more blocks away.
    3) Among the 2800+ victims from 90 countries at WTC are at least 65 known innocent Muslims who were there at the time, including at least three Muslim NYPD!. Shall we mourn only the 700 dead Jews?
    4) There is nothing holy about the scene of a mass murder by terrorists. The WTC site was, and will be, COMMERCIAL real estate!
    5) The site in question is already being used as a Muslim community and worship center. The issue at hand is not the "mosque", which will be one room in the new 13 story building, but whether to demolish the old 19th century building to build a new one. If you do not live in NYC, your opinion on this is irrelevant. – it is "nunya business!"

    July 20, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  77. Kevin from New Jersey

    Having a mosque near ground zero is not only a good idea, it is a great idea. It will allow more Americans who think that the faith of Islam attack of the United States on September 11th to discover the true and peaceful views of Islam. Most Muslims completely denounce Al-Qaeda and any other terrorist organization,but many Americans do not understand this. These people have to learn more about what happened on September 11th before they make quick bigoted decisions. What ever happened to the freedom of religion?

    July 20, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  78. Carl Anderson

    We must remember that we were attacked by extremist, not moderates Muslims. They hate all Americans, Instead of a mosque I, would like them to continue with the rest of their plans then after they have been investigated for all their funds. let them build after they have shown they are not a threat. Actions speak louder then words. Most Moderate Muslims would agree. They do not want this image.
    while we have the biggest intel in American History, It will be the Moderate Muslims that Know when someone is extream and could pose a threat,, They need to start Policing their own and turning them in so they can be investigated. The average American is going to stop the next terror attack, not the goverment intel agencys that can only connect the dots after the fact

    July 20, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  79. Michael Armstrong Sr. Tx.

    How about we let the polls decide which is the majority of the peoples will .

    July 20, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  80. Joe Austin

    Are you kidding,there is no thing like a moderate Muslem. When something happens you don`t hear any Muslen renounce it. Mostly you see them cheering it. What a disgrace that anyone even consider letting them build a mosque near ground zero.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  81. Mark

    As for Sarah Palin.

    Shades of Dan Quayle! Are they related!

    July 20, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  82. John, SF Bay Area, CA

    Jack

    It is a terrible idea for everyone except the real estate developer doing this.

    This guy reminded me of a young Donald Trump doing everything and anything to get his name in the public eye. He is using everyone for his own benefit.

    His arrogance is only surpassed by his desire to be rich and famous at all cost.

    John
    SF Bay Area, CA

    July 20, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  83. Daniel

    A Mosque is a place of worship. To deny any religious organization a forum for worship would run afoul of everything that this country is supposed to stand for. This, by the way, is irrefutable.......

    July 20, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  84. Eric in Madison, NJ

    The question itself is odd – the "idea" of the mosque is protected by the First Amendment; "good" or "bad" has nothing to do with it. The Bill of Rights must outweigh all emotion, sentiment, and sorrow associated with 9-11. We will always freely mourn our losses, but we cannot lose sight of the true nature of a liberal, secular democracy.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  85. Saleem

    The attack on 911 was against Americans, of which Muslims are a part of. Muslims died in that attack also. Building a Masjid is not a monument or banner of victory by muslims...it is a house og God, used for worship. If anything, it sends a message to the terrorists that Muslim Americans are in support of america. Islam brought freedom to the people all around the world. It gave Women the right to own proeperty, choose to marry or not marry, own businesses, go to school and more even while Europe and America had laws that did not allow all these freedoms. Most people confuse cultural life styles in some Muslim countries with the religion of Islam. Please learn the truth before speaking of things out of ignorance.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  86. scurds

    this is a great example of just how culturally aggressive Islamics are. They are finding out in France and Britain that there is a policy of cultural ethnic cleansing which is ingrained in the islamic belief system. To them, all others are infidels, unworthy of being spoken the truth to or being given respect of any sort.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  87. Judy

    Of all the places in the United States...in the world, that close? I don't care how educated you are, how much you have researched, if you believe that this is NOT being done to make a statement or on purpose, then you in my opinion, know very little indeed. Something done out of kindness or with the hope of bringing all cultures together, should never hurt the hearts of the people or cause such division amongst them, especially the victims families.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  88. Kevin from New Jersey

    Having a mosque near ground zero is not only a good idea, it is a great idea. It will allow more Americans who think that the faith of Islam attacked The United States on September 11th to discover the true and peaceful views of Islam. Most Muslims completely denounce Al-Qaeda and any other terrorist organization,but many Americans do not understand this. These people have to learn more about what happened on September 11th before they make quick bigoted decisions. What ever happened to the freedom of religion?

    July 20, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  89. Maria Kenez

    I am in a sarcastic mood. A mosque near ground zero, especially a big one, would serve as protection from new terrorist attacks. Yeah, at least in that area. Using the same reasoning, why not have mosques at regular intervals from each other and start building mosque-like houses, to place an additional layer of protection between us and the teroists. An all out war with Alquaida would be completely deflected this way.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  90. Sean N

    Tolerance is the hallmark of a developed and developing society and this tolerance naturally comes with pain. The denigration of a religion is this light is unacceptible ... yes there was a sect of Islam that is involved in terrorism, however, I task anyone of any religion ... christian, jewish etc .... to say that they were never a part of a war or set of killings. These churches are all over the world ... Remove the mote from thine own eye, stop the whining and allow the mosque to be built.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  91. Nancy in Williamsburg, VA

    What a ridiculous notion!!! It would be lke erecting a statue of Hitler at the site of the Holocasut or a statue of a Japanese Emperor at the site of the Pearl Harbor bombing!

    The mere thought of doing so appears to be shockingly inflammatory and absurd. America was built on the ideals of Christians seeking religious freedom. If religious tolerance is the goal why not a build a lovely non-denominationional Church on the site.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  92. Jennifer

    Perhaps the family and friends who lost their loved ones on 9/11 should have a say in this. In my opinion, a mosque near Ground Zero would look like a victory symbol for the terrorists. Why can't it be built somewhere else? Building it elsewhere in New York would avoid the controversy, and New York will still be able to say that it stands for tolerance and openness.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  93. Mike

    I am so tired of these muslims that are here in our country using our Constitution against us to fit their needs. To build a mosque near ground zero would be a sacrilege and nothing more than a monument glorifying their so called "martyrs" who died murdering all of those innocent people in those two buildings and in the aircraft they commandeered. In a word..."HELL NO"!

    July 20, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  94. Karen Peters

    It could be a good thing to build the mosque if their goals are truly to provide services to the community and build communication between Muslims and other Americans. We need to listen and respect each other and allow religious freedom. Moderate Muslims need to speak against extremism and be a model to fanatics on how to live in peace and prosperity but still live the Islam faith.

    Karen

    July 20, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  95. Bob Mears

    No way Jack. The Mosque is to improve understanding of the Muslim faith with Christians?The the Muslims need to do is reach out to the radicals of the Muslim world, not me or you. The world as we knew it changed on 9/11, and it will never be a safe place(the world) while these bombing toteing thugs are running around praising their "God" for thier actions. Bob in AZ

    July 20, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  96. american101

    Are we, americans so scared of Islam or just we are becoming more and more intolerant americans. Where is our moral and value as people we are used to be or it is the end near.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  97. NJ

    I agree with the mayor – "Everything the United States stands for and New York stands for is tolerance and openness". We should understand that not all muslims are terrorists. But also we should realize that all 9/11 terrorists were muslims.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  98. Michael Armstrong Sr. Tx.

    Maybe a Satanic church should be built next .

    July 20, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  99. M. I.

    My personal opinion ~ absolutely NOT!!!! Why not let the families who lost loved ones in the World Trade Center on 9/11 decide. Majority rules!

    July 20, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  100. William Ramnarace

    I do not like Palin.....but I agree with her that building a mosque in the shadows of ground zero......'Stabs at the Heart'!! Even if the so called 'moderate muslim sentiments' get the go ahead......the extremists will infiltrate.....stir....convert and.... produce a nest of killers!!
    The muslim extremists have an agenda to humiliate the USA...and they will do just that if the building of the Mosque gets the go aheadert.....and .

    July 20, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  101. American-lebanese guy

    If muslim countries like saudi arabia allows churches to be built on their land then we can agree on building a mosque in the US...I think the american opeople should wake up before it is too late...the Ground zero Mosque for muslims is a celebration for their Martyrs that died on 9/11. That is usually why muslims build mosques....
    For all those americans who think it is a freedom of relegion issue..it is not really..islam is not a relegion...it is a terroist movement which hates all relegions and call us infidels...so iam not only opposing building this mosque as much as any mosque in the country...A "relegion" which supports terrorism is not a relegion...and should be banned in the US before it is too late and they take our country....
    America wake up before it is too late....

    July 20, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  102. Bob

    Ironically, there is a church from 7 mins distance from A-bomb dome
    Hiroshima Peace Memorial.

    I wonder why Japs calls it A-bomb site a "Peace Memorial" and we call Ground Zero a "War Memorial"?

    July 20, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  103. Sean B

    I must say that it makes me sad to see how much intolerance there is for Muslims in this country. The United States gives its citizens the guarantee of freedom of religion, blocking this project would be unconstitutional. I wonder how people would react if a gay rights group tried to stop the construction of a Christian church in West Hollywood. Probably very different. It's time that people realize that not all Muslims are the same as the radical mass-murderers that attacked us on 9/11.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  104. E Vanhuizen

    Building a huge mosque near Ground Zero is ridiculous! What I would like to know is when government agents try to track down terrorists on American soil, I am sure "fellow" muslims are questioned in the search. How many side with the FBI (for example) and how many remain tight lipped in order to protect the culprits? Also, how tolerant are the countries from which they came from in allowing christians to build huge churches in their cities? I am born in The Netherlands and now living in the United States and I shudder to think what will happen if Muslims in this country get the same opportunity to take over the USA as they have The Netherlands? It's horrible! Lets not forget where we live! It's American tolerance and trust that allowed these terrorists to cause the destruction they did in the first place, yes...it's time to profile! Perhaps if we had profiled back in 2001, 911 would not have happened.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  105. Greg Hodges

    Jack; in a more perfect loving world, building a mosque near Ground Zero might be an enlightened move to build a true and lasting peace between the Muslim and Western worlds. The sad truth is there is far too much fear, anger, and yes hate for that to happen right now. It has taken decades (centuries) for this wall of hate to build; and it will probably take just as long to tear down. The healing that must occur to achieve true peace and justice is still far over the horizon. Perhaps when Christians are free to worship in Saudi Arabia openly; there will be room for a mosque near Ground Zero. Sadly; I doubt that I will live long enough to see that day!

    July 20, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  106. Scott G

    Why do people keep objecting to a mosque being built at Ground Zero? There is no mosque being built at Ground Zero and there never was! The one that everyone is getting all blustery about will be constructed two blocks away! So let me say to them: what then is the satisfactory distance from Ground Zero (for this mosque) that you will not find objectionable? How far away should a church be built? What about a synagogue?

    July 20, 2010 at 6:48 pm |