August 16th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Muslims buying unnecessary problems by insisting on mosque near Ground Zero?


The building which is poised to house the Cordoba Initiative Mosque and Cultural Center in Manhattan. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Pres. Obama has stepped into a real firestorm in defending a planned mosque near Ground Zero. He's also managed to turn what was a highly emotional debate here in New York into a national conversation.

On Friday, the president called Ground Zero "hallowed ground," but said Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else. He said that includes the right to build a mosque and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan. The next day - the president seemed to backtrack by saying he wasn't "commenting on the wisdom" of the project... but rather the idea that the government should treat everyone equally, regardless of religion.

Republicans are pouncing on the president's comments, calling him insensitive to families of 9/11 victims. Some point out that even though the president may be right intellectually, this is an emotional issue.

Families of 9/11 victims are divided over the proposed mosque and Islamic community center. A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows almost 70 percent of Americans oppose the plan.

The New York landmarks preservation commission has said the the project can go forward. The Islamic center is set to include a mosque, a performing arts center, a lecture hall, a swimming pool, a gym, a restaurant... and a mosque.

New York Gov. David Paterson has offered to relocate the mosque to a less controversial location on state-owned land... but the project's developers said no.

Here’s my question to you: Are Muslims buying themselves unnecessary problems by insisting on building a mosque near Ground Zero in New York?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

John writes:
Tolerance goes both ways. To show understanding for the pain the 9/11 families are going through, the developers of the mosque should voluntarily move it. Just because you have a right to do something doesn't make it right.

Kendy in Delaware, Ohio writes:
Maybe they are. The real question should be why are so many people reluctant to afford them their constitutional right to practice their religion freely? Seems to me a lot of conservatives are participating in selective tolerance. They would holler just as loud if a gay marriage chapel wanted to open there!

Marja in Sweden writes:
No, and besides, it's two blocks away from Ground Zero. Even though the sorrow of relatives of the victims of 9/11 is most understandable, it's regrettable if some of them take seriously the misinformation of certain Tea Party members who want to spread hate mixing up Muslims with al Qaeda. I'm a Christian from Stockholm, Sweden.

Jade writes:
You bet they are asking for trouble! I mean come on! Sure they have the right to build, but what about respect? Why choose THIS spot to place their mosque? These people are crazy for considering building a Muslim mosque so close to a site that was attacked by Islamic suicide bombers! It is almost as if they are challenging us.

Pete in Georgia writes:
Does anyone believe that Muslims anywhere on this planet are sensitive to anyone or anything except their own hellish agendas?

Amine writes:
I don't think we are buying unnecessary problems. It's a matter of principle and to honor everyone who died on 9/11. Not only Christians died in this tragedy but Jews, Muslims and non-believers. Also, if two blocks from the WTC is not good enough for you and your racist friends, then is 5 blocks ok? Almost in every town in the U.S., people are against mosques being built because they're misguided by the media and the hatred they inject in everyone.

Elizabeth in Dallas writes:
Settlers came here because of religious persecution. We are one of very few countries in the world organized around values and ideals, not ethnicity and heredity. America's greatest strength is its diversity. We shouldn't ditch our values because devout people want to practice their faith.

Filed under: Religion • September 11
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Rob in Brooklyn

    what I don't understand is there is a Mosque 4 blocks from the WTC. its been there for 40 years .Nobody seem to know this , including the group wanting to build the new center/Mosque . There isn't that many people that live down there- so why would they need two Mosque's where there is no real population ? Now if you said they were going to build this in Downtown Brooklyn I could understand that.

    August 16, 2010 at 1:13 pm |
  2. Ed

    Yes but they were buying unnecessary problems before it ever was "ground zero", by blowing up the towers. But then I don't believe that story. The buildings were obviously rigged with explosives as an excuse to do all that they've done in the middle east.

    August 16, 2010 at 1:17 pm |
  3. Chris

    There were all kinds of people from all different ethnicity and religions in those buildings when they were brought down. Building a mosque is like a slap in the face of all of those families and survivors in my opinion. Why MUST they build the mosque that close to where the violence of that magnitude occurred. Peaceful or not, they should not build it that close. I fear that it will only invite violence when they build it. Wounds are still too fresh.

    August 16, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
  4. John from Alabama

    Jack: The muslims want to be the center of attention, because they are twisted in their beliefs. There are plenty of places in New York City to build a 13 story mosque and education center than 2 blocks from ground zero. I am a supporter of President Obama, but this time he is wrong, and so is Mayor Bloomberg. I believe in religious freedom, but I also believe in common sense and locating a mosque next to ground zero is wrong.

    August 16, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
  5. Paul Round Rock Texas

    The group that are pushing for the mosque are and will make problems for all Muslims in this country. We all need to remember that Muslims also died on 9-11 true Muslims that did not believe in terror but were only at work in the twin towers. There is at least one mosque already near ground zero so why another.

    August 16, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
  6. roseann

    No Jack..i think we let the terrorists win when we don't have freedom to worship when and where we choose.Why is this even an issue?Some are making political hay out of this and that is just a sad state of affairs.Why oh why do some act like we are at war with Muslim's?

    August 16, 2010 at 1:26 pm |
  7. Kevin in Dallas

    Absolutely! While they have the right to build the Mosque there, they need to remember that the rest of the country has the right to hold protests, right out front, for all eternity.

    August 16, 2010 at 1:26 pm |
  8. bud rupert

    Probably so. Religious issues always seem to bring out the worst in people. Raw emotion and ignorance ruels the day

    As an Atheist, I have mixed emotions about the building of a Mosque near the 911 site. I look at our laws and Constitution and tell myself that this country is built on freedom of religion so we have to abide. But the fundamental fact is: Muslims brought those towers down.

    So yes there could be a real problem. If they get the building erected
    Some vengeful person or group could decide to seek their revenge on the site itself. If I were the Muslim group wanting to build, I would probably pick another site for that reason alone. You can win an argument and get people hurt.

    August 16, 2010 at 1:34 pm |
  9. Ken in Pinon Hills, California

    I as a teen, remember the hysteria when our government was interning American citizens of Japanese decent at Santa Anita race track after Pearl Harbor. Better Muslims cool it for now, 9-11 was another Pearl Harbor, especially to New Yorkers. Time will ease our fragile feelings, look around town, Sushi Bars abound.

    August 16, 2010 at 1:46 pm |
  10. MNResident

    One question, Jack–Would these same New York authorities allow a nativity scene or a Wal Mart in the same area that this proposed mosque is supposed to go? Or are we talking a double standard??

    August 16, 2010 at 1:47 pm |
  11. Joe from Missouri

    No, they are not buying unnecessary problems. Unless their mosque violates some long established zoning ordnance, they have a right to build on their own property.

    This is a constitutional issue, an issue of religious freedom and the separation of church and state. President Obama took an oath to uphold the constitution. The proposed mosque is not at ground zero but a distance away among other very reverent buildings such as stores selling adult paraphernalia.

    I see the GOP's political advocacy of religious discrimination as very much akin to another political vs. constitutional event, the black mark on FDR's record–the internment of U.S. citizens of Japanese descent during WWII. I admire President Obama for not falling into the political trap of denying the constitution for what might be short term political gain.

    By continuing to promote the politics of the issue, the GOP looks for political gain, and the media looks for a way to fill time and space, to stir up controversy in hopes of attracting higher ratings.

    August 16, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
  12. JENNA

    Are Muslims buying themselves unnecessary problems by insisting on building a mosque near Ground Zero in New York?

    So Jack, how close is too close? The Islamic Center, which includes a mosque, is BLOCKS away from ground zero.

    This Islamic center will be used by the whole community, will bring jobs in a depressed economy, plus will upgrade the area, etc..

    And correct me if I am wrong but last I heard we are a secular nation, built on freedom of religion, yet we want to deny it to one religion?

    It is not the Muslims making much to do about nothing but Republicans that have NOTHING to do for Americans making something of this.

    One more reason to vote Democrat in November to give them the Super Majority needed to baypass the Obstructionist GOP.

    Build the Islamic Center.

    Roseville CA

    August 16, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
  13. Kevin

    Who writes these ridiculous questions??? Jack – considering the fact that there's a Mosque 4 blocks away from Ground zero (that predates the twin towers) – the question is baiting. The community center's primary purpose is not as a mosque... it's much more than that. The very framing of this question guarantees incendiary responses and ignores the key realities of this situation.

    No "muslims are not buying themselves unnecessary problems" – What "unnecessary problems" are you inferring and suggesting anyway?

    August 16, 2010 at 1:53 pm |
  14. gordon

    Muslims aren't a monolith. There is no "they" there any more than with Christians, Jews, Buddhists and atheists except in the diseased minds of bigots.

    As for it being a mosque... it's a cultural center including a mosque. Calling it a mosque is like calling my local drug store which has a licensed beverage section a liquor store.

    Las Cruces, NM

    August 16, 2010 at 1:53 pm |
  15. Karen

    America is far too tolerant of certain issues and this is one. Shame on Obama for this issue along with the border issue. I mean really! Get behind your country Mr President!


    August 16, 2010 at 1:57 pm |
  16. Ed from Port Aransas, TX

    To listen to the critics, you would think a statue of Osama bin Laden was being erected at Ground Zero. It's two blocks away and is a Community Center with a prayer room. There are 1.5 billion Muslims in the world and less than one-tenth of one percent have committed violent acts against us. Al Qaeda's recruitment efforts will only be boosted by this demonization of Muslims.

    Ed Reed
    Port Aransas, TX

    August 16, 2010 at 1:58 pm |
  17. Dee

    Yes they are Jack,
    Worship where you want and who you want just not at Ground Zero.

    There is an old saying, what goes around comes around.

    August 16, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
  18. Donna Wisconsin

    I think the problem is Americans who pick and choose which constitutional amendments it wants to support. MUSLIMS did not-repeat–did not cause 9/11!! Islamic TERRORISTS did. There are also Chirstian TERRORISTS–Timothy McVey comes to mind. Terrorists use the rhetoric that America is out to destroy Islam. What better way to say "No we don't". Are we also pretending that only Christians were in the Trade Center on 9/11? Come on jack! Stand up for good once in awhile instead of feeding the freenzy.

    August 16, 2010 at 2:01 pm |
  19. Len in Atlanta

    Come on, Jack. You know that the President's remarks the other night addressed the constitutionality of the issue. Under the law, the Muslim group has every right to construct their new Islamic center where they wish, so long as they can obtain a building permit.

    The President's refinement was a comment to state that he understands and agrees with the majority of the public in thinking that it is, perhaps, in poor taste to construct such an Islamic center so close to Ground Zero.

    Finally, this is nothing new. For the last 10 years on the same site and in the existing building, there has been a mosque and Islamic center, although without all the amenities.

    The Muslims didn't bring these problems on themselves. They were there before 9/11. The media and the ultra-conservative right wing nuts brought these problems on the Muslims. What part of this is not clear?

    August 16, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
  20. Elizabeth from Toronto

    Of course they are but they do not care.
    It's about power & winning over the infidels in their own country!. And that's why moderate or extreme Jihad muslims are disliked around the world.
    "The Dome of the Rock" in Jerusalem. They claimed no building existed when they built their 3rd hollist mosque and that Mohammad died there that's all poppycock. There was a Christian church and a Jewish temple on that spot. The people who were living they at the time would have told them but they built the mosque anyway and added the Mohammad story to make the justification stick!
    Now we have Jews worshipping at the Wailing Wall and Christians asking permission to access the area.
    Once that Mosque is built in 20 years there will be some claim made re: something holy at that location.
    This mosque in New York is truly the end of tolerance and if moderate muslims think this helps non-muslims to like them more they are very wrong.
    What would be better for moderate muslims in US would be to apologize for what happened and to speak out across the US about how much they disapprove of what extremist muslims do. SIMPLE.
    But moderate muslims in the US hide behind "I will be killed" etc.
    If black people in the US had not protested in the 60's with the fear of death hanging over them, blacks would still be in a sorry state in US. You cannot hide behind FEAR. Mandela didn't.

    August 16, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
  21. ElmerG

    I totally agree with President Obama. Let's honor our Constitution!!!!! Let us respect our Muslim Americans! Muslims also died on 9/11 in those towers. Let's be true Americans and not be convenient Americans!

    Shreveport Louisiana

    August 16, 2010 at 2:07 pm |
  22. Rick McDaniel

    Let's just say they are NOT winning friends, and the only influence they are wielding is NEGATIVE!

    August 16, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
  23. Brian from Parkland, FL

    I believe in freedome of religion in this country. I think if I were muslim I would not be pushing to build a mosque that close to ground zero. If that mosque is built it is going to be a target for anti muslim groups. I just would build some where else. This country is very large and there already are over 100 mosques in NYC. Find a different site and this controversy will disappear.

    August 16, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
  24. Cameron SF, CA

    It really is amazing that the President is supportive of the idea just on the idea of property owner's rights. Towns, counties and other jurisdictions around the country tell property owner's left and right what they can and cannot build on their property. And those property owners are not even controversial but government dictates their every move. Funny how now the Presidents says the people cannot deny the rights of THIS particular property owner. Just mind boggling.

    August 16, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
  25. Lori

    The USA is fast becoming a confirmed nation of idiots. We're a joke and I for one am embarrassed by the topics that consume our media. President Obama did not step into a "firestorm". This issue is a fiasco created by the media & Republicans. The president clarified his remarks–for the stupid masses, to state this country stands for freedom of religion, anytime anywhere. We might not like the Mosque being built where it is, but in this country we respect the right to do it. End of discussion!

    August 16, 2010 at 2:12 pm |
  26. Mario

    Jack, Jack, Jack....Amendment 1 of the U.S. Constitution GUARANTEES the right of American-Muslims to freely exercise their religion. It's not up to the Republicans, Gov. Paterson, or CNN. How far away would the center have to be? Do we believe in freedom of religion, or not? We weren't attacked by Islam (no more than Christians attacked Afghanistan or Iraq), we were attacked by radical terrorists. Stop referring to these Americans as "Muslims." I'm sure they're much more than the religion they practice. I'm sure they love this country just as much as you and I. I'm sure the share the same dream as your ancestors. I'm sure they value their constitunionally-guaranteed freedom as much as you. I'm sure some of them are Republicans and some of them voted for Gov. Paterson. I'm Catholic and I'm sure they have the right to worship as they believe.

    August 16, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
  27. Joanne

    Indeed they are asking for problems...however that is what they like (not al of them l of course).
    The background of the so called is enuf to upset anyone.
    They will not secure any Construction Workers to build such a building at that site.

    August 16, 2010 at 2:16 pm |
  28. Simon-Orlando

    They have a right to build a mosque anywhere they want. The question is why are they locating it there. They certainly must have known that there would be controversy. I think this is a symbol to all Muslims that there was a great victory over the U.S. near that spot and they should always remember it.

    August 16, 2010 at 2:16 pm |
  29. bob z fr ,pa.

    how many of these muslims are here legally bet the gov don't have any idea

    August 16, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
  30. Shelley Lee

    Many of us forget the American citizens of Muslim religion were also lost in the twin towers, along with Catholics, Protestant, Jews, etc. Our Constitution applies to ALL citizens. Insensitive-Yes and I think Muslims are creating problems for themselves. Though they may be trying to bridge a gap, Americans aren't so nice anymore and don't want to accept anyone who is not JUST like them.

    August 16, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
  31. diridi

    Jack, how are you. Don't you know, that the constitution of the nation has enshrined and postulated some fundamental freedoms, one among them is "Religious Freedom". What is wrong. Don't be religiously biased. Writer is a law grad. We should respect other religions. We should give no room for race or color. It is a democratic nation. Equality before the law and equal protection of law.....they have the same right, and same freedom. Don't these GOP thugs know this. If not shame, shame...shame on them. Why didn't they object when Pentagon has Mosque...????????

    August 16, 2010 at 2:21 pm |
  32. Judie Wm's -- El Lago TX


    I personally see this as an "in your face" decision. They know fully well what the sentiments are, and yet they will proceed, however I wonder what construction companies are willing to have their name associated with this structure.

    New Yorkers are tough as dried leather, and I am hopeful in the name of the almighty dollar NOT ONE COMPANY bids.

    The politicans who endorse and even support this at sometime, somewhere have a reelection, and the citizens of this country have a long memory when it comes to having something shoved down their throats.

    August 16, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
  33. mike

    Yes, they are asking for unnecessary problems. We all know the law and they have rights but in this case New York law makers, the President (why he felt it necessary to speak up baffles me) and the New York people need to stand up for our fallen Americans and do the right thing.....no mosque any where near ground zero! There's plenty of land away from ground zero. Enough said on this topic!

    August 16, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
  34. Bizz Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Jack, the Muslims are creating unnecessary trouble by insisting a mosque be built so closely to ground zero. They already have one in that area that's been there for 40 years. But that isn't to say they don't have the right to to build a mosque. They are also being stopped from building other mosques all across the United States. This is a religion of over one billion people in the world, only a small percentage are considered terrorist. The same thing can be said for many other religions. This is a election year and the republicans along with the F news Network are trying to scare people against Muslims and blacks in order to get the independent vote. It's a shame that politicians of today only defend the constitution when it benefits their causes and want to change it when it doesn't.

    August 16, 2010 at 2:29 pm |
  35. Sandra in Temecula, CA

    Yes and their refusual to build somewhere else leaves us to wonder. Only in America do we allow this to even be considered. No other country is as tolerant as we are. America first !

    August 16, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  36. Gail, Plano TX

    Gee, Jack can someone get a life? I mean a real life? This question is ridiculous. The planned mosque is not directly on top of ground zero. We do as a nation espouse freedom of religion. Time to walk the walk, nor talk the talk. Again, for some unfathomable reason, the American people must hate. 9/11 was a tragedy. But it is time to get over it!

    August 16, 2010 at 2:33 pm |
  37. Bellasvoice

    I know the events of 9/11 are a source of grief for people of many religions. Why is it that so many people (apparently 70 percent of Americans) assume all Muslims are terrorists? I know and work with Muslims and none of them would ever support terrorism. While I do believe that narrow-minded individuals will do their best to discourage the building of the Mosque, I hope that people remember what it means to be "Christian". How sad that we choose to focus on the building of a Mosque when these efforts would be better served by helping our own neighbors. From Wiesbaden, Germany

    August 16, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
  38. Frustrated American

    Hell yes they are!
    Furthermore, our President is following down the same path. What he should have done while he had an audience with a group of Muslim leaders was speak to them about their wisdom in FORCING this down the throat of Americans. It is both an unwanted and unnecessary stab to the hearts of so very many that were impacted by the radical Muslim terrorists that attacked us on that, now, sacred ground. Instead of waving his finger at Americans while preaching about religious tolerance, our President should have preached to that room full of would-be do-gooders. Their religious cronies need to hear about tolerance. They need a lesson in not shoving their religion in our faces. Especially when their own people are the ones responsible. It was not a Baptist , Episcopalian, Catholic, Jew or even a New Ager that flew those planes into the side of the Twin Towers. It was self proclaimed Muslims that did it.
    Not good timing folks. Build your Mosque somewhere else and do it quietly.
    I think it is time for a Revolution here in America again. This entire thing is just stupid!

    August 16, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
  39. Caroline

    How sad that 70% of Americans are so blinded by the propaganda. People need to realize that "Muslims" didn't blow up the world trade center – "terrorists" with a twisted interpretation of the Muslim faith did.

    U.S. Citizen from Wiesbaden, Germany

    August 16, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
  40. Russ Amero

    How would Muslims feel if Christians insisted on building a church next to a mosque in meca ? Or how about an American football stadium being built in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in honor of the Atomic bombs being droped by the Enola Gay and another American bomber on their Cities?. How do you think the Japanese population or the whole world would react . Ground Zero is hallowed ground and anything that takes away the significance of that horrible day should not be condoned.
    Russ A

    August 16, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
  41. francap

    No more than any other religious or other entity that owns the property and is zoned for the type of building they plan to build.

    Muslims did not attack the World Trade Center. It was a group of terrorists.

    Germans killed millions of American soldiers and Jewish people. The Japanese attacked us at Pearl Harbor and killed hundreds of thousands of Americans. Those were both terrorists acts. We do not punish all Germans or Japanese people now, or deny them the right to have their place of worship or meeting places.

    We must do what our Founding Fathers told us to do in our Constitution. Practice religious freedom. They had good reason to specifically put separation of church and state in the Constitution. They well knew the horrors of religious fanatics causing wars, killing and torturing people who did not believe as they were told. More people really need to read the history of the bad old days.

    August 16, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
  42. Ramsey

    There is no doubt that the terrible events of Sept. 11 have caused tremendous anguish and suffering to those affected. This must be taken into serious consideration. However, by not allowing the building of the Islamic center in Manhattan as proposed would allow those who wish to harm us attack the very essence of our nation: our Constitution.

    It is exactly the religious tolerance and freedoms that we as Americans cherish that should be an affront to those who seek to harm us. The building of the Islamic center should, in fact, illustrate the strength of our nation. I believe it will thereby respectfully honor the victims of 9/11 by further illuminating the solidity of our Constitution, the virtue of our citizens, and the strength of our nation.

    This is America.

    August 16, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
  43. Jay in Canada

    Wow. 70% of Americans are intolerant hypocrites? What a shock. I love how you guys only lean on your Constitution when it serves your purposes, like keeping your assault weapons and cop-killer bullets, but when the Constitution’s First Amendment doesn’t support your backwards, bigoted beliefs, you devolve into morons. Either your Constitution means something, or it doesn’t. The First Amendment should read, “Some people are going to do and say things you don’t like; well, suck it up folks, that’s the price you pay for freedom.”

    August 16, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
  44. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    No, they are standing up for the United States Constitution in the exercise of their unalienable rights to the freedom of religion. Every Muslim serviceman dying for this country thus sees something worth dying for.

    August 16, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
  45. dan in capitola CA

    This emotional, knee-jerk reaction to the mosque is EXACTLY what the Taliban and Al Qaeda point to as the central theme of their recruitment "narrative": America hates Islam.
    Let's prove them wrong!
    The President is exactly right, that it is the principle of religious freedom that must be defended even if we don't like it.
    And PLEASE show an aerial map to your viewers so they can see where the proposed site is, Jack. Too many people already think it is at Ground Zero itself, rather than several blocks away.

    August 16, 2010 at 2:51 pm |
  46. Chris in Marietta, GA

    Hearing Republicans say somebody is being insensitive is ludicrous; they are the most insensitive group around always talking about protection “freedom” when they just mean their money. We are guaranteed the freedoms of religion, assemble, and speech. That means all religions not just the popular ones; assemble means anybody, not just the Tea Party or other wacko groups; and speech means no matter how much you can’t stand to hear it or think it is the dumbest thing ever, they still have a right to say it, i.e. FOX News and Sarah Palin. When it comes right down to isn’t everything “near” Ground Zero in New York? Once the site is rebuilt even New Jersey will be “within sight” of it. Just build it and in 6 months everyone is going to forget it is there anyway.

    August 16, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
  47. Bill (Tacoma) WA.

    Jack, it's called freedom of religious; 1st Amendment right; just as the gun lovers are always stating their constitution right to own fire arms; the constitution give any group of Americans, religious freedom; we can't cherry pick the constitution, if we do it is called " HYPOCRISY".
    So, Are Muslims buying themselves unnecessary problems by insisting on building a mosque near Ground Zero in New York?
    NO, it is an American Problem.

    August 16, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  48. Jim Shaw

    Would a Muslim nation allow us to do the same thing?
    I don't think so.
    By the way, does anybody know who is paying for the Mosque?

    Naples, FL.

    August 16, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
  49. Peggy Ann

    I, for one American, DO NOT want a Muslin Mosque, on or near ground zero. If there is going to be any building of a reigious nature, near that site, then it should be a muti-religious building. Let's get real here.....we were attacked by the terrorists....of whatever religion they practiced and we SHOULD NOT be allowing them to slap us in the face by allowing them to errect a religious building anywhere near ground zero. We ALL have the right to practice our religion but the terrorists murdered our people on our American land, all in the name of ....... their religion. What is wrong with this country?

    August 16, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
  50. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    If American Christianity is about granting fear and hate more power than love, then I quit.

    This is what 70% of American people condone.

    If we are truly about compassion, forgiveness, love, grace, enlightenment, and a God consciousness, then not only should the peaceful and loving Muslims build their mosque and community center near ground zero, but true Christians would welcome this structure to be built on ground zero.

    August 16, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
  51. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    While they have every right to do what they want, they should be a bit more sensitive about what their people did to us and where they did it. When you consider that they were calling for someone’s blood over something as trivial as a cartoon, they are showing a remarkable degree of selfishness. They should know better and back off. Find someplace else, there’s tons of real estate at bargain prices available everywhere – except NYC.

    As far as Obama is concerned, he stepped in it as soon as he saw a community center and thought he needed to organize it. For a bright guy, he sure can do some stupid things. He’s been dropping the ball since day one.

    August 16, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
  52. Craig in Houston

    Exercising their constitutional rights should not equate to "buying themselves unnecessary problems". As long as there are strip joints, Victoria's Secret shops and betting parlors closer to ground zero than the proposed mosque, I have a real hard time buying the critic's lament of this being "hallowed ground" and thus inappropriate for a mosque. Plus, this is in a predominately Muslim neighborhood! What's next? Are they going to say it's inappropriate for Muslims to live near Ground Zero? Along the same lines as "terror babies" and "death panels" this is just one more way for the right to use fear as a political tool. Aren't these people a little tired of being scared of everything?

    August 16, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
  53. Lori - PA


    The people that live in New York City are the one's that should have a say in whether or not the propsed mosque near Ground Zero gets built. Let them vote on it, and (everyone) accept their decision as final.

    August 16, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
  54. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Yes, Muslims are buying unnecessary problems with plans to build the mosque near "Ground Zero". However, do not transfer any hatred or emotion towards our president because of this.
    President Obama was right. Constitutionally Muslims have the right to build. If opposition was the deciding factor for allowing things to happen, nothing would ever happen. If New Yorkers don't want the mosque built that's their problem to handle. The president was just stating a truth and a fact, not an opinion.

    August 16, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
  55. Chelsea

    Great job. The stupidest idea ever.

    August 16, 2010 at 3:02 pm |
  56. Hugo Kijne, Hoboken NJ

    I would say that the opponents of that Islamic cultural center are creating unnecessary problems by not realizing that in de US, if you have funding and you comply with all city laws and zoning regulations, you can build, no matter what your religion is.

    August 16, 2010 at 3:03 pm |
  57. Sam

    It's easy to play by the book. It's a lot harder to have principles. Barack Obama does not have mainstream American principles. The easy solution is the politically correct one: "They can do what they want, but we don't have to like it." Since the president is politically correct, he thinks he's right and the issue is solved. Unfortunately, since this is about a Muslim house of worship near the slaying ground of thousands of Americans who were brutally murdered in the name of Islam, there is more to the issue than political correctness and intellectually sound arguments. This is one of those moments when it's OK to use your heart instead of your mind. Where do we draw the line on acceptability? Just like his public handling of the BP oil disaster, the president has failed to act like a leader in his refusal to acknowledge the opinions and will of ordinary Americans, this time the families of victims of the bloodiest attack on our soil in American history. The victims should have an ally in the President. They don't, and I find that disturbing.

    August 16, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
  58. Jane in CA

    Is standing up for your rights necessary or unnecessary? What good is the right of freedom of religion if you are too intimidated to exercise it? The people who hate our constitution and the rights it guarantees are traitors. Let them go somewhere where only one religion is allowed. They don't belong in the United States of America.

    August 16, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  59. Jordan

    Well as the American public has been told it was an Islamic group that destructed the towers. For the Islamic religion to build a massive center exactly where they left their mark should blatantly answer the question as yes!

    August 16, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  60. paul alford

    Does the statement by president OBama abut the temple in N,Y mean that he and the mayor feel that no city can have zoning laws prohibiting churches?

    August 16, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
  61. Carl


    Yes they are. i truly think this is what they want tough, tension, and just to shove it down the American people's throat, also, just to say they won. Our president and last few past presidents have what I call a disease, it's called being politically correct to a major fault. Obama and are useless government will sell our once great country out just so they don't offend anyone, give me a break, Obama, how about doing the right thing for a great change and helping out the legal American people.

    August 16, 2010 at 3:09 pm |
  62. Gary H. Boyd

    Jack, have you heard the term "guilding the lilly" or how about "rubbing salt in the wound". That's what Muslims are doing by wanting a mosque near their 9/11 target. They're using our own rules to stick it up our "you know what" and the Mayor of New York and the guy in the Oval Office are helping them do it. Once it's built I think I'll open a brothel across the street.

    August 16, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
  63. J Hassilev

    I do not agree with the building of anything religious specific in that area. Great, build a community center, a performing arts center, or a swimming pool but it should not be anything of a religious nature, or backed by any particular religion. A religious war is what caused the devistation resulting in that area being uninhabited by a building.

    August 16, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
  64. eric

    I am disgusted by this! How the heck could you let MUSLIMS build a mosque near the site of 9/11.. Let them build a mosque somewhere else in New York.. come on now.. I have lost respect for americans, and New York.

    August 16, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
  65. George

    It doesn't matter where they build it, the radical masses do not want a mosque any where! Just look at the recent news, wherever they try to build a mosque, it is met with a challenge from the people. Everyone is afraid of the boggie man! NIMBY (not in my back yard) is a problem and stupidity is the other reason! Not every Muslem is a terrorist.

    August 16, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
  66. The Dark Knight

    Yes Muslims are causing unnecessary problems because they choose to worship in America where religious freedom is valued. *Sarcasm*. No, Muslims have every right to worship where they want and when they want. You can't blame 1.4 billion people for the actions of 19 mentally unstable terrorists. I suppose next we will have Muslims start having to register their names and their locations because we need to know where they live since it's "offends" us that the majority of them are normal human-beings. Read the constitution America.

    August 16, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
  67. Bonnie Wilson

    The real question should be, "Is the USA setting a dangerous trend if they do not allow the building to be erected?" Would it be okay if a Catholic church decided to build there instead? Everyone has the same rights and freedoms, and to change that due to circumstances opens a whole other kettle of fish. Who decides what circumstances warrant the freedom the citizens of the USA are supposed to have?

    August 16, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
  68. Susan Frost

    No. They're exercising their First Amendment rights, and those who really love this country and what it stands for should support them in doing so.

    Tuscaloosa, AL

    August 16, 2010 at 3:16 pm |
  69. Pablo

    don't understand why the media has not commented on the real reason the Muslim community desires a Mosque near ground zero. It has nothing to do with freedom of religion or what our founding fathers principles were or fought for, it has to do with straight power politics. Ask yourself, why would the Muslim community desire to build so close to ground zero. First the Muslims know that the present atmosphere in America is tolerance for everything and if you attach religion on to the debate you are a winner. Second the Muslim community desires to really test our Muslim President, Obama, and see if Obama will really stand by the Muslim community or not. The desire to divide and conquer is high on the Muslim agenda, just ask the Christians in Constantinople, oh, I forgot that is Istanbul. Remove religion from the debate and show it for what it really is, power politics.

    August 16, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
  70. Lauren Philpot

    Yes, it may be their right to practice their beliefs freely, but the U.S. is really big on morals. And building a mosque near ground zero is completely immoral. The U.S. is also big on common sense, and apparently they are lacking, in all building a mosque near ground zero is just disrespectful. Period.

    August 16, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
  71. Mack from Michigan

    Timothy McVie (sp) claimed to be a Christian, I wonder if the right wing would throw up such a firestorm about any new christian churches near the IRS building in Oklahoma City? The Right wingers want to suspend the fourteenth amendment to the constitution because of their hatrid of hispanics, now I supposed they're hatred of Muslims will lead to they're calling for the suspension of the first amendment of our constitution too!

    August 16, 2010 at 3:19 pm |
  72. Cesarina Somogy

    Naples, FL USA

    Isn't this the same religion that marries off "Child Brides" to old men? Isn't it the same religion that abuse, humiliate, and degrade women and girl children? Isn't this the same religion that the HIJACKERS of the airline that did away with the twin towers and thousands of people? Isn't this the same religion that Britain is now having a hard time controlling with their religious protests in the streets due to allowing "Freedom" of religion???? We don't need this Religion in the USA and especially in New York where Ground Zero is located. If they need a Mosque they can either leave the country or get themselves one out of the New York area. I would rather have Satan Worshippers instead of Muslims or Islamics, but then, what's the difference?

    August 16, 2010 at 3:19 pm |
  73. alumette

    Building a mosque on ground zero is an incendiary move. Yes we believe in all religions having the right to worship but the time is wrong to put a mosque in that specific location. The call to prayer from the minaret could be a constant reminder that radical Islamists created havoc and despair to so many innocent people. The old building should have been declared a historical site therefore eliminating these issues. It is now out of control as I foresee much friction coming from that decision.

    August 16, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
  74. Amine

    I don't think we are buying unnecessary problems, it's a matter of principle and to honor everyone who died on 9/11. Not only christians died in this tragedy but Jews, Muslim and non believers. Also if two blocks from the WTC is not good enough for you and your racist friends then is 5 blocks is good? Almost in every town in the USA, people are against Mosque being build because the people are misguided by the media and the hatred they injected in everyone.

    STOP this nonesense and remember many muslim are fighting along our side in Afaghanistan, Iraq, Yemen. If this mosque is not built in the same location, America will have more problems alone in this wolrd.

    August 16, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
  75. steve in fl

    I think Muslims have a problem no matter what they do or where they do it at this point. And the President merely made a statement equivalent to "The Constitution is still in effect, folks" and now the GOP is calling for a lynching. Nothing new there. Jack, I'm calling for a stop to the building any new banks or mortgage companies within 2 blocks of my house. I know they have every right but it's a sensitivity issue. They did a financial 9-11 to the hundredth power on my neighborhood, state and in reality, the entire nation. In fact, I think they should voluntarily stop construction. And about that new Blue Cross office. They killed my mom. Close her down. You're all insane. lol

    August 16, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
  76. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    It's really to bad that separation of church and state is being ignored in this issue and the people that oppose it that are in political office should revisit their oath to the Constitution or move to another country. I'd suggest China or North Korea. I'm not a religious person but do believe it's their duty to defend, protect and preserve the Constitution, not worry about votes.

    August 16, 2010 at 3:24 pm |
  77. Real Freedom

    Building the Islamic Super Center is insensitive and creates great pain to so many Americans. Especially those who were directly affected. This center at this location does not promote peace, and it is not a wise choice by its advocates. But it is not surprising either. Given Its main principle states that the United States Policies were an accessory to the 9/11 crime, and he also will not declare Hamas as a terrorist group.

    The least our government can do. Is thoroughly investigate "Feisal Abdul Rauf" and see were the 100 million dollars is coming from. The American people deserve this.

    It so disheartening that the "Muslim Center Advocates" will not take into account those who were murdered less than 10 years ago. This is the perfect time for "Feisal Abdul Rauf" to be an "American bridge- builder".

    August 16, 2010 at 3:24 pm |
  78. Michael H. in Albuquerque, NM

    There already is a Mosque near ground zero. No complaints.
    The current proposed Mosque is being used as yet another political wedge issue for the purpose of distraction. Distraction from what? Perhaps it is a distraction from the way republicans are using the constiturion and scriptures for disenfranchisement...when these documents are intended for inclusion.

    August 16, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
  79. Judy - California

    If that is what they want to do, then it is their right. We protect the rights of organizations like Ku Klux Klan for pete sake. It's in the constitution. The repubs are looking pretty desperate to me with this one.

    August 16, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
  80. Beverly Preast Carmichael

    I am not a bigot, a racist, or an isolationist. I am an ordinary American, proud and humbled to be an American, willingingly sharing life's opportunities and challenges of everyday living. I am not a politician, nor do I have any desire to be one. I oppose the building of the Mosque. This building has nothing to do with religious freedom. In fact, Christians are the most persecuted of religious groups but somehow, no one seems to notice that. We can't say "God" or "Jesus" because we would offend someone, yet our nation and all our ivy-league colleges were founded on the principals of religious freedom, in the name of God. In America, we say "God", not "Allah." It's okay with me if you want to call Him "Allah" in your country. In my country, we call Him God. Dumont, NJ

    August 16, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
  81. Jade- asanctuary.net/ypyc/forum

    You bet they are asking for trouble! I mean come on! Sure they have the right to build, but what about respect? Why choose THIS spot to place their mosque? These people are crazy for considering building a Muslim mosque so close to a site that was attacked by Islamic suicide bombers! It is almost as if they are challenging us. I understand equality, and that we should uphold that principle, however I sure don't believe it is fair that our president would allow this to happen. It is not fair, for instance, for all of those families affected by 9/11 are now having to deal with this emotional issue. Give them a break!

    August 16, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
  82. tom winn

    muslims don't seem to be having any problems. the rest of us have the problem. an agreement on what's the solution? legal rights, political posturing, moral standings, America's heritage, etc., i wonder if other democratic countries would have this same situation? how's a nazi museum going to be received in israel or russia; a turkish house of honor in armenia. quit analysing everything to death, sometimes the correct answer is just no.

    August 16, 2010 at 3:33 pm |
  83. Conor in Chicago

    Hey! Republicans! Guess what this is? The "Free Market" speaking. Isn't it all about letting the wonders of the invisible hand work its magic in a free society? Wouldn't it be "Fascist" or "Socialist" to get in the way of Capitalism? Oh I forgot: Only you guys understand the intricacies and exceptions that should be allowed in the US since you are the "Real Americans".

    August 16, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  84. Sharon

    That depends Jack on how much of a "community" center this will really be. As a female and of the non Muslim faith, will I be able to use the swimming pool without offending them when I wear a bathing suit? How quickly would they send the morale police to tell me to cover up? If so, then it is nothing but an extension of the opressed religion from over in the Middle East being introduced into lower Manhattan.

    August 16, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
  85. Tatyana

    Yes, they are.
    Nobody tells not to build a house of warship, though there are more mosks in NY than cathedrals, synagogues and churches... But why they still insist on this specific spot? This is not just an "any" spot. This is the spot where other muslims killed Americans. That's why their persistence looks suspisious and ambiguous, like they
    Who does challenge their right of religious freedom? Nobody!!!
    But this new mosk should not be built at Ground Zero. Point.

    August 16, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
  86. David Meeks

    When they say it's a religion of peace, yet it breeds terrorism, stone and oppress innocent women, believe's in the narrative and some want to wipe Israel off the map. My question is why would you allow them into the country let alone build a mosque, where they preactice brainwashing people. If Americans knew what is in the Koran, they would think twice about allowing them on their soil. They will only defile the land.

    August 16, 2010 at 3:36 pm |
  87. Steve, Clifton, VA

    The Republicans have traditionally positioned themselves as protectors of the U.S Constitution (constructionist) and this is clearly a matter of compliance with the U.S Constitution, notwithstanding New York State and local laws and regulations. Do they, the republicans, want to constitution read and enforced as it was written or not? President Obama merely reminded us of the cherished provisions of our Constitution and appropriately shied away from the wisdom of the Muslim's election to pursue construction of this Mosque within two blocks of ground zero. The question of "Near" ground zero has yet to be defined. What is near, 3 blocks, 4 blocks, 5 blocks? Are there other religious structures within this area that are none Muslim? Is there another Mosque already within this two block area? Seems to me this matter has been made a political and emotional issue when it should be a legal and constitutional issue. If we as a country , had approached the Timothy McVeigh , who were Christians, situation in the same fashion as we are handling this one, then we would not want any newly Christian Churches constructed within to blocks of the Federal building in Oklahoma.

    August 16, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
  88. marja hartzell-oforji

    No, and besides, it`s two blocks away from ground zero. Even though the sorrow of relatives of the victims of 9/11 is most understandable, it`s regrettable even a pity if some of them take seriously the misinformation of certain tea party members who want to spread hate mixing up Muslims with Al Qaeda.
    I`m a Christian from Stockholm, Sweden.

    August 16, 2010 at 3:46 pm |
  89. Kendy

    Maybe they are. The real question should be why are so many people reluctant to afford them their constitutional right to practice their religion freely? Seems to me a lot of conservatives are participating in selective tolerance. They would holler just as loud if a gay marraige chapel wanted to open there!

    Delaware, OH

    August 16, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  90. Barbara Greenslate

    The President is right to point out that this country was built on the ideal that we are free to practise our religion, whatever that is. He was also right to express the thought that Musims have the right to build a mosque wherever they choose as long as they abide by the city, state and federal codes, just as Caholics or Baptists do. I understand the sensitivity surrounding 9/11 and the fact that many Americans lost their lives that day. Among them were Muslims. I think some Americans are reacting with strong emotions and, as one Congressman put it, have not distinguished the difference between Muslims and Al Queda.


    August 16, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
  91. Pete from Georgia

    Does anyone believe that Muslims..................anywhere on this planet.................are sensitive to anyone or anything except their own hellish agendas ???

    August 16, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
  92. John, Lake Charles, LA

    Of course they are creating problems. Muslim's built a mosque in Jerusalam several hundred years ago and look what happened to the Middle East. Muslims don't just want one mosque, they want thousands of them right here in the good old U.S. of A. Their only purpose is to make every man, woman and child in the entire world muslim.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:01 pm |
  93. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York


    No, the builders of the Ground Zero mosque are actually doing us a favor, allowing us to witness and hopefully resolve the hypocrisy of our current politics.
    Insensitivity is a not an illegality, however constitutional protections cannot only apply to some and not to others. It is a lesson that we are
    apparently still learning 234 years later.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:01 pm |
  94. Dave in Georgia

    Jack, the operative word is that the proposed mosque is "near" ground zero. So who is to decide just how far away the mosque should be? I think it depends on how willing New Yorkers and Americans are to allow the practice of freedom of religion when the chosen religion is not Christianity. The whole issue has become a test of how American is progressing when it comes to tolerance. We know that the 9/11 terrorists were Muslim extremists. Yet Muslims living and working in the US, no matter how loyal and patriotic they may be, do not have the same luxury as a Christian practice their religion free from harassment. Once again, we are allowing the bad deeds of a few insane men to color our opinion of an entire group. When are we going to finally grow up as a nation and come to terms with the fact that there are other religions, other lifestyles, other colors of people in our midst who only want the same things we all want....mainly to be left in peace? We're a nation that's over 2 centuries old. Haven't we learned anything about anything yet?

    August 16, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
  95. Carla from Birmingham

    If the Moslems are actually peace-loving people, they will not build a mosque near Ground Zero. To do so will almost definitely provoke the more radical conservative factions in the US to violence against the Moslems and the building. And that, in turn, would provoke Jihadists who would love to point to violence by Christians or US Citizens against the mosque as another excuse for their own violent ways. This is a tinder box situation, and if the Moslems actually care about preserving peace in this country, they will build their mosque elsewhere. I am a liberal - but I am also a pacifist. Provoking others to violence is as offensive as commiting overt acts of violence - perhaps, more so.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  96. NB, WI

    THe question is not about the right to build and freedom of religion. Everyone knows that this great country allows that. But are you not taking advantage of that liberties by building at (from WI , 2 blocks away from Ground zero is as good as at ground zero; the distances are relative) ground zero. What about some sensitivity, respect for the 9/11 families. Where is the leadership and the high road from the moderate muslims to speak out and move somewhere else? Is it right to build there?
    Historically muslims have always built on conquered ground. In India temple were destroyed and Mosques built on top of them causing mental anguish to a lot of Hindus. But did they care? Like the Hamas leader mentioned today: "Muslims have to build (mosques) everywhere". Do they care whom they hurt in the process? Clearly not.

    Sharia anyone?

    Thanks, NB

    August 16, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  97. Nathan

    I believe by not letting the Muslims not build their mosque we are no better then the people that attacked us. New York should let them build it New York was built on immigrants coming over here to have freedoms of Speech and RELIIGION. Isn't there more important things to focus like unemployment. Sarah Palin dosn't know what shes talking about she keeps talking about the Consitiution everything she says go against the Constitution she says what our four fathers wanted well if u read the Constitution they help wright the Amendment 1 – Freedom of Religion, Press. She maybe the one person that shouldn't be allowed to free speech. I am not against any religion but she keeps saying this country was brought on chrisitan values well maybe some values but its FREEDOM that what makes us AMERICA.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  98. TSO-Wenatchee, WA

    "Are Muslims buying themselves unnecessary problems by insisting on building a mosque near Ground Zero in New York?"

    Do bears poop in the woods? I think Muslims are just asking for trouble by insisting on building the mosque near Ground Zero. They would be much better off by accepting Paterson's offer. However they have every right to build on this property, but I believe it would be counterproductive to do this just now. If Americans are going to protest this, then perhaps they should protest new construction of Jewish synagogues...all the more reason I'm rapidly becoming an atheist.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
  99. Gaius

    Blocking the mosque means bin Laden wins. He hates Muslims who preach against him and his terrorism. He has declared them takfir (like excommincation) and said they're fair game for his killers. If bin Laden really does hate our freedoms and wants to destroy them, the opponents of the mosque are his best allies.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
  100. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Jack, had people rather have a good old Baptist, Methodist or Catholic church there? I bet there wouldn't be one damn word said if there was.It gripes my butt when the good old churches here in Jacksonville, Fl. have a policeman stopping traffic so they can get out of their parking lots after church, so I don't really care if they build one on ever block in downtown New York.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
  101. Stephanie

    Republican Muslim Americans are "pouncing" on the Republican rhetoric; Newt Gingrich is calling the organizers Nazis; protests against mosques are happening all over America. All this while the press dithers over whether this was a wise political move or trying to parse and dice the President's words.

    If you actually read or watched all of the President's speech, whose DUTY is to defend the constitution, it is clear that he was addressing a much more widespread and dangerous situation than what is happening just in New York: Islamophobia. Obviously there is a need for this conversation!!!

    August 16, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
  102. Joe R - Houston

    It's their money. As long as they accept the responsibility for the consequences of their actions, I couldn't care less how they spend it.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
  103. Ed's Kate

    No, there is freedom of religion in this country.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
  104. Isabelle in Mississippi

    I grew up believing we were the land of the free and home of the brave. To show the world that we are too fearful or hateful to have a mosque built 2 blocks from ground zero makes us look like cowards who don't believe in freedom of religion or the constitution, so what do we believe in? What's next...burning witches?

    August 16, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
  105. john

    Tolerance goes both ways. To show understanding for the pain the 9/11 families are going through The developers of the Mosque should voluntarily move it. Just because you have a right to do something doesn't make it right.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  106. Tom Mytoocents Fort Lauderdale, Florida


    Great idea ,we need more jobs. I don't care where they build it as long as they use American labor and materials.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  107. Tom Trapani, Quito, EC

    Jack, they are grown ups as such are perfectly capable of determining whats best for them now and in the future.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  108. Kathie

    What ever happened to freedom of religion. All Muslims are not terrorists–most are peace loving like the rest of us. The news media emphasizes Muslims as terrorists creating more fear. Tim McVeigh was a terrorists–Catholic if I recall. What about Jim Jones? What about the Crusades? Leave the Muslims alone and stop all this fear mongering!

    August 16, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
  109. Paul in Florida

    Islamic history clearly demonstrates that mosques are built on jihadi conquests. Any trust of any Muslim lies in the rubble of the World Trade Center. There is more terror to come.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
  110. Alex in Gig Harbor, WA

    They say that the Muslims can't build a mosque in the "shadow of the WTC site." How can two holes in the ground cast a shadow? We should have rebuilt the WTC as soon as possible to send a message that we will never yield to terrorism! And yet the families of the 9/11 victims can't agree on what to build there. How far away in enough? Mosques have been protested in Staten Island, Tennessee, Wisconsin and San Fransisco. Please respect the First Amendment!

    August 16, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
  111. IKHAN from san jose ca

    Hi Jack.

    Not at all.
    All people in the good Ol' US of A as we know it have a right to worship whichever God they believe in and to have a place of worship.
    This is not United Fundamental Christian States of America.

    Those handful of Fascist fanatics posing as Christians are dragging this country to a place where no American would want to be. The Republicans have seized this opportunity to munch hay & gang up against President Obama. Their strategists screaming to make the maximum of a non-issue.

    We are witnessing the birth of Fascism in this country of freedom & liberty.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  112. Butch in SC

    If there was a Mosque there before 9/11, then Obama would be replacing it.
    Since there wasn't one then, then there's no reason for him to build one on that particular site. It's just pandering! I think his "secret wisdom' on this issue which he refuses to discuss in public must be that he feels that the Muslims won't bomb that site again if they have a Mosque sitting there.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
  113. Jacob Gallion

    Does the president have any legal stand or option to stop Muslims from building a mosque near Ground Zero? If not, why are all the news stations making a big deal out of his comment that Muslims have the right to practice their religion as anyone else.

    Jacob Gallion
    Newport News, VA

    August 16, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
  114. Elizabeth Ware from Dallas

    Settlers came here because of religious persecution. We are one of very few countires in the world organized around values and ideals, not ethnicity and heredity. America's greatest strength is its diversity.

    We shouldn't ditch our values because devout people want to practice their faith.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
  115. Chaney, La.

    If we are to rule by the US Constitution, then Muslims can build a Mosque where they want to..... the bigotry has been purposefully implanted by unscrupulous politicians, namely... TP types/Conservative?....example>Gingrich, Palin,King....these people will do anything if they think it will earn points with voters......
    Muslims should be able to build a Mosque wherever it is legal to do so....end of story.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  116. Greg Who?

    First, Obama was not backtracking. We Americans do have a right to make unwise decisions. I wish it weren't so sometimes as I have made a ton of them myself. Second, in view of the controversy and the disharmony the decision is causing, it is unwise. There are so many things that cause division among our people, it behooves us to take the feelings of others into consideration when making decisions. That is the biggest problem–disharmony. It would go a long way in improving relations between Christian, Jews and Muslims if the decision was reversed with a statement of understanding. A wise thing to do would be to declare the proposed cite open to all faiths in the name of fellowship and leave the decision of which path to follow and prayer to give to God left totally to the visitor.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  117. Elizabeth Ware from Dallas

    Don't kid yourselves – this has nothing to do with Ground Zero.

    No matter where anyone tries to build a mosque these days, folks protest.

    This is about anger, fear and intolerance. Islam is a religion of peace, as are most religions.

    Insane, angry, violent people are the minority, but they come from all races and all creeds.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  118. Dan

    Dear Jack,

    I believe that NON-Muslims are buying themselves unnecessary problems by standing in opposition to this proposal. Every one agrees that the only way to ultimately win the war on Terror is to win the hearts and minds of the worldwide Muslim community. This is not the way to do that! Americans, REAL Americans should be ashamed that 70% of the populace of the country where "all men are created equal" are against this thing. It belies everything America stands for and the international Islam community can see that. Maybe America isn't so great after all.

    Dan NY

    August 16, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  119. Jay


    If we are against a mosque being built 2 blocks from ground zero, then we should by all means let Israel and Palestine go at it. If we are not willing to let muslims practice freely, what clout could we possibly hold with persuading Israel and Palestine to live in peace?

    Wise decision or not-and public opinion be damned-it is a right that goes back to the Puritan days. lets move forward, not regress.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  120. AJ

    Yes, and they don't care. Because we are now a nation of politically correct idiots that have to put up with this crap. Cause god for bid you say something bad about someone, or tell someone no. this is where tolerance gets you, you can't say no to anything because that would not be fair. Life is not fair get over it and put your mosque somewhere else!

    August 16, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
  121. Joe in VA

    Everyone knows the Muslims have a constitutional right to build a Mosque on property they own. However, they could have gained a lot of support had they been willing to be sensitive to the feelings of all Americans who felt violated on 9/11 and thus located their Mosque elsewhere. Their "in your face" stand will not gain them many friends and will only rekindle the memories of all those Muslims ( even those in "moderate" nations) who danced and celebrated the fall of the twin towers.

    Chatham, VA.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
  122. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello CNN friends,

    No, Muslims are Not buying themselves unnecessary problems,
    because in Suriname a Mosque is build near a Jewish Synagogue for years!
    So let us Now be a Good Example for ourselves and our children!

    Jurgen R. Brul

    August 16, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
  123. Marc in charlotte

    NO. Muslims didnt bomb the towers, terrorist disguised as muslims bombed the towers. I not saying let the taliban build their headquarters there. We need to stop linking muslims to terrorist because people of all races, religions, and cultures have links to terrorism.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  124. David in Tampa

    Jack, I neither agree nor disagree with these people building a mosque in the area. I just wish the two groups involved would take this opportunity to have an honest discussion of their concerns and feelings. Mostly I wish all the politicos would shut up and stay the hell out of it because it isn't any of their business anyway.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  125. Meg from Troy

    I think that people on both sides of the argument are buying us all unnecessary problems. The Republicans, as usual, are using the proposed center, which includes a mosque, as a divisive issue to promote themselves and their political agenda. Their loud voices probably account for a great many of the 70 percent of Americans who supposedly oppose the mosque. Those who point out that freedom of religion is an integral part of our constitution are correct. Their voices have also been strident. Bottom line–are we a free country and a free people who believe in our own constitution and the right of our own citizens to buy property and build on it? Are we a sensitve people, willing to listen to both sides of an argument without being strident and threatening? Too much said on both sides.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  126. Scott

    The people behind the Park51 project known as the “Ground Zero Mosque” could probably have avoided most of the controversy by building their civic center at another location on Long Island but I don’t think they could have avoided it totally. There are too many people who see political gain by steering up resistance to mosques all over the country (California, Wisconsin and Tennessee). If it were further away then the name “Ground Zero Mosque” may not have stuck. I think this name is what is causing the majority of people to react so emotionally.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  127. Dennis north Carolina

    i feel that they are asking us if we stand for freedom of religion or only when we want to say freedom. we can not condemn a religion or a ethnic group of people by the actions of a few that are using the name of that religion for their own purpose. we lost million of people in world wars, do we comdemn those countries for a few people.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  128. JIM

    Obama's stance on this is not surprising. He promised change and we are getting it. Just the wrong kind.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  129. John from San Antonio

    Yes they are. I'm sure another location wouldn't be that much more inconvenient. The problem with this is the terrorists are criminals but they are hidung behind religion to commit their crimes. A Mosque so close to ground zero is akin to a slap in the face to Americans and only serves to further fire up the emotions of those who border on the criminally insane..

    August 16, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  130. Ed from California

    One of our countries building blocks is religious freedom. More people have died in the name of Christ than those who have died in all of our wars put together. And what our president said is 100% correct. Any religion has the right to build or use a place for the practice of their religious freedoms.

    But, building a Mosque so close to the location of a mass murder perpetrated by a bunch of Islamic zealots is insensitive. And they should build their mosque in another local not so close to ground zero. I haven't heard one Islamic leader condemn what happened to all of us on 9/11. And that's my biggest problem with them.

    On the other side, would the U.S. people be looked fondly of if we built a replica of the Statue of Liberty or a replica of the Liberty Bell, at the locations of detonation of the two atom bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of WW II? No, it would be insensitive of us. And completely disrespectful to all the Japanese people. See, it's a matter of deep respect, and deep sorrow, for all those who have died.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  131. charmaine evans

    This is free america–you betcha they have the right to build their mosques anywhere they want if they own the land!! From colorado springs, co

    August 16, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  132. dennis from Minneapolis, MN

    This is an interesting topic Jack. You have to read between the lines to see the deep seeded hatred and racism in that comment. Think about it. How is building a mosque an insult to Americans? Who ever said that Ground Zero is zoned Christian territory? Im sure you understand not only Christians were killed in the bombing, but they were all American. This is a land free of religious profiling Jack. These contractors are American Land Owners. How Dare You ask for segregation based on religion, to stop a religious community center from being built. Your pompous attitude and hipocrisy is shocking and pretty disgusting. Yes Jack, lets throw aside intellectual thinking, and use emotion to run our government.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  133. Tavon

    You know i dont understand what all the fuss is about you dont want a mosc but its ok for christians to use the bible as in psalm 109 pray that anothere takes his office and his children to becom vagabons to insight americans to kill our president and thats ok but if we are supposed to have freedom of religion why not we are too close minded either we are free or we are bound lets take a first step and start to heal the country not divide it the country that prays together stays together

    August 16, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  134. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    I think Muslims are pushing the envelope on this one. Just because it is theoretically allowed it just is not the right move to make. It is a slap in the face to all 9/11 victims and to Americans. Unfortunately Muslims were the people who took out the twin towers and to glorify these actions by building a mosque and an Islamic community center there is just in bad taste. The developers should take Govenor Paterson up on his offer for state owned land at a different location.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  135. dennis from Minneapolis, MN

    Yes. You finally said it. Even though the president is right intellectually, lets run on emotion. Ha Ha. Lets take these American Land Owners and segregate them out of the Christian area. This is dangerous thinking on an epic scale.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  136. bob, oshawa, ontario

    Jack, right now many Americans oppose the plan and I do not believe that given the emotional factor involved, it will abate any time soon. We can speculate all we want on the motives for the structure to be built so close to Ground Zero but if built, its mere presence will not help to promote Islam in a positive way but will be seen by many as huttzpah on a grand scale.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  137. Bob Kobs

    Yes, they are being provocative. Just because it is a right, one does not have to always exercise it. There is also the principle of responsibly exercising one's rights....or simply, applying due care not to harm tranquility. Moslems and Republicans have failed on all accounts..

    August 16, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  138. jaysansone

    I understand people's anger and frustration over the lower Manhattan Mosuqe issue, and I think the Islamic organization should know better in terms of sensitivity. But the fact that it has gotten this much press, and people are displaying so much hatred for it is unreal to me. Muslim americans didn't attack The World trade Center. There is not vast international anti-American Muslim conspiracy. Muslims Americans died in the WTC, they were some of the first responders. Alqeda is the culprit . They are the enemy. They killed 3,000 innocent Americans. Not American muslims, who have the right to worship and put up whatever they please on their own property. Its a Community Center with a Performing Arts theatre, and a swimming pool for kids. People are acting like Al Qeuda is setting up a base in lower manhattan. And in doing so, burning on the Bill of Rights.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  139. Matt

    I think they are forcing the Issue trying to "stir the Pot" Not to mention radical Islam will see it as a major victory.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  140. Blake


    Muslims in this country can run into a burning building, to save a Rabbi and still be accused of hating Jews. We can not selectively apply the rights afforded under the Constitution. Muslims deserve the same rights afforded any other religious group under the Constitution. Are they buying unnecessary problems? The only way to change that in this country is to change their faith...where are all the constitution thumpers when someone needs them?

    August 16, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  141. Richard35

    What's the problem? Are you forgetting over 400 Muslims lost their lives in the 9/11 attack?

    August 16, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  142. howard

    does the constituion state building mosque

    August 16, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  143. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, the muslims are showing the entire country that they have no sense of regret for the 9/11 attacks. Their insensitivity to the victims' families, tells me that there is an agenda for them other than the professed cultural center. If they were truely trying to reach out to the rest of New York, they would realize that this location is much too close to ground zero to serve any good purpose. I believe they are building this to celebrate it as a victory monument to the 9/11 event, signifying a victory for Islam.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  144. Kea from Honolulu


    Why must we condem an entire religion when it was the extreme fanatics that cause this tragedy? I guess all Christans are to blame for the Oklahoma bombings, or for Priests who molest alterboys? Come on now...

    With the Republicans using this as political fodder, it feels like Bush era scare tactics all over again. I fear for my country when we start letting our emotions override rational thinking.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  145. Addeline - GA

    Jack –
    It's all about location, location, location but with Obama's mentality and way of thinking – he just doesn't get it and never will.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  146. Missy M

    Most religions preach humility and compassion. Sadly, those are not being considered by those who are insisting on building a mosque near Ground Zero.

    Of course NY muslims should have their mosque/education center and they have the right to worship their religion where and how they see fit. Nobody is telling them not to construct their building. People are simply asking that they consider the feelings of the families who perished at the hands of radical muslims only a few blocks away. A true religion would offer a compassionate hand to those families, not a cold heart. By not considering other locations for their mosque, yes, muslims are buying themselves unnecessary problems. They are willingly casting themselves as the bullies of the block.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  147. Dick B

    People who change their vote on this issue probably shouldn't have the right to vote in the first place and the people pushing this nonsense shouldn't even be in this country.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  148. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    If Muslims want to build a mosque near GZ then they have all the right in the world to do so. As much as I detest the idea, I will defend their right to build it. Are Muslims buying trouble by insisting on building near GZ? You bet your booty they are. But they still have the right to do it. So why are so many of our politicians, both Republican and Democrat, who are supposed to defend and support the Constitution of the United States so against it?

    August 16, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  149. Ray in Nashville

    Jack, Muslims have been using this site to worship for some time now and no one is worse for wear. The truth is, in the current policital climate, nowhere in the US is going to be acceptable to certain segments of American society (hint, they are socially and politically to the right of you and me and slavishly follow another news network whose name begins with the letter F.) My question is, how can we legally stop them from doing so? According to the 1st Amendment to the Constitution, our government can make no laws barring them from building a mosqe there. According to the US Supreme court, in their recent ruling on Chicagos gun ban, neither the state nor the city of New York can make any laws banning muslims from building a mosque. Of course, I guess this strict constitution stand they make only applies when it works in their favor.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  150. chris brown fl

    no I think the operative words here are( unnecessary problems ) I believe that this is an attention getter and it is very deliberate i think that it's free advertisement for there cause

    August 16, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  151. Karl from SF, CA

    I guess they are, considering the current ignorance and intolerance of religious freedom in this country. How far should the "NO MOSQUE" zone extend? Apparently any religion is OK as long as it isn't Muslim or you don't want to marry someone of the same sex. Thomas Jefferson must be rolling over in his grave. We have really become a pathetic lot.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  152. mark...in Houston

    Jack.... unfortunately, they are

    In this country we have a right to practice religious beliefs when and where we want....and if a structure can be built, whether it be church, mosque, temple etc. in which we can practice those beliefs...great.

    But...for a mosque to be built at NY ground zero makes about as much sense as building a Babtist church at ground zero in Hiroshima.

    Simply put, Muslims are asking for negative repercussions justified or not, promoted by ignorance, anger, hate and the Republican party that promotes that mind set for political gain.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  153. Michael Armstrong Sr. Tx.

    Im sure there buying alot of Christin protest during the construction. to me this no more then a cat reaction marking there territory .

    August 16, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  154. Judy in Phoenix

    Don't get me wrong, Muslins don't thrill me. I despise their attitude toward women and their fellow Semites and cousins, Jews. However, they have the same right in this country to build where they want as you "good Christians" have to build your churches anywhere near Jewish synagogues. After centuries of discrimination and persecution by Christians against Jews, why should we put up with you?

    August 16, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  155. Carlos Marrero

    I'm not thrilled about the idea, but this country was founded on religious freedom. Saying no to this mosque would threaten the very fiber of our constitution ... religious freedom ... freedom from religion. And it would take us a tiny step closer to a state religion, a definite no-no to our founding fathers.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  156. Greg Who? Mechanicsburg, PA

    We Americans do have a right to make unwise decisions. I wish it weren't so sometimes as I have made a ton of them myself. In view of the controversy and the disharmony the decision is causing, it is unwise. There are so many things that cause division among our people, it behooves us to take the feelings of others into consideration when making decisions. It would go a long way in improving relations between Christian, Jews and Muslims if the decision was reversed with a statement of understanding. A wise thing to do would be to declare the proposed cite open to all faiths in the name of fellowship and leave the decision of which path to follow and prayer to give left totally up to the visitor.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  157. Bill

    And what is the problem with the Mosque as long as those parishioners of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Chruch can rebuild the one that radical Islamic Terrorists destroyed when the towers came down?

    I beileve that Mr. Obama's statemnt is one sided... on the one hand the federal government is involved in supporting a Mosque and not involved for the G.O. Church that was built there in 1916.

    This sheds a lot of light on this administrations policies.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  158. Debbie

    Hi Jack
    To me if indeed the mosque is just a mosque then why is it necessary
    it be built on 9/11ground . If it is for purely religious reasons why
    start out hurting so many people?

    Lansing, mi

    August 16, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  159. Mark from Voorhees, NJ

    The president was exactly right both times.

    The first time he said that under the Constitution they have the right to do this. As he implied the second time it is not a very bright idea.

    But the malicious, hypocritical Republicans would disagree with him if he said the sky was blue, and the media would cover it. Another Republican tempest in a toilet.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  160. Mike Coleman

    The Constitution is the Constitution all of the time, not just when it is convenient or when enforcing it is ok with the majority. In fact, one of the primary purposes of the Constitution is to protect the rights of the minority.

    The WTC was not attached by the Muslim religion. It was attacked by a group of extremist who happen to be Muslim. If the attack had been conducted by the KKK and then someone wanted to build a Christian Church near ground zero would we be having the same discussion?

    I think not..... shame on us.....

    August 16, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  161. Louis LoBalsamo

    Jack, it is simple. The President did not "backtrack" at all. Because of the ignorance of many of our citizens in this Nation, he obviously felt compelled to remind us of what the Constitution says and what our American ideals are. Wisdom does not equate to Law. The "wisdom" of building the mosque is a completely separate debate to the one as to whether or not it is "allowed" by Law in this Country. The President's statements simply reiterated this for the American public.
    What I feel is more worrisome is that the American public was so ignorant to this that he felt compelled to get into the discussion. It's a shame that he had to do so.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  162. K

    I am a Muslim, and I think the way it has been politicized Muslims should change the site. But question is all those Muslims who died in those buildings, would their spilled blood make the Hallowed Ground less Hallowed. Here is the difference, there are good people and bad, unfortunately intentions of good have been victimized here.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  163. Leo Rael

    Well here we go again giving our enemies more ammo to recruit more terrorists. I would like to see as much fervor to build a Memorial to those who lost thier lives. Of course its in bad taste but then again our taste is so perfect. What a dumb argurment. People just don"t realize to the extent we limit anothers right to practice thier religion we limit our rights.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  164. Alex Smith

    This is such a hysterical country; 70% of Americans need to grow up! They should be mad that nothing has been built on the Trade Ceter site (I won't call it 'Ground Zero'-wrong use of term), while a building in the Middle East that began construction two years after the attacks has been completed and is now the tallest in the world. Way to go America, "We're NOT #1!"

    August 16, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  165. Samuel W., FL.

    Unfortunately, Islam historically builds mosques on top of significant victories, ground zero being one no doubt. They were offered less controversial site free of charge but declined. That tells me this is a substantial statement for Islam. Too bad the 3000 innocent victims of 911 don't have a say – their voices have been silenced forever.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  166. Linda

    Whether they are buying problems remains to be seen, Jack. The bottom line is that the Constitution protects their right to build the mosque and worship there. A great many people have put their lives on the line to protect the rights Americans enjoy and many have given the ultimate sacrifice in that pursuit. The President has not backed off of anything. He has commented on the constitutional law issue and has refrained on comment concerning what "should" happen. His statements are correct and his restraint on personal comment should be applauded. Emotions run high but the constitutional law MUST prevail.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  167. Sara

    No mosque so close to ground zero,the families who lost innocent lives still hurting.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  168. Zach

    Yes, but God bless 'em for doing so! If we can continue to let BP operate on the Gulf Coast, then we can let Muslims pray in Manhattan. As a devout Christian and a patriotic American, I believe that these Muslims are good countrymen for sticking up for their God-given right to pray.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  169. Denny from Tacoma

    I believe that the Islamic move to build a mosque near ground zero is intentional. Their intent is clear. We, a nation who professes belief in religious freedom in the U.S.A. are in the process of demonstrating that there are exceptions to this belief. In the Islamic world we will only be proving that we are the Satans that they say we are. So back off America and be true to our stated beliefs.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  170. Zach Hendel

    I am a 21 year old student from Manhattan. Currently living in Southern Califorinia I have noticed people have allot of misconceptions of what it was like on that day. They don't realize there is still a hole in the ground, 9 years later. If a mosque gets built, at least somthing will move foward in that nabor hood. There's a church a block away, as a jew who lost many Jewish friends. How many Islamic people (minus the terrorists them selves) were working there that. Ask yourself these questions and you will find that this is ok and blown out of porportion. If the 70% Christ loving hicks who don't want it acted more like Christ this world would be a better place.
    Posted from my iPhone

    August 16, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  171. Tim

    Islam no more brought down the World Trade Center than Christianity brought down the Oklahoma City Federal Building. They have the right to worship where they wish. When a Mosque was going to be built next to our Church we invited them over for Ice Cream. Ice Cream builds more bridges than hate.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  172. James D Cowan

    The GOP is trying to make this mosque a wedge issue for an election. The democrats are obliging them by biting.

    Emotional issues have no place making policy. That method of government is known as anarchy, or mob rule. The rule of law MUST be upheld here, lest we start down a slippery slope of allowing religious or emotional fervor to supersede the intention of the constitution. This is purely a constitutional issue: the government has no right to tell these folks where they can and cannot build a mosque, on private property, with private funds. The government shall make no law respecting or disrespecting any particular religion.

    Michael Bloomberg is well aware of the government of New York City's obligation to uphold the constitution, no matter how unpopular, and has said as much, in person, and in writing.

    This mosque is not "Islam" building a monument to a "victory." Such an assertion is not only absurd, inflammatory, but insane. It makes me weep for the pathetic state of education, and cultural literacy, possessed by many Americans.

    I believe it is unconscionable that politicians are refusing to talk about ANYTHING substantive in this election, preferring to trade ad hominem jabs, and advocate emotional issues of little or no relevance to the future of our country.

    We're at turning point in American history; will we maintain our status as a political, economic, and military superpower, or will be slip in to perpetual recession, and political obscurity, with a mercenary military, more concerned with meeting the bottom line than with national security.

    Immigration, Islam, and the deficit are all meaningless issues designed to boil the blood of the uninformed. Net exports, energy policy, and education are all MUCH more important to this country's future!

    August 16, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  173. Tammy

    Muslims have a difficult time in this country since 9/11.... period.
    I support the building near ground zero. The problem is people associate the radical terrorists with regular Muslims. These people aren't anymore like those terrorists as Christians are to Timothy McVeigh.
    If those are long time New Yorkers, they also have been affected by 9/11. We need to be realistic, and not let the "right "pit us against each other.
    The first amendment is what make this country great. Lets not give into irrational fear.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  174. Birddog in Mississippi

    It is the American people who are hurting themselves. Muslims did not attack us on 9/11, mass murderous thugs did.
    We should not equate them with Islam. That would be like equating the members of that nutty Christian group that protests at funerals of soldiers with Christianity itself. This particular Muslim group has condemned the terrorist acts, and we should welcome that. The center will be a testament to the fact that Americans are welcoming of people of all faiths – even when it is difficult to do so.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  175. Maryan

    I dont think so at all Jack. Those Muslims who want to build their mosque near Ground Zero can build it near Ground Zero. They can build a mosque, or in their words a Community Center, wherever they want. The only people giving them problems are the GOP, and some democrats, who dont realise how ignorant they sound when they blame the acts of a few men on a whole religion. People say that it might seem insensitive to the ones who died there, but its not Islam's fault that those men made those decisions. How can the people who claim they love the constitution(the GOP) so much, also decide to take away a constitutional right from just those muslims who wish to build their Islamic Community Center in lower Manhattan? Honestly, open your eyes. Freedom of Religion. Whether your Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Satanist or Hindu. And thats the beauty of America.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  176. scurds

    would it be a good idea to build an aryan nation memorial at auschwitz?
    what about strip joints beside the local school?
    is it alright to put up shopping malls on sacred native american burial grounds?
    can supporters of the confederacy plant rebel flags on the lawn of the local black church?
    why cant we say christmas anymore?
    there is nothing moderate about this ground zero mosque. it is being built to celebrate the events of that day. why are they calling it Cordoba? isnt that the city in spain where moslem armies defeated the infidels? lets be a little bit smarter for once.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  177. Roger Josselyn

    It's a shame to "discriminate" against a religion, as our constitution proclaims, but I can't condone a huge religion such as Islam remaining essentially silent at what their religion is sponsoring worldwide. In todays high speed communication society, there is no excuse for this. Thus, I take a "no response' as an admission of guilt. – Where are the "true" spokesmen for Islam?

    August 16, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  178. John


    American Muslims aren't buying themselves any more unnecessary trouble by building a cultural center near Ground Zero any more than young black students bought themselves unnecessary trouble by insisting that they, too, had the right to eat at the local Woolworth counter.

    What makes America American is our core belief that we are all equal, that we are all entitled to due process and the right to self-governance, and that emotions won't subvert any of that.

    At root, America is founded on a philosophy – very intellectual, Jack – and not an emotional catharsis. Nazism gave catharses; Democracy gives all the aggravations of allowing someone you may not like do what they are entitled to under the law.

    Real Americans realize that by allowing a mosque (unconnected with the attacks on the Trade Towers) build near the site of the attack, we are simultaneously celebrating what is best in our way of approaching government and pointing out what may be lacking in Al Quaida's approach.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  179. tomas t.

    What's funny about this question (and American's opposition to this Mosque) is that it implies that Islam or Muslims and their very existence is an offense to Americans and the people of New York. What, exactly, is being implied here? Or, rather, being stated way out in the open? That you (all of you Muslims) are our enemy? Hamas, Hizbolah, Al Queda and sundry other Terrorist organizations are our enemies. If Islam has been added to that list, by all means Republicans (and American citizens who are aganist this construction), do tell us all. I am an Orthodox Christian–for all the republicans who will surely put me in a box.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  180. Bob in Texas

    Perhaps they are Jack, but that's their right. It's time for Americans to show a little backbone. Sometimes people use their freedoms in ways that are insensitive to the feelings of others.

    I like to mock fundamentalist Christians. They're an easy target. I have a first amendment right to do it, regardless of how uncomfortable it makes them feel. Similarly, the Muslims have a right to use private property they own as they see fit, regardless of the feelings of others. Get over it.

    The fact of the matter is, whether or not the Mosque is built, the radicals have already won another battle. They've gotten seventy percent of Americans to show their true colors, there willingness to throw the Constitution out whenever they are offended by someones actions. They've shown how shallow seventy percent of us really are.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  181. Carol

    Jack: You of all people know that the president of the US takes an oath to "...faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, PRESERVE, PROTECT, and DEFEND the Constitution of the United States."

    President Obama, with this oath, has no choice but to say, PER THE CONSTITUTION, that the muslims have the right to build a mosque. PERIOD!!!!

    If President Obama had NOT defended the Constitution, he would be impreachable!!!!!

    The media knows this, but having slow news days, it has stirred this non-story into a froth of banal controversy.

    All the media should say that the President is abiding by his oath to be President of the US.. Nothing else is needed.

    I am proud that Pres. Obama took the high road and upheld the principles by which we have lived for centuries.

    Let us not forget that there is a for MOSQUE IN THE PENTAGON where many people died on 9/11 also. Where is the right wings outrage at that?

    You, the media, have fallen for the right wing's spin tricks again.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  182. Yasmina in Virginia

    I don't understand how this because such a big issue. Do my fellow Americans not realize that MUSLIMS lost family members in 9/11 along with the rest of us. That MUSLIM soldiers are fighting for their safety overseas right at this moment. That MUSLIM students are sitting next to their children in classrooms across America. And that these Muslims are AMERICANS too! Take pride in your country and what it stands for. Yes, 9/11 caused a lot of pain for our nation, and is still causing pain, but pointing the finger at a group that has every right to build a place of worship is not going to make that pain go away. Embrace your fellow citizens and show pride in being an American, show the rest of the world that we are strong and support one another, not that we are so weak that we are letting such a petty issue hold such great importance in our lives. These people are not looking for trouble, they are practicing their rights as citizens. And if they don't push this issue now, I worry how bad things can become in the future.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  183. Adeel Siddiqui

    Not building that mosque is an insult to every muslim who has died fighting Al-Qaeda. It's an insult to America and for what it represents. It represents the EXACT fear that terrorists want Americans to feel.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  184. S. Wexler

    I do not think anyone would disagree with the fact that most Muslims are moderates and not in any way connected with terrorists or jihadist.. The angst that exists in American minds is due primarily to the fact that the Muslim moderates have never really spoken out in unison against the radicals that exist among them. It appears as if they are afraid to condemn the terrorists among them. This causes a widespread distrust of all Muslims. Religious freedom is a founding right in America. The President was right in stating this. The emotional fury is something else and I do not think the President was addressing this issue. There certainly would be no objection to building a church, or temple or even a Buddhist shrine on this site. But until the moderate Muslims become more vocal on their position against terrorism all Muslims will be suspect.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  185. Kathy

    Jack, as my favorite curmudgeon, I'm disappointed in your feeding into this frenzy of hate. President Obama took an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution...and the Bill of Rights. We do have religious freedom in this country, at least we did the last time I looked. To paint all Muslims with the same brush, the brush of all religious fanatics of any belief, is just plain wrong. And to keep adding fuel to this fire is dangerous indeed.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  186. Betty

    We are a nation which 'is supposed' to be tolerant; however, we all know that is not the truth. I have no problem with a mosque even though timewise I believe the Muslim community is 'pushing it.' 9/11 was traumatic just as Hitler's atrocities. Time heals. We understand that Hitler didn't represent the residents of Germany just as at the same time we can understand that 9/11 does not represent all Muslims.
    One nation under God is difficult to swallow so soon after 9/11.
    Muslims are and have been a part of our nation. Patience and joining groups to serve the down and out of our country would help. Then the time will come. All of us are a nation of 'show me.'

    August 16, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  187. Rick from Tampa, Florida

    if we don't want walmart in our community, we can keep them out. Why can't we keep out a mosque?

    August 16, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  188. Brian in Delray Beach

    This is precisely what the President was saying. The Muslims decision is probably not a good one from a public relations standpoint but their right to build their community center is legal and should be protected by the Constitution. The GOP uses the Constitution like a cafeteria of laws and choose the ones that suit their needs and forget the rest. As defenders of the Constitution the Republicans come off as hypotcrical and not patriotic.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  189. Eric in Seattle

    Question: when does people's sensitivities and emotions over rule rights? KKK and Neo-Nazi's are highly insensitive, yet we (most of us) defend their rights to hold their rallies and have their speech. Human rights are human rights whether you agree how people express those rights or not. You simply cannot say you support human rights and call yourself an American while at the same time rally against a specific group or religion's right to build a facility on a property they own. If you are so against the mosque, here's what you do: buy the property and build whatever the heck you want on it.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  190. Nora

    Why not? As an African American woman who has had to endure a lifetime of watching and listening to KKK members spew their hatred towards others.

    Where was the so called American people then?

    I wish that I could believe that in my lifetime there will be equality for all people, but it's not likely. But I will leave you with my favorite quote.

    "There is a destiny which makes us brothers; none goes his way alone. All that we send into the lives of others comes back into our own."

    Edwin Markham

    August 16, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  191. JimGreen, Seguin, TX www.Inclusivism.org

    Jack, the puzzlement for me is why did Obama wander into a minefield – he didn't need to wander into – He was singing to the choir, for those of us who support “freedom of/or no religion” in America—but as to your question, are the Muslims borrowing trouble by building the mosque so close to Ground Zero—given the outcry—it appears that they are -

    August 16, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  192. Jean, Toronto

    They certainly are and are insensitive to those who are buried at Gound Zero and their families of this 9-1-1 disaster/inferno. They do not care. They are using the Constitution to prove their rights to build this mosque.
    They are offered another venue and they have refused. This upsets me. It shows what they are up to.
    President Obama did no harm by recognizing their rights. He is in a strange position as US President, to be fair and just to every US national and those whom the US welcomed. Consider his position.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  193. r.fisher67

    Jack: I wonder if any of the complainers even know what is 2 blocks away from other New York or other national tourists sights. If they know they probably got lost on the way to the sight. This just giving our haters more reasons to recruit more people who want to kill Americans.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  194. george watford

    yes muslims are pushing the envelop by insisting to build mosque at ground zero location.they should respect wardead and relocate to a different site

    August 16, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  195. mario tampa fl

    Jack they are attracting unnecessary problems but everyone in this country deserves to practice whatever they believe in, and anyone who hold thier beliefs infront of one of the most fundamental rights that this county stands for is truly ignorant and unamerican. If anything happeneds to the muslims that attend this mosque it will truely show that america is full of intolerant ignorant people. That will not look good in the eyes of the rest of the world, that is constantly watching. If we really want to show the strength of America we should all imbrace this mosque and so our to ability for forgiveness. Let us not forget that the fundamental act in Christianity is FORGIVING.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  196. Sarah from CT

    What I do not understand is the argument that favoring to build this center would be "insensitive" to the families who lost loved ones in 9/11- Do people NOT understand that Muslims lost loved ones in 9/11 too?? The attacks on Sept. 11th were from the Al-Qaeda organization and NOT Muslims. There are million of practicing Muslims in America who not only condone the attacks but are firm believers of this difference.

    Muslims in America today are struggling to rid themselves of the stereotype that all Muslims are terrorist. By moving this Mosque elsewhere- I feel as though Muslims would accept that they collectively were responsible for 9/11 and therefore this stereotype would be confirmed.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  197. Deborah Sheats

    I have to say no Jack. America was founded on our right to freedom of religion. We may not agree with the practices of their religion but we still have to respect their right to free speech and assemble. All Muslims are not terrorists if we need don’t respect their right to religion now what’s to stop other religions from respecting ours

    August 16, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  198. JMR

    This shouldn't be an issue. Why are so many of our policymakers racist?

    August 16, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  199. jeff

    Funny how the Righties just LOVE the Constitution until someone actually uses it to exercise their freedom.

    Don't like the mosque–shut up. It's not your call.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  200. Tim in Texas

    People need to recognize that saying that "Muslims attacked us on 9/11" is like saying that "Christians blew-up an abortion clinic." The billion plus Muslims living in the world did not attack us. A fanatical wing co-opted portions of a religion and used it in terrible ways. We need to keep the distinction clear.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  201. Sam Dallas

    Upohlding the constitution of the United States and the Rights contained therein, should trump sensitivity. This is one of the moments we should be proud to claim the beleive in 'American exceptionalism'.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  202. Rowe

    Don't be silly, both Republicans and Muslims are playing to their extremist base, and are expecting to be rewarded for this behavior. If the American public is touchy about this it's only because it's humiliating to think that a Mosque will be built at Ground Zero before we've managed to stop squabbling long enough to re-build the World Trade Center. When Pearl Harbor was attacked the Yorktown was repaired and re-built in a few weeks. The fact that we're still staring at a hole in the ground almost ten years after 9/11 is a disgrace, and (hopefully) a wake up call. Don't get mad, get busy.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  203. Dorothy Halverson

    The settlement monies that the victims or surviving family members of 9/11 should form a corporation and buy the building. They can turn around and install offices and/or sell it and get a return on their money. Leave religion out of it. That's called capitalism.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  204. Robert

    The answer is yes, they are buying themselves unnecessary problems, but then the question itself is stupid. The republicans and even some democrats happily take the first amendment out for target practice for political gain, because they know that selling division and fear works to further their goals, and we as a people lap it up.

    You cannot say you support the first amendment to the constitution, if you only support it when it is politically expedient. In my opinion a great use for some of the area near ground zero is to support a multi-cultural center where people can learn the truth about the religions of the world. If we continue this dangerous game of, "Christians good. Muslims evil," well, our war on terror is never going to be won and so much will be wasted on our foolishness. Freedom is expensive. We should not give it away so easily with our focus on fears, rather than real targets like actual terrorists.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  205. Josiah, Rochester, NY

    The very fact that this is a debate spells trouble for the future of America and of our relationship with the Islamic world. To even ask whether a mosque should or should not be built near or adjacent ground zero is to make Islam synonymous with terrorism. Somehow everyone in the media is saying that they make that distinction while in secret fostering paranoia and promoting it. This also spells trouble for the bill of rights for all Americans because if we make an exception to freedom of religion in order to stop them from building a mosque near ground zero due to American's sensitivity, what is next? They can't build in New York in general or then woman can't wear burqas in public. I say if we can't hold their rights sacred our own rights are in danger as Americans, no exceptions!

    August 16, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  206. Jim Blevins

    Obama has it exactly right. The real question is should religion be restricted because most people don't like the religion. The answer is clearly NO! Because most people in this country are Christian and because a lot of them have decided that that religion has some responsibility in the 9/11 attack is irrelevant. Our country s based on the principle of freedom of religion and absolutely nothing should interfere with that principle. A far less important consideration is people's emotions about such a building. That is not a federal matter and is up to the people involved to decide. His original statement made no mention of this secondary matter and his clarification would not have been necessary if people had really heard his first statement.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    August 16, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  207. Barbara in Maryland

    Because a majority of Americans oppose a community center that will include a mosque being built at that location we very much give the impression that most Americans believe we are at war with Islam in general, not just radical Muslims. This is not helpful. This attitude does not help us live up to our highest ideals. Besides, if Jim Crow laws were decided by majority rules, we might still be living with those laws. By simply building a community center that includes a mosque means they're inviting unnecessary problems? The building of mosques is being protested in places like Tennessee, Wisconsin and California. This is not outrage about one being built near Ground Zero, this is about some Americans believing we are at war with all of Islam. Sometimes I'm disappointed in my fellow Americans, this is one of those times.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  208. Tracy

    I believe we are the ones unnecessarily bring ourselves problems. Each time we persecute muslims for their religion and group all of them in with the radical few, we do the terrorist's recruiting for them. Intolerance like this, is what creates home grown terrorists.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  209. Fred from Fort Kent

    There is an Islamic mosque in the Pentagon, which also was attacked by the 9/11 terrorists. Perhaps the military understands our constitution better than those who so stongly object to the proposed mosque in Lower Manhattan. Certainly the 9/11 mosque is objectionable, but it's legal. Let's not emulate the Taliban, who wiped out the Buddhist structure in Afghanistan.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  210. M. Himes

    No. i don't believe Muslims are bringing unnecessary problems to themselves. We as Americans can't forget why the colonist first came here. To escape religious persecution. Muslims have the right to build a mosque where they please. This is protected by our laws. We can't let what happened on 9/11 cause us to blame an entire religion. We went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan and destroyed the infrastructure of those nations- is anybody blaming Christianity for that.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  211. Stefan (Canada)

    So what if 70% of the Americans are against building a mosque near Ground Zero? Since when the majority has the right to dictate to a minority what they can do (as long as it is legal)? 70% doesn't make it right. In fact in many cases along the history the majority proved to be wrong. Do you need examples? (I don't think so)

    Acting emotionally leads to wars and disasters. Being tolerant and encouraging moderation should be the answer... But we have a really long way until we will understand the simple Christian teachings that put love at the core of our well being in this world more than 2000 years ago. Man, I know it takes a while to learn...

    August 16, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  212. Frank Richmond

    The Constitution exists to protect the minority–even a minority of one–from the majority. The same people who point to opinion polls showing how many "true Americans" object to this project would be quick to point that out if it was a poll that said, "Seventy percent of Americans want reasonable gun control." Emotions should not rule our country. When they do, people's rights are infringed upon. As a gun owner, I don't want my rights curtailed because other people are paranoid and have a phobia about something. I don't think that Muslims in this country should have their rights curtailed, either.

    Frank Richmond
    Wichita, KS

    August 16, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  213. Marc, NYC

    Actually, the new mosque will be only two blocks closer to ground zero than the old mosque, in what used to be a shuttered outlet store. It will be next to the Amish market and surrounded by seedy bars. Ground Zero is the site of a national tragedy (one in which I and other New Yorkers survived), but lower Manhattan isn't exactly Arlington National Cemetery and life must and will go on here, despite the wave of anti-Muslim fervor.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  214. Cindy Plachinski

    Why all the fuss? There is a Mosque, is there not, in the Pentagon?
    Is that not a sacred site? The whole subject is absurd.
    Muslims died in the trade center, and Muslims were among the rescue workers. I am not Muslim, choosing to practice common sense rather than religion.. Church and State should stay apart, and that should be that. Why don't all the protesters just make camps and put all the Muslims in there, and repeat the same shame during WWII when people put Japanese USA Citizens in camps. This bigotry is backward thinking. I wish people would just get smart all of a sudden.
    Criminals took down the towers, religious criminals, and that is that. I still cry about it, and how the world here changed on that day.
    We need to catch anyone else involved and put them away for life. Why is that so hard to understand?

    August 16, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  215. Stuart Gates

    While I'm sensitive to the emotional elements of both sides of this debate, I'm more concerned that we've lost sight of making the Ground Zero sight a monument to our resolve as Americans not to be intimidated by any outside force. The fact that the site is still largely a hole in the ground 9 years after the events of 9/11/01 I find personally offensive, if we are truly interested in honoring the victims of that tragedy, I would believe that we are better served by rebuilding the site itself...instead of bickering over the merits of unrelated projects in such a disingenuous manner. Completing the "Freedom Tower" or whatever it will be called would be the most appropriate response to any attack on our delicate sensibilities.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  216. Stephen Wright, Elmira NY

    There wasn't a problem until opponents of the mosque blew up the story, making it sound like an all mighty islamic tower, built to glorify 9/11. Truth is its just a run down building, a couple blocks from ground zero, and the mosque is just one part of the building. As a nation, we say were not against islam, just terrorists. But obviously by your poll, 70% of the nation can't differentiate between the two, Its irrational and stupid. Let them have their mosque. Not to blast republicans, but they ramble on about how important it is to respect the constitution.... Well that doesn't change just because your feelings are hurt. The first amendment protects the freedom of religeon, even the ones you don't like. And obama? man, he should've kept his mouth shut... he could've actually dodged a bullet for once.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  217. Anita - New York

    What is the difference between saying that building the Islamic Center near ground zero is not a constitutional issue but rather a moral one and Obama stating on Friday that they have a constitutional right to build and on Saturday commenting that he wasn't making comment on the morality of the issue? Why is the President considered to have backtracked when clearly these are two seperate points with to distinct resolutions.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  218. Florita D. Campell

    In the beginning, I too thought that it is wrong for the muslims to build a mosque near Ground Zero. But the more I hear the phrase "It's not about religion, it is about feelings", I started to rethink my position. There were also innocent muslims who got killed in Ground Zero as well as innocent muslims in the planes that had crashed into the Twin Towers. Certainly the perpetrators were muslims, but they certainly did not represent everyone who happen to also be muslims. Now I am starting to see that it is not only about feelings, it is very much about religion. Would those who protest about the building of the mosque feel as outraged were a Catholic church or a protestant church or Buddist temple for that matter is built in the same site where the mosque is to be built? I grieve for those who died in 9/11, but I also have some sympathy for the innocent muslims who are demonized for something that they did not do.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  219. CplusFWB

    Would they want to build it there if it was block full of strip clubs?

    August 16, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  220. Equal Rights!

    Everyone has the same rights and freedoms, why are some people so silly and paranoid that they would believe all Muslim should be condemned because 911 terrorist happen to be Muslim? Put the masque there! People should start standing up for what being American means and stop allowing the actions of evil destructive men dictate how we live in our country! It shows that we will not change the foundation of what makes America Great!

    August 16, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  221. Susan from Idaho

    Let them build where ever they want. A building is not the issue here. There were Muslims killed in the towers too. Why not focus on what is good for all our citizens, haggling over a place of worship is not.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  222. emmanuel onyeani

    I think the president is right by stating the ideals of the founding father's ,noting the right of religious freedom and the right of equal treatment irrespective of one's race or beliefs.The underlining issues from a strategic perspective considering the families of those that perished during 911.The decision to carry out this project will only breed conflict and community tensions.The overiding ideology decision to build or not to build should be based on forstering unity and cooperation in the community. So my personal advice to the authority in charge is listen to the opinion poll of the people you serve.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  223. Tom Jones

    The real issue is that people still believe in an invisible sky daddy – get rid of that ancient belief and things would be a lot better here on Earth.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  224. George for SC

    At first I was outraged. Then I saw how other mosques were being meet with protest. Then I saw what my religion went through over hundred years ago. I a Mormon and a Christian, one of our key beliefs is to "Love one another" and forgive.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  225. Mark L. Boswell

    Just because the majority of the American public thinks a certain issue should fall this way or that way doesn't make it right or correct. In fact, the opposite is usually the case and has been proven time and time again throughout our history. It seems that we Americans are wrong most of the time. Should women not have the right to vote? Should African Americans be stopped from attending an all white college? Popular opinion suported those views at the time. How many decades do you want to go back? When is America going to learn their lesson from our own history? In Europe a thousand years ago you would have your head cut off if you were the wrong religion. Of course the one doing the cutting was on the side of right, right? Yea, sure they were. Stop the hate America!

    August 16, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  226. Alex Smith

    Americans should be more concerned with our ongoing relationship with Saudi Arabia, home to 15 of the hijackers, all of whom are Sunni Muslims, you know, our allies.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  227. John Schilling, Chambersburg, PA

    Jack, I believe in the freedom of religion but the Muslims are going too far. Do you realize that several streets in NYC are shut down for hours by the Mosque overflow of members praying in the street. I doubt that a church or temple would be allowed to stop traffic daily to pursue their religion.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  228. Steven

    Sometimes we in America have had to to risk "pushing the envelope" to reaffirm "inalienable rights" (think lunch counter sit-ins, etc.)
    Aren't there churches in Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

    August 16, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  229. Fran B. Reed, MPH

    Newsmakers are talking of this far too much. If it weren't in
    the news so much, people would finally accept the building.
    It's only the RNC which sells FEAR to try to win elections.
    The terrorists of 9-11 were from Saudi Arabia, not the US,
    and the religion is peaceful, some members are not. There
    are violente Christians, too, and we don't forbid churches.
    My ancestors came here on the Mayflower for religious freedom
    and the forefathers put it in the Constitution the RNC claims
    to care so much about. Religious Freedom means just that,
    the freedom to worship or build a religious building as one
    sees fit wherre one chooses. This sounds more like a Muslim
    version of a YMCA than just a mosque anyway. Get on to real news.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  230. JM

    Undoubtedly they are. Historically, non-whites have tried not to make waves in this country for the most part unless they are looking to cause people to change their way of thinking. Since 9/11, many brown people in this country have felt a certain unease (no matter how American they are), probably very similar to what Japanese-Americans felt during WWII (w/o being locked up in concentration camps). Obama is right on the money: Muslim-Americans have the right to build their mosque wherever they please, whether it's wise to stir up a hornets' nest at this time by choosing Ground Zero is a different matter. It's about time that America distinguishes between Muslim Americans and terrorists (of any religion or race). What did we ban white Americans from doing after Timothy McVey blew up the world trade center. Why didn't we throw German Americans into concentration camps since they were annihilating peoples and nations during WWII? Sure, Republicans think this is the ace up their sleeve but what does this say about Republicans and their ability to govern, represent, respect ALL law-abiding, nation-loving Americans (of all colors, races, religions)? Not much...

    August 16, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  231. Robin Bray

    How close is too close? Not too many people have minded when the graves of former slaves were removed to build building in NYC. So what is all this talk about sacred really about but a lot of hot air.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  232. Kev in Canada

    They have every right to build it there. They are just showing their true colors by doing so.

    The truth is that this edifice will be viewed as a trophy by most of the moslems of the world. They will view it as a memorial to the day fellow believers brought death to the infidel on 911.

    I think it is about time that Saudi and all of the rest of the moslem dominated countries that do not actively fight terrorism be declared as such, no diplomatic relations, no hands outs, no entry by their citizens.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  233. Frank Cape Coral FL

    I don't think anyone can convince me that building the Mosque in close proximity to Ground Zero, is not in honor of the 19 terrorists whom brought down the towers, if the outcries from the Muslims had been more of outrage over the attacks maybe it would be more acceptable to all Americans, but the silence that came from the Muslim communities was deafening, even from so called American Muslim there was silence, now they want some concessions from America, to build near the site, 70 % of Americans so NO, is there a problem?

    August 16, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  234. gary saari

    It appears to me that the Moslims might be creating some animosity by building their religious building 2 blocks from ground zero, but if "we the people" are supposed to be promoting a democracy that includes the Constitution and freedom of religion, I think that we have to consider the Constitution before the emotions of some people who can't spell CONSTITUTION. Our founders also were susceptible to their emotions. I guess they considered the words reason and emotion and chose reason as their guiding light. Thank, God.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  235. Kathy in Wilmington DE

    Jack, as my favorite curmudgeon, I'm disappointed in your feeding into this frenzy of hate. President Obama took an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution...and the Bill of Rights. We do have religious freedom in the country, at least we did the last time I looked. To paint all Muslims with the same brush, the brush of all religious fanatics of any belief, is just plain wrong. And to keep adding fuel to this fire is dangerous indeed.

    Kathy, Wilmington Delaware

    August 16, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  236. Michael

    This debate is without merit. Have we become so politically correct that we cannot even say no to a bad idea. How many Churches etc have been built recently in Muslin countries??

    Muslims have been locus since the religion began over 1500 years ago. They do not want to assimilate, they want to ultimately take over despite all the conciliatory talk from the Muslim leaders.

    Just say NO to a Mosque at Ground zero and call a spade a spade!!

    August 16, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  237. Anthony Loynes

    Muslims aren't concerned with problems they may be buying themselves because the Muslim leaders in Europe and the US will not be satisfied until they control the construction of Christian churches!

    August 16, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  238. Mike in NJ

    Yup... in response to your headline: That is the same language used 60 years ago, in a racial context. They had a word for it: getting "uppity".

    Let's move FORWARD, not backward. And let's fight for freedom from religious persectution, rather than give in to cowardice and ignorance.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  239. Shawn

    No they are not, we invaded a country called IRAQ and blew up several mosques, killed several civilians, etc, etc. I think allowing a private mosque in NYC is no big deal. We are a country that is supposed to stand for religious freedom and we need to stand behind that. Actually allowing them to build the mosque wherever they want will give the extremists less reason to hate western society.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  240. oscar

    If Ground Zero is so sacred, I have a suggestion.

    Build a Church there. One church each for all the different denominations of Christianity. Not forgetting our Jewish friends, build a Synagogue there too. Also build a temple for Hindus. In fact build a place of worship for all religious groups.

    But, no mosque. Never! Why? Because I am as bigoted as any true American and proud of it.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  241. Mark in Arkansas

    Our founding fathers first came to this country to practice the freedom of religion. If we stop allowing the opening of Mosques, why would we allow the opening of a Church or Synagogue? Also, IF New York is so upset about Mosques, why not close up the other SEVEN that are open in the city?

    August 16, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  242. johnrj08

    Asking for trouble from whom? The Republicans? Duh.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  243. John Balog

    The White house has now officially entered the "out-of-touch" zone occupied by most previous occupants. It's a twilight area where common sense and political reality are forsaken. Where loyal party followers, other elected officials, and future issues are sacrificed......either out of ignorance, arrogance, or both.

    John in Goose Creek,South Carolina

    August 16, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  244. Robin Bray

    All we are doing at "Ground Zero" is erecting another commercial structure. Why are the holy rollers not more upset by that?

    August 16, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  245. Earl

    They are buying unnecesary problems. They have the right technically, but why stick it into the eyes of those who suffered at ground zero. If they want reconciliation, they have to give a little and build elsewhere.

    I am a black democrat that have fully supported Pres Obama, but he is running away from me and other common-sense main stream people.

    Why on earth would he jump into this issue and give his opponents an issue with which to pounce on him and the democrats this fall. And He is wrong on the mosque location issue.

    I am sorry, but my brother is just not ready for prime time. Michelle or somebody, please rein him in before he does more damage.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  246. Bob

    Sure, and black Americans who defied segreagationist policies in teh south bought plenty of trouble, also. Sometimes, buying trouble is necessary to accomplish goals. I detest religion, of all kinds. I'd be happy if mosques, churches, temples, and every other type of religious meeting place were banned, or taxed so heavily that they all folded up. However, unfortunately, our Constitution is strongly worded to protect religious freedom – and so, short of changing it, which I would be completely in favor of, these folks have as much right to put their mosque in lower Manhattan as some slick preacher has a right to build a new, uneeded church in some small town in Texas. Of course, the good thing is that such issues bring out the very worst in teh republican party – and when these racists, finance squanderers, and uneducated fools are exposed for what they are – better for everyone.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  247. Paul Chapman

    I hear all this opinion and comments on yhis issue of a mosque in New York's Ground Zero. But mostly the opinions and comments are with regard to insult and respect. These certainly are important factors, but has anyone considered national security? Can you imagine if some wacked-o decided to do something "invasive" to the complex in question. Here's another thought. What would the invesment vs gain be for this to be a set up by radical groups to come back later and destroy it while pointing the finger at America. People need to wake up. These people will bring us down and do so under the very laws that we coddle to for our own freedoms. And I can imagine nothing but bad coming from this... SiO2 ( Name and address withheld) I'm in S.W. Louisiana. Where the Hurricanes Go... Ya

    August 16, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  248. Marcel Thomassen

    Trouble or no trouble...law is the law, and at least the President has the guts to make a stand.
    And if that doen't work, just say there are weapons of mass destruction in that mosque, that ALWAYS work, even outside of the law.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  249. Rob, Arlington, VA

    Two points Jack: One, the Irony of Republicans calling a Democrat, President Obama, Insensitive. What hipocracy coming from the party who failed America in 2001, and throughout their reign througout the Bush administration. Furthermore, these good folks are the least Sensitive among all the political parties which exist ( close tie with the Tea Partiers ). Second, President Obama understands the value and importance of maintaining an objective legal opinion when Constitutionality is involved. Why kiss up to public opinion when the real dictate is freedom of religion and the ability of any religious group to worship where they without government interference and/or harrassment and ridicule from folks like the President of the US. Sure, all true Americans are disgusted with what happened on 911, but upholding the Laws of the Land must not be constantly discarded because of our varied opinions on how to deal with people or groups in question.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  250. Ron from Tennessee

    Just because it is a legal right doesn't mean it is wise, much less sensitive to the feelings of others!

    August 16, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  251. dave

    For those of you who do not object... I wonder how you would feel if your husband, wife or child was killed in that disaster.... Bet you would be singing to a different tune.... You pretend that you are more forgiving and better than the rest of us. Well, I call you out. You are not. I think you are insane..... This is America. I just don't get it.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  252. Rosie

    We as Americans are getting more intolerant of all nationalities. Rather it is Hispanics, Latinos, Muslims or whomever. It is a shame as to what we have become. We are not acting like Christians. We have let ,mainly politicians,& mostly Republicians, spread fear, lies & hate & some have been so gulliable as to believe it. And they in turn spread the same thing. No one bothers to do any fact checking, they want to believe the worst. And the Republicians will do & say anything, because they hate President Obama & the fact that it is a Democrat that is President. . He is not perfect, but we must give him a chance to clean up the mess that was given to him. It took years to get into this mess & it will take a long time to get out. So America , remember, God first,family & friends & politics last.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  253. Ed in Columbus Ohio

    There was a time when many white people felt blacks were buying unnecessary problems for asserting their civil rights. There was a time when many men felt women were buying unnecessary problems for asserting their civil right to vote. Muslims are not creating the problems. Everyone needs to look in the mirror.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  254. Keeth in California

    This is a non-story. Islam did not attack us on 9/11, Muslim extremists did. This does not compare to Pearl Harbor; that was an attack by a nation, not 19 people working outside of a nation state (most from our "friend," Saudi Arabia). This is being used as a political weapon by the right and a shield to hide behind by certain weaklings on the left, i.e., Harry Reid. We do the victims of 9/11 a great disservice when, in their names, we trample on private enterprise and deny rights to a certain religious group. Arguments against the mosque hold no water. Emotions are not legal justification for discrimination.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  255. Dani Harrington

    Naples, New York (Finger Lakes area)
    I do think that it's asking for a fuss, it's also in poor taste. God knows we all still hurt from 911. It seem the Republicans forgot what they were supposed to learn in grade school about why the first settlers came? Did they ever hear about the Pilgrims? I know they've forgotten how we all became citizens. They should stand up for the Constitution and yet they convince people that they are protecting it. President Obama was only speaking the truth. The very foundations of this country are being rocked for votes and ratings. Jack, lets teach there people some history. We don't have to like it or agree but it's based on what we are supposed to stand for.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  256. Norm

    Whenever there is a great victory for Jihad, they build a monument to Allah in the form of a mosque. They built the Cordoba Mosque in Spain when they conquered Spain. So a Cordoba Mosque at ground zero is only natural for them. That's why they won't relocate.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  257. TJ in ND

    99 percent of Americans live nowhere near this space and their opinions aren't especially valid, and have zero standing.

    Can anyone give me a timetable as to how much longer the 9/11 attacks are going to be used as a blanket cover for ethnocentric hatred and injustice?

    August 16, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  258. Joseph

    This is insanity, for God's sake, we should not think of the terrorists as Muslims, just bad people, just because there are some extremists or bad eggs that lie under a banner does not mean that the religion itself is to blame and that the people who are in that religion should be prosecuted, what if around the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building Christians weren't allowed to build a church? As for the whole "Obama and Democrats aren't sensitive to 9/11 Victims," isn't it true that republicans shot down help for the help of first responders in 9/11. Maybe Obama shouldn't have commented, but why should it matter to people like Harry Reid who are half way across the united states? Its also not like there aren't already Mosques around NY and ground zero, so why pick a fight on this one? This should be a clear cut answer, First Amendment rights trump all emotional disputes, the constitution is law, it can't be taken away over feelings, just because people have family members killed by guns and gun users, does that mean that Second Amendment rights should be taken away? I'd like to see conservatives argue an still claim an "emotional case," over a "constitutional case," then. Right now, Republicans would be better justified arguing over jobs.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  259. John S

    Stop wasting you time talking about this and our time when we tune into CNN for real news.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  260. David

    Did the japanese build a japanese restaurant in hawaii after attacking pearl harbor. President needs to hear his own words in saying this ground is hallowed ground it is for the families of the victims, PERIOD!

    August 16, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  261. Atlantic City Sam

    I would never deny them building a Mosque. Nor would I ever deny the right of anyone to protest the Mosque. that is the unique double edged sword we call America.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  262. Kenneth Lasch

    Unless I'm mistaken, were there not Moslems included in those who were killed in the attack on the Trade Towers? There were Catholics, Jews and Protestants and I'm sure a few atheists. I'll stand with the constitution and accept the good will of those who want to build bridges of understanding instead of creating new barriers of hate. Our president position is moral and proper. How sad that 70% of Americans don't agree. We are the first to decry religious discrimination Arab counties.

    K Lasch, Morristown NJ

    August 16, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  263. Eddie Agba

    We've always known of the president's relationship to islam,so his being insensitive to this issue shouldn't be a new thing to all.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  264. Renee, Ill.

    Here's a theoretical for instance: suppose you knew someone, a not so nice person, who had died at 9/11? And you decided to tell his/her family what you thought of them? The 1st Ammendment gives you the right to voice your opinion – it's one of THE most basic, most American of rights. But it wouldn't be a very nice or sensitive thing to do. With rights come responsibilities, and sometimes the resposible thing to do is consider what effect your words or actions will have on others, not whether you have the right to do it.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  265. Jovanny

    Hi Jack,

    I live in upstate New York about an hour and thirty mins. away from ground zero and i do think that muslims are buying some problems when insisting on the mosque being opened near ground zero but i support the mosque being opened near ground zero because to say that a mosque will attract terrorist just because islamic terrorists attacked the u.s is to be closed minded and would be the same as saying that all Germans are Nazis and Russians are communists.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  266. HK Singh

    For Centuries Mosques, Temples churches have been built at sites associated with events that are historically important to a particular religion.
    With passage of time they become symbolic of some sacrifice,.martyrdom or miracle.
    Is there a hidden agenda in building this? The benefit of the doubt must be given to the families of the 9/11 victims.
    If legality is the only issue then one day some Japanese American may build a monument to their deadly attack on Pearl Harbor but on private land.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  267. ali

    ok so has anyone talked to anyone that worships at these mosques? there students, lawyers, doctors, shop owners, etc. Professionals who are peace loving and love this country.

    The location is not only a mosque please realize that. It will be open to all and will house a bookstore, restaurants, pool, culinary institute.

    I would challenge any of these politicians to come down and make a visit and see the location, and people for themselves, similar to what Bloomberg did.

    Finally realize this. there are 1.5billion Muslims. What the terrorists represent is not ISLAM!!!!

    August 16, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  268. Brent

    Are the majority of Americans truly this ignorant, intolerate and zenophobic? I consider myself to be a person of non-faith, but as an American, I am highly ashamed that this issue is even being debated. The location for the proposed is center is two and half blocks away from ground zero in an area which consists of a plethora of commerical entities including bars, fast food restaurants and street vendors. It the proposed center was affiliated with a christian faith, this whole situation would be a non event. Thankfully, the founding fathers were mindful of the ignorant passions of the people and had the foresight to enact the Bill of Rights in order to prevent impassioned majorities from persecuting and denying equality to disfavored minority groups.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  269. tintina

    We can't blame all Muslims for 9/11 anymore than we can blame all Catholics for the systemic sexual abuse of thousands of children. Can we get on with solving real issues in America?

    August 16, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  270. Steve in Seattle

    Are they asking for trouble? No – but if hacks like you keep flogging the right-wing public's hubris long enough it will guarantee trouble. Which is exactly what hacks like you love to blather about.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  271. Suzi

    It seems like that is what this Country is built on, freedom of Religion, and what is it going to hurt if it is built a few blocks away.
    Are you talking about the Republicans that don't even want to give to the Firefighters and Pollice that were there on 911? They seem to be talking out of both sides of their mouth.
    Come on it is just another political ploy.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  272. Philip Stephend

    When I tried to explain to my seven-year-old why people were mad at President Obama, she said: "If the Muslims promise to be nice, and the other people promise to be nice, they should be allowed to build their church." Sometimes the wisdom of children simplifies the problems of adults.
    Philip from Bristow, VA

    August 16, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  273. Vanilla Gorilla

    there is no question that the Muslims have the right to practice their religion such as it is – but not nowhere do they have the right to practice it anywhere they want
    a reasonable man would say building a mosque where Islamic terrorists committed an act of war against the United States killing three thousand innocent people is a good idea.
    also if one does any research on the name Cordoba and its relationship to Islam in Spain they to would begin to question the real intent of having a mosque so close to Ground Zero


    August 16, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  274. dave

    Yeah, I'm going to go build a catholic church in Mecca. You people are insane defending this.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  275. chris, dayton OH

    I've been a vocal fan of yours for a good while but I don't understand the recent partisan questions that seem to be intended to widen the gap more than incite intelligent discussion.
    If you were a lawyer, you'd be guilty of leading the witness more often than not.

    This is a clear cut situation that's already been defined by the constitution. Any additional discussion is just intended to whip up arguments and deepen the divide.
    There's a reason the constitution is in place. There's a reason these issues have been settled long before they pop up.
    You can do the right thing or you can do the wrong thing...that's what it boils down to.
    It's laughable that so-called defenders of the constitution suddenly switch up their views when religion comes into play.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  276. scurds

    its the open disdain that the building of this mosque shows for the dead and for our culture in general that has people upset. that is also why people dont like the masks that moslems wear, and why the flowing robes and sand clothes they wear make us feel uncomfortable. not being fond of islamics is a worldwide phenomenon that is growing rapidly because they hate everyone that isn't moslem and show open disdain for their hosts. they slyly use our hospitality and acceptance against us, snickering behind their veils and robes, and sneering at the infidel.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  277. Becker

    I don't think anyone disagrees with religious freedom. Obama just thinks there should be a mosque and given the things he has done since being in office this should not be a surprise. I could care less if they could build a mosque there but I don't get the outrage when everyone knows Obama has muslim heritage and agrees the mosque ought to be there.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  278. Imran

    Newsflash: A whole bunch of Muslims died in the World Trade Center also. Nobody holds a monopoly on the sanctity of ground zero. Stop the bigotry.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  279. harvey

    Mosque built anywhere is fine as long as it meets the local codes.
    But what should be questioned where the money is comming from?
    If it comes from Saudi Arabia be very wary because along with it comes the Wahabbi brand of Islam. It may not poison this generation but it certainly will the next. Learn from mistakes of England.
    Let local muslims collect money to build the Mosque they want.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  280. Marc, NYC

    Jack, They have the right to build their mosque as long as it complies with local zoning laws. This is a matter that must be decided by the people of NYC and not by all the right wing wackos who are not tax-paying New York residents.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  281. Eric from Monroe, WA

    What's offensive to me about all this is anyone who says they support the constitution, but not these muslims right to build their community center. Such people are hypocrites and deeply unamerican. Our freedoms were made specifically to guard the rights of the unpopular few against the like-minded many, anyone who doesn't understand that doesn't understand the constitution.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  282. Anna

    Jack, You ask if the muslims are causing themselves more harm by insisting on building so close to Ground Zero, shouldn't we be asking if we're not harming ourselves more by trying to stop it. I think it"s time for that 70% to decide if we proudly believe in that great Constitution all the time or just when it suits us. All the Muslims around the world have heard about this by now. Some way to impressour way of life!!!
    Some way to win hearts and minds!!!!!

    August 16, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  283. Arturo

    It's called Freedom of Religion. What do people not understand about his concept? Is it really that hard or are they so prejudice that they fail to realize the hatred that they hold?

    August 16, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  284. Al from Atlanta

    Pro – First amendment rights (and freedom of religion) would encourage the building of this new mosque near ground zero. Benevolence, freedom of religion and rule of law would prevail.
    Con – Muslim insistence of locating this new mosque near ground zero demonstrates lack of sensitivity and sense of provocation from Muslim supporters. Motivation seems to go beyond self identity.
    Compromise – Permit this new mosque (and cultural center), but ensure that American principals of equality are observed within. For example, women are treated equally within the activities of these facilities (e.g., are allowed the same rights of prayer).
    If American law can guarantee equality for Islam, then Islam needs to adhere to the same principal…. and the new mosque would be a great place to start.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  285. Susan from Birmingham, Al.

    I believe Muslims that want to build that Mosque at ground zero are
    trying to stick in the eye of America. They want to spread their
    relegion all over the world, so they use ground zero to make a statement. It is very disrespectful and wrong to do this when so many
    people died there, they can move it somewhere else.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  286. Steve,NY

    How many Muslims are there in this country and who let them in? If they are so religeus and pray 5 times a day, why are they so violent, not only killing Americans but also killiong their own family members and anybody that wants to leave the Muslim religion. I don't get it, maybe it's really not a religion??
    Comment on Obama, he's a lawyer and smart, but lawyers are illogical and are not sensitive to emotions. Also this may have something to do with his childhood days growing up Indonesia around other Muslims?
    We need a logical explanation on Muslim religion. Would they let us build a Church and a cultural center in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran or Afganistan??
    Has anybody asked that question of the Muslims. This would be a good one for CNN to ask that question.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  287. Lynnette Brice

    There is so much to say about this, there is not enough room here. But insensitivy as well as blaten arrogrance and thumbing a
    finger in our face should be trouble. If the shoe were on the other foot would any muslim country let the Southern Baptist
    Convention build a Baptist Church in the shadow of their great sacred place in Media? We, Americans, view ground zero a sacred place. That is trouble enough for any group. A sect of this religion is the process even as we speak , trying to blow up any part of America that they can. WE need to make as much trouble
    for them a possible and I am not a trouble maker by nature. But my God said as Christians we should uphold our right to stand strong where there is evil. Obama included.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  288. Kamal Saba

    Jack: What most non-muslims in America have fail to recognize is that Terrorist are not Muslim. Islam in no form allows the killing of innocent people. Therefore Islam has and had nothing to do with 9/11 from the start. So why is it emotional? I am a Muslim and a born American citizen, I love this country and would do anything to protect it. It really hurts to see my fellow citizens deny the people of my religion the right to build a place of worship in a place we call home.

    Kamal Saba
    Brentwood, Tennessee

    August 16, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  289. Paul Chapman

    And here's another thought.. Who's going to pay for and provide security for this invasive species? You got it.. US tax payers..

    August 16, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  290. Lawrence

    Muslims are doing this to get in America's face, not to "heal" anything, because they know very well that it isn't.
    when someone gets in America's face, America will get right back in their face.
    which is exactly what's happening.
    and rightly so.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  291. Daniel

    I believe in freedom of religion. I also believe in freedom from religion, and a little something called Respect. That being for the 3,000 people that died that day, and the friends & families left grieving due to the events that took place on 9/11. Not to mention the first responders such as fire-fighters, police officers & paramedics that are currently suffering symptoms of asthma, and some even with cancer. People are still dying from after-effects as a result of those terrorist attacks.

    Constitutional rights are one thing, but this is more of an emotional issue than a political one. If Muslims in NYC gave a crap, they would consider the feelings of the families of the 9/11 victims, and would choose a location further away from Ground Zero.

    Face it, there are radical Muslims living in NYC that praise in silence the events that took place on 9/11. And it's reasonable to assume that some of those Muslims will be attending this mosque.

    Building this mosque so close to Ground Zero is disgusting and pathetic. Islam should be ashamed.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  292. clint, Wa.

    It is only insensitive if you regard Islam as the culprit as opposed to al Qaeda as the culprit. We were not attacked by all Muslims, but by a terrorist group that used the Muslim faith as a shield. There were Muslims killed there. There were Muslims who ran in as first responders to help.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  293. Gigi Oregon

    If we deny that this mosque should be built we are denying that we are a Democracy.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  294. Dan Louisville, KY

    Even If the President had said NOTHING at all, a U.S. court would still very likely rule in favor of the Muslims' legal rights to put a mosque there. Even Rush Limbaugh admitted this on air TODAY. The religious freedom is guaranteed whether Obama said so or not.

    So why in the world did he bring it up? The Muslims are being insensitive putting it there, and the whole rational world should know that. The President's statement and subsequent "clarifications" have only made things worse. Saying he will not comment on the "wisdom" of putting it there also makes no sense. Why NOT comment on the wisdom of it.

    All of this bru-ha-ha over it accomplishes absolutely nothing except it makes Al Queda deleriously happy.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  295. Max in NYC

    Just goes to show that the world would simply be a better place without any religion. Thank GOODNESS I'm an atheist.

    All religion does is pit the ignorant against the ignorant.

    I live in NYC, and I dont feel any less safe, or any sadness for a mosque to be built near the WTC. People (likely repubs and christians) probably stop reading at "mosque being built near NYC" and flip out...without really reading that this mosque/inter-faith center, actually sounds like a great thing to do for the local community.

    Honestly, what would be a good distance for you for a mosque to be built from the WTC, what would make you happy? 5 blocks, 10 blocks, a mile? Get a grip.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  296. Brian


    This shouldn't even be a debate. The conservatives attacking the building of this mosque are the exact same hypocrites who are complaining on a daily basis about both private property rights and government intervention into Christian practices every time the word "marriage" is used outside of a church or public monuments of the 10 Commandments are taken down. You can't have it both ways; either we have private property rights and the freedom of religion or we don't.

    Boise, ID

    August 16, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  297. jeff, alabama

    Jack, anyone who makes this a political situation like the
    people who write the negative comments about republicans
    or democrats relating to this are simple minded and ignorant.
    This is about a group gloating in our faces about a successful
    attack in our country.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  298. Duane - St.Petersburg Florida

    this is not a political issue....it's an emotional issue. Emotions run deep in regards to any subject centering on 9/11. Having the "right" to build there and it being a good idea are two different conversations........and this conversation is about if they are bringing more problems to the Muslims that are here....and it will...right or wrong the building of this at that location will bring nothing but trouble. We don't and they don't need more of that.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  299. Rex of Yorktown Va.

    I support the President and he is playing it by the you have rights card but on this it's more than rights, it's principles and respect . I don't hold ill will towards anyone of the Muslim faith, they need God however. If they are claiming to be Americans not just when it suits them and a part of this country they should understand why 70% of Americans don't want a mosque, a symbol of a faith that killed so many of it's fellow Americans built on a grave site. How would they feel if we erected christian soldiers memorial in Mecca. It would be like putting a swastika in a Jewish tombstone; it's something that you just wouldn't do out of principle and respect even if you had the right..

    August 16, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  300. Lala Intezar

    So ever since the tragedy of 9/11 we've had a disaster in Afghanistan with countless lives lost, an unnecessary war in Iraq with even more civilian deaths, Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo ... and yet its the MUSLIMS who are expected to show sensitivity ? The lack of empathy here is unbelievable ....

    August 16, 2010 at 5:50 pm |