The Ground Zero mosque and your opinion: Should they build a mosque at the site of the bombed World Trade centre?

How many of you have engaged in conversations relating to the Ground Zero mosque?

And how many of you have heard the reaction: wtf? why would Muslims do that? How insenstive is that?

Article from the BBC Mag:

"Nazis don't have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust museum in Washington," former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich said. "We would never accept the Japanese putting up a site next to Pearl Harbor. There is no reason for us to accept a mosque next to the World Trade Center."

Radio presenter Rush Limbaugh compared the mosque with the idea of putting a Hindu shrine at the USS Arizona memorial at Pearl Harbor, later correcting himself to make clear he meant a Shinto shrine.

Those behind the Cordoba House project, such as Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, say they want to build something which would assist inter-faith understanding. But some are worried about knock on effects of the debate over the mosque on relations.

"It has exposed a very nasty streak in our society," says Ibrahim Hooper, of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Who believes this mosque would help with inter-faith unerstanding?

From the same site:

Prof Akbar Ahmed, author of Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam, has travelled the country examining attitudes to Muslims, and believes this is a difficult period.

"America is going through this extraordinary phase. Everyone feels under siege," he told the BBC.

"We really felt that we were sitting on a tinder box. We needed one catalyst for things to get really bad. The New York mosque could just be that."

With Eid falling close to 11 September this year, some Muslim groups in the US have even gone as far as to warn members to be careful when celebrating the festival, which marks the end of Ramadan.

Akbar Ahmed believes Muslims do have to anticipate sensitivities.

"Muslims absolutely have the right to build a mosque like any house of worship but they need also to be much more sensitive to the culture and society in which they are living."


From the Gaurdian:

The planned "ultra-mosque" will be a staggering 5,600ft tall – more than five times higher than the tallest building on Earth – and will be capped with an immense dome of highly-polished solid gold, carefully positioned to bounce sunlight directly toward the pavement, where it will blind pedestrians and fry small dogs. The main structure will be delimited by 600 minarets, each shaped like an upraised middle finger, and housing a powerful amplifier: when synchronised, their combined sonic might will be capable of relaying the muezzin's call to prayer at such deafening volume, it will be clearly audible in the Afghan mountains, where thousands of terrorists are poised to celebrate by running around with scarves over their faces, firing AK-47s into the sky and yelling whatever the foreign word for "victory" is.

I'm exaggerating. But I'm only exaggerating a tad more than some of the professional exaggerators who initially raised objections to the "Ground Zero mosque". They keep calling it the "Ground Zero mosque", incidentally, because it's a catchy title that paints a powerful image – specifically, the image of a mosque at Ground Zero.

When I heard about it – in passing, in a soundbite – I figured it was a US example of the sort of inanely confrontational fantasy scheme Anjem Choudary might issue a press release about if he fancied winding up the tabloids for the 900th time this year. I was wrong. The "Ground Zero mosque" is a genuine proposal, but it's slightly less provocative than its critics' nickname makes it sound. For one thing, it's not at Ground Zero. Also, it isn't a mosque.

Wait, it gets duller. It's not being built by extremists either. Cordoba House, as it's known, is a proposed Islamic cultural centre, which, in addition to a prayer room, will include a basketball court, restaurant, and swimming pool. Its aim is to improve inter-faith relations. It'll probably also have comfy chairs and people who smile at you when you walk in, the monsters.

To get to the Cordoba Centre from Ground Zero, you'd have to walk in the opposite direction for two blocks, before turning a corner and walking a bit more. The journey should take roughly two minutes, or possibly slightly longer if you're heading an angry mob who can't hear your directions over the sound of their own enraged bellowing.

Perhaps spatial reality functions differently on the other side of the Atlantic, but here in London, something that is "two minutes' walk and round a corner" from something else isn't actually "in" the same place at all. I once had a poo in a pub about two minutes' walk from Buckingham Palace. I was not subsequently arrested and charged with crapping directly onto the Queen's pillow. That's how "distance" works in Britain. It's also how distance works in America, of course, but some people are currently pretending it doesn't, for daft political ends.

New York being a densely populated city, there are lots of other buildings and businesses within two blocks of Ground Zero, including a McDonald's and a Burger King, neither of which has yet been accused of serving milkshakes and fries on hallowed ground. Regardless, for the opponents of Cordoba House, two blocks is too close, period. Frustratingly, they haven't produced a map pinpointing precisely how close is OK.

That's literally all I'd ask them in an interview. I'd stand there pointing at a map of the city. Would it be offensive here? What about here? Or how about way over there? And when they finally picked a suitable spot, I'd ask them to draw it on the map, sketching out roughly how big it should be, and how many windows it's allowed to have. Then I'd hand them a colour swatch and ask them to decide on a colour for the lobby carpet. And the conversation would continue in this vein until everyone in the room was in tears. Myself included.

That hasn't happened. Instead, 70% of Americans are opposed to the "Ground Zero mosque", doubtless in many cases because they've been led to believe it literally is a mosque at Ground Zero. And if not . . . well, it must be something significant. Otherwise why would all these pundits be so angry about it? And why would anyone in the media listen to them with a straight face?

According to a recent poll, one in five Americans believes Barack Obama is a Muslim, even though he isn't. A quarter of those who believe he's a Muslim also claimed he talks about his faith too much. Americans aren't dumb. Clearly these particular Americans have either gone insane or been seriously misled. Where are they getting their information?

Sixty per cent said they learned it from the media. Which means it's time for the media to give up.

Seriously, broadcasters, journalists: just give up now. Because either you're making things worse, or no one's paying attention anyway. May as well knock back a few Jagermeisters, unplug the autocue, and just sit there dumbly repeating whichever reality-warping meme the far right wants to go viral this week. What's that? Obama is Gargamel and he's killing all the Smurfs? Sod it. Whatever. Roll titles


i have'nt read the above I-m so happy

but it's NOT a mosque and it's NOT at the sight of the bombings. I don't know what the big hoo haa's about

"How many people find fault in what they're reading and the fault is in their own understanding" Al Mutanabbi

lool@americans aren't dumb sorry i tried to keep a straight face. how can they think obama is even muslim lool.

“O my people! Truly, this life of the world is nothing but a (quick passing) enjoyment, and verily, the hereafter that is the home that will remain forever.” [Ghafir : 39]

A question I have is if the American society is deconstructing itself... I had a whole blog post on this lined up before I remembered that all through the times America has had its challenges where groups have been marginalised and targetted.

But the question still stands - is this a step of America losing its sophistication? This with other things that eg the Tea Party movement seems to back often enough, and eventually they could be their own worst enemy.

"For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens 'as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone'" - David Cameron, UK Prime Minister. 13 May 2015.

Ron Paul on the mosque controversy:


"For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens 'as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone'" - David Cameron, UK Prime Minister. 13 May 2015.

Mayor of New York:


"For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens 'as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone'" - David Cameron, UK Prime Minister. 13 May 2015.

(read Sully's post but didnt watch the vids)

I think we just need to inform people around us. especially that bit about it not being a mosque and it not being build on Ground Zero.

The quote from the Guardian...when i started reading i was like "o.o WHAT??" then i burst out laughing while imagining those small wrinkly, dressed up in pink, dogs dogs... (actually i imagined them just fried to ashes but while writing this i imagined hot dogs which is a good pun but me typing this might just slightly ruin it no?)

Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?

Also quite a few Muslims died in the 9/11 plane crash; hats off to Michael Bloomberg for that it means alot, in this day and age we need to build more cohesion and the Cordoba centre can do that!

“Before death takes away what you are given, give away whatever there is to give.”

Mawlana Jalal ud Din Rumi