Posted by stephen (+250) 11 years ago
With the huge controversy over the Mosque being built two blocks away from ground zero I really have to ask who cares? The group that destroyed the building was a group of extremists who were note endorsed by the Muslim religion. And to discriminate against the Muslims in such a way would be unconstitutional.
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Posted by polar bear (+509) 11 years ago
I understand it is a cultural center with a prayer room, not even a real mosque. We have freedom of religion in this country. To allow it is the right thing, even if it makes some people uncomfortable. McVey was a Christian. Does this mean no Christian churches can be in that area of Oklahoma??
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Posted by Tom Masa (+2042) 11 years ago
I am kind of divided on this. At first I felt that it should be allowed to be built because of freedom of religion. But then I heard that it is a muslim tradition to build a mosque on the site they prevailed at as a sign of conquering. There is some history of this even in the US as we made a cemetary at Arlington which was Robert E. Lee's home.
Still they have a right to build it. But building it at that site may cause a lot problems with vandalism etc. Hope not.

[This message has been edited by Tom Masa (8/15/2010)]
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Posted by stephen (+250) 11 years ago
The site mosque is actually being built two blocks away from ground zero, it simply overlooks ground zero.
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Posted by polar bear (+509) 11 years ago
And it is PRIVATE PROPERTY. Do we really want to change the rights of property owners??
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11757) 11 years ago
If it was a YMCA or a YMHA, would anyone be having fits?
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6165) 11 years ago
Muslims were also killed in the 9/11 attacks. I think the mosque issue is much ado about nothing.

[This message has been edited by Wendy Wilson (8/15/2010)]
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9919) 11 years ago
>> Do we really want to change the rights of property owners??

You say that like you mean we shouldn't encourage the government to use its power of eminent domain to take private property from those we disagree with.

Could we at least force these property owners to develop the parcel as retail space, condos, or something like that?
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14950) 11 years ago
I think someone in MC needs to build a strip-club in Triangle park.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11757) 11 years ago
Not enough parking. I'm on the zoning commission and there is no way a strip club could fit, with adequate parking, into that little space. I think it is zoned residential A, as well.

(The Supremes pretty much did in private property rights a few years ago when it ruled a city could use eminent domain to take away private land and sell it to a business. Ironically, the city took the land, leveled the houses, and the company never built the factory. What used to homes is now an empty lot. Totally off-topic but the point is, private property is not what is used to be.)
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14950) 11 years ago
And just as there are zoning laws that would prohibit building a strip-club in Triangle park, there are zoning laws that dictate where churches can and and can't be built. Denials for building churches in certain areas of a given community happen all the time. If this truly is not about Jihadist's declaring victory, those proposing this building ought to understand the sensitivity of the situation a look for another site.


Sacrilege at Ground Zero - CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER

Even Mayor Bloomberg acknowledges that the rules are different when it comes to sacred places.

A place is made sacred by a widespread belief that it was visited by the miraculous or the transcendent (Lourdes, the Temple Mount), by the presence there once of great nobility and sacrifice (Gettysburg), or by the blood of martyrs and the indescribable suffering of the innocent (Auschwitz).

When we speak of Ground Zero as hallowed ground, what we mean is that it belongs to those who suffered and died there - and that such ownership obliges us, the living, to preserve the dignity and memory of the place, never allowing it to be forgotten, trivialized, or misappropriated.

That's why Disney's early '90s proposal to build an American history theme park near Manassas Battlefield was defeated by a broad coalition fearing vulgarization of the Civil War (and wiser than me; at the time I obtusely saw little harm in the venture). It's why the commercial viewing tower built right on the border of Gettysburg was taken down by the Park Service. It's why, while no one objects to Japanese cultural centers, the idea of putting one up at Pearl Harbor would be offensive.
And why Pope John Paul II ordered the Carmelite nuns to leave the convent they had established at Auschwitz. He was in no way devaluing their heartfelt mission to pray for the souls of the dead. He was teaching them a lesson in respect: This is not your place, it belongs to others. However pure your voice, better to let silence reign.

Even New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, who denounced opponents of the proposed 15-story mosque and Islamic center near Ground Zero as tramplers on religious freedom, asked the mosque organizers "to show some special sensitivity to the situation." Yet, as Rich Lowry pointedly noted, the government has no business telling churches how to conduct their business, shape their message, or show "special sensitivity" to anyone about anything. Bloomberg was thereby inadvertently conceding the claim of those he excoriates for opposing the mosque, namely, that Ground Zero is indeed unlike any other place and, therefore, unique criteria govern what can be done there.

Bloomberg's implication is clear: If the proposed mosque were controlled by "insensitive" Islamist radicals either excusing or celebrating 9/11, he would not support its construction.

But then, why not? By the mayor's own expansive view of religious freedom, by what right do we dictate the message of any mosque? Moreover, as a practical matter, there's no guarantee this couldn't happen in the future. Religious institutions in this country are autonomous. Who is to say that the mosque won't one day hire an Anwar al-Awlaki - spiritual mentor to the Fort Hood shooter and the Christmas Day bomber, and one-time imam at the Virginia mosque attended by two of the 9/11 terrorists?

An Awlaki preaching in Virginia is a security problem. An Awlaki preaching at Ground Zero is a sacrilege.

Location matters. Especially this location. Ground Zero is the site of the greatest mass murder in American history - perpetrated by Muslims of a particular Islamist orthodoxy in whose cause they died and in whose name they killed.

Of course that strain represents only a minority of Muslims. Islam is no more intrinsically Islamist than present-day Germany is Nazi - yet despite contemporary Germany's innocence, no German of good will would even think of proposing a German cultural center at, say, Treblinka.

Which makes you wonder about the good will behind Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf's proposal. This is a man who has called U.S. policy "an accessory to the crime" of 9/11 and, when recently asked whether Hamas is a terrorist organization, replied, "I'm not a politician. . . . The issue of terrorism is a very complex question."

America is a free country where you can build whatever you want - but not anywhere. That's why we have zoning laws. No liquor store near a school, no strip malls where they offend local sensibilities, and, if your house doesn't meet community architectural codes, you cannot build at all.

These restrictions are for reasons of aesthetics. Others are for more profound reasons of common decency and respect for the sacred. No commercial tower over Gettysburg, no convent at Auschwitz - and no mosque at Ground Zero.

Build it anywhere but there.

The governor of New York offered to help find land to build the mosque elsewhere. A mosque really seeking to build bridges, Rauf's ostensible hope for the structure, would accept the offer.


http://www.nationalreview...rauthammer
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Posted by Bridgier (+9193) 11 years ago
Charles Krauthammer is a reactionary loon. Jews blew up the King David Hotel, should the British have banned synagogues in Jerusalem?

But that's different, you say - it wasn't the Jews who killed all of those British soldiers, it was Irgun, and they were terrorists who didn't represent the Jewish people.

It's cheap demagoguery, and you should be ashamed to fall for it.
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Posted by Bob L. (+5094) 11 years ago
Why should our government butt in and infringe on citizens' religious freedoms?

Aren't you teabaggers in favor of religious freedom?
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11757) 11 years ago
Teabaggers are CHRISTIANS!!! How dare you suggest otherwise! Why, our Constitution enshrined our state religion right next to our rights to have cannons in our back yards.

Didn't it?
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Posted by Bridgier (+9193) 11 years ago
In response, a dissenting view: http://tbogg.firedoglake....ted-dicks/

And of course, Senator Reid manages to score an own-goal in the process. http://voices.washingtonp...osque.html

Really, how hard of a concept is it to understand that the constitution doesn't really care about your poor fee-fees? This applies equally well to people upset by the morons from westboro baptist.

[This message has been edited by Bridgier (8/16/2010)]
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Posted by Kelly (+2706) 11 years ago
Which is worse, the proposed mosque or the gapping hole still present after 9 years?
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4463) 11 years ago
http://iowahawk.typepad.c...looza.html

It's time we unleashed the full fury of Progressivism on them.

They'll vacate in a week.
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Posted by Tucker Bolton (+3677) 11 years ago
If they allow those Muslim Pirates to build that mosque then Christians should be allowed to go build churches anywhere they...OH, oops! never mind.
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1670) 11 years ago
Do Christian missionaries scout out the background of each family they visit prior to knocking on their door to ensure that they are not being "insensitive" to the family's beliefs and/or experiences?

No, they go in hoping to educate and enlighten and spread their word. What's the difference?
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14950) 11 years ago
This is interesting:



Mosque Moves Forward, Yet Church in Limbo
by Mark Impomeni
08/09/2010

The battle raging over the Ground Zero mosque is bringing new attention to another, less publicized controversy involving a house of worship in Lower Manhattan.

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, which once sat right across the street from the World Trade Center, was crushed under the weight of the collapse of Tower Two on September 11, 2001. St. Nicholas was the only church to be lost in the attacks, and nine years later, while City of New York officials are busy removing every impediment to the building of the Cordoba mosque two blocks from the site, St. Nicholas' future remains unclear.

The last bit of hopeful news for St. Nicholas came two years ago, in July 2008, when church officials and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced a deal which would have allowed the church to be rebuilt about two blocks from its original location.

The Port Authority agreed to give the church a parcel of land at Liberty and Greenwich Streets, and contribute $20 million toward construction of a new sanctuary. The Port Authority also agreed to build an explosion-proof platform and foundation for the new church building, which would sit on top of a screening area for cars and trucks entering the underground garages at the new World Trade Center.

Trouble emerged after St. Nicholas announced its plans to build a traditional Greek Orthodox church building, 24,000 square feet in size, topped with a grand dome. Port Authority officials told the church to cut back the size of the building and the height of the proposed dome, limiting it to rising no higher than the World Trade Center memorial. The deal fell apart for goodin March 2009, when the Port Authority abruptly ended the talks after refusing to allow church officials to review plans for the garage and screening area underneath. Sixteen months later, the two sides have still not met to resume negotiations.

St. Nicholas Church's difficulty in getting approvals to rebuild stands in stark contrast to the treatment that the developers of the proposed Cordoba mosque have received. New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, state Atty. Gen. Andrew Cuomo, and a raft of city officials have all come out publicly in favor of building the mosque, and the city's Landmarks and Preservation Commission recently voted unanimously to deny protection to the building currently occupying the site where the mosque is to be built.

The mosque is proposed to rise 13 stories, far above the height of the World Trade Center memorial, with no height restrictions imposed.

For its part, the Port Authority says it had no choice but to break off negotiations with the church to avoid delaying the World Trade Center project any longer. The authority said that the church retains the right to rebuild on its own at its original location. "We made an extraordinarily generous offer to resolve this issue and spent eight months trying to finalize that offer, and the church wanted even more on top of that," Stephen Sigmund, a spokesman for the Port Authority said last year. "They have now given us no choice but to move on to ensure the site is not delayed. The church continues to have the right to rebuild at their original site, and we will pay fair market value for the underground space beneath that building."
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Posted by David Schott (+17052) 11 years ago
I think it's most telling that this mosque has created such divisiveness amongst Americans. That the president has had to speak out about it and that those who disagree with him appear to be so bitterly critical of him. Look at you. Look at us. I bet the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks and those who seek to attack us again delight in knowing that they have driven such a wedge in America. They probably consider this a victory for their cause... not that they have succeeded in building another mosque, not that they have succeeded in building another mosque in a particular location... but that they have torn our nation apart and put so much hatred in our hearts. And hatred that is directed at the wrong people and for the wrong reasons. This is not what America is about.

How much better it would have been had this mosque gone unnoticed... not even a blink or a yawn. Not a word of criticism nor support. Just another mosque out of many in our nation. For that is what living in America is about. Or, at least, that's what we'd like to think that living in America is about. Apparently that America is just a fantasy.
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1284) 11 years ago
Well put David. Your America is gone, replaced by name calling intolerant dipsh*ts on both side of the coin.

I've given up for the most part on this forum because of the literal hatred expressed towards people of opposing opinions by so many who post here.

Better days ahead I hope for my dear niece and nephew but I truly fear for our survival.
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Posted by Bob Netherton II (+1905) 11 years ago
Chuckles!
David. There's votes to be had. Hatred sells big time. It's interesting to see how people are lining up(I mean the big shots - the dot-commies are lining up as expected). It's also interesting to see the constitution transmorgrify into toilet paper when push comes to shove.

[This message has been edited by Bob Netherton II (8/16/2010)]
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14950) 11 years ago
It's also interesting to see the constitution transmorgrify into toilet paper when push comes to shove.


This is more of a zoning question than a constitutional question. No one is denying them the right to add a 24th mosque to NYC. Simply asking that the developers understand the sensitivity of the the situation and look elsewhere.
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Posted by Bob Netherton II (+1905) 11 years ago
Yeah. I think Westboro Baptist should put a church there instead.
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Posted by Bob L. (+5094) 11 years ago
This is more of a zoning question than a constitutional question. No one is denying them the right to add a 24th mosque to NYC. Simply asking that the developers understand the sensitivity of the the situation and look elsewhere.


God, I thought you right-wingers were tougher than that.

Waaaaaaa!!!!

Your little feelings are hurt!


Suck it up, teabag.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9193) 11 years ago
Are they bending the zoning rules to allow this structure? If not, then it's not even a zoning question - it's a bunch of rubes being fired up so Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin can have something to blather about on the TV.

Don't be a rube Richard.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4461) 11 years ago
This whole bull**** you hear about sensitivity to the gaping hole 9/11 left in our hearts is freaking killing me. 95% of the time you'll hear people talk about NYC like it's Sodom, but right now all these cornfed dip***** who have never been within 300 miles of the place act like they were standing there while their families burned alive. If I were any politician anywhere besides NY I'd tell whoever asked my opinion on the matter to go **** themselves. Rick, Richard, and the rest of you who are so deeply concerned about something that has no ******** relevance in your lives - quit being a bunch of *******.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9193) 11 years ago
Wow, it's practically the Vatican City down there: http://www.rumproast.com/...ghborhood/

I can see now why it's sacredness must be protected.
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1284) 11 years ago
Lots of rubes out there.


According to the poll, 56 percent of white voters, 45 percent of black voters, and 60 percent of Hispanic voters oppose the mosque. Along religious lines, 66 percent of Jews, 66 percent of Catholics, and 46 percent of Protestants were opposed.

http://www.ask.com/web?&o...%20%20poll
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17321) 11 years ago
Yes, indeed. One thing this great country of ours does not lack, is rubes.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9193) 11 years ago
I don't believe there's a section in the Constitution that requires validation by pollster. People's fee-fee's should be irrelevant.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4461) 11 years ago
They asked 3 Jews, 3 Catholics, and 2 Protestants (one an amputee).
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4463) 11 years ago
Rick, Richard, and the rest of you who are so deeply concerned about something that has no ******** relevance in your lives


I'm not sure how what I posted marked a deep level of concern, but I'm all ears.
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Posted by Bob L. (+5094) 11 years ago
So, we'll put you in the Pro-ground Zero Mosque Camp, Rickenhawk?
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4463) 11 years ago
I'm not sure too many people could be described as "pro-Mosque"

I would agree with most people who say it's within Constitutional rights, but that doesn't make it a good idea.
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Posted by Bob L. (+5094) 11 years ago
Well, using "Rickenhawk Logic," that means you're FOR the mosque.

Traitor.
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1670) 11 years ago
I thought this was an interesting perspective on "hallowed ground".

http://daryllang.com/blog/4421
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11757) 11 years ago
Both a Burger King AND a McDonald's. AND DUNKIN' DONUTS. If that ground ain't hallowed, what is?
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Posted by Kelly (+2706) 11 years ago
The imam of the proposed cultural center worked for the FBI...

http://www.vosizneias.com...m-efforts/
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3745) 11 years ago
Just to throw my hat into this debate, is it in bad taste or insensitive to some? Sure I can see it from that side but the fact remains that "Freedom of Speech, Religion" etc isn't in the Constitution to protect speech & religions with which you agree with. In my opinion they are there to protect speech & religions with which I do not agree with or make me uncomfortable.

Do I like the idea of a mosque being built so close to Ground Zero? I can see both points in this debate and both have merit.

However, if they have purchased the property on which the mosque is to be built, provided they don't violate zoning laws etc, then they should be allowed to build it.

Sometimes (and I am as guilty of this as anybody) people read too much into things and look for something that isn't there.

[This message has been edited by Kyle L. Varnell (8/18/2010)]
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Posted by Bob L. (+5094) 11 years ago
Hey Kyle - welcome back...
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3745) 11 years ago
Good to be back Bob. Good to be back.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4461) 11 years ago
Well, in Whoville they say that Kyle's balls grew three sizes that day.

(I hope you're all enjoying the mental picture - Merry Christmas!)

[This message has been edited by Buck Showalter (8/18/2010)]
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Posted by RA (+648) 11 years ago
IMHO.....I understand that the reconstruction of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church (which was destroyed during the 9/11 attack)is being blocked by the Bloomberg Administration. Additionally, I understand that Islamic services have been and are being held in the condemmed Burllington Coat Factory.

Now these services in the condemned building - where did the Islamic owners/worshipers get the permission to occupy the building, and under what circumstances? The place hasn't even been completely searched for remains from the attack and yet the Bloomberg administration clears them for worship?

It all smells to high Heaven, I don't care what you worship. I believe journalists should be looking into the permitting processes that were apparently short-cutted to grant the mosque a Certificate of Occupancy.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9193) 11 years ago
Where's the Jesus Wept icon when you need it?
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11757) 11 years ago
My guess is religion doesn't enter into the permitting process. Money does.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4461) 11 years ago
Note to self - Greek Orthodox not equal to Jews

[This message has been edited by Buck Showalter (8/18/2010)]
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Posted by Bob L. (+5094) 11 years ago
Neither is Islam, so there you go...
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Posted by polar bear (+509) 11 years ago
Peoples' feelings don't trump the constitutional right.
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Posted by Mathew Schmitz (+284) 11 years ago
I bet if they search that building now, they will find Obama's Haitian birth certificate.
If they own the ground, and no zoning laws forbid a church on that site, then lets all shut up and let them build their mosque.
I don't believe our constitution protects anyone from having their feelings hurt. Even if a relative, or relatives may have died within view of that site. Not the actual site of the attack mind you, just within view of that site. What would really benefit New York, and that immediate area, is for something, damn near anything, to move towards the healing that comes with re-birth. Build a mosque. Build a damn Starbucks, or an strip club. Just shut up and build something. 9 freaking years later, and we, the used to be "United States", are still arguing about what ANY rebuilding will look like. When we as a nation act like this, the terrorists are still winning.
Here in Bozeman, on the site of last years tragic explosion and fire that took a life, the American Legion is within 6 weeks of re-opening in a beautiful new building. The Main Street Grind in Miles City is another example. The rebuilding process is healing. I feel better everyday driving down main street in Bozeman, and seeing the process of healing move forward, with tangible evidence. I feel the same warm feelings driving down main street in Miles City and seeing progress in action. One building complete, and another in the late planning stages. But in New York, there is still a monster hole in the ground. 9 freaking years later. September 11, 2001 was a tragic day in American history, but we look like fools with every passing day, or month, or year, or even decade with no tangible movement towards reconstruction. Or the healing that comes with it.
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Posted by David Schott (+17052) 11 years ago
I bet if they search that building now, they will find Obama's Haitian birth certificate.

I think it's his Kenyan birth certificate, but I could be wrong. Frank Cory would know.
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Posted by Mathew Schmitz (+284) 11 years ago
My bad. I thought he was born in several different foreign countries. Haiti was just a guess.
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1670) 11 years ago
What is wrong with people????

http://www.cbsnews.com/st...nContent.2
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Posted by David Schott (+17052) 11 years ago
So, how did you vote on the poll, Denise?
[f]Should this Florida church be allowed to burn Qurans on Sept. 11?

( ) Yes, it's their constitutional right
( ) No, it's inappropriate activity
( ) Not sure
[/f]
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1670) 11 years ago
I am fully aware that it is their constitutional right to do so (however, find it extremely ironic that these same people are probably rallying against the New York City mosque), and would never challenge that right.

I just cannot fathom the hate that seems to fill our Country. It's very demoralizing. People need to spend more time getting and keeping their own houses in order before looking to others. We have become such an angry people, while having more than we deserve.

Did anyone see the last few minutes of last week's TrueBlood? Russell Edgington's speech was spot-on.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4463) 11 years ago
Of course, there is the issue of one being about some books and the other about 3,000 dead people.

Maybe they strike a distinction there somewhere.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4461) 11 years ago
Is there no end to your toolery?
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Posted by Bob L. (+5094) 11 years ago
Rickenhawk wrote:
Of course, there is the issue of one being about some books and the other about 3,000 dead people.



Rickenhawk logic at its finest.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4463) 11 years ago
Sorry, Coach. Handy Manny's kinda disarmed the whole 'tool' thing for me. That's all I think about now when someone calls someone a tool.

Kids.
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1670) 11 years ago
I don't know why I bother, but here goes (again)...

Why is it you think that Jihadists should be the face of Islam any more than the KKK should be the face of Christianity?

Which reminds me of something Levi had to say in another thread:

And that just shows what a media victim you are. Equating everyone that's not on your side with the loudest and dumbest person you can find on the other side is a perfect excuse to hold on to your prejudices and reassure yourself of your own superiority.


When the "loudest and dumbest person" on the other side is within a political party's leadership, I'm not sure how you even begin to find common ground.

"The folks who want to build this mosque -- who are really radical Islamists who want to triumphally prove that they can build a mosque right next to a place where 3,000 Americans were killed by radical Islamists -- those folks don't have any interest in reaching out to the community. They're trying to make a case about supremacy. That's why they won't go anywhere else, that's why they won't accept any other offer." ~ Newt Gingrich
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4461) 11 years ago
I could think of a few others, you really are quite a vile little man.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4463) 11 years ago
Why is it you think that Jihadists should be the face of Islam any more than the KKK should be the face of Christianity?


If they were going to go burn bibles down at the Rosa Parks Museum you might have something.

Otherwise we're comparing apples to kangaroos.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4463) 11 years ago
Wow, Buck. And you worked with Steinbrenner. That's sayin' somethin'
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1670) 11 years ago
No, we are not.

Arguments against the mosque are based on the mistaken notion, propogated by Republican leadership, that all Muslims are Jihadists. Using that logic, it would have to be concluded that all Christians are Klan members.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4463) 11 years ago
Arguments against the mosque are based on the mistaken notion, propogated by Republican leadership, that all Muslims are Jihadists.


Really? Who said that?
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Posted by Bob L. (+5094) 11 years ago
I think you did, Rickenhawk.

Yup, you did.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4463) 11 years ago
I'm flattered you put me on that pedestal, B-dog, but you just got done telling me I must be pro-mosque. Traitor, etc etc.

Pretty much the same way you end every thread.
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Posted by Bob L. (+5094) 11 years ago
B-dog????

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

What are you, 12?


Loser.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4463) 11 years ago
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1670) 11 years ago
America is experiencing an Islamist cultural-political offensive designed to undermine and destroy our civilization." -- Gingrich.


I could continue to quote Mr. Gingrich, as well as other current and aspiring Republican politicians, but since you will discount it anyway, I may as well leave you to look it up for yourself. Quotes are not difficult to find, as they are aplenty. I'm not sure why, other than this rhetoric is apparently what office-holders and candidates think the American public wants to hear.

If you truly believe, deep within your heart, that this is not about equating all Muslims with Jihadists, then what could possibly be the motivation for denying the Muslim center, which is over two full blocks away from the northern edge of the 16-acre World Trade Center site and roughly half a dozen normal Lower Manhattan blocks from the site of the North Tower, the nearest of the two destroyed? You cannot even see "Ground Zero" from the site in question. I've posted pictures of other businesses this same distance from Ground Zero. Nothing too hallowed about them.

Jihadists were responsible for 9/11. The terms Jihadist and Muslim are not synonymous, therefore, Muslims are not responsible for 9/11. The perpetrators were people who happened to be Muslim, just as members of the KKK happen to be Christian (at least they consider themselves to be, just as Jihadists consider themselves Muslim).

By opposing the cultural center, Muslim people are being painted with a broad brush as all dangerous people. There is a distinction, and it's too bad the American people are either too stupid or too scared to recognize it.

To be honest, the teabaggers do not bother me one bit. They can stand outside all day long with their signs, spewing their brand of hatred, with very little effect. The ones to truly fear are those who are smart enough to know better, who refuse to consider anyone else's position or reflect upon their own or that of their leadership, and who toe the party line without question, even though they have the means and the ability. These are the people who the teabaggers look to for guidance, and these are the people who are woefully misleading them through the use of fear tactics, gross generalizations, and outright lies.

I agree with others who have said that this center could have been used to educate and enlighten non-Muslims, with the goal being the acceptance and understanding of others who are different than you. Alas, this will not happen, regardless of the outcome. This issue has become too propagandized to now do any good. If the cultural center is effective in opening its doors permanently, some fine, upstanding American citizens will do their best to vandalize it and destroy it, or others, in the process. We should all be ashamed.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4463) 11 years ago
I don't think it's reasonable to use the world Islamist/Islamism and Muslim interchangeably.

They're two different things.

He may as well be preaching Separation of Church and State. I heard that was a good thing once.

[This message has been edited by Rick Kuchynka (8/19/2010)]
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Posted by Bob Netherton II (+1905) 11 years ago
"To be honest, the teabaggers do not bother me one bit. They can stand outside all day long with their signs, spewing their brand of hatred, with very little effect. The ones to truly fear are those who are smart enough to know better, who refuse to consider anyone else's position or reflect upon their own or that of their leadership, and who toe the party line without question, even though they have the means and the ability. These are the people who the teabaggers look to for guidance, and these are the people who are woefully misleading them through the use of fear tactics, gross generalizations, and outright lies."

QUOTE OF THE MONTH.
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1670) 11 years ago
Actually, people use the term "Islamist(s)" in different ways. By strict definition, it simply means those who practice the faith, principles or cause of Islam, but that is beside the point. For purposes of this discussion, let's assume that the term "Islamist" is being used to describe Muslim radicals.

That being said, what point is Mr. Gingrich trying to make in his repeated statements? Both political parties in the past have claimed this imam to be a moderate. What could be the agenda of Mr. Gingrich in trying to tie this cultural center to "Islamists"?
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Posted by Bob Netherton II (+1905) 11 years ago
He wants to be the next president, Denise. I understand there's a strip joint near the hallowed grounds. I hope they're christian strippers.
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1670) 11 years ago
Bob, Mr. Gingrich would be one of the people with whom I take issue, steeping teabaggers in his ever-constant flow of bile.

[This message has been edited by Denise Selk (8/19/2010)]
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4463) 11 years ago
http://www.nytimes.com/20...80618.html

Here's the NY Times tying a terrorist attack to an "Islamist Group"

http://www.washingtonpost...00789.html

Here's the WaPo describing Hamas as Islamist.

There's nothing wrong with what Newt said. We have been, and are, at war with Islamists. The media seems to recognize it.

Defining what someone else says under your own terms is license to believe anything you want.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9193) 11 years ago
steeping teabaggers


Now there's an image that's going to put me off my feed...

Anyways - given that the Imam in question is by all accounts a reasonable and moderate, why then is there such a push to conflate the islamic YMCA in question with the scaaaaarrrrry "islamists"?

[This message has been edited by Bridgier (8/20/2010)]
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Posted by Steve Allison (+981) 11 years ago
After the 9-11 attacks, then President Bush made several pleas in his speeches, NOT to treat or consider all Muslims as terrorists. He pointed out that not only is it unfair to most Muslims, the negative treatment would give fuel to the terrorists in their recruiting of others into their cause.
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1670) 11 years ago
I'm obviously not able to convey my point.

I've already conceded let's use the term "Islamists" to mean radical Muslims. Who is comparing apples to kangaroos now? We are not talking about Hamas or other terrorist attacks, so your links are without purpose. I've NEVER said that there are not radical Muslims in the world, and once again, I conceded to the use of the term.

There's nothing wrong with what Newt said. We have been, and are, at war with Islamists. The media seems to recognize it.

Defining what someone else says under your own terms is license to believe anything you want.


There's nothing wrong with what Newt said?

"The folks who want to build this mosque -- who are really radical Islamists who want to triumphally prove that they can build a mosque right next to a place where 3,000 Americans were killed by radical Islamists -- those folks don't have any interest in reaching out to the community. They're trying to make a case about supremacy. That's why they won't go anywhere else, that's why they won't accept any other offer." ~ Newt Gingrich


I hadn't heard where it was Hamas behind the cultural center. Do explain.
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3745) 11 years ago
Ron Paul says it pretty good

http://www.businesswire.c...ewsLang=en

[This message has been edited by Kyle L. Varnell (8/20/2010)]
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1670) 11 years ago
Excellent Kyle. Thank you for posting.

I loved the entire article, but this little gem stuck out for me as it applies to so many issues right now.

The point being is that majorities can become oppressors of minority rights as well as individual dictators. Statistics of support is irrelevant when it comes to the purpose of government in a free society-protecting liberty.
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Posted by Bob Netherton II (+1905) 11 years ago
So if someone can give examples of "Islamists" who commit terrorist attacks, I can naturally assume we are at war with Islam, Rick?

You can pick any group you want, Rick, and pull the same crap. You procreatein' wing nuts aren't happy unless you have some procreateing boogeyman. It's getting real old. If you can't recognize that slime bags like Mr. Newt and cross-eyed Sarah Palin are just making political hay out of this issue, you're even dumber than Gunnar thinks you are.
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Posted by Gm. Bonine (+85) 11 years ago
here's an idea

lets just build a strip club/sports bar/worship circus there.

then all the Patriots fans can show up in their " 'Randy' Mosque" jerseys...
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3712) 11 years ago
That being said, what point is Mr. Gingrich trying to make in his repeated statements? Both political parties in the past have claimed this imam to be a moderate. What could be the agenda of Mr. Gingrich in trying to tie this cultural center to "Islamists"?


As Bob said, Newt is in the "running to the right" stage of running for president. He's getting the base riled up so he can win the nomination. You can expect him to get more moderate .0003 seconds after being announced as the Republican nominee.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4463) 11 years ago
You can pick any group you want, Rick, and pull the same crap.


I know it can be done, Bob. I'm shown almost every day.

But that's not really the point. Islam and Islamism are two different things. If you called someone a Christianist vs a Christian, you would assume the same thing.

Newt probably took his comments too far. I don't think we have a right to shut it down. But there's no arguing that it's the height of poor taste to do this.

To act like building (probably) the largest Mosque in the United States a tenth of a mile from ground zero is just an unfortunate kawinkydink is ridiculous on its face. To add on, when someone asks you "Is funding going to come from Iran or Saudi Arabia?" you should probably have something better to say than "no comment"

They certainly aren't going to fund something this large by passing the hat around the neighborhood.

It is an incredibly arrogant thing to even try. They deserve every shout-down they get. The Constitution demands we stop short of using government to prevent them from doing it, though.

[This message has been edited by Rick Kuchynka (8/21/2010)]
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1670) 11 years ago
As Bob said, Newt is in the "running to the right" stage of running for president. He's getting the base riled up so he can win the nomination. You can expect him to get more moderate .0003 seconds after being announced as the Republican nominee.


I know. I was interested in seeing if Ricky could admit this as well. I guess this is the best I can hope for.

Newt probably took his comments too far.


You know, it really doesn't hurt to challenge your line of thinking and your leadership once in a while. You really won't spontaneously combust, I promise. To stand behind one party, person, belief, cause or idea, never waiving no matter what the platform, statement or action they produce, is not always the smartest course of action, because they are not always going to be right or just. Flexibility and open-mindedness to others' ideas can do nothing but enrich a person.

They deserve every shout-down they get. The Constitution demands we stop short of using government to prevent them from doing it, though.


I hope that you are as vocal when it is time for the Gainesville church to burn the Qurans on September 11th. For some reason, the very vocal opponents of the cultural center being built in New York City, branding it as "insensitive", though Constitutional, are remaining surprisingly quiet in regard to the burning of the Muslim holy books in Florida. Wonder why that is?
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Posted by Leif Hope (+94) 11 years ago
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4463) 11 years ago
Again, though, we're comparing respecting 3,000 dead vs respecting a few books.

One will serve as a permanent reminder, and perpetual magnet for all sorts of controversy. The other will be swept up, bagged and thrown away after an hour or two.

Not to say the burning is a good idea. I wouldn't take part. But let's have some perspective here.
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1670) 11 years ago
Again, though, we're comparing respecting 3,000 dead vs respecting a few books.


That's interesting in light of the recent witch-hunt in Miles City over the poor guy with his flag on the ground. You'd have thought he should be drawn and quartered.

It's a simple matter of consistency. You cannot ignore the Constitution when it suits you and vigorously defend it when it doesn't. Did you read Ron Paul's article in this regard?

By the way, how far away is far enough? Four blocks, six, a mile? How far away is sensitive enough? Considering there is already a mosque blocks away from "Ground Zero", this is not breaking new ground. That mosque is frequently overflowing with worshippers. Who gets to decide how far is far enough? Why do they get the say? What about the victims' families who feel this whole process is un-American? Why are their opinions any less valued?
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6165) 11 years ago
In a walk of the streets within three blocks of Ground Zero, the Daily News counted 17 pizza shops, 18 bank branches, 11 bars, 10 shoe stores and 17 separate salons where a girl can get her lady parts groomed.


http://www.nydailynews.co...z0xHMk4VdN

I guess Brazilian bikini waxes are more appropriate activities than praying at ground zero.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11757) 11 years ago
And if Bibles were being burned at a Mosque purely to cause insult, the Right Wingers would be up in arms.

It is all political posturing, designed to use hate and prejudice to make political gains. Five years from now, this hysteria over the mosque will be forgotten because something new will have come up to be used to promote bigotry and intolerance and hatred.
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1670) 11 years ago
Five years Amorette? More like five weeks with the news/scandal turnover these days.


I think we should take a poll. How many Miles Citians were outraged, I mean downright scandalized, at the flag on the ground, but think it is okay for the Dove World Outreach Center to burn Qurans on September 11th? I'm betting the numbers are pretty high, but that's just me.

[This message has been edited by Denise Selk (8/21/2010)]
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1670) 11 years ago
Thank you Summer Marston for the link. Everyone should watch. I especially love the clips of Charlton Heston denouncing the requests for the NRA to move its convention location following Columbine. Oh, and that of the ties of Fox News Corp. to a terrorist funding organization. Too funny!

http://shar.es/0HwMd
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4463) 11 years ago
Bibles and Korans are burned in this country every day.

If you want to see... hit Youtube.

"Look! A Kook somewhere else!" Is not justification for the nations's largest Mosque at Ground Zero.

It's wrong. Not illegal, but wrong.
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1670) 11 years ago
How far is far enough?

I'm not remembering your stance, but I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that you did not support the calls to move the NRA convention in the aftermath of Columbine, out of sensitivity to the victims' families. Or am I wrong?
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4463) 11 years ago
The NRA did exactly the right thing.

http://denver.rockymounta...nra3.shtml
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4463) 11 years ago
I'm glad you said that though.

Columbine is 12 miles away or so from Denver (where the NRA convention was scheduled). So the largest Mosque in the United States should be at least that far away from Ground Zero.
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Posted by J. Dyba (+1350) 11 years ago
You either follow all the rules, or none of them.

Feel free to get the F out.
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1670) 11 years ago
The NRA did exactly the right thing.

(which was scaling back the convention):

Considering that the 13-story community center will contain an auditorium, theatre, performing arts center, fitness center, swimming pool, basketball court, daycare, bookstore, culinary school, and yes, a prayer space, perhaps they have scaled back, in that it is not simply a mosque, but will really be contributing to society through all of the opportunities listed above.

Really, is that what you are saying? That the American people have a problem with a community center that happens to have a prayer space because it is owned by Muslims? That flies in the face of everything you have ever stood for in any other regard.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4461) 11 years ago
He doesn't get it. I hope some actual patriots show up to stand by while they break ground on this. Maybe one day Rick will figure out the difference between patriotism and whatever you call this crap.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4463) 11 years ago
So everyone who complained about the NRA convention (which was already scheduled before, not after the incident) was a shameless demogogue?

How about if someone decided to build the nation's largest shooting range a couple blocks over from Columbine High.

It's all good, am I right?
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4463) 11 years ago
And what happened to all those Dubai Ports World demogogues? Democrats weren't too happy about letting any AyRabs hang out around our ports.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4461) 11 years ago
Whatever makes you feel better.
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1670) 11 years ago
I like that you keep calling it the nation's largest mosque. Do you really think that is the case once you factor in the auditorium, theatre, performing arts center, fitness center, swimming pool, basketball court, daycare center, bookstore and culinary school? Or is it just easier to use propaganda to try to prove your point?

This is a community center owned by Muslims. What's next? Are we going to start demanding background checks for street vendors within a mile from Ground Zero so as not to be insensitive? Perhaps Nazi-like brands should be tattooed on anyone of the Muslim faith so as to ensure that they do not wander anywhere near the hallowed ground.

By the way, did you watch the Jon Stewart clip?

And, since I generally try to answer the questions I am asked, as long as all local ordinances were met, I don't see how a shooting range two blocks away where you cannot even see it from the site, would be something I would so vehemently oppose. After all, like I always hear, guns don't kill people, people kill people.

It is a slippery slope (like my use of your favorite term) when you start deciding when to adhere to the Constitution and when to try to circumvent it.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4463) 11 years ago
You win. Putting a gym in a church makes it no-longer a church. Duly noted.

And we should be supportive of a shooting range next door to Columbine High. It's not enough to resist government interference. You've got to actively smile and support it. Got it.

Anyone who says it's tasteless is a demagogue. Makes sense.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4461) 11 years ago
Feeling better?
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1670) 11 years ago
Don't act like this is a case of smiling and going with the flow.

Circumventing the Constitution is exactly the intent here, through means of political and public pressure. It's a case of superficially acknowledging the Constitutionality of it, but secretly hoping that, through any means necessary, they will give up their rights and go home. It's not simply a matter of registering your opinion, but of trying to deny them their rights without specifically voicing the words.

Just curious, since the overwhelming majority of the building is NOT prayer space (we aren't simply talking about throwing in a gym, but hey, exaggeration is your strong point), why is this labeled a mosque at all? This makes no sense to me. Could it be that it makes it more palatable to attack?
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6165) 11 years ago
Where are all the folks who believe that property rights trump all others? I was sure Rick would be in that camp.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14950) 11 years ago
The other day someone forwarded an email about how Mayor Bloomberg was going to profit from the building of the mosque. The headline was "Bloomberg's quiet investments in Sharia Finance: an ulterior motive in backing Ground Zero's Victory Mosque?" The story goes on to paint a picture of how Sharia Finance is a part of the operation inside the mosque and how Mayor Bloomberg will benefit financially because Bloomberg News is expanding their reach into Dubai.

The problem with this whole story is that if you follow it back far enough, while it is true that Bloomberg expanded there office in Dubai, it happened in October of 2008. The right-wing "blogoshpere", (which I am beginning to really despise) makes it sound as though all of this happen just the other day. Figuring out what is true and what is false is becoming difficult. Meanwhile, in the process of reading some related links I ran across this article I thought this article raised some interesting points.


What makes a Muslim in Britain or America wake up and decide that he is no longer a Briton or American but an Islamic "soldier" fighting a holy war against the infidel? Part of it must be pull: the lure of jihadism. Part is presumably push: a feeling that he no longer belongs to the place where he lives. Either way, the results can be lethal. A chilling feature of the suicide video left by Mohammad Sidique Khan, the leader of the band that killed more than 50 people in London in July, 2005, was the homely Yorkshire accent in which he told his countrymen that "your" government is at war with "my people".

For a while America seemed less vulnerable than Europe to home-grown jihadism. The Pew Research Centre reported three years ago that most Muslim Americans were "largely assimilated, happy with their lives. and decidedly American in their outlook, values and attitudes." Since then it has become clear that American Muslims can be converted to terrorism too. Nidal Malik Hassan, born in America and an army major, killed 13 of his comrades in a shooting spree at Fort Hood. Faisal Shahzad, a legal immigrant, tried to set off a car bomb in Times Square. But something about America-the fact that it is a nation of immigrants, perhaps, or its greater religiosity, or the separation of church and state, or the opportunities to rise-still seems to make it an easier place than Europe for Muslims to feel accepted and at home.

It was in part to preserve this feeling that George Bush repeated like a scratched gramophone record that Americans were at war with the terrorists who had attacked them on 9/11, not at war with Islam. Barack Obama has followed suit: the White House national security strategy published in May says that one way to guard against radicalisation at home is to stress that "diversity is part of our strength-not a source of division or insecurity." This is hardly rocket science. America is plainly safer if its Muslims feel part of "us" and not, like Mohammad Sidique Khan, part of "them". And that means reminding Americans of the difference-a real one, by the way, not one fabricated for the purposes of political correctness-between Islam, a religion with a billion adherents, and al-Qaeda, a terrorist outfit that claims to speak in Islam's name but has absolutely no right or mandate to do so.


Why would any responsible American politician want to erase that vital distinction? Good question. Ask Sarah Palin, or Newt Gingrich, or the many others who have lately clambered aboard the offensive campaign to stop Cordoba House, a proposed community centre and mosque, from being built in New York two blocks from the site of the twin towers. Every single argument put forward for blocking this project leans in some way on the misconceived notion that all Muslims, and Islam itself, share the responsibility for, or are tainted by, the atrocities of 9/11.

In a tweet last month from Alaska, Ms Palin called on "peaceful Muslims" to "refudiate" the "ground-zero mosque" because it would "stab" American hearts. But why should it? Cordoba House is not being built by al-Qaeda. To the contrary, it is the brainchild of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, a well-meaning American cleric who has spent years trying to promote interfaith understanding, not an apostle of religious war like Osama bin Laden. He is modelling his project on New York's 92nd Street Y, a Jewish community centre that reaches out to other religions. The site was selected in part precisely so that it might heal some of the wounds opened by the felling of the twin towers and all that followed. True, some relatives of 9/11 victims are hurt by the idea of a mosque going up near the site. But that feeling of hurt makes sense only if they too buy the false idea that Muslims in general were perpetrators of the crime. Besides, what about the feelings, and for that matter the rights, of America's Muslims-some of whom also perished in the atrocity?

Ms Palin's argument does at least have one mitigating virtue: it concentrates on the impact the centre might have, without impugning the motives of those who want to build it. The same half-defence can be made of the Anti-Defamation League, a venerable Jewish organisation created to fight anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry. To the dismay of many liberal Jews, the ADL has also urged the centre's backers to seek another site in order to spare the feelings of families of the 9/11 victims. But at least it concedes that they have every right to build at this site-and that they might (only might, since the ADL hints at vague concerns about their ideology and finances) genuinely have chosen it in order to send a positive message about Islam.


The Saudi non-sequitur

No such plea of mitigation can be entered on behalf of Mr Gingrich. The former Republican speaker of the House of Representatives may or may not have presidential pretensions, but he certainly has intellectual ones. That makes it impossible to excuse the mean spirit and scrambled logic of his assertion that "there should be no mosque near ground zero so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia". Come again? Why hold the rights of Americans who happen to be Muslim hostage to the policy of a foreign country that happens also to be Muslim? To Mr Gingrich, it seems, an American Muslim is a Muslim first and an American second. Al-Qaeda would doubtless concur.

Mr Gingrich also objects to the centre's name. Imam Feisal says he chose "Cordoba" in recollection of a time when the rest of Europe had sunk into the Dark Ages but Muslims, Jews and Christians created an oasis of art, culture and science. Mr Gingrich sees only a "deliberate insult", a reminder of a period when Muslim conquerors ruled Spain. Like Mr bin Laden, Mr Gingrich is apparently still relitigating the victories and defeats of religious wars fought in Europe and the Middle East centuries ago. He should rejoin the modern world, before he does real harm.


http://www.economist.com/node/16743239
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11757) 11 years ago
Muslims pray several times a day at the Pentagon. I don't mean a mile away. I mean in the actual building. Is that 'disrespectful?'
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1284) 11 years ago
Did I hear right? Are we selling the USS Arizona in order to reduce the deficit to a batch of Japanese Businessmen who want to put a Benihana restaurant in that location? I just don't think it's a very good place for one, but whatever, it's a free country.
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Posted by tax payer (+344) 11 years ago
Where are all the folks who believe that property rights trump all others? I was sure Rick would be in that camp.

That can work two ways, as can someone who owns land by a school start a Hooters Bar? Seems like the property rights are taken from that person.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4461) 11 years ago
So you want it both ways, just like Rick?
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Posted by tax payer (+344) 11 years ago
No, but there needs to be more thought put into this. Many construction workers refuse to work on it out of respect for the dead. Doesn't matter what I think, someone else thinks different, guess that is what makes the world go round.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4461) 11 years ago
I hope they show the same reverence when they break ground on the t***y bar.
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Posted by polar bear (+509) 11 years ago
Bet they didn't have any trouble helping to build the porn shops, of which there are many, in that area. Hallowed ground that it is and all.

[This message has been edited by polar bear (8/22/2010)]
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3745) 11 years ago
Let me try and put an end to this once and for all.

IF THEY OWN THE LAND ON WHICH THE MOSQUE IS TO BE BUILT AND THEY HAVE ALL THE NECESSARY & NEEDED PERMITS THEN THEY HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO BUILD IT.
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1670) 11 years ago
Why Building the Mosque is Good for America
by Dean Obeidallah

Where can the Muslim community center be built in NYC?

To me, the answer is the same as if you asked me where a church, a synagogue, a Sikh temple or any place of worship in the US can be built. To paraphrase Dr. Seuss: I say you can build it here or there, by a house or a mouse, in Tribeca by Robert DeNiro or further down by Ground Zero. It's that simple.

It's alarming and disheartening to see the angry, hate-filled rhetoric by some in response to the building of the Muslim community center. To these people, all American Muslims are somehow guilty simply by the virtue of their religion. Some people truly appear to hate Muslims more than they love the ideals of our country.

I don't subscribe to the view that everyone who is opposing the Muslim community center is a bigot. But to those who really have no issues with Muslims but simply object to its proposed location, I say: You might want to take a quick look to your left and right; I'm going to bet that at least one of the people protesting alongside you is a bigot, such as the "Christian" Pastor from Florida who is threatening to burn Korans on September 11 -- the way the Nazis burned Torahs -- and those who are protesting mosques being built in other parts of the country hundreds of miles from Ground Zero and threatening to release pigs on the property to keep the Muslims away. These aren't people I really want to hang with.

On the other hand, this debate has been heartening in one way: It has caused more interfaith alliances between Muslim, Jewish and Christian groups as many have stood together to fight for the right to religious freedom - with the most visible supporters outside the Muslim community being Jewish-Americans such as NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Rep. Jerry Nadler, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, J Street and even the more conservative Ed Koch recently wrote an article adamantly defending the building of the Mosque in lower Manhattan.

So here are my simple responses to the main arguments I have heard in my effort to balance the avalanche of hate coming from the other side:

1.Should a sushi restaurant be allowed to open near Pearl Harbor? It's important to emphasize that the Founding Fathers of America did not flee England to the New World because they wanted to make California rolls or sashimi. It was for freedom of religion. You can't compare the sacred right of freedom of religion with the right to sell raw fish.

2.The location is the issue. This is frankly the toughest one. I understand fully the visceral opposition by some to the location. I stood about 20 blocks from the World Trade Center on 9/11 and watched the towers crumble before my eyes. I lived in Manhattan then and continue to live there today. But let's also keep in mind that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who will be leading the Muslim community center, is the long-time leader of a mosque that is located 12 blocks from Ground Zero and has been there since 1983. That is where his congregation is located. Should he have to move his congregation because terrorists happen to share the same religion? And how far is "enough" of a move: Is six blocks okay? Twenty blocks? Two miles? And who decides how far is enough: Sarah Palin? Newt Gingrich? Do any of you trust these people to decide the scope of our fundamental Constitutional rights? Can we allow the very right that inspired the creation of our nation to be decided by a popularity contest? If that were the case, do you think in certain parts of the South they would have agreed to allow synagogues or churches that serve African-American communities to be built?


3.American Muslims should not build a Muslim center near Ground Zero because the twenty 9/11 terrorists were Muslim. This is like saying that because a handful of Catholic priests molested young boys, Catholic Churches should not be allowed to be built near elementary schools. Or because Bernie Madoff and several others in the recent Wall Street scandals were Jewish, no synagogues can be built near Wall Street. I know these men didn't kill people, but they destroyed many, many lives; however, we would never punish everyone in their religion because of the sins of a few. Even more importantly, the people who are building this mosque and will worship in it will be American Muslims, not members of Al Qaeda.


4.This is a "victory mosque" because Muslims build mosques to symbolize military victories. There are approximately 1900 mosques in the US already. Somebody please list the military victories against America that each of these mosques represents. Seriously, I'm all ears.


5.Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who will be leading this mosque, is connected to terrorist activity. He has been the imam of a mosque located 12 blocks from Ground Zero for 27 years. If he had been involved in terrorist activity, I think by now he would have been arrested. In fact, he has publicly condemned terrorism, worked to build bridges between the US and Muslim world, and spearheaded extensive Interfaith work bringing people of different religions together to foster understanding. But if you have any evidence whatsoever that he is involved with terrorism -- not "he likes falafel and terrorists like falafel" but credible evidence -- I implore you to turn it over to the FBI or US Attorney's Office. If you don't, then please stop the character assassinations and blood libel against him.


6.The Mosque will encourage terrorism. Actually, I believe strongly that the opposite is true. As a comedian, I have performed in the Middle East frequently over the past few years. There are many there who truly believed that during President Bush's term the US was waging a war against all Muslims, not just terrorists. One of the best arguments we had against this assertion was to say look how the American Muslims are treated -- they are free to worship and have the same rights as people from any other religion. Banning this Muslim community center will change that forever and, to be brutally honest, will be used as a tool to recruit terrorists against us by simply saying, "Look how America treats their Muslims!" And what does this message send to young American Muslims who are 15 or 16 and were 8 or 9 at the time of the 9/11 attacks? That you don't have the same rights as all other Americans? That you truly don't belong here?

So why is the Mosque good for America?

Allowing the Muslim community center to be built where it is being proposed represents the best of America, the idea that the United States is a special place in the world, a beacon of fairness that welcomes and protects the rights of all its people. Too many have sacrificed their lives for these sacred rights to say that certain Americans should not enjoy them simply because of their religion.

As our Declaration of Independence famously states, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal," and it is my belief that they should be treated equally, as well.

http://www.huffingtonpost...83060.html
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6165) 11 years ago
Denise,

You know that the bigots here will not give credence to an article by someone named Obeidallah. Nice try though.

[This message has been edited by Wendy Wilson (8/22/2010)]
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1670) 11 years ago
Wendy, and a comedian to boot! A Muslim comedian. The HORROR!!!! How could any decent patriotic American citizen stand for the filth he is speaking? Just read it!

What's next? A Ground Zero Improv with Abyad and Kharijah and their "Who's on ??????? " routine? What is this world coming to?


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Posted by Denise Selk (+1670) 11 years ago
Awww, bummer. My arabic doesn't come through the filter. It's a darn shame.
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1670) 11 years ago
My husband and I laughed ourselves silly at tonight's Mike Peters' editorial cartoon in the Miles City Star:



This is so apropos, I'm going to cut it out, use my handy-dandy little laminator and post it in my office.
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supporter
Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17321) 11 years ago

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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6165) 11 years ago
That would be funny if it weren't so true.
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supporter
Posted by Bill Freese (+479) 11 years ago
I predict the ground zero mosque controversy rhetoric will cool down dramatically about the third of November.
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supporter
Posted by Denise Selk (+1670) 11 years ago
The Muslim Community Center Debate - Continuing our Duty
by Jon Soltz
Co-Founder of VoteVets.org and Captain in Operation Iraqi Freedom

Since the debate erupted, the veterans of VoteVets.org kept out of the argument over the planned Community Center for Muslims in Lower Manhattan (falsely called the "Ground Zero Mosque"). Initially, we believed this was a local issue for New Yorkers to discuss. Our thought was that we have as much right to tell New York where or where not to build a Muslim community center as we have to tell Sheboygan, Wisconsin where to build a YMCA. Besides, when innocent American Muslims died in the 9/11 attacks, and on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, we figured rational minds would prevail and the debate would subside.

We were wrong. The debate hasn't been confined to New York, nor have rational minds prevailed (yet). Therefore, we can no longer stay silent.

On Wednesday, we started gaining signatures from Iraq and Afghanistan veterans for an open letter to the developer of the site, Sharif El-Gamal, supporting his right to develop the site, and expressing the view that allowing his community center to move forward will be a powerful tool in defeating the same terrorists we fought against in war.

You can back up the hundreds of veterans who signed the letter, by co-signing that letter with them here.

There are two very important reasons we must speak out. First and foremost, when we signed up for service, we swore to uphold the Constitution. For all the talk these days from some quarters about the importance of protecting the Constitution and allowing the free market to work unfettered, those same people are fighting against a person's right to buy property and worship freely. Our duty to protect the Constitution doesn't end when our service does. It's up to us to stand up for the right for all Americans to enjoy the Constitutional freedoms that so many around the world don't have.

Secondly, allowing the Community Center to move forward will deal a blow to the propaganda of al Qaeda and Islamist extremists, who recruit on the talking point that the United States is in a war against Islam. Of course, we're not. But, if those forces of intolerance win, it will certainly appear that we are in a war against one religion -- Islam.

As Matthew Alexander, a former interrogator in Iraq, and VoteVets.org member wrote at the Huffington Post, "Imagine an al Qaeda recruiter attempting to sway a potential charge by citing an imaginary American war against Muslims but having to face the counterargument that Americans built a Muslim community center near the site of the former Twin Towers. The Cordoba House would be a powerful symbol of U.S. tolerance and freedom that will stand in direct contradiction to al Qaeda's narrative that Americans hate Muslims."

That's the point. Defeating al Qaeda will take the use of force. But it will also take destroying their ability to recruit, and that means winning hearts and minds. Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan know all too well the importance of having the people on your side.

On a more domestic point, when many Muslims died in service to this country, including in Iraq and Afghanistan, we ought not be saying that their religion is offensive. It's a point that Colin Powell raised when endorsing then-Senator Obama for President on Meet the Press. Powell recalled a powerful photo of a mother grieving for her lost son, at his grave at Arlington, topped by a crescent. He thought of that photo when he heard the false attacks on Obama, claiming he was a Muslim. Powell said of that fallen soldier, Kareem Khan, "He was 14 years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he could go serve his country, and he gave his life. Now, we have got to stop polarizing ourselves in this way."

Some have tried to claim that the construction of the community center at its currently planned site is "anti-America." We don't believe that to the be case, at all. In fact, for all of the reasons above, building the community center is about as pro-America as one can get.
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