Ron Paul to Sunshine Patriots: Stop Your Demagogy About The NYC Mosque!




Congressman Ron Paul today released the following statement on the controversy concerning the construction of an Islamic Center and Mosque in New York City:

Is the controversy over building a mosque near ground zero a grand distraction or a grand opportunity? Or is it, once again, grandiose demagoguery?

It has been said, “Nero fiddled while Rome burned.” Are we not overly preoccupied with this controversy, now being used in various ways by grandstanding politicians? It looks to me like the politicians are “fiddling while the economy burns.”

The debate should have provided the conservative defenders of property rights with a perfect example of how the right to own property also protects the 1st Amendment rights of assembly and religion by supporting the building of the mosque.

Instead, we hear lip service given to the property rights position while demanding that the need to be “sensitive” requires an all-out assault on the building of a mosque, several blocks from “ground zero.”

Just think of what might (not) have happened if the whole issue had been ignored and the national debate stuck with war, peace, and prosperity. There certainly would have been a lot less emotionalism on both sides. The fact that so much attention has been given the mosque debate, raises the question of just why and driven by whom?

In my opinion it has come from the neo-conservatives who demand continual war in the Middle East and Central Asia and are compelled to constantly justify it.

They never miss a chance to use hatred toward Muslims to rally support for the ill conceived preventative wars. A select quote from soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq expressing concern over the mosque is pure propaganda and an affront to their bravery and sacrifice.

The claim is that we are in the Middle East to protect our liberties is misleading. To continue this charade, millions of Muslims are indicted and we are obligated to rescue them from their religious and political leaders. And, we’re supposed to believe that abusing our liberties here at home and pursuing unconstitutional wars overseas will solve our problems.

The nineteen suicide bombers didn’t come from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan or Iran. Fifteen came from our ally Saudi Arabia, a country that harbors strong American resentment, yet we invade and occupy Iraq where no al Qaeda existed prior to 9/11.

Many fellow conservatives say they understand the property rights and 1st Amendment issues and don’t want a legal ban on building the mosque. They just want everybody to be “sensitive” and force, through public pressure, cancellation of the mosque construction.

This sentiment seems to confirm that Islam itself is to be made the issue, and radical religious Islamic views were the only reasons for 9/11. If it became known that 9/11 resulted in part from a desire to retaliate against what many Muslims saw as American aggression and occupation, the need to demonize Islam would be difficult if not impossible.

There is no doubt that a small portion of radical, angry Islamists do want to kill us but the question remains, what exactly motivates this hatred?

If Islam is further discredited by making the building of the mosque the issue, then the false justification for our wars in the Middle East will continue to be acceptable.

The justification to ban the mosque is no more rational than banning a soccer field in the same place because all the suicide bombers loved to play soccer.

Conservatives are once again, unfortunately, failing to defend private property rights, a policy we claim to cherish. In addition conservatives missed a chance to challenge the hypocrisy of the left which now claims they defend property rights of Muslims, yet rarely if ever, the property rights of American private businesses.

Defending the controversial use of property should be no more difficult than defending the 1st Amendment principle of defending controversial speech. But many conservatives and liberals do not want to diminish the hatred for Islam–the driving emotion that keeps us in the wars in the Middle East and Central Asia.

It is repeatedly said that 64% of the people, after listening to the political demagogues, don’t want the mosque to be built. What would we do if 75% of the people insist that no more Catholic churches be built in New York City? 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.

The outcry over the building of the mosque, near ground zero, implies that Islam alone was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. According to those who are condemning the building of the mosque, the nineteen suicide terrorists on 9/11 spoke for all Muslims. This is like blaming all Christians for the wars of aggression and occupation because some Christians supported the neo-conservatives’ aggressive wars.

The House Speaker is now treading on a slippery slope by demanding a Congressional investigation to find out just who is funding the mosque—a bold rejection of property rights, 1st Amendment rights, and the Rule of Law—in order to look tough against Islam.

This is all about hate and Islamaphobia.

We now have an epidemic of “sunshine patriots” on both the right and the left who are all for freedom, as long as there’s no controversy and nobody is offended.

Political demagoguery rules when truth and liberty are ignored.



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909 Comments:

  1. Orthodox Christian

    Why? Because Ground Zero marks a catastrophic event. And how do we make sense of such events? We reference them to God. As Christians we believe that God acts in certain ways, and that certain places like this one, be it SS Arizona Museum, Gettysburg, Ellis Island become sacred centers of identification, which are identifiers of this nation. We believe in a sacred demention. Ground Zero is a place of very significant importance to the identiy of a people in a city, which happens to be in a western nation, which is rooted in Judeo-Christian values.

    Please understand, that if this answer makes people upset I'm sorry , my intention is not to hurt others. But to explain how we view this place among other places.

    Secularism denies the sacred demention about these certain events. They deny all reference to God. And in denying the spiritual element, such arguments always default to legal categories: i.e. rights, properties ... what is ironic is that we speak of these rights. Freedom of Religion, of Speech all of our rights in our Constitution come from these Judaio-Christian roots, drawing from the well of Christianity. All of these Freedoms we cherish comes from the God of Abraham. I don't think we can make the same claim about Islam.

    I am not against a Mosque any where. We're just against the mosque being in the vicinity of what we believe is holy ground, which should be defined by western traditional values. Not Islam.

    Peace unto you all.

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    • My friend, by your logic, the entire Holy Land cannot have a single church because of the butchery of Jews and Muslims by the hands of those who call themselves Christians.

      Did not the Crusaders butcher Muslims when they took Jerusalem and burn Jews alive? By your logic, we should hold Christianity and ourselves responsible for the actions of a few.

      How were these 21 or so terrorists any different?

      As a Christian, I believe in love, understanding, and peace and I pray you will too, one day.

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      • Orthodox Christian

        I cannot speak for the Holy Land, nor do the Crusuades compare to this situation. Along with the many Jews and Muslims died at the hands of non-Christian soldiers utilized by the RC Church, so too did Orthodox Christians die at the hands of these very soliders. Constantinople was ramshacked. The parallel that has been continuously drawn to that point in history is rather unforutnate.

        The Christian faith and the Islamic faith are entirely different. The fact that both Christian and Muslims have done atrocious things in history doesn't give anyone the right to draw those sorts of parallels and proclaim that everything is relevant or irrelevant and then allude to anyone who sticks up for his faith as being without love, understanding, and peaceful.

        The fact of the matter is that Christians didn't bring religion into the Ground Zero debate, those who want to build a Mosque there did. Those who chose that location are the ones who could use some lessons in love, understand, peace, and above all MERCY for those who have suffered.

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        • So history is unfortunate when used against you, but this time, the history of the World Trade Center is sacred. I applaud you for being able to believe two contradictory beliefs at the same time.

          You take 21 terrorists and equate them to the faith of Islam. Beware Matthew 7:2 "For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

          If you hold the sins of a few against the many, will not our Lord hold you to the same measure?

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        • fred the protectionist

          Matthew 7:2 “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

          A yypical Godhater bible quoting.

          Look an Atheist is trying to quote scripture and use it as a weapon.

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    • HOLY GROUND ??? More like the Devils Playground. People let the Media and its Handlers/Owners Pump their brains full of lies. People can't think for themselves anymore, and it has become harder to find the truth, but Holy Ground ??? Should we honor the location of every spot, everywhere in the country, that someone lost a loved one ?? We will have to reroute some roads to stop people from driving over the spot where another Fatal car crash occured. Pray for the lost, and the living, that's the best thing you can do. I don't care what gets built on a peice of land. I never heard mention of NYC anywhere in the Old or the New Testament, and it's not a Grave yard, so what makes it Holy ??

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      • Orthodox Christians

        You ask: "Should we honor the ground/location of every spot, everywhere in the country that someone has lost a loved one??"

        The answer to this is: YES. And we do. Whether you want to believe it or not. I'm never going to forget or stop "honoring" the place where my father breathed his last breath whether or not there is a monument at that place or not. And I would very disappointed if his grave was desecrated, wouldn't you be?

        As Orthodox Christians and Christians in general, we do honor all of these places? Have you not seen the thousands upon thousands of markers and crosses that people build as memorials for all of those youth killed at car wrecks at the sides of roads? What about the police offier monuments?

        Oh no. These spots of sacred marking, places where we honor and give glory to God even in our time of pain are a mainstay in American Judeo-Christian values. What about the Washington Mermorial? The Lincoln Memorial? Should we desecrate these as well? Should we utilize some far off method to market these sacred events that have nothing to do with this nation's roots?

        Open your eyes.

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        • You make it sound like they're building a mosque over the spot where the World Trade Center was. I have to point out that there is a huge memorial at Ground Zero and the spot where they're building the mosque is a couple of blocks away.

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        • fred the protectionist

          Would you stop saying "Judeo-Christian", bumper sticker.

          In 50 years you politically correct morons are going to be saying "Islamic-Christian".

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  2. I'm very disappointed in Congressman Paul; I oppose this mosque the same way one might oppose a German cultural center on a Nazi death camp, a Shinto temple on Pearl Harbor, or a monument to Joeseph Stalin in Moscow. The y have the right to build it, but it is not an issue of rights, it is one of sensitivity. If the mosque's principal supporters say it would be a place of inter-faith dialogue and healing, why not allow all faiths to worship there, instead of only allowing Muslims to?

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    • E.C.
      Here is the problem with your analogies: German, the entire country, ran the Nazi death camps; Japan, the entire nation, attacked us at Pearl Harbor; and Joseph Stalin ran a government that killed millions in Moscow. Islam didn't attack us on 9/11.

      Let me say that again: ISLAM DIDN"T ATTACK US!!! A handful of Al Qaeda terrorists did. Blaming all of Islam for the 9/11 attacks is like blaming all Mormons for Warren Jeffs or all Christians for Timothy McVeigh. It is bad reasoning and it is a lame excuse to try and hide your Islamophobia.

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      • Are you sure Mcveigh was a Christian? I don't recall him yelling Jesus is Lord while driving the truck in OK City. Also, you make it sound as though 9/11 was the only attack by muslim terrorists on America. It is only one of many. Lastly, terrorism has been generally sponsored by states in the Middle East and probably still is.

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      • ThinkingStraight

        @fred: I'm a practicing Christian who thinks Ayn Rand's philosophy leads to anarchy. I do not support Ron Paul's fiscal policies, but on this particular issue I think he makes an excellent point. America's economy is burning (as is our globe), and everyone is trying to burn the Constitution for ONE building.

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        • fred the protectionist

          The economies of all the 1st would countries are burning because trade barriers between the 1st world and the authoritarian world was reduced.

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    • There is already a mosque inside the Pentagon and a Shinto temple near Pearl Harbor.

      http://www.reddit.com/r/politics/comments/d1s31/limbaugh_sarcastically_suggests_that_we_build_a/

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    • You are Misled into beleiving that the Muslim, Islamic, folks were responsible for the attacks on 9-11. The Supposed Terrorists were informed, funded, and trained by the US and CIA.. Open your eyes. Turn off the TV. We are not at war for our protection, nor to free enslaved Afghan's. Too many Gullable Americans beleive or refuse to beleive their Government is capable of such evil, as killing Americans for another Agenda. One that if they didn't lie about, we would never support or finance. Who does the CIA answer to ?? or better yet. What is their Objective ??? That is the biggest bunch of Murderous Theives, who have no one to answer to. Don't beleive everything the NEWS tells you.. It's nothing but Paid and Owned Propaganda mostly.. This "War on Terror" has gotten you and us to relinquish rights and Freedoms Willingly. We are a land filled with Fools.

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  3. I will be away from my computer for the rest of the evening and most of tomorrow if someone would like to continue this discussion with me then please email me at yjabed@gmail.com. Thank you, for your time in discussion this issue.

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  4. With these texts left with three references, all of which unequivocally condemn homosexuality. Leviticus 18:22 states the principle:

    “You [masculine] shall not lie-with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” The second (Lev. 20:13) adds the penalty: “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them.”

    The Christian Right in America uses this Old Testement text to attack Homosexuals, so don't tell me Christians don't believe the Old Testement. The Right would like nothing better than to make laws executing homosexuals if the get the majority here. I do not say that Islam does not have such texts but so does Jewish and Christian faith. Also, the Jewish and Christian faiths have Eastern Roots too. This is a conflict between Eastern faith.

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    • Orthodox Christian

      I'm not sure if anyone said that they "don't believe in the Old Testament" rather that the faith is based upon the fulfillment of the New Testament through Christ.

      But, I'm so happy that you're astute in Biblical Studies. Now can you find the New Testiment passages that do the same?

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      • I might be getting things out of order, but isn't that in reply to a comment about homosexuality? You ask for new testament verses on the same thing. How was the non-ceremonial law fulfilled by Christ? For it to be "fulfilled" wouldn't it have to be symbolic?

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    • @Morse

      Actually, one can argue that the text does not condemn homosexuality (in the case of Leviticus it is an admonishment to cultic prostitution practices--hence why the second word for "male" there is "zakhar" which is a "male set aside for religious purpose" ie a priest. The passage was a warning against adopting a common practice of their neighbors, namely the whoring out of priests)

      If this was a case of a conflict between religions, then why are there people from all walks of life on both sides (atheists, deists, agnostics, pagans, etc)? Answer: because this conflict is, as all conflicts ultimately are, political/monetary in nature.

      There are all manner of people on both sides of this. So I'll thank you not to make broad generalizations.

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  5. Kermit the Frog on weed

    Heres a quick question for the Broke Prozac nation.The same nation who watched as our elected officials and thousands of Gov't and military and civialian workers and financial and media workers stood by and help ochestrate a financial cou de tat that rivals the fall of the Romans.
    Who's financing this war and the upcoming war's if were flat broke and for what reasons?
    Re
    And where are the Priest's and rabbi's in America?.What's there views on this whole mess?How bout the Pope,whats his thoughts?
    Whats that, you don't know.THATS BECAUSE NOBODY DOES IN AMERICA PEOPLE!!!!.
    Thier not showing us any coverage of them at all ANYWHERE!!! NOt CNN.CNBC,FOX,LOCAL NEWS.NO NEWSPAPER ,NEW YORK TIMES,WASHINGTON POST,CHICAGO TIMES,LA TIMES...NOTHING!!!!!!

    DURING THE VIETNAM WAR NEWS PAPERS AND TELEVISION NEWS WAS A FREE PRESS!!!!!!MY eyes litterally swell up with tears,when I see the difference in journalism fro 1940's to now.I feel cheated and swindled beyond belief.

    Check for yourself
    .Smoke a doobie pack a snack,Drag your self away from the Guitar Hero and go down to your Library and REAAAAAAAAAAAAAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I promise you won't be disapointed.
    But I warn you, you may feel some anger,sadness and disgust ,but most of youll feel hope in knowing we were once a great Nation and still can be,.Once the grip of censorship/compiled with fear is forced to release or die trying we can then be free...Peace Out...And a Little Old school hip hop can't hurt either..Peace..

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    • stop smoking so much weed. if you keep spreading conspiracy theories, it will never get legalized

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    • Orthodox Christian

      The fact of the mater is that the view of the Christian community is that this area is holy ground and it is disrespectful to build on holy ground. The same way the religious community believes that Gettysburg is also holy ground and that nothing of this nature should be built on or in the vicinity other than structures/memorials marking the event, the same should be applied to Ground Zero.

      Also, I think Christians understand that if there is an arbitrary hand in stopping this construction, that eventually that arbitrary hand will go after them. So they seek compassion and mercy from the builders themselves.

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      • Why?

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      • Orthodox Christian,

        I must have missed the bishops statement to that effect. By the way, where is this Holy Ground? Is there any yellow tape around it? Where does it end? Why there?

        What instruction do you offer the builders? Will all the rest of the complainers honor those instructions? As Yousef said, WHY?

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      • If the site is holy ground, then why don't you condemn the Freedom Tower, which is actually on it? Don't tell me it's just a monument to remember the attacks--it's also an office building.

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      • Abraham Lincoln famously said:

        "But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

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  6. Because those who bombed the towers were Muslim. Because the Muslim faith if taken in entirety calls to kill the infidel, and that's what those in the planes did. Plain in simple. People take offence to this and quite frankly, I would take offence to it as well.

    It doesn't matter if this was planned in America. It doesn't matter that those who are planning the Mosque are Americans. What matters that those who are affected by 9/11 are hurting. This is essentially a lot of people. And the choice of location hurts them more.

    The answer to this isn't to deny these facts and coldly hide behind property rights without Law. In doing this, we become a dead society. We ourselves, become property.

    Basically what you're saying is that the victims are wrong in feeling the way they do. You are telling Americans, i.e. New Yorkers to suck it up and that they're feelings, thoughts, beliefs are less important than building that structure, right there, right now, end of discussion. And in doing this, the Imam would also have them believe that he is trying to bring us all together, to be moderate, and that this Iman and this particular Muslim community is showing restraint.

    Yes. Good one. Not this location. I have two parcels of land near my neighborhood. Tell the Iman I'll do the logistics. He can build his "center" here. But not where the people are hurting.

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    • That's a good question, actually. Does anyone know if anyone actually HAS approached the land owners and offered to buy their land or provide another plot, and cover the costs of redrafting and such? If there has been such an offer and it's been refused, I might raise more of an eyebrow (granted, they still have the right to say no), but I think everything's currently a lot of talk and no walk.

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    • So then for every time a mass causality situation happens I will then blame the persons religion and all those who follow that same religion for it? As Ron Paul said, all Christians must then be evil since Timothy McVeigh was Christian. Or since Hitler considered himself a Christians all Christians must be evil? Do you see how broken that logic is? Also please show me where Islam taken into its entirety teaches to kill the infidel, also please explain to me what your definition of an infidel is.

      Why does the choice of the location "hurt" the people mourning 9/11? My question is why does it hurt them to begin with? So we should never move forward? Who should always be hurt when me see a Muslim? There are over 1.2 billion Muslims in the world this is not a small sect you are talking about, this is a major portion of the entire world. The fact of the matter is, we have gone to war for the sake of other people's freedoms yet we are protesting the building of Mosques across the United States. Like I said, if Muslims drop the push for this, then before they know it there will be more and more protests just like the one here in Murfreesboro about where they can build and if they even should build. Hiding behind the victims of 9/11 as an excuse for your anti-Muslim, anti-Arab ways is disrespectful to those who were killed and the families of 9/11.

      Like I said before this is no longer about respect for those who are "hurting" this is about people who are anti-Muslim and anti-Arab. This is about people being too closed minded and afraid of what they don't understand. I for one will not stand for it, because I am an American, I respect the constitution and I respect those that have died for it. I also respect all Americans, even the ones that I disagree with or find their practices unacceptable to my personal religious beliefs. That is what is great about this country.

      However realize that from my point of view I see a lot of hatred regardless of what it is caused by to wards myself and my family, for our heritage and religious beliefs, the same hatred that was shown against the African-Americans the same hatred that was shown against the Jewish communities the same hatred that was shown against the German and Japanese during WWII (and the some of it still lingers today) and the same hatred shown against anyone that is different.

      If it was a Church or any other religious worship or community center there would be no objections, but because the people wishing to build it happen to share the religion of the 9/11 attackers it is wrong? If if that is what you mean by me saying that New Yorkers need to move on...then yes you are correct, they need to move on. You can mourn but you need to stop associating what happened to Islam.

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      • McVeigh was not a Christian. You make a good point, but get your facts straight.

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        • Eric Robert Rudolph is.

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        • McVeigh was an Agnostic, Eric Harris was an Atheist,James Lee was a Neo-Druid....you get the point.

          Folks, NOBODY'S hands are clean.

          Irregardless of what you believe or don't believe, believe this: somebody in your demographic committed a horrible atrocity and probably someone else will do so in the future.

          The fact is no one world view is better or worse. Only by working together can we see the future.

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    • On second thought. I'll pass on doing the logistics. ;)

      Listen. Dr. Paul is right. I'm sure a portion of these folks are utilizing this issue to push through an agenda. But he only got the story half right. It's not just neo-cons pushing an agenda, it's also liberal progressives.

      Most of the folks respect property rights and the right to practice your faith. But the location is disrespectful. Plain and simple. If people can understand why this is disrespectful. Then I'm sincerely sorry in more ways than one. Planning the object could have been done with more tact and input from the local community as to where it would have been more comfortable. And if that was just one more block over, then that where it should be put.

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  7. Ron Paul For President 2012!!
    End the Fed
    Legalize Freedom
    Restore the Republic
    Save our Constitution
    Abolish Corporatism
    Ron Paul Revolution 2012!!

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  8. And if Congress or Obama decided's to blitzkrieg Iran next and kill 1000's more American boy's and civilians.Do I have to stop eating fallafles?What's are we going to blame and rationalize next for the sake of death and destruction?
    I got it India's like close to iIran,they must have some Muslims in that country ,lets Napom those people crispy fried too.
    And oh yay in the bronx there are thousands of African American Muslims living there peacfully since the 1950,,fu--k it lets poison gas those bastards too.
    When are we folks in America gonna wake up and cut the off our puppet strings.
    Kill Your Television/Attack our Corp. run Media.And subscribe to a paper a little above our reading skills then In touch or Time Magazine.Watch a Arab state television news broadcast or european one.Why doesn't mainstreanm television news show opposing oppositions anymore?Ask yourself that then question,guys its called thinking.Is everyone too hiped up on prozac shakes and big mac's to care anymore?
    F it ,I feel like I am the only who can see the writing on the wall,or maybe I'm crazy.But I just feel like the powers that be are gearing us up for massive war.Not a squirmish but World War II type shit.And for what ?Who wins your kids or niehbors kids that are sent to fight and die for money and power?Or to get there rocks off as they sit back and laugh?

    I'm done good luck with the Corporate Sponsored genocide ,I'm going to listen to some Bob Dillon..

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    • Calm down, it is obvious you are frustrated but you do have to remember if you are trying to make a point you can not insult people, it doesn't work that way. Also keep in mind that I would say the majority of Americans are a lot more tolerant that you seem to think. I was speaking out against a small group of protesters. The bottom line is remember, this is a great nation and this is an opinion but I would rather live here than anywhere else in the world. Even with all the Anti-Muslim/Arab stuff, haha.

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  9. So after reading some of these comments I have become more and more disgusted with the intelligence level of these uneducated racist posters.

    The fact of the matter is by asking the Muslims to build the community center elsewhere shows that American-Muslims are second class citizens, the majority of Arabs (any pretty much everyone else) that come to this amazing country have come here for a better life and to escape the corrupted and hypocritical teachings that the majority of the Muslim leaders follow.

    The United States Constitution protects the rights of all Americans...not some....but all. Also the bottom line is the community center is going to be built "conservatives" with tunnel vision.

    I live in Murfreesboro, TN where we have had a huge showing of ignorant Americans protesting plans to build a Mosque here as well. It is sad that the communities can not come together and have more tolerance for one another.

    Anyway, feel free to email me at yjabed@gmail.com to continue discussing this as you see I used my real name because I am not a coward nor to I hide behind my computer, I do not mind sitting down and talking about these issues. I am an American, and I believe in the same Freedoms for all Americans.

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    • Ahhh yes. The use of the terminology "Second class citizenry" Muslims used this in the Balkans alot, even when they enjoyed the more rights than anyone else.

      The fact of the matter is, no one is saying "No Mosque" they're saying "not here" your rights are preserved you are not a "second class" anything. Stop whining

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      • Okay and the point of your post was?? You said nothing except for the fact that I could sense you are angry about something. Please if you want to respond to something I said then put together an intelligent response. What extra rights do we observe? Also who said I am Muslim? I am standing up for the rights of Americans. And what does this have to do with the Balkans? Try again kid.

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        • The point of my post was to give a response to your statement that Muslims are second class citizens, which isn't the case. In fact it is a blatant lie utilized as 'flash point terminology" like "racist" "hate monger" etc etc. Well, I'm sorry Yousef for thinking you're a Muslim, accept my apologies. Is this a bad thing BTW?

          By protesting or voicing their opinion against the location of this mosqque, no one is taking away Muslim rights. In this country people have the right to voice their displeasure. Secondly, assuming property rights doesn't mean you have absolute right to build any place on the map that you want, pretty much, but not entirely. You speak about the freedoms that that this nation was built upon, well these freedoms are guaranteed by law. The law of this land was founded upon the Natural Law, which understands compassion, ethics, taste, morality. In essence, the little voice inside of you that questions your motives and asks you "is this the right thing?" "Should you be doing this?" "Will I be hurting someone else?" "Is my right to do something more important than my neighbor's well being?" Again, this isn't the governments' job, it's our own. But since most people have stifled that little "law" in their hearts placed there by God because they're too busy saying, "me, me, me" followed by "what about me?" and "I'm entitled to this." ... a lot of us have forgotten what it means. I mean, since the law of the land is our brain and only our brain, followed up with a full serving of "hyperrationalism" to the point of irrelevance and meaninglessness.

          Does this ring a bell? No? Let me give you a concrete example of "Naural Law" It's a similar case.

          Several years back, Jews objected to the Roman Catholic nuns in Auschwitz. They believed them being there was in poor taste because the Roman Catholic Church, or more specifically, the Pope had sided with the NAZIs in WWII. And you know what? The Jews were absolutely CORRECT! Now, the nuns had every right to be there. It was the Church's right to own that property, etc etc etc. Property Rights galore!

          But the Pope decided that YES in fact this was in poor taste, he allowed the Natural Law to rule his thought process to show MERCY upon those who were having trouble dealing with the convent, and at least, understood the fact that if you're going to be a good pastor and prove the worth of your faith, show self-restraint and moderation like the Iman is claiming, you're not going to be a stubbord mule and force your structures down other people's throats especially if they're hurting inside. Catch my drift? I sincerely doubt it...

          Now, I cannot remember if those nuns threw out slogans like, "We're second class citizens"? Perhaps you can help me out with this?

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        • The point is why should the Muslims have to find another location? Why is "disrespectful" or "unethical"? Why? Because Muslims allowed 9/11 to happen? Why should a group of American-Muslims who despise the murderers who committed the 9/11 attacks not build there? Do you think that no Muslim was killed during the 9/11 attacks? Do you think that no Muslim had a friend that died in the attacks?

          My point is that Americans should not have to worry about being "unethical" because they want to build a Mosque on a piece of property.

          By saying it is disrespectful you are creating a barrier between those who are Muslim and those we aren't.

          Also the comment about the Catholic church, Muslims in general did not condone and spoke out against what happened on 9/11 so it is not the same situation.

          By protesting this, the only thing being accomplished is further separating the Muslim communities.

          And as far as the the "second-class citizen" comment, that is how I feel at times, I see all these people here in Murfreesboro protesting the Mosque and it makes me wonder what people think of me when they find out my name is Yousef Abed, do they immediately judge me?

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    • I suspect the anti-mosque movement in your area was helped along by the "shreiking harpy". She basically started it here in NY, and although she has a right to free speech I can't understand why the networks would give her a national platform to spew hatred and misinformation. And why anyone in their right mind would listen to this nonsense is beyond my comprehension. It's like having David Duke educate people on Judaism:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjllLDo8D4Q

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    • Yousef,

      Thank you for your words, and for your invitation to a civil conversation. Personally I think both sides of this argument are flawed, but that is only an opinion, and I am open to changing my views.

      The protestors in Tennessee certainly have some anger issues, but I have difficulty comparing these nuts to many of the concerned citizens of New York. I think that people of all races and religions should be treated as equal citizens in this country, and while the underlying issue here has been made out as a legal one, I think it is pretty obvious that this is a disguise for what really amounts to nothing more than hurt feelings.

      The fact is that the attacks on our country were carried out by radical Muslims, the same radical Muslims that you and so many other people moved to America to avoid. Anyone who knows anything about Islam knows that Muhammad specifically said that to kill one man is to kill every man -- it is a non-violent religion. There may be many radical Muslims, but probably no more than there are radical Christians, Buddhists, etc.

      I think that the biggest challenge that we face today is the reconciliation of the east and the west, and that begins by teaching Americans what it really means to be a follower of Islam. I personally have yet to meet a radical Muslim, in fact many of the Muslims that I have met seem to share the same hopes, dreams, and ideals that I personally adhere to. No one should have to defend their views, but reality is not always fair. Islam obviously has nothing to do with murder, hate, and terrorism, but because of 911 it has become viewed as such -- it is overwhelmingly unfortunate, but I think that Muslims have unfortunately inherited the responsibility of making this clear.

      This distinction between radical terrorists and Islam is not made any more clear by the placement of this center two blocks away from the site where Muslim extremists murdered thousands of innocent civilians. Sure, they already owned the land pre-911, and they have all of the right in the world to build there. But despite that right, there seem to be better options which would be more beneficial for creating a unity -- whereas this has clearly created a controversy.

      One person on the forum suggested that they build a multi-religious education center, where people of all religions could come and learn about the vast similarities that exist between all religions. If people had a better understanding of religion, then they would realize that the similarities far exceed the petty differences. Christians, Jews, and Muslims all claim to be descendants of Abraham, making all of them brothers. All of these religions seek above all else peace, followed by the freedom to practice their beliefs. That being said, there are many hate filled radicals within every religion, and we cannot let the few misguided distract us from the truth.

      Another point that I have trouble letting go of is that the proposed site is downtown, in the financial district. If they want to build a community center, it would make more sense to place it within an actual community where people live, and not where people work. There are likely many Muslims who live in the area, but the vast majority of people in the area are tourists. It would seem that a religious education center would be more tailored to tourists than a community center. Moreover, because so many Americans go visit ground zero, this would be the perfect place to put some sort of education project into effect.

      I personally don't see a problem with building a community center there. It is their right, period. But I think that with the greatest power comes the greatest responsibility. Is it fair that Muslims should go out of their way to be accommodating to the sensitivities of the misguided masses? I don't think so, but I also think that the most graceful acts of human kindness are never fair. With a center as large as the one proposed, I see no reason why the ground floor could not be dedicated as a memorial to these tragedies, with an open invitation to people of all religions to come in and join hands, and to learn what Islam is really about.

      People obviously have trouble with the idea of building a Mega Mosque. So the idea has been clarified: it is a community center with an area dedicated to prayer. Sounds better, but obviously from all of the debate, it doesn't sound good enough. Realistically, I think that if they called it a religious education center for all religious, with an area dedicated for the muslim community and prayer, that it would be better accepted. In reality it could be a Mega Mosque, to the T, but if you want it to be accepted you need to play around with the semantics. People, as a general rule of thumb, are stupid, and they hardly ever look past the cover of the book.

      There are a lot of reasons for this center being built, but I feel like there wouldn't be so much controversy if the only one that was stressed was of unification. If the reason for the center being built was to educate the public about the real Islam, I think that people would welcome it. I know that I would. Certainly there are too many people out there who are filled with too much hate, or are still too overwhelmed with the hurt of their personal loss, to be able to accept this center being built -- but there are a great deal of Americans who are waiting for the day when we can all come together, as brothers, and put all of this mess behind us.

      As you said, if you want to make a point, do not insult your listeners. Well if you want Americans to stop hating Islam, be careful where you tread... This is a country founded on the motto "don't tread on me." Speak with a calm voice, speak with love, speak with respect and compassion -- rethink the strategy here, because as several people have pointed out, at the end of the day it is simple tactless.

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      • Tom Collins,

        Thank you for taking the time to put together a well written response. I will agree with you that I believe both sides of the argument can be flawed and the entire situation needs to be dealt with very carefully.

        You are also correct that there is a difference in the building of the Mosque in Murfreesboro, TN and the one they want to build in New York, I let me emotions get in the way and was not clear on separating the two.

        When I first learned of the proposition to renovate the building near ground zero I actually thought to myself for the simple fact of not causing an argument maybe there are better locations where this Mosque can be built.

        However, after seeing how fierce an opposition the planed Mosque has met it has changed my mind. I now ask the question why not? Why can American Muslims not construct or renovate a building and turn it in a Community Center/Mosque. For me the issue is now on more of a social level, so many people appear to be against it for all the wrong reasons it puts me in a place where I worry about my future securities in this Great Nation (I was born in America, my mother is Polish, you really can't even tell I am half Arab). Although some may think the fear I have is silly, I can assure you it is justified.

        I wish this entire situation would have been handled differently, however it wasn't it it opened my eyes up to the hatred that some have for people who are Muslim or Arab.

        I would like to commend you on doing your research and setting aside your differences. So we could actually have a conversation. I would also like to apologize I have a sinus infection and took some NyQuil because I was out of NyQuil and I feel like I am hovering above my body.

        One last thing I would like to say, I do understand that there is a certain uneasiness some people feel about this, and I can not blame them completely, the media does an awesome job of doing nothing but portraying Muslims as negative/evil/anti-American. So I can understand that some people feel uneasy, however we have to get past this.

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        • Yousef,

          Your disappointment with the hate filled reactions are justified, but let it be clear that it is not an issue of whether or not Muslims can build there, but rather one of if they should -- and if they in fact decide to do so, how should they go about its execution.... (perhaps that was a poor choice of words).

          Certainly we must try to end the misunderstanding about Islam, but we are standing on thin ice and must proceed very delicately. There is obviously no simple answer here, and I think we all would do well to here all arguments through, no matter how emotionally charged and hateful they may seem. Every man has valuable input and something to teach us, even if it is by reverse example.

          When someone speaks with hate, it almost always comes from hurt. Are we to twist their arms and further their pain, or should we seek some way to heal?

          Hate comes from hurt, and only love can heal.

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      • Hi Tom,

        I found your comment interesting, and there was one point I wanted to address.

        "Another point that I have trouble letting go of is that the proposed site is downtown, in the financial district. If they want to build a community center, it would make more sense to place it within an actual community where people live, and not where people work. There are likely many Muslims who live in the area, but the vast majority of people in the area are tourists. It would seem that a religious education center would be more tailored to tourists than a community center. Moreover, because so many Americans go visit ground zero, this would be the perfect place to put some sort of education project into effect."

        I very much agree that a religious education center would be an excellent idea. But what would be involved in that? If the owners are Muslim, presumably that's the religion they're most familiar with and feel the most qualified to support. Something like a multi-religion center would require the collaboration of the adherents of several faiths if we wanted it to be truly educational. You'd need Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs, Native Americans, Catholics, Protestants, Taoists, Confucianists, Wiccans.... would Satanism be included? That's considered a religion by many. Would it be considered discrimination to exclude it? How many different religions would even fit in a two-story center? Three-story? How big are the plans for the original community center? How much would it cost to make these modifications?

        And then there's the planning, delegation, and debate that would be involved around its construction. The completion of something like that could take years, and in the meantime this privately-owned land would be sitting there, doing nothing, causing the owners to lose money, when they could have built a community center to support their own beliefs and help develop their income.

        If we really want a religious education center in that spot, what we need to do is to appeal to the government or a sponsor, not the current owners. We'd need to find someone to buy that land off of them for an acceptable price, and then put more money into developing such an education center.

        Do you know anyone willing to do that?

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        • The owners are already losing millions because of this controversy. Every day that a project stands still, it loses money. This project has been at a standstill for a decade, what would a few more years of planning hurt? The reality is that this sort of thing would take very little planning, doubtful more than a few months. Had they simply built this ten or twenty blocks away, it could have been finished years ago, and they would be making money, as opposed to losing it.

          Theoretically you would only need an auditorium and one, well-educated, professor with a doctorate in religion. I know over a dozen professors in the city who would gladly sacrifice a day out of their week to give talks, and several who would do it for free. They could take turns.

          Obviously you would want every religion to be mentioned, or at least to have their name on the wall -- but seeing as how over 90% of religious believers follow one of the three major religions (Islam, Christianity, and Judaism)... I don't think anyone would be offended by focusing on these religions, especially since they are the only ones fighting.

          The Wiccans aren't at war with the Christians or Muslims, and Buddhists are only at war with their egos. The controversy lies between the three major religions -- religions that as I previously stated, all claim to be descendants of Abraham. Point out the innumerable similarities, and the few differences can be seen for what they are, petty.

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        • To be fair, the Christians were arguably warring against the Wiccans for a while, but that's neither here nor there. ;)

          Well, again with the ten or twenty blocks away, there's a still a lot of planning and changes that I imagine would be involved. If they've owned the land for this long and the buildings on it, they've likely already had the site analyzed and have the pipes laid where they want them and so on (though I readily admit I'm very unfamiliar with the logistics of constructing a new building. Is it even a completely new one or are they renovating the existing factory?).

          There's still the issue of approaching, organizing, and coordinating those professors, and scheduling talks and when to update information and what kind of displays and exhibits to set up with what kind of text and artifacts. I'm pretty sure there's state laws that would require those sort of things to be checked by a third party, too, but I might just be thinking of museums.

          In any case, there's a lot of collaboration needed and no one who seems willing to actually initiate it! Obviously you can't just contact the owners out of the blue and expect to be heard (especially with all the angry phone calls I'm assuming they're getting), but putting together a proposal with some real weight behind it and presenting it to them shouldn't be too hard, right? And if it IS too hard, I don't see why they're the ones who should be expected to take on all the work when it's still their property and we know very little about their situation.

          I'm actually interested enough to want to look into it myself, but unfortunately I'm on the other side of the country and then some... :(

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        • To be precise, the war you speak of was between the Christians, and a very different group of Wiccans than you will find today hovering in the New Age section of Barnes and Noble... but as you said, that is beside the point.

          What you are essentially saying is that this is too much work and should be abandoned. Well Rome was not built in a day. Everything worth doing comes at a cost, and while it may not be their responsibility, they would be highly respected for making it so. I take responsibility for other peoples mistakes all the time, and that attitude has gotten me very far in life and earned me much respect.

          There are many things that I desire to do which infringe upon other peoples sensitivities. I owe them nothing, and there is no good reason that I should tiptoe around to avoid hurting other people -- but I do it because I don't like it when other people offend me. And do you know what?... people respect me for that.

          For a religion that is so clearly hated and misunderstood by the masses, it simply seems like a smart thing to do. I don't believe in right or wrong, it's all relative -- I simply think that by placing some kind of project like this into effect, they will achieve much more than they had originally set out to do. They only wanted a place to meet, but they have an opportunity to help straighten the record -- to end this mess once and for all.

          I'm not saying that this idea will change the world, but it is surely a step in the right direction... and this controversy is clearly a huge step back. I haven't heard this much anti-Muslim hate since 2001.... you would have thought we could get over it by now, but clearly more work needs to be done.

          Let us not let our laziness deter us from making this happen. I for one would gladly donate money to see such a project go into effect.

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        • Oh! No, I wasn't saying trying to say that it was too much work OR that it should be abandoned, just that there aren't any cookie-cutter or one-size-fits-all answers and that solving the issue is going to take active contributions on behalf of EVERYONE, not just the land owners. I'd be willing to donate money too! I'm sure lots of people are.

          But being willing won't mean anything if nobody initializes things with proper direction. As I said, I'm unfortunately not in a position to start anything at the type. I also have no contacts in New York and know very little about the city, so my chances of finding someone else is also limited. If anyone can offer assistance, I would appreciate it.

          Or do you have some ideas, Tom? Kickstarter.com, maybe?

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  10. It's good to hear that there is a conservative constitutionalist who actually believes the words coming out of their own mouths. Liberals and conservatives alike should pay attention and have more integrity.

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    • this is not an issue of religious freedom

      this is not an issue of property rights

      this is not a constitutional issue of any sort, whatsoever

      this is a question of common sense, and sensitivity towards others. what idiot could possibly believe that this would not cause a major controversy? who wants controversy? why throw fuel onto a fire that is already out of control? if Muslims want to separate themselves from 911, then why are they building a community center two blocks from ground zero? would it really ruin their plans to move this center to another neighborhood?

      sure, you can't please everyone -- as the protestors in tennessee have gone to prove, but it it doesn't hurt to try. if Muslims want to be accepted by the west, then they should try to be a little more sensitive to the feelings of those who have lost their loved ones here -- i think that they would be surprised how much respect american citizens would give them for making a more, tactful, decision

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      • What you're forgetting is that these people are Americans first and their choice of religion second. They shouldn't have to try to be accepted by the West when they've been legal, law-abiding citizens for many years, generations even. It's a tough pill to swallow, but we can't allow a legal precedent to be set where someones constitutional right can be ignored just because of emotions. Could you imagine an America if every minority had decided to be sensitive to everyone else?

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        • Did a group of black men bomb the wtc in 1993? Did Mexicans fly planes into it again in 2001? Where the people who bombed the pentagon Armenians? Did an Asian shoot up fort hood, or try to light a bomb in his shoe mid-flight? And did an Indian try to blow up time square? The fact is that with the exception of these radical Muslims, minorities tend to adapt to the culture that they migrate to, and are grateful for the rights that they receive when they move there. This is a Christian nation, and being a non-christian myself, I may not agree with many of the politics in this country, but I'm smart enough to know that I shouldn't fight them. It was Muslims who bombed the wtc in 1993, and again in 2001, along with the pentagon, not to mention the planned attack on the white house, and the attempt to blow up time square in 2010.... and nearly a dozen other attacks that have thankfully been thwarted by our government. Maybe most Muslims disagree with this sort of radicalism, but the fact is that Muslims were been responsible for what was unarguably the worst attack on our country, along with dozens of other attempts. Maybe they were terrorists before they were Muslims, but they were Muslim nonetheless. The only thing that we can compare this to is pearl harbor, and call me crazy, but I haven't exactly seen any Japanese community centers in Hawaii. Stop comparing apples to oranges. Yes, we all have the right to fart in public, but that doesn't mean we should exercise it.

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      • I'm tired of hearing that we must forgo our constitutional rights to appeal to the "sensitivity" of others. Should gun owners give up their 2nd Amendment rights to appeal to the sensitivity of mothers whose children were murdered by gun violence?

        Think about it.

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        • Of course gun owners should not give up that right, but I think we can all agree that it was tactless for the NRA to hold a rally in Littleton Colorado right after Columbine. No one is asking for them to give up their right, they are asking them to be more tactful as to where the chose to express their rights. It's not sensitivity, it's common courtesy -- something that many people today have no sense of.

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  11. For everyone who's protesting the fact that it's bad taste to build a mosque at ground zero:

    1) It is not a mosque, it is a community center with an area for prayer. It was, to my knowledge, already planned on before 9/11 ever happened. This isn't very different in concept from building a Christian community center near Centennial Olympic Park, or allowing the family of the Columbine shooters to live near the high school.

    2) It is not at ground zero -- how could it be? That land is currently under the jurisdiction of various stakeholders and the governor of the state, among others. The plans are for it to be built on private property several blocks away, and those proposing the community center have just as much right to build there as anyone else.

    But of course, "a Muslim community center several streets over from ground zero" doesn't sound nearly as alarming, and then all your bad taste arguments fall flat.

    And that's not the issue anyway -- the issue is that we're trying to tell people who have every legal right to create a building there that they can't. This shouldn't be about religion or race or creed -- it's a property dispute, pure and simple, and if it was presented that way it would be blindingly obvious what the correct course of action should be.

    I applaud Ron's insistence on paying more attention to greater issues going on in the country right now, such as the economy and achieving a solution over in the middle east. This kind of biased, pedantic bickering is only engendering hatred at home while taking up time that could be used for far more productive debates.

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    • As an American Filipino, I would not build a house next door to somebody who was killed by a American Filipino. CERTAINLY IT IS MY RIGHT, but I would look for a house somewhere else, I don’t need the drama. I ask the clerics of the "community center with an area for prayer" . Why here? Buildings are abundant in NYC, can’t you find a place NOT in the destruction zone?

      FYI - This building was a Burlington Coat Factory at the time of 9/11

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      • How far away would suit you? Would that be far enough away to suit all others?

        How far away, indeed. The metric does not exist.

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        • 10-20 blocks. you cannot see ground zero after you have walked this far away, and technically it would place you in another neighborhood. If you need a better rubric, place it near the next stop on the subway.... As it stands, the building would overshadow many of the other buildings in the ground zero area, making it look more like a monument than a simple building. If you can't see it from ground zero, it shouldn't be a problem, and if you have ever been to ground zero you would know that they would only need to move it 10 or so blocks -- and for a city with 300+ north/south blocks to chose from, it doesn't seem to be asking for a lot.

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        • @Mark - "NOT in destruction zone" s/b self explanatory. ...And certainly THAT distance will never please all, the people who oppose the mosque in Tennessee are testament of that, but it will appease most.

          Let's not get off topic with replies. Re-read my post - It is not a stab at anybody, I'm NOT looking for a fight, it's why I CHOSE NOT to build my house next door to the family who had a son killed by an unknown Filipino American.

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        • In response to "simple answer" your solution very clearly and literally IS asking for a lot.

          Who has the yellow tape out regarding the concept of "the destruction zone"? Two blocks away and on the third block away is out of any destruction zone I know of.

          If the building seems tall, it will be dwarfed by the towering building(s) to be built whenever they decision is made to go.

          "stantmann" reply has the ring of honesty about it when they admit that you can't please everybody with any distance...even if it were in Tennessee... or the middle of the East River

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        • mark,

          have you ever been to ground zero? or even to new york? two blocks is practically across the street. landing gear from one of the planes landed in the proposed site for the community center, and debris from the tower far exceeded the boundaries of "ground zero," a term which describes the epicenter of the damaged area, and not the damaged area itself. if it can be seen from ground zero, it's too close.

          as an architect and city planner i can say that no, it isn't asking for too much. new york's homogenous grid system makes it very easy for a proposed building to be placed elsewhere.... it's not like the plans would have to be changed, just the location. common sense should tell you that if they were to pick another, less controversial location, their would be no delay, and their little community center could have already been built. instead they have yet to break ground and are in the middle of a nationwide controversy. common sense always seeks to avoid controversy.

          can you please everyone? of course not! but i for one would have no problem with a building that was 10-20 blocks away, although i do have a problem with a building that is 2 blocks away. as a native new yorker, and as someone who was here during 911, i think i have a right to be a little put off by this decision. i have nothing against Muslims, in fact many of my friends are Muslim. Moreover, many of my Muslim friends agree with me that 2 blocks is too close.

          maybe i have a habit of only talking to certain types of people, but every new yorker that i have talked to has a problem with this, many of them Muslims.... and no one has had a problem with the building being placed in another part of the city..... but here is the real kicker

          NO ONE LIVES NEAR GROUND ZERO!!! This area of town has always been a dead zone, especially post 911. WHAT COMMUNITY EXISTS TO USE THIS CENTER??? Every New Yorker knows that the majority of Muslims live in Queens or the lower east side.... why not build the community center, within the community?

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        • mark,

          have you ever been to ground zero? or even to new york? two blocks is practically across the street. landing gear from one of the planes landed in the proposed site for the community center, and debris from the tower far exceeded the boundaries of "ground zero," a term which describes the epicenter of the damaged area, and not the damaged area itself. if it can be seen from ground zero, it's too close.

          as an architect and city planner i can say that no, it isn't asking for too much. new york's homogenous grid system makes it very easy for a proposed building to be placed elsewhere.... it's not like the plans would have to be changed, just the location. common sense should tell you that if they were to pick another, less controversial location, their would be no delay, and their little community center could have already been built. instead they have yet to break ground and are in the middle of a nationwide controversy. common sense always seeks to avoid controversy.

          can you please everyone? of course not! but i for one would have no problem with a building that was 10-20 blocks away, although i do have a problem with a building that is 2 blocks away. as a native new yorker, and as someone who was here during 911, i think i have a right to be a little put off by this decision. i have nothing against Muslims, in fact many of my friends are Muslim. Moreover, many of my Muslim friends agree with me that 2 blocks is too close.

          maybe i have a habit of only talking to certain types of people, but every new yorker that i have talked to has a problem with this, many of them Muslims.... and no one has had a problem with the building being placed in another part of the city..... but here is the real kicker

          NO ONE LIVES NEAR GROUND ZERO!!! This area of town has always been a dead zone, especially post 911. WHAT COMMUNITY EXISTS TO USE THIS CENTER??? Every New Yorker knows that the majority of Muslims live in Queens or the lower east side.... why not build the community center, within the community?

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      • The coat factory was part of the same property owned by the Muslim Americans building the mosque, the same property they've owned for nearly 30 years. Their reasoning for building is the current facility is old & unsafe. They are essentially, rebuilding, on their land. If people care about sensitivity and American values - let's get mad that at the true "ground zero," they're building a MALL. An underground MALL. That's the disgrace. We've been misled and force fed a sucker's argument. The facts are not being reported as widely as the fallacies. Thanks to Ron Paul for taking the time to share some truths.

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        • @sarah m: Let’s not get off topic with replies.
          Certainly you can use another analogy, one that might make more sense.
          A 100 story building was blown up in the business heart of Baghdad Iraq. The people responsible were religious zealots claiming to do this for all American Protestants. Thousands of innocent working class people died.
          Would you build a Community Center for Protestants with a place for prayer, 2 blocks away?

          This is common sense people. I only oppose the insensitivity to the people who choose to build this in the destruction zone of ground zero.

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        • @stantmann:

          I fail to see how sarah's comment is at all off-topic -- you said it was a Burlington Coat Factory with no context, and she was simply providing context by saying that they already owned the land the factory was on, which is informative, really.

          And saying you would not choose to build your house next to a person who was murdered by a stranger of your race is still that -- a choice. You can respectfully ask that the builders in question move their plans elsewhere, but saying that they 'should' or demanding it of them is undermining their right to have that choice.

          The problem is also oversimplified: if you were just now choosing to build a house there, then yes, it probably would be better to consider looking elsewhere. But say you had owned the plot of land next to that house for several decades. The economy is currently in a slump, you're having trouble making money, and (most likely) real estate value is dropping.

          Regardless of whether it was a good idea, could you afford to sell your land (probably at a loss), buy a new plot of land in a possibly much less desirable or functional area, and reconstruct your building plans to suit this new plot? I personally don't know how much money the owners make or how much this project has cost them so far, but I have the feeling that it's not as much as people think.

          Perhaps the issue could reach a more diplomatic solution if all of the dissenters in question contributed to finding a new, suitable site and the coverage of any monetary loss incurred in the process of moving. If simple answer really is a local architect, then perhaps he has some ideas himself! Start a fund and approach the builders with the proposition.

          But keep in mind that they still, according to the law, have the right to refuse.

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      • Yo! stantmann. "as an architect and city planner" can't you take a joke? You asked for them to build somewhere else...then you said you were not asking for a lot.

        Clearly and literally (as I wrote) you ARE asking for a lot.... A lot is something that you build a building on!

        ROTFLMAO

        Also people have complained that "these people" don't integrate into society but keep to themselves. Now you want them to only build within their own communities. What's it going to be?
        Better question (for architects and city planners only: Who is going to decide?

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        • @Mark - Clearly I didn't get your Charles Grodin like humor on that one :-)

          You sound like a good guy. We should all switch to a serious thread like NFL or College football!

          Dennis

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  12. I agree with a lot of the sentiment in the statement, but the knocks on "liberals" are pretty forced:

    "In addition conservatives missed a chance to challenge the hypocrisy of the left which now claims they defend property rights of Muslims, yet rarely if ever, the property rights of American private businesses."

    Why should a business be given the same rights as a person? Isn't my individual right to have my property be pollution free more important than a business's right to pollute the surrounding area? And again, none of this has anything to do with the mosque.

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    • As an American Filipino, I would not build a house next door to somebody who was killed by a Filipino American. CERTAINLY IT IS MY RIGHT, but I would look for a house somewhere else, I don't need the drama. I ask the clerics of the mosque. Why here? Buildings are abundant in NYC, can't you find a place NOT in the destruction zone?

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      • agreed. it isn't so much a question of their right to build this, as much as a lack of common sense. i like to smoke in public, but when i see a mother with small children walk by i tend to throw my cigarette out. there is no need to offend others, especially when i can just light up another cigarette when they pass by, or walk across the street. there are obviously a lot of people with some very sore feelings here, and asking the builders of this center to be a little more sensitive to the feelings of others shouldn't be such a big deal. sure, you will never please everyone, but it doesn't hurt to try. no one said they can't build it, they just asked that they build it somewhere else. not much different from someone asking me to put out my cigarette when i am sitting at an outdoor cafe. wouldn't it be nice if everyone was considerate of others?

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  13. THE VOICE OF REASON

    THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

    Muslims are free to practice their faith wherever they wish to do so in this country. If they want to drop their rug and pray in the middle of ground zero, they have that right, but I think that we can all agree that people would stare at them because it would be in poor taste. As a New Yorker I would not mind a Mega Mosque being built in the city, just not at ground zero. Nearly ten years after this horrible attack, even the Greek Orthodox Church has yet to have been rebuilt, yet we can build a brand new Mega Mosque?

    In case you didn't read the article, Timothy McVeigh was not a Christian. Believe me when I say that I am the last person to defend Christianity, as it has been an incredibly destructive force throughout history, but there is a bit of a disconnect here. Christians did not run through the streets in celebration when Oklahoma City was bombed, but Muslims across the world celebrated in the streets after 911. Granted, many Muslims were just as horrified by these actions as Westerners, but there were many who were happy to see the towers fall.

    Yes, there are a lot of molestations going on in the Catholic church, but there is a considerable difference between touching a few young boys, and murdering thousands of innocent civilians. Rape is undoubtedly wrong, but I would rather be raped a thousand times over than see just one innocent person murdered, let alone thousands.

    Are a few bad seeds enough to condemn an entire faith? Of course not! Christianity has its fair share of rapists, Nazi's, and the KKK -- but this sort of hate is not in line with true Christian morals, and these people are simply not real Christians. Islam is a nonviolent religion, and any "muslim" who feels the need to kill is no more a Muslim than the KKK are Christians. That being said, this is only the tip of the ice-burg.

    In America a person is free to practice their faith, within certain limits. Rastafarians may see marijuana as a sacrament, but it is illegal, and so despite their beliefs they are not allowed to practice this belief in public. If I were to say that my religion condones the sacrifice of small puppies and the rape of small children, I would be crucified by PETA and be arrested the second that I tried to put those beliefs into practice. Rape is illegal, murder is illegal, as well as cruelty to animals, and no matter how much I may believe in these things, I am not free to practice those beliefs in this country. If you think that Americans truly have freedom of religion, then you are an idiot, because that freedom, along with the freedom of press and speech, have many boundaries.

    Islam certainly does not condone rape, the sacrifice of puppies, or the use of drugs.... so why do I bring this up? Because a lot of the beliefs in Islam certainly go against American customs and laws -- most obviously their treatment of women. Women in this country have the freedom to vote, to work, to wear whatever clothing they see fit, and to be treated as equal citizens. Muslims do not allow their wives or daughters to work, they force them to hide themselves behind veils, and their idea of marriage is more in line with the sale of cattle. Do not take these words the wrong way, because oddly enough, I think they have the right to act however their culture seems fit, but they do not have the right to force their culture onto our own.

    White women in Stockholm are frequently spit upon, called whores, and in many cases are actually raped by muslim men because they are caught walking down the street past sundown without the company of a man. This may fly in the middle east, but women in the west are free to go as they please, without being scrutinized and publicly humiliated. The fact is that the average Muslim is disgusted by the western way of life, and the reason so many Muslims were celebrating in the streets after 911 is because they saw that way of life crumble to the ground. People are free to come to this country, and to bring their beliefs with them, but they need to respect the culture that is already here.

    When will we draw the line and say that we have had enough? France has banned the burka, and bless them for it. As much as I loath the French, kudos to them for retaining their standards. Burkas go against the French mentality. It is a place where women are expected to make themselves presentable, moreover glamorous, and so they will not tolerate the forceable repression of a woman's freedom. How can we allow the repression of women in our own country, and at the same time, ban Rastafarians from smoking a little pot? Pot is practically harmless, especially when compared to alcohol, but the main point to take from this is that what little damage pot does do, it does to the individual user. A muslim man who forces his wife and children to cover themselves up is not damaging himself, he is damaging others -- and it is when personal freedoms such as this are infringed upon that religious freedoms lose their ground.

    The fact is that this debate far surpasses the clashing of two major religions, it is the clashing of two completely different cultures. In the east, women can be beaten and treated as slaves -- in the west, they are equals. Personally, I cannot say that either way is more preferable to the other because that would be a biased opinion, but I think it is safe to say that these cultures cannot survive next to one another. If the west is so abominable, then why do the Muslims want to live here? If they want to enjoy the benefits of this country, then they should submit to our culture, because we will not submit to Islam, and whether or not it is the case, building a mosque next to ground zero appears to be a direct statement that the West must submit to Islam -- and appearances are everything.

    If Muslims wish to separate themselves from 911, then they need to place their mosque in a separate part of the city. New York is MASSIVE, and there are plenty of acceptable places where this could be built. By building this mosque at ground zero they are only throwing fuel to a fire that is already out of control. The controversy here is not directed at the act of building a mosque, but rather on the lack of tact as to where it should be built. If anything should be built at ground zero, it should be a center devoted to bringing all faiths together, a religious education center of sorts. By building this mosque, Muslims are only perpetuating the Westerner's fear that Islam is trying to take over the world, and when you look at England, Germany, Sweden, and the rest of the Western world, this fear gains rationality. There may be many good Muslims out there who respect the West's right to retain it's own culture, but it is clear that in Europe there has been a meltdown of traditions. Fortunately France has taken a stand for what they believe in -- when will the rest of the western world join them?

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    • Good post. But, NAZI's weren't Christians. And there's question as to the accuracy of Christianity among the KKK since most are followers of NAZIsm.

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      • THE VOICE OF REASON

        of course nazi's weren't christians, that was my point. there were many nazi's and kkk who claimed to be christians, but no matter how much a spoon claims to be a knife, it can't cut steak.

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      • Ohhh yes.......sure.....so by that logic...the 9/11 terrorists were not Muslims. Good one there "The Voice of Reason".

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  14. If Americans truly want the Mosque people to go away in NY,my city by the way,and I'm also White.Why if if so fn cash heavy,does the Federal reserve Bank not just by the whole block force them out the the "American way".
    Simple because thier evil,evil,evil.And they want us arguing this crap to keep the grease on the tank chains.
    An utter fn shame how were allowing our victims to be remmbered this way,using thier memory for the cause of such hate and utter Greed!!...
    Makes me natious to even go down there and look at the the banks,and wall street and wonder. Why were fighting people practicly with no army,navy or airforce.,And meanwhile I still can't figure out who the hell and why arnt we fighting those who stole evry dime we have to protect ourselves from ourselves????

    My stimulus idea>
    1.Make every out of work or underemployed american buy ,or borrow money from the Fed at 0% interest ofcourse, a metal detector and a shuvel.

    2.Send em all over the world to search for our gold. To find it!, dig it up!, and bring it back!.

    If this doesn't end soon I'm packing for Peru.....Because American streets are gonna get ruff ladies and gents.Whether your in NY or Mayberry..Martial Law can't be Fun.Atleast it didnt seem like fun in my highschool history books.I don't know what they tought you in yours,but we all better start digging them out and read them one more time just to make sure...

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  15. AT LAST!!!! God bless Ron Paul for wading through the "crap" on both sides of the political spectrum! Is his the only voice of sanity in U.S. politics? I'm beginning to think so.

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  16. Ron and Everyone,

    I also want to go out and ask every politician I see these two simple questions to start.Now that I believe our country is kinda broke,and on the verge of collapse monitarily..Do you

    1.Believe that having little or no money, means to having no freedoms?And if because a few as we speak control 97% of wealth do they deserve more or all the Freedom?

    2.Is it so unpatriotic to say let our own taxes for us.Lets say a billion or so,peanuts shells compared to the great Bank robbery of 2008.To build a factory or two,be it making pencils or electric cars ,I don't care.To save our country and its people?And Why do we have to skip from a Democracy straight to Facism whena little Sociolism can go along way towards the road back Democracy.?

    Lets if I can get a real answer not just Yes and goodbye...
    Listen I not may be out of work after 28 yrs of working since 12yrs old(paper route long Island 1982 But I'm not afraid of never working again.What I'm afraid of, are millions not given the chance to because somehow, unfathibly we we let a few money grabbing crooks steal us completley sidewise.I hope The Dream is alive in enough of us to rebuild without Tyrany from within..

    How do men and women so easily forget what is important?Have we become the enemies of our own greed again?

    Sincerley
    Jeff Tanzillo@facebook

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  17. Couldn't agree more then humanly possible Ron...Thank you

    I've been a what I a free American boy for 40 years now Ron. Iv'e awakened to this huge world and life changing issue in part for 2 months now.
    Have to say I'm exausted with thought,fear,,anger and hope that Its not too late.I want to express my views to everyone I can,I truly hope and pray that I can without fear of punishment.
    Find it absolute crazy that we as Americans have to fight for our basic rights as humans set forth in 1776, against people sorrunded by it's memory every day.Ron,Maybe Congress should vote on a field trip, instead of war.

    Thanks Ron and Everyone!!
    Jeff Tranzillo@facebook

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  18. Building a Mosque close to ground zero does not seem like a good idea at the first glance, however if you think about it solely a religious place for praying should not be associated with politics, or terrorism. You should purely focus on the benefits it could bring to the whole population living in New York.

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    • I'm pretty sure nothing officially part of Islam can be "solely religious". It has always been tied with politics and government, right?

      I think America needs to understand Islam before assuming it is a lot like the religions we are accustomed to here. True, there is so much in the religious side of Islam that is praiseworthy and should be given "free exercise" in America, but let's take a good look at the political side of Islam. I'm not referring to the political agendas of fringe extremists... I mean we need to understand the foundational Koran-founded ideology.

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  19. While I am not a supporter, bravo Mr. Paul. I'm glad to see there are some politicians willing to stand up for religious freedom and equal rights. George Washington once proudly declared that our government “gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance”.* To our shame politicians now rush to prove him wrong. Thank you, Mr. Paul, for not being one of them.

    Letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island, August 18, 1790, printed on page 767 of George Washington, Writings (Library of America, 1997).

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  20. william ridenour:

    While I will not suggest that Christians have not done any good in the world, you must also admit that they have done great evil in its name as well. Your own Catholic faith is no different. While I was raised by a Catholic mother I do not believe any faith is better than any other. My belief is that all faiths were created by man to explain the unknown in the world and to give us a reason to behave up to our better nature and control our dark impulses. All three major beliefs share a common begining and build on it to meet the needs of different groups of people. Islam is merely an Arabic branch of the Jewish and Christian church. If you read the Koran you will see Jesus and the Virgin Mary are a central part of their faith. The rules Muslims follow, like killing children that disobey their parents is in Jewish and Christian scripture too. But we do not follow it. The execution of homosexuals, as has happened in Iran, is called for in your Bible, and Christian conservatives want it here in America too.

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    • This is a noble comment. But if Islam is "merely an Arabic branch of the Jewish and Christian church" then PLEASE someone go write a "New Testament" that rules out the crazy child-killing, murderous ideas. And then someone else needs to initiate a "protestant reformation" that allows for the religion to be separated from political, oppresive demands. I'd let that kind of muslim build mosques next to my school, in my neighborhood, in my nation's capitol, AND at ground zero, NY.

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      • and, geez, if anyone is planning to take this seriously, please stay away from the bloodshed associated with Christianity's protestant reformation and find some way to disassociate the religion from the "totalitarian states" that seem to spring up with Islam.

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    • I'm not sure where it says it's ok to kill babies in Christianity, but there are some references to stoning adulterers or murderers. And that's the point. Islam has left off at this point, there is no freedom or fulfullment that is associated with Christ the Risen, Savior.

      On the other hand, Christianity is NOT Old Testament belief. Christianity is the fulfillment Christ fulfilling the Old Testament.

      And it has nothing to do about who's perfect, but everything to do about a religion that calls on their faithful to take out what they dub as the infidel. Christianity does not do this. Christianity and Islam are different, intrinsically different. Please don't mesh them into one to satisfy your sensitivities.

      Like the writer above said. Before we make these gernearlized comments about "all religions" being the same, it is important to educate ourselves on what is really being promoted. Uberrelativisim is not the answer.

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