Mosque near Ground Zero? “It’s about the community, stupid”

By Abed Z. Bhuyan Despite the countless media hours dedicated to the controversy surrounding Park51, the Muslim community center to … Continued

By Abed Z. Bhuyan

Despite the countless media hours dedicated to the controversy surrounding Park51, the Muslim community center to be built two blocks from Ground Zero, there has been little to no substantive discussion. Across the country and on our televisions and radios, there is far too much vitriol spewed towards Muslims for any serious conversation to be had. Though racism and anti-Semitism, among other societal ills, are widely considered unacceptable, a steady diet of Islamophobia has found an unfortunate place in the narrative of 21st century America. The coordinated attack on Islam and Muslims, even in a place as tolerant and diverse as New York City, leaves little to the imagination of just how much some Americans hate other Americans.

To the detriment of New Yorkers and all Americans, not being heard in the “either you’re with us or against us” polemic are the thoughts of your friendly neighborhood Muslim.

For all their noble intentions, the individuals behind the proposed community center near Ground Zero failed to do one major thing before they presented their plans for their Muslim center, which would include a mosque, to city officials: they did not consult with other American Muslims.
In doing so, they effectively cornered American Muslims into taking a position, especially once opposition to Park51 mounted. This was unfair to millions of American Muslims who are bystanders in what has become an attack on our religious freedoms.

We want to want to support this project, but we don’t want to have to support it. There has been concern that this controversy, one that leaves all Americans weary, is not a fight that ever really needed fighting.

Anne Barnard recently reported in The New York Times that the organizers of the Park51 project, namely, the husband-and-wife team of Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf and Daisy Khan, and developer Sharif el-Gamal, were surprised by the coordinated national opposition. Barnard writes, “More strikingly, they did not seek the advice of established Muslim organizations experienced in volatile post-9/11 passions and politics.” In this week’s Newsweek cover story Khan is quoted saying that “in hindsight, if we had known this would be such an issue [for some 9/11 families], we would have started with them [before taking it to the community board that ultimately votes approval].”

It is important to engage the 9/11 families who mourn the loss of loved ones and who may carry sincere misgivings about this project. But I wonder if Khan and Imam Abdul Rauf understand the important value of engaging American Muslims who also mourn the loss of loved ones and who have struggled since that wretched day to combat stereotypes forced on us by extremists. Moreover, that any American Muslim who lived through September 11th can’t guess that some people may have issues, be they legitimate or illegitimate, with a Muslim center being established near Ground Zero is dangerously naïve.

Which begs the question: If they didn’t expect this fallout, just how connected are Khan and Imam Abdul Rauf to the American Muslim community? It is apparent to many that they are in fact not connected. Case in point, at a time when the news media is falling over itself with stories about their center, where is Imam Abdul Rauf? Now is certainly not the time to be traveling around the world and leaving your team at the center of the storm.

The couple does have a strong track record when it comes to interfaith work, but it doesn’t appear that they have a track record working with Muslims. Will any prominent American Muslims be associated with this project directly, as opposed to simply appearing on talk shows as surrogates? This must be answered.

There is a difference between building a building and building a community. This is a question of leadership. American Muslims ought to ask more questions and expect meaningful answers. If we are to grow as a community, we must demand strong leadership.

It is easy to write off Sarah Palin’s Shakespearean tweets and Newt Gingrich’s kickoff to his presidential campaign. But if there is honest critique coming from American Muslims to ensure this project’s ultimate success, it must be heard.

If it is the case that Park51 is to be a community center for all, then surely the Muslims of New York, and indeed all across America, have a stake in its success, arguably more than anyone else. That is why more American Muslims need to be brought on board. The sooner the better.

I cringe when I think of the political and social capital already burnt, not just by American Muslims, but by many of our allies in this fight. Mayor Bloomberg and the NYC Landmarks Preservations Commission rose to the occasion, strongly backing the rights of American Muslims to practice our faith freely, even in Lower Manhattan. Keith Olbermann, Fareed Zakaria, and, yes, Sam Seder have all taken powerful stands in support of the religious freedoms of their fellow Americans and against the outrageous right-wing opposition.

Even President Obama understands the added value to this center: the United States cannot have a strong foreign policy, especially towards the greater Muslim world, without first having a strong domestic policy that ensures the rights and freedoms of his Muslim constituents. The world must see that Americans distinguish between their American Muslim neighbors and the terrorists who perpetrated the crimes of September 11th.

That American Muslims ought to feel some level of collective guilt for the actions of a few terrorists is unacceptable. That any Americans be pressured to relocate their house of worship out of fear is un-American.

Americans of all faiths are not lining up behind this project because we are enthusiastic about it. We are lining up because we know what is at stake. Let there be no mistake, Park51 has morphed from a local community issue into a national test case for religious freedoms. In an interview with DemocracyNow, Khan was asked if she was afraid for herself and for her community, and she rightly answered that she feared for her country.

This project cannot fail. It must not fail. Indeed, it has become a fight that needs fighting by all Americans. But it must begin with strong Muslim leadership.

Abed Z. Bhuyan, a Muslim from New York, is a graduate of Georgetown University. Bhuyan taught high school history and government in New York City with Teach For America from 2008-2010. He will be teaching English in Turkey next year as a Fulbright scholar.

  • jonathan879

    Why don’t Muslims move the mosque a few blocks away? is there something called compassion and humanity within Islam?

  • areyousaying

    I’m all for First Amendment rights for Muslim American citizens but, like Baptists looking the other way at Fred Phelps, they haven’t helped themselves with their silence in not denouncing their murderous terrorists.They’re a part of the religious bullying going on here by insisting on building their center near a great American wound.More troubling are their Abrahamic cousins, Christians and Jews using this issue for hatred and division as well.And of course Rove has jumped on the bandwagon to create another divisive political wedge issue.A disgusting spectacle of what America has become thanks to Limbaugh and RNC Fox News continually fanning the flames.

  • CormacNYC

    Abed Z. Bhuyan wrote:”the individuals behind the proposed community center near Ground Zero failed to do one major thing before they presented their plans for their Muslim center, which would include a mosque, to city officials: they did not consult with other American Muslims.”And why would they? Sadly, you make the same mistake as the demagogues attacking this project – you think this is a national statement about Islam and/or 9/11. It isn’t. It is a local community center and those of us who live in lower Manhattan would be very pleased if the rest of you – those from the outer boroughs and uptown as well as other states – just butted out.There is, as you say, a difference between building a building and building a community. Ms Khan and Mr. Rauf have built and a deeply ingrained members of the community of faith in Manhattan, the Islamic community in the Tribeca/Financial District area – and in Manhattan generally, and in the secular community for lower Manhattan. These are the constituencies the center is for and these are the constituencies that support it.And all of you who want it to be a symbol – whether “noble” or vilified – can pipe down and spend sometime in your own community for a change.

  • theo9

    The reality is what this Mosque represents. There are already over 100 Mosques in NYC now. Lower Manhattan is not a residential district where a place of worship is needed. So, this isn’t about religious freedom. There is something far more at stake here. Americans are the most tolerant people on the planet. We understand the difference between good and bad people better than you, because you have already lashed out at Americans in your article. This Mosque represents a victory for Islam. It’s a monument to Islam on a site where innocent people died in the name of that religion. It’s not a community center, because there is no community in that part of Manhattan. Americans have a right to oppose this Mosque. I am astounded at the lack of sensitivity on the part of Muslims over this issue.

  • peggybrad19

    yeah that is true, major brands do give out free samples of their popular health products best place to check is

  • peggybrad19

    yeah that is true, major brands do give out free samples of their popular health products best place to check is

  • areyousaying

    Maybe the “divine hand” Ms. Kahn speaks of is the same one that inspired Glenn Beck to have an evangelical white-supremacist rally on the Mall on August 28 to piss off Blacks.

  • ymh123

    This is a great article.

  • ymh123

    Nothing is like being honest and being open.

  • Secular

    This is one of the first articles by a muslim I have read that sees the issue in the critics (at least reasonable critics) point of view. My own personal view is constitutionally a mosque can be built anywhere. There is a need for taking a big picture view of the things. We all know the crass attempts being made by like of Gingrich, & Palins, but there are a whole lot of sincere critics too. It is ironic that the supporters who complain that all muslims are being painted with broad brush in one sentence and do the same thing in painting tall the critics with broad brush.

  • aymanfadel

    “We want to want to support this project, but we don’t want to have to support it. There has been concern that this controversy, one that leaves all Americans weary, is not a fight that ever really needed fighting.”But this is a fight we U.S. Muslims have to fight someday, and it might as well be 2010 as 2020. Would it have been great if Park51 developers had been fully prepared? Yes, but there’s nothing to do about it now, and this editorial holds the Park51 developers to an extremely high standard.We are fighting a presumption of guilt. We are fighting constant misinformation about our religious beliefs. We are fighting federal legal attacks on our charitable institutions. We are fighting the trickling down of the brutality and torture of the “Global War on Terror” to our local police departments, immigration enforcement agencies and the private corporations bilking the government to operate the prisons and detention centers. As a majority of us are black and brown, we have to fight the “law and order” and xenophobic wave growing in this country.Or would you rather each small group of Muslims throughout the country have to figure out how to fight national campaigns of Islamophobia each time they ask to build mosques, schools and other institutions?We must oppose the presumption of guilt. We cannot allay people’s unfounded fears when they refuse to examine facts and they refuse to even interact with us and demand our invisibility. We do not accept collective guilt each time a Muslim commits a crime.Ultimately, Park51 will succeed if it offers the services its developers claim it will: a community center. If you walked into your YMCA and it offered training in building IEDs, would you renew your membership?Message to all opponents of Park51: If you don’t like it, don’t donate and don’t attend its events.

  • dnjake

    If the author knows so little about the proposed Islamic center, how does he know what those behind it did? In fact, the Mayor of New York is said to approve of the project. Most of the people in the neighborhodd where the propsed project is to be built are also said to be in favor of it. Those trying to get the center built likely have worried about dealing with the specific problems of getting it built. That means buying the property and making sure the plans for it are consistent with the zoning in its neighborhood. They may not have worried about the opinions of others that are not of any real significance except for media debates.

  • kenk3

    The United States would be a better place if Muslim immigrants went home to whatever dirty country they’re originally from.If you were born here, move to whatever dirty country you’d feel welcome.

  • j3hess

    The United States would be a better place if Muslim immigrants went home to whatever dirty country they’re originally from.Sorry, kenk3, I prefer my Muslim neighbors to bigots such as you. They’re generally more educated, have better manners, and appreciate American values.You’re welcome to leave anytime, though.

  • rohit57

    You say, “It is easy to write off Sarah Palin’s Shakespearean tweets and Newt Gingrich’s kickoff to his presidential campaign. But if there is honest critique coming from American Muslims to ensure this project’s ultimate success, it must be heard.”This paragraph is extremely biased. And why? Gingrich compared Muslims to Nazis – this is extremism. But Palin said NOTHING Anti-Muslim at all. She appealed to peaceful Muslims and she made one mistake, she misspelled “repudiate” as “refudiate”.And for THAT you are lumping her with Gingrich? Then why should Americans not lump Imam Rauf with Osama bin Laden? Guilt by association is not an acceptable method of argument.I do have a second comment. A recent review by Time magazine showed that 61% of Americans are opposed to the mosque at Ground zero. On the other hand, 55% of Americans said that US Muslims were patriotic and only 25% said that they were not.So among those who oppose the mosque AT THIS SITE, a majority are people who DO NOT DISLIKE Muslims, think of them as patriotic, and still object to the mosque at this place.I am myself an admirer of the Sufi poet Rumi, just as I assume Imam Rauf is. But I DO object to the mosque at this location as insensitive, and it DOES NOT IMPLY ANY DISLIKE OF MUSLIMS. It is just not appropriate.So I hope you will take in the fact that the majority of opponents of the mosque are NOT bigots and seriously consider respecting their feelings.Otherwise, if this building does go up at Ground zero, expect that prejudice against Muslims will go up. Please take the MODERATE opposition to the mosque (Islamic community center) seriously. Don’t play the game of pretending that we are all bigots.

  • Garak

    Why don’t the Jews move their synagogues away from Wall St? After Bernie Madoff, they’re a stab in the heart of America.Honest Jews, please don’t stab America in the heart.Yours, Sarah Palin

  • rohit57

    Note that abortion is either illegal or highly restricted in the following countries:Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, Sudan (r), Syria, United Arab Emirates, Yemen.And that means that on abortion, all these countries agree with Sarah Palin and do not agree with US liberals who are responsible for the deaths of 40 million (yes, 40 million) unborn since Roe v Wade.Moreover note that when Israel, France and Britain attacked Egypt in 1956 it was Republican president Eisenhower who forced the aggressive trio to pull back.It is important to remember that Muslims and Republicans share more values than Muslims share with liberals.The Bible is a holy book for both Muslims and Christians. It is not a holy book for liberals. Liberal values and Muslim values are different.We always need to keep that in mind.

  • semolina

    Theo9, the residential population of lower Manhattan is around 60,000 people (south of Chambers St). If you visit our neighborhood, you will find schools, playgrounds, dog parks, grocery stores and houses of worship. Many of us were here on 9/11, and many of us had to evacuate for weeks or months after the attack. We have worked very hard to restore our damaged homes and neighborhood. I cannot tell you how disheartening it is to see you and your ilk cheerfully announcing that we do not exist. If you wish to oppose Park51, that is your right, but please do some basic research and get your facts right — especially if you are going to assume that you have the right to dictate what we do or don’t have in our neighborhood. Park51 will indeed be a community center, providing much-needed amenities for our neighborhood, which is the fast-growing residential area in New York City. Two Muslim groups have worshiped in our neighborhood for years (long before 9/11). For us, that is perfectly normal. Perhaps our neighborhood is different from yours in terms of liveliness and diversity, but we like it that way.

  • richard36

    The moderate Muslim community failed to speak out vocally about 9/11. They remained silent about this vile act and still remain silent.

  • j3hess

    But Palin said NOTHING Anti-Muslim at all. She appealed to peaceful Muslims and she made one mistake, she misspelled “repudiate” as “refudiate”.”people like kenk3 are a MINORITY among those opposed to the mosque. The MAJORITY of mosque opponents are non-bigoted people who just do not think that a mosque at THIS location is proper.”“Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn’t it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate,”True, she doesn’t make the Nazi comparison. She does presume that a Muslim center in the neighborhood of ground zero must stab one in the heart – as if it is the common understanding that Muslims were responsible or should be acceptable to believe it.And there is the presumption that the mosque builders must not be peaceful Muslims. Aside from that, as one who has lived both in the middle of the country and the coast, it is offensive to have Palin divide us up into the all-American heartland and the offensive elites of urban America.Is it possible to oppose the mosque without being as bigoted as kenk3? Yes, although the it seems that those driving the public opposition tend towards either the bigots who first raised a stink or the politicians who intend to gain by their demagoguery.But absent bigotry, why would somebody oppose the mosque? Only by associating the terrorists with Islam, and failing to distinguish between these fanatics and the rest of the world’s Muslims, including our citizens. Accepting that association smacks of a gross ignorance, and carries the scent of a mild bigotry in not bothering to confront it. It says its ok if US citizens of the Muslim faith are rewarded with suspicion. It says it’s ok to let the terrorists redefine the public meaning of being Muslim.I respect your feelings enough to discuss them with you openly and tell you when I think your feelings are in error. I respect your feelings enough not to tell you that your motives are only selfish and partisan.

  • rohit57

    But absent bigotry, why would somebody oppose the mosque? Only by associating the terrorists with Islam, and failing to distinguish between these fanatics and the rest of the world’s Muslims, including our citizens.Accepting that association smacks of a gross ignorance, and carries the scent of a mild bigotry in not bothering to confront it. It says its ok if US citizens of the Muslim faith are rewarded with suspicion. It says it’s ok to let the terrorists redefine the public meaning of being Muslim.I respect your feelings enough to discuss them with you openly and tell you when I think your feelings are in error. I respect your feelings enough not to tell you that your motives are only selfish and partisan.Posted by: j3hess But I do respect the more than 60% of my fellow citizens who oppose the mosque. And I know that more than half of the opponents respect Islam and are not bigots.As for Palin, you are indulging in a lot of “interpretation” to get some mean spiritedness out of what she said.But that is quite different from the explicit statement by Gingrich which did not need any interpretation. I think you are not being fair to her, and it bothers me how difficult it is for Democrats to ever be fair to any Republican.Governor Paterson, majority leader Reid, and Howard Dean all said that the mosque should be moved. If you think that they too are bigots, please say so explicitly.You can claim that Reid is running for election and is a coward. But Paterson and Dean are not running for elections.You need to take in the actual complexity of the situation rather than branding everyone who does not agree with you a bigot.

  • rohit57

    This alliance between liberals and Muslims is actually quite weird. Liberals glorify abortion. Abortion is banned or severely restricted in almost all Muslim countries.Liberals glorify atheism. For Muslims the will of God is supreme.Somehow the expression The strange Couple comes to mind.

  • j3hess

    And that explains what is happening. Since liberals favor the mosque, they are trying to brand all who disagree with them as bigots who hate Muslims.***Muslims … should avoid their alliance with liberals, and say instead to the AVERAGE American, “We respect your feelings and we will move the mosque”.This would bring them enormous rewards from a grateful nation. Anti Muslim bigots would find themselves grossly outnumbered.Posted by: rohit57 You’re pretty good at knowing my motives better than I do and knowing what are “the concerns of US Muslims” – as if all US Muslims or liberals shared the same concerns.I’ve spend a lot of time on this in the past week. I can tell you that there are a lot of bigots posting comments – I’ll toss out a guesstimate of 2:1 bigots over people such as yourself willing to have a reasoned argument. You also find it in the people raising objects to Islamic centers far from New York, people accusing Islam of plotting world domination, people who deny the historical record in order to spread falsehoods.You think my interpretation of Palin’s comments is unfair. OK – you tell me why it is ok for people to protest a Islamic center in lower Manhatan. Why are their feelings more important that the feelings of the relatives of Muslims who lost their lives, or US citizens who are told their religion symbolizes terrorism? You and Dean may be right that the politically prudent thing to do is to move the mosque. Buhyan clearly doesn’t like being dragged into this fracas without warning.Myself, I dislike backing down to ignorance and prejudice even if they don’t rise to the level of bigotry. I dislike handing the terrorists a win by giving them an opportunity to portray the US as fearful and resentful of Islam. It’s not about whether the people making the stink are Republicans. You sound like you’re buying in to Palin’s victimology. I do wonder why so few Republicans will take George Bush’s stance against blaming the Muslims who are also the victims of Al Qaeda. If they’re not enemies, they’re too insensitive to our feelings! Boo hoo. If you don’t “refudiate”, maybe you’re not really a “peaceful Muslim”?As regards our Muslim fellow citizens, my suggestion is this: If you give up the location of the Islamic Center, extract a price that acknowledges your dignity and place in the body politic. You need a public symbol. A minaret at the side of the Statue of Liberty? A National Mosque in Washington DC?

  • victorlove1

    In a true test of faith and actual assimilation into the American beliefs and Constitutional rights, Bloomberg would establish a Jewish community center next door to the Mosque/community center.IF, they are able to coexist then there would be a working model to present Israel and Palestine.What we don’t know is how tolerant American Muslims are.I have a question for the author, ethnic muslims probably out number Al Quada and the Taliban by a million to one, why are you letting these 2 organizations define you? Rule you by instilling fear, instead of them fearing you? You stand and let yourselves be slaughtered 20-30 at a time, WHY? Have you no self esteem or honor? Why aren’t you attacking the attackers who kill your loved ones! I don’t mean one at a time either, get a million of your billion and wipe them out! Take control of your religion and your lives and then you can live without fear!

  • victorlove1

    In a true test of faith and actual assimilation into the American beliefs and Constitutional rights, Bloomberg would establish a Jewish community center next door to the Mosque/community center.IF, they are able to coexist then there would be a working model to present Israel and Palestine.What we don’t know is how tolerant American Muslims are.I have a question for the author, ethnic muslims probably out number Al Quada and the Taliban by a million to one, why are you letting these 2 organizations define you? Rule you by instilling fear, instead of them fearing you? You stand and let yourselves be slaughtered 20-30 at a time, WHY? Have you no self esteem or honor? Why aren’t you attacking the attackers who kill your loved ones! I don’t mean one at a time either, get a million of your billion and wipe them out! Take control of your religion and your lives and then you can live without fear!

  • j3hess

    What we don’t know is how tolerant American Muslims are.I have a question for the author, ethnic muslims probably out number Al Quada and the Taliban by a million to one, why are you letting these 2 organizations define you? Rule you by instilling fear, instead of them fearing you? You stand and let yourselves be slaughtered 20-30 at a time, WHY? Have you no self esteem or honor? Why aren’t you attacking the attackers who kill your loved ones!There are a lot of US Muslims; you can’t lump them all into one group.What I know is that I grew up in a “heartland” community that’s had Muslim residents for over a hundred years, and tolerance wasn’t a problem for Chrisitans or Muslims or Jews.The rest of your comments are poorly though out. What do you think the Sunni Awakening in Iraq was? It was precisely the Sunni Arabs deciding that the AQM was worse that the American occupying forces and rising up against them with us as allies.The Muslims from my hometown are fighting the extremists as members of the US army in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In places like Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country, it is the government taking on the extremists.You would show more respect for Muslims and their honor if you bothered to learn what they are doing before telling them what they should do.

  • lufrank1

    Bottom Line:Obama should have stopped yakkin’ right there!His First Constitutional Guarantee of Freedom of Religion was Gettysburg Address quality. Nothing else – or ANY backing away is tragic for

  • corco02az

    Of course they were naive. Their non-Muslim friends in Manhattan are just as naive as they are. Not only could any Muslim outside Manhattan tell them this was a bad idea, but Muslims overseas can’t believe it either!That’s why they’re never going to get the funding unless Bloomberg pays for it himself.

  • dmblum

    Sheeple, you need to LISTEN UP!They are building a POOL at this center!A pool for SWIMMING!Everyone knows that MUSLIMS DON’T SWIM!!!So why do they NEED A POOL?????Here’s why: TO BREED PIRANAS and HIGH SPEED CROCODILES!!!!!!TO INVADE AND INFEST NEW YORK AND HONEST AMERICAN SEWERS!!!!!!!!!!!!The MUSLIMS will WIN and APPLE PIE will FAIL!RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • dmblum

    It’s a known fact that Muslims smell like pumpkin soup and NO ONE KNOWS WHY THIS IS!!!!!!!!!

  • rohit57

    Of course they were naive. Their non-Muslim friends in Manhattan are just as naive as they are. Not only could any Muslim outside Manhattan tell them this was a bad idea, but Muslims overseas can’t believe it either!That’s why they’re never going to get the funding unless Bloomberg pays for it himself.Posted by: corco02az Bloomberg should have thought, he is a decent politician. But perhaps he had a weak moment.What happens now? The Democrats will lose badly in November. There will be increased hostility to Muslims which liberals will describe with the words, “We forced the bigots to come out of the woodwork.”This Muslim-liberal alliance should be writing science fiction, and staying away from political issues. They are like children playing with matches near a gasoline pump.

  • Martial

    Actually, whether Sufi Islam is “true” Islam is irrelevant. Provided Imam Rauf gets the money, he gets to build the Mosque. No one can stop this, not even 1,499,000,000 Muslims. Neither should anyone be permitted to stop this. It is a matter of religious freedom, not prejudice.

  • thmas

    Thank you for your comment. I am saddened that you feel the need to anticipate hysteria and hatred in this situation, even though I have no doubt you are sensible in that approach.Thomas Jefferson (he who is repudiated by the “Education” board in Texas) would have been incensed. The fact is, mosques all over the country are encountering this hatred, without any reference to “hallowed” ground — as you know, in NYC it’s around the corner, two blocks away, and completely invisible.But I agree that we are now at the point that the center must be built. We have paraded our intolerance and hatred for all the world to see. The very people who screech about Saudi Arabia are exhibiting attitudes as xenophobic, if not more, than that state. We have people who not only deny the Constitution (et tu, Peter?), but who insist that the Constitution must give way to manipulated “public opinion.”It is time that we think hard about what this country is about. It is not about our standard of living, or our wide-open roads, or the disappointing number of students who fail to seize the opportunity of higher education.It is about what Lincoln called our last best chance to prove that ordinary citizens can create a decent, honest, thriving society ( all right, I went off the path there, didn’t have time to look up the whole quote). It means that we can’t be controlled by mobs or hysteria, but by our common principles.So, Jonathan, I’ll respect your religion (whatever it is). If you are American, perhaps you can respect the religions of others.

  • t69fastback

    Anyone that supports this mosque at the heart of the worst attack America experienced should be consider terrorists. Because the people that support this mosque from the religion that killed over 2700 Americans are not only disrespecting them, but all the families of those that was lost, the rescue workers, the families of the rescue workers, the men and women that in the military past, present and future. If they love the religion then they could always go to one of the third world counties and would learn to be a little more respectful to a country where they had freedoms and they would learn not to abuse those freedoms. This is total abuse of our Freedoms and total disrespect of our Country.

  • ForLoveAgainstIntolerance

    I don’t think it is a worship center people are against, only its location so close to such a grief-filled place.

Read More Articles

colbert
Top 10 Reasons We’re Glad A Catholic Colbert Is Taking Over Letterman’s “Late Show”

How might we love Stephen Colbert as the “Late Show” host? Let us count the ways.

emptytomb
God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

noplaceonearth
An Untold Story of Bondage to Freedom: Passover 1943

How a foxhole that led to a 77-mile cave system saved the lives of 38 Ukrainian Jews during the Holocaust.

shutterstock_148333673
Friend or Foe? Learning from Judas About Friendship with Jesus

We call Judas a betrayer. Jesus called him “friend.”

shutterstock_53190298
Fundamentalist Arguments Against Fundamentalism

The all-or-nothing approach to the Bible used by skeptics and fundamentalists alike is flawed.

shutterstock_178468880
Mary Magdalene, the Closest Friend of Jesus

She’s been ignored, dismissed, and misunderstood. But the story of Easter makes it clear that Mary was Jesus’ most faithful friend.

shutterstock_186795503
The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

shutterstock_185995553
How to Debate Christians: Five Ways to Behave and Ten Questions to Answer

Advice for atheists taking on Christian critics.

HIFR
Heaven Hits the Big Screen

How “Heaven is for Real” went from being an unsellable idea to a bestselling book and the inspiration for a Hollywood movie.

shutterstock_186364295
This God’s For You: Jesus and the Good News of Beer

How Jesus partied with a purpose.

egg.jpg
Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.

SONY DSC
Dear Evangelicals, Please Reconsider Your Fight Against Gay Rights

A journalist and longtime observer of American religious culture offers some advice to his evangelical friends.