Mosque Near Ground Zero May Not Get Built After All

yizuman

Active Member
Rauf on the Ropes by Judith Miller, City Journal 13 September 2010

An Islamic community center at Ground Zero seems increasingly unlikely.
13 September 2010

The white flag hasn’t reached the top of the flagpole yet, but Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf all but surrendered on Monday morning in his battle to build a Muslim interfaith community center with a prayer room two blocks from Ground Zero. At an unusual meeting Monday morning at the Council on Foreign Relations in midtown Manhattan, Rauf said that he wanted to find a “solution” to the furious imbroglio over the planned center, which opponents say is inappropriate, insensitive to the memory of those who died in the 9/11 attacks, and likely to inflame tensions rather than build bridges between Muslims and non-Muslims. Saying that his advisors were “looking at every option,” including a suggestion that the project be delayed until it could win greater support and become less divisive, the imam pledged to “do what’s best for all.”

“Everything is on the table,” he told the more than 300 members of the group, which rarely holds on-the-record meetings and normally focuses on foreign affairs and national security rather than domestic or urban issues. In fact, the imam this morning was acknowledging the obvious: the project has been on de facto hold for weeks because of the numerous obstacles it now faces—first and foremost, a lack of funding.

“In the words of Jerry Maguire: ‘Show me the money!’” said Fouad Ajami, a professor at Johns Hopkins, as he emerged from the hour-long question-and-answer session with the imam. Ajami, a Lebanese-born Shiite Muslim and staunch defender of the war in Iraq, predicted that supporters of the project would be unable to find sufficient funds to build the ambitious $100 million center, which is said to include a gymnasium with swimming pool, a prayer room, classrooms for cultural lectures, and space for interfaith dialogues. Saudi Arabia and other traditional financiers of such mosques and Islamic centers would not underwrite such a controversial project, Ajami said. And public pressure has forced Rauf to rule out raising funds from foreign governments or such militant sources as Iranian foundations or Palestinian Hamas.

The project still has no architect, nor are there blueprints for the 13-story building. Nevertheless, Imam Rauf and his wife, Daisy Khan, who also attended the packed session today, insisted that work would go forward and that canceling or moving the center, as New York governor David Paterson has wisely proposed, would exacerbate tensions among religious communities and prompt Muslims overseas to view America as anti-Islamic. He also repeated his suggestion, unwisely, that moving the mosque would endanger American national security, though he added that he had not meant this as a threat. “The world will be watching what we do here,” he said.

Rauf sounded alternately defensive and belligerent when, answering one of the few tough questions he got all morning, he scoffed at the notion of the World Trade Center site as “hallowed” ground. “It is absolutely disingenuous, what many have said, that that block is hallowed ground,” Rauf replied. “There are strip joints around the corners, and betting parlors. . . . I want a space where moderates can be heard,” he insisted, asserting that Muslim extremists had hijacked not only his religion but its discourse.

Rauf lashed out at journalists and Republican politicians who used their opposition to the center, he claimed, for political or financial gain. These opponents had deliberately spread “misinformation and harmful stereotypes” to advance themselves or their agenda. He also asserted that there was no inconsistency between his belief in the U.S. Constitution and sharia, or Islamic law. He said that sharia was intended to “uphold” life, the family, and the practice of religion, and called its differences with America’s secular laws “small and minor.” Above all, he said, sharia instructed Muslims in non-Muslim-ruled countries to “follow the laws of the land.” He did not address the barbaric corporal punishments that some countries have enacted in its name—such as the stoning to death of adulterers, amputations of the hands of thieves, and the killing of designated apostates.

Rauf conceded to moderator Richard Haass, the council’s president, that he might never have launched the center had he known what a firestorm it would ignite. But he contradicted Haass’s suggestion that Islam itself might need some reform. Should Muslims not address the fact that while not all Muslims were terrorists, Haass noted, a disproportionate number of the world’s terrorists were Muslim? Rauf seemed to bridle. There was nothing wrong with Islam, he insisted, only with those who distorted it.

Strangely, considering the venue, no one in the audience pressed the imam about earlier incendiary statements in which he appeared to blame the United States for having brought 9/11 upon itself through its unwise Middle East policies, or about his apparent refusal to denounce Hamas, which Washington has declared a terrorist organization. Over the weekend, Rauf tried to distance himself from those earlier remarks by explaining their context and by apologizing to Christiane Amanpour, now of ABC News, for what he called “not a very compassionate use of words.” Pressed by Amanpour to explain why he said soon after 9/11 that the United States had more innocent Muslim “blood on its hands” than al-Qaida did, Rauf explained that he had been referring to America’s support during the 1980s for the militant Islamists who, with American arms and aid, had helped eject Soviet troops from Afghanistan. But he now added, “I regret having said that.”

In his prepared remarks and in fielding questions from council members, Rauf portrayed himself as the quintessential American immigrant and devotee of that all-American sport, football. Saying that he had come to the United States when he was only 17, he still remembered seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time—that “beacon of freedom rising majestically in the harbor.” Insisting that he needed to build the center to show the world that American tolerance extended to Muslims, he said he was willing to do whatever was necessary to get the project (using a football metaphor) to a “first down”—even if that meant searching for a “Hail Mary pass.” A Hail Mary pass, said moderator Haass, might be a bridge or a metaphor too far.

Rauf’s remarks did not seem to change many minds this morning or allay the concerns of his critics. M. Zuhdi Jasser, a medical doctor and former U.S. Navy lieutenant commander who contends that the imam is no moderate and calls the project ill-conceived, said in an interview that constructing the most expensive Islamic structure in the country was an unwise use of resources. Rather than building such a costly structure so close to such a sensitive site, Jasser said, “America needs to be leading a war of ideas in which not only terrorism itself is condemned, but the ideas that underlie and feed such actions.”

Whether Rauf is politically tone-deaf or trying to play all sides of the issue to appeal to multiple constituencies, his many public statements have failed to inspire public confidence. He has long been known for advocating dialogue and closer ties between Muslims and people of different faiths, and he has admirably denounced violence and engaged in interfaith dialogue—going so far as to proclaim himself a Jew in spirit at the funeral of journalist Daniel Pearl, who was beheaded in Pakistan by Islamist terrorists. But the fight over the Islamic center at Ground Zero raises questions about whether Rauf’s project is likely at this stage to advance that noble goal.

Judith Miller is a contributing editor of City Journal, an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and a FOX News contributor.

All that boo ha ha and no substance. What a waste of time this was.

Although I'm glad that the chances of it being built has done down to slim to none.

Yiz
 

kokonut

New Member
Saudi Arabia and other traditional financiers of such mosques and Islamic centers would not underwrite such a controversial project

At least they understood just how sensitive and irresponsible it would be to finance such a center so close to Ground Zero and have that "Victory Mosque" around their necks.
 

dogmom

Well-Known Member
I honestly have mixed feelings about the whole thing and in order for me to sort that out and make a better determination I'd have to review more un-biased or less biased sources and come to my own conclusion. I do see the perspective of Islamophobia and I see blatant blaming/fear of anyone perceived as "Muslim" or "Middle Eastern" as a problem. I also understand some people -specifically those who were on the scene at 9/11 and/or who lost someone there that day - not wanting to have the mosque there. So many people died on that day - of all religions and no religions - including Muslims who weren't considered "Muslim enough/radical enough" by others who happened to be Muslim and extremist.
I would be saddened to see dancing in the streets though in response to final decision against the mosque. How does that help anything but reinforce feelings of grandiosity/superiority?
If we do not want others to rejoice in our perceived suffering or disappointment by being celebratory, then why act that way ourselves?
 

TXgolfer

Dream Weaver
Premium Member
Simple.....The fact that they refused generous buyout offers and beneficial relocation plans shows the true intent of the Imam.
 

Oceanbreeze

New Member
I honestly have mixed feelings about the whole thing and in order for me to sort that out and make a better determination I'd have to review more un-biased or less biased sources and come to my own conclusion. I do see the perspective of Islamophobia and I see blatant blaming/fear of anyone perceived as "Muslim" or "Middle Eastern" as a problem. I also understand some people -specifically those who were on the scene at 9/11 and/or who lost someone there that day - not wanting to have the mosque there. So many people died on that day - of all religions and no religions - including Muslims who weren't considered "Muslim enough/radical enough" by others who happened to be Muslim and extremist.
I would be saddened to see dancing in the streets though in response to final decision against the mosque. How does that help anything but reinforce feelings of grandiosity/superiority?
If we do not want others to rejoice in our perceived suffering or disappointment by being celebratory, then why act that way ourselves?

:gpost:

I'm not sure how I feel about the Mosque being built. On the one hand, you have millions of people of all faiths that died that day, but, you also have to be sensitive to the families of loved ones who died.

It's a tough decision. I know I wouldn't want to be the one making THE decision to build or not.
 

jillio

New Member
At least they understood just how sensitive and irresponsible it would be to finance such a center so close to Ground Zero and have that "Victory Mosque" around their necks.

**shaking head in dissapointment at lack of growth and tolerance**
 

KarissaMann05

Active Member
Premium Member
:gpost:

I'm not sure how I feel about the Mosque being built. On the one hand, you have millions of people of all faiths that died that day, but, you also have to be sensitive to the families of loved ones who died.

It's a tough decision. I know I wouldn't want to be the one making THE decision to build or not.

Yeah... I feel that way. I don't know if I should support it or not. :( It seems it is sort of lose lose situation...
 

Jiro

If You Know What I Mean
Premium Member
What's all this blathering about "tolerance" and "religious freedom" if there are no Christian churches in Muslim countries? :hmm:

there are Christian churches in Muslim countries, silly. And you forgot about the Islamic Golden Age. During that time (about 7th century to 13th century), ALL religions coexisted together and it was a significant time period because of a huge advancement in ALL SUBJECTS which contributed heavily to the civilizations - literature, mathematics, geography, agriculture, sociology, law, medical, etc. Why? Because the Islamic Empire created libraries that will assimilate ALL knowledge from ALL religions and races into one place where Muslim people can read it in Islamic language.

The Golden Age ended because of the Holy Crusaders from northern Europe. They destroyed everything and butchered everybody. Since then..... the intolerance and racism were pervasive.

Muslim people had only one goal - the expansion of trades at four corners of the world. All of their research and knowledge were geared toward to increasing the efficiency and advancement of the trades.
 

Banjo

Expelled
Premium Member
there are Christian churches in Muslim countries, silly. And you forgot about the Islamic Golden Age. During that time (about 7th century to 13th century), ALL religions coexisted together and it was a significant time period because of a huge advancement in ALL SUBJECTS which contributed heavily to the civilizations - literature, mathematics, geography, agriculture, sociology, law, medical, etc. Why? Because the Islamic Empire created libraries that will assimilate ALL knowledge from ALL religions and races into one place where Muslim people can read it in Islamic language.

The Golden Age ended because of the Holy Crusaders from northern Europe. They destroyed everything and butchered everybody. Since then..... the intolerance and racism were pervasive.

Muslim people had only one goal - the expansion of trades at four corners of the world. All of their research and knowledge were geared toward to increasing the efficiency and advancement of the trades.

Speaking of that...

DUBAI - Christmas came in extravagant fashion to the Muslim desert emirate of Abu Dhabi as a glitzy hotel unveiled a bejewelled Christmas tree valued at more than $11 million on Wednesday.

It is the "most expensive Christmas tree ever," with a "value of over $11 million," said Hans Olbertz, general manager of Emirates Palace hotel, at its inauguration.

Canoe.ca | Holidays | Have a safe and happy Holiday season

Oh, they are such intolerant savants, I'll say!
 

Megan8987

New Member
Why do they have to build it in WALKING distance of Ground Zero? New York is a pretty big place, you're telling me that they couldn't of built the Mosque somewhere else? No, because in the Muslim tradition, it calls for building a mosque on conquered land to honor those Muslims that died resulting in the Muslim victory. It would be like the Japanese trying to build a shrine at Pearl Harbor or us going over to Hiroshima and building a shrine. But if we say anything about the Mosque we're anti-muslims and all that. It's like we can't win!
 

Jiro

If You Know What I Mean
Premium Member
Why do they have to build it in WALKING distance of Ground Zero? New York is a pretty big place, you're telling me that they couldn't of built the Mosque somewhere else? No, because in the Muslim tradition, it calls for building a mosque on conquered land to honor those Muslims that died resulting in the Muslim victory. It would be like the Japanese trying to build a shrine at Pearl Harbor or us going over to Hiroshima and building a shrine. But if we say anything about the Mosque we're anti-muslims and all that. It's like we can't win!

correction - shrine and mosque are not the same thing. Mosque is a house of worship.... not a shrine. They wanted to EXPAND its existing facility to build a community center.

1. there are Japanese (Shinto) shrines at Pearl Harbor
2. there is American Church in Hiroshima (beside - why would there be American shrine in Hiroshima? No American soldiers were killed in there)
3. there are Muslim prayer rooms in that area and in Pentagon (close to where plane hit)
 

Megan8987

New Member
correction - shrine and mosque are not the same thing. Mosque is a house of worship.... not a shrine. They wanted to EXPAND its existing facility to build a community center.

1. there are Japanese (Shinto) shrines at Pearl Harbor
2. there is American Church in Hiroshima (beside - why would there be American shrine in Hiroshima? No American soldiers were killed in there)
3. there are Muslim prayer rooms in that area and in Pentagon (close to where plane hit)

I thought they wanted to build a whole new center near ground zero...unless I read that wrong.

Yea I looked up the Shinto shrines just now...I guess they have an American Flag flying on it...weird in my opinion :hmm:

I wasn't talking about Americans dying over there, I thought it to be insensitive to bomb the place and then set up a shrine :eek3:

Well looks like I have to go back and do more reading, my arguement came from the News, a history buff friend and my brother-in-law who was in the Army. I learned something today, thanks for the help Jiro :ty:

But in the end my answer is still a big hell No to building a mosque there :D
 

Banjo

Expelled
Premium Member
But in the end my answer is still a big hell No to building a mosque there :D

Why? Is it just because of some terrorist acts committed by religious extremists who abused the religion of Islam?

Might as well ban any churches from the town of Salem, Massachusetts due to the history of the witch hunt.
 

Megan8987

New Member
Why? Is it just because of some terrorist acts committed by religious extremists who abused the religion of Islam?

Might as well ban any churches from the town of Salem, Massachusetts due to the history of the witch hunt.

Because for me personally, I just don't agree with it. I think they can find somewhere else to build it. What I'm wondering is why it has to be RIGHT there near ground zero. They KNOW it upsets people, upsets families who lost loved ones there that day...I just find it insensitive. There are so many religions through the ages who have made a not so great impact, doesnt mean I agree with them either to build Churches or Temples or whatever near the "damage zone."
 
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