The New York City community board endorsed the Cordoba House, a community center and mosque planned for construction near Ground Zero.
Significant opposition has emerged against the project. Sarah Palin even weighed in this weekend, tweeting, "Peace-seeking Muslims, pls understand, Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts. Pls reject it in interest of healing."
Should there be a mosque near Ground Zero?
Elizabeth Tenety on July 19, 2010 4:06 PM
There are those who say that we are the ones at fault, we need to better understand Muslims and Islam, and the planned center and mosque near Ground Zero will help in that process. Actually, our politicians need to stop making excuses for the violence fundamentalist Islam supports
It is inappropriate for a mosque to be at Ground Zero, and for Muslims to insist that they have the right to have a mosque there is counterproductive to the spirit of reconciliation and healing that we all seek.
Should there be a mosque near ground zero? Ask the 1.57 million Jewish people who inhabit New York City. Ask the Christians in New York City. Or - let America continue to be America, and be a place where people have freedom of assembly, and freedom of religion, which is different than freedom of worship
For years, public discourse has called for a great moderate Muslim voice to counter extremism. Now, when such a voice is seeking to be heard in meaningful and helpful ways, it faces severe backlash and strong opposition - indicating a continued fear and ignorance of the Muslim faith, even at its most peaceful.
Why can't Ground Zero be the place for healing? Why shouldn't New York, and the USA in general, give the world a lead in Interfaith understanding? It is truly amazing how we human beings, in what we would like to think of as the enlightened 21st Century, have reduced religion to meaningless shreds.
To see a mosque at that particular site feels like an "in your face" gesture. I am surprised at my own reaction. Christianity forces us to look at ourselves and see why we need grace. I need grace, big time, on this one.
Posted by Susan K. Smith, on July 21, 2010 2:37 PM
We are the land of the free and the home of the brave. We believe in liberty and justice for all. We are brave enough to allow our brother and sister citizens who are Muslims to be free enough to build a mosque and community center.
Posted by Valerie Elverton Dixon, on July 21, 2010 12:04 PM
Let the 9/11 tragedy be mourned with museums and monuments to those who lost their lives, and let the building of mosques, churches, synagogues, temples, Dharma centers - and ideally a world religions' Temple of Mutual Understanding - serve as anticipation of a time when such crimes against humanity will never more be perpetrated in the name of anybody's fanatical idea of any Deity or ideology!
Posted by Robert Thurman, on July 21, 2010 9:59 AM
At the same time, a mega cultural center and mosque just blocks away from a place where Muslims (no matter that I think they are wrong in their interpretation) killed thousands of my fellow countrymen seemed at best callous, and at worst an in-your-face ostentation.
Posted by Pamela K. Taylor, on July 20, 2010 11:07 AM
Though the sentiment of those who are affronted by a Muslim center being built so close to Ground Zero is regrettably understandable, the only thing that most Muslims would hear in the refusal to allow that Center would be that all Muslims actually are blamed for 9/11.
Posted by Gene Davenport, on July 19, 2010 10:30 PM
Sarah Palin would have us believe that it is a stab to the heart to erect a mosque within a stone's throw of the former Twin Towers. I say, the closer to the heart of America any mosque is built the better.
There are many reasons why this mosque near Ground Zero is a good idea--it is a way to actually make a change for the better in this country, deal directly with the fear and suspicion directed at Muslims for no reason other than the fact that they are Muslims, and also address as yet often unacknowledged public sorrow for Muslims who lost loved ones on 9/11. It is, in fact, NECESSARY to act your way into the change you want to see.
Posted by Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, on July 19, 2010 5:46 PM
In most Muslim-majority countries Christians are severely restricted in their efforts to build and establish new churches, often by means of bureaucratic resistance and the unfair application of zoning codes. Those of us who speak out against this sort of injustice can hardly endorse the same.