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Author Topic: Obama backs Muslims' right to build mosque near ground zero  (Read 6359 times)
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« Reply #25 on: Aug 17, 2010 07:49 AM »


Assalamu Alaikum
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« Reply #26 on: Aug 17, 2010 08:17 AM »

^ I just watched that, amazing...
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« Reply #27 on: Aug 17, 2010 05:46 PM »

salam


Wow, that video is quite something!!!!


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And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #28 on: Aug 17, 2010 09:15 PM »

Wow, that was intense and very strong statement from Keith, to say the least. It was good to hear that there are some that realize what is really happening on the gound and not just fear-mongering adn blowing it out of proportion.

I just wanted to add this link to a discussion that I heard on NPR this morning. Though I'm not a fan of Asra Nomani, I think that account that she brought up that she and some other women who went into the masjid to pray were kicked out by police, that had been called by the brothers who were present was sad and riduculous! I mean, what the . . ? I think the point she and two other callers brought up about issues in certain mosques in their areas was correct, that there needs to be more dialogue within the local community about the etiquette and other similar issues when it comes to the masjid environment. The "project" of fixing our ills is certainly a very difficult, decisive and touchy issue, but sometimes, it's the difficult things that we have to face and fix, and if successful, we can really end up in a great place. By "we" I mean Muslims, especially for the coming generations.

I hope that people with the abilities, resources and patience, will make the steps and that those who follow can continue to build on with time.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129256069

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« Reply #29 on: Aug 17, 2010 09:24 PM »

this is absolutely scary.  if people are so outraged at muslims building a mosque, how outraged are they deep down that muslims actually live in America?

when will the knives come out?  when will we see expressions of how people really think? 

i met a mathematician at a conference from kosovo this summer.  he told me how his neighbors used to barbeque together.  then one day, they broke into his home and tried to kill him and his family. it was so painful to see such a distinguished man's eyes glaze over with tears and try so hard not to let them come out.

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« Reply #30 on: Aug 17, 2010 09:52 PM »

this is absolutely scary.  if people are so outraged at muslims building a mosque, how outraged are they deep down that muslims actually live in America?

when will the knives come out?  when will we see expressions of how people really think?  


You're right bro - it feels like things are simmering and might soon come to a boil. I know this is a bad thought, but I feel that as planned the center is built, that at some point there will be some violence towards it or those who attend it. Insha'allah, that won't happen, but it seems like with the opposition to it, there will be some crazy person out there willing to do it. I'll be out of the country on Sept. 11, but I will surely keep an eye on that day, as E'id may likely fall on that day as well. Let's see what happens . . .

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« Reply #31 on: Aug 18, 2010 12:35 AM »

this is absolutely scary.  if people are so outraged at muslims building a mosque, how outraged are they deep down that muslims actually live in America?

when will the knives come out?  when will we see expressions of how people really think? 

i met a mathematician at a conference from kosovo this summer.  he told me how his neighbors used to barbeque together.  then one day, they broke into his home and tried to kill him and his family. it was so painful to see such a distinguished man's eyes glaze over with tears and try so hard not to let them come out.




It has already come out, we just don't hear about it nationally.

Assalamu Alaikum
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« Reply #32 on: Aug 18, 2010 02:09 AM »

I saw this earlier (I subscribe to CAIR"s YouTube channel Smiley). I bet there are those out there who would hope that next time, the person would be successful (maybe even the local authorities who should be trying to prevent it) - thankfully, this person put the bomb in a place where it didn't end up hurting people (outside). So yes, I wouldn't be surprised if there was at least an attempt on the center earli on in it's existance, but again, let's pray it doesn't it happen.


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« Reply #33 on: Aug 18, 2010 06:23 AM »

must watch, check out what Jon Stewart has to say!

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-august-16-2010/mosque-erade?xrs=synd_facebook
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« Reply #34 on: Aug 18, 2010 07:25 AM »

I just love how Stewart can put everything in perspective!  Grin

Thanks for sharing Sister Blackrose  flowersis
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« Reply #35 on: Aug 18, 2010 11:27 PM »

Good article... Not to mention Muslims used to pray IN THE World Trade Center and they also died there.

I heard some Muslims were against the Mosque. (They're the same ppl FOX News calls to make bigoted statements against Muslims legitimate because "they are Muslim." ) I'd say what I think about that but it's Ramadan.  Lips Sealed Just remember that this controversy has spread to every Mosque and planned Mosque in North America. Your Mosque will be villified and shut down just as easily. What's next...

=========================================


FACT CHECK: Islam already part of WTC neighborhood


  http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100818/ap_on_go_ot/us_mosque_fact_check

By CALVIN WOODWARD, Associated Press Writer Calvin Woodward, Associated Press Writer   – 26 mins ago

WASHINGTON – A New York imam and his proposed mosque near ground zero are being demonized by political candidates — mostly Republicans — despite the fact that Islam is already very much a part of the World Trade Center neighborhood. And that Muslims pray inside the Pentagon, too, less than 80 feet from where terrorists attacked.

And that the imam who's being branded an extremist has been valued by both Republican and Democratic administrations as a moderate face of the faith.

Even so, the project stirs complicated emotions, and Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is a complex figure who defies easy categorization in the American Muslim world.

He's devoted much of his career to working closely with Christians, Jews and secular leaders to advance interfaith understanding. He's scolded his own religion for being in some ways in the "Dark Ages." Yet he's also accused the U.S. of spilling more innocent blood than al-Qaida, the terrorist network that turned the World Trade Center, part of the Pentagon and four hijacked airplanes to apocalyptic rubble.

Many Republicans and some Democrats say the proposed $100 million Islamic cultural center and mosque should be built elsewhere, where there is no possible association with New York's ground zero. Far more than a local zoning issue, the matter has seized congressional campaigns, put President Barack Obama and his party on the spot — he says Muslims have the right to build the mosque — divided families of the Sept. 11, 2001, victims, caught the attention of Muslims abroad and threatened to blur distinctions between mainstream Islam in the U.S. and its radical elements.

A look at some of the claims and how they compare with the known facts:

_"The folks who want to build this mosque — who are really radical Islamists who want to triumphally prove that they can build a mosque right next to a place where 3,000 Americans were killed by radical Islamists — those folks don't have any interest in reaching out to the community. They're trying to make a case about supremacy." — Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a potential 2012 presidential candidate.

_Some of the Muslim leaders associated with the mosque "are clearly terrorist sympathizers." — Kevin Calvey, a Republican running for Congress in Oklahoma.

_"This radical is a terrible choice to be one of the faces of our country overseas." — Statement by GOP Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida and Peter King of New York.

THE FACTS:

No one has established a link between the cleric and radicals. New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said: "We've identified no law enforcement issues related to the proposed mosque."

Ros-Lehtinen and King were referring to the State Department's plan, predating the mosque debate, to send Rauf on another religious outreach trip to the Middle East as part of his "long-term relationship" with U.S. officials in the Bush and Obama administrations. The State Department said Wednesday it will pay him $3,000 for a trip costing the government $16,000.

Rauf counts former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright from the Clinton administration as a friend and appeared at events overseas or meetings in Washington with former President George W. Bush's secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, and Bush adviser Karen Hughes.

He has denounced the terrorist attacks and suicide bombing as anti-Islamic and has criticized Muslim nationalism. But he's made provocative statements about America, too, calling it an "accessory" to the 9/11 attacks and attributing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children to the U.S.-led sanctions in the years before the invasion.

In a July 2005 speech at the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Center in Adelaide, Australia, Rauf said, according to the center's transcript:

"We tend to forget, in the West, that the United States has more Muslim blood on its hands than al-Qaida has on its hands of innocent non-Muslims."

While calling terrorism unjustified, he said the U.S. has supported authoritarian regimes with heinous human rights records and, faced with that, "how else do people get attention?"

In the same address, he spoke of prospects for peace between Palestinians and the Israelis — who he said "have moved beyond Zionism" — and of a love-your-neighbor ethic uniting all religions.

___

_"Mr. President, ground zero is the wrong place for a mosque." — Rick Scott, Republican candidate for Florida governor.

_"Nazis don't have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust Museum in Washington. We would never accept the Japanese putting up a site next to Pearl Harbor. There's no reason for us to accept a mosque next to the World Trade Center." — Gingrich.

_"Just a block or two away from 9/11." — Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, another 2012 GOP presidential prospect.

THE FACTS:

No mosque is going up at ground zero. The center would be established at 45-51 Park Place, just over two blocks from the northern edge of the sprawling, 16-acre World Trade Center site. Its location is roughly half a dozen normal Lower Manhattan blocks from the site of the North Tower, the nearest of the two destroyed in the attacks.

The center's location, in a former Burlington Coat Factory store, is already used by the cleric for worship, drawing a spillover from the imam's former main place for prayers, the al-Farah mosque. That mosque, at 245 West Broadway, is about a dozen blocks north of the World Trade Center grounds.

Another, the Manhattan Mosque, stands five blocks from the northeast corner of the World Trade Center site.

To be sure, the center's association with 9/11 is intentional and its location is no geographic coincidence. The building was damaged in the Sept. 11 attacks and the center's planners say they want the center to stand as a statement against terrorism.

___

_"There should be no mosque near ground zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia. ... America is experiencing an Islamist cultural-political offensive designed to undermine and destroy our civilization." — Gingrich.

_"This religion's plan is to destroy our way of life. ... If we have to let them build it, make them build it nine stories underground, so we can walk above it as citizens and Christians." — Ron McNeil, a House GOP candidate in the Florida Panhandle, in an exchange reported by The News Herald in Panama City.

THE FACTS:

Such opinions are shared by some Americans, while others are more reluctant to paint the religion with a broad brush and more welcoming of the faith in this country. Bush himself, while criticized at the time for stirring suspicions about American Muslims, traveled to a Washington mosque less than a week after the attacks to declare that terrorism is "not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace."

In any event, the U.S. armed forces field Muslim troops and make accommodations for them. The Pentagon opened an interfaith chapel in November 2002 close to the area where hijacked American Airlines flight 77 slammed into the building, killing 184 people.

Muslims gather there for a daily prayer service Monday through Thursday and hold a weekly worship service on Fridays, drawing no complaints. Similar but separate services are provided for other faiths.
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« Reply #36 on: Aug 19, 2010 01:26 AM »


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« Reply #37 on: Aug 19, 2010 07:52 PM »

VIDEO from inside the Park51 Mosque!!

http://www.time.com/time/video/player/0,32068,590040797001_2011959,00.html
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« Reply #38 on: Aug 19, 2010 09:11 PM »

Awesome. That sister put it really well. The side that is bowing down to the fear-mongering need to discover us on their own and make an effort, with an open mind.

I was talking my khala and khalu (aunt and uncle) last night. My uncle mentioned that you know, we should show Mercy and that if it can diffuse the tension or if some more serious situation arises, that maybe it would be better to move it. I mean, there is that hadith, that if we don't show Mercy to others, Allah will not show Mercy to us. By no means am I saying I don't support the center and of course, the Cordoba group have the right, etc, but we are facing such difficulty as it is, so wouldn't it be better if we put our efforts to improve our relations instead of doing something that is making things worse? I guess I'm torn - I mean I trust Imam Rauf, but what happens when he and his wife Daisy Khan are not longer in charge (this is a point Asra Nomani brought up)? Insha'allah, when the center is completed, it is going to have to be a constant proactive effort to make sure no bad elements (which undeniable there are) enter the picture down the road, whether in our lifetimes or in our children's'.

Just my thoughts, though I'm sure they may change in the short term. Again, just my thoughts at the moment.

Let's see what happens.

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« Reply #39 on: Aug 19, 2010 10:38 PM »

ws,

That argument doesn't make much sense. It's like they're saying "OH the GOOD MOZLIMS are there now but WHAT IF THEY LEAVE?!" What exactly are they saying??? Every Mosque in this country has good people running it. If they leave, there are other good people!! There are extremists everywhere but if you notice NONE have been part of any mainstream Mosque. They are freaks that went off on their own aka unabomber style. What if they came to your mosque and said "well... you're GOOD NOW, but we can't take the chance SHUT DOWN" 10 years from now... "You could become a terrorist ANY MOMENT let's put all those bad mozlims in relegated mozlim sections in this country."

Secondly, NYC Muslims CANNOT give in. There is a much more important issue going on here and that is how this country treats Muslims. Are they the same or not. There are mosques around the country fighting the same battle. This doesn't have anything to do with 9/11, this is about Islam.

This letter echoes my thoughts:
=============================

This isn't about Ground Zero - This is about America


Over the last week we've heard a lot from DFA members around the country asking for action to protect the rights of religious freedom for all Americans and I couldn't agree more.

I don't get upset much. I mean, I get ticked off at Republicans and Democrats (and at really bad customer service!), but that's why I work with you at DFA. Because when we get upset, we don't stew in it and hope it goes away. We do something about it.

The controversy around the building of a Muslim Community Center at 51 Park in New York City should upset all of us. It definitely upsets me. Shortly after the tragedy of the 9/11 attacks, much of this country came together. But there were a number of other, smaller tragedies occurring all over the country as a result of the attacks. People who "looked like terrorists" were victims of harassment, intimidation, and outright violence.

That includes me, and every member of my immediate family in different instances. My response was to protest the coming wars. My family did something different, though. They started going to Mosque. It did more than renew their faith -- it provided a sense of community and safety during a very dark time for us. But for the last nine years, at least, people have been trying to block the construction of mosques all over the country.

Now, let's be clear, the subject of the highest profile Muslim structure, 51 Park in New York City, will have a basketball court and a culinary school. Two floors will have a prayer room. The other eleven will host movie nights, performances, group dinners, etc -- it's basically a Muslim YMCA, open to everyone. These moderate Muslims are doing everything we could ask of them. They're trying to build a bridge in the communities they live in, trying to show the world that Muslims are cool and interesting and diverse, and proving that being a Muslim does not equal being a terrorist.

But they're being thrown under the bus by our elected leaders, egged on by some of the ugliest elements of the right-wing. Well-intentioned leaders of the Democratic Party are getting caught up in the fray as well, some of them seeking to find common ground with an implacable opposition. It's not helping.

This isn't just a Manhattan problem. Right now, there is opposition to mosques in Staten Island, Brooklyn, Southern California, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Illinois, and dozens of other locations across our nation. Where would they move? If public pressure can be brought to bear to take down the most high-profile Muslim community center in liberal NYC, then these other places don't even have a chance, Ground Zero connection or not.

Frankly, this isn't about Ground Zero. This is about America. This is about freedom. This is about people and there seems to be no place that Muslim people can go without being harassed.

The harassment has to stop, and that starts with you and me.

I think most people agree that Muslims have the right to worship. But these efforts to harass Muslims are based in fear, prejudice, and ignorance. Removing a community center doesn't solve these problems. But talking about religious freedom -- really engaging people -- can open people's minds, and blunt the prejudice.

I pledge to do it myself.

I pledge today to stand up for religious freedom right now. We cannot wait another day to defend the rights of all Americans to worship if they want, where they want, and when they want. I will not wait for the conversation to come to me; I will start the conversation now. Please join me in making the pledge to fight for our universal American values of acceptance and respect for religious freedom.

I need you, in your community, to have those challenging conversations with people you know.

Take the pledge right now.

It's time to be pro-active in support of the values that define what we stand for and who we are as Americans. After you take the pledge, please follow up and share the conversations you've had. I think we'll all find them inspiring to share.

-Arshad

Arshad Hasan, Executive Director
Democracy for America
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« Reply #40 on: Aug 20, 2010 07:50 AM »

I guess I'm confused in my head Sis Jannah you're right, that argument doesn't make sense - I mean those chosen to lead a masjid will be those within the community that are trusted members of the community; while I was typing it I wasn't sure really . . I guess I just try to avoid confrontation if at all possible, makes things easy as they can be, but I guess this isn't my place/area to speak - I realize it's outside my grasp to be honest. I really just hope things are resolved and outside of these ignorant people who are protesting it and spewing this hate/fear-mongering, all involved will be able to be respectful, civil and understanding, as I'm sure it's going to be an issue as the center develops and comes into use.

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« Reply #41 on: Aug 20, 2010 11:08 AM »

You know, America has always had so many good things about it. However, there has always been the ugly side; the ways 'untrusted' minorities are treated.

Whether it is the whole 'a good injun is a dead injun' from the early colonization of the native Americans, to the treatment of the Japanese-Americans (internment camps) during World War 2, there has always existed a suspected 'fifth column' to be bashed. Sometimes, the bashing is very violent as well, and people die, lose their liberties and have their properties seized. This is a fact that we have to live with.

See this article at http://civilliberty.about.com/od/immigrantsrights/tp/Xenophobia-in-United-States.htm on About.com for more examples.

The good news is that it usually blows over, and new 'enemies' are discovered ultimately, and the 'suspected minorities' are adopted as 'good guys'. So, this too shall pass (ultimately), however it will remain a big test for our generation, and our children will probably not understand why their parents take pains to be politically correct (when they really should not anymore), and simply not mention certain topics in public.

Just think how many of us feel comfortable discussing the topic of jihad or terrorism with non-Muslim?

I personally don't hold back anymore, but then these are two topics that I have very clear well-thought out opinions on, without taking the easy route of being an apologist or a 'self-hating Muslim' (borrowing a loaded term from our esteemed cousins). I know the real meaning of mujahida, and have a pretty clear definition of what terrorism is, and how strongly attacking civilians is condemned in Islam. However, I also do know about the state having a monopoly on violence (and being required to fulfil the 'peacekeeping' and 'humanitarian intervention aspect' of being a state), and the conditions when qitaal is not only permitted, but an obligation on the individual.

When people conflate criminal violence with jihad (which is a a pretty well defined term is Islam), I don't usually face much difficulty in pointing out the error-in-logic taking place. However, I try and do this gently, without being insulting, and by not making fun or attacking the other person.

Having said that, the only way to defuse this situation is to get to know lots and lots of people; and to let them know that Muslims live in their midst (i.e. don't hide your identity), and that these Muslims (or 'mozlems' as stated by Sister Jannah in the last post) are actually ok people :-)

The community center on Park street is an important component of that. Sure, if a better opportunity arises, and strategically, we can gain more from some sort of quid-pro-quo, we should take it. However, knuckling down in front of the crazier fringe of the baying Republications who froth at the mouth at the mere mention of Muslim in NY (hey, since when was it a crime to be a Muslim in NY?) is just taking it too far. A time comes when you cannot afford to be diplomatic anymore as your silence is a form of consent.

If someone accuses you of being an untrustworthy, terrorist-loving, violent psychopath, and you silently accept it, some of the people in the audience will automatically assume that the allegations are true. You have to deny the allegations AND question to motives and the assumptions of the person making this accusation.

What I would dearly love to see, is one of these crazies crossing the line, and being sued for hate speech, or inciting hate crimes, and being made an example of to let other people know that there are limits to what can be tolerated. After all, perceptions and opinions are one thing; but there are incontrovertible facts on the ground as well.

* The fact is that a YMCA would be a very welcome institution in this neighbourhood, as should be a 'YMCA' equivalent. It provides a healthy outlet for youth energies, increases community social capital, and is an asset to the community map.
* The fact is that being Muslim is perfectly legal, ethical and (in my opinion) a pretty good thing.
* The fact is that 99.99999999999 % of Muslims are wonderful, law-abiding, friendly people, and that most of the ones living in the US are proud and happy to be Americans. Being free to practice your religion as a Muslim is a very American value.
* The fact is that people can have any opinion they want. If they feel that having a masjid two blocks away from the WTC site is an insult to the victims of 9/11, well that's their opinion (and NOT a fact). They are welcome to take it up with their psychiatrists. You cannot ever please everyone (especially without being dishonest). I could as easily believe that Rush Limbaugh is the anti-christ, or that unicorns are a superior environmentally-friendly alternative to automobiles and I would be welcome to take it up with my psychiatrist (if I had one I suppose!).
* The fact is that politicians take any opportunity to 'rise above the noise' and be noticed. So do kids in schools who disrupt class to get attention. Sometimes the tactics employed are not very positive or helpful for the community. That is a fact of life, and we have to live with it. That's why we have debates. Bring it on.
* The fact is that religious freedom is allowed in Islam, and the only way they can actually stop the Park place project is by proving that it violates zoning laws, and also ensuring that they can deal with the challenge of 'there is a church across the street, so why can't you have a mosque here'.
* The fact is that this time next year, this is going to be a non-issue that no one will remember.

I also don't think that this case will impact masjids being built anywhere else in the country.

All politics is local, and a version of this debate will have to run through in every other state and city where a similar scenario exists.


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« Reply #42 on: Aug 20, 2010 09:40 PM »

Quote
* The fact is that people can have any opinion they want. If they feel that having a masjid two blocks away from the WTC site is an insult to the victims of 9/11, well that's their opinion (and NOT a fact). They are welcome to take it up with their psychiatrists. You cannot ever please everyone (especially without being dishonest). I could as easily believe that Rush Limbaugh is the anti-christ, or that unicorns are a superior environmentally-friendly alternative to automobiles and I would be welcome to take it up with my psychiatrist (if I had one I suppose!).

OH MY.. I am laughing out loud at work..lol. Nice to have some comic relief in a hot topic.

WCoastbaba : I am with you. I change position on this matter. I am not against it. I guess I am trying to see both sides. I would just hate to see this blow up and cause more harm than good. There are sick ppl out there and not that we should live our lives to cater to them.. Sigh.. But at the same time Muslims have rights and it seems people to want to take those rights. I see the stares on the bus lately. Hey whatever, atlease no one sits with me and I still pull out my Qu'ran to read it.


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« Reply #43 on: Aug 20, 2010 11:43 PM »

Quote
WCoastbaba : I am with you. I change position on this matter. I am not against it. I guess I am trying to see both sides. I would just hate to see this blow up and cause more harm than good. There are sick ppl out there and not that we should live our lives to cater to them.. Sigh.. But at the same time Muslims have rights and it seems people to want to take those rights. I see the stares on the bus lately. Hey whatever, at least no one sits with me and I still pull out my Qu'ran to read it.

That's kind of you Sis. I completely respect and understand Sis Jannah's view and I do agree with her and of course, the efforts of Imam Rauf. It is clear that those that oppose it are trying to take advantage of the atmosphere and to only increase the fear/hate, not to mention it is an election year. Politics always brings out the worst in people. As supporters have said, especially non-Muslims, that this would be a great thing for America, to show that despite the obvious emotions that are at play here, that America can be the "bigger" person so-to-speak, and let the center be made and the plan go forward. It is just frustrating when the opposite can't happen in majority Muslim countries. Why should they not want a church or synagogue in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan? Let those people pray the way they believe they should - I mean, are they worried about losing their congregation to conversion? It reminds of the use of "Allah" by Malaysian churches - that is a more clear debate I think, but one underlying issue was that maybe less educated Muslims would think that if the Christians were aloud to use it, they could confuse those Muslims, which is understandable. If those mosque leaders educate their people, then they wouldn't have to worry.

While I fully realize that we don't agree with Christian and Jewish beliefs in key areas and thus, we may not want them occurring in a nation. especially like Saudi Arabia, where our Prophet walked (as opposed to Pakistan, where he didn't and where they bomb churches from time to time), as long as they are not threatening the practice of Islam in those nations - it's all good. I've been reading The Sealed Nectar and finally got to understand how Rasul'Allah (SAW) dealt with the Jews of Madinah; he let them be, but when they broke their agreements with the Prophet were actively trying to rid Madinah of being a stronghold and center for Islam in those early years, he then dealt with them swiftly and made them leave their nearby settlements.

Again, I probably have strayed into territory where I can't defend my opinions, but this is what came to mind as I started typing. Debating is not my strong point, lol, so that is why I just stick with science! But after seeing some posts, I just wanted to contribute in some way to the discussion, seeing that it is in the center of attention in this country - I think it is a great, important and interesting time in history to be Muslim, especially in America.


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« Reply #44 on: Aug 22, 2010 08:03 PM »

Check out this story at The New York Daily News:

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/08/22/2010-08-22_antiground_zero_mosque_protestors_descend_on_downtown_park51_site.html

And then look at the survey!  72 percent say that the protesting is just bigotry!  Fox news would have you believe that everyone is against the "ground zero mosque"!
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« Reply #45 on: Aug 22, 2010 11:38 PM »

This is interesting. The hypocracy and all.... check the wall.

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=119799531403437&ref=notif&notif_t=group_name_change

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #46 on: Aug 28, 2010 10:30 PM »

We the people...
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« Reply #47 on: Aug 28, 2010 10:31 PM »

2010:"You can build the mosque, just not THERE." 1955: "You can sit on the bus, just not THERE."

http://www.park51.org/
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« Reply #48 on: Sep 01, 2010 06:44 AM »

At Park51, Praying for an End to the “Ground Zero Mosque” Hatred
by Hena Ashraf

I attend Park51 regularly. The space is so inconspicuous that, when I first went there, I mistakenly walked right past it. Not until I saw building number 53 did I realize I had passed lower Manhattan’s infamous Islamic center. When I entered and joined the congregation, on the third day of Ramadan this year, I felt bewildered to be in a place that much of the country is debating about.

Soon after the call to prayer, those surreal feelings washed away, thankfully, as I focused on my prayers and felt at peace. The tranquility did not last, however. After 11 p.m., once the congregation was done with the nightly Ramadan prayers, we received an announcement that broadcast news trucks were waiting outside. It was a rude awakening. After all, Park51 is (currently) just a house of worship. It is like so many other mosques in the city—just a humble, bare space, with carpets. This is what so many people are arguing about, I thought? This is what the media is focused so relentlessly upon? Why is this mosque receiving so much attention, when there are already hundreds like it in America?

But I already knew the answers: Because some rightwing pundits and politicians have pushed forth the very fear-inspired hate that they have attributed to this house of worship, and to Muslims everywhere. Worse, some of their followers are willing to act violently based upon that hate.

After that first night at Park51, I continued to attend the evening Ramadan prayers, called tarawih. For the next few nights, news photographers and cameramen were a constant presence, persistently taking pictures of our quiet prayers, from angles all around the room. Each time I have seen press inside, it has seemed ludicrous. Around the globe, Muslims stand in formation, recite verses from the Quran and prostrate. Somehow, at Park51, that is breaking news.

Nevertheless, I quite enjoy the community vibe at Park51; it feels as if all of the stress and negative attention has drawn people together more tightly. The congregation is young and diverse. After my first night of tarawih there, many of us trekked up to Greenwich Village’s Christopher Street to eat. Again, I was struck by the absurdity of the country’s obsession with our community. After all, there we were eating dessert on the streets of New York, happily jostled together with the Village’s mishmash of people—just like any other New Yorkers. Except we had hate groups such as Stop the Islamization of America treating all Muslims as one monolithic, backward group and tarring Park51 as a breeding ground for terrorists.

I suspect this Ramadan felt as strange for Muslims around the country as it did for me— especially those of us in New York City. It feels as if the oppressive scrutiny we have faced since 9/11 has intensified as never before. Throughout this month, especially during Ramadan, I have had numerous conversations with fellow Muslims about the controversy, and have read countless articles and opinion pieces about Park51. It’s inescapable. And it has made me feel more rejected, frustrated and sad than perhaps any time since September 2001, to see such disdain against Muslims.

Perhaps this is because my own local community is being targeted and because, as a woman who wears hijab, I have experienced firsthand so much anti-Muslim hatred in New York this summer. Local elected officials from the mayor to the Manhattan borough president have stood up and declared that Muslims have the right to religious freedom. But it’s maddening that such an argument even needs to be made.

I point my finger of blame firmly at the corporate, mass media. I remember in early May when I first heard about the Park51 development, then called the Cordoba House. I felt excited and told others about it. How wonderful it would be to have a mosque inside a broader community center for not only lower Manhattan’s Muslims but also for the local residents and surrounding communities. But then, a few weeks later, the media began to echo the racist and xenophobic cry of the fringe, adopting the language of people such as Pamela Geller and naming the institution the “Ground Zero mosque.”

I believe however, that the ignition point for the hysteria was the Anti-Defamation League’s statement of its position on our right to worship. The group acknowledged that bigotry against Muslims is wrong, but stated that the planned center would cause the families of 9/11 victims “more pain.” Such a statement is itself bigoted against the Muslim community, since it shoves collective guilt onto all Muslims for the September 11 attacks.

The 24-hour news cycle went into its frenzied state—and it hasn’t stopped yet. Cable news networks have given far-right groups and politicians a platform to toss repeated slurs and lies about Park51, turning the entire “debate” into a few intolerant soundbites and furthering the liars’ intent to turn more of the public against Muslims. On and on they went about the “Ground Zero mosque”—all while ignoring the massive humanitarian crisis taking place in Pakistan.

Predictably, the backlash against Park51 spread to other parts of the country, with mosques in numerous states facing protests and hate speech, such as a protester outside of a mosque in Bridgeport, Conn., shouting “Murderers!” to small Muslim children. Last week in New York, Ahmed Sharif, a Bangladeshi taxi driver and father of four, was stabbed multiple times by a 21-year-old police say struck out of hate. It should be noted that as a taxi driver, Sharif is already a member of one of the most marginalized groups in New York City. When I heard about the stabbing, I thought, this is how it starts (again). It starts by attacking the most vulnerable.

The very next night, a man entered a mosque in Queens and urinated, while shouting slurs such as “Terrorists!” during tarawih. Over the weekend, the new site of a mosque in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, was attacked by arson. Who is it, exactly, in America today that is intolerant against others? It is not Muslims; it is those who do not want us and our institutions present. That is the hate we should all counter, whether it be near Ground Zero or anywhere else.

The developers behind the Park51 project have the right to build the center they envision. The demagogue politicians and hate groups, and the media that give them microphones, cannot stop the project from going forward. Muslims have been present in lower Manhattan for several decades. And for many months now, Muslims have been going to a building numbered 45-51 on Park Place. We will continue to go, despite all the hatred and racism. I will continue to go, and I will continue to pray that the discrimination will end soon.
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« Reply #49 on: Sep 09, 2010 10:36 AM »

A fight for the soul of America

To accept compromise on the construction of an Islamic centre in lower Manhattan would be to accept defeat of the American way of life and the triumph of bigotry

By Ramesh Thakur, The Ottawa Citizen August 30, 2010

The wholly manufactured controversy over the so-called "Ground Zero mosque" is almost a perfect illustration of William Butler Yeats' lament that the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

Reasons for the opposition include sacrilege being committed by locating a mosque on the hallowed ground where 3,000 Americans lost their lives in the terrorist attacks of 9/11; the raw anger that still rages in the hearts of Americans against the jihadists who carried out the attacks in the name of Islam; the alleged disrespect being hurled at Americans by radical and jihadist imams preparing to do a provocative victory dance at Ground Zero; and the need to respect the wishes of the relatives of the victims who died that day.

To begin with, the words at the centre of the controversy are inaccurate and misleading. Park51, as the project is officially called, is two blocks away from where the World Trade Center towers stood without even a clear line of sight to Ground Zero. The "hallowed ground" is in fact the premises of the Burlington Coat Factory that shut down and closed shop some time ago. And there are strip clubs within the two-block radius of the real Ground Zero.

Second, Park51 is not a mosque but an Islamic cultural centre that will include a fitness centre, swimming pool, basketball court, food court, performing arts centre, and a bookstore, as well as a prayer room. The board that approved the project, not the least because they were impressed by the plans to emphasize the tenets of mainstream, moderate Islam that emphatically rejects the jihadist narrative, is made up mainly of Christians and Jews. It will be a place for community celebration of the pluralism of the United States, a powerful symbol of religious freedom guaranteed by the Constitution.

Third, the head of the project is a poster imam for the anti-radical, anti-terrorist campaign for the hearts, minds and soul of Muslims. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf has been sent on numerous overseas speaking tours by the State Department, under both the Bush and Obama administrations, to preach new-age style peace, dialogue and coexistence. He has participated in events with former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice. He gave a moving eulogy at a Manhattan synagogue for Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter murdered by Islamic terrorists in Pakistan.

Finally, Imam Feisal is one of the leading public intellectuals of Sufism. Americans and Westerners would not confuse and conflate the different denominations of Christianity and brand all Protestants as actual or potential terrorists based on the acts of terrorism committed by a Catholic fringe in Northern Ireland or Orthodox Serbs in the Balkans. But they fall easily into the trap of viewing all Muslims as one frightening monolithic monster out to conquer or destroy everyone else.

Sufism, preaching love and reconciliation as part of the homage to God, is the most pluralistic, tolerant and mystical incarnation of Islam. Because it is antithetical to Wahabism, its adherents have been attacked by terrorists in Pakistan. The Data Darbar in Lahore, where 45 people were killed and another 175 wounded in a double suicide attack this July, is the largest Sufi shrine in Pakistan's second-largest city. Sufis should be the ideal partners and natural allies in exorcising Islamist extremism.

The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, and other parts of News Corp. -- the extensive Rupert Murdoch media empire -- have been at the forefront of stoking Islamophobia. An editorial in the Wall Street Journal made use of unspecified reports that the project was being funded by Saudi charities or Gulf princes who also fund Wahabi madrassas (Islamic religious schools). It turns out that the second-largest shareholder of News Corp. is a member of the Saudi royal family. So, by the twisted logic of guilt by association, since the rise of Islamophobia in the West fuels the rise of jihadist sentiment among any Muslims, would it be fair to conclude that the Saudi-bankrolled News Corp. is an unwitting tool in the hands of Islamic radicals and terrorists or an effective recruiting sergeant for Osama bin Laden?

As Frank Rich argued in the New York Times, another cost of the controversy is that it undermines the difficult U.S. effort to counter the Islamists' narrative that Washington is at war with Islam. The right-wing politicians and commentariat, he argued, are fatally compromising the efforts of their beloved Gen. David Petraeus to reverse the tide of defeat in Afghanistan. "How do you win Muslim hearts and minds in Kandahar when you are calling Muslims every filthy name in the book in New York," he asked?

Of course the 9/11 terrorists were Muslims who attacked in the name of Islam. But should extremists in a minority be allowed to hijack and defile a whole religion? Did not the innocent victims and the heroic rescuers of 9/11 reflect America in all its glorious diversity, including Muslims among both groups? The jihadists might well interpret the construction of the cultural centre as a twisted victory over a morally enfeebled America no longer capable of defending its faith, principles and freedoms. Granted also that Saudi Arabia forbids the construction of religious monuments of other faiths. This is no reason for the greatness and genius of America that so many of us outsiders admire to stoop to setting its moral compass by the ethical and philosophical standards of terrorists and fundamentalists.

The controversy is a fight over the soul of America itself. To accept compromise would be to accept defeat of the American way of life and the triumph of bigotry, Islamophobia and fear-mongering.

The controversy calls for leadership from the White House that has been sadly missing. Having issued what appeared to be a firm defence of the right of American Muslims to practise their faith and build houses of worship on private property in lower Manhattan according to the laws of the land and bylaws of the city, just like any other religious group in the country, President Barack Obama backtracked the very next day in what has become a distressingly familiar fence-sitting trait.

He thereby fluffed a wonderful opportunity to counter the Republican Party's pandering to the worst fears and prejudices by summoning Americans' better angels.

Ramesh Thakur, a non-practising Hindu, is a professor of political science at the University of Waterloo and adjunct professor at the Institute of Ethics, Governance and Law at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia.

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen


Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/fight+soul+America/3458907/story.html#ixzz0z1W4vtuL

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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