What do you think of a Mosque at Ground Zero?

September 28, 2010
By

I posted this at my blog, but wanted to see reactions here at MM.  Over the past few weeks, I have driven by a billboard titled “Remember 9/11″ with an image of the collapsed World Trade Center.  In smaller print on the right, it said “Stand up and be heard.  No mosque at ground zero.”  You can see the sign on a video at this website.

A few weeks ago on KSL, Carole Mikita interviewed a Muslim leader here in Utah.  She asked him what he thought of this idea to build a mosque near Ground Zero.  He said he thought it was a terrible idea.  He said they can build a mosque in many places, and thought it was quite insensitive for these Muslims to incite a controversy there.

As a Mormon, we have had plenty of problems with protests about churches or temples being built.  The Boston Temple was prohibited from building a steeple for quite some time because the steeple was considered too tall.  (It was eventually constructed, but the church was forced to reduce the size of the steeple.)  Many groups have protested the buildings of new temples for a variety of reasons.  My sister lives in Colorado, and 2 Mormon churches sit side by side because the owner of a subdivision refused to allow any churches to be zoned in a particularly large subdivision.  (As I recall, the owner was either a tobacco or alcohol owner that wanted to make sure no Mormon churches were built in the subdivision–so he excluded all churches.  How is this legal?)

I appreciate this Muslim leader’s pragmatism.  I too wonder why Muslims in New York aren’t more sensitive to the issue.  On the other hand, I don’t understand how any Mormon can support a ban on religious construction, given that we have had so many problems with constructing churches or temples.  As a matter of principle, I can’t see how it is constitutional to support a ban on a Muslim mosque anywhere.  What are your thoughts?

80 Responses to What do you think of a Mosque at Ground Zero?

  1. Dan
    September 28, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    same as before. Unchanged and constant. Freedom of religion trumps unfounded fear. Rights of private property trump unfounded fear. Freedom of religion is meant for all religions, not just Christianity.

  2. Doug
    September 28, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Too many folks buying into Michael Savage’s anti-Muslim rhetoric. Guilt by assocation is a dangerous concept. Can be and has been used against LDS in the past.
    I’ve no paticulary affinity towards Islam but respect religious freedom. Supposedly the site for the proposed mosque is not actually AT “Ground Zero”, but about 300 yards distant.
    And HOW much of a “buffer” would be considered “sensitive”?
    As a Libertarian I’m ardently opposed to restrictions on the use of private property for what purposes the owner sees fit, especially because some folks elect to be “offended”.
    If it’s THAT important that a mosque not be erected that close to Ground Zero, BUY THEM OUT.

  3. Will
    September 28, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Absolutely they have the right to freedom of speech; freedom of religion; and, fee simple ownership of the land along with the corresponding CC&R’s, if any. We also have the right to say hell no. Fee simple ownership is limited by the government restrictions of escheat, eminent domain, taxation and police powers. These police powers and CC&R’s allow public and private entities to restrict certain developments they deem objectionable. Although I am a fierce advocate of the Government staying out of private developers business, in this instance I think they need to step in and stop this mosque. It is offensive. They are only doing it as an in your face gesture. The leftists in this country who are typically the first to bash religion are the only ones in their defense. This should be reason enough to stop the mosque.

  4. Dan
    September 28, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Will,

    It is offensive

    Why is it offensive?

    They are only doing it as an in your face gesture

    Can you please show evidence of this.

    The leftists in this country who are typically the first to bash religion are the only ones in their defense. This should be reason enough to stop the mosque.

    ah, the REAL reason why. Stop the mosque because leftists are defending it. Sounds so…Constitutional…

  5. Dave P.
    September 28, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    To anyone who wants to cry “Be sensitive!” over the issue, I’d just like to ask how many people have ever had a problem with the US building military bases on cities and countries where we’ve killed many more people than died on 9/11? If you support any of those in any way while thinking the “mosque” (which it is NOT) should not be built, you are a filthy hypocrite.

  6. Dan
    September 28, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    There is a statute called the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act that was sponsored by Sens. Hatch and Kennedy. It passed the Senate 96-0 (it’s good to know that people still believe in the 1st amendment). It is a very powerful tool for churches.

    It is against the law to prohibit a church because people don’t like it. Any nonlawyer should be able to understand that if they have read the 1st amendment.

    @Will “It is offensive.” What they are actually building is a community center and not a mosque. There already is a mosque near ground zero. Do you suggest we bulldoze any muslim affiliated establishment near ground zero? Or just prohibit any new construction?

  7. Justin Tungate
    September 28, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    It’s pretty clear that the “mosque” at “Ground Zero” has been subject to all kinds of misrepresentation, since it’s neither a mosque nor at Ground Zero. I’m appalled by the actions of religious and political leaders who have blatantly manipulated the facts to garner support (aka get votes). This is such a clear case of discrimination that it very literally makes me ill.

    How can any member of the LDS church be opposed to the Cordoba House when they purport to believe that men should be allowed to “worship how, WHERE, or what they may”?

  8. Ralph
    September 28, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Jesus taught to love our enemies. As LDS we believe that we worship the Almighty God and allow others to do the same how, WHERE, and what they may.

    Given that fact that the perpetrators of 9/11 were extremists for their religion and the normal affiliates condemn what they did, I see nothing wrong with it myself.

  9. Benjamin Orchard
    September 28, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    This is, without any personal doubt, the most asinine argument/debate that I’ve heard in a LONG time–and I spend quite a bit of time on certain internet fora reading some of the dumbest debates/arguments known to man.

    Simply put, I cannot find any respect for anyone who feels that this should be stopped. Those who are protesting this are EXACTLY in the same spirit as those who protest the building of an LDS temple in any particular location; it is, bluntly put, religious bigotry, and I DO NOT support that.

    To anyone who wants to jump in and say it shouldn’t be built, you need to spend some SERIOUS time thinking about how you would feel if a town in Texas got slated for an LDS temple or meetinghouse, but got rejected because some FLDS folks had convinced a young local girl to marry into a polygamist situation against her parents will (I AM NOT saying that this is something the FLDS church would do…I am just asking you do exercise your mind). Would you be upset by this? Would you try to point out to them the difference between the FLDS church and the LDS church?

    For those that read this that may not be LDS–how would you feel if YOUR Christian denomination was barred from building a meeting house in Waco TX because of the actions of the branch Davidians had soured the local populace to Christianity? Wouldn’t seem fair, now would it?

    For any atheists–there are a LOT of people who are murderers that also happen to be atheist. Let us suppose that an athiest bombed a religious site, and then another athiest–trying to prove that not all atheists are like that, decides to dedicate a building nearby to higher education. How would you feel if non-atheists then barred that move because it was ‘disrespectful’?

    Personally I see all these hypothetical situations as pretty much identical–they show religious intolerance and bigotry AND THEN compound that by saying all of Islam is the same-stereotyping in the worst possible way.

    People, get out of your shell, go meet, talk to and get to know a follower of Islam. Learn to understand that the talk show hosts are there to make money, NOT create peace. Become a peacemaker, and try to present an example of what is good and right to the world.

    For the record: I am conservative/libertarian, NOT liberal. I am NOT a democrat. This should have been a rubber-stamp approval as long as the building is meeting all appropriate codes & laws. The fact that it has become such an item in the news tells me that this country STILL has a VERY VERY long way to go before we are TRULY the land of the Free….

  10. Will
    September 28, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Doug,

    Donald Trump tried to by them out for almost twice (according to Donald Trump in an interview) what they paid and the turned it down. Again, they are just doing this as an in your face gesture. Again, I am for private property rights, but think in this case we need to encourage New York City to exercise their police powers via zoning enforcement and stop this provocation.

    Dan,

    No, not just to stop the leftists; it is just that leftists are on the wrong side of almost every issue. They are useful to the extent they are good barometer on what not to do.

  11. Dan
    September 28, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Will,

    Again, they are just doing this as an in your face gesture.

    Where is your evidence?

    No, not just to stop the leftists; it is just that leftists are on the wrong side of almost every issue. They are useful to the extent they are good barometer on what not to do.

    That’s a really lame look on life. I hope you don’t actually go about making decisions like this.

  12. Dan
    September 28, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    I am a different Dan than the poster.

    @Will – You’re basing you argument on what Donald Trump says to the public? Not good.

  13. Will
    September 28, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    Dan (without the hyperlink)

    Who said I was basing my argument on what Donald Trump said. I was responding to Doug’s comment about purchasing the land and in effect saying Donald Trump tried to purchase, but (according to Donald Trump) they refused his offer.

  14. Dan
    September 28, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    Note that Will makes a baseless charge and when called on it, refuses to provide evidence.

  15. Will
    September 28, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    Dan,

    I will stick to this post, but could go on forever on the failed leftist policies — Russia, China (before it adopted free market principles), Cuba, North Korea just to cite a few examples; but, back to the post.

    According to Time (a leftist source) 61 percent of Americans oppose building a Mosque at that location. http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2011799,00.html. Note that over 70 percent find this an insult to the victims of 9/11. Those involved must know, as such polls are publicized everywhere, this is the sentiment of most Americans. If they know and move forward anyway, then it is at best poor judgment and it my opinion an in your face gesture.

    Back to my argument, New York City has the authority to stop this and other objectionable developments. They should listen to the people on this issue.

  16. Thomas
    September 28, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    ‘Bout the same as I’d think of a temple at Mountain Meadows.

    I can’t inspire myself to get too worked up about the mosque/community center, and freedom of religion is a real concern. However, two thoughts:

    The insistence on this spot — and only this spot — raises a reasonable inference that there are more considerations at play here than simply “religious group wants to build religious facility.” I don’t think the Park51 project is (as some of the more heated savage types would have it) an in-your-face triumphalist gesture, like turning the Hagia Sophia into a mosque after conquering Constantinople. Rather, I see the project as part of an overall effort to insist that Americans pretend that 9/11 had nothing to do with “Islam” whatsoever — that the attacks were simply the work of 20 or so super-fanatics, whose thinking and formative influences are completely foreign to virtually all other Muslims.

    Which really isn’t true. There’s a major internal struggle in Islam right now, similar to the internal struggles Christendom had in the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the postmodern era. The battle lines between the fundamentalists and the freer thinkers are more or less the same. I’m a little less optimistic about the Muslim progressives’ long-term prospects, for two reasons. First, the mixture of religion and politics in Islam is much more canonical than it was in Christianity — and look how bad Christianity got, with nothing more to work with than Augustine’s silly gloss on “compel them to come in.” (Luke 14:23.) The whole notion of sharia, and the very common Muslim thinking that it is the only proper law to govern Muslims, is a sure-fire recipe for conflict in an interconnected, pluralist world, where the various tribes haven’t the sense not to mingle with each other.

    I hope the open-minded, sharia-ignoring, beer-drinking, Episcopalian-style Islam of many American Muslims (typical of the Muslims I’ve known personally) is what wins out. But I don’t see how that object is furthered by classing true moderates alongside immoderates, granting the immoderates more respectability than they deserve. Since Islam is a “minority” religion in the West, there’s a tendency for it to get shielded from the kind of rigorous skepticism that got fundamentalist Christianity beaten in the culture war. (In the sense that it’s no longer the central animating philosophy behind what used to be called “Christendom”). If a non-Muslim critique of arguably criticism-worthy aspects of or factions within Islam is automatically called “racist” or “bigoted,” won’t that tend to disadvantage a Muslim making the same points?

    And that leads to my second thought: Although there are some bigoted reactions against the Park51 project, that doesn’t make all opposition to it bigoted (hi, Benjamin @9!), any more than all criticism of Israeli policy is anti-Semitic. (Just most of it, as it happens, but that’s OT.) In American politics, there is a gleeful knee-jerk rush by people aligned with a certain faction to brand its opponents as bigots at every opportunity. It’s a card that’s traditionally worked well for them, and so they don’t hesitate to play it. The card, though, may be getting close to overdrawn.

  17. Thomas
    September 28, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    I should add that New York City authorities have no business *legally* interfering with the building of the mosque, or any church, or indeed taking anything into consideration other than whether the building has the right number of parking spaces & such. Religious freedom and the rule of law compel it: There’s no law that says mosques can’t be built on that spot, and there shouldn’t and couldn’t be under the Constitution. The point is that sometimes things that are wrong, must be legal. But that doesn’t stop a construction firm from refusing to work on the project, or a citizen from protesting it.

  18. Imperfection
    September 28, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    This is a purely manufactured controversy for political purposes. Move on people. Nobody was offended until Fox News told you to be offended.

  19. Thomas
    September 28, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    “Shut up,” Imperfection explained.

  20. Justin Tungate
    September 28, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Thomas, Islam had very little to do with 9/11. The people who perpetuated the crime were Muslim, but that’s about the only connection. Perhaps if we didn’t try to manipulate the people of the middle east and treat them as pawns in our little chess game with the Soviet Union then we wouldn’t have an anti-american/anti-western movement that had so much traction in the middle east. The simple truth is that Americans have been garnering hatred in the middle east for years and have done nothing to assuage that resentment expect continue to invade countries and set up governments. So you can claim that Islam is in a crisis of faith and that Islam the religion perpetuates extremism and violence, but your argument falls quite short of the truth.

  21. September 28, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    Absolutely they have the right to freedom of speech; freedom of religion; and, fee simple ownership of the land along with the corresponding CC&R’s, if any. Which is where the question should end. I mean, come on. Strip clubs are ok in the area? The other mosque is ok in the area?

    I don’t see any way around the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, personally. I don’t think there should be either.

  22. Aaron L
    September 28, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    What really leaves a bad taste in my mouth is that the moderate Muslims out there haven’t come out in opposition to this project. As Thomas (#16) stated, to me it is akin to the LDS church building a temple at the Mountain Meadows. If that day ever came, I would be ashamed to be a latter-say-saint and would most certainly voice my opposition. Even if it was only a cultural hall or a visitors center and it was only near the actual site, it would just be extremely bad taste, dishonorable to all those who perished there, and a smack in the face to all of their families and descendants.

    I may be wrong here, but it seems that to me that the moderate Muslim community has made efforts to distance themselves from the radicals who committed the atrocity of 9/11. If that is their aim, they must do things to extend an olive branch to other Americans. Sorry, but this isn’t how to do it. Whether they like it or not, people associate mainstream Islam with what happened, no matter how tenuous the connection to radical Islam may actually be. This sort of insensitive BS is not going to endear anyone to them or their cause. Human nature will cause people to see them as guilty by association, pure and simple.

    I for one would have great respect for anybody in the community of Islam who had the scruples to voluntarily offer apologies and make efforts to change the site to a different location. That is the sort of action that must happen for healing to occur between moderate Islam and the rest of our country.

  23. Will
    September 28, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Thomas,

    I rarely find myself in disagreement with you, but I think New York City could stop this; perhaps, not under the zoning ordinance, but clearly under eminent domain. A refuge from the storm of tensions is clearly in the public good; as much as a highway or government building. Of course, as long just compensation is considered.

  24. Will
    September 28, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    Stephen,

    70 percent of Amercians find it offensive. That is where it should end. I would rather see a strip club in it’s place.

  25. Dan
    September 28, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    Will,

    #15,

    I will stick to this post, but could go on forever on the failed leftist policies — Russia, China (before it adopted free market principles), Cuba, North Korea just to cite a few examples; but, back to the post.

    What the hell does that have to do with anything related even remotely with the topic at hand? Do you think anyone here cares whether you hate liberals or not?

    According to Time (a leftist source) 61 percent of Americans oppose building a Mosque at that location.

    So what? Mob rule trumps Constitutional rights?

    Note that over 70 percent find this an insult to the victims of 9/11.

    Yeah, after Fox News shoved bile down their throats. As we see quite painfully it doesn’t take much to turn reasonable Americans into fearful bigots.

    . Those involved must know, as such polls are publicized everywhere, this is the sentiment of most Americans.

    As you can see in the link I provided you, when the proponents of this cultural center first publicized their desire to create this place, they were met with warm words. How the hell could they know Americans could so easily be led to such an extreme position in a matter of just a few months? Your point is utterly ridiculous, Will.

    If they know and move forward anyway, then it is at best poor judgment and it my opinion an in your face gesture.

    You have failed to show how this was an “in your face gesture.” Imam Rauf and his co-creators first publicized their vision last year, and were met with praise from even the likes of Laura Ingraham (who now has read her Republican talking points to be against the mosque). He was under the assumption that it would go well in the community. Particularly since the Muslims who would go to this cultural center have lived in lower Manhattan for nearly 3 decades. They didn’t move into lower Manhattan after 9/11, plant themselves right next to ground zero in order to proclaim victory over the infidel Christians. There happens to also be a mosque just four blocks away from ground zero. Maybe we should raze that one too…

    Stop the bigotry dude.

  26. Thomas
    September 28, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    “Perhaps if we didn’t try to manipulate the people of the middle east and treat them as pawns in our little chess game with the Soviet Union then we wouldn’t have an anti-american/anti-western movement that had so much traction in the middle east.”

    Except that (if you’re into the Howard Zinn/Noam Chomsky narrative) the U.S. of Amerikkka has been manipulating the people and/or penguins of all seven continents since time immemorial…and yet only the Middle East produces the particular brand of explodey hatred that we’re dealing with now. What is it about the place that makes it unlike all the other pawns? It’s either “hummus” or “Islam.”

    Samuel Huntington, author of The Clash of Civilizations? wrote, starkly, “Islam has bloody borders.” And not just the borders where Islamic civilization butts up against the Yankee imperialists. All of them, just about. As much as progressives may like believing that Islamicists are just worked up about the same things they themselves are angry about, it’s a piddle-poor fit for the evidence.

    In the hands of a decent person, Islam is just as capable as Mormonism of being an instrument of humanity, enlightenment and good will. If it has a weakness, it’s that it’s perhaps a bit less idiot-proof. Unfortunately, there are enough idiots around, and in the modern age they have enough leverage to do harm, that all things being equal, a religion’s quotient of idiot-proofing may wind up being the defining measure of its goodness.

    In an earlier thread, there was a reference to “God is not an English country gentleman.” Religion does have a tendency to take on influences from its more successful practitioners and purveyors. And so Christianity got influenced by Greco-Roman classical civilization (“the philosophies of Plato and Aristotle, mingled with scripture”), and later, by globe-trotting, wave-ruling British and then American evangelicals. Islam came of age, and came to power, when its main influence was the pastoral tribal honor culture of the Near East. Tribal cultures have their virtues (traditionally recorded as honesty, courage, and hospitality), but they may not be a great fit for a modern world that values — needs — a balancing dose of compromise, tolerance, and female equality.

    Christianity outlived, and in some ways has transcended, many of the cultural influences that acted upon it at varies stages through history. Islam may yet do the same thing.

    people who perpetuated the crime were Muslim, but that’s about the only connection.

    One hears this a lot, as if we were dealing with some nominally Muslim guys who just happened to turn to the dark side over totally unrelated issues — as opposed to true believers, adherents of a substantial faction of Islam whose interpretation of the Koran and hadiths is arguably more reasonable than that of the squishy beer-drinking American Muslims, who took the logic of sharia and jihad just one step further than millions of other people.

  27. Dan
    September 28, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Hey Thomas,

    Remember the words of your prophet:

    This is not a matter of Christian against Muslim. I am pleased that food is being dropped to the hungry people of a targeted nation. We value our Muslim neighbors across the world and hope that those who live by the tenets of their faith will not suffer. I ask particularly that our own people do not become a party in any way to the persecution of the innocent. Rather, let us be friendly and helpful, protective and supportive. It is the terrorist organizations that must be ferreted out and brought down.

  28. Thomas
    September 28, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    So Dan, what’s your point?

    “This is not a matter of Christian against Muslim.”

    No — it’s a matter of reasonable people vs. tribalists. The latter category is unfortunately still heavily represented among the latter religious group.

    “We value our Muslim neighbors across the world and hope that those who live by the tenets of their faith will not suffer.”

    OK with the first half; second half is “speaking as a man.” To the extent a person holds a good-faith belief in a “tenet of his faith” that says he’s supposed to kill apostates and blasphemers, I hope he suffers sufficiently to turn him from his evil ways.

    I ask particularly that our own people do not become a party in any way to the persecution of the innocent.

    No problem here. Though you seem to have a definition of “persecution” that includes “critique.” I don’t.

    Rather, let us be friendly and helpful, protective and supportive

    Let the record reflect I am also in favor of sunshine, puppies, and pie.

    It is the terrorist organizations that must be ferreted out and brought down.

    Well, yes. Cry, Havoc!, and let slip the ferrets of war, on terrorist organizations. As for the non-terrorist-but-still-nasty-piece-of-Islamicist-work fundamentalists, the Prophet hath spoken that ferrets and down-bringing are off limits. Didn’t say anything about reasoned objection.

  29. Will
    September 28, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    Gosh, Dan, you’re right. I was so much in favor of building an Islamic center near ground zero until that darn Fox News convinced me otherwise. I guess I’m (along with 70 percent of the population) just a dumb, gullible bigot who can’t think for myself.
    I suppose if the IDF rolled into Ramallah and torn down several structures and then built a victory synagogue 300 yards away, Rachael Maddow and Keith Olbermann would be singing their praises.

  30. Thomas
    September 28, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    #23: “but I think New York City could stop this; perhaps, not under the zoning ordinance, but clearly under eminent domain.”

    Out of the frying pan, into the fire. I’m not a great fan of creative uses of eminent domain. If, at the end of the process, there isn’t a road or an airport where the condemned property used to be, I tend to think “public use” is being stretched beyond its appropriate meaning.

  31. Thomas
    September 28, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    “I guess I’m (along with 70 percent of the population) just a dumb, gullible bigot who can’t think for myself.”

    One of the least attractive aspects of the conventional Liberal Mind, which isn’t remotely as thoughtful, informed, skeptical, or nuanced as it likes to think it is.

    Reminds me of the time the silly comparative Con Law prof went on and on about Charles Beard’s economic interpretation of the Constitution, as if it hadn’t been discredited for more ‘n half a century. Such is the power of the Enlightened Narrative: You never have to bother checking your premises.

  32. Justin Tungate
    September 28, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    Thomas, you are obviously not a student of arab history or other colonial outposts. To claim that only people in the middle east have been opposed to being “conquered” and subjected to the rules and governments of other nations in a bloody fashion is ignorant and, at best, very naive. I suggest you do a little research.

    Islam (and the Middle East in general) has been moderate and peaceful for a long time. Those bloody borders were largely created with the help of outside interests.

    In your own words, “Islam is just as capable as Mormonism of being an instrument of humanity, enlightenment and good will”. 9/11 wasn’t a product of Islam, it was a product of culture, and if a violent culture has arisen in the arab world then we are very much to blame.

  33. Dan
    September 28, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    My point is, Thomas, that you lay blame to all of Islam what should not be. That Muslims around the world share more affinity with their Muslim neighbors should be no surprise. That some may share a sentiment that the United States deserved 9/11 should also not be a surprise. Their perception of American policies in the Middle East (whether accurate or not is irrelevant) leads them to not feel that badly when innocent Americans die at the hands of Muslim attackers. I can empathize with that, as repulsive as the 9/11 attacks were. You can empathize with that also. If Mormons around the world were constantly harassed, oppressed, and even murdered by a particular group of people, you wouldn’t feel all that strong urge to condemn an apostate Mormon group hitting your oppressor where it hurts them. You would eventually, simply to cover yourself from being called a terrorist sympathizer, denounce such an attack for its depravity. And of course right now, your position will be to deny any possibility that you would ever think this way. And that’s fine. You’re in a safe society and none of your friends or family are being oppressed by anyone. You simply cannot conceive the anger such oppression and repression can build inside someone, enough so that if one of your own were to strike at your perceived enemy, you would betray the slightest smile on your face that your enemy got what they deserved. You demand Muslims adhere to your standards vis a vis how to perceive the world around them, but you say that from a highly advantageous point of view. It sure comes across as if you have no idea what it’s like to feel that oppression, that just might make you hesitate to denounce a terrible attack done by one of your own against he you consider an opponent.

    President Hinckley had it right in 2001 (though he had it terribly wrong two years later). Muslims that adhere to their faith are good people, righteous people who obey God. Muslims that do not adhere to their faith are not good people, and are wicked people who do not obey God.

    Your reasoned objection is not well grounded. Because of course anyone could pull out detrimental scriptures out of the Qur’an, even in context, and make Islam appear to be Satanic. But you know what, I could do the same with the Book of Mormon. Consider an example. A military leader raises his sword to a people and says, “accept my covenant or die.” Sure sounds like how some paint Mohammed (which of course is not accurate). Except this Book of Mormon individual does indeed say it in this way.

    35 And it came to pass that whomsoever of the Amalickiahites that would not enter into a covenant to support the cause of freedom, that they might maintain a free government, he caused to be put to death; and there were but few who denied the covenant of freedom.

    I love the contradiction of that verse. For freedom, you either accept or die. Probably exactly how the Mohammed Christians love to paint would have said it. But this is Captain Moroni. One who is adored by conservative Mormons (for all the wrong reasons, I might add) because he was “hard” on those who opposed the Nephites liberties.

  34. Dan
    September 28, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    Will,

    #29,

    Gosh, Dan, you’re right. I was so much in favor of building an Islamic center near ground zero until that darn Fox News convinced me otherwise. I guess I’m (along with 70 percent of the population) just a dumb, gullible bigot who can’t think for myself.

    Seeing that you probably never heard of this cultural center until Fox News made light of it, yeah, pretty much.

  35. Justin Tungate
    September 28, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    I’m a little tired of the “liberal” bashing. Don’t you guys have anything better to with your lives than think you’re better than everyone else?

  36. Dan
    September 28, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    No Justin, they don’t.

  37. elmexicano
    September 28, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    i was looking to post my own comment but i this is all i got.well…for a reason theres no complaints department in the church and i tought on looking for something on the net,so im glad i found this.i live now in mexico and i found out that after helping and working in the church for years,bishops are hard to give you any help when you ned it..and ehere they al blame president monson..´the president ordered it´i know we have 1 bishop only,but there are times when for life inconviniences,you have to ask for help to more than one.well…it happens that if you go to a bishop and he doesnt help u,then u got to the stake president and here in tijuana mexico,the president chooses´by divine intervention´the bishops who usually are his friends hahaha believe me!! im dead serious,and i ve been trying to report that to utah but theres no plac or phone or office where to do it.u go to a walmart and theres a huge sign that says the manager info but here,its hard to get any of the leaders phone numbers, but when it comes on paying your thinthing..they give you all the info..so i think the church should have an office where memeber can report the bishop jumping his friendship with the president..its just fair and we should able to do it anonymously to avoid any revenge from the bishop or so….and to tel u the truth here in tijuana mexico,the member are less and less averyday that passes by…why is that_mmmmm let me tel you….the bishops treating members like crap?or bishops just getting the members money and when the members need help they say´the church doesnt help lazy people´come on…wake up bishops..this is 2010……and to the members….be careful if you give all your money to the church because if you ever need some help back…the bishop might twist his mouth to you and make feel ashame for it…namaste!!

  38. Thomas
    September 28, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    “You demand Muslims adhere to your standards vis a vis how to perceive the world around them, but you say that from a highly advantageous point of view.”

    I think it’s a pretty low bar to clear, that I ask someone not to rejoice in slaughtering innocent people for political purposes, no matter how nasty I think those people’s government may have been. Millions of decent Muslims — including Muslims in those places which are supposedly so bad that people there deserve a pass on being evil — in fact, don’t react as you suggest it’s only natural to expect them to.

    If I may be permitted just one more instance of liberal bashing, it is precisely this kind of condescension towards bloody near everyone that gets them bashed. You think you’re being charitable to Muslims — the poor dears just can’t help it, you see — but you’re being colossally patronizing.

    A similar left-wing concept is that we can’t fairly judge murderers who had bad childhoods. But of course the vast majority of people who had bad childhoods don’t murder people. It may well be that where little is given, little is expected — but there is always at least something expected.

    My point is, Thomas, that you lay blame to all of Islam what should not be.

    There is a difference between “all of Islam” and “all Muslims.” Islam is an operating system, like Windows. It has its advantages and disadvantages. One disadvantage seems to be that it’s unusually prone to the equivalent of crashes. But that doesn’t mean that every Muslim — everyone who uses that operating system — is defined solely by its weaknesses. In fact, plenty of Muslims may well apply patches to the operating system that eliminate the weakness entirely. Ditto Mormonism and Mormons, by the way.

  39. Justin Tungate
    September 28, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    It turns out, Thomas, that you’re not a student of human nature either.

  40. brjones
    September 28, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Thomas FTW! (as usual)

  41. This Guy
    September 28, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    We’re in a war, and right now we’re not doing terribly well. The enemy makes up for technological and tactical inferiority with a nigh-limitless recruiting base, and converts recruits to killers almost as fast as we can find and neutralize them. Their main argument? That we’re what they are. That we won’t let them live in peace, and that we hate the faith they hold most dear. If we allow our people to so misidentify the enemy and impede our allies among these people, we will prove the enemy correct. How much more victory would there be in showing the people they hope to weaponize that despite the rhetoric of the enemy, there is a place for them in our world?

    In short, build the Ground Zero mosque…or the terrorists have won.

  42. Dan
    September 28, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Thomas,

    If I may be permitted just one more instance of liberal bashing, it is precisely this kind of condescension towards bloody near everyone that gets them bashed. You think you’re being charitable to Muslims — the poor dears just can’t help it, you see — but you’re being colossally patronizing.

    I’m not being condescending or patronizing toward anyone. I’m describing things as they are. Muslims have shown that they can hold their own just fine.

    I think it’s a pretty low bar to clear, that I ask someone not to rejoice in slaughtering innocent people for political purposes, no matter how nasty I think those people’s government may have been.

    I take it you did not rejoice in the firebombing during World War II. Firebombing was specifically targeting innocent people. Or of course the two nuclear bombs dropped on Japan. They were purposefully dropped on civilian targets for a political purpose. I’m sure you denounce such actions. American Christians stink with hypocrisy on the issue of violence toward others. They always give a pass to World War II. “It had to be done.”

    A similar left-wing concept is that we can’t fairly judge murderers who had bad childhoods. But of course the vast majority of people who had bad childhoods don’t murder people. It may well be that where little is given, little is expected — but there is always at least something expected.

    As I don’t believe that, I don’t know who you are talking about. Keep it on topic and stop bashing the straw man you call a liberal.

    There is a difference between “all of Islam” and “all Muslims.”

    You’re engaging in word play here. So as to not be confusing, when I say all of Islam I mean all Muslims. And no, Islam is not like an operating system. Neither is our church. Nor Catholicism, nor Judaism. Operating systems are static entities that have no life. Religions are living things full of vibrancy you will never find in software. Try again.

  43. Dan
    September 28, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    Thomas FTW! (as usual)

    Brjones with nothing of any value to add, as usual.

  44. Thomas
    September 28, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    “I take it you did not rejoice in the firebombing during World War II.”

    What kind of sick puppy would REJOICE in that, even if a necessary evil?

    Would a 9/11 widow be justified in gloating over the slaughter of some random Muslim children? By your logic (i.e., if you perceive yourself as having been wronged by members of another group, you’re justified in cheering the death of members of that group), she would be.

  45. Dan
    September 28, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    Thomas,

    I thought my point was clearly made. Please reread my comment #33. I didn’t say they would rejoice, but that they would have a harder time denouncing such an attack.

    What kind of sick puppy would REJOICE in that, even if a necessary evil?

    Do you really want me to dredge up examples? Because there are. Personally I don’t want to go there any further than my point went. In any case, I side with Justin, that your understanding of Islam is not very well centered on facts, but on a perception skewed by modern events. Ironically, the same as Muslims’ perceptions of Americans skewed by modern events. The Islamic fundamentalist’s best friend is the Christian that spits on Islam.

  46. Dan
    September 28, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    I won’t say anymore here. We will be just going in circles.

  47. Will
    September 28, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    Thomas,

    30

    I didn’t say it was a desirable option, but neither was the destruction of the twin towers.

    31

    Yea it is a typical outcome with most liberals, who almost always resort to personal attacks when they realize their position doesn’t hold water. I think I’ve been called every name in the book.

    It is somewhat shocking to see you on the right side as an attorney from California. How does that work?

  48. Dexter
    September 28, 2010 at 11:48 pm
  49. N.
    September 28, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    Freedom of religion for everybody + enforced property rights for everybody = put it wherever they want it.
    Even if the theoretical mosque were allegedly training allegedly anti-american jihadis, if it’s their property and it’s a place of worship, let them build it.

    Sensitivity. blech. Sacred freedoms FTW.

  50. Thomas
    September 29, 2010 at 12:19 am

    Oh, your point was perfectly clear, Dan. Your point was that as long as a group feels it’s being denied its place in the sun, it’s justified in cheering for things no decent human being ought to cheer for.

    If Mormons around the world were constantly harassed, oppressed, and even murdered by a particular group of people, you wouldn’t feel all that strong urge to condemn an apostate Mormon group hitting your oppressor where it hurts them.

    So when a bunch of Mormons in Cedar City got it into their heads that the wagon train passing through contained their “oppressors,” then what they did was understandable. And if Brigham Young really did mutter, at the site, “Vengeance is mine, and I have taken a little,” he was only saying what any red-blooded Muslim would be perfectly justified in thinking.

    I’m confident you don’t really believe this.

    What we have here, is typical “oikophobia,” to borrow the word coined by Roger Scruton. It’s the opposite of xenophobia — an inordinate reflex to side with “them” against “us.” Or, “anybody but my country, right or wrong.” Islam is seen as being the “other” here — so, naturally, you must take its side. Even if the religion as a whole may not deserve quite as full-throated a defense as you are driven to give it.

    It’s pluralist dogma that all religions are equally good. But if that’s true, then no person of faith has any incentive, or any responsibility, to improve his religious heritage. Because that would imply that in the area where the improvement was made, the religion was wanting — possibly more so than the next religion over, and we can’t have that. And it is not true that a religion is nothing more than its present adherents, no matter how “vibrant and living” they may be. It is also the traditions, doctrines, and institutional structures that are handed down from previous generations all the way back to the faith’s founding. Those continue to have their effect — and if there are some bugs in the original program that aren’t gotten rid of (as most are, eventually, in most religions that survive the winnowing of time), they absolutely affect the thinking, prejudices, and moralities of future believers.

    Mormonism, for example, got into its code, early on, some dangerous aspects, including a stronger-than-average tribalism and a definite cult of obedience. Fortunately, those things only bore their fruit once or twice before civilization caught up with the pioneers. But I believe it’s incumbent on Mormons, as it is on believers in all faiths, to do what they can to help keep those Mormon attributes from becoming the kind of thing that — if Mormons ever were deprived of their two good East/North addresses and dumped back into a state of nature — would do evil in the name of good.

    Islam as presently constituted contains some bugs. Some Muslims are in the process of reinventing Islam, to mitigate those things, just as Christianity got rid of some of the bugs (like the Augustinian ideal of the compulsory total Christian society) that it picked up early on — with the result that it is fair to say that that is no longer part of Christianity. When they win (I hope they will), it will be accurate to say that Islam is a religion of peace. Until then — unless you take the position that Islam’s bloody borders are just a matter of bad geopolitical luck, or bad genes or what have you — you can’t say that.

  51. Thomas
    September 29, 2010 at 12:24 am

    #47: “It is somewhat shocking to see you on the right side as an attorney from California. How does that work?”

    Second naivete.

  52. Thomas
    September 29, 2010 at 12:31 am

    #45: “In any case, I side with Justin, that your understanding of Islam is not very well centered on facts, but on a perception skewed by modern events.”

    Events aren’t facts?

    What you mean, I think, is that my understanding of Islam is not exclusively centered on the conventional wisdom of your faction, which is that I’m only supposed to pay attention to the enlightened aspects and factions of Islam, and pay no attention to all the others. Islam is not all Salafist, but it’s not all Sufi, either, and not all people called “Sufis” deserve the classification. Taken as a whole, it’s a mixed bag.

  53. Thomas
    September 29, 2010 at 12:40 am

    Finally, Dan, re: Captain Moroni and his “swear loyalty or die” episode, I’m not thrilled with that passage, and you may recall that I’m not going to the mattresses to defend it as being something God actually dictated. Its only saving grace over the “sword verses” of the Koran, is that there is no “go and do likewise” instruction after the Moroni episode. In other words, the passages are historical, not instructional. They record what someone did on one particular occasion. They don’t command that all believers, going forward, do the same thing. This is the Karen Armstrong approach to arguing that the Bible is just as “violent” as the Koran, because the Israelites were always launching some genocide or the other. But again, reading that some people — even the good guys — did something once, isn’t the same as having God tell you personally, the reader of the sacred text, to do that thing.

  54. Henry
    September 29, 2010 at 8:05 am

    What do people think about the saying just because you can doesn’t mean you should?

  55. Cowboy
    September 29, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Hi again.

  56. Will
    September 29, 2010 at 9:02 am

    Cowboy,

    Welcome back!

  57. Doug
    September 29, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Will – it doesn’t matter what (super)majority opposses the “Cultural center” (now it’s a cultural center and not a formal house of worship?), religous freedom (even for religions we won’t like) and private property rights aren’t subject to majority rule and/or mobocracy. Else you have the lowest common denominator of so-called “democracry”…where two wolves and a sheep convene to decide what to have for dinner.
    If TWICE the original purchase price wasn’t enough, then COUNTER…of course, perhaps their values don’t revolve around the almighty buck and they’re not interested in money.
    Since there have been a signficant Muslim presence in lower Manhattan for years, and the proposed site is about 300 yards from Ground Zero, it seems an unreasonable juxtaposition to type their motives as “in your face”. It seems more the Neo-cons and their like-minded allies at Fox News (and I LIKE Fox News, its conservative info babes like Megyn Kelly and Ann Coulter rock!) are using this for anti-Muslim propoganda.
    Eminent domain? Betcha you’re the same sort of ‘conservative’ that decried Kelo vs. New London, CT from several years back. But now misuse it in order to stop those nasty Muslims? Oh, the typical hypocrisy of most ‘conservatives’, like liberals…they want ‘freedom’ as long as it’s to do what they want.
    We LDS, if anything, should be on the side of those that want to build the cultural center. Else let’s don’t be surprised every time we propose a new temple that some loon doesn’t throw dirt as us (bringing up the Mt. Meadows massacre, for example) to sway the public and/or officials against exercising OUR religious freedom and property rights.

  58. Henry
    September 29, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Doug:
    Muslims typically build places of worship near to what they consider to be a great victory.

  59. Justin Tungate
    September 29, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Doug, it’s always been a community center.

    Henry, your little tidbit of misinformation is alarming. Muslims usually build houses of worship near places that have high muslim populations.

  60. will
    September 29, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Doug,

    Darn right I was opposed to the Kelo vs. New London; however, it transferred property from one private property owner to another private property owner. This is not the same and would qualify as eminent domain under the classic use and definition, which I am not opposed to as a fellow social libertarian/ fiscal conservative. Again, as I said to Thomas, it wouldn’t be a desirable solution; nor am I fully proposing this solution. It would, however, be legal (and I think have a lot of support from the public) to condemn the property and put in its place a shrine honoring the victims of 911. In my opinion, this would meet the prerequisites of eminent domain in that it is for the public good (again, as long as just compensation is in order). For this reason, I am in favor. I am opposed, however, as it would set a nasty precedence.

  61. Thomas
    September 29, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    “We LDS, if anything, should be on the side of those that want to build the cultural center. Else let’s don’t be surprised every time we propose a new temple that some loon doesn’t throw dirt as us (bringing up the Mt. Meadows massacre, for example) to sway the public and/or officials against exercising OUR religious freedom and property rights.”

    As I said above, what if we went out and built a temple at Mountain Meadows? Would it be bigoted for anybody to object?

    As long as we’re playing the analogy game, how ’bout this: The present members of the Seventh U.S. Cavalry are doubtless all honorable men, and share absolutely none of the responsibility for what that regiment did to the Sioux in 1890. Would a monument to the Seventh at Wounded Knee be appropriate? How about a Moroccan cultural center at Montecassino? Time & place, guys.

  62. Doug
    September 29, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    #60 – So your “Libertarian” as long as the outcome is what you favor? Your commitment to Libertarian principles (not necessarily the LP) is questionable, sir. And I’m not an attorney at all, and certainly have no experience in eminent domain cases (Kelo was simply one of the most notorious examples) to speak as to the legality of condemming the proposed Moslem site under the guise of eminent domain IAW NY law, especially for the “greatest public good”. Supposedly part of the law that Pres. Bush signed in 2006 was to counter the ability of local and state governments to do exactly what happened in New London, e.g., take private property merely on the expectation of generating greater tax revenue (which in fact the project went bust) instead of the more historical reasons (freeway, public utilities, etc.) where the taking authority had to make its case that (1) there were no feasible alternatives and (2) the compensation offered was fair and just. This reason, which you see as justifiable to prevent the exercise of the Islamic faith in an area or context that you object to, is downright dangerous, and constitutes the proverbial “slippery slope”. We damn Islam due to the crimes of some of its adherents. That gives us the right to abbrogate the Constituion? Where will it end? And who is to say that a “born-again” Christian governnor of Texas couldn’t use “eminent domain” to condemm and demolish, say, the San Antonio Texas Temple on the basis that it damages sensitivities and offends many? I don’t particularly care for Islam but in this case I have to hold my nose and protect their rights in order to defend ours. Kinda like the jewish lawyer that represented the Nazis marching in Skokie IL.

    #61 – It wouldn’t be ‘bigoted’ to object, but I strongly doubt the Church would EVER do something like that. If there’s EVER a crying need for a temple at or near the MM site (as opposed to on a hill overlooking the greater Cedar City area?), it’d have to obvious. The Church does not go out of its way to generate hostility. Were such a temple to be proposed, w/o doubt if it were made a controversy the Church would go to great lengths to assuage the sensitivities of the descendants of the Fancher party.
    The analogy falls apart for something like a hypothetical memorial to the 7th Cav at Wounded Knee, SD or the Moroccan (aka Goums) at Monte Cassino, unless there was a substantial Morrocan community at or nearby Monte Cassino or the Seventh was based at Wounded Knee. The Moslems have long been present in lower Manhattan. The siting for their proposed center is an unfortunate coincidence, not a deliberate “in your face’ gesture. It’s been my experience with the American Muslim community that they fairly much keep to themselves and avoid controversy.

  63. Thomas
    September 29, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    “The siting for their proposed center is an unfortunate coincidence, not a deliberate “in your face’ gesture. It’s been my experience with the American Muslim community that they fairly much keep to themselves and avoid controversy.”

    (1) I’m not entirely persuaded. (2) That’s sometimes been my experience — but having my stepson at UCI (a couple miles down the road from my house) has been an interesting counterexample. The place has gotten near to being UC Hamas at times. “Avoid controversy,” my fibula.

  64. Ben Orchard
    September 29, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    I see that this conversation has gone much the way I suspected–full of repetitive arguments with virtually nothing new to add.

    Someone asked how people would feel about the LDS church erecting a temple at the site of the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

    Great question, and my answer is this, “I don’t think that will happen, but if it did, I would support the right of the church to use any land they legitimately own to build any structure that is accordance with appropriate building codes and zoning laws. I also happen to think that building a temple there is a poor decision from a PR perspective, but the church has the right.”

    Of course, the REAL analogy is more akin to asking if it would be appropriate for the church to build a temple in a nearby town. Actually even better–would it be appropriate for the RLDS/Community of Christ church to build a Temple a few miles from the site of the massacre–a closely related religion, but one that is in no way directly associated with the horrific event.

    My answer is that there is no constitutional bar to building there. DO 70% of Americans really oppose this? Dunno. I haven’t seen the survey methodology to be sure that it was appropriately sampling so as to allow for a proper generalization to the population at large.

    I agree with Doug (#62 currently) that the church is HIGHLY unlikely to build a temple at this location, but this is a hypothetical. Of course since the location falls within the Dixie National Forest, its incredibly unlikely that the site will EVER come up as a plausible location for a vital temple. There are two nearby towns, but I doubt either will have a need for a temple at any time in the near future.

    Overall? The debate is pointless. I say that fighting this just shows those who are part of Al-Queda that we are the evil westerners that they want to say we are. It gives them fuel for the fire. Unless you are willing to go to war against ALL of Islam, that is NOT a message worth sending.

  65. Thomas
    September 29, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Ben, many of us don’t dispute that the Park51′s backers have a constitutional right not to have their proposed project denied because of its religious nature. As Doug pointed out above, the neo-Nazis had a constitutional right to march through a Jewish community in Skokie, Illinois, but that doesn’t change the fact that doing so was immorally insensitive.

    Re: the thought that the proper analogy would be a Community of Christ (formerly RLDS) temple at Mountain Meadows, I disagree, because Islam (unlike Mormonism) is not a hierarchical religion, with distinct factions answerable to a central authority. It’s more like Protestantism. A hard-core Wahhabist has an equal claim on being “true Islam” as a gentle Sufi mystic. So the lines aren’t as bright between different Islamic factions, as they are between formally-organized Mormon sects like the LDS and CofC.

    “I say that fighting this just shows those who are part of Al-Queda that we are the evil westerners that they want to say we are…Unless you are willing to go to war against ALL of Islam, that is NOT a message worth sending.”

    Again, you may not intend this, but this reflects a fair amount of contempt for Muslims. Western Christians, you’ll note, don’t go to war against Islam because various Muslim jurisdictions place restrictions on Christian practice, such as building churches, proselytizing, or even possessing Bibles. But you seem to expect Muslims — “ALL of Islam” — to be so incensed by something well short of reciprocity, that they would run amuck on holy war.

    Unfortunately, your patronizing attitude is probably at least partially well-founded. The fact is that far more Christians, as a percentage of the whole, are mature, reflective people, than are Muslims as a percentage of the Muslim world. This is why you can put on a play showing Jesus having gay sex with Judas Iscariot, and it gets good reviews — whereas let some jackass Florida pastor just threaten to do to the Koran what happens quite frequently in the Muslim world to Bibles, and there are all kinds of riots and fatwas, and people get actually killed. (And the wrath of the God of Tolerance comes right down on said jackass pastor; his insurance is canceled, his web host drops him, and his bank calls in his mortgage.)

    So whereas I would absolutely never countenance burning the Koran (or any book), or gratuitously insulting Islam — and I will probably not lose a great deal of sleep if Park51 eventually gets built — neither do I think it’s a good idea to not do these things for the wrong reason, like “fear of setting the Muslim maniacs off.” For one thing, I don’t think all Muslims are maniacs; for another, I don’t want the maniacs to get it into their head that threatening violence against blasphemous foreigners is something that gets results. (I still think that after Iran put out a hit on Salman Rushdie for The Satanic Verses, the proper response of Her Britannic Majesty, whose subject the author was, would have been to send her submarines to send some Iranian shipping to Davey Jones. Give cutthroats the incentive to cut throats, and you’ll get more cut throats.)

  66. Doug
    September 29, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    #65 – the neo-Nazis had well-demonstrated their ‘immorality’ and nuttiness long before these proposed marching in Skokie. Doing such a stunt which was entirely “in-your-face” was perfectly keeping within their twisted characters. Not so with the NYC muslims. They already owned that property, and there was already a legitimate reason to erect an Islamic cultural center (and it’d scarely draw even neighborhood paper coverage were it not for 9/11). They didn’t go out of their way to provoke anyone. It seems that the neo-cons, if anyone, went out of their way to stir up contention.
    I thought quite ill of the Florida pastor and his proposed Koran-burning stunt but ironically would have supported his “right” to do so. Just as his insurer, and therefore the mortgage holder (was it of his church or his personal residence?) exercised their ‘rights’ (with some powerful support, undoubtedly!) to terminate their business relationship. If you’re going to stick your neck out, don’t complain if the headsman stands ready to chop it off!
    IMO, the best way to deal with ‘sensitivities’ is to “man-up” and grow a thicker hide. There’s no constitutional right to not be offended. We LDS have suffered offences for 180 years and have focused our efforts on building the Kingdom of God on the earth rather than whine about being wronged.

  67. Thomas
    September 29, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    “…and it’d scarely draw even neighborhood paper coverage were it not for 9/11.”

    Well, yeah. Just like nobody would remember the play “Our American Cousin” if not for that unfortunate incident during Act III in Ford’s Theater.

    “IMO, the best way to deal with ‘sensitivities’ is to “man-up” and grow a thicker hide.”

    Morally, maybe so. Practically speaking, you get a lot more mileage out of threatening to kill people. Blaspheming Christianity gets you NEA grants. Nobody in his right mind does anything a Muslim extremist might call blasphemy. (Think “South Park” would ever be allowed to portray Mohammed the way it portrayed Joseph Smith (dum dum dum dum dum)?)

    We might think that our noblesse oblige, holding ourselves to a higher standard than Muslims are held to, reflects well on us, but sometimes I worry that the savage tribes don’t quite get the nuance. They’re more the “strong horse/weak horse” type, and when they see that their side can put up mosques wherever they please, whereas our side is kept in its proper place when Muslims are in charge, I think their reaction is going to be less “my, how tolerant those enlightened Westerners are,” and more “God is greatest, yay Islam!”

  68. Henry
    September 29, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Would someone build a memorial to Hitler near Auschwitz? This example perfectly illustrates the issue. The Muslims should show some class and build elsewhere.

  69. Trevor
    September 29, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    For all these lame comparisons to building a temple near the MMM site, let’s make it legitimately comparable:

    -A large FLDS community has already been established near the site for decades and has run out of space in their current facilities
    -Open space is a rare commodity, as the land has been nearly 100% developed
    -A location becomes available that is within walking distance yet not visible from the MMM site
    -The FLDS community announces a desire to build a multi-faith community center at the newly available location, a part of which plans includes a temple

  70. Doug
    September 29, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    #68 – Not Auschwitz, nor Warsaw or Gdansk or Krakow…the Polish Government would clap you in irons upon putting up the first swatiska, if the locals wouldn’t lynch you first…

    There’s a difference between what would “show class” and mollify public opinion and what the Government can and should do. As Thomas well pointed out, from the Muslim perspective (even those that profess no alliance or brotherhood with the 9/11 terrorists), it’d be weakness to back down now. Hence why Trump couldn’t buy them out either. We should be extremely wary of ANY Government attempts to interfere with their religious freedoms and/or their private property rights regardless of how we feel about Islam even in the 9/11 context.

    But again, I’m also concerned about painting all Muslims with a broad brush. I went to college with many of them, including Iranians durign the hostage crisis. As one put it to me, ‘don’t pin it on me just because you’ve got a bunch of idiots running things back there, there’s a REASON I’m HERE.’ Methinks we LDS that give into this anti-Muslim rhetoric are in danger of being hoisted on our own respective petards.

  71. Trevor
    September 29, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    If someone wants a more valid LDS comparison, check out the wiki page on the BYU Jerusalem Center, constructed in a prominent location in the city, on a hill, as a slap in the face of the native religion and culture, representing the eventual and ultimate triumph of the LDS religion, etc. etc.

  72. carlos
    September 29, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    A negotiated agreement would work here. Just agree to let the muslims build the study centre or Islamic community center in the current proposed site in exchange for moving the “Muslim prayer space” two blocks down the road.

    It isn’t that hard to do. Both sides concede something and both walk away with one victory.

  73. carlos
    September 29, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    “Would someone build a memorial to Hitler near Auschwitz?”

    My understanding is that its actually against current German law to build a memorial to Hitler anywhere in Germany

  74. September 30, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    How many of the kibitzers know about the Muslim prayer room that existed in the fallen World Trade Center? Traditionally, such a room has been called — gag — a Mosque.

    Also, how many of the same know how many Muslims died in the WTC (besides those few fanatics who were flying the jets).

    And a “memorial to Hitler near Auschwitz”? Come on, what kind of psychological understanding does that represent? Building the Islamic culture center near “ground zero” would be one of the strongest arguments AGAINST the Al Qaeda et.al. recruitment pitch!.

  75. Thomas
    September 30, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Just FYI, Carlos @73, Auschwitz is in Poland, not Germany.

    The analogy is absurd and offensive, of course — Auschwitz was Hitler’s direct doing, and 9/11 wasn’t the direct doing of the Park51 imam and congregation. The better analogy might be a German cultural center at Auschwitz, as not all Germans are or were responsible for the Holocaust, any more than all Muslims are responsible for 9/11.

    #71 — If Mormons (of any sect or faction, not necessarily the official one) had blown up somebody’s bar mitzvah in the neighborhood of the BYU Jerusalem center, maybe you’d have a point.

    “Building the Islamic culture center near “ground zero” would be one of the strongest arguments AGAINST the Al Qaeda et.al. recruitment pitch!”

    Yeah, that’ll show them the error of their ways. Do you honestly believe even one of those guys would be affected by the gesture?

  76. October 23, 2010 at 3:35 pm

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  77. Ddd
    March 12, 2011 at 12:46 am

    disgusting, only because the portrayal of Radical Islam is what brought these Towers down, now Its fine if these muslims want to build a mosque some where, but c’mon, for them to put this up is like shitting and pissing on all the graves of the dead, who died here

  78. Snowbunny
    June 20, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    Um, well, I don’t totally agree with the comment above me. 

    I don’t think it’s necessarily “disgusting”, but I do think it’s in bad taste. I don’t support making the construction of a mosque illegal, but I do think the Islamic leaders should reconsider. 
    However, I have heard that the mosque is actually supposed to be a few blocks away, and if that is the case, then, I don’t necessarily see the harm. If the leaders working there were to be incredibly careful about any anti-American sentiments coming from their mosque, and they were supporters of helping rebuild and commemorate ground zero, I, in fact, think that would be amazing. 

    It would have to be done very tastefully though, and not shoved in the nation’s face. 

  79. Hobbes
    July 21, 2011 at 12:27 am

    If the mosque were directly on or adjacent to the site, I would consider it distasteful. If that were the case, then from appearances, it would seem that those leaders are looking for controversy.

    What I find truly disgusting is the judgement and resentment people feel toward Islam as a whole. Islam is, I think, a beautiful religion. It is not an anti-American religion. It should not be judged by the actions of a few radicals any more than Mormonism should be judged by its own radicals. Every religion has them.

     I would wholeheartedly support the construction of a mosque anywhere, just as I would support the construction of any religious structure.