Debate Over Islamic Center in New York Raises Anti-Muslim Sentiments

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

The former Burlington Coat Factory building that will make way for the Cordoba House which some are calling the 'Ground Zero Mosque' is seen in lower Manhattan on July 29, 2010 in New York. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty)

The proposal for a new Islamic center to be built just two blocks from Ground Zero could move forward, today. New York City's Landmarks Preservation Commission will most likely vote against granting protected status to the 152-year-old building, which would allow the proposed center to replace it.

The heated debate over this Islamic center reaches far beyond New York City's borders, however. It has become a national battle, with people and organizations around the country weighing in. Surprising some, the Anti-Defamation League came out against the proposed center last week, saying, "The controversy which has emerged regarding the building of an Islamic Center at this location is counterproductive to the healing process."

In light of this local issue that's quickly morphed into a national cause, we turn to a larger question surrounding the debate: what are our country's views toward Islam, nine years after 9/11? In regard to the extreme opposition to the proposed Islamic center, Hussein Rashid, a religion professor at Hofstra University, believes it is symbolic. Rashid says, "It's 'anti-other people' hysteria... there's no other mechanism to [vent] frustration [against Muslims]."

Guests:

Hussein Rashid

Produced by:

Amanda Moore

Comments [13]

Mohamed Arif from India, Chennai

Hello
Is there any one read complete bible and Holy Quran? Let's try to understand who is Jesus and Who is God by the help of Holy scriptures itself states the right path of mankind, Please be open and our life is open book to the God even we hide thinks better! So once understand the true God, we can live happily! God loves you even you hate creature of him! Simple

Oct. 28 2010 05:25 AM
Sergei Bourachaga from Ottawa

“Moderate Islam” is a not a contradiction in terms. It simply does not exist. In the Arabic language Islam is rooted in the verb “ASLAMA” meaning surrendered/submitted. A muslim is a person who has surrendered or submitted himself to the will of God, clearly expressed in the noble Koran- a guide in the Arabic language that points to all true muslim believers the true path of salvation.
The Koran dehumanises and demonizes any person who refuses to adopt Islam as “The Perfect Deen/Arabic for religion”. The following Koranic verses are often chanted during the beheading rituals we often see on radical Islamic websites. For the pious Muslim beheading his defenceless hostage, it is an act of heroic proportion, because he is slaughtering the Devil incarnated in the human form of an Infidel.
“Satan has gained possession of The People of The Book (Jews and Christians) and caused them to forget Allah’s warnings. They are the confederates of Satan; Satan’s confederates shall assuredly be lost in hell. The Believers are the confederates of Allah (Hizbollah); and Allah’s confederates shall surely triumph”. Koran 58:19
“We will put terror into the hearts of the unbelievers (Jews and Christians). They serve other Gods for whom no sanction has been revealed. Hell shall be their home; dismal indeed is the dwelling place of the evil-doers”. Koran 3:149
“Believers, do not make friends with any men other than your own people. They will spare no pains to corrupt you. They desire nothing but your ruin. Their hatred is clear from what they say, but more violent is the hatred which their breasts conceal”. Koran 3:117
Any Muslim who rejects these verses and hundreds of other verses in The Koran, full of venomous hatred directed against jews and Christians, is no longer a muslim, because he is reversing his act of submission and questioning the judgement of Allah or the accuracy/reliability of the prophet who conveyed the will of Allah to his followers. There is no moderation or “pick and chose” your verses or souras. The Koran in its entirety is The Holy Book of Islam, and for many Western scholars a hate literature.
Sergei Bourachaga

Sep. 18 2010 10:43 PM
Elis Beddau

Islam is the only religion whose founding figures went around massacring, conquering, hegemonizing and forecefully converting people. All religious moderates can say to extremists in their midst "But our founding figures didn't do that!" Moderate Muslims, however, can't, because their founding figures did do those horrible things. And that's why Muslim communities in the West are dominated by radicals (http://intelligencesquaredus.org/index.php/past-debates/islam-is-dominated-by-radicals/), because moderate Muslims can't win that debate.

Aug. 20 2010 10:12 AM

Tolerance, understanding and acceptance of diverse cultures and religions is the American way.
(C'mon we're one of the few countries that accept Scientology! I'm half kidding... don't hunt me Tom Cruise!)

Sure, we can police religion... we would need to use the Taliban Handbook to do so properly.

Aug. 06 2010 03:47 PM
BuildTheMosque from Planet Earth

Up yours, infidels! (just kiddin' hehe)

Aug. 04 2010 09:39 AM
atpeaceatlast from Oklahoma

I liken ground zero to the Murrah building bombing site in Oklahoma city. When you visit there, it is obviously holy ground. You are so focused on the tragedy and loss and solemness that you do not even notice anything even nearby. Religious freedom is our country's foundation.

Aug. 03 2010 11:58 AM
Tray from Albany, NY

I don't care what's politically correct or who thinks what about "tolerance". I have no tolerance for people who come to this country and go by their rules (Sharia law anyone?). I don't want someone that's all wrapped up and can only see their eyes standing next to me. This is America, home of the FREE. Let these people go to Iran and build all the mosques they want and hide behind their clothing. America is too tolerant and it will be the cause of it's demise. Yeah, a mosque at the very site that muslims took the lives of 3,000 American citizens. I am not proud of you America, not at all. Don't think for a second that this mosque doesn't have terrorist written all over it. How convenient we are making it for them to blow up NYC. Inviting them as a matter of fact. Dumb stupid board members. I'm so disgusted.

Aug. 03 2010 11:30 AM
chas from WJWJ FM

Syntax correction.
We're confusing a disaster site created by crazy people and another group of people attempting to build a structure for prayer. Tolerance toward religion is one of our rights guaranteed by constitution and to oppose this is simply foolish. I was born and raised until my 21st birthday in the USMC and schooled on military installations. Not only is tolerance is a fact of life in this setting but also a dedication and belief in this country as well as the US Constition.

Aug. 03 2010 10:00 AM
chas

We're confusing a disaster site created by crazy people and another group of people attempting to build a structure for prayer. Tolerance toward is one of our rights guaranteed by constitution and to oppose this is simply foolish. I was born and raised until my 21st birthday in the USMC and schooled on military installations. Not only is tolerance is a fact of life in this setting but also a dedication and belief in this country as well as the US Constition.

Aug. 03 2010 09:55 AM
Dave from New York

I shall support the Ground Zero Mosque immediately after a church and a synagogue are built adjacent to Mecca.

What is the definition of a "moderate" Muslim? Someone who gives sees a longer time frame for the world to become Muslim and who might want to put a moratorium on the stoning of adulterers?

Aug. 03 2010 09:53 AM
Dave from New York

I shall support the Ground Zero Mosque immediately after a church and a synagogue are built adjacent to Mecca.

What is the definition of a "moderate" Muslim? Someone who gives sees a longer time frame for the world to become Muslim and who might want to put a moratorium on the stoning of adulterers?

Aug. 03 2010 09:52 AM
Hy from Forest Hills

We have to decide if the Muslim religion and/or its followers have significant culpability in the 9/11 attacks. If we decide against them, then the mosque should not be built. If we decide for them, then there should be no block against it being built. We have to decide, not insinuate or put forth hearsay about their guilt or innocence.

My opinion: the Muslim religion and the great majority of its followers are *not* culpable, anymore than Christians today are not culpable for what happened during the Crusades, nor Jews today for what happened to Jesus Christ. The mosque should be built.

Aug. 03 2010 09:48 AM
Ed from Larchmont

At the same time that the mosque is being built, in the name of religious freedom and tolerance, Catholic teachers are being expelled for teaching Catholic doctrine. Does this make sense?

Aug. 03 2010 08:12 AM

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