Thursday, August 19, 2010

It hasn't gone away you know !

This is not going to go away. Listen to the ever articulate voice of youtube sensation Pat Condell on why the Mosque should not be built.

21 comments:

Gary said...

What can I say? He is absolutely right. That Mosque is an insult that can not be tolerated and my country (the USA) would be showing it's weakness, not its strength, by allowing it to be built anywhere near Ground Zero. Fortunately, there is a lot of serious opposition and I truly doubt it will ever be built.

Ted Leddy said...

Gary

I also can't see it being built. For one thing I can't see many New York construction workers working on it. But I think those leading the campaign against the Mosque have conducted themselves very well in this debate arguing their case in a very calm yet passionate way. That is the key. There has been no anti Muslim hysteria and the sensitivity argument wins against Freedom of religion everytime. Are Muslims really going to lecture the US on freedom of religion ? There are many Mosques in New York. Try being Christian or Jewish in Saudi Arabia. I am getting the sense that those trying to build the Mosque know they have lost this one.

Paul said...

'I also can't see it being built. For one thing I can't see many New York construction workers working on it. But I think those leading the campaign against the Mosque have conducted themselves very well in this debate arguing their case in a very calm yet passionate way.'

Simple answer to that one. Import enough labourers from the Middle East to build it. Building suppliers will face pressure not to supply raw materials, but i bet $100m dollars could sweeten the pill. Oh and yes the President is behind it as well. I would not write this idea off at all. Pat Condell is on the money as usual. It's what happens when you get an anti-American extremist in the white house.

Gary said...

"Import enough labourers from the Middle East to build it."
Import people to work in New York in place of "union workers"? I am sorry, but that idea would be pure suicide. Those kinds of workers are called "scabs" in New York and really bad things happen to them (you good Irish boys know exactly what I mean). If the union bosses say "no" (and the word is that is that they have said) - no one is going to pick up a hammer or nail within a mile of that job and any attempt to bring in outside workers would result in bloodshed.

Paul said...

I hope you're right Gary about the imposition of scab labour. I don't share your optimism about the Union leaders however even if they are currently opposed to this. For on thing both Mayor Bloomberg and the President seem to have signed off on this. In general the left are in favour, so it should not be difficult to influence the union leaders at this or a later stage.

Gary said...

Paul,
Both Bloomberg and the President have taken a beating for supporting the Mosque. The left supports it and you are right, that should normally bring the unions on board but the the word on the street is that the unions still are saying "no way". I have a feeling they will find some compromise and move the mosque a block or 2 further away and everything will calm down. There is a chance I am wrong and this Imam will not give an inch -and then all bets are off and some one is likely to get hurt. That would be bad for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I feel I have to weigh in here to get a bit of balance in this post. Pat and you guys leave no doubt as to which way you lean. I couldn't disagree with you all more.

First of all, I am actually incredulous at how people continue to equate the terrorist attacks on September 11th with all of Islam. Terrorists carried out these attacks, not Islam. I am an Irish man living in New York. Discriminating against Islam for the terrorist attacks is no different to me being discriminated against for the IRA's bomb attacks in London. This is insane. How you relate the 2 together is beyond me. Extremists in any walk of life are fools but they are usually in the minority. In Islam, they are certainly in the minority, despite what some people say. Most Muslims (especially those in America) would not agree with this terrorism. Building a Muslim centre here is so Muslims can go somewhere to congregate, not to pay homage to the terrorist attacks.

Secondly, there are mosques all over New York, including downtown Manhattan. These have been providing places to go to for muslims (and whoever else wants to) for many years. Have these been havens for terrorists? No so why will this Muslim community centre do that? It won't. It's going to have a basketball court, a culinary school and the top 2 floors for worship amongst many other provisions. It's going to be run by the Imam that George W Bush has been championing as the type of Islamic leader America needs. A true moderate with good opinions about America. Surely this would be a good thing?

Thirdly, the proposed site is not at ground zero. You can not see ground zero from this site nor can you see the site from ground zero. It is 2 blocks from 1 corner of the large site. At least 6 or 7 blocks from where the towers were. It is annoying to hear Pat Condell and many others say it is yards from ground zero. This isn't true. Also, there are already mosques in this area. They have been here longer than the world trade centre. Do we move them as well?

Finally and most basically, you can't say you are for religious freedom but... There is no but. You are either for it or against it. America invented religious freedom. For them to deny it is wrong on so many levels, as it goes against one of the main founding principles of this state. If Muslims wish to build a place of worship anywhere in this country, they are allowed to do it.

Ted I must also say that I don't agree with your comment. First of all, there has been no anti muslim hysteria? Maybe not in Ireland but there has been an incredible amount over here. It's been one of the saddest things about this whole event.

As for your comment

' Are Muslims really going to lecture the US on freedom of religion ? There are many Mosques in New York. Try being Christian or Jewish in Saudi Arabia.'

This is a common argument in America. However, it is an irrelevant one. You can't be responsible for the lack of religious freedom in other countries. It's when it is so entrenched in your own beliefs and constitution and you don't adhere to it that a problem arises. America preaches religious freedom, it also needs to practice it. This is the right thing to do.

Most Americans are for moving the centre. This doesn't mean it's right. Moving this community centre would be discriminating against all muslims as it implies they were all responsible for the terrorist attacks. It would also be a travesty for the identity of America, as it would be in direct contrast to a core principle of their founding. It would mean that the terrorist attacks would have changed something about America which it is already so admired for. The terrorists win this way. Be on the moral high ground. Stick to your beliefs, especially when they are tested. This is the way to show your beliefs are right and it sets a great example to the world.

Sorry this is so long. I enjoy your blog Ted.

Dave

Ted Leddy said...

Paul

I think Gary is probably right here. Remember, the left in the US is different in many ways to our British and Irish left. For one thing, the trade union movement is not as left wing. If the New York unions are opposed to the Mosque then that is probably that.

Also I found your comment about Obama very strange. You are British, I am Irish, we certainly know what an "anti-American extremist" looks like. They are all over the place. I didn't think you would be buying into the Glen Beck line that the President secretly hates America and wants to bring it down.

Ted Leddy said...

Gary

I think a compromise is very likely. The media is reporting as much today. Common sense should prevail here. It would be total madness, and a terrible lack of leadership if this situation were permitted to escalate into violent confrontations.

Gary said...

Dave,
I do not care how incredulous you are. My best friend in the world, a person who is more than a brother to me, is Muslim. I have traveled extensively with him and have experienced first hand the prejudice that is fueling these anti-Mosque feelings. You and I both know that it is wrong to blame all Muslims for the actions of a few, just as it would be wrong to blame all Christians when some fanatic bombs an abortion clinic.

But, the fact remains that anger has centered on this Mosque and it will not dissipate until it is moved a few blocks further away. Human nature is what it is. Being right does not mean being smart.

In this case, the smart thing would be to go along with the anger and dissipate it, not fight it and make it worse.

Besides, you are simply wrong about religious freedom. Yes, the constitution says everyone has the right to worship however they choose. It does not say you have the right to worship where ever and whenever you choose. You can not stop a movie in a theater while you prey. Some common sense is required. In this case feelings are too strong and the more Muslims insist on ignoring the feelings of the people in New York, the more suspicious people are of Muslims. It is making matters worse. It is a sad fact but it is a fact nevertheless and trying to force the issue is going just cause more hard feelings which will take longer to heal.

Moving the Mosque would be the moral high ground. It would diffuse the matter and demonstrate a sensitivity to how deep the anger and hurt is.

I personally do not like to see all this hatred growing -and that i what i happening. Neither side seems willing to compromise and yet that is exactly what must happen in the end.

The best way to put this to bed once and for all is to just move the Mosque before the extremists force some action everyone will regret -like passing some ridiculous zoning law or some such nonsense. -Or worse, someone could get hurt.

If the Muslims will just give in a little on this they will gain far more in the long run - why can't people see that?

Gary said...

Dave,
I do not care how incredulous you are. My best friend in the world, a person who is more than a brother to me, is Muslim. I have traveled extensively with him and have experienced first hand the prejudice that is fueling these anti-Mosque feelings. You and I both know that it is wrong to blame all Muslims for the actions of a few, just as it would be wrong to blame all Christians when some fanatic bombs an abortion clinic.

But, the fact remains that anger has centered on this Mosque and it will not dissipate until it is moved a few blocks further away. Human nature is what it is. Being right does not mean being smart.

In this case, the smart thing would be to go along with the anger and dissipate it, not fight it and make it worse.
Feelings are too strong and the more Muslims insist on ignoring the feelings of the people in New York, the more suspicious people are of Islam. It is making matters worse. It is a sad fact but it is a fact nevertheless and trying to force the issue is going just cause more hard feelings which will take longer to heal.

Moving the Mosque would be the moral high ground. It would diffuse the matter and demonstrate a sensitivity to how deep the anger and hurt is.

I do not like to see all this hatred growing -and that i what i happening. Neither side seems willing to compromise and yet that is exactly what must happen in the end. The best way to put this to bed once and for all is to just move the Mosque before the extremists force some action everyone will regret -like passing some ridiculous zoning law or some such nonsense. -Or worse, someone could get hurt.

If the Muslims will just give in a little on this they will gain far more in the long run - why can't people see that?

Ted Leddy said...

Dave

Thanks for your excellent and articulate comments and I'm very pleased that you enjoy Gubu World.

Your principal arguments appears to be that preventing the Mosque from being built is discrimination against Islam. I reject this. Firstly, nobody is seeking to prevent the Mosque being built on legal grounds. It is a sensitivity issue. People believe it is an inappropriate location for a Mosque.

You or I are certainly not responsible for IRA atrocities. But neither Sinn Fein or even a perfectly respectable Irish cultural organisation would be so insensitive as to hold a meeting in Brighton or Guilford, certainly not near the site of the IRA atrocities in those towns. The IRA did commit those atrocities in the name of a United Ireland. I want to see a United Ireland some day. So I believe I do have a duty to disassociate myself from people who committed mass murder in the name of a cause that I share.

"Terrorists carried out these attacks, not Islam". Perhaps but they were all shouting "God is Great God is Great" as they carried out the massacre. You say it is wrong to relate Islam with terrorism. But 9/11 was terrorism carried out in the name of Islam. It's not like the terrorists just happened to be Muslim. I don't think it is logical to deny the connection. I'm not blaming Muslims. But an Islamic Mosque located at the site of an atrocity carried out in the name of Islam is I believe inappropriate.

As you pointed out there are mosques all over Manhattan. So I am surprised that you then say it is a Freedom of Religion issue.

I don't believe my comment about religions freedom in Saudi Arabia is irrelevant. I guarantee you, during this controversy the Saudi "media" has been full of reports of American intolerance of Islam. Not only can you not build synagogues in Saudi. If you are Jewish, you cannot set foot in the kingdom. I don't believe America has to prove its Freedom of Religion credentials to such a nation. Most importantly though, I fundamentally reject that protesting the location of a mosque (after it was given the go ahead by local authorities) on purely moral, not legal grounds, is a freedom of religion issue.

For the record though, I think you are correct to point out that it is inaccurate to call it the Ground Zero Mosque. Although I am not sure how to answer the question, "How Close is too Close"?.

Thanks again Dave for your contribution.

Anonymous said...

Gary,

Really what difference does it actually make for it to be moved a few blocks away? I don't see one. There are already mosques in the very area that have been there longer than the world trade centre.

I actually do see your points, especially about it being human nature and that anger is being centred on the mosque. I understand this but morally I simply can't accept it. The way I see it is that people are discriminating against muslims. I believe that the 9/11 attacks should not be related to peace loving muslims but only to extremists who happen to be muslims. This is what's happening and it's causing the problem. Anger towards the mosque is misplaced and racist and I believe that moving the mosque is giving in to illogical reasoning. I simply can't equate 9/11 to this mosque so it doesn't sit well with me that people do.

I don't think we'll change each others mind on this but that's ok, I get what you're saying.

'If the Muslims will just give in a little on this they will gain far more in the long run - why can't people see that?'

I believe that that they'll be giving in to people who are discriminating against them and I don't think this is right. What's to gain with people who equate you with terrorists? Build your community centre and then try build relations with opponents of it so they can see the good you are trying to do.

Ted,

Regarding Islam and the mosque being a sensitivity issue, it's the reasons that it is sensitive to people that I don't accept. I simply think it's wrong to equate it with the 9/11 attacks. This is discrimination against the good muslims who want to congregate there.

'So I believe I do have a duty to disassociate myself from people who committed mass murder in the name of a cause that I share. '

The Imam building this community centre is doing the exact same thing within Islam. I think this is really positive and the only way to look for an actual solution in this 'war on terror'. It cannot be won militarily but by building rel;ations with those moderate muslims. This mosque would do that if people would let them.

As for freedom of religion, you're right, America does not need to prove its credentials to such nations. It only needs to prove them to itself. If it goes back on its principles, it's a travesty for America itself and it cannot again claim the moral high ground. I just believe that we should stick to our principles.

'Most importantly though, I fundamentally reject that protesting the location of a mosque (after it was given the go ahead by local authorities) on purely moral, not legal grounds, is a freedom of religion issue.'

I like this point but again I don't agree. This whole issue comes down to 2 interlinked points for me. I don't like the equating of 9/11 with good muslims and their setting up this mosque. I just don't agree with you on this. And I do believe it is a freedom of religion issue because they are allowed to set up a place of worship on private property. People want to deny them this and so they are denying them their right to be free to worship where they want. My opinion hasn't been changed on these 2 points.

Finally, I'm sure you all know that there is a mosque in the Penetagon. Why is no one protesting this? Same attacks and people have been quiet for 9 years about this mosque?

Right gotta get some sleep. All the best.


Dave

Gary said...

Dave,
Sorry, but you are just plain wrong. Having a right to do something does not mean an unrestricted right to do something nor does it make it right to do something.
We have a right under our 2nd amendment of the Constitution to "bear arms". That does not mean I have the right to carry a gun on an airplane. Reasonable restrictions or accommodations are necessary in a civilized society. The Muslim's steadfast refusal to compromise on this matter negates their moral high ground. It makes negotiation almost impossible and prevents any chance of a satisfactory outcome, which, by the way, seems to be the problem in the Middle East in general, doesn't it?
As for the Mosque at the Pentagon, why doesn't anyone protest that one? Could it be that no one objects to it there? Maybe all Americans are not as intolerant as you seem to think....

Anonymous said...

Gary,

'Having a right to do something does not mean an unrestricted right to do something nor does it make it right to do something.
We have a right under our 2nd amendment of the Constitution to "bear arms". That does not mean I have the right to carry a gun on an airplane. Reasonable restrictions or accommodations are necessary in a civilized society.'

Is preventing somebody's right to worship how they see fit on their own private property reasonable restriction? It certainly is not. It fully contradicts freedom of religion. You can keep saying this is wrong. It simply isn't. I'll repeat, you either believe in freedom of religion or you don't. There is no I believe in it but only in certain situations.

Also, one of my favourite things about living in the USA is the people. I don't think Americans are intolerant Gary but I believe opponents of this community centre are showing intolerance. We all do that at times, it doesn't make us intolerant.

I watched the video clip of Pat again and he is clearly intolerant. I have no time for his hate filled rhetoric. A muslim cab driver was sliced open in New York last night because he is a muslim. Pat's bigotry fuels anti-islamic sentiment and offers nothing constructive or positive to the debate. It is in complete contrast to what the organizers of this community centre are trying to do, which is to bridge different beliefs and try to live together in harmony. Pat's beliefs and statement do nothing but divide and cause anger and harm. What is there to be gained from such hate-mongering? Absolutely nothing.

Dave

Gary said...

You say that having this Mosque at this location is your right and you simply refuse to move it regardless of the hard feelings it is generating ---and in the same breath you say we are showing our intolerance... The forces of hatred and suspicion are winning and both sides are at fault. There has already been blood, there will be more. It is a shame, a horrible shame which could be so easily avoided if both sides would just listen to each other and be willing to compromise a little. Short of that I have nothing more to add about this. I am ashamed of both sides.

Anonymous said...

Should Irish businesses or homes be moved away from areas in London, Birmingham and Manchester that were bombed by the IRA?

Paul said...

'It is in complete contrast to what the organizers of this community centre are trying to do, which is to bridge different beliefs and try to live together in harmony.'

Are you taking the pi**? This 13 storey mega mosque is two blocks away from ground zero; arguably it is ground zero as the building was hit by debris. You know when it is planned to be opened? 11 September 2011, that is a calculated insult. Now let’s consider Imam Rauf for a moment. How do you know he wants communities to 'live in harmony’? That would be harmony under Sharia law. How can I prove that well he has said so and has links to Islamist organisations?

His links to Hizb Ut Tahir:



http://carnageandculture.blogspot.com/2010/08/terror-ties-ground-zero-imam-attended.html

Also he worded the Middle Eastern and American editions of his book differently. The Middle Eastern version mentions ‘Dawa from the wreckage of 9/11′. That is hugely significant. It seems to westerners he portrays himself as moderate, to his supporters in the Middle East he says in effect ‘America was attacked because they were Unislamic’. That is of course what ‘Dawa from the wreckage of 9/11 means’.

I am not surprised that those from the left are in favour of this move as they are de facto allied with militant Islam. (Certainly the hard left George Galloway etc. What amazes me is that they cannot see the crass insensitivity of it. Mind you they still believe the Soviet Union was a nice place. So supporting a monument to terror is comparatively mild as well as par the course.

More on the Imam and how the liberal media has white washed him.



http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2009/12/giving-thanks.html

http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2010/08/ny-times-scrubs-imam-raufs-controversial-islamic-supremacist-ground-zero-mosque-remark-new-york-is-t.html

http://carnageandculture.blogspot.com/2010/08/terror-ties-ground-zero-imam-attended.html

'Should Irish businesses or homes be moved away from areas in London, Birmingham and Manchester that were bombed by the IRA?'

No but I would oppose a 13 storey Sinn Fein centre being constructed at Canary Wharf.

Yusug Mirza said...

Hitler was also very articulate!

Remember America is founded by those who themselves escaped persecution for their religious convictions. First the Northern European Dutch escaping the brutal repression by the Catholic Church and then consistently since the founding of America refugees from every walk of life fleeing to America have made it the symbol of freedom and refuge. It was not so long ago that the Irish were victims of zenophobia in America and the Africans and the Koreans and Vietnamese.

There is no Mosque. This is a community center for New Yorkers with a basketball court, swimming pool, GYM and learning facilities. Yes and a prayer room also which is to be used by Muslims, Christians also and Hindus if they want as is in keeping with the spirit of Islam. This freedom to build on private property is the exercising of the First Amendment.

This is not about 9/11. There have been protests against Mosques being built in Kansas and Tenasee recently also and acts of terrorism on mosques and sabotages of Muslims building projects. what is there excuse? This is xenophobia plane and simple.

The Community center will be built and it will be a victory for the American Constitution and the American people.

Paul said...

'Hitler was also very articulate!'

What does that have to do with anything? Who is that aimed at?

1. It is a mosque, which is why it has an Imam.
2. It is due to be opened on the anniversary of 9/11 as a in your face provocation.
3. It is at ground zero as it was hit by debris from one of the planes flown by the Islamic terrorists.
4. Imam Rauf has links to Hizb Ut Tahir as I demonstrated.
5. Also that Imam in the Middle Eastern version of his book called it 'Dawa from the wreckage of 9/11'.
6. Where does the $100 million come from, Saudi? Either way that is significant.
7. It is intensely insensitive. Such insensitivity, from the people who demand constant sensitivity from non-Muslims over cartoons etc and riot and kill when they do not get it.
8. If it was really an interfaith initiative it might have arranged for it to be built alongside a Church in Saudi Arabia for instance.
9. The Imam has called for Israel to become an 'Arab state with a Jewish minority' i.e. a Sharia state.
10. Why is it necessary to be 13 storeys tall, at Ground Zero and open on 9/11? These three factors are hugely significant as well as grotesquely insensitive. It is a typical example of Islamic Supremacism which can be seen across the Middle East and has plenty of precedent.

Imam Rauf in his own hateful words:

http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2010/08/explosive-in-faisals-own-words.html

Oh and before predictably labels such as ‘racist’ are applied please tell me who is using the ‘N’ word in that list of excerpts by Rauf?

Ted Leddy said...

Thanks folks for the robust discussion. That's what Gubu World is about. My apologies for not contributing more. I have been exceptionally busy recently. My brother is getting married in Spain next week. As best man, I have lots of organising to do before I fly out. Also my final law exams begin at the end of the month so finding time for blogging is a real challenge. But as the title of the post says, this issue is not going away, so we will have many more opportunities to debate this rather thorny issue in the very near fuure.