Mosque planned for (two blocks away from) Ground Zero, jingos aghast —again

New York City’s kneejerk jingos, already aghast that the hubristic “Freedom Tower” name has been dropped from the new skyscraper going up at Ground Zero, have got a new cause to gripe about. From Fox News, May 14:

Plan to Build Mosque Near Ground Zero Riles Families of 9/11 Victims
Outraged family members and community groups are accusing a Muslim group of trying to rewrite history with its plans to build a 13-story mosque and cultural center just two blocks from Ground Zero, where Islamic extremists flew two planes into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

Outraged family members and community groups are accusing a Muslim group of trying to rewrite history with its plans to build a 13-story mosque and cultural center just two blocks from Ground Zero, where Islamic extremists flew two planes into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

“This is a place which is 600 feet from where almost 3,000 people were torn to pieces by Islamic extremists,” said Debra Burlingame, whose brother died in the attack on the Pentagon that day.

“I think that it is incredibly insensitive and audacious really for them to build a mosque, not only on that site, but to do it specifically so that they could be in proximity to where that atrocity happened,” said Burlingame, who is co-founder of 9/11 Families for a Safe and Strong America.

The 13-story mosque and cultural center will be built on the site of a four-story building that was a Burlington Coat Factory retail store until 9/11, when part of a plane’s landing gear crashed through the roof. The building, which will be razed, currently houses a mosque.

The New York City Mayor’s office says “It’s private property, and the area is zoned for uses that include this one.”

Pamela Gellar, executive director of Stop Islamization of America, blasted the organization behind the plans, Cordoba Initiative, and its leader, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, saying the project is “an insulting flag of conquest of Islamic supremacism.”

“How can you build a shrine to the very ideology that brought down the World Trade Center?” asked Geller, whose group is planning a June 6 rally to protest the project.

Gee, what a great testament to the American “freedom” that these jingos so glorify. Start banning houses of worship from select areas of the city.

Not to mention that the “ideology that brought down the World Trade Center” wasn’t Islam but Islamic fundamentalism, or radical Islam or political Islam. Whatever you want to call it, a brief look at the Cordoba Initiative website indicates that they are thoroughly opposed to it. Their kicker is “Improving Muslim-West relations,” and there is much verbiage about promoting “interfaith tolerance and respect.” Certainly, having an Islamic institution that favors co-existence with the West 600 feet from Ground Zero will be viewed as an insult, not as vindication, by the real jihadis.

As for you, Fox News, did you consider getting a quote from September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows to balance those from 9-11 Families for a Safe and Strong America? No of course not, that would be too much like journalism…

See our last posts on New York City, Islamophobia, the struggle within Islam, and the struggle for Ground Zero.

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  1. Anti-mosque protesters win on Staten Island?
    Following protests and heated public meetings that have brought out hundreds have prompted St. Margaret Mary Church to reconsider sale of a vacant convent in Staten Island’s Midland Beach neighborhood for a mosque. Father Keith Fennessy, who signed a contract last month to sell the site to the Muslim American Society for $750,000, wrote in a letter to Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan: “I wish to formally withdraw my support for the sale and request that it not take place.” (NYT, June 17; SILive, June 13)

  2. Bloomberg repudiates call to probe “Ground Zero mosque”
    Good for Bloomberg, and shame on Lazio. But this July 12 AP account is problematic a couple of different ways. First, according to the Cordoba Initiative website, what they want to build isn’t a mosque, but an ecumenical community center. (And it is also two blocks from Ground Zero, so the media-dubbed “Ground Zero mosque” is neither.) Second, the “hedging” about Hamas is left vague—neither quote nor citation is given. As for the bit about US policy being “an accessory to the crime” of 9-11, that is obvious—and a point we have made repeatedly.

    Bloomberg calls mosque investigation un-American
    New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says it would be un-American to investigate a mosque that is planned for construction near where the World Trade Center once stood.

    Bloomberg was asked Monday about GOP gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio’s demands last week that Democratic rival Andrew Cuomo investigate the $100 million mosque being developed near the Sept. 11 attack site. Bloomberg said investigating or vetting religious organizations goes against what the nation stands for.

    Some survivors and family members of Sept. 11 victims say building a mosque disrespects the memory of those who died at the hands of Islamic terrorists. Still, Bloomberg repeatedly supported its construction and believes that it poses no security concerns.

    Lazio refused to say whether he opposes the general idea of a mosque near the site. He opposes the proposed mosque because he is concerned that not enough is known about its funding sources and has questions about its director, Imam Faisel Abdul Rauf.

    Rauf refuses to call the radical Palestinian group Hamas a terrorist organization, and had said in a 60 Minutes interview televised shortly after Sept. 11 that “United States policies were an accessory to the crime that happened.”

    Cuomo said he supports the project.

  3. Jingos litigate over “Ground Zero Mosque”…
    …which is neither at Ground Zero, nor a mosque.

    The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) on Aug. 5 filed a lawsuit against the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), seeking to overturn its decision to allow the Cordoba House project to proceed. The lawsuit, filed in the New York State Supreme Court [official website], the state trial court, alleges that the LPC violated the New York City Charter and Administrative Code in refusing to designate the structure currently at the site as a landmark. In explaining the lawsuit, the petition stated:

    The building stands as an iconic symbol to an uninterrupted linkage of the rise of American capitalism with our current quest to preserve our freedom and democracy. The building, therefore, should stand as part of the commemorative and educational experience of our shared political, cultural and historic heritage. The land use process of New York City now threatens to do what the terrorists failed to accomplish and destroy a building that has been under consideration for landmark status for twenty years.

    In his response to the LPC decision, Corboba House chairman Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf said that he hoped the planned center would “be a home for all people who are yearning for understanding and healing, peace, collaboration, and interdependence.” The first hearing in the case is expected in October. (Jurist, Aug. 5)

  4. Muslims are like Nazis
    Let’s look at it this way. How do you think WWII would have went if we hadn’t “lowered” ourselves by identifying and dealing w/ Nazis in the states. Say we let them build a Nazi recruitment center here in the 40s, using the same arguments that some of the ppl on here are using: that “if we didn’t allow it, we’d be lowering ourselves to their level,” or that “it’d go against what we stand for as Americans.” Those make sense and sound nice, but also aren’t the best option to take against an aggressive invader, who views itself as “conquering” non muslim nations. And for the people who have been saying that persecuting all Christians because of a radical minority such as the KKK is the same thing, it’s not. It doesn’t say anywhere in the bible to wear white pajamas and kill every non white person living in the US. However, it’s a fundamental part of the Quran to “Fight against such as those to whom the Scriptures were given (Jews and Christians)… until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued.” (Surah 9:27). And we have all the “Good Muslims” claiming that they don’t follow those parts, but do you really think that’s how they all feel? What do you think they’ll tell another Muslim if asked the same question, especially when it says directly in their little book to persecute any Muslims who don’t follow the Quran entirely ( has a good list of quotes like this). As far as I’m concerned, the Quran is one of the most dangerous/fundamentally misogynistic and intolerant pieces of crap to ever be written, let alone mass produced. How can you even pretend to take a nation seriously who is using its women as human bombers by putting bombs in their breast implants (breast augmentation bomb pics). It’s not pretty sounding, but we need to at least regulate the spread of this toxic ideology before they become even more entrenched in the countries they’re “invading.” It’s either compromise our values or let them carry out their agenda, so I’d choose the lesser of the two.

    1. You’re like an idiot
      No, let’s not look at it that way, because it is totally ignorant, prejudiced, and (probably) a scam to publicize breast augmentation. Assuming you are for real and not a mere spammer (we’ll give you the benefit of the doubt), every one of your assumptions is way, way off base.

      The “Ground Zero Mosque” isn’t a mosque, and mosques are not “Nazi recruitment centers.” How many times do we have to repeat this? The folks at Cordoba House are Sufis, followers of the tolerant and universalist tendency within Islam—who are being attacked in Pakistan (their mosques blown up, etc.) by the same political forces that carried out 9-11. Hello? Do you follow the news from the Islamic world, or do you think you already know everything?

      The United States hasn’t been “invaded.” We suffered two very bad terrorist attacks one day nine years ago. Since then, it is the United States that has illegally invaded two countries. You seem to have things rather backwards.

      Yeah, there is some ugly stuff in the Koran. There’s loads of ugly stuff in the Bible too—like abject glorification of genocide and ethnic cleansing. ( has a good list of quotes like this.) Christian extremists killed more Muslims at Srebrenica on July 11, 1995 than Muslim extremists killed in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. Maybe we should start banning churches too?

      Your choice of either “compromise our values or let them carry out their agenda” is a false one. Do we oppose Islamist intolerance and totalitarianism because it is Islamist or because it is intolerant and totalitarian? If it is really about principle and not mere kneejerk hatred of the Other, you might want to consider the dangers of “us” becoming what we oppose—as the US began to mirror Nazi techniques with the internment of the Japanese Americans.