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Ground Zero Mosque will help Islamic relations in U.S.

So sez the Imam at the center of the controversy:

The imam who is behind plans to build a mosque near Ground Zero insisted yesterday that the prayer space and community center will actually improve Islamic relations in the United States.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who was in Bahrain yesterday as part of a 15-day tour of the Middle East funded by the US State Department, said the intense controversy over the plan is a good thing.

"The fact we are getting this kind of attention is a sign of success," he told a gathering at the US ambassador's residence there. "It is my hope that people will understand more" of the culture.

In an interview with Bahrain's Al Wasat newspaper, he also said America's sweeping constitutional rights are more in line with Islamic principles than laws imposed by some Muslim nations.

"I see the [Declaration] of Independence as more compliant with the principles of Islam than what is available in many of the current Muslim countries," he said.

Interesting how we heard that the election of Obama would also bring better relations with Islam.

How's that working out for us?


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Comments (14)

"The fact we are getting... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"The fact we are getting this kind of attention is a sign of success,"

Um .... what?

He means that fact that the... (Below threshold)
epador:

He means that fact that they are getting support from the President and a few others.

I don't like ambivalent sta... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

I don't like ambivalent statements. This statement, "The fact we are getting this kind of attention is a sign of success," also supports the view that the Cordoba mosque would be a "victory mosque." I don't know this guy, so it leaves me with that question.

"The imam who is behind ... (Below threshold)
Nine Fourteen:

"The imam who is behind plans to build a mosque near Ground Zero insisted yesterday that the prayer space and community center will actually improve Islamic relations in the United States."


Yes, but it will be hell on the rest of us.

I understand enough of thei... (Below threshold)
Roy:

I understand enough of their culture and don't care for it. Any culture that stones women to death and hangs children should end up becoming extinct.

Considering the drivers of ... (Below threshold)
Jake:

Considering the drivers of anti-Islam sentiment are NOT democrats or Pres. Obama, but Republicans, white folks, and Tea Partiers, it's AMAZING to me that you're trying to put this controversy and anti-Muslim sentiment on Obama. It's so ridiculous, it's flat out vile.

Even Ron Paul has come out against this anti-Muslim movement today.

And honestly, as ridiculous as the Imam's statement is, it shows further why he's been an "ambassador" (to use the word generically) around the world. Like many, many leaders, he's taking one of the team and trying to put a decent spin on it.

You know what he's NOT doing? Saying "Death to America!" like so many on the right are assuming he would/does.

This controversy is getting more and more sickening. For a group of people who scream about the perfection of the Constitution, you guys sure are happy to blow it off when you're in the majority rather than the minority, aren't you?

@NineFourteen - how, exactl... (Below threshold)
Jake:

@NineFourteen - how, exactly, will it be "hell on us"? And who exactly is "us"?

@Roy - if by "their" culture, do you mean 1 billion+ people worldwide? Are you saying those 1 billion+ people stone women and hang kids from trees? So I'm assuming you're also saying that all Christians murder people in the fight to eliminate abortion?

Jake, that you do not know... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Jake, that you do not know or are even aware of the history of Islam displays an ignorance which is dangerous to our freedom. We only hear about a few of the stonings. I have seen them hang children from booms on trucks in videos. Barbaric people do barbaric things. Sorry, facts are facts. Sharia is a political system of laws Islam wants the whole world to observe. That is incontravertable. Study Islam. They will not tolerate other beliefs for long. Saudis and Iranians live under Sharia. Move there and tell me what it is like.

"Study Islam"So yo... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

"Study Islam"

So you know the difference between Sunni and Shi'ite Islam and Sufi Islam, which is the type that the developer of the community centre adheres to, right Zelsdorf?

Sufi Muslims have more in common with hippies than the barbaric monsters to whom you are referring. They are persecuted by hardliners, murdered by terrorists, and do not practice violence.

This issue is an affront to the Western pluralist values that separate people who love freedom from people who love religious dictatorship.

Zelsdorf,If both I... (Below threshold)
groucho:

Zelsdorf,

If both Iranians and Saudis live under Sharia, why are we belligerent and antagonistic towards one country and affectionately embracing of the other? (see pictures of GWB holding hands with and entertaining Saudi princes)

I ain't seen Obama holdin' hands with no goldang Mooslim!

Right on hyper. I wonder if the loudest protesters realize that their intolerance is closer to those they're protesting than to the core tenets of freedom that our Western culture is founded upon.

@Zelsdorf, oh well, if you'... (Below threshold)
Jake:

@Zelsdorf, oh well, if you've seen a video then certainly we can lump 1 billion+ people together and brand them all as extremists who live under the same rules.

Even better, since you saw a video, let's start assuming anyone who identifies as "muslim" is barbaric. 1 billion people. From the US to the Middle East to Europe to Australia to Russia. That's not broad at all.

I'm curious, have you actually BEEN to Saudi Arabia? I have. I also live in Texas, where we execute the mentally ill. Some might call that barbaric too.

In another thread, the commenters told me that the racial issues at play in discussions like this are played out, that you've all moved on, that you've proven somehow that race isn't at play here.

Then I read that things like: " Barbaric people do barbaric things" and can't help but believe that this is code. Racism is back in a big big way.

@groucho +1"I wond... (Below threshold)
Jake:

@groucho +1

"I wonder if the loudest protesters realize that their intolerance is closer to those they're protesting than to the core tenets of freedom that our Western culture is founded upon."

psssssst!. . . . .... (Below threshold)
MichaelC:

psssssst!. . . . .

Could somebody spray some roach killer on this thread.

(oh no ! I'm calling for the death of bugs. I'm a buggist !)

So Jake judging your last c... (Below threshold)
John:

So Jake judging your last comment you find the muslim culture to be intolerant, in fact nearly as intolerant as our own? Interesting slip there




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