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← Obama makes clear his support for ground zero mosque

Obama makes clear his support for ground zero mosque - Comments

Humanoid's Avatar Comment 1 by Humanoid

I agree with him on the point of principle. Most of the vociferous opponents are extreme right wing Christian cranks anyway. However I think the muslim guys behind the mosque probably should have been more pragmatic about their decision, all things considered and located it somewhere else to avoid unnecessary trouble. Obama really has no choice as he's upholding the constitution.

Sat, 14 Aug 2010 13:57:39 UTC | #500263

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 2 by AtheistEgbert

I think that with every religious building built in the world, a baby unicorn dies.

Sat, 14 Aug 2010 13:58:12 UTC | #500264

besleybean's Avatar Comment 3 by besleybean

I don't like religious buildings, particlularly Islamic ones. Well I mean their purpose, rather than the architecture. I also understand why this one was a tad controversial, but the statements to the media sound positive enough.

Sat, 14 Aug 2010 14:07:05 UTC | #500269

RDFFAN100's Avatar Comment 4 by RDFFAN100

Quite frankly, I would rather have Pat Condell as our U.S. President:

http://richarddawkins.net/videos/476560-pat-condell-no-mosque-at-ground-zero?page=14

Sat, 14 Aug 2010 14:13:24 UTC | #500277

besleybean's Avatar Comment 5 by besleybean

I think it would be better to have an American citizen.

Sat, 14 Aug 2010 14:15:23 UTC | #500282

greenwich's Avatar Comment 6 by greenwich

[Comment 1]However I think the muslim guys behind the mosque probably should have been more pragmatic about their decision, all things considered and located it somewhere else to avoid unnecessary trouble.

Agreed. And Rosa Parks should have just got on another bus.

Sat, 14 Aug 2010 14:26:19 UTC | #500289

besleybean's Avatar Comment 7 by besleybean

Greenwich,I don't think it's the same thing, but point taken.

Sat, 14 Aug 2010 14:28:13 UTC | #500294

Dex1879's Avatar Comment 8 by Dex1879

If the Islamic community wanted to build a mosque AT the site of the former World Trade Center, public outrage would be understandable. Building one two blocks away (apx 1/4 mile) is an entirely different matter, particularly in a city as overdeveloped as Manhattan. Ultimately, this is yet another debate over religious authority and race descrimination.

Sat, 14 Aug 2010 15:18:44 UTC | #500319

NickNakorn's Avatar Comment 9 by NickNakorn

Obama's attitude to this particular issue is absolutely correct. If only such secularlism were more commonplace in other parts of the world - here in the UK, secular humanists still seek the final disestablishment of the Church but at least we are on the secular road.

Nick

http://nicknakorn.wordpress.com

Sat, 14 Aug 2010 16:25:41 UTC | #500342

Cosmicshore's Avatar Comment 10 by Cosmicshore

I'm against any so-called 'holy building'- it only serves to separate and divide our culture more. What I can't understand with this whole situation is why the Muslims chose that area? If you're going to stick your hand in a bees nest, then you're most likely going to get stung.

Sat, 14 Aug 2010 16:57:55 UTC | #500349

vjohn82's Avatar Comment 11 by vjohn82

Sam Harris perfectly refutes the position of the President:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-08-13/ground-zero-mosque/full/

"the erection of a mosque upon the ashes of this atrocity will also be viewed by many millions of Muslims as a victory—and as a sign that the liberal values of the West are synonymous with decadence and cowardice"

Perfect.

Sat, 14 Aug 2010 17:13:31 UTC | #500351

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 12 by Steve Zara

Comment 11 by vjohn82

Sam Harris perfectly refutes the position of the President:

That's not a refutation. It's an argumentum ad populum.

Principles of secularism should not depend on popular opinion, even that of Muslims. These principles why Proposition 8 was recently struck down in California, even though it was supported by a majority vote.

It would be a dangerous step to ignore secularism based on what fundamentalists think. I would have expected more from Sam Harris.

Sat, 14 Aug 2010 17:43:38 UTC | #500360

bendigeidfran's Avatar Comment 13 by bendigeidfran

Most he could say without getting lynched. Been a mosque there all the time the 'controversy' has raged. Within magic range too!

Sat, 14 Aug 2010 17:48:21 UTC | #500361

bendigeidfran's Avatar Comment 14 by bendigeidfran

Comment 11 by vjohn82

Why is Sam supposed to be good outside of his field of expertise - you may as well ask Hawking to do futurology.

Sat, 14 Aug 2010 17:51:31 UTC | #500362

kiki5711's Avatar Comment 15 by kiki5711

"the erection of a mosque upon the ashes of this atrocity will also be viewed by many millions of Muslims as a victory—and as a sign that the liberal values of the West are synonymous with decadence and cowardice"

sounds about right to me.

let them shit in our back yard cause that's freedom! why don't they erect a mosque right on top of the ground zero, that's constitutional too;

Sat, 14 Aug 2010 18:16:26 UTC | #500365

bendigeidfran's Avatar Comment 16 by bendigeidfran

Comment 15 by kiki5711

I wish they would. Although that would be magic and anti-magic thrust together. Who knows what stupid things that would make people say.

Sat, 14 Aug 2010 18:21:24 UTC | #500368

bendigeidfran's Avatar Comment 17 by bendigeidfran

Imagine if there were such a mosque - like there has been the whole time - lots of terrible things would happen - like the things that haven't.

Sat, 14 Aug 2010 18:33:05 UTC | #500371

Carl Sai Baba's Avatar Comment 18 by Carl Sai Baba

Comment 1 by Humanoid :

However I think the muslim guys behind the mosque probably should have been more pragmatic about their decision, all things considered and located it somewhere else to avoid unnecessary trouble.

This is one of those issues which gives me a weird feeling, because they "should" dump Islam because it is an insult to women in particular and, being a religion, to intelligence in general.

However, if I slip on my dirty socks to wander around in this arena in which Islam is considered holy by these people, then I don't think it is reasonable to expect them to choose a more distant location.

First, you expect them to behave as if their own beliefs are shameful. I have a hard time expecting anyone to do that.

Second, I think the proximity is exaggerated. To ask them to see it as being too close is at the extreme end of my first objection.

Sat, 14 Aug 2010 19:21:01 UTC | #500381

Carl Sai Baba's Avatar Comment 19 by Carl Sai Baba

Comment 11 by vjohn82 :

Sam Harris perfectly refutes the position of the President:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-08-13/ground-zero-mosque/full/

"the erection of a mosque upon the ashes of this atrocity will also be viewed by many millions of Muslims as a victory—and as a sign that the liberal values of the West are synonymous with decadence and cowardice"

Perfect.

The "upon the ashes" dramatization relies a bit on furthering the misconception about the actual location.

Also, I think it's an "atrocity" that there would still be any ashes left after 9 years. Could somebody please clean up that big hole in the ground?

Sat, 14 Aug 2010 19:30:10 UTC | #500383

Carl Sai Baba's Avatar Comment 20 by Carl Sai Baba

Comment 15 by kiki5711 :

let them shit in our back yard cause that's freedom!

45 Park Place is not your "back yard", so keep your greedy communist hands off of it.

According to all proper legal paperwork, it's now their own yard, and they can worship shit there as much as they want as long as they comply with the city's plumbing regulations.

why don't they erect a mosque right on top of the ground zero, that's constitutional too;

I think someone else currently owns building rights there. Article 1, section 10, of the US constitution forbids interference in contracts by the government, though your sarcasm might be correct if no government approval is granted and only state or local laws were violated. Trespassing perhaps?

Sat, 14 Aug 2010 19:48:02 UTC | #500389

BanJoIvie's Avatar Comment 21 by BanJoIvie

Comment 12 by Steve Zara

...

It would be a dangerous step to ignore secularism based on what fundamentalists think. I would have expected more from Sam Harris.

If you read the actual article linked to in Comment 11 you will see that vjohn82 mischaracterizes Harris' point by calling it a refutation of Obama's position. Harris agrees with Obama's overall position while criticizing some of his (and others') rhetoric. Harris explicitly rejects the idea that we could or should legally ban or impede the building of this 'cultural center'. Sam takes the absolutely correct position of defending secularism in this regard.

He then proceeds to frankly on vociferously criticise the Muslim apologetics which many liberals have engaged in - and linked to their support for the builders in this simple property rights issue. His effort is to separate two issues: 1) whether this mosque should be permitted and 2) whether the 9/11 hijackers were motivated by a 'true' Islam.

Updated: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 19:55:22 UTC | #500391

BanJoIvie's Avatar Comment 22 by BanJoIvie

Excellent points RightWingAtheist.

Sat, 14 Aug 2010 19:54:29 UTC | #500392

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 23 by Steve Zara

comment 21 by BanJoIvie

In that case I admit my mistake and retract any criticism of Harris.

Updated: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 19:55:17 UTC | #500393

AfraidToDie's Avatar Comment 24 by AfraidToDie

Obama makes clear his support for ground zero mosque

That title is very misleading... no, wrong. It should be "Obama makes clear that he supports the right for the mosque to be built where municipal laws allow religious buildings". There is little doubt that he is inferring that if any other reigious group has the right to build in an area, there should be no exclusion based on religion (even if it is one of the most opressive, ridiculous religions).

Updated: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 20:00:01 UTC | #500394

katt33's Avatar Comment 25 by katt33

Constitutionally, they have every right to set it up where they wish, but it does show a lack of respect and sensitivity on their part to have it anywhere near ground zero. It seems like a thumbing their nose at the pain of those of us who lived and still in a way live through it. Constitutional, yes, sensitive and respectful, no.

Sat, 14 Aug 2010 20:00:22 UTC | #500395

severalspeciesof's Avatar Comment 26 by severalspeciesof

From the article above:

While insisting that the place where the twin towers once stood was indeed "hallowed ground," Obama said that the proper way to honor it was to apply American values.

I'm surprised no one on this thread has yet (Guess I can be first sometimes!) objected to this idea of "hallowed ground" I understand the emotional impact on people of the location, but to call it 'hallowed ground' infuses the area with a 'spirit' that it doesn't have. At least in my opinion...

I mean just think of how many non-believers (rightfully) scoff and ridicule the idea of 'holy ground' or 'holy water' etc. ...

Sat, 14 Aug 2010 20:34:30 UTC | #500406

HappyPrimate's Avatar Comment 27 by HappyPrimate

I agree totally with katt33. While I may not like it and while I feel it shows a lack of respect and sensitivity, it is not in violation of any laws of this nation, nor can it's authorization be construed as unconstitutional. We in the U.S. either stick by our principles or take measures to lawfully change those principles. I think most citizens will prefer to keep the principles we have held in high regard since our founding. President Obama could hardly have any other position.

I do fear that there will be some right-wing nut that might just feel empowered by his/her xianity to do some mischief to that building. And, as we've seen, the crap will probably hit the fan, so to speak, in the middle east. They don't need much to set them off.

Sat, 14 Aug 2010 20:39:18 UTC | #500407

ZenDruid's Avatar Comment 28 by ZenDruid

Beyond supporting RightWingAtheist, I can only offer a sentimental card that has no doubt been played already, and that is the implicit demonstration that Muslims can build as well as destroy.

This leads me to wonder if, nested somewhere within the traditional divisions of Islam, there is a sect which agrees in principle with Masonic values...?

Regardless of ethnic tradition from which derived, any such principle is positivist and appropriate to the modern multiethnic world.

Sat, 14 Aug 2010 20:46:32 UTC | #500409

kiki5711's Avatar Comment 29 by kiki5711

Comment 20 by RightWingAtheist

Comment 15 by kiki5711 :

let them shit in our back yard cause that's freedom!

45 Park Place is not your "back yard", so keep your greedy communist hands off of it.

According to all proper legal paperwork, it's now their own yard, and they can worship shit there as much as they want as long as they comply with the city's plumbing regulations

UP YOURS!! It was my back yard, thank you very much. STick the paperwork up your ass.

Updated: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 21:27:04 UTC | #500415

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 30 by Richard Dawkins

Whatever else you may say about Sam Harris's article quoted above, and whether or not he is right about the NY mosque, the following two paragraphs, about Islam more generally, seem to me well worth repeating.

Richard

The first thing that all honest students of Islam must admit is that it is not absolutely clear where members of al Qaeda, the Taliban, al-Shabab, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hamas, and other Muslim terrorist groups have misconstrued their religious obligations. If they are “extremists” who have deformed an ancient faith into a death cult, they haven’t deformed it by much. When one reads the Koran and the hadith, and consults the opinions of Muslim jurists over the centuries, one discovers that killing apostates, treating women like livestock, and waging jihad—not merely as an inner, spiritual struggle but as holy war against infidels—are practices that are central to the faith. Granted, one path out of this madness might be for mainstream Muslims to simply pretend that this isn’t so—and by this pretense persuade the next generation that the “true” Islam is peaceful, tolerant of difference, egalitarian, and fully compatible with a global civil society. But the holy books remain forever to be consulted, and no one will dare to edit them. Consequently, the most barbarous and divisive passages in these texts will remain forever open to being given their most plausible interpretations.

Thus, when Allah commands his followers to slay infidels wherever they find them, until Islam reigns supreme (2:191-193; 4:76; 8:39; 9:123; 47:4; 66:9)—only to emphasize that such violent conquest is obligatory, as unpleasant as that might seem (2:216), and that death in jihad is actually the best thing that can happen to a person, given the rewards that martyrs receive in Paradise (3:140-171; 4:74; 47:5-6)—He means just that. And, being the creator of the universe, his words were meant to guide Muslims for all time. Yes, it is true that the Old Testament contains even greater barbarism—but there are obvious historical and theological reasons why it inspires far less Jewish and Christian violence today. Anyone who elides these distinctions, or who acknowledges the problem of jihad and Muslim terrorism only to swiftly mention the Crusades, Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, the Tamil Tigers, and the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma, is simply not thinking honestly about the problem of Islam.

Sat, 14 Aug 2010 21:49:07 UTC | #500421