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Name That Bar

Jim Burroway

August 10th, 2010

When not inventing drag queen names, my partner and I have a road-trip game where we invent small town gay bar names. Past nominees included Winks, Rumors, Just Friends, Club Innuendo — you get the idea. A Fox News host announced that he would open a gay bar near the proposed “ground zero mosque” (so named even though the mosque is blocks away from ground zero). Andrew Sullivan noted that the bar would need a name, and posted some of his reader’s suggestions:

I have to say I’d definitely go into a bar called Jihard. “Who’s Your Baghdaddi?” isn’t bad either. Infidel-ity is too upscale – that should be a piano bar playing only Gershwin. Halal Sailor: a little retro. Dicka Dicka Dicka should be a sex club. The Sixth Pillar is a little T.E. (but could definitely add a little upper-class English S&M for spice). imam4imam should be a website. Men-R-It is a nice play on minaret, but way too subtle. TGI Thursdays is a classic.

Go here to see his winning bar name. Sully suggests that Anderson Cooper’s partner would be the perfect manager.

Comments

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L. Junius Brutus
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Rod Akbar? Or how about “Ground Zero”, in anticipation of what will happen to that place?

Richard Rush
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Actually, I think StoneWall would be an appropriate name for a Muslim gay bar.

Lindoro Almaviva
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

This whole thing is so f*ck*ng racist is sickening. It keeps reminding me of the times when we consistently saw signs like “No japs” or “No Irish need apply”

I hope this mosque is build and it is beautiful. Just as i make a point of going to ground zero every time I go to NYC, i will make a point of visiting the mosque and pray there when it is finished.

This whole situation only illustrates how ridiculous, backwards and uneducated we are about race in this country.

And before you come flame me, remember that these are the same people who in a second will demand a constitutional amendment to make sure you are kept “in your place”.

Ryan
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

“TGI Thursdays?”. I don’t get it.

Timothy Kincaid
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Akbar is taken; it’s the name of a bar in Los Angeles (I was just there this weekend)

Jim Burroway
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

“TGI Thursdays?”. I don’t get it.

We say “Thank God it’s Friday” because it is the day before the weekend. Friday is the “sabbath” equivalent among Muslims, a holy day of prayer. So if their weekend begins on Friday, TGI Thursday.

L. Junius Brutus
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

“This whole thing is so f*ck*ng racist is sickening.”

What race are people discriminating against? Islam is not a race, and neither is any other religion or belief system. No, what is sickening is the fact that a belief system is compared to a race. Would people be racist if they objected to the erection of a monument to Operation Rescue, near the place where one of their supporters butchered Dr. George Tiller?

The perpetrators were all Arabs. But if people wanted to build a church for Arab Christians near Ground Zero, not a soul would object – because it is not about race, it is about belief systems.

“This whole situation only illustrates how ridiculous, backwards and uneducated we are about race in this country.”

This whole situation would need to be about race, before it would illustrate anything.

“And before you come flame me, remember that these are the same people who in a second will demand a constitutional amendment to make sure you are kept “in your place”.”

Immaterial and irrelevant. If gay radicals blew up a Mississippi neighborhood and killed 3000 people, because of objections against the way America is dealing with gay rights, people would be outraged if someone tried to build a gay bar “two blocks away” from that place – and they would be right.

Jason D
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

sigh.
It’s not a mosque. It’s a community center with a prayer room. It’s as much a mosque as my 3-story gym is a daycare center because it has a tiny childcare room next to the front desk.

L. Junius Brutus
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

The “tiny” mosque inside the “community center” can house 1,000-2,000 people. It does not become any less of a mosque, because it is part of an Islamic “community center”.

Priya Lynn
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Its understandable that some people are upset about a mosque being built near the area of the former world trade centres, but if you believe the American constitution is correct and there is a right to freedom of religion you certainly can’t oppose it. If you believe in certain values you don’t just toss them aside when they benefit someone you don’t like.

Chris McCoy
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

L. Junius Brutus said:

If gay radicals blew up a Mississippi neighborhood and killed 3000 people, because of objections against the way America is dealing with gay rights, people would be outraged if someone tried to build a gay bar “two blocks away” from that place – and they would be right.

Because all gays are radical murderers?
Or because building a gay bar in Mississippi is outrageous?

Which unfounded stereotype are we pushing exactly? I need to get my talking points in line.

Burr
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Considering the mosque protesters surrounded and shunned away a couple of Arab Christians from Egypt who wanted to join them, I’d say race has been fully conflated into the issue.

The law is clear however.

Is it a bit tasteless in light of how it can be interpreted? Yes I agree. But the way to go about it is to engage the other side, not destroy the rule of law and whining to get your way.

Timothy Kincaid
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

The mosque, like the proposed bar, is probably intentionally offensive. But offensive is legal and we should fight to defend the right to be an obnoxious ass. There are plenty of folk who are offended by us.

Emily K
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

The mosque, like the proposed bar, is probably intentionally offensive.

Explain how.

Emily K
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Hey, maybe the Muslim attendees will try to cause another 3,000 deaths. We should just open up another Git’mo right there to house all the towelhead America-haters.

Priya Lynn
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

The mosque, like the proposed bar, is probably intentionally offensive.

Yes, I’d like to know too. What evidence do you have that that’s the case?

Priya Lynn
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

That first sentence in my previous comment is a quote from Timothy.

Emily K
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

so, here’s what i’ve gleaned. The Muslims building the Islamic center want to serve that part of Manhattan. There are already several houses of worship near there, including churches and synagogues. They’re not on top of the land that was attacked, they’re 2 blocks away.

Why are we singling out Muslims who had nothing to do with the terrorists who attacked the WTC?

You know, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Gays, Jews, Christians… you think people learn lessons about genocide, and singling others out, but really, they don’t. They’re all the same assholes as they think everybody *else* is.

Priya Lynn
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Its pretty offensive to attempt to punish people for something they didn’t do.

L. Junius Brutus
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Priya Lynn: “but if you believe the American constitution is correct and there is a right to freedom of religion you certainly can’t oppose it.”

Definitely wrong. Just because something is legal, does not mean that you cannot oppose it. In fact, that’s what the religious right argues – that the legality of gay marriage will force them to approve of it, which is absolute nonsense, of course.

“Considering the mosque protesters surrounded and shunned away a couple of Arab Christians from Egypt who wanted to join them, I’d say race has been fully conflated into the issue.”

Polls show that more than 50% of the American population is opposed to the mosque, while about 20% agree. Do you think that they are all racists? Obviously, racist elements will be present, but it’s about ideology and not race. There would not have been an uproar, had this been a church.

Emily K: “They’re not on top of the land that was attacked, they’re 2 blocks away.”

Wow, that’s a relief. *Two blocks* away and opening on the 10-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks, and with a man who says that the US was an “accessory” to the terrorist attacks.

Nope, nothing to see here. Move along, Sir.

L. Junius Brutus
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Oh, and the question isn’t whether they have the *right* to build a mosque there. The question is whether it’s the right thing to do. And last time I checked, First Amendment rights don’t disappear when one is talking about a proposed mosque.

Don’t be like the religious right, which claims that criticism of their positions is a violation of their “religious liberty”.

Emily K
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Polls show that more than 50% of the American population is opposed to the mosque, while about 20% agree. Do you think that they are all racists?

50% of Americans are opposed to same-sex marriage, while under 50 support it. Do you think that they are all homophobic bigots?

Yes. Two blocks away. Not on top. Two blocks away. And unless we close all other houses of worship, we have no right to single out Muslims. How about we close down synagogues because the Israeli government “kills innocent Palestinians?” Let’s blame all Jews for that too. Or blame all Jews for killing Jesus. Let’s blame all male gays for being diseased-ridden whores since the sewer sex culture allowed for such rampant spread of AIDS in the 80’s.

We can’t do this with one without doing it to all others.

Well, you CAN, but it’s wrong, and shows the true colors of the one doing so.

I suppose I should thank Brutus, because he proves just because one supports gay rights doesn’t mean one can’t also be bigoted in their own way.

Timothy Kincaid
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Emily,

Is anyone on this site demanding that anything be closed or banned or blocked? Because unless they are, you are engaging in hyperbole.

Emily K
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

You still haven’t answered mine and Priya’s question, Timothy. what evidence do you have that the Islamic Center is “intentionally offensive?” None? Or is it just hyperbole?

Priya Lynn
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Junius said “Priya Lynn: “but if you believe the American constitution is correct and there is a right to freedom of religion you certainly can’t oppose it.”

Definitely wrong. Just because something is legal, does not mean that you cannot oppose it.”

No, you’re wrong. I never said that you can’t oppose something that is legal. What I said was you can oppose freedom of religion if you think the first amendment in the American constitution is wrong, but if you think its right then by definition you cannot be opposed to freedom of religion.

Junius said “Polls show that more than 50% of the American population is opposed to the mosque, while about 20% agree. Do you think that they are all racists?”.

Yes, they’re all racists just like the 50% of the American population that opposes equal marriage are all bigots.

Emily K
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

And Timothy, I’m not talking about banning or blocking. I’m talking about blame and words.

Seems you have plenty, except when you are called on them. Or are you now scared to admit that when you scratch just below the surface you’re as ignorant as the people who rail against you for loving someone of the same sex? I’m sure you’d find an unlikely ally in being opposed to this Islamic Center.

How dare they belong to the same religion (in name at least) as the people who flew the planes into the towers! Why can’t they be decent Christians like Timothy!

Timothy Kincaid
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Emily, dear, you are beginning to sound like a crazy person. You should go back and read what people actually said, not what you imagine them to have secretly meant.

Chris McCoy
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

L. Junius Brutus said:

Oh, and the question isn’t whether they have the *right* to build a mosque there. The question is whether it’s the right thing to do.

Listen to yourself.
“Oh, and the question isn’t whether they have the *right* to [same-sex marriage]. The question is whether it’s the right thing to do.”

Polls show that more than 50% of the American population is opposed to the mosque, while about 20% agree. Do you think that they are all racists? Obviously, racist elements will be present, but it’s about ideology and not race. There would not have been an uproar, had this been a church.

It doesn’t matter if 99.999% of Americans are opposed to the mosque. It’s still discrimination against Muslims.

Wow, that’s a relief. *Two blocks* away and opening on the 10-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks, and with a man who says that the US was an “accessory” to the terrorist attacks.

Nope, nothing to see here. Move along, Sir.

Yep. Nothing to see except an anti-Muslim bigot.

Emily K
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

I quoted what you said, Timothy “dear.”

The mosque, like the proposed bar, is probably intentionally offensive.

What evidence do you have that the “mosque” is “offensive?”

Jim Burroway
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

The next time that someone claims that [name your historically oppressed minority] ought to be natural allies to the LGBT community because they know what it is like to have their moral integrity called into question or have suffered demands that their citizenship be less than full like ours have been, I will remember this thread and point them to it.

I am beyond disturbed that as an American, we think that it can be inappropriate for a house of worship be erected due to political concerns.

The objections over the mosque/community center aren’t over inadequate parking, or noise, or blocking a view, or any of the other objections that are typically raised whenever a church or synagogue wants to bould in any other neighborhood in the country.

No, the objection is that moslems are terrorist and how dare they locate two blocks away in a location where nobody can see them or hear them from ground zero.

What if they locate three blocks away?

What if they locate four blocks away?

Should they be barred from lower Manhattan?

And why exactly? Did they fly the planes into the twin towers or the Pentagon?

Xenophobia is the new homophobia. And our country is suffering from it at levels I have never seen before in my lifetime.

Our nation is no longer aspiring to achieve its highest ideals. We are instead cowering and bickering over our deepest fears and insecurities. And we are subverting the very principles that have made our nation the envy of the world. Our founding fathers would be ashamed.

Priya Lynn
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

So, how about it, Timothy – what evidence do you have that the Islamic Centre is “probably intentionally offensive”?

Emily K
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Thank you for that statement, Jim. At least I can have faith that one of the editors of this blog is on the right side of this matter.

I too am disturbed by the xenophobia. It’s too close to “Jews control the media; move them four blocks down (or two miles, or to the camp across the border) to keep them from being such a plague.”

My ancestors emigrated from such a “designated place” where Jews weren’t such a “threat” – the Pale of Settlement in Russia.

Timothy Kincaid
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Jim,

Who, exactly, is saying that “moslems are terrorist and how dare they locate two blocks away in a location where nobody can see them or hear them from ground zero.”

Who said that. I don’t see anyone even hinting that.

And who said that they think it is “inappropriate for a house of worship be erected due to political concerns.”

Who is being xenophobic? If we’re going to toss accusations, then let’s name names.

Priya Lynn
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Jim, not many Canadians envy the U.S. And neither do a lot of people in other countries.

Timothy Kincaid
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

I am DEEPLY disturbed at the idea that because I am attracted to persons of the same sex then therefore this dictates my opinions about the location of a construction of a mosque. That is not only nutty, but extremely offensive.

It is only second to the WILD assumptions that if one is less that adulatory over the decision to build the mosque then one is a xenophobic bigot.

L. Junius Brutus
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

“50% of Americans are opposed to same-sex marriage, while under 50 support it. Do you think that they are all homophobic bigots?”

Nope, not all of them are, although bigots find themselves naturally attracted to the side that wants to give gay people fewer rights. Complete non-sequitur.

“And unless we close all other houses of worship, we have no right to single out Muslims. ”

Again, the question is not whether they have a right to build a mosque there, the question is whether it is right to build a mosque there. It clearly is not, as your “argument by outrage” makes very, very clear.

“We can’t do this with one without doing it to all others.”

Not true, because your comparisons are untrue and attack a straw man. It is not about blaming all Muslims, it is about recognizing that 19 Muslims committed this terrorist act. Not 19 Jews, not 19 Christians, not 19 Hindus – but 19 Muslims. If gay radicals had blown up the World Trade Center, you obviously wouldn’t go out and stick a finger in the eyes of the families of the victims by building a Ground Zero gay bar. And that’s despite the fact that sexual orientation is innate and religion is not – it’s a belief system and a choice.

“I suppose I should thank Brutus, because he proves just because one supports gay rights doesn’t mean one can’t also be bigoted in their own way.”

Keep on dreaming, with your 20% support. Apparently, everyone but the 20% you belong to is completely bigoted and ignorant.

Emily K
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Timothy, please tell us why the Islamic Center is “probably intentionally offensive.” Why are you dodging this simple question?

Emily K
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Keep on dreaming, with your 20% support. Apparently, everyone but the 20% you belong to is completely bigoted and ignorant.

yes, they are. Intelligent people have always been in the minority, Brutus. I’m thankful to be on the right side.

Since the gospels say that a few Jews “killed Jesus,” I suppose we should keep all Jews out of Christian nations because their existence is sticking a finger in the eye of people who worship him as their savior-god. Oh wait, people DID do that. And killed them during the crusades because it made sense to kill “the enemy at home” while killing “the enemy abroad.” Blood libel is an ugly thing. Hell, even the X-Men comic books covered this topic.

L. Junius Brutus
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Chris McCoy: “It doesn’t matter if 99.999% of Americans are opposed to the mosque. It’s still discrimination against Muslims.”

The question wasn’t whether it’s “discrimination”. The question was whether people who oppose this venture are bigots – which they are clearly not.

“Yep. Nothing to see except an anti-Muslim bigot.”

Yet more unsupported name-calling. Too bad you don’t have any arguments, except calling people bigots for being concerned about having a man who thinks that the US was an accessory to the 9/11 attacks build a $100 million center with dubious funding next to the buildings that were blown up.

Jim Burroway
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

If one can object to building of a house of worship without calling fellow American citizens loyalty into question, then I would accept that the opinion was based on something rational. But if the objection is over Moslem Americans (or immigrants or visitors) worshiping at a particular location is based on political or ethnic concerns, then that is something else entirely. Like I said, the objections aren’t over parking spaces. I think we all know what the objections are.

Priya Lynn
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Timothy when people say Muslims shouldn’t build a Mosque near there they are certainly implying that they are somewhat responsible for the terrorist actions there.

As to “And who said that they think it is “inappropriate for a house of worship be erected due to political concerns.””, you said they were being an “obnoxious ass”. Calling someone an obnoxious ass is most certainly suggesting their actions are inapropriate.

Timothy Kincaid
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Because you don’t really care about why I have that impression (which is all it is). You just want to throw invective and my time is too valuable to waste on pointless rant and counter-rant with you.

Jim Burroway
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

My use of the xenophobic epithet was not directed toward anyone on this board personally. But I find it impossible to escape its obvious growth in American discource generally, whether it’s the mosque/community center in lower Manhattan, growing objections over mosques elsewhere in the country, the Obama-is-really-a-Kenyan-Muslim slander that so preoccupies much of the tea party, or, yes, the baseless cries of headless bodies in the desert and a nonexistent “skyrocketing” (but actually dropping) crime rate along the U.S./Mexican border.

Fear-based vs. Fact-based. That’s what I’m seeing. Whatever the basis of discourse taking over this country, I don’t see its basis in facts.

Timothy Kincaid
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Jim

Just so I’m clear: whose loyalty is being questioned by whom?

Emily K
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

So let’s see what we have here:

an editor of a blog concerned with civil rights for people of different sexual orientations.

who also thinks an Islamic Center being built in downtown Manhattan is “probably intentionally offensive.” But won’t explain why. And called people who do so “obnoxious asses.” But won’t explain why.

Then when he is actually called on his words, he dodges the question, claiming his “time is too important,” and worried that he is being unfairly attacked.

Sound familiar?

[Hint: it should sound like every anti-gay person who has ever been covered in an article written on this blog – many by Timothy.]

Kettle, meet pot.

Priya Lynn
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Junius said “It is not about blaming all Muslims”. Obviously it is. If you weren’t blaming all Muslims you wouldn’t be opposing this mosque.

Junius said “The question wasn’t whether it’s “discrimination”. The question was whether people who oppose this venture are bigots – which they are clearly not.”.

Its a fallacy that if a lot of people believe something they must be right, or not bigoted. You’re attempting to punish people who had nothing to do with the terrorists attacks – that’s extremely bigoted.

Emily K
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Because you don’t really care about why I have that impression

And how would you know what I care about, if all you have to go on is the statement you made followed by “what evidence do you have supporting this claim?”

Timothy Kincaid
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Jim,

I’m glad no one here is being called xenophobic. The opening sentence discussed this thread so I assumed that it was an accusation directed someone here. All of the things you list are certainly objectionable nonsense, but I didn’t see them here.

But as far as discourse goes, I would assume that one can be suspect of the motivations for the location without being an anti-Muslim extremist.

Priya Lynn
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Timothy said “Because you don’t really care about why I have that impression (which is all it is).”.

Which is a reluctant way of admitting that you have no evidence that the building of this Islamic centre is “probably intentionally offensive”.

Thanks for that (I think).

L. Junius Brutus
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Moi: “Keep on dreaming, with your 20% support. Apparently, everyone but the 20% you belong to is completely bigoted and ignorant.”

Emily K: “yes, they are. Intelligent people have always been in the minority, Brutus. I’m thankful to be on the right side.”

LOL! Did you just call 80% of the American people bigoted? And did you just say that stupidity and intelligence depend on one’s opinion of whether a mosque should be constructed next to Ground Zero?

BTW: You’re imagining that you are on the “right side”. Please keep your moral superiority to yourself, as you aren’t morally superior on this matter.

Jim Burroway: “If one can object to building of a house of worship without calling fellow American citizens loyalty into question, then I would accept that the opinion was based on something rational. But if the objection is over Moslem Americans (or immigrants or visitors) worshiping at a particular location is based on political or ethnic concerns, then that is something else entirely.”

If Matthew Shepard had been murdered by two fundamentalists, and if Jerry Falwell wanted to build a fundamentalist church right next to the spot where he had been tied to a fence, on the 10th anniversary of his murder, while calling the gay community an accessory to his murder, what would your reaction be? Would you think that it’s appropriate?

L. Junius Brutus
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Priya: “Its a fallacy that if a lot of people believe something they must be right, or not bigoted. You’re attempting to punish people who had nothing to do with the terrorists attacks – that’s extremely bigoted.”

Nope, I’m not arguing anything. I’m just trying to establish a record here. You apparently think that 80% of Americans are bigoted, and why? Because they disagree with you that a mosque is at an appropriate location.

I’m not really arguing with you (or Emily) anymore, because I realize that it’s pointless. You’re simply too radical – radical enough to call 80% of Americans bigots – to have a fruitful conversation with. No offense.

Emily K
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

LOL! Did you just call 80% of the American people bigoted?

Yup. But I don’t *need* to call them that. They demonstrate it just fine with their own words and actions.

I think Prop 8 proved that the majority does not necessarily have wisdom and rationality on their side, just fear mongering and ignorance.

Priya Lynn
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Junius said “LOL! Did you just call 80% of the American people bigoted?”.

That most American people can be bigoted is no surprise to any rational person. Once again, lots of people believing something doesn’t necessarily make it true.

Junius said “BTW: You’re imagining that you are on the “right side”. Please keep your moral superiority to yourself, as you aren’t morally superior on this matter.”.

Those who think people should not be punished for something they didn’t do most certainly are morally superior to those who think its okay to punish people for something they didn’t do.

Junius said “If Matthew Shepard had been murdered by two fundamentalists, and if Jerry Falwell wanted to build a fundamentalist church right next to the spot where he had been tied to a fence, on the 10th anniversary of his murder, while calling the gay community an accessory to his murder, what would your reaction be? Would you think that it’s appropriate?”.

That’s nonsense. None of the Muslims building this centre have said Americans were accessories to these murders. Take that absurd condition out of your scenario and I’d have no problem whatsoever with Jerry Falwell beulging a fundamentalist church right next to the spot where Shepard was tied to the fence on the 10th anniversery of his murder.

L. Junius Brutus
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

It’s a true shame that you don’t realize that there are many decent, fine people who oppose same-sex marriage. And it’s a shame that you validate NOM’s accusations by calling people bigots left and right. Prop. 8 voters are bigots, the 80% who oppose this mosque are bigots – at the end of the day, is any non-bigot left standing?

Priya Lynn
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Junius said “You apparently think that 80% of Americans are bigoted, and why? Because they disagree with you that a mosque is at an appropriate location.”.

They’re obviously bigoted, not because they disagree with me, but because they want to punish people for something they had nothing to do with.

Timothy Kincaid
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Oddly enough, something like that was tried. In 2003, Fred Phelps sued to put a monument in a park in Casper, WY

Now the Kansas reverend wants to put up a 6-foot-tall monument in Casper’s Central Park that you can view here (warning: this site contains both incendiary and very graphic matter). A bronze plaque on the monument would read:

Matthew Shepard Entered Hell October 12, 1998, at age 21 in Defiance of God’s Warning: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; it is abomination.” Leviticus 18:22

Not exactly a comparable situation, in my opinion.

L. Junius Brutus
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Priya Lynn: “Those who think people should not be punished for something they didn’t do most certainly are morally superior to those who think its okay to punish people for something they didn’t do.”

You have a knack for strawmen, don’t you? As I’ve said, this isn’t about rights, it’s about whether it is right. No one is punishing anyone, people are arguing that the location is completely and absolutely inappropriate. And it isn’t the least bit bigoted to point this out.

By the way, those who don’t go around calling everyone they disagree with a bigot are morally superior to those who do.

“None of the Muslims building this centre have said Americans were accessories to these murders.”

Another strawman. Rauf said that the US was an accessory to the 9/11 attacks, not “Americans”.

“Take that absurd condition out of your scenario and I’d have no problem whatsoever with Jerry Falwell beulging a fundamentalist church right next to the spot where Shepard was tied to the fence on the 10th anniversery of his murder.”

Hard to believe. You’d be the first one to criticize and call him a bigot (appropriately, in Falwell’s case).

Jim Burroway
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Muslim office workers died on 9-11, killed by the terrorists. Muslim Americans fought and died in Afghanistan and Iraq for American freedoms and principles. If they want to build a mosque across the street from Ground Zero, they have as much a right to — and are just as worthy of doing so — as any other religious group whose adherants’ lives were sacrificed for the same cause. And they have no more cause to have their motives questioned than any other religious body.

Emily K
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Jim, it would be interesting if the Islamic Center were dedicated to those Muslim Americans who died in the attacks, and died fighting in our military in the ensuing wars.

Maybe then Timothy wouldn’t think (without any evidence) that they were being “intentionally offensive” building a house of worship on the land they own, which happens to be 2 blocks from ground zero, where nobody can see them or hear them from that point.

Timothy Kincaid
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

I agree. Everyone’s motives are subject to question when issues of controversy arise. No religious bodies should be exempt.

Emily K
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

..Or blog editors, when they make statements they then mysteriously back away from after they realize they might have put their foot in their mouth.

L. Junius Brutus
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

They just happen to own land near Ground Zero? How did they get a hold of that land? An inheritance?

Like it or not, Islam is going to face a fierce backlash over this matter. It’s an incredibly stupid thing to do, even if you have the right to do it, because it will simply increase the mistrust and hatred of Muslims. Just like the outrageous gay pride parades are incredibly counterproductive and give people a negative view of gay people.

Emily K
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Once again, let’s be clear: Timothy said that the Islamic Center being built is “probably intentionally offensive.”

Offensive how? To whom? Why would they be “intentionally offensive?” Is it because these Muslims are trying to piss off America because they innately “hate America?”

How is a house of worship that doesn’t mention 9-11 or terrorism or government “intentionally offensive?”

And what evidence is there that anyone trying to build it is being “intentionally offensive?”

L. Junius Brutus
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

“And what evidence is there that anyone trying to build it is being “intentionally offensive?””

Anyone could have guessed what the reaction to building a mosque right next to the ruins of the World Trade Center would be. The teachings of Islam inspired the 9/11 terrorist attacks, so it’s natural that people are going to be skeptical of an Islamic building in the close vicinity of the WTC. Also, it will be a propaganda victory for Islamists. It is not rocket science. You’re the only one who is surprised that only 20% of people agree with you.

Emily K
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

I’m not really arguing with you (or Emily) anymore, because I realize that it’s pointless. You’re simply too radical – radical enough to call 80% of Americans bigots – to have a fruitful conversation with. No offense.

wooops!

L. Junius Brutus
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Hey, I can’t help it – I’m stupid. Remember? Priya thinks that the 80% who disagree with the location of this mosque are bigoted and stupid.

Scott P.
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Okay, I probably shouldn’t do this, but I think I know what Timothy means by “intentionally offensive”.

The site chosen is very close to a place that many, many people consider sacred ground. The people who are the face of this particular group have not been forthcoming about the source of their funding. It is suspected that radical Muslim factions are contributing money to get this “center” built. Since we’ve heard very, very little from either moderate or liberal Muslims condemning the action of the radicals that support acts of terror many U.S. citizens are leery of anything remotely connected to the Muslim faith. Until the moderates and liberals speak openly, and loudly, in condemnation of terrorist acts, many here will be mistrustful of anything done in the name of Islam. Further, the name of the group building the center “Cordoba House” bring their motives into question with just that name. Cordoba was the site of the first mosque built on European soil and was meant to be a symbol of the eventual conquest of all of Europe.

My concern is that the mosque will be a target for violent action by reactionaries intent on punishing all Muslims for the actions of a few.

Timothy Kincaid
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Scott P.

Don’t forget the “probably”. I’m not convinced of the idea, but it seems enough that way to make me think it’s probably not an accident.

For me the two biggest concerns are

1) the planned opening date on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. How could anyone possibly pretend to think that this won’t offend some of the families?

2) I may be mistaken but I haven’t really heard any outreach effort to address the concerns of those who have raised them. I think that a proactive effort to explain themselves and answer the questions would have gone a long way to alleviate those who might fear that this is in same way directed malevolently towards their loved ones.

To me it goes more to the idea that they have to know that some folks will be afraid and hurt. And it seems – at least to me – that they don’t really much care.

Now to be clear, they have no obligation to do anything. They don’t have to explain themselves or justify anything. And they have the right and freedom to build their mosque wherever they want and open on any day they like.

I completely support their right to do so.

But the way this is being handled feels a bit to me like “screw you.”

But maybe I’m wrong. I hope so.

mikeksf
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Priya, Jim, Emily,

Thanks for your insights and commentary. This thread really is a frightful display of the effects of radical right wing fear mongering on civil discourse. Drudge, Beck, Breitbart, et al, they came for Van Jones, then they came for Acorn, then they came for Sherrod…. the list only gets more expansive, their fear mongering more palpable. Stop a house of worship being built for ideological reasons, amend the Constitution because of the color of their skin, carry the proper papers to show to the police, fear filled politics. I believe aspects of this discussion reflects that.
It surprises me because last week the discussion of the AZ immigration law and its relationship to GLBT issues seemed to very cogently connect the rights of all marginalized groups.

Scott P.
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Thank you, Timothy, I forgot the opening date. That, too, calls their motives into question. If they do something like declare a prayer service for the victims of 9/11 they’d do much to smooth things over.

Tommy
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Timothy,

I wrote a geography paper about this particular issue, and after considerable research I have concluded: they were completely blindsided by the right wing bus of lies.

First off the opening date claim you made, the tenth anniversary of September 11th, that is just a lie. A lie straight from Fox News. Everyone involved in the project has denounced it as a lie.

The sheer volume of lies is almost at Prop 8 levels.

First off, they are not building a mosque. It is a community center.

The site they picked was chosen because… they already owned it. The people trying to build the community center are already using the buildings there for prayer meetings and have been doing so for a considerably long time.

It’s around a ten minute walk from the WTC site, and wouldn’t be visible.

In fact there have been several public forums where the project has been openly debated and the group building the mosque has presented their case for it.

The main opposition to their project is “Stop Islamization of America,” and their opposition is not to this specific location, but rather are against building mosques in America in principle.

Let me ask you something: if you owned buildings that you were using, and then decided to renovate them, would you consider that some sort of controversial thing?

Tommy
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Scott P.

That was never their opening date. That’s simply a lie.

Tommy
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Ugh, I just realized my post to Timothy got muddled in revision. Sorry.

Teaches me to rearrange without rereading the whole thing.

Emily K
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Timothy, thank you for clarifying the statement you made. That’s all I wanted to know.

Thank you Scott for your statement, although I doubt that any amount of “condemnation from liberal Muslims” would be enough to appease many people.

I must remind people that we interned the Japanese during WWII because their loyalty was questioned, we were at war, and their people bombed our harbor. And for that we blamed all of them and relocated entire families – children and all – because we assumed they would retaliate on our own soil “from within.”

As an example of this expected accountability – Some people see a kippah on my head and assume I’m either 1) staunchly unrepentantly pro-Israel no matter WHAT or 2) completely versed in the densely complex political situation in the Middle East. People expect me to answer for Likud’s actions and give them the “inside story.” It’s rather tiresome.

Richard Rush
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

I’ve pretty much read this entire thread. I agree with L. Junius Brutus, Timothy (although he really didn’t say very much), and now with Scott.

Normally I feel particularly welcoming to immigrants with non-Christian religions because they help dilute our Christian majority. But not so with Islam. My line of thinking in general is that Christianity is bad enough, but Islam is much, much worse. Very much worse.

In my view Islam is a uniquely insidious belief system. Europe is now learning this lesson, and I believe it’s a mistake for the U.S. to be welcoming and hospitable to Islam.

I’m not persuaded by the fact that some Muslims also died in the Trade Center attacks. All that says to me is that the fanatics don’t value the lives of fellow Muslims much more than they do the lives of anyone else.

Timothy Kincaid wrote the following comment (#5) back in April in a BTB post titled We Are All Mexicans. Although the context was different, it can apply to this issue. The emphasis is mine.

It would benefit immigrant communities to put their race-based affinities on hold for a while and instead assist in improving the community. Because, as those in Arizona are discovering, when you insist that it’s “all or nothing”, sometimes the answer is “fine, we’d rather not have any of you then have the problems brought by some of you”.

Sadly, I have to agree.

Emily K
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Tommy, thanks for that clarification as well. Glad to have you in the “20%.” ;]

Emily K
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

If it weren’t for Islam, much of the scientific and intllectual texts we have from the Hellenist era wouldn’t have survived the CHRISTIAN dark and middle ages. They let Jews live in relative peace while Christians ritually persecuted them. They were bathing when Christians were claiming that caking your skin with dirt prevented disease from getting in your pores. Algebra and our numbering system is here b/c of them.

Europe owes much to Islam. If Christianity were the sole influence, who knows what kind of squalor Europe would be in.

Tommy
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Thanks Emily, I love being in the 20%. Although I don’t think that 50% are bigots, or at least not all of them. I think they are people who don’t realize they have been lied to.

I’d expect better of the gay community who have been the victims of lies often enough to do the research. It breaks my heart.

Jim Burroway
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

I hadn’t heard the tenth anniversary of Sept 11 thing in any of the stuff I’ve read. But then, I don’t watch Fox “News”

Relax! I’m kidding! ;-)

If that were true, I could see reason for suspicion. But I would counter that I saw aired footage of public meetings on the issue and saw community members who also lost relatives in the WTC. So why wouldn’t the date be appropriate for them?

L. Junius Brutus
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

“If it weren’t for Islam, much of the scientific and intllectual texts we have from the Hellenist era wouldn’t have survived the CHRISTIAN dark and middle ages.”

Ah, let’s examine Islam’s record. First off, it’s “Hellenistic”, and if you want to praise Islam for preserving scientific and intellectual texts, you should also praise the Catholic Church that you so despise, because it was the main force for literacy and preservation until the Renaissance.

As for “if it weren’t for Islam”-scenarios: two can play t that game. If it weren’t for Islam, the World Trade Centers would still be standing, the people who were burned alive would still be alive. If it weren’t for Islam, women wouldn’t be oppressed throughout the House of Islam. If it weren’t for Islam, the great Zoroastrian kingdom of Persia wouldn’t have been destroyed, its science papers burned and destroyed. If it weren’t for Islam, children wouldn’t be married to old perverts, women wouldn’t be oppressed in the polygamy that it sanctions. If it weren’t for Islam, there wouldn’t have been the ceaseless aggression against the non-Islamic world that really started during the time of Islam’s founder.

“They let Jews live in relative peace while Christians ritually persecuted them.”

False, Christian persecution of Jews only started at the end of the 11th century, and bishops and other dignitaries of the church acted to protect the Jews. It wasn’t pretty, but the official position was toleration. You overstate the case.

“They were bathing when Christians were claiming that caking your skin with dirt prevented disease from getting in your pores. ”

This sounds very much like an urban legend to me, though religious ignorance will never cease to amaze. As for medical science, I will point to the fact that it was fairly useless until the discovery of germ theory by Louis Pasteur, who was a devout Christian and creationist.

“Europe owes much to Islam. If Christianity were the sole influence, who knows what kind of squalor Europe would be in.”

Yeah, Islam created Western civilization, but forgot to keep all the wonderfulness it had for the Islamic lands. I’m sure you’ll find some way to blame Europe for the terrible state in which the Islamic world finds itself.

Note: I’m not a Christian. But I completely agree with what Richard Rush says about Christianity and Islam. Islam is not exactly a tolerant religion, and also overly sensitive. Moreover, many of its unattractive elements were specified by its founder, which is not the case with Christianity.

L. Junius Brutus
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Tommy: “First off, they are not building a mosque. It is a community center.”

I wonder why advocates think that an Islamic community center is somehow better than a mosque, especially when it includes an enormous mosque.

“It’s around a ten minute walk from the WTC site, and wouldn’t be visible.”

It would have been, were it not for the events of 9/11.

“The main opposition to their project is “Stop Islamization of America,” and their opposition is not to this specific location, but rather are against building mosques in America in principle.”

That hardly seems relevant to me. The opposition that exists against this, is not because of this group, even though it may be leading the charge, but because the opposition hits a chord with all but 20% of Americans.

“Let me ask you something: if you owned buildings that you were using, and then decided to renovate them, would you consider that some sort of controversial thing?”

Since when do renovations cost $100 million? Since when do renovations convert a building used for prayer meetings into a massive complex including swimming pools?

Wyzdyx
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

“The rights of minorities do not depend upon the goodwill of the majority and cannot be eliminated by majority vote. The right of minorities are protected because democratic laws and institutions protect the rights of all citizens.” Thomas Jefferson

Tommy
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

I see someone took their irrelevancy pills today.

“I wonder why advocates think that an Islamic community center is somehow better than a mosque, especially when it includes an enormous mosque.”

I wonder why antagonists think that when they are caught lying by saying it is a mosque we should just ignore it?

“It would have been, were it not for the events of 9/11.”

Well, isn’t that the most irrelevant appeal to emotion I’ve ever seen. A logical fallacy is a logical fallacy no matter how you dress it up.

“That hardly seems relevant to me.”

How is it not relevant when they are the ones consistently and continually spreading malicious disinformation? Of the kind that has, with frightening regularity, appeared in this comment thread?

“The opposition that exists against this”

Is made up of anti-Islamic bigots and ignorant people they are lying to.

“because the opposition hits a chord with all but 20% of Americans.”

Carefully constructed lies tend to do that.

“because the opposition hits a chord with all but 20% of Americans.”

“Since when do renovations cost $100 million? Since when do renovations convert a building used for prayer meetings into a massive complex including swimming pools?”

Obviously you know nothing about construction. Although I don’t get the fixation with the swimming pool.

John in the Bay Area
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Hmm…freedom of religion…freedom of association…I read about these concepts on some piece of paper somewhere. I am guessing they aren’t germane to the current conversation.

I also suppose that they aren’t relevant to the greater struggle against those who attacked us on 9/11.

L. Junius Brutus
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

“I wonder why antagonists think that when they are caught lying by saying it is a mosque we should just ignore it?”

So you think that the backlash would have been less intense if people knew that it’s a mosque + an Islamic community center? Talking about irrelevancy…

BTW, I will refer to it as the “mosque”, because it’s shorter.

“Well, isn’t that the most irrelevant appeal to emotion I’ve ever seen. A logical fallacy is a logical fallacy no matter how you dress it up.”

Again, irrelevant, because I have never heard any opponent claim the the mosque will be visible from Ground Zero.

“Is made up of anti-Islamic bigots and ignorant people they are lying to.”

LOL! You guys really have a misplaced superiority complex. By the way, opponents of an ideology are not bigots. People who dislike Christianity are not anti-Christian bigots or Christophobes. People who dislike conservatism are not anti-conservative bigots.

“Carefully constructed lies tend to do that.”

But it’s not about the alleged lies, it’s about the *fact* that there’s going to be a mosque near the site of Ground Zero. People who oppose it because they think that it’s a mosque, are not suddenly going to drop their opposition if you tell them that it’s an Islamic community center + mosque.

“Obviously you know nothing about construction. Although I don’t get the fixation with the swimming pool.”

No, I don’t, but I still haven’t heard of any renovation that cost $100 million. Speaking of $100 million, where are they getting the money? Please enlighten us.

L. Junius Brutus
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

“Hmm…freedom of religion…freedom of association…I read about these concepts on some piece of paper somewhere. I am guessing they aren’t germane to the current conversation.”

And we also have freedom of speech, and with that, the right to criticize the choices people make.

Jason D
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

On one hand we have what would be a truthful complaint:

“I am upset that a muslim group is renovating their own property to build a large community center with swimming pools and a worship center which cannot be seen from ground zero, two blocks away”

and then the hyperbole:
“I’m upset they’re building a mosque at ground zero!”

Layering in your opinion that “2 blocks from ground zero” and “at ground zero” is not significantly different along with oversimplifying a community center into a mosque, only shows strong bigotry.

My apartment building is two blocks from the nearest train station, by the same logic, I live AT the train station! However looking for me under the turnstiles or asking the attendants if I am home will just get you puzzled looks.

Quite simply, it’s not true.

No matter how strongly you might feel about a subject, when you oversimplify you are no better than NOW, Labarbera and the like. Their fractured skewering of logic is just as bad when gay people use it.

Jason D
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

that should say “NOM” not “NOW” it’s late.

Tommy
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Oh vey.

“So you think that the backlash would have been less intense if people knew that it’s a mosque + an Islamic community center?”

I think that if a group of fanatics obsessed with eradicating Islam didn’t exist, or at the very least, didn’t lie, there would be no backlash.

“BTW, I will refer to it as the “mosque”, because it’s shorter.”

I do love that you openly admit you are a liar and will continue to lie so long as it is convenient. Talk about committing seppuku with your credibility.

“Again, irrelevant, because I have never heard any opponent claim the the mosque will be visible from Ground Zero.”

No, they just claimed it would be ON ground zero. To quote Pamela Geller of Stop the Islamicization of America, “To build a 13-story mega mosque on the cemetery, on the site of the largest attack in American history, I think, is incredibly insensitive.”

Of course that wasn’t your argument at all.

“LOL! You guys really have a misplaced superiority complex.”

I think it is hardly “misplaced” to view people who tell the truth as superior to those who tell lies. Of course you already admitted to falling into the latter category…

“By the way, opponents of an ideology are not bigots.”

No, merely those who are actively sectarian. Such as those people attempting to stop a group from building a Community Center on land they already own because the group is Muslim.

“But it’s not about the alleged lies”

Yes. It is. And the lies are well documented, not allegations. But as someone who admitted to perpetrating lies, you need a qualifier such as “alleged.”

“it’s about the *fact* that there’s going to be a mosque near the site of Ground Zero.”

What a lovely non-discriminator you use. “Near.” It’s utterly meaningless. There are already mosques “near” ground zero. There are lots of things “near” ground zero. Until you get specific and delineate an absolute line where on one side you can build mosques and on the other side you can’t, this line of argumentation is merely obfuscation.

“People who oppose it because they think that it’s a mosque, are not suddenly going to drop their opposition if you tell them that it’s an Islamic community center + mosque.”

Possibly, however if they were not being inundated by an endless stream of lies they might.

“No, I don’t, but I still haven’t heard of any renovation that cost $100 million.”

Our church renovation cost more.

“Speaking of $100 million, where are they getting the money? Please enlighten us.”

A coalition of several groups. Is this question some sort of malicious insinuation that these groups are using underhanded or illegal financing?

Lindoro Almaviva
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

I swear, if I ever, EVER, see anyone protest because of the way “Christians” are treating us I swear I will post this entire threat.

I have seenj people who have the balls to call maggie Galagher on her bulllsh1t use her same reasoning only because the people building this place are muslims; then I read the same people have the balls to imply that their reasoning is sound and that they are in the right because 80% of the population agree with this.

I am so mad if i had most of you in front of me i would slap you all hateful queens until my hands are sore.

How dare you complaint about the way you are treated by NOm and then turn around and use the same way of reasoning to throw mud at an unpopular group of people?

How dare you imply that because the majority agree with you that makes you right and then turn around and bitch because majorities all across the nation took your right to marriage away?

How dare you damn queens to criticise fellow gay people (call them ex-gays, recovering, whatever) for joyning the efforts of those who you see the enemy and in the same breath behave in the same reprehensible manner towards a group of people?

How f*ck*ing dare you call into question the motives of those who claim to be motivated by “love’ when they oppose our equality and in the same breath dare to say that you see the reasons to build this center as “suspect”, “offensive”, “innapropriate” and God knows what else and shield yourselves behind the excuse of “concern”.

How f*uck*ing dare you pretend that only Christians were the ones who suffered losses on that day and have the balls to imply that you are only protecting the feelings of those “good people” who lost loved ones in the attach as the reason for your godamned racism and xenophobia (BOTH, Damn it, BOTH)

How dare you criticize people for the way they treat you and then use the same twisted reasoning and methods to treat others, no matter how unpopular they are.

Just as I said, and i stand by it given the overwhelming evidence provided by this threat, goes to show you how deeply bigoted, backwards, and racist people are in this country; even in the gay community.

In good conscience, I can not see how we criticize NOM< Maggie Moo, and the rest of their ilk when we have behaved so reprehensibly and have showed that we are no better than those motherf*ckers who want to legislate us out of existence.

And you know what is the saddest part, that most of you actually think that this kind of behavior is excusable because it is directed at muslims, but would not take it if it was directed at you.

I am speechless…

Lindoro Almaviva
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

LOL! You guys really have a misplaced superiority complex. By the way, opponents of an ideology are not bigots. People who dislike Christianity are not anti-Christian bigots or Christophobes. People who dislike conservatism are not anti-conservative bigots.

So by that same reasoning Maggie Galagher, pat Robertson and the rest are not biggost but concerned citizens who see how a group of people are attacking the way of life of the “Good ‘ol Christian” people in this Christian nation and therefore they must oppose it to make sure that the purity of our ways is not damaged by their existence.

And yet, when it is directed at us it is unacceptable.

Jake
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Queeran
Ram-a-Dan
Naughty Arabia
Molotov Cocktail

That’s all I got for now.

Ryan
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Wow, Timothy. I’m stunned. Never did I think I would see such bigotry coming from you. Invedinly disappointing. You’re about one comment away from comparing Muslims to box turtles.

Ryan
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Thank you, Lindoro! Some of the comments here read like they’re straight out of the NOM playbook. “Gays don’t want marriage, they’re just trying to destroy ours” is no different than saying “they’re building the mosque to deliberately offend good Americans”. Absolutely disgusting.

Emily K
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

Lindoro, I share your frustration and anger. Thank you for that comment, even though it probably took a lot of energy out of you.

Priya Lynn
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

Junius said “Priya Lynn: “Those who think people should not be punished for something they didn’t do most certainly are morally superior to those who think its okay to punish people for something they didn’t do.”

You have a knack for strawmen, don’t you? As I’ve said, this isn’t about rights, it’s about whether it is right. No one is punishing anyone,”.

No strawman in my coment, I never said it was or wasn’t about rights, your complaint that I did is simply wrong. When you deprive someone of something they could otherwise obtain because you associate them with terrorists you most certainly are punishing them.

Junius said “Another strawman. Rauf said that the US was an accessory to the 9/11 attacks, not “Americans”.”

I see you haven’t toned down your absurdity, there’s no difference between “the U.S.” and “Americans”. Without Americans “the U.S.” doesn’t do anything. I am unable to find any evidence for your claim, but what I did find was that Rauf condemned the 911 attacks as un-Islamic. Your sick attempt to imply the people building this mosque as supporting the attacks is completely fraudulent.

Junius said “The teachings of Islam inspired the 9/11 terrorist attacks, so it’s natural that people are going to be skeptical of an Islamic building in the close vicinity of the WTC.”.

The people building the mosque reject the idea that the teachings of Islam condone such attacks so once again you’re wrongly attempting to punish people for something they don’t believe and didn’t have anything to do with. The teachings of Christianity inspired mass murders throughout history but we don’t tar all christians with responsibility for that, we don’t tell Christians they can’t build churchs because their religion promotes violence.

Junius said ” Priya thinks that the 80% who disagree with the location of this mosque are bigoted and stupid.”.

So now in your hatred of Muslims you’ve stooped to lying about me. I said they were bigoted, I never said they were stupid.

Priya Lynn
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

Richard said “My line of thinking in general is that Christianity is bad enough, but Islam is much, much worse. Very much worse.”.

I agree. However it is obscene to blaime people for something they didn’t do. That is what Junius and Timothy are doing to at least some degree.

Junius said “As for “if it weren’t for Islam”-scenarios: two can play t that game. If it weren’t for Islam blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…”

Totally irrelevant. The people building this mosque had nothing to do with the 911 attacks and its disgusting that you’re attempting to blame them and punish them for those attacks. You can dishonestly claim that isn’t what you’re doing but that claim is preposterous.

Tommy said “It’s around a ten minute walk from the WTC site, and wouldn’t be visible.”

Junius replied “It would have been, were it not for the events of 9/11.”.

Now you’re just being childish. What matters is what is, not what might have been.

Junius said “The opposition that exists against this, is not because of this group, even though it may be leading the charge, but because the opposition hits a chord with all but 20% of Americans.”.

Once again the fallacy from popularity. Just because a lot of people oppose something doesn’t make that opposition right or unbigoted. At one time 80% of Americans opposed interracial marriage and gayness.

Someon said “Let me ask you something: if you owned buildings that you were using, and then decided to renovate them, would you consider that some sort of controversial thing?”

Junius replied “Since when do renovations cost $100 million? Since when do renovations convert a building used for prayer meetings into a massive complex including swimming pools?”.

Utterly irrelevant. It makes no difference whether they were merely putting a coat of paint on existing buildings or razzing them to the ground and building an Islamic palace.

Junius said “BTW, I will refer to it as the “mosque”, because it’s shorter.”.

Good idea – don’t let honesty get in the way of brevity.

Junius said “By the way, opponents of an ideology are not bigots. People who dislike Christianity are not anti-Christian bigots or Christophobes. People who dislike conservatism are not anti-conservative bigots.”.

True, but people who blame others for an ideology they don’t hold, people who blame some Christians or conservatives for things they haven’t done are most certainly bigots – just like you.

Junius said “But it’s not about the alleged lies.”

You lied about the opening date being on the 10th anniversary of 911, that was part of your justification for opposing this community centre. Your lies are absolutely relevant to this discussion.

Junius said “we also have freedom of speech, and with that, the right to criticize the choices people make.”.

But you’re not content with just having freedom of speech, you want to remove their freedom of religion to build this community centre – you don’t have that right.

Priya Lynn
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

Further to this comment by Richard:

“My line of thinking in general is that Christianity is bad enough, but Islam is much, much worse. Very much worse.”.

When you justify preventing this community centre on the basis that Islam is a bad, bad religion you are stating that it is justified to prevent Muslims from building any mosque or community centre anywhere in the U.S. I guess you don’t believe in freedom of religion at all.

AJD
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

How about “La Hajj aux Folles”

Timothy Kincaid
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

Tommy,

I have to question your “facts”. I haven’t researched this issue (it doesn’t much concern or interest me) but I do know at least enough to know that you are incorrect on a few items.

1. I hear you and others say that it’s not a mosque. But Al Jezeera calls it a mosque. I don’t know the difference between a prayer room and a mosque but I’m willing to accept that they do.

How is “an Islamic Center including a mosque”? It doesn’t really matter to me either way.

2. They didn’t “already own it”. The location was purchased in July 2009 for the purpose of building the Cordoba House.

3. The “renovation” of which you speak is to tear down the existing structure and build something else in its place.

I found that out in about 2 minutes. I hope you haven’t already turned in your paper.

And I’d caution about using the term “carefully constructed lies”; someone might apply that term to you.

However, it does appear that projected dedication date of 9/11/11 may have been changed. I am having trouble finding direct sources but secondary sources suggest that this really was the original date but may no longer be. Of course those secondary sources may be misinformed (or vicious liars) as well.

Also, it appears that the name has been changed from Cordoba House to Park51, which may help alleviate concerns.

If they were forthcoming about where the funds were coming from there would be little legitimate reason to question their public statements.

And the “well I don’t like it” objections don’t go very far with me. Nice guys or jerks, they still have rights.

But I also read a little bit from their website and these are folks whose ideas I don’t support. If they were Christian we would call them “dominionists”. They think that church and state should be a marriage (they consider US views to be a divorce). They speak in wistful terms of when Muslims ruled over Jews and Christians (they didn’t force conversion, only a “tax”). They have an entire program dedicated to determining the “correct” Sharia Law. And I was disturbed by what seemed to me to be a bald endorsement of the Islamic State.

Do they dream of imposing their religious views on the entire world and every living person? Oh yeah. But so does the Pope and the head of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Yet they should still have the right to build their worship center. We don’t base rights on whether those claiming them are good guys or bad guys.

Timothy Kincaid
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

Ryan,

Kindly point out which words of mine you think are “bigotry”.

Timothy Kincaid
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

Lindoro,

Who is the “most of you” that you are directing all your anger towards?

Who is racist and xenophobic?

Me, perhaps? If so, kindly point out the words that display this racism and xenophobia.

Priya Lynn
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

Timothy said “Kindly point out which words of mine you think are “bigotry”…kindly point out the words that display this racism and xenophobia.”.

“The mosque, like the proposed bar, is probably intentionally offensive.”.

“But offensive is legal and we should fight to defend the right to be an obnoxious ass.”

Ryan
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

Priya Lynn, you forgot,

“If they were forthcoming about where the funds were coming from there would be little legitimate reason to question their public statements.”

Which to me is by far the most bigoted statement made by Timothy. I guess Muslim houses of worship are automatically thought to be funded by terrorists unless/until they prove otherwise by making their private financial records available to the public at large? Or was there some specific reason you’re suspicious of this particular house of worship? Maybe based on their religion?

Or alternatively, do you just assume *everyone* is being secretly funded by terrorists until they prove otherwise?

Also, not really bigoted per se, but the concern trolling here:

“But the way this is being handled feels a bit to me like “screw you.”

But maybe I’m wrong. I hope so.”

…could be right out of NOM’s playbook.

Let me be clear: I’m sure they’re as homophobic as most of Islam, and Christianity is. I have no desire to join their church or worship their god. But the enemy of my enemy is at the very least my acquaintance. I didn’t see anyone from the Church of Islam making the rounds on the Talking Head shows after Judge Walker’s ruling. I don’t see Muslims taking bad about gays at all. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure most of them are just as hateful of gays as most Christians are, but in America at least, they don’t seem particularly concerned with doing anything about it.
And one of my closet friends is a straight Muslim who celebrated with me when Judge Walker made his ruling, and *everyone* in his mosque in North Virginia feels the same way. He’s devastated by the reaction to this mosque and I would be mortified for him to see this website.

Tommy
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

“I have to question your ‘facts.'”

Go right ahead.

“I haven’t researched this issue”

Generally it behooves a person to research the facts, prior to attempting to discuss the issue.

“1. But Al Jezeera calls it a mosque.”

Is Al Jeseera the people building it? No. Okay then, I think that resolves this point.

“It doesn’t really matter to me either way.”

The only difference is the difference between truth and lies.

2. They didn’t “already own it”. The location was purchased in July 2009 for the purpose of building the Cordoba House.

This is August of 2010, not 2009. So yes, they already owned it.

“3. The “renovation” of which you speak is to tear down the existing structure and build something else in its place.”

That was one proposal. The second proposal involved gutting and refurbishing the original building.

Both plans were contingent upon the decision whether or not New York would declare that particular building a historical landmark.

All this came out during a three-hour hearing of New York’s Landmarks Preservation Commission.

“I found that out in about 2 minutes.”

I would spend more than two minutes and actually attempt to read the articles in question.

“I hope you haven’t already turned in your paper.”

I did, got an “A” on it.

“And I’d caution about using the term “carefully constructed lies”; someone might apply that term to you.”

Really? Because it appears you failed miserably to call my credibility into question. Oh, I’d also note that I never actually called the Community Center a “renovation.” I used that word as part of a hypothetical question. So that makes two.

“However, it does appear that projected dedication date of 9/11/11 may have been changed.”

You are either knowingly lying or repeating lies. That was never the projected date.

“I am having trouble finding direct sources but secondary sources suggest that this really was the original date but may no longer be.”

Secondary sources = Fox News, or at the very least, conservative bloggers. A well known house of lies.

Here’s a primary source for you, Daisy Khan, executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement said, “We are in the preliminary planning stages of the center and the timeline has yet to be determined” and that the rumors about the opening date were, “absolutely false.”

Chris McCoy
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

L. Junius Brutus said:

By the way, opponents of an ideology are not bigots. People who dislike Christianity are not anti-Christian bigots or Christophobes. People who dislike conservatism are not anti-conservative bigots.

The Dictionary would disagree with you.

Bigot: noun
1) a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially
2) one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.

Jim Burroway
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

How about “La Hajj aux Folles”

Brilliant! I love it!

As to the other topic that sprang up on this thread. Let’s just assume that the following are true:

1) For the sake of discussion, let’s say it is a mosque.

2) For the sake of discussion, let’s say it was purchased last year.

3) For the sake of discussion, let’s say that the mosque leaders follow the same financial disclosures required of churches and synagogues. (I think you know what that means — not much).

4) For the sake of discussion, let’s say that the mosque leaders had originally intended to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11 with the opening of their house of worship.

5) For the sake of discussion, let’s say they chose to name the mosque the Cordoba center.

So what?

I see nothing here warrenting the suspension of the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Those who are trying to block the mosque (which includes no one in this forum that I am aware of) through legal means in New York for the reasons they are giving are asking the government to violate the first amendment of the constitution.

But never mind governmental action. What about us? I see it as a patriotic imperative to defend the constitution, including the Bill of Rights, not just in its legal implementation but also in its spirit. If money is now free speech, then the Muslim community is free, as guaranteed by our constitution, to engage in the most American of freedoms of purchasing this property, renovating it to their liking (according to whatever deed, zoning and/or landmark restrictions which may apply), and opening it on any damn day they please.

When we suggest that others ought not exercise their rights under the constitution that is meant to protect all of us and not just some of us, how do we not weaken our own arguments for equal treatment under the law — and along with it, equal treatment in society?

This is what I see as the fundamental principle. The people who are building the mosque (or community center or whatever it is) include U.S. citizens like you and me.

We can legally question their judgment, and I believe one can make their case without being a bigot. But I do believe it would be disingenuous in the extreme not to recognize the role that bigotry plays in much of the stated objections to the mosque. I’m sorry, but this conversation is clearly not taking place in a vacuum, and as I see it play out in the larger culture, I find that this conclusion is inescapable. And I believe it would be a failing on my part not to be disturbed by it and to voice my concerns strongly.

Corretta Scott King spoke at the Metropolitcan Community Church in 2002, in which she endorsed LGBT equality with a paraphrase from a speech of her late husband: “because none of us can be free until all of us are free.” All means all.

Lindoro Almaviva
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

<BlockquoteLindoro,

Who is the “most of you” that you are directing all your anger towards?

Who is racist and xenophobic?

Me, perhaps? If so, kindly point out the words that display this racism and xenophobia.

I’m sorry Tim, but I am not going to do your job for you. I am not doing this out of anger, since I have slept and today is a new day. I am doing this out of the following old wisdoms: 1. You can bring a horse to the water, but you can’t make it drink. 2. If the shoe fits… 3. No hay peor ciego que el que no quiere ver (which roughly translates to: The real blind is the one who WON’T see)

I can take you through every statement that you’ve made and you will defend it and you will refuse to see it in any other way but your way.

So, rather than making a list of names and comments that are in my opinion both (and separately) racist and xenophobic, I’ll let you all ponder then, look at your past statements when the same behavior is directed towards us and make your own conclusions about how hypocritical your tears seem when faced with the comments you all have made here and the reasons you have given to defend your comments.

This threat is probably one of the lowest and most vile i have seen in this site and the behavior I have seen coming from a great deal of people here is despicable.

And i will finish with the same statement: If it was directed towards you, you’ll find it unacceptable.

Jim Burroway
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

Ironically, I thought the dig on Anderson Cooper would be the most controversial part of the original post and had considered leaving it out. Boy was I wrong.

Timothy Kincaid
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

Ryan,

Thanks for the clarification of what you think defines bigotry.

Tommy,

You certainly have an interesting debate style.

Lindoro,

You can’t point out my “racist and xenophobic” statements because there aren’t any.

Jim,

Who called for the suspension of the First Amendment?

I’m not seeing that on this site. Who is the one on this forum?

It ain’t me.

It seems to me, Jim, that you are looking at conversations outside this forum, presuming motivations, and then applying them to people here.

That isn’t fair.

To All,

It appears to me that some here are incapable of tolerating even the hint of a difference of perspective. Asking anything about this particular building project is BIGOTRY!!!

Really? Would it be bigotry to wonder about the Catholic Church’s motives in building a Natural Law center on Christopher Street? Would it be xenophobia to wonder about the Anglican Church of Nigeria opening a church across the street from the National Cathedral, an Episcopal Church?

And – ahem – would it be bigotry, racism, xenophobia, and an attack on all that is right, good, true, and the American Way to wonder where NOM gets its money?

Or is it only racism, bigotry an xenophobia when it comes to Islam? Why is this organized religion off limits when every single solitary reader here knows that we regularly go after churches who do things that raise questions?

We don’t start with the assumption that the Catholic Church is free of motivation. We regularly assume that the Southern Baptist Church’s “outreach” is less noble than they claim. But a Muslim mosque, Oh Noes, we can’t even wonder about motivation or it’s accusations of hatred. It’s an attack on American! Citizens!, for God’s sake.

Come on. Let’s try for some consistency here.

Lindoro Almaviva
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

You can blame me for opening Pandora’s box. I will not apologize nor will I retract any statements I have made.

The conversation that ensues more than proved my original point.

Priya Lynn
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

Timothy, your “racist and xenophobic” statements have been pointed out. Given that you said these people’s actions made them “obnoxious asses” and then denied you were saying their actions were “inapropriate” its not surprising that you won’t acknowledge the nature of the statments you made that I and Ryan pointed out – after all, saying one’s behavior makes them an “obnoxious ass” in no way implies you think their behavior is “inapropriate”.

Timothy Kincaid
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

The origins of the “tenth anniversary” rumor seem to not be based in Fox News. Rather, they seem to have originated from a USA Today story on May 7, 2010 in which they quote “Daisy Khan, the executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement and a board member of the Cordoba Initiative, the two organizations sponsoring the project.”

The Muslim organizations plan to announce the groundbreaking later this year, possibly to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the attacks, Khan said. It could take up to three years to build the Cordoba House; the groups currently have no funds for the project but plan to start raising money, she said.

It appears that Ms. Khan has revised her statement to be that the rumors were “absolutely false”.

In any case, I am glad that they have abandoned that date. It was bound to have resulted in hurt feelings and further suspicion and animosity.

mikeksf
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

I feel like I’m watching a train wreck on this thread.
I always thought of this as a civilized blog site and enjoyed the thoughtful discussions about issues. But the demeaning (“Dear”) dismissive (“it doesn’t much concern or interest me”, “I hope you haven’t already turned in your paper.”) bigoted (“The mosque, like the proposed bar, is probably intentionally offensive.” ” If it weren’t for Islam, children wouldn’t be married to old perverts, women wouldn’t be oppressed in the polygamy that it sanctions.”), intentionally ignorant and/or lying (“Wow, that’s a relief. *Two blocks* away and opening on the 10-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks, and with a man who says that the US was an “accessory” to the terrorist attacks.”) has taken on the same tone and tactics as some of our most virulent critics. How can you have a discussion with NOM? With Limbaugh?

Will there be a Gay Lovers Against Mosques (GLAM…it’s shorter than cultural center) contingent in the Faux News orchestrated rallies that are sure to occur? What box turtle line will they find to carry on their banner? Will Beck be cheering them on? Will they then feel embraced by America?

Our enemy is the right wing fanatics of all stripe who deny any of us our Constitutional rights.

Lindoro Almaviva
August 11th, 2010 | LINK


In any case, I am glad that they have abandoned that date. It was bound to have resulted in hurt feelings and further suspicion and animosity.

I’m sorry, but once again, if the opening was on the anniversary, so what? Why is it that only Christians can mourn on that anniversary but not Muslims? Didn’t good American Muslims die that day in the same manner as the Christians, pagans, atheist etc?

What is it about that date that makes is so untouchable? is that date “National day of No Muslims”? What about that date makes it so sacred that people would be offended by a group of Muslims opening a center in privately held property, a group that has more than gone out of their way to prove their allegiance to our nation; even when they were not required to do so?

Can someone pleas PLEASE f*ck*ng explain me why is it that you still have to apologize for being a Muslim in this country and we feel that we do not need to apologize for being gay?

Lastly, your racists asses need need to read how it’s done

Richard Rush
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

Jim, lets assume that all five of your points “for the sake of discussion” are true, and this project becomes reality. I think it would just add more credence to my earlier opinion which was that Islam is a uniquely insidious belief system. They have an opportunity to demonstrate some sensitivity to the American people, and they are not willing to do that.

I’m not suggesting we suspend the constitution to ban the project. But I would suggest that we restrict the immigration of Muslims, which should not present a constitutional problem. I do not hold this opinion about any other group identified by their race, ethnicity, and/or religion. I truly believe that Islam is uniquely insidious.

I don’t think there is a rational basis to hold that various cultures or belief systems are necessarily just different but equal. I think we need to look at them objectively and be willing to recognize that some may be destructive, barbaric, and a demonstrable threat to our way of life. I would love to see some evidence that Islam is beginning to emerge from the dark ages, but the only evidence I see shows them getting worse.

And then sometimes we may have to be willing to say, “we’d rather not have any of you then have the problems brought by some of you.”

Lindoro Almaviva
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

I think it would just add more credence to my earlier opinion which was that Homosexuals</B are a uniquely insidious group of people. They have an opportunity to demonstrate some sensitivity to the American people, and they are not willing to do that.

I’m not suggesting we suspend the constitution to ban homosexuals. But I would suggest that we restrict the immigration of homosexuals, which should not present a constitutional problem. I do not hold this opinion about any other group identified by their race, ethnicity, and/or religion. I truly believe that homosexualityis uniquely insidious.

I don’t think there is a rational basis to hold that various sexual orientations or belief systems are necessarily just different but equal. I think we need to look at them objectively and be willing to recognize that some may be destructive, barbaric, and a demonstrable threat to our way of life. I would love to see some evidence that homosexuality is beginning to emerge from the dark ages, but the only evidence I see shows them getting worse.

And then sometimes we may have to be willing to say, “we’d rather not have any of you then have the problems brought by some of you.”

(Edits are all mine)

How does that make you all feel? This is how people talk about us, and if you saw anyone say these things you would be up in arms about them, and how backwards they are, and would not have any problems calling them a bigot.

Once again, can someone explain me how is this language unacceptable when it is directed to us but perfectly OK when directed towards Muslims? Can anyone give me ONE good reason before I call you all again a bunch of ass backwards racists xenophobic fairies?

Timothy Kincaid
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

Richard,

You are taking that one sentence out of context. It appears as though I advocated for the exclusion of any group of people when my comment was exactly the opposite.

I was NOT saying that “we’d rather not have any of you then have the problems brought by some of you.”

What I said was quite clear: That I welcome immigrants who want to contribute and not those who are criminal. That I support a method for determining between contributers and criminals. And that the “everyone or no one” mindset was not a smart one for immigrants because it would lead to attitudes which were “we’d rather not have any of you then have the problems brought by some of you.”

If you wish to adopt that position as being your own, feel free. But please do not suggest that it is mine. I absolutely do not advocate for the exclusions of Muslims (or any other group of people) from this country.

Jim Burroway
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

Jim,

Who called for the suspension of the First Amendment?

I already addressed that:

“Those who are trying to block the mosque (which includes no one in this forum that I am aware of) through legal means in New York for the reasons they are giving are asking the government to violate the first amendment of the constitution.

But never mind governmental action. What about us? I see it as a patriotic imperative to defend the constitution, including the Bill of Rights, not just in its legal implementation but also in its spirit. …

It seems to me, Jim, that you are looking at conversations outside this forum, presuming motivations, and then applying them to people here. That isn’t fair.

I addressed that as well, partly:

“But I do believe it would be disingenuous in the extreme not to recognize the role that bigotry plays in much of the stated objections to the mosque. I’m sorry, but this conversation is clearly not taking place in a vacuum, and as I see it play out in the larger culture, I find that this conclusion is inescapable….”

But you have a point. It may not be fair, but I’m having trouble answering this question in my mind:

Why would it bt inappropriate for this mosque to open two block from Ground Zero on the tenth anniversary of 9/11? If a church or synagogue had chosen to do the same, would that be inappropriate? Why or why not?

I think I know the answer that most people would give. I think everyone in this forum and outside it knows the answer, but it needs to be spoken out loud:

Because the 9/11 terrorists were Muslim.

Not because these particular Muslims are terrorists. Not because these particular Muslims didn’t also lose friends and family members in WTC on that day — remember, it happened in their neighborhood. And not because some of these same families may also have sons and daughters fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan against fellow Muslims.

But because the 9/11 terrorists were Muslim.

I apologize if that isn’t your particular motivation, but again I’ll repeat: We’re not discussing this in a vaccuum. It may not be your motivation at all. But it is, I believe, the objeciton that the vast majority of those against the mosque hold.

So okay. The reason, I believe that most people are against it is because the 9/11 terrorists were Muslim. And I get that. We all do. Painfully so.

But what do those terrorist have to do with the vast majority of Muslim-Americans? Do we believe in collective guilt? Are American Muslims guilty because of what Saudi Muslims did? (For that matter, are Saudi-Americans guilty because of what Saudi nationals did?)

By the same token, are American Catholics guilty because of what Italian mobsters have done? Are Chicanos guilty because of what Mexican druglords have done? Are recent immigrants from Africa guilty of the crimes of Samuel Doe or Idi Amin? Are Whites guilty of South Africa? Are the German people guilty of the Holocaust? Are Japanese-Americans guilty for Pearl Harbor?

Of course not.

If you want consistency, that’s probably a better example of it than the examples you provided, which, while provocative and gave me pause, I still have to say that they are not quite apples to apples in comparison.

After all, for example, we already have Catholic Churches and community centers in LGBT neighborhoods, and we have fundamentalist churches exstablinshing themselves in gayborhoods as we speak. But what I don’t see are efforts to block their efforts through governmental intervention by implying that they are part of a criminal organization intent on destroying the community. Again, I know that no one in this forum said that about the mosque members, but let’s not pretend this conversation is taking place in a vacuum.

Jim Burroway
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

As for the assumption of collective guilt, I would point to Richard Rush’s comment as the perfect example of it.

You do know that the Japaneese were also seen as “uniquely insidious,” and that it was justified to round up Japanese-Americans and put them into concentration camps?

The fallacy of collective guilt, right there.

Ryan
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

“Would it be bigotry to wonder about the Catholic Church’s motives in building a Natural Law center on Christopher Street?”

The Catholic Church has made it clear they are opposed to gay people and consider being gay to be a sin. Their motives building such a center would be obvious. The Catholic Church and gays are long standing enemies.

“Would it be xenophobia to wonder about the Anglican Church of Nigeria opening a church across the street from the National Cathedral, an Episcopal Church?”

Same type of deal, the Episcopal Church is generally regarded as an enemy to other more “traditional” churches.

For that matter, if a Muslim church built a Mosque on Christopher St, their motives would also be rightfully called into question because Muslims have a history of animus (and outright hatred in the Middle East) towards gays.

But you using those examples makes it seem like you believe that Muslims are natural enemies with…who? The people who died in the WTC? America? Freedom? Help me out here. How do these comparisons make sense?

Jim Burroway
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

Another thing that distingushes expressions of intolerance toward Islam vs. intolerance for, say, African Episcopalians is vulnerablility. We focus on hate crime statistics on this site based on how they affect the LGBT community. But what about anti-Islamic hate crimes that occurred in the few short months following 9/11? The 2001 Hate Crimes Report is telling:

http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/01hate.pdf:

From the first year that national hate crime data were published in 1992 until 2000, … The fewest number of hate crime incidents resulted from ethnicity or national-origin bias, until the addition of the disability bias in 1997, which then became the lowest portion of reported hate crime incidents.

That distribution changed in 2001, presumably as a result of the heinous incidents that occurred on September 11. For many offenders, the preformed negative opinion, or bias, was directed toward ethnicity/national origin. Consistent with past data, by bias type, law enforcement reported that most incidents in 2001 were motivated by bias against race. However, crime incidents motivated by bias against ethnicity/national origin were the second most frequently reported bias in 2001, more than doubling the number of incidents, offenses, victims, and known offenders from 2000 data. Additionally, the anti-other ethnicity/national origin category quadrupled in incidents, offenses, victims, and known offenders.

Another noticeable increase in 2001 was among religious-bias incidents. Anti-Islamic religion incidents were previously the second least reported, but in 2001, they became the second highest reported among religious-bias incidents (anti-Jewish religion incidents were the highest), growing by more than 1,600 percent over the 2000 volume. In 2001, reported data showed there were 481 incidents made up of 546 offenses having 554 victims of crimes motivated by bias toward the Islamic religion.

By the way, this significant increase occured in only four months of 2001, and not the entire year. It has gone down since then, but given the very few numbers of Muslims in America, it is still high. (Anti-Jewish crimes are still off the charts however, comparatively speaking, but they weren’t inflected by 9/11.)

If we believe that anti-gay rhetoric toward LGBT people have a detrimental effect on hate crimes experienced by our community, we, of all people, should be careful about the language we use towards others.

Ryan
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

Eh, I clearly should’ve just let Jim talk. :)

Timothy Kincaid
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

Jim,

Ugh. I misread that sentence. Twice.

I thought it read “Those who are trying to block the mosque (which includes one in this forum that I am aware of)”. I didn’t know which “one”

I know this conversation is not in a vacuum. But I have no interest in defending the position of those who aren’t even here and whose views I do not share. Nor should I be expected to.

If you have trouble with what I’m saying, lets talk about that, not what someone else is talking about.

In your review of the comparisons, I think you are focusing on guilt. Have I assigned guilt to anyone?

I am questioning motivation (and happily are finding some alleviating facts – such as the date being switched). I am NOT talking about “blocking efforts through governmental interference.”

So I guess my question is this: do the motivations and intentions of others off somewhere else preclude me from questioning motives?

Chris McCoy
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

Timothy Kincaid said:

I am questioning motivation (and happily are finding some alleviating facts – such as the date being switched).

Perhaps the Imam’s wife can help clarify:

“Our religion has been hijacked by the extremists,” she says. “This center will create this kind of counter momentum which will amplify the voices of the moderate Muslims. If we have to defeat the extremists, Muslims have to be leading that effort.”

and:

Reacting to the charge that people say she is trying to bring Muslim extremist law to the U.S., Khan replied: “Muslims pray, they fast, they give charity. Most American Muslims don’t want to do anything that violates American law. America works because of its religious freedom and because it doesn’t allow one religion to dominate another and we are very happy as Muslims with that arrangement.”

Timothy Kincaid
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

Chris,

Statements of those sort help as well.

Jim Burroway
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

I think if you are questioning motives without specifying exactly what you are questioning, while the entire country is engaged in a debate over what they believe to be the mosque’s un-American or treasonous motives — and exhibiting bigotry in the process — I think you would probably want to clarify how your particular take is different.

By the way, I’m not trying to treat you personally as a proxy. You seem to take every answer that I gave given as though I am condemning you personally. I’m not. If it appears that way, I apologize. But you are asking me questions and I am answering them.

But as to the question as to whether you have assigned guilt to anyone, I don’t know. Which is why I keep trying to understand on what basis you have the suspicions you have. Why does it matter if the mosque’s property was purchased last year? Why does it matter if they wanted to commemorate the tenth anniversary of a national tragedy that occurred right in their neighborhood, and that their own members were victims of? Why does any of that, in your mind, raise suspicions?

And what are those suspicions?

Timothy Kincaid
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

Jim,

This month you, I, and our readers have questioned the motive of GOProud, John McCain, NOM’s Louis Marinella, Dan Choi, the Mormon Church, Log Cabin, Margaret Hoover, Andrew Marin, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Joe Arpaio, the President of Uganda, Elena Kagan, Peter LaBarbera, HRC, and Orthodox Rabbis.

All without accusations of racism, xenophobia, and bigotry. No calls for the “basis for suspicions”.

But Muslims are off limits?

Emily K
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

It’s not the questioning that is bad or wrong. It’s the motives behind the questioning that create concern.

Jim said this conversation isn’t taking place in a vacuum, and he’s right. Let’s not pretend people weren’t using “Muslim” as an epithet against then Presidential candidate Barack Obama during his campaign. As if being a follower of Islam inherently disqualifies one from being a good public servant (and in this particular case, a U.S. citizen).

Timothy Kincaid
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

I mean, c’mon Jim. “Suspicious” is what BTB is all about. We’re suspicious of everyone. It’s what makes us good at what we do.

But as soon as we start setting up golden calves and putting some people on a pedestal and making them untouchable, we become nothing more than any of the other “point of view” gay sites.

Jim Burroway
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

Yeah, but we NAME our suspicions. We don’t beat around the bush and leave people wondering what they are.

People with unspoken suspicions are often regarded with suspicion.

Timothy Kincaid
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

I named my suspicion: “probably intentionally offensive”. And I listed why I thought so.

Nothing unspoken.

Jim Burroway
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

Okay. And so my pushback was on the reasons you gave in forming your suspicions, some of which were aleviated on the course of the thread.

But what I’d like to explore (and here, I’d rather open this up more broadly than pick on you personally) is why, even if the supporting “facts” were all true — the center’s date, the fact that it’s a mosque, that it was purchased last year — why do all of those facts mean that their motives were “probably intentionally offensive”?

Frankly I don’t draw the same conclusion and never did. It’s in their neighborhood. They lost family members on 9-11.

I concede that I made some assumptions based on the facts as I understood them. That’s no different from anyone else. Unfortunately not all of our facts are true, and some of them that are don’t adequately represent the full truth of the situation. Which is why it is so critical we question the premise behind the outrage to see if it is grounded. THAT, more precisely, is what we do at BTB.

I don’t need an answer here, but I do think it’s worth pondering what is it that leads some to suspect malevolence from a despised and marginlized group (can we agree that Muslim Americans fit that description?) and others to remain neutral pending a more explicit red flag?

I may learn some facts which could change my mind. I’m not omniscient. But right now, I’m squarely on the side of a people who want to build a house of worship in Lower Manhattan.

Timothy Kincaid
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

And my point, Jim, is that all this pushback would be (and was) absent any other discussion. This situation is being treated unlike any other (with the exception of Arizona’s immigration law).

Instead of conversation, there are accusations of racism, xenophobia and bigotry.

We all know how well that works with those who advocate against the gay community, did you think it would be more effective against me? I dismiss it out of hand because I know that I’m not racist, xenophobic, or a bigot.

I’m not the one acting in an atypical manner here.

“Which is why it is so critical we question the premise behind the outrage to see if it is grounded.”

Well, we could start with looking at who is outraged and who is not. So far, I’ve not accused anyone of anything. I’ve not ranted about anyone – the builders of the mosque, the other commenters, anyone. No outrage here, though there’s a fair share of annoyance.

However – even though I know this will engender a WHOLE NEW LEVEL of accusations to which I don’t really want to become subjected, I’ll try to address your pushback.

Timothy Kincaid
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

But what I’d like to explore (and here, I’d rather open this up more broadly than pick on you personally) is why, even if the supporting “facts” were all true — the center’s date, the fact that it’s a mosque, that it was purchased last year — why do all of those facts mean that their motives were “probably intentionally offensive”?

1> can we agree that some people are offended?

2> can we agree that part of the reason that some people are offended is because they believe that their loved ones were victims of “radical Islam”?

3> can we agree that many people – including many of those who were shocked, horrified and hurt by 9/11 don’t know the difference between moderate Muslims and radical Islam?

So there are going to be people whose first response to hearing of “a mosque at ground zero” is shock and offense. That is just a fact, it isn’t subjective or confusing or unknown. We don’t have to speculate as to how it came to be or ponder the question behind it. It just is.

People – many of them good, decent people and some of them direct victims of 9/11 – were offended. This doesn’t go to whether they should be offended or whether they were ignorant or anything else.

Good people were offended by a decision that everyone very obviously knew in advance had the potential to offend.

Are we on the same page so far?

4> To ponder whether something is intentional, you have to look at whether aspects of it appear to be designed to maximize hurt.

In my opinion – and it is not an unreasonable opinion – if this Islamic Center’s dedication date was on 9/11/11 and absent any explanation that seemed to be designed to minimize hurt, this seemed to be to be enough of an evidence that this was probably intentional.

You can disagree.

I say probably for the exact same reason that I did the first time. Because while I hadn’t heard otherwise, I left room for unknown information.

And it’s good that I did. Because there was unknown information.

Frankly I don’t draw the same conclusion and never did. It’s in their neighborhood. They lost family members on 9-11.

Did they? I haven’t seen that on their website. In fact, as far as I can find, their website makes no mention of this as being in any way a remembrance of anyone.

I concede that I made some assumptions based on the facts as I understood them. That’s no different from anyone else.

But no one called you racist, bigoted, or xenophobic for your assumptions.

Unfortunately not all of our facts are true, and some of them that are don’t adequately represent the full truth of the situation.

Yep. Not all of my facts were accurate. In fact, many of the “facts” of folks who shared their opinions were inaccurate.

Which is why it is so critical we question the premise behind the outrage to see if it is grounded.

Yes. Why all the outrage?

THAT, more precisely, is what we do at BTB.

I don’t need an answer here, but I do think it’s worth pondering what is it that leads some to suspect malevolence from a despised and marginlized group (can we agree that Muslim Americans fit that description?) and others to remain neutral pending a more explicit red flag?

Sure they do. But they weren’t the despised group in today’s discussion.

One person presented anti-Muslim views and everyone denounced that position.

But there was a whole lot of contempt, accusation, and derision dealt out on this thread.

I may learn some facts which could change my mind.

Maybe. I did.

I’m not omniscient. But right now, I’m squarely on the side of a people who want to build a house of worship in Lower Manhattan.

And, as I stated in my VERY FIRST comment and consistently thereafter, so am I.

I said we should fight for their rights. Because whether or not they were offensive or whether or not it was intentional, we support their rights.

Timothy Kincaid
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

For the record, there were 59 Muslim victims in 9/11. I don’t know if any of them were affiliated with Imam Feisal Abdul-Rauf’s group.

If so, I do hope that they honor them at Park51 (assuming this is acceptable in Islam).

Jason D
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

“2> can we agree that part of the reason that some people are offended is because they believe that their loved ones were victims of “radical Islam”?

3> can we agree that many people – including many of those who were shocked, horrified and hurt by 9/11 don’t know the difference between moderate Muslims and radical Islam?”

In the information age I’m finding it increasingly more and more difficult to buy the premise behind these two. Namely that “good people” didn’t know XYZ.

Quite frankly I think it’s more like this:

2> can we agree that part of the reason that some people are offended is because they CHOOSE TO BELIEVE that their loved ones were victims of “radical Islam” AND REFUSE TO EDUCATE THEMSELVES FURTHER?

3> can we agree that many people – including many of those who were shocked, horrified and hurt by 9/11 don’t BELIEVE OR CARE THAT THERE IS A difference between moderate Muslims and radical Islam?

With information literally at people’s fingetips, honestly, to me it’s become more the case that these aren’t “Good people who just don’t know any better” but “bad people who don’t care to know any better”. Honestly I feel like some people have decided to actively avoid the truth, actively avoid educating themselves, actively avoid learning more about a subject or idea from various viewpoints — and I have a hard time seeing these sorts of folks as “Good People”. I mean, what is a bigot if not a person who clings merceilessly to their viewpoint and hides from anything and everything that might challenge or counter it? Timothy, please don’t lend any credeance to Maggie’s attempt to turn “bigot” into a four letter slur.

Timothy Kincaid
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

Jason,

I personally believe that the deaths on 9/11/01 were brought about by beliefs in the teachings of a radical branch of Islam. Do you disagree?

Lindoro Almaviva
August 11th, 2010 | LINK


1> can we agree that some people are offended?

2> can we agree that part of the reason that some people are offended is because they believe that their loved ones were victims of “radical Islam”?

3> can we agree that many people – including many of those who were shocked, horrified and hurt by 9/11 don’t know the difference between moderate Muslims and radical Islam?

Yes, we can agree that people are going to be offended, but the fact still remains that just because someone’s sensibilities are offended That gives them a free for all to throw mud and expect the rest of the world to mind their fragile egos. Maggie Galagher and NOM are offended because gay people are getting married. Should we stop the entire marriage equality movement just because our marriages offend her sensibilities?

Yes, we can agree that some people are offended because their loved ones were killed by radical Islam. Does that mean that they get a free for all in blaming all Muslims for those deaths? We know pretty much for a fact that Gay men exported the AIDS virus through the world. Not only that, but people are still using this to demonize us:

Kincaid: This issue of homosexuality affects you because gays are demanding to give blood. The hemophiliacs are outraged by the homosexual lobby saying they have a right to give blood. They want to force themselves into the blood supply in a callous and arrogant manner. Mothers need to speak up. Mothers, your children are at risk!

Kincaid: Left-wing student groups are leading boycotts of blood drives, because they’re “discriminatory.” This movement is expanding. If this keeps getting bigger and bigger, we are going to face a shortage of blood. It’s extortion. I remember when AIDS happened. I remember covering this. You have to be older to understand what was happening at this time. I really don’t think a lot of the young people today remember the panic and catastrophe that enveloped the nation because of AIDS. They don’t understand how it developed. They don’t understand the devastation. We need to educate the young people about this disease as well as new-and-potentially-just-as-deadly diseases that may not be being detected currently through blood tests. It’s not a matter of discrimination. It’s a matter of life.

Should we still be blamed because of AIDS then? Should we continue to bear the brunt of this just because people lost loved ones to AIDS and since gays carried the AIDS then all gays should be made responsible for these deaths?

Yes, we can agree that there is a LOT of misinformation about Islam, muslims and the rest; what we will not agree is the fact that we are to spread those like they are the truth. For many years people thought that being gay was a mental illness, that gay people are pedophiles and that we can not form long lasting relationships. Not only that, but to this day those same arguments come up every time there is a piece of anti-0gay legislation. Does that mean they are true? Since people do not know any better, does that mean we should continue repeating those statements because people are misinformed? How are we better if we do onto the Muslim community exactly what is done to us?


In my opinion – and it is not an unreasonable opinion – if this Islamic Center’s dedication date was on 9/11/11 and absent any explanation that seemed to be designed to minimize hurt, this seemed to be to be enough of an evidence that this was probably intentional.

Once again, you are assuming that we are owedc an explanation. WE ARE NOT. They are welcomed to open their site whenever they see it fit. The fact that people have a chip on their shoulder about this does not mean that they are owed explanations or that they get special treatment or they get to dictate what happens and not on private property. If they have a chip on their shoulder, it is THEIR problem, not the Muslim’s community. There is a difference and it is about time you learn it and acknowledge it.


Did they? I haven’t seen that on their website. In fact, as far as I can find, their website makes no mention of this as being in any way a remembrance of anyone.

So what I am hearing from you is that only those Muslims who lost someone directly on 9/11 are the ones who are entitled to build this and the rest are supposed to be treated like suspected terrorists? What gives? Should only those who threw punches at Stonewall be the ones entitled to have legal rights and the rest of us should be on a paddy-wagon every weekend?


But no one called you racist, bigoted, or xenophobic for your assumptions.

</blockquote

Well, as they say in this country, if the shoe fits…. But that is another point. I understand that you do not see yourself as BEING those things, but there is a difference between BEING those things and BEHAVING that way. Your words have the ring of xenophobia because they perpetuate stereotypes that are not true, inaccurate and based solely on half truths and innuendo. You might not BE but your words certainly ARE.

And lemme add that you are not the only one who has had to face this accusation, many people here behaved in the same racist xenophobic way and said even worse things. So at least in my end, you are not the only one deserving to be called to the carpet, there are worse offenders out there who deserve double of what you are getting.

grantdale
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

Timothy K,

We’ve (absolutely) no intention of weighing into this fugly thread, but we are more than a little surprised to be honest. (Not just you, btw). Out of character, much? I can see what your getting at, sort of, but…

Can we suggest completely reading the site. And if need be, something on the influence/ideas of Sufism.

It is a mistake to regard either 7th Century Bedouin culture or latter-day Wahhabism as a proxy for Islam. If you have, as we do, a problem with those two influences… then you need to examine the relationship between the spread and influence of them and the modern day state of Saudi Arabia. (Follow the money all the way back to your gas guzzler, people. You’ve been bank-rolling it ultimately). As an exercise, compare and contrast the frustrations felt by moderate Muslims with the frustrations felt by moderate Christians in, oh I don’t know, a place like Uganda.

Personally, we would welcome a moderate Islamic group deliberately building a place for interfaith understanding and promotion of moderate Islam adjacent too and clearly visible from the World Trade Center site. A message for everyone, least of all the violent Islamists but not forgetting the aggressive Christianists too.

(Then again, I’d also like to see that sort of thing occur in the middle of Piazza Pio XII. Hmmm.)

also: I think the word “mosque” may be over-used in this case. Buildings overall intended for other purposes often do also include room/s for prayer, some of them quite large (for the practical reason that it happens 5 times throughout the day and involves quite a lot of floor space when you have a bunch of Muslims together. You need to cater for everyone being prostate at once).

Having said all that… sorry Jim, I’m not really in an inventive mood today. How about Kaa Bar? Groan.

(Told you I wasn’t feeling up to it. But on any long drive we too do the same thing as yourselves. Worst ever: Donna Rhea. Undoubtedly been done before. On warm starry nights we also enjoy directing question statements using the word ‘Uranus’ at each other and others. Pathetic, I know.)

grantdale
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

God, I was on a roll until that typo.

Prostrate.

L. Junius Brutus
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

Tommy:

“I think that if a group of fanatics obsessed with eradicating Islam didn’t exist, or at the very least, didn’t lie, there would be no backlash.”

Keep on dreaming, my friend – or provide some evidence for your assertions, for once.

“I do love that you openly admit you are a liar and will continue to lie so long as it is convenient. Talk about committing seppuku with your credibility.”

Find someone who cares about what you think about him. You and your co-argumentators “arguments” are limited to three: calling people (1) bigoted/racist, (2) ignorant, (3) liars.

“I think it is hardly “misplaced” to view people who tell the truth as superior to those who tell lies. Of course you already admitted to falling into the latter category…”

This statement shows that you are the liar, and therefore morally inferior to myself – not that I didn’t already know.

“No, merely those who are actively sectarian. Such as those people attempting to stop a group from building a Community Center on land they already own because the group is Muslim.”

It seems pretty sectarian to me to build an “Islamic” community center right next to a site where 3,000 were killed by Islamists. But then again, I have common sense.

“Until you get specific and delineate an absolute line where on one side you can build mosques and on the other side you can’t”

Heap-fallacy alert. Not that the rest of your arguments were not fallacious, insofar as you used arguments.

“Our church renovation cost more.”

Right. Your church renovation cost $100 million? What is your church, the Sistine Chapel?

“A coalition of several groups. Is this question some sort of malicious insinuation that these groups are using underhanded or illegal financing?”

Name the “coalition of several groups” and the money they are contributing. And stop calling everything you don’t like “malicious”. No one knows where these people are getting their money, especially considering that the lead spokesperson refuses to classify Hamas as a terrorist organization.

Lindoro Almaviva

“I swear, if I ever, EVER, see anyone protest because of the way “Christians” are treating us I swear I will post this entire threat. ”

For a moment, I got worried, but then I realized that you meant “thread”.

“I am so mad if i had most of you in front of me i would slap you all hateful queens until my hands are sore.”

You have serious rage issues, I’m not a “queen” in any way – and do you really expect me to sit by and let you “slap” (hehehe) me without striking back hard.

“How dare you imply that because the majority agree with you that makes you right and then turn around and bitch because majorities all across the nation took your right to marriage away?”

I didn’t argue that the majorities are necessarily right, but I did argue that it is idiotic to call people opposed to this mosque “bigoted” – as Emily and Priya do.

“Just as I said, and i stand by it given the overwhelming evidence provided by this threat, goes to show you how deeply bigoted, backwards, and racist people are in this country; even in the gay community.”

I’m surprised that you haven’t figured out what racism is. Here’s a hint: Islam is not a race, nor an ethnicity.

“I am speechless…”

I wish this were literal and not figurative.

Priya Lynn:

“I see you haven’t toned down your absurdity, there’s no difference between “the U.S.” and “Americans”. ”

Uh, there is. If one says that the US was an accessory (which Rauf said to 60 minutes), it means that the “government” was an accessory. On the other hand, if one says that “Americans” were, it seems to imply that private citizens were involved. You deny this incontrovertible fact about Rauf. If I were like Tommy, you or Emily, I would have called you a liar by now. But I try to keep a measure of decorum, and to discuss these matters in a civilized manner, and not call people every name in the book, just because they disagree with me.

“Your sick attempt to imply the people building this mosque as supporting the attacks is completely fraudulent.”

Yet more name-calling. Are you proud of yourself?

“So now in your hatred of Muslims you’ve stooped to lying about me. I said they were bigoted, I never said they were stupid.”

Ah, you are actually correct – for once. It was actually Emily who said that the 80% were not only bigoted, but also stupid, unlike her, of course (wink, wink). My apologies, it’s rather hard to tell you two apart.

Chris McCoy:

“The Dictionary would disagree with you.

Bigot: noun
1) a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially
2) one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.”

Nowhere does this say that opponents of an ideology, like communism or Islam, are bigots. Epic fail, try again.

Lindoro Almaviva

“You can blame me for opening Pandora’s box. I will not apologize nor will I retract any statements I have made.

The conversation that ensues more than proved my original point.”

It’s OK, we know to disregard the ridiculous statements of an angry person who threatens to “slap” (LOL) all the “hateful queens” who disagree with him.

mikeksf

“bigoted ” If it weren’t for Islam, children wouldn’t be married to old perverts, women wouldn’t be oppressed in the polygamy that it sanctions.”)”

That is not bigoted, that is a fact. Islam allows polygamy, and many people in the Islamic world marry children, because their prophet did it (see the case of Aishah).

“ignorant and/or lying (“Wow, that’s a relief. *Two blocks* away and opening on the 10-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks, and with a man who says that the US was an “accessory” to the terrorist attacks.”)”

Again, all facts. Nothing ignorant or lying about it. The fact that you may not like these facts, does not invalidate them.

Lindoro Almaviva

“Can someone pleas PLEASE f*ck*ng explain me why is it that you still have to apologize for being a Muslim in this country and we feel that we do not need to apologize for being gay?”

I do feel like I have to distance myself from some of the more outrageous freaks who populate gay pride parades. If I can do that, Muslims can distance themselves from terrorist acts. It’s not that hard.

“And lemme add that you are not the only one who has had to face this accusation, many people here behaved in the same racist xenophobic way and said even worse things.”

Again, you don’t even know what racism is.

By the way, Is this how you all argue for gay marriage? Call people ignorant, bigots, racists, stupid – say that 80% of Americans are stupid and bigoted, threaten to slap people and comment that you are really, really “angry” as an argument? It really is no wonder that we keep getting our collective asses kicked. You guys couldn’t come up with a good argument if your lives depended on it.

Jim Burroway
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

For the record, there were 59 Muslim victims in 9/11. I don’t know if any of them were affiliated with Imam Feisal Abdul-Rauf’s group.

I heard portions of a public hearing on the proposed mosque/community center on NPR, in which people on both sides spoke. One of the speakers was a woman affiliated with the mosque (I’ll just say “mosque” for expediency’s sake) who lost family members on 9-11. I later saw a the video clip repeated later that night on television, either on MSNBC or CNN. I don’t remember which.

L. Junius Brutus
August 11th, 2010 | LINK

“(I’ll just say “mosque” for expediency’s sake)”

LOL! Careful now, Jim, Tommy called me a liar for doing the same thing.

Lindoro Almaviva
August 12th, 2010 | LINK


For a moment, I got worried, but then I realized that you meant “thread”.

No I meant TREATING, and in “the way they behave towards us.


I didn’t argue that the majorities are necessarily right, but I did argue that it is idiotic to call people opposed to this mosque “bigoted” – as Emily and Priya do.

And they do it for a reason. When mmajorities use their power to take away the rights of gay people, the comments in this blog immediately go to calling those people bigoted.

I do not expect a simpleton to understand higher and complex concepts, but to paraphrase Jim: The arguments against this building have centered in just about anything BUT tangible reasons like parking, noise, or building codes. That is highly suspect because then the only reason for opposing this building is for who they ARE. If that is not the definition of bigotry, then what is. The fact is that every argument has centered around “concerns” (which no one has been able to name), or around “appropriateness” (which the building owners do not owe anyone), or “sparing the feelings” (as if the Muslim community didn’t lose anyone on 9/11, or innuendo (“they are Muslim, therefore we need to ensure they are not being founded by terrorists”), or fat out lies (They are daring to open this on the anniversary of 9/11, how dare they! As if they owed anyone an explanation for when they want to open their building).

When called to the carpet on those bigoted comments, then we get the whole “well, the majority is with me so I could not be bigoted” usual comment that (apparently) is the get out of jail card these days.

You might not like it, you might refuse to see it, but the fact is that those comments, and the people who espoused those views are bigots.

And by the way, Muslims might not be an ethic group, but given the fact that most people in this country immediately relate Muslims with Arabs, then it is a racial issue. Not that I expect you to understand, or even acknowledge it; after all, as my wise grandmother used to tell me: there are 2 kinds of blind people, those who can’t see and those who won’t. The ones who can’t see cannot help themselves, the ones who won’t are the worse kind because not only do they refuse to see, they will also be arrogant about it.

Lindoro Almaviva
August 12th, 2010 | LINK

I do feel like I have to distance myself from some of the more outrageous freaks who populate gay pride parades. If I can do that, Muslims can distance themselves from terrorist acts. It’s not that hard.

Funny, the owners of this building have bent over backwards to make sure that their allegiances are not put into question and yet they are still called into question. They are in a no win situation, they do not owe anyone an explanation, they give it anyways only to meet xenophobic comments like yours with their innuendos and their half truth all shielded behind “concerns” and “patriotism”…

No wonder we keep getting our asses kicked. We are too ready to throw the stones at whomever seems more vulnerable that we are.

If you do not like being called for what your behavior and words implies, maybe you should change your behavior and words.

A xenophobe is easy to spot, just look for the suspect reasoning masked behind concern.

L. Junius Brutus
August 12th, 2010 | LINK

“And they do it for a reason. When mmajorities use their power to take away the rights of gay people, the comments in this blog immediately go to calling those people bigoted.”

Really? According to Maggie Gallagher, yes. According to reality, no. I have certainly never done or seen it.

“I do not expect a simpleton to understand higher and complex concepts”

No, how could you ever expect me to understand the high philosophy that you are espousing! The though of it makes me feel small! High-minded things like:

This whole thing is so f*ck*ng racist is sickening.

This whole situation only illustrates how ridiculous, backwards and uneducated we are about race in this country.

I am so mad if i had most of you in front of me i would slap you all hateful queens until my hands are sore.

Lastly, your racists asses need need to read how it’s done

Can anyone give me ONE good reason before I call you all again a bunch of ass backwards racists xenophobic fairies?

I feel so bad for being too simple and stupid to understand *gasps* all this! And all the concepts that you mentioned, simply incredible. Are you trying to come up with a new, better and improved version of Plato’s idea of the forms? You must be, because this is all so impressive! Are you a member of MENSA?

““sparing the feelings” (as if the Muslim community didn’t lose anyone on 9/11,”

Oh, it did. About 89 Muslims died on that day, of whom 1/5 were hijackers.

“They are daring to open this on the anniversary of 9/11, how dare they! As if they owed anyone an explanation for when they want to open their building”

Yes, they do owe us an explanation. Or we can continue to criticize them. In the world you imagine, these guys have every right to do whatever they want, while we have no rights – not even the right to question why that particular spot was picked, and why that particular day was picked out of the 365/366 available, and why that particular year was picked.

“You might not like it, you might refuse to see it, but the fact is that those comments, and the people who espoused those views are bigots. ”

That’s not a fact, that is merely your opinion – your wrong-headed opinion. Even a simpleton like myself can see that.

“And by the way, Muslims might not be an ethic group, but given the fact that most people in this country immediately relate Muslims with Arabs, then it is a racial issue. ”

*gasp* I never thought of it that way! (Well, except a while back in this very same comment section, where I refuted the idea.) And… because most people immediately relate Mormons to white people, Mormonism is a racial issue too. Criticism of Mormons is racism, because people want to attack white people. And because people associate people who play D&D with virgins, and virgins with conservative evangelical Christians, and because most conservative evangelical Christians are white, people who mock D&D actually hate white people. And because people associate mustaches with Italians, and Italians with the mafia, and the mafia with Sicily, and Sicily with the Greek metropoleis that originally founded Syracuse and the rest of Magna Graecia, and Greeks with homosexuality, any talk about mustaches actually concerns homosexuality! My God, I never knew that racism and bigotry in America was this bad!

“Not that I expect you to understand”

No, no, who could expect me to understand?

“Funny, the owners of this building have bent over backwards to make sure that their allegiances are not put into question and yet they are still called into question.”

Did Rauf bend over backwards by calling the US an accomplice to 9/11? Or by refusing to call Hamas a terrorist organization? Or by making clear where the $100 million is coming from? Oh, questions, questions, how inconvenient ye are!

“If you do not like being called for what your behavior and words implies, maybe you should change your behavior and words.”

Nope, maybe you should get better ‘behavior evaluation skills’.

“A xenophobe is easy to spot, just look for the suspect reasoning masked behind concern.”

Yay, now I’m only a xenophobe. Apparently, I got an upgrade, because earlier, you called me (and the 80% opposed to this mosque) a bigot and a racist.

Timothy Kincaid
August 12th, 2010 | LINK

Lindoro,

Your cut and paste might make sense if ANY of it was actually addressed either to me or to what I’ve said.

It is not.

You are angry with other folk and being unable to speak to them have decided to assign to me all of their attributes (real or imagined) and flay me by proxy. Your anger is not at what I’ve said but what you imagine that others think or believe and, mostly, that I’ve not joined your crusade to demonize them.

Timothy Kincaid
August 12th, 2010 | LINK

grantdale,

I’m all for moderate Islam gaining more influence over the faith.

Lindoro Almaviva
August 12th, 2010 | LINK

Again, I’ll let the comments and responses speak for themselves. Several times it has been pointed out that the objections to the site have nothing to do with what rational objections to any site would be and everything to do with WHO is building and WHAT is going to be built.

Whether you want to see it or not, it is obviously not our jobs anymore to enlighten you. You have taken a position where it is OK to call into question the motives of these people just for who they are, and think that because the entire nation is doing it with you, somehow it is excusable. We’ll see how that rationale fair after some time.

We’ll see how you react when the same attitudes are directed towards you and we’ll refer you to these pages.

Chris McCoy
August 12th, 2010 | LINK

Timothy Kincaid said:

And my point, Jim, is that all this pushback would be (and was) absent any other discussion. This situation is being treated unlike any other (with the exception of Arizona’s immigration law).

Instead of conversation, there are accusations of racism, xenophobia and bigotry.

We all know how well that works with those who advocate against the gay community, did you think it would be more effective against me? I dismiss it out of hand because I know that I’m not racist, xenophobic, or a bigot.

I’m not the one acting in an atypical manner here.

By the arguments of L. Junius Brutus, and Richard Rush, all Muslims are automatically evil, automatically terrorists, and automatically suspect.

The unspoken, but clearly evident accusation is that by extension, this Muslim Imam is evil, a terrorist, and suspect.

When Priya Lynn and other atheists on this forum argue against the historical and factual atrocities of Christianity, you are quick to jump to the defense that not all Christians are evil, or terrorists, or suspect; and that those actions are the actions of specific people, and not indicative of Christianity as a whole, or other Christians by extension.

I see no such defense of the Imam and the Mosque.

The trouble that I have is that your statements about your objection to the building of the mosque are difficult to clearly discern:

I personally believe that the deaths on 9/11/01 were brought about by beliefs in the teachings of a radical branch of Islam. Do you disagree?

For me, this question implies, in the context of this discussion, that the reason the Mosque shouldn’t be built is because the 9/11 terrorists were Muslim. Or this particular Imam is an adherent of Radical Islam. Or that all Muslims are Radical.

It’s difficult to ascertain how that question has relevance to the discussion, outside of those assumptions.

If the 9/11 terrorists were Christians would you equally oppose the building of any Christian church 2 blocks away from Ground Zero?

I still think the main question that still hasn’t been answered by any of the people opposed to the construction of the mosque is: At what distance away from Ground Zero (measured in discrete units of either blocks or miles) is it acceptable to build any Mosque?

As Jim has pointed out, the objection to the building of the Mosque is clearly its location – its proximity to Ground Zero. I do not think it is unreasonable to request a response.

Timothy Kincaid
August 12th, 2010 | LINK

Chris,

Don’t quote me and then argue against what someone else has said.

And before you take a flying leap to conclusions about the question I asked Jason, go read his immediately preceding comment.

Geez… it’s like trying to talk to right-wing fundamentalists.

L. Junius Brutus
August 12th, 2010 | LINK

Lindoro Almaviva: “Whether you want to see it or not, it is obviously not our jobs anymore to enlighten you. ”

What a shame. Here I was, hoping to partake in your high-minded intellectualism. But unfortunately, I remain a simpleton, a condition I am unable to escape. Perhaps you could enlighten people by slapping them until your hands are sore?

“You have taken a position where it is OK to call into question the motives of these people just for who they are, ”

Since you claim that these people’s motives are being questioned because they are Muslim, are you arguing that being Muslim is “who they are”? Is a belief system really “who you are”? Is holding a belief about whether a certain interstate highway should be built “who you are”? If a Muslim renounces Islam, does that change who he is?

Chris McCoy: “By the arguments of L. Junius Brutus, and Richard Rush, all Muslims are automatically evil, automatically terrorists, and automatically suspect.”

I’d like to see you prove that. But wait, don’t start trying until I get a bag of popcorn.

“The unspoken, but clearly evident accusation is that by extension, this Muslim Imam is evil, a terrorist, and suspect.”

I’m assuming you are talking about Rauf. Since he has not committed any terrorist acts that I know of, I would not call him a terrorist. However, his assertion that the US is an accomplice to 9/11, his favorable stand toward Sharia law and his refusal to denounce Hamas as a terrorist organization, along with his refusal to disclose where the $100 million is coming from, do make him suspect in my eyes.

“If the 9/11 terrorists were Christians would you equally oppose the building of any Christian church 2 blocks away from Ground Zero?”

Of course. Especially if the pastor blamed others for the attack, wanted to impose a theocracy in America, and refused to denounce Christian terrorist organizations.

“I still think the main question that still hasn’t been answered by any of the people opposed to the construction of the mosque is: At what distance away from Ground Zero (measured in discrete units of either blocks or miles) is it acceptable to build any Mosque?”

Heap-fallacy.

“As Jim has pointed out, the objection to the building of the Mosque is clearly its location – its proximity to Ground Zero. I do not think it is unreasonable to request a response.”

Really? I thought that the objection was because people opposed are ignorant, bigoted and stupid. I thought it was because they are racist.

Chris McCoy
August 12th, 2010 | LINK

Timothy Kincaid said:

Chris,

Don’t quote me and then argue against what someone else has said.

I will try not to conflate “sides” in the future.

And before you take a flying leap to conclusions about the question I asked Jason, go read his immediately preceding comment.

I agree with you that Jason D made an incorrect statement that 9/11 was not caused by adherents of a radical Islamic ideology.

However, I do not see that event as cause to automatically suspect the motivations of every Muslim in America.

This is the logic I see coming from the opponents of the mosque:
1) The perpetrators of 9/11 were Muslim.
2) The proprietors of the Mosque are Muslim.
3) Many people are offended by Muslims.
4) The Imam should bow to the majority’s offended sensibilities and not build the mosque.

Timothy Kincaid
August 12th, 2010 | LINK

However, I do not see that event as cause to automatically suspect the motivations of every Muslim in America.

I don’t either.

This is the logic I see coming from the opponents of the mosque:

I am not the opponents of the mosque and don’t speak for them. I’ve no idea what they think (assuming that they do).

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